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View Full Version : Requiem (PG-13)



Sidewinder
12th March 2012, 2:35 AM
First shot at a Fic. I'm hoping for any sort of a review that would help me refine my writing. I have a few chapters written and I'm really wanting some hard and honest feedback. Will rate the Fic (PG-13) for random violent battles and occasional swearing. The beginning starts off a bit slow, but stick with it, because what I have planned is sure to please.




Prologue


He followed behind the other students, dimly aware of the tour guide spouting off facts and dates about the cave they were touring. His Abra had both spindly arms wrapped around his neck, head draped across the back of his own. The Abra, like most of its species, was largely lethargic, napping constantly; seeming more like an infant human than the psychic force for which it was named. The boy hiked the sleeping pokemon up to a more secure grip on his back, taking note that he was falling further and further behind the rest of the group.

The cave, like most in Hoenn, was filled with arching passageways and hidden tunnels, luring tourists and treasure seekers from all over the land to the small island where the cave made its home. Granite Cave, was unique in the fact that it was not only just found on the island but burrowed underneath it. Occasional gouts of water forced itself inside and flooded some of the tunnels, but all in all a worthwhile risk for those who wished to learn, and to those who wished to find the rare gems scattered throughout its recesses.

Ever since the adoption agency had placed the boy with his foster family, a successful pokemon doctor duo of husband and wife, he had found himself increasingly more withdrawn. The only enjoyment he ever looked forward to were the days when his new parents were away on business, which was becoming more and more frequent with the advances they made in pokemon restoration. They were kind, they provided, they listened, but he couldn’t connect with them. His parents were long dead, twisted and spirited away by the ghostly hand of death. They had given him his Abra however. He allowed himself a small smile at the thought; he and the pokemon had bonded extremely well over the last few months, becoming inseperable, becoming dependant on one another. The Abra had also lost its parents; his new parents being vague on how it happened, but nevertheless fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it.

The sounds of the tour group were barely audible, they had slipped far behind. Abra tensed.

The psychic pokemon rolled forward across the boy’s shoulder and hovered barely off the ground, a nimbus of black-purple energy glowing in its right hand. The pokemon cocked its head from side to side like a Pidgey, listening. The boy stayed frozen still, feeling his skin break out in chills as his thoughts swayed and teetered, unable to overcome the odd sense of fear that was boiling in his stomach.

They both reacted at the same time. Abra growled, and a sphere of psychic energy arced from its hand and struck a blur of pale cream and green that was dashing towards them. The boy clenched his fists and took a step forward, intending to get a better footing. His foot did not come back down. The blur spun in the air, reflecting the attack Abra had shot back to its source, knocking the Pokemon into its master, hurtling them both to the far wall. Before the impact struck, the boy felt a motherly warm hand grasp the back of his shirt and guide them through the wall, passing through solid granite like it was air. As the boy and his Abra were forced through the wall, he felt the hand drop them into pitch blackness.

SLAM!

His head struck the rocky floor as he rolled, the soft skin on his arms tearing easily on the ground as he rolled to a stop. Abra landed with a dull thump to his left, the pokemon crying out in alarm as the boy began to sob. A soft orb of white sprang into existence above the pokemon’s head, illuminating the immediate area and allowing the boy to focus his eyes. Abra limped towards his master, favoring his left leg. The psychic pokemon’s right leg bore a long gash up the side of its thigh, from which blood freely flowed. They put their arms around each other, Abra leaning on the boy for support. Even though the effort nearly threw both of them back to the ground, the boy swung the injured pokemon onto his back, mind reeling in utter disbelief at the sight that lay before them.

The floor was black as death, black as night, it seemed to reach up and absorb the light hovering above the two of them. An altar of matching color sat on the floor in front of the pair. It was well over twenty feet wide, with odd geometric shapes carved into the front face of it. On top of the altar was a tablet of equal proportions, standing upright, seemingly made of the same material as the rest of the object. Hieroglyphics were carved into the tablet in lines, some the boy recognized as pokemon, others as humans; but as he looked towards the top of the tablet, a jagged chunk was missing. It looked as if it had been roughly cut out using a massive serrated blade.

As the boy and his Abra looked in wonder at the strange object, a small stony flake, glistening slightly in the oily light of the conjured orb, began to skitter across the top of the altar, seemingly of its own accord. As the boy and his pokemon noticed the flake, they stiffened, perceiving a new threat. However, the flake stopped at the edge of the altar, just within reach of the boy. As he breathed out in relief, he took a step closer and stared at the small object. It was roughly about three inches long, and in the rough hewn shape of a diamond. As his breath reached the small flake, it began to glow. A bright neon green light shone from the flake, so bright in its intensity, the boy flung his arm up to shield himself. The small cavern the two found themselves in was illuminated in its entirety. The shapes on the tablet almost seemed to move in the ethereal green light that danced across its surface.

It was just then the boy heard a whisper. It was soft, delicate, even comforting. Other whispers joined the first, and the boy just knew the voices were coming from the flake, and that he wanted to touch it, to envelop himself in those voices, to hold them inside his body. He needed to touch the flake or they would go away, they would leave him and Abra in this darkness forever. He looked over his shoulder at his pokemon, whose small face was unmistakably and utterly terrified. They held each other’s gaze for a moment, and Abra began slowly shaking its head. The whispers began to lose their intensity, began to sound further away. Without a second thought the boy’s arm shot forward and he snatched the flake from the top of the altar.

The boy began to scream…

Sidewinder
12th March 2012, 3:22 AM
Chapter 1

Twenty nine years later


It was only because of the Pokeflect around his wrist that Dorian wasn’t roasted alive by the flamethrower attack the enraged Growlithe had just launched at him. While still experimental, the ‘Pokeflect’ had saved many from grievous injuries sometimes sustained in pokemon battles. Almost three years ago, scientists working for the Silph Corporation had learned how to replicate the effects of the pokemon move, Reflect, and Light Screen, and combined them. When activated, the wrist mounted device enclosed its wearer in a globule of light blue energy that had the ability to reflect all but the most powerful pokemon based attacks up and away from its wielder. Where before, trainers competing in Pokemon battles had to constantly be aware of attacks that missed their Pokemon and put them in direct danger, the Pokeflect gave trainers a sense of relevant comfort knowing that they were ‘generally’ out of harm’s way.

Dorian Dvakna, twenty-four, was far too thin for his age. At a bit over six feet he comfortably stood a few inches above most people he knew and met. With dark hair, and hazel eyes verging on brown, most would say Dorian to be handsome, though certainly not gorgeous, but rather somewhere between atrocious looking and the latter. By all accounts very ordinary, with his arms and legs toned from working at the local Pokemon breeders house in Cherrygrove City. His smile however, deterred any from thinking that he was anything but ordinary. His unnaturally straight and white teeth only showed confidence and capability.

He had been following the wild Growlithe for a little over five days. Tracking the bent and snapped underbrush, watching for small piles of feces, and sleeping in a tent for that time had put a determination in Dorian that he had not felt in some time. The small dog was perhaps waist high, and was beautifully layered with stripes of alternating orange, black, and yellow. While not extraordinary as a Growlithe, its god-like evolved form of Arcanine was close to legendary. He knew it would give him an edge when he finally decided to enter the competitive battle scene. This little Growlithe was doing everything it could to live up to its future namesake. Biting, slashing, and breathing torrents of fire at Dorian’s Nuzleaf; who was doing a pretty adept job at dashing back and forth, bouncing on his hands as well as his feet to stay away from the fire mutt until his master gave the order.

“bullet seed!’ Dorian roared.

Nuzleaf cartwheeled thirty feet to the right, and in one motion used his hands to launch himself into the air and spin, launching a barrage of glowing yellow and green pellets at the Growlithe. The first wave hit the dirt in front of the colorful dog, kicking dirt into its eyes; just as Dorian intended. The second wave hit the disoriented Growlithe square in the chest, causing it to shake its mane in an attempt to clean the dust from its eyes. Nuzleaf’s wiry brown body came down to embrace the dog from the air, rolling at the last second to send a roundhouse kick to the dog’s muzzle. The Growlithe was shunted backwards fifteen feet, with Nuzleaf hot in pursuit.

“Wait till it charges and faint attack!” ordered Dorian.

No sooner had he given the command, the Growlithe righted itself and charged his Nuzleaf, orange flame licking the pits of its nostrils. The small pokemon proved to be too quick for Nuzleaf however; as the grass type readied itself to dodge, the pokemon put on an extra burst of speed and speared the brown pokemon in the sternum, making an audible crack!

“NUZ!” the pokemon grunted.

Nuzleaf folded like dough and slid across the gravel, flipping end over end. Meanwhile, the Growlithe turned its attention back to Dorian, who jumped to the side to dodge a squirt of flame from the enraged Pokemon. Swearing, he rolled to his feet, having forgotten that his Pokeflect would protect him from the attack. Concern racked his face as he struggled to find his Pokemon. Before he could spot, there was a loud smack!

Nuzleaf landed another harsh kick to the Pokemon’s snout, sending it soaring across the ground like a poorly guided arrow. The grass type followed behind, purpose written across its scarred face; it jumped and landed on top of the Growlithe, using both legs to pin down the pup. Extending its arms, the Nuzleaf put one hand around the Growlithe’s throat, while the other snaked down to grab its right paw. Dorian jogged forward, aware of a growing throb in his right ankle, where he had twisted it to avoid the dog’s well placed flamethrower.

“You put up quite a fight.” Dorian said over the tired and struggling Growlithe. “It’s not often something is able to surprise Nuzleaf. Though I suppose he is getting pretty seasoned.”

Nuzleaf shot him a dirty look. Over the last several days, the grass type’s single leaf that rested on top of his head had taken on a burnt amber color, signaling the arrival of Fall. Though the leaf would not wilt, it annoyed the bandit striped Pokemon to no end to have Dorian tease him like a seedling stuck in sap.

“Thanks for humbling him.” Dorian winked, bringing a clenched fist to hover over the struggling Growlithe.

A green friend ball dropped out of his hand, falling towards the Growlithe in slow motion; the white button on the front tapped the dog’s forehead; the ball split in two, and the newest addition to Dorian’s rag-tag group of misfits turned into energy. Glowing intensely white, his form folded in on itself again and again, becoming more miniscule; and at the same time started to spin. As soon as the energy that was Growlithe became smaller than the ball, its two halves came back down in a mighty snap! Signaling a successful capture, and the reward to his hard work.

“Yeah that’s right.” he said as Nuzleaf got up and dusted itself off. “All in all I think that went pretty well.”

“Leaf?” the Pokemon retorted in obvious annoyance.

“Yeah you helped too I guess, although I think it’s also the fact that I’m just a real ‘Go-Getter’, the kinda guy that really overcomes adversity at all costs. Don’t you think so?”

Instead of replying, the grass type Pokemon reached into the right front pocket of Dorian’s jeans and pulled out another pokeball, this one having a scarlet top and ivory bottom. While Dorian reached down to pick up his newly captured pokemon, Nuzleaf drew back and threw the pokeball at his owner’s head. There was a loud thunk as it connected and opened, spilling out light.

“What the hell?!” Dorian exclaimed, bracing his hand against the growing lump on the back of his head. “You know I was just kidding. I never would have been able to do that without you.”

Nuzleaf smirked, looking towards the Pokemon that had been released from its glittering confines. The Trapinch was of average build for a member of its species. Around the height of Dorian’s knees, the Trapinch’s body was dwarfed by its monstrous head, which consisted of two sparkling eyes, a noticeable lack of a nose, and a gargantuan mouth that Dorian knew he could easily fit his head into. Its head was supported by a proportionally smaller body with four thick legs. The color scheme of this perpetually ecstatic Pokemon was a rich royal russet, which Dorian had always found pleasant.

“Ap!” it yelled. “AP, APAP!”

“Yeah yeah, I know.” Dorian groaned. “Horrible injustice that you weren’t involved, I know, I’m sorry. Was that heartfelt enough? Or do I need to more careful with your delicate sensibilities?”

It was odd; both Pokemon were polar opposites in terms of facial features, but they were giving Dorian the exact same look of contempt. Rolling his eyes, Dorian tucked his newly captured Pokemon into his pocket, patting it once to reassure himself; then started back down the road towards Cherrygrove City, with the tree midget and space termite following close behind.



***************


As his house came into view, situated at the edge of the tree line on the outskirts of Cherrygrove City, Dorian heard a soft growl behind him. Nuzleaf had stopped and was staring at Trapinch, concern racking its lined face. The giant Pokemon was shivering fiercely, eyes closed, mouth slightly agape.

“You okay buddy?” Dorian asked.

The fits Trapinch was experiencing had become more and more frequent since Dorian had used him to subdue a crazed Persian that had strayed into their camp while tracking the Growlithe. Pokemon evolution was no easy ordeal, and as much as Dorian wanted to wish the pain away, he couldn’t.

“Aap.” Trapinch moaned softly, swaying from side to side like a windblown leaf.

The tremors having subsided, Dorian breathed a sigh of relief. Taking out its pokeball, he returned the Pokemon in a flash of ruby light. Putting his Trapinch in the blessed restful stasis of its pokeball would hopefully give the troubled Pokemon some peace. Nuzleaf shrugged and started forward again, its carved wooden feet squeaking as they crunched on gravel.

“I’m sure he’ll be okay, it’s going to pass soon eno-“ Dorian started, as a violet glow suddenly enveloped his feet. He then experienced the unusual sensation of being yanked straight up and flipped upside down.

“You blithering idiot!” Shelton screamed.

“Oh God,” Dorian sighed, bracing himself.

The force of the hydro pump from his roommate’s Golduck hit him with less force than he imagined it would. Maybe the duck Pokemon was taking it easy on him on account of the verbal and possible physical abuse he was about to receive from Shelton. Regardless, the icy blast of water hit him square in the sternum at the same time the force holding him up suddenly evaporated. As he fell, he sighted Sheton’s Golduck sitting on the steps of their front porch, its bill marred with a mixture of anxiousness and forced regret. Silently thanking the sapphire avian for sparing him unnecessary pain, he connected with the ground headfirst.

His head collided not with the thump he expected, but with the clear crisp clink of silverware on glass. Dorian groaned, the pain shooting beautiful colors across his vision, which raced towards his cranium with abundant purpose. As he heard the stomps of his roommate getting closer, he rolled over to see what had lovingly kissed his skull. The object appeared to be stone, but only a square inch was visible, the rest was buried below the dirt path he was writhing on.

“You do realize what a complete and utter moron you are, don’t you?!” Shelton roared. “Not only did you get fired for missing five straight days of work, but I also found the receipt for the friend ball you paid THREE THOUSAND credits for!”

“I-“ he started, only to be cut off by the fiery glare thrown at him from her shocking azure eyes.

“Shut it!” she yelled. “Since I handle all of our bills and know EXACTLY how much you have in savings, I’m going to correctly assume you used your money for that ridiculous purchase instead of paying our rent.”

His head still ringing from the impact, he switched from looking at her, then back at the glossy black stone. It kept drawing his attention, calling out to him with its inky color. He switched back to Shelton, taking in her glowing, shoulder length blond hair, the slight curves of her shoulder and hips, and her ivory skin that was barely visible beneath the waves of red igniting in anger across her face.

“You’re right.” he stammered. “It was immature, and extremely irresponsible, but if you want to calm down for just a minute I can explain.”

“Calm down?” she asked. “Dorian, excuse me, ‘Idiot’, if we don’t pay rent, we get EVICTED. Even with your pea sized intellect, I’m sure you can understand that.”

“I do. However, some good came out of my obvious mental inadequacy.” he explained. “I caught a Growlithe.”

“That’s great Dorian, I’m glad that when we get tossed to the street we’ll have a nice warm Growlithe to live in.” she said, rolling her eyes and turning to Nuzleaf. “You hungry sweetheart?”

“Nuz!” he exclaimed, taking her hand.

“Judas!” Dorian hissed.

Nuzleaf smirked at his owner as Shelton lead them both back towards their home. Taking a breath, Dorian sat up into a crouch, turning back to the object embedded in the dirt. Extracting his knife from its sheath on his ankle, he slowly buried it to the hilt in the compacted dirt. Pushing down on the dagger, it popped free, softly glowing as it caught the light.

It was obviously handmade, evident by the lines and shapes carved into its face. One side of the stone was rigidly straight, while the other two sides looked like they had been sheared off of a larger piece. As he cleared away the rest of the dirt from the stone, he observed two shapes that were hewn into it below the vertical lines. One was arguably a human, judging from the shape. While the other had what appeared to be the antenna of an insect Pokemon. They were both unmistakably dead.



**************


It had been almost three decades since a Granite Cave tour guide had found the unconscious forms of a small boy and his Pokemon at the exit of the cave. Since then, the boy had been transformed into a man. As much by life’s natural course, as by the small flake he had absorbed into his body years ago. After lying to those concerned about how he had gotten to the exit of the cave before the rest of the group; the boy began noticing strange happenings with his mental and physical state.

Days after the incident, he learned that his muscular strength was rapidly increasing; along with being able to run much faster and further than he previously could. Weeks after, he noticed he could now interpret feeling from other people and their Pokemon, picking up on their intentions and mental decision making without their knowledge. Months after, the whispers he had heard in the cave had returned, singing of love and affection, assuring him in his dreams that he wouldn’t be without them anymore. They also gave him instruction on his newfound gifts and how to enhance them.

Which was why he was in Vermillion city that day; to the famed Diglett’s cave he traveled, or rather, underneath it. The whispers had led him to a cave in the recent months, in the sand swept plains of the desert in Hoenn . The cave bearing another flake he took into himself. The cave he found near Route 111 however had something extra. A shard of stone from the enormous tablet he had seen in Granite Cave years ago. People the man walked past throughout the day forgot him as soon as he passed. A somewhat average looking man with long, wavy tan hair, an Alakazam keeping stride to his right. A curious jumble of thoughts passed across their minds as he walked; the sudden feeling that they were late, or had misplaced something of small importance.

The duo walked east of the city, the man allowing himself a small smile as he zipped up his jacket.

Sidewinder
13th March 2012, 6:00 PM
CHAPTER 2


The stone gave Dorian an odd sensation, like cold heat, but not on his skin. Rather, it was like he had swallowed the stone and whatever kind of feeling it was giving him was coming from his inside and radiating outwards. Shrugging, he tucked the foot long, macabre stone in his back pocket and headed into the house.

“I’m instituting a new rule,” Shelton began, crossing her legs and leaning forward. “From now on, all your decision making privileges have been revoked. Other than involuntary bodily functions you have to perform in order to survive, I want you on the sofa, sitting on your hands at all times.”

“Agreed,” Dorian said glumly.

He crossed the living room, spying two leaves lying near the bottom edge of the chipped coffee table. Which he knew was going to annoy him to no end until he could pick them up. Which was probably going to be quite some time since apparently from now on he was only allowed to sit completely still, and breathe.

The gangly adult sat down between his Nuzleaf and Shelton’s Golduck, who were both sleeping and taking up as much room as possible, leaving him about a pencil width’s amount of space. While not extravagant, the home was furnished quaintly. He and Shelton had both cosigned on a loan from Silph Co. to buy their furniture. Hardwood flooring, showing obvious signs of strain, lined the floors. They ended with tile as they touched the adjoining kitchen. The sofa, loveseat, and matching recliner were a royal violet, the latter having Shelton perched on it, seething at him like a predator.

“Look, I’m sorry,” Dorian explained. “You know I’ve always wanted a Growlithe. When I saw it, well, you know me. When I get focused on something I just lose track of everything else.”

“Actually, you’ve always wanted an Arcanine, so that point is moot,” she replied. “Maybe I overreacted ‘slightly’, but it was mainly because I barely had enough to cover the rent. Surely you can understand that.”

“I can,” he said. “And I’m sure the situation of third degree battery by Golduck only came about because you were a bit worried when you couldn’t get in touch with me.”

“Maybe,” she admitted.

“So we’re good?” he asked.

“After you pay me back,” she smiled. “With interest.”

“Any point in arguing?” he asked.

“Sure.” she replied. “What do you got?”

After a pensive look, Dorian said, “I request the right to argue for a lower amount after I’ve thought of a good enough excuse.”

“Request granted…Moron,” she said, flashing her teeth.

“Where’s the rest of them?” Dorian inquired, flicking his eyes towards the slumbering Pokemon.

“Machop is under the house again,” she answered. “We were out back pulling weeds, when that soulless Sunflora popped out and started terrorizing him again. Shuppet is in her usual spot.”

On cue, the small ghost type Pokemon phased herself through the nearby refrigerator door, multicolored eyes gleaming. “Shup-SHUP!” it cackled happily, drifting over to land on Dorian’s shoulder.

Indistinguishable from a grey bathroom towel, the point topped ghost Pokemon was Shelton’s latest capture. It was a pleasant enough Pokemon who didn’t get into much mischief, save for the odd habit of sleeping in the refrigerator and nowhere else. Shelton had caught the charismatic Pokemon partly out of wanting a new addition to her small family of Pokemon, and partly to break her Machop of its manic fear of everything but Her, Dorian, and their respective creatures. Its species usually synonymous with bravery and strength, Shelton’s Machop unfortunately fell far short. She still didn’t believe him, but once, Dorian watched Machop catch a glimpse of his own shadow following him, only to run screaming back to the house. Nothing however, terrified the fighting type more than ghosts. Even ones they saw when watching horror movies would send him sobbing back to Shelton’s bedroom.

“By the way,” Shelton said. “Your Uncle Ronnie called. I told him you would ring him back once you got home. He seemed pretty anxious to talk to you.”

“Thanks,” Dorian said, pushing himself off the sofa. “I’ve never heard him sound anxious about anything but rocks, so I’ll call him back now.”
He turned to walk back outside when Shelton’s voice stopped him.

“Hey dummy!” she called.

“Hmm?”

“I’m glad you’re okay,” she admitted.

“Thanks dummy, I’m sorry I worried you,” he said, grabbing his cell phone from the kitchen counter and excusing himself outside.

Opening his cell phone, he selected his Uncle Ronnie and waited as it rang. His father’s older brother worked as a curator at the Pewter City museum, which was a profession he excelled at naturally. Owing to his near genius IQ and love of all things made hundreds to thousands of years before he was born. It had been almost three months since they had last spoken, because of both their work schedules.

“There’s my favorite nephew!” his uncle exclaimed.

“Hey Ronnie!” he replied, a grin crossing his face.

“How you doing, hotshot?” his uncle asked. “Still driving the girls crazy?”

“Only Shelton,” Dorian replied.

“Ah! How’s my future daughter in law doing?”

“She’s really good. We finally set the wedding date; June, two-thousand and never!”

“Eh, we’ll see about that,” his uncle joked. “But, to the real reason I called. I’ll be seeing you soon.”

“That’s great,” Dorian said, his smile getting wider.

“My team and I are organizing a dig right outside Cherrygrove,” he explained. “We should be there in about a week, well, maybe a little longer depending on how fast we can get out of Pewter.”

“Sounds great. What are you going to be digging for? Oil seems a bit pointless at this point.”

“The Director has it in his head that one of the earliest human civilizations in Johto had a settlement situated to the east of Cherrygrove,” he said. “Judging by those small tourist trap ruin’s in that area, I’m inclined to believe he may have a point. You know which one’s I’m talking about, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I do. Up in the woods on Route twenty-nine towards New Bark Town.”

“Anyway, he’s been obsessing over this ancient legend that’s been passed down from mouth to ear for centuries. Something about six ‘markers’, and a master tablet to which they belong. Once assembled and placed back on the tablet which they were broken off of, show the way to a terrifying treasure.”

“Terrifying?” Dorian repeated.

“Yes,” his Uncle answered. “The direct translation goes ‘Gathered together, split apart. give your world, to eat what remains.’”

“Do you believe there’s really a treasure?”

“I believe we’ll find remnants of the civilization, but an actual treasure, I’m not sure. I think it’s subjective on what they viewed as treasure at that time. I mean, it could have very well been diamonds, other precious stones, or objects they didn’t understand which they attributed mystical properties.”

“Ah. What about these markers? They’re just supposed to give you directions on where to bring them after you got them all?”

“Supposedly they’re supposed to do just that, as well as point to each of the other markers that are hidden. The only odd thing is how they describe the markers themselves.”

“How so?” Dorian asked.

“Well, from the limited amount of information we’ve gathered on the marker’s, they’re supposedly forged from metal; but out of a rare ore we think is obsidian. Though we don’t know for sure because there is so little discovered throughout the world today, only a few grams or so. We know that from their description, it’s jet black, weighing much less than other metal ore’s they would have had access to back then. From what the Director is thinking, he attributed it more to a hollow, glossy diamond, instead of metal.”

“These markers, would they be very big?” Dorian asked, his voice catching in his throat.

“Quite the contrary.” his uncle answered. “From the estimations we’ve done from the legend, they would only be a foot long, chiseled with glyphs depicting why they broke the tablet, and separated the pieces in the first place. As well as directions to the others.”

“Well,” Dorian grinned, plucking the small shard from his pocket. “I think I just saved you a trip.”



********************


The man and his Alakazam walked with purpose through the lower levels of Diglett’s Cave, shadows dancing ethereally across the rocky walls from the glowing ball his psychic Pokemon had conjured above its head. As he passed by a strangely large depression in the wall to his right, his jeans began to thrum not unlike that of a panicked and overworked heart. He had carried the shard he had found in Hoenn with him ever since he had discovered it, and now it was lightly pulsing from the inside. Looking at the shard and then back to the wall, he nodded. The vibrations from the stone ceased, signaling his accuracy.

“You ready?” he asked his partner.

The Alakazam sat down on the hard cave floor and sat cross legged. An eerie lilac glow emanated from under its feet as it rose to hover at eye level with its master. Nodding, the psychic type extended a tendril of though toward the man’s belt, lifting a pokeball from the holster at the man’s waist. Squinting its eyes, the Pokemon opened the ball, spilling light across the inside of the cavern, drowning the shadows that surrounded the two.

Armor plated feet, shins, and waist became visible first. Followed by a sizeable stomach, still armor plated, but with a different color. Two, three clawed paws with arms appeared next, which lead up to thickly muscled shoulders, surrounded by overlapping plates of substantial armor. As soon as the head became visible, a thunderous roar reverberated through the small cavern, spilling dust from the ceiling above. The Pokemon growled, confused by its surroundings.

“Take it down.” the man ordered, smiling at the Pokemon.

“Don.” the Pokemon agreed, returning the smile as best as its terrifying face would allow.

The single, wicked looking horn protruding from the Pokemon’s nose began to gyrate, releasing a high pitched squeal. Striding forward, the Pokemon took mighty swings at the wall, taking away chunks with every blow. The wall whimpered in protest, trying to hold its shape, struggling to retain the only purpose it ever had. With a groan, the wall slid forward into a pile of rubble at the Rhydon’s outsized feet, a gust of air billowing over the muscular Pokemon, betraying its secret of a small inner room. The man strode past the rock type, nodding his thanks as he passed, his Alakazam following close behind.

“Wasn’t as hard as I expected,” the man said to the floating Pokemon.

As the words left his lips, steel spikes shot out from either side of the room. Orange with rust, they cut through the air with determination towards the man, already halfway to him before he even noticed they had been released. The spikes stopped a few inches from the man, a violet globule of energy attached to each of the assuredly sharp points. With the Alkazam’s direction, they slowly slid back into the holes that lined the walls to the entrance of the hidden chamber. Turning around to face his savior, the man nodded, remembering a similar dilemma when the Pokemon had saved his life.

“So that’s three that I owe you now?” the man asked.

The Pokemon didn’t reply with a verbal affirmation, rather it held up four of its spindly fingers.

“Okay then,” the man said, sure that the psychic type had protected him from another danger that he had long since forgotten.

The man walked towards the back of the room, knowing what lay ahead. The space around the small pedestal in the center of the floor was like the other he had found in Hoenn, with its material closely resembling that of the shard he held in his pocket. At the top of the small, flat topped spire he saw another shard, standing upright on one pointed edge. On top of the splinter, glowing faintly, was the real prize. It was smaller than the two he had found in Hoenn, but it commanded just as much of a presence. Knowing he was safe with the two Pokemon guarding the entrance, he reached out with a hand to touch the small flake straddling the timeless relic. The flake sprang upward and drove itself into the man’s palm, causing a stream of burgundy blood to lazily drift down his arm as it burrowed itself into his flesh.

“That’s some-ahh,” he moaned, feeling suddenly weak at the knees.

The man’s Alkazam dropped to its two legs, placing a hand on the man’s shoulder to comfort him. The psychic Pokemon could feel the waves of anxious nausea streaming from his owner. The unease the Pokemon felt was magnified by the care and affection he had adopted towards the man since they had become partners so long ago. In truth, the flakes his master was absorbing gave the Alakazam a sense of fear. Something was innately wrong with the curious, oily flakes. Besides the pain caused by their entrance, the flakes only seemed to help the man with his physical and social dealings. However, the Alakazam maintained his suspicions about them, ready to step in if they gave him reason to act.

“I’m fin, I’m fine,” the man stammered.

“Zam?” his Pokemon questioned.

“No it’s okay, I promise.” the man assured his Pokemon. “That was worst than the last, but I’m good now. See?”

The Alakazam inspected the man’s palm. Except for the greasy line left behind by the seeping blood, the wound caused by the entry of the small flake had completely vanished. “Zam,” his Pokemon answered, satisfied.

“You worry too much,” the man said, wiping his moist brow. “I was fine the first two times, and this was no different.”

“Don?” a voice inquired from up ahead.

“Were coming,” the man called. “Ready?”

“Zam.”

“Alright then,” the man said, casually plucking the small black shard from its pedestal and putting in into his pocket next to the other.

The Alakazam floated back up to eye level with the man, its eyes flicking towards the towering rock type standing guard up ahead. The man nodded, and started forward, his legs feeling slightly weak. The Rhydon fell into step behind the two, its horned head swinging from side to side, listening for potential danger. They made it through the lower section and back up to the entrance of the cave without incident, threading their way through the cavern like serpents. It was only when faint traces of sunlight became visible did they notice something crowding the path.

“Dig!” a chorus of voices shouted in angry unison.

In a perfectly straight line, from wall to wall near the entrance, a procession of Diglett’s sat in wait. Their voices overlapped as they growled, making them appear to be more numerous in the dim light. Black eyes glinting, their growls echoing down the cave behind them, the assembled Diglett made no move to attack. They were obviously waiting for the intruders to act first, so they could judge the severity of the threat.

“Move?” the man questioned, bending down to pick up a small stone from the floor.

“Dig!” the Pokemon answered, red noses taking in the scent of the Rhydon and Alakazam.

“Didn’t think so,” the man said, rolling his eyes. “You guys are up.”

“Don.”

“Zam.”

By the time the sound waves of the two Pokemon were processed by the sensitive ears of the line of Diglett’s, it was too late. Jumping about two feet up, the Rhydon slammed his left foot down, followed by his right, each smacking the ground with a deafening clap! A skeletal crack raced towards the waiting Diglett’s, closely trailed by another crack from the Pokemon’s right foot. The first line stopped a few inches from the assembled Pokemon, sinking down into the rock. A fissure erupted in the ground along the Diglett’s, sucking them down to their noses. The second moving crack slammed into the fissure, causing the ground to exhale a squall of air as each side of the fissure collapsed back into itself, trapping the Diglett’s in place.

As this was taking place, the man’s Alakazam closed its eyes, levitating two silver spoons in front of its mustached face. The spoons began to rotate, a purple glow emanating from their handles. Suddenly, Alakazam’s eyes snapped open! A bell tone chimed as the spoons came to a stop, and a glittering sinister wave of black arced towards the Diglett’s. The wave washed over them gently, guiding them into a peaceful, dreamless slumber.

The trio started towards the entrance of the cave, unchallenged this time. Alakazam floated over the sleeping Pokemon as the man and his Rhydon gingerly stepped over them. The man didn’t know where they were going next, but he knew that the next time he slept, he would be told. He was always told where to go and how to better himself and his Pokemon. The voices would whisper to him in his dreams, guiding him towards additional power, guiding him to more knowledge, and eventually, guiding him to his destiny.

Scaldaver
13th March 2012, 9:27 PM
CHAPTER 2


“So we’re good?” He asked.



It should read "So we're good?" he asked, as the "he asked" is not a sentence of its own. You've done this many times, but you started off well.




“Thanks,” Dorian said, pushing himself off the sofa. “I’ve never heard him sound anxious about anything but rocks, so I’ll call him back now.”


The second part of his speech could be better in his head, it seems like unecessary explanation to Shelton.




His father’s older brother worked as a curator at the Pewter City museum, which was a profession he excelled at naturally. Owing to his near genius IQ and love of all things made hundreds to thousands of years before he was born.


This could all be one sentence, as the second doesn't really make sense alone.



Armor plated feet, shins, and waist became visible first. Followed by a sizeable stomach, still armor plated, but with a different color. Two, three clawed paws with arms appeared next, which lead up to thickly muscled shoulders, surrounded by overlapping plates of substantial armor. As soon as the head became visible, a thunderous roar reverberated through the small cavern, spilling dust from the ceiling above. The Pokemon growled, confused by its surroundings.

“Take it down.” The man ordered, smiling at the Pokemon.

“Don.” The Pokemon agreed, returning the smile as best as its terrifying face would allow.



The description is nice, but missing some key features (like colour, the horn, height, ect). Also, as the first thing it says is just "Don", the word Donphan springs to mind first, which made me unsure about what it was. You just need to add a bit more description, and maybe let it say more than just Don.


Apart from those minor errors, I really liked this chapter as it showed Shelton and Dorian's relationship effectively and continued with the mystery plot at the end. I really like Dorian, as he is sarcastic in a way that I would be, so keep the sarcasm coming!

Sidewinder
13th March 2012, 11:18 PM
It should read "So we're good?" he asked, as the "he asked" is not a sentence of its own. You've done this many times, but you started off well.

Ah, well that makes sense. So I should use a comma at the end of, 'he asked'? Even if the next line is someone talking?

Example:

"Lalalala?" he asked,

"Yes," she replied.

Just want to make sure I'm using commas correctly. And I appreciate the review of Chapter 2. It means alot, and its exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the support.

bobandbill
14th March 2012, 1:38 AM
Ah, well that makes sense. So I should use a comma at the end of, 'he asked'? Even if the next line is someone talking?

Example:

"Lalalala?" he asked,

"Yes," she replied.

Just want to make sure I'm using commas correctly. And I appreciate the review of Chapter 2. It means alot, and its exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the support.Nope, he/she just used a comma there in explaining their sentence - it should be a full stop after asked. To clarify:

"Lalalala?" he asked.

"Yes," she replied.Ergo, the change is just to remove the capital H in he that was there before; that's because 'He asked' doesn't work as its own separate sentence and tells us who said that dialogue (and/or how it was said - it was asked), and so one should treat the two parts as one sentence and not use a capital letter in the middle of it. Same with 'she replied'.

Sidewinder
14th March 2012, 2:19 AM
Ah, got it.

Thanks for clearing that up. I'll make sure to check over that in future drafts. I appreciate the help!

Sidewinder
18th March 2012, 3:35 AM
Chapter 3


Dorian burst through the front door with a rabid ferocity that made Shelton think he had recently adopted the mind of a crazed Mightyena. The speed in which he rushed through the kitchen, throwing fruit, nuts, bread, and bottles of water into their two packs was wonderful and impressive to behold. Sweat poured from his forehead in torrents as he woke Golduck and Nuzleaf, and proceeded to body slam them. His fanatical eyes finally centered on Shelton, lips moving without expelling sound.

“Dorian, for the sake of your health, I really need you to start breathing,” Shelton advised.

“Sorry, sorry!” he gasped, taking deep gulps of air.

“Alright out with it,” she commanded.

“Give me a second,” Dorian said, hunching over to take in another few gulps of air. “Ronnie told me about the dig, and the legend, and about the director!”

“You’re not making any sense. Did Golduck hit you too hard? Is that it? It didn’t look any stronger than usual.”

“This,” Dorian said, pulling out the black stone, "is what I’m talking about.”

Turning his hand over, the gangly youth dropped the shard into her outstretched hand. Gripping it lightly, Shelton turned it over in her palm, admiring how the stone caught the light. She followed the intricate lines, her eyes moving over the broken forms of Human and Pokemon alike. The scene depicted on the stone was odd, almost disturbing. However, even as the thought grew in her mind, it gently slipped away.

“What is it?” she asked.

“It’s called obsidian. Well, that’s what it’s made out of apparently.”

“Once again, what?”

“According to my uncle this stone was handcrafted from a metal ore that’s exceedingly rare nowadays.”

“That’s why you’re so excited?”

“Just sit down,” he said, motioning towards the recliner. She did as she was told, confused by his slightly desperate tone.

Bewilderment turned to interest, which in turn turned into full scale excitement as Dorian explained the events that just transpired. The apparently ancient piece of stone tablet that Dorian had found was no ordinary relic. Not only did it supposedly point to a treasure of infinite worth, but from what he said, the Pewter museum would pay dearly for the piece in his possession. His uncle was immediately convinced of the marker’s authenticity from the dozen or so pictures Dorian had sent from his phone. After the initial shock had worn off, his uncle had told Dorian about Pewter’s original plan for the site, and how his tenacious nephew could potentially profit from it.

Cutting him off mid sentence, Shelton asked, “So if I’m hearing you correctly, they were going to spend one-hundred thousand credits to move all of their excavating equipment here, but if were able to make it there before they leave, we may get some kind of finder’s fee?”

“Exactly. Ronnie thinks we could get up to a quarter of the moving expenses if he’s able to prove this thing is real.”

“So why doesn’t he just tell the director and we just overnight it to him?”

“Two reasons,” Dorian explained. “First, from the pictures, and the way I described the density and weight, he thinks this is the real deal. If for some reason he’s wrong though, it would damage the director’s opinion of him. Which I’m sure would set them back even more money than they’ve lost already by the constant revisions they’ve made to the location and paying for their outside consultants.

“And the second?” she asked.

“It’s a pretty big deal to him that this thing gets to him in one piece. According to him they have almost no idea where the others are scattered and this piece would be a huge help in recovering the other pieces. He trusts us more than a mail carrier to get it there safely.”

“You mean he trusts me,” she said, smiling coyly.

“Yes, he explicitly said that several times,” he admitted.

“Dorian, even if he got us ten percent of the cost, that would pay me back and both our bills for the next two months!”

“I know!”

“That’s why you’re so excited!”

“Exactly!”

“Any other time, I would call attention to the fact that were both yelling!”

“Same here, but this occasion calls for it!”

“Yes!” she agreed.

They jumped up simultaneously for an awkward air hug, floating back to the floor on a cloud of content exuberance. Golduck, Shuppet, and Nuzleaf were staring at them with puzzlement, obviously understanding most of what had passed between them, but not enough to decipher what it meant. Probably due to how quickly travel plans were flitting back and forth between them. Regardless, the three of them waited for the inevitable explanation to come their way.

“Wait,” Shelton said. “To get to Pewter by the time the team moves out, we have to leave now.”

“To be fair, we needed to leave yesterday, but I know a few shortcuts that will shave some time off the trip.”

“I’ll corral the group, you pack the bags,” Shelton advised.

“Done and done. Meet you outside in ten.” Dorian responded, grinning broadly.

Shelton used her allotted time to assemble their collective Pokemon, including Machop, who was now shrinking behind her every time Shuppet came into view. She gathered them all together, explaining about the trip to Pewter, and assuring them of the enjoyable time they’d have on the way. Shuppet was the hardest to convince, pouting profoundly at the though of leaving her refrigerator behind.

Dorian ran from his room to Shelton’s, gathering clothes and other essentials. When they were both full, he grabbed an extra battery for his phone, slinging it into his secondary bag which was full of enough food and camping supplies for at least seven days. Spying Shelton through the kitchen window, he blitzed through the front door, barely remembering to lock it behind him as he took a flying leap off the front porch to join them.

“Yahhh!” he yelled, promptly landing sideways on his left ankle and tumbling to the ground.

“Nu-uh-uh-zz!” Nuzleaf cackled.

“I have dominion over you,” Dorian reminded the grass type, getting up and brushing the dirt from his jeans. “And I am commanding you to not laugh when I inadvertently embarrass myself from now on!”

“Good boy,” Shelton smiled, patting Nuzleaf on the shoulder as the Pokemon blew its owner a raspberry.

“You know, sometimes I don’t know who your more loyal to,” Dorian said. “Don’t forget that I picked you off the ground when you were a Seedot and attached you’re worthless carcass to that tree in the backyard!”

“Nuzz.” the Pokemon said, dipping his head low in an obvious apologetic gesture.

“Ah I’m sorry man, I was just kidding. And I know I promised I wouldn’t bring that back up again,” Dorian relented, “We’re good right?”

“Nu-Nuz,” the Pokemon agreed, reaching out to shake his owners hand. As the Pokemon’s smiling owner reached down to grasp it however, the Pokemon leaped up and over Dorian; and in one motion twisted gracefully through the air, pulling the front of Dorian's shirt over his head and using his momentum to kick out his legs, sending him back to the ground.

“You insolent sapling!” Dorian exclaimed, getting up and dusting himself off for the second time. The faction of Pokemon gathered around laughed in whatever way their species allowed, even timid little Machop giving a quick giggle.

“Anyway,” Shelton said, not hiding her own hearty laugh. “You ready to do this?”

“We're packed and ready, got everything we need,” Dorian said.

“Let’s get going then.”

“Let’s do it!” Dorian announced. “Strap on the nitro!”

“Really?” Shelton asked, “Come on Dorian, we talked about this for like half an hour.”

“Come on, just give it a chance,” he pleaded.

“No. That catch phrase is never going to catch on. Besides that, its barely a catch phrase. Its just random words that have nothing to do with our current situation.”

“Fine,” he said, shouldering his pack.

“We’re clear then?”

“Yes, mother,” he grumbled.

“Now can we go?”

“Yuppers,” he said. “Let’s do it.”

“Are you serious?” she asked, frustration easily visible. “We talked even longer about that. Every single time you say ‘yuppers’, it causes me considerable mental pain.”

“Fine, but eventually you’ll be saying it too.”

“I seriously doubt it. And I don’t wanna hear any back talk from you either. Until we collect the money, I’m still somewhat pissed at you.”

“Okay then,” he replied. “Glad were off to such a good start. I’m really looking forward to going to Kanto with the Gestapo.”

“What did I say about talking back?” she asked.

“Last word freak,” he muttered, walking to catch up with Nuzleaf and Golduck.

“Heard that,” Shelton said, taking up place to his right.

Keeping a brisk pace, they soon passed the small hole where the source of his new luck had been buried. It was funny to Dorian how far his life had shifted today. Starting with the triumph of his successful Growlithe capture, to the domestic abuse administered to him by Shelton, then to the extreme financial gain he was about to attain. Stepping over the hole, a slight lime glint caught his eye. Bending down, he saw what appeared to be a shaving of rock, its surface oily in the intense sunlight. As he turned his head sideways, the small flake glinted again, the green color out of place amidst the red dirt of the road. Just as he was about to scoop it up, Shelton’s voice rang out from down the road, making him realize they had continued on without him. Shrugging the small flake out of his mind, he started back down the road, thoughts of fat stacks of credits making him smile.



*******************************************


The man’s Alakazam was poking him in the shoulder, signaling for him to pay attention to what was happening in front of him. The man had been daydreaming again, as was common after his chats with the voices. They always left him somewhat lethargic and inattentive after he woke from his dreams. Taking a breath, he shook his head, trying to snap himself back to reality.

“You won’t give me your name?” the curious clerk asked.

“What?” the man questioned, his Alakazam giving him a sharp pinch to the side.

“I asked for your name. You said you wanted to checkout?” the clerk asked again.

“Sorry,” the man said, pulling out his Hoenn resident identification card. “Ethan. My name is Ethan.”

“Wonderful,” the clerk said, switching back to a friendlier tone. The clerk ran the card through the scanner, charging the night stay in the hotel to the account registered to it. “Is there anything else we can assist you with Mr. Bernard?

“No, thanks though,” Ethan said, returning the card back to his wallet.

“Thank you for your stay, we hope you’ll think of us next time you’re in Vermillion.”

“Assuredly,” Ethan said, nodding to the clerk and moving towards the exit.

Skirting pass the other patrons walking in and out of the establishment, Ethan and his Alakazam went down the side alley of the hotel and adjoining restaurant, glancing quickly around for any signs of life. His preferred method of travel was not practical, and always drew attention. It was quicker than hiking for miles though, despite the slight physical toll it drew on his psychic Pokemon.

“Were going to Johto, outside Cherrygrove,” he told the mustached Pokemon. “Should only take us a day if we move quick.”

“Zam,” agreed the psychic Pokemon.

“You okay?”

“Alakazam,”

“You sure?”

“Zam!” the Pokemon exclaimed, rolling its eyes.

“Let’s go then,” Ethan said, sure that Alakazam was holding back more than it was letting on. It didn’t matter though, Ethan had much more pressing matters to deal with, and if the troubling situation on Alakazam’s brain really began to bother him, it would speak up. They kept no secrets from one another. Which was part of the reason why years later, they had remained as close as they were when they were young.

Nodding, Alakazam’s hands began to move in small circles, one facing towards itself, the other towards its master. The motions began to pick up speed, leaving wispy energy trails behind them as they spun. Alakazam grunted, and Ethan felt his feet lift off the ground. Pupils dilating, Alakazam pulled both of them up into the air, using only the power of its mind. The psychic type’s hands began to glow with a hearty purple aura, which it pointed towards the sky, shooting them up high above Vermillion City. The duo smiled at each other, both reveling in the feeling of absolute freedom. Facing west, they streaked towards Johto.

Scaldaver
20th March 2012, 9:33 PM
Another great chapter! I love the awkwardness which Dorian makes, and this demonstrates his and Shelton's relationship pretty well. There were only minor problems, but you've improved with your speaking punctuation.



Chapter 3

Cutting him off mid sentence, Shelton asked, “So if I’m hearing you correctly, they were going to spend one-hundred thousand credits to move all of their excavating equipment here, but if were able to make it there before they leave, we may get some kind of, finder’s fee?”


The final comma is unnessecary.



“So why doesn’t he just tell the director and we just overnight it to him?”

“Two reasons,” Dorian explained. “First, from the pictures, and the way I described the density and weight, he thinks this is the real deal. If for some reason he’s wrong though, it would damage the director’s opinion of him. Which I’m sure would set them back even more money than they’ve lost already by the constant revisions they’ve made to the location and paying for their outside consultants.


What would they do instead of tell the director? This needs to be explained a bit more. And a speech mark at the end.






“Yes, he explicitly said that several times.” he admitted.



Replace first full-stop with comma.




“Any other time, I would call attention to the fact that were both yelling!”

“Same here, but this occasion calls for it!”

“Yes!” she agreed.

They jumped up simultaneously for an awkward air hug, floating back to the floor on a cloud of content exuberance. Golduck, Shuppet, and Nuzleaf were staring at them with puzzlement, obviously understanding most of what had passed between them, but not enough to decipher what it meant. Probably due to how quickly travel plans were flitting back and forth between them. Regardless, the three of them waited for the inevitable explanation to come their way.



I like how you made this moment so awkward, how the Pokemon perceive it. But the beggining's a bit... cringy really. It doesn't sound like what people would usually say. Maybe if you mentioned that Dorian found this cheesey, it might work.



“Yahhh!” he yelled, promptly landing sideways on his left ankle and tumbling to the ground.


It must have been a real leap to land on one's ankle. And it sounds as though it should be followed up by Dorian saying he twisted his ankle.



“You know, sometimes I don’t know who you’re more loyal to,” Dorian said. “Don’t forget that I picked you off the ground when you were a Seedot and attached you’re worthless carcass to that tree in the backyard!”


FIrst of all, your, not you're. Secondly, what does this part mean? He put a Seedot in a tree? To be cruel or kind? It should be kind, when put in context (as he's trying to say he deserves loyalty).




“Let’s do it!” Dorian announced. “Strap on the nitro!”

“Really?” Shelton asked, “Come on Dorian, we talked about this for like half an hour.”

“Come on, just give it a chance,” he pleaded.

“No. That catch phrase is never going to catch on. Besides that, its barely a catch phrase. Its just random words that have nothing to do with our current situation.”


I like this bit, although it leads me to wonder when they talked about this. Obviously not when they were packing, as there was so little time, but this argument seems recent.



“What?” the man questioned, his Alakazam giving him a sharp pinch to the side.


"In the side" sounds better.


Nodding, Alakazam’s hands began to move in small circles, one facing towards itself, the other towards its master. The motions began to pick up speed, leaving wispy energy trails behind them as they spun. Alakazam grunted, and Ethan felt his feet lift off the ground. Pupils dilating, Alakazam pulled both of them up into the air, using only the power of its mind. The psychic type’s hands began to glow with a hearty purple aura, which it pointed towards the sky, shooting them up high above Vermillion City. The duo smiled at each other, both reveling in the feeling of absolute freedom. Facing west, they streaked towards Johto.

Epic travel sequence! I love this bit (although it does make me wonder why he's taking so long to collect the flakes...).

Sidewinder
20th March 2012, 10:40 PM
Thanks for the review. The support really helps out!


What would they do instead of tell the director? This needs to be explained a bit more. And a speech mark at the end.

Sorry if this seems a little thick, but what do you mean?


FIrst of all, your, not you're. Secondly, what does this part mean? He put a Seedot in a tree? To be cruel or kind? It should be kind, when put in context (as he's trying to say he deserves loyalty).

Yes, kind is what I was trying to say...When I've seen Nuzleaf in the anime, and what I've read about them, they seem to always be in trees. Sucking sap, absorbing sunlight, etc. What happened was back when Nuzleaf was a Seedot, Dorian attatched him to a branch because he had fallen and couldnt get back up to the branch.


I like this bit, although it leads me to wonder when they talked about this. Obviously not when they were packing, as there was so little time, but this argument seems recent.

It is both old, and recent. I feel like they have a conversation about it every time he uses his catch phrase. Shelton has to remind him constantly that it is not appropriate or intelligent at all. Perhaps I should have added 'The other day', when she referenced it.


Epic travel sequence! I love this bit (although it does make me wonder why he's taking so long to collect the flakes...).

That will actually be made known very soon.

Thanks again for the review!

Scaldaver
20th March 2012, 11:10 PM
Thanks for the review. The support really helps out!

Sorry if this seems a little thick, but what do you mean?


It's just that the argument is that if the statue was mailed over, Dorian says that if it isn't real then the Director's opinion of his uncle will be damaged. So how is this resolved, we need to know, by them going over. I might be being thick myself here and just can't see what others can.



Yes, kind is what I was trying to say...When I've seen Nuzleaf in the anime, and what I've read about them, they seem to always be in trees. Sucking sap, absorbing sunlight, etc. What happened was back when Nuzleaf was a Seedot, Dorian attatched him to a branch because he had fallen and couldnt get back up to the branch.


Ahh, I don't watch too many anime episodes so I wouldn't know this. Thanks for clearing that up! (I always picture Seedot on the floor... as they are seeds...).

Sidewinder
20th March 2012, 11:53 PM
It's just that the argument is that if the statue was mailed over, Dorian says that if it isn't real then the Director's opinion of his uncle will be damaged. So how is this resolved, we need to know, by them going over. I might be being thick myself here and just can't see what others can.

Its more of a large shard of a larger tablet, but I get what you're saying. They're going to Pewter so that Dorian's uncle can completely verify its authenticity before he presents it to the director. Later on, you'll learn that while Dorian's uncle is a brilliant archeologist, he's been wrong lately on other projects and damaged his reputation among his colleagues. Does that clear it up?


Ahh, I don't watch too many anime episodes so I wouldn't know this. Thanks for clearing that up! (I always picture Seedot on the floor... as they are seeds...).

Lol, I know exactly what you mean. Good point

diamondpearl876
21st March 2012, 5:37 AM
Hi, I told you I'd get to this in the next few days, and I did!

His Abra had both spindly arms wrapped around his neck, head draped across the back of his own. The Abra, like most of its species, was largely lethargic, napping constantly; seeming more like an infant human than the psychic force for which it was named.
You do a good job at showing that the Abra is lethargic since it's riding around on its trainer's back, and you compare it to an infant, and you say it naps constantly. Therefore, blatantly stating that it's "largely lethargic" is a bit redundant. Specific examples such as "napping constantly" and calling it an "infant" reinforce this idea, and repeating it again just makes it look like you're insecure about not being able to portray your characterse properly for your readers.

‘Granite Cave’, was unique in the fact that it was not only just found on the island but burrowed underneath it
You don't need the apostrophes around "Granite Cave." It seems like you're trying to confirm that this is the cave that they're in and exploring, but the readers can infer that on their own since you mentioned a cave in the first paragraph and the sentence before this one.

The only enjoyment he ever look forward to were the days when his new parents were away on business; which was becoming more and more frequent with the advances they made in pokemon restoration.
There's a random change in tenses here. It should be "looked forward to". Also, the semi-colon would appear better as a comma. Following a semi-colon should be a sentence that's closely connected to the previous part of the sentence, but can be a sentence all on its own. You seem to use these a lot when it's not needed, so be careful.


The Abra had also lost its parents; his new parents being vague on how it happened, but nevertheless fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it. The sounds of the tour group were barely audible, they had slipped far behind.

Going from talking about Abra to saying that fell too far behind seemed abrupt and ruined the flow of the story. It wouldn't have been so bad if the last sentence was part of a new paragraph. It would have even added to the impact of the simple, powerful sentence: "Abra tensed." When you bring about new ideas, make sure to start new paragraphs or transition into them more smoothly (or make sure the abruptness isn't out of place like it is here).

Where before, trainers competing in Pokemon battles had to constantly be aware of attacks that missed their Pokemon and put them in direct danger, the Pokeflect gave trainers a sense of relevant comfort knowing that they were ‘generally’ out of harm’s way.

Dorian Dvakna, twenty-four, was far too thin for his age.
Again, there's an abrupt change here. Since there's no element of surprise you're trying to convey like before, it's still odd and confusing, even with the paragraph separation. It would be best to put Dorian's name in the first sentence of the top paragraph so that readers know that the "he" previously mentioned is now being talked about, rather than having them think that someone completely unrelated and random is being brought into the story.

“Bullet seed!’ Dorian roared.
The apostrophe should be a quotation mark. Also, you capitalized "Faint Attack" completely shortly after this, yet "Bullet seed" is only partially capitalized as an attack. I don't know if you prefer to not capitalize attacks or not, but either way, consistency shows that you know what you're doing and what you want, so pick which way you want to do and try to stick to it.

Before he could spot-

SMACK!
If this were first person writing, the abrupt stop in narration would seem more effective, since it shows that someone is actually being forced to stop thinking and acting in order to pay attention to the situation at hand. In third person, however, it makes little sense for a random narrator to have to do this. I would just get rid of the first part or say "Before he could spot, there was a loud smack."


“It’s not often something is able to surprise Nuzleaf. Though I suppose he is getting pretty ‘seasoned’.”
Not sure why "seasoned" is surrounded with apostrophes. If you're trying to put emphasis on the word, then you have to make it seem more realistic. Think of it this way: If this were happening in real life, would someone be able to hear the apostrophes/emphasis on seasoned? No, it would only make sense upon reading it and visually seeing the apostrophes. So if you want to emphasize a word and make it seem more realistic, I'd make uses of ellipses and italics. I'd personally put: "Though I suppose he is getting pretty... seasoned." The ellipses shows a pause before an important/emphasized word, and the italics show that Dorian's voice would change to make others pay attention to the word, making it more powerful. This isn't really an important thing that needs to be emphasized, so it's not that big of a deal, but it could be helpful for future parts that you want to emphasize.

The fits Trapinch was experiencing had become more and more frequent since Dorian had used him to subdue a crazed Persian that had strayed into their camp while tracking the Growlithe.
"was" should be "were", since you're referring to the plural "fits" rather than just the singular "Trapinch".

The force of the hydro pump from his roomate’s Golduck hit him with less force than he imagined it would, maybe the duck Pokemon was taking it easy on him on account of the verbal and possible physical abuse he was about to receive from Shelton.
"roomate" should be "roommate". The comma should also be a period, since they're two separate sentences, really. With the comma, the first sentence just turns into a run-on, which is unnecessary and hard to read.


“You do realize what a complete and utter moron you are, don’t you?!” Shelton roared!
Don't really need the exclamation point after "roared". You can already tell that her voice was roaring and intense by the "?!" at the end of the dialogue.

“That’s some-ahh,” he moaned, feeling suddenly week at the knees.
"week" should be "weak". There are some silly mistakes like this all throughout the fic, so I think proof-reading or finding a beta would help you fix this problem pretty easily.


Nodding, Alakazam’s hands began to move in small circles, one facing towards itself, the other towards its master.
You refer to Alakazam as an "it", but no other pokemon, from what I recall. Why doesn't Alakazam have a gender? I'm pretty sure they have a gender in the games.

Anyway, I like your writing style. It's clear, consise (most of the time, when you aren't being redundant), and it sounds formal, with good vocabulary and a variation of sentence structure. Just be sure to give your readers more credit when you write, and to keep showing, not telling. I also like Dorian's dialogue and interactions with his pokemon, and how you successfully portray his slightly self-centered, sarcastic personality through the dialogue alone. The plot itself also seems interesting and original and I'm eager to see what you do with it. Keep it up!

On a somewhat relevant but non-helpful note, Nuzleaf is one of my favorite pokemon, and I've never seen it used in a fic before, so this made me happy. squee~

Glover
21st March 2012, 7:50 AM
Told ya I'd be in. This is just an informal read-through to get me familiar with the sotry. I'm afraid I'm just not in the analytical frame of mind tonight, I'll be back and do it "proper" later, I promise. I like what I'm seeing, though the scenes jumping around are just a bit confusing. That ought to work itself out though. One thing that did stick out to me though, was this:


bearing another flake he took into himself. The cave he found near route one-eleven however had something extra.

99% of the time, and youy called me on this in Tempest, numbers less than three digits are written out in words. Routes howver, are almost always doen in numbers, not words, as that is their given name. And I'll give you a few real world examples:

State Road 19, Interstate 70. US 40. Route 66. County Road 400. On maps, written directions, etc. these and others like them are never wrrten as State Road Nineteen, or Interstate Seventy. Being accustomed to this, Route one-eleven sounds as awkward as saying "His eleventy-first birthday." (Yes, that's a LotR reference, deal with it) Some of that is personal taste, and other regions, countries, etc may have different rules about it, but that's how I was taught and I almost always see it in the fiction.

All in all though, I like it. And the tremors from pre-evolution are a nice realistic feature.

EDIT: Years typically fall into this as well. I see you did this with "two-thousand-and-never" Which is funny, but also looks funny to me.

And Nuzleaf is now my favorite Pokemon of the chapter. I realy like him shirting Dorian.

Sidewinder
22nd March 2012, 2:23 AM
@ diamondpearl876

I really appreciate the review. I thought about what you said, and you're completely right. I need to take more time going over my chapters before I post them. One of the things I hate the most in fics are punctuation and grammar errors, and I can't stand that mine had so many. I went back and corrected the ones you commented on. If you give me more reviews in the future, please keep a sharp eye out for them because I obviously need improvement. I'll be taking alot more care when I proof read from now on. And thankyou for the kind words, it really means alot, especially from someone as talented as you.

@ Glover

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I did call you on that and I should have paid more attention when writing my own stuff out. I went back and corrected that as well. Thanks to you as well for the kind words. Like diamondpearl876, I really respect you as a writer, so you taking the time really means alot. I look forward to your next review. The ones I've seen by you are really in depth and you always point out alot, so I'm excited.


I hope you all don't mind, but I would like to tell anyone reading this to check out the fics of Scaldaver, diamondpearl876, and Glover. All three have Fic's that I like a great deal, and you can find links to them in their signatures.

Chapter 4 should be up in about two hours, so anyone who has been following this stay tuned.

Sidewinder
22nd March 2012, 5:34 AM
Kind of a filler chapter




Chapter 4

“Trapinch, dodge!” Dorian yelled, sensing the water attack that was about to befall his Pokemon. His intuition proved to be correct. Less than a second later, a torrent of water was expelled from the mouth of the Marshtomp that he and Trapinch were in the process of battling.

“Ap!” the diminutive Pokemon agreed, rolling to ihis left and dodging the powerful jet of water.

“Use dig, and throw in some zigs!” Dorian commanded.

As the angered water Pokemon began spraying the whole road in frantic attempts to hit Trapinch, Dorian’s Pokemon plunged his head into the dirt, worming its body into the small hole it had created.

The Marshtomp swung its webbed hands menacingly at Dorian, challenging the human that had sent his Pokemon to attack it. Small eyes focused on the ground, the water type tried to track the erratic zigzags that Trapinch was burrowing all around it, knowing that if he lost it, agony would be its only reward. The small hump in the ground that was wildly circling the orange stomached Pokemon suddenly stopped. The Marshtomp took in a sharp breath, its gleaming cerulean hide drenched in sweat.

“Trapinch!” the ant Pokemon cried, bursting through the sloppy ground and striking the Marshtomp from behind. Bellowing loudly, the water Pokemon was launched upward, just to come spiraling back down as gravity exerted its unrelenting pull. As the Pokemon fell, Trapinch crouched down and leaped to meet the Pokemon in the air, twisting to bring its coiled back legs around. As the Marshtomp realized what was happening, the helpless Pokemon began to pinwheel its arms in a vain attempt to fly. There was an audible pop as Trapinch used both powerful legs to send a flying kick into Marshtomp’s stomach.

“Marshtomp!” it cried.

Sliding across the ground, the Pokemon righted itself and began to run away, doubled over in pain. Trapinch landed roughly right after it, roaring at the fleeing Pokemon and proclaiming its victory. Turning around with its approximation of a grin, the ground type Pokemon trotted back to Dorian and Shelton’s makeshift camp. Morning dew still covered everything, easing drops of water onto its bruised face. Early in the battle the Marshtomp had hit Trapinch with a well placed water gun attack. The force had hit him in the face so hard he almost retched.

Dorian and Shelton’s Pokemon were all out of their respective balls, clapping softly as Trapinch approached. Well, almost all of them. Shuppet had no hands so she swirled its weightless body around in the air in an attempt at congratulations. Machop too excluded from clapping, as he was much too occupied with having its arms wrapped around Shelton’s leg, watching Shuppet with its intense red eyes.

“Nice!” Dorian beamed, jogging up to meet his Pokemon. “I liked that double kick at the end, way to improvise.”

“Good job cutie!” Shelton joined in, spraying dry shampoo in her hair as she congratulated Trapinch. The lack of a shower was getting under her skin, causing her to burn through her cosmetics at an alarming rate. She was dressed in her usual combo of long sleeve shirt and jeans, never faltering from her style of casual, yet undeniable allure.

“Ap! Apap!” Trapinch responded happily.

“I was hoping that a win might finally make you evolve,” Dorian said. “It’s alright though. I know you’re as eager to get rid of those pains as I am. Maybe it’ll happen next time.”

As its owner reached underneath to scratch its underbelly, Trapinch felt an familiar sensation start tugging at its gut. Nipping at his owner’s hand, Trapinch closed its eyes.

“Really?!” Dorian started, snatching his hand away. “You love it when I scratch your belly…Oh.”

Trapinch began to growl loudly, tapping into the growing process that his kind was sometimes afforded. His skin suddenly transformed into sickly hues of yellow and green. His eyes began to bulge and turn a lustrous olive as his backbone began to stretch and wiggle trough the back of his thick hide. Crimson blood streamed down his sides as a pair of regal looking, rhombus shaped wings burst out from underneath his skin. Growling louder now, the bones in his face began to change shape, becoming thinner, narrower, becoming almost brittle in their lightness. As a pair of antenna burst out of Trapinch’s forehead, his new tail split in two, mirroring the shape and color of its new wings.

“Vibrava,” the dragon type hissed, his voice an eerie whisper. Arching its back, the newly evolved Pokemon beat its wings furiously, channeling the wind they produced all over its body, cleansing itself of the blood and fluids that had accumulated on its sparkling body.

“Yes!” Dorian exclaimed, clicking his heels together as he took a flying leap toward his Pokemon. Scratching the Pokemon’s stomach in the fashion it had grown accustomed to, he asked, “Feels better doesn’t it?”

“Brava,” his Pokemon nodded, swishing its new tail from side to side.

Shelton rushed up as well, their Pokemon following close behind. She then proceeded to shower the vibration Pokemon with praise. Their Pokemon all took turns speaking to Vibrava, even Machop, releasing one hand from Shelton’s waist as he inspected the newly evolved Pokemon.

Dorian was glad to know that his Vibrava would not be suffering the same pains as it did as a Trapinch, and that it was one day closer to becoming the mystical Flygon.

“Vibrava,” the dragon whispered, resting its head on Dorian’s shoes.

“It’s probably tired. That was quite an ordeal it went through,” Shelton explained.

“You’re right,” Dorian said, taking out its Pokeball. “I’m proud of you buddy.”

He returned the Pokemon to its Pokeball, hoping that it would find the rest it needed.

They had been traveling for almost two days, stopping on the far east side of Route 27 to make camp for the night. The area was quiet enough, save for the flock of Pidgey’s indignantly squawking at them from the shade of a nearby oak tree.

Shelton and Dorian gathered their supplies, packing up the collapsible tent and hurriedly shoving separate pieces in their bags. The Pokemon that didn’t want to walk were returned to their balls, leaving Shuppet, Machop, Nuzleaf and Growlithe out to stroll beside their owners. Downing their breakfast as they travelled, conversation soon turned to figuring out the fastest way to get to their destination.

“I think we should go through that new route they’re building to bypass the reception area and go straight to Route 22,” Dorian suggested.

“They said on the radio earlier that it’s not even close to finished yet,” Shelton countered. “Something about a roving gang of rock type Pokemon who are pissed at the construction crews. Apparently they’ve caused a ton of damage, setting them back almost a month.”

“But we're not part of the construction crew. Besides, it’s just the two of us. I doubt the Pokemon would perceive us as a threat if we just keep to ourselves and wander through.”

“True, but they haven’t even built the road yet. Right now it’s just a thirty foot wide path with a rock face to the left and a sheer cliff to the right.”

“Well, it’s a little edgy, but it will shave so much time off the trip. If we go through the reception area, it’ll take at least a day to get through all the checkpoints to get to Route 22. Plus, last time I checked, both our trainer cards are expired.”

“That’s only because those fascists at the registration office tried to charge us an extra fee for missing our appointment,” Shelton said.

“Regardless, I don’t want to waste time if we don’t have to,” Dorian said. “We’re more than capable of walking a straight line.”

Dorian noticed a tall sign a few yards up ahead, signaling with an arrow that they needed to start heading north to connect with Route 26. He rubbed his left eye to quell the slight itch that had developed, noticing two shapes zooming across the sky. He thought at first it was just some random bird Pokemon, until he noticed that both shapes were humanoid, moving with speed in the direction they were walking away from. The sight made him anxious for some reason; no flying type Pokemon he knew of had a body like that.

“Do you see that?” Dorian asked, touching Shelton on the shoulder and pointing towards the two shapes with his other hand.

“See what?” Shelton asked, scanning the sky.

“Those Pokemon,” Dorian explained. When he tried to find them again though, they had vanished. He stood there for another thirty seconds or so, but they had either sped up and gone further than he could see, or passed into the low hanging clouds that were gathering across the sky.

“What are you talking about?” Shelton asked, giving him a contemptuous look.

“Nothing,” he said, shaking his head. “Come on.”




**********************


The feeling of the crisp, frosty air on his skin made Ethan shiver, instinctively crossing his arms against his chest in an effort to warm himself. They passed through clouds gracefully, moisture collecting on their bodies. The land below was a brown-green blur, the roads snaking through the trees like an endless Seviper. They had been flying across Kanto for a day and a half, crossing the border into Johto almost an hour ago.

Ethan’s Alakazam’s remarkable mental abilities made it possible for him to lift them telekinetically; shortening the time it would take them to cross the distance normally. Psychic energy lightly glowed around his chest, the anchor point that he was being carried from. His Alakazam was sitting cross legged in the air, eyes closed, not needing them as he felt the air and the land below with his astounding mental abilities.

“Kazam,” his Pokemon said, his words straining to reach Ethan over the howling wind.

Following his Pokemon’s pointing finger, he spied six figures on the ground below. They moved as a unit, keeping synch as they traversed the smooth path below. One of the figures, a human judging by the shape, stopped and looked at them as they flew past, the others in its group continuing their stride. As Ethan watched, the figure motioned to another human, pointing with one hand to where he and Alakazam were flying. Not wanting to be recognized, he called out to Alakazam.

“Through that cloud,” Ethan said, pointing to a nearby puff.

“Ala,” he grunted, giving them both an extra spurt of speed.

By the time the other human had looked up, they were inside the cloud, hiding them from prying eyes. Knowing that they were safe for the moment, Ethan relaxed. It was strange though; the first human had given him an odd sensation as he looked down at their group, a momentary feeling of anxiousness, as if the man or woman below had somehow wronged him.

“Keep us in the clouds until we get there,” Ethan told his Pokemon.

“Kazam,” the psychic type agreed, reducing their speed slightly for extra directional control. Moving them higher, they cruised at a slower speed, making sure to keep their presence hidden in the thick layer of clouds.

“Cherrygrove should only be about another two hours away,” Ethan said, sending Alakazam a mental picture of a small gravel path on the outskirts of the city.

Plucking the image of the gravel path from Ethan’s mind, the Pokemon ran through his memories of Cherrygrove City, trying to decide on an inconspicuous place to put them down once they reached their destination.



****************


“Look kid, I’m not in the mood to battle you,” Dorian said, his mood bypassing annoyance and going straight to exasperation. “I don’t care if we locked eyes, I don’t have to adhere to your need to prove yourself. How old are you anyway? Twelve?”

“I’m fourteen!” the kid yelled. “It’s in the rules! If you look at me, and I look back at you, we have to battle. I’ll call the Pokemon Battle Association if you don’t!”

“What makes you think I care? Do you think that’s going to change my mind? Kid, before you threaten someone, you need to make sure you have something to take away from them.”

“You’re just scared,” the adolescent surmised. “You know Beedrill and I would pound you senseless!”

“Are you off your medication? I have at least twelve years experience on you,” Dorian said, bringing his head down to the teen’s level. “Where are your parents? I’m feeling the sudden urge to tell them what an annoying little bastard you are.”

“They’re back in Kanto, not that it’s any of your damn business!”

“And you said you were fourteen? What kind of negligent parents send their kids out by themselves at that age?”

“They have faith in me!”

“The only thing they should have faith in is that their son is about to get drop kicked in the head,” Dorian said, taking a step closer.

“Dorian, if you touch that kid I’m going to have Golduck toss you a quarter mile,” Shelton chimed in.

The roommates and their Pokemon had been nearing the end of Route 26, when a young boy had burst out from the bushes to their right, his Beedrill buzzing along behind him. Clad entirely in purple clothes, including his hat, the fair-haired youth had walked right up to Dorian and challenged him to a fight. Normally, putting an over confident youth in his place appealed to Dorian, but they were on a schedule, a timeline which would net him and Shelton a lot of credits if they stuck to it. The little punk had spirit, which Dorian admired, but schooling this kid in a match was not an option if it cost him his payday.

“I’m going to walk away now, count yourself lucky,” Dorian told the kid, motioning for Shelton to follow his lead. Turning away from the worked up teenager, he started walking forward, his anger beginning to subside. It was at that moment that the teen called him the one thing that put him over the edge.

“Coward!”

Turning around slowly, Dorian dropped his backpack to the ground, his eyes ablaze with righteous determination.

“Here we go,” Shelton sighed, lowering herself to the ground. Leaning her head on Machop’s shoulder, she said, “Can you at least make this quick?”

“Terms?” Dorian asked, his voice laced with venom.

“One Pokemon each, sixty credits to the winner,” the kid replied, stomping out a spot in the ground with his foot.

Striding forward, Dorian opened his wallet and deposited the agreed amount on the spot, his violet clad counterpart following suit. Taking up positions about sixty feet away from one another, the trainers each reached towards their wrists and activated their Pokeflects. A quick chirp later, and both of them were enveloped in a creamy blue glow. The kid started making small jumps up and down, pumping himself up.

“Twenty credits says he smokes you!” Shelton called out, moving herself in front of Machop and activating her own Pokeflect.

“Whatever,” Dorian whispered.

“I lead with Beedrill!” the kid yelled.

“Stop screaming, I can hear you,” Dorian said, rolling his eyes. Seeing a quick way to end the match, he called over Growlithe from where it was laying next to Shelton.

“Listen to me and we’ll get through this quick,” Dorian said, smiling at the dog Pokemon.

“Growlithe,” he barked, giving his new master a quick nod.

“Ready whenever you are, junior,” Dorian called, taunting the upstart kid. “Take some notes while this is going on. You might actually learn some-“

“PIN MISSLE!”

Shadow Lucario
22nd March 2012, 12:31 PM
“God job cutie!”

Just missing an o. Good.


“One Pokemon each, sixty credits to the winner,” The kid replied,

Since there's a comma before the end quotation the t does not need to be capital.

Everyone else hit the earlier chapters before I could. I've noticed you switched from calling Pokemon by genders to calling them it. It's a consistency issue. Once you decide on a gender then stick to it. Other than that, every one has pointed out the mistakes. Chapter four was great and it ended on a cliffhanger. I wonder if Dorian can pull a win out. One I thing I found odd was that he battled a wild Marshtomp in Johto. Oh and strap on the nitro is my new catchphrase. I hope you don't mind if I steal it :P I was laughing pretty hard when I read that.

Sidewinder
22nd March 2012, 3:49 PM
Thanks for the review!

I went ahead and corrected the things you pointed out. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.


One I thing I found odd was that he battled a wild Marshtomp in Johto

Stuff like that is going to happen alot in my fic. It has never made sense to me why certain Pokemon are only found in certain regions. Especially in Hoenn, Johto, and Kanto since the regions are so close together. I really don't think that in the wild, Pokemon would stick to man-made borders. Thanks for recognizing that; I was wondering who would bring it up first. I appreciate you paying attention, and I really appreciate the review!


Oh and strap on the nitro is my new catchphrase. I hope you don't mind if I steal it :P I was laughing pretty hard when I read that.

I don't mind at all lol. Spread it around. I use it everyday. My friends hate it haha

Scaldaver
22nd March 2012, 9:47 PM
I see what you mean by filler chapter; I finished it then thought "actually, what has happened in this chapter?" and gone back and saw only three key points. They were good points though, so carry on the good work.

I understand how Pokemon won't adhere to man-made boundaries, but remember that Hoenn is actually an island, so be careful.

I like the cliffhanger especially.

Sidewinder
22nd March 2012, 9:58 PM
Thanks for the review. I'm glad you keep coming back, it means alot.


I understand how Pokemon won't adhere to man-made boundaries, but remember that Hoenn is actually an island, so be careful.

I see what you mean, and that's a good point to bring up; I appreciate it. The way I see it though, Over hundreds of years, whether by trainer, or companion, or by sheer luck or chance, Pokemon would have spread over every piece of land. For example if two trainers both bring a Mudkip to Kanto, and for some reason they both die, I'm assuming that their Pokemon are released back into the wild. Maybe they find each other, maybe they breed, and bingo! Mudkips in Kanto. A stretch I know, but that's what goes through my head

diamondpearl876
23rd March 2012, 4:07 AM
“Ap!” The diminutive Pokemon agreed, rolling to ihis left and dodging the powerful jet of water.
"The" shouldn't be capitalized. When you're doing a speech tag, things don't generally get capitalized after the exclamation point/period/comma unless you use a name. Also, “ihis” should be “his,” I’m guessing.



“Trapinch!” The ant Pokemon cried, bursting through the sloppy ground and striking the Marshtomp from behind.
Same as above.

Machop too excluded from clapping, as he was much to occupied with having its arms wrapped around Shelton’s leg, watching Shuppet with its intense red eyes.
Should be “too occupied”.



“I was hoping that a win might finally make you evolve,” Dorian said. “It’s alright though. I know you’re as eager to get rid of those pains as I am. Maybe it’ll happen next time.”
I find the idea of pokémon being able to tell when they’re about to evolve quite interesting. So is seeing the Trapinch bleeding and actually showing physical effects upon evolving. It seems like it would be a common thing, and it makes a ton of sense; I’ve just only ever seen it in one other fic. I like that you implemented it here.
With the blood present, however, it doesn’t make sense to me that the new Vibrava would feel entirely better. Wouldn’t the pain still be present, since his entire body structure changed, and he’s bleeding down his sides? Maybe he’d feel relieved and satisfied because he evolved after all of his hard work, but I find the idea of “there’s suddenly no pain” a bit unrealistic.


The area was quiet enough, save for the flock of Pidgey’s indignantly squaking at them from the shade of a nearby oak tree.
“squawking” not “squaking”

The Pokemon that didn’t want to walk were returned to their balls, leaving Shuppet, Machop, Nuzleaf and Growlithe out to stroll beside their owners. Downing their breakfast as they travelled, conversation soon turned to figuring out the fastest way to get to their destination.
If I remember right, these are the only pokémon that have been introduced so far (besides Alakazam, but it makes sense that he’s not in this scene). Is there a reason the other pokémon are being excluded? Why are they here at all if they’re so unimportant? I’m assuming that they’ll eventually be introduced and implemented, but it seems odd that you haven’t even revealed what kind of species they are yet. At least, I don’t think you have. I might have forgotten.


“But were not part of the construction crew. Besides, it’s just the two of us. I doubt the Pokemon would perceive us as a threat if we just keep to ourselves and wander through.”
“we’re” not “were”, since “we’re” is the shortened version of “we are”.


“Nothing,” He said, shaking his head. “Come on.”
“He” shouldn’t be capitalized for the same reason that “The” wasn’t capitalized earlier.


“I’m fourteen!” the kid yelled. “It’s in the rules! If you look at me, and I look back at you, we have to battle. I’ll call the Pokemon Battle Association if you don’t!”
Lol, I always thought that this was just a game mechanic to make sure that you didn’t just pass by all the trainers without needing to fight them. In real life, though, it seems a bit sketchy. What if the trainer’s pokémon are injured? Or the trainer is trying to get somewhere quickly due to an emergency? Pushing issues like this and being able to report them seems kind of silly to me (especially when most trainers seem to be immature 10-15 year olds that will cry when they don’t get their way, like this one here), though I see where you’re coming from. Plus, it made for an entertaining read. I just posted earlier in another thread that I never see writers actually convey the age difference in trainers, and a few hours later, I read this! Awesome.

It was at that moment that the teen called him the one thing that put him over the edge.

“Coward!”
I’m curious to know why that one word affects Dorian so much, especially since the boy had just said “You’re just scared,” and Dorian didn’t have such a serious reaction. Hmm.

Anyway, this was a filler chapter, but you used it to develop some characters still. I thought that Dorian seeing Ethan in the sky was a good transition to the next part, where Ethan also sees Dorian and tries to hide. The interactions between Dorian/his pokémon and Dorian/Shelton are also realistic and fun to read. Keep it up!

Sidewinder
25th March 2012, 5:28 AM
"The" shouldn't be capitalized. When you're doing a speech tag, things don't generally get capitalized after the exclamation point/period/comma unless you use a name. Also, “ihis” should be “his,” I’m guessing.

I looked out for that several times and I can't believe I keep missing them. Thanks for bringing that to my attention and I'm going to try alot harder to not make those silly errors. After I finish this post I'm going to go back and fix them.



I find the idea of pokémon being able to tell when they’re about to evolve quite interesting. So is seeing the Trapinch bleeding and actually showing physical effects upon evolving. It seems like it would be a common thing, and it makes a ton of sense; I’ve just only ever seen it in one other fic. I like that you implemented it here.
With the blood present, however, it doesn’t make sense to me that the new Vibrava would feel entirely better. Wouldn’t the pain still be present, since his entire body structure changed, and he’s bleeding down his sides? Maybe he’d feel relieved and satisfied because he evolved after all of his hard work, but I find the idea of “there’s suddenly no pain” a bit unrealistic.

I appreciate it. Even when I was alot younger I never bought into the whole, 'Suddenly, such and such started glowing' routine. I'm glad you liked it. And you're right, Vibrava would not be pain free right away. I think in the excitement he was ignoring it after he evolved. If you look back, right after he evolved and everyone rushed up, he laid his head on Dorian's shoe because he was all tuckered out. I already planned to expand on that in later chapters.


If I remember right, these are the only pokémon that have been introduced so far (besides Alakazam, but it makes sense that he’s not in this scene). Is there a reason the other pokémon are being excluded? Why are they here at all if they’re so unimportant? I’m assuming that they’ll eventually be introduced and implemented, but it seems odd that you haven’t even revealed what kind of species they are yet. At least, I don’t think you have. I might have forgotten.

Yeah, there's Vibrava and Shelton's Golduck. Vibrava was still in its ball recovering from its evolution and Golduck decided that he didn't feel like walking. I guess I should have mentioned them both in that part to make it more clear.


Lol, I always thought that this was just a game mechanic to make sure that you didn’t just pass by all the trainers without needing to fight them. In real life, though, it seems a bit sketchy. What if the trainer’s pokémon are injured? Or the trainer is trying to get somewhere quickly due to an emergency? Pushing issues like this and being able to report them seems kind of silly to me (especially when most trainers seem to be immature 10-15 year olds that will cry when they don’t get their way, like this one here), though I see where you’re coming from. Plus, it made for an entertaining read. I just posted earlier in another thread that I never see writers actually convey the age difference in trainers, and a few hours later, I read this! Awesome.

Lol I'm glad you liked that bit as well. I'm sure that's what that game mechanic is for. I was calling that into play just because I thought that Dorian hearing that would really annoy him. I'm expanding on that bit as well later. And if for some reason a trainer's Pokemon were all too injured to battle, I'm sure the opponent would understand. Or some circumstance where a trainer was rushing to the hospital to see a dying family member, etc. I think the kid was just threatening that was because Dorian was brushing him off for no reason whatsoever. I think the kid thought that Dorian thought he wasn't worth his time. If that makes sense.


I’m curious to know why that one word affects Dorian so much, especially since the boy had just said “You’re just scared,” and Dorian didn’t have such a serious reaction. Hmm.

You'll see :)

Anyway, thanks for bringing that stuff to my attention. And I really appreciate the review! Thanks!

Sidewinder
26th March 2012, 5:33 PM
This chapter ended up shorter than I thought it would. 5 pages on MS Word, but looking at the post, it looks really short lol. As always, reviews are welcome and appreciated!



CHAPTER 5
Cause


The match was going badly for both contestants. The Beedrill was swift, zooming from right to left, anticipating the next attack. Scorch marks traced a line from its left side up to its twitching antenna, the wounds cracking audibly as it moved. Growlithe had not fared much better, wounded from Beedrill’s quick pin missile attack. Blood leisurely rolled down its mane where the points had struck. The liquid turned the ground an ugly shade of black where it landed, giving the sporting duel an almost sinister feel.

“Flamethrower!” Dorian yelled.

“Dodge!” his opponent shouted.

As Growlithe unleashed a stream of orange flame toward his target, the Beedrill flew up high, evading the hellish blaze. The Beedrill swooped down, unleashing another pin missile attack. Growlithe rolled to the right, catching a few of the barbs in his shoulder in the process. The rest slammed into the ground, some reflecting off Dorian’s artificial shield. Both Pokemon were obviously exhausted, judging from Beedrill’s drooping antenna and Growlithe’s labored breathing.

“Tackle the Growlithe!” the Beedrill’s trainer yelled.

“Use Tackle!” Dorian shouted, seeking to end the fight with outright brawn.

The Pokemon collided with a loud bang, the energy discharge between the two being thrown straight up in a cascade of heavenly white. Both Pokemon hit the ground hard, stirring up clouds of dust where they landed. Panting hard, Growlithe struggled to remain upright. Beedrill was of the same persuasion, its wings struggling to keep itself it up the air. With a mutual groan, both Pokemon collapsed. Neither would be able to finish, their wounds too draining to continue.

Dorian thought with the obvious type advantage it would have been a quick fight, but the kid had proved to be surprisingly intelligent. Especially when he used Beedrill’s wings to blow a flamethrower sent at it back to Growlithe, temporarily blinding the fire type and allowing it to land a strong blow.

“What was that about me learning something?” the kid called over to Dorian, recalling his Pokemon and retrieving his share of the money.

“Are you implying that you won?" Dorian asked, opening Growlithe’s pokeball and returning his Pokemon. “Because you obviously didn’t.”

“Neither did you,” the kid scowled.

“Well, I’m leaving,” Dorian stated. “Thanks for, whatever.”

“Right back at you, champ,” the kid fired back.

“You little bastard!” Dorian exclaimed, changing direction and stalking towards him.

“That’s enough!” Shelton interjected, stopping Dorian with a wave of her hand. “Let’s go.”

“Fine,” he said, knowing that Shelton’s wrath would be severe if he kept up with the unsportsmanlike attitude. He grabbed his credits from the ground and stomped back to the group.

After the kid had given him another dirty look, he vanished down the path that Dorian and Shelton had recently traveled through. After another thirty minutes of analyzing the mistakes he had made, the boy was a distant memory. Still there, but the urge to run back and smack him had abated somewhat.

Thirty minutes after that, the group finally arrived at the half finished road between Johto and Kanto which had been under construction for the last year. Its purpose was to save travelers the rigors of passing through multiple checkpoints at the reception gate to the Pokemon League. The association was extremely strict on people passing through, even on those who weren’t trainers. It was their way to make sure that no trainers took shortcuts to get to other lands if a region had reached its maximum capacity of battle-able trainers.

“Look at the gouges in those bulldozers,” Dorian said, pointing to the dilapidated machines.

“They said on the news that it was rock types that did it. The ones living where they were using those demolition charges to clear the rock,” Shelton explained. “The only reason Johto and Kanto sanctioned it was because of the headaches that the League was giving ordinary people who were just passing through.”

“Well, luckily we have Machop and Golduck with us. They should be able to keep us safe with their type advantage.”

“Well yeah, but we also have six Pokemon between the two of us, plus our Pokeflect’s. We’ll be fine.”

Dorian suspected some sort of ominous feeling to strike him as he weighed the options. He was sure they’d be fine. While the bulldozers had been partially destroyed during the construction, no humans had been hurt. Not only that, but he’d been up against groups of wild Pokemon before and escaped relatively unscathed. After another few moments of consideration he decided that the extra day of waiting wasn’t worth it. Not only that, but because both of their trainer card’s were expired, they would probably incur some kind of fine as well if they had to go through the reception gate.

“Let’s do it,” Dorian said. “If we go now, we can make Viridian by nightfall.”

Shelton grinned, “Let’s get the rest of them out.”

They released the Pokemon that were still in their balls, depositing them back into their pockets afterwards. Golduck took Machop by its right hand, leading it ahead of the group in an attempt to break the fighting type out of its comfort zone. The limping Growlithe and energetic Shuppet took up pace to the left, the ghost Pokemon dipping up and down in the air, trying to get Growlithe to chase it. Nuzleaf took up a position behind the group as a rear guard, and Vibrava hovered above Dorian’s head, bulbous green eyes scanning the path ahead.



*************


The path to the south side of Viridian City was shadowed by a sheer cliff face to the left, with a sheer seventy foot drop on the right. The road was basically a straight line, deep ruts marring the surface in some places where the machines had been doing their work. Uncompleted, the road was smooth in the beginning, but riddled with house sized boulders and sharp chunks of gravel where the dynamite had been doing its work.

The cliff face to the left began to shift. Slowly at first, almost accidentally, as if it was struggling to decide whether it wanted to keep its shape. White eyes opened along the expanse of the cliff, blinking slowly. Upon closer inspection, legs and arms became visible. The roughly hewn limbs made out of the same rock they were latched onto. The shapes communicated by moving themselves against the rocks, listening to the craggy vibrations that were made when they did so.

The colony of Graveler was tired, and they were angry. The humans had planted explosives in their homes, just on the inside of the mountain. They had killed two elderly Graveler by doing so. Their leader had stopped them from retaliating at first, believing the explosions to be some kind of accident. When the men and their horribly loud machines began to trickle into their new valley, however, they knew different. It was evident they were making another pathway, the ones that were spoken about by the Golem who left the inner sanctum to explore their territory.

In unison, the collection of eyes rotated right, taking in the shapes of two humans and their Pokemon approaching from the west. Fear gripped all of them at once, a reasonable reaction to the atrocities that had recently occurred. Breathing loudly, the Graveler moved their bodies against the rock faster.

Their leader silenced the scraping with a single slap of its hand against the rock. Moving its hands in slow circles, it laid out its plan.

The leader was anxious about the course of action he was taking. He had tried to convince the humans to stop destroying their home by crippling their machines. His kind had always strived for nonviolent resolution, but the elders dying had pushed the others too far. His station as chief was in danger if he didn’t act. The others had made that very clear after the murder of the old one’s had taken place. They would no longer stand idly by like pebbles as their way of life was crushed in front of them. They would no longer restrain themselves as the humans wrestled their mountain away from them.

They would have blood for the wrongs that had befallen them.



**************


“In what world do you live in where a Clefairy could beat a Hitmonchan?” Shelton asked.

“All I’m saying is that if the Clefairy has metronome, it opens up the possibility that the type advantage will not matter,” Dorian explained.

The group had been walking for over an hour, nearing the halfway point of the new route. The sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks below soothed Dorian as he walked, allowing him to put his mind on autopilot as he argued his point with Shelton. Golduck and Machop were still leading the crowd, the fighting Pokemon letting his hand drag across the rocky wall, tracing the curves of the stone. Vibrava buzzed around the group in lazy concentric circles, drunk on its newfound ability of flight.

“What you’re talking about is such a gamble though,” Shelton continued. “Out of all the moves that could pop up, what are the chances that one of the type you need will show up?”

“Extremely slim I know, but gambling like that can yield unexpected results, and you know it.”

“On rare occasions that’s true, but ninety percent of the time, it’s not.”

“That’s where our styles differ. You calculate everything. Type advantage, skill set, move roster. Whereas I like leaving things to chance. Not only does it make it more exciting, but it leaves more to the imagination and you have the freedom to think eccentrically.”

“That might be why you lost against that Beedrill,” Shelton muttered.

“What was that?” Dorian asked, anger rising in his voice.

“Nothing,” Shelton said. “But you have to admit that sometimes taking a calculated approach can give you a better chance at winning.”

“Well obviously. I’m not saying I’m going to go against Cerulean’s Gym Leader with a crew of all fire types. But yes, I prefer to not weigh the odds and ratios all the time. I’ve found that leaving some things to chance keeps me on my feet.”



************


As his trainer argued back and forth about their competitive style, Shelton’s Golduck stopped walking. A small chunk of rock had loosed itself from the cliff wall and rolled across his webbed feet. Picking the stone up, he looked up at the wall, seeing nothing that would have spurned it from its place in the cliff. Quacking softly, he tossed the rock off to the right, over the cliff and down to the water below.

“Chop?” Machop inquired, also having noticed the rock tumble down the rocky outcropping.

“Duduck,” the Pokemon replied, assuring the smaller Pokemon they were not in danger.

“Machop,” he said, satisfied in the older Pokemon’s response.

It was just then that the jewel in Golduck’s forehead flared with a sudden ruby light. His grip on Machop’s hand tightened, a feeling of dread gripping its formidable mind. As he looked back to his trainer to check her safety, a shadow fell across him and Machop. The rock wall to their left collapsed forward, the sound of rock on rock deafening to his sensitive ears. With a sharp intake of breath, the Golduck erected a psychic shield around himself and Machop, trying in vain to protect them. He was a microsecond too slow. The avalanche of rock buried Machop instantly, its cries cut short when its head went under the falling stone. The rubble pushed against his shield, which was protecting him from harm, but shoving him towards the edge of the cliff behind him.

“Duck!” he cried, summoning all his psychic power to stop the flow of rock.

For a moment, the rocks stopped, held in stasis by the sapphire Pokemon. As he was about to shove it back up the wall, a scream from further down the path broke his concentration. With a roar of defiance, the rocks loosed themselves from his mental grasp and struck his shield, sending him over the side of the cliff.



***********


Shelton and Dorian had been walking along amiably when a rockslide had fallen from the left side of the path and buried Machop. Before she was able to process the situation, she watched Golduck try to save himself and Machop, erecting a psychic barrier between themselves and the rock, but he had been too late, Machop had been pulled under. As she watched, her Golduck pushed against the rock behind a blue shield of energy, trying to hold it in place. The rocks kept coming and pouring down, seemingly of their own accord. The sound slowed her decision making even more, her synapses struggling to overcome the roaring of the stampeding stone.

“STOP IT!” she screamed in frustration. As she dropped her pack she saw Golduck swing his head toward her, sweat breaking out across his oily feathers.

Her shout could not stop gravity however, and as she started forward, the rocks slammed into Golduck’s shield, sending him over the side and towards the crashing waves below. She screamed long and hard, tears streaming down her face, her eyeliner merging with the liquid to form lines of jet black. She ran, desperate to follow Golduck to wherever it took her. She saw Dorian’s Nuzleaf streak past her, white energy licking its rapidly moving legs. Vibrava was close behind, diving off the edge of the cliff to aid the flightless Golduck.

As she bounded across the uneven ground, her right foot slipped and got wedged between two sofa sized boulders. Her momentum carried her forward and her head struck the ground, motes of dirt flung skyward as she connected. Stars flew across her vision as she quickly sat up. Her head throbbed, the pain streaming down from her head to other parts of her body. In her dazed confusion she saw a shadow falling towards her. Further back, she heard Growlithe roaring, Shuppet screeching, Dorian swearing. The shadow kept falling, subtle features such as small spherical body and two powerful arms becoming visible. The shadow blotted out her vision as it connected with her head, forcing her into unconsciousness.

Shadow Lucario
27th March 2012, 9:35 AM
They group had been walking for over an hour, nearing the halfway point of the new route.

I suspect this sentence was originally going to start with they had and you changed your mind. Just need to knock off the y.


Golduck swing his head toward her, sweat breaking out across its oily feathers.

There are often times when you do this. You give a Pokemon a gender and then you refer back to that Pokemon as it. You need to stick to one. There are many Pokemon that have no gender, but most do.

That's all I saw. Short chapter. Kinda fillerish. Mostly traveling. I like how you portray the exchange of money in a battle. It's very creative. The ensuing battle with the Graveler should be interesting seeing as how they lost two of their Pokemon that had an advantage.

diamondpearl876
27th March 2012, 9:34 PM
“Flamethrower!” Dorian yelled, seeking to exploit the bug type’s weakness.

“Dodge!” his opponent shouted.

As Growlithe unleashed a stream of orange flame toward his target, the Beedrill flew up high, evading the hellish blaze. The Beedrill swooped down, unleashing another pin missile attack. Growlithe rolled to the right, catching a few of the barbs in his shoulder in the process. The rest slammed into the ground, some reflecting off Dorian’s artificial shield. Both Pokemon were obviously exhausted, judging from Beedrill’s drooping antenna and Growlithe’s labored breathing.

“Tackle the Growlithe!” the Beedrill’s trainer yelled.

“Use Tackle!” Dorian shouted, seeking to end the fight with outright brawn.
The parallelism between the “seeking to” at the beginning and the end here seems unnecessary. It doesn’t accomplish much, and I’m not even sure if you did it on purpose or not. I would keep the second part, but not the first, since it’s pretty much common sense to say that bug-types are weak to fire.

Especially when he used Beedrill’s wings to blow a flamethrower sent at it back to Growlithe, temporarily blinding the fire type and allowing it to land a strong blow.
This is similar to what I just pointed out, though I’d actually keep the repetition/parallelism since both “blow”s contribute to the portrayal of the trainer’s intelligence and the Beedrill’s power.



“Are you implying that you won? Dorian asked, opening Growlithe’s pokeball and returning his Pokemon. “Because you obviously didn’t.”
Forgot the quotation mark after “won?”

After the kid had given him another dirty look, he vanished down the path that Dorian and Shelton had recently traveled through. After another thirty minutes of analyzing the mistakes he had made, the boy was a distant memory. Still there, but the urge to run back and smack him had abated somewhat.
This seems unlikely with how badly the word “coward” scarred him. You may not want to reveal why he’s so triggered by that word yet, but it could at least be mentioned, you know?

“They said on the news that it was rock type’s that did it. The one’s living where they were using those demolition charges to clear the rock,” Shelton explained.
Should be “rock types” and “The ones”, since the apostrophe indicates ownership, and that’s not quite your intention here. You do this a couple times shortly after Shelton saying this, so I’d watch out for it in the future (and if/when you go back to fix the chapter)



They would have blood for the wrongs that had befallen them..
A good, powerful way to end that section. Though I think at the end there is supposed to just be a period, unless you’re going for an ellipses, in which case there should be three periods in a row. Never two.


He was a microsecond to slow
“too slow”


Anyway, it was a good chapter overall. The battle introduced a lot of worldbuilding and some characterization with Dorian, and obviously what happened with Golduck/Machop and crew is mysterious and interesting. Your description is also good as always. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. Keep it up!

Sidewinder
1st April 2012, 4:37 AM
Thanks to everyone who keeps reviewing. I really appreciate all the feedback, as it goes a long way towards helping me become a better writer. This chapter is probably my favorite so far, and I had alot of fun writing it. People who have been following my story are certainly in for some fun. For anyone reading my Fic for the first time, leave me some opinions, as I always want to improve. Thanks!




Chapter 6
Effect


Nuzleaf was running as fast as his body would allow, calling on reserves of energy in his belly to pump his legs faster. He had seen the wall collapse on his friends, Golduck trying to hold it back before he was overcome. What Nuzleaf noticed as Machop was pulled under the rampaging rock however, was that some of the rocks were moving and changing direction on their own. Five Graveler were rolling across the rock, stomping and pounding to pack the pile as hard as possible, burying Machop under an unimaginable amount of weight.

“Nuz!” he yelled as he reached the slope of the pile.

Three of the closest Graveler jumped into the air towards Nuzleaf to intercept, each grabbing handfuls of rock as their feet left the ground. Nuzleaf followed suit, using both legs to launch himself into the air. The Graveler threw the rocks they were holding, each handful tripling in size as they raced towards their target. Nuzleaf destroyed the first few with a bullet seed, twisting through the air to avoid the other harmful missiles.

“Grav!” the rock Pokemon yelled, taken aback by Nuzleaf’s graceful agility.

As Nuzleaf came back to the ground, he ran up the pile, meeting the Graveler as they touched back down. The first two took a thick wooden knee to the face, making them stumble backwards; while the third took a handful of brightly colored pellets to the forehead, the ricochets breaking off a piece of its rocky shoulder. Nuzleaf scaled a large boulder behind the third, flipping backwards as he got to the top. The single leaf on its head began to glow, a golden halo of energy building around the single stalk. As the three that had been pummeled by Nuzleaf realized what was happening, they quickly grabbed more rocks and chucked them towards him.

With a growl, Nuzleaf released the stored energy. By far not the most impressive solarbeam he had ever conjured, as he barely had enough time to even charge it; but the effect was exactly what he wanted. As a fiery inferno of solar light raced downwards towards the rocks where Machop was buried, the Graveler scattered. A deafening boom rang out as the solarbeam cut through the pile of rock, punching a twenty foot hole straight down. The rocks that were chunked at him by the Graveler’s were vaporized right before he ended the stream, allowing him to stop the attack and fall down into the newly made hole.

Diving headfirst, Nuzleaf rolled himself forward as he struck the ground, a small splinter of wood spiraling away from his foot as he landed. Gritting his teeth to get through the pain, he reached down with his right hand and pulled Machop out from under the last two feet of rock. His friend’s face was bruised and bloody, the consequence of the tons of rock that had buried him. Hand still attached to Machop’s arm, he pulled back and flung the fighting Pokemon out of the hole, just as the rock Pokemon he had injured crashed into him, slamming him to the ground and knocking him out.



**************


Dorian’s mind was racing. The wall had collapsed right where Machop and Golduck had been walking. From his angle he couldn’t see what had happened, but Shelton had screamed and bolted, forcing his mind to race to the worst possibility. As he went to yell to Nuzleaf for help, his grass Pokemon flashed past him, already on the way. He saw a flicker of blue tumble off the side of the cliff, followed by the green shape of his Vibrava darting over the edge to follow.

As his eyes went back to Shelton, he saw her trip and fall, a puff of dirt rising from where her head had struck. He felt a terrible tug in his gut as it happened and he released his pack to run. It was just then that Shuppet wailed, the noise resonating in his eardrums like a nearby foghorn. He swiveled his head in the direction of her screeching just in time to see Growlithe loose a jet of fire from his maw, targeting a television sized rock that was falling towards him. The rock was shoved backwards in the air, its surface scorched and smoking. Growlithe roared his approval; the sound overlapping with the noise of Shuppet’s panicked yelling.

“Dammit!” he yelled aloud as a large shadow suddenly darkened his vision. Just as the shadow connected, he brought his hands together, activating his Pokeflect. The Graveler’s attack caught him in the stomach, the force sending him to his back. While the Pokeflect repelled actual damage from the attack, the motion of the two of them smacking together sent him sprawling.

As Dorian rolled to a stop, he shouted, “Growlithe, use flamethrower! Shuppet, shadow ball!” The attacks merged together as they hit their target, Growlithe’s flames turning a sickly shade of black and grey. The torrent of flames sent the Graveler back several yards, where it lay in a heap, body smoking steadily.

An explosion behind him lit up the surrounding area in golden light, heat rolling across Dorian’s back. As his hand went to his head to protect himself, he saw parts of the cliff face begin to fall, betraying the secret of Graveler and Geodude alike. Two of the creatures slammed into Growlithe, forcing him to the ground and immobilizing his legs. Another four tried in vain to wrap their arms around Shuppet, only to have the ghost Pokemon phase through their outstretched arms, leaving her unscathed.

Dorian jumped to his feet, his mind racing to think of a suitable attack plan. Just as he got up however, two sets of arms snaked their way around his body, pulling him into a bear hug. The arms made no effort to be gentle, squeezing his body roughly, leaving Dorian gasping for air. A constant growl vibrated against Dorian’s back, an obvious display of menace.

“What are you doing?!” Dorian yelled, struggling to break free of the creature’s grasp.

“Gravav!” the Pokemon accused, not squeezing tighter, but not loosening his grip either.

Shuppet meanwhile was firing balls of ghostly energy at random, safe high above from the reaching arms of the Pokemon below. The attacks were hitting the ground as often as the Pokemon she was aiming for. When one of her attacks would hit their aggressors a shout of pain could be heard, followed by scores of rocks thrown at her by the crowd below. She kept on unhindered though, phasing through the rock like it was air.

“Shup!” she screeched, halting her attack, her eyes riveted behind Dorian.

Dorian spun his head to the right to see Machop’s unconscious body flip out of the smoking crater further down the path. The fighting type roughly hit the ground, arms flailing wildly as he skipped across the ground. He laid there, eyes closed, his breathing coming in series of long gurgling gasps. As Dorian struggled to examine his injuries from afar, he spied three Graveler falling from higher up the cliff, disappearing from sight as they passed below the lip of the new crater.

“GRAVELER!” a new voice shouted.

Dorian turned his head towards the new voice and gasped. An overly large Graveler was holding Shelton’s unconscious body above its head, clapping its lower hands together for attention. From what Dorian could tell, the only injury she had sustained was a large cut across her scalp that was slowly seeping blood. The sight of the Pokemon holding her made Dorian struggle with newfound vigor, carelessly lacerating his skin on the sharp rock of Graveler’s body.

“Stop!” he shouted. “Let go of her and we’ll leave!”

The Graveler paid Dorian no attention. Swinging its rocky head upwards, it pointed at Shuppet, then back at Shelton.

“Shuppet,” the ghost Pokemon said, drifting towards the ground.

Satisfied, the Graveler holding Shelton motioned towards two nearby Geodude, gesturing towards a spot in the road about ten feet ahead. Nodding, both Pokemon began to beat the ground furiously, digging a hole about three feet wide. Once they were finished, the Graveler stood Shelton up in the hole, and proceeded to shove dirt in as well; effectively burying her up to her neck.

Dorian watched the scene unfold in horror, unable to understand what the rocky Pokemon was doing. Frantic, he started looking around, searching for one of their Pokemon to help.

Growlithe was being held down by two Geodude, his face scraping across the dirt as he tried to free himself. Machop was barely alive, holding on by sheer will alone. Golduck and Vibrava had not reappeared from the side of the cliff yet, filling his head with even more worry. Nuzleaf was nowhere to be found and Shuppet was hovering nearby, seemingly catatonic by the threat made to her by the Graveler who was obviously in charge.

Dorian couldn’t understand why this was happening. Obviously this was the same gang of Pokemon Shelton was referring to earlier, but before they had only attacked the machines building the road. There had been no violence against any humans or their Pokemon at all. He had always been very good at reasoning with people and Pokemon alike. He had been told on more than one occasion that he would make a good salesman from his talent with wordplay. It was clear however, that there was no way to talk them out of this predicament.

“Grav!” the leader shouted again.

As Dorian watched, the Graveler held up two of its fingers with one hand and pointed to a pile of rock off to the left with another. Keeping its hands in place, it bent down and scooped up two basketball size boulders at its feet, balancing each out on an outstretched appendage. The hand he was pointing with slowly came around and he pointed toward each boulder, stopping to make the symbol for two again. Then its last hand came back around and pointed at Shelton’s buried body.

“I don’t understand what you’re saying. Please, we’ll go. We won’t come back, I promise,” Dorian pleaded. “Please.”

Growing angry, the Graveler pointed towards the same small pile of rock again, then repeating the gesture of making the number two and making the same motions towards Shelton.

Dorian stared at the pile of rock, trying to understand the significance. As he studied the rocks, six blackened hands became distinguishable, along with a shattered leg, and a few broken ivory teeth.

“Bodies?” Dorian asked himself. Then, the realization of what was about to happen crashed down on his mind harder than the rockslide that had pummeled Machop’s body. The bodies were Graveler. Judging from their shattered flesh they had died from the demolition charges that the road crew had planted. “Two of you, for two of us.” That’s what the Graveler was telling him.

As he watched, the Graveler walked to his deceased brethren and stroked each of their bodies with one long crooked finger. Shaking noticeably, the rock Pokemon took a deep breath, composing itself. Turning around, with dark mud streaming from its eyes, the Graveler took aim at Shelton’s head.

“Gravgrav,” the Pokemon lamented, and threw the stones.

Before the stones reached their target, however, they halted in the air.

Suddenly, they reversed course, racing back towards the Graveler with increased velocity. One struck the rock Pokemon in the head, sending it stumbling backwards, while the other raced around to strike the Pokemon from behind, sending it face first to the ground. The assembled Geodude and Graveler stared at their leader in disbelief, not understanding, not able to process what had just happened.

Dorian however, knew the answer before they did. Looking up, he saw Golduck let go of Vibrava’s legs and fall to the ground below. He watched as Golduck lightly landed, one foot resting on either side of Shelton’s head. Golduck’s pupils glowed lilac, signaling the rage that was close to being released.

“DUCK!” Golduck yelled at Dorian, raising both of his webbed hands above his head.

Knowing he only had a moment, Dorian raised his arms as high as he could, struggling against the strength of the Graveler that was holding him hostage. As his hands went upwards, a multicolored beam of energy shot from the jewel in Golduck’s forehead. The beam hit Dorian’s right hand with uncanny accuracy, rebounding off his Pokeflect and striking his captor in the stomach. The arms holding him hostage loosened, allowing Dorian to wriggle free. As soon as his feet touched the ground, Dorian jumped up and spun, kicking the dazed Graveler backwards. The rock Pokemon stumbled, crying out in pain from the lingering effects of Golduck’s psybeam. Its feet carried it backwards, over the edge of the cliff and to the roaring waves below.

As Dorian turned back around, the rock Pokemon broke their stare and attacked, sending chunks of stone streaming towards Vibrava hovering above and Golduck below. Vibrava tucked his wings and spiraled downwards, catching slight nicks from the thrown rocks as he dived. None of the missiles even got close to Golduck though, as the psychic Pokemon stopped them in mid-air as they approached, leaving them hanging to serve as shields for other incoming rocks.

“Vibrava, use gust on the rocks!” Dorian commanded.

Coming to a stop in front of Golduck, the dragon Pokemon flapped his wings furiously, kicking up sand and gravel as a vortex was generated. The psychic force holding the wall of thrown rocks suddenly dropped its hold, allowing Vibrava to send the stones back towards their attackers. Five of the rock Pokemon were immediately out of the fight, either immobilized by the heavy rock, or the impact of the stones sending them off the nearby cliff.

Shuppet meanwhile, had snapped her mind back into the fight and was currently flying from Geodude to Geodude, latching onto their backs and using hypnosis to put them to sleep. The Pokemon that experienced this sensation cried out in fear as the ghost Pokemon reached into their minds and ignited their worst fears, causing them to flee to sleep like it was their own idea.

“Vibrava, don’t stop! Golduck, get her out!” Dorian yelled.

Vibrava began to gyrate, dragging the vortex of howling wind in a circle, creating a barrier their attackers were unable to penetrate. Golduck focused his mental power below his feet, feeling the earth below with his mind and slowly raising Shelton out of her temporary prison. He worked slowly, trying his best to keep the sharp rock underneath from cutting her as she rose.

Dorian ran, the wind from Vibrava’s sustained gust attack almost knocking him off his feet as he struggled to get further down the path where Growlithe was pinned down. The same two Geodude were still holding him down, reaching down to strike the struggling dog when he managed to gain some leverage. Dorian ducked to avoid a rock thrown at him from a nearby Graveler, forgetting again that the Pokeflect would have stopped the stone from harming him.

“Shup!” Shuppet screeched, materializing beside Dorian as he ran.

As the ghost Pokemon’s voice reached the two Geodude, they looked up in surprise, catching twin shadow balls launched from Shuppet in the process. The Geodude were blown backwards into the wall behind them as the attack hit, releasing Growlithe from their painful embrace. Growlithe turned and bathed his assailants with fire for good measure, making sure they were out of the fight.

“You good?” Dorian called to Growlithe, spinning on his heel and running back towards Shelton.

“Growlithe!” his Pokemon roared.

“Find Nuzleaf!” Dorian commanded. “Shuppet, help Vibrava and Golduck!”

Dorian followed Growlithe as he ran further down the path, following the scent of Nuzleaf. He hunched down as they passed the whirlwind of air around his Vibrava, taking note of the fact that Golduck had completely freed Shelton from the ground below and was holding her in his arms, shielding her from the occasional rock that made it through Vibrava’s barrier. Shuppet had taken place in front of the twirling dragon Pokemon, adding ghostly balls of energy to the whirlwind, hoping to injure any of the rock Pokemon that got too close.

“Nuzleaf!” Dorian called, hoping to somehow get his Pokemon’s attention.
He kept following Growlithe as the fire Pokemon led them to the edge of a large crater; one that Dorian was sure was the result of the explosion that had happened earlier. As Dorian and Growlithe began to climb the slope of the crater, Nuzleaf’s unconscious form was violently thrown from the confines of the hole. Nuzleaf’s body was traveling so fast that it hit Dorian directly in the solar plexus, knocking the wind out of him and sending him to the ground.

“GRAV!” a chorus of voices yelled. As Dorian got up and slung Nuzleaf over his shoulder, five Graveler jumped up from the inside of the crater, glaring menacingly at the trio below.

“Grooo!” Growlithe growled, puffing up his chest.

“Don’t be thick,” Dorian said. “You can’t take on five of them. Let’s go!”

Huffing regrettably, Growlithe followed his master, hearing the sounds of the Graveler stomping behind them in pursuit. As he ran, he saw more Geodude and Graveler closing in on them from all sides, the ones ahead of them stopping short of the deadly barrier of wind and spinning rock created by Vibrava.

“Golduck!” Dorian yelled. “We’re coming in!”

The duck Pokemon heard them and nodded, using his power of telekinesis to open a hole in the vortex to let them pass. The rocks and spheres of energy parted for the trio as they ran through, closing behind them with a loud clap. Dorian laid Nuzleaf down by Golduck’s feet, checking his Pokemon up and down for injury. His Pokemon was breathing steadily, the only tell-tale sign of injury being the small chunks of wood missing from his foot, arm, and shoulder.

They were all in Vibrava’s protective circle now, even the unconscious form of Machop, whose condition was rapidly declining. As Dorian watched, scores of Graveler and Geodude poured out from over the top of the rock face, joining the fray of over thirty rock Pokemon that were trying to penetrate the protective circle around them. Vibrava couldn’t keep this up forever; and as powerful as his and Shelton’s Pokemon were, they couldn’t take on that many at one time. His mind raced, desperate for a plan to end the madness, to keep them safe. He wasn’t strong enough to overcome the odds though; he wasn’t powerful enough to fight off his aggressors. For the first time in his life, he didn’t know what to do.

“Vibravaaa,” his dragon Pokemon moaned.

As Dorian watched Vibrava, he noticed that the hurricane of wind keeping them safe was starting to die down, the rocks being carried by it being lowered closer to the ground. Just then, one of the shadow balls that Shuppet had conjured leapt off course and smacked into Dorian’s chest. He felt nothing as it glanced off of the protective shield of his Pokeflect, but yelled when it ricocheted off of him and struck Shuppet. The ghost Pokemon wailed as the orb struck her, sending her crashing against the ground.

“Ava,” Vibrava whispered, dropping roughly to the ground and falling into unconsciousness.

Dorian should have known that the strain of sustaining an attack for that long was too much for the newly evolved Pokemon. He felt a momentary flash of pride in his Pokemon that quickly evaporated as the rocks caught up in the vortex fell and revealed the outside of their circle.

Over fifty rock Pokemon surrounded them, the ones nearest to the front gasping for the air that had been sucked away from them by Vibrava’s attack. Most of them were growling, making their intentions clear. They would not stop, and they had the numbers to back it up.

“I’m sorry,” Dorian said to the crowd. “We had nothing to do with it.”

Gathering his emotions, he walked forward and stood in front of Shelton. Raising his fists, he waited. It would come in a moment. The inevitable tide of anger would wash across them and leave nothing behind. Dorian thought that at a moment like this, things would become simple. Clarity would chime in and he would know exactly what to do. Nothing came however, nothing to give him hope. He was with their Pokemon, and his mind was blank.

“Duduck,” Golduck stated, tapping him on the shoulder.

Dorian turned, vaguely aware that the rock type Pokemon around them were rushing forward. He watched Golduck gently stroke Shelton’s cheek, a peculiar milky glow beginning to take shape around his head. He placed Shelton in Dorian’s arms, pushing her against him to make sure he had a strong grip.

Faster than Dorian could think, he, Shelton, and their Pokemon were yanked upwards and shoved to the right, high above the incoming stampede of rock Pokemon. They flew through the air, being guided by Golduck’s formidable mind. Dorian saw everything, he felt all of it. His group was guided into the crater the earlier explosion had made, being pushed tenderly out of harm’s way.

Just before they passed below the lip of the crater, Dorian saw the rock Pokemon race towards Golduck, he saw the mauve energy around Golduck flare brightly as they reached him, and as the first attack connected, he saw the sapphire Pokemon explode.

Shadow Lucario
1st April 2012, 7:15 PM
Nuzlead destroyed the first few with a bullet seed,

Very slight typo.


quickly grabbed more rocks and chucked them
towards him.

This part is awkwardly formatted. Nothing wrong, just odd in the middle of a sentence.


“Dammit!” he yelled aloud as large shadow suddenly darkened his vision.

There needs to be an a before large.


Its feet carried it backwards, over the edge of the
cliff and to the roaring waves below.

There. It did it again.

I didn't spot anything else wrong. I'm sad now. With that cliffhanger I think Golduck is dead. So much action this chapter. You know I'm surprised there wasn't a Golem among them. If I remember correctly you said that all the Golem left right? Looks like Shelton will be out for a while. A superb chapter that was written very well. I love that the Pokemon feel so attached to their trainers. Shows how much they care. I'll be back for chapter 7.

Kutie Pie
1st April 2012, 9:46 PM
My review as promised.

I'm impressed, it's almost hard to believe this is your first attempt at fan fiction. However, I have no doubt you read extensively, and you kept in mind the formatting of a story. Thus, I see great works coming from you in the future if you keep this up. You are just what we need. I always say there needs to be a good generation of writers to replace us when we leave. New writers like you gives closure. It also helps you are accepting of criticism, a skill that tends to take years for a newbie to accept. This is a mind-set you shall have for the rest of your life.

I also admire you going back to fix any little mistakes your readers point out to you. Because of that, I saw very few mistakes. The ones I do tend to be some out-of-place commas, and homonym mix-ups like "where" and "were", but these are few and spread out. A careful proof-read before the upload helps greatly.

I feel we are still technically in the exposition stage, but we are seeing what is the rising action, the first of many dangers these characters will face. We aren't exactly that introduced to the plot yet, but your little clues about these flakes and this obsidian artifact are the pieces that form the plot. I take it this is a mystery/adventure story. You did a marvelous job introducing the mystery in the prologue and showing who may be the anti-hero, and I say that because I doubt he is in control of his actions, per say. These "voices" he is hearing may be the real antagonist, but we shall see in the future. This character, Ethan, and the flakes are what may be the links that are holding this story together. That doesn't mean I prefer him over the other characters, Dorian and Shelton and their Pokémon are great as well, but there is still some part of them I feel hasn't been revealed to us yet about their personalities. You pretty much down-right show that Ethan is a mysterious person, and is the link. While he should be the main focus, to have him work in the background is a nice touch. He keeps himself secluded because we know that he provides answers to this mystery.

I like how you handle these encounters in a realistic sense. You aren't afraid to show just how violent and dangerous Pokémon battles can be. I was specifically intrigued by Trapinch's evolution. While it was rather quick when in reality it should've been a slow process as it gradually grows to a Vibrava, it was an interesting detail in the growth of a little creature growing vertically and sprouting wings. I especially liked how you mentioned it was bloody and messy. I expect more depictions of evolution like this in the future, it's something I haven't seen before, if this hasn't be depicted in other writings yet. If so, kudos to you!

With that said, this chapter was very action-packed, I have no idea how I managed to keep up with it. Like what Shadow Lucario said, there's that saddening possibility Golduck has been killed off. This isn't a bad thing, though. Don't ever be afraid to kill off characters when the plot calls for it, that is a sign the writer has balls and isn't afraid to take a risk at the expense of their readers, but it helps when it's done well. A lot of professional writers do this, and some do it splendidly, while others don't. Especially if it's a fake-out death, this can infuriate readers just as much. There has to be a reasonable explanation as to how it is the character avoided death so narrowly, or we will assume you pulled it out of your behind to save your behind. And yes, that is a warning.

I'd like to be on the PM list, please. I would love to see where this goes from here, and also to keep an eye on it. I hope to see improvement between your first and last chapter when we reach the end. That is one of the greatest accomplishments you can make to know you have learned something new and further developed your own writing ability (which I can see you already have your own style).

diamondpearl876
2nd April 2012, 2:44 AM
I liked how, with all the action, you included everyone’s actions rather than just one or two peoples’. It really helped add to the chaos of the situation, and your awesome description only helped that. It was intense, realistic, and the cliffhanger was well-placed and very effective given the situation.


He had always been very good at reasoning with people and Pokemon alike. He had been told on more than one occasion that he would make a good salesman from his talent with wordplay.
This seems a bit difficult to believe when Dorian can’t understand pokémon, as he says so himself shortly after this. It made me think that he should have had at least a little more control of the situation given this talent of his. It also makes me wonder why Dorian never asked any of the pokémon to try to talk some sense into the Graveler for him.

My only other complaint is that you used the word “however” an awful lot. It wasn’t enough to distract from the story, but it was enough to catch my attention. Otherwise, I could find nothing wrong with this. I eagerly await the next chapter~

Glover
2nd April 2012, 5:25 AM
Alright, so I think with the little time I seem to have, I'm going to leave you in the careful hands of the previous reviwers and pick up the detailing here. I just can't do you the justice for it.

So here's CH6


Nuzleaf was running as fast as his body would allow, calling on reserves of energy in his belly to pump his legs faster. He had seen the wall collapse on his friends; Golduck trying to hold it back before he was overcome. What Nuzleaf noticed as Machop was pulled under the rampaging rock however, was that some of the rocks (them)were moving and changing direction on their own. Five Graveler were rolling across the rock, stomping and pounding to pack the pile as hard as possible, burying Machop under an unimaginable amount of weight.
Note the semicolon, there.
I'm seeing this a lot in your chapter, you're awfully wordy here. Descriptors are good things, sure, but pronouns exist for a reason and yearn to be put to use, they make things flow more quickly, whcih for me is the difference odf visual ansd visual in a frame-by-frame slow motion. The other thing that can help is to klighten the use of compound sentances, especially here where each part carries a heavy meaning. It's pain and suffering, each sentence is about that.


rolling across the rock, stomping and pounding Nitpick here, "rolling" is a method of travelling for Graveller, and having them stomp and pound while in a balled-up state is contradictory.


The rocks that were chunked at him "Chunked" is a new one to me. I assume this is synonomous to "chucked" or "hurled".

Oh I see, you used chucked a bit earlier, needed a new word I bet. Hmm.

A very good job of walking us through Nuzleaf's attacks without telling them. Even without the names I knew what he was doing through there.


Hand still attached to Machop’s arm, he pulled back and flung the fighting Pokemon out of the hole, just as the rock Pokemon he had injured crashed into him, slamming him to the ground and knocking him out.



I'd dump that first part. You're trying to tell us that Nuzleaf still had ahold of Machop, but it makes it sound like Machop's hand is still attached to his arm, as opposed to it not, and it really doesn't add much to the sentence. I'm curious how many hands a Machamp would have it evolved from a one-handed Machop...


Shuppet meanwhile was firing balls of ghostly energy at random, safe high above from the reaching arms of the Pokemon below. The attacks were hitting the ground as often as the Pokemon she was aiming for. When one of her attacks would hit their aggressors, a shout of pain could be heard; followed by scores of rocks thrown at her by the crowd below. She kept on unhindered though, phasing through the rock like it was air.
Good use of being a ghost, although awkward wording and a bit of an invincibility problem.


“Bodies?” Dorian asked himself. Then, the realization of what was about to happen crashed down on his mind harder than the rockslide that had pummeled Machop’s body. The bodies were Graveler. Judging from their shattered flesh they had died from the demolition charges that the road crew had planted. “Two of you, for two of us.”That’s what the Graveler was telling him. Favorite. scene. When I fgrow up iw ant to write wildife encounters just like you do.


“DUCK!” Golduck yelled at Dorian, raising both of his webbed hands above his head.
Pun funny. And who says Pokemon cannot speak in Human?


Dorian jumped up and spun, kicking the dazed Graveler backwards. The rock Pokemon stumbled, crying out in pain from the lingering effects of Golduck’s psybeam. Its feet carried it backwards, over the edge of the cliff and to the roaring waves below.
Discrepency there. if Nuzleaf is made of wood, then Graveller is rock, no? Especially when yo umention ivory teeth. That should have hurt, Dorian should have felt that a lot worse than the Graveller did.


Faster than Dorian could think, he, Shelton, and their Pokemon were yanked upwards and shoved to the right, high above the incoming stampede of rock Pokemon. They flew through the air, being guided by Golduck’s formidable mind. Dorian saw everything, he felt all of it. His group was guided into the crater the earlier explosion had made, being pushed tenderly out of harm’s way.
Being makes for an odd tense for "Pushed out of harms way." I'd can being, and turn that comma into another semi-colon. Also, this seems a bit convoluted for Golduck to do. Maybe it's me, but straight teleportationwould to me be the most logical and simple way to do this, also if I were an enraged Graveller and my opponents were flying away visibly, I'd be hurling rocks like an anti-aircraft gun until they were cloer or out of reach.

Man, Shelton's going to absolutely KILL Dorian for this shortcut. He's gonna get his aft chewed out SO bad for letting her Pokemon die. He won't be able to sit for weeks when she wakes up, and he better hope for his sake that in a few chapterss time (Make us wait for dramatic effect) a Golduck is rescued by some contruction workers from absolute carnage or he's gonna get castrated.

Poor Machop's gona go off the deepend, I can see it now. he's either going to be an extremely sheltered boy who says and does nothing, or he's going to absolutely snap and kill everything that even LOOKs like a rock.

Overall though, a powerful chapter and well written. I'm loving the characters and you're portrying them well. Even the "bad guys", My heart goes out for the fallen Graveller, and their bretheren avenging is extremely real. Very well done.

Shadow Lucario
2nd April 2012, 6:45 AM
No, I don't think it did. Unlike the trainer's Pokemon, The Graveller did not get genders assigned to them, they are therefore legally referred to as its.

Then you don't know what I'm talking about. I was referring to the weird break in the sentence.

Sidewinder
2nd April 2012, 11:18 PM
@ Shadow Lucario


You know I'm surprised there wasn't a Golem among them. If I remember correctly you said that all the Golem left right?

They were out exploring for new territory. Can't believe I forgot to put that in.

@ diamondpearl876


It also makes me wonder why Dorian never asked any of the pokémon to try to talk some sense into the Graveler for him.

Thnks for pointing that out. To be completely honest, I didn't even think about that


My only other complaint is that you used the word “however” an awful lot.

Thanks for pointing that out as well, I'll be sure to keep that in mind from now on.

@ Kutie Pie


Don't ever be afraid to kill off characters when the plot calls for it,

I know exactly what you mean. Everyone we'll see the fate of Golduck and Machop in the next chapter, but just so you know, I'm not afraid to do it at all. Situations happen that not everyone survives. That's life, and it doesn't make sense that charcters, even main ones, don't die.

I felt like you hit Ethan perfectly by the way. That's his role for now, but it wont always be that way. Reading what you thought of him matched my notes on him almost exactly. Good work

@ Glover


Note the semicolon, there.
I'm seeing this a lot in your chapter, you're awfully wordy here. Descriptors are good things, sure, but pronouns exist for a reason and yearn to be put to use, they make things flow more quickly, whcih for me is the difference odf visual ansd visual in a frame-by-frame slow motion.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Looking back, I understand what you mean and I'll do my best to work on it.


"Chunked" is a new one to me. I assume this is synonomous to "chucked" or "hurled".

lol, its Southern USA slang, and yes, I used it because I needed another word for threw


Good use of being a ghost, although awkward wording and a bit of an invincibility problem.

I see what you mean. The way I pictured ghost Pokemon in the real world, is that they could phase through almost anything if they were focused solely on that. If they were attacking, hit from behind, or hit too fast for them to focus, they would not be able to phase through anything.


Discrepency there. if Nuzleaf is made of wood, then Graveller is rock, no? Especially when yo umention ivory teeth. That should have hurt, Dorian should have felt that a lot worse than the Graveller did.

I don't think it hurt the Graveler at all, just sent him a step backwards and his legs kept moving. Dorian kinda just pushed him in the direction he wanted to go. And yeah, Dorian will be hurting, its something I already planned for the next chapter. Good eye


Also, this seems a bit convoluted for Golduck to do. Maybe it's me, but straight teleportationwould to me be the most logical and simple way to do this, also if I were an enraged Graveller and my opponents were flying away visibly, I'd be hurling rocks like an anti-aircraft gun until they were cloer or out of reach.

That does make sense, however that's not an ability I've ever seen a Golduck have, and not one that I can realistically see one having either. It's a good idea, and I considered the same thing, but ultimately it didn't feel right to me. And since Golduck stopped the stones thrown at Shelton earlier by the Graveler leader, my thought was that they wanted to take care of him first before they attacked the others in the circle. Shut down the source, and you take care of the unpredictable telekinesis problem.

And yeah Glover, Shelton is going to be pissed haha



Thank you all for your reviews, I really appreciate it. Ya'll helping me out is the only reason I'm able to continue and improve my writing. I can't believe I got so many good responses. It really was my favorite chapter to write, and I'm glad you guys enjoyed it as well. New chapter should be up by Friday or so.

Sidewinder
7th April 2012, 2:03 AM
Well, here's the newest chapter. It came out shorter than I would have liked, but I think I captured what I wanted pretty well. Thanks to everyone for their continued support, it's much appreciated.




CHAPTER 7

AFTERMATH


Dorian inhaled deeply, trying to calm down his swiftly beating heart. He looked around, taking an inventory of his group that was scattered around the crater. Growlithe was sitting a few feet to his left, licking Shelton’s face in an effort to wake her. Nuzleaf and Shuppet were lying beside each other, both still unconscious. Vibrava was staggering to his feet, shaking his head furiously in an effort to wake himself up. Looking past the dragon Pokemon, Dorian spied Machop.

The fighting Pokemon was barely breathing now; holding on beyond what Dorian thought was possible. His teal skin was covered in blood from the countless cuts that littered his frame. Not only that, but Dorian could tell that most of his bones were broken from the way the fighting Pokemon’s skin sagged in places where it used to be pulled taut.

Dust drifted down into the hole they were residing in, the aftermath of Golduck’s psychic explosion. Sunlight glinted off the particles as they fell, making it hard to see the sky against the endless wave of specks. The silence in the crater shocked Dorian almost as much as the battle that had just taken place. After going from the sounds and smells of the chaos that had broken out earlier, the silence seemed even more foreign. It put Dorian more on edge, as he kept expecting the other proverbial shoe to drop.

“Vibrava, just sit there,” Dorian said. “I think it’s over. If you keep it up you’re going to hurt yourself.”

“Ava,” he acquiesced, falling back to his stomach and closing his eyes.

Satisfied that the newly evolved Pokemon wasn’t going to overexert himself, Dorian lifted himself up. Waving his hands to clear the puffs of dirt in his face, he walked over to Shelton and knelt down. Growlithe backed up as he approached, understanding that his approach of ‘lick and wake’ was failing.

“Growlithe, go find the bags we dropped!” Dorian ordered. “They have medicine.”

“Groo?” Growlithe asked.

“Bags!” Dorian shouted. “Get the bags!”

“Growlithe!” the fire type growled.

“Look, get the bags or I’m going to beat the hell out of you!” Dorian screamed.

After another menacing growl, Growlithe did as he was told, spinning around and scaling the side of the crater.

Dorian turned his attention back to Shelton, turning his head to gauge the severity of the cut on her forehead. It wasn’t very deep, but like most head wounds, it was bleeding profusely, obscuring her soft features under a veil of red. Using the sleeve of his shirt he wiped away as much as he could, stopping when the arm of his shirt began sticking to his skin. Able to see her face again, Dorian lightly shook her. It had no effect, as she stayed thoroughly rooted in sleep.

“Groo!” a voice called from above.

Dorian looked up as their bags landed beside him and Shelton, making a mental note to apologize to Growlithe once the situation was wrapped up. Digging through his pack, he came up with a vial of smelling salt. Usually used to wake a fainted Pokemon from unconsciousness, Dorian knew from experience that it had the same effect on humans. Ignoring the label on the vial that boasted the hazards of human inhalation, he broke the top and shoved it underneath Shelton’s nose.

“Huhhh!” Shelton exhaled, bolting upright.

Her head was spinning, the result of the smelling salt instructing her brain to release adrenaline into her bloodstream in torrents. Her breathing quickened, teetering on the edge of hyperventilation. Her eyes were wild, scanning left and right, catching glimpses of their bruised and battered Pokemon lying all around them. When she saw Dorian on his knees in front of her, she started sobbing. Springing forward, she grabbed his head in her hands, her questions coming in between frantic gasps of air.

“Where are they?” she cried. “Dorian, don’t lie to me. Where are they? P-please tell me, please tell me.”

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” Dorian assured her, lowering her hands and pulling her close.

“No dammit!” Shelton shouted, breaking his hold on her. “Where are they!? Just t-tell me. Please tell me.”

“Machop is hurt really bad. The rockslide crushed him. Most of his bones are broken, but he’s breathing,” Dorian explained. “Shuppet’s fine, one of her attacks bounced off my Pokeflect and hit her, but I think she’s okay.”

“W-what do you mean, her attacks?” Shelton asked. “Why was she attacking you?”

“She wasn’t attacking me,” Dorian said. “She was protecting us. Shelton calm down, you have to calm down. Take a deep breath, I’ll explain, but you have to get your breathing under control.”

She did as she was told, halting the quick gulps of air and forcing herself to breathe more regularly. “What happened?”

Dorian took a breath; this was going to be extremely difficult. He recounted how the Geodude and Graveler had attacked, and how their leader had put Shelton into the ground to kill her. He went on to explain how Vibrava had saved Golduck, and in turn, how Golduck dug Shelton out of the ground. He told her quickly that he had gotten loose and gathered the others, all the while directing their Pokemon on how to protect them. Tears formed in his eyes when he got to the hardest part. Dorian told Shelton how outnumbered they became, and then how Golduck had saved them.

“W-what do you mean, he exploded?” Shelton asked, her voice catching in her throat.

“He’s dead Shelton,” Dorian said. “I saw, s-saw the energy discharge from his head right before the rock Pokemon hit him. He couldn’t have survived it. I mean, I saw it swallow his body.”

“I don’t believe you!” Shelton screamed! “Why did you leave him out there!?”

“Shelton, I didn’t leave him out there. He yanked us up, I had no control over it.”

“Why are you doing this to me!?”

“Shelton, calm down. I’m not doing anything. He needed to save you, so he made a judgment call. That’s it.”

“You’re lying!” she yelled, shoving Dorian backwards and jumping to her feet. “He’s not gone! He wouldn’t do that!”

“Shelton, you need to calm down,” Dorian said, taking small steps towards her, arms outstretched.

Shelton backed up several paces, her hands hooking into claws. Golduck couldn't be dead! He wouldn't leave her, not like this, not ever. She drug her hands across her scalp, trying in vain to tear the thought away. She looked around, studying the scene before her. Tears came faster when she saw Machop’s body, pitching her into even more despair. His frail frame was broken, his legs bent into odd angles. She rushed forward, only to stop in place. Golduck and Machop, both of them were hurt. Shelton knew Golduck wasn’t dead; it wasn’t even something she could comprehend. She was stuck in place, unable to decide what to do. She wanted to climb out of the crater and find Golduck, but at the same time she couldn’t just leave Machop. Indecision rooted her, turned her into molasses. Time slowed, her thoughts became even more muddled. Machop or Golduck, Machop or Golduck?

“Shelton,” Dorian whispered. “Go help Machop, I’ll go find Golduck. Give me his Pokeball.”

“O-okay,” Shelton replied, handing over Golduck’s Pokeball. “Tell him I’ll be there in a minute.”

“Shelton, he-“ Dorian started.

“Just tell him!” she screamed.

Upon seeing her desperation and how fast the tears were coming now, he nodded in agreement. He watched her sprint towards the far end of the crater towards Machop, grabbing her pack as she ran. Dorian swallowed to steady himself. His own emotions were welling up in his gut, and it took everything he had to keep them at bay. He had to be strong for Shelton now; he had to keep her stable. She was likely to fracture if something happened to one of her Pokemon, much less two. Dorian knew she was capable of a complete mental breakdown and that she was well on her way. He didn’t want to see the devastation Golduck had released on the other side of the hole; but if Shelton saw him go, it might calm her down enough to intelligently decide on the next course of action for Machop.

Dorian winced slightly as he climbed the gentle slope. The cuts on his arms from the Graveler who had held him hostage were burning in the dust filled air. Every time he grabbed a rock to steady himself on the climb, sharp slivers of pain raced across them. The lacerations were hardly severe, but as he flexed his arms, they widened, causing him even more pain. He straightened up quickly as he got to the top of the crater, unprepared for the sight that lay before him.

The psychic explosion Golduck had summoned had devastated the evolving road. The spot where Golduck had stood was a normal shade of dirt brown, but starting a few inches away and ending at Dorian’s crater shelter, the ground and rock had been burned black. Deep fissures had been carved in the ground and what was left of the rock wall to the right, their pattern jagged and chaotic. A few shapes moved here and there, rock Pokemon that had survived. Many though, had not been so lucky. Dorian saw piles of blackened rock everywhere, most of them so jagged he couldn’t tell if they were Pokemon at all. It was at that moment that he saw a strange light.
Scattered around the boulders and piles of former rock Pokemon, stones hypnotically glowed lilac. They thrummed softly like a heartbeat, radiating brighter, then dimmer in random sequence. It was actually quite magical to behold amongst all the devastation. The stones put his troubled mind at ease, soothing his thoughts as he walked past them. Careful to not touch any of the assuredly dead Pokemon, he reached down and touched one of the glowing stones.

“Ahh!” Dorian yelled, jumping back in surprise.

As his fingers had grazed the stone, an icy spike had driven itself against his mind. The pain was agonizing, assaulting his thoughts like a corkscrew being driven into his brain. As soon as his hand left it, the pain stopped, leaving Dorian shivering in a cold sweat. He passed the rock by his foot and tried to fit all the glowing stones into his field of vision. They no longer pulsed with soft light; their glow had grown darker, more sinister. They now flashed with a hungry vigor, taking their appearance from a low candle to that of a strobe light. Golduck’s explosion had done more than cripple the rock Pokemon threatening them; his psychic essence had bonded itself to the rocks all around, turning the road into a mental minefield. As Dorian shook his head to clear his mind, he saw Golduck.

The duck Pokemon was firmly embedded in the rock wall in front of Dorian. His tongue hung limp out of his open bill, saliva dripping down to pool on the ground below. Golduck’s lifeless pupils were dilated to the extreme, speaking volumes of the inactivity behind them. As Dorian kept looking up, he saw that the small jewel in Golduck’s forehead had shattered, leaving a gaping hole. Lavender psychic energy drifted lazily out of the gap in his skull, forming a bubble above Golduck’s head.

“Dammit,” Dorian muttered, no longer able to hold back tears.

They streamed from his eyes in waves, splashing against the blackened ground below. Hanging his head, Dorian raised Golduck’s pokeball and activated the return button. Just as a red beam leapt from the ball and arced towards Golduck, Dorian remembered that it was pointless; it was impossible to call back dead Pokemon.
Regardless of Dorian’s intentions, the red beam continued forward, striking the sapphire avian in the sternum. Golduck’s body morphed into solid energy and returned to his Pokeball. Dorian stared at the red and ivory ball in his hand, a few tears rolling sideways off of its glossy surface.

“What?”



******************


Shelton was crouched over Machop, the contents of her bag dumped into a pile by her side. She had sprayed the worst of Machop’s bloody wounds with potions and watched as his battered teal skin began to slowly knit itself back together. When the wounds on his arms, legs, and chest had closed back up, she balled up a spare shirt. Taking great care, she slid her hand under Machop’s head and pushed the shirt underneath, flinching when she saw that her hand was now covered in blood.

“No!” she sobbed, slapping her hands against the ground. “No, no, no!”

Tears began rolling across her cheeks again, called forth by another wave of emotion that racked her body. Shelton turned her head and dry heaved, cringing when hot bile caught in her throat. Breathing heavily, she turned back to Machop, trying to decide on her next course of action. She couldn’t roll him over to the side to assess the damage to his head without injuring him further, but she couldn’t let the injury to his head continue bleeding either. She sobbed harder when she realized that it didn’t matter, as most of his bones were broken anyway.

She looked up as she heard Dorian and Growlithe approaching from the left, her eyes darting to Dorian’s face and then to the pokeball clutched in his left hand.

“Is he-,” Shelton started, finding herself unable to finish the question.

“He’s alive,” Dorian replied, kneeling down next to her. “I don’t know how he survived, but we have to get him to Viridian right now.”

Whispering a prayer of thanks, she asked, “What about Machop?”

“We’ll have to return him and hope we can get there in time too.”

“If we put him in his ball, the stress of shrinking could kill him.”

“What do you think is going to happen if we just leave him out?”

“I know!” Shelton cried! “Just let me think for a second!”

“Did you spray the worst of the wounds?” Dorian asked.

“Yes,” Shelton said. “But I think he has a fracture in the back of his head because it’s bleeding really bad. We can’t flip him because he might go into shock.”

“Did you try just lifting his head to see how bad it is?”

“No, I think most of his vertebrae are broken, I didn’t want to risk it.”

“Okay, did you tr-“ Dorian began.

“I know what to do, Dorian!” Shelton yelled, shoving him backwards.

“Stop!” Dorian ordered. “I’m just trying to help. I c-can’t, I don’t know what to do.”

“I’m sorry,” Shelton said. “I’m sorry, I just, I don’t know, I don’t know.”

“Hey,” Dorian said, pulling her hand into his. “It’s okay. Let’s just take this one step at a time. Think back to class. What do we do?”

“I think that if we can mo-“ Shelton started, breaking off from her statement and uttering a small whimper.

Machop’s eyelids were fluttering. Shelton drew in a sharp breath and stopped moving, focusing all her attention on her broken Pokemon. As she watched, his eyelids opened again and quickly closed. He repeated this several times before they slowly slid open and stayed that way. As his eyes found Shelton, he let out a soft moan that was cut off by the sound of liquid sloshing in his throat.

“There he is,” Shelton cooed. “There’s my sweetheart.”

Machop didn’t reply, just stared at Shelton.

“I need you to do something for me sweetie. I need you to stay awake okay? Dorian and I are going to get you to the Pokemon Center in Viridian and you’ll be okay. I just need you to stay awake. Can you do that for me?”

Again, Machop didn’t reply, he just kept staring at Shelton’s face.

“I’ll make you a deal,” Shelton said, her tears splashing across Machop’s chest. “If you stay awake for me I’ll sing you your favorite song. Remember your song?”
Machop’s eyes widened slightly for a moment, then started to work their way down again.

“I’ll just sing it for you then, and you can stay awake, and we’ll get you to the Pokemon Center, okay?”

Bending down closer to Machop’s head, Shelton sang, “Sunshine, my darling sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take, my sunshine away…”

Machop’s eyes closed completely.

“No Machop, no, no,” Shelton cried. “You have to stay awake. Okay? Okay?”

“Shelton,” Dorian said. “We have to chance it, if we don’t; he’s going to die right here.”

Ignoring Dorian, Shelton continued talking to Machop. “Sweetie you have to stay awake, okay? You have to fight it. You have to power through. I love you with all my heart Machop and I need you to fight. Please.”

“Shel-“ Dorian started.

“Shut up!” Shelton screamed. “Dammit Machop, just fight! Fight it! Your whole life you’ve been afraid of everything! I don’t know why and I don’t care, but this one time I need you to fight! Please!”

Caught up in the moment and not understanding that she may be causing even more damage, Shelton grabbed Machop’s hands and started squeezing them harshly. “Fight! Just fight it dammit! Fight!"

All of a sudden, Machop’s eyes flew open again. His body began to spasm uncontrollably, his hands tearing out of Shelton’s grasp and beating themselves against the ground. Machop bellowed, causing Dorian to grab Shelton and pull her backwards in alarm. As the pair watched, the pigment in Machop’s skin suddenly changed, becoming a creamy blue. His cranium split open and three bony crests forced themselves out of his skull, blood squirting out to form a halo around his head. The muscles in his arms, legs, and abdomen bulged unnaturally and expanded, becoming hard and thick. Inside Machop’s body, his bones snapped even more and repaired themselves instantly as his brain sent commands to flash generate calcium. Machop screamed again as the newly repaired bones stretched themselves, lengthening his torso and legs. With one final spasm, his face contorted, stretching itself wide, his mouth boasting two new pairs of razor sharp fangs.

“Choke,” Machop wheezed.

Shelton and Dorian stared in disbelief at the mound of muscle lying in front of them, mentally unable to utter a single word. Simultaneously, they both reached out to touch Machop, or rather the Machoke that had taken his place. When their fingers traced their way up and down his unblemished skin, they felt hard muscle, followed by strong, solid bone. Disbelief flashed across their faces as they probed every inch of the unconscious Pokemon, marveling in the power of his evolution.

“Shelton, I just, I think he’s okay,” Dorian stated.

“I think he is too,” Shelton agreed, fresh tears coming to her eyes.

“Look alright, I think we can put him back in his ball now. We have to get to Viridian though. Golduck is just as bad, if not worse.”

“What did he look like?” Shelton asked, looking away from Machop and up into Dorian’s face.

“Listen, we don’t have time, we have to go.”

“Okay,” Shelton said, taking a deep breath to steady herself. “Let’s go.”

With the exception of the upstart Growlithe, they both returned their Pokemon to their respective balls and shouldered their packs. Shelton accepted Golduck’s pokeball when Dorian offered it, clutching it to her chest for safety. She stared at the shiny surface of the ball, whispering a quick prayer for her Pokemon’s health.

“Growlithe,” Dorian called, summoning his Pokemon to his feet.

“Groo,” Growlithe said sharply.

“I’m sorry for the way I spoke to you earlier.” Dorian explained. “As you can imagine, I was a bit caught in the moment and I’m sorry. We have to get to Viridian or Golduck might not make it. Be mad at me if you want, but I need your help.”

“Growlithe,” the dog Pokemon huffed, keeping his fangs exposed.

“Good. I don’t know if there are any rock Pokemon left, so I need you to stay a little bit ahead and warn us if any more pop out. Can you do that?”

“Groogroo!” Growlithe answered, puffing up his chest.

“Thanks,” Dorian said, ruffling his mane. Turning to Shelton, he seized her hand and squeezed. He looked into her eyes and nodded, smiling as best as he could. She distractedly smiled back and wiped her eyes. Growlithe roared a challenge and started trotting up the side of the crater with Dorian and Shelton close behind. As the trio reached the top of hole, they started sprinting.

Shadow Lucario
7th April 2012, 5:06 PM
Another great chapter. Nothing popped out to me as a mistake. It was average length so not too short, not too long. Still really good. Shelton must not have been in a situation like that before. Poor girl. Golduck is alive I hope. I still love your take on evolution. It's much more in depth than the whole begin to glow and change form. So kudos on that. I hope they can get to Viridian soon. The poor Pokemon need a rest. Keep it up. Until next time!

Kutie Pie
7th April 2012, 7:10 PM
Awww, you almost broke our hearts x3. But still, it was a rather melancholy chapter. It's funny how music can affect parts of a story and really make you feel the emotion. I listened to such music during Shelton's tending to Machop, and... oh gosh... the music intensified at the part where he was falling out of consciousness, and it got my eyes teary.

But the Internet's a little slow, so the music hadn't loaded all the way.

So as you can tell, that ruined the moment a little bit.

Still, that doesn't mean it ruined the chapter's quality, because it's still a good chapter. It's rather gruesome, though, but not enough to warrant a higher rating. So yeah XD.

And there's another evolution scene, bravo! Evolution's a ***** to the Pokémon, it's a quick, painful process instead of slow and steady, lol. But it's still a neat little (bloody) scene.

Keep up the good work!

Sidewinder
9th April 2012, 5:25 PM
@ Shadow Lucario


Golduck is alive I hope.

Me too!


I still love your take on evolution. It's much more in depth than the whole begin to glow and change form. So kudos on that.

Thanks! It always made sense to me since almost every Pokemon that evolves completely changes their physical form.


@ Kutie Pie


It's funny how music can affect parts of a story and really make you feel the emotion.

You're completely right. I listened to Van Morrison through about half your fic in fact, lol.


It's rather gruesome, though, but not enough to warrant a higher rating. So yeah XD.


To be honest, I was concerned about that when I posted it, so I'm glad you brough that up. I wasn't sure if I should have upgraded it, but I decided to stick with my gut and I guess it turned out okay.

Thanks to both of you guys for reviewing, I really appreciate it! I'm glad you all liked it. Chapter 8 is about halfway finished, and should be posted by Friday.

Glover
10th April 2012, 8:48 AM
It came out shorter than I would have liked,
Length schmength. I wouldn't worry about the length of the story. As long as it makes the Serebii minimum, it;ll be as long or as short as it needs to be to get the job done. I had a (wonderful) english teacher who told us "I'd rather get a well written report that's the shortest possible paper than one that's full of unneeded padding and looks like its padded." I like her.


“Bags!” Dorian shouted. “Get the bags!”

“Growlithe!” the fire type growled.

“Look, get the bags or I’m going to beat the hell out of you!” Dorian screamed.

After another menacing growl, Growlithe did as he was told, spinning around and scaling the side of the crater.

I love where this scene is going, but I'm not quite sure it's all there yet. To my eyes, when I read this, there needs to be a pause between "Get the bags or" and Dorian's threat. Even when he's under pressure, I can't see him making threats to his Pokemon without cause or hesitation. In that same vein, I can't quite get it to make sense as a spoken threat. To me, it wants to be a gesture of some kind, possibly backed up by some kind of insult.

"Dammit, the bags! Get the bags you miserable mutt!" he said swatting at the Growlithe.

Granted, Pokemon ARE much more intelleigent, but I have a tendency to handle Dogmon from the aspect of owning a real dog. the threat comes from visual cues and tone of voice, not from what he's actually saying. To Growlithe, he probably sounds like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon.


Dorian had discovered that it had the same effect on humans. Ignoring the label on the vial that boasted the hazards of human inhalation, he broke the top and shoved it underneath Shelton’s nose.

Ah, the age old medical peradox: if saomeone is injured and losing that much blood, is it better to wake them so they are conscious, or leave them blissfully unconscious and there fore unawaere of how much pain they're in?

Obvoiusly, Dorian's not a doctor.

One other little comment, but to say that "Dorian discovered" makes it sound like this is a breakthrough in medicine thanks to him, and without anything to check that statement, its in enough fics that it's not really a new thing, and I suspect any deperate trainer would try anthing.


“Where are they?” she cried. This speaks volumes for Shelton's character, that her first thoughts were to her Pokemon, and not herself, her condition, date and time, etc.


“Shelton I didn’t leave him out there. He yanked us up, I had no control over it.”
needs a comma after Shelton, me thinks. Also, consider being more liberal with your exclamation points here. Dorian's trying to keep her calm, but he's still a bit riled himself and I can't help but wonder if he wouldn't start yelling back at her since she is attacking him, and then perhaps checking himself and taking a breath to calm himself. It would add a bit more emotion, I think.


causing him
even more pain. He straightened up quickly as he got to the top of the crater, unprepared for the sight that lay before him.
Whoopsy! Got oen too many new lines in there.


turning the road into a mental minefield. As Dorian shook his head to clear his mind, he saw Golduck.



Ooh! Fun concept.


Dorian stared at the red and ivory ball in his hand, a few tears rolling sideways off of its glossy surface.

“What?”
That's what I'm thinking, that what is extremely misinformative. If that's supposed to be Dorian being shocked that it worked, then it'ss not all that neccesary. If it has something to do with the crying Pokeball, or pobssibly water flowing in strange directions, then it needs a little more more information with it.


“No,” she sobbed, slapping her hands against the ground. “No, no, no.” The very first No can carry its own exclamation point here, to show frustration. The last one defi natley should, to reflect her tantrum of sorts, and the ones in the middle can go either way.


“I know!” Shelton cried. “Just let me think for a second.”
Moar esclamashuns! Moar emoshuns! MOAR POWER!!!


“If we put him in his ball, the stress of shrinking could kill him.”
Hmm, now you've got an interesting elemia here. Shrinking? I can certainly understand mass-energy conversion being a beeotch on such an unstable body, but I can never get behind shrunken Pokemon.


“Stop!” Dorian ordered. “I’m just trying to help! I c-can’t, I don’t know what to do.”



Shelton and Dorian stared in disbelief at the mound of muscle lying in front of them, mentally unable to utter a single word. Simultaneously, they both reached out to touch Machop, or rather the Machoke that had taken his place. When their fingers traced their way up and down his unblemished skin, they felt hard muscle, followed by strong, solid bone. Disbelief flashed across their faces as they probed every inch of the unconscious Pokemon, marveling in the power of his evolution.

“Shelton, I just, I think he’s okay,” Dorian stated.

“I think he is too,” Shelton agreed, fresh tears coming to her eyes.

“Look alright, I think we can put him back in his ball now. We have to get to Viridian though. Golduck is just as bad, if not worse.”

“What did he look like?” Shelton asked, looking away from Machop and up into Dorian’s face.

“Listen, we don’t have time, we have to go.”

“Okay,” Shelton said, taking a deep breath to steady herself. “Let’s go.”
One more, and then I'll shut up about continuity. When Trapinch evolved, he went from basically healthy to feeling a bit ill. To have Machoke miracously be okay after being hit by a small county, I can't buy it. Bones healed and muscle repaired, sure Makes sense, but physically, your verison of evolution is draining, and Machop had nothing to go on. At the very least, I feel like that muscle ought to be a lot less taut than normal, and he should be somewhere between anemic and malnourished because of it. I do like your style of evolution though, which is a nice compromise between the bright white flash of light and the growth-cycle style, which I feel creates to many inbetween stages for Pokemon that are both awkward and vulnrable. (Like Remoraid, jhalfway through evolution, it's got what, this big blocky boat anchor of a head, a small body, no fins for swimming movement, these dinky little limp thingys that aren't long enough to move its revolver-like body yet, shall i continue?)

See what happens ehen you tell a convincing story?



“Growlithe,” the dog Pokemon huffed, keeping his fangs exposed.
Somebody carries a grudge, I guess I know who Dorian ISN'T getting a christmas card from this year...

Loved the story though, even for my nitpicks. Nothing really grabbed me spelling wise, that's always a good thing. I hate being grabbed by documents, its hard on the monitor. :Phht!

diamondpearl876
10th April 2012, 8:27 PM
“Groo!” a voice called from above,
Period at the end, not comma.

Usually used to wake a fainted Pokemon from unconsciousness, Dorian had discovered that it had the same effect on humans. Ignoring the label on the vial that boasted the hazards of human inhalation, he broke the top and shoved it underneath Shelton’s nose.
I agree when Glover says that saying he “discovered” this was odd. You could just explain where he’s used this tactic before so that we know how he knows it works for humans.


“He’s dead Shelton.” Dorian said. “I saw the energy discharge from his head right before the rock Pokemon hit him. He couldn’t have survived it. I mean, I saw it swallow his body.”
Comma after “Shelton”, not a period. Also, Dorian seems awfully calm for having a pokémon just die. Why is that? Glover says that Shelton should be showing more emotion, but I think it’s Dorian who isn’t showing much emotion. You say he feels emotion later, but shouldn’t it also be present in his voice? Even if he’s trying to stay strong for Shelton, I’m sure he’d falter a bit so soon after the incident


Golduck couldn’t be gone, he would not, he wasn’t even capable.
This sentence doesn’t make much sense. Golduck isn’t capable of dying? Everyone is capable of dying. Also not sure what you mean when he says “he would not”.

Golduck and Mahop, both of them were hurt.
“Machop”

Scattered around the boulders and piles of former rock Pokemon, stones hypnotically glowed lilac. They thrummed softly like a heartbeat, radiating brighter, then dimmer in random sequence. It was actually quite magical to behold amongst all the devastation.
I particularly liked this part. Good description and sounds like a pretty sight (despite everything).

“He’s alive,” Dorian replied, kneeling down next to her. “I don’t know how he survived, but we have to get to him Viridian right now.”

“What about Machop?” she asked.
Wouldn’t Shelton show some sort of relief? She shows no emotion here. Also, it should be “we have to get him to Viridian right now.”

Anyway, this was a very well-written emotional chapter. Last chapter there was a lot of action and you needed to give your readers a break from the action so they could survey the damage, and you did just that. Emotion was missing in some spots I pointed out, but when it was there, it was written perfectly. I also found Machop’s evolution to be interesting. He’s obviously not 100% okay since he’s still barely conscious, but he was able to fight (for once?) and use the only survival tactic he had left without knowing it would work for sure. I also liked how Growlithe was most upset about Dorian forcing him to do things rather than the idea of dead pokémon. It shows how new he is to the team and how he doesn’t quite care for any of them yet. I also hope to see that change sometime. I have nothing else to say except that I look forward to the next chapter!

Sidewinder
11th April 2012, 4:32 AM
@ Glover


Length schmength. I wouldn't worry about the length of the story. As long as it makes the Serebii minimum, it;ll be as long or as short as it needs to be to get the job done. I had a (wonderful) english teacher who told us "I'd rather get a well written report that's the shortest possible paper than one that's full of unneeded padding and looks like its padded." I like her.

Noted, thanks for the helpful advice


Granted, Pokemon ARE much more intelleigent, but I have a tendency to handle Dogmon from the aspect of owning a real dog. the threat comes from visual cues and tone of voice, not from what he's actually saying. To Growlithe, he probably sounds like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon.

I didn't look at it that way. Thanks for bringing that up, I'll be sure to keep it in mind.


Moar esclamashuns! Moar emoshuns! MOAR POWER!!!

YES SIR! That is assuming you're a guy, which im pretty sure you are, haha


Hmm, now you've got an interesting elemia here. Shrinking? I can certainly understand mass-energy conversion being a beeotch on such an unstable body, but I can never get behind shrunken Pokemon.

That's exactly what I meant. The process of being put back into a pokeball. I guess I did use some awkward wording


One more, and then I'll shut up about continuity. When Trapinch evolved, he went from basically healthy to feeling a bit ill. To have Machoke miracously be okay after being hit by a small county, I can't buy it. Bones healed and muscle repaired, sure Makes sense, but physically, your verison of evolution is draining, and Machop had nothing to go on. At the very least, I feel like that muscle ought to be a lot less taut than normal, and he should be somewhere between anemic and malnourished because of it.

Well, where I was going with that, was that Trapinch evolved more of what would be considered the traditional way of battling and gaining experience until he had enough to evolve, whereas Machop evolved out of necessity to save his life. It was more of a reflex for him given his situation. A body wants to survive, and I tried my best to show that. I suppose what kicked him into action was Shelton screaming at him to do SOMETHING. The sound of her voice triggered something that made his body react. Since Pokemon undergo a complete physical change when they evolve, I guess it was the only way his body saw as a way to survive the massive trauma he experienced. If that makes sense?


@ diamondpearl876


I agree when Glover says that saying he “discovered” this was odd. You could just explain where he’s used this tactic before so that we know how he knows it works for humans.

You're both right. I adjusted what I wrote so I think that it makes more sense now. Thanks to both of you for bringing that to my attention.


Dorian seems awfully calm for having a pokémon just die. Why is that?

Well, I think he was still in shock somewhat from the battle, he was still on edge. Also, Dorian is a real visual person, and doesnt react as intensely to a situation if he's not there to see it. Which is why he finally broke down once he saw Golduck embedded in the wall. I'm sure he was tore up about everything that happened, but since everything had happened so fast, I think he felt a bit numb to all of it. I need to do a better job describing that.


This sentence doesn’t make much sense. Golduck isn’t capable of dying? Everyone is capable of dying. Also not sure what you mean when he says “he would not”.

You're right. I was writing the scene so fast and got so caught up in what was happening, that it just stuck there. I removed it, and am much happier about it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention


Wouldn’t Shelton show some sort of relief? She shows no emotion here. Also, it should be “we have to get him to Viridian right now.”

I added a line of dialogue to express the relief she felt. It looks much better and works much better. She did feel relief when Dorian told her that, I guess in my rush I just forgot to put it in.



Thanks to both of you for your continued feedback. It means alot to have all of you continue reading and helping out. If there was one thing that I gathered from all of you, its that I need to SLOW DOWN. Sometimes I just get lost in this world and forget to take my time. I get so involved with my characters that I forget that I need to make them relateable and cohesive for my readers. I know how their lives and their stories unfold, but no one else does. So I need to take more care to express their ideas and situation so that more people can understand what's going on in my head. Thanks alot for the reviews!

Glover
11th April 2012, 6:03 AM
@ Glover
Well, where I was going with that, was that Trapinch evolved more of what would be considered the traditional way of battling and gaining experience until he had enough to evolve, whereas Machop evolved out of necessity to save his life. It was more of a reflex for him given his situation. A body wants to survive, and I tried my best to show that. I suppose what kicked him into action was Shelton screaming at him to do SOMETHING. The sound of her voice triggered something that made his body react. Since Pokemon undergo a complete physical change when they evolve, I guess it was the only way his body saw as a way to survive the massive trauma he experienced. If that makes sense?

Sorry, I'm not speaking as clearly as I ought to. No, that part makes perfect sense, you're right, an evolution resetting everything to zero is good for healing, what I'm getting at is more of the aftermath, and that Trapinch evolved fully healtyhy, knowing he was going to evolve, and more than likely, his body had been preparing for such things (which possibly caused the seizures) by storing food, and the things it needed to make a Vibrava. What I'm getting at, is BECAUSE Machop evolved on an instinct, he evolved with nothing in the tank, no sotred fat, no exrtra minerals for building bone, no nothing.


Oh, and this:




This sentence doesn’t make much sense. Golduck isn’t capable of dying? Everyone is capable of dying. Also not sure what you mean when he says “he would not”.
You're right. I was writing the scene so fast and got so caught up in what was happening, that it just stuck there. I removed it, and am much happier about it. Thanks for bringing it to my attention

You're story, do what you feel is right, but I feel that bit is neccesary.

"He culdn't die, he can't die" isn't talking about his mortality. That's Shelton screaming at the Heavens, denying herself reality. It's "He can't die! Not yet, I still need him! Don't Take my Golduck away now!" We humans are stubborn things, think we can boss fate around and lots of published stories, movies, etc. will use the same phrase. That's all that line is saying, and it added so much to Shelton's emotional plea.

And yes, it's can't not wouldn't.

diamondpearl876
11th April 2012, 6:38 PM
Well, I think he was still in shock somewhat from the battle, he was still on edge. Also, Dorian is a real visual person, and doesnt react as intensely to a situation if he's not there to see it. Which is why he finally broke down once he saw Golduck embedded in the wall. I'm sure he was tore up about everything that happened, but since everything had happened so fast, I think he felt a bit numb to all of it. I need to do a better job describing that.

Makes sense. It's not that you have to describe it better, I guess that I thought of it as an odd reaction at first since you haven't really shown Dorian as a visual person before yet, but now it makes sense.

Scaldaver
11th April 2012, 9:57 PM
Sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've had alot to do. Anyway, I like the developing feel of adventure which has been getting stronger, as well as the way you have captured the emotions of panic and confusion very well. Can't wait for more!

P.S DON'T EVER KILL OF GOLDUCK!!! FBVELVGWEFEFFDQ'[FII!?!?!

Sidewinder
12th April 2012, 3:10 AM
@ Glover


What I'm getting at, is BECAUSE Machop evolved on an instinct, he evolved with nothing in the tank, no sotred fat, no exrtra minerals for building bone, no nothing.

You're right, He didn't have any of that. Basiccally what I was going on was that unexpected things happen sometimes. Like all the stories you hear of a 120 pound man lifting a car off of his daughter. If that makes sense lol. Something inside Machop clicked, and his body defied what would usually be possible. He wasn't ready, and that's going to affect the rest of his life. I'll expand on that more as chapters progress.


You're story, do what you feel is right, but I feel that bit is neccesary.

I think you're right. I looked at your and diamondpearl876's advice, and I guess I got confused as to what you meant, and what diamondpearl876 meant. I put them both together and was confused, so I thought it better to take it out. diamondpearl876 was right, the wording made it unclear, but you were right too, it really did add emotion. I'm going back to put that bit in for the last time, this time in the right way so that it makes sense for everyone. Thanks for the advice!

@ diamondpearl876

Thanks for the contiued advice. I blended what you and Glover said, and I'm pretty happy with the result. Thanks!

@ Scaldever

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate you taking the time to stop in. And believe me, I hope he's not dead either.

Sidewinder
12th April 2012, 3:29 AM
All Ethan chapter! I was really excited about this, and I think it came out pretty well. To everyone who has been following and helping me out, thanks. All of you are really helpful in helping me make a great story. Thanks!



CHAPTER 8


Ethan watched the brown gravel road rush up to meet him and an Alakazam like a giant baseball bat, its marred surface eager to squash them into oblivion. However, they landed lightly, both somewhat shaky on their feet after having spent so much time in the air. As he checked the surrounding area for anyone who might have seen them touch down, he spied a small house a little further down the road. It looked almost lonely; as if it was somewhat depressed it was empty. He thought it was strange that the road ended at that particular house. The road was quite long, and it was kind of a letdown that it ended with such a ramshackle cottage.

He looked over at Alakazam, taking in the sight of his drooping mustache. From the way his Pokemon was perspiring, he was obviously tired. As if to answer his question, Ethan’s Pokemon looked up to him and slowly shook his head. They stared at each other for a few moments, both having something to say, neither wanting to be the first. Ethan wasn’t going to back down and tell him he was tired and Alakazam wasn’t going to tell him that he was tired of looking for these stupid flakes.

Both feeling unfulfilled, they broke off the stare and started scanning the ground, looking for the flake that Ethan was so desperate to find. The voices had shown him exactly where it would be. The house at the end of the road proved this, as it had been in the picture that was burned into his mind. He took a few steps forward, trying to line himself up exactly as he was supposed to for the picture to center itself. As he went to take one last step, he reconsidered, and stopped.

Looking down, he saw a hole. There was nothing inside; well, almost nothing. As he bent down, he saw the flake. It glistened heartily, glowing olive as Ethan reached out to absorb it. Just like the last one, it drove itself into Ethan’s palm, twisting and burrowing itself into his flesh like a Caterpie into an apple. Tremors racked his body as it went deeper and deeper.

“Enough already, Christ,” Ethan moaned, cradling his throbbing arm.

Heeding his plea, the flake stopped moving and settled down. Grimacing, Ethan turned his hand over. Once again, the flake had left no evidence that it had been there, stitching his skin back together as it passed. Blood from his hand had dripped down into the hole that he had found the flake in, mixing with the dirt to form an oddly light shade of black. Ethan stared hard at it; he was always disappointed when he lost blood. He knew that his body produced more every day, but it still made him anxious to think that the substance that was sustaining his life had been so carelessly wasted.

“Ala!” his Pokemon yelled.

“Look!” Ethan growled, showing Alakazam his uninjured hand. “I’d appreciate it if you’d give me a little space. I’m fine! I was fine last time and the time before that! Get off my back about it!”

“Ala!” Alakazam exclaimed, taking a step closer.

“Of course not! Besides that, it’s something that I want to do. Its only ever helped us anyway.”

“Kazam, zam ala.”

“Oh screw you! You’ve been with me every step of the way. You can’t just spring these complaints on me out of nowhere. If you have a problem with something I’m doing, then say something right then. Don’t just spring it on me out of nowhere when the situation has passed. You do this all the time!”

“Kazamam!” his Pokemon challenged.

“I don’t have to ask for your permission! I involve you in my decisions because I love you! I’ve never led any of you into anything we couldn’t handle and I’m not about to start! Let it go!”

“Kazam!” Alakazam accused, baring his small teeth.

“Shut up,” Ethan hissed, roughly shoving his Pokemon backwards.

“Ala!” his Pokemon yelled. As the sound left his lips, the psychic Pokemon flexed his right hand, calling an orb of psychic energy to hover above his palm. The ball gyrated quickly, eager to be released. The colors thrummed from purple to black, with grey streaks swirling around its center.

“Do it,” Ethan whispered, grabbing his Pokemon’s hand.

“Kazam,” his Pokemon replied.

“Come on, do it,” Ethan said, egging the Pokemon on.

“Alakazam.”

“You lack the courage of your convictions,” Ethan accused, shoving his face into the swirling ball of energy.

“KAZAM!”

As Ethan’s faced grazed the exterior of the ball, his flesh began to fester and burn, quickly bypassing first degree and going straight to third. His Alakazam quickly ended the flow of power feeding the orb’s energy, effectively saving his master from further injury. The attack had broiled the lower half of his face, making him quickly reel backwards in pain. He stumbled backwards, his hands reaching up in reflex to put pressure on the wound.

He watched Alakazam approach, his eyes beginning to tear with worry. The pain he felt vanished instantly as he took a breath and centered himself; the flakes were already doing their work. As he continued to breathe, the burned and ruined flesh on his face evaporated in a stream of black smoke, being replaced by the tan, flawless skin that had been there before. Reaching up again, he felt his unblemished skin stretch itself tight across his chin.

Looking at his Alakazam, he stated, “That’s why we do this. This is why we’re out here.”

“Kazam,” his Pokemon lamented.

“I do value your opinion, but we agreed on this a long time ago.”

Alakazam just stared at him.

“And you will not mention that incident again. Do you understand?”

“Kazam,” his Pokemon nodded.

Ethan walked away, the gravel crunching delightfully under his boots. The memory of ‘the incident’, as he referred to it was still fresh in his mind all these years later. Still disconcerting, still raw. It was a few years after he had absorbed the first flake. He was fifteen; god, he had been fifteen. He was training hard, developing his new abilities when it had happened. He had been running so fast, too fast to stop. Then it happened and it was his fault. His fault, his decision, his fault; it bounced around in his mind like a tennis ball.

“Doesn’t matter,” he told himself.

He stopped at the steps to the house, trying to figure out his next move. The voices, the disembodied guides of his fate had told him that the flake was going to be there. They said he could have it, if he would do them a small flavor. The third favor that they had asked of him. He had been collecting the small shards of stone for the last several months. He wasn’t sure why, just that they were adamant that he left none of them behind. When he asked them about it, they said it would be revealed when he was ready. As far as he could tell, they had his best interests at heart. They always did, they never led him astray. However, the shard that was supposed to be there was gone, and he didn’t know where else to look.

Sighing loudly, he scaled the steps of the house and in one motion busted down the front door. He barely felt the impact as his shoulder tore the door from its hinges, sending it flying across the room. Glass shattered, violet furniture was upended, and pictures fell facedown off the walls.

Bending down, he picked up one of the picture frames that had fallen. Two people, surrounded by Pokemon, smiled serenely in the photograph. The man was broad shouldered but thin, hints of scruff taking shape on his jaw line. The woman was curvy and pleasant, with hair like sunlight. A feeling of anxiousness washed over the man as he stared at the two people, his mind recalling a similar feeling he had felt not too long ago. Why were these two bothering him? He couldn’t figure it out. He was sure he’d never seen them before, but for some reason they seemed familiar. Acquaintances long forgotten? Looking around the home, he quickly put that thought away; he didn’t associate with bottom rung people like this.

Dropping the picture back to the ground, he called, “Come in here!”

A moment later, Alakazam entered the room, stepping over broken pieces of the demolished door.

“With me,” Ethan instructed, walking towards the rear of the house.

He strode past wall décor and broken vases alike, looking for what he needed. At the end of the hall, he found it, a bedroom. The room was vastly unorganized, with piles of clothes and books scattered about like a bomb had went off. Curling his lip in disgust, he roughly laid down on the bed that was shoved into the corner. He rolled from side to side to get comfortable, stopping when the comforter beneath him smoothed out.

“Five minutes,” Ethan said as Alakazam entered the room. “I just have to ask them.”

Figuring it was better not to argue, Alakazam nodded and approached his master. Laying one hand across his brow and the other across his master’s eyes, he concentrated. He transferred deep waves of calm into Ethan, slowing his heart rate and causing his eyes to flutter. Hands glowing black, he pushed down hard on his master’s face, sending him into unconsciousness.




*****************


Ethan blinked.

Sunlight blazed above his head, bathing his skin in rich heat. He propped himself up onto his elbows and stared straight ahead, taking in the sight of the crystal clear water gently throwing itself against the sand. He was on an island, far away from any signs of life. The beach he was laying on was large, at least a square mile, starting with sand near the ocean and ending with a circular ring of grass around the middle. Turning his head around, he saw the tower.

It stretched towards the sky like a newborn hand reaching for life. Ethan didn’t know how far up it went, but it was assuredly several thousand feet tall. Weathered black and grey with age, it kept standing; unchallenged by time as it ravaged its surface. Once, the voices had let Ethan touch the structure; and when his hand grazed its surface, he felt the hardship of the slaves that had built it from solid blocks of granite.

They were coming.

He felt them as he rose to his feet, dusting the sand from his legs and straightening his clothes to look as presentable as possible. Ethan could already feel their soothing presence as they approached, filling him with comfort, showering him with love. He breathed deeply, drinking in their essence as they circled him. Ethan smiled as they swirled around him faster, feeling their breath on his neck.

“I missed you,” Ethan admitted.

“We missed you, Ethan,” a chorus of overlapping voices replied.

Their voices were hard to understand in the beginning, back when he was a young boy. As he grew older however, their words became clearer, along with their intentions for him. As a child, they sounded like several record players all playing music, the track skipping and cutting out in unison. As an adult, they had transformed into a beautiful orchestra, making him almost weep with joy when they spoke.

“I found the flake you told me about, but I ran into a problem,” Ethan explained. “The shard was gone. I’m sure you were right about its location, but someone must have taken it, or a truck picked it up as it drove by. Either wa-“

“We know, Ethan,” they said, cutting him off. “It was taken, it was stolen. They took it.”

“Who?”

“The boy, the girl, they took it. The one’s that cause you worry,” the voices continued. “We watched, but we could not stop them. You are our champion; you must take it back from them.”

“Why did they take it?” Ethan asked.

“For money,” they said. “We heard them, we SAW them.”

“Where did they go?” Ethan asked.

“The city of stone,” they replied, “to the east.”

“There is no way they could even profit from it. They don’t even know what it is.”

“They bring the piece to a man; a man who knows about the treasure. He will take it from them and he will tell others. They will be led to us, and we will fade away.”

“No, you won’t!” Ethan assured them, tears beginning to form in his eyes at the thought of losing his family. “I’ll stop them, I swear it. I will take the piece back and as a warning to anyone else who might steal from us, I will take payment from their flesh.”

“You honor us, Ethan,” they continued. “You have grown, you have saved us. Thank you Ethan, thank you. You will be rewarded.”

“You honor me,” Ethan replied, no longer able to hold back his tears. “You have done so much, I don’t, d-don’t deserve so much.”

“You do Ethan, you do,” they replied, laughing merrily as they spoke. “You are our champion, and for your efforts, you will reap the world.”

Ethan fell to his knees in awe. He could not see the entities spinning around him, but he could feel their presence grow as they circled faster, laughing all the while. What he said before wasn’t true of course; he believed that he did deserve what they would give him. He deserved all of it and more, it belonged to him anyway. He was better than his fellow man, and he knew it with every fiber of his being.

Suddenly, the sunlight above began to flicker, losing its radiance. The waves splashing against the shore began to churn faster, becoming a dark black. Ethan had told Alakazam to wake him, but now he didn’t want to go back; he never did after he spoke to them. His feet left the ground and he started floating upwards, leaving them behind. He cried harder the further away he drifted, reaching down towards the ground in futility. As the sunlight flickered out completely, he heard them call out to him one last time.

“Save us, Ethan,” they called. “Save us!”



*************


Ethan woke up again, back to reality this time. He was covered in sweat, so much so that his shirt stuck to him from his neck, all the way down to his waist. Wiping the tears from his eyes, Ethan rose, turning to Alakazam to instruct him of their next course of action. Alakazam however, was having nothing to do with what he wanted to say. Taking one look at his friend and master, he turned and left the room, moving through the house to stand outside.

With a sigh Ethan followed suit, pausing by the door to pick up the picture frame he had earlier held. With a look of contempt, he tore the picture from its frame and walked outside. He took several deep breaths, trying to cleanse himself of the smell left behind by those two thieving hooligans. Ethan knew nothing of the shard’s significance, but he was more entitled to it than they were. They could not appreciate it for what it was. They were ants beneath his boots, and they would pay for what they had done. Retrieving two pokeballs from his pocket, he threw them to the road below.

From the confines of each storage device, two shapes emerged. From the first, a creamy vanilla stallion materialized; a single ivory horn visible between her glowing red eyes. Standing almost taller than Ethan, the horse reared up onto its back legs, screeching a challenge that could be heard for over a mile. Tangerine fire followed a line from the top of her head down to the plump curve of her backside. Muscles along the horse’s legs twitched as the fire flickered, signaling her pleasure at being released.

From the second pokeball, another figure grew. This one was a deep emerald, with deep black scars littering much of her torso. Clawed ivory feet became apparent, followed by overlapping sheets of a carapace. Twin sets of wings came next, followed by two arms that from the elbow down proclaimed shining swords instead of the traditional hands. Her torso was segmented like an insect, while her head had the sharp attributes of an ancient dinosaur.

The two looked backwards at their master, eager for instruction. They had the utmost devotion to him, for both had been rescued from grim death at his hands. They watched as he descended the steps, pausing to stroke the mane of his Rapidash. He had fierceness about him that they had not see before, a look on his face that caused his Scyther to clang her swords together with pride.

“Alakazam,” Ethan said, seeing his Pokemon leaning against the side of the house. “Come here.”

Alakazam did as he was told, grunting as he arrived at his master's feet.

“Put this picture in Scyther, make sure it goes deep,” Ethan instructed.

“Ala,” the psychic Pokemon replied, snatching the picture from his hand.

Focusing on the picture, Alakazam’s eyes glowed, copying the picture into his memory. Walking over, he sized up the insect Pokemon. The Scyther did the same thing as he approached, hissing at him through clenched teeth. The two had a rivalry that had started many years ago when Ethan had caught Scyther. She disliked Alakazam for being too tame, while Alakazam had distaste for Scyther because she was completely sadistic. On more than one occasion he had caught her torturing helpless Rattata and Pidgey, laughing maniacally as she severed wings and appendages alike.

When Ethan threw the insect Pokemon a glare, she relented, lowering her arms and allowing Alakazam to approach. With distaste, Alakazam touched one hand to the Scyther’s forehead, transferring the image in his mind to the mentally unstable bug. When he was finished, he walked over to the porch and sat down, the rigors of the recent flying finally taking its toll.

“Have you got it?” Ethan asked his Scyther.

“Saisai,” the Pokemon nodded.

“I’m taking Rapidash to Pewter City,” he explained. “If you fly, you’ll get there faster than us. Find the two humans. If you track them down, do nothing. Just follow them and wait for me to arrive.”

“Sai,” she sighed, making a point to roll her eyes.

“I mean it, no dismemberment this time. If you disobey, the consequences will not be to your liking.”

“Scyther,” she growled. Smiling wickedly at Alakazam, she rose up, her wings beating furiously. Seconds later, she was gone.

Ethan strode over to his fire horse, clapping her appreciatively on the cheek. Grabbing her neck with his left hand, he swung himself onto her back. The flames enveloping her body caused him no harm; she had made sure of it. A dull heat radiated from her body, drying out his sweat drenched shirt.

Looking over to Alakazam, Ethan said, “Let’s go.”

Alakazam remained rooted to the spot, not even giving his master the respect of looking at him.

“Now,” Ethan whispered, the word dripping with venom.

With a growl, Alakazam rose off the ground and floated over to the fire horse. He landed roughly and closed his eyes, his mind stoic and silent.

“Pewter City,” Ethan told his fire Pokemon. “We have business there.”

Tossing her head back, his Rapidash galloped forward, leaving fiery hoof prints behind as she ran.

diamondpearl876
14th April 2012, 3:59 AM
"He culdn't die, he can't die" isn't talking about his mortality. That's Shelton screaming at the Heavens, denying herself reality. It's "He can't die! Not yet, I still need him! Don't Take my Golduck away now!" We humans are stubborn things, think we can boss fate around and lots of published stories, movies, etc. will use the same phrase. That's all that line is saying, and it added so much to Shelton's emotional plea.

And yes, it's can't not wouldn't.

If I remember right, that bit wasn't dialogue. If it was dialogue, I would've agreed/do agree with you. To say something like that in narration, however, is a bit odd and doesn't make as much sense unless it's first/second person.

Anyway, I will be reading and reviewing chapter 11 soon, just wanted to say this. I'll be back, muahaha.

EDIT: Okay, review time. Woot.


He was an on island, far away from any signs of life.

Should be “on an island”. Just mixed up a couple words.


The beach he was laying on was large, at least a square mile. Starting with sand near the ocean and ending with a circular ring of grass around the middle.
The second sentence there is a fragment sentence. It just doesn’t make sense by itself. It seems like a continuation of the previous sentence, yet you put it all on its own for some reason. I would put a comma after “mile” and continue the sentence.


Alakazam did as he was told, grunting as he arrived at his masters feet.

Should be “master’s feet.” The apostrophe shows possession.


She disliked Alakazam for being too tame, while Alakazam had distaste for Scyther because she was completely psychotic. On more than one occasion he had caught her torturing helpless Rattata and Pidgey, laughing maniacally as she severed wings and appendages alike.

I don’t really know if I like the word “psychotic” here. It seems more sadistic to me. I’d argue for sociopathic, too, if the Scyther didn’t care about Ethan. Just keep in mind that psychosis doesn’t always mean violence, though it can. That’s the most common thought when people think of psychosis (and mental illness in general), but it mostly means that the person is experiencing a total disconnect from reality and having hallucinations/delusions (aka thinking dead people are talking to you or that you think you are being investigated by the FBI for no reason).

If this was first person, I would let such stereotypes go since it’s very believable for someone to fall into those stereotypes. Third person makes me wary and prone to believe that you yourself think that psychosis means extreme, gruesome violence.

My only other complaint is that you forgot to put a space in between some paragraphs, which is easy to see if you go back and skim over the chapter.

I liked how you portrayed the characters’ moods through the description of their surroundings. ie. I liked how you showed Ethan/Alakazam’s lack of fulfillment at the end of journey through the imagery of having a house nearby be lonely/empty ever though it was at the end of the road. Very perfect and fitting.

Also, the part where Ethan eggs Alakazam on and forces him to hurt his master was pretty epic. The part where he just stuck his face into the attack was good imagery and very effective and just awesome overall. As I was reading I didn’t expect things to get heated so fast, but the way you wrote it made it believable and a good transition of things going from okay to really bad. It also makes me wonder if Ethan thinks he’s rather invincible, since he’s so convinced that no one ever sees him flying everywhere and he doesn’t truly get hurt by the flakes he finds, or any other injury for that matter. I also like how delusional he seems to make himself—he says he’s happy and that the voices aren’t trying to hurt him, but he’s obviously not happy and this journey has been hell for him so far, it seems like.

Finally, I liked how you already gave some of Ethan’s other pokémon personalities (the description wasn’t very elaborate but it was good to see included anyway).

Overall, great chapter. It was interesting and well written and certainly makes me want to read more. Anyway, I look forward to the next chapter. I liked seeing Ethan only for a change, but I assume we’ll see how the others are doing later, so we can see if Golduck survived or not!

Sidewinder
17th April 2012, 2:12 AM
EDIT: Okay, review time. Woot.

Lol, I saw where you posted in your fic that you went back and edited your post with a review. Thanks for telling me, because I would not have known otherwise haha


I don’t really know if I like the word “psychotic” here. It seems more sadistic to me. I’d argue for sociopathic, too, if the Scyther didn’t care about Ethan. Just keep in mind that psychosis doesn’t always mean violence, though it can. That’s the most common thought when people think of psychosis (and mental illness in general), but it mostly means that the person is experiencing a total disconnect from reality and having hallucinations/delusions (aka thinking dead people are talking to you or that you think you are being investigated by the FBI for no reason).

That's an excellent point, thanks for bringing it to my attention. Sadistic is a much better word to use. And you're right, the first thing my mind went to when I see the word psychotic is violence. I know that violence is not always a trait of the condition, so I'll be sure to keep that in mind when writing future chapters about Ethan's Scyther.


It also makes me wonder if Ethan thinks he’s rather invincible, since he’s so convinced that no one ever sees him flying everywhere and he doesn’t truly get hurt by the flakes he finds, or any other injury for that matter. I also like how delusional he seems to make himself—he says he’s happy and that the voices aren’t trying to hurt him, but he’s obviously not happy and this journey has been hell for him so far, it seems like.

Wow, you really picked up on what Ethan is to me. He is somewhat self deluded, and may have a bit of a god complex lol. I'm really happy you picked up on what I was trying to convey.

Thanks for the review, I really appreciate it. I'm glad you're still following the story and enjoying it. I'm going back now to fix the mistakes I made, thanks for pointing them out.

Just so everyone knows, the new chapter should be up by Friday, so stay tuned!

diamondpearl876
17th April 2012, 9:41 PM
That's an excellent point, thanks for bringing it to my attention. Sadistic is a much better word to use. And you're right, the first thing my mind went to when I see the word psychotic is violence. I know that violence is not always a trait of the condition, so I'll be sure to keep that in mind when writing future chapters about Ethan's Scyther.

Awesome. :P Well, it's a term that should be remembered in real life too since it's used a lot, but yeah. Sorry if I seem like I'm lecturing you or whatever, mental illness and its stereotypes is a big thing to me.


Wow, you really picked up on what Ethan is to me. He is somewhat self deluded, and may have a bit of a god complex lol. I'm really happy you picked up on what I was trying to convey.

I was able to do it because you wrote him so well. :P

Will be looking forward to Friday, then.

Sidewinder
17th April 2012, 11:50 PM
Awesome. :P Well, it's a term that should be remembered in real life too since it's used a lot, but yeah. Sorry if I seem like I'm lecturing you or whatever, mental illness and its stereotypes is a big thing to me.



I was able to do it because you wrote him so well. :P

Will be looking forward to Friday, then.

Oh no you're fine. I understand what you're getting at. It was rather short-sighted of me. I got really excited writing this chapter because I could focus solely on Ethan, which was new for me. I think in my haste to write down what was happening, I made some decisions like the one mentioned without thinking. Thanks for reminding me.

Sidewinder
20th April 2012, 3:34 AM
As I was looking for my thread to post this chapter, I noticed that I have now gotten over 1,000 views! Woooo! Thanks to everyone who has been giving me reviews, and everyone who's been reading. It means alot, and its only with you're help can I continue to improve my story. As always, reviews are welcome, and encouraged, and thanks to everyone still stayong with the story



CHAPTER 9


Dorian rolled to his right as Nuzleaf launched another bullet seed at him. As his grass Pokemon ran forward, Dorian grabbed a handful of pebbles and threw them, causing his Pokemon to raise his right hand to deflect them. Taking advantage of his Pokemon’s momentary lack of vision, Dorian jumped up and lashed out with his left foot, striking his Pokemon squarely in the chest. His Nuzleaf stumbled backwards a few paces, a grin forming on his thin lips.

The two had been sparing for the better part of an hour, both being pushed to the edge of their physical limits as they struggled to best one another. While Nuzleaf had the advantage of being able to use elemental attacks as well as his physical skills, Dorian bridged the gap with his Pokeflect. The pair were almost evenly matched when it came to their knowledge of hand-to-hand fighting techniques, as they had been taking weekly classes since Nuzleaf had evolved almost three years ago. In direct contest though, Nuzleaf usually won, as his advantage with speed almost always conquered Dorian’s constant use of trickery. The training field they were practicing on was located right outside Viridian’s northern exit, its surface scarred heavily from constant use by trainers.

Almost thirty-six hours had passed since Dorian and Shelton had burst through the doors of Viridian City’s Pokemon Center, both so winded they could barely communicate the conditions of their injured Pokemon. Nuzleaf, Vibrava, and Shuppet required only a few moments in the healing machine to bring them back to their former glory; whereas Machoke and Golduck were both taken into the ICU for specialized treatment. Machoke had been released in under an hour after a few standard tests, the tecnician in charge confident that he would make a complete recovery. Golduck on the other hand, was not so lucky.

After almost three hours spent in surgery, a technician came out to deliver the news. Shelton started sobbing again as the man emerged from behind the pale red doors, collapsing against Dorian as her legs became unable to support her trembling body. The technician had been direct, informing them that the situation was rapidly deteriorating. The amount of energy Golduck had summoned was too much even for his capable mind. The jewel in his forehead had shattered with the explosion, creating a hole from which his psychic essence poured out. Not only that, but the shards of the ruby had embedded themselves in his left arm like shrapnel blown from a grenade. The shards had opened multiple deep lacerations in the arm, effectively shredding the limb into tatters.

“Nunuz,” his Pokemon taunted, beckoning him forward with an outstretched hand.

Dorian approached slowly at first, and then sprinted forward, crouching down low as he ran. Nuzleaf jumped forward to meet his master, cocking his right arm back in preparation. The two met each other confidently, both at ease with the other; this was fun. As Nuzleaf threw the punch at Dorian, his master twisted his body to the right, avoiding the blow and putting him in reach of Nuzleaf’s ribs. Before Dorian could land a punch however, Nuzleaf hopped backwards and launched another bullet seed attack. Dorian raised a hand in front of his face, reveling in the warm aftershock ricocheting off his body as the Pokeflect reflected the attack away from him. Unfazed, Nuzleaf jumped forward, raining heavy blows with his feet as well as his fists.

“You’re covered in sap today, dummy,” Dorian laughed, blocking Nuzleaf’s punches and launching a few of his own. Try as he might though, Nuzleaf blocked his every attempt, twisting his body from side to side to get inside Dorian’s guard. The two settled into a familiar rhythm of blocking and attacking, allowing Dorian’s mind to drift once more.

After Shelton was made aware of Goluck’s condition, she hovered outside the operating room like a Pidgey, refusing Dorian’s repeated attempts to get her to rest. As the hours ticked by, they received regular updates from the same sleepy looking technician. One team of doctors were struggling with how to cap the hole in Golduck’s forehead, while another did their best to salvage the remains of his left arm. The news fluctuated wildly, going from hopeful, to worried, then back to optimistic as they worked through the night without reprieve.

After a particularly good status report some hours after that, Dorian finally convinced Shelton to sit down. As she lowered herself into the cushioned chair, she snaked her arm around Dorian’s, laying her head on his shoulder and breathing deeply. She had fallen asleep in minutes, leaving Dorian with the problem of moving and waking her up, or sitting still and giving her the rest she needed. He chose the latter out of pity, as she really did look quite exhausted.

Dorian had drifted off himself shortly thereafter; his hand’s grasping Shelton’s tenderly. They made an odd sight in the waiting room, both filthy, covered in cuts and bruises; yet both looked very peaceful as they slept. After a few hours of dreamless slumber, Dorian had woken up as a finger was poked into his ribs. Shelton stood in front of him drying her newly washed hair, eight stitches tracing a line along the top of her forehead.

“Hah!” Dorian shouted, snapping back to reality and deflecting an elbow thrown at him and twisting Nuzleaf’s arm into a painful lock. Dorian spun Nuzleaf around, letting go when he made a full rotation, launching his Pokemon into the air.

“Nuz!” his Pokemon called, twisting himself around to face Dorian as he flew through the air. Just before he connected with the ground however, his body folded in on itself in a flash of black light, a loud bang being heard as air rushed in to fill the spot his body had just occupied.

Dorian reeled backwards as his Pokemon reappeared in front of him, flinging his arms up to defend himself. Nuzleaf drew back a fist and jumped up, disappearing yet again as his master reached out to block his strike. Seconds later, a loud bang sounded behind Dorian as Nuzleaf crashed into him, knocking him sprawling. As Dorian flipped himself back over, he raised a hand, using his Pokeflect to block the bullet seed launched at him. Nuzleaf lashed out with a roundhouse kick to Dorian’s head as the glowing pellets spiraled away, his teeth bared in concentration. The kick connected solidly, forcing Dorian’s head to slam against the ground again.

“I yield, Jesus!” Dorian shouted as Nuzleaf started forward on him again.

“Nunuz,” his Pokemon grinned, taking a seat on the ground beside his master.

The ground around them was littered with holes and scorch marks, the result of years of trainer and Pokemon practice. As the pair looked up towards Viridian City, they took in the destruction around them, both thinking of Golduck. After Dorian had woken up and showered earlier that day, he had grabbed Nuzleaf and came here to train, hoping that the normalcy of their weekly routine would help his heavy heart. It had to some degree, allowing him to focus on battling and escaping from Shelton’s panicked looks for awhile.

“Shelton hasn’t called yet, but let’s go back,” Dorian suggested.

“Nuzleaf,” his Pokemon agreed. “Nuznuz.”

“Yeah, I’m thinking about him too.”



************


Shelton shifted uncomfortably on the worn leather seat in the waiting room, her left hand absentmindedly picking at a scab on her right. Looking towards the double doors at the end of the hall she sighed anxiously, seeing no indication that they were going to open. She looked around the Pokemon Center in an attempt to distract herself, taking in the sight of Pokemon and their trainers scattered around its interior. They all moved with purpose, with haste, all lining up at the growing line in front of the healing machine. The tile beneath their feet had lost its former shining glory, playing host to scuff marks and clods of dirt instead. Machinery whirled behind the main desk, tended by technicians who were busy rotating scores of Pokeballs in and out of its confines.

“Hey,” a voice said from behind her.

Shelton turned around slowly, finding it hard to take her eyes off a lone Psyduck waddling across the room. Dorian stood there smiling, with Nuzleaf in his usual spot by his right side. She smiled half-heartedly back, her mind too distracted to really mean it. Dorian didn’t look too bad besides the bandages wrapped around different parts of his arms, doctoring the wounds left behind by the Graveler that had held him hostage. He was dressed normally in blue jeans and t-shirt; the sea foam color of his top brightening the color of his emerald eyes.

“Hey,” she responded, turning back around to watch the doors.

Both Dorian and his Nuzleaf hopped over the row of seating behind her, the former taking a seat to her left. Nuzleaf climbed onto her lap and looked up at her with his wide eyes, cupping her face softly in his hands as he looked at her. She smiled down at him, touched by the Pokemon’s gesture of affection. Reaching down, she scratched a spot at the small of Nuzleaf’s back, dragging her sharp nails across his wooden body. The sound the nails made as they moved always gave her goose bumps, but Nuzleaf loved it and immediately hugged her close, burying his face in her hair.

“Any word yet?” Dorian asked.

“Not since you guys left,” Shelton answered. “Did it help at all?”

“For awhile,” Dorian admitted. “But neither of us could stop thinking about it.”

“I appreciate that,” she said.

“It’s fine. He’s my family too.”

“I know, and I’m sorry for flipping out on you yesterday. I appreciate you not bringing it up.”

“It’s fine. You were in a bad frame of mind, a lot was happening. I’m just glad you’re okay.”

“Same here,” Shelton assured him. “I’ll be honest Dorian, I can’t think straight. If they don’t come back ou-“

On perfect cue, the doors at the end of the hall opened wide, their technician’s lab coat billowing serenely behind him as he walked. Shelton stiffened when she saw him, as if he had suddenly been transformed into the grim reaper. Her mind raced; the last two updates had been really positive, but the technician had stressed several times that many variables were in play and that nothing was certain. He was a pleasant looking man, with a round body and short spiky gray hair. His white button down was tinged yellow from sweat around his collar, while his tie had been thrown over his shoulder as if it had been an annoyance.

Shelton pulled Dorian close as the man approached; her mind unable to discern the blank expression on the technician’s face. Tears began to well in her eyes again as the man pulled out a chair to sit directly in front of her. She began to ask, but the question caught in her throat like a large chunk of food.

Reaching out and clasping Shelton on the shoulder, the man said, “Golduck’s alive.” The man had a deep accent, which she immediately identified as Unovan from the way he lengthened his vowels.

Breathing out a sigh of relief, Shelton let her tears fall. “Thank you so much. W-when you came out, I almost lost it.”

“I’ve always prided myself on being perceptive, and that’s the feeling I got,” the man grinned, trying to lighten the obvious emotional angst. “But there are a few things we need to talk about, because we had to make some changes in order to save his life.”

“Like what?” Shelton asked, her stomach dropping suddenly to somewhere below her feet.

“Well, how about this,” the man started. “They’re bringing him out of surgery now, so how about we go to his room. He’ll probably still be unconscious, but you can see him. And then I’ll explain what we had to do. Sound good?”

Shelton was about to demand the answer right there, but her desire to see Golduck came first and she ended up not saying anything.

“Sir?” Dorian asked. What’s your name?”

“Michael Thompson,” he answered.

“Well, it’s nice to meet you Mr. Thompson, and that sounds like a great idea,” Dorian smiled, giving Shelton’s hand a light squeeze.

“Good,” Michael said, getting up from the chair. “If you’ll follow me?”

Without waiting for an affirmation, the technician turned and walked back through the red door with Shelton, Dorian, and Nuzleaf close behind.

The Intensive Care Unit was truly a sight to behold. Everything gleamed like polished metal; from the hexagonal walnut desk in the middle of the room, to the blue ceramic tile lining the floor. People and Pokemon alike darted past quickly, all focused on a particular task. Several people were seated behind the biblically unorganized desk, all holding more than one phone in their hands. Various diagrams of Pokemon anatomy littered every wall, the photos depicting every species from Starmie, all the way to Stunfisk. The scent of disinfectant was rampant, filling their nostrils and making their heads swim as they followed the technician. He paused at a closed door to the right of the desk, checking to make sure that the group was still behind him. Nodding, he opened the door and walked inside, Shelton almost tripping over him in her hurry to follow.

The room was sparingly lit by fluorescent lighting above, accenting the soft hues of orange and russet painted in stripes across the walls. A single hospital bed was situated at the center of the far wall, with a nurse bending down to examine its occupant. Shelton’s breathing stopped as her eyes took in Golduck.

The once bright sapphire duck’s feathers were now a muted shade of blue, signaling the stress that it had exposed to. Portions of his body had lost feathers entirely, resulting in bare patches where soft pink skin was visible. Another part of him that was obviously out of the ordinary was a small metal spike that protruded from the center of his forehead. As Shelton drew closer, she saw that the spike was centered in the middle of a piece of glass that replaced the ruby he had previously had. Shelton’s eyes moved across Golduck’s body, stopping on the portion that had changed the most significantly.

“N-no, no,” Shelton whispered.

Golduck’s left arm was gone, as in poof, as in absent. Bandages laced their way around his shoulder, administering pressure to the amputated limb. Golduck looked almost foreign to her with his missing arm, like he was a different Pokemon entirely. The symbol of power that had been hers to command and love for so many years had been broken and dislodged from her memory. As her knees weakened, she felt Dorian’s toned arms wrap around her shoulders and pull her close, comforting her with his warmth.

“It’s okay,” Dorian assured her.

“No it’s not,” she whispered. “Look at him, just look at him.”

“Shelton,” Dorian started. “I’m seeing the same thing you’re seeing. He’s alive, that’s what matters. He would do the same thing all over again if it meant saving you. That’s exactly what he did too, and you know that.”

“Nunuz,” Nuzleaf chimed in, placing a wooden hand on Shelton’s back.

“I know, it’s just, I can’t,” Shelton said, her breath catching on every word.

“Look, he was strong for you. Now you need to be strong for him. He needs you, so man up. Let’s listen to what the tech has to say, and we’ll go from there. Agreed?”

Shelton nodded glumly, turning to the technician that had been watching their exchange.

“Ms. Street, you have my deepest sympathy for the accident that befell your Golduck, but I can assure you that with therapy, and your patience, he may be able to recover a lot of what he lost,” the technician said.

“Okay,” Shelton said, walking forward and taking a breath. “What did you have to do?”

“Well, as I’m sure you’re aware, members of Golduck’s specie have tremendous mental prowess, only outclassed by accomplished and well trained psychic types. The ruby in his forehead not only serves as a focusing point for their power, but also enables them to release stored psychic energy that can build up and overload the sensitive gemstone. Most of the time, this is done unconsciously, and the cerebellum excretes this excess energy through the crystal and into the air. By itself, the energy released is harmless, but when it is focused through the ruby, it’s concentrated, allowing Golduck to weaponize it. You still with me?”

“Yes,” Shelton said, edging closer to Golduck.

“Good. Anyway, when Golduck summoned the energy for the attack, it overloaded the crystal, effectively shattering it. Which can kill him, seeing as the energy kept inside his skull feeds his involuntary functions, like breathing. From what Mr. Dvakna said, a purple bubble of energy was visible above your Pokemon’s head when he found him.”

“That’s correct,” Dorian affirmed.

“That energy escaping nearly killed him, as without the power to feed his organs, they began to shut down. Luckily though, you got him here in time. We were able to fashion a similar object out of glass and surgically insert it into his cranium. Basically corking the little amount of energy he had left.”

“But if there’s only that little bit, is he still in danger?” Shelton questioned.

“On the contrary, the energy replenishes itself over time, much like new blood is made and old blood is recycled as waste with humans. The point is that while the ruby allows Golduck to release stored energy safely, glass cannot, which is why we threaded in the capstone,” Michael explained, pointing to the metal spike in the glass. “When the amount of psychic energy builds up to a critical level, you can bend the spike back, releasing the energy into the air.”

“Okay,” Dorian and Shelton said in unison.

“Putting that portion behind for the moment, the other obvious action we took was to remove Golduck’s left arm. The shards from the ruby embedded themselves into his arm from the shoulder down; I personally removed twenty-seven pieces,” Michael explained. “An infection soon grew from the multiple open wounds and it was too risky to leave the arm in place. My thinking was that he would have succumbed to septic shock within just a few days. That amputation was successful, and the infected tissue was completely removed.”

“I understand,” Shelton stated, moving her hand down to stroke Golduck’s.

“Now we come to the consequences,” Michael explained. “The ruby in Golduck’s skull is grown naturally as a Psyduck evolves, which means that it’s actually organic. The composition and density are almost completely identical to other precious stones, but each one is grown specific to each particular Golduck.”

“What are you getting at?” Shelton asked.

“Basically, when Golduck uses a psychic attack, the energy is focused through that crystal, and only a gemstone with those properties is strong enough to handle the surge of energy that courses through it. While the glass we inserted mimics the crystal in most ways, it’s extremely fragile.”

“How about you just tell me exactly what you’re trying not to,” Shelton said.

“Golduck cannot use any sort of psychic attack again,” Michael lamented. “Even a brief use of telekinesis could shatter the glass and put him in the same situation all over again. We were only able to save him because you got here so quickly. Next time, you may not be as lucky.”

“Never?” Shelton questioned.

“Unfortunately, yes. If a gemstone of the appropriate density and composition were inserted into the cavity, he may regain some use of his former abilities, but even if we had such an object and the operation went perfectly, there is no guarantee that he could develop even half of his former skill.”

“Why can’t we at least try it?” Shelton asked. “It’s worth a shot. If it didn’t work, we would be in the same position we’re in now.”

“I’m sorry to say Ms. Street, but your insurance does not cover a procedure of this magnitude. Something of this nature is rarely attempted. Even though your Golduck is a prime candidate, this facility cannot undertake a financial risk like that without some type of coverage.”

“You could just say that you don’t think we deserve the help,” Shelton hissed.

“Shelton,” Dorian warned, putting himself between the technician and his roommate.

“No, Dorian,” she started. “I’m sorry Mr. Thompson, that wasn’t what I meant to say. I’m a little taken aback at the moment.”

“I understand Ms. Street and you have my sympathy,” Michael responded.

“I’m sure we can come up with some sort of payment plan,” Shelton said. “We’re not wealthy by any means, but I’m sure that you all could figure out a plan that would fit us.”

“Ms. Street, the procedure is very expensive,” Michael said. “The gemstone has to be calibrated specifically to your Pokemon. Not only that, but the gemstone would have to be enormous. This isn’t some amethyst shard that you could buy at any local jeweler. A stone that size would cost several hundred-thousand credits, not to mention the smiths that would have to tailor it to the exact size that we would need.”

“I guess I can’t argue with that, now can I?” Shelton said, turning her attention to Golduck and stroking his remaining arm.

“Thank you for your efforts,” Dorian chimed in, striding forward to shake the technician’s hand.

“Nuzleaf,” his Pokemon agreed.

“It’s my pleasure,” Michael said, tightly gripping Dorian’s hand.

“I’m sorry if I sounded ungrateful,” Shelton said, turning her attention back to Michael.

“You didn’t,” Michael assured her. “I can imagine this has put quite a strain on you. He’s a fighter you know, one of the strongest I’ve ever seen.”

“I know,” Shelton agreed, the beginnings of a smile forming on her lips.

“Now,” Michael stated, removing a pokeball from his pocket. “I charged this heal ball myself, and I would recommend that when you return Golduck, you leave him inside for at least three days. The energy contained within is designed to promote healthy cellular growth, which will help greatly in aiding in the recovery time of his arm.”

He dropped the rosy pink storage device in her hand and then proceeded to instruct her on how to correctly change the bandages on Golduck’s shoulder. Most of what he told her, Shelton already knew, but it seemed to please the technician if she listened intently. Probably because he wanted to make sure that the hard work he put into Golduck was not in vain. One thing amidst all his rambling stood out for her though. Aspear berries had a naturally occurring coagulant in them, which would help if Golduck’s arm was injuried before it had completely healed. She made a mental note of that tidbit of information, knowing that it would come in handy later on.

“You have to fill out some discharge paperwork before you leave,” Michael told her. “Then you may return Golduck to his ball and be on your way.”

“I’ll take care of that,” Dorian stated. “You take your time; I’ll meet you outside when you’re done.” He turned and walked out after the words left his mouth, Nuzleaf following close behind.

“Mr. Thompson, I really appreciate the work you put in,” Shelton smiled. “I really would have been lost if things had not panned out the way that they did.”

“It’s no problem at all,” Michael smiled. “I’m glad I was able to help.”

“Well I’m very grateful,” Shelton said, walking over and lightly kissing the technician’s cheek.

Michael quickly blushed, and admitted, “That was a treat my profession rarely affords me, so I thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Shelton giggled. “So it’s safe to just return him now?”

“Absolutely. Like I said though, I would keep him inside for at least three days. After that, his arm would benefit from fresh air.”

“Okay,” she said, situating herself by Golduck’s bed.

Holding out the pokeball, she clicked the return button on the front of the device, shooting a red laser towards the center of her Pokemon. As she watched, the beam transformed his body into glowing scarlet energy, which was quickly absorbed back into the ball. The ball closed itself with a cheerful clap, signaling that her Pokemon had been returned successfully.

“After you,” Michael said, gesturing towards the door.

“Thank you,” Shelton smiled.

Her thoughts swam as she walked back towards the entrance to the Pokemon Center. The technician really had saved Golduck’s life, and it was something she would be eternally grateful for. He was obviously extremely intelligent; that’s what she had heard while she waited anyway. He was somewhat attractive as well, despite being at least twenty years her senior. She chuckled at the thought, she had heard of patients falling in love with their technicians and it amused her that she was starting to fall into that stereotype. As she passed through the sliding glass doors of the Pokemon Center, she saw Dorian and Nuzleaf waiting for her by a pair of gleaming motorcycles parked by the entrance.

“You ready?” Dorian called.

“NuNuz!” Nuzleaf questioned as well.

“Yeah, let’s get this over with so we can get back home,” Shelton answered.

“You know, Ronnie is going to flip out when we tell him what happened,” Dorian said, helping Shelton tighten the straps on her pack.

“I’m sure he will,” Shelton agreed. “Though, he will be inclined to believe me over you when I tell him that you were the one who decided we should take that new route.”

“Are you serious?” Dorian asked. “We both agreed to it.”

“Oh I know,” Shelton mused. “However, he’s going to be more likely to believe me over you, mainly because I’m his favorite.”

“Well, I am male and his heir to the family name,” Dorian said proudly. “So by that alone I’m a lot better than you.”

“What’s twenty-six times thirty-seven?” Shelton quickly asked.

“Well, if you carry the decimal and square the remainder,” Dorian started, squeezing his eyes shut in concentration. “Three-hundred and twenty-five!”

“It’s actually nine-hundred and sixty-two,” Shelton smiled, pushing past him and starting down the road. “And you’re an idiot.”

“I thought you meant division!” Dorian exclaimed.

Nuzleaf laughed.

Glover
20th April 2012, 6:32 AM
...And then they walk out of the Pokemon and get mugged by a half-baked Scyther, the end...

Oh, no, wait, that's not very heartwarming at all...

Anyway, my ramblings aside, this a was a wonderful closure piece to the graveler scene, Although I find it a bit odd that Mr. Thompson didn't arrange an automated pressure release. The way the spike sounds, it's like something that must be manually drained. My dad was ona Colostomy bag, such things as manual body drains are not fun. Surely there's a way to rig a one-way valve, or maybe that's just not in Viridian's reprritoire.

I can totally see a scowling Shelton standiung in front of the ICU doors, turning doctors around when they try to go off shift...

Kudos to you on the depiction of the ICU, and for going beyond the usual Nurse Joy Pokemon Center routine. the whole of the ICU is realistic and weell detailed, as well as the in depth review of a Golduck's anatomy.

Dorian and Nuzleaf's blowing off steam match was fun to read, and you did a wonderful job of flipping back and forth between meories and the battle, and the conversations were excellent.

One thing, you use the phrase "knocking him sprawling" once. I can;t find anything wrong with it, it's just a little bit odd to me. Maybe I'm just used to hearing "Sending him sprawling" which is the exact same thing, just sounds different. I don't know. Maybe it's another regional thing.




“Ms. Street, the procedure is very expensive,” Michael said. “The gemstone has to be calibrated specifically to your Pokemon. Not only that, but the gemstone would have to be enormous. This isn’t some amethyst shard that you could buy at any local jeweler. A stone that size would cost several hundred-thousand credits, not to mention the smiths that would have to tailor it to the exact size that we would need.”


Well, if not amythest, what about, oh, i don't know, a chunk of obsidian? I wonder where they might find some of that...

diamondpearl876
20th April 2012, 10:26 PM
Dorian rolled to his right as Nuzleaf launched another bullet seed at him.

I’m very tired as I do this at the moment, and I gotta say, the sudden action woke me up already. Cool way to get back into the action that was present before Ethan’s chapter, especially now that there’s an interesting comparison (before, they were fighting enemies, and now, they’re fighting each other).


The two had been sparing for the better part of an hour, both being pushed to the edge of their physical limits as they struggled to best one another.

I think you meant “sparring”.


After Shelton was made aware of Goluck’s condition, she hovered outside the operating room like a Pidgey, refusing Dorian’s repeated attempts to get her to rest.

“Golduck”


Dorian had drifted off himself shortly thereafter; his hand’s grasping Shelton’s tenderly.

Should be “hands”. I could see what you were trying to do there by trying to show possession, but in this case, you’re just showing pluralization—his two hands are grasping hers.

I’d also put a comma instead of a semi-colon. From what I’ve learned, the sentence before and after the semi-colon should be able to be a standalone sentence. But the sentence after the semi-colon here can’t be by itself and still make sense.


Nuzleaf climbed onto her lap and looked up at her with his wide eyes, cupping her face softly in his hands as he looked at her. She smiled down at him, touched by the Pokemon’s gesture of affection. Reaching down, she scratched a spot at the small of Nuzleaf’s back, dragging her sharp nails across his wooden body. The sound the nails made as they moved always gave her goose bumps, but Nuzleaf loved it and immediately hugged her close, burying his face in her hair.

D’awwwww, have I ever mentioned how much I love the pokémon Nuzleaf? This is an adorable image. I’m going to go be a typical squeeing fangirl now.


The once bright sapphire duck’s feathers were now a muted shade of blue, signaling the stress that it had exposed to.

“had been exposed to.”

Anyway, I agree with Glover when he says that this was a nice conclusion to the Graveler incident. The part I liked the most was going back and forth between Shelton’s grieving over Golduck and the spar between Dorian and Nuzleaf. To me, it was as if the Graveler fight was still happening, in a sense. The fighting spirit and suspense was still entirely present, and you portrayed the idea that all of them were still fighting (both literally and figuratively) to live and/or move on with their lives even though there was no real danger present anymore. It makes me reflect on the idea that everyone is always fighting every moment of every day, pretty much. I hope that makes sense. It’s not something I can easily put into words, but it was a good feeling nonetheless.

Also, I thought that Dorian and Shelton were a couple? Am I wrong? Shelton kissing the technician on the cheek and mentioning falling in love with him seemed odd to me for this reason, and also because she was just unbelievably angry and bitter moments before she did such a thing. I guess it’s understandable that her emotions would be going crazy at the moment, and it was cute nonetheless, but still, it left me wondering about Dorian.

Overall, the chapter felt complete and full of emotions, just as the conclusion of such a horrific event should feel. The only thing I might have added was Shelton reflecting on Golduck’s possible feelings of losing his psychic power. Does he value it? Does Shelton think it won’t effect him? I mention this because Golduck’s personality wasn’t revealed enough for us readers to know yet (though I may have just forgotten, in which case, feel free to ignore me), but I expect that you’ll be showing the aftereffects soon enough, and you’ll have us as readers wishing we had known him more before the incident as well (which isn’t a bad thing—I would find that kind of interesting, actually).

Keep up the good work~

Sidewinder
23rd April 2012, 6:25 AM
@ Glover


...And then they walk out of the Pokemon and get mugged by a half-baked Scyther, the end...

Oh, no, wait, that's not very heartwarming at all...

You know, I flirted with the idea, but in the end, I decided to go another way :P


Anyway, my ramblings aside, this a was a wonderful closure piece to the graveler scene, Although I find it a bit odd that Mr. Thompson didn't arrange an automated pressure release. The way the spike sounds, it's like something that must be manually drained. My dad was ona Colostomy bag, such things as manual body drains are not fun. Surely there's a way to rig a one-way valve, or maybe that's just not in Viridian's reprritoire.

That's correct. I see what you're saying, but for some reason this sounded a little bit better for me. The idea came from the movie 'Three Kings'. Mark Wahlberg's character gets shot in the lung at one point, and when his friends have to install this release valve for building air pressure in the lung. Occasionly he has to turn the valve to release the stored pressure, aloowing him to breathe.


Kudos to you on the depiction of the ICU, and for going beyond the usual Nurse Joy Pokemon Center routine. the whole of the ICU is realistic and weell detailed, as well as the in depth review of a Golduck's anatomy.

Ah well thanks! The bit with the ICU and Golduck's explanation was actually something I tried really hard on, so I'm glad you noticed. And yeah, the whole Nurse Joy wonderful attitude happy go lucky thing never really went over well with me. I felt like this was much more realistic, glad you think so too


Dorian and Nuzleaf's blowing off steam match was fun to read, and you did a wonderful job of flipping back and forth between meories and the battle, and the conversations were excellent.

That was something that I wasn't really sure about. I hoped it would go over well, so I'm glad you commented on it. I felt like it would be a good way to transition from what was happening right then, while also giving a backstory on the events that happened after the Graveler attack.


One thing, you use the phrase "knocking him sprawling" once. I can;t find anything wrong with it, it's just a little bit odd to me. Maybe I'm just used to hearing "Sending him sprawling" which is the exact same thing, just sounds different. I don't know. Maybe it's another regional thing.

I see what you're saying. I went back and looked, and I feel like they both work. I'm going to keep it the way it is, but thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Thanks for the review!


@ diamondpearl876



I’m very tired as I do this at the moment, and I gotta say, the sudden action woke me up already. Cool way to get back into the action that was present before Ethan’s chapter, especially now that there’s an interesting comparison (before, they were fighting enemies, and now, they’re fighting each other).

Thanks for bringing that up. That was exactly what I was shooting for when I was trying to think of a beginning to the chapter.


Anyway, I agree with Glover when he says that this was a nice conclusion to the Graveler incident. The part I liked the most was going back and forth between Shelton’s grieving over Golduck and the spar between Dorian and Nuzleaf. To me, it was as if the Graveler fight was still happening, in a sense. The fighting spirit and suspense was still entirely present, and you portrayed the idea that all of them were still fighting (both literally and figuratively) to live and/or move on with their lives even though there was no real danger present anymore. It makes me reflect on the idea that everyone is always fighting every moment of every day, pretty much. I hope that makes sense. It’s not something I can easily put into words, but it was a good feeling nonetheless.

Once again, that was exactly what I was shooting for. I've always found the relation between emotional/physical trauma and future actions. Back in my wasteful youth days, I got into a fist fight with a few guys and got beat up. It was so loud, and intense, and I had never been in a fight before so it somewhat affected for a few days after that. I'd hear a loud noise and tense up, like I was expecting it to happen all over again. So I kinda of drew heavily on that for this chapter, if that makes sense. None of them are going to be okay for awhile I think, but you're right, we fight battles everyday, luckily though its not against hordes of furios rock Pokemon.


Also, I thought that Dorian and Shelton were a couple? Am I wrong?

I won't deny that if I read this story and wasn't the writer, I would say they have some obvious chemistry, but no, they're not together. I mentioned in a few chapters that they're just roomates, and they have been for a very long time. I'm actually touching on their back stories some more in the next chapter, and it should firm up their motives and feelings for each other a little more clearly.


The only thing I might have added was Shelton reflecting on Golduck’s possible feelings of losing his psychic power. Does he value it? Does Shelton think it won’t effect him?

That's going to be gone into before, and after Golduck is healed up and released. I think she was just so relieved that she was close to him again and that he was okay, that she kinda bypassed thinking about the long term ramifications of the loss of that ability. That's going to be expanded on greatly eventually. It's going to be alot for him to deal with, and for her as well.

Thanks for reviewing once again!

oh and thankyou for pointing out the mistakes I made. I'll go back and edit them soon.

SilentMemento
25th April 2012, 5:01 AM
The fic itself is very intriguing, but some things about it (namely the grammatical aspects) fall flat. I'll name the positives before I start with the negatives:

The premise is very interesting; a young couple delivering a priceless artifact for much needed money and an unbalanced man who will make every effort to stop them. However, I find all of their motives to be compelling, even the antagonist - at least, the person who you're setting up to be the antagonist. Dorian and Shelton are two young people trying to pay off their bills and care for their Pokemon. Dorian obviously has a dream to be a strong trainer, while Shelton's motives are a little more unclear (although I would think that getting married would be one of them). Meanwhile, Ethan grew up alone and friendless aside from his Abra/Alakazam. He's desperate for the voices to stay in his head because they've been friendly to him. I actually pity him; he doesn't know that they might turn on him in an instant.

It took three chapters to build up steam, but when the action started...I have to admit that I was very impressed. The stress of Dorian and Shelton in the immediate aftermath of the Graveler attack is strikingly realistic, and their emotions plucked at my heartstrings. I could feel their shock, pain, anger, and sadness as if it were my own. I honestly don't think that you could have done any better than you did.

My favorite character right now has to be Alakazam. He's shown the most personality so far out of all of the Pokemon, and while I like all of the human characters, I feel a certain connection to Alakazam. He's definitely a wildcard in all of this. When it comes down to it, will he stay loyal to the trainer and friend he's known since he was an Abra or will he go with his morals and try to save the innocent couple? What a fascinating dilemma...

Anyway, the plot looks rather sound as well. Like I said, it started out slow at first, but once Dorian and Shelton set out to Pewter, it picked up its pace. It hasn't slowed down yet, and it has kept my interest at a high level, which is always a good thing when it comes to the average fickle reader.

Of course, every fic has a weakness that must be dealt with; even the best ones aren't immune to them. With yours, it's mainly the grammar that falls flat.

The first thing I noticed was the major difference between the capitalization of the Pokemon moves, as seen in these sentences:


Almost three years ago, scientists working for the Silph Corporation had learned how to replicate the effects of the pokemon move, Reflect, and Light Screen, and combined them.


“bullet seed!’ Dorian roared.

Before I say anything else, I want to correct the bolded parts. The bolded comma is unnecessary and needs to be taken out, and an "s" needs to be added to the end of the word "move". The apostrophe you used in the second sentence is a typo; you want quotation marks at the end.

However, that's not what concerned me. Why capitalize "Reflect" and "Light Screen" if you're not going to capitalize any other Pokemon move? An element of consistency is needed. You might want to put "Reflect" and "Light Screen" in lower-case, since every other Pokemon move is in lower-case.


Over the last several days, the grass type’s single leaf that rested on top of his head had taken on a burnt amber color, signaling the arrival of Fall.

Just a bit of clarification here: is "Fall" intentionally capitalized because of the Nuzleaf's perspective? If not, you might want to put that in lower-case.


As soon as the energy that was Growlithe became smaller than the ball, its two halves came back down in a mighty snap! Signaling a successful capture, and the reward to his hard work.

I'm pretty certain that the "s" in "signaling" should be in lower-case, since it's still a part of the same sentence. Either way, the exclaimation mark seems a bit unnecessary.


“Yeah that’s right.” he said as Nuzleaf got up and dusted itself off. “All in all I think that went pretty well.”

Commas should be in between each of the two bolded words. Commas should be used whenever there's a pause in a sentence. The full-stop (period) should be a comma, as was said by other readers before me. Like they said, a comma should be used in a spoken sentence, while full-stops can be used if the person is using an action (for example, Dorian winking at the Growlithe in a previous sentence). Going back and correcting that error would be nice.


As he fell, he sighted Sheton’s Golduck sitting on the steps of their front porch, its bill marred with a mixture of anxiousness and forced regret.

You mispelled Shelton's name. Just a minor typo that I thought I'd point out. ;)


“That’s great Dorian, I’m glad that when we get tossed to the street we’ll have a nice warm Growlithe to live in.” she said, rolling her eyes and turning to Nuzleaf. “You hungry sweetheart?”

The period should be replaced with a comma, but that's not what I wanted to mention. Whenever a character is speaking to someone and addressing them directly, you need to use a comma before or after their name or the title they're being addressed as, depending on where the word is placed. Basically, since Shelton is addressing Dorian, you need to put a comma between the word "great" and his name. Same with Nuzleaf. Since she's addressing him as "sweetheart", you need to place a comma between the two bolded words.


The whispers had led him to a cave in the recent months, in the sand swept plains of the desert in Hoenn . The cave bearing another flake he took into himself. The cave he found near Route 111 however had something extra. A shard of stone from the enormous tablet he had seen in Granite Cave years ago. People the man walked past throughout the day forgot him as soon as he passed. A somewhat average looking man with long, wavy tan hair, an Alakazam keeping stride to his right.

These sentences are fragments, and they're very jarring to read. I'd recommend that you re-organize this sentence into something like this:

"The whispers had recently led him to a cave in the sand swept plains of the desert in Hoenn. It had contained another flake, which he had took into himself. However, the cave he found near Route 111 had something else: a shard of stone from the enormous tablet he had seen in Granite Cave years ago. The people that the man walked past throughout the day forgot him as soon as he passed. Even with the Alakazam keeping stride to his right, he was an average-looking man with long, wavy tan hair being the only other physical attribute of note."

Of course, you can probably do much better than my example, but it's just a starting point.


Its species usually synonymous with bravery and strength, Shelton’s Machop unfortunately fell far short.

This sentence seems to be missing a few words. Perhaps you could use this?

"Though its species was usually synonymous with bravery and strength, Shelton's Machop fell far short."


Cutting him off mid sentence, Shelton asked, “So if I’m hearing you correctly, they were going to spend one-hundred thousand credits to move all of their excavating equipment here, but if were able to make it there before they leave, we may get some kind of finder’s fee?”

A minor typo. You forgot an apostrophe.

While there are other grammatical errors in this story, they're mostly of a similar nature to the ones I've mentioned (mostly addressing people in a spoken sentence and not adding commas).

I don't have a problem with your characters so far, but the personalities of the Pokemon could use a bit more description. Show them as themselves. You've done that with Nuzleaf and Alakazam. Why not show the rest? Just a thought.

Otherwise, I can't think of anything to add to this review. You've done a fine job with Requiem, and I'll definitely be paying close attention to it in the coming months.

Sincerely,

Mem.

Sidewinder
27th April 2012, 1:22 AM
The fic itself is very intriguing, but some things about it (namely the grammatical aspects) fall flat

Thanks, and right off the bat I appreciate you bringing that to my attention, as it is the one area I feel is my worst.


a young couple delivering a priceless artifact

You're the second person to think that Dorian and Shelton are a couple. I tried my best to describe how close they were, and if some people think they're together, I guess I did just that. But no, they are not a couple. Alot more of their backstory will be revealed in the next chapter. Which should help to put that theory to rest. They've known each other for a VERY long time, and the closeness of their relationship is just a result of the sibling like love they have for each other.


It took three chapters to build up steam, but when the action started...I have to admit that I was very impressed. The stress of Dorian and Shelton in the immediate aftermath of the Graveler attack is strikingly realistic, and their emotions plucked at my heartstrings. I could feel their shock, pain, anger, and sadness as if it were my own. I honestly don't think that you could have done any better than you did.

I'm glad you noticed. It was one part that I tried really hard on. I'm glad its gone over so well with so many people. Thanks! ^^


My favorite character right now has to be Alakazam. He's shown the most personality so far out of all of the Pokemon, and while I like all of the human characters, I feel a certain connection to Alakazam. He's definitely a wildcard in all of this. When it comes down to it, will he stay loyal to the trainer and friend he's known since he was an Abra or will he go with his morals and try to save the innocent couple? What a fascinating dilemma...

That actually kinda evolved on its own, and I have to say I'm pretty pleased with it. Thanks for commenting on it.


I don't have a problem with your characters so far, but the personalities of the Pokemon could use a bit more description. Show them as themselves. You've done that with Nuzleaf and Alakazam. Why not show the rest? Just a thought.

You're completely right. Right before I saw your review, I told myself the exact same thing. They are all an integral part of the story, and I'm not doing right by them if I dont expand on them more. In the coming chapters, you'll see alot more of their personalities.

Shall I add you to the PM list then? And thanks very much for the review. I really appreciate it as you pointed out some things that I know could use some polishing.

To everyone else reading/reviewing, the new chapter should be out by Monday night.

Sid87
1st May 2012, 5:59 PM
Okay, finally getting to this and getting as much in as possible before lunch ends. :)

PROLOGUE:

-I'm wondering why the boy didn't feel connected to his adoptive parents. I get that they aren't his real birth parents, but I wonder why he seems so...mad about them. They certainly seem nice. Is the boy going through a rebellious time? I'm stuck with this question, and I hope it gets delved into.


SLAM!

I'm not a particularly big fan of sound-effects in prose, but to each their own. :) I get that it's a preference thing.


the soft skin on his arms tearing easily on the ground as he rolled to a stop.

OW. Good image, though. It actually makes me wince when I read it. Excellent work, that.


Abra limped towards his master, favoring his left leg. The psychic pokemon’s right leg bore a long gash up the side of its thigh,

Usually when someone is "favoring" a leg, that means they are protecting it because it's the weaker or injured one. So does Abra have two major leg injuries? Because if I had a long gash on one leg, I might be favoring that, but if the left leg has bone/tendon damage, that would result in favoring it no matter what wound the right leg has. I guess I was just confused here is all.


As the boy and his Abra looked in wonder at the strange object, a small stony flake, glistening slightly in the oily light of the conjured orb, began to skitter across the top of the altar, seemingly of its own accord. As the boy and his pokemon noticed the flake, they stiffened, perceiving a new threat.

A little unwieldy starting two consecutive sentence with the same lines "As the boy and his...".

OVERALL: Very interesting beginning. What the heck kind of serrated blade is so powerful that it cuts through large stone tablets? I'd be scared as heck at the thought of that if I were in Boy's shoes. And I desperately hope we see more of Boy because I really want his backstory with the adoptive parents.

Sid87
1st May 2012, 6:19 PM
CHAPTER 1--


It was only because of the Pokeflect around his wrist that Dorian wasn’t roasted alive by the flamethrower attack the enraged Growlithe had just launched at him. While still experimental, the ‘Pokeflect’ had saved many from grievous injuries sometimes sustained in pokemon battles.

Okay, this is a good idea. How haven't more people been injured by Pokemon? Because of this device! I'm only 2 lines in here, and I very much want to know more about this thing. I think you could make a whole story around this device, actually. Does it protect against, say, a Scyther's claws? And if so, would you protect someone from ANY kind of blade? Or ANY kind of fire? I have a feeling I might just be digressing, though.


“bullet seed!’ Dorian roared.

I'm actually NOT going to say you need to capitalize the names of moves (because I don't, either generally, but you should capitalize the beginning of a sentence. ;)


No sooner had he given the command, the Growlithe righted itself and charged his Nuzleaf, orange flame licking the pits of its nostrils.
The grass type followed behind, purpose written across its scarred face; it jumped and landed on top of the Growlithe, using both legs to pin down the pup.

I like those. Nice description there.

-Okay, I read that one section a few times, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out what the violet energy that picked up and flipped over Dorian was. Can you explain? I'm assuming it was some kind of psychic attack, but was it from Golduck? Or even Shelton? What was it?

-Aaannnddd...okay, Boy did not grow up to be Dorian. That makes sense, I guess. Boy is going to be...the villain of the story? Maybe? Way too early to conjecture on that, I suppose. Definitely intrigued by him, though.

Sidewinder
1st May 2012, 6:22 PM
Okay, finally getting to this and getting as much in as possible before lunch ends.

I'm glad you found some time. Thanks!


-I'm wondering why the boy didn't feel connected to his adoptive parents. I get that they aren't his real birth parents, but I wonder why he seems so...mad about them. They certainly seem nice. Is the boy going through a rebellious time? I'm stuck with this question, and I hope it gets delved into.

Things of that nature will be expanded on in later chapters, I assure you


OW. Good image, though. It actually makes me wince when I read it. Excellent work, that.

Thanks! Oddly enough, the same thing happened to me as I wrote it haha


Usually when someone is "favoring" a leg, that means they are protecting it because it's the weaker or injured one. So does Abra have two major leg injuries? Because if I had a long gash on one leg, I might be favoring that, but if the left leg has bone/tendon damage, that would result in favoring it no matter what wound the right leg has. I guess I was just confused here is all.

I see what you're saying. I'll have to check on that, because my understanding of 'favoring', is that you are doing more with that limb than another because the other is somewhat incapacitated. You're favoring the one that's in good condition. I'll check on that to be sure, and If it needs to be changed I'll do so. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


A little unwieldy starting two consecutive sentence with the same lines "As the boy and his...".

You're right. When I find some time I'll go back and change that.


OVERALL: Very interesting beginning. What the heck kind of serrated blade is so powerful that it cuts through large stone tablets? I'd be scared as heck at the thought of that if I were in Boy's shoes. And I desperately hope we see more of Boy because I really want his backstory with the adoptive parents

Thanks! I really appreciate the review you've given, and I'm eager to see what you think of later chapters.

Kutie Pie
1st May 2012, 8:23 PM
Finally caught up xD. I tend to fall out of fics from time to time, but since I was behind by two chapters, it wasn't that biggie a deal.

Anyhoo, I've noticed you hadn't named the latest two chapters. Any reasoning for that? Wait... *looks back* Oh durr, you haven't been using names at all. Your "cause", "effect", and "aftermath" caused me to believe that. And now that I think about it, I don't think they were needed at all. We would've figured out what the chapter was about without that little reminder.

Now to the two chapters I missed.

I pity Ethan. He's going through so much pain to gather up these flakes, and yet these voices keep up this ruse of being friendly to him, and showing gratitude for saving them. Alakazam can see through this, but because of his loyalty to Ethan, he has to do as he says, even though it hurts him more. Man, that's dark.

You really were convincing us Golduck wasn't going to make it, and the somber piano music I'm currently playing makes that hurt a lot (because the song's just that effective). Still, I am happy he's alive, even though he's going to be a changed duck from now on. I like the explanations the doctor gave about the gem. Something tells me you did some research a bit before writing that, or at least know a little bit about the brain (well, biology in general), because that's really impressive.

And now I'm wishing I haven't looked at the other reviews, because Glover's assumption with the obsidian's burrowed itself into my head now. But even then, you have clearly planned these things out.

I'm probably just imaging it since I haven't been keeping up with the story until just now, but I hope you're still PM'ing us. I'm gonna try my hardest not to slack off on this.

Sid87
2nd May 2012, 5:37 PM
“I’m instituting a new rule,” Shelton began, crossing her legs and leaning forward. “From now on, all your decision making privileges have been revoked. Other than involuntary bodily functions you have to perform in order to survive, I want you on the sofa, sitting on your hands at all times.”

I'm curious as to the relationship here. Are they roommates? Siblings? Parent and child? Lovers? I'm sure I'll get it eventually, but I'm kind of lost on it so far.


After a pensive look, Dorian said, “I request the right to argue for a lower amount after I’ve thought of a good enough excuse.”

I like that. It's like a good sitcom line.


“Machop is under the house again,” she answered. “We were out back pulling weeds, when that soulless Sunflora popped out and started terrorizing him again. Shuppet is in her usual spot"

I like this, too, as it really makes them feel like pets (which I'm sure you've realized from my fic is how I more-or-less picture pokemon). A Machop getting harassed by an angry Sunflora...that really is kind of striking. I can see the Sunflora yipping at it when I recreate the scene in my head.


Owing to his near genius IQ and love of all things made hundreds to thousands of years before he was born.

Kind of a "show, don't tell" problem here: I'd rather the story display to me that he's a genius than the narration say it outright. :(


“How you doing, hotshot?” his uncle asked. “Still driving the girls crazy?”

“Only Shelton,” Dorian replied.

“Ah! How’s my future daughter in law doing?”

“She’s really good. We finally set the wedding date; June, two-thousand and never!”

Previously problem disregarded!


“Well,” Dorian grinned, plucking the small shard from his pocket. “I think I just saved you a trip.”

I would MAYBE have liked a BIT more set-up here, but as it stands, it seems like an amazingly unlikely coincidence. This guy literally trips over an ancient artifact, and then 5 minutes later his scientist uncle calls him and says he's looking for it? That's one-in-a-trillion or so. :)


The wall whimpered in protest, trying to hold its shape, struggling to retain the only purpose it ever had. With a groan, the wall slid forward into a pile of rubble at the Rhydon’s outsized feet

Okay, I love all that.


The man didn’t know where they were going next, but he knew that the next time he slept, he would be told. He was always told where to go and how to better himself and his Pokemon. The voices would whisper to him in his dreams, guiding him towards additional power, guiding him to more knowledge, and eventually, guiding him to his destiny

Good ending there. What kind of "power" is he getting from these things? He still seems ordinary, what with Alakazam having to save his life. So what are they doing to them? I'm sensing an eventual face turn from Alakazam, too, where he betrays his trainer and works to save him from what the flakes are doing to him.

Sidewinder
2nd May 2012, 6:39 PM
@ Kutie Pie


Anyhoo, I've noticed you hadn't named the latest two chapters. Any reasoning for that? Wait... *looks back* Oh durr, you haven't been using names at all. Your "cause", "effect", and "aftermath" caused me to believe that. And now that I think about it, I don't think they were needed at all. We would've figured out what the chapter was about without that little reminder.

I see what you're saying. I named those chapters because of the seriousness of the situations they faced. I think if I'm going to names the chapters, I should be more consistent, as to avoid confusion. I think I'm going to leave them the way that they are, but thanks for pointing that out.


I pity Ethan. He's going through so much pain to gather up these flakes, and yet these voices keep up this ruse of being friendly to him, and showing gratitude for saving them. Alakazam can see through this, but because of his loyalty to Ethan, he has to do as he says, even though it hurts him more. Man, that's dark.

I can definitely say that their relationship is going to be quite interesting.


You really were convincing us Golduck wasn't going to make it, and the somber piano music I'm currently playing makes that hurt a lot (because the song's just that effective). Still, I am happy he's alive, even though he's going to be a changed duck from now on. I like the explanations the doctor gave about the gem. Something tells me you did some research a bit before writing that, or at least know a little bit about the brain (well, biology in general), because that's really impressive.

I flirted with the idea of letting him die for a long time. With that music you had playing, I can see how it may have worked haha. I have had some schooling when it comes to biology, but most of my explanation with Golduck's brain/physiology is just stuff I made up. I've always loved Psyduck and Golduck, so over the years I've come up with alot of theories with how their mental prowess works. Thanks!


I'm probably just imaging it since I haven't been keeping up with the story until just now, but I hope you're still PM'ing us. I'm gonna try my hardest not to slack off on this.

I appreciate it, and I'll be sure to let you know. Thanks for the review!

@ Sid87


I'm curious as to the relationship here. Are they roommates? Siblings? Parent and child? Lovers? I'm sure I'll get it eventually, but I'm kind of lost on it so far.

I mentioned once or twice before that line that they were roomates. Looking back at later chapters, I can see how their relationship would be confusing. Dorian is extremely impulsive, wereas Shelton is calculated and responsible. She acts like a parent towards him alot of the time, which is the main reason she's so cross towards him sometimes.


I like this, too, as it really makes them feel like pets (which I'm sure you've realized from my fic is how I more-or-less picture pokemon). A Machop getting harassed by an angry Sunflora...that really is kind of striking. I can see the Sunflora yipping at it when I recreate the scene in my head.

lol, you'll see even more of stuff like this later.


Kind of a "show, don't tell" problem here: I'd rather the story display to me that he's a genius than the narration say it outright.

I see what you mean. I'll keep that in mind for later chapters


I would MAYBE have liked a BIT more set-up here, but as it stands, it seems like an amazingly unlikely coincidence. This guy literally trips over an ancient artifact, and then 5 minutes later his scientist uncle calls him and says he's looking for it? That's one-in-a-trillion or so.

Lol, it is unlikely. The reasoning behind that will become clear later on ;)


Good ending there. What kind of "power" is he getting from these things? He still seems ordinary, what with Alakazam having to save his life. So what are they doing to them? I'm sensing an eventual face turn from Alakazam, too, where he betrays his trainer and works to save him from what the flakes are doing to him

That will be revealed with some of the chapters I've posted. Alakazam is in a complicated place. Even when he was an Abra so many years ago, he knew that Ethan should not get involved, but couldn't stop him. Now that he's grown and matured, he may end up being able to express himself to Ethan better. I hope so at least

Thanks for the review!

Sid87
3rd May 2012, 6:54 PM
he woke Golduck and Nuzleaf, and proceeded to body slam them.

I figure you mean "body slam" in that he unintentionally rammed his body into them, but initially read it as "like when Hulk Hogan picked up and slammed Andre The Giant" and was very perplexed as to why the hell he would do that? I guess he DOES owe that Golduck. LOL. Not a mistake on your part, but my pop-culture ensoaked brain gave me a tremendously funny visual. Thanks for that!


“You’re not making any sense. Did Golduck hit you too hard? Is that it? It didn’t look any stronger than usual.”

I can't believe I JUST thought of this: Why didn't the Pokeflect save Dorian from that attack, anyway? (I'm still SUPER interested in this device)


The scene depicted on the stone was odd, almost disturbing. However, even as the thought grew in her mind, it gently slipped away

Good last line. Very foreshadowy.


“You mean he trusts me,” she said, smiling coyly.

“Yes, he explicitly said that several times,” he admitted

I LOL'ed.


“That’s why you’re so excited!”

“Exactly!”

“Any other time, I would call attention to the fact that were both yelling!”

“Same here, but this occasion calls for it!”

“Yes!” she agreed.

Kind of a silly moment since we haven't seen this side of Shelton at all. But again...I LOL'ed.


“Let’s do it!” Dorian announced. “Strap on the nitro!”

“Really?” Shelton asked, “Come on Dorian, we talked about this for like half an hour.”

“Come on, just give it a chance,” he pleaded.

“No. That catch phrase is never going to catch on. Besides that, its barely a catch phrase. Its just random words that have nothing to do with our current situation.”

Was someonbe watching Mean Girls when they wrote this? It seems really derivative of the "fetch" dialogue.



-I like the quick, zippy dialogue here, because I usually write a lot of that (my fic hasn't given me much of a chance yet, but que sera sera). I really like two characters going back-and-forth in a rapid succession. SOME of the lines there seemed a little forced (the "Last word freak" one stuck out to me), but by-and-large, it was a lot of fun to read. I enjoyed that part a lot.

-It's good seeing the plot develop here, and I like the irony that Dorian is leaving Johto for Kanto while Ethan is doing the opposite. Good job removing both characters from their element. :) I look forward to getting to chapter 4 tomorrow.

Sidewinder
4th May 2012, 4:33 AM
Chapter 10


“Finally,” Dorian said.

“Yup,” Shelton agreed, giving him a quick smile.

“I say that after we get paid, we buy enough food so that we don’t have to leave the house for a month.”

“Oddly enough, I’m in complete agreement,” Shelton admitted.

“My god, your head injury must be more severe than we thought.”

“Shut it. Just because you had one good idea does not mean that I have a higher opinion of you. Besides, you still owe me for rent,” Shelton snarled.

“Do you ever let anything go?” Dorian asked.

“Not when it comes to money,” Shelton answered. “Or your awful decisions involving money, word usage, or dress sense.”

“How about I just call Ronnie and see where he is,” Dorian suggested.

“Good boy,” Shelton cooed, ruffling his hair.

Dorian ducked out of her reach and walked a bit faster, muttering curses under his breath. The walk through Viridian Forest had only taken about two hours, and thankfully, it had been without incident. The woods were serene and silent, their colors exclaiming vibrant hues of gold, orange, and red. As Dorian and Shelton approached the borders of Pewter City, he whipped out his phone and called his uncle, bracing himself for his naturally booming voice. A tone sounded three times in rapid succession, signaling that his uncle had ignored his call. Confused, Dorian dialed again, only to be greeted by the same high pitched beeps. It was odd his uncle wasn’t answering, as he was probably expecting them by now.

“Well,” Dorian started. “He’s not picking up. Should we just head to his house?”

“Yeah,” Shelton huffed, clearly displeased by the situation.

“He’s either there, or at the museum; his house is closer so let’s check there first,” Dorian suggested.

“Yeah,” Shelton agreed, her fingers tracing the outline of a round bulge in her pocket.

As they strode past the main entrance to the city, Dorian looked to the northeast and caught the familiar sight of the red roof of Ronnie’s house. Allowing himself a small smile, he looked over to Nuzleaf and Shelton, only to find them wearing the same expression. Ronnie would make their recent misfortune worthwhile; he would put them back into their usual mindset. His uncle always exuded a sense of calm and jovial happiness, and had always done his best to make him and Shelton feel welcome and comfortable; it was an unspoken promise he had kept ever since he started raising them.

The trio walked with purpose, all three ready for some much deserved rest, all of them unaware of a Scyther watching them from just inside the nearby tree line.



*********


Ethan tightened his grip on Rapidash’s neck as he started to slip to the left. Just as he did however, he felt a gentle force press his body back into an upright position. Looking backwards, he saw a faint violet aura around his Alakazam. He noticed a similar aura taking shape around his own legs and waist; obviously Alakazam’s attempt to keep them both level on the galloping horse.

The group blew through the entrance to Viridian City like a tornado, sending people in their way dashing to the left and right for safety. A small line of flames traced a path behind them, the result of the drying grass being exposed to Rapidash’s intense heat. People to the east and west of the city looking their direction were only able to make out a shining streak of yellow and orange, racing through the northern exit of the city like a meteorite.

Ethan stared straight ahead, not noticing or caring for the sharp yells of the people they passed. Ethan was on the path to his destiny, on the road towards two hooligans that had stolen something very precious from him. He would take back the shard from them of course, that was just a byproduct of the vengeance that was about to be released. Besides their crime of thievery, they had threatened the voices, and for that they would be punished. He knew that they probably didn’t know what they had done, but it didn’t matter. Ignorance does not excuse a crime, and this was an offense that would not be forgiven.

“Maybe Scyther will have some suggestions,” Ethan thought, smiling at the thought of his Pokemon’s savagery.

He felt Alakazam flinch behind him as the words crossed his mind; having no doubt that the psychic type had heard. Unfazed, Ethan used his heels to spurn Rapidash faster, his body starting to almost vibrate with eagerness. The forest they were traveling through morphed into a ring of brown and black as they sped up, Ethan’s eyes unable to focus due to the wind howling into them. He knew that Rapidash was already pushed to the edge of her abilities, but he dug his heels into her harder; fire in his eyes and murder in his heart.



**********


“Um, what?” Dorian asked.

“Pretty much,” Shelton replied.

They were standing about twenty feet from Ronnie’s front porch, stopped dead in their tracks by a withering mass of sparking electrical cables. The strands of thick plastic danced around about in a chaotic fashion, loud snaps ringing out as they discharged electricity. A crew of four men formed a square around the cables, waving their hands in warning as people walked by. They were all wearing identical blue jumpsuits with snowy white hardhats, their apparel streaked with layers of grime and sweat. The one closest to them saw them approaching and quickly trotted over, his hand fixed on the top of his head to keep his hard hat from bouncing off.

“Sorry folk’s, but that’s as close as ya’ll are gonna get,” the man said, his vowels long and prominent.

The man’s brow was drenched in sweat, which transitioned to his almost shoulder length hair that was of the same wet persuasion. A scraggly three-day growth of a beard was visible against intense hazel eyes. As he came to a stop in front of them, Dorian noticed two things. First, that the man was tanned and muscularly toned like that of a chiseled statue; the second thing was that Shelton was salivating like a hungry Houndoom.

“What happened?” Dorian asked.

“Well, the report we got was that a Scyther flew by not too long ago and thought it would be a good idea to slice the lines,” the man said, wiping a gloved hand across his forehead.

“Shelton Street,” Shelton announced, pushing past Dorian and extending her hand.

“Pleased to meet you, Ms. Street,” the man smiled, his gaze moving up and down across her body. “The name’s James Ford.”

“Pleased to meet you, James,” Shelton grinned, her voice giggling as she said his name.

“You ain’t from Pewter, are you?” James asked.

“Originally no,” Shelton answered. “I lived here when I was younger, but moved away a few years ago.”

“Well, I knew that before I asked,” James explained. “I couldn’t forget a pretty face like yours if I tried.”

Dorian watched the scene before him unfold in disgust, completely unaccustomed to Shelton’s blatant flirting. She was swooning over this man with no regard to what she looked like; which to Dorian was akin to her asking for a three course dinner at a hardware store. Spying two children kicking a ball past them, Dorian took the opportunity to put Shelton out of her misery.

“Excuse me, sir,” Dorian said, condescension obvious in his voice. “There are a couple kids about to get fried.”

After looking over to his left, James took off in pursuit of the children passing the ball between themselves. Right before he was out of earshot he called, “I hope I see you soon, Ms. Street.”

“I’ll be here for awhile!” Shelton called, her smile stretching from ear to ear.

“Really?” Dorian asked, widening his eyes.

“What?!” Shelton snapped.

“You were pretty much undressing him with your eyes.”

“No I wasn’t,” Shelton said. “I was just introducing myself.”

“Right,” Dorian replied. “I forgot it’s common courtesy to make a puddle of saliva at your feet every time you meet a handyman.”

“I was just being nice. Besides, he’s hot.”

“No he’s not,” Dorian said. “He smelled like backwoods Unova trash and he looked like it too.”

“Oh come on,” Shelton replied. “Seriously Dorian, every woman between twelve and ninety-five with a pulse would think he’s hot.”

“Did you just come up with that, or is that saying something you’ve heard somewhere before?”

“It’s pretty common around women,” Shelton explained.

“Well just so you know, I think it’s pretty stupid.”

“I feel pretty bad about it now that you’ve said that,” Shelton said sarcastically. “I’ll be sure to act completely asexual around men from now on.”

“Like I care who you get busy with,” Dorian said. “All I’m saying is that you could raise your standards a little bit.”

“Nunuz!” Nuzleaf agreed.

“You’re both morons,” Shelton moaned, clearly exasperated by the conversation.

Just as Shelton was about to expand on her point, Dorian felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. Flipping his phone open, he said, “You better have a good reason for ignoring my call, I feel almost violated.”

“Where are you?” Ronnie asked, his voice reeking of desperation. “You guys are in Pewter by now, right?”

“We’re actually right in front of your house,” Dorian assured him. “Where are you?”

“It’s actually kind of complicated. I’m leaving the museum, but I’m under a sort of academic house arrest. The director gave the order to send the excavation team out a few days earlier than expected, which forced me to tell him about your discovery.”

“So he’s pissed?”

“To say the least. He was angry at first that I kept this from him, but his mood quickly changed as he realized that the find could save the museum a lot of money. The pictures you sent me sufficed for the moment, but he’s asked me to get the marker from you and bring it to him.”

“Well we got it,” Dorian said. “Should we bring it to your office?”

“Don’t worry about it,” Ronnie replied. “I’m already on my way to the house, so I’ll just grab it when I get there. There’s still a composition test I want to do before I present it.”

“Were you able to talk to him about paying us for it?” Dorian asked, trying to hide the longing in his voice.

“I wasn’t, but I’ll get to it after I give him the marker. He’s more likely to be charitable if he’s in a good mood.”

“Sounds good.”

“I’ll see you in about twenty minutes,” Ronnie informed him. “Bye.”

“Bye,” Dorian repeated, flipping the phone shut and returning it to his pocket.

He looked over to Nuzleaf and Shelton to tell them what Ronnie said, but stopped when he noticed what appeared to be a fire near the southern entrance of the city. Squinting, he saw the fire flare brighter for a second, then vanish completely in a flash of red light. After deciding that it was probably just some random trainer battle, he turned back to his roommate.

“Was that Ronnie?” Shelton quickly asked.

“Yeah,” Dorian replied. “He’s coming.”



**********


Ethan quickly dismounted his Rapidash as she trotted to a stop. They were situated at the outskirts of Pewter, only a stone’s throw away from the southern gate. He quickly looked around for his Scyther, dry grass crunching loudly beneath his boots.

“Call her,” Ethan instructed his Alakazam.

“Kazam,” he nodded, closing his eyes and letting his thoughts inch their way across the circumference of the city.

Confident that his Scyther would arrive momentarily, Ethan turned back to examine the city. A red shingled Pokemon Center sat up the right, while farther back and to the left resided an almost depressed looking market; its blue roof cracked and weathered with age. Houses were strewn across the city like random fallen raindrops, with no order or discernible pattern to their placement. Slabs of rock decorated the ground every few hundred feet, some no bigger than basketballs, while others were as large as cars; a testament to the city’s rocky beginning.

Ethan hated all of it; it was so, unorganized. There weren’t even clear paths for people to walk on, instead there were just random trails of stomped grass crisscrossing in every direction. This poor excuse of a city was nothing compared to his home in Saffron, where manicured lawns and glass high-rises reigned supreme. Ethan would deal with this situation quickly and get back home; back to a place with proper people and actual order.

“Rapidash,” Ethan started, pulling out her pokeball. “The project we’re on requires more stealth, and unfortunately you draw too much attention.”

“Neii,” Rapidash whined, spitting out the grass she had been eating.

“I know, but it’s for the best,” Ethan informed her. “Once we get back home you can have some free time outside, but for the moment you need to do as I say.”

“Niieee,” she huffed, the flames on her mane billowing higher.

Ethan pressed the return button on her pokeball, enveloping her in ruby light and returning her to its confines. He pocketed the ball and looked back over to Alakazam, whose face was still scrunched up in concentration.

“She coming?” Ethan asked.

“Kazazam,” the Pokemon replied, inclining his head towards the tree line.

There was a rustling of limbs, and a shadow appeared between the nearest trees. Scyther forced herself through the tight overgrowth, making an effort to keep her left arm hidden behind her back. Her eyes lit up as she saw her master, and shuffled over to stand next to Alakazam.

“Did you find them?” Ethan asked her.

“Sai,” Scyther affirmed.

“Good, let’s go then,” Ethan smiled, gesturing for her to take the lead.

“Scyther,” she said nervously, turning back towards the tree line.

Before she took a step however, Ethan quickly jumped forward and grabbed her left arm, twisting it roughly towards himself. The sword that made up his Pokemon’s lower arm had been burned severely, turning her dark green color a putrid black. Scyther looked back at him guiltily, trying to wrench her arm out of his grasp.

“What happened?” Ethan hissed.

“Sai,” she explained. “Scythersai.”

“And you thought that would be funny?” Ethan questioned.

“Saisa,” she moaned as his grip tightened.

“Stop,” Ethan ordered. “It serves you right. Slicing electrical cables is something a Beedrill would do, not you. Did I not express how important this was? What were you thinking?”

“Sai,” she replied, hanging her head.

“You’re not getting off that easy,” Ethan replied, clamping down on her arm so hard that his hand began to cramp.

“Scyther!” she yelled, tearing her arm from his gasp. Her sword came loose quickly, though not before it tore a pencil width gash across his wrist. She held her arm to her chest, trying her best to look apologetic; which was something she rarely succeeded at, owing to the fact that she was never sorry about anything.

“This is important, and there is no room for error,” Ethan informed the frightened bug. Wincing, he flexed his right arm and closed his eyes in an effort to center himself. After a moment, he opened them again to see the wound on his wrist healing, black smoke drifting out of the hole. Moments later, the cut was gone, leaving no trace that it had ever happened.

“Saisai,” Scyther explained, pointing with her uninjured arm back through the trees.

“Lead the way,” Ethan said.

Fuming with more anger than he had before he got to town, Ethan followed his Scyther into the dense forest, trying his best not to make any noise. Alakazam followed behind, doing rapid multiplication in his head to occupy his mind. The trio quickly made their way across the town, keeping far enough into the forest that they couldn’t be seen. After a few minutes, Scyther halted, staring at a house about a hundred yards away.

They were there, in all their thieving glory. A red mist came over Ethan and he started forward, his hands shaking with rage. Alakazam grabbed him right before he got out of reach, causing him to turn around. The psychic Pokemon pointed towards the group Ethan was walking towards, motioning at the numerous other people that were walking nearby.

Ethan took a breath to calm himself. His Alakazam was right; it was far too crowded to risk any sort of unprovoked attack. With slow and deliberate steps, Ethan pushed himself through the woods to peek around the last tree that separated the two groups. As he came to the edge of the trees, the shard in his pocket began to vibrate.



********


“He should be here any minute,” Dorian thought, looking to the west for any sign of his uncle.

Shaking his head, he returned back to the game he and Nuzleaf were playing. The game was an amalgamation of different situations they’ve been put through over the years, and they were still in the process of perfecting the rules. Basically, they faced each other about fifteen yards away from each other and stood completely still. One of them expanded a pokeball, and threw it at the other as hard as they could. You could aim for any area on the person you wished, but if you flinched or dodged out of the way, you earned yourself a penalty. Their current penalty was that the other person could give them a punch to the gut, without any sort of padding or protection whatsoever. To them it was a fair game, because if you showed courage, you usually took a pokeball to the skull, and if you showed cowardice, you were rewarded with a punch to the stomach. The only real way to win was for the other person to miss every time while remaining completely still.

“Ready for the noise?!” Dorian yelled, throwing the ball.

“Nunuz!” Nuzleaf answered, his eyes squeezed tightly shut. The ball missed him by several feet, causing him to blow Dorian a raspberry and take off after it.

“Dammit,” Dorian grumbled.

A laugh to his left caused him to look over. Machoke was giggling slightly at Dorian’s failed attempt, his voice much deeper than it had been as a Machop. On one hand, Dorian was glad Machoke had calmed down enough to relax, as there had been a pretty stressful situation when he was released a few minutes ago.

Dorian had been talking to Shelton as he and Nuzleaf lined up to play their game when she had decided to release Machoke for the first time since returning him right after he had evolved. The fighting Pokemon had materialized in a shower of white energy, standing almost as tall as Dorian in his new form. The only problem was, he had taken shape completely nude. As soon as Machoke’s eyes took in his new form and the area he was in, he quickly started crying and covering his lower body in embarrassment. Shelton had tried to calm him down, only to have her Pokemon start stomping the ground in angst, creating cracks in the road with his newfound brawn. Machoke had only calmed down once Dorian pulled out a pair of his own boxer briefs from his bag and handed them to him.

Now, Machoke was seated on the ground next to Shelton, Dorian’s boxers being stretched to their limit by his bulging muscles. Shelton was sitting next to him, her head leaning against her Pokemon’s shoulder. She hadn’t stopped touching Machoke since he had emerged from his ball, convinced that something else would befall him if he wandered too far away from her.

“It’s not as easy as you might think. So how about you mind your own busi-,” Dorian started, only to be cut off by a fiery glaze sent at him by Shelton.

Just as Dorian turned back towards Nuzleaf, he paused, his back pocket was vibrating. It was odd though, as he distinctly remembered putting his phone in his front pocket. Shaking his head, he reached into his back pocket and pulled it out; but it wasn’t his phone he had retrieved, it was the shard. It was pulsing lightly, almost like a gentle heartbeat. Dorian didn’t understand why the marker was moving. It didn’t have anything inside it, at least to the best of his knowledge it didn’t.

“Why are you looking at that thing like that?” Shelton asked.

“I don’t see how, but this thing is vibrat-,” Dorian said, only to be cut off by the sudden impact of a pokeball hitting him in the side of the head.

“Nuuhnuz!” Nuzleaf cackled loudly.

“You little bastard!” Dorian yelled, bending down and picking up the ball. “I wasn’t paying attention! That’s a free shot from ten feet!”

“Nuzleaf!” his Pokemon called, blowing him another raspberry.

In a rage, Dorian darted forward, the pokeball in his right hand, the pulsing shard in his left. As he closed to about ten feet away, Dorian drew back and hurled the ball at Nuzleaf, its red surface gleaming. Nuzleaf barely ducked in time as the ball streaked towards him, causing it to miss him by several inches. The ball continued on its course, slicing through the air like a knife. As it connected with the hedge that circled Ronnie’s house, there was a loud squeal, a flash of white light, and a tiny snap as it closed itself back up.

“Nu?” Nuzleaf asked, prying himself out of a headlock.

“I don’t know, go check,” Dorian replied.

“Nunuz!” Nuzleaf answered, shaking his leaf from side to side.

“What was that flash?” Shelton asked as she and Machoke jogged up.

“Well, the Pokeball hit the hedge, and we heard something yell,” Dorian explained.

“Go get it then, dummy,” Shelton said.

“I know what to do,” Dorian replied, walking over to the hedge.

It took him a moment to dig through the thick foliage, but his hands found the trembling pokeball. Standing back up, he rolled it in his hand, his mind a mix of anticipation and confusion. With a loud ding, the return button of the ball blinked red rapidly, signaling a successful capture.

“Well,” Shelton inquired.

“I uh, caught something,” Dorian informed her.

“Nunuz?” Nuzleaf chimed in.

“How the hell am I supposed to know?” Dorian asked. “I didn’t see what it was.”

“Nuzleaf,” he countered.

“Yeah, open it,” Shelton agreed.

“Alright,” Dorian said, slightly unsure of himself. “I should just do that. Yeah, I’ll just open it.”

Taking a quick breath, Dorian pressed the return button, opening the ball and spilling out its contents. A shape began to materialize on the ground in front of them, bathing their half circle in a bright white glow. Starting at the ground, a thick black tail in the winding shape of a coil appeared, followed by a sizeable, similarly colored tube-like stomach. Two stubby arms became visible next, followed by two rosy circles of fur underneath inky black eyes. By far the most distinguishing characteristic of the now fully formed Pokemon was a large pink pearl clamped tightly between its tiny ears.

“Is that?” Shelton asked.

“Pretty sure it is,” Dorian agreed.

“Spoink?” the small Pokemon uttered, its large flat nose sniffing the air.

“Well hello,” Dorian said. “How’s it going?”

“Spoink?” the Pokemon repeated, looking at Dorian like he was some sort of extraterrestrial. Its eyes drifted over the rest of the group, narrowing slightly when it came to the hulking form of Machoke. Coming back to Dorian, the Spoink spied the open pokeball clutched in Dorian’s right hand. Its eyes widened to the extreme, and its mouth dropped open.

“Yeah, I kind of inadvertently caught you,” Dorian said, grinning sheepishly.

“SPOINK!” the pokemon bellowed, bobbing up and down very rapidly.

As the sound escaped the psychic Pokemon’s mouth, several things happened at once. Nuzleaf leapt forward, drawing back his fist, Machoke grabbed Shelton from behind and turned around, shielding her with his body, and a pink glow shot out of the Spoink’s pearl and enveloped Dorian from head to toe.

“Wai-,” Dorian started, only to stop short as he was yanked off the ground and thrown backwards through the air. Dorian’s vision blurred as he flew backwards, the world passing by him too quickly to focus. Just before the force carrying him dropped its hold, he managed to turn his head around to see where he was going to land. Dorian began flailing his arms wildly in vain, yelling through clenched teeth as his body came down on the twitching mass of sliced electrical cables in front of his uncle’s house.

Pain, unimaginable pain, coursed through his body in torrents as the electricity surged across his flesh. Almost as soon as that one agonizing second commenced, it was over, and he pushed himself up off the ground. Shivering and covered with goose bumps, Dorian struggled to understand why the temperature had changed so dramatically. Remembering what he had fallen into, Dorian quickly leaped to the left, putting him out of the way of the cables.

As he looked down to where he had just jumped from, he gasped. His body was still lying on the ground, twitching and contorting in agony as electricity billowed across it. He almost fainted on the spot as he looked at his body on the ground, his mind being torn in half by the paradox that was taking shape in front of him. He was standing to the side, he wasn’t still on the cables; he had jumped, hadn’t he? As he watched his body on the ground, he noticed two things. First, that his body on the ground was spasming far too slowly; and looking up he could see Nuzleaf in the distance running towards his body on the ground, but he was moving slow as well, like he was stuck in slow motion. The second thing he noticed was that the blue electricity surging across his frame on the ground was all moving to one point, to the shard still clutched in his left hand.

Dorian raised his left hand in his standing body and saw that the same shard was in that hand as well, the only difference being that it was glowing. How was it in both hands? Despite the fact that he was having an out of body experience, that question kept forcing its way into his mind. How were they in both hands? Just as he asked himself the question again, the black shard started pulsing. Harder and harder it pulsed, vibrating so hard that Dorian could barely hang on to it. He couldn’t understand the situation unfolding in front of him; it was so far beyond the realm of his comprehension that all he could do was stare blankly at the softly glowing object. Well, almost all he could do. He figured out he could still scream; which is exactly what he did when the shard wrapped itself around his left hand and yanked him into the sky.

Sid87
4th May 2012, 4:33 PM
Woo! "Filler chapter!" :D


Dorian and Shelton’s Pokemon were all out of their respective balls, clapping softly as Trapinch approached. Well, almost all of them.

Considering the narrator is not a "character" (at least has not been portrayed as such), it seems odd for the narrator to say something like "Well, almost all of them". It sounds a bit too colloquial for an unquestioned narration. Do you know what I mean? There's nothing wrong with giving your narrator some flavor and personality, but it hasn't had one to this point, so this threw me.


“I was hoping that a win might finally make you evolve,” Dorian said. “It’s alright though. I know you’re as eager to get rid of those pains as I am. Maybe it’ll happen next time

I love Love LOVE the portrayal of evolution as this long, drawn-out process. It almost makes me wish you had made it even more protracted by having some elements of Trapinch change gradually (its coloration or appendages or eyes...some small physical change to show the painful awkwardness and relate it more too adolescence), but I still love this concept.

Not as much as the Pokeflect! But still. :)


Trapinch felt an familiar sensation start tugging at its gut

*UNfamiliar. Just a typo.


Trapinch began to growl loudly, tapping into the growing process that his kind was sometimes afforded. His skin suddenly transformed into sickly hues of yellow and green. His eyes began to bulge and turn a lustrous olive as his backbone began to stretch and wiggle trough the back of his thick hide. Crimson blood streamed down his sides as a pair of regal looking, rhombus shaped wings burst out from underneath his skin. Growling louder now, the bones in his face began to change shape, becoming thinner, narrower, becoming almost brittle in their lightness. As a pair of antenna burst out of Trapinch’s forehead, his new tail split in two, mirroring the shape and color of its new wings.

Yeah, see...that was good. Very powerful visuals. I just would liked to have seen hints of the changes earlier. But still...very nice!


“Look kid, I’m not in the mood to battle you,” Dorian said, his mood bypassing annoyance and going straight to exasperation. “I don’t care if we locked eyes, I don’t have to adhere to your need to prove yourself. How old are you anyway? Twelve?”

“I’m fourteen!” the kid yelled. “It’s in the rules! If you look at me, and I look back at you, we have to battle. I’ll call the Pokemon Battle Association if you don’t!”

“What makes you think I care? Do you think that’s going to change my mind? Kid, before you threaten someone, you need to make sure you have something to take away from them.”

“You’re just scared,” the adolescent surmised. “You know Beedrill and I would pound you senseless!”

“Are you off your medication? I have at least twelve years experience on you,” Dorian said, bringing his head down to the teen’s level. “Where are your parents? I’m feeling the sudden urge to tell them what an annoying little bastard you are.”

“They’re back in Kanto, not that it’s any of your damn business!”

“And you said you were fourteen? What kind of negligent parents send their kids out by themselves at that age?”

“They have faith in me!”

You like to make fun of the game tropes. That was at least two right there. It's fun to ridicule the sillier aspects of the games, but be careful not to overdo it. It's hard to juxtapose the realism of Trapinch's bloody, pain evolution against the silliness of those things. I know that you are ridiculing the silliness of them, but it's still feeling a TAD BIT forced to do so. But don't worry, it's amusing to read either way.

-What an odd note to end the chapter on. It makes me feel there is more to this kid and his Beedrill than meets the eye. I'm curious as to how this battle wraps up and what it's leading to, so I might sneak a peak at chapter 5 before heading off.

As far as filler chapters go, this wasn't bad. I like filler because it develops character. We didn't really get MUCH of that here, but the writing was still very enjoyable.

Shadow Lucario
4th May 2012, 10:16 PM
All caught up! But I'm on my iPod right now so I can't give an in depth review. As I told you already, I loved chapter 8. It has to be my favorite so far. I had thought you killed Golduck. I was going to cry, but I'm happy to see that he is alive. The Graveler incident wrapped up very nicely. I expect both Dorian and Shelton to grow from it. I love how you portrayed Shelton when she saw the workman. Seems like you have women pinned down. ;P Ethan becoming more and more frustrated was a nice touch. It seems he's ready to pull his hair out. Keep up the good work. Until next time.

Sidewinder
6th May 2012, 2:26 AM
I can't believe I JUST thought of this: Why didn't the Pokeflect save Dorian from that attack, anyway? (I'm still SUPER interested in this device)

Well, I think it would have protected him but it wasn't activated at the time. The device needs to be switched on to be able to block attacks. So if he's not in a battle or dangerous situation, I think he leaves it off to save power.


Was someonbe watching Mean Girls when they wrote this? It seems really derivative of the "fetch" dialogue.

Lol now that I think about it, it is pretty similar. However, no, its my own invention. I use that catch phrase irl, and it annoys my fiance to no end.


Considering the narrator is not a "character" (at least has not been portrayed as such), it seems odd for the narrator to say something like "Well, almost all of them". It sounds a bit too colloquial for an unquestioned narration. Do you know what I mean? There's nothing wrong with giving your narrator some flavor and personality, but it hasn't had one to this point, so this threw me.

I see what you're saying on that bit. To be completely honest I didn't even think of that so thanks for bringing it to my attention.


I love Love LOVE the portrayal of evolution as this long, drawn-out process. It almost makes me wish you had made it even more protracted by having some elements of Trapinch change gradually (its coloration or appendages or eyes...some small physical change to show the painful awkwardness and relate it more too adolescence), but I still love this concept.

I see what you mean. You're actually the second person to suggest that very thing. I flirted with the idea before, but with Trapinch I decided that the way I went was my favorite. Who knows, you may see some of what you suggested if any more of their pokemon evolve.


You like to make fun of the game tropes. That was at least two right there. It's fun to ridicule the sillier aspects of the games, but be careful not to overdo it. It's hard to juxtapose the realism of Trapinch's bloody, pain evolution against the silliness of those things. I know that you are ridiculing the silliness of them, but it's still feeling a TAD BIT forced to do so. But don't worry, it's amusing to read either way.

On one hand, I was making fun of the games, but the main reason the kid said those things because his character is really bent on following rules at all costs and sticking to exactly what his manual says. That'll become apparent in later chapters as he slowly works himself back into the story. I'll keep what you said in mind.


What an odd note to end the chapter on. It makes me feel there is more to this kid and his Beedrill than meets the eye.

;)

Glover
6th May 2012, 5:35 AM
I love Love LOVE the portrayal of evolution as this long, drawn-out process. It almost makes me wish you had made it even more protracted by having some elements of Trapinch change gradually (its coloration or appendages or eyes...some small physical change to show the painful awkwardness and relate it more too adolescence), but I still love this concept. I see what you mean. You're actually the second person to suggest that very thing. I flirted with the idea before, but with Trapinch I decided that the way I went was my favorite. Who knows, you may see some of what you suggested if any more of their pokemon evolve.

Working on a review and saw this. I have a problem with that form of evolution. It makes snese to me for a Pokemon to be preparing, like a bear for hibernation, and then let the actual change happen more instantaniously, but if you go the drawn out route, what do you do with Pokemon liek Remoraid? Halfway through evolution,. uyou have this finless red rock thing with dumpy little limbs not quite long enough to move its proportionally oversize head, and the flins it had as a Remoraid have mostly retreated into its Octillery body. You have this fish that can't feed itself...

my tw cents, anyway. Personally, I subscribe to a theory that the white light, or any of the lights including the Pokeball mechanisms, is not the body, but the soul momentarily exposed.

PhantomDragon
6th May 2012, 1:53 PM
Hey. :) Said I'd review this, so I will, but good chapter overall imo.

On the subject of the evolution method, I think it's a good idea and waaay more realistic than in the games and anime, but I see Glover's point about certain Pokémon that would struggle with this method. But what if certain Pokémon, such as Remoraid, had developed faster evolution so that they wouldn't have to go as long without food? That's just an idea on my part, feel free to say it's terrible.


“Shut it. Just because you had one good idea does not mean that I have a higher opinion of you. Besides, you still owe me for rent,” Shelton snarled.

“Do you ever let anything go?” Dorian asked.

“Not when it comes to money,” Shelton answered. “Or your awful decisions involving money, word usage, or dress sense.”


I think you portray the relationship between Dorian and Shelton really well. You have a good balance between Shelton's scathing nudges but not making it seem too forced.


He felt Alakazam flinch behind him as the words crossed his mind; having no doubt that the psychic type had heard. Unfazed, Ethan used his heels to spurn Rapidash faster, his body starting to almost vibrate with eagerness. The forest they were traveling through morphed into a ring of brown and black as they sped up, Ethan’s eyes unable to focus due to the wind howling into them. He knew that Rapidash was already pushed to the edge of her abilities, but he dug his heels into her harder; fire in his eyes and murder in his heart.


Another thing I like is the way you're portraying Ethan. He's slowly getting more and more violent in his pursuit of Dorian and Shelton, and the fact that Alakazam doesn't wholly agree with him is a nice touch on the lines of making sure all the Pokémon have personalitites. It also means he's a tiny bit more unpredictable.


First, that the man was tanned and muscularly toned like that of a chiseled statue; the second thing was that Shelton was salivating like a hungry Houndoom.


I LOL'ed.


Dorian watched the scene before him unfold in disgust, completely unaccustomed to Shelton’s blatant flirting. She was swooning over this man with no regard to what she looked like; which to Dorian was akin to her asking for a three course dinner at a hardware store.

Love Dorian's reaction to this as well.


“You better have a good reason for ignoring my call, I feel almost violated.”


I felt this was awkwardly worded. To me, "I feel almost violated" doesn't make a lot of sense.


“Rapidash,” Ethan started, pulling out her pokeball. “The project we’re on requires more stealth, and unfortunately you draw too much attention.”

“Neii,” Rapidash whined, spitting out the grass she had been eating.


Tbh, I was expecting Rapidash to be more tired after Ethan had pushed her so hard earlier.


The fighting Pokemon had materialized in a shower of white energy, standing almost as tall as Dorian in his new form. The only problem was, he had taken shape completely nude.

So that's one of the complications with his evolution. Nice touch, plus it makes sense that Machoke wouldn't have been able to create the pants from evolving after needing so much energy to evolve after being injured in the first place.


He figured out he could still scream; which is exactly what he did when the shard wrapped itself around his left hand and yanked him into the sky.

...WHAT? Argh, massive cliffhanger! ;_; I hope Dorian doesn't die. I like Dorian.

So many cliffhangers! The last paragraph was well done though, I thought Dorian's confusion and fear over how he managed to jump out of his own body was well expressed.

I know I ought to point out the negative points of this fic as well as going "You portrayed this well, you wrote that well", but tbh I can't see anything that you desparately need to work on. Future reviews probably won't be quite as in-depth (by my standards anyway), but they will definitely come. Looking forward to the next chapter.

Sidewinder
7th May 2012, 3:20 PM
Working on a review and saw this. I have a problem with that form of evolution. It makes snese to me for a Pokemon to be preparing, like a bear for hibernation, and then let the actual change happen more instantaniously, but if you go the drawn out route, what do you do with Pokemon liek Remoraid? Halfway through evolution,. uyou have this finless red rock thing with dumpy little limbs not quite long enough to move its proportionally oversize head, and the flins it had as a Remoraid have mostly retreated into its Octillery body. You have this fish that can't feed itself...

I see your point as well. I like my idea of spontaneous violent evolution the best, but subtle changes beforehand, like change of eye color, skin color, beginnings of a tail, etc, are something that I may or may not decide to do. As long as the small changes don't affect the Pokemon to the point where they can't function normally, I don't see a problem with it. Lol, I'll probably end up sticking to my version


my tw cents, anyway. Personally, I subscribe to a theory that the white light, or any of the lights including the Pokeball mechanisms, is not the body, but the soul momentarily exposed.

I've never heard that theory before. Did you make it up? Or is it a well known theory?


But what if certain Pokémon, such as Remoraid, had developed faster evolution so that they wouldn't have to go as long without food? That's just an idea on my part, feel free to say it's terrible.

I see what you mean. If you read my response to Glover, I think it should clear that up. Thanks for the input!


I think you portray the relationship between Dorian and Shelton really well. You have a good balance between Shelton's scathing nudges but not making it seem too forced.

Thanks! Their relationship is one area I think is really integral to the story, so its been something I've been trying really hard on. Thanks for noticing.


I felt this was awkwardly worded. To me, "I feel almost violated" doesn't make a lot of sense.

You're right, it does feel somewhat awkward. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


Tbh, I was expecting Rapidash to be more tired after Ethan had pushed her so hard earlier.

I'm sure she was, which is why the first thing she did after she was able to rest was start eating.


...WHAT? Argh, massive cliffhanger! ;_; I hope Dorian doesn't die. I like Dorian.

I have a couple irl friends who don't know anything about Pokemon who read this, and the first thing my buddy did after he read the last paragraph was throw a beer bottle at me aha

Thanks for the review, I'm glad you took the time to read it ^^

diamondpearl876
8th May 2012, 1:11 AM
“I say that after we get paid, we buy enough food so that we don’t have to leave the house for a month.”

“Oddly enough, I’m in complete agreement,” Shelton admitted.

I like their interactions here a lot. You do a good job at showing how they get along yet how they like to playfully fight with each other. (Also, this is like my dream situation. I like being lazy.)

Ronnie would make their recent misfortune worthwhile; he would put them back into their usual mindset. His uncle always exuded a sense of calm and jovial happiness, and had always done his best to make him and Shelton feel welcome and comfortable; it was an unspoken promise he had kept ever since he started raising them.

Well, this explains a lot. Yay for Dorian and Shelton backstory! Now that I think about it, anyway, I prefer them to have sibling-like relationship rather than a romantic one.


The trio walked with purpose, all three ready for some much deserved rest, all of them unaware of a Scyther watching them from just inside the nearby tree line.

I really liked this line. I like the mixture of determination for giving themselves a chance to rest, yet us, as the readers, know that that rest probably isn’t coming any time soon.


He noticed a similar aura taking shape around his own legs and waist; obviously Alakazam’s attempt to keep them both level on the galloping horse.

I wouldn’t really use the word “obviously” in third person. It can make the readers feel dumb especially if they don’t realize what you’re actually trying to say. Also expecting your readers to know things is silly. If you said, however: “it was obvious to Ethan that Alakazam was trying to keep them both level…” or something, that’d be fine, since it’s attributed to your character, not the readers. Hope that makes sense.


Ignorance does not excuse a crime, and this was an offense that would not be forgiven.

Tense change here. Should be: “did not excuse”


First, that the man was tanned and muscularly toned like that of a chiseled statue; the second thing was that Shelton was salivating like a hungry Houndoom.

Amusing. Oh, Shelton, you’re such a flirt.


She was swooning over this man with no regard to what she looked like; which to Dorian was akin to her asking for a three course dinner at a hardware store.

Even more amusing. I’d totally like to see this scene. And it’s just like Dorian to be like… what the hell are you doing?


“I was just being nice. Besides, he’s hot.”

“No he’s not,” Dorian said. “He smelled like backwoods Unova trash and he looked like it too.”

LOL. A course a guy would say no. Also, I like the hint of Dorian not liking people from other regions. I’ve seen a lot of rivalry between regions being implemented in fics, and I’ve always found it pretty interesting. It’s kind of like the pokémon version of racism… since no one ever seems to have actual race prominent in their fics.


“Like I care who you get busy with,” Dorian said. “All I’m saying is that you could raise your standards a little bit.”

“Nunuz!” Nuzleaf agreed.

Nuzleaf randomly showing up LOL. If even the pokémon know you’re kinda going around too much, then that sounds like a pretty big deal.


“Yeah,” Dorian replied. “He’s coming.”

Lol, at first I think Ronnie, but you cut this section off at the perfect point to where the readers realizes—well, ****, Ethan’s coming too.


Confident that his Scyther would arrive momentarily, Ethan turned back to examine the city. A red shingled Pokemon Center sat up the right, while farther back and to the left resided an almost depressed looking market; its blue roof cracked and weathered with age. Houses were strewn across the city like random fallen raindrops, with no order or discernible pattern to their placement. Slabs of rock decorated the ground every few hundred feet, some no bigger than basketballs, while others were as large as cars; a testament to the city’s rocky beginning.

This is a very interesting and descriptive take on Pewter City. Yeah, it’s supposed to be a really ancient city and kind of old, but the games/anime never really show that. I like this a lot.


“You’re not getting off that easy,” Ethan replied, clamping down on her arm so hard that his hand began to cramp.

As evil as it sounds, I really like this part. It shows just how serious Ethan is about this situation. He’s willing to go pretty damn far for it, even if it means that his pokémon get hurt.


The only problem was, he had taken shape completely nude. As soon as Machoke’s eyes took in his new form and the area he was in, he quickly started crying and covering his lower body in embarrassment.

Poor Machoke. This is a pretty interesting take on the pokémon. Usually they’re all supposed to have heavyweight belts or something, but it just doesn’t make sense for them to materialize out of nowhere. I like this realistic take on Machoke. It also gave great insight to his character. :P Poor guy.

I also liked the ending a lot. Looks like Dorian’s going through something similar that Ethan does because of the stone. Out-of-body experiences can certainly be interesting.

Overall, your description was really good in this chapter, as usual. I could see everything very clearly. There was also a lot more interactive dialogue in this chapter, I think… And I think you’re getting a lot better at it. You really know how to portray a character’s personality and such through their words alone, which is a good skill to have. Anyway, I look forward to seeing more. :)

Knightfall
8th May 2012, 4:59 AM
Sorry for the delay, but its here now. I tried to find any remaining grammatical errors, but I’m still not that good in that area, so please correct me if any of my statements prove to be false. Well, let’s get started.

Requiem, an interesting choice for a story title. It means a church service for someone who has died, or a piece of music for that service, a slightly morbid piece of foreshadowing in my opinion. Still, catchy title.





Prologue



The cave, like most in Hoenn, was filled with arching passageways and hidden tunnels, luring tourists and treasure seekers from all over the land to the small island where the cave made its home. Granite Cave, was unique in the fact that it was not only just found on the island but burrowed underneath it.

I don’t think that there should be a comma after Granite Cave. There is no pause in the sentence that requires it.



They had given him his Abra however. He allowed himself a small smile at the thought; he and the pokemon had bonded extremely well over the last few months, becoming inseperable, becoming dependant on one another.

Supposed to be inseparable.

A very well written start to this story. You explain the boy’s childhood and give us many details of his situation including the fact that he has an Abra with similar issues. The scene with the chamber is a little rushed in my opinion, going from the boy losing sight of the tour group to being attacked by a wild Pokemon to getting dragged through a wall to the alter and the crystal, but this is the prologue so I guess its all right if its short.




Chapter 1




“Bullet Seed!’ Dorian roared.

Not sure on your take on capitalizing move names, either way for this situation the move name starts the sentence, so I believe it has to be capitalized.




It was odd; both Pokemon were polar opposites in terms of facial features, but they were giving Dorian the exact same look of contempt. Rolling his eyes, Dorian tucked his newly captured Pokemon into his pocket, patting it once to reassure himself; then started back down the road towards Cherrygrove City, with the tree midget and space termite following close behind.

Supposed to have a semicolon there not a comma.



As he fell, he sighted Sheton’s Golduck sitting on the steps of their front porch, its bill marred with a mixture of anxiousness and forced regret.
Again, supposed to be a semicolon.



“I-“ he started, only to be cut off by the fiery glare thrown at him from her shocking azure eyes.

Not so much an grammatical issue, but the quotation mark is backwards.



He switched back to Shelton, taking in her glowing, shoulder length blond hair, the slight curves of her shoulder and hips, and her ivory skin that was barely visible beneath the waves of red igniting in anger across her face.

I think that a semicolon is supposed to be there instead of the comma, but I may be mistaken. It could be the way I’m reading the sentence.

A great chapter, you described the Growlithe battle with much detail as well as introducing Dorian and Nuzleaf. Shelton is well on her way to becoming my favorite character, her no-nonsense attitude and treatment of Dorian who is a polar opposite of her make for quite the funny scene.
I’d like to mention the passage at the end of the chapter. This man is a strange character, he doesn’t show the signs of an outright antagonist-in fact the prologue makes him seem more like a protagonist with his new powers and the voices. You set up his story so that his quest will eventually intersect with Dorian and Shelton now that Dorian has that artifact.



CHAPTER 2




“Ah! How’s my future daughter in law doing?”

“She’s really good. We finally set the wedding date; June, two-thousand and never!”

Nothing wrong with this passage, I just found it funny. It’s a sign of a good author when they can input humor into a story and not detract from the main plot.



“Well, from the limited amount of information we’ve gathered on the marker’s, they’re supposedly forged from metal; but out of a rare ore we think is obsidian. Though we don’t know for sure because there is so little discovered throughout the world today, only a few grams or so. We know that from their description, its jet black, weighing much less than other metal ore’s they would have had access to back then. From what the Director is thinking, he attributed it more to a hollow, glossy diamond, instead of metal.”

First off, marker’s is supposed to be markers, and its should be it’s.
Small errors.

Again, a well written chapter. A few grammatical errors, but the number of them is decreasing as more chapters pass. Which is always a good sign of improvement.
We see the financial situation that Dorian and Shelton are in, which, provides a good incentive for them to deliver the artifact to Dorian’s uncle (I know that doesn’t happen until chapter three, but I’m pointing it out now).
And the man’s quest for the shards, and absorbing them, nice description with that.



The man didn’t know where they were going next, but he knew that the next time he slept, he would be told. He was always told where to go and how to better himself and his Pokemon. The voices would whisper to him in his dreams, guiding him towards additional power, guiding him to more knowledge, and eventually, guiding him to his destiny.

And now we are introduced to a new character of sorts, the voices. While we don’t know whether the man is the villain of this story yet, we know that it is these voices that guide him on his quest for some unknown reason. You’re introducing his character slowly, so that the readers only see a small bit of his personality at a time. A nice touch, his “destiny” adds another bit of mystery to the plot.




Chapter 3



“You know, sometimes I don’t know who your more loyal to,” Dorian said. “Don’t forget that I picked you off the ground when you were a Seedot and attached you’re worthless carcass to that tree in the backyard!”

Supposed to be you’re.



“Nu-Nuz,” the Pokemon agreed, reaching out to shake his owners hand. As the Pokemon’s smiling owner reached down to grasp it however, the Pokemon leaped up and over Dorian; and in one motion twisted gracefully through the air, pulling the front of Dorian's shirt over his head and using his momentum to kick out his legs, sending him back to the ground.

I think that’s supposed to be owner’s, and it made me laugh.



“Let’s do it!” Dorian announced. “Strap on the nitro!”

“Really?” Shelton asked, “Come on Dorian, we talked about this for like half an hour.”

“Come on, just give it a chance,” he pleaded.

“No. That catch phrase is never going to catch on. Besides that, its barely a catch phrase. Its just random words that have nothing to do with our current situation.”

“Fine,” he said, shouldering his pack.

“We’re clear then?”

“Yes, mother,” he grumbled.

“Now can we go?”

“Yuppers,” he said. “Let’s do it.”

Oh God, bad catch phrases, also “its” should be it’s.



“Were going to Johto, outside Cherrygrove,” he told the mustached Pokemon. “Should only take us a day if we move quick.”

I’m not sure on this one, but it sounds better if it said “quickly” not “quick”.

The few errors aside, a good chapter. This is where the real adventure begins. I find it a little strange that Dorian just found that rare artifact covered by a thin layer of dirt, while the others were in hidden, underground chambers that had to be forced open with a Pokemon attack. I realize that it’s for the plot, but I’m not sure why this certain artifact was so easy to find. Just a little oddity I was wondering about.

As of this chapter, Dorian and Shelton, and even Ethan’s characters seem to be developing steadily, with details of back-story and personality being revealed gradually as to not overwhelm readers. You have an excellent balance of plot development, character development, details, and humor. You also make the Pokemon very memorable and make their individual personalities shine. Yet another reason why I enjoy this story.

Well that's it for Part One of my review of this fic, Parts Two and Three should be up in the upcomming days.

Knightfall signing off...;005;

Sid87
8th May 2012, 7:56 PM
CHAPTER 5 REVIEW!


Scorch marks traced a line from its left side up to its twitching antenna, the wounds cracking audibly as it moved.

Okay, ouch.


“What was that about me learning something?” the kid called over to Dorian, recalling his Pokemon and retrieving his share of the money.

“Are you implying that you won?" Dorian asked, opening Growlithe’s pokeball and returning his Pokemon. “Because you obviously didn’t.”

“Neither did you,” the kid scowled.

“Well, I’m leaving,” Dorian stated. “Thanks for, whatever.”

“Right back at you, champ,” the kid fired back.

“You little bastard!” Dorian exclaimed, changing direction and stalking towards him.

When you are doing quick back-and-forth dialogue, you don't need the names and verbs ("Dorian exclaimed", etc. Just let it flow, untagged line after untagged line. It will feel a LOT more natural, and will read just as it is supposed to. As long as each character has a distinctive voice, the readers should be able to keep up with the flow for several lines at a time.


The cliff face to the left began to shift. Slowly at first, almost accidentally, as if it was struggling to decide whether it wanted to keep its shape. White eyes opened along the expanse of the cliff, blinking slowly. Upon closer inspection, legs and arms became visible. The roughly hewn limbs made out of the same rock they were latched onto. The shapes communicated by moving themselves against the rocks, listening to the craggy vibrations that were made when they did so

I LOVE the part about the Geodude/Graveler/Whatever communicating through vibration. That's incredibly realistic and creative. I'm not enamored with the "Upon closer inspection, legs and arms became visible" line because that sounds almost like script direction than actual prose. Do you get what I mean?


Vibrava buzzed around the group in lazy concentric circles, drunk on its newfound ability of flight

Lovely line, that.

-The ending was fantastic, and I loved the bit with Golduck and Machop and their relationship with Golduck trying to reassure, and later protect him. This is a nice, interesting plot twist to interrupt the main storyline. No Ethan, just the new threat of angry Gravelers. And the two biggest threats to them were neutralized first? Angry SMART Gravelers.

SilentMemento
8th May 2012, 10:27 PM
Alright, time to dissect the latest chapter. I'm going to start off with the grammar, so that it can be fixed:


He felt Alakazam flinch behind him as the words crossed his mind; having no doubt that the psychic type had heard.

The semi-colon needs to be a comma. Semi-colons indicate that a sentence can be split into two separate ones without being fragments. Commas separate the fragments that wouldn't pass as regular sentences. If you don't want to replace the semi-colon, you might want to replace "having" with "he had".


The forest they were traveling through morphed into a ring of brown and black as they sped up, Ethan’s eyes unable to focus due to the wind howling into them. He knew that Rapidash was already pushed to the edge of her abilities, but he dug his heels into her harder; fire in his eyes and murder in his heart.

The bolded semi-colon needs to be a comma, while the bolded comma needs to be a semi-colon. However, you may want to add the word "were" between the words "eyes" and "unable", since the sentence wouldn't sound right otherwise.


“Sorry folk’s, but that’s as close as ya’ll are gonna get,”

I know that the worker is supposed to have a bit of an accented drawl, and I love the fact that you gave him a noticeable accent and personality; it makes him all the more memorable. However, the two bolded words were misspelled. "Folks" shouldn't have an apostrophe; it's a single word that would denote Dorian and Shelton. And the apostrophe in "y'all" is supposed to be between the "y" and the "a", since it's a shortened version of "you all".


She was swooning over this man with no regard to what she looked like; which to Dorian was akin to her asking for a three course dinner at a hardware store.

Semi-colon should be a comma.


“No he’s not,” Dorian said. “He smelled like backwoods Unova trash and he looked like it too.”


“Oh come on,” Shelton replied. “Seriously Dorian, every woman between twelve and ninety-five with a pulse would think he’s hot.”


“Well just so you know, I think it’s pretty stupid.”

All of the bolded words in these quotes should have a comma between them.


A red shingled Pokemon Center sat up the right, while farther back and to the left resided an almost depressed looking market; its blue roof cracked and weathered with age.

Semi-colon should be a comma.


Ethan hated all of it; it was so, unorganized. There weren’t even clear paths for people to walk on, instead there were just random trails of stomped grass crisscrossing in every direction. This poor excuse of a city was nothing compared to his home in Saffron, where manicured lawns and glass high-rises reigned supreme. Ethan would deal with this situation quickly and get back home; back to a place with proper people and actual order.

The first bolded comma (between the words "so" and "unorganized") should be cut out. The second bolded comma should be a semi-colon, and the bolded semi-colon should be a comma.


Shaking his head, he reached into his back pocket and pulled it out; but it wasn’t his phone he had retrieved, it was the shard. It was pulsing lightly, almost like a gentle heartbeat. Dorian didn’t understand why the marker was moving. It didn’t have anything inside it, at least to the best of his knowledge it didn’t.

The semi-colon should be a comma, and the sentence "it was the shard" should be separated altogether. I understand what you're trying to do with the bolded comma, but it should actually be a dash, with a comma added between the words "least" and "to".

"It didn't have anything inside it - at least, to the best of his knowledge it didn't."


“I uh, caught something,” Dorian informed her.

There should be a comma between the two bolded words.


He figured out he could still scream; which is exactly what he did when the shard wrapped itself around his left hand and yanked him into the sky.

Semi-colon should be a comma.

...Okay, now that we're done with all of the grammatical stuff, let me conclude with some random thoughts on the characters:

I actually felt sorry for Scyther, and I don't blame her at all for lashing out at her trainer. Hell, I don't think she should've apologized for that; what Ethan did to her was completely unnecessary and cruel, especially when she showed that she did feel bad about cutting the cable wires. I also felt sorry for Rapidash; he pushed her way beyond her limits and then wouldn't let her rest or eat. I truly think that Ethan, in his madness, is going to end up killing one of his own Pokemon. I just wonder if it would be an accident or on purpose. I also wonder which one would end up paying the ultimate price.

The characterization of Dorian and Shelton was nice to see. It's really amusing to see their interactions with each other. The part where Shelton fell head over heels for a mere electrician and Dorian's reaction was especially hilarious.

I don't think that Dorian's going to die this early in the story, but now that the shard has been activated by him, I do wonder if he's going to start hearing the voices as well. I also wonder how he's going to deal with Spoink after it freaked out over its capture and accidentally hurt him in the process.

Either way, I'm loving how this story is coming together. You just have to clear up the grammatical bits. Otherwise, this is fantastic.

Sincerely,

Mem.

Sid87
9th May 2012, 7:17 PM
The rocks that were chunked at him by the Graveler’s

"[C]hucked". Unless they spewed them at him. Which...ew. :)


The Graveler threw the rocks they were holding, each handful tripling in size as they raced towards their target.

I was curious about this. Is it a Graveler power, to increase the size of the rocks? Or was it just describing the change in Nuzleaf's percerption of them as they got closer to him?


His friend’s face was bruised and bloody, the consequence of the tons of rock that had buried him. Hand still attached to Machop’s arm, he pulled back and flung the fighting Pokemon out of the hole, just as the rock Pokemon he had injured crashed into him, slamming him to the ground and knocking him out.

You're going to get REAL TIRED, REAL FAST of me talking about the Pokeflect, but to me, it's such a fascinating concept. Would the Pokeflect work if given TO a pokemon? If not, why not just give them some? I can imagine that in battle they'd be barred, but for just journeying around? Hell, I'd give my Pokemon at least one! It would make them indestructible to random acts like this.


It was just then that Shuppet wailed, the noise resonating in his eardrums like a nearby foghorn.

Wow, obscure reference for the win. When I first read that, I thought "What, like the cartoon rooster?" I can just see Shuppet saying "Why, I say, son, I say...!"


As Dorian rolled to a stop, he shouted, “Growlithe, use flamethrower! Shuppet, shadow ball!” The attacks merged together as they hit their target, Growlithe’s flames turning a sickly shade of black and grey.

Also, very creative. Combining attacks to make a multi-purpose kind of blast. Very well-done creatively. I can imagine only about a thousand uses for such a concept. :)


Judging from their shattered flesh they had died from the demolition charges that the road crew had planted.

I would imagine Graveler do not have "flesh". ;)


The beam hit Dorian’s right hand with uncanny accuracy, rebounding off his Pokeflect and striking his captor in the stomach.

I'm telling you, this entire story could be about the Pokeflect, and I'd be happy. What a wonderful toy.


-I have to say, I'm obviously not happy that Golduck had to die, but it almost had to happen. Golduck had, to this point and ESPECIALLY in this chapter, proven to be way too powerful. Not that he shouldn't have been, but it had me thinking "What can really stand up to this thing?" So it makes sense he had to sacrifice himself. I'm guessing some of the humor is going to fade out now, at least on some scale. Dorian probably won't be so headstrong and fun-loving now that he's seen someone so close to him perish. Which is kind of a shame, but I'll see where you go from here. :)

Bulba the Great!
13th May 2012, 2:40 AM
Hi! I'm new to this fic and as such have only read through chapter one, but I'm totally hooked. The Pokeflect is a nice touch, sounding like a very real invention that totally would be needed as technology increases. I like the world you've created, and I'm intrigued as to how the Granite Cave boy will connect with Dorian. I also really enjoy his Trapinch's gradual shift to evolution. It's a neat touch.

Sid87
13th May 2012, 3:24 AM
Okay, time to get through as much of this as I can here tonight!

Chapter 7!


Not only that, but Dorian could tell that most of his bones were broken from the way the fighting Pokemon’s skin sagged in places where it used to be pulled taut.

Oof. This made me wince. Good description.


“He’s dead Shelton,” Dorian said. “I saw, s-saw the energy discharge from his head right before the rock Pokemon hit him. He couldn’t have survived it. I mean, I saw it swallow his body.”

Okay, I was curious as to why Golduck just...exploded earlier. Not saying that it wasn't well-written to end chapter six, but I thought the Gravelers had exploded IT. This way makes more sense; I had just misunderstood, I guess.


Shelton backed up several paces, her hands hooking into claws. Golduck couldn't be dead! He wouldn't leave her, not like this, not ever. She drug her hands across her scalp, trying in vain to tear the thought away. She looked around, studying the scene before her. Tears came faster when she saw Machop’s body, pitching her into even more despair. His frail frame was broken, his legs bent into odd angles. She rushed forward, only to stop in place. Golduck and Machop, both of them were hurt. Shelton knew Golduck wasn’t dead; it wasn’t even something she could comprehend. She was stuck in place, unable to decide what to do. She wanted to climb out of the crater and find Golduck, but at the same time she couldn’t just leave Machop. Indecision rooted her, turned her into molasses. Time slowed, her thoughts became even more muddled. Machop or Golduck, Machop or Golduck?

This shocked me out of the story because, to my knowledge, the narration had not previously been attached to Shelton. Yet, all of the sudden, here it was, and the reader was inside her head instead of Dorian's. I might have missed the narration being inside everyone's head earlier, but I thought it was exclusive to Dorian (except with Ethan and Alakazam were "on-screen").


Dorian knew she was capable of a complete mental breakdown and that she was well on her way.

Oh? What is this tasty morsel? Foreshadowing AND character development? Me likey.


The duck Pokemon was firmly embedded in the rock wall in front of Dorian. His tongue hung limp out of his open bill, saliva dripping down to pool on the ground below. Golduck’s lifeless pupils were dilated to the extreme, speaking volumes of the inactivity behind them. As Dorian kept looking up, he saw that the small jewel in Golduck’s forehead had shattered, leaving a gaping hole. Lavender psychic energy drifted lazily out of the gap in his skull, forming a bubble above Golduck’s head.

Oh jeez. Yeah, that's definitely dead. Eep.


Regardless of Dorian’s intentions, the red beam continued forward, striking the sapphire avian in the sternum. Golduck’s body morphed into solid energy and returned to his Pokeball. Dorian stared at the red and ivory ball in his hand, a few tears rolling sideways off of its glossy surface.

“What?”

Or maybe not.


-I'm not sure what I think about Golduck possibly being alive. In chapter 6 I thought Golduck was overpowered and that was before I realize he caused that explosion...and was able to survive it. I'm not sure at this point what could possibly threaten these two characters with this Golduck on their team (except, possibly an even more powerful psychic type, and GEE WHERE MIGHT THEY ENCOUNTER ONE OF THOSE? ;) )

-I like the notion of Machop's body basically forcing an evolution as a means of survival. It makes even more sense why you've chosen to display evolution the way you had previously now. Very foresightful of you. It was quite a unique desperation tactic by Machop's body, though. I wonder just how common this may or may not be. Hm.

-You know what? I haven't missed Ethan at all. I have adored the chapters recently without him. I don't mean to say that he wasn't interesting, but it was a joy to read all the Graveler stuff without interruption.

Sid87
13th May 2012, 2:43 PM
FYI, I read chapters 8 and 9 without going through and taking notes because I'm trying to expedite the process of getting to where you are currently. It's a shame because chapter 9 was an absolute treat. Some of the most vivid and realistic detail I've ever read in any kind of fan fiction. And I enjoyed it because I dig Dorian and Shelton more than Ethan still. :)

Knightfall
15th May 2012, 4:25 AM
Well, here it is. The much promised Part Two.






Chapter 4



“Ap!” the diminutive Pokemon agreed, rolling to ihis left and dodging the powerful jet of water.

Just a normal typo, or the usage of a never before seen language.



As its owner reached underneath to scratch its underbelly, Trapinch felt an familiar sensation start tugging at its gut. Nipping at his owner’s hand, Trapinch closed its eyes.

I believe that this should be “a” not “an”. It sounds better that way.



Trapinch began to growl loudly, tapping into the growing process that his kind was sometimes afforded. His skin suddenly transformed into sickly hues of yellow and green. His eyes began to bulge and turn a lustrous olive as his backbone began to stretch and wiggle trough the back of his thick hide. Crimson blood streamed down his sides as a pair of regal looking, rhombus shaped wings burst out from underneath his skin. Growling louder now, the bones in his face began to change shape, becoming thinner, narrower, becoming almost brittle in their lightness. As a pair of antenna burst out of Trapinch’s forehead, his new tail split in two, mirroring the shape and color of its new wings.

Ahh, description, wonderful description. You describe evolution more vividly than any other fan fiction I’ve read. It’s better than the many generic “flash of white light” evolutions I always see.




“Vibrava,” the dragon type hissed, his voice an eerie whisper. Arching its back, the newly evolved Pokemon beat its wings furiously, channeling the wind they produced all over its body, cleansing itself of the blood and fluids that had accumulated on its sparkling body.

Might just be me, but I don’t think a comma is needed after hissed.



“Ready whenever you are, junior,” Dorian called, taunting the upstart kid. “Take some notes while this is going on. You might actually learn some-“

“PIN MISSLE!”

Nothing wrong here, I just like to point out the parts that made me laugh or otherwise emotionally react.

I see why you called this chapter a filler. Other than Trapinch evolving and Dorian and Ethan seeing each other for the first time, not much happened really. At least you added the humorous dialogue between the young trainer and Dorian; it reminds me why I dislike them in the first place.






CHAPTER 5
Cause

Wha? No errors? Yes, you read right, I did not detect any grammatical errors in the chapter. Give yourself a pat on the back, or something. You deserve it.

Anyways, the chapter itself. The beginning of a series of very emotional and action packed chapters. The stalemated battle and the banter between Dorian and the kid was entertaining. And then we have the tunnel/path/construction site/cliff/gorge/thing and violent back-story of the Graveler. It draws some comparison to the tunnel in Hoenn that has a similar story. Anyways, the ensuing ambush and battle next chapter, this chapter did a great job building up to it.





Chapter 6
Effect Perfect set of names for these two chapters in my opinion.



Faster than Dorian could think, he, Shelton, and their Pokemon were yanked upwards and shoved to the right, high above the incoming stampede of rock Pokemon. They flew through the air, being guided by Golduck’s formidable mind. Dorian saw everything, he felt all of it. His group was guided into the crater the earlier explosion had made, [B]bing[B/] pushed tenderly out of harm’s way.

Only typo I found, supposed to be being. And the scene itself. Such a moving act of selflessness and sacrifice by Golduck. I’m not going to say that I cried, but it was emotional.
The chapter was very well written, you do a great job at showing us the viewpoints of the Graveler tribe. It almost makes me feel sorry for them, almost.

Sorry for the delay of this review, part three shouldn’t take as long as the other two.

Knightfall signing off…;005;

Sid87
15th May 2012, 4:51 PM
And I just finished chapter 10, so I'm all caught up. Back to the in-depth reviews as soon as I get a chapter to review in "real-time". :)

Sidewinder
17th May 2012, 6:46 AM
I prefer them to have sibling-like relationship rather than a romantic one.

Me too! I think they work alot better to me that way


I wouldn’t really use the word “obviously” in third person. It can make the readers feel dumb especially if they don’t realize what you’re actually trying to say. Also expecting your readers to know things is silly. If you said, however: “it was obvious to Ethan that Alakazam was trying to keep them both level…” or something, that’d be fine, since it’s attributed to your character, not the readers. Hope that makes sense.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I've been struggling with different aspects of how to portray what's happening to the degree of what I see happening when I visualize it, and how to write it down so that everyone can see the same thing I do.


Amusing. Oh, Shelton, you’re such a flirt.

She sure is. I'm surprised you didn't comment on the 'Lost' tidbit I put in there =P


Lol, at first I think Ronnie, but you cut this section off at the perfect point to where the readers realizes—well, ****, Ethan’s coming too.

Ah, I was wondering who might pick up on that portion. My fiance did as she was proof reading for me. I should have known you would as well.

Thanks for reading/reviewing as always!


Requiem, an interesting choice for a story title. It means a church service for someone who has died, or a piece of music for that service, a slightly morbid piece of foreshadowing in my opinion. Still, catchy title.

;)


I find it a little strange that Dorian just found that rare artifact covered by a thin layer of dirt, while the others were in hidden, underground chambers that had to be forced open with a Pokemon attack. I realize that it’s for the plot, but I’m not sure why this certain artifact was so easy to find. Just a little oddity I was wondering about.

Thanks for pointing that out. There's a reason that one was so easy to find, and it will be revealed much later in the story. Good eye :)


Only typo I found, supposed to be being. And the scene itself. Such a moving act of selflessness and sacrifice by Golduck. I’m not going to say that I cried, but it was emotional.

I'm really glad you think so! I'll be honest, I got somewhat emotional when I was writing it. I liked to think that I would be capable of the same kind of feat, and I would imagine you would learn alot about yourself in a moment like that.

And thanks for reading/reviewing as well! I look forward to seeing what you think of the last few chapters


Hi! I'm new to this fic and as such have only read through chapter one, but I'm totally hooked. The Pokeflect is a nice touch, sounding like a very real invention that totally would be needed as technology increases. I like the world you've created, and I'm intrigued as to how the Granite Cave boy will connect with Dorian. I also really enjoy his Trapinch's gradual shift to evolution. It's a neat touch.

Welcome! I appreciate you taking the time to read, and I look forward to what you have to say about the rest of the chapters. Thanks for the support :)


When you are doing quick back-and-forth dialogue, you don't need the names and verbs ("Dorian exclaimed", etc. Just let it flow, untagged line after untagged line. It will feel a LOT more natural, and will read just as it is supposed to. As long as each character has a distinctive voice, the readers should be able to keep up with the flow for several lines at a time

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. You're right, I think it would read better the way you suggested.


I was curious about this. Is it a Graveler power, to increase the size of the rocks? Or was it just describing the change in Nuzleaf's percerption of them as they got closer to him?

I always envisioned Rock Throw as pebbles expanding into small boulders as they're thrown. I remember seeing an anime way back in the day that had something similar. The character could triple the size of whatever he was holding. Which gave me the idea for this


You're going to get REAL TIRED, REAL FAST of me talking about the Pokeflect, but to me, it's such a fascinating concept. Would the Pokeflect work if given TO a pokemon? If not, why not just give them some? I can imagine that in battle they'd be barred, but for just journeying around? Hell, I'd give my Pokemon at least one! It would make them indestructible to random acts like this.

Lol, I'll never get tired of you bringing it up. All of those questions will be answered within the next three chapters, I assure you. I'm glad you like the idea, I've actually been working on a few sketches to post.

Thanks for following the story. It means alot that you like it so much and have taken the time to give me the feedback that you have.


I actually felt sorry for Scyther, and I don't blame her at all for lashing out at her trainer. Hell, I don't think she should've apologized for that; what Ethan did to her was completely unnecessary and cruel, especially when she showed that she did feel bad about cutting the cable wires. I also felt sorry for Rapidash; he pushed her way beyond her limits and then wouldn't let her rest or eat. I truly think that Ethan, in his madness, is going to end up killing one of his own Pokemon. I just wonder if it would be an accident or on purpose. I also wonder which one would end up paying the ultimate price.

I agree with you. By the time this is over, he's going to surprise himself. I feel like he'd have a little more restraint if she was switched with someone like Alakazam though. I think Ethan is unusually short with Scyther sometimes because out of all of his Pokemon, she's the most unruly. I think he may believe the only way to express his point sometimes with her is to cause her pain. At the same time though, Ethan is starting to show he may be slightly off of a hinge. Nicely done though, as that comment really mae me think about the character


I don't think that Dorian's going to die this early in the story, but now that the shard has been activated by him, I do wonder if he's going to start hearing the voices as well.

Activated being the key word; good eye. I'm glad you're paying attention.


The characterization of Dorian and Shelton was nice to see. It's really amusing to see their interactions with each other. The part where Shelton fell head over heels for a mere electrician and Dorian's reaction was especially hilarious.

Lol I'm glad you think so. Alot of the jokes and banter between the two of them is really close to the same things that go on between me and my fiance.

Thanks for pointing out my mistakes in the chapter. And I appreciate you reading/reviewing!



Once again, thanks to everyone who has stopped by to read and review. I'm sorry I wasn't able to get to everyone's comments/questions with this post, as my schedule lately has been pretty hectic. I appreciate the suggestions and corrections all of you bring to my attention. I owe these characters a good story, and all of you help contribute to that. Chapter 11 should be out by tomorrow night, so anyone following should be sure to check it out.

diamondpearl876
17th May 2012, 4:08 PM
I'm actually pretty terrible at noticing subtle things so I probably missed the LOST reference. *sad face*

Sidewinder
17th May 2012, 4:26 PM
I'm actually pretty terrible at noticing subtle things so I probably missed the LOST reference. *sad face*

Lol. Tan, longish hair, greasy, scraggly beard. James Ford = Sawyer

Sidewinder
19th May 2012, 4:21 AM
Rated PG-15 for violence and swearing



Chapter 11


Dorian could see through his arm. That was the one thing he kept thinking about as he was pulled into the sky. He had stopped screaming by the time he had passed through the lower layer of clouds above Pewter City; and instead of focusing on that impossibility, he was choosing instead to examine another. To him, it was like his limb had taken on the attributes of a screen door. When his eyes were unfocused, his arm appeared to be solid, but when he narrowed his eyes, it seemed semi-transparent. As he rose past the exosphere he kept staring, only stopping to examine his surroundings when the color he was seeing through his arm changed from blue, to black.

Dorian took a deep breath, trying to process this new situation into his already overworked mind.

“Space?” he whispered.

He knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear the word, as the lack of oxygen would prevent it, but to his surprise the word was audible. As he heard his voice, he became aware of another feat, he could still breathe. Putting both of those situations to the side, he looked around.

Trillions of stars shone around him, twinkling brighter and dimmer like sequins in sunlight. As he studied the burning balls of gas, he became aware that he couldn’t distinguish what was up or down, or left and right for that matter; causing him to experience vertigo for the first time. As he struggled to get his bearings, the moon shied itself into view at the far right edge of his planet. Pockmarked with craters and glowing brilliantly ivory against the black backdrop of space, it seemed almost content with its place above the world.

As that thought crossed his mind, he looked down; taking in the sight of his planet from a perspective he had never seen before. He recognized the great desert of Orre to the northwest, Sinnoh to the northeast, the landmass of Unova to the far west, and tucked away in the middle of his vision was the island of Hoenn. A few hundred miles to the right of Hoenn, sat the sizeable split region of Johto and Kanto. Parts of the different regions were obscured by clouds, but in no way did it dampen the view that Dorian held. The regions were painted with vibrant hues of green and blue, their colors so vivid and defined that Dorian almost forgot the situation he was in. So involved he was with cataloguing the experience in his mind that he barely noticed when the shard lightly pulsed six times.

With each vibration, an eerie black star winked into existence at a point on four of the regions below him. One star for Orre, Sinnoh, and Unova, while three sparkled on the west side of Kanto. As Dorian struggled to understand the significance of the lights, the shard in his hand moved itself down to position itself towards the star shining from Orre. Without any sort of warning, the shard shot down towards the desert wasteland, pulling Dorian behind it.

Just as he did not freeze in the deathly cold of space, he did not ignite in flame as he descended back into the atmosphere. The only thing he felt as he was unwillingly pulled back into the atmosphere was a soft push against his skin, not unlike that of a gentle summer breeze; which struck Dorian as odd considering that he was plummeting towards Orre at several thousand miles per hour. Trying to get a clear picture of the landscape speeding by beneath him was useless, as all he was able to observe were streaks of blue, followed by a rich orange. Just as he was stricken by how utterly helpless he was, his movement stopped, and he found himself standing in a fountain in the center of Phenac City.

Dorian recognized the desert oasis from pictures he had seen throughout his life. Blocks of white marble made up the homes and businesses that adorned the city streets, which were flanked by canals of gently moving water and towering palm trees. The shard in his hand brought itself down to point at a small block near Dorian’s feet. A black glow the size of his fingernail suddenly sprang to life on the stone, signaling its importance.

Without warning yet again, the shard moved itself towards the water and launched itself straight down, pulling Dorian through layers of stone and dirt behind it. He couldn’t see or hear at all as he moved, which to him felt like he had been buried alive. Just as he drew in a breath to yell, he dropped down into a circular chamber, which was lit every few feet by glowing torches. The walls were the same white marble as the city above, while the floor was made of chipped and decaying brick. As he looked around, Dorian spied a figure cloaked in a long brown robe, the hood drawn, obscuring the person’s features. To either side of the person were the shapes of two hulking Nidoking, their muscles tight and bulging. The three were all staring at something to Dorian’s left, which prompted him to turn. Sitting on a pedestal in the middle of the room was another shard, its surface hewn with script and pictures just like his. As if the shard noticed his gaze, it glowed softly, lighting up the room for a moment with its inky radiance. As soon as the light reached him, the shard in his hand rose upwards, dragging him back above Phenac City. As he watched, the shard faced itself due east. The familiar tunnel vision situation took hold once again as the shard sped off in that direction, Dorian flying along behind it, his gaze filled with a shining tube of color.

Almost as soon as his third speedy flight started, it stopped, and Dorian found himself hovering above a long white road. He drifted slowly forward, snow swirling around his floating frame. Trees dotted the road occasionally, their mighty statures dwarfed by a monstrous mountain to his right. The scene in front of him was so calming, that it started to take his mind away from the situation he was in; he had never seen actual snow before, it was affecting him in a most pleasant way. Just as Dorian thought the tranquil road would last indefinitely, a placid lake came into view. A rectangular stone outcropping of rock was visible near the middle of the body of water, resting forebodingly on the water like a gatekeeper. As Dorian watched the rocky ornament pass beneath him, the shard pointed itself down, dragging him into the water behind it.

He didn’t feel the water as he passed beneath it, but he noticed that the temperature became slightly colder than it already was. Down and down he dove, holding his breath out of reflex until a thought occurred to him. Blowing out his stored air, he took a deep breath; no water rushed in to greet his lungs; just like his experience in space, he could still breathe. After a few more seconds of diving, his feet touched bottom, the shard in his hand lighting up a ten foot circle around him with its glow. The water glowed a pleasant blue-green around him, making him aware of a small pedestal positioned about five feet to his left. After a pulse from the shard, a small button at the top of the pedestal glowed. As Dorian stared, the marker lifted him back up towards the surface, his speed increasing as he rose.

Dorian burst through the top of the lake, creating no explosion of water as he exited its confines. The shard pulled him into the air about ten feet above the water, and then quickly pulled him through the northern most wall of the rocky structure in the center of the lake. The shard quickly set him down in the center of a small chamber within, his shoes making no sound as they touched down on the rocky floor. In front of him was another small pedestal, another shard resting on its polished surface. The marker glowed quickly as Dorian looked at it, making sure that he was aware of its presence.

“Every marker points to the others,” he thought, remembering his uncle’s words.

Pulsing lightly in agreement, the shard in his hand lifted him up again, through the ceiling of the structure to hover above the lake. Preparing himself, Dorian took a breath, foreseeing what would happen next. The shard faced itself southwest and shot forward again, dragging Dorian to yet another location. As his vision blurred, Dorian flirted with the idea of trying to remove the object from his hand. After a moment of consideration he decided not to, hypothesizing that after it had shown him all the shards he would be allowed to go back to his body in Pewter City. Not only that, but he couldn’t wrap his head around what would happen to what he thought was his spirit if he suddenly dropped to the ground while moving a few thousand miles an hour. He felt so helpless, so infantile. This thing was dragging him around like a toddler, with no regard to how he might be feeling. As he was trying to decide whether he could still vomit or not, his movement stopped and he was able to make sense of the world again.

He was hovering in front of a large window several hundred feet in the air in the middle of a giant steel and glass metropolis. The first thing he noticed was that day had turned to night; the rapid change would have shocked him if he wasn’t already in an even more impossible situation. He saw people walking by beneath him, completely oblivious to him defying gravity above. The city around him glowed white from the fluorescent lighting all around, stretching for miles in every direction. Dorian recognized this place, as it was the biggest city in the world; Castelia City. The shard in his hand pulsed again, prompting Dorian to look up. A small glow emanated from behind the glass in front of him, betraying the secret of a few people inside wearing dark purple lab coats.

Taking another breath to steady himself, he once again blasted off, this time heading to the east. He wondered if he was going to Hoenn next, or possibly a secluded portion of Kanto. Three markers were accounted for, which left two besides his own to be discovered. He was very shocked when he suddenly found himself hovering above Pewter City, being guided slowly down into the tree line not too far from where his own body still laid sprawling. He floated through the trees about a foot off the ground, passing through ancient oaks like a ghost. He stopped about a hundred yards from where his body was, directly in front of a man flanked by two Pokemon.

The man had long brown hair and a look on his face of extreme fury, a Scyther and an Alakazam positioned to his right and left. The man was dressed for journey, made evident by his worn boots and heavy pack across his back. The man did not notice Dorian as the shard pulled him around behind him so he faced the man’s traveling pack. The shard in his hand pulsed twice rapidly, igniting twin glows from each back pocket of the man’s jeans. Dorian was confused; the man had two glowing outlines of an obsidian marker in his pockets, but Ronnie had told him that the one he possessed was the first one to be discovered. Was this man a research assistant of some kind? Or had his uncle not been entirely truthful? As Dorian asked himself these questions, he was pulled forward back towards Pewter City, where he was able to look at his body again.

His face on the ground was contorted in agony, electricity still sparking all around him. Looking up, Dorian saw that Nuzleaf was still rushing towards him, having made much progress over the last several minutes. His Pokemon was now only a few feet from him, and was currently in mid-dive, arms outstretched towards his body on the ground. The shard in his standing body pulsed for the final time, causing the shard still in his ground body to glow brightly. Satisfied that it had done its job, the shard in his standing body lifted him up and positioned him on top of his ground body and slowly started lowering him down. As his feet touched his ground body’s midsection, his body started dissolving into black smoke, inching its way up his body. An intense wave of heat rolled across his body as it vanished, causing Dorian to yell out in agony. The smoke ate its way up his standing body, being absorbed back into his physical body on the ground. Through his all encompassing haze of pain, Dorian took a deep breath, trying his best to prepare himself as the smoke reached his neck. His vision blurred as the smoke reached his eyes, and he experienced the unusual sensation of weightlessness as he was forcibly sucked back into his body.



***********


“It burns!” Dorian screamed as Nuzleaf crashed into him, his grass Pokemon using his formidable strength to pull him up and launch him away from the sparking electrical cables.

Dorian rolled across the grass, Pokeball gripped in his right hand, the shard still clutched in his left. He breathed quickly and deeply, verging on hyperventilation as his eyelids fluttered. He felt the grass on the exposed skin of his arms, a welcome reminder that he was back where he belonged. An instant later, he saw Nuzleaf’s striped face above his own, his Pokemon cradling his face in both hands.

“Nununuz!?” his Pokemon yelled.

“It ****ing burns!” Dorian screamed in return, thrashing left and right as he spoke.

“Nuzleaf!” his Pokemon retorted, gripping his face tighter.

“I’m fine, but it burns!” Dorian yelled back.

“Nuz!” Nuzleaf replied, jumping off Dorian and running back towards Ronnie’s house.

Dorian rolled backwards and shot to his feet, goose bumps breaking out across the back of his neck. With a yell of satisfaction he threw the shard in his hand as hard as he could, ridding himself of the cursed talisman before it could take him away again. He shivered in the heat of the sun, bringing his arm up to his face and poking it roughly. Shelton ran up to him with Machoke close behind, the sounds of squealing echoing behind her.

“Are you okay!?” Shelton yelled, her voice frantic and concerned.

“I’m good,” Dorian replied, still poking his left arm.

“You scared the hell out of me,” Shelton sighed. “Why are you poking yourself?”

“I’m trying to make sure my arm is solid!” Dorian roared, grinding his fingers deeper against his skin.

“Did you get shocked by the lines?” Shelton asked, tilting her head to the side. “Because you’re freaking me out.”

“I’m so sorry to be freaking you out. I just got dragged across the planet by that thing!”

“What are you talking about?”

“That stupid marker just dragged me to space, then to Orre, then to some ski resort, then to Castelia!”

“Dorian, I think you need to lie down, you might be in shock.”

“I’m not in shock! That marker just pulled me out of my body!”

“Right,” Shelton said, stepping closer and cupping his face in her hands. “Do you know who I am?”

“Of course I do, moron!” Dorian shouted.

“Wow, I guess you’re okay,” Shelton said, letting go of his face and turning back towards Ronnie’s house. “Do you still have the Pokeball that you captured the Spoink in? Because I think that Nuzleaf is giving it a beating.”

“Here,” Dorian replied, handing over the Pokeball.

“Just uh, stand there and behave,” Shelton uttered, turning back towards the sounds of violence further up the road.

“I’m not kidding!” Dorian shouted as he watched her run back towards his uncle’s house.

Dorian’s body twitched involuntarily as he watched Shelton return the newly captured Spoink back into its ball. Cursing loudly, he started walking in small circles, trying to work the feelings back into his legs. His mind raced, trying to rid himself of the feeling of helplessness he had experienced a few moments ago. This was ridiculous, this stuff didn’t happen; it was complete and utter folly. He kept pacing and talking to himself until Shelton and Nuzleaf walked back up to him, both wearing concerned looks on their faces.

“Well,” Shelton started. “Nuzleaf beat the **** out of the Spoink you caught.”

“Good,” Dorian replied, resuming his trot back and forth. “Give me a minute and I’ll finish what he started.”

“You sure you’re okay?” Shelton asked.

“Nuzleaf?” his Pokemon repeated.

“Look, I’m fine,” Dorian assured them, spinning once and lifting his arms. “That marker is ******** and I’m not going near it again.”

“Where is it?” Shelton asked, her eyes scanning the ground.

“Over there,” Dorian replied, pointing to the black marker a few yards away.

After walking over and plucking the object from the ground, Shelton returned, looking Dorian up and down like she doubted whether he was lying about his well being. He stopped pacing and looked at her, his eyes moving from her and back to the shard in quick order. Shelton deposited the shard back in her pocket, opening her mouth to say something when she was cut off by a throaty growl to their left.

His uncle pulled up in his yellow motorcycle in a spray of dry grass and dirt, smiling from ear to ear. He dismounted his bike and crossed the distance between them quickly, pulling them both into a tight squeeze as he arrived. His uncle smelled like leather and campfire smoke, easing his troubled mind back into its usual place. Ronnie guffawed loudly as he squeezed tighter, transferring his love to them in unseen waves.

“There they are!” Ronnie bellowed, releasing them from his embrace. “You made good time!”

“It wasn’t too bad,” Shelton beamed.

“Good,” Ronnie smiled. “How you doing there, Nuzleaf?”

“Nunuz!” the grass Pokemon said, holding out a wooden hand.

Ronnie shook it vigorously, then turned his eyes to Machoke and asked, “Who’s this slab of muscle?”

“Machop evolved along the way,” Shelton answered.

“Well congratulations big guy!” Ronnie replied, smacking a large meaty hand against Machoke’s back. “How’s it feel?”

Machoke didn’t respond, but smiled sheepishly and retreated to hide behind Shelton, which didn’t do much to conceal him considering that he was now several inches taller than her. Smiling, Ronnie turned to face Dorian, who had stopped pacing to size up his uncle. Thick brown beard bristling underneath a prominent nose, and clad in his usual green cargo pants and tucked in button down; he was still the father from his childhood. Running one hand through his unkempt hair he turned back to Shelton, eyes looking Dorian up and down in concern.

“Is he alright? I expected a warmer welcome,” Ronnie chuckled.

“Well, he captured a Spoink by your house and it decided to throw him into those split electrical lines,” Shelton explained. “I think it may have addled his brain.”

“You alright?” Ronnie asked him, dropping his friendly voice in exchange for a more fatherly tone.

“I’m fine,” Dorian stated. “That marker dragged me across the planet but Shelton thinks I’m making it up.”

“What do you mean?” Ronnie asked, gripping him by the shoulders.

As quickly as he could, Dorian recounted his journey up into space and the shard dragging him across the different regions. His uncle didn’t give him the slightest look of skepticism throughout the story, even when Dorian told him about what he assumed to be his spiritual essence dissolving back into his physical body. He only questioned Dorian when he told him about the man he saw that had two markers in the nearby woods. After some prodding, Ronnie had Dorian walk him over to the spot where had seen the man, but he and his Pokemon had disappeared.

“The legend said that each shard would point the way to the others, but I didn’t think it would be that extreme,” Ronnie said. “I do find it hard to believe that someone besides the director and I would know anything about the markers. Perhaps the old man hadn’t been entirely truthful with me when he said that this was solely my assignment.”

“So you believe me?” Dorian asked.

“Of course I do,” Ronnie assured him. “I raised you, boy. I know when you’re lying.”

“Alright good,” Dorian replied, hanging his head.

“May I see it?” Ronnie asked, not bothering to hide his excitement.

“Here you go,” Shelton said, handing the shard over to him.

His uncle’s hazel eyes scanned the marker up and down, taking in every shape and line like it was a newborn child. He turned the marker over and over in his hands, making Dorian think that if day shifted to night that his uncle would be too enveloped to notice. After a few awkward moments of examining the shard, Ronnie pocketed it and turned his attention back to Dorian.

“I know it was by chance, but this worked out really well,” he said.

“Just keep that thing away from me and I’ll do my best to agree with you,” Dorian replied.

“No problem,” his uncle assured him. “I’m sorry about what happened, the limited text we have on it didn’t mention anything of the sort. I expected crude drawings, not the out of body experience you described.”

“It’s fine,” Dorian said. “Just get us paid and I’ll forget about it.”

“That won’t be a problem, I’ll make sure of it,” Ronnie grinned, patting the bulge in his pocket. “Look, I’m going to head back to the museum and run a few tests. After I present it to the director I’ll come back and we’ll have some dinner.”

“Sounds good,” Dorian replied.

“Any chance of your famous beef stew?” Ronnie inquired, his hopeful gaze lingering on Shelton.

“I suppose,” Shelton smiled.

“Good,” Ronnie replied, placing one hand on each of their shoulders. “I’m very proud of both of you.”

A few more hugs were passed around, Ronnie’s eyes glistening in the sunlight. He walked over and mounted his cruiser, reaching into his left pocket as he swung his burly frame over the seat. Pulling out a Pokeball, he tossed it to Dorian, smiling as it sailed through the air. Dorian caught it easily, finger lingering over the button to release the Pokemon inside.

“Let Kecleon out for awhile, he’s missed both of you,” Ronnie said.

Without another word, he started his bike and sped off, making a beeline to the museum on the other side of town. Dorian pressed the button on the pokeball, releasing the Pokemon that had been a constant companion to Dorian and Shelton since they were children.



***********


Ethan watched as the man who rode up embraced the two thieves and spoke with them. His heart began to race as the woman pulled out the shard and gave it to the man. The sight of the object increased his rage tenfold, as they had no idea what they were casually passing between them. The carelessness of the group disgusted him, and he would make them pay for their thievery.

Minutes earlier, he had seen the male thief get thrown into the downed power lines by what appeared to be a Pokemon further down the road. He had grinned quickly as the man came down on the sparking cables, but that grin quickly vanished seconds later as the man had been rescued by his Nuzleaf, seemingly unharmed. He had surely been saved by the healing powers of the flakes Ethan had been absorbing, as no mortal man could have survived exposure to that much electric current. The voices had told him of every flake he had taken into himself, and he was sure that they would not let someone as unworthy as this man and woman be privileged enough to encounter one. Regardless of what he thought, the man had emerged from the situation unscathed, much to Ethan’s dismay.

After talking for a few minutes, the younger man had led the other straight towards Ethan and his Pokemon, and they had only avoided detection by quietly sprinting further into the woods and ducking down behind a nearby boulder. His bloodlust became almost overwhelming as they closed to with a few yards of him, only holding back as to not be seen by pedestrians milling around the city. He briefly thought of using Alakazam to yank them further into the forest, but it might have alerted the woman, who in turn would have alerted others.

After the two had left, he watched the older man on the motorcycle pass a pokeball to the man and woman and sped off to the northwest, leaving the two thieves behind. His urge to run out and slaughter the two hooligans was trumped by his longing to follow the shard, so he quickly gathered his thoughts and turned to his Alakazam.

“Scyther, you’re with me,” Ethan instructed.

“Sai,” his Scyter replied.

“Alakazam, you stay with those two. Don’t let them out of your sight. I’m going to get the shard and then I’ll come find you.”

“Kazam?”

“It’s not your concern. Your job is to keep track of the two humans.”

“Alakazam.”

“I don’t have time for this. Just watch them and make sure you’re not seen.”

“Ala,” his Pokemon nodded, obviously unsatisfied.

“Let’s go,” Ethan said, nodding towards his Scyther.

The insect Pokemon nodded back and followed her owner, weaving through the woods like a viper. The pair trekked west through the woods for a few hundred yards, and emerged back into the city, looking to their right to make sure they were out of the prying eyes of the two people they were hunting further down the road. Ethan jogged forward quickly, trying his best to keep his speed down to avoid alerting anyone of himself. He followed the cream and yellow cruiser through the town, his Scyther keeping pace to his right. He managed to keep up with the motorcycle through the town, and slowed his jog to a walk as the rider dismounted and strode inside the Pewter City Musuem. He increased his pace as the man entered a side entrance to the building, keeping back until the door closed behind him.

“Ready?” Ethan asked.

“Saisai,” his Pokemon assured him.

Ethan gripped the metal knob of the entrance and easily tore it away from the door, trying his best to keep the sound of screeching metal to a minimum. Tossing the knob to the side, he slinked into the building, looking left and right to make sure he wasn’t seen. The narrow hallway he entered was painted an ancient brown, complimented by ceramic tile the color of sand. He walked quickly and with purpose, letting the shards in his pockets guide him in the right direction. Their pulsing stopped as he encountered at a pale blue door at the end of the hallway. Closing his eyes for a moment to center himself, he reached out and turned the handle, snaking his way inside.

The office he had sneaked into was more rectangular than square, almost appearing to be an extension of a hallway. Papers and folders were stacked in neat rows leading up to a gigantic computer monitor. In front of the monitor was the older man he had seen from earlier, his back turned to him, showing that he had not heard Ethan enter the room. To the man’s right was the shard he had come for, its surface a brilliant blue in the light of the nearby computer monitor. The sight of the relic so close pulled a red haze in front of Ethan’s eyes as he silently walked forward. The man in the office chair was so focused on the screen that he did not hear him approach. Which suited Ethan fine as he quickly reached out and broke the man’s neck.



*********


“Kecleoooonnn!” his uncle’s Pokemon sang as he was released into the world.

The green reptilian Pokemon quickly jumped up into Shelton’s arms and motioned with one scaly arm for Dorian to join them. The crested Pokemon embraced him quickly, his stubby arms barely making their way around Dorian’s neck. After a quick hug, the Pokemon jumped down and beamed at them, its toe claws digging into the dirt. Round eyes observed both he and Shelton simultaneously as he bobbed up and down, the bright yellow stripe around its stomach almost moving in the failing light. Extending its coiled tail to wrap around Nuzleaf, the lizard Pokemon drew him in close, careful to keep the sharp crest on his head away from the grass Pokemon. The two Pokemon exchanged words so rapidly that the meaning was lost to him and Shelton.

“It’s good to see you,” Dorian grinned, slapping the short Pokemon a high-five.

“Kecleon!” the Pokemon replied, turning its gaze from Dorian to the towering figure of Machoke. “Leon?”

“Chooke,” Machoke answered, placing both hands behind his back.

Satisfied with the answer the newly evolved Pokemon gave, Kecleon turned back to Dorian and Shelton and started to fill them in on his and Ronnie’s escapades since the last time he had seen them. Dorian opened his mouth to reply but stopped when a thought occurred to him. The man the shard had shown him had been watching him. He had not been amiably walking through the forest went Dorian had encountered him; he had been crouched low, looking straight at where Dorian had been on the ground. His stomach clenched up involuntarily, and he excused himself from his friends and started back towards the woods.



**********


Ethan pocketed the shard on the desk of the man he had just killed, reveling in the satisfaction of acquiring another priceless artifact. The voices would be pleased that he had retrieved it, and they would reward him for overcoming this adversity. Secretly Ethan hoped that they would be proud of him for the force he had shown, and the righteous action he had displayed in their honor. He closed his eyes and centered himself, reveling in the experience of exacting his vengeance. The feel of the man’s head in his hands as he ended his life was spellbindingly intense.

“Scyther, sai?” his Pokemon asked.

“Not quite,” Ethan replied.

Roughly dragging the man out of the chair and pulling him to the floor, Ethan reached down and tore open the man’s shirt, exposing his chest and stomach. Reaching out to the man’s desk, he grabbed a piece of paper and pen, and quickly scrawled. Smiling to himself, he passed the scrap of paper to his Scyther, who fumbled awkwardly with it in her sword shaped arms.

“Can you handle that?” Ethan asked.

“Scyther,” she replied.

Ethan turned away from his Pokemon as she cackled quietly and crouched down low over the man. The office was extremely organized, and a quick rifle through the files on the man’s desk yielded no notes on the shards or the treasure that they led to. He still had two more links to sever before the legend of the treasure passed back into the void, but he needed to make sure that no record of it was left behind. While Scyther worked away, Ethan pulled out a bottle of water from his pack and quickly dumped the entire contents into the computer located underneath the man’s desk. Moments later, smoke creped out of the air vents of the machine, followed by the monitor on the desk flickering out. He stowed the bottle away and took a step back to view Scyther’s handiwork. It was wonderfully done, and would send quite a message once the same was done to the other two thieves across town.

“Let’s go,” Ethan told her. “Clean yourself up first.”

“Saisai,” she grinned, reaching down and wiping her arms on the dead man’s cargo pants.

Ethan turned and led his Pokemon back through the door they had entered, both unaware of the small security camera watching them from the ceiling.




**********


The man and his Pokemon were still nowhere in sight. He could tell from the way the grass had been flattened that the man had indeed been there, and looking to his right he saw a few snapped twigs a bit further, which was possibly the way that the man had left. He estimated that about fifteen minutes had elapsed since the shard had shown him the man’s location, so he couldn’t have gone far. Dorian couldn’t figure out why his uncle’s boss would have someone else on the project without telling his uncle. He knew his uncle would not object to extra pairs of hands on a project, especially one as intricate and important as this one.

Pulling out his cell phone he quickly dialed his uncle’s number. It rang several times and went to voicemail, and repeated the sequence when Dorian hung up and tried again. Was Ronnie enveloped so heavily in the cloud of excitement around the marker that he wasn’t paying attention? Or maybe he wasn’t answering because he had silenced his phone so as not to be disturbed. As he began walking back to Shelton, another thought occurred to him. The man had not come to try and help him when Dorian had been tossed into the wires. There had been no sign of him running to get help or even attempting to help in any way at all, he had simply been staring.

“Shelton, I’m starting to freak out slightly,” Dorian told his roommate as he arrived back at her side.

“About?”

“The man that I saw when I got dragged around. It’s just weird to me that Ronnie and I couldn’t find him.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it. Ronnie said that the director probably just had someone else on the project and forgot to tell him about it.”

“I know, it just feels strange to me for some reason. Ronnie won’t answer his phone either.”

“Come on, Dorian. You know how he is when he focuses on his work. He probably just silenced his phone.”

“That’s what I thought too, but still. I found some bent grass and twigs where I saw the man before. They started at the tree line and led further back into the woods. I know you’re having a hard time believing me about what I went through, but from the direction he was facing when I saw him, he was watching me.”

“From what you said though, your body was on the cables when the marker showed you everything. Why would this random guy watch you get electrocuted and not do anything about it?”

“That’s what I keep asking myself.”

“Are you sure that he wa-“ Shelton started, her voice suddenly drowned out by the sound of a squealing siren.

Dorian and Shelton both turned simultaneously to see three police cars speeding to the northwest portion of the city. Painted a dull brown and green, with lights flashing blue and red above, they sped down the road with haste, easily exceeding the speed limit that was standard across the city. As the sound of the sirens grew lighter in their ears, Dorian and Shelton turned back to one another. For almost a minute they stared at one another, both blank and confused. Shelton broke the stare by pulling out her phone and dialing Ronnie’s number. After a moment she returned the phone to her pocket and pulled out Machoke’s pokeball. Returning her Pokemon, she resumed her stare, not sure if she should be the first to speak.

“I-“ Dorian began.

“Yeah, let’s just go see him,” Shelton interrupted.

With Kecleon and Nuzleaf in tow, the two of them started north towards the museum.



************


Ethan exited the side entrance to the museum cautiously; eyes scanning left and right for anyone who might have seen him leave the building. No one was in sight, so he increased his speed, trying to put as much distance between himself and his rage as possible. Suddenly, the sound of several sirens broke the calm tranquility of the city, his heart racing as he absorbed the noise. He kept walking as three police cars came into view, clouds of dust billowing out behind them as they raced forward.

“Don’t look at them,” Ethan said quickly.

His Pokemon obeyed, keeping her head level and her stride normal. The cruisers moved slightly to the right as they passed him and Scyther, giving him a quick reprieve from his racing pulse. He took a breath, cursing himself for giving into fear so easily. His celebration was short lived though when he heard the loud screech of squealing tires. Undeterred, he kept walking, displaying no sign that he had heard the commotion. As he did his best to keep his composure, a harsh voice split the air.

“Down on the ground, now!”

Ethan quickly turned, being greeted by the sight of six police officers clad in identical ebony uniforms. He did not do as they commanded, electing instead to watch them approach and size up the potential threat. They all wore identical crew cuts and golden badges; three had firearms drawn and pointing at him, while the others had one hand gripping the ones they still had holstered. The officers spread out as they slowly approached, turning their triangle of bodies into a curved half-circle.

“Now *******!” another officer shouted.

Again, Ethan decided against the man’s command.

“You are under arrest for suspicion of murder. I repeat, get on the ground, now!”

Scyther twitched in front of him, her mouth splitting to reveal her fangs. Her action caused the last three officers to draw their weapons, and adopt an even more menacing stride.

“This is your last warning! You and your Pokemon get down on the ground, now!”

Ethan slowly clenched both fists as they closed to within fifteen feet of him, a veil of red beginning to drop across his vision.



*************


The museum came into view a few minutes after they had started jogging, its eastern entrance boasting an unfamiliar sight. Six police officers were approaching a man and a Pokemon, all of them pointing their guns. Their backs were bent low, their steps cautious and deliberate. The lead officer was yelling at a man in front of him, motioning with his weapon towards the ground. A stone formed in Dorian’s stomach as he looked at the man, his brain reminding him of what he had seen earlier. It was the same man he had seen, his long brown hair gleaming bright and healthy. The officers kept approaching, hands tightening on their firearms.

“This is your last warning! You and your Pokemon get down on the ground, now!”

Dorian heard the finality in the officer’s voice, knowing what would happen if his command was not obeyed. He didn’t know what the man had done to merit this kind of attention, but the officers assembled wouldn’t have been this much on edge for no reason. He could feel the tension in the air from here, it was almost suffocating.

As he watched, the man inclined his head towards the officers, his mouth moving quickly.

Suddenly, the man’s Scyther sprang forward, sword-like arms glowing a blinding white. All six of the officers fired their weapons simultaneously, causing Kecleon and Nuzleaf to jump forward, shielding them from possible harm.

The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers. Rosy blossoms of blood bloomed at the area of impact as they struck, the officer’s screaming out in pain as they dropped to the ground. Dorian gasped as the Scyther sprinted forward, his mind freezing in place as it took down two more of the policemen with vicious slashes; slicing through bone like air. Blood sprayed in long arcs as it struck, a sadistic smile etched on its triangular face. The two remaining officers quickly turned around and ran, leaving their dead and wounded companions behind. The Scyther quickly followed in pursuit, only to stop in its tracks by a shout from its master.

“Shelton,” Dorian whispered, grabbing her limp left hand. “Back up, just start walking, now.”

“Why is this happening?” she asked quietly, slowly stepping backwards as she spoke.

Nuzleaf and Kecleon followed suit, keeping their position in front of them. Whether it was the fact that they had started walking, or the man just sensed their presence, Dorian didn’t know, but the man turned. The man waved his Scyther forward, a smile breaking out across his tanned face. Dorian stopped in his tracks, entranced by the man who had just commanded his Pokemon to murder four people. He looked so normal, so different from what he thought a man like that would look like. Round emerald eyes, accented by a small nose, hovered above muscled arms and loose fitting jeans, a green traveling pack draped across his shoulders. As Dorian watched, the man screamed at them, his voice so abnormally loud that Dorian instinctively covered his ears.

“Leaf!” Nuzleaf roared back, sliding his right foot back into a fighting stance.

As if reading its owners mind, the Scyther sprinted forward again, this time heading straight for Dorian. His right hand shot forward and activated his Pokeflect as he quickly stepped backwards, hands growing numb from the rush of adrenaline. The man up the road laughed maniacally as the Scyther came forward shockingly fast, raising its right arm and grinning broadly. Nuzleaf and Kecleon ran forward to meet it, both drawing back their fists to combat the threat.

“Leon!”

“Nunuz!”

The Scyther ducked low as the two connected, striking both with the broad side of its arms in an effort to scatter them. Kecleon was violently thrown to the left as he was struck; body bouncing off the ground like a stone thrown across water. Nuzleaf was forced down to the ground, being kicked roughly in the face as the Scyther passed by him. Nuzleaf vanished in a flash of black light as Scyther swung its right arm towards Dorian, howling in delight as Dorian ducked backwards to avoid the blow.

The attack never reached him. Just before Scyther’s arm connected, a black flash appeared in front of him, which materialized into a panting Nuzleaf. Both of the grass Pokemon’s hands were lifted up, catching the Scyther’s blow and protecting his master from harm. Nuzleaf gripped the sword tightly, the sharp appendage slicing deep into his hands. The Scyther narrowed its eyes and pushed harder, trying to overpower Nuzleaf and force him aside. Nuzleaf didn’t budge however, he shrugged off the pain and kept holding, drops of sap beginning to form on his forehead.

Dorian and Shelton both jumped forward to help Nuzleaf, dimly aware of more sirens sounding through the air as they moved. As Dorian grabbed the top of the Scyther’s left arm to wrench him away, he saw the man further up the road start sprinting towards them, moving faster than Dorian would have thought possible. He swung his head to the side just as Shelton’s fist sailed past him, crunching loudly as it connected with the Scyther’s face. As the blow glanced off of the insect Pokemon, it tore its arm free of Dorian’s hold and swung towards Shelton, who ducked and followed with a left cross to the other side of its face.

“Sai!” the Pokemon roared, spraying hot saliva into Dorian’s face.

Dorian barely noticed the Pokemon’s voice, as he was too busy watching the man as he closed the distance between them. The man drew a long dagger from his belt as he approached, shouting curses as he dove forward. As the man’s feet left the ground, his body stopped, and Dorian noticed a purple glow take shape around the man’s chest. A similar glow enveloped the Scyther he and Nuzleaf were holding in place, and suddenly both the Scyther and the man were yanked straight up into the air.

The sirens were painfully loud now, and as Dorian turned to look for the source, a brown and gold toned figure darted between him and Shelton, launching itself up to meet the man and the Scyther. The Alakazam that had slipped past Dorian bared its teeth at him as a purple light engulfed its body, carrying it up to its companions. The man was obviously being lifted against his will; evident by the amount of flailing and yelling he did as he rose higher. The Alakazam would not be denied though, and the three of them speedily vanished into the clouds above.

“Nunuz!” Nuzleaf panted.

“Christ!” Dorian agreed. “Are you alright?”

“Nuzleaf,” the Pokemon assured him.

“Give me your hands,” Dorian instructed his Pokemon.

“Nuz,” Nuzleaf replied, turning over his hands. A long groove had been carved into the palm of each of his hands, leaking blood through his Pokemon’s fingers. As Dorian opened his mouth to speak again, his Pokemon silenced him with a wave, assuring him of his wellbeing.

“Leon,” a new voice said behind him.

Dorian turned to see Kecleon limping towards them, one scaly hand clutched across his belly. The Pokemon removed the hand when he saw Dorian’s mouth drop, showing him that the result of the attack had been a large bruise and not disembowelment. Kecleon and Nuzleaf started conversing quickly, the words passing by too fast for Dorian to understand. As the sirens came to a halt and policemen rushed past them, Dorian finally turned to Shelton. She was pacing back and forth quickly, face flushed, mouth set in a rigid straight line.

“You good?” Dorian asked.

“I’m fine,” Shelton responded. “That Scyther almost caught me with that left. It’s got me a little wired.”

“It was strong,” Dorian agreed. “That was him.”

“The man the marker showed you?”

“Yes.”

“What happened, Dorian? I mean really, what the hell was that?

“I don’t know, I can’t process this right now.”

A gold and red ambulance soon pulled up to the cacophony of scrambling people, rushing those injured into its confines and quickly speeding off again. Oddly enough, none of the officers stopped to speak to the two of them. He didn’t know if the new ones to arrive had not seen them engaging the man and his Pokemon, but it made sense to him after a moment that they would be more concerned about apprehending the fugitive. A man with a silver badge sprinted by quickly, yelling into a radio and pointing towards the sky; Shelton stopped him with a wave and he approached, his eyes scanning the heavens from north to south.

“Did you two see what happened here?” the man asked.

“Yes,” Shelton answered. “Can you please explain to me why we were nearly bisected?”

“Look ma’am,” the officer started. “We don’t have all the information yet as to why it happened, but my priority right now is trying to find the suspect. If you’ll excuse me.”

As the man turned away from them, Dorian touched him on the shoulder, “Why was he at gunpoint when we walked up?”

“Look, museum security called us a few minutes ago and reported a murder. We responded, and now I have two officers dead and another two in critical condition.”

“Murder?” Dorian asked, his heart picking up speed again. “And you’re sure it happened in the museum?”

“Yes. That’s what dispatch told us, and now you know exactly as much as I do.”

After the last word left his lips, the man turned and walked away, once again screaming into his radio. As Dorian struggled with the implications of what he was just told, he saw Kecleon bolt towards the museum, dodging quickly past the people milling about. Dorian quickly followed him, noticing Shelton and Nuzleaf following a step behind him. This was a dream; this was not the order of events that were supposed to take place. He brought the marker, he would receive the reward, and they would go home; that’s it, done! This did not fit into his life, this was not his path. He knew Ronnie was inside, and he knew that he probably would have no idea what had taken place right outside his office.

Through a flickering hallway he followed Kecleon, who had adopted a speed Dorian had never witnessed. The four of them burst through the door to his uncle’s office a moment later, almost tripping over each other in an effort to get through.

Dorian’s heart stopped.

Smoke billowed across the ceiling while lines of blood crisscrossed the floor in small rivers. The streams of crimson emanated from the body of his uncle, who was lying in the floor, head cocked to the side unnaturally. As Dorian fell to his knees, he saw that the word ‘thief’ had been carved into his uncle’s chest, the letters jagged and deep.

Kecleon started shrieking.

Skiyomi
19th May 2012, 6:58 AM
I'm here to give you a review of your Prologue-Chapter 3. Don't worry, I'll be sticking around for more, I just wanted to give you my thoughts on what I've read so far while they're still fresh in my mind and because I'm probably going to have to take a break from reading this weekend to write the next chapter of Possession.

Overall, I'm really pleased. It seems like there's a really epic plot shaping up from what I've read so far and you make a really good impression with both your characters and their interactions with each other. I like Dorian, I really like Shelton, and I like all their Pokemon. You've managed to make me care about them in a pretty limited space, so kudos to you on that!

I'm going to stick to a fairly linear commentary on this, so here it goes:

Prologue:

By and large, you have very nice, flowing sentences, that are long, but usually don't get too unweildy. This kind of sentence construction displays a nice confidence and comfort level in writing that's nice to settle into.


Occasional gouts of water forced itself inside and flooded some of the tunnels

"Itself" should be "themselves" since "gouts" is the subject that the reflexive pronoun is pointing back to, and "gouts" is plural. You'd have to switch around the sentence to something like "The occasional gout of water" to make "itself" match up.

I thought perhaps the background bit concerning the boy's foster parents and his feelings for them could've been done better in scene. It's just not very emotionally affecting to just be told his backstory instead of experiencing it. I know this is the prologue and there needs to be a certain amount of focus, but nevertheless this bit felt a little exposition-dumpy to me.


His parents were long dead, twisted and spirited away by the ghostly hand of death.

I really like this sentence. It's nicely evocative and macabre. The only thing I don't like about it is the dead/death repetition. Perhaps changing the "long dead" to "long gone" would get rid of that problem?


The Abra had also lost its parents; his new parents being vague on how it happened, but nevertheless fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it.

To my mind, "being" sounds rather awkward here, especially since this doesn't sound like an ongoing action. "Had been" or "were" seems a better fit to me.


The pokemon cocked its head from side to side like a Pidgey, listening.

I like this description. It instantly creates an image in the mind. In fact, you have a lot of really excellent descriptions in this prologue. I'd say nice description is the thing that characterizes it. It certainly makes for a suspenseful impact too.

Chapter 1:

I like the idea of the Pokeflect. It’s nicely sciencey and it makes a lot of sense given the dangerous nature of being that close to attacks. It’s a creative idea and I like it... though not necessarily how it’s placed in the story. Putting it right at the beginning undercuts any of the action and movement you might've gained by beginning the chapter with a flamethrower attack. Instead, the reader is basically immersed in rather movementless tech-talk that seems to me to go on rather longer than its contribution to the story deserves. I don't think it contains much of a hook to keep the reader interested in continuing.

As for the second paragraph, I'll be frank with you: I don't like it when stories completely stop for a lengthy character description. I get your predicament: you want your readers to be able to picture this new character as soon as possible. But for me, the last thing I really care about a character is how he or she looks. Generally speaking it just stops the action and feels very conspicuously heavy-handed if it happens all at once. That's why I prefer physical descriptions to be spaced out a bit more instead of having them come all at once. The lack of movement in this paragraph is only compounded by the fact that the previous paragraph has the same basic problem. And the beginning of a chapter is a difficult place to have this problem, because it's right where the reader is deciding whether the chapter is worth reading or not. Though, to your credit, I think you do attempt to do what I think good physical description really should do--you use it to tell us about the character's personality--and that's good.

The chapter gets a lot better after those two paragraphs, so, if you want my opinion (and you are free to not want it), I think it would be an improvement to clear out the deadwood in those first two paragraphs and try to sprinkle the remaining details more evenly in the narrative instead of having it come all at once.

It was in this chapter that I started to really notice your very frequent use of semi-colons. I'm a bit hesitant to even bring this up because, hey, I suppose there's nothing too wrong with using a lot of them (I, myself, have a debillitating addiction to dashes and italics) but... well, it does end up seeming a little overused to me. And there are a lot of places where I feel like a period or a comma or even one of my beloved dashes would better serve you than a semi-colon. It helps me to think of punctuation like musical instrumentation to create just the right kind of pause, and it doesn't necessarily seem right to me in all the cases you use it. But that might just be my own reading of it.


No sooner had he given the command, the Growlithe righted itself and charged his Nuzleaf, orange flame licking the pits of its nostrils. The small pokemon proved to be too quick for Nuzleaf however; as the grass type readied itself to dodge, the pokemon put on an extra burst of speed and speared the brown pokemon in the sternum, making an audible crack!

When not in the wonderful world of dialogue, I'd be wary of exclamation points. Most writers like to keep them horded away in a rarely used drawer because they can have a... I suppose you could say a rather desperate sound. Or at least that's the way I think of them. It's usually better to let the excitement of the sentence speak for itself instead of telling us it's exciting with an exclamation point. If this was dialogue then I wouldn't even be bringing this up beause that's an inflection issue, but in this case... well, I know a lot of editors tend to nix exclamation points and this one and the one that follows it seemed unnecessary to me.


“Yeah you helped too I guess, although I think it’s also the fact that I’m just a real ‘Go-Getter’, the kinda guy that really overcomes adversity at all costs. Don’t you think so?”

Your location says “Arkansas” so I’m assuming you’re American, right? If so, then I believe the comma should be inside the single quotes (I know it definitely is with regular quotation marks). Systems in other countries do it differently though, so if you’re not American or not using American style conventions for some other reason then ignore this.

You definitely manage to convey the relationship between Dorian and Nuzleaf very well. Same later on with Trapinch.

Again, I’m noticing that the description is rather plopped and stagnant when it comes to Trapinch. It mostly uses “to be” verbs like “was” that make it so there’s not much movement there.


His head collided not with the thump he expected, but with the clear crisp clink of silverware on glass.

Nice use of alliteration for sound effect, I’m definitely hearing it. Though I’d nix either clear of crisp, to be honest. Having three of them in a row seems like it’s trying a little too hard on the alliteration front. Alliteration can easily be overdone.


“That’s great Dorian, I’m glad that when we get tossed to the street we’ll have a nice warm Growlithe to live in.” she said, rolling her eyes and turning to Nuzleaf.

*smile* I like you already.

I feel like the things that happened to the boy in those nearly three decades would’ve been more affecting if they were teased out more instead of just summarized. Priority-wise, as a reader I’m more interested in what’s happening to him than what the characters look like or some of the other things that get more time and attention in this chapter. I like that you brought it back to the prologue at the end, though.

Chapter 2:


“I’m instituting a new rule,” Shelton began, crossing her legs and leaning forward. “From now on, all your decision making privileges have been revoked. Other than involuntary bodily functions you have to perform in order to survive, I want you on the sofa, sitting on your hands at all times.”

*bigger smile* I REALLY like you already.

Awww. I haven’t even met Machop and already I like him.


“Ah! How’s my future daughter in law doing?”

That should be "daughter-in-law" I believe.


“Yes,” his Uncle answered. “The direct translation goes ‘Gathered together, split apart. give your world, to eat what remains.’”

Oooh. *leans closer to screen* Sounds interesting and foreboding! *crosses fingers for eldritch interdimensional horrors*


“So that’s three that I owe you now?” the man asked.

The Pokemon didn’t reply with a verbal affirmation, rather it held up four of its spindly fingers.

*smirk* You have a gift for these nice, sharp relationship moments. I like it.

The plot feels like it has a lot of momentum even at this beginning stage. Definitely good for creating interest.

Chapter 3:


Cutting him off mid sentence, Shelton asked, “So if I’m hearing you correctly, they were going to spend one-hundred thousand credits to move all of their excavating equipment here, but if were able to make it there before they leave, we may get some kind of finder’s fee?”

Correction:

Cutting him off mid sentence, Shelton asked, “So if I’m hearing you correctly, they were going to spend one-hundred thousand credits to move all of their excavating equipment here, but if we’re able to make it there before they leave, we may get some kind of finder’s fee?”


“Dorian, even if he got us ten percent of the cost, that would pay me back and both our bills for the next two months!”

“I know!”

“That’s why you’re so excited!”

“Exactly!”

“Any other time, I would call attention to the fact that were both yelling!”

“Same here, but this occasion calls for it!”

“Yes!” she agreed.

Heh. Nice. I can feel their excitement and you drew attention to it in a nicely humorous way.


“I have dominion over you,” Dorian reminded the grass type, getting up and brushing the dirt from his jeans. “And I am commanding you to not laugh when I inadvertently embarrass myself from now on!”

Another excellent line. The way you infuse these characters with some humor really makes them likeable to me.

Pfft. I like Dorian’s attempts to start up a catch-phrase and Shelton having none of it.

All in all it seems like you have a nice mix of things going on. I've pointed out the places where I think the text falters, but aside from those I'm enjoying this, and you've definitely got me interested and on board to read more. I hope these comments were helpful in some way, and I'll see you after I've read onward.

Glover
19th May 2012, 8:36 AM
Marvelous. This chapter seems to follow a lot of then this happened pphrasing, but I'm not sure that's really avoidable in the construct. One thing that jumped out at me though, as an ametuer fictitious geogrpaher, is your placement of Orre and Unova. (yay for recognizing the Orre region! Whoo! We will be known!)



The problem, is that you have Unova pegged as farther west. Since they are both based on US states, most geography I know will put them on the same continent, with the Orre region in the way between Unova and Kanto/Johot, solving the why yo have to fly to Unova and not boat. This is also done though because the mainland of Unova is west of the region, while the sea is to the east. Orre is flipped the opposite way, with the sea to the west and the generic land to the east. If you subscribe to the idea that Gen1-3 is based on Japan, then for Orre to be the closer of the two it should be to the Northeast with Unova farther East, similar to how the real world would look if someone was standing in Hawaii and looking at the US and Japan. Or, you go the other way, with Unova being on the other side of the Tojoh region with Orre being the farhter one away, but then you lose the canon's statement that the Unova region is too far to go by boat, while Orre is appearently accesible by nearly all species and trainers.

If I'm nitpicking the geograhpy, that means I don't see anything more glaring in the story, right?




“Yes,” his Uncle answered. “The direct translation goes ‘Gathered together, split apart. give your world, to eat what remains.’” Oooh. *leans closer to screen* Sounds interesting and foreboding! *crosses fingers for eldritch interdimensional horrors*


Every time I see this, my first thought is: "Arblus, Look! It's Unicron!" Go look it up, if you don't know the flick.

Sid87
19th May 2012, 12:11 PM
I woke up sick in the middle of the night and figured I'd do this while I'm up. Hopefully my quality isn't suffering because of it. :)


As he studied the burning balls of gas, he became aware that he couldn’t distinguish what was up or down, or left and right for that matter; causing him to experience vertigo for the first time.

Nothing particularly wrong here, but the punctuation you chose made me read it a little weird. Maybe try:
"As he studied the burning balls of gas, he became aware that he could not distinguish what was up or down--or left or right for that matter--causing him to experience vertigo for the first time."

I split couldn't into could not, too, just because. :)


Without any sort of warning, the shard shot down towards the desert wasteland, pulling Dorian behind it.

Just as he did not freeze in the deathly cold of space, he did not ignite in flame as he descended back into the atmosphere. The only thing he felt as he was unwillingly pulled back into the atmosphere was a soft push against his skin, not unlike that of a gentle summer breeze; which struck Dorian as odd considering that he was plummeting towards Orre at several thousand miles per hour. Trying to get a clear picture of the landscape speeding by beneath him was useless, as all he was able to observe were streaks of blue, followed by a rich orange. Just as he was stricken by how utterly helpless he was, his movement stopped, and he found himself standing in a fountain in the center of Phenac City.

I get that, more than anything, Dorian is probably in severe shock (if such a thing is even capable in an ephemeral state), but the narration almost makes him sound...bored by this ordeal. Especially at the point where he is getting pulled to Earth at high speeds, I imagine he'd be freaking out and screaming. Unless the shard is releasing a calming effect, which seems possible, so I will just read on. :)


Without warning yet again, the shard moved itself towards the water and launched itself straight down, pulling Dorian through layers of stone and dirt behind it. He couldn’t see or hear at all as he moved, which to him felt like he had been buried alive. Just as he drew in a breath to yell, he dropped down into a circular chamber, which was lit every few feet by glowing torches.

Ah, there we get something. Okey dokey.


The shard pulled him into the air about ten feet above the water, and then quickly pulled him through the northern most wall of the rocky structure in the center of the lake. The shard quickly set him down in the center of a small chamber within,

You used "quickly" twice in pretty quick (HA!) succession there. I know how hard it can be to catch those when you're writing because it takes longer to get the words down, so it doesn't feel repetitive.


Looking up, Dorian saw that Nuzleaf was still rushing towards him, having made much progress over the last several minutes. His Pokemon was now only a few feet from him, and was currently in mid-dive,

This just struck me as a little weird: If Nuzleaf still wasn't to Dorian's side in several minutes, then he is the slowest creature on Earth. Unless it was because he was dealing with the electricity and the dangers and what not, but it doesn't read like he was moving cautiously. :)


“I’m not in shock! That marker just pulled me out of my body!”

“Right,” Shelton said, stepping closer and cupping his face in her hands. “Do you know who I am?”

“Of course I do, moron!” Dorian shouted.

I love some of the interactions between these two.


“Look, I’m fine,” Dorian assured them, spinning once and lifting his arms. “That marker is ******** and I’m not going near it again.”

I'm going to be honest: I USUALLY don't love such incessant cursing, but it actually really does fit here. Dorian should be in great pain from the electrical shock and burns, and his mind should be 10 shades of blown, so I think this swearing does a good job of conveying a mixed sense of pain and utter rage at his confusion.


He had not been amiably walking through the forest went Dorian had encountered him;

*when, not went.


The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers. Rosy blossoms of blood bloomed at the area of impact as they struck, the officer’s screaming out in pain as they dropped to the ground. Dorian gasped as the Scyther sprinted forward, his mind freezing in place as it took down two more of the policemen with vicious slashes; slicing through bone like air. Blood sprayed in long arcs as it struck, a sadistic smile etched on its triangular face. The two remaining officers quickly turned around and ran, leaving their dead and wounded companions behind. The Scyther quickly followed in pursuit, only to stop in its tracks by a shout from its master.

Why don't the officers have Pokeflects? Or kevlar? YOU KNOW I CAN'T NOT CONSTANTLY ASK ABOUT POKEFLECTS. :D But it seems like, if anyone, cops would have them. I have some questions about the cops whole behavior here, but I'll read on and see if they are answered (mostly: why were they so aggressive here? How do they know with such certainty that Ethan is the culprit? The only way I can imagine is the security camera was sending live feed somewhere, but if that's the case, the cops should have known what they were getting into and definitely had the aforementioned protective measures in place. If it's not, why were they pulling guns on some random, unthreatening man and placing him under arrest before bringing him in for questioning?)


He looked so normal, so different from what he thought a man like that would look like.

THAT....is a really good, realistic observation.


Nuzleaf didn’t budge however, he shrugged off the pain and kept holding, drops of sap beginning to form on his forehead

Also, very nice. I like the idea that Nuz' bodily fluid is sap. It's so dark and innocent at the same time.



-There have been so absolutely spectacular action scenes in this story, and you write [pokemon] action about as well as I can imagine it can be done. Just...gorgeous. Very vivid and descriptive and intense and powerful. I seriously think I could read a hundred stories here and not find a single action sequence that puts me as on the edge of my seat as the scenes you've written with the Graveler and now with Scyther. I could seriously gush about those sequences forever.

-That said, I have three overall character or plot-related complaints:

1) The questions I had regarding the police officers earlier. That really gets me. Did they see the footage that Ethan was the culprit? If not, why were they so unnecessarily aggressive? And why weren't they prepared for violence in any possible way?
2) This is minor, but spilling water in a computer may or may not wreck the computer, but it almost certainly won't erase the information within. Then again, this might not even be a complaint, because you could have done that to show how oblivious Ethan is to things that don't directly concern him, like technology.
3) Dorian and Shelton (but mostly Shelton) seem recovered from what happened to Golduck really easily. When Ronnie meets them, Shelton beams "It wasn't too bad" in regards to the time they made, and I thought "Well, except when you were brutally assaulted and one of your closest friends was maimed. Just that". :) I get that they wouldn't say "Because of you telling us to come here, Golduck was been crippled!", but...there should be a happy medium between that and basically forgetting it ever happened.

elyvorg
19th May 2012, 6:44 PM
Hi, there! I'm a reader of this fic. I've been reading since a few chapters ago, but after this chapter I found myself with so many things I wanted to talk about that I decided to come out and review.

One of the main reasons I'm enjoying this is that you have such likeable and compelling characters. Dorian and Shelton both have really fun personalities that bounce off each other wonderfully, and they feel entirely natural as lifelong friends, making for a great pair of protagonists to read about. I also love that their Pokémon are very much participating characters as well. I particularly like Nuzleaf, with the way he and Dorian are constantly sparring and bickering, but beneath that they're clearly fierce friends. Machoke is also kind of adorable, especially now he's all big and bulky but still has his meek, shy personality. I could tell you'd done a great job of getting me to care about all of Dorian and Shelton's Pokémon because the Graveler incident had me worried for them and hoping they'd be okay, which is clearly the impact you were trying to give it. You also made a good move in nerfing Golduck's psychic powers due to that incident, in my opinion, since having a Pokémon with an ability to do almost anything like he could would have made solving future crises a little too easy for Dorian and Shelton if he'd kept that power. (I was actually a little surprised he had that much power in the first place, since while Golduck do have some psychic abilities, they're not actually Psychic-type, so he shouldn't really have been able to do quite as much as an actual Psychic Pokémon... but that isn't really an issue now he's lost that power.)

Then there's Ethan, who, even despite events in the most recent chapter, I still feel kind of sorry for. He's clearly blind to just how bad of a thing he was getting himself into with these shards and flakes. He's doing all these terrible things because he really believes that those voices love him and care about him, but I get the distinct feeling that, whatever the voices are, they're just taking advantage of a lonely kid to do their dirty work and don't actually give a damn about him at all. Absorbing those flakes has probably screwed with his mind in ways he can't even begin to realise, too. And his Alakazam, I find incredibly compelling. He's obviously very much aware of all the things I've said about what his master's getting himself into - but he's so loyal to Ethan that he still supports him even when he doesn't think what he's doing is a good idea. I feel like Alakazam has the potential to be one of the most pivotal characters in the story: he's the only one in the position of possibly being able to convince Ethan that what he's doing isn't right and isn't good for him and get him to stop before anyone else gets hurt - but whether he'll manage to do that, and how far his loyalty will stretch before he puts his foot down, are big questions that I'm looking forward to seeing the answers to. Soon, perhaps! - because after he dragged Ethan and Scyther away from murdering Dorian and Shelton this chapter, I'm really eager to see Ethan confront him over that and how that turns out.

Here's a thought, actually: since your Pokémon characters are such important, contributing characters, and since you've indicated that their trainers can actually understand what they're saying so long as they're not speaking too fast (and that it isn't just picking up vague meaning from their tone and inflection but stuff like being able to understand them recounting stories of what's gone on in the past, as with Kecleon this chapter), why not translate the Pokémon speech? Since you seem to be writing in third-person limited POV, and the POV character knows more or less exactly what they're saying, letting the readers know what they're saying too could give the Pokémon even more depth as characters. It's fine if you don't want to for whatever reasons - I apologise if it seems like I'm trying to write your story for you here - but it's just a suggestion.

Aside from the characters, you also have a pretty intriguing plot that I'm sure will get even more fun and plotty and gripping than it already is further down the line. Pretty much the only thing about this story that was bothering me as I read through it was various mechanical issues here and there with the writing (such as a tendency to halt the action for listy descriptions like Skiyomi pointed out above me, as well as other things which would probably have been caught with more thorough proofreading) - but these have been getting less prominent as the fic has gone on. I'll try and point out some that I noticed while going through this chapter mentioning things I liked so you get an idea of the kind of thing I mean.


Dorian could see through his arm. That was the one thing he kept thinking about as he was pulled into the sky. He had stopped screaming by the time he had passed through the lower layer of clouds above Pewter City; and instead of focusing on that impossibility, he was choosing instead to examine another.

I liked this. What's happening to Dorian right now is impossible enough that it seems entirely likely that his mind would just short circuit and decide to focus on one of the least brain-breaking aspects of it in order to cope. That struck me as a nicely realistic reaction, given the situation. I'm not sure you did quite such a good job of Dorian's reactions throughout the rest of his little trip, though; before long he just seemed to be calmly describing the scenery as if he's just on holiday and nothing weird is happening at all, without any kind of sense that this is just what his brain is focusing on to try and cope. And while I like the notion that everything was so impossible to comprehend that he just decided to go along with it and process what the **** just happened only once it was over, when it is over, he doesn't seem to have a moment where he stops and tries to come to terms with it; he just starts blurting out how he got dragged all over the planet like there's nothing weird about that at all.

I dunno. I may be misinterpreting some things slightly, and reactions like this are going to be incredibly difficult to write anyway, since it's not as if anyone could know what it's actually like to be in that kind of situation. You did a fairly decent job, considering, but after that bit at the beginning that I think you really nailed, I felt like the rest of it could have had something a bit... more, in the way of brainbroken reactions. I don't really know what to suggest, though.


The man had long brown hair and a look on his face of extreme fury, a Scyther and an Alakazam positioned to his right and left. The man was dressed for journey, made evident by his worn boots and heavy pack across his back. The man did not notice Dorian as the shard pulled him around behind him so he faced the man’s traveling pack.
This here is an example of your tendency for listy character descriptions: the man had this, the man was that. Try and vary your sentence structure more and focus on the parts that really matter instead of just listing everything that can be seen - show us how furious he looks rather than just telling us he has a furious expression. Here, especially, since this is the first time Dorian sees Ethan, this deserves to have more of an impact to it.

Talking about the plot for a moment: Ethan only has two shards? From what I remember, he's definitely absorbed more than two flakes - isn't there one shard per flake? ...Hang on, one of Ethan's flakes came from near Dorian's shard, so I guess he has three flakes right now. If I'm still getting this mixed up, do let me know, though.


The shard in his standing body pulsed for the final time, causing the shard still in his ground body to glow brightly. Satisfied that it had done its job, the shard in his standing body lifted him up and positioned him on top of his ground body and slowly started lowering him down. As his feet touched his ground body’s midsection, his body started dissolving into black smoke, inching its way up his body. An intense wave of heat rolled across his body as it vanished, causing Dorian to yell out in agony. The smoke ate its way up his standing body, being absorbed back into his physical body on the ground. Through his all encompassing haze of pain, Dorian took a deep breath, trying his best to prepare himself as the smoke reached his neck. His vision blurred as the smoke reached his eyes, and he experienced the unusual sensation of weightlessness as he was forcibly sucked back into his body.
This part was also a bit clunky and difficult to understand, what with all the "his body"s and it often being unclear whether you were referring to his physical or non-physical body. Maybe it would help if you referred to his ethereal form entirely as "him", since that's where Dorian feels like he is, and the body on the ground as "his body". "Him" and "his body" is simpler to follow than "his standing body" and "his physical body" or anything like that.

A little tip on evading swear filters: the best way is to put one of the letters in Font=Verdana tags, because then it isn't visible at all. The single italic letters threw me off slightly.


Jolteon colored motorcycle
Jolteon-coloured? Really? The problem with that is that due to you making me think of Jolteon, I now can't help but picture the bike to be all spiky, too, which I doubt it actually is. There's nothing wrong with just calling it yellow.


Ronnie guffawed loudly as he squeezed tighter, transferring his love to them in unseen waves.
The bolded part is a bit of a weird and cheesy way to describe a hug. It's not really needed, either, since the rest of the narration already gives the clear impression that he loves them like a father.


“Alright good,” Dorian replied, hanging his head.
Should be a comma between alright and good.


“Alakazam, you stay with those two. Don’t let them out of your sight. I’m going to get the shard and then I’ll come find you.”

“Kazam?”

“It’s not your concern. Your job is to keep track of the two humans.”

“Alakazam.”

“I don’t have time for this. Just watch them and make sure you’re not seen.”

“Ala,” his Pokemon nodded, obviously unsatisfied.

Oh, Alakazam. He clearly has a pretty good idea what Ethan's planning to do and doesn't want him to do it, but he doesn't push it and does as Ethan asks because he still cares about him, and, and and and... =D I'm seriously fascinated by him.


Which suited Ethan fine as he quickly reached out and broke the man’s neck.


*********


“Kecleoooonnn!” his uncle’s Pokemon sang as he was released into the world.

Ouch. That juxtaposition of Ronnie being murdered and introducing us to one of Ronnie's faithful Pokémon for the first time... that's just cruel. Nice one.


the bright yellow stripe around its stomach almost moving in the failing light.
Huh? If you mean the zigzag on a Kecleon's stomach that's the only part it can't change the colour of, isn't that red?


Dorian opened his mouth to reply but stopped when a thought occurred to him. The man the shard had shown him had been watching him. He had not been amiably walking through the forest went Dorian had encountered him; he had been crouched low, looking straight at where Dorian had been on the ground. His stomach clenched up involuntarily, and he excused himself from his friends and started back towards the woods.

(bold: "when")

This strikes me as rather a random moment for Dorian to realise that. Surely he'd have been more likely to do so when he dragged Shelton and Ronnie to where he'd seen Ethan and found him gone? Even if not, for him to suddenly realise it here, it would make more sense if something in the conversation had directed his thoughts back towards the man he'd seen, rather than it just occurring to him completely out of nowhere.


The voices would be pleased that he had retrieved it, and they would reward him for overcoming this adversity. Secretly Ethan hoped that they would be proud of him for the force he had shown, and the righteous action he had displayed in their honor.

Here's a hint of that lonely little boy desperate for a parent figure he can prove himself to. D: Those voices are totally taking advantage of him, I'm sure.


There had been no sign of him running to get help or even attempting to help in any way at all, he had simply been staring.

Ethan exited the side entrance to the museum cautiously; eyes scanning left and right for anyone who might have seen him leave the building.
I'd be fine with your slight overuse of semicolons that Skiyomi pointed out (I'm a little guilty of that myself), except here it seems that you don't quite understand when they're used. Both parts on either side of a semicolon should be able to stand on their own as a sentence; you should be able to replace a semicolon with a full stop and still have it make grammatical sense (like with the one in this sentence here). The semicolon's purpose is basically to show more of a connection between the sentences on either side of it than a full stop would.

The second of the above quotes is an example of you using a semicolon where you shouldn't, as the "eyes scanning left and right..." part doesn't make its own sentence. The comma in the first quote, meanwhile, shouldn't be a comma, as both parts on either side of it are their own sentence. (Commas can only be used to join together two sentences if they come before a conjunction like "and" or "but".) That first quote is an example of somewhere you could use a semicolon if you wanted, although a full stop would also work. I'd actually go for the full stop, personally. The second part would be more chilling in its own sentence.


“Now ***hole!” another officer shouted.
Commas should always come before and after a direct address (though the after isn't applicable here), even if the direct address is some word or phrase that isn't actually the person's name.


The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers.
This... I found a little difficult to swallow. I know Scyther are fast, but that fast? And that accurate for two of them? Even if she is fast enough to hit them, slashing at speeding bullets should have just torn holes in her scythes; changing the direction of momentum of those bullets is going to result in all that momentum acting on her, instead. There's probably some other way you could use a Scyther's abilities to have her and Ethan avoid harm, here - and then just have her go murdercrazy on the men after that so you still get four of them injured/dead.


As if reading its owners mind,
owner's.

(I'm probably not catching every single typo here as this is my second readthrough and I'm mostly skimming. This stuff has been getting less frequent than it was in earlier chapters, like I've said, but still, make sure to proofread thoroughly.)


Kecleon was violently thrown to the left as he was struck; body bouncing off the ground like a stone thrown across water.


Nuzleaf didn’t budge however, he shrugged off the pain and kept holding...
More examples of semicolons that should be commas and commas that should be semicolons.


Dorian barely noticed the Pokemon’s voice, as he was too busy watching the man as he closed the distance between them. The man drew a long dagger from his belt as he approached, shouting curses as he dove forward. As the man’s feet left the ground, his body stopped, and Dorian noticed a purple glow take shape around the man’s chest. A similar glow enveloped the Scyther he and Nuzleaf were holding in place, and suddenly both the Scyther and the man were yanked straight up into the air.

The sirens were painfully loud now, and as Dorian turned to look for the source, a brown and gold toned figure darted between him and Shelton, launching itself up to meet the man and the Scyther. The Alakazam that had slipped past Dorian bared its teeth at him as a purple light engulfed its body, carrying it up to its companions. The man was obviously being lifted against his will; evident by the amount of flailing and yelling he did as he rose higher. The Alakazam would not be denied though, and the three of them speedily vanished into the clouds above.

Alakazaaaaam! (also incorrect semicolon.) I am really looking forward to seeing how he's going to explain himself to Ethan, and how Ethan will react.


“Look ma’am,” the officer started.
Another direct address that needs a comma.


Smoke billowed across the ceiling while lines of blood crisscrossed the floor in small rivers. The streams of crimson emanated from the body of his uncle, who was lying in the floor, head cocked to the side unnaturally. As Dorian fell to his knees, he saw that the word ‘thief’ had been carved into his uncle’s chest, the letters jagged and deep.

Kecleon started shrieking.
Love the impact of that last line. Poor Kecleon. D:

And poor Dorian and Shelton, for that matter. They clearly aren't about to catch a break any time soon. I like that about this fic! Another reason I'm looking forward to the next chapter is that I'm sure their reactions to this will be well-portrayed, as you've already shown your skills at this kind of thing with aftermath of the Graveler incident.


I'll definitely be reading this, then! Don't hold out on me stopping by to review every chapter, as I'm frequently lazy and currently busy, but if you keep having such compelling plot and characters then I'm sure I'll find myself with so much to say that I can't just not say it many times in the future. :3

Sid87
19th May 2012, 11:34 PM
Should be a comma between alright and good.

While we're at it, "alright" is not a word and should always be "all right". :)

Bulba the Great!
20th May 2012, 12:46 AM
His father’s older brother worked as a curator at the Pewter City museum, which was a profession he excelled at naturally. Owing to his near genius IQ and love of all things made hundreds to thousands of years before he was born.

There should be a comma between naturally and owing. The sentence doesn't stand on its own, so it should just continue from the first one. This is probably a problem you've rectified in your later chapters and I probably sound like an idiot.



“Don.” the Pokemon agreed, returning the smile as best as its terrifying face would allow.

This line made me giggle.

Dude, this whole thing with the shards is exciting and mysterious! I don't know what the flakes are that are attaching themselves to this boy's body, but they freak me out. Alakazam is right to worry. Also, remember when you're pluralizing something to not use an apostrophe (Diglett's should just be Diglett. Pokemon don't pluralize I don't think. And if they do, and I'm mistaken, it would still just be Digletts.)

Again, you probably already know this. I'll shut up and read Chapter Three.

Glover
20th May 2012, 6:32 AM
While we're at it, "alright" is not a word and should always be "all right". :)

While we're at it, alright is an acceptable aknolodgement to a person, typically synonomous to "Okay" (as in, "Okay, I understand") and does qualify as a word. "All right" is a broader statement, where in you are addressing many objects as a whole and stating their condition. It's typically not seen, but is essentially the same thing as "All's right" (All's right with the world"):-P

Whether or not it's an alright stand-in for "okay" here, such as


"Somewhere between okay and good" is probably a regional thing.

-The Hoosier

Knightfall
21st May 2012, 2:46 AM
Here it is, Part Three.





CHAPTER 7

AFTERMATH




“Shelton, I didn’t leave him out there. He yanked us up, I had no control over it.”

Supposed to be a semicolon there, not a comma.

One of the most emotional chapters yet in my opinion. I must say that the first time I read this; I thought Golduck was dead and gone, but than you pull a plot twist on everything and have him somehow survive that suicidal attack. I must commend you for that bit of ingenious story work, a Machiavellian idea that now adds yet another subplot to the fic: Golduck’s continued survival and recovery that is if he lives to get to the Pokemon Center.
Equally as dramatic as Golduck, Machop’s near death state and Shelton’s song and speech to him almost brought me to tears. Yes, I will admit it: it brought me to tears when I read it. It didn’t help my emotional state any that Machop evolved and was partly healed of his injuries.

Very good chapter, even fewer mistakes that I caught. Good job on this one.




CHAPTER 8

An interesting insight into Ethan’s ,ahem,complex personality and his thinking process. It seems that the power given to him by the shards has completely corrupted his sense of morality to the point that he’s willing to murder someone over them (Plus, all the seeing red he’s doing can’t be good for his eyes). He seems to care for his Pokemon though, so maybe he some sense of humanity left in him.
Conflict between him and Dorian and Co. is now inevitable, I fear the worst. Those voices cannot be up to any good.




CHAPTER 9



Reaching down, she scratched a spot at the small of Nuzleaf’s back, dragging her sharp nails across his wooden body.

The bold part of that sentence doesn’t sound right.



Aspear berries had a naturally occurring coagulant in them, which would help if Golduck’s arm was injuried before it had completely healed.

Injured is misspelled.



“What’s twenty-six times thirty-seven?” Shelton quickly asked.

“Well, if you carry the decimal and square the remainder,” Dorian started, squeezing his eyes shut in concentration. “Three-hundred and twenty-five!”

No, Dorian. You’re supposed to carry the decimal than divide the answer by the exact circumference of the sun. The answer is obviously 24, not 325.

A calmer chapter than the last two/three. At least Golduck is going to be fine, it’s too bad that the gemstone operation was so expensive….wait a minute. That might have been another reason for them to get the money from the museum director. I say might have been, because I have read chapter 11 and I now think that’s out of the picture. Good chapter, a few errors, but nothing big.




Chapter 10



“I don’t see how, but this thing is vibrat-,” Dorian said, only to be cut off by the sudden impact of a pokeball hitting him in the side of the head.

“Nuuhnuz!” Nuzleaf cackled loudly.

“You little bastard!” Dorian yelled, bending down and picking up the ball. “I wasn’t paying attention! That’s a free shot from ten feet!”

That’s just a funny scene, a bit of humor before many terrible things happen.

The calm before the storm, that’s what this chapter is. A mix of humor, weirdness, and rage. The bits of humor were a nice addition to make the readers laugh before the storm of events that happens in the next chapter. The two parts I find weird are Dorian’s capture of Spoink, I mean he just threw a pokeball in a hedge and just catches a Pokemon? Just a little unrealistic for my tastes. The other definite weird event in this chapter was the out of body experience Dorian has after he’s thrown on the electric lines. Which makes me wonder, if these mysterious shards and markers can influence someone enough to be willing to murder people, and give them strange out of body visions, what else are they capable of doing?






Chapter 11



“Space?” he whispered.

I honestly could not resist. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myEOJaNMQZo)



As that thought crossed his mind, he looked down; taking in the sight of his planet from a perspective he had never seen before. He recognized the great desert of Orre to the northwest, Sinnoh to the northeast, the landmass of Unova to the far west, and tucked away in the middle of his vision was the island of Hoenn. A few hundred miles to the right of Hoenn, sat the sizeable split region of Johto and Kanto. Parts of the different regions were obscured by clouds, but in no way did it dampen the view that Dorian held.


Have to ask a small question here. I know that in some fics, the Regions are a part of the real world; usually set somewhere in the Pacific Ocean (I can only think of Cutlerine’s The Thinking Man’s Guide to Destroying the World as an example of this). In other fics, the Regions are in their own world. I’m wondering if other nations like America, England, or Japan exist in this fic.
Just a random question that I thought of.


The last two chapters were-for the most part- calm. This chapter, however, had enough things happening to fill two chapters comfortably. It goes from Dorian’s trippy spirit journey across the planet, to Ethan seeing red a lot, to Ronnie getting brutally murdered in cold blood, to a failed arrest, to Scyther’s bloody carnage, to Dorian finding his beloved uncle dead. Like I said, a hell of a lot of stuff happening in this chapter, but you handle it pretty well and write it so that I didn’t get tired reading through it. I am anxiously waiting to see the next chapter.
Dorian’s reaction to his loss will severely affect him, whether he goes on a quest of revenge against Ethan, or continues his uncle’s journey for the markers is probably going to be a major part of chapter 12 methinks.

And so that is Part Three of my review, Portal 2 references and all. Hope it’s acceptable. I’ll definitely be there to review the next chapter when it comes out. Now that I don’t have to review multiple chapters, I can focus more on individual chapters. So, yay for less work!

Knightfall signing off…;005;

diamondpearl876
21st May 2012, 4:11 AM
As he rose past the exosphere he kept staring, only stopping to examine his surroundings when the color he was seeing through his arm changed from blue, to black.

Don’t really need that comma there, it’s an unnecessary pause and kind of ruins the flow of the sentence.


He knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear the word, as the lack of oxygen would prevent it, but to his surprise the word was audible. As he heard his voice, he became aware of another feat, he could still breathe. Putting both of those situations to the side, he looked around.

Sounds kind of silly to put his voice and breathing to the side, since they’re both very important. You might want to clarify and say he didn’t put the situation of not being able to talk/breathe to the side, but that he simply didn’t have to worry about those fears anymore.


As he struggled to get his bearings, the moon shied itself into view at the far right edge of his planet. Pockmarked with craters and glowing brilliantly ivory against the black backdrop of space, it seemed almost content with its place above the world.

I like this particular piece of description. It seems sweet and surreal and creepy all at once. Though I would say “brilliantly glowing ivory” instead because it sounds better. I had to read that part a few times to get it straight.


As he was trying to decide whether he could still vomit or not, his movement stopped and he was able to make sense of the world again.

LOL. Even in crazy situations like these, Dorian is still amusing and thinks of silly things like vomiting.


Looking up, Dorian saw that Nuzleaf was still rushing towards him, having made much progress over the last several minutes.

Wouldn’t it be that Nuzleaf HADN’T made much progress? Dorian probably felt like he was gone for several minutes, but in reality he wasn’t gone long at all… so he’d perceive that Nuzleaf had made little progress after so much time had passed. Even if this wasn’t the case, having Nuzleaf make “much progress” on getting to someone he was already by sounds kind of silly.

I’ve only read a few paragraphs of the next section so far, but I wanted to stop and comment on the pace of the chapter so far. First, though, I’d like to say how you included the region of Orre in here—it always seems so forgotten and I really love it. Second, the pace was really wonderful. You added so much description (but not enough to make me feel overwhelmed or bored) and made everything seem so surreal and dream-like… so it seemed like so much time had passed, but in reality, little time had passed at all. Then, when you get to the next section, reality hits again, and everything’s very fast and frantic. I really like the distinguished difference you made between those two sections. It was realistic and very well written. Hope that makes sense.


“Well,” Shelton started. “Nuzleaf beat the **** out of the Spoink you caught.”

“Good,” Dorian replied, resuming his trot back and forth. “Give me a minute and I’ll finish what he started.”

Haha, I particularly liked this part since trainers are all shown as general “goody two-shoes” who’d never hurt their pokémon or treat them wrong. I guess that it probably isn’t surprising to you that I’d enjoy seeing Dorian beat the **** out of his pokémon.



“Look, I’m fine,” Dorian assured them, spinning once and lifting his arms. “That marker is ******** and I’m not going near it again.”

Doesn’t the pokeflect have healing powers or something, if I remember right? Why isn’t this coming into play?


“Machop evolved along the way,” Shelton answered.

I would imagine Shelton to have more emotion toward this since Machop only evolved because he was about to die. That was pretty traumatic stuff right there.



“Just keep that thing away from me and I’ll do my best to agree with you,” Dorian replied.

Is Dorian not afraid of it happening to anyone else? He sure was okay with handing it to Shelton and Ronnie as if he knew nothing would happen… which seems impossible to know.


“Sai,” his Scyter replied.

Spelled “Scyther” wrong, no big deal.


The man in the office chair was so focused on the screen that he did not hear him approach. Which suited Ethan fine as he quickly reached out and broke the man’s neck.

I knew this was going to happen because I read a review before I read the actual chapter… *sigh* I’ll never do that again. Either way, it was sudden and tragic. I already feel bad for Shelton and Dorian even though I haven’t seen their reactions yet.

I must say, though, that I like the parallelism with Kecleon already. I feel like Ronnie will live on through Kecleon or something. It has to mean something, anyway, since the last thing that he did before he died was bring Kecleon into the story. I look forward to seeing when you do with him.


The museum came into view a few minutes after they had started jogging, its eastern entrance boasting an unfamiliar sight. Six police officers were approaching a man and a Pokemon, all of them pointing their guns. Their backs were bent low, their steps cautious and deliberate. The lead officer was yelling at a man in front of him, motioning with his weapon towards the ground. A stone formed in Dorian’s stomach as he looked at the man, his brain reminding him of what he had seen earlier. It was the same man he had seen, his long brown hair gleaming bright and healthy. The officers kept approaching, hands tightening on their firearms.

“This is your last warning! You and your Pokemon get down on the ground, now!”

Dorian heard the finality in the officer’s voice, knowing what would happen if his command was not obeyed. He didn’t know what the man had done to merit this kind of attention, but the officers assembled wouldn’t have been this much on edge for no reason. He could feel the tension in the air from here, it was almost suffocating.

Hmmm. I don’t know if you can tell here, but the sentence structure is very identical for nearly every sentence. Every sentence is about the same length, and every single of them has two parts to them, separated by a comma. You might want to watch out for this and try to vary your sentence structure a bit more. Short sentences are good sometimes, and so are really long ones (especially when you want to emphasize certain points).

Oh, and this is pretty much present for a lot of the chapter. O_o I just didn’t notice until now, so I guess it’s not a huge deal… but it’s something to work on since you’ve improved a lot on grammar and other things. I can really tell you’ve been proofreading now.



The Scyther waved its arms mind-bendingly fast, sharp pings ringing out through the air as it deflected the bullets. Two of them were reflected back to their source, burying themselves into the stomach’s of two of the officers. Rosy blossoms of blood bloomed at the area of impact as they struck, the officer’s screaming out in pain as they dropped to the ground. Dorian gasped as the Scyther sprinted forward, his mind freezing in place as it took down two more of the policemen with vicious slashes; slicing through bone like air. Blood sprayed in long arcs as it struck, a sadistic smile etched on its triangular face. The two remaining officers quickly turned around and ran, leaving their dead and wounded companions behind. The Scyther quickly followed in pursuit, only to stop in its tracks by a shout from its master.

This part reminds me how stupid police can be in the pokémon world. They expect to go in with firearms and expect to come out successful? Pokemon are ton more effective. But then again, that can be pretty cruel, making pokémon get into dangerous situations like that. I’m probably reading too much into this, but I guess it may give you something to think about if you include the police again.



“Why is this happening?” she asked quietly, slowly stepping backwards as she spoke.

A fair question, and a powerful one. I like it.


He looked so normal, so different from what he thought a man like that would look like. Round emerald eyes, accented by a small nose, hovered above muscled arms and loose fitting jeans, a green traveling pack draped across his shoulders. As Dorian watched, the man screamed at them, his voice so abnormally loud that Dorian instinctively covered his ears.

I also like this part a lot. It shows that anyone could go crazy and turn evil, really. It’s not just the people who are “psychotic” or “look crazy” that are capable of doing bad things like society would have you believe. This is more realistic.




As the man turned away from them, Dorian touched him on the shoulder, “Why was he at gunpoint when we walked up?”

Should be a period after “shoulder” not a comma. A comma before dialogue should be used for speech tags only.

Anyway, I made a lot of general comments throughout the review even though I usually put them at the end, so this part will be short. Your description was really amazing this chapter, maybe moreso than usual. You picked just the right words to convey the tone you wanted to, and all the characters were engaging and interesting as always. I could find very little wrong with this. Perhaps my only complaint might be the constant POV switching between Dorian&co and Ethan in just one chapter, but I think it kind of fits. Even though it’s one fic, they’re on two completely different journeys and the two completely different mindsets that Ethan and Dorian have are important to portray. So yeah. Keep it up!

Sidewinder
22nd May 2012, 10:35 PM
Sorry for the long wait for replies to the reviews, been swamped at work. Thanks to everyone for reading/reviewing!


As for the second paragraph, I'll be frank with you: I don't like it when stories completely stop for a lengthy character description. I get your predicament: you want your readers to be able to picture this new character as soon as possible. But for me, the last thing I really care about a character is how he or she looks. Generally speaking it just stops the action and feels very conspicuously heavy-handed if it happens all at once. That's why I prefer physical descriptions to be spaced out a bit more instead of having them come all at once. The lack of movement in this paragraph is only compounded by the fact that the previous paragraph has the same basic problem. And the beginning of a chapter is a difficult place to have this problem, because it's right where the reader is deciding whether the chapter is worth reading or not. Though, to your credit, I think you do attempt to do what I think good physical description really should do--you use it to tell us about the character's personality--and that's good.


I see what you're saying. It's been pointed out to me before, and I agree with you. I usually hate info dumping in fics that I read, by I seem to have ignored that occasionally when writing my own lol. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I'll be more careful about that in the future


It was in this chapter that I started to really notice your very frequent use of semi-colons. I'm a bit hesitant to even bring this up because, hey, I suppose there's nothing too wrong with using a lot of them (I, myself, have a debillitating addiction to dashes and italics) but... well, it does end up seeming a little overused to me. And there are a lot of places where I feel like a period or a comma or even one of my beloved dashes would better serve you than a semi-colon. It helps me to think of punctuation like musical instrumentation to create just the right kind of pause, and it doesn't necessarily seem right to me in all the cases you use it. But that might just be my own reading of it.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention as well. I will say that commas and semi-colons are a big weakness of mine, and I have been trying to get better at it.


Your location says “Arkansas” so I’m assuming you’re American, right? If so, then I believe the comma should be inside the single quotes (I know it definitely is with regular quotation marks). Systems in other countries do it differently though, so if you’re not American or not using American style conventions for some other reason then ignore this.

Yup, I'm American. That was a silly mistake on my part. Thanks for showing me

Thanks for the review! I'm sure you'll like the next chapters ^^


One thing that jumped out at me though, as an ametuer fictitious geogrpaher, is your placement of Orre and Unova. (yay for recognizing the Orre region! Whoo! We will be known!)

Yup! I've always loved Orre, so it will be getting alot of action in coming chapters!


The problem, is that you have Unova pegged as farther west. Since they are both based on US states, most geography I know will put them on the same continent, with the Orre region in the way between Unova and Kanto/Johot, solving the why yo have to fly to Unova and not boat. This is also done though because the mainland of Unova is west of the region, while the sea is to the east. Orre is flipped the opposite way, with the sea to the west and the generic land to the east. If you subscribe to the idea that Gen1-3 is based on Japan, then for Orre to be the closer of the two it should be to the Northeast with Unova farther East, similar to how the real world would look if someone was standing in Hawaii and looking at the US and Japan. Or, you go the other way, with Unova being on the other side of the Tojoh region with Orre being the farhter one away, but then you lose the canon's statement that the Unova region is too far to go by boat, while Orre is appearently accesible by nearly all species and trainers.

Actually, that makes alot of sense. I placed them where I described for the story. Granted, it seems more realistic your way, but due to plot reasons I can't go into, where I have them is integral to the story. Had I known that you were this good I would have PM'd you for advice though lol. So you're saying I should switch Orre to the Northeast, Sinnoh to the Northwest, and Unova pretty far to the Southeast of Orre?


1) The questions I had regarding the police officers earlier. That really gets me. Did they see the footage that Ethan was the culprit? If not, why were they so unnecessarily aggressive? And why weren't they prepared for violence in any possible way?

This would be revealed in later chapters, but perhaps I should let everyone know. Basically the video feed in Ronnie's office went to a security room in the museum, where a guard was stationed. The guard called the police, and described the murder, and Ethan and Scyther. Hence why they braked right after they saw him on the road.


2) This is minor, but spilling water in a computer may or may not wreck the computer, but it almost certainly won't erase the information within. Then again, this might not even be a complaint, because you could have done that to show how oblivious Ethan is to things that don't directly concern him, like technology.

Answered your own question there tee-hee. I don't think Ethan was in the correct state of mind to notice/care wether it would actually erase the info, he was just trying to quickly cover as many possible bases as possible.


3) Dorian and Shelton (but mostly Shelton) seem recovered from what happened to Golduck really easily. When Ronnie meets them, Shelton beams "It wasn't too bad" in regards to the time they made, and I thought "Well, except when you were brutally assaulted and one of your closest friends was maimed. Just that". I get that they wouldn't say "Because of you telling us to come here, Golduck was been crippled!", but...there should be a happy medium between that and basically forgetting it ever happened.

I understand what you mean. My thoughts on that are that they probably wanted to break it to him gradually. I probably should have put a line of dialogue somewhere in there before they met up with him >.> But they only came because he needed them too. Well, they needed the money but they were taking it to him. I'm sure as their adopted father he would feel responsible and torn up that they went through so much and were almost killed. I'm sure that they would have told him about it, but right when he pulled up probably would have been somewhat awkward.


Why don't the officers have Pokeflects? Or kevlar? YOU KNOW I CAN'T NOT CONSTANTLY ASK ABOUT POKEFLECTS. But it seems like, if anyone, cops would have them. I have some questions about the cops whole behavior here, but I'll read on and see if they are answered (mostly: why were they so aggressive here? How do they know with such certainty that Ethan is the culprit?

Lol, I'm glad you asked those questions. Just FYI, I'm sketching a picture of a Pokeflect now and should post it within the next few chapters. I talked to a few police officers in my town to get a real feel for how they would react in a situation like this, which is why I wrote it that way. I live in a small town, and three of the officers I spoke with were not wearing Kevlar; all of them said they had some, but generally since my city has such a low level of crime, they don't always feel the need to. Which goes to show how relaxed a place can become where murder and other major crimes are an extremely rare occurence. It does seem like police would have Pokeflects, but, I'll further dwelve into the making of them later on. But just so you're aware, they are primarily meant for competitive trainers and they are extremely expensive in my world. Trainers are given a better rate and special financing if they purchase one, but every day citizens can't usually afford them. It also makes sense to me that a police department would spend more money on cars and special training instead of Pokeflect's, especially when they have firearms that are deadly to all humans and most Pokemon.


(I was actually a little surprised he had that much power in the first place, since while Golduck do have some psychic abilities, they're not actually Psychic-type, so he shouldn't really have been able to do quite as much as an actual Psychic Pokémon... but that isn't really an issue now he's lost that power.)

I was wondering who would bring the type situation up. Honestly, Golduck always seemed to me that he should be dual typed as Psychic, then water. He can learn so many good psychic moves, and the image of him in my mind always has him as just a pure psychic. I love the Psyduck/Golduck specie, and I wanted to represent them how they were in my head, though it would present a problem if he was that powerful, so it's going to be fun depicting how he deals with the loss. That way, I have my vision of him, and the one that is technically correct.


Since you seem to be writing in third-person limited POV, and the POV character knows more or less exactly what they're saying, letting the readers know what they're saying too could give the Pokémon even more depth as characters. It's fine if you don't want to for whatever reasons - I apologise if it seems like I'm trying to write your story for you here - but it's just a suggestion.

That is actually a great suggestion! I don't know if I'll do it exactly as you suggested, but what you said gave me some really decent ideas. Thanks!


And while I like the notion that everything was so impossible to comprehend that he just decided to go along with it and process what the **** just happened only once it was over, when it is over, he doesn't seem to have a moment where he stops and tries to come to terms with it; he just starts blurting out how he got dragged all over the planet like there's nothing weird about that at all.

I dunno. I may be misinterpreting some things slightly, and reactions like this are going to be incredibly difficult to write anyway, since it's not as if anyone could know what it's actually like to be in that kind of situation

I see what you mean. I struggled with that as I was writing it, but that was the best I could do. It's probably the hardest thing I've had to write so far. Capturing what's going on, and having description, while having Dorian's brain going crazy was a nightmare. I did the best I could, but I agree there is room for improvement, thanks for brining that up.


Talking about the plot for a moment: Ethan only has two shards? From what I remember, he's definitely absorbed more than two flakes - isn't there one shard per flake? ...Hang on, one of Ethan's flakes came from near Dorian's shard, so I guess he has three flakes right now. If I'm still getting this mixed up, do let me know, though.

He actually has four flakes, but yes he does have two shards. First flake came from Dewford when he was a boy, second was with the shard in Hoenn, the third was with the shard in Diglett's cave, and the fourth was absorbed where Dorian found a shard.


Jolteon-coloured? Really? The problem with that is that due to you making me think of Jolteon, I now can't help but picture the bike to be all spiky, too, which I doubt it actually is. There's nothing wrong with just calling it yellow.

Lol I gotcha. Looking back, that wasn't very bright of me. Changed it to 'yellow', lol


Oh, Alakazam. He clearly has a pretty good idea what Ethan's planning to do and doesn't want him to do it, but he doesn't push it and does as Ethan asks because he still cares about him, and, and and and... =D I'm seriously fascinated by him.

You'll like what's coming ;)


This strikes me as rather a random moment for Dorian to realise that. Surely he'd have been more likely to do so when he dragged Shelton and Ronnie to where he'd seen Ethan and found him gone? Even if not, for him to suddenly realise it here, it would make more sense if something in the conversation had directed his thoughts back towards the man he'd seen, rather than it just occurring to him completely out of nowhere.

Thanks for pointing that out. I'll think of a way to transition that better.

Sorry I didn't comment on all the points you mentioned, but I only had time for the big stuff. You've helped me out alot, and thanks for reading.


Dude, this whole thing with the shards is exciting and mysterious! I don't know what the flakes are that are attaching themselves to this boy's body, but they freak me out. Alakazam is right to worry. Also, remember when you're pluralizing something to not use an apostrophe (Diglett's should just be Diglett. Pokemon don't pluralize I don't think. And if they do, and I'm mistaken, it would still just be Digletts.)

Thanks for the help, and I appreciate the continued reading!


One of the most emotional chapters yet in my opinion. I must say that the first time I read this; I thought Golduck was dead and gone, but than you pull a plot twist on everything and have him somehow survive that suicidal attack. I must commend you for that bit of ingenious story work, a Machiavellian idea that now adds yet another subplot to the fic: Golduck’s continued survival and recovery that is if he lives to get to the Pokemon Center.
Equally as dramatic as Golduck, Machop’s near death state and Shelton’s song and speech to him almost brought me to tears. Yes, I will admit it: it brought me to tears when I read it. It didn’t help my emotional state any that Machop evolved and was partly healed of his injuries.

Aww, thanks! Believe me, I had alot of emotion going on as well when I wrote that. Just to tell you a little bit about my life; my fiance sings that song to me whenever I'm feeling bad or depressed, it usually makes me feel alot better.


I honestly could not resist

lmao that was great. Nicely done


Have to ask a small question here. I know that in some fics, the Regions are a part of the real world; usually set somewhere in the Pacific Ocean (I can only think of Cutlerine’s The Thinking Man’s Guide to Destroying the World as an example of this). In other fics, the Regions are in their own world. I’m wondering if other nations like America, England, or Japan exist in this fic.

I see. My fic is set in its own world, with the locations of the regions loosely based on how I've seen them placed in maps in the Pokemon world. No japan, USA, etc.

Thanks for reviewing, I'm glad you're caught up.


Sounds kind of silly to put his voice and breathing to the side, since they’re both very important. You might want to clarify and say he didn’t put the situation of not being able to talk/breathe to the side, but that he simply didn’t have to worry about those fears anymore.

Good idea! I must have overlooked that


Wouldn’t it be that Nuzleaf HADN’T made much progress? Dorian probably felt like he was gone for several minutes, but in reality he wasn’t gone long at all… so he’d perceive that Nuzleaf had made little progress after so much time had passed. Even if this wasn’t the case, having Nuzleaf make “much progress” on getting to someone he was already by sounds kind of silly.

You're right, I'll make sure I correct that. Thanks for pointing that out


I’ve only read a few paragraphs of the next section so far, but I wanted to stop and comment on the pace of the chapter so far. First, though, I’d like to say how you included the region of Orre in here—it always seems so forgotten and I really love it. Second, the pace was really wonderful. You added so much description (but not enough to make me feel overwhelmed or bored) and made everything seem so surreal and dream-like… so it seemed like so much time had passed, but in reality, little time had passed at all. Then, when you get to the next section, reality hits again, and everything’s very fast and frantic. I really like the distinguished difference you made between those two sections. It was realistic and very well written. Hope that makes sense.

It does make sense. I'm glad you liked it. The funny thing is what you liked was the thing I was worried about the most. I almost felt like I was putting in too much description and that the shard sequence was going on for too long. I'm glad that you thought the opposite. Thanks!


Doesn’t the pokeflect have healing powers or something, if I remember right? Why isn’t this coming into play?

Nope, they just bouce Pokemon based attacks away from the person wearing it. The Pokeflect always forces the attack away from the wearer in a different direction then it came from. If an attack hits the person in the chest, it glances left or right, from below, it's forced up, or left and right, etc. Hope that answers what you were asking. If you know of a chapter where I gave the impression that it has healing properties, let me know.


I must say, though, that I like the parallelism with Kecleon already. I feel like Ronnie will live on through Kecleon or something. It has to mean something, anyway, since the last thing that he did before he died was bring Kecleon into the story. I look forward to seeing when you do with him.

;)


Oh, and this is pretty much present for a lot of the chapter. O_o I just didn’t notice until now, so I guess it’s not a huge deal… but it’s something to work on since you’ve improved a lot on grammar and other things. I can really tell you’ve been proofreading now.

Lol that is kinda weird. I looked back and noticed the same thing, so thanks for bringing it up. I'm glad you think I've been improving ^_^

On a funny side note, just so you know, my fiance helps me proofread every chapter, and I accidently misspelled Nuzleaf's name in chapter eleven. She caught it and we corrected it, and she said, "I'm glad I caught that, because diamondpearl would have brought it up." She reads my reviews, and always kicks herself when you find something that slipped through her radar XD

Thanks to everyone who read/reviewed! I'm glad everyone has been following still is, and that some other people have jumped aboard to add their advice and comments as well. I'm sorry that I didn't have the time to touch on all of the points of each of your reviews, but I wanted to fill in the most important parts before anything else. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and compliments, they really mean alot ^^;

diamondpearl876
22nd May 2012, 10:49 PM
There was one point where I thought it had healing powers, but I can't remember the specific moment. *cries* I'll let you know if I remember.

And LOL nice about your fiancee. I beta read for quite a few people so I have a tendency to find/look for mistakes all the time, darn right I would have pointed it out. :P

Doryuzu
22nd May 2012, 11:39 PM
Prologue and Chapter 1

I do have to say, I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. You do seem to know what you wanna do with your story and where you're going to with the characters, and the fact you've established somethings earlier on makes me think you do have something big planned for the future. I can't complain about Grammar, since your grammar for the most part is spot on.

I do wonder about the boy with the Abra and his story. I mean the fact he seemed to have gained powers, in terms of increased speed, stamina, and strength makes me wonder just what type of changes he went through. Nuzleaf, Golduck, Trapinch, Growlithe, and Abra have been/going to be what I'm going to say for now as the "prominent" Pokemon of the story. Trapinch being on the road to evolution seems interesting, the fact that it's pain is supposedly a sign of such is pretty nice foreshadowing reminds me of the anime and Misty's Psyduck's tail glowing red being a sign. Nuzleaf's seasonal change was something that caught me by surprise, reminded me of Sawsbuck and Deerling. I do look forward to how you'll establish the personalities of the characters and Pokemon from here on out, but mainly the Pokemon since you treat them as characters with emotions, rather then battling machines like a lot of Pokemon fanficers do. For the most part I like Shelton as character and find her interactions with Dorian to be pretty interesting and funny.

I also look forward to seeing what you do with this "Pokeflect" in the future. Of course it's only one chapter so far XD Dorian does seem like the irresponsible type of OC, since he spent money on a Friend Ball rather then paying rent. Either way their personalities bounce off each other quite a bit. Shelton does indeed seem like a "tsundere" or "snark" type character. I'll move onward to chapters 2-4 later on. ^^ I wish I could have made this review longer.

Chapter 2

So, that little scene pretty much confirmed what I think about Shelton and Dorian's relationship. They really do care for each other underneath it all since Shelton made that line about her being worried. I thought the introduction for the Pokemon could have been done better, not that I'm saying it was bad but, I do hope in the future chapters we get to see more of the Pokemon's different and unique personalities. So far I'm getting, Nuzleaf is a bit childish, Trapinch is similar to Nuzleaf, Golduck is sympathetic, Shuppet's weird and mischievous, and Machop's a bit of a scaredy cat. Shuppet and Machop's personalities made a sure fire impression on me and that's a good thing to see from the start since so many Author's treat Pokemon like personality-less battling machines.

Next up, I'm really looking forward to what you have planned in-regard to Shelton's future interactions and how she may/or may not contribute to the story. Dorian's uncle Roonie doing some excavation nearby in-regards to the objects that that man found seem pretty interesting, and I look forward to seeing how the man intermingles into Dorian's story and character. I didn't have a clue he was talking about Rydon, I thought it was Donphan for sec, I felt like there should have been a little more emphasizing on the "Drill" part of Rydon since it would've given a more definite picture about it. It seems this man in on a quest to find those shards that seem to have some kinda power, but at the same time cause temporary pain, nausea, and weakness in the person they dig themselves in. Nice description of the blood scene indeed, I really look forward to what we'll get next.

Also interesting to note Dorian made have found a shard that the Alakazam man is pursuing.

SilentMemento
24th May 2012, 9:48 PM
Alright, I'm going to kick this character-based review off with a character profile: Ethan (note that I'm probably going to be wrong on a lot of this; I'm just noting what I've seen so far).

His attack on Ronnie showed a few things about his character that I didn't realize before. First off, he is extremely disorganized in his killings. I don't think he realized that a place like that would, in fact, have security cameras. Hell, I don't even know if he cared. He's proven that once he locks on to a target, he gains tunnel vision; he sees nothing except his victim (or victims). In one aspect, that makes him much easier to see coming and to capture; Dorian and Shelton will always be aware of him, and the police will find him very easily because of his fixating behavior. On the other hand, it makes him all the more dangerous; he will slaughter anyone who gets in his way, no matter how innocent they are. When he feels the heat coming down on him, he will grow more desperate and the danger will only increase. And fate help the people who back Ethan into a corner.

The second thing I noticed was his need for attention. He wants the voices to know what he's doing for them. He wanted to send a message to Dorian and Shelton by his mutilation of Ronnie's corpse. He wants some bit of satisfaction from his journey being noticed by others. It completely differs from when he was a child; he didn't seem to care about his adoptive parents at all - and that makes me wonder if Ronnie truly is his first murder.

Thirdly, his delusions control a large part of his character. He truly thinks that his beliefs (which I don't think are entirely his own) are the only ones that are right. He cannot accept that they may be wrong. It's not because he is a narcissist; I don't get that feeling at all. It's because his emotional state is still that of a child's. His opinions probably aren't even his own; they belong to the voices, and he's scared that if he disagrees with them, they will refuse to be his friend. You know, much like when a seven-year-old threatens his buddy to not tattle on him or he won't be his friend anymore.

Finally, the blitz attack with no confrontation with Ronnie, refusing to respond to the police officers, and attacking Dorian and Shelton without saying anything but curses toward them suggest that he has no social skills whatsoever. In fact, I am willing to take a guess that he goes out of his way not to speak to anyone but his Pokemon and the voices unless he absolutely has to do it. He'll stand out wherever he goes because of his behavior, not because of any physical features he has. That contrasts a bit with the need for attention; without any social skills, there is no possible way to hold a genuine conversation and no reason for anyone to listen to you. That makes me wonder what use the shards and flakes could have for someone like Ethan and what their ultimate goal is.

In summary, Ethan is disorganized, anti-social, delusional, and craves attention that he feels that he never got. I am not surprised that he killed someone. The only thing that surprises me is that he didn't do it earlier in the story.

Like someone else mentioned, the death of Ronnie tying in with the release of Kecleon was remarkable symbolism. Almost as if you were trying to say that...hmm...new and totally improbable theories are being created. D8

I am most certainly wondering how Dorian and Shelton are going to react toward Ronnie's death. I am also wondering if anyone aside from the three main characters has any real interest in the shards and flakes.

Either way, I'm looking forward to the next chapter, whenever it comes out. This one was simply brilliant.

Sincerely,

Mem.

Sidewinder
27th May 2012, 4:02 PM
Nuzleaf's seasonal change was something that caught me by surprise, reminded me of Sawsbuck and Deerling.

That was always something that made since to me when it came to grass types who had exposed leaves/bulbs/etc. I never pictured them wilting, but changing into an orange for fall, dark brown for winter, and back to green for spring and summer always struck me as something that would be neat.


I do hope in the future chapters we get to see more of the Pokemon's different and unique personalities.

That's something that has been brought to my attention before, and I assure you, they'll get there ;)


I felt like there should have been a little more emphasizing on the "Drill" part of Rydon since it would've given a more definite picture about it.

You're actually the second person to bring that up. I may go back and tweak a sentence or two so that the picture is a little more clear.

Thanks for reading/reviewing!


Alright, I'm going to kick this character-based review off with a character profile: Ethan (note that I'm probably going to be wrong on a lot of this; I'm just noting what I've seen so far).

Anyone who has any sort of questions about who Ethan is, pay attention to the profile that SilentMemento posted, as he's correct on almost every single portion of his thoughts on Ethan. I'm not going to respond to specific parts of what you said just because I feel like it would reveal more about Ethan than I want to ATM, but good job. You've picked up on almost everything I've thought about him

Thanks for reading/reviewing!

Doryuzu
27th May 2012, 4:03 PM
Chapter 3

It was a nice set-up chapter for the most part. Shelton and Dorian as well as their group of Pokemon are getting ready to head to meet Dorian's uncle. The fact Dorian got ready so fast and was really excited was pretty nice to see characterization wise. Shelton's "snark" demeanor was fun for the most part again, she seems to have more respect from the Pokemon then Dorian does. The getting things ready seemed to be paced a bit speedy, but oh well. So, Dorian is mainly doing this to pay bills and pay back Shelton and earn the money. I wonder what type of true value and power that stone holds. Either way I look forward to it.

Ethan is the man with the Alakazam, okay we got a brief moment with him and he's finally leaving that city. I fully expect him to cross paths with Dorian and Shelton soon. Sorry this review was a bit on the shorter side, but it wasn't a very long chapter ^^;; There was the occasionally grammatical error but nothing really to cry over.

Chapter 4

I didn't think that chapter was too filler-ish. Trapinch evolved after a battle with a wild Marshtomp, in Johto. So there's that. I defiantly got to say Dorian's interactions with that kid made for some entertaining read and the fact he thinks a lowly Beedrill is anything special. I can't but wonder why Dorian can be reported for refusing a battle, seems a bit weird that he can get in trouble. I like how Dorian and the kid decided to put money on the battle and you ended it nicely. Dorian seeing Ethan and his Alakazam trans versing the skies like that was nice foreshadowing for the future. Ethan certainly does have his ways to travel. I liked Machop's characterization, refusing to leave Shelton leg. Shelton telling Dorian he'd get hit for hitting that kid. Again the chapter wasn't too long so I can't really say much more in this review.XD

Chapter 5

This chapter was pretty short, it's no prob either way, just saying. So, the Beedrill and Growlithe ended up tying? Even with an advantage that seemed quite peculiar, then again Growlithe is still a newly caught Pokemon. I thought it was pretty smart to use Machop and Golduck as sort of the main group bodyguards against the angry Rock-types, though why not Vibrava and Nuzleaf too? They have advantages as well. I once again liked Machop being characterized as a pretty quiet and meek-ish Pokemon. The ending exchange between Dorian and the trainer was nice. I like how you showed the angry Rock-type Pokemon in a light where they have a motive for being so pissed at humans, with the death of their elder clan members they don't want to get rid of them, they actually want them dead and gone. I liked Shelton's concern over Golduck and Machop, you really do get the feeling she cares for both a lot and it makes sense since Machop usually hangs near Shelton's leg and is a big of a scaredy cat and Golduck is what I imagine as Shelton's main Pokemon. You really do understand that more with her crying and such. I wonder how the gang is gonna deal with the Graveler now, without Golduck and Machop's help. And how will they save Machop and Golduck, so many questions.

Breezy
1st June 2012, 7:11 AM
Disclaimer: Apologies if some of the grammar information is redundant for you as I'm not sure what you learned from when you first started this story to where you are now.

Prologue Review:

The Abra, like most of its species, was largely lethargic, napping constantly; seeming more like an infant human than the psychic force for which it was named.Think of semicolons as weaker periods. They are mostly used to connect two complete sentences based around the same subject/idea. In order for it to be correctly use, both clauses on each side of the semicolon have to be able to stand as its own sentence. If you re-read the second clause, you'll notice that “seeming more like an infant human ...” cannot stand on its own; therefore, you either need to change the punctuation (in this case a comma) or change the phrasing of the second clause in order to keep the semicolon (could do something like “it was seemingly more like an infant human ...”).


Granite Cave, was unique in the fact that it was not only just found on the island but burrowed underneath it.No need for the comma.


Occasional gouts of water forced itself inside and flooded some of the tunnels, but all in all a worthwhile risk for those who wished to learn, and to those who wished to find the rare gems scattered throughout its recesses. “Gouts” isn't what you think it means – I'm guessing you're using it in terms of gushing? Having a “gout” is usually in reference to the pain in the joints; it's not really synonymous with other things if I recall correctly.

There's also no need for the comma after “learn.” It's not the hugest deal in the world but remember that commas signify a small pause, so you might be creating an unnecessarily awkward flow for your reader should you abuse commas. Generally speaking, you only need to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (words like “and” “but” “so” “nor” etc.) when you have two complete sentences on each side of the conjunction (Ex. She went to the store with her dog, and when she got there, she went immediately to the dairy section).


He allowed himself a small smile at the thought; he and the pokemon had bonded extremely well over the last few months, becoming inseperable, becoming dependant on one another.Inseparable; dependent.


The Abra had also lost its parents; his new parents being vague on how it happened, but nevertheless fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it.You might want to consider rephrasing this sentence again as it's a little clunky to read. “The Abra had also lost its parents. His new parents were vague on how it happened, but nevertheless, fate brought them together and they were both blessed for it.”


The sounds of the tour group were barely audible, they had slipped far behind.The comma here should be a period or a semicolon.


The psychic pokemon rolled forward across the boy’s shoulder and hovered barely off the ground, a nimbus of black-purple energy glowing in its right hand.Artistic license aside, you do want to be careful with particular descriptors to make sure that you're describing is an accurate depiction. Nimbus is more of a glow, not so much a “ball” as what I think you're going for, so either you're being a) repetitive, as you said “glowing” a few words later or b) not really using nimbus correctly. This is particularly nitpicky, I know lol, but just for future reference when describing.


They both reacted at the same time. Abra growled, and a sphere of psychic energy arced from its hand and struck a blur of pale cream and green that was dashing towards them. The boy clenched his fists and took a step forward, intending to get a better footing. His foot did not come back down. The blur spun in the air, reflecting the attack Abra had shot back to its source, knocking the Pokemon into its master, hurtling them both to the far wall. Before the impact struck, the boy felt a motherly warm hand grasp the back of his shirt and guide them through the wall, passing through solid granite like it was air. As the boy and his Abra were forced through the wall, he felt the hand drop them into pitch blackness.Generally speaking, the problem I had with this bit is that even though this sequence of actions is realistically supposed to be going fast, you structurally wrote it in a fast, heavy chunk that I feel might leave your readers more confused about piecing together what happened vs. feeling enthralled at the actual rate of the sequence and what's going on. Don't be afraid to play around with sentence structure; the way you word sentences can set certain moods. You tend to use the same sentence structure for description scenes so it has more of a list-like feel to it (ex. he did this. This happened. That was his reaction to this). It's not particularly enthralling to read or captures attention easily; it's just, well, a list of what's going on.

I do appreciate that you seemed to go to great lengths to describe things in a rather specific way so the reader knows exactly what is going on in your head, but some of the time it's a bit of a hit-or-miss in that you seemed too caught up in describing that you're neglecting other aspects that are important for an intriguing read. This is the prologue and all, and who knows if this boy and his Abra actually play a larger role, or are the, main characters, but whether the character is major or minor, you should strive to have your reader somewhat invested in your characters. I felt like your focus was somewhat skewed; you focused a bit on describing and the course of action, but because of that, I don't really sympathize or feel anything toward the character. It's intriguing because the events were mysterious, but that's because the events were mysterious and not so much because of how this particular character reacted to said event. It takes a while to find what makes you comfortable as a writer when it comes to style, but remember it's okay to use your narrative to describe your character's thoughts outside of physical reactions to things.






Chapter 1 Review:

It was only because of the Pokeflect around his wrist that Dorian wasn’t roasted alive by the flamethrower attack the enraged Growlithe had just launched at him. While still experimental, the ‘Pokeflect’ had saved many from grievous injuries sometimes sustained in pokemon battles. Almost three years ago, scientists working for the Silph Corporation had learned how to replicate the effects of the pokemon move, Reflect, and Light Screen, and combined them. When activated, the wrist mounted device enclosed its wearer in a globule of light blue energy that had the ability to reflect all but the most powerful pokemon based attacks up and away from its wielder. Where before, trainers competing in Pokemon battles had to constantly be aware of attacks that missed their Pokemon and put them in direct danger, the Pokeflect gave trainers a sense of relevant comfort knowing that they were ‘generally’ out of harm’s way.Remember to be aware of the “showing, not telling” rule. The problem with huge clumps of telling is that it's not entirely intriguing. This sort of writing may be good for a textbook where you're trying to inform the reader what said device does (and nothing more), but remember that you're writing a story. While I do get that you're trying to inform the reader what this important device does, it's not entirely interesting to read (again, think of how your textbook is written), and it does come off as somewhat lazy. Why not describe what happens when the Pokeflect is activated in “real time” instead of telling us what it does in a huge paragraph? Why do you think the last sentence is relevant or important for the reader to know? Would the story make sense still even if you waited for possibly a more appropriate time to introduce relevant information in a way that blends better with your narrative?


Dorian Dvakna, twenty-four, was far too thin for his age. At a bit over six feet he comfortably stood a few inches above most people he knew and met. With dark hair, and hazel eyes verging on brown, most would say Dorian to be handsome, though certainly not gorgeous, but rather somewhere between atrocious looking and the latter. By all accounts very ordinary, with his arms and legs toned from working at the local Pokemon breeders house in Cherrygrove City. His smile however, deterred any from thinking that he was anything but ordinary. His unnaturally straight and white teeth only showed confidence and capability.*The same applies to here; this is pretty much information dumping, and a confusing one at that. You're trying to describe this guy as “average” but “far too thin for his age” isn't average – that's, well, according to you, rare. You describe him as “handsome” (at least according to other people) but then he's suddenly “somewhere between atrocious looking and the latter” (I'm not sure what latter you're referring to here either). I have a feeling that you're going for a “hometown hero” sort of feel – but the stress on making him seem ordinary makes your stress of his “un-ordinary” features a little more obvious and sounds kind of vain.

Like the above paragraph, the same sort of reasoning applies. Do you think the reader needed to know all of this character in one huge go because it was necessary for the story?

Don't stress too much if your reader doesn't know what your character looks like as soon as you introduce him. I think one of the main concerns for a newer writer is that if you don't “set up” a scene, a setting, or a character straight off the bat (somewhat akin to a script), then your readers will complain, “I don't know what he looks like!” No worries; your readers are good at filling in the pieces as you go on.

With that said, the best way to describe a character is to blend it in with description. Reasons for this is because a) it's really less apparent that you are describing a character and b) it doesn't feel like we're taking a “description stop” so to speak before rolling forward again. Things like “He wiggled his eyebrows, brown eyes flashing dangerously” or “She rested her elbow on the desk and twirled her hair, black strands wrapping tighter around her pointer finger” blend better with the story, keep the story moving, and describe your character. Two birds, one stone.


The small dog was perhaps waist high, and was beautifully layered with stripes of alternating orange, black, and yellow. While not extraordinary as a Growlithe, its god-like evolved form of Arcanine was close to legendary. He knew it would give him an edge when he finally decided to enter the competitive battle scene. This little Growlithe was doing everything it could to live up to its future namesake. Biting, slashing, and breathing torrents of fire at Dorian’s Nuzleaf; who was doing a pretty adept job at dashing back and forth, bouncing on his hands as well as his feet to stay away from the fire mutt until his master gave the order.
I'm not sure I get the sentence in bold. It seems that you're trying to describe Growlithe as better (which is fine as this is your character's opinion after all), but then you call Arcanine God-like. So I'm just … a little confused what you're trying to do with it.

The semicolon after “Nuzleaf” shouldn't be there. Remember that semicolons connect two independent clauses (complete sentences) that are related to each other.


“bullet seed!’ Dorian roared.Bullet still needs to be capitalized as it is the start of a sentence.


“You put up quite a fight.” Dorian said over the tired and struggling Growlithe. “It’s not often something is able to surprise Nuzleaf. Though I suppose he is getting pretty seasoned.”
Punctuation and dialogue can be a little tricky to get, but once you get the reasoning behind it, it's easier to know when to use a comma and when to use a period.

In a nutshell, anything that states how the dialogue was being said (he said, he shouted, he questioned, he whispered, etc.) is still connected to the dialogue (it's part of the same sentence). As such, the two have to be connected. If the dialogue doesn't end as a question mark/exclamation mark/ellipsis, the ending punctuation should be a comma; likewise the word following should be lowercase if it's not a proper noun. Try reading what you wrote as two sentences (as what the period is telling us to do). While “'You put up quite a fight'” may function as its own sentence, “Dorian said over the tired and struggling Growlithe” isn't (you're wondering what Dorian said). As such, these two clauses need to be connected with a comma.

If you wrote something like:

“You put up quite a fight.” Dorian looked at the tired and struggling Growlithe.

you would need to put a period after “fight” as these are two separate sentences.

Nuzleaf shot him a dirty look. Over the last several days, the grass type’s single leaf that rested on top of his head had taken on a burnt amber color, signaling the arrival of Fall. Though the leaf would not wilt, it annoyed the bandit striped Pokemon to no end to have Dorian tease him like a seedling stuck in sap.

“Thanks for humbling him.” Dorian winked, bringing a clenched fist to hover over the struggling Growlithe.


A green friend ball dropped out of his hand, falling towards the Growlithe in slow motion; the white button on the front tapped the dog’s forehead; the ball split in two, and the newest addition to Dorian’s rag-tag group of misfits turned into energy. Glowing intensely white, his form folded in on itself again and again, becoming more miniscule; and at the same time started to spin. As soon as the energy that was Growlithe became smaller than the ball, its two halves came back down in a mighty snap! Signaling a successful capture, and the reward to his hard work.
I kind of like and get the dramatic narrative here for something simple actually, but it kind of seemed like it wouldn't end. =P Anyway, the last sentence isn't a complete sentence. You can rephrase the last two sentences into something like “As soon as the energy that was Growlithe became smaller than the ball, its two halves came back down in a mighty snap: a successful capture, the reward to his hard work.”


“I-“ he started, only to be cut off by the fiery glare thrown at him from her shocking azure eyes.I noticed you seem to be a fan of color synonyms. =P Remember to be careful with it; sometimes what you're describing might not be what you actual mean (there's a different between sapphire and blue and crimson and red), and sometimes it does stick out like a sore thumb if you have what appear to be a normal sentence, only for a “lemon chiffon t-shirt” description to be thrown at you (not that I think you would use lemon chiffon as a descriptor but … well, yeah).


It was obviously handmade, evident by the lines and shapes carved into its face. One side of the stone was rigidly straight, while the other two sides looked like they had been sheared off of a larger piece. As he cleared away the rest of the dirt from the stone, he observed two shapes that were hewn into it below the vertical lines. One was arguably a human, judging from the shape. While the other had what appeared to be the antenna of an insect Pokemon. They were both unmistakably dead.I love the ending to this paragraph; I think it had the perfect amount of description where we know enough (but not too much) to get the gist of what's going on only to have that last sentence be sharply thrown in our face, but in a good way. I think your focus was good for this particular event.


Which was why he was in Vermillion city that day; to the famed Diglett’s cave he traveled, or rather, underneath it. The whispers had led him to a cave in the recent months, in the sand swept plains of the desert in Hoenn . The cave bearing another flake he took into himself. The cave he found near Route 111 however had something extra. A shard of stone from the enormous tablet he had seen in Granite Cave years ago. People the man walked past throughout the day forgot him as soon as he passed. A somewhat average looking man with long, wavy tan hair, an Alakazam keeping stride to his right. A curious jumble of thoughts passed across their minds as he walked; the sudden feeling that they were late, or had misplaced something of small importance.

The duo walked east of the city, the man allowing himself a small smile as he zipped up his jacket. I actually sort of like this too but it took me a bit to figure out what you were saying. I do get what you're doing, and I do appreciate that you're using sentence structure to set up a certain flow (sharp, like the man), but you might want to re-read it and see if you could trim something out or merge something together The sentence in bold is what threw me off in particular for some reason )“People the man” reads a bit awkward for me but that might just be me).

Anyway, this chapter was a bit of a setup I could tell (not that that's a bad thing). The main problems was at the beginning of your story (information dumping), but you did rather well with describing your battle. I liked the sequence of actions for your battle, and you described it not too heavily where it became overbearing but not too little where I really don't know what's going on. I also like that you did make your pokemon character's agile instead of them throwing attacks at each other.

The other nice thing about this chapter was the introduction of Shelton in comparison to her counterpart. Her introduction blended much better with the story (including her physical description) and I already have a good feel for her personality (at least the angry side of her) in just a few short paragraphs. Dorian's interactions with his pokemon were also well done, and I'm glad that they have their own personalities.

In terms of actual narrative, it got progressively better as the chapter went on for some reason – I'm wondering if it's because you're trying to highlight the importance of Dorian (that it sort of became too obvious) and don't think Shelton deserved such a grand entrance (at least in terms of narrative, not in actual action) or because … well, something lol. There were less information dumps (there was one with the Trapinch character but not as heavy as the earlier one) and you described things so that they worked with the story instead of as description blocks.

Anyway, onward!


Chapter Two Review:
To start off, I really do enjoy your dialogue between Shelton and Dorian. It's very smooth to read. Plus Shelton is a rather fun character to read.
I actually see a lot of improvement from your prologue to this chapter when it comes to describing things. Again, I'm not sure if it's because you think certain things deserve more description than others depending on how important it is to the plot or if it is you toying around with description as a writer and learning new things, but I did like the simplicity of your living room scene.


“After you pay me back,” she smiled. “With interest.”It should be a period after “back.” Likewise, “she” needs to be capitalized. Or you could do:
“After you pay me back”–she smiled–“with interest.”


“Sure.” she replied. “What do you got?”Period after “sure” should be a comma.


“Request granted…Moron,” she said, flashing her teeth.Isn't she already smiling from earlier?


Indistinguishable from a grey bathroom towel, the point topped ghost Pokemon was Shelton’s latest capture. It was a pleasant enough Pokemon who didn’t get into much mischief, save for the odd habit of sleeping in the refrigerator and nowhere else. Shelton had caught the charismatic Pokemon partly out of wanting a new addition to her small family of Pokemon, and partly to break her Machop of its manic fear of everything but Her, Dorian, and their respective creatures. Its species usually synonymous with bravery and strength, Shelton’s Machop unfortunately fell far short. She still didn’t believe him, but once, Dorian watched Machop catch a glimpse of his own shadow following him, only to run screaming back to the house. Nothing however, terrified the fighting type more than ghosts. Even ones they saw when watching horror movies would send him sobbing back to Shelton’s bedroom.The “her” in bold shouldn't be capitalized as it's not a pronoun. This paragraph is also partially confusing because you start on one subject (the Shuppet) and then move to another (Machop) without really making it obvious that you're talking about something else now (the ambiguous “its species”).


“By the way,” Shelton said. “Your Uncle Ronnie called. I told him you would ring him back once you got home. He seemed pretty anxious to talk to you.”Since the dialogue is being continued but is split up by a dialogue tag, you would punctuate it like this:
“By the way,” Shelton said, “your Uncle Ronnie called. I told him you would ring him back once you got home. He seemed pretty anxious to talk to you.”


“...Once assembled and placed back on the tablet which they were broken off of, show the way to a terrifying treasure.”You're missing a word or something in this sentence.


“Well, from the limited amount of information we’ve gathered on the marker’s, they’re supposedly forged from metal; but out of a rare ore we think is obsidian. “Marker's” should just be “markers.” Apostrophes are used for possessions in that context.

We know that from their description, it’s jet black, weighing much less than other metal ore’s they would have had access to back then. From what the Director is thinking, he attributed it more to a hollow, glossy diamond, instead of metal.”Same applies here for “ores.”

Armor plated feet, shins, and waist became visible first. Followed by a sizeable stomach, still armor plated, but with a different color. The second sentence isn't a complete sentence. It would be best to merge it with the first one here

With the Alkazam’s direction, they slowly slid back into the holes that lined the walls to the entrance of the hidden chamber. Typo on Alakazam's name.

“I’m fin, I’m fine,” the man stammered.Might be better to type “I'm f-fine” to illustrate stammering instead.

Anyway, I am pleasantly surprised at how much you improved in this chapter in terms of the actual writing; it's actually neat to see. =P I did enjoy the first scene with Shelton and Dorian; their interactions were very believable. There were still some problems with how you introduce new elements to the story, particularly with characters. It's okay to explain things, but there's no need to really explain everything in one go, if that makes sense.
The following scene was described very well. Your niche may very well be in describing battle scenes which a lot of writers seem to have trouble doing and envisioning besides “attacks, block, attack” scenes. It is interesting that Dorian found the shard that the man is looking for. Seeing how powerful this man is and how, well, sort of … awkward Dorian is at times should make for a interesting interaction.

Sidewinder
3rd June 2012, 4:07 AM
Chapter 12


“Let go of us!” Ethan screamed, struggling uselessly in Alakazam’s mental grasp.

Alakazam didn’t acknowledge his master’s command; he just kept raising them higher and higher, putting as much distance as he could between them and the crowd below. He turned his head to stare at his friend. Ethan’s face was contorted with rage, and he was flailing his arms and legs wildly in an attempt to break free. Why did he do this? How could he have been so stupid, so violent? Those flakes were obviously influencing him; they had made his friend do those things. Alakazam was sure of it, and this was the last straw.

As they reached the top of the cloud layer, Alakazam started moving them north, his mind racing back to examine the situation once again. He had been watching the two humans as Ethan had instructed. They seemed pleasant enough, in no way worth the rage that Ethan was intent on unleashing on them. Alakazam had had to sprint backwards a few yards when the man had approached the tree line again, and watched him as he once again examined the spot which Ethan had been lying in wait. The man had left quickly and walked back to the female, raising his hands and explaining something to her. Just as Alakazam started reaching out with his mind to hear their conversation, a siren had split the air. Three police cruisers had suddenly rocketed past.

Alakazam changed his focus from the two humans and instead reached out to the closest car as it sped past. The officer in the car was scared, anxious. He had been called to town by a frantic dispatcher, who had told him that a man and a Scyther had just committed a murder at the local museum. His heart skipped a beat then, and he immediately threw his consciousness against the other officers, trying to glean as much information as he could from their minds. The other officers had little else, but what he did find out was that a security camera in the museum had captured the entire act. Alakazam knew who had done this. Ethan had given into his anger, and he had not been there to stop him. As Alakazam quickly processed what his next move was, he saw the two humans start quickly walking towards the north part of the city.

He followed them slowly, fighting against his instinct that something terrible was happening. He forced the thought back down. Ethan was smart and he could handle himself. He should be able to escape unnoticed. It had never been his partner’s way to draw attention to himself, especially now that he had committed such a heinous act. That thought caused him to stumble in his tracks. Ethan had murdered someone. There was no denying that from what he had heard. A man and a Scyther. Alakazam clenched his hands into fists and he struggled with the implications. Ethan had finally snapped because of those poisonous flakes, and this was the result. He knew those things were trouble, but he couldn’t have imagined that they would drive him to this level. Suddenly, another sound rolled across city, the unmistakable of sound of firearms being discharged. That spurned him into action, secrecy be damned.

He sprinted forward, quickly assessing the new ordeal in front of him. Police were lying on the ground screaming in pain. Blood was everywhere. He heard Ethan scream a threat and saw him start to run just as he noticed Scyther fighting with the two humans and one of their Pokemon. He increased his speed, desperate to get to the humans before Ethan got to them. With a grunt he reached out with his mind, plucking Scyther off the ground and following suit with Ethan. He yanked them up and growled at the male human as he passed by. Why had he done that? It wasn’t the human’s fault at all.

Alakazam’s attention snapped back to the present as a small clearing passed by beneath them. Closing his eyes to feel out the land below, he lowered them down, Ethan and Scyther both shrieking at him as he did so. As soon as his feet touched the dry grass he looked around. Trees circled the small field in a perfect circle and they seemed to be devoid of life and prying eyes. He knew they were several miles outside of Pewter City, and while he had no doubt they were being chased, they were far enough away to buy themselves a few minutes. Alakzam started pacing back and forth, trying to work out what he was going to say. He saw that Scyther and Ethan were still struggling against his hold but they were making no progress at all. Taking a breath, Alakazam walked over to stand in front of his friend, making sure to keep a few feet between them. Not wanting Scyther to hear their conversation, he reached out with his thoughts and spoke directly to Ethan’s mind.

“What have you done?”

“Let me go,” Ethan hissed.

“Why did you do this?” Alakazam asked again.

“Now,” Ethan said, his face starting to twitch with fury.

“I will not,” Alakazam informed him. “I’ve stood by and watched while you let those things into your body, and I’ve followed you across half the planet to retrieve them. This ends now. You just murdered someone, Ethan! You murdered someone! Why did you do this!?”

“He deserved it!” Ethan screamed in return. “He stole from them!”

“Ethan,” Alakazam started, trying to keep himself calm. “Those voices are not real. They’re just in your head; they do not exist. Have you ever touched them? Have you ever been able to talk to them besides when you’re dreaming? I’ll answer for you. No, you have not. Yet you let them drive you to this? To this!?”

“That’s not true and you know it!”

“It is true, Ethan. This is just in your head, and now you have destroyed your life and mine over a fairy tale.”

“Let me go!”

“Scyther, Sai!” Scyther screamed.

“No,” Alakazam replied. “We’re going back to Saffron, then we ar-“

He stopped himself midsentence to focus more attention on Scyther, who was vibrating her wings rapidly. The motion inside was small at first, but the more she vibrated the less control he had over keeping her in place. He doubled his efforts as she regained control of her arms again and started hacking away at the lilac bubble surrounding her. Sweat rolled across his brow as he struggled to hold both of them, knowing that the continued strain would eventually lead to him dropping them. Releasing a savage cry of victory, Scyther broke through the last layer of the bubble. Her feet touched the ground and she bolted forward, swinging a heavy arm towards his head.

“Sai!” Scyther screamed.

“Kazam!” he yelled back.

Just before the blow that would have killed him connected, he raised his right hand and quickly covered it with an oval of psychic energy, blocking the blow and deflecting her arm to the side. She growled in frustration and started swinging both arms toward him, causing him to protect his other hand to intercept the oncoming scythes. He started being pushed backwards as each blow landed against him, barely able to keep up with the speed in which she was swinging. One blow he deflected was forced into his leg, which opened up a long gash as the sharp appendage struck. He grunted in pain and momentarily lost his focus, allowing her to slice him again along the ribs. As that slash struck, he lost his concentration completely and dropped his hold over Ethan. His master sprinted forward, arms outstretched.

“ALAKAZAM!”

With that scream a sphere of energy coalesced between himself and Scyther and exploded, sending her spiraling away towards the trees. As soon as she rocketed away, Ethan crashed into him, sending him to the ground. The two rolled sideways, both seeking leverage against the other. Ethan ended up on top and grabbed him by the
shoulders.

“How dare you!” he screamed. “This is mine! This is my destiny! He had to die for his theft, otherwise more would follow him. Don’t you understand that!?”

“You don’t have the right to kill innocent people! Your destiny be damned!”

Ethan started to shake him then. His shoulders were yanked up and down, his head bouncing off the ground so hard that his vision started to blur. He thrust his chest upward as he was yanked up again, forming a psychic shockwave and directing it to splash against Ethan. The effect was instantaneous. Ethan’s shirt was shredded by the energy discharge and he was thrown backward fifty feet, sailing backwards in a perfect arc. Alakazam jumped back to his feet, tears beginning to form in his eyes. He heard a shriek from the trees and saw Scyther launch herself out of the forest, zigzagging left and right quickly as she raced forward. All the feelings and actions of the day finally tipped Alakazam to the breaking point. The insect Pokemon’s face filled him with a righteous anger and disgust that he had been holding back for years, and he could control it no longer.

Sliding his left foot back a few inches, Alakazam lifted his hands upwards and grabbed the air like it was the handles of a bicycle. At the same time he closed his eyes and lashed out with his thoughts towards the sprinting insect. He forced his mind through blood and sinew and wrapped two tentacles of energy around both of the Scyther’s shoulders. Just as the bug Pokemon closed the last remaining yards between them, Alakazam opened his eyes and pulled down with his hands.

Scyther screamed in agony as both of her shoulders were dislocated. The action caused her to tip forward and smash against the ground. She rolled to a stop in front of Alakazam, scythes hanging limply at her sides. He looked down at her and stared as she continued to scream, the sound adding more stress to his troubled mind. He kicked her roughly in the stomach as he stepped over, knocking the wind from her lungs and shutting her up. Stupid insect.

Just as he started forward again, he felt a hot pinprick strike him in the chest. Looking down, he saw a red laser painted on him. He followed the beam further up the field and saw Ethan pointing his Pokeball at him, black smoke steadily rising from his master’s body. His form began to dissolve from the feet up as a cooling sensation spread over his limbs, easing the pain from his two wounds. He felt himself pulled forward as he lost his vision, a single tear falling from his face and splashing against the grass below.



*********


Ethan stared at the Pokeball in his hand as Alakazam was absorbed back into its confines. He breathed. This was folly. How could Alakazam take this away from him when he was so close? Granted, the officer’s showing up was a tremendous hiccup in the plan, but the two thieves had shown up like a gift. How could he have not reacted the way he did? They had stolen, and they had to be punished, period. Ethan deposited the Pokeball into his pocket and drug his hands across his face. He felt no remorse for the man he had killed, or for the police that Scyther had maimed. They were beneath him; they had dared to tell him what to do. Peasants, all of them.

Ethan looked around as the wind rippled the long stalks of grass around him. Obviously going back now would be stupid. As Alakazam had lifted them above the city he had glimpsed more cars coming to the aid of their fallen brethren. Not that they could hurt him, but for what he was doing, exposure meant failure. He had erased the memory of the treasure and the markers, and he had destroyed one of the people responsible for the theft. He would find the other two thieves again, but going back now would only illicit another violent response from the police. The best thing to do would be to go back home and bide his time. He needed to speak to the voices to find out where the next shard was as well. The situation in Pewter didn’t matter, they did not know his name, or where he lived. He was angry that they had seen his face, but it wasn’t enough for them to be able to track him down.

He heard a moan in front of him that caused him to look down. Scyther was pushing herself across the grass with her feet, crying weakly as she moved. Ethan saw an unnatural bulge on the back of each of her shoulders, obviously the cause of her plight. Sighing audibly he walked forward and yanked the bug to her feet. She moaned again as she tried to stay upright, scythes pointed straight down.

“I’m going to set your arms,” Ethan told her as he wrapped a hand around each of the bulges. “Stay still and don’t tense up.”

“Scyther.”

Ethan quickly tightened his grip and yanked upwards. There was a loud crunch as the balls of her shoulders slid back to their rightful place. Scyther screamed loudly again. Ethan stepped away and examined her as she experimentally moved her arms. The bug seemed to have regained control of them, and after a minute she was back to swinging them faster than he could follow. Satisfied, he dug into his pocket and pulled out her Pokeball. Returning her was obviously the smartest option, as word of her was likely spreading towards every corner of Kanto as they stood there. His Pokemon nodded at him as he returned her in a flash of light.

Ethan pulled off his pack and changed his shirt and jacket to camouflage his body in different colors. No doubt people were on the lookout for his description, so anything he could do to shake them up was a smart move. He needed to get as far away from here as possible. His home in Saffron was only a few hours away, and he could cover it even quicker if he rode. He pulled out Rapidash’s ball and released her. The fire horse materialized in a shower of energy and flame, red eyes glued to Ethan’s as she stood up to her full height. She looked at him disdainfully until she interpreted the look on his face. He spoke to her quickly, expressing how urgent it was that she get them back home as soon as possible. He mounted the fire horse and instructed her of the direction they needed to go. She nodded in return and started forward, doing her best to keep her fiery mane from billowing too brightly.



*********

Less than three hours later he was back in his apartment in Saffron. He had stuck to using side streets when they entered the city, and returned his Rapidash as they approached his building from a back alley. He slinked his way up the fire escape like a Spinarak. He stopped on the twelfth story and opened the window to his bedroom, which he kept unlocked for reasons exactly like this. Ethan slid the window shut behind him and locked it. He slid to the floor and closed his eyes, relaxing for the first time in several hours.

He opened his eyes and took in his bedroom. Dust had become king while he was gone, and had made its home on every inch of his orange tile floor and polished walnut furniture. He rose from his floor and shed his traveling clothes. Walking over to his bed he collapsed face-first, rolling across the top and positioning himself on his back. Almost three months had passed since he had been home. It was so blissfully quiet here, so quiet and so dark. The low lighting was wonderful to his tired eyes, and he tried his best to slow his breathing and drift off to sleep. He needed rest. Physically his body felt fine, the flakes made sure of that. He was never tired anymore, but mentally he was exhausted.

Sleep didn’t come for him however. There was too much on his mind, and as hard as he tried, he couldn’t let go. Speaking with the voices would be able to calm him down. They always eased his mind when he was troubled. They were mentors and counselors; they would know what to do. Unfortunately, Alakazam was still in his ball, and he wasn’t about to let him out so he could put him to sleep. He doubted that his Pokemon would even willingly do it anyway. The thought of his psychic Pokemon quickened his breathing and filled him with angst. Alakazam had called him a murderer, he had been so mad. Ethan knew what he did was not wrong, but having his friend so angry, so angry that he attacked him had put Ethan on edge. Was he right? Obviously killing people would bring unwanted attention, but still, they had deserved it. Ethan was a righteous light from above, he had been sent to accomplish a goal, and anyone who got in the way of that goal was fair game. Pushing the thought of his friend from his head for the moment, he got up from the bed and retrieved Scyther’s pokeball.

“Sai?” his Pokemon asked as she was released.

“Power up one of you arms,” Ethan began. “I need you to knock me out.”

“Scyther, sai?”

“You know I’ll be fine, it just has to be hard enough to knock me unconscious.”

“Sai, Scyther?”

“No. Alakazam is not an option. Are you questioning me?”

“Sai,” Scyther replied, taking a step back and shaking her head.

“Good,” Ethan replied, positioning himself at the foot of the bed.

As he watched, Scyther’s right arm began to glow. She quickly raised it up and brought it down frighteningly quick. The blunt portion of her scythe cracked his skull easily as it connected, forcing a few slivers of bone into his brain. Ethan cried out as he felt his cranium fracture, but it ended quickly as his eyes involuntarily closed and he felt himself fall backwards onto the bed. He felt and saw nothing for a moment, just black space devoid of light or objects. He felt his eyes again after a moment, and proceeded to open them.

He was back on the island. The sky was not its usual cloudless blue today, nor was the water lazily lapping against the sand like it usually was. The sky was overcast and dark, with bulbous iron clouds low and foreboding. The color of the water matched the sky almost exactly. The sea was slapping against the shore ferociously as a wild wind tore across the surface, sending the water into crazy spirals further out. Ethan turned around and saw the tower. It was black as night like always, but set against the dark grey backdrop of the sky it looked almost sinister.

He felt them before they arrived. Every time he came to this sacred place he hoped they would reveal their physical forms to him, but this time was no different than the last. They surrounded him on all sides, the only tell-tale sign of their presence being a gentle push against his consciousness.

“Ethan,” they whispered.

“Lords,” he replied, bowing slightly.

“We saw that you recovered the marker that was stolen. We’re proud of you, Ethan.”

“It was no trouble, I assure you. I even made an example of one of them.”

“We saw what you did, Ethan. You made us so proud. What plans do you have for the other two?”

“Well, as I’m sure you were aware, there was a slight complication.”

“We saw what transpired. What are your plans for the other two?”

“Nothing immediately. It’s too risky to go back to Pewter right now. I’m sure the authorities are on the lookout for me.”

“Regardless of who may be searching for you, we need you to go back and deal with the two of them.”

“I, well, I know we need to clear up that loose end, but right now it wouldn’t be the wisest choice.”

“It’s not like you to disobey us, Ethan. With your power, no one should be able to oppose you. We have to make sure that the two humans are dealt with before they spread word of the treasure. You will go back.”

“I do understand what you’re asking of me, but I’m telling you that if I go ba-“

“YOU TELL US NOTHING!” the voices screamed.

Ethan fell backwards in alarm and hit the ground. The sound waves generated by the voices felt hot on his skin. He looked back up to see lightning starting to flash around the small island. Thunder boomed loudly in unison with the electricity, shaking the ground beneath him. He felt the voices start to spin around him.

“WE TELL YOU! YOU OBEY! WE DID NOT GIVE YOU THESE GIFTS FOR YOU TO IGNORE OUR WISHES! YOU WILL GO!”

Ethan began to cry. The lightning started flashing faster, the voices swirled around him closer. Why were they doing this to him? Hadn’t he explained the issue? Not that a jail could hold him if he was caught, but it would make his task exceedingly more difficult. He whimpered slightly at a particularly loud clap of thunder, snot being excreted from his nose between sobs.

“I’m sorry,” Ethan lamented. “I’ll get it done somehow. I promise I’ll take care of them. It’s not smart for me to go back right now but I’ll arrange for someone to go and deal with them, I swear it! I’ll have someone bring me their heads and we can forget this ever happened! Please!”

“This must be dealt with quickly, Ethan,” the voices said, lightening their tone. “Just get it done. We will start to fade if someone else finds the treasure. We’re sorry for treating you this way, Ethan, but you have to understand that if you fail, we will die.”

“I will never let that happen. I promise you. I’m sorry I disputed you, that was childish of me. I love all of you dearly, and I know you have my best interests at heart.”

“Good, Ethan, good. We love you as well. Like we have said countless times, you are our champion. You will piece us back together.”

“I will, I swear it. Where am I going next?”

“To Sinnoh, Ethan. Go to the lake of knowledge in the north. You will find another shard there, which will bring you one step closer to us.”

“I’ll leave as soon as I can, I promise. And I will deal with the two thieves. No expense will be spared, I promise.”

“Thank you, Ethan,” the voices sang. “We trust you.”

“I, I love you all,” Ethan said as the world around him began to flicker. “I will see this through.”

As he said those last words he felt himself pulled into the sky once again. He closed his eyes as he entered a cloud, and when he opened them, he was back in his home in Saffron.

“Scyther, Scyther?” his Pokemon asked.

“Yes, I was able to talk to them,” Ethan replied, catching the sight in his mirror of black smoke rising from the large gash in his skull. After a moment, the wound had healed.

Ethan stood up and walked to the kitchen, fishing a glass from a nearby cupboard and filling it with water. He drank deeply, savoring the feeling of the cool water seeping down his throat. He finished the water and walked back to his bedroom. Part of the comforter was soaked in blood from his head, so he pulled the whole blanket to the floor and laid back down on the cool sheets. He swiftly fell asleep and did not dream.



**********


Almost sixteen hours later, he woke up. Ethan felt refreshed and revitalized. He also felt ready for what was about to come. He had three shards now, and had the location for the fourth. Presumably when he gathered all of them, he’d be able to revive the voices to their original form. What a relief it would be to have them on the physical plain. To feel their warmth and their love in person everyday instead of fleeting minutes when he dreamt.

Ethan walked across the slate floor of his bathroom to his shower. He removed the rest of his clothing and showered. The scalding water felt fabulous on his skin as it washed away the sweat and dirt he had accumulated over the last several days. He stood under the hot stream for several minutes, his mind going through a catalogue of the different resources at his disposal. He had made a few contacts from Unova over the last several years, people who have benefited greatly from the civil uprisings that had been plaguing the poverty ridden region for the last two decades. People with very specific skill-sets that suited the task he had in mind. After he exited the shower and dried himself, he slipped into a robe and made a few calls. After about thirty minutes of conversation with a man from Olivine City, he had acquired the name of a man who would be capable of the task.

He crossed his sparsely furnished living room and sat down on the couch. The man he called next refused to give him his name, but did agree to meet him in Vermillion City in four days time. Satisfied, Ethan hung up and grabbed a small remote off of his cocktail table. He pressed a button and a panel on the wall in front of him slid to the right, revealing a large television. A press on another button brought the device to life.

Ethan gasped.

His face filled the screen in front of him. The picture had been magnified to the extreme, but his face was easily recognizable. The picture of him grew slightly smaller to make room for another picture that appeared next to his; this one showing his Scyther. As he watched, both pictures were minimized once again to make room for another picture of him standing in Pewter City. The third picture was from one of the police cars that had pulled up as he was fleeing the museum, obvious from the windshield in front of the camera. Ethan’s breath caught in his chest as he watched both pictures disappear to show Vivian Humphrey, the local channel nine news anchor.

“We come back to the story that has been the focus for much of the region for the past few hours,” Vivian started. “The man and Scyther pictured are wanted for the murder of John Francis and Ricky Thomas of the Pewter City Police Department, as well as the murder and mutilation of Ronnie Dvakna, a curator at the Pewter City Museum. Close to four in the afternoon yesterday, police were alerted by the security office at the museum that a hidden security camera had caught the brutal murder of Ronnie Dvakna. Police were soon dispatched, and came across this unidentified man and his Scyther. The man ignored commands by police and ordered the murder of two police officers, as well as having his Scyther put an additional two in critical condition. An Alakazam is also believed to be involved. The hospitalized police officers identities are not yet known, but we do know they were airlifted to Saffron City about an hour after the incident.”

Ethan stared, his mind refusing to process the situation in front of him.

“Police have no information about the identity of the suspect, but are encouraging anyone who recognizes the man or the Scyther in the photographs provided to please call their local authorities. Both John Francis and Ricky Thomas are survived by their parents, while Ronnie Dvakna is survived by his adopted niece and nephew, Dorian Dvakna and Shelton Street; who were visiting him at the time. We will be displaying the pictures constantly over the next several hours, and urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of the man or Scyther to please call in. We do however stress that anyone who encounters this suspect to use extreme caution, as he is believed to be armed and dangerous.”

Ethan quickly flicked the television off and shot to his feet. His mind was going in every direction at once. How could this happen? How could he have been this stupid? They had his picture, and it was probably being shown in every home from here to Hoenn. This was so very bad. He didn’t make mistakes like this. Ethan calmed himself with a quick breath. He didn’t really associate with his business contacts face-to-face and the only people that saw him on a regular basis were his neighbors in the apartment where he lived. So it was unlikely that someone would be calling in already, but it was still not a chance he was willing to take.

He quickly crossed back into his bedroom and roused Scyther, who had been dozing on the floor. He dressed quickly for journey, filling her in on the situation as he started pulling items from his dresser into his traveling pack. She didn’t seem as shocked as he thought she should have, but dismissed it as she left to check the fire escape by the window. Ethan meanwhile hurried to his closet and knelt down to remove a loose tile in the floor. The safe underneath opened with a six digit code he entered. Inside was a small leather case, which he opened to verify its contents. Inside was a driver’s license and passport under a fictitious name and address, flanked by his picture. Along with the identification were four fat rolls of currency from all six regions, easily enough for him to survive on his own for the better part of a year. He closed the case back and deposited it into his traveling pack along with three changes of clothes.

Scyther came back into the window and nodded at him. He quickly returned her to her ball and pocketed the sphere, as it was much too dangerous to keep her out at the moment. He didn’t bother to take another look at his apartment before he crawled out the window to the fire escape; nothing of value remained inside. The shards were in his pack, and the flakes were inside him, which was all that mattered. Ethan slowly crept down the twelve story staircase, taking care to duck down below any windows. As he got down to the street he pulled his hair into a tight bun and drew the hood of his jacket over his head. He passed through the alley like a ghost, passing by a family of Rattata in a nearby dumpster. He waved down a taxi as he got to the street, sliding off his backpack and sitting it next to him as he climbed inside.

“Where you heading, pal?” the portly driver asked.

Making sure to keep his head low, Ethan replied, “Vermillion City.”



**********


Four days later…


The face looking back at Ethan in his hotel room mirror looked remarkably different than it did a few days ago. A purchased electric razor had taken off his long wavy hair and replaced it with a crew-cut. Over the last several days he had also grew out his facial hair and he was now sporting a neatly trimmed goatee. He ran a hand through his hair, unfamiliar with its velvety feeling. Ethan turned and went back to the desk in the corner of the room.

The television was on with the sound muted, throwing blue shadows against the walls of the darkened room. More coverage about Ethan was playing onscreen, though less of it had been playing as the days trickled by. The police had received a tip from a tenant in his apartment, which turned up barren when the police had broken down his door. Ethan made a mental note to go see the old woman that called it in when all was done with the markers. The police now had his name from the lease he had on his apartment, and now the name Ethan Bernard was common knowledge to every person in Kanto. After that revelation, Ethan had stuck to his room, not wanting to test his chances. He turned his attention back to the desk and the picture that was lying on one corner.

They had caused this. If those two thieving hooligans had not meddled in his affairs, this never would have transpired. He loathed their smiling faces, cursed their common appearance. His life had been upended because of them, and they were going to receive his vengeance. Perhaps when the voices were brought back to this world they would know of a way to clear his name and allow him to have his life back. Not that it mattered if they couldn’t, as the important thing was that he would be with them. A beep from his watch took his eyes away from the picture. It was time.

He cleared out everything from his temporary shelter and stuffed it back into his pack. Ethan slung it over one shoulder and stepped out into twilight, once again raising the hood over his head. At first he thought that doing that would draw attention to his invisible face, but the temperature had been dropping steadily over the last few days, so a hood wouldn’t draw too many questioning looks. Not only that, but anyone who looked directly at him received a gentle push from his mind which prompted them to walk in the other direction. A few blocks down the road was his destination. The sign above the pub read, ‘The Leaky Blastoise’.

He slipped in through the door and was greeted by the sound of drunken laughter. The bar was low-lit and large, a perfect place for a meeting. His boots crunched broken peanut shells loudly as he crossed the floor. Ethan sat down at a table near the side entrance and ordered a beer, one hand resting protectively on the pack to his right. After a few minutes, another man entered the bar. He was as tall as Ethan, but not nearly as heavy. The man’s dark eyes glanced left and right as he passed between singing patrons until he saw Ethan’s dark green jacket. Ethan had told him what he would be wearing so he’d be easy to pick out. The man casually sat down and smiled at him, extending a tattooed hand. Ethan shook it lightly and returned his hand to his pack. The man spoke first, his voice low and deliberate.

“Mister Feiss?” the man asked.

“That’s correct,” Ethan responded. “I didn’t catch your name the last time we spoke.”

“Well, I have no intention of giving it to you, but to make this somewhat easier, you may call me Marco.”

“Fine,” Ethan replied, laughing inside at the man’s rudeness. “You came highly recommended from my contacts in Olivine.”

“I prefer not to talk about my past exploits, if it’s all the same to you.”

“I heard you were a man who knows the value of secrecy. I guess they were being honest.”

“Listen Mister Feiss, I value money. From what I understand, you have a problem with two individuals. I can take care of that problem for you, but I want my fee upfront. I didn’t just spend four days traveling to get here to exchange details about my methods. Do you have the money?”

“Here it is,” Ethan replied, sliding an envelope towards him.

The man felt the weight of the envelope and deposited it into a pocket in his jacket, revealing the handle of a gun before he zipped it back up.

“What have you got on them?” the man asked.

“Not much,” Ethan responded, sliding the picture of the two thieves to him. “Their last address along with their names are on the back.”

“Last known whereabouts?” Marco asked.

“Pewter City,” Ethan said.

“I’m assuming you don’t care how I get this done, right?”

“Well, I actually have two stipulations that go along with taking this job,” Ethan said, pulling a Pokeball from his pocket. He noticed that as he did so Marco’s hand moved slowly toward his jacket; the man relaxed however when Ethan brought both hands to the top of the table. He almost laughed in Marco’s face; the man had much more to fear from Ethan than any Pokemon he might bring out.

“What’s the first?”

“You are to take this Pokemon with you and release her as soon as I leave. She will be with you every step of the way. She’ll help in any way you command her, and she will report back to me when you’re finished.”

“That’s a problem for me. I don’t work with Pokemon.”

“Well, you’re going to have to bend your rules this one time. I need to make sure you accomplish this, and to be honest I don’t trust you at all. She will watch your progress, and come back to me when you’ve finished.”

“What makes you think you can just order me about?”

“Oh I don’t, but as long as you agree to have her along with you at all times, I’ll pay you triple.”

“Money up front.”

“I don’t think so, and if you try to screw me over, I’ve already instructed her to cut your throat,” Ethan said with a smile.

“Fine,” Marco replied through clenched teeth. “What’s the other condition?”

“I want their heads.”

diamondpearl876
4th June 2012, 4:32 AM
Alakazam’s attention snapped back to the present as a small clearing passed by beneath them. Closing his eyes to feel out the land below, he lowered them down, Ethan and Scyther both shrieking at him as he did so. As soon as his feet touched the dry grass he looked around. Trees circled the small field in a perfect circle and they seemed to be devoid of life and prying eyes. He knew they were several miles outside of Pewter City, and while he had no doubt they were being chased, they were far enough away to buy themselves a few minutes. Alakzam started pacing back and forth, trying to work out what he was going to say. He saw that Scyther and Ethan were still struggling against his hold but they were making no progress at all. Taking a breath, Alakazam walked over to stand in front of his friend, making sure to keep a few feet between them. Not wanting Scyther to hear their conversation, he reached out with his thoughts and spoke directly to Ethan’s mind.

I'm not really sure why anything above this paragraph was needed. Sorry if that sounds blunt. Normally, you do Dorian&co's point of view, or Ethan's. Having Alakazam's point of view and take on things is really awkward. Also, it didn't really do much for the chapter. You didn't introduce anything new, only repeated things the reader already knows: Alakazam wants to stop Ethan, Alakazam is a good pokemon, etc. After this, however, when Alakazam finally, blatantly says that the voices aren't real, though... that's fine, because it brings something new to the table. Though the Alakazam POV is a bit odd and still doesn't add much, imo. Could be just as effective from Ethan's POV.

I also liked the fight between Ethan and Alakazam. I'm sure Alakazam could have destroyed Ethan easily, but the battle is dragged on because he obviously doesn't want to hurt his trainer. Also, I like the idea of how Ethan believes in his destiny so much that he'd heard the thing closest to him.


He kicked her roughly in the stomach as he stepped over, knocking the wind from her lungs and shutting her up. Stupid insect.

The "Stupid insect." part seems a bit out of place in third person. Perhaps put it as dialogue/thoughts?


Ethan pulled off his pack and changed his shirt and jacket to camouflage his body in different colors. No doubt people were on the lookout for his description, so anything he could do to shake them up was a smart move.

I agree with the reviewer that said Ethan's murder was sloppy, but I didn't comment on it because I figured that's how you wanted it to be. And it made a lot of sense. Does it make sense, then, for him to suddenly start being careful? Perhaps this incident has suddenly made him start thinking he's not invincible after all.


He had stuck to using side streets when they entered the city, and returned his Rapidash as they approached his building from a back alley.

Would remove "to", or just say "stuck with using"... Sounds awkward the way it is now.



“You know I’ll be fine, it just has to be hard enough to knock me unconscious.”

If Ethan's supposed to be suddenly careful, then perhaps you should add a part where he asks Scyther to keep a look out and to protect/move him if necessary.


“I, well, I know we need to clear up that loose end, but right now it wouldn’t be the wisest choice.”

“It’s not like you to disobey us, Ethan. With your power, no one should be able to oppose you. We have to make sure that the two humans are dealt with before they spread word of the treasure. You will go back.”

Your back-and-forth dialogue technique says a lot, though perhaps you should add some action to show that the "voices" are getting angry or that Ethan sounds kind of opposed to what he's being asked to, which he's not used to.


“Yes, I was able to talk to them,” Ethan replied, catching the sight in his mirror of black smoke rising from the large gash in his skull. After a moment, the wound had healed.

Ethan stood up and walked to the kitchen, fishing a glass from a nearby cupboard and filling it with water.

This seems to be a pretty abrupt transition. I would expect to see Ethan reacting to crying or being scared, but he seems unscathed at the moment.


The picture had been magnified to the extreme, but his face was easily recognizable. The picture of him grew slightly smaller to make room for another picture that appeared next to his; this one showing his Scyther. As he watched, both pictures were minimized once again to make room for another picture of him standing in Pewter City. The third picture was from one of the police cars that had pulled up as he was fleeing the museum, obvious from the windshield in front of the camera.

If I read this right, "the third picture" should actually be described as the fourth picture.


How could this happen? How could he have been this stupid?

Should be "How could this have happened?" to keep consistent tenses.


Over the last several days he had also grew out his facial hair and he was now sporting a neatly trimmed goatee.

"grown" not "grew"

This chapter was well written and I enjoyed it, even if it seemed a bit slow. Not much happened or was revealed, but I suppose it was a filler chapter. I look forward to more, especially because the last line is creepy... but intriguing. ;)

Glover
5th June 2012, 11:14 AM
So, a bit late on this, but here I am.

First off, I'm really enjoying how you've got Alakazam and Scyther playing two sides of Ethan's psyche, and how like his conscionce (Or however you spell that thing...) he completely blows off Alakazam's wisdom. Poor Kazam.

Love the attention to detail, using Scyther's wings to break his focus. Bug Buzz?

You're battle scene. Again, quite violent. Not surprising, just saying, dislocating Scyther's arms (plural!).

Alakazam=Spock. You don't piss off the Vulcan. He didn't think that whole Pokeball thing through though, but I'm kinda surprised he doesn't have the will power to let himself out. Or maybe that's a few chapters later.


]“ Like we have said countless times, you are our champion. You will piece us back together.”[/I]
This line doesn't quite feel finished to me yet. It needs some kind of emphasis somewhere, probably impatience, or its supposed to be padding out Ethan's ego, being a champion. Otherwise, and as it is, it's a reundant line that's taking up space in the dialouge. The Countless times I think is your real hangup, it's out of place for the usually more direct and formal "voices"

I'm kinda concerned about what makes a Blastoise qualify as "leaky". Depends (http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/depend-regular-incontinence-guards-for-men/ID=prod6018395-product?ext=gooPersonal_Care_PLA_Guards_ampersand_ Shields_prod6018395&adtype=pla&cagpspn=pla)? Why would one name a bar after an incontinent turtle, and should I be worried if someone says "This beer tastes like piss!"?

Buh-dump bum.

Theories:
I love the part where the voices say that they would fade away if someone else has a portion. Does that mean that some of the voices would be drawn to a chunk that Dorian has and away from Ethan?

And the more I read this, I keep thinking of Spiritomb, like maybe this obsidian rock is a larger than standard "Odd Keystone". Spiritomb does have 108 spirits in him afterall...

Now I want to go name a Spiritomb Ethan, just cause.

Sid87
5th June 2012, 7:20 PM
“Let go of us!” Ethan screamed, struggling uselessly in Alakazam’s mental grasp.

Alakazam didn’t acknowledge his master’s command; he just kept raising them higher and higher, putting as much distance as he could between them and the crowd below. He turned his head to stare at his friend. Ethan’s face was contorted with rage, and he was flailing his arms and legs wildly in an attempt to break free. Why did he do this? How could he have been so stupid, so violent? Those flakes were obviously influencing him; they had made his friend do those things. Alakazam was sure of it, and this was the last straw.

I'm going to slightly disagree with DP876 here and say this part at least does give one bit of new information, and that this is apparently the first time Ethan ever turned violent during their quest. I had just assumed that Ethan's previous reaction was how he'd always been since this started for him, but Alakazam just let me know it is not.


Alakazam changed his focus from the two humans and instead reached out to the closest car as it sped past. The officer in the car was scared, anxious. He had been called to town by a frantic dispatcher, who had told him that a man and a Scyther had just committed a murder at the local museum. His heart skipped a beat then, and he immediately threw his consciousness against the other officers, trying to glean as much information as he could from their minds. The other officers had little else, but what he did find out was that a security camera in the museum had captured the entire act. Alakazam knew who had done this. Ethan had given into his anger, and he had not been there to stop him. As Alakazam quickly processed what his next move was, he saw the two humans start quickly walking towards the north part of the city.

I can agree that THIS might not have been necessary, though. It's kind of like a "LAST TIME, ON REQUIEM!" summary. :) I guess it does give us a sense of guilt from Alakazam that he wasn't there to stop Ethan, but that could have been accomplished more easily later.


“What have you done?”

I am, for some reason, innately anti-italics in 99% of cases. And I don't really like it here, either. We know Alazakazam is speaking mentally, so the italics don't add anything we don't already know. I'd have just left this non-italicized.


“I will not,” Alakazam informed him. “I’ve stood by and watched while you let those things into your body, and I’ve followed you across half the planet to retrieve them. This ends now. You just murdered someone, Ethan! You murdered someone! Why did you do this!?”

I dig Alakazam here. Very powerful character emerging from him. He loves his trainer, but he also has a firm sense of right and wrong, despite what that trainer might have tried to instill in him. I'm sure he's struggled with this for a long time in his life, but here he's reached his breaking point.


““That’s not true and you know it!”

“It is true, Ethan. This is just in your head, and now you have destroyed your life and mine over a fairy tale.”

“Let me go!”

“Scyther, Sai!” Scyther screamed.

“No,” Alakazam replied. “We’re going back to Saffron, then we ar-“

The dialogue is very fluid here without constant dialogue tags. It reads well. Good job.


Ethan’s shirt was shredded by the energy discharge and he was thrown backward fifty feet, sailing backwards in a perfect arc.

Just a heads up...you said "backwards" there twice in the span of five words. :)


Alakazam jumped back to his feet, tears beginning to form in his eyes. He heard a shriek from the trees and saw Scyther launch herself out of the forest, zigzagging left and right quickly as she raced forward. All the feelings and actions of the day finally tipped Alakazam to the breaking point. The insect Pokemon’s face filled him with a righteous anger and disgust that he had been holding back for years, and he could control it no longer.

Sliding his left foot back a few inches, Alakazam lifted his hands upwards and grabbed the air like it was the handles of a bicycle. At the same time he closed his eyes and lashed out with his thoughts towards the sprinting insect. He forced his mind through blood and sinew and wrapped two tentacles of energy around both of the Scyther’s shoulders. Just as the bug Pokemon closed the last remaining yards between them, Alakazam opened his eyes and pulled down with his hands.

Scyther screamed in agony as both of her shoulders were dislocated. The action caused her to tip forward and smash against the ground. She rolled to a stop in front of Alakazam, scythes hanging limply at her sides. He looked down at her and stared as she continued to scream, the sound adding more stress to his troubled mind. He kicked her roughly in the stomach as he stepped over, knocking the wind from her lungs and shutting her up. Stupid insect.

Another BEAUTIFUL fight/battle scene. It was short, but it was very imaginative and well-done. I like that Alakazam isn't above such forceful measures. He knows right and wrong, but he's not Ghandi.


Just as he started forward again, he felt a hot pinprick strike him in the chest. Looking down, he saw a red laser painted on him. He followed the beam further up the field and saw Ethan pointing his Pokeball at him, black smoke steadily rising from his master’s body. His form began to dissolve from the feet up as a cooling sensation spread over his limbs, easing the pain from his two wounds. He felt himself pulled forward as he lost his vision, a single tear falling from his face and splashing against the grass below.

The teardrop there might be a little overdramatic, but the rest of the description is very nice.


Ethan looked around as the wind rippled the long stalks of grass around him. Obviously going back now would be stupid. As Alakazam had lifted them above the city he had glimpsed more cars coming to the aid of their fallen brethren. Not that they could hurt him, but for what he was doing, exposure meant failure. He had erased the memory of the treasure and the markers, and he had destroyed one of the people responsible for the theft. He would find the other two thieves again, but going back now would only illicit another violent response from the police. The best thing to do would be to go back home and bide his time. He needed to speak to the voices to find out where the next shard was as well. The situation in Pewter didn’t matter, they did not know his name, or where he lived. He was angry that they had seen his face, but it wasn’t enough for them to be able to track him down.

I'm perplexed here. In the span of one paragraph, Ethan acknowledges that the police can't hurt him, but then worries about another violent reaction. Who did he erase the memories of? I might just have forgotten that from the last update. And why does exposure mean failure? I'm guessing we'll be find that last one out later, at least.


Less than three hours later he was back in his apartment in Saffron. He had stuck to using side streets when they entered the city, and returned his Rapidash as they approached his building from a back alley. He slinked his way up the fire escape like a Spinarak. He stopped on the twelfth story and opened the window to his bedroom, which he kept unlocked for reasons exactly like this. Ethan slid the window shut behind him and locked it. He slid to the floor and closed his eyes, relaxing for the first time in several hours.

I might be jumping the gun here and this is exactlly what's about to happen, BUT....don't the police have video of Ethan from the museum murder? Wouldn't his home be the LEAST safe place he could go to after his image is released to the public?


“Power up one of you arms,” Ethan began. “I need you to knock me out.”

Damn. That's hardcore, dedicated stuff there. He's a braver man than I.


“YOU TELL US NOTHING!” the voices screamed.

Ethan fell backwards in alarm and hit the ground. The sound waves generated by the voices felt hot on his skin. He looked back up to see lightning starting to flash around the small island. Thunder boomed loudly in unison with the electricity, shaking the ground beneath him. He felt the voices start to spin around him.

“WE TELL YOU! YOU OBEY! WE DID NOT GIVE YOU THESE GIFTS FOR YOU TO IGNORE OUR WISHES! YOU WILL GO!”

Like I said in my PM...I get that Ethan is fragile, brainwashed, and narrow-minded, but I also have a very good sense of his being strong-willed. I can't imagine him putting up with this kind of talk from them for long (for a while, it makes 100% sense, but I see him getting tired of it right quick. Especially with Jiminy Cricket the Alakazam. :)


“To Sinnoh, Ethan. Go to the lake of knowledge in the north. You will find another shard there, which will bring you one step closer to us.”

Our characters are all going to the same place. We should have a crossover. :p


Ethan stood up and walked to the kitchen, fishing a glass from a nearby cupboard and filling it with water. He drank deeply, savoring the feeling of the cool water seeping down his throat. He finished the water and walked back to his bedroom. Part of the comforter was soaked in blood from his head, so he pulled the whole blanket to the floor and laid back down on the cool sheets. He swiftly fell asleep and did not dream.

After all that effort to let Scyther bash his skull in, and he just goes to sleep a little later that easily? ;)


Presumably when he gathered all of them, he’d be able to revive the voices to their original form.

So he...DOESN'T know what actually will or won't happen. Very intriguing...


His face filled the screen in front of him. The picture had been magnified to the extreme, but his face was easily recognizable. The picture of him grew slightly smaller to make room for another picture that appeared next to his; this one showing his Scyther. As he watched, both pictures were minimized once again to make room for another picture of him standing in Pewter City. The third picture was from one of the police cars that had pulled up as he was fleeing the museum, obvious from the windshield in front of the camera. Ethan’s breath caught in his chest as he watched both pictures disappear to show Vivian Humphrey, the local channel nine news anchor.

Oh, yep. There it is. That's what I was expecting.


“Police have no information about the identity of the suspect, but are encouraging anyone who recognizes the man or the Scyther in the photographs provided to please call their local authorities. Both John Francis and Ricky Thomas are survived by their parents, while Ronnie Dvakna is survived by his adopted niece and nephew, Dorian Dvakna and Shelton Street; who were visiting him at the time. We will be displaying the pictures constantly over the next several hours, and urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of the man or Scyther to please call in. We do however stress that anyone who encounters this suspect to use extreme caution, as he is believed to be armed and dangerous.”

I love the realistic touch of announcing the deceased mens' kin. Good job.


The face looking back at Ethan in his hotel room mirror looked remarkably different than it did a few days ago. A purchased electric razor had taken off his long wavy hair and replaced it with a crew-cut. Over the last several days he had also grew out his facial hair and he was now sporting a neatly trimmed goatee. He ran a hand through his hair, unfamiliar with its velvety feeling. Ethan turned and went back to the desk in the corner of the room.

I like the conflict of Ethan thinking he is untouchable, but also having to do stuff like this out of annoying necessity.


-I hate that I had to cut this review short, but I have 5 co-workers in my office right now on my lunchbreak all talking and trying to plan future appointments. :p I can't keep concentrating well enough to thoroughly review the ending. Heh.

-I like this, as an Ethan chapter, more than I thought I would. He's not as amusing and engaging of a character as the protagonists are, but this was a lovely insight into him. I told you the rest of my quick thoughts in PM, so...just refer to those while I go acknowledge my co-workers while on my lunch! ;)

SilentMemento
6th June 2012, 3:12 AM
Okay. Let's get started on this character-based review:

First off, I love Marco as a character. He reminds me a bit of Glennon Engleman: sociopathic, all about the money, and brutally efficient in his killings. Marco, in my opinion, is Ethan's counterpart in that regard. He strikes me as an organized killer with no delusions, no morals, and nothing to bog him down except for money - which would make him so much more dangerous than Ethan...if not for his unwillingness to work with Pokemon. That confuses me a bit. Does he not trust them or does he want to rely solely on himself?

Speaking of Ethan, I'm not quite certain if I'm right or wrong on the disorganized bit. I have to agree with diamondpearl; I saw a totally different person than Ethan in this chapter. A disorganized killer with delusions as powerful as what I've seen would never take all of those measures to cover their tracks. They certainly don't plan things out in advance, like what Ethan's doing in this chapter. Maybe he was an organized killer who merely lost his mind when he murdered Ronnie, but you also have to consider the delusions, the childish belief that he is better than everyone else (considering the officers "peasants" who are "beneath him"), and the anti-social behavior that he's shown. People like that don't tend to hold down high-paying jobs, and they definitely don't tend to think and plan in an organized fashion.

That brings me to my next bit: how did he get the kind of money that he had in this chapter? Stocks and bonds alone wouldn't have gotten him this much; he had to have had a job that paid at least six figures a year. What kind of job would have given someone like Ethan this much money? How did he build up contacts from Johto to Unova? And just how legal were his methods?

I was surprised at the characterization of Unova as a "poverty ridden" region. I don't tend to think of cities like Castelia, Nimbasa, Opelucid (the Black version), or even Driftveil as poor - unless you're talking about the region being billions of dollars in debt or something along those lines. (Okay, that's enough talking from a political/economic standpoint. Sorry.)

As for other characters, I absolutely love Alakazam's portrayal. I feel so sorry for him. He's pretty much at his breaking point when it comes to his friend, and now he can't do more than watch; I can't see Ethan letting him out after he dislocated both of Scyther's shoulders. I can tell how much Alakazam and Scyther hate each other. The single tear at the end, however, was overdramatic, to tell you the truth. I could understand multiple tears, but not one. I could feel the raw emotion in the scene, though, so you did a very good job up to that point.

I know that I really shouldn't, but I can't help but feel sorry for Scyther. She's been the target of Alakazam's rage as well as Ethan's, and now she's with a horrible excuse for a human being who won't hesitate to kill her if he gets the chance. I have a strong feeling that she's not going to survive the course of this story, and that saddens me a bit. She's a much more complicated character than she seems to be. I get the feeling that she does care a lot for her trainer and wants to follow his ideals, even if they're completely wrong. In that regard, she's just another victim, albeit an extremely dangerous one.

I'm also wondering how Rapidash and Rhydon (that is, if we'll see Rhydon again) are going to fit into the story. Will they side with Alakazam or Ethan? You're doing a fine job with their team dynamic, setting up quite a bit of dysfunction and conflicting personalities. Ethan's team actually seems a lot more interesting than Dorian's and Shelton's. Yes, there are quite a few amazing Pokemon with the two friends (Nuzleaf, Kecleon, Machoke, and Golduck), but I'm not feeling the team dynamic with them like I am with Ethan's team. Of course, that could be because most of them haven't really been delved into much as characters.

The voices...oh man. I knew they were going to snap at Ethan eventually, but I never expected their rage to be so strong. It'll be interesting to see what, exactly, these things are when they're put back together.

And that last line? Awesome. I don't think you could've ended that chapter in a better fashion. It's very frightening to see how much Ethan is opting toward savagery just to send a message. Still, it makes me that much more confused if he's organized or disorganized. That's probably the only thing I didn't quite like about the chapter, though; everything else was extremely well-done. I can't wait to see what you have in store for Dorian and Shelton.

Sincerely,

Mem.

Glover
6th June 2012, 4:53 AM
Alakazam changed his focus from the two humans and instead reached out to the closest car as it sped past. The officer in the car was scared, anxious. He had been called to town by a frantic dispatcher, who had told him that a man and a Scyther had just committed a murder at the local museum. His heart skipped a beat then, and he immediately threw his consciousness against the other officers, trying to glean as much information as he could from their minds. The other officers had little else, but what he did find out was that a security camera in the museum had captured the entire act. Alakazam knew who had done this. Ethan had given into his anger, and he had not been there to stop him. As Alakazam quickly processed what his next move was, he saw the two humans start quickly walking towards the north part of the city. I can agree that THIS might not have been necessary, though. It's kind of like a "LAST TIME, ON REQUIEM!" summary. I guess it does give us a sense of guilt from Alakazam that he wasn't there to stop Ethan, but that could have been accomplished more easily later.

Alright, since we're having discussion, I'm gonna add in my two sense. :-P

See, I'm the guy who watches the Pokemon movies to study the Pokemon, to heck with the humans, but I like this scene, and think it should be kept, because we get a lovely glimpse into the abilites of an Alakazam, being avble to mind-read people and glean logical information and results. It adds a little bit fo depth to the otherwise triggerhappy deputies as well, although it's a bit late I think for that detail to be coming to light. Perhaps if Sidey ever reposts thsi story someplace else, the chapters for this scene need to be re-arranged somewhat. The last few lines are a bit repetivie to the overall, but it gives us a better idea where this portion plugs into the storyline, since it is an aside. Not really a flashback, but we are taking two steps backwards in the timeline of the story, so having some hints as to where it all fits is good I think.

And to the "Alakazm's perspective" discussion, yeah, I can agree its a bit odd to do, but the first part of the chapter is all him, and I think that it would have been rougher for his 15seconds of fame to have been hndled by someone else. We wouldn't have connected as well with Alakazam if it came from Dorian's perspective, I don't think, so it needed to be done.

Now, that said, Scyther, for all her loyalty and such, is I'm afraid too simple-minded to be her own narrator. She's a strong enough character, but she isn't humanized enough, if that makes any sense.

Skiyomi
7th June 2012, 5:40 AM
Sorry I took so long to come back for another review. Finals have been killing me, but I'm done now and rarin' to read.

Chapter 4:

I like that you began with a battle. It’s a nice actiony start. Nice description throughout too.


“Ap!” the diminutive Pokemon agreed, rolling to ihis left and dodging the powerful jet of water.

Typo: his not ihis


Early in the battle the Marshtomp had hit Trapinch with a well placed water gun attack. The force had hit him in the face so hard he almost retched.

It’s a good description, but you’ve repeated hit. Probably better to change one to something else.


Shuppet had no hands so she swirled its weightless body around in the air in an attempt at congratulations.

You’re referring to her as “she” and “it” here. I think it’s best to remain consistent in terms of pronouns for Pokemon, whether you’re going to use he/she or it. But then again, I know I have a whole lot of trouble keeping this consistent in my stuff too.


Machop too excluded from clapping, as he was much too occupied with having its arms wrapped around Shelton’s leg, watching Shuppet with its intense red eyes.

I think you need a helping verb here “was excluded” or you could say “excluded himself.”


“I liked that double kick at the end, way to improvise.”

I'd say it'd be better to use a period or a semi-colon or a dash here instead of a comma.

I like the talk with Shelton about her having to deal with not having access to showers. It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed in this kind of setting, because I imagine it would be a real pain. I’m not really a big fan of the “undeniable allure” comment about her though. It feels like it’s trying too hard to let the reader know that she’s pretty when they should be figuring that out themselves through more objective description and through other people’s reaction to her.

Nice evolution description! It was nice to see the transformation process really emphasized instead of the cheap way it’s done in the anime and games.


Arching its back, the newly evolved Pokemon beat its wings furiously, channeling the wind they produced all over its body, cleansing itself of the blood and fluids that had accumulated on its sparkling body.

A double of "body" here. Might be a good idea to get rid of the repitition.


Shelton rushed up as well, their Pokemon following close behind. She then proceeded to shower the vibration Pokemon with praise. Their Pokemon all took turns speaking to Vibrava, even Machop, releasing one hand from Shelton’s waist as he inspected the newly evolved Pokemon.

I understand you’re not wanting to take forever on this, but it’s much less effective when you summarize instead of showing up the praise Shelton is giving. I don't think a line or two would take that long.


Dorian was glad to know that his Vibrava would not be suffering the same pains as it did as a Trapinch, and that it was one day closer to becoming the mystical Flygon.

If I were you I’d find a way to indicate this without spelling it out. It’s a little too plainly stated here.


“That’s only because those fascists at the registration office tried to charge us an extra fee for missing our appointment,” Shelton said.

*snicker* Love it. Plus it’s kinda interesting to think that they have DMV-style annoyances in the Pokemon world.


“Look kid, I’m not in the mood to battle you,” Dorian said, his mood bypassing annoyance and going straight to exasperation. “I don’t care if we locked eyes, I don’t have to adhere to your need to prove yourself. How old are you anyway? Twelve?”

This I love. That whole locking eyes thing has to be even more annoying in the real world than in the games. Who do those twelve-year-olds think they are?

I like the end of it. Dorian’s overconfident and up against a kid who really takes this seriously. Do I smell the introduction of a new character?

Chapter 5:


The match was going badly for both contestants. The Beedrill was swift, zooming from right to left, anticipating the next attack. Scorch marks traced a line from its left side up to its twitching antenna, the wounds cracking audibly as it moved. Growlithe had not fared much better, wounded from Beedrill’s quick pin missile attack. Blood leisurely rolled down its mane where the points had struck. The liquid turned the ground an ugly shade of black where it landed, giving the sporting duel an almost sinister feel.

The descriptions here are really good. So good that you really don’t need the “telling” part of this where you say it’s going badly for both contestants. We can feel that through the descriptions and don’t need it summarized. Also, I love that these battles are more violent than in the anime.


As Growlithe unleashed a stream of orange flame toward his target, the Beedrill flew up high, evading the hellish blaze. The Beedrill swooped down, unleashing another pin missile attack. Growlithe rolled to the right, catching a few of the barbs in his shoulder in the process. The rest slammed into the ground, some reflecting off Dorian’s artificial shield. Both Pokemon were obviously exhausted, judging from Beedrill’s drooping antenna and Growlithe’s labored breathing.

Same deal here with the “both Pokemon were obviously exhausted.” You don’t need to tell the reader that because your description right afterward shows it more effectively.


Growlithe struggled to remain upright. Beedrill was of the same persuasion, its wings struggling to keep itself it up the air.

The “Beedrill was of the same persuasion” part sounds weird to me. I don’t think I can say that it’s technically wrong, but it just doesn’t sound right to me in that context.

Awww... I hope that’s not all we’re going to see of that kid. He seemed interesting.


Thirty minutes after that, the group finally arrived at the half finished road between Johto and Kanto which had been under construction for the last year. Its purpose was to save travelers the rigors of passing through multiple checkpoints at the reception gate to the Pokemon League. The association was extremely strict on people passing through, even on those who weren’t trainers. It was their way to make sure that no trainers took shortcuts to get to other lands if a region had reached its maximum capacity of battle-able trainers.

Check-points? Maximum capacity of battle-able trainers? I’m starting to believe that Shelton’s earlier comment about fascists wasn’t as comical an overstatement as I thought.


Dorian suspected some sort of ominous feeling to strike him as he weighed the options.

This sentence strikes me as a little weird. So he thought he might feel an ominous feeling but didn’t? I don’t know... I usually either get an ominous feeling or I don’t. When I don’t it would be odd for me to expect to get an ominous feeling and then not. *is possibly not making sense*

I really like the part with the Graveler and their clashes with the construction team. It’s the kind of man intruding on natural habitat thing that we see quite a bit, but here the stakes are higher. Their elders have died. **** just got real.

I like the conversation about the Clefairy vs. Hitmonchan fight. I feel like it’s the type of thing that could come up in small talk on a long trip. I do like the fact that you’re using it as a way of exploring Dorian and Shelton’s differing battle styles... but... there are parts where I feel that gets a little too blatantly “we’re explaining our characters to you!” I think if you toned it down a little then you could get the same messages across more subtly.


Golduck erected a psychic shield around himself and Machop


erecting a psychic barrier between themselves and the rock

Repetition. Might want to find a synonym.

Wow. Very dramatic ending there.

Chapter 6:


Dorian’s mind was racing.


forcing his mind to race to the worst possibility

Another reptition.

Great descriptions from the free-for-all battle against the Graveler. Wall-to-wall action!

I think it’s kind of a shame that Shelton had to be a damsel in distress here. I know it happens sometimes, but it’s still a shame. I wish she was at least conscious. She kicks too much *** in my opinion to be the kind of girl that gets knocked out and rescued.

Wow. What an ending. I’m really curious about what happened and worried about Golduck so I’m very tempted to read on now, but I kinda want to pace myself on this. I always feel I enjoy a piece of writing more when I stop for deep breaths every so often instead of rushing through. The break between reviews won’t be that long this time, though, since I’m out of school now. I look forward to reading the rest!

Sidewinder
17th June 2012, 5:10 AM
Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to the reviews I've gotten, my best friend came home for about a wekk so that's where most of my time has gone lately. I'll try and hit up specific points of each of your reviews, but if I miss something or don't answer a question, please let me know. And thanks to all of you for your continued reading.


you should strive to have your reader somewhat invested in your characters. I felt like your focus was somewhat skewed; you focused a bit on describing and the course of action, but because of that, I don't really sympathize or feel anything toward the character. It's intriguing because the events were mysterious, but that's because the events were mysterious and not so much because of how this particular character reacted to said event. It takes a while to find what makes you comfortable as a writer when it comes to style, but remember it's okay to use your narrative to describe your character's thoughts outside of physical reactions to things.

That helps me out alot, thanks. I admit, when I first started this Fic I had a plan for it, but I'm so new to writing that points like what you just mentioned escaped me. I feel like I've started to get better over time with describing things in a way that will get a reader to put themselves in the characters shoe's. I will continue to work on that, and thanks for bringing it to my attention


Remember to be aware of the “showing, not telling” rule.

That's one of the other things I've been trying to work on. When I first started I was really bad about info-dumping, but as the chapters have progressed I feel like I've been able to stop myself here and there. Thanks for bringing that up as well.


No worries; your readers are good at filling in the pieces as you go on.

Great point. I think my problem there is that I know these characters so well that I worry that other people are getting the wrong impression so I try and cram as much info in as I can. At the same time though, different readers will have different thoughts on a characters appearence and personality even if they read the exact same thing. I'm starting to realize that and I think it shows in later chapters.



With that said, the best way to describe a character is to blend it in with description. Reasons for this is because a) it's really less apparent that you are describing a character and b) it doesn't feel like we're taking a “description stop” so to speak before rolling forward again. Things like “He wiggled his eyebrows, brown eyes flashing dangerously” or “She rested her elbow on the desk and twirled her hair, black strands wrapping tighter around her pointer finger” blend better with the story, keep the story moving, and describe your character. Two birds, one stone.

That helped me out alot too, because I read that as I was writing chapter 12 and 13 and I feel like I put it to use a little bit. Probably one of the best pieces of advice I've gotten so far. I think that will really help me improve.

Sorry I didn't get to everything, but I really appreciate you reading/reviewing and giving me such an in-depth look at my problem areas. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about the following chapters ^^


I'm not really sure why anything above this paragraph was needed. Sorry if that sounds blunt. Normally, you do Dorian&co's point of view, or Ethan's. Having Alakazam's point of view and take on things is really awkward. Also, it didn't really do much for the chapter. You didn't introduce anything new, only repeated things the reader already knows: Alakazam wants to stop Ethan, Alakazam is a good pokemon, etc.

You may have a point there. Alakazam is just so dear to me when I think of him. I wanted him to kinda share the light of Dorian, Shelton, and Ethan. He's very important to me and to be completely honest you're totally right about him adding nothing new at first. The only way I could start this chapter was from his point of view for some reason, as all the other times I tried to start it, I just ended up staring at a blank screen.


The "Stupid insect." part seems a bit out of place in third person. Perhaps put it as dialogue/thoughts?

Good idea


This seems to be a pretty abrupt transition. I would expect to see Ethan reacting to crying or being scared, but he seems unscathed at the moment.

You have a point there. Basically what I see when I think of that is that Ethan thinks of himself as all-powerful, except when it comes to the voices. Which obviously you got, but when he came back to reality (away from them), he automatically went back to his tough exterior because he didn't want to appear weak in front of Scyther. In coming chapters I'm going to explore what happens in these moments with the voices and how his mental dreaming state is different from his actual reality thinking state.


This chapter was well written and I enjoyed it, even if it seemed a bit slow. Not much happened or was revealed, but I suppose it was a filler chapter. I look forward to more, especially because the last line is creepy... but intriguing.

Thanks for reading/reviewing as always. I'm going to go back and fix the errors you mentioned, thanks for bringing them to my attention.


First off, I'm really enjoying how you've got Alakazam and Scyther playing two sides of Ethan's psyche, and how like his conscionce (Or however you spell that thing...) he completely blows off Alakazam's wisdom. Poor Kazam.

I'm glad you picked up on that because that's exactly what I was shooting for.


Love the attention to detail, using Scyther's wings to break his focus. Bug Buzz?

Nicely done yet again. That's what I was thinking.


Alakazam=Spock. You don't piss off the Vulcan. He didn't think that whole Pokeball thing through though, but I'm kinda surprised he doesn't have the will power to let himself out. Or maybe that's a few chapters later.

It will be


I'm kinda concerned about what makes a Blastoise qualify as "leaky". Depends? Why would one name a bar after an incontinent turtle, and should I be worried if someone says "This beer tastes like piss!"?

lmao, nice! There's actually no deep meaning behind it all. I see bars sometimes with names like, 'The Roaring Pig', and 'The Bloody Goat', and The Leaky Blastoise just popped into my head one day.


Does that mean that some of the voices would be drawn to a chunk that Dorian has and away from Ethan?

I like that theory quite a bit, very smart. However, the flakes are what allows Ethan to talk to The Voices. They can see the world around them through the shards of Obsidian, but the flakes being inside someone is what allows them to actually talk to someone.


Now I want to go name a Spiritomb Ethan, just cause.

Lol...That made me laugh pretty hard. Thanks for reading/reviewing as always!


I can agree that THIS might not have been necessary, though. It's kind of like a "LAST TIME, ON REQUIEM!" summary. I guess it does give us a sense of guilt from Alakazam that he wasn't there to stop Ethan, but that could have been accomplished more easily later.

I see what you mean, and I agree with both of you. I'm going to leave it how it is, but I appreciate the input. I think I did it this way because it was the only way I could start the chapter, and also because I've always loved it when in books and movies you saw the same event unfold from different perspectives. Thanks for the input!


Another BEAUTIFUL fight/battle scene. It was short, but it was very imaginative and well-done. I like that Alakazam isn't above such forceful measures. He knows right and wrong, but he's not Ghandi.

That's exactly what I was going for. Nuzleaf could own me in a fight, hell, Machop could break me in half with a single punch, but Alakazam scares me more than any other Pokemon in the story. The fact that he can break bones and probably amputate limbs with his mind kinda freaks me out. He's earned that power though, as he's alot older than alot of the main Pokemon featured in the story, and I've always thought that Age=Ability.


I'm perplexed here. In the span of one paragraph, Ethan acknowledges that the police can't hurt him, but then worries about another violent reaction. Who did he erase the memories of? I might just have forgotten that from the last update. And why does exposure mean failure? I'm guessing we'll be find that last one out later, at least.


Hmm, I'm not sure what you're asking exactly. Lol sorry if I'm missing what you're saying.


Our characters are all going to the same place. We should have a crossover.

Believe it or not, I thought the same thing as I wrote that. I wonder what Sammy and Barry would make of Ethan?


but I have 5 co-workers in my office right now on my lunchbreak all talking and trying to plan future appointments.

lmao...Thanks for your input like always ^^


if not for his unwillingness to work with Pokemon. That confuses me a bit. Does he not trust them or does he want to rely solely on himself?

First off, I love your thoughts on Marco. I always love when you examine characters so deeply, and I'm really surprised you pegged him so well considering he had so little time in the fic so far. Wonderfully done. As for your question, that will be revealed in coming chapters, but I would lean toward your theory on relying on himself ;)


That brings me to my next bit: how did he get the kind of money that he had in this chapter? Stocks and bonds alone wouldn't have gotten him this much; he had to have had a job that paid at least six figures a year. What kind of job would have given someone like Ethan this much money? How did he build up contacts from Johto to Unova? And just how legal were his methods?

All of those questions are very good, and I promise they will be answered with the next few Ethan chapters


(Okay, that's enough talking from a political/economic standpoint. Sorry.)

You may be on to something there ;)


I know that I really shouldn't, but I can't help but feel sorry for Scyther. She's been the target of Alakazam's rage as well as Ethan's, and now she's with a horrible excuse for a human being who won't hesitate to kill her if he gets the chance.

The pairing of the two of them for this mission should be alot of fun to say the least. I feel the same way about Scyther. As much as a nutjob as she can be sometimes, I feel sorry for her. I'm going to go into her more in coming chapters, and I really think you're going to like what I have in store.


And that last line? Awesome.

I'm glad you thought so. To be honest, it was my favorite piece of dialogue in this chapter. Thanks for reading/reviewing, I enjoyed your in-depth look at the chapter and I can't wait to see what you have to say about the next one


I’m not really a big fan of the “undeniable allure” comment about her though. It feels like it’s trying too hard to let the reader know that she’s pretty when they should be figuring that out themselves through more objective description and through other people’s reaction to her.

I see what you mean. If you read this reply I addressed the same thing with Breezy, and I appreciate both of you bringing it up. I just know these characters so well that sometimes it's hard to let them go into the world of people reading about them...I guess I'm also a little biased because Shelton's phycial apperence and personality is based off my fiance lol


Check-points? Maximum capacity of battle-able trainers? I’m starting to believe that Shelton’s earlier comment about fascists wasn’t as comical an overstatement as I thought.

Lol I'm glad you think so. I'm going to go more into how ridiculous my version of the League is later on.


I like the conversation about the Clefairy vs. Hitmonchan fight. I feel like it’s the type of thing that could come up in small talk on a long trip. I do like the fact that you’re using it as a way of exploring Dorian and Shelton’s differing battle styles... but... there are parts where I feel that gets a little too blatantly “we’re explaining our characters to you!” I think if you toned it down a little then you could get the same messages across more subtly.

That's another portion that I'm working on as well. I've never written anything before this and what you mentioned may be the hardest thing for me. Subtlety is hard for me. I can see every situation happening in my head so clearly that I try and throw it out so hard to make sure that everyone is seeing the same thing that I am. I try so hard to make a clear picture that I end up creating a mess sometimes. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, I'll be sure to try harder at that.


I wish she was at least conscious. She kicks too much *** in my opinion to be the kind of girl that gets knocked out and rescued.

Lol you're really on to something there. You'll really want to stay tuned :) Thnks for reading and reviewing! I'll be sure to go back and correct all the mistakes you pointed out. I look forward to seeing what you have to say about the next few chapters

Well, for everyone following, I'm about halfway done with Chapter thirteen. It should be up by Tuesday night, and so far it's one of my favorite chapters. Thanks to all of you who have been reading and reviewing. I really love seeing what different people get from this story. All of you help me in special ways, and I really appreciate it

diamondpearl876
18th June 2012, 5:29 PM
That's good you care so much about Alakazam and your characters in general. Perhaps you could find a better time to use his point of view again in the future? :) Perhaps when Ethan is too insane to make sense (which is very likely, lol).

Sidewinder
22nd June 2012, 7:26 AM
Chapter 13


“Great, he’s drunk again,” Shelton thought as Dorian plopped down next to her on the sofa.

The sweet smell of whiskey filled her nose as he crossed his arms and started staring at the floor. The smell hung on him like a stubborn rainstorm, unwilling to move along. She looked him up and down, taking in the sight of his tired eyes and unshaven face. His suit had a small amber stain near the collar and for some reason that slight imperfection annoyed her more than his demeanor. As the executor of Ronnie’s will started talking from the chair across from her she found herself trying to remove the stain with her eyes.

“Did you hear me, Ms. Street?” the mustached man asked.

“I’m sorry?” Shelton uttered, turning her attention back to the man.

“I said that Mr. Dvakna’s checking and savings account has been divided equally between the both of your Fidelity Trust accounts here in Pewter. The total comes to almost 224,000 credits each.”

“That’s fine,” Shelton nodded.

“An additional amount of 65,000 has been withheld from his savings account at Pewter Mutual until you dictate what you want done with it. Mr. Dvakna’s wish for that amount was for the both of you to agree to pay off the remaining mortgage on his home so that you would own it free and clear. If you agree, I will use the amount to pay off the remaining balance and divide the leftover credits between both your accounts. The bank already has instructions that ownership of the home would pass to both of you in the case of his death.”

Shelton thought for a moment. Paying off the home was the smartest option, especially when Ronnie left specific instructions that that was what he wanted. She didn’t think she’d be able to live there anymore but the potential resale value of the home would net them a healthy profit. She had no intention of selling the house anytime soon, but it didn’t hurt to plan ahead. She turned to look at Dorian to ask his opinion but he would not meet her gaze. Shelton kicked him lightly with her foot to get his attention, and he threw up both hands in mock exasperation.

“That’s fine, just go ahead and use the money to pay off the balance,” Shelton told the man.

“Wonderful, I should have the property paperwork for you to sign tomorrow morning, along with the receipt for the transfer of the remaining credits. Anyway, I was contacted by your former guardian’s attorney and he wanted me to let both of you know that another 225,000 credits would be deposited into both your accounts within the month. Apparently you were both listed as beneficiaries for his life insurance policy.”

“Okay.”

“Mr. Dvakna had three more points he wanted me to discuss with you. The first, was that all of his personal possessions would be divided equally between the two of you when you decide what you want to do with them. Second, was that legal ownership of his Kecleon would be transferred to you, Ms. Street, with the understanding that Kecleon has the right to choose which one of you to live with should you change your current living situation. The third and final point was that legal ownership of his motorcycle would be transferred to Dorian Dvakna. I can handle both transfers of ownership for the Pokemon and the motorcycle, and I will have the paperwork for both of you to sign tomorrow morning along with the property paperwork.”

“That sounds fine,” Shelton nodded.

“Would you prefer I come back to your residence or would you like to meet at my office?”

“We’ll come to your office. What time would be best?”

“I can pencil you in at ten, if that will work for you.”

“That sounds fine, thank you.”

The man stood to leave and lightly shook Shelton’s hand. He turned to do the same to Dorian, and then shifted uncomfortably on his heels as Dorian elected not to adhere to common courtesy. The man nodded to Shelton and started off towards the door. As he reached it though, he paused and came back to them, pulling two identical envelopes from his jacket.

“I almost forgot,” the man explained. “These were left for the both of you. They were inside Mr. Dvakna’s safety deposit box; the bank brought them to me when they saw that
the contents of the box should be turned over to you in the event of his death. Each has one of your names on them, so I assume they are his final wishes for both of you. I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you,” Shelton nodded.

The man left after that sentiment, leaving them alone in Ronnie’s living room. It was silent inside the quaint house, silent and completely still. She looked at Dorian but said nothing. He kept staring at the ground until a shape coming out of the kitchen caused both of them to look up. Shuppet, Nuzleaf, Machoke, and Growlithe shuffled around the corner, all wearing slightly similar expressions of sadness. They all took places in front of their respective trainers without a word.

They had buried Ronnie a few hours ago in a small cemetery in Pewter’s northeastern corner. The sun had been shining bright overhead in the deep blue sky. To Shelton, it was almost like the weather was mocking them. Usually the sight of the full sun and warm temperature made her happy, but it seemed almost cruel in contrast with the depressed atmosphere of the small group gathered to bury her former guardian. The people who came were mostly work colleagues and a few childhood friends, not much family seeing as how he and Dorian had been the last of their family name. It had been a nice ceremony of quiet song and gentle wind. Drying leaves rustled all around, their scratching sound overlapping each other to form a soothing melody. After he was lowered into the ground, Dorian had turned and walked away, leaving Shelton alone to receive condolences from the small group of people.

She sighed loudly to try and get him out of his funk but it didn’t work. He just kept staring down like a zombie. Shelton shook her head and looked at the letters. One was addressed with her name and address and one was likewise written for Dorian. She held his out to him but he didn’t take it. Frustrated, she threw it at his chest. After it fell down into his lap he tucked it into his pocket and got up without looking at her.

“Where are you goi-“ Shelton started.

“Out,” Dorian said simply, straightening his jacket and walking towards the door.

“Nunuz,” Nuzleaf called after him, climbing to his feet as his owner passed him.

“No, just stay here with them,” Dorian responded harshly. He was out the door a moment later, making no effort to hide his displeasure as he slammed the door loudly behind him. Shelton heard Ronnie’s motorcycle roar to life out front, followed by the sound of squealing tires.

Shelton felt her lower lip quiver slightly as Nuzleaf turned around and slowly walked down the hall towards Dorian’s old room. He shouldn’t have spoken to Nuzleaf like that. It was so uncharacteristic and careless. Shelton knew this situation was a heavy blow to Dorian’s livelihood but it didn’t give him the right to treat either of them so brashly. Didn’t he know that this was just as equally difficult for her? Granted Ronnie wasn’t biologically related to her, but he had been there the hour she was born and had taken care of her ever since; he was her father too. She looked at the three Pokemon left in front of her.

“Machoke, how about you go get Vibrava out of Dorian’s room and take everyone to the quarry?” Shelton suggested. “Take Nuzleaf with you too and try to cheer him up a little. In fact, take that Spoink’s pokeball with you too and introduce yourselves. Just go have some fun for a bit, I think I’m going to take a nap.”

“Choke, Machoke?” Machoke asked.

“That’s fine, but Nuzleaf is in charge and don’t be gone long,” Shelton answered.

Machoke shrugged and motioned for Shuppet and Growlithe to follow him. Shuppet sang her name softly and smiled at Shelton as she passed in an attempt to get the same gesture from Shelton. The ghost Pokemon ended up disappointed though when Shelton declined to give in to her good will. As they shuffled down the hall that led to Dorian’s room, Shelton quickly excused herself upstairs. As she neared the door to Ronnie’s room she heard Kecleon whimper softly from inside. Her bottom lip started twitching again as she heard the sound. Shelton forced it down again and kept walking; the sound of Kecleon’s crying growing fainter with each step.

She slid into her room and closed the door. Her old room was decorated like a martial arts extravaganza. Posters of Machamp, Throh, and Sawk occupied every inch of wall space. The belts she had achieved were hung from the ceiling in a way that made the ceiling look like a rainbow of discipline. Ronnie had left the room untouched since she and Dorian had moved out, though it was evident that he had kept up with the dusting. He had been just as fastidious as her, and every inch of her oak dresser and desk were polished brightly. Such a good man, such a good father. She could still hear his voice; still smell his scent of raw leather and sweet tobacco. He had been so proud of her when she started her classes, and he religiously attended every match. He had never disappointed her, not once in her life.

Her phone beeped from her pocket.

Shelton opened it and took in a breath; it was time. She settled down to the floor and crossed her legs, extracting a small pink sphere from the inside of her jacket. She rolled it around in her palm in an effort to shelve her thoughts and focus on the situation at hand. It was odd for her, wanting to do something so badly while at the same time scared out of her mind to follow through with it. It had been three days since Golduck had been absorbed into the hospital provided heal ball. He could be released now, and would presumably be conscious and coherent enough to function. Shelton pointed the ball to a space about three feet in front of her and pressed the release button.

Pink splashes of light bathed the room instead of the usual white as Golduck materialized in front of her. His shape formed with his legs crossed and his arms at his sides. As the last cascade of light faded away, Shelton’s eyes were able to focus again and she looked into the face of the first Pokemon she ever caught. He looked so much healthier than he did a few days prior. His feathers were slick and all in place, his plumage radiating a brilliant azure sheen. The stump of what remained of his left arm was heavily scabbed over but other than that he looked the same. As his eyes found her they immediately began to tear. He slowly scooted forward and wrapped his arms around her, a soft quack echoing in her ear as tears wet her shoulder. His chest rose and fell evenly as he breathed, relieving Shelton greatly.

“Duduck?” Golduck asked as he pulled back to look at her face.

“Yeah I’m okay,” Shelton said meekly. “Ar-Are you okay?”

“Golduck duck,” he replied with a small grin.

This time when her lip started quivering she made no attempt to stop it. She leaned forward and rested her head against Golduck’s chest. As she listened to his heart beat, Golduck gently started stroking her hair, his claws scratching lightly against her scalp. The two of them stayed in that position for almost an hour, oblivious to the time passing around them.



*********


Dorian knew he shouldn’t be driving. The edges of his vision blurred grey and green as he rocketed down the road towards the south side of Pewter. The blur started inching his way toward the center of his eye until he decreased his speed, thus allowing him to focus more on what he was doing. He had been drinking since about nine this morning and he was finding it increasingly difficult to keep the bike from swaying from side to side as he rode. The sun was setting to his left, setting the sky ablaze with a swirl of orange and red. Pewter City was rolling up its sidewalks; businesses were closing and people were settling down for dinner all around him. Dorian slowed down as he approached his destination, his eyes catching a bright silver flash to his right.

A Ledian and an Ivysaur were battling in front of the bar. Each had a trainer on either side shouting commands, one more strained than the other. The Ledian drifted and turned through the air like Golduck moved through the water. Every dip and dive was deliberate and precise; every silver wind attack hit the Ivysaur precisely where it was aiming. Usually Dorian would have thought twice before ordering an attack like that within city limits, but the Ledian’s trainer seemed to have complete confidence in his Pokemon.

“Ledian, mach punch!” the trainer shouted.

“Ivysaur, vine whip!” the other yelled back.

As Dorian watched, the Ledian corkscrewed its body up higher into the air and flipped over. At the same time, the Ivysaur dug its claws deep into the grass to anchor itself to the ground. The Ledian came down to meet the grass Pokemon shockingly fast with wings and right fist glowing a silvery white. Thick green vines erupted from the Ivysaur’s back and raced towards the Ledian as it dove. The insect Pokemon twisted sideways in the air to avoid the first three, but got caught by the last two and was quickly pulled to the ground.

“Led!” the Ledian shouted as it bounced lightly off the ground.

What happened next took Dorian by surprise and made him dismount. Just as the Ivysaur raised the Ledian up to bounce it against the ground again, the insect Pokemon spun rapidly forward, pulling the Ivysaur’s vines taught and yanking the Pokemon up into the air. The Ivysaur flailed its arms wildly as it started falling back towards the ground, just as the Ledian pulled the vines tighter and swung them down, which caused the Ivysaur to race downwards with increased velocity. The plant Pokemon howled as it smacked into the ground with a clap and bounced back up. With a growl the Ledian dropped the vines and raced forward. It swung a glowing right fist and caught the Ivysaur with a vicious uppercut to the jaw. The grass Pokemon emitted no grunt or shouts of pain, but instead flew backwards and landed in a heap by its trainer’s feet.

As Dorian started walking towards the bar he saw the trainer with the Ivysaur return his Pokemon and approach the victor. The man who won the battle with his Ledian started conversing with the other trainer, making no effort to hide his joy. He was of average height and slight muscular build, with close-cropped dark blond hair and dirty boots. As he gave his Ledian a jumping high-five, the snaps of his plaid shirt caught the sunlight and reflected pearly white. Dorian stopped as his hand closed around the handle of the door, a part of him wanting to go over and congratulate the victor while another part wanting to keep the voice in his head from yelling at him by drowning it out with more alcohol. As he stood in place trying to decide what to do, it came again.

“Gone, gone, gone, GONE!”

Dorian grinded his teeth together and opened the door.

Much to his dismay the bar was brightly lit with plenty of people inside. Cigarette smoke drifted across the room in soft white waves above the heads of the assembled patrons, creating a fog that almost obscured the band playing in the corner. He crossed the floor and sat down on the squeaky barstool at the end of the walnut bar, hands scratching at the vinyl beneath him. The bartender acknowledged him and held up a finger.

“He is gone, you do know that, don’t you?” a voice said in his head. “The bad thing is that it’s completely your fault. You know that too, don’t you?”

“What are you having?” the bartender asked him.

“Whiskey, I don’t care what kind,” Dorian replied.

The bartender shuffled away to pour his drink. Dorian kept his head low and his eyes to the floor and tried the best to make himself as small as he felt. The man returned a moment later with his drink and he downed the glass quickly in an effort to make the noise inside him suffocate. The bartender raised his eyebrows and leaned down close.

“One of those nights, huh?”

“Yeah well, just keep them coming,” Dorian replied.

“Start a tab?”

“Yeah.”

The bartender walked away again to pour him another drink and he was left to himself. He knew the man’s name. Ethan Bernard. It struck a sour chord within him. The man had lived in Saffron City, the man had lived that close. The police had broken into the man’s apartment and came back with nothing but a name. The man that ended his uncle’s life had a name, and he had nothing. Ronnie was gone. He and Shelton had buried him today. The service had been nice; not grandiose or luxurious, it had been just Ronnie’s style. Dorian couldn’t bring himself to exchange pleasantries with the people afterward though, he just couldn’t do it. People giving their condolences made it real, and though he knew it was real, it just made it harder.

“Can I get a beer over here?” a voice called to his right.

Dorian turned and saw the trainer from outside seated two stools down from him. It was the man who had won the battle. He saw the bartender nod in the man’s direction and watched as he and his Ledian started excitedly talking to each other. Dorian stared without meaning to; he was so consumed with his thoughts that he didn’t notice how socially awkward he was being by boring holes into the man’s head. The man’s Ledian stopped speaking and pointed over to Dorian, so he quickly looked away and downed the last of his drink.

“How you doing, buddy?” the man asked.

Dorian didn’t respond and motioned to the bartender.

“I said, how you doing buddy?” the man asked again.

“Fine,” Dorian replied, only responding out of courtesy.

“You were outside a minute ago, right? Ledian here gave that Ivysaur a whooping, huh?”

Dorian didn’t respond again, hoping that his lack of response would deter the man from engaging him in conversation. His intent was foiled however when the man moved over another seat and turned towards him. Dorian turned and looked the man up and down. Pale, with a few scratches up the side of his neck; but the bigger focus was on the man’s pants. His jeans were so tight fitting that they acted almost as a second skin, and moved with the man’s muscles as he tapped his feet. The man’s Ledian hopped over from its seat and crawled across his trainer’s back, blue eyes deep and intense.

“Garrett Cayden,” the man said as he extended a hand.

“Dorian Dvakna,” Dorian responded. He shook Garrett’s hand lightly and turned his attention back to his drink.

“Dvakna? For some reason that’s familiar.”

“Well, I know I haven’t met you so I don’t see why that is.”

Dorian downed another drink and motioned for the bartender once again. The world around him was starting to move left and right. He closed his eyes and tried to steady himself but it didn’t work. When he opened them again the bar kept spinning. It was an interesting situation to him. He knew the more he kept drinking the worse his vision would get, but at the same time if he stopped drinking, reality would set back in. He could almost feel the voice gathering strength inside him. He tried to hold it down as he took another swallow, but it broke through nonetheless.

“It’s your fault. He died because you found that shard. It’s absolutely your fault.”

“You drowning your sorrows, or are you just trying to get shithoused?” Garrett said as Dorian downed the rest of his glass.

“I’m not trying to be rude, but how about you just leave me the hell alone.” Dorian replied.

“What’s your problem?”

Dorian declined to respond to the man’s question and started running Ethan Bernard’s face through his head again, focusing on every wrinkle beside his eyes and every freckle on his nose. He looked up as the bartender approached again, and gave him an appreciative nod as he filled his glass. In his peripheral vision he saw the speckled form of Garrett’s Ledian climb down from his owner’s shoulder and sit down next to him. He turned to look the Pokemon in the face and stared into his reflective inky eyes. He saw his own face and looked down to the Pokemon’s face as it started to talk to him.

“Ledi, led, Ledian,” the Pokemon said quietly.

“What did it say?” Dorian asked.

“Well, ‘it’ is actually a he, and he says he feels like you’re down and down.”

“He’s not far off,” Dorian said, giving the Ledian a nod.

“Well, if it gets you out of your mood, I found out that my apartment back in Johto got broken into,” Garrett offered.

Feeling the need to shut the man up permanently, Dorian said, “My Uncle was murdered three days ago.”

An awkward silence followed that statement. The air itself felt thick after Dorian said that, and even though they were only three feet away from each other, Dorian felt like the distance between them stretched on for miles. Garrett finished his beer and ordered another. Dorian downed the last of his whiskey and held up a finger for another.

“That’s on me,” Garrett said as the bartender filled his glass again. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

“Much appreciated,” Dorian sighed.

He knew the voice was coming again, but he didn’t know how to combat it.

“Why did you bring it here?” the voice in his head asked. “Did you see what that Scyther did to him? It should have been you! Why did you do that? He’s rotting now, you know. His skin is starting to decompose and he’s six feet under the ground.”

Dorian almost retched as the words echoed through his head. It wasn’t his fault, but at the same time it was. He had done this. The sequence of events had unfolded at just the right time to cause Ronnie’s death, and Dorian had been the architect. It was his fault, there was no one else to blame. He had brought that ****ing shard here and his Uncle was dead. He was dead like his father and he wasn’t coming back.

“That was your Uncle, right?” Garrett asked. “We saw that on the news.”

“Yeah, that was him.” Dorian groaned.

“Well that sucks buddy, I’ll take care of your tab tonight.”

“That’s a nice gesture, but I can handle it.”

The Ledian patted him on the back with two of his arms and smiled at him. Dorian glared at him. This wasn’t a time for smiling and good spirits. His Uncle was dead. Why didn’t they understand that? He had said it clearly. It should be obvious from his tone that he didn’t want to talk to them at all. Yet they insisted on trying to cheer him up. This had been happening since his Uncle died, and it annoyed Dorian to no end. He knew that he was wallowing in self-pity, but why did people feel the need to talk him out of it? Why couldn’t they just leave him alone?

“Dead, dead, DEAD!” the voice inside his head said.

“Just shut up,” Dorian growled.

“What’s that?” Garrett asked.

“Nothing,” Dorian replied.

“Well, I’m sure he was a good guy,” Garrett said, motioning for another beer.

“The best,” Dorian agreed, echoing the man’s sentiment without meaning to.

“Probably a hell of a lot better that my father.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Well, my father was an interesting man, and prone to a few situations,” Garrett said with a laugh.

“What do you mean?”

“Nothing really, buddy. It’s just good that you had a good Uncle is all.”

“I feel like you’re trying to imply something,” Dorian said, Garrett’s Ledian perking up at his menacing tone.

“Look, all I mean to say is that you should count yourself lucky that you actually had someone who probably gave a **** about you.”

“Well I guess you’re right.”

“Damn right I am,” Garrett said. He lifted his beer and took a deep drink. “To your Uncle.”

Dorian nodded and finished his glass. “Was your father not the best guy?”

“To say the least,” Garrett said with a laugh. He laughed a few seconds longer than he should have at that statement, which piqued Dorian’s interest.

“Care to elaborate?” Dorian asked.

“Not really, but I feel like it’d make you feel better so yeah,” Garrett started. “My father worked as a laborer back in Goldenrod when they were making the Gym out there. Him and my mother got married right after high school because she got pregnant with me. Well, this would be the beginning to a fairytale except for the fact that my mother died giving birth to me.”

Dorian flinched when Garrett said the word, ‘died’.

“Anyway, he made no effort to hide his displeasure at the fact that I was the result of his loss, and he made a habit of showing me as soon as I learned to walk.”

“What do you mean?” Dorian asked.

Garrett leaned forward and pulled his t-shirt to the side, showing a deep scar colored purple. “Apparently I wasn’t supposed to ask for something to drink, when I was four.”

“Dead and gone,” the voice said in his head.

Garrett turned around and lifted his shirt to show him a horizontal scar across his back. “That was when I asked his permission to go to a friend’s house when I was twelve.”

“It’s your fault.” the voice commented.

“I put an end to the **** when I turned fourteen and qualified to be a trainer. Got a few Pokeballs from the local professor in Goldenrod and here I am. He left quite an impression on me as it turned out.”

“What do you mean?” Dorian asked, the spins rolling across his vision again.

“I was scared for a long time after him. He’d come home from the jobsite and I’d hide under my bed. He’s always find me though, and to be honest I was even scared of Ledian when I caught him.”

“Ledi,” Ledian agreed.

“He was only a Ledyba when I caught him, but he still flipped me out,” Garrett said with a loud laugh. “Luckily enough the bastard got diagnosed with cancer two years ago.”

“Luckily enough?”

“Oh yeah, he can go **** himself, wherever he is. The best day of my life was when I started challenging Gym’s with Ledian, and we haven’t lost yet.”

“Well good for you,” Dorian said. “You learned to deal with it. My experience was somewhat different but I can understand what you mean.”

“I don’t think you can, actually, beca-“ Garrett started, only to be cut off by Ledian moving over and crawling across his head. “Dammit man, quit screwing around on my face.” He pushed the Ledian off of him and started back up again. “Anyway, like I said he was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and the hospital called me when he slipped into what they thought would be his last day. He was stark white when I got there. Veins were big under his skin and he looked like a drug addict. He looked at me when I got there and I looked back. I saw the sadness in his eyes and what I thought was his best attempt at remorse.”

“So let me guess, you forgave him and put the past behind you?”

“Not really,” Garrett laughed. “I ripped out his IV and broke his jaw.”

Dorian was stunned. Garrett’s story had started as a kind of ‘road to understanding and forgiveness’ type story, but had suddenly detoured into a new direction.

“That’s what I thought,” Garrett grinned. “Be lucky you had a good father, because mine was nothing to brag about.”

“Why did you do it? I mean, I can understand you wanting to do to him after what he did to you, but he was dying.”

“Because I struggled with what he did for a long time,” Garrett explained. “He put a fear in me that affected every aspect of my life, even when I started my journey. Looking at him in that bed reminded me of myself. He was defenseless and weak, just like I was every time he decided to use me as a punching bag.”

Dorian turned back into his glass just as the voice in his head took on a softer tone. “He loved you, you know? It was still your fault, but you know he loved you…Right?”

“He took something from me,” Garrett continued. “I wasn’t the same after I left, and I couldn’t figure out why. He took away who I was, and as much as I wanted to forgive him, I couldn’t. He was a poor excuse for a man and he died like the bastard he was. As soon as they hauled me off of him I got myself back.”

Dorian couldn’t find anything to say. He felt like he should, but nothing came to mind.

“I’m not trying to put on a pity party buddy, but it sounds like he was a good man, so think about that instead of focusing on what you lost. It could have been a lot worse.”

“He loved you so much,” the voice in his head said. “He really did.”

“You’re right I guess,” Dorian said, trying to end the conversation. He felt tears starting to form in the corners of his eyes, warning him of the impeding flood. He finished his drink and pushed off from the bar. He stumbled backwards in his inebriation and almost fell but a strong hand from Ledian stopped him from collapsing. He motioned at the bartender with his right hand while making a scribbling motion with his left. He had to get out of here.

“Hey buddy, I got that,” Garrett offered. “I didn’t mean to upset you. Feel better man.”

Dorian nodded and spun around towards the door, his vision swinging from left to right viciously as he walked. A few patrons looked at him oddly as he stumbled out the door, the tears now flowing freely from his face. He burst out the door and stumbled towards his bike. Night had fallen and the stars were shining overhead which distracted him and made him fall face-first into the dirt. He pulled himself up and sat with the bike to his left, struggling to try and get rid of the voice in his head that had started back up again.

“What would he think of you now? It’s obvious that he would be disappointed, but do you think he’d be ashamed too? He was such a good man, and you dishonor him with your behavior. You’re a real piece of **** Dorian, you know that, don’t you?”

“Just shut the **** up already!” Dorian sobbed.

He pushed himself up and surprised himself by deciding to walk home instead of trying to ride. He lifted his phone and saw that he missed six calls from Shelton. Well, it could have been Shelton. He didn’t know for sure because of the way the screen blinded him when he looked directly at it. Dorian shoved the phone back in his pocket and started walking back home, trying to keep from tipping over once again. There was a sour taste in his mouth that became more pungent every time he took a breath. He swallowed saliva and gulps of air at a rapid pace but his mind refused to adhere to his plea to make sense of his surroundings. He drifted forward erratically, falling four more times until his former home came into view. Shelton had left the light on for him.

Dorian collapsed onto the front porch and suddenly felt pain as a long sliver of wood drove itself into the palm of his right hand.

“****!” he screamed in frustration. He pulled the piece of wood out and stuck the wounded portion of his hand into his mouth. This was all that man’s fault. Ethan. The murderer. He had taken Ronnie from him. Worse than that, he had taken Ronnie from Shelton too. The man’s face flashed through his mind then. He had looked confident, he had looked happy. That bastard piece of ****. All for a piece of black glass. That man had murdered his Uncle and taken the shard off his desk. Dorian started dry heaving as he envisioned the man laughing at his plight. He was laughing at Dorian as he emptied the contents of his stomach to the ground below. The man was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face, just like Dorian’s.

“He is a dog and he deserves worse than what the police want to give him,” the voice in his head suggested.

“Agreed,” Dorian said, following up the affirmation with another splash of vomit against the ground.

That last heave helped somewhat. He found himself now able to stop the world from spinning so badly. He still felt like his eyeballs were in a dryer, but now the speed had slowed down slightly enough for him to be able to make sense of his surroundings again. He took a long breath and stood up. The door was thankfully unlocked and he slid inside and immediately sat down on the couch. His legs were jelly and his heart was aching. His eyes couldn’t make sense of the features of the darkened room save for one item resting against the wall of the sofa. Dorian grabbed his Uncle’s guitar and placed it on his lap. He ran a hand along the smooth surface, suddenly getting a whiff of sweet tobacco. It was his Uncle’s smell.

He pulled the guitar upright and let his fingers slide along the strings. They were rough but slick across his fingers, and the touch memory of what it was brought a warm feeling into his fingers. Dorian started strumming the strings then, despite his drunken clumsiness, and began playing a tune that Ronnie had taught him almost twelve years ago. The melody soothed him more than the alcohol he soon learned, and his vision started to clear the more he played. He kept playing as Golduck walked into the room with his hand attached to Shelton’s. They both gave him the same look of bewilderment but he kept playing undeterred. Dorian smiled broadly at Golduck as he sat down on the loveseat, and grinned even wider at Shelton as she sat down next to Dorian.

“Are you ok-“ Shelton started, cut off when she realized that Dorian had no intention of stopping the soft melody. She realized what song it was and buried her head against his left shoulder. Dorian moved his head to nuzzle against hers when she started to cry and rubbed it softly. Shelton snaked one hand down and gripped his knee tightly.

Dorian kept playing until they both fell asleep.



********


Sunlight streamed through the open blinds and roused Dorian from his slumber. A heavenly golden glow radiated from the windows and painted the brown furniture a pleasant shade of amber. Shelton was cuddled up next to him still asleep, and Golduck was watching them both with heavy eyes. Dorian’s fingers were sore from the music he had played and he gently slid the guitar down to the ground and wrapped his newly freed arms around Shelton’s neck. The motion woke her from sleep and she opened her eyes. They looked at each other without blinking for a moment, and she hugged him tighter and buried her head deeper into his shoulder.

“Hi,” Shelton managed.

“Hey,” Dorian replied.

“Duduck,” Golduck chimed in.

Both said good morning to him and resumed their stare. Words passed between them without the need for vocalizing, and they both poured what emotion they had left into one another. Tears began to form in Dorian’s eyes and Shelton reached up and wiped them away before they had the chance to run down his face. He loved her for that.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Dorian assured her. “I’m sorry for the way I acted, I just, I don’t know, I couldn’t.”

“I know.”

“I know you do.”

“He’s gone.”

“He is,” Dorian agreed.

“What do we do now?” Shelton asked.

“He took something from me.” Garrett’s voice suddenly sang. “I took out his IV and I broke his jaw.”

Ethan Bernard’s face flashed through his mind again as Garrett’s words rang loud. That man had murdered his Uncle over a piece of stone. That man was Garrett’s father, that man was the scorned Graveler, that man had murdered their father. The police couldn’t find him, and Dorian knew they wouldn’t. How he could know such a thing was beyond him, but he knew the man would not be found. He knew that the man was laughing at them wherever he was. That man, that Ethan was a murderer and a monster, and he was going to get away.

“I know what were going to do,” Dorian explained.

“What?”

“He took something from me,” Garrett said in his mind.

“We’re going to kill him.”

“Kill who?”

“Ethan Bernard, we’re going to gut the bastard.”

“Believe me Dorian, I would if I had an opportunity, but we can’t kill him.”

“Why’s that?” Dorian asked.

“The police broke into his apartment and found nothing but his name. His face has been on every news outlet from here to Hoenn, and they haven’t found a trace of him.”

“Well, we do have one advantage over the police.”

“Oh really? And what’s that?”

Garrett’s words and his experience of mentally traveling to Orre and Castelia inched across his mind simultaneously.

“We know exactly where he’s going.”




************************************************** ************************************************** ****************************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4zCOHFrLVY

The link listed above is to a song on Youtube. Every so often when I post a chapter that is especially precious to me or the story, I'll post a song that describes it to me. I encourage anyone who's following the story to listen to the song, because I feel it describes what this chapter means to me. Not only that, but to me this is the song Dorian was playing when he picked up Ronnie's guitar

diamondpearl876
23rd June 2012, 10:04 PM
She turned to look at Dorian to ask his opinion but he would not meet her gaze. Shelton kicked him lightly with her foot to get his attention, and he threw up both hands in mock exasperation.

Poor Dorian, lol. He just isn’t handling this situation very well. I’m almost surprised that Shelton is handling it pretty well over him, since she seems like the emotional one. Perhaps Dorian was closer to Ronnie?


“That sounds fine,” Shelton nodded.

“Thank you,” Shelton nodded.

She’s just agreeing to everything. Perhaps she’s just in the shock phase at the moment. Also, “nodded” isn’t a speech tag, so replace the comma with a period.


“I almost forgot,” the man explained. “These were left for the both of you. They were inside Mr. Dvakna’s safety deposit box; the bank brought them to me when they saw that
the contents of the box should be turned over to you in the event of his death. Each has one of your names on them, so I assume they are his final wishes for both of you. I’m sorry for your loss.”

Messed up formatting here, easy fix.



Dorian knew he shouldn’t be driving.

“shouldn’t have been driving.”


The bartender walked away again to pour him another drink and he was left to himself. He knew the man’s name. Ethan Bernard. It struck a sour chord within him.

Keeping these sentences in the same paragraph makes it sound like the bartender is Ethan which he obviously isn’t. I’d separate them for clarity.


“I’m not trying to be rude, but how about you just leave me the hell alone.” Dorian replied.

Comma after “alone” not period.


“Why did you bring it here?” the voice in his head asked. “Did you see what that Scyther did to him? It should have been you! Why did you do that? He’s rotting now, you know. His skin is starting to decompose and he’s six feet under the ground.”

Poor Dorian. I totally relate to these voices in the head. I also like that you added him because they’re kind of parallel to the voices in Ethan’s head. It’s almost as if Ethan transferred the bad ones to Dorian so that he could keep the good ones or something. I don’t know if that makes sense (and now I feel that it’s almost obligatory to put something in my reviews that may not make sense to you, and you do the same to me) but I like it nonetheless.


His Uncle was dead.

Unless you’re directly calling Ronnie “Uncle” there’s no reason to capitalize it here and in the other places you use the word “Uncle”.


“So let me guess, you forgave him and put the past behind you?”

“Not really,” Garrett laughed. “I ripped out his IV and broke his jaw.”

It might be terrible of me but I laughed out loud at this. Cheering for Garrett here, especially since his father was rather terrible. Sometimes it’s best not to forgive and forget, in my opinion.


“Hey buddy, I got that,” Garrett offered. “I didn’t mean to upset you. Feel better man.”

Even though Garrett seems really social and outgoing, he seems very socially awkward at the same time. I like the combination a lot, actually.


He still felt like his eyeballs were in a dryer, but now the speed had slowed down slightly enough for him to be able to make sense of his surroundings again.

Like the dryer analogy. :P Never been completely wasted but that’s how I’ve always kind of pictured it.

Overall, this was a very emotional chapter that really hooked me in. I could feel everything that Dorian was feeling and I really just wanted to give him lots of hugs and comfort. I’m glad you focused on his perspective more than Shelton’s since he seemed closer to Ronnie, but you did a good job at showing Shelton’s grief too through her brief dialogue and her crying/cuddling scenes at the end there. I think my favorite part of the chapter was Garrett and Dorian’s exchange since the way you portrayed Garrett’s story (plus the fact he killed his own father in the hospital as he was dying anyway) was fantastic. I don’t know, I just loved this chapter, the end.

Legend of Lucario
24th June 2012, 2:37 AM
DEAR CHRIST ALMIGHTY I'VE FINALLY MANAGED TO CATCH UP!

Erhm, let me introduce myself!

I'm Legend of Lucario *ignores blatant username placement* and I haven't reviewed fic in a while so luckily, I sat here all day reading and I'm caught up!

So this review is probably not going to be that great because it is going to be an overall review of plot and stuff of everything that I have just read. I promise though from Chapter 14 and forward I will do detailed reviews!

So I just love all the characters in this fic. I mean, that sounds really cliche and stupid but, I mean it! Dorian reminds me a lot of one of my friends and I think that if he were to read it he would think the same thing, also, I find Shelton to be a lot like myself, and her relationship with Dorian is a lot similar to my relationship with my pal (minus the romantic tension XD)

I have to admit, at first I was confused with where Ethan tied into this, I just remember reading and then being like "Okay, what the **** happened to the kid with the Abra, who is this trick with a Nuzleaf?" But then obviously everything began to tie together.

And can I just say, Ethan is a crazy Trick! I mean, I know that he really isn't in control anymore, but still!

Also, extra cookies for the description of Pokemon battles and evolution, I enjoy the details of broken limbs and blood and practically dying, along with the violent process of evolution. I kind of imagine it like a movie and it grosses me out but I just need to keep watching (err, well, reading!)

All in all, I love the development of the fic and I promise that my future reviews will suck a lot less!

Sid87
24th June 2012, 7:20 AM
As the executor of Ronnie’s will started talking from the chair across from her she found herself trying to remove the stain with her eyes.

Ah, I really love that line. Very realistic, intimate detail.

-What I WOULD say about the beginning, and this is really just a personal preference, is that I don't love quotation marks around thoughts. I'm not even that big of a fan of italicizing them, but I can see the rationale for that. But quotations...they aren't really spoken, and if the narration is with Shelton, I already know it's privy to her thoughts.


“An additional amount of 65,000 has been withheld from his savings account at Pewter Mutual until you dictate what you want done with it. Mr. Dvakna’s wish for that amount was for the both of you to agree to pay off the remaining mortgage on his home so that you would own it free and clear. If you agree, I will use the amount to pay off the remaining balance and divide the leftover credits between both your accounts. The bank already has instructions that ownership of the home would pass to both of you in the case of his death.”

Very nice, realistic dialogue and insight into a reading of Ronnie's will. I wonder if the house will be paying off as a plot point? Even if not, it's a nice, earthy scene to just pepper in.


Shelton thought for a moment. Paying off the home was the smartest option, especially when Ronnie left specific instructions that that was what he wanted. She didn’t think she’d be able to live there anymore but the potential resale value of the home would net them a healthy profit. She had no intention of selling the house anytime soon, but it didn’t hurt to plan ahead. She turned to look at Dorian to ask his opinion but he would not meet her gaze. Shelton kicked him lightly with her foot to get his attention, and he threw up both hands in mock exasperation.

It's very in keeping with Shelton's personality as previously established that she is very concerned with money and finances, but this almost makes her seem uncaring. I'd have gone a few more lines into detail about her not wanting to live in the house; it almost seems like she is ignoring the emotional weight of the house and getting straight into the money aspect of it. And while I might want to see "mock" left out of the last sentence there, it was a very effective job in so simply showing Dorian's state. I actually threw my arms up while reading it.


“Mr. Dvakna had three more points he wanted me to discuss with you. The first, was that all of his personal possessions would be divided equally between the two of you when you decide what you want to do with them. Second, was that legal ownership of his Kecleon would be transferred to you, Ms. Street, with the understanding that Kecleon has the right to choose which one of you to live with should you change your current living situation. The third and final point was that legal ownership of his motorcycle would be transferred to Dorian Dvakna. I can handle both transfers of ownership for the Pokemon and the motorcycle, and I will have the paperwork for both of you to sign tomorrow morning along with the property paperwork.”

Another nice detail: Pokemon as a cross between transferrable property and orphaned child.


“That sounds fine,” Shelton nodded.

“Would you prefer I come back to your residence or would you like to meet at my office?”

“We’ll come to your office. What time would be best?”

“I can pencil you in at ten, if that will work for you.”

“That sounds fine, thank you.”

Oh, I do so love that my advice on abandoning frequent dialogue tagging seems to have struck with you. :)


He kept staring at the ground until a shape coming out of the kitchen caused both of them to look up. Shuppet, Nuzleaf, Machoke, and Growlithe shuffled around the corner, all wearing slightly similar expressions of sadness. They all took places in front of their respective trainers without a word.

Assuming "the shape" is the pokemon, I'd reference it as "a handful of shapes" or even just "movement coming out of the kitchen..."


“No, just stay here with them,” Dorian responded harshly. He was out the door a moment later, making no effort to hide his displeasure as he slammed the door loudly behind him. Shelton heard Ronnie’s motorcycle roar to life out front, followed by the sound of squealing tires.

It's not REALLY a narration shift here, but I might even say "...making no effort to hide his APPARENT displeasure..." because as it reads, I was jarred into thinking I wasn't getting Shelton's perspective anymore. Even though he's not hiding it, she can still only assume that's what it is.


Didn’t he know that this was just as equally difficult for her?

You only need "just as" or "equally" here; not both.


Granted Ronnie wasn’t biologically related to her, but he had been there the hour she was born and had taken care of her ever since; he was her father too. She looked at the three Pokemon left in front of her.

I feel like I need more details on their childhood. So they were raised together? Were Shelton and Dorian's family neighbors or friends? Distant relatives? How did Ronnie end up as her guardian? It just feels like I want more details on their upbringing and how they ended up together.


The ghost Pokemon ended up disappointed though when Shelton declined to give in to her good will.

Now that IS a slight narration shift, with the reader getting a sudden, inexplicable view into Shuppet's emotions. You could say the same thing from Shelton's perspective. "She was sad to disappoint it when she could not reciprocate". Something like that.


As they shuffled down the hall that led to Dorian’s room, Shelton quickly excused herself upstairs. As she neared the door to Ronnie’s room she heard Kecleon whimper softly from inside. Her bottom lip started twitching again as she heard the sound. Shelton forced it down again and kept walking; the sound of Kecleon’s crying growing fainter with each step.

Heartbreaking. So very touching and well-handled.


She could still hear his voice; still smell his scent of raw leather and sweet tobacco. He had been so proud of her when she started her classes, and he religiously attended every match. He had never disappointed her, not once in her life.

Tobacco and whiskey. Two things you described as having a "sweet" odor that I'd not have imagined as such. Interesting choice.


The bartender shuffled away to pour his drink. Dorian kept his head low and his eyes to the floor and tried the best to make himself as small as he felt.

Another great bit of narration and imagery.


The man had lived in Saffron City, the man had lived that close.

Should be a semi-colon or period (or even ellipses or dash) instead of a comma there.


The man that ended his uncle’s life had a name, and he had nothing.

Should be "who", not "that".


Dorian couldn’t bring himself to exchange pleasantries with the people afterward though, he just couldn’t do it.

Another comma that should be almost anything else than a comma. :) Ellipses, dash, semi-colon, etc. It's two complete thoughts with no conjunction between them.


“That’s on me,” Garrett said as the bartender filled his glass again. “I’m sorry for your loss.”

I like this line of dialogue. Very plain and simple, but it is also very earthy and descriptive of Garrett to me.


“He was only a Ledyba when I caught him, but he still flipped me out,” Garrett said with a loud laugh. “Luckily enough the bastard got diagnosed with cancer two years ago.”

I had to read this a few times to figure out that it wasn't Ledian who has lung cander. LOL. It's kind of ambiguous.


“Hi,” Shelton managed.

“Hey,” Dorian replied.

“Duduck,” Golduck chimed in.

I don't know why, but I found Golduck's dialogue there to be impeccable. It was just the right mix of sweet and funny that the moment needed.


“He took something from me.” Garrett’s voice suddenly sang. “I took out his IV and I broke his jaw.”

I dig the subtle supplanting of Dorian's inner critic and self-repulsion with the [almost equally vile] voice of Garrett.


-I absolutely adored this chapter. I actually think you do intensity better than you do humor and light-heartedness, a trend that started WAY back with the Graveler attack. Everything is so heavy and emotive, but not in anything resembling an overdone kind of way. Whereas I want the fun Dorian and Shelton back, you write them heavy-hearted as well as anyone could.

Glover
25th June 2012, 2:38 AM
Looks like a lot of the errors were gotten,


View Post
As the executor of Ronnie’s will started talking from the chair across from her, she found herself trying to remove the stain with her eyes. Does need a comma though (see the bold comma)



“He took something from me,” Garrett said in Dorian's mind.
Pronoun isn't entirely clear.



“We’re going to kill him.” Oh sure, kill him in the Orre region. Murder's a national sport!

I have to admit though, for a lot of things happening, there's nothing happening. As a chapter in itself, I really couldn't get into this one. The little character nuiances are funny and I love the characters, but reading that much about a will wasn't really what I was expecting or hoping from you. Realism to a fault, I guess.

I'm not a big fan of the drunk scenes, eiuther. It has to happen, and I'm curious about Mr. Cayden's role. As was said earlier, the juxtaposition of him and Dorian was pretty good, especially the "Puleld out the IV and broke his jaw" bit, but as a whole, justified or not, I wasn't fond of Dorian being drunk.

Also, Shelton seemed all to willing to go along with killing the homocidal maniac, her first reponse wasn't"Are you out of your mind?" so much as it was how do we find him. I'm not getting a good read on Dorian anymore, he jumped aa little too far to revenge killing than I think I would've expected, but I'm really not getting a good read on him, and he does have a temper in him, seen in the first Pokemon battle.


The music scene started a bit shakily, but was very touching.

Golduck's Back!

Poor Keckleon...

Skiyomi
27th June 2012, 7:21 AM
X_X Sorry it took me longer than I thought to get back to reading this. I had my own writing demons to exorcize *shot* and that took me awhile. But I'm here with my thoughts on chapters 7 and 8.

Chapter 7:


The fighting Pokemon was barely breathing now; holding on beyond what Dorian thought was possible. His teal skin was covered in blood from the countless cuts that littered his frame. Not only that, but Dorian could tell that most of his bones were broken from the way the fighting Pokemon’s skin sagged in places where it used to be pulled taut.

I’d replace either the first or second “the fighting Pokemon” with “Machop” or a male pronoun. It’s a little repetitive otherwise.


Dust drifted down into the hole they were residing in, the aftermath of Golduck’s psychic explosion.

I think you could use a better word here than “residing.” I’m not saying it’s wrong, because it’s obviously not, but when I think of “residing” I think of it having a feeling of being “at home” which works against the chaotic situation presented. Maybe saying “the hole they were hunkered down in” or something would get at the feeling of the scene more.


Sunlight glinted off the particles as they fell, making it hard to see the sky against the endless wave of specks.

I really like this description.

Hmmm. The idea of using Pokemon medicine on humans is interesting. I have to wonder about the side-effects that might cause or how they’d sync up. It’s definitely an interesting avenue for exploration. Though it *does* seem odd that with all these miracle drugs for Pokemon there don’t seem to be human equivalents. I get that Pokemon would need them more because they’re in battle, but humans get in scrapes too. Food for thought.


Dorian took a breath; this was going to be extremely difficult. He recounted how the Geodude and Graveler had attacked, and how their leader had put Shelton into the ground to kill her. He went on to explain how Vibrava had saved Golduck, and in turn, how Golduck dug Shelton out of the ground. He told her quickly that he had gotten loose and gathered the others, all the while directing their Pokemon on how to protect them. Tears formed in his eyes when he got to the hardest part. Dorian told Shelton how outnumbered they became, and then how Golduck had saved them.

Since you’re summarizing something we already know, I don’t think you need to take this much space to do it. I understand that the reveal with Golduck and her reaction is something you want in real time, so I’d say the stuff before that should be further truncated so we can cut to the important part. Because otherwise this paragraph is rather “skippable.”


“He’s dead Shelton,” Dorian said. “I saw, s-saw the energy discharge from his head right before the rock Pokemon hit him. He couldn’t have survived it. I mean, I saw it swallow his body.”

I feel like this could use a little more description surrounding how he’s saying it and what his body language is as he’s saying it. You’ve got a stutter there and that’s somewhat indicative, but I feel like we’re missing a lot of the rest. Is his shell-shocked? Is he trying to put on a strong front for Shelton? Is he on the edge of losing his composure himself?


“I don’t believe you!” Shelton screamed! “Why did you leave him out there!?”

Definitely don’t need the exclamation point after screamed, but that might just be typo.

I hate to say this, but the shine is kinda coming off Shelton’s character for me at this point. On the one hand, I’m not sure to say anything at all because I *do* get that there are justifications for this, but as of now, well... in the last couple chapters she’s been of no real use because she was unconscious and now that she’s awake she’s being irrational, shouty and a light breeze away from a mental breakdown. Her Pokemon are wounded and she’s been told one of them is dead, so I get her being really upset—like I said, I see there’s a justification. But just because I get the justifications doesn’t mean I’m connecting with her as I did in the earlier chapters. I suppose you could say she’s not being admirable or likeable to me right now. Though it’s true that another reader might be connecting with her more now through sympathy—but sympathy is not how I connect with characters.


“I know!” Shelton cried!

Hmm. A second time, so that’s not a mistake then, I guess. Yeah, the exclamation mark can in the dialogue, but it doesn’t really belong at the end of the dialogue tag.


“I’m sorry,” Shelton said. “I’m sorry, I just, I don’t know, I don’t know.”

This feels like it needs more description of tone and stage business to me. Leaving it at “said” seems like it’s underdoing it a little.

Another really good evolution description with Machoke.

I keep see-sawing back and forth about how I feel about this chapter. There’s a lot of great description and obviously emotions are running high. Yet there are both 1. Parts where the description of the pain and carnage seem rather heavy-handed to the point that I, as the emotionally-stunted reader that I am, begin to feel a little manipulated and therefore withdraw. 2. Parts that seem rather undeveloped in terms of description.

...I think all in all the chapter could be more even in its emotion and description, but I think you have good material here to work with.

Chapter 8:


He looked over at Alakazam, taking in the sight of his drooping mustache. From the way his Pokemon was perspiring, he was obviously tired.

I think if we’ve got the nice, concrete descriptions of Alakazam’s moustache drooping and him perspiring, the “he was obviously tired” bit becomes an unnecessary bit of telling instead of showing.


Ethan stared hard at it; he was always disappointed when he lost blood. He knew that his body produced more every day, but it still made him anxious to think that the substance that was sustaining his life had been so carelessly wasted.

I like this bit. It’s a well-handled character moment.


As Ethan’s faced grazed the exterior of the ball,

Typo: face not faced

Hmm. I’m intrigued. In fact, this whole chapter is intriguing. The incident, the voices, Ethan’s attitude toward them, and the malevolent way his story is winding toward that of Dorian and Shelton... iiiiiinteresting. *taps fingers together*


Focusing on the picture, Alakazam’s eyes glowed, copying the picture into his memory. Walking over, he sized up the insect Pokemon. The Scyther did the same thing as he approached, hissing at him through clenched teeth. The two had a rivalry that had started many years ago when Ethan had caught Scyther. She disliked Alakazam for being too tame, while Alakazam had distaste for Scyther because she was completely sadistic. On more than one occasion he had caught her torturing helpless Rattata and Pidgey, laughing maniacally as she severed wings and appendages alike.

Eesh. That’s creepy about Scyther. I do wish that this was spooled out in real time instead of just being explained to us. You do get a real emotional slash with that last poignant detail, though, so I can’t complain too much.

The whole “image transferred into mind” thing is a pretty neat concept.

I’m glad we got a whole chapter with Ethan here. It definitely ups the mysteriousness and makes for interesting reading.

Hope somewhere in there I said something helpful, and, once again, sorry for the wait. Hopefully once I get back into my own writing groove I can review here more regularly.

Sidewinder
2nd July 2012, 6:11 AM
Thanks to everyone reading/reviewing! Sorry it's taken me so long to reply, but work has been draining me recently. As always, I'll try and tocuh on a few points from each person, and thanks for hanging around ^^;


Poor Dorian, lol. He just isn’t handling this situation very well. I’m almost surprised that Shelton is handling it pretty well over him, since she seems like the emotional one. Perhaps Dorian was closer to Ronnie?

He is kind of a mess right now lol. I like to think that Dorian wasn't closer to Ronnie, but rather Shelton handles trying situations by getting stronger, and Dorian loses himself occasionally in the moment. They both react to traumatic stimuli in different ways, and that will become more apparent as the chapters progress.


Poor Dorian. I totally relate to these voices in the head. I also like that you added him because they’re kind of parallel to the voices in Ethan’s head. It’s almost as if Ethan transferred the bad ones to Dorian so that he could keep the good ones or something. I don’t know if that makes sense (and now I feel that it’s almost obligatory to put something in my reviews that may not make sense to you, and you do the same to me) but I like it nonetheless.

I see what you mean exactly, and I know of the ritual we have towards each other about specific points not making sense in our reviews lol. The portion with the voice/voices is exactly what I was going for. I'm glad you picked up on that, and that will have a big role later on.


Even though Garrett seems really social and outgoing, he seems very socially awkward at the same time. I like the combination a lot, actually.

That's actually really funny. Garrett is modeled almost exactly after my best friend, who is a really good friend of my fiance as well. The description you gave fit pretty well. He reads this story too and reads the reviews I get haha. Garrett is that person to me that makes me see the hope in things, if that makes sense. He'll have a role to play later on I think. Well, he might. But after writing him down I feel like his character is someone I want to explore again. I'm glad you liked him ^o^


I just loved this chapter, the end.

I'm really glad you liked it. I tried really hard with this chapter and I'm glad you responded to it.

Thanks for reading/reviewing as always


-What I WOULD say about the beginning, and this is really just a personal preference, is that I don't love quotation marks around thoughts. I'm not even that big of a fan of italicizing them, but I can see the rationale for that. But quotations...they aren't really spoken, and if the narration is with Shelton, I already know it's privy to her thoughts.

You bring up a good point there. It may just be my style of writing, but I also get scared that if I don't italisize certain moments, that people will mistake them for speech. I feel like using italics has its use occasionally, but I can see what you mean by the point of view being already in that certain person's POV. I'll keep that in mind


It's very in keeping with Shelton's personality as previously established that she is very concerned with money and finances, but this almost makes her seem uncaring. I'd have gone a few more lines into detail about her not wanting to live in the house; it almost seems like she is ignoring the emotional weight of the house and getting straight into the money aspect of it.

I see what you mean there as well. She can be kind of cold and calculating sometimes, but I think she's that way because of how she deals with that sort of situation. While Dorian just lets go and succumbs to his emotions, Shelton gets stronger and batters them aside in order to make the most logical choice. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.


And while I might want to see "mock" left out of the last sentence there, it was a very effective job in so simply showing Dorian's state. I actually threw my arms up while reading it.

I'm glad that my writing can illicit an actual physical response. I could picture that scene in my head pretty well. Dorian can be somewhat difficult sometimes lol



I feel like I need more details on their childhood. So they were raised together? Were Shelton and Dorian's family neighbors or friends? Distant relatives? How did Ronnie end up as her guardian? It just feels like I want more details on their upbringing and how they ended up together.

That's actually going to be revealed sooner than you might think ;)


-I absolutely adored this chapter. I actually think you do intensity better than you do humor and light-heartedness, a trend that started WAY back with the Graveler attack. Everything is so heavy and emotive, but not in anything resembling an overdone kind of way. Whereas I want the fun Dorian and Shelton back, you write them heavy-hearted as well as anyone could.

That's quite a compliment. Thank you very much. I tend to draw on my own life experiences when writing intense scenes, and I'm glad you were able to respond to it.

Thanks for reading/reviewing as always!


DEAR CHRIST ALMIGHTY I'VE FINALLY MANAGED TO CATCH UP!

Lol, always glad to have a new reader! I'm glad you've enjoyed what I've put out so far, and I look forward to seeing what you think of coming chapters


So this review is probably not going to be that great because it is going to be an overall review of plot and stuff of everything that I have just read. I promise though from Chapter 14 and forward I will do detailed reviews!

That's absolutely fine. Thanks for taking the time to read. Any response that is given to what I have is welcome, so thanks ^^


So I just love all the characters in this fic. I mean, that sounds really cliche and stupid but, I mean it! Dorian reminds me a lot of one of my friends and I think that if he were to read it he would think the same thing, also, I find Shelton to be a lot like myself, and her relationship with Dorian is a lot similar to my relationship with my pal (minus the romantic tension XD)

Thanks very much, it doesnt sound cliche at all. I've tried to pour as much of myself as I can into these characters. Several times I thought that all of the characters represent the best, and at times the worst part of myself, and it feels good to know that you like them so much



Also, extra cookies for the description of Pokemon battles and evolution, I enjoy the details of broken limbs and blood and practically dying, along with the violent process of evolution. I kind of imagine it like a movie and it grosses me out but I just need to keep watching (err, well, reading!)

I appreciate it. I've always thought it was a bit more realistic as well, and I like that you responded to it. I've always thought of evolution as a child going from childhood to puberty in under an hour, so I'm glad that you like it. As for battles, I've always thought of my style being pretty close to the more violent bits of the manga. Though I have thought that I almost make my Pokemon too overpowered lol. Anyway, keep your eyes open, because the battles are going to get alot more intense :)

Thanks for reading/reviewing!



Oh sure, kill him in the Orre region. Murder's a national sport!

I have to admit, that made me laugh pretty hard.


but reading that much about a will wasn't really what I was expecting or hoping from you. Realism to a fault, I guess.

I understand. To be honest, my fiance thought that having that long of a reading kinda droned on longer than it should have. But when passing on a person's estate, there's a lot to cover. I'm sorry that it didn't go over well for you, and I'll keep your concern in mind. Thanks for bringing it to my attention


I'm not a big fan of the drunk scenes, eiuther. It has to happen, and I'm curious about Mr. Cayden's role. As was said earlier, the juxtaposition of him and Dorian was pretty good, especially the "Puleld out the IV and broke his jaw" bit, but as a whole, justified or not, I wasn't fond of Dorian being drunk.

I'm glad that you liked a few bits with Garrett, as I tried really hard on them. Alcohol is such a big part of our society, that it made sense to me that it would be a somewhat present part of Dorian's world too. I drink occasionally, and it really semmed to me what Dorian would do in a moment of trauma like that. Though he is modeled after myself quite a bit, it made sense that he would find solace in a bottle to me. Alcohol does a lot for people sometimes, though usually never in a good way. However, I found that that kind of self destructive irresponsible behavoir worked for his personality.


he jumped aa little too far to revenge killing than I think I would've expected, but I'm really not getting a good read on him, and he does have a temper in him, seen in the first Pokemon battle.

Hmm, Im surprised at that. To me, it felt like a reasonable reaction from him since he usually reacts on impulse rather than logic. I'll make sure to make sure his reactions seem as believeable as possible, because later on he comes to term with his decisions a little more clearly. He's on a strage road at the moment, and I think he's only still formulating the idea of killing Ethan. H doesn't know what else to do with himself, so he's struggling and this reasoning is all he can come up with.

Thanks for reading/reviewing as always.


X_X Sorry it took me longer than I thought to get back to reading this. I had my own writing demons to exorcize *shot* and that took me awhile. But I'm here with my thoughts on chapters 7 and 8.

Don't worry about it. I'm glad you're still following the story


Hmmm. The idea of using Pokemon medicine on humans is interesting. I have to wonder about the side-effects that might cause or how they’d sync up. It’s definitely an interesting avenue for exploration. Though it *does* seem odd that with all these miracle drugs for Pokemon there don’t seem to be human equivalents. I get that Pokemon would need them more because they’re in battle, but humans get in scrapes too. Food for thought.

That's a good point to make. What you said makes me think of people abusing Ketamine, which is a horse tranquilizer. That's a good point you made, and I'll keep it in mind for the future. I think in this portion Dorian was just freaking out so bad he was willing to try anything to wake Shelton up. Even though having her strong personality kinda backfired on him when she freaked out, I think that was his motivation. Thanks for mentioning that.



Since you’re summarizing something we already know, I don’t think you need to take this much space to do it. I understand that the reveal with Golduck and her reaction is something you want in real time, so I’d say the stuff before that should be further truncated so we can cut to the important part. Because otherwise this paragraph is rather “skippable.”

I suppose you're right. I just keep feeling that I need to explain things more fully when major events happen. I believe it's because I know this story so well in my head that when I write a new chapter I want to make sure that people are still aware of what's going on.



but sympathy is not how I connect with characters.

I'm really glad you said that. Since this is my first fic, I'm doing my best to try and find a balance that everyone can relate to. Sympathy is how I connect with the characters I read about in other books, but when people say things like what you said, it helps me to broaden my thinking to make sure that everyone can understand what the characters are going through. Thanks!


Eesh. That’s creepy about Scyther. I do wish that this was spooled out in real time instead of just being explained to us.

That's another thing I'm trying to work on. I think it once again goes back to the fact that I know what's happening so well that I'm trying too hard to make sure that people don't get lost in translation.


I’m glad we got a whole chapter with Ethan here. It definitely ups the mysteriousness and makes for interesting reading.

I'm glad you thought so. Back when I was writing this chapter I thought it was about time to introduce an Ethan only chapter. Kutie Pie hit the nail on the head with one of her reviews when she said that he was working the strings from the backround early on, and I really wanted to flesh him out more and I thought that was the perfect time to do it.

Thanks for continuing to read and review!

Thanks to everyone to point out the errors I made with the last chapter. Tuesday I have the day off of work so I'll make sure to go back and correct them. BTW, I should have chapter 14 up by Tuesday as well.

Sidewinder
4th July 2012, 2:55 AM
Chapter 14


“Are you serious?” Shelton asked. “Are you referring to the spiritual, mental, whatever trip that that shard took you on?”

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about,” Dorian grinned, taking the guitar from his lap and placing it back on its stand. “I know where the other ones are, and once we get one it will be able to tell us where that piece of **** is.”

“Gotcha. So we’re just going to figure out where he is and blow his head off?”

“Well, I don’t know how we’re going to do it but we don’t need a gun. Where would we even get one?”

“Wow, well, I was saying that to show you how completely ridiculous you sound. I’ll go ahead and forget the fact that trained detectives can’t find a trace of him, and assuming we are able to find another shard and it points the way to him, are we just supposed to fight through that Scyther and Alakazam he has and beat him to death?”

“That’s my point; we’ll be able to find him. We have the advantage over the police. You remember how those cops looked at me when I told them about the journey that shard took me on. They tried to get me to take a breathalyzer test.”

“Well yeah…You know I believe what happened to you, but that aside, you really think you could bring yourself to kill him?”

“Don’t you?”

“Of course not. What would Ronnie think?”

“Would you like to go ask him?”

“Why would you say that?” Shelton asked with a glare.

“To wake you the hell up. Can you honestly say that you don’t want to see that bastard dead?”

“Of course I do, Dorian. But that doesn’t mean that I could actually kill him. Could you?”

“Damn right I could. And it’s actually pissing me off that you’re not up for this. He killed him and had his Scyther carve him up.”

“I know. I was there if you recall. And it’s pissing me off that you’re being so casual about this. Were you some sort of assassin in a former life? Because you’re talking like you’re some sort of mercenary.”

“Oh ha-ha, that’s wonderful. I’m being serious, Shelton. Let’s do this. We have the money to travel now, and it’s not like we’re doing anything else.”

“So that’s you’re justification? You want us to go kill this guy because we don’t have much going on? Do you have any idea how crazy you sound?”

“It’s the right thing to do, and you know it. I mean, obviously killing is ‘wrong’, but he deserves this. Who knows how many people he’s done this to, or how many he will do this to?”

“I don’t agree with this. Let’s just let the police do their job and we’ll figure out what our next move is.”

“Duduckduck, Golduck gold,” Golduck nodded, repeating Shelton’s statement.

“Fine, let’s see what everyone else has to say about it.”

Dorian got up from the sofa and quickly went to his room. Vibrava, Growlithe, and his newly captured Spoink were on the nightstand near his bed, and Nuzleaf was sitting cross-legged on the floor. He looked up as Dorian entered and shot him a dirty look.

“Nunuz, Nuzleaf?” the grass Pokemon asked.

“Yeah I’m okay, more than okay actually.”

“Nuzleaf, Nuzleaf, nu, leaf!”

“I’m sorry I talked to you like that. You know I’ve been stressed out. Not only that, but I feel like I’m justified in feeling like this. I’m sorry though, cut me some slack.”

“Nunuz,” his Pokemon sighed. “Nuzleaf?”

“Well no, I actually have something to talk to you about. Will you go get Machoke, Shuppet, and Kecleon and meet me in the living room?”

“Nuzleaf,” he replied with a nod.

Dorian opened Vibrava and Growlithe’s pokeballs. Light spilled from the interior of the balls and they materialized in front of him. Vibrava gave him a quizzical look from the air and shooed Growlithe down the stairs at Dorian’s urging. He rolled Spoink’s pokeball across his palm while he considered letting the Pokemon out. The psychic Pokemon did try to cause him seriously bodily harm, but at the same time the mental control it had to be able to accomplish that feat was impressive. He’d leave it for the time being until he figured out a way to make sure it didn’t try to hurt him again. Dorian tucked the ball into his jeans and made his way back downstairs.

With the exception of Shuppet, all of their Pokemon were assembled. Kecleon was seated next to Machoke on the floor, patches of his face lined darker than the rest due to his earlier tears. Nuzleaf was seated next to Golduck and Growlithe was busy investigating something under the sofa. With a sigh Dorian walked to the kitchen and banged on the refrigerator. Shuppet phased herself through the door of the appliance and smiled at Dorian.

“Did Nuzleaf tell you to go to the living room?”

She nodded.

“But you decided not to?”

She nodded again.

“Go to the living room,” Dorian commanded, hazel eyes widening.

After nodding once more, Shuppet drifted through the wall to the living room and vanished from his view. He was going to have to lay this out the right way. His idea was still forming. It was no longer soft clay in his mind, but it had not yet been fired in a kiln yet either. Too hard of a nudge would make it lose its shape, and if it happened, his friends out there would be the finger. This was the right thing to do. An eye for an eye…Right?

“So, apparently we have an issue,” Dorian said as he crossed the floor back to the living room. “I have an idea for what may be a little, well, adventure?”

Nuzleaf perked up immediately, and Shelton uncrossed and re-crossed her legs.

“All of you know what happened to Ronnie a few days ago, and that it was a person that did it to him.”

Kecleon stiffened at the mention of Ronnie’s name.

“I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this before, but we may have a solid chance to get the man responsible for this. It’s kind of a long shot but personally I don’t care. I want to know what all of you think. Shelton and I are somewhat divided on the appropriate action to take. But we have a chance to make him pay, so think about that.”

“What Dorian meant by divided is that he wants to kill him,” Shelton clarified. “I have no reservations about hurting the man; I don’t think we’re the kind of people to outright kill someone. So basically this is what it comes down to. Dorian wants to kill him, and I want to give him a beating and make sure he spends the rest of his life in prison. To be honest I’m not even sure it’s the best idea to even go after the man, but at the same time, he does need to pay. And by that he needs to go to jail.”

Looks were exchanged between their Pokemon.

“I thought you weren’t even open to the idea,” Dorian said.

“I’m not open to the idea of committing the same crime he did, but he needs to face the consequences of what he’s done,” Shelton replied. “He was my father too, Dorian. And while I hope he’ll get what he deserves, you know damn well that Ronnie would not approve of what you’re suggesting.”

“Fine, whatever.”

Nuzleaf came over to stand by Dorian, and Vibrava followed suit and landed on his shoulder. After a glare from Nuzleaf, Growlithe trotted over as well. Golduck reached out with his remaining arm and squeezed Shelton’s hand as Shuppet floated down next to her. Machoke sat still with his legs crossed and his mouth speaking inaudible words. After a moment though, he slid closer to Shelton as well. Everyone in the room exchanged glances with one another and then turned in unison to look at Kecleon.

The lizard Pokemon was staring at Dorian with a mix of what looked to be admiration and disgust. He spoke in a small voice that Dorian wasn’t accustomed to.

“Kecleon, leon kec, cleon, Kecleon Kecleon kec.”

The lizard Pokemon grabbed Dorian’s hand and nuzzled it lightly. After repeating the same gesture with Shelton, he pointed towards the door with one hand and drew one scaled finger across his throat with the other. His intentions clear, Kecleon retreated back upstairs and closed the door to Ronnie’s room behind him.

“Well I guess that settles it,” Dorian started. “I think Orre is probably our best bet. What do you think?”

“About what?” Shelton asked.

“About where we should go first,” Dorian answered.

“We’re not going anywhere. I’m going to Sarvine’s office and signing all the paperwork. You go wherever you want, but I’m not going to Orre and neither are Golduck, Machoke, or Shuppet.”

“You just agreed to go a second ago.”

“No I didn’t. I agreed that Ethan Bernard needs to face justice for what he did to Ronnie, but I did not agree to help you try and kill him.”

“I can’t believe you’re being like this.”

“Like what?”

“You said that Ronnie was like a father to you, and now that we actually have a shot to get to the man that killed him, you’re not going?”

“I’m not going because I’m not going to help you murder him. If you want to track him down and turn him into the police, I’ll be there with bells on; but I’m not going to risk spending the rest of my life in prison just to satisfy my want to have him dead. You know what, I’ll even go to the police and help you convince them about the shards again, but I’m not going to help you kill him. And don’t even think about trying to convince any of my Pokemon to go with you either.”

“I’m sorry, but all I heard from all that is that you don’t care enough about what that man did to us to bother.”

Shelton glared at him and turned to Golduck.

“Why don’t you go back upstairs and rest, I have to go out for a bit.”

“Duduck, Golduck?” he asked.

“Machoke and Shuppet will come with me,” Shelton assured him.

“Golduck,” the avian nodded.

“Seeing as how I’m the only responsible adult in this house, I’m going to Sarvine’s office to sign all the paperwork. Do try and grow up while I’m gone.”

Dorian coughed as she walked by him, a cough that sounded suspiciously like the word, ‘jackass’.

“**** you, Dorian,” Shelton hissed, slamming the door behind her as she left.

Dorian stood in place, fuming. Golduck sighed to his left which caused him to look down at the bird. The avian was looking at him with glossy eyes and a sour expression. Dorian shrugged at him and the bird followed suit. After a moment, Golduck started examining the stump of his left arm and wincing as he stroked the tender flesh.

“That sucks, buddy,” Dorian offered, unable to think of something more sentimental.

“Duck, Golduck,” Golduck countered, rolling his eyes. The Pokemon pushed off the sofa and headed back up the stairs in the direction of Shelton’s old room.

“Guess I’m just an *******,” Dorian said to himself.

“Nuzleaf nunuz,” Nuzleaf said, holding out a hand and tipping it from left to right.

“Oh shut up,” Dorian said with a grimace as he plopped down on the sofa next to his Pokemon.

Dorian knew he wasn’t being childish, Shelton was. She was being so, herself. They wouldn’t go to prison. Granted, he didn’t know all the in’s and out’s of murdering someone; it wasn’t like he could walk into the local bookstore and buy an instruction manual. Ethan had tried to kill him before, and Dorian figured he would do so again if given the chance. With his Pokemon taking care of the Scyther and Alakazam, Dorian was sure he could provoke the man into attacking him again so he could claim self defense. The training he had received over the last few years had not molded him into the steel hardened weapon that Shelton was, but he was still relatively confident in his abilities.

Shelton really was being unreasonable though; how could she not want this. When he wasn’t thinking of the rage building inside him, he knew she had brought up some valid points. But still, Ronnie had taken her in at just two days old after both sets of their parents had been killed in the car accident. Ronnie obviously wouldn’t approve of his course of action, but he was dead now so his opinion was of no consequence. Well it was, but he was going to do this for him.

“No you’re not,” a voice said in his head. “You’re doing this for you. This infantile half-plan you’ve formulated is so YOU can have revenge on Ethan Bernard. That’s it.”

Dorian grinded his teeth.

“Killing that man won’t bring Ronnie back; you do know that, don’t you?”

Dorian did know that. He always hated when people asked that question in books and movies. Of course it wouldn’t bring him back, but it would however give him peace. He didn’t save Ronnie, but he could avenge him, and make sure that no one else would be hurt by that monster.

With that last thought, Dorian pulled out his phone and started looking up flights to Orre.



***********


“What an ***,” Shelton thought bitterly.

As she walked towards Sarvine’s office in the center of town, she noticed that the ground below refused to crack no matter how hard she stomped. She knew that the anger she was feeling was mostly Dorian’s fault; but it was enhanced by the fact that she had begun to loathe this town since Ronnie died. The warmth of the brick houses and quaint fields had taken on an almost visible aura of unpleasantness. After she finished the paperwork she was going straight back to Johto and away from this feeling.

As she neared the red wooden door to Sarvine’s office, Machoke rushed forward to open the door for her. He quickly pulled the door open, which was followed by the shriek of splintering wood as the door was pulled off its hinges. Shelton gasped at the same time a shriek came from the now visible receptionist inside the office. Embarrassed, Machoke tried to force the door back onto the demolished frame. His efforts were in vain however and he only managed to smash the thick door in half. He dropped the pieces to the ground and turned to Shelton, who was trying her best to figure out how to handle this.

“Really?” Shelton asked.

Tears formed in Machoke’s eyes and he dropped the pieces of door from his hands.

“Don’t cry, don’t cry,” Shelton begged. “You just have to get a grasp on the fact that you’re stronger now. You guys just wait out here while I go sign some paperwork and write a damn check.”

She walked inside with a breath and came face-to-face with the shocked receptionist.

“I’m really so sorry about that. He just evolved and he’s not used to his strength. I’ll make arrangements with Mr. Sarvine to pay for the damage. Sorry if he frightened you.”

The elderly woman didn’t reply but nodded in an exhausted sort of way before pointing down the hall. Shelton followed the suggested direction and found Ronnie’s executor. After a few minutes of explaining the situation and writing a blank check for the damage to his office, she sat down and began the long arduous process of signing every line he provided. The man was pleasant enough and didn’t act too upset about what had happened to his door, which was probably because he figured she was under enough stress. After the papers were signed and electronically filed, she received a text message showing her new account balance. She thanked Mr. Sarvine profusely for his help and left as quickly as possible.

“Let’s go,” Shelton said to Machoke and Shuppet. They took up positions on either side of her and kept pace. A shadow above had drawn her attention and she found a flock of Pidgey passing by overhead. The sight of their creamy bodies against the bright sunlight made her mind flash back to the incident she had with the species back when she was eight. The memory was still crisp in her mind. She smiled at the thought.

She and Dorian always walked to school when they were younger. It was only a quarter of a mile from home and since Dorian was two years older and Pewter was such a safe town, Ronnie had never thought much of escorting them. One day though, Dorian had left her halfway to catch up with some of his friends up the road. He had hung back at first because of Shelton but after she had assured him she was big enough to do it, he had run up ahead. It went fine except for the fact that she stopped along the way to examine something rustling in the tree line.

In the bushes near the edge was a nest of infant Pidgey that had apparently fallen from a branch overhead. They had been so cute and fuzzy that she couldn’t help but pick them up. She had realized too late that that was a mistake because suddenly the mother Pidgey had flown in and snatched the babies from her arms. The Pidgey had then turned on her and pecked and clawed her all the way to school. Ronnie was called when she got to school and informed of the incident, and she earned a day off. He had lectured her on the local Pokemon behavior and future precautions to take. He gave her a big smile after it was over though, and she was finally able to relax.

She walked with Dorian to school the next day feeling completely calm; only to have that calm shattered by the same Pidgey careening out of the forest to bite and scratch her yet again. Dorian tried to fight it off but in the end they ended up running as fast as they could back to school. Ronnie had to pick both of them up from school that day because of Shelton’s refusal to walk back home. The next day, she didn’t want to walk to school again, and made Ronnie drive her for the next three weeks. After seeing her tense up every day that they had to drive past that spot in the forest he had taken her aside one day after they got back home.

“Listen sweetheart,” Ronnie had said. “You have to start facing your fear again. You have to stand up and face it head on. To me, that Pidgey sounds like it was just protecting its young. I could call Pokemon Control and have her taken care of, but I’m not sure that’s the right thing to do.”

“But Ronnie, if I go back that way she’ll bite me again,” Shelton had explained.

“Possibly, but you can’t let one little Pidgey affect how you live your life, sweetie.”

“But Ronnie, she’ll hurt me!”

“Well, I thought about that and I think I have an idea,” Ronnie said with a smile.

He had driven her to the outskirts of Pewter City to the martial arts studio and introduced her to the instructor there. The next three months were a blur of confidence building talks and defense techniques. After she succeeded in taking down four people in her age group, Ronnie had sent Dorian off to school early one morning and shooed her away to walk to school. The familiar fear had taken hold of her as she neared the spot with the Pidgey, and she flirted with the idea of running back home. The Pidgey appeared as she walked past where the next used to be. The bird Pokemon flew in low and came right for her. She shrieked and automatically went into a defensive stance that she had been taught. Shelton had lashed out with her right foot like she was taught and caught the bird directly on the beak. The Pidgey had whimpered and retreated back to the forest after giving her a hateful look. She had done it, she had faced it and she had won.

Shelton smiled as Shuppet landed on her shoulder and started gabbing away. Her old house came into view, and she knew without being inside that Dorian was still fuming. Ronnie would have wanted her to patch things up with him. Shelton was beyond furious with Dorian for his willingness to take a life, but at the same time Shelton had no reservation to watching that Ethan Bernard publicly executed. She just couldn’t be a part of it though. Ronnie would have been disappointed in her. As angry as she was she knew she wasn’t capable of murder; and as much as Dorian claimed he was, she knew he wasn’t either.

As she entered the house she saw Dorian on the sofa with his eyes staring intently at the phone in his hand. He looked up as they entered and glared at her. After a moment he looked back at his phone with his face wrinkled in concentration.

“May I ask what you’re doing?” Shelton said softly.

“No,” he retorted.

“Oh come on grumpy bears, I’m sorry for being mean.”

“Well you were.”

“Hence why I’m apologizing. Now what are you doing?”

“Trying to book a flight, but I forgot the password to my savings account.”

“It’s Nuzleafmachop.”

“That’s right,” Dorian said with a smile. “Wait, how did you know that?”

“Because you’re an idiot?”

“Valid point I suppose.”

“Dorian,” Shelton started.

“Don’t try and talk me out of this, Shelton. If you don’t want to go, that’s fine. But I’m going whether you like it or not.”

“Look, just listen to me,” Shelton responded, taking a seat next to him. “We can’t kill this man, neither of us are made that way and you know it. We’d be dishonoring Ronnie’s memory by doing it. He didn’t raise us that way.”

Dorian slapped the phone down onto the coffee table and put his head in his hands.

“However, I do have a counterproposal. You need me for this. That Scyther and Alakazam are going to be hard to take down, not to mention any other Pokemon he has that we don’t know about. Like I said, I won’t kill him and neither will you, but I’ll go with you to find that shard so that we can use it to find him. And if we are able to find him, we’ll hurt him. Then we’ll turn him into the police. He can spend the rest of his life behind bars thinking about what he did to us and to Kecleon.”

Dorian looked at her then.

“That’s one way to do it I suppose,” he managed.

“It’s the only way we can do it. And we don’t even know if this will work, so I think this is the best plan we have at the moment. If we find him we’ll make sure he goes to jail with a few scars, but that’s it. If you can agree to that, I’ll go.”

“I want him dead, Shelton,” Dorian explained. “But this is justice too, I guess.”

“Damn straight it is,” Shelton assured him. “He deserves to live with this for the rest of his life.

“Okay then, let’s do it.”

“Go get my laptop and I’ll see what I can do.”

Moments later her laptop was open in front of her and she linked both their newly sizeable accounts to an airline company’s website. After about twenty minutes of searching, and fifteen minutes of Dorian noisily taping his feet on the floor, it was done. She sent a command to print off their boarding passes on the printer upstairs. Dorian was looking at her like an infant waiting for a lollipop, and after watching him squirm for a minute she relented.

“Alright, it’s done,” Shelton said.

“I love you, Shelton. You know I couldn’t have done this without you.”

“I love you too, dummy.”

“So when’s this happening?”

“We leave tomorrow.”

Glover
4th July 2012, 4:31 AM
“Are you serious?” Shelton asked. “Are you referring to the spiritual, mental, whatever trip that that shard took you on?”

“That’s exactly what I’m talking about,” Dorian grinned, taking the guitar from his lap and placing it back on its stand. “I know where the other ones are, and once we get one it will be able to tell us where that piece of **** is.”

“Gotcha. So we’re just going to figure out where he is and blow his head off?”

“Well, I don’t know how we’re going to do it but we don’t need a gun. Where would we even get one?”

“Wow, well, I was saying that to show you how completely ridiculous you sound. I’ll go ahead and forget the fact that trained detectives can’t find a trace of him, and assuming we are able to find another shard and it points the way to him, are we just supposed to fight through that Scyther and Alakazam he has and beat him to death?”



“To wake you the hell up. Can you honestly say that you don’t want to see that bastard dead?”

“Of course I do, Dorian. But that doesn’t mean that I could actually kill him. Could you?”

“Damn right I could. And it’s actually pissing me off that you’re not up for this. He killed him and had his Scyther carve him up.”

“I know. I was there if you recall. And it’s pissing me off that you’re being so casual about this. Were you some sort of assassin in a former life? Because you’re talking like you’re some sort of mercenary.”

“Oh ha-ha, that’s wonderful. I’m being serious, Shelton. Let’s do this. We have the money to travel now, and it’s not like we’re doing anything else.”

“So that’s you’re justification? You want us to go kill this guy because we don’t have much going on? Do you have any idea how crazy you sound?”

“It’s the right thing to do, and you know it. I mean, obviously killing is ‘wrong’, but he deserves this. Who knows how many people he’s done this to, or how many he will do this to?”

“I don’t agree with this. Let’s just let the police do their job and we’ll figure out what our next move is.”




“I love you, Shelton. You know I couldn’t have done this without you.”

“I love you too, dummy.”
yay! Shelton's speaking sense again! That's the dynamic I love between them!


This was the right thing to do. An eye for an eye…Right?
The problem with an eye for an eye is that everyone ends up blind...


minutes of Dorian noisily taping his feet on the floor, it was done.
I'm sure Shelton would love to tape his feet to the floor, although I think a staple gun is more her style, but the word you want is tapping.



“Let’s go,” Shelton said to Machoke and Shuppet. They took up positions on either side of her and kept pace. A shadow above had drawn her attention and she found a flock of Pidgey passing by overhead. The sight of their creamy bodies against the bright sunlight made her mind flash back to the incident she had with the species back when she was eight. The memory was still crisp in her mind. She smiled at the thought.

She and Dorian always walked to school when they were younger. It was only a quarter of a mile from home and since Dorian was two years older and Pewter was such a safe town, Ronnie had never thought much of escorting them. One day though, Dorian had left her halfway to catch up with some of his friends up the road. He had hung back at first because of Shelton but after she had assured him she was big enough to do it, he had run up ahead. It went fine except for the fact that she stopped along the way to examine something rustling in the tree line.
That transition felt a little too smooth going into the flashback, and the flashback needed a little more buffing up. Good summary of Shelton's character, but a summary it should not be.



Dorian grinded his teeth. ground.

diamondpearl876
4th July 2012, 7:03 PM
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about,” Dorian grinned, taking the guitar from his lap and placing it back on its stand.

Grinned isn't a speech tag, so put period instead of comma.


“Gotcha. So we’re just going to figure out where he is and blow his head off?”

“Well, I don’t know how we’re going to do it but we don’t need a gun. Where would we even get one?”

“Wow, well, I was saying that to show you how completely ridiculous you sound

LOL, Dorian and Shelton's conversations always crack me up. Makes me wonder what her internal monologue really is. Does she want him dead, too? Does she support Dorian deep down, or is she really afraid of what he wants? Hmm.


“Of course I do, Dorian. But that doesn’t mean that I could actually kill him. Could you?”

“Damn right I could. And it’s actually pissing me off that you’re not up for this. He killed him and had his Scyther carve him up.”

“I know. I was there if you recall. And it’s pissing me off that you’re being so casual about this. Were you some sort of assassin in a former life? Because you’re talking like you’re some sort of mercenary.”

Guess that answers my question. Also, it seems sort of surprising that Shelton would mention somethng spiritual here and then be skeptical of Dorian's shard journey.



“I’m sorry I talked to you like that. You know I’ve been stressed out. Not only that, but I feel like I’m justified in feeling like this. I’m sorry though, cut me some slack.”

“Nunuz,” his Pokemon sighed. “Nuzleaf?”

Up to this point there's almost been nothing but dialogue. I'd go back and add some actions to help show emotions or give a better picture as to what's going on. Shelton crossing her arms? Golduck walking up beside her and nodding? Little things like that can help.


They wouldn’t go to prison. Granted, he didn’t know all the in’s and out’s of murdering someone; it wasn’t like he could walk into the local bookstore and buy an instruction manual.

Lol, this actually got me thinking whether or not I could actually walk in and find one... Or at least a mystery novel would help. Just ignore me.


Shelton really was being unreasonable though; how could she not want this.

Would put question mark at end there


As she neared the red wooden door to Sarvine’s office, Machoke rushed forward to open the door for her. He quickly pulled the door open, which was followed by the shriek of splintering wood as the door was pulled off its hinges. Shelton gasped at the same time a shriek came from the now visible receptionist inside the office. Embarrassed, Machoke tried to force the door back onto the demolished frame. His efforts were in vain however and he only managed to smash the thick door in half. He dropped the pieces to the ground and turned to Shelton, who was trying her best to figure out how to handle this.

“Really?” Shelton asked.

Tears formed in Machoke’s eyes and he dropped the pieces of door from his hands.

LMAO. Love this entire part right here. Machoke is adorable.

Overall, the chapter was good, though there was some balance issues when it came to writing both description and dialogue. I think my favorite part was the Pidgey flashback--it was sweet and creative and really helped to show what kind of person Ronnie was. It also helps to know that Shelton isn't afraid of remembering him like Dorian seems to be. You've done a good job at showing their different reactions to grief and death, and I look forward to seeing more, especially now that they should be moving along and trying to find Ethan. Keep it up!

SilentMemento
5th July 2012, 5:08 PM
Here is the review for the last two chapters, as I should've done earlier:

Hmm...I actually like the use of the will and the funeral. It makes the fic seem more grounded, more real to the viewer after the etheral view that Ethan had. It's a very nice contrast, and it was also a nice touch to show how Pokemon are handled in the event that their owner dies: almost like children, but with a lot of property values as well.

The reactions from the Pokemon are very touching, with Golduck and Kecleon being the more memorable out of all of them. I also noticed that Golduck has a lot of empathy toward others, particularly Shelton. He had every right to wallow in self-pity after his traumatic injuries, but he chose to comfort Shelton instead. That's very big of him, and, in my opinion, it adds even more to his character than there was before.

In contrast, what Dorian did was extremely careless and more than a bit selfish as well. He had no right to endanger others like he did, and I'm quite shocked that Shelton let him go on his motorcycle when he was clearly intoxicated. To me, it's a bit out of character for her to just let him go out and break the law like that, especially after looking at the last chapter and how she felt about his plan. She strikes me as a responsible person who follows the rules and laws of society, so I was quite surprised that she didn't protest or at least ask him to take a walk instead of go on his motorcycle.

I'm also quite surprised that Garrett is so open about what his father did to him, especially since that had been going on for more than eight years. A lot of people would rather bury those memories for good, and I'm shocked that he's open about it, even if he thinks it would cheer Dorian up.

Grammatically:


“He was only a Ledyba when I caught him, but he still flipped me out,” Garrett said with a loud laugh. “Luckily enough the bastard got diagnosed with cancer two years ago.”

“Luckily enough?”

“Oh yeah, he can go **** himself, wherever he is. The best day of my life was when I started challenging Gym’s with Ledian, and we haven’t lost yet.”

There should be a comma between the bolded words, and the bolded apostrophe has no place in the last sentence; the word "Gyms" is the correct use.

Normally, I would be shocked at Dorian listening to someone he had just met, even if it's just an impersonation of their voice. Still, he has proven that he's impulsive at the best of times and careless at the worst.

And now the polar opposite personalities of Dorian and Shelton are clashing. This is the part in the story where I've seen their character shine through the most. Clearly, they both want justice, but they want it in separate ways.

The scene with Machoke at the office was rather sweet, I must admit, and while "sweet" isn't the word I think of when I look at a Pokemon like Machoke, I can't think of another word that adequately describes the scene. Great job.

More grammar nitpicking:


“So that’s you’re justification? You want us to go kill this guy because we don’t have much going on? Do you have any idea how crazy you sound?”

Minor typo. You want "your".


He rolled Spoink’s pokeball across his palm while he considered letting the Pokemon out. The psychic Pokemon did try to cause him seriously bodily harm, but at the same time the mental control it had to be able to accomplish that feat was impressive. He’d leave it for the time being until he figured out a way to make sure it didn’t try to hurt him again.

I'm a bit confused at this part. Either way, there's absolutely no incentive for Dorian to let Spoink out of its ball. What this says is that Spoink not only wants to cause him severe harm, but also has more than enough capability to do so. I'd suggest that the word "and" should replace the bolded part, but it's your choice. Also, the word "seriously" should be "serious".


Shelton was beyond furious with Dorian for his willingness to take a life, but at the same time Shelton had no reservation to watching that Ethan Bernard publicly executed. She just couldn’t be a part of it though. Ronnie would have been disappointed in her. As angry as she was she knew she wasn’t capable of murder; and as much as Dorian claimed he was, she knew he wasn’t either.

The first bolded word should be cut out entirely, and the next two bolded words should have a comma between them. I think that a dash would work instead of a semi-colon. For instance:

"As angry as she was, she knew she wasn't capable of murder - and as much as Dorian claimed he was, she knew he wasn't either."

Overall, I quite loved these two chapters. I just wonder when Scyther and Marco are going to show up and try to derail their plans...

Sincerely,

Mem.

Sid87
5th July 2012, 6:55 PM
“Well yeah…You know I believe what happened to you, but that aside, you really think you could bring yourself to kill him?”

“Don’t you?”

“Of course not. What would Ronnie think?”

“Would you like to go ask him?”

Ouch. Good line, even if vicious and a little insensitive. It seems like Dorian forgot that he isn't the only one who lost someone.


“Oh ha-ha, that’s wonderful. I’m being serious, Shelton. Let’s do this. We have the money to travel now, and it’s not like we’re doing anything else.”

So that’s you’re justification? You want us to go kill this guy because we don’t have much going on? Do you have any idea how crazy you sound?”

I'm glad she said that. My initial reaction was "Saying you don't have anything else going on is rationale for buying some bananas...not killing someone". Dorian seems kind of loopy.


“It’s the right thing to do, and you know it. I mean, obviously killing is ‘wrong’, but he deserves this. Who knows how many people he’s done this to, or how many he will do this to?”

I don't love the argument Dorian presents here. It seems weird to say "obviously killing is wrong" while presenting an argument to kill someone. I would imagine he should instead say something right "Maybe murder is sometimes justified..." Something that backs up his point rather than fly in the face of it.


Dorian got up from the sofa and quickly went to his room. Vibrava, Growlithe, and his newly captured Spoink were on the nightstand near his bed, and Nuzleaf was sitting cross-legged on the floor. He looked up as Dorian entered and shot him a dirty look.

“Nunuz, Nuzleaf?” the grass Pokemon asked.

“Yeah I’m okay, more than okay actually.”

“Nuzleaf, Nuzleaf, nu, leaf!”

“I’m sorry I talked to you like that. You know I’ve been stressed out. Not only that, but I feel like I’m justified in feeling like this. I’m sorry though, cut me some slack.”

“Nunuz,” his Pokemon sighed. “Nuzleaf?”

“Well no, I actually have something to talk to you about. Will you go get Machoke, Shuppet, and Kecleon and meet me in the living room?”

“Nuzleaf,” he replied with a nod.

This might have been mentioned, and maybe I just forgot it, but why is Dorian so much closer to Nuzleaf than any of the others? There's obviously a tight relationship there (and, oh yeah, he's in your banner for the story, lol).


After nodding once more, Shuppet drifted through the wall to the living room and vanished from his view. He was going to have to lay this out the right way. His idea was still forming. It was no longer soft clay in his mind, but it had not yet been fired in a kiln yet either. Too hard of a nudge would make it lose its shape, and if it happened, his friends out there would be the finger. This was the right thing to do. An eye for an eye…Right?

I don't get the finger line, but besides that, this was a very nice metaphorically paragraph. Kudos.


And by that he needs to go to jail.”

Should be "And by that, I MEAN he needs..." Reads better.


“I’m not going because I’m not going to help you murder him. If you want to track him down and turn him into the police, I’ll be there with bells on; but I’m not going to risk spending the rest of my life in prison just to satisfy my want to have him dead. You know what, I’ll even go to the police and help you convince them about the shards again, but I’m not going to help you kill him. And don’t even think about trying to convince any of my Pokemon to go with you either.”

Great Shelton moment. I thought "Wooo!" when I read that. :)


Dorian coughed as she walked by him, a cough that sounded suspiciously like the word, ‘jackass’.

I get that Dorian is clearly in the wrong here, but this seems a bit immature from him given how serious the discussion is.


She was being so, herself.

No need for that comma. Maybe quotations or half-quotations. "She was being so...'herself'."


Dorian did know that. He always hated when people asked that question in books and movies. Of course it wouldn’t bring him back, but it would however give him peace. He didn’t save Ronnie, but he could avenge him, and make sure that no one else would be hurt by that monster.

I like this, it's like the Spider-Man/Batman argument. Spider-Man and Batman both have strict vows against killing. So morally, they are right, but how much blame do they shoulder when they won't kill The Joker or Green Goblin and then the villain continues to escape justice and murder more people? This would be a fantastic internal struggle to see Dorian dwell on. Although Shelton and Dorian already had an external struggle over it.


As she neared the red wooden door to Sarvine’s office, Machoke rushed forward to open the door for her. He quickly pulled the door open, which was followed by the shriek of splintering wood as the door was pulled off its hinges. Shelton gasped at the same time a shriek came from the now visible receptionist inside the office. Embarrassed, Machoke tried to force the door back onto the demolished frame. His efforts were in vain however and he only managed to smash the thick door in half. He dropped the pieces to the ground and turned to Shelton, who was trying her best to figure out how to handle this.

THIS. I've always loved the concept that having super strtength would make day-to-day life near impossible. Excellent work detailing that.


She shrieked and automatically went into a defensive stance that she had been taught. Shelton had lashed out with her right foot like she was taught and caught the bird directly on the beak.

You used the "like she was/had been taught" back to back. I would just combine those. "She went into her defensive stance before lashing out with her right foot as she had been taught".


“However, I do have a counterproposal. You need me for this. That Scyther and Alakazam are going to be hard to take down, not to mention any other Pokemon he has that we don’t know about. Like I said, I won’t kill him and neither will you, but I’ll go with you to find that shard so that we can use it to find him. And if we are able to find him, we’ll hurt him. Then we’ll turn him into the police. He can spend the rest of his life behind bars thinking about what he did to us and to Kecleon.”

It's weird that she is unwilling to kill this guy, partially because she doesn't want to go to prison, but she just assumes they won't go to prison for premeditated assault. ;)



-All in all...it's really hard to follow up as gorgeous of a chapter as your last one was, so I feel like my misgivings about this one are based mostly on comparing it to the one that preceded it. And that's not fair. It just feels less weighty to me than Chapter 13 was.

I did love, as I pointed out, the moral obligation of murder-revenge. It's a decent argument that can be made equally well for either side, and I thought it was well-handled here. I like the pokemon divying up sides, but I wish we could have seen rationale for why they each chose what they did (unless it was just strictly personal trainer loyalty).

katiekitten
5th July 2012, 11:45 PM
Alrighty~! Comments span from the prologue to chapter one, the rest is coming later - very very soon, I was going to post after chapter 4 but there's a lot here. Will be editing it in, though. Here's to the hope that I haven't repeated what others have said, although I think I'm alright. :3

Prologue:

He followed behind the other students, dimly aware of the tour guide spouting off facts and dates about the cave they were touring.

- Wouldn't start with a 'he', unless it was an intended effect?

Generally, I quite liked the beginning of this – you placed the reader directly into the events and your writing style without preamble, which was quite refreshing, while concurrently providing the crucial introductory details. X3 Nice. The only qualm I have with it really, beyond a few grammatical issues, is your word choice which occasionally is a little bit... odd. For example:

“Before the impact struck, the boy felt a motherly warm hand grasp the back of his shirt and guide them through the wall, passing through solid granite like it was air.”

'Motherly' seems a little out of place here, considering the situation – the mysterious attack, the inexplicable fear... Even in the new room a tense, sinister atmosphere continues (in your description of the floor), and so this seems all the more odd. If you're trying to convey that the hand, in contrast to this atmosphere, is intrinsically comforting, then you'll want to set this across a little more in his thoughts, otherwise I'd have a rethink of the word choice.

'His parents were long dead, twisted and spirited away by the ghostly hand of death.”

- 'twisted', while a lovely descriptive that I'm also all too fond of using, just seems superfluous here. The majority of your writing is wonderfully succinct, and engages with description in a lovely, integrative manner, but sections like this occasionally crop up and are all the more jarring for their gratuity. The quality of your writing is clear regardless, in your word choice throughout: these bits of extra fancy wordplay do nothing to add to it.

Easy trap to fall into – I'm a victim myself. XD You just got to keep an eye out for it...

Personally, additionally, the use of 'ghostly' to describe the 'hand of death' seems a little immature, simply because it's such a basic link?

The floor was black as death, black as night, it seemed to reach up and absorb the light hovering above the two of them.

- Comma splice, I do believe, although I can see it's stylistic: Comma splices are the linking of two complete clauses, sentences, with a comma. It's a quite common grammatical error. An easy way to keep out for them, however, is to make sure that both of the clauses (sentence segments) on either side of a comma are complete sentences: if they are, you're splicing. Possible solutions: divide the two clauses into independent sentences, rewrite one of the clauses to make it dependent or (depending on how related the sentences are) use a semi-colon. I'd use a semi-colon here?

Also I'm not too fond of the initial description of the floor due to its unoriginality – I'm not normally an adviser against cliches, but in this case it seems a little cheesy?

A bright neon green light shone from the flake, so bright in its intensity that the boy flung his arm up to shield himself.

- Another splice here, although you're just missing a 'that' this time to connect the clauses. x3

He needed to touch the flake or they would go away, they would leave him and Abra in this darkness forever.

- Another splice – even though it's his thoughts, you still need to maintain your grammar. If it was completely his thoughts (italicised and all that jazz)/his speech, there's a little more leniency, but otherwise... I'd use a hyphen here.

I quite liked it though. x33

Chapter One

Your 'pokeflect' idea is intriguing, I quite like it! Once more, as well, I quite like both your writing style and the way you introduce the scene – very immersive, fresh. x3

“the pain shooting beautiful colors across his vision, which raced towards his cranium with abundant purpose.”

- Again, the choice of 'cranium' seems quite unnatural and is really unneeded – particularly considering what you are describing: the movement of the pain-spurred colours (as that's still subject of the sentence). I know you were trying to find a substitute for 'head' and 'skull', but in these situations a reworking of the image is probably needed? Describing subjects as 'beautiful' is also frowned upon generally in third person fiction, even third person limited- too subjective.

“he rolled over to see what had lovingly kissed his skull”

This description seems a little awkward as well considering the normal tone of the protagonist, a little too wordy.

“He switched back to Shelton, taking in her glowing, shoulder length blond hair, the slight curves of her shoulder and hips, and her ivory skin that was barely visible beneath the waves of red igniting in anger across her face.”

- I do really like this description, though – very sensual. Captures both the personality of the protagonist (details a guy would certainly notice) as well as being an appealing bit of word play. X33 You have a lovely writing style~!

“One was arguably a human, judging from the shape. While the other had what appeared to be the antenna of an insect Pokemon.”

As the 'while' implies a continuation between the two sentences, the full stop feels a little odd here- a comma would be more suitable. X3

End of chapter one! Really enjoying this so far, I'm quite fond of your writing style. :) The plot is intriguing, and I quite like the characters so far, you've introduced them well, particularly with that gem of a description up there. Posting this now as I've been midway through this for a while, and the grammar point that I identified is something that's easy to fix once you know what it is, and better to catch as early as possible. :) I'm not certain I've picked out every example, either, but at least you know what to look for? Semi-colons are a nice fix. x3 If you have identified it/sorted it out in later chapters, I therefore apologise for the useless advice, but it's a good thing to know anyway? x3

A few decent websites for it:

http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/comma-splice.aspx

http://grammartips.homestead.com/splice.html

Nice exercises that help you consolidate your understanding:

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/exercises/grammar/grammar_tutorial/page_47.htm

What I'd advise, additionally, is that if you still have an english teacher/professor you feel comfortable talking to, having a quick conversation with them about any grammar points if you feel uncertain? They'd probably be much better than me at explaining it. :)

Chapter Two

“He crossed the living room, spying two leaves lying near the bottom edge of the chipped coffee table.”

The second half of the sentence, while technically not incorrect, feels as if it needs to be related to the first half a little more? The way you've written it implies a causal link between the second claus and the first one – that he spied the leaves and that's why he walked. As you're going for more of a series of events feel, you'd need to indicate it a little more – such as adding a 'as he did so' to the end.

“The sofa, loveseat, and matching recliner were a royal violet, the latter having Shelton perched on it, seething at him like a predator.”

x3 Lovely comparison at the end! I really like how you approached the setting of their house, as well, it really fit the tone of the piece and the main protagonist. The banter between the roommates was lovely as well. x3

“His father’s older brother worked as a curator at the Pewter City museum, which was a profession he excelled at naturally. Owing to his near genius IQ and love of all things made hundreds to thousands of years before he was born.”

The full stop seems a little odd here, as the 'owing' sentence comes as a further explanation of something from the previous sentence – it isn't independent, as you need the previous sentence to understand it, but a dependent one. In this case, therefore, a comma would join them. Cropped up a few times before with cases of 'while', but it just about got away with it as a potential stylistic piece – this one needs to be joined, though.


“These markers, would they be very big?” Dorian asked, his voice catching in his throat.

“Quite the contrary.” his uncle answered. “From the estimations we’ve done from the legend, they would only be a foot long, chiseled with glyphs depicting why they broke the tablet, and separated the pieces in the first place. As well as directions to the others.”

“Well,” Dorian grinned, plucking the small shard from his pocket. “I think I just saved you a trip.”

Perhaps expand this bit a little, to encompass a little more of his realisation past the throat catch? As Dorian draws together the clues, he would wonder about it a little, wouldn't he? It just seems a little thin here. :) More of a personal thing here, so your choice.

““Were coming,” the man called. “Ready?””

- We're

“By the time the sound waves of the two Pokemon were processed by the sensitive ears of the line of Diglett’s,”

The sound waves, again, seems an awkward way to phrase it, and a little needlessly partially-technical?

This scene, otherwise, is delightfully exciting, I quite like the relationship you've insinuated between this character and his pokemon, and the almost drug like effects of the shards are awfully intriguing...! The plots shaping up wonderfully. :3


Jumping about two feet up, the Rhydon slammed his left foot down, followed by his right, each smacking the ground with a deafening clap! A skeletal crack raced towards the waiting Diglett’s, closely trailed by another crack from the Pokemon’s right foot. The first line stopped a few inches from the assembled Pokemon, sinking down into the rock. A fissure erupted in the ground along the Diglett’s, sucking them down to their noses. The second moving crack slammed into the fissure, causing the ground to exhale a squall of air as each side of the fissure collapsed back into itself, trapping the Diglett’s in place.

I would avoid using exclamation points like this, I'm afraid, it's unneeded emphasis. With the description, as well, I'd avoid listing actions such as Rhydon lifting each foot and try and keep the pace fast instead, focussing therefore not so much on what they did but instead on the interaction of act and impact, keeping the details quick to keep the pace up? This way the entire action speeds up, is more engaging and all the more exciting. For good examples... ahh check out how your favourite authors handle action? An alternate solution for the above, for example, could be...

The Rhydon slammed his feet down, the ensuing crack of earth muffling its triumphant growl as a fissure webbed out beneath it towards the rumbling diglets. It branched around...

(I'm not the best example though :x) Occurs again in your description of Alakazam's part.

Despite these nitpicks – a lovely chapter! X3

Chapter 3

““Alright out with it,” she commanded.”

- I'd have a comma after alright...

There are a few other typos, but pretty certain others already got them. :3 Will focus on catching up now...! Still love Shelton and Dorian :D

Chapter four's ending was perfect. X33 You really have the little comedic situations like that down, m'dear! No more splices, that I could see, or description issues, just pleasant :3

Chapter 5:

“The Pokemon collided with a loud bang, the energy discharge between the two being thrown straight up in a cascade of heavenly white. Both Pokemon hit the ground hard, stirring up clouds of dust where they landed. Panting hard, Growlithe struggled to remain upright. Beedrill was of the same persuasion, its wings struggling to keep itself it up the air. With a mutual groan, both Pokemon collapsed. Neither would be able to finish, their wounds too draining to continue.”

Much better on the battle description front – guess you've been building it up? X3 Particularly the first sentence. Still a little slow paced, but it's perfect for this moment as it sets across the exhaustion and steady conclusion of the end of the battle. :3

'Golduck took Machop by its right hand, leading it ahead of the group in an attempt to break the fighting type out of its comfort zone.”

X3 Adorable detail. <3

The detail you went into with the life of the gravellers, as well, was wonderfully crafted. X3 Particularly their mode of speech – lovely m'dear. x3

Am actually caught up to Chapter 11, now- the earlier problems are pretty much smoothed out, particularly in regards to grammar and description, and the developments with Golduck and Machop/Machoke were heart wrenching, well done...! No more in-depth comments on those sections due to the fact that I was reading it on a little mobile screen for a lot of it, but will make notes on the final chapters. :3

And all caught up! :D

On final word choice comment...

“He whimpered slightly at a particularly loud clap of thunder, snot being excreted from his nose between sobs.”

- excreted is a bit of an awkward word choice again, I'm afraid.

I've really enjoyed catching up on this, though! The traumatic situations you confront the characters with and your handling of the emotional consequences has been truly lovely, particularly the release of Golduck and Dorian's reaction to Ronnie's death. x3 Your exploration of their experiences has been both intimate and touching, well done! Leading from this, your characterisation has been wonderful, m'dear, and I continue to adore the relationship between Shelton and Dorian - although considering the brotherly-sisterly way they treat each other, I'm in two minds over whether they will eventually get together...! x3 Lovely. The plot is developing unexpectedly which is always nice; while there haven't been many sudden shifts, the direction is original and breaking away from the whole 'prophecy' story-line, which I'm really enjoying. I'm actually scared for Shelton and Dorian - they have no idea who they are really dealing with, and at their current level, and particularly with the other assassin coming after them, their chances seem all too bleak! You developed your pokemon characters wonderfully, as well - particularly Machoke, although the personalities and life of the other pokemon (Golduck <3) are emerging delightfully. x3 And I'm all too fond of Megalomaniacs, so Ethan's right down my street. x3 His Alakazam... I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens when he is released again (I would say 'whether', but the bond between him and Ethan still seems to shine through despite his master's poisoning) - the whole notion that Pokemon can lose considerable periods of time in stasis in the poke ball and their reactions/impressions of the experience is a fascinating possibility to look into that arose during the scene of Alakazam's temporary 'banishment'/recalling... How would they feel, transitioning from freedom to losing chunks of time at another's whim, to their very real vulnerability within that state to the ball becoming destroyed/lost, and them unknowing with it... Just a thought that struck me. x3

Let's see... A possible thing that could be bulked up a little more in the later chapters (which otherwise cleared the earlier problems I'd been noticing x3) was, I felt, a few of the emotional transitions? Basically that small scene when Shelton and Dorian met up with Ronnie. The first scene, in particular, feels like it could do with a little more bulk between the lines of dialogue to reveal the continued impact of Golduck's crippling on Shelton, at least, as it was a death-scare that resulted in permanent injury, and the memory would subdue her? Perhaps, as well, you could expand on her subdued nature in her dialogue as they left the pokemon centre, too, but it's only a minor thing. :)

Yeah - really enjoyed it, 'twas a great read. :3 Put me on the PM list? Will be following this further. <3

Shadow Lucario
7th July 2012, 11:20 PM
Damn. Now that was some intense reading. The plot is starting to pick up and it's moving fast. While I do feel sorry for Dorian and Shelton I have to side with Shelton. She's much more level headed in her thinking. I can understand where Dorian is coming from, but come on Dorian! Think it through! Please?


“It’s Nuzleafmachop.”

“That’s right,” Dorian said with a smile. “Wait, how did you know that?”

“Because you’re an idiot?”

“Valid point I suppose.”

Favorite part of the chapter. Easily the funniest. With that I am all caught up. Hopefully "Marco" and Scyther don't find them too soon...

Skiyomi
11th July 2012, 6:35 AM
Chapter 9 Thoughts:

Hmmm. Interesting to see a Pokemon and a human trainer fighting.

You know, at first I really didn't like this set-up because it felt like we'd skipped over the main action of the Pokemon Center by summarizing it. I still stand by the fact that it might've been better to spool the center stuff out a bit early on, especially considering that the state of most of the Pokemon we're worried about isn't uncertain for long. I know that part of that is so there can be focus on Golduck, but the early stuff still felt too fast for me. However, I really ended up loving the side-by-side of the scenes. You end up getting this really good sense of contrast from putting them together. And I think once we get to Golduck's uncertain future you really start to settle into at atmosphere. I didn't think it would work at first, but by George you pulled it off and very well!

The descriptions of Golduck's injuries are marvelously handled.


Dorian approached slowly at first, and then sprinted forward, crouching down low as he ran. Nuzleaf jumped forward to meet his master, cocking his right arm back in preparation. The two met each other confidently, both at ease with the other; this was fun.

I’d take out the “this was fun” part. It’s too on the nose from my perspective.


while another did their best to salvage the remains of his left arm.

“Their” is plural and your “another” is singular, so you have to decide if the doctor is male or female and then use a singular his or her.


The news fluctuated wildly, going from hopeful, to worried, then back to optimistic as they worked through the night without reprieve.

Might be good to have a few specifics as to what they’re saying.

You can really feel the bond between Dorian and Nuzleaf in this chapter.

Both your descriptions of the Intensive Care Unit and the waiting room are full of atmosphere. I like them.


Golduck’s left arm was gone, as in poof, as in absent.

…The whole “poof” thing seems a little… flippant. It’s the kind of wording I’d expect in something comedic, not traumatizing.


“Shelton,” Dorian started. “I’m seeing the same thing you’re seeing. He’s alive, that’s what matters. He would do the same thing all over again if it meant saving you. That’s exactly what he did too, and you know that.”

I’m surprised Shelton finds this comforting. It would make me feel guilty.


members of Golduck’s specie

Typo.

The explanation about the ruby functioning as a channeling object and regulating Golduck’s breathing and whatnot is well thought out. Though I’m surprised Shelton and Dorian only have the response of “okay” when they’re told they’ll have to drain his energy on a regular basis. I’d have one hundred billion questions about it myself.

I find myself questioning some of the medical process going on here. First off, I found it a little odd and irresponsible that the technician didn’t really mentally prepare Shelton and Dorian for what they were going to see by telling them exactly what had to be done and instead made them experience the shock full force. I do understand that it’s of course more effective if we, the readers, see what happened instead of having it explained to us, so I can let that slide. …But I find it very odd as well that considering this medical operation took a great deal of time, that they wouldn’t have told Shelton they were going to amputate Golduck’s arm. If it was a thing that had to be done in a split second, then I would’ve understood it. But it sounds more like they tried to save it and then the growing infections made amputation the best option. I don’t know… in that setting it seems like they should’ve informed her first unless they wanted their asses sued, right decision or not.

I also find it rather odd that Golduck’s being discharged from the hospital so quick. I know he’s a Pokemon and I know they’re keeping him in the Poke ball but… his arm just got amputated. You’d think they’d want to keep him for observation or something, to make sure he’s really okay. And I’d think there’d be some sort of after-treatment to help Golduck adjust to his limb loss and his inability to use psychic powers. It’s got to be a huge adjustment. I mean, what’s he going to think when he wakes up and sees the condition his body’s in?

Not sure how I feel about Shelton developing some sort of feelings for the technician. Florence Nightingale syndrome or not, it feels a little out of nowhere to me.

Shelton and Dorian’s banter at the end is cute, and it’s what I liked about them initially. I won’t lie, it’s a little mood whiplashy after the heaviness of the chapter. I guess we can see this as them trying to get some normalcy back, though.

Chapter 10 Thoughts:

Once again, I really enjoy the banter between those two.


“Sorry folk’s, but that’s as close as ya’ll are gonna get,” the man said, his vowels long and prominent.

It should be folks, without the apostrophe. I like the accent description, though.

Boy, Shelton sure is up and ready to flirt for someone who just suffered the maiming of a loved one.

Do mine eyes deceive me or is Dorian a little jealous?

I found Ethan’s comments on the disorder of the city interesting. It speaks to his character.

Ethan’s Pokemon are brimming with personality. I suppose I can say the same about Dorian and Shelton’s Pokemon, but it really stands out in Ethan’s group, perhaps since he’s the lone human.

*eyebrow raise* That’s an… odd little game Dorian and Nuzleaf have constructed. But then again, it seems rather… right after how they interacted at the Pokemon Center.


Now, Machoke was seated on the ground next to Shelton, Dorian’s boxers being stretched to their limit by his bulging muscles.

Aww. That’s the kind of thing that can hurt a guy’s self-esteem.

*smacks forehead* I should’ve seen a new capture coming with that game!

This out of body experience is interesting. I’m keen on seeing where it goes.

I do kinda feel like we’ve… swept the whole Golduck maiming incident under the rug a little. I have no doubt that it’ll come up again and I know that he can’t come out now because he’s in the heal ball, but reading this chapter kinda makes it feel like the whole incident barely happened. And for something so traumatic… well, it seems a weird change to me. I am curious to see how you build on the incident in the future. It feels like its setting up something pretty major.

Welp, that's all I can comment on for now. I'll be back for more later. Keep up the good work!

Sidewinder
21st August 2012, 5:56 AM
Finally back

Moving sucks, and it sucks even more when your damn internet provider takes almost a month and a half to get your service connected. Requiem is still alive and well for those of you who were wondering. Chapter fifteen is about halfway finished and after I finish reviewing all the fics that I follow that have been updated, I'll get back to work on it. The first act is almost at a close, and from here on out, things are going to get a lot more intense. As usual, I'll reply to a few points of each of the reviews that were given to me from each reviewer. Thanks to everyone who read/replied on the last chapter, I appreciate the support.


yay! Shelton's speaking sense again! That's the dynamic I love between them!

I'm glad you do. I think for awhile after Ronnie's death she started to bottle her little remarks to herself, but now that Dorian is back on one of his insane tangents, her animosity is starting to show its face again.


I'm sure Shelton would love to tape his feet to the floor, although I think a staple gun is more her style, but the word you want is tapping.

Thanks for pointing that out, and you're right, a staple gun or crossbow is more like what she's apt to use


That transition felt a little too smooth going into the flashback, and the flashback needed a little more buffing up. Good summary of Shelton's character, but a summary it should not be.

Funny thing is, I felt the same way as I was looking over this chapter before I posted it. I may go back and revise a bit, thanks for bringing it to my attention.


LOL, Dorian and Shelton's conversations always crack me up. Makes me wonder what her internal monologue really is. Does she want him dead, too? Does she support Dorian deep down, or is she really afraid of what he wants? Hmm.

I'm glad you like them :)

I think you hit it pretty well. Shelton keeps surprising me in regards to how she feels about Ethan and what to do with him. Dorian is a bit easier to write when it comes to that sort of thing because he's so open and easy to read, but Shelton can be quite introverted at times, and it's almost hard for me to judge how she will proceed with certain actions.


Up to this point there's almost been nothing but dialogue. I'd go back and add some actions to help show emotions or give a better picture as to what's going on. Shelton crossing her arms? Golduck walking up beside her and nodding? Little things like that can help.

I agree, thanks for bringing that up. Usually I'm able to pick up on that, but this time it escaped me.



LMAO. Love this entire part right here. Machoke is adorable.

I'm glad you liked it, as I cracked up as I wrote it. Believe it or not, but when Requiem was still a small idea in my mind a few years ago, I thought of that scene and knew that I would include it.


Hmm...I actually like the use of the will and the funeral. It makes the fic seem more grounded, more real to the viewer after the etheral view that Ethan had. It's a very nice contrast

It's neat that you thought that. Personally, I didn't make that connection and didn't write it intentionally at all. Looking back though, I suppose it is pretty easy to spot. This is really why I love getting reviews, every person picks up on something different, and even I find out stuff about my fic that I'm not paying attention to.


In contrast, what Dorian did was extremely careless and more than a bit selfish as well. He had no right to endanger others like he did, and I'm quite shocked that Shelton let him go on his motorcycle when he was clearly intoxicated. To me, it's a bit out of character for her to just let him go out and break the law like that, especially after looking at the last chapter and how she felt about his plan. She strikes me as a responsible person who follows the rules and laws of society, so I was quite surprised that she didn't protest or at least ask him to take a walk instead of go on his motorcycle.

Normally I'd completely agree with you, but this time I feel a bit different. I think this was one of the rare moments when Shelton actually lost her grip on staying level and decided to say screw it. Not only has she had to be the adult for most of their relationship, but Dorian won't man up and help her deal with it when one of the rare moments occurs when she actually needs him. As I was writing it, I felt like she had gotten to the point where she decided screw it, let him get himself arrested. It may have helped if I had added that internal dialogue lol


Overall, I quite loved these two chapters. I just wonder when Scyther and Marco are going to show up and try to derail their plans...

Stay tuned buddy. Marco and Scyther are actually one of the duo's that I'm most looking forward to writing about again. Should make for a pretty engaging read I think.


Ouch. Good line, even if vicious and a little insensitive. It seems like Dorian forgot that he isn't the only one who lost someone.

I know. That line made me do a double take when I wrote it. I was in a frenzy as I was typing that conversation, almost unaware of what I was typing. I looked back and thought that would be a little too harsh, but kept it in because I thought it fit well with the heated scene that was taking place.


This might have been mentioned, and maybe I just forgot it, but why is Dorian so much closer to Nuzleaf than any of the others? There's obviously a tight relationship there (and, oh yeah, he's in your banner for the story, lol).

Lol I'm glad you picked up on that. Dorian caught Nuzleaf when he was a Seedot. Dorian actually helped him out when he fell out of his tree and couldn't get back up to the branch he was attatched to. I'll explore their relationship more as the story goes on, but they have alot in common, especially with their sense of humor and their way of looking at life. Not only that, but I've always thought that there is a special bond between a trainer and the first Pokemon they catch.



THIS. I've always loved the concept that having super strtength would make day-to-day life near impossible. Excellent work detailing that.

Lol, me too! I've always thought the same.


I like the pokemon divying up sides, but I wish we could have seen rationale for why they each chose what they did (unless it was just strictly personal trainer loyalty).


To me, that's the only reason they went to each of them. I know they all love each other, but if Shelton and Dorian were hanging off the edge of the cliff and Golduck could REALLY only save one, I know he'd choose Shelton.


x3 Lovely comparison at the end! I really like how you approached the setting of their house, as well, it really fit the tone of the piece and the main protagonist. The banter between the roommates was lovely as well. x3

It's funny, no matter how many different readers I get, each person always seems to love their interractions, and I'm glad you do as well. I don't know if you've read some of my other replies to reviews, but I've mentioned that alot of the back and forth arguements between Dorian and Shelton are ones that are loosely based on the banter between me and my fiance lol.


Perhaps expand this bit a little, to encompass a little more of his realisation past the throat catch? As Dorian draws together the clues, he would wonder about it a little, wouldn't he? It just seems a little thin here. More of a personal thing here, so your choice.

You're completely right. When thinking of this how you put it, it seems reasonable for that to take place. That suggestion actually has alot of meaning to me that's going to help me out alot down the line. Sometimes when I'm writing I try to imagine myself as these characters when these situations occur, and sometimes I fall short, and what you quoted is one example. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.



Yeah - really enjoyed it, 'twas a great read. :3 Put me on the PM list? Will be following this further. <3

Thanks for the lengthy review. You'll for sure be PM'd when the next chapter comes out. I appreciate the time you took to point out the areas I've been lacking in, as well as the areas where I have excelled. I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to get around to The Ember Days, and I assure you that you're on the list of people whose stories I have to catch up on. Thanks for taking the time, and I'm glad you've enjoyed it :)


She's much more level headed in her thinking. I can understand where Dorian is coming from, but come on Dorian! Think it through! Please?

I know right. Sometimes I feel like his irrational thought pattern is going to be his undoing, but at the same time I think it's one of his greatest strengths. Weird combo haha


Both your descriptions of the Intensive Care Unit and the waiting room are full of atmosphere. I like them.

Thanks very much :)

That stems from my absolute obsession with tv medical dramas. I've always had a big fascination with what goes on and the details surrounding the personalites of the people involved.


I find myself questioning some of the medical process going on here. First off, I found it a little odd and irresponsible that the technician didn’t really mentally prepare Shelton and Dorian for what they were going to see by telling them exactly what had to be done and instead made them experience the shock full force. I do understand that it’s of course more effective if we, the readers, see what happened instead of having it explained to us, so I can let that slide. …But I find it very odd as well that considering this medical operation took a great deal of time, that they wouldn’t have told Shelton they were going to amputate Golduck’s arm. If it was a thing that had to be done in a split second, then I would’ve understood it. But it sounds more like they tried to save it and then the growing infections made amputation the best option. I don’t know… in that setting it seems like they should’ve informed her first unless they wanted their asses sued, right decision or not.

I worried about that before I posted the chapter, and now that you've brought it up, I see that I was right. You have an excellent point there and just so you're aware, Shelton was being informed of the situation with Golduck every step of the way. I know that I should have touched on that more while it was happening, but I was having a hard time shifting between Dorian and Shelton, as well as both of their moods that I was a little bit lost on how to emphasize the situation. And I suppose that is one portion where I was thinking more of the shock value of my readers rather than giving actual reason for what was happening. Thanks for bringing that up.


*smacks forehead* I should’ve seen a new capture coming with that game!

Lol, it is kinda Dorian's style. He really does kinda bumble and stumble into every situation he's faced with

Glover
22nd August 2012, 2:18 AM
Yay! He's back!

Skiyomi
10th September 2012, 11:02 PM
Hey there. I've read through chapter 11 and have my thoughts on it here. You'll have to excuse me if I'm a little off in this review @_@ *sleep-deprived*

All in all, I think this is a very good chapter. There's a lot of action going on, not to mention some great description. Something that was really brought home to me in this chapter is how film-like it is. The way you use your descriptions to create visuals and particularly the way you cut from scene to scene really creates that effect. A good example of this would be Ronnie's death. It happens abruptly at the end of the scene and isn't lingered over which really gives it a sense of impact. Contrasting that by immediately cutting to the happier moment with Kecleon makes the impact that much stronger.

Now, it seems to me that this chapter is on the long side and that, in itself, is fine. Length doesn't matter--pacing and what you accomplish in that length does. You accomplish a lot here, but I do think there are times when the pacing drags a little and if I were to suggest anything at all to do for revision in this chapter--it would be to trim it down. This isn't a problem everywhere in this chapter. Heck, most of it moves along great. But there are two main things that I feel cause drag in this chapter...

The opening scene with Dorian's out-of-body experience as he finds out where the shards are.
-There really is a lot of awesome in this scene and your descriptions are high caliber. I particularly loved the screen-door comparison when talking about his arm. But after awhile of reading it, I did start to feel that it was going on too long. And though the description is excellent, there are several points at which it starts to come off as a little bloated. It feels like because you had this great opportunity to do a lot of description, you wanted to take advantage of it--and that's where it starts to feel a little self-indulgent and over the top. Like I said, there's great description here and I wouldn't cut it down to bare bones or anything and you obviously have important exposition you need to deliver here, but I do feel like it could be streamlined and shortened.

The scene after Ronnie's death where Dorian and Shelton wonder about Ethan and eventually decide to check on Ronnie when they hear sirens:
-The end of an earlier scene with Dorian where he suddenly gets a feeling of unease about the man he saw does what this scene does so much more quickly and elegantly. We can assume that he’d tell Shelton and that they’d decide to check on Ronnie without dallying too much over it. I could honestly see cutting right to them going to the museum. This scene seems to exist more so we can revolve scenes of Ethan than for any purpose in and of itself. After all, it’s not like you need to build suspense for the readers’ sake. We know Ronnie’s already dead. Basically I think you could add the sound of approaching sirens to the end of the previous scene with Dorian and make this scene completely irrelevant.

So like I said, really good chapter, great descriptions and actions. There's a little bit of drag in places, but all in all it's quite good.

A few other comments:


Ethan pocketed the shard on the desk of the man he had just killed, reveling in the satisfaction of acquiring another priceless artifact. The voices would be pleased that he had retrieved it, and they would reward him for overcoming this adversity. Secretly Ethan hoped that they would be proud of him for the force he had shown, and the righteous action he had displayed in their honor. He closed his eyes and centered himself, reveling in the experience of exacting his vengeance. The feel of the man’s head in his hands as he ended his life was spellbindingly intense.

You use “reveling” twice here. In such close proximity to each other, I’d suggest you replace one with a different word.


the same man he had seen, his long brown hair gleaming bright and healthy.

Considering Dorian’s state of mind, I’d expect a more sinister detail about Ethan to creep to the top of his mind and make him recognize him. …I don’t know, I’m probably not explaining myself right, but hair just seems like an odd detail for this situation. I’d expect something more to do with his face—perhaps his eyes because the fact that Ethan was looking at him was so important to Dorian’s unease. This feels like it should be a “shiver down your spine” type of line, and I can’t get a shiver down my spine because of someone’s hairstyle. The round emerald eyes mentioned later seems much more suited for the situation.

Seems kinda weird to me that the police didn’t have Pokemon with them. Considering Growlithe is a favorite of cops… well, they probably would’ve had a much better chance against Scyther if they’d had one.

That image of mutilation is pretty intense. I should’ve figured that’s what Ethan would ask Scyther to write.

Well, that was a strong ending to a strong chapter. *salutes* I'll be around for more when my flighty memory kicks in :P

Sidewinder
13th September 2012, 2:28 AM
Sorry I have not updated in so long. But we're moved and finally completely settled, so from now on you'll be able to read the story at my usual pace of about one chapter every week and a half. As always, reviews are welcome for those of you who have time to do it, and thanks to all of you for reading! :)





Chapter 15


Dorian was wondering what it would be like to pull his brain out through his forehead.

What brought the thought to the surface of his mind was his attempt to quell the vicious headache he had by pushing his fingers as hard as he could against his forehead. As the pressure against his skull increased, the queer thought of pulling his brain out occurred to him. If he could somehow phase his fingers through his skull and pull it out, what would his brain look like? Moist? Dry? Would each section be labeled? Would he see Ethan, Shelton, Ronnie? If he was able to examine his brain would he be able to figure out what he was supposed to do?

“What are you doing?” Shelton’s voice rang.

His concentration broken, he uttered, “Just thinking.”

“Okay, well, just don’t push too hard unless you want to lobotomize yourself.”

“Thanks for the tip,” Dorian said, looking her up and down.

Shelton had her traveling pack slung over one shoulder, her blond hair pulled in a loose braid over the other. A form fitting, knee length blue sundress clung to her body as she floated down the stairs. Golduck lazily clambered down behind her, the shade of his plumage matching her clothing almost exactly.

“Really?” Dorian asked.

“What?”

“That’s what you’re wearing?”

“What’s wrong with it?” Shelton questioned.

“Nothing really, it’s just that we’re traveling to Orre on an international manhunt to find and citizenly arrest the man who killed our uncle, and you look like you’re on your way to a party.”

“Citizenly?” Shelton laughed.

“It’s a word!”

“Oh Christ I know it’s a word, but Dorian it’s not like we’re going to run into him at the airport. Hell, he may not even be on the same continent. I look nice and I feel comfortable, so get over it.”

“All I’m saying is that it might compromise your attack readiness.”

“Oh really?”

“Yup.”

As quick as he could, Dorian snagged a magazine from the cocktail table and hurled it at her. The magazine blossomed open like a flower as it sailed through the air, obscuring him from her vision. Dorian sprang forward and closed the distance between them with speed that surprised him, his fist drawn back and clenched. Unfortunately, he wasn’t nearly fast enough. Before he realized what had happened he was on the floor with both knees and each shoulder throbbing painfully.

Shelton had barely moved from her original position, but was now holding two asps in front of her face in the shape of a cross. Almost three feet long when extended and made from segmented steel, her two weapons were formidable enough in unskilled hands, but much more so considering that she held two degrees in combat with them. With a snort Shelton pressed two small buttons on each of the batons, collapsing them back into themselves. She lifted the bottom of her dress and returned them to each of the thigh holsters she was wearing. She cocked her head sideways, a small grin etched on her face.

“I tripped,” Dorian explained.

“I saw that.”

“Shut up.”

“Anyway, have you figured out what you’re going to do with that Spoink you caught?”

“I was going to ask what you thought,” Dorian said as he picked himself up off the floor.

“Well, you need to figure it out before we leave. Obviously most Pokemon are going to be unruly after they’ve been caught, but that Spoink pretty much tried to kill you. You’re either taking it with you or releasing it. You need to decide.”

“I know. On one hand I’m not really in the mood to try and train it, but at the same time it’s pretty strong. It lifted me up and tossed me like it was nothing. I wouldn’t mind having something like that on my team, but I’m not sure that it won’t try and maim me once I let it out again.”

“How about this,” Shelton started. “We’ll release everyone then call the Spoink out and figure out whether it wants to be trained or not.”

“That’s inspired,” Dorian responded. “We could surround it and make sure it doesn’t try and throw me to Hoenn.”

“We have about six hours before we need to check in at Cerulean International, so how about we just do it now?”

“Alright, you get the rest of the gang and I’ll meet you outside.”

“Okay.”

Dorian pulled himself up from the sofa with a groan, not looking forward to the thought of being tossed around like a ragdoll again. Bright sunlight blinded him as he opened the door. With a yelp and a flash he pulled on his sunglasses. Bright, so bright. The sun had no mercy at all. Did the celestial ball of molten plasma not realize he was still nursing a hangover? The grass on the front yard was baked yellow and brown, a cruel reminder that summer was still hanging on even though it was halfway through October. The porch behind him lit up brightly as he and Shelton’s Pokemon we’re released, adding to the awfulness of the brightness situation. Shuppet floated, Growlithe sprinted, and Machoke carefully walked down the stairs alongside Nuzleaf and Vibrava. After they were assembled in the front yard, Dorian called for attention.

“As all of you know we’re leaving for Orre today and I’m trying to decide on whether to take the Spoink I caught with me. You guys are going to surround it and I’m going to release it. You have my permission to beat the **** out of it if it attempts to attack any of us,” Dorian explained.

They nodded the best they could in agreement. Taking a breath and uttering a silent prayer, Dorian withdrew the Spoink’s pokeball and released the psychic Pokemon into the newly formed circle of guards. The Pokemon materialized in a flash of white light, particles of energy dancing off the bodies of the Pokemon circling it. Immediately after forming the Spoink started bobbing rapidly up and down, only to stop once it saw the threatening looks all around it.

“Spoink, oink oink!” the Pokemon shouted angrily.

“Did you catch that?” Shelton called from the porch.

“Nope, I’ve actually never heard Spoink before so I’m not sure.

“Spoink, spo, oink oink, Spo!” the small creature bellowed louder.

“Can one of you guys translate?” Dorian called.

At the sound of his voice the Spoink turned his attention to Dorian and glared. He didn’t believe in transference of emotion on the physical plane, but he could swear that the psychic Pokemon was trying to saw him in half with its eyes. It started to glow when it saw the pokeball clutched in Dorian’s hand but the aura quickly evaporated when it saw the glares of the assembled Pokemon around it.

“Spo-oink, Spoink, Spoink!”

“Nuzleaf?” Dorian asked.

“Nunuz, Nuzleaf nuz, Nuzleaf leaf Nuz,” Nuzleaf explained.

“I wasn’t fair, I cheated?” Dorian repeated.

”Spoink Oink!” the Spoink affirmed.

“Nuzleaf, leaf!” Nuzleaf said, throwing up his hands.

“I caught it unfairly?” Dorian questioned.

“He also said that it was asleep in the bushes. Did you catch that?” Shelton asked.

“Yeah,” Dorian said.

He approached the circled group of Pokemon and bent down low to look the Spoink in the eye.

“Will you let me be your trainer?”

“Spoink!”

“Nuzleaf?” Dorian asked.

“Nuzleaf, nuz,” Nuzleaf repeated.

“Okay then, what can I do to make you want to come with us?”

“Spoink, oink oink, spo, Spoink!!” the psychic Pokemon exclaimed.

“Nuzleaf, nunuz, Nuzleaf Nuz,” Nuzleaf translated.

“So apparently you have to catch it honorably?” Shelton asked.

“Apparently.”

Dorian breathed in. No real harm could come to him with all of the Pokemon around. He had heard stories of prideful Pokemon like this before, one’s that refused to listen unless they were caught after being bested in battle. The Spoink was obviously powerful, and though Dorian had never owned a psychic type, he knew that it would be good against Ethan once they finally confronted him. Dorian was caught between not wanting to bother with it and also wanting to have an extra member on his team. He decided quickly, not wanting the Spoink to think of him as weak for taking his time.

“Will you listen to me if I beat you fairly?” Dorian asked.

“Spoink!” the Pokemon exclaimed, bouncing up and down vigorously.

Dorian needed no translation. Nuzleaf was the obvious choice with his dark type movepool, but Vibrava had the advantage of being able to fly. Growlithe was still too new for Dorian to be able to trust, and even though any of Shelton’s Pokemon would fight for him if he asked, he was more comfortable using his own.

“All of you back away,” Dorian commanded. “Nuzleaf, you’re up.”

“Nunuz!” his Pokemon cried excitedly.

Dorian pressed the button on his Pokeflect and his body glowed blue as the energy from the device expanded. His Pokemon and Shelton’s retreated to the porch to make room as Nuzleaf took up position in front of Dorian. The Spoink started hopping angrily up and down, psyching itself up for what was about to come. Mother Nature decided at that point to blow a quick breeze across the city, amplifying the showdown feel of the moment. Nuzleaf was twitching with anticipation, his hands opening and closing in eagerness. Choosing to take the first move, Dorian shouted, “Bullet seed!”

Before the words left his lips, Nuzleaf was already sprinting forward, a pale yellow glow emanating from his mouth. He closed the distance between them quickly and released a barrage of glowing pellets from his mouth that flew straight towards the psychic type. The Spoink responded to the attack by bouncing straight up into the air, passing high above Nuzleaf and the attack. Nuzleaf slid to a stop as the Spoink came back down, and cried out as the Pokemon telekinetically grabbed Nuzleaf’s attack out of the air and hurled it back at him. The pellets struck Nuzleaf full in the chest and flipped him backwards towards Dorian. Just as Nuzleaf regained his footing he was sprinting forward again.

“Faint attack!” Dorian roared.

Nuzleaf took a high jump forward and landed on his hands only to shove himself to the Spoink’s right just as a hearty purple glow started taking shape around the psychic Pokemon. Nuzleaf vanished in a flash of black light, causing the Spoink’s glow to flicker and its eyes to widen. Nuzleaf reappeared behind the Spoink and ran forward. Whether the psychic type felt his presence come back into the world or just heard Nuzleaf’s feet pounding the ground, Dorian didn’t know, but the Spoink bounced up high again and spun, shooting three globules of purple energy directly at Nuzleaf. Just as the balls of energy closed to within a few feet of Nuzleaf, his body glowed black again and he vanished, immediately appearing in the air beside the Spoink and tackling it to the ground.

The Pokemon landed heavily on the gravel below sending up small sprays of rock in every direction. With its stubby arms and lack of legs the Spoink was quickly overpowered by Nuzleaf and pinned to the ground.

“Pound!” Dorian called.

Nuzleaf’s right fist flashed white and he drove his clenched hand repeatedly into the belly of the Spoink. The psychic Pokemon tried to roll left and then right to escape, but Nuzleaf had the advantage of weight and kept the Pokemon firmly planted beneath him. The Spoink started moaning in pain and frustration as Nuzleaf started slamming his fist into its stomach harder and harder. Suddenly, a sharp purple glow took the shape of a shield between the two Pokemon. Nuzleaf’s punches stopped connecting and he was forced back up into a standing position. The Spoink sprang back upright and started spastically bobbing up and down again. The glowing shield of energy widened itself and flipped Nuzleaf over, and before Dorian could call out, the shield started bouncing him up and down against the gravel.

“Spoink, Oink!” the psychic Pokemon cackled.

“You look like a bobble head!” Dorian screamed at the Pokemon, hoping to distract the psychic type and buy Nuzleaf some time.

The ploy worked as Dorian hoped, and as the Spoink turned towards Dorian to glare, Nuzleaf was able to get his feet underneath him and jump upwards while swinging a heavy wooden fist above his head. The shield that was bouncing him up and down shattered explosively upward, sending glowing shards in all directions; they hit the ground with sharp clinks and evaporated as they rolled.

“Nuzleaf!” Nuzleaf screamed.

He took a jump forward and released another bullet seed attack, this one glowing brighter than the last. Despite his best efforts though, the result was the same. The Spoink used the power of its mind to stop the glowing pellets in the air and send them back toward Nuzleaf. Fortunately though Nuzleaf ran forward to meet the attack and dove underneath it, the pellets passing inches above his body.

“Nuzleaf, line up in front of me!” Dorian called, wanting to test a theory. As Nuzleaf leapt backwards and positioned himself properly, Dorian yelled again. “Do another bullet seed and get ready to dodge it!”

Nuzleaf followed his orders exactly and began charging the required energy in his mouth. The Spoink stayed rooted to the spot in anticipation. With amber energy trickling from the corners of his mouth, Nuzleaf threw his head back and darted forward. The glittering attack split through the air like a knife and arced straight towards the Spoink. Just like before however, the psychic Pokemon caught the attack and held it above its head. With a bob and a small bounce, the Spoink wrapped the bullet seed in a purple ball of energy and sent it back at Nuzleaf.

“Dodge it and faint attack!” Dorian yelled.

Just as the double ball of energy would have reached Nuzleaf, he did a split and missed being struck. Nuzleaf vanished on the spot and reappeared about ten yards to the Spoink’s right. The Pokemon growled at each other and Nuzleaf sprinted forward with his fists clenched. The ball of energy and bullet seed kept traveling after Nuzleaf dodged it, and came straight for Dorian, just like he intended. Taking a step back then forward, Dorian spiked the glowing orb like volleyball, his Pokeflect protecting his body and sending it in the opposite direction with even more velocity. The Spoink cried out in pain as the attack connected and it was sent flipping down the road, smoke trailing from its body.

Nuzleaf followed the injured Pokemon and drew back a fist as he got close. The psychic type growled softly as he approached, but offered no further resistance when Nuzleaf planted one foot on its chest and called out to Dorian.

Dorian deactivated his Pokeflect and strode forward. He pulled out the Spoink’s Pokeball as he walked, impressed by his own cleverness. The Spoink squirmed out from beneath Nuzleaf’s foot and stared at Dorian as he approached. The familiar hate was still there but it seemed to Dorian that it lessened slightly. Well maybe not, but at least the Spoink didn’t look like it wanted him drawn and quartered. It would probably be okay with having the skin on one of his fingers flayed off, but Dorian thought he was relatively safe now.

“So, are you going to let me train you?” Dorian asked.

“Spo. Spoink,” the Pokemon said, hanging its head low.

“Nicely done,” Dorian complimented, returning his now battle decided capture.

“Nunuz, Nuzleaf, nuz,” Nuzleaf complained. Dorian’s grass Pokemon bent over and retched onto the ground. After dry heaving for a few moments his Pokemon stood up erect and wiped a bit of sap away that was oozing from his mouth.

“You okay?” Dorian asked.

“Nunuz,” Nuzleaf nodded.

“You want to go inside your ball for awhile? I’m planning on taking you both by the Pokemon Center before we leave.”

“Nuzleaf, leaf nunuz.”

“Alright man, well how about you go to my room and take it easy for a bit.”

“Nuzleaf,” the grass type agreed, turning back towards the house.

“Hey,” Dorian called.

Nuzleaf turned.

“That was pretty damn impressive, buddy. Thanks.”

Nuzleaf smiled in return and climbed up the steps to go back inside. He paused long enough to get a couple congratulatory claps on the back from Shelton and their Pokemon, and then swung the door shut behind him as he went inside.

The wind died down as Dorian gripped Spoink’s pokeball tight. A cloud passed in front of the sun and the ground around him darkened, relieving his body from the burning rays. He had done it on the Spoink’s terms and he had won. Well, Nuzleaf had been the one fighting but that was beside the point. Nuzleaf had looked good while doing it though and he had taken a hell of a beating doing so.

“Nicely done, buddy,” Dorian whispered to himself with a smile.

“Believe me,” Shelton started. “I’m not trying to further inflate your already monstrous ego, but that was pretty impressive.”

“Hah, thanks. I thought that the Spoink would stick to its pattern and it did, it was its own fault.”

“Regardless, it was pretty smart. You figure out whether it’s a male or female?”

“No, but I’m hoping that the Pokemon Center will be able to tell me. I’m not exactly an expert on Spoink physiology.”

“Well anyway, we have to be checked into Cerulean two hours before our flight leaves, which leaves about three hours and some change until we need to be there.”

“Yeah, we’re pretty much packed and we have all of the Pokemon’s documentation, right?”

“Everyone’s except for Spoink’s, but they can check the date on the ball you caught it in and know it was a recent capture. Registration is only required after about thirty days anyway.”

“So we’re pretty much good?” Dorian asked.

“Pretty much,” Shelton affirmed. “Here, give me Spoink’s pokeball. I’ll take it by the center, I have to run by the mart before we leave anyway.”

“Alright,” Dorian said, handing the shiny orb over.

“Anybody want to come with me to the store?” Shelton called.

Machoke, Shuppet, Vibrava and Growlithe all came forward and followed Shelton as she turned and started off towards town. Dorian climbed the steps to his house, putting extra weight on the creaky step as he ascended. It squealed loudly as he trod on it, reminding him of where he was. Dorian passed the living room and went straight to the kitchen. He opened a beer from the inside and quaffed deeply. The realization of what he was doing shocked him and a squirt of beer came out of his mouth as he swallowed wrong. This was Ronnie’s beer.

Ronnie had bought this before he died and he was drinking it. Dorian could almost imagine Ronnie at the local mart buying chips and fruit then stopping at the liquor aisle and picking up this six-pack. Looking down, Dorian saw a half eaten pie and a clear takeout box full of steamed vegetables. His sadness suddenly came back in a wave that swallowed him whole. He swayed to the left and grabbed the refrigerator door for balance. His breathing was quick and deep as he struggled to unwind the knot in his gut.

After a moment it passed and he slammed the door as hard as he could. His right hand tightened so hard around the beer bottle he was surprised it didn’t shatter. The clang as the door hit reverberated through the house like a shout in a cave. Quick footsteps followed the sound as it echoed through the home. The source of the steps became softer as Kecleon rounded the corner, his skin a slightly healthier shade of green than the last time Dorian had seen him.

“Kecleon? Kec, leon leon?” he asked.

“Yes, I remember whose house this is,” Dorian retorted.

“Kecleon Kec!” the Pokemon said, pointing a finger at Dorian.

“I’m sorry; it has just been getting to me a little more than usual.”

“Kec, leon Kecleon.”

“Yeah I’m ready too. Shelton’s finishing up a few things and we’re going to leave in a few hours.”

Kecleon walked over to Dorian and wrapped both arms around his right thigh, which was as far as he could reach without jumping. The warmth that the Pokemon transferred to him comforted him and relieved him of the burden of his sadness. Reaching down, Dorian broke the embraced and gave one of Kecleon’s scaly hands a squeeze.

“We’re going to get him, you know that, right?” Dorian asked.

“Kecleon kec!” he responded, squeezing his hand.

“Let’s go outside and wait for the princess.”

Hand in hand they crossed the living room and went back outside. The swing at the far end of the porch called to them and they quickly acquiesced. No words were exchanged as they sat, none were required. They both looked up the road towards the town and passed the time by organizing their thoughts and waiting for Shelton. More than half an hour passed before a spray of golden hair appeared at the far end of the road. Other figures flanked her as she came forward, two flying, and two more walking.

“Your Spoink is all patched up,” Shelton informed him, tossing the small orb.

“Thanks,” Dorian said, pocketing the pokeball.

“I would have been back sooner but the technician there went on and on about how long it’s been since he treated a Spoink. In the end I snatched her pokeball off the counter and just walked away. Oh yeah, the tech said she was a female.”

“Good to know.”

“Anyway, I changed some cash for some Orre currency and picked up a few traveler’s checks. The market was out of full restores so I got a few full heals and a refill on our potion containers. We have enough food for them and us to make it to Phenac, but beyond that I can just stop by the bazaar when we need more. You ready?”

“What? Now?”

“Yes, now.”

“But we still have a few hours before our flight. It’ll only take us thirty minutes to get us to Cerulean with that new bypass they put in.”

“Oh come on Dorian, you know I hate waiting around for something to happen. We have our passports, everyone is fed, the bags are packed, and we’re ready. Let’s just get on with it,” Shelton said.

“I know, I just, well,” Dorian started.

“Look I know and I don’t want to leave the house either. But the more we stay here the sadder I get. I can’t be around his stuff right now Dorian. It’s too hard.”
“I know what you mean,” Dorian affirmed.

“So I’ll call the cab?”

“I thought about that actually. I’ll drive us. The airport has long term storage and it’s not like we have anywhere to put the bike when were gone.”

“Alright,” Shelton nodded. “I’ll get the bags, you corral everyone.”

“Sounds good,” Dorian said, catching her arm as she passed him. “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to find him, and he’ll answer for what’s he’s done.”

Shelton inched closer and wrapped both arms around his neck. She leaned forward and pressed her forehead against his. When he looked into her eyes he saw a bright sheen of tears starting to cover them. Dorian pulled her closer and embraced her tightly. He held her there for a moment then cupped her face in his hands.

“We’re going to be fine,” he assured her.

“I know,” she replied. “I just miss him.”

“I do too, and that’s why we’re going. That piece of **** is going to rot in jail for the rest of his life for what we did. And we are the ones who are going to make that happen. All of us.”

“Sounds good, dummy,” she said with a smile.

Shelton walked inside and Dorian turned quickly to make sure she didn’t see him breaking down. He believed every word he said, but this task was so far beyond anything he had ever attempted that he felt the creeping shadow of doubt. Dorian shrugged it away as quickly as the thought came to him. He could do this and he would, and regardless of what Shelton wanted, he was going to make sure that that bastard never saw the inside of a courtroom. Dorian knew as soon as this plan was set that he was going to kill Ethan Bernard. He didn’t know when and he didn’t know how he would do it, but he would. Shelton would forgive him eventually, and if they were in a foreign country his odds of evading prosecution were stacked in his favor. Dorian contemplated what it would feel like for several minutes until Shelton came back outside with Nuzleaf, Golduck, and Kecleon in tow.

They returned the assembled Pokemon to their balls and stowed them in the holsters attached to their waists. After Shelton locked the door behind them they descended the steps and stopped when they got to Ronnie’s motorcycle. Shelton clamped each of the packs to opposite sides of the back of the bike and opened her mouth to say something but instead stopped and stared. Dorian followed her gaze to see the blue sky morphing into an ugly shade of purple and black to the west. Late summer storms were not uncommon in this part of Kanto, and his thought was confirmed when he heard a barely audible rumble of thunder far in the distance.

“Think you can outrun it?” Shelton asked.

“Absolutely,” Dorian said with a grin.

As the words left his lips Dorian swung a leg over the motorcycle and swung the kickstand up. The weight of the bike beneath him felt good. Shelton got on behind him and wrapped both hands around his waist as the engine roared to life. With the sun in their face and the wind behind them, Dorian pulled back on the throttle.



************


Marco watched the wind transform the rain into sheets of grey behind the glass doors of the Pewter City Pokemon Center. Night had fallen and the storm was moaning its pleasure as a violent wind tore across the city. Behind him, various trainers and Pokemon sat with eyes glued to the television as a special weather statement was issued. The Kanto National Weather Service warned the storm passing over Pewter City could contain winds in excess of forty miles per hour and one inch hail.

“Mother Nature has no hold over me,” Marco thought with a smile.

He knew that the storm posed no danger to him; it was barely worth a moment of his time. His targets were less than a mile away. Probably sleeping at this hour, or else winding down for the night. As soon as the rain let up he would stalk his prey, and as always, he would emerge victorious. Turning on his heel, Marco walked past the anxious teenage trainers to the restrooms on the far side of the establishment. He caught a glimpse of himself as he walked past but paid it no attention. Marco knew what he was. He was a Gengar, a Dusclops. He was shadow and rumor, he was a light breeze that strengthened and faded. His average height and build along with his facial features made him one of the most ordinary people anyone would ever see.

Marco quietly entered a stall and locked it behind him. He reached down and extracted both pistols that were strapped to the holsters beneath his arms. He depressed the release button for each clip and made sure they were loaded. The projectiles the gun released were made of thin glass, hard enough to withstand the force of the hammer, but fragile enough to burst on contact with a target. The liquid inside shone dark amber as he shook the clips and replaced them back inside the guns. The substance was a refined version of stun spore he had bought from a Unovan merchant which had been derived from a captured Vileplume. When absorbed by the skin it produced a numbing sensation similar to a foot falling asleep, but when inhaled it resulted in a full body paralysis that lasted several hours in humans.

Satisfied that his equipment was in order, Marco returned the guns to their holsters and zipped his jacket back up. He left the bathroom and the building without a sound. The rain had lessened somewhat, and though lighting still flashed in jagged lines across the sky he knew that the worst had past. His boots squealed softly on the wet grass as he made his way to the house. The targets address had been listed in the local phone directory so finding them had been no ordeal. As the lightning flashed around him he glimpsed the house a few hundred yards away. No lights were on, and the curtains were drawn.

Marco quickly sprinted forward and flattened himself against the side of the house. He crept slowly to the rear of the home, body bent as low as possible. Marco gracefully lifted himself over the railing of the back porch and crouched down beneath the back door. With his left hand he drew one gun and chambered a round, with his right hand he removed a thin pocketknife from his pocket. He chambered a round and pressed his ear against the door. Though it was hard to discern whether there was any sound inside because of the storm, he correctly assumed that no one was awake. He pressed the knife against the rubber leaf near the handle and pushed inward. The lock clicked quietly and the door swung open a few inches.

Marco slinked inside and closed the door silently behind him. He could make out the general layout of the place. Living room, open floor plan to the kitchen, stairs to the right, front door to the far left. He eased out of his boots to make sure that their wetness would not make a sound against the wood floor. He crept silently through the living room taking note of a sofa and loveseat. One door was ajar in front of him, and he slid through the darkness of the home into the room. As he crept, his eyes adjusted to the darkness and he quickly found that the room was unoccupied. Shifting his gun to a tighter grip, Marco reversed his course and slowly walked up the stairs. He saw that the second story had five doors. He checked all three bedrooms as well as the two bathrooms but found no one.

It was possible that the two targets were out or had perhaps gone back to their home in Johto, but one had been left with the bed unmade, and judging from the cleanliness of the rest of the house, it seemed likely that they had been here very recently. Marco knew who the house belonged to. He had known since he had gotten to within a hundred miles of Pewter City. Ronnie Dvakna was the former owner of this home and it had recently been passed to Dorian and Shelton Dvakna. As he thought about the two people he was hunting he shuffled back to the moment when he realized who his employer was. The man who had hired him was obviously Ethan Bernard.

As he pictured the man in his mind he shifted his weight and felt the uncomfortable bulge of the pokeball in his pocket. Bernard had insisted that his Scyther accompany him, but after passing through Vermillion Marco knew that it would be the height of folly to release a Scyther anywhere near Pewter City. Marco didn’t know why his employer had killed and butchered Ronnie Dvakna, and in all honesty he didn’t care in the slightest. Nor did he care why he wanted the heads of his niece and nephew. A job was a job, and Bernard was obviously well off if he could afford him. Marco holstered his weapon and ascended the stairs again. He slid into the room at the end of the hall that was decorated with martial arts belts and plaques. He booted up the computer on the left side of the room and found to his surprise that it wasn’t password protected.

He quickly shuffled through the recent internet history and found a link to Cerulean Airport. Intrigued, Marco clicked it and found the flight confirmation for Dorian and Shelton Dvakna. The destination was Phenac City and the plane had apparently left Cerulean International about five hours ago. Bernard had not told him that they would be leaving the country so it was entirely possible that he didn’t know. Though it would be harder to get back into Kanto with the cargo that was expected of him, he knew that it wasn’t beyond his abilities.

“Orre it is then,” Marco said softly.

diamondpearl876
13th September 2012, 9:03 PM
Dorian was wondering what it would be like to pull his brain out through his forehead.

What brought the thought to the surface of his mind was his attempt to quell the vicious headache he had by pushing his fingers as hard as he could against his forehead. As the pressure against his skull increased, the queer thought of pulling his brain out occurred to him. If he could somehow phase his fingers through his skull and pull it out, what would his brain look like? Moist? Dry? Would each section be labeled? Would he see Ethan, Shelton, Ronnie? If he was able to examine his brain would he be able to figure out what he was supposed to do?

Really like this intro here. It may have been redundant to say “what brought the thought to the surface” and then “the queer thought of pulling his brain out occurred to him,” but it’s just like Dorian to make a joke out of something that’s so important to him, so I like it.


“I tripped,” Dorian explained.

“I saw that.”

“Shut up.”

LOL! You certainly haven’t lost your touch writing these two, I see.


The porch behind him lit up brightly as he and Shelton’s Pokemon we’re released, adding to the awfulness of the brightness situation.

“were” not “we’re”



“Nope, I’ve actually never heard Spoink before so I’m not sure.

Forgot a quotation mark at the end.


He didn’t believe in transference of emotion on the physical plane, but he could swear that the psychic Pokemon was trying to saw him in half with its eyes.

Lmao. Like this line, good imagery and just generally amusing.


He had heard stories of prideful Pokemon like this before, one’s that refused to listen unless they were caught after being bested in battle.

“ones” not “one’s”


Shelton walked inside and Dorian turned quickly to make sure she didn’t see him breaking down. He believed every word he said, but this task was so far beyond anything he had ever attempted that he felt the creeping shadow of doubt. Dorian shrugged it away as quickly as the thought came to him. He could do this and he would, and regardless of what Shelton wanted, he was going to make sure that that bastard never saw the inside of a courtroom. Dorian knew as soon as this plan was set that he was going to kill Ethan Bernard. He didn’t know when and he didn’t know how he would do it, but he would. Shelton would forgive him eventually, and if they were in a foreign country his odds of evading prosecution were stacked in his favor. Dorian contemplated what it would feel like for several minutes until Shelton came back outside with Nuzleaf, Golduck, and Kecleon in tow.

You did a good job with this entire section really, with Nuzleaf’s battle against Spoink and with Dorian trying to reassure Shelton about everything. The battle strategy was fun to read and I always enjoy emotional scenes, so I definitely enjoyed that one. I also like Dorian’s resolve about killing Ethan, and how he’s keeping it a secret for everyone else’s sake. I’ll be interested in seeing if he actually follows through with it or not.


The rain had lessened somewhat, and though lighting still flashed in jagged lines across the sky he knew that the worst had past.

“lightning” not “lighting”


He booted up the computer on the left side of the room and found to his surprise that it wasn’t password protected.

That was probably pretty dumb of them to leave that. Anyway, Marco seems like a rather mysterious person (seems like that’s what you were aiming for), and I’ll be interested in seeing how his character develops since we know next to nothing about him so far. Looks like Dorian and Shelton are going to have quite the adventure ahead of them.

Sid87
14th September 2012, 3:00 AM
Dorian was wondering what it would be like to pull his brain out through his forehead.

Very nice and fun starting line.


“Nothing really, it’s just that we’re traveling to Orre on an international manhunt to find and citizenly arrest the man who killed our uncle, and you look like you’re on your way to a party.”

“Citizenly?” Shelton laughed.

“It’s a word!”

This strikes me as something I would write. Almost exactly. It's pointless, but it's silly and adds more flavor to Shelton and Dorian. I enjoyed the exchange.


As quick as he could, Dorian snagged a magazine from the cocktail table and hurled it at her. The magazine blossomed open like a flower as it sailed through the air, obscuring him from her vision.

Nice! Very visually described.



Shelton had barely moved from her original position, but was now holding two asps in front of her face in the shape of a cross. Almost three feet long when extended and made from segmented steel, her two weapons were formidable enough in unskilled hands, but much more so considering that she held two degrees in combat with them.

Kinda silly here, but you might want to call them batons or something because when I read this, I immediately thought she was suddenly carrying around two snakes. :)


Did the celestial ball of molten plasma not realize he was still nursing a hangover?

That description of the sun seems a bit too flowery for Dorian, who strikes me as a bit more of a blunt fellow.


“Spoink, oink oink, spo, Spoink!!” the psychic Pokemon exclaimed.

“Nuzleaf, nunuz, Nuzleaf Nuz,” Nuzleaf translated.

“So apparently you have to catch it honorably?” Shelton asked.

“Apparently.”

This may have been something that was described a while ago that I just forgot, but I'm going to ask now since it was kind of relevant here: How does one, in this story's universe, learn poke-talk? Each pokemon is apparently different, but how does one learn the speech. Do they have to attend 649 different classes? Is it an intuitive thing? It seems like they understand complete phrases and not just, say, the "idea" behind what they are saying. So it is complete, thorough translation, but not all pokemon have the same "language". I'm just piqued on curiousity.

Also: irrelevant info time--I have newfound love of Spoink/Grumpig because I just used one in my first ever successful Nuzlocke. It was a beast for me. :)


Nuzleaf took a high jump forward and landed on his hands only to shove himself to the Spoink’s right just as a hearty purple glow started taking shape around the psychic Pokemon.

Something about this sentence was a bit awkward and hard-to-ascertain. I had to read it a few times to get it. Not sure what I'd fix, but I had to read it a few times to digest it properly.


Just as the double ball of energy would have reached Nuzleaf, he did a split and missed being struck. Nuzleaf vanished on the spot and reappeared about ten yards to the Spoink’s right. The Pokemon growled at each other and Nuzleaf sprinted forward with his fists clenched. The ball of energy and bullet seed kept traveling after Nuzleaf dodged it, and came straight for Dorian, just like he intended. Taking a step back then forward, Dorian spiked the glowing orb like volleyball, his Pokeflect protecting his body and sending it in the opposite direction with even more velocity. The Spoink cried out in pain as the attack connected and it was sent flipping down the road, smoke trailing from its body.

What a beautiful idea. Very nice. Also, can I AGAIN reiterate how much I love the Pokeflect? I want a spin-off story about the origins of the pokeflect!


“I know, I just, well,” Dorian started.

I think, and this is just preference I suppose, that the comma after just should be an ellipses instead. That more successfully details hesitation than a comma.


Shelton inched closer and wrapped both arms around his neck. She leaned forward and pressed her forehead against his. When he looked into her eyes he saw a bright sheen of tears starting to cover them. Dorian pulled her closer and embraced her tightly. He held her there for a moment then cupped her face in his hands.

“We’re going to be fine,” he assured her.

“I know,” she replied. “I just miss him.”

“I do too, and that’s why we’re going. That piece of **** is going to rot in jail for the rest of his life for what we did. And we are the ones who are going to make that happen. All of us.”

“Sounds good, dummy,” she said with a smile.

There haven't been many "intimate" scenes between Dorian and Shelton, so I sometimes forget they are a couple. This one was a nice breath of fresh air to see the heart of their relationship.



Shelton walked inside and Dorian turned quickly to make sure she didn’t see him breaking down.

Should be "HIS breaking down". It's a weird, obscure rule. But "breaking" is the noun in that sentence (it's a gerund), so the "his" is an adjective to describe whose breaking down it is.


He believed every word he said, but this task was so far beyond anything he had ever attempted that he felt the creeping shadow of doubt. Dorian shrugged it away as quickly as the thought came to him. He could do this and he would, and regardless of what Shelton wanted, he was going to make sure that that bastard never saw the inside of a courtroom. Dorian knew as soon as this plan was set that he was going to kill Ethan Bernard. He didn’t know when and he didn’t know how he would do it, but he would. Shelton would forgive him eventually, and if they were in a foreign country his odds of evading prosecution were stacked in his favor. Dorian contemplated what it would feel like for several minutes until Shelton came back outside with Nuzleaf, Golduck, and Kecleon in tow.

OHHHHhhhh.... the plot thickens. Nice flawed character, this Dorian. Something fun about protagonists that wrestle with morality in the face of something that is obscuring their ability to see right from wrong; I dig that.


-The Marco bit at the end was interesting. To be honest, I don't really remember Marco's being mentioned before, but it's probably just been a while; I'll have to re-read and catch back up at my leisure.

Again, your battle scene was very nicely done. Imaginative and brutal and well-described (aside from that one line I mentioned that threw me). And I really liked the soulful moment between Shelton and Dorian. I get that it's not really their characters to be lovey, but it was a joy to see their caring about one another.

Dorian's struggle morality and his willing descent onto corruption/deceit is good to see, too. Reminds me of another guy I know from Johto who is currently running around a far-away region and struggling with a loss in his family. ;)

Shadow Lucario
16th September 2012, 4:33 AM
Back with a bang. Excellent chapter. Both sid and diamond have done my job of pointing out the errors. I couldn't spot any others. Average length for you. Wasn't too long where it dragged on and not short enough to need more. Marco intrigues me. I look forward to learning more about him. Dorian and Shelton still remain excellent. Can't wait to see how they handle both Marco and Orre. Keep it up.

Glover
16th September 2012, 7:50 AM
Dorian was wondering what it would be like to pull his brain out through his forehead.
That, has got to be one of the best ways to open a chapter. The reader is sitting here going: Wait, wha?


What brought the thought to the surface of his mind was his attempt to quell the vicious headache he had by pushing his fingers as hard as he could against his forehead.
That being said, this is an awfully long sentence. And I'm not sure we actually ever adress where this headache came from: Did Shelton thump him? Did Machoke thump him?


“Okay, well, just don’t push too hard unless you want to lobotomize yourself.” I'd put either a comma or a semi-colon between hard and unless. It reads better to me with a partial stop


“Oh Christ I know it’s a word, but Dorian it’s not like we’re going to run into him at the airport. Hell, he may not even be on the same continent. I look nice and I feel comfortable, so get over it.”
I sually see "Oh Christ" with an exclamation point, seeing as its an exclamation. If you want to get more technical and complain about not being a sentence, it needs a comma or a partial-stop.


I look nice and I feel comfortable, so get over it.” And... everyone look out, Shelton feels pretty AND is comfortable! I'm sure every man or adolescent slug is familiar with the "My feet hurt" "Then why are you wearing six-inch heels?" "because they make me feel pretty." "But your feet hurt." "But I'm pretty." argument, and here Shelton is comfortably pretty...

I'm gonna get slugged, aren't I?


The magazine blossomed open like a flower as it sailed through the air, obscuring him from her vision. You know, for being a dunce, Dorian's really a good tactician. A bit outclassed perhaps, but quite bright.


Almost three feet long when extended and made from segmented steel, her two weapons were formidable enough in unskilled hands, but much more so considering that she held two degrees in combat with them. You explain them, but I still had to look up an Asp, since that's a new one on me and I doubt she's holding a bug. For the rest of the world who doesn't know: Shelton's holding a pair of retractable batons that look sorta like an old radio antennae...


“Well, you need to figure it out before we leave. Obviously most Pokemon are going to be unruly after they’ve been caught, but that Spoink pretty much tried to kill you. You’re either taking it with you or releasing it. You need to decide.” iiiittttt's BACON!


“That’s inspired,” Dorian responded. “We could surround it and make sure it doesn’t try and throw me to Hoenn.”
Save a Plane ticket!


“Nope, I’ve actually never heard Spoink before so I’m not sure. Missing a quotation mark at the end. Yeah, I can't believe I caught that either.


“Bullet seed!”
I'd capitalize Seed, but that's me. Or knock the B down.


Faint attack Same here, although in this case the F is the leading letter, if you prefer leaving your attacks lowercase.


Fortunately though Nuzleaf comma after though


but at least the Spoink didn’t look like it wanted him drawn and quartered. It would probably be okay with having the skin on one of his fingers flayed off, but Dorian thought he was relatively safe now. This is progress? I think this is the part where Machoke grabs Spoink by the tip of his tail and his body, stretches him, and then uses the little pig as a paddleball. But maybe not.


Nuzleaf had looked good while doing it though and he had taken a hell of a beating doing so.
break after though


His sadness suddenly came back in a wave that swallowed him whole. He swayed to the left and grabbed the refrigerator door for balance. His breathing was quick and deep as he struggled to unwind the knot in his gut.
Been there before


“Kecleon? Kec, leon leon?” he asked.

“Yes, I remember whose house this is,” Dorian retorted.

“Kecleon Kec!” the Pokemon said, pointing a finger at Dorian.

“I’m sorry; it has just been getting to me a little more than usual.”

“Kec, leon Kecleon.”

“Yeah I’m ready too. Shelton’s finishing up a few things and we’re going to leave in a few hours.”

Kecleon walked over to Dorian and wrapped both arms around his right thigh, which was as far as he could reach without jumping. The warmth that the Pokemon transferred to him comforted him and relieved him of the burden of his sadness. Reaching down, Dorian broke the embraced and gave one of Kecleon’s scaly hands a squeeze.

“We’re going to get him, you know that, right?” Dorian asked.

“Kecleon kec!” he responded, squeezing his hand.

“Let’s go outside and wait for the princess.”

Hand in hand they crossed the living room and went back outside.

Very cute scene. Keckleon's first lines were a tad confusing to follow, but its a cute scene to imagine.


“Look I know and I don’t want to leave the house either. But the more we stay here the sadder I get. I can’t be around his stuff right now Dorian. It’s too hard.”
“I know what you mean,” Dorian affirmed.


---
And finally:


Should be "HIS breaking down". It's a weird, obscure rule. But "breaking" is the noun in that sentence (it's a gerund), so the "his" is an adjective to describe whose breaking down it is. Oh holy crap; shits gettin' deep now. Sid's pulling out gerunds. Phht!

Sidewinder
19th September 2012, 6:11 AM
I also like Dorian’s resolve about killing Ethan, and how he’s keeping it a secret for everyone else’s sake. I’ll be interested in seeing if he actually follows through with it or not.

I'm eager to see if he follows through with it as well. Dorian is very fun for me because he lays out so many plans that just go completely to **** and he never seems to notice that it keeps happening haha


Marco seems like a rather mysterious person (seems like that’s what you were aiming for),

I'm glad that's what he seems like, because that's exactly what I'm aiming for. He's my wildcard right now, and to be completely honest I still don't know what he's going to do and exactly how far he's willing to go to accomplish his goal.

Thanks for the review as always :)


Kinda silly here, but you might want to call them batons or something because when I read this, I immediately thought she was suddenly carrying around two snakes.

Lmao I love that you said that. About two hours after I posted the chapter I wondered if people would think she was holding up two vipers haha


How does one, in this story's universe, learn poke-talk? Each pokemon is apparently different, but how does one learn the speech. Do they have to attend 649 different classes? Is it an intuitive thing? It seems like they understand complete phrases and not just, say, the "idea" behind what they are saying. So it is complete, thorough translation, but not all pokemon have the same "language". I'm just piqued on curiousity.

Also: irrelevant info time--I have newfound love of Spoink/Grumpig because I just used one in my first ever successful Nuzlocke. It was a beast for me.

I'm glad you asked, and how you asked basically answers the question. After spending a lot of time with a particular Pokemon, it always seemed reasonable to me that a trainer wouldn't just pick up on the words themselves but the rise and fall of vocal tones and how body language is mixed in along with tone of voice. It seems acceptable that after years of study on a particular Pokemon, and especially after interracting with them as much as a trainer does, you would learn to pick out different parts of speech and translate them into a language you can understand easily.


What a beautiful idea. Very nice. Also, can I AGAIN reiterate how much I love the Pokeflect? I want a spin-off story about the origins of the pokeflect!

Believe me, it's coming. And if you like the Pokeflect, you're going to love my next invention that appears in the next chapter


There haven't been many "intimate" scenes between Dorian and Shelton, so I sometimes forget they are a couple.

I can see how you arrived at that, but as I stated a few chapters ago, the love and affection they show each other is just the closeness they got as they grew up together. They are not a couple and I seriously doubt they could ever be because they grew up as brother and sister and that's really the only way they see each other. I may have to work on amping that up a bit.

Thanks for the review buddy


Back with a bang. Excellent chapter. Both sid and diamond have done my job of pointing out the errors. I couldn't spot any others. Average length for you. Wasn't too long where it dragged on and not short enough to need more. Marco intrigues me. I look forward to learning more about him. Dorian and Shelton still remain excellent. Can't wait to see how they handle both Marco and Orre. Keep it up.

Thanks for taking the time to read and review. Sometimes I think that a single continent is not big enough for Dorian and his ego, so adding Marco to the situation should make for a pretty fun situation lol


That, has got to be one of the best ways to open a chapter. The reader is sitting here going: Wait, wha?

That's exactly what I was going for lol, I'm glad you liked it


I sually see "Oh Christ" with an exclamation point, seeing as its an exclamation. If you want to get more technical and complain about not being a sentence, it needs a comma or a partial-stop.

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I think putting a comma after it would read a bit better


You explain them, but I still had to look up an Asp, since that's a new one on me and I doubt she's holding a bug. For the rest of the world who doesn't know: Shelton's holding a pair of retractable batons that look sorta like an old radio antennae...

Very good explanation. Since you're the second one who had trobule with calling that to mind I may go back and change asps to batons. I probably should have done that to begin with but I drew the thought of the weapon from my stepfather who's been a police office since before I was born. I've seen them on different officers and played with his for as long as I can remember so I just assumed that other people would know exactly what the were. Thanks for bringing that up


This is progress? I think this is the part where Machoke grabs Spoink by the tip of his tail and his body, stretches him, and then uses the little pig as a paddleball. But maybe not.

I'd agree with you if I thought that Machoke was actually brave enough to grab anything in anger haha


Oh holy crap; shits gettin' deep now. Sid's pulling out gerunds. Phht!

Lol, I have to admit that I had to look the term up haha. Thanks for reading/reviewing as always

Glover
19th September 2012, 7:00 AM
This may have been something that was described a while ago that I just forgot, but I'm going to ask now since it was kind of relevant here: How does one, in this story's universe, learn poke-talk? Each pokemon is apparently different, but how does one learn the speech. Do they have to attend 649 different classes? Is it an intuitive thing? It seems like they understand complete phrases and not just, say, the "idea" behind what they are saying. So it is complete, thorough translation, but not all pokemon have the same "language". I'm just piqued on curiousity.

Sidewinder and I have had this conversation, and we basically run the same theories. In general, most Pokemon are more personified than the example I'm about to give, but the language barrier is about the same. Do you have dog? Maybe a nice cat? (Is there such a thing as a "nice" cat?) You know how you/some people baby talk them, and sometimes they give you that "look" that says "How old do you think you are? Shut up and feed me." And then maybe during loud noises like fireworks, you can read a look that says "I don't like this." or "This scares me." You can tell a difference between a low growl and a solid growl that's "I don't like something" and not "There's something outside"?

If not, you need pets. :-P

Sidewinder
1st October 2012, 2:41 AM
Credit for the name of my new Pokemon inspired invention goes to my good friend Garett. Miss you buddy, get home soon



Chapter 16



The roaring grew louder as Ethan moved closer.

The sound was soon joined by the frantic shouting of several people and the unmistakable crash of something very heavy slamming into the ground. The trees to the northwest of Jubilife City were ancient and thick, giving him plenty of cover as he slinked towards the sound of chaos further ahead. A flash of blue flame appeared as he closed to within about thirty feet, which was then followed by crashing limbs and swirling smoke. The sunlight overhead was dying along with the color of the leaves all around, which amplified the golden glow above his head. Pulling the collar of his jacket up high Ethan looked up and saw a hefty branch
about fifteen feet above his head.

Gathering his strength Ethan leapt straight up, covering the distance easily to the branch; upon grabbing it he used his forward momentum to swing upwards another ten feet to a branch close to the middle of the tree. At this height he could observe what was happening below and ahead of him far better than he could from the ground. Four men dressed all in black riot gear and helmets had the Salamence forced up against the trunk of an ancient oak. The Salamence’s scales glittered dashingly in the failing light as it darted forward and retreated back. It was bleeding heavily from multiple cuts on its torso and mouth, the blood turning a cringe worthy shade of black as it released torrent after torrent of sapphire dragon fire.

The humans were using shehnai against the dragon Pokemon and they seemed to be gaining the upper hand. The weapons had been extended to about fifteen feet for safety and the umbrella and barb ends were both glowing electric blue. A relatively new form of Pokemon control, the device worked to use a Pokemon’s power against it. While not effective against physical attacks, the spear provided a powerful defense and offense against energy based attacks. The umbrella, or suction end of the spear sucked in the energy released by a Pokemon and compressed it, sending it down a special membrane tubing that amplified the collected energy and sent it to the barb. The energy that was absorbed by the umbrella made no difference, it could suck in the energy released by flame and ice just as easily as it could by that made of water or even the mystical energy of a ghost Pokemon. While not lethal on its own, once the barb was charged with the Pokemon’s own power, it delivered it back in the form of concussive bursts when touched by a Pokemon’s flesh.

As Ethan shifted his weight and noticed that the four men were growing more confident in their steps towards the dragon Pokemon. The Salamence belched another tongue of blue fire; the attack was intentionally sent high to sever branches above, but the men reacted quickly and managed to roll away before they crashed down to where they were standing. The boldest man of the group darted forward and slashed at the Salamence with his shehnai, scoring a direct hit on the dragon’s brow and leaving a scorch mark. The dragon recoiled backwards from the blow and slammed into the tree behind it once again. A weak growl parted his lips as gravity took hold as he fell forward and came to rest face down at his attacker’s feet. The men strode forward cautiously and lifted the visors of their helmets. One nudged the sternum of the Salamence’s pale underbelly while another poked at its scaly tail. The biggest of the group strode forward and dropped two clinking duffel bags in front of the dragon. The man revealed a full head of blond hair as he removed his helmet and dropped his spear. He leaned down close to the dragon Pokemon and began to speak.

“That was my brother’s Buneary and Luxio you ate, you filthy piece of ****. Jubilife wants us to send you back to Hoenn, but we’re going to lock you in a hole so deep you won’t ever be able to see the sky again.”

“Sir?” one of the other men asked.

“Start shackling its arms and legs, I’ll get the brace,” the large man commanded, kicking the dragon Pokemon viciously in the mouth as he walked away.

From one of the bags, the man removed a large steel plated device that he clamped down on either side of the dragon’s jaw, effectively eliminating the Pokemon’s use of its razor sharp fangs. The other men did as they were told and soon the Salamence’s legs and arms were both bound tightly with steel chains linking each to the next. The dragon still struggled, and when stretching its legs didn’t work, it began slamming its head up and down in an attempt to break the muzzle over its jaws. Blue fire burned its snout and blackened the dirt around its head as it released a wave of energy. The steel around its mouth began to melt and fall to the ground like mercury rain before the lead man came back and gave it another sharp slap with his spear.

Ethan watched the events with a sort of macabre fascination at the dragon’s plight, until just as he was about to climb down an idea occurred to him. Grasping a branch with his left hand and another with his right, he tightened his grip until he felt a familiar tickling sensation wrap around his muscles. He launched himself from the tree with shocking speed and plummeted to the ground thirty feet below, landing silently behind two of the humans. He jumped forward and smashed a clenched hand against each of their helmeted skulls. The ceramic crunched loudly and shattered as both men dropped to the ground unconscious. Just as the other two heard the sound and began to turn, he pulled the hood of his jacket over his face and grabbed one of the men’s shehnai. Ethan pulled back and threw the spear at one, who promptly fell to the ground in convulsions. The one left, the obvious leader of the group lowered the visor on his helmet and charged forward yelling curses. The man held the spear like a lance as he sprinted forward, seeking to gore him.

“Pathetic,” Ethan whispered.

Sliding his right foot back for balance like Alakazam had taught him, Ethan quickly sidestepped the barb and swung a hand upward, severing the spear in two. The man swung a gloved fist in his direction, and uttered a surprised gasp as Ethan effortlessly caught it in one hand. Smiling, Ethan drew back with his remaining hand and punched the man in the torso. His ‘adversary’ folded around his fist as the air left his lungs and flew fifteen feet straight back where he hit a tree. The crack of his helmet on wood echoed through the air as the man slid down to the ground and did not move. With his enhanced hearing he could hear the heartbeats of all four of the men and could tell that they were all still alive. While the thought of ending them certainly had its appeal, it was the best idea to keep as many bodies away from him as possible at the moment. One in particular was causing him a lot of unwanted attention right now and it was probably best not to exacerbate the situation.

“Saler-ssss.”

Ethan turned.

“Sss, salasssssss.”

The dragon’s words came out slurred because of the muzzle around its mouth.

“What’s that?” Ethan asked.

The Salamence glared as menacingly as it could from its bound position.

“A thank you is customary when someone saves your life.”

No response was offered in return.

Ethan had been dreading this moment. He hadn’t released Alakazam since he had attacked him and Scyther outside Pewter City. Though they had both had time to mellow out since their disagreement, Ethan knew for certain that he would still be fuming. However, he needed his power right now if he had any hope of carrying through on his plan with this angry serpent. It was hard psyching himself up for this. Ethan didn’t feel guilty for what he did to that man in Pewter City, and by extension to those officers. He had not been in the wrong, but Alakazam’s self-righteous mantra of good was getting to be extremely tedious. As much as Ethan loved his partner he had long sensed a growing fracture in their relationship and he knew that one of them would have to cave in. Either Ethan would leave his dream behind or Alakazam would learn to go along. Greatness was never achieved by being nice, and it certainly was not taken without stomping over people in the way. Not only was Alakazam the smartest Pokemon he had ever meet, but his intelligence outstripped that of any human he had ever met. Surely someone that smart would be able to understand what he was trying to do; surely someone that intelligent would be able to put apart simple ideals for the greater good.

Ethan opened Alakazam’s ball and released him back into the world.

Alakazam formed and stared. Nothing was given away. Each of them refused to speak first, and each was holding on to that with all their will. Besides the sounds of their own breathing and the Salamence’s low growls, the forest around them had gone silent. Breaking the stillness, Alakazam reached out with his hand and pulled his mustache tight, which Ethan had learned throughout the years as a physical tell of extreme annoyance from his Pokemon. Ethan didn’t have time for this.

“I need your help,” he stated flatly.

“Obviously. What happens if I refuse? Are you going to attack me again? Maybe have Scyther carve me up like you did that human?” Alakazam spoke to his mind.

“Scyther is away for the moment, and if you recall, you disobeyed me,” Ethan responded.

“I disobeyed? I apologize, master,” Alakazam snorted, taking a deep exaggerated bow. “Am I just a servant to you now? Are you going to discipline me like Scyther?”

“Of course not, but you must realize there will be some casualties along the way to our eventual goal.”

“Correction. Your goal, not mine.”

“You have participated in every action I’ve taken along the way so you are just as much a part of this as I am.”

“I’ve never helped you mutilate and kill, nor will I.”

“So you think crime shouldn’t be punished?” Ethan asked.

“Crime?” What crime did that man commit exactly? The shards do not belong to you; it is not your right to judge those who end up obtaining them. Do you even hear the way you’re talking?” Alakazam asked.

“It is my birthright,” Ethan hissed, taking a step forward.

“I know that’s how you feel, but Ethan please, see the logic of the situation. You murdered someone over your obsession. You do realize we’ll probably never be able to set foot in Kanto ever again.”

Ethan closed his eyes for a moment and reeled his anger back in before he did something stupid. When he opened them again twilight was falling and the sky was glowing a creamy purple. No wind, no sounds, just a still forest with decaying leaves and splintered wood. He knew that Alakazam was not going to let this go, and no matter what he said or promised he would remind him of what he did for years to come.

“That’s right, I will,” Alakazam affirmed

“It was not my intention to make you uncomfortable, and I do apologize to reacting towards you the way I did when you took us from Pewter, but this is bigger than both of us. Granted, I’ve let my temper get the better of me recently but what we’re doing is coming to an end soon, and we will both be better once they are restored to the physical plane,” Ethan explained.

“I’ve heard this argument before, and as I said last time I don’t care. The chance to talk you out of this crusade has long past, so I won’t try. But if you ever take another life unnecessarily there will be no more us,” Alakazam said, pointing a finger at his chest. “I will leave you, and I won’t look back Ethan, I swear it.”

“Fine, but don’t expect me t-,” Ethan started.

“Stop it,” Alakazam said, cutting him off with a wave of his hand. “Your promises or threats mean less to me now than they ever have before, so don’t try it. I love you with all my heart Ethan and I don’t wish to be parted from you. We’ll do what we have to do until this is done and then we will put this behind this, but I’m serious when I say that there will be no more killing. If you want to proceed down that route you will have to do it without me.”

“Agreed,” Ethan said.

“Then what are we doing and where are we?”

“It’s been seve-“ Ethan started.

“Sinnoh? Snowpoint is still a long ways off, and I don’t have the energy to fly us. Which makes sense as to why the Salamence is here.”

Perhaps Alakazam was more powerful than he gave him credit for, or maybe it was because he only very rarely tried to hide things from his brother in all but blood, but he still hated when Alakazam plucked things from his mind before he was able to articulate a sentence.

“Yes, I intend to use it for transport and anything else that pops up along the way. I need you to translate,” Ethan explained.

“It’s not a hard creature to read, and just so you know it’s trying to think of the fastest way to kill you after it releases itself,” Alakazam said. “I don’t think you’ll be able to reason with it.”

“Nah, Salamence are proud, but it took about five hits from those shehnai that I know of so I have a pretty good idea about how to get it under control.”

“In that case, be my guest,” Alakazam said, opening his arms wide.

“Tell it that I mean him no harm, and I will release it if it agrees to hear a proposal.”

Alakazam turned towards the dragon and narrowed his eyes. The Salamence recoiled slightly as the psychic Pokemon touched its mind. It released another torrent of blue fire from its maw in protest, but only succeeded in scorching its own face. The dragon nodded towards Alakazam and growled as deeply as it could after the fire around its face died down.

“He said that he’s going to rip out your spine after he’s done with the other humans lying around,” Alakazam explained.

“Tell him that he should consider what I have to say carefully before making any hasty decisions and I decide to do the same thing to him.”
Alakazam relayed the message.

The Salamence brought himself up to his full height and made a gurgling in his throat that sounded like a chuckle. The dragon started raking its claws against the muzzle on his mouth before after turning completely around and showing him their back. Ethan sighed loud enough for it to hear and when that didn’t illicit the dragon’s attention he walked around to where he could look the Pokemon square in the face.

“Repeat what I said again,” Ethan said.

After repeating what he had said a moment ago, Alakazam said, “He says that he has no reason to listen to a human and that you are no more dangerous to him than a light breeze.”

Ethan hadn’t expected anything less from the creature, and a small part of him admired the Pokemon’s defiant spirit; a very small part. Closing his eyes and centering himself Ethan focused on the flakes inside his body. Their power flowed into his muscles like a boiling rain shower and he felt a tickling sensation envelop his extremities. He spied a dining table sized boulder a few feet away and walked over to it, gesturing towards the rock with his hands like a game show host. The Salamence cocked his head sideways and studied him. With a small smile Ethan pulled back with his right fist and punched the top of the boulder with all his might.

The rock disintegrated spectacularly with a loud boom and sent slivers of rock in all directions, some embedding themselves three inches deep in the trunks of nearby trees. Ethan turned back towards the Salamence and found to his pleasure that its heart was now beating thrice as fast. The Pokemon sat down on its haunches, dumbfounded. Now that he had the dragon’s full attention, Ethan walked forward and stopped about four feet away. Extracting his dagger from the holster inside his pants, Ethan gestured towards the weapon with his eyes and ran it slowly down his exposed forearm. Crimson blood lazily followed the dagger as it bit deep into his skin through the fatty tissue and into the muscle. Within seconds the wound was billowing black smoke and the skin was stitching itself back together. Ethan leaned his face forward through the haze and smiled at the dragon.

“You are correct in the fact that you don’t have to listen to any human,” Ethan said, checking to his right to see if Alakazam was relaying what he was saying. “But I am no human, not anymore. I’ll show you power, dragon. I’ll show you how to focus your strength and make it grow. And I will show you prey, and if you help me you shall have more than could ever sate your hunger.”

The Salamence started breathing again after Ethan stopped speaking and stared at him. There was no hint of understanding, and Alakazam didn’t respond with anything from the dragon, so Ethan waited. The Salamence leaned his head forward and sniffed Ethan through the two holes bored into the muzzle. Ethan reached up, and while the Salamence arched its head back, it slowly slid it back forward and allowed him to slide a hand onto the top and bottom of each side of the muzzle. Ethan clenched both his hands and pulled outward, bending the metal back until it sheared itself into two pieces that he dropped to the ground.

After he had snapped the shackles and chains binding the dragon, Ethan said, “You’re free to leave if you like, as I have urgent matters to attend to, but if you want to unlock your true potential and make sure people like the ones around you never harm you again, you should come with me.”

Once again, the Salamence didn’t relay a message, but after a moment he dipped his head until his chin brushed the dirt below. Ethan removed a pokeball from his pocket and tapped it against one of the red crests following the circle of his skull. The dragon disappeared in a flash of white light and was absorbed into the confines of the device without any struggle. Making a note to heal the tired dragon at the next Pokemon Center that presented itself, Ethan turned back to Alakazam. His partner still had the light shadow of contempt on his face that he had been wearing on the day Ethan had attacked him, but he knew that his love for him was slowing pushing that feeling further away.

“That’s correct, it is,” Alakazam confirmed. “It’s hard for me to stay cross with you, but remember what I said. As much as you say the voices love you, I’m actually here, right now, in front of you, and you can actually see that I do. I will not let harm come to you if I can help it, and I’d sacrifice myself just as quick as you would for me, but I cannot be a party to more murder. I won’t.”

“Understood.”

“I know that you feel special Ethan, and you are, but don’t let delusion guide you, let knowledge.”

“I am. I know you’ve long thought that these voices aren’t real, but how else do you explain what I can do. I’ve left humanity behind, and I’ve only been able to from the guidance they’ve given me. How else can you explain these flakes and how I know exactly where to go to get them?”

“I can’t explain how you know where they are, and I still don’t know what they even are exactly. Have these voices actually told you what you’re absorbing inside yourself?”

“Well no, but they said I’m not ready to understand like I told you. They have my best interests at heart, our best interests. Everything they’ve ever told me to do has made me stronger, and unless you can’t think of an extremely persuasive argument to get me to stop, I’m going to keep doing it.”

“You know I can’t, I’ve tried before. All I’m saying is use the considerable amount of intelligence you have to make rational decisions.”

Ethan gave him a curt nod to end the conversation. Alakazam’s argument had affected him even less than the last time he had attempted to dissuade him. Maybe he was getting more immune from his friend’s influence, but a larger part of him knew that he was embracing the idea of what he was becoming more than he ever had before. He had three shards of the tablet now, and after he found the other three he’d be able repair the tablet and release the voices back into reality. Then they would carry him to his destiny, they would embrace him like a son. They understood him more than anyone, even Alakazam. They too thought he had a special place far above those of normal men. Not only did they introduce him to that philosophy, but they encouraged his attempts to make it so. They were his heart and his mind and they were guiding him. To what end he did not know but he had the drive and the willpower to trust in their wisdom.

Ethan nodded towards the forest and Alakazam fell into step with him as he melted through the trees and into the failing light beyond.



********


The smell of Floaroma Town made him light headed.

The scents of the manicured berry and flower patches combined themselves into a mosaic of olfactory pleasure as the wind picked up and swirled them all about the town. It was intoxicating enough outside, but once he settled down into his hotel room and opened the window, the smell bonded to everything in the room. He and Alakazam had checked in close to three and after spending a few hours organizing his thoughts and smelling the air, the sun had begun to rise. The psychic Pokemon came forward out of the chair in the corner without being asked.

“How long?” Alakazam asked.

“Just a few minutes. I want to tell them where we are,” Ethan replied.

Purple energy blossomed from Alakazam’s hands as Ethan rested his head backwards. After dragging once finger across his forehead, Alakazam’s hands blotted out his vision and he felt a strong pressure on the bridge of his nose. The familiar sensation of weightlessness and darkness engulfed his being as he was forced into unconsciousness. The journey to meet the voices was like traveling through space without stars. No light, no sound, no feelings, just blank space and no gravity. Then as always he would feel heat blossom across his fingers and he would know to open his eyes. Just as always he knew that he would be greeted with the sound of soft crashing waves and the feeling of sunlight on his skin. When he opened his eyes though, was the first time he had ever been wrong.

The sun wasn’t visible and neither was the blue sky. The waves were crashing against the island softly as always, but the grey color of the water made the sound seem almost wicked. A soft rain drizzled onto his body as he rose and turned towards the tower. Against the dark grey sky it was blacker than he had ever seen it. Ethan couldn’t feel them coming yet, but he knew they would arrive momentarily. He walked forward and rested his cheek against one wall of the tower. He had not experienced this environment before when coming to visit them. Ethan was so wrapped up in the sagging clouds and sprinkling rain that he almost didn’t notice when a force behind him whispered in his ear.

“Hello Ethan,” the voice said with unmistakable kindness.

“Hello,” Ethan said with a smile. “How are you?”

“Somewhat scattered at the moment, but I’ll get better, thank you for asking.”

The sound of the lone voice bothered him. They had all come whenever he visited. While the one voice comforted him and still had a measurable presence, it was less than what all of them had together. Had he done something wrong? Were they angry with him? Was he the cause of the lone voice and the different weather?

“You are wondering where my companions are, correct?”

“Yes, have I displeased you?” Ethan asked.

“Not at all, child,” the voice assured him. “Our strength grows weak as time passes. We know you’re trying your best, but the others are trying to conserve their strength. As the years have passed our power has faded, and for some reason it’s happening more quickly than it ever has before.”

“What can I do to help?”

“Nothing, child. You’re doing your best, we know. It wouldn’t hurt to pick up the pace slightly, but we know you’ll save us.”

“I am trying, I promise,” Ethan said. “Today I aided a Pokemon that will be able to help us. With his help we should have the next shard in just a few days”

“That’s wonderful, Ethan.”

“To be honest, I’ve been think-,” Ethan started. His voice left him as he caught sight of the entrance to the tower. It wasn’t grandiose or a shock, but he realized this was the closest he had ever been to it before. The voices had never let him go inside. As he moved closer to the sound of the voice ahead of him, he caught a glimpse of what looked like stairs through the opening of the archway.

“Go ahead,” the voice laughed.

“I, are you sure?”

“Yes. Go ahead, child. It will be our little secret. Just a quick look though.”

“Thank you,” Ethan nodded.

He nervously cracked his knuckles in anticipation as he edged closer to the opening. This was actually happening. He had been given permission. It was a happy permission too, the voice sounded almost excited to let him see what he had been denied, for whatever reason he had been refused before. The archway was mere inches away and what he thought had been had been stairs turned out to be actually that. Too afraid to put his whole body inside Ethan stuck his head though the opening and followed the staircase. It was a spiral of stairs leading straight up, but it wasn’t angular like the walls outside, the inside was more like a cylinder with the stairs curving upwards in a circle as high as he could see.

“That’s enough now,” the voice said.

“I apologize,” Ethan said as he pulled his head back.

“Please Ethan, don’t worry, no harm was done. What did you think?”

“It was beautiful,” Ethan admitted.

“We think so as well. The one’s who knew their place built it for us as tribute, as they rightly should. We governed the world from the clouds above and for a time the world prospered greatly. As you know, that changed when the rebels tore us from reality and placed us in this halfway place between worlds.”

“I know, and it was an unforgiveable injustice. I will restore you to the world. You do believe that, don’t you?”

“Of course we do, Ethan. That’s why we chose you above all others. You will piece us back together and help us reclaim what was ours. We see through your eyes and we know the world has changed greatly. When we return, you will be our guide, and after we are restored back to where we belong, you will become one of us.”

“Thank you, my lord,” Ethan said with a bow.

“Hah, I grow fonder of you every day, child. I’ve not heard that title in a great while and it is much appreciated.”

“It’s what you deserve,” Ethan smiled, his eyes starting to tear as the sky above began to flicker.

“We love you, Ethan, and we’ll see you soon,” the voice assured him.

“I love you too,” Ethan affirmed as his feet left the ground.

The clouds raced to meet him as Alakazam drew him back to consciousness. The rain became steadier as he rose and left the island behind. It become so steady actually that he had to close his eyes to block the pain as the droplets collided with his eyes. When the rain stopped he opened his eyes and found himself once again in the hotel room with Alakazam. His Pokemon waited for him to speak with a quiet patience as Ethan sat up and passed a few minutes trying to figure out his next move.

“We’re leaving,” Ethan decided.

“You need to rest, I know you’re tired.”

“I’ve rested enough.”

“Ethan, just clear you’re head and rest for a bit, we can spare a few hours.”

“No, we can’t. We’re leaving, now.”

Alakazam knew better than to try and talk him out of this even though he didn’t know the reason behind his newly increased conviction. Ethan crossed the room and pulled on his pack while removing the Salamence’s ball from his pocket. He had healed the dragon as he entered Floaroma Town so it should be ready for travel. Not wanting to waste the time using the elevator to go downstairs or check out, Ethan simply walked to the open window and dropped down to the ground twenty feet below. He opened the Salamence’s ball and started speaking as soon as the blue dragon had formed.

“We need to go north, with haste,” Ethan informed him.

The Salamence began to speak but was quickly cut off by a raised finger from Ethan.

“Alakazam?” Ethan asked.

His psychic Pokemon floated down from the room above and settled down next to him. Alakazam nodded and relayed his message. Once again the Dragon began to speak but Ethan took a step forward and bared his teeth at him.

“Tell him I do not care what he has to say. He chose to come with me and this is what I need from him. He can either do what I ask or he can continue to test my patience. And since I can already see some kind of remark from him, tell him this is the way it’s going to be.”

Alakazam did as asked and after a moment of consideration the Salamence lowered the right side of his body so Ethan could climb on top. Alakazam mounted the dragon behind him and wrapped one arm around his waist. The Salamence’s scales were cool beneath him and coarse which provided a good grip. As the dragon shook his head and started moving its wings back and forth in an effort to get used to the weight, Ethan leaned forward and wrapped both arms around the dragon’s neck. A rhythmic thrumming broke the stillness of the air as the Salamence started moving its wings up and down, faster and faster. They lifted off the ground through the cool morning fog below and up into the rising sun.

Once they were above the treetops surrounding Floaroma, the Salamence released a vibrating roar and accelerated to the north.

Glover
1st October 2012, 5:59 AM
Soo... First off, I was skimming as I scrolled down the page, and found this in Chapter 2:


The man’s Alkazam dropped to its two legs Sounds like a good name for a Psychic/Poison type, (Alchemy)

----

as he slinked towards Slunk? I really don't know for sure though.


The sunlight overhead was dying along with the color of the leaves all around, which amplified the golden glow above his head. Kind of awjkward, actually. I think its the "along with" since your using two slightly different definitions for "dying"

"the fading sunlight and the dying leaves"?


hefty branch
about fifteen feet above his head.


Gathering his strength, Ethan leapt needs a comma


branch; upon and that can actually be the end of the sentence, because of the subject preposition there.


At this height, he could Comma there? Gerund Boy could give a better answer, I suspect. ;)


The Salamence’s is it me, or does that Salamence appear out of nowhere?


Shenhai
The shehnai, shahnai, shenai or mangal vadya, is an aerophonic (wind) instrument, a double reed conical oboe, common in North India, West India, Iran, and Pakistan, made out of wood, with a metal flare bell at the end.[1][2][3] Its sound is thought to create and maintain a sense of auspiciousness and sanctity and, as a result, is widely used during marriages, processions, and in temples of West India, although it is also played in concerts. The South Indian equivalent of the shehnai is the nadaswaram. 6328
That's... not what you're describing. Hmm.


A relatively new form of Pokemon control, the device worked to use a Pokemon’s power against it. While not effective against physical attacks, the spear provided a powerful defense and offense against energy based attacks. The umbrella, or suction end of the spear sucked in the energy released by a Pokemon and compressed it, sending it down a special membrane tubing that amplified the collected energy and sent it to the barb. The energy that was absorbed by the umbrella made no difference, it could suck in the energy released by flame and ice just as easily as it could by that made of water or even the mystical energy of a ghost Pokemon. While not lethal on its own, once the barb was charged with the Pokemon’s own power, it delivered it back in the form of concussive bursts when touched by a Pokemon’s flesh.
Kinda cool. SDomeone needs to shoot the man who invented this with his own arrow though, its only Karmatic...


“That was my brother’s Buneary and Luxio you ate, you filthy piece of ****. Jubilife wants us to send you back to Hoenn, but we’re going to lock you in a hole so deep you won’t ever be able to see the sky again.” Me likey


The one left, the obvious leader of the group lowered the visor on his helmet and charged forward yelling curses. The man held the spear like a lance as he sprinted forward, seeking to gore him. You and I need to get out of each other's heads... Never mind what I said a minute ago...

like Alakazam had taught him,
This, that we can learn something from our Pokemon. Although I'm not sure Ethan would have been my first choice to empjhsize that, and not from his Alakazam


“Sinnoh? Snowpoint is still a long ways off, and I don’t have the energy to fly us. Which makes sense as to why the Salamence is here.”

Perhaps Alakazam was more powerful than he gave him credit for, or maybe it was because he only very rarely tried to hide things from his brother in all but blood, but he still hated when Alakazam plucked things from his mind before he was able to articulate a sentence.

“Yes, I intend to use it for transport and anything else that pops up along the way. I need you to translate,” Ethan explained.

“It’s not a hard creature to read, and just so you know it’s trying to think of the fastest way to kill you after it releases itself,” Alakazam said. “I don’t think you’ll be able to reason with it.”

“Nah, Salamence are proud, but it took about five hits from those shehnai that I know of so I have a pretty good idea about how to get it under control.”

“In that case, be my guest,” Alakazam said, opening his arms wide.

“Tell it that I mean him no harm, and I will release it if it agrees to hear a proposal.”

I love this Salamence. Proud, Old-worldsy, when Dragins ruled the sky and pickout our Cattle. But he also seems to be rather
He said that he’s going to rip out your spine after he’s done with the other humans lying around,” Alakazam explained. Stupid. Or Nieve, but this is Eathan.

I'm going with stupid. :-)


His partner still had the light shadow of contempt on his face that he had been wearing on the day Ethan had attacked him, but he knew that his love for him was slowing pushing that feeling further away.

“That’s correct, it is,” Alakazam confirmed. “It’s hard for me to stay cross with you Be careful doing this. You doid it a couple of times with Alakazam; your mixing narration with Ethan's thoughts, and the way it reads Alakazam is actually breaking Fourth Wall by reading the narration and not Ethan's mind. Comical once, but that's not really how you intended it...


After dragging once finger across his forehead


Then, as always, Two commas. You may not actually need the first one, but that's how I've seen the phrase.


The sun wasn’t visible and neither was the blue sky. The waves were crashing against the island softly as always, but the grey color of the water made the sound seem almost wicked. A soft rain drizzled onto his body as he rose and turned towards the tower. Against the dark grey sky it was blacker than he had ever seen it. If I didn't know better, I'd say that sounds like Dragonspiral near the ever-rainy Iccarus, but that doesn't match "The Voices". Does it ran near the grave tower or the Odd Keystone tower?


Against the dark grey sky, it was blacker than he had ever seen it. comma comma comma comma comma comma-cameleon... We come and go...


“Somewhat scattered at the moment, but I’ll get better, thank you for asking.” You know, I think this voice may become my new favorite character.


As the years have passed our power has faded, and for some reason it’s happening more quickly than it ever has before.”
I think there should be a comma after passed. It has to do with that As, but I'm not 100% on that one either.


It wouldn’t hurt to pick up the pace slightly, Subtle.


“Today I aided a Pokemon that will be able to help us. ddiing depths to Ethan's character and development, I have to admit this reads more like a six-year old saying "Daddy Daddy guess what I did today! I aided a Pokemon Daddy, aren't you pleased?"


“To be honest, I’ve been think-,” I wanna know what he was thinking.


It become so steady actually that he had to close his eyes to block the pain as the droplets collided with his eyes. An oldd section, I don't think you need the actually, its a bit of a stumbler. And this guy neesds his head thumped solidly checked if his dreams are trying to kill him...


Ethan took a step forward and bared his teeth at him.

Ethan must have really bad teeth, because somehow I can think of a million things that can pull that trick off a lot better than a human. Newborn Nidoran, for example.


---
*Whew* I'm done. Wonderful chapter. And Ethan-centric while Dorian and Shelton get shot out of the sky fly to my favorite region. See ya next chapter!

diamondpearl876
1st October 2012, 10:00 PM
As Ethan shifted his weight and noticed that the four men were growing more confident in their steps towards the dragon Pokemon.

Would remove “As” otherwise the sentence turns into a fragment.


The Salamence belched another tongue of blue fire; the attack was intentionally sent high to sever branches above, but the men reacted quickly and managed to roll away before they crashed down to where they were standing.

I think you meant “it crashed down”, as you’re referring to the attack rather than the people.


Not only was Alakazam the smartest Pokemon he had ever meet, but his intelligence outstripped that of any human he had ever met. Surely someone that smart would be able to understand what he was trying to do; surely someone that intelligent would be able to put apart simple ideals for the greater good.

“meet” should be “met”

I also really like the second sentence there. It really shows how much faith Ethan has in his partner, and how wishful his thinking really is. It also nicely shows how high of a pedestal Ethan places his Alakazam on due to their past relationship, even though it is now fractured. Nicely done.


“Crime?” What crime did that man commit exactly? The shards do not belong to you; it is not your right to judge those who end up obtaining them. Do you even hear the way you’re talking?” Alakazam asked.

Remove quotation mark after “crime”.


“That’s right, I will,” Alakazam affirmed

Forgot period at the end.


We’ll do what we have to do until this is done and then we will put this behind this, but I’m serious when I say that there will be no more killing.

Should be “behind us”



“I am trying, I promise,” Ethan said. “Today I aided a Pokemon that will be able to help us. With his help we should have the next shard in just a few days”

Forgot period at the end.



“Ethan, just clear you’re head and rest for a bit, we can spare a few hours.”

Should be “your”



Alakazam knew better than to try and talk him out of this even though he didn’t know the reason behind his newly increased conviction.

Couldn’t Alakazam just read his thoughts to find out the reason? Not knowing some things makes sense, but this isn’t quite one of them.


He had healed the dragon as he entered Floaroma Town so it should be ready for travel.

“should be” is present tense, so it should be “should have been”.

An Ethan/Alakazam only chapter, huh? I do miss Dorian and company, as I think you write them splendidly. Nothing wrong with Ethan, Dorian and co. are just more interesting to me. This chapter was certainly very well written (despite the various grammar errors—it happens), as your description is wonderful and really paints a picture in my head when I’m reading. The dialogue was also good, though in a few places it seemed to be a bit too overdone to me (ie you repeat the same things during Ethan’s/flake’s conversation over and over again, or you use similar dialogue from the last few conversations they had). Overall, nicely done, and I can’t wait to see what you have next, as always.

Also, clear out your inbox so I can actually send you messages! wahhh

Sidewinder
4th October 2012, 12:09 AM
Reply time!


is it me, or does that Salamence appear out of nowhere?

Well yeah, Ethan kinda stumbled across him


That's... not what you're describing. Hmm.

That picture actually gave me the inspiration for the weapon haha. I kinda picture it looking like that but much longer like a spear and with a iron barb where someone's mouth would go. Besides that, I just really liked the name of the instrument and thought it would fit well


This, that we can learn something from our Pokemon. Although I'm not sure Ethan would have been my first choice to empjhsize that, and not from his Alakazam

Believe it or not my fiance kinda said the same thing. She was like, "since when does Ethan learn anything from something that he thinks he's stronger than"


I love this Salamence. Proud, Old-worldsy, when Dragins ruled the sky and pickout our Cattle. But he also seems to be rather

When I was much younger I was completely addicted to any story involving dragons and got really entranced by the pride and power they all seemed to show. I thought it would be cool to see if I could pull off the same thing


Stupid. Or Nieve, but this is Eathan.

I'm going with stupid. :-)

I'm gonna go with stupid too


If I didn't know better, I'd say that sounds like Dragonspiral near the ever-rainy Iccarus, but that doesn't match "The Voices". Does it ran near the grave tower or the Odd Keystone tower?

You're somewhat on the right track there, but at the same time not really. I like the theory though :)


I have to admit this reads more like a six-year old saying "Daddy Daddy guess what I did today! I aided a Pokemon Daddy, aren't you pleased?"

I'd stay with that sort of thinking. You may be on to something there


And Ethan-centric while Dorian and Shelton get shot out of the sky fly to my favorite region

I'm actually going to probably PM you with questions about Orre pretty soon. I know you like it a lot so I hope I don't disappoint haha

Thanks for reading/reviewing as always, and thanks for pointing out my assorted grammatical mistakes. I swear for some reason I feel like I've gotten comma fever or something lately


It really shows how much faith Ethan has in his partner, and how wishful his thinking really is. It also nicely shows how high of a pedestal Ethan places his Alakazam on due to their past relationship, even though it is now fractured.

I'm glad you picked up on that because it was something I'm slowly and delicately building on. The subtle and slow rifts that form between two people have always fascinated me and ever since I started writing I've wanted to try my hand at it. Believe me, Alakazam's love for Ethan and their bond is going to be tested thoroughly


Couldn’t Alakazam just read his thoughts to find out the reason? Not knowing some things makes sense, but this isn’t quite one of them.

He can on most things, unless there's a way for someone or something's to block that out of Ethan's mind so that his mind can't be read in exactly that way. Can you think of anyone or anyone's who would/could do that? :)


I do miss Dorian and company, as I think you write them splendidly. Nothing wrong with Ethan, Dorian and co. are just more interesting to me.

I gotcha. You'll get your fill of them soon enough, believe me lol. Next three chapters are revolving around them and whatever mess they manage to get themselves into. Thanks for reading/reviewing as always! I appreciate the mistakes you pointed out as well and should be able to clear out what both you and Glover suggested out by Friday

And BTW for anytone else reading, new chapter will hopefully be up by Friday night

Sid87
13th October 2012, 1:34 PM
The roaring grew louder as Ethan moved closer.

Awww...no Dorian and Shelton? :p


The Salamence’s scales glittered dashingly in the failing light as it darted forward and retreated back.

I'm not sure I like "dashingly" as an adverb there. Dashingly, to me, implies a certain smoothness and fanciness. I don't imagine anything about a Salamence--especially under attack--to be dashing or chivalrous.


It was bleeding heavily from multiple cuts on its torso and mouth, the blood turning a cringe worthy shade of black as it released torrent after torrent of sapphire dragon fire.

Cringe-worthy should probably be hyphenated there. And I'm not sure I like it. It feels a little too "telly" and not enough "showy" to me. Maybe a "dead" shade of black. Or a "cruel" shade of black. Something that lends itself to the pain Salamence is feeling.


As Ethan shifted his weight and noticed that the four men were growing more confident in their steps towards the dragon Pokemon.

This sentence is not complete. WHAT HAPPENED as he shifted his weight and noticed the men?


The Salamence belched another tongue of blue fire; the attack was intentionally sent high to sever branches above, but the men reacted quickly and managed to roll away before they crashed down to where they were standing.

You have a few "they"s there referring to multiple things (the men; branches). I was able to follow along all right, but watch out for that going forward.


Sliding his right foot back for balance like Alakazam had taught him, Ethan quickly sidestepped the barb and swung a hand upward, severing the spear in two.

I like the subtle way of showing Ethan's continued dependence upon Alakazam and all that the pokemon has done for him. They've been disagreeing lately, but Ethan knows deep-down that he'd be a lesser man if not for Alakazam.


His ‘adversary’ folded around his fist as the air left his lungs and flew fifteen feet straight back where he hit a tree.

I think that, instead of the sarcastic quotation marks around "adversary", it would be more effective to say "His adversary--though Ethan would hardly consider him even that--folded..." It adds a little more bite to the way Ethan is unaffected by him.


Greatness was never achieved by being nice, and it certainly was not taken without stomping over people in the way.

I'll be honest...I hadn't loved the paragraph leading up to this point (the one about Ethan being wary of releasing Alakazam since they hadn't spoken since their argument). It almost feels like it was hastily written as a recap of where we've been so far. But I like this line here because it mirrors Ethan's narrow-minded, physical confrontation-laden world view with Dorian's. They actually aren't so dissimilar.



Not only was Alakazam the smartest Pokemon he had ever meet, but his intelligence outstripped that of any human he had ever met. Surely someone that smart would be able to understand what he was trying to do;

Something better than "do" to end that sentence. "Achieve". "Accomplish". "Create". "Bring about". "Do" is just so plain.


Ethan opened Alakazam’s ball and released him back into the world.

More nice, quiet imagery. What is a pokemon's life like in the ball? Are they not a part of the world anymore while they are within? Or is that just how Ethan views it? Short, nondescript line, but it makes me ponder.


“I’ve never helped you mutilate and kill, nor will I.”

“So you think crime shouldn’t be punished?” Ethan asked.

“Crime?” What crime did that man commit exactly? The shards do not belong to you; it is not your right to judge those who end up obtaining them. Do you even hear the way you’re talking?” Alakazam asked.

Oh heavens, more brilliant mirroring. Ethan/Dorian on the quest for violence and hate; Alakazam/Shelton incredulous at how the person they love as changed. Will either be able to save their friend from the road they are on?


Ethan closed his eyes for a moment and reeled his anger back in before he did something stupid. When he opened them again twilight was falling and the sky was glowing a creamy purple.

I don't think you meant it to, but the way you jump to description or a time of day after having Ethan open his eyes makes it feel like he had his eyes closed for HOURS. :)


“Stop it,” Alakazam said, cutting him off with a wave of his hand. “Your promises or threats mean less to me now than they ever have before, so don’t try it. I love you with all my heart Ethan and I don’t wish to be parted from you. We’ll do what we have to do until this is done and then we will put this behind this, but I’m serious when I say that there will be no more killing. If you want to proceed down that route you will have to do it without me.”

“Agreed,” Ethan said.

Oh ho ho...but what is he agreeing to? No more killing? Or that he's willing to do it without Alakazam? Sneaky sneaky, Ethan.


“Nah, Salamence are proud, but it took about five hits from those shehnai that I know of so I have a pretty good idea about how to get it under control.”

Gotta be honest...I REALLY don't see Ethan as the kind of person to say "Nah". He seems to proper.


“Tell him that he should consider what I have to say carefully before making any hasty decisions and I decide to do the same thing to him.”

It took me three readings to understand that sentence. You missed a comma, at least (after decisions... and you actually have had a few comma problems this chapter, but I didn't point them out because I thought they might have been typos), but that's not all. It sounds like, the way he says "do the same thing", Ethan is referring to his own sentence (basically threatening to "make a hasty decision" since that is the last action before Ethan threatens).


The Salamence brought himself up to his full height and made a gurgling in his throat that sounded like a chuckle. The dragon started raking its claws against the muzzle on his mouth before after turning completely around and showing him their back.

Before after? ;) So is that just "now" then?


“You are correct in the fact that you don’t have to listen to any human,” Ethan said, checking to his right to see if Alakazam was relaying what he was saying. “But I am no human, not anymore. I’ll show you power, dragon. I’ll show you how to focus your strength and make it grow. And I will show you prey, and if you help me you shall have more than could ever sate your hunger.”

Another comma thing. There should be one after "if you help me".


“Well no, but they said I’m not ready to understand like I told you. They have my best interests at heart, our best interests. Everything they’ve ever told me to do has made me stronger, and unless you can’t think of an extremely persuasive argument to get me to stop, I’m going to keep doing it.”

Couple things here: Should be a comma before "Like I told you". Change the comma before "our best interests" to either a semi-colon or an ellipsis. And it should be "unless you CAN think of an extremely..."


“What can I do to help?”

“Nothing, child. You’re doing your best, we know. It wouldn’t hurt to pick up the pace slightly, but we know you’ll save us.”

Hmmm...this doesn't sound like the voices as we last saw them. What are they playing at?


--Okay, I finished it up. I can honestly say I have no earthly idea what is going on with the voice[s] and their tower. I just can't gleam a clue from anything what they are. Maybe if I went back and JUST read all the scenes with them I'd get an idea. But as for now...I'm lost.

I once again would like to mention that I adore the mirroring or Ethan to Dorian and Alakazam to Shelton. It's a shame I hadn't picked up on it to this chapter.

Ethan has a Salamence now; his team is WAY overpowered for what Dorian and Shelton have. What chance can they have against him? None, I imagine. Which makes sense, as the story can only culminate with the voices being restored and being found to be the TRUE villain (or maybe not so villainous...who knows?)

Sorry it took me so long to get here!

Skiyomi
27th October 2012, 4:50 AM
Sorry I'm continuously running behind, but I sat down to read chapter 12 today and here are my thoughts on it:

I feel like before this, hints that Alakazam is uncomfortable with the situation and what Ethan is becoming were really done well. So you’d neatly set-up that this turn from him was going to come. I will say, however, that the impact of Alakazam realizing the horrible act that Ethan has committed—his real tipping point that gets him to fight back—doesn’t come off as strong as it really could. I’m not sure I can explain entirely why. I think part of it is that the scene of him realizing what Ethan’s done isn’t a full-fledged scene, but instead a summarized flashback, so it doesn’t have a very in-the-moment feeling to it. The other part is may be that it relies heavily on Alakazam explaining what he’s feeling instead of letting the action show it. It’s not bad, but all in all, for an important character turning point like this, I felt like it could’ve been a lot more visceral.

Alakazam’s fight against Scyther and Ethan, I think, really comes off well. I really liked the way this scene ended with Ethan withdrawing him back into the Pokeball. It creates this poignant feeling of futility at the end of a scene filled with rebellion. Though I do admit that “single tear” bits tend to strike me as maudlin. Alakazam’s a noble Pokemon, though, so I’ll give him that one.


Granted, the officer’s showing up was a tremendous hiccup in the plan

Should be “officers.”


Ethan deposited the Pokeball into his pocket and drug his hands across his face.

I think “dragged” is the proper word here, not “drug.” I’m not sure if “drug” is an acceptable substitute, but it’s not showing up as a past-tense form of drag in my dictionary.


He felt no remorse for the man he had killed, or for the police that Scyther had maimed.

Now see, I feel like you could get this concept across without making a “he felt x” statement. His narrative does that splendidly already without direct lines like this. I think if you wanted to be this direct, you should tie it in with Alakazam’s rebellion. Something like “Why should Alakazam expect him to feel remorse for the man he killed or for the police that Scyther had maimed?” And then go on with the “They were beneath him” stuff. It just feels more natural and less obvious that way.


As Alakazam had lifted them above the city he had glimpsed more cars coming to the aid of their fallen brethren.

I’m nitpicking here because after all the heaviness going on so far, I could probably use a laugh, but since “their” goes with “cars” this sentence made it sound for a minute as though the “fallen brethren” the cars are coming to the aid of are, in fact, other cars.


The thought of his psychic Pokemon quickened his breathing and filled him with angst.

This is back a bit to that naming emotions part again, though in this case it’s mainly the choice of angst that feels rather off to me. I suppose it could work here, but I think using dread or something of the like would be better. You may mean the same thing, but when I think angst, I think teen angst, and I don’t think that’s the association you’re going for.

Uh… Ethan, you know sharp blows to the head like that can cause some serious—Oh, never mind. You’ve already done it.

The crackdown from the voices is interesting. It lowers hope that Ethan will be slowed down by making the decision to lay low (and, more importantly, have time to think about his friend turning on him and whether he was wrong all along).


The scalding water felt fabulous on his skin as it washed away the sweat and dirt he had accumulated over the last several days.

Not sure how I like the word choice with “fabulous” here. Its connotations tend to be a little more glitzy and glamorous than a grimey shower.


After about thirty minutes of conversation with a man from Olivine City, he had acquired the name of a man who would be capable of the task.

Mild nitpick, but I feel like changing one of these “a man”s to a “someone” would help differentiate them and make it clearer that we’re talking about two different people—also to avoid repetition.


He loathed their smiling faces, cursed their common appearance.

I think this is a moment that could be expanded on. It could be really effective if instead of just saying that Ethan loathes these basic aspects of the characters, if you really took some time to describe them in detail—in Ethan’s voice, with the overtone that he hates them all over it. He doesn’t have to outright say he hates or loathes them if you go that route—readers will have that hate brought home to them through the description. Not to mention it would create a great opportunity to see our main characters, our “heroes” through completely different eyes.

Well! That is quite a chilling last line! Great way to end the chapter.

All in all, I think this was a good chapter. Lots of foreboding and setting things up for later. I look forward to seeing what happens next, particularly to Alakazam. My main complaint is that I feel like this could cut a lot deeper emotionally if it relied less on expositional proclaimations of emotion. Ethan's tone, in particular, comes across really strong in these piece. You can do a lot with that tone alone and have it be effective, without having to spell things out too much.

Sidewinder
31st October 2012, 4:37 AM
Awww...no Dorian and Shelton?

Believe it or not, that's the first thing my wife said when she sat down to read this chapter lol



I like the subtle way of showing Ethan's continued dependence upon Alakazam and all that the pokemon has done for him. They've been disagreeing lately, but Ethan knows deep-down that he'd be a lesser man if not for Alakazam.

I'm glad you picked up on that. He really has no idea how much he depends on Alakazam especially, and that's going to be really fleshed out soon


I think that, instead of the sarcastic quotation marks around "adversary", it would be more effective to say "His adversary--though Ethan would hardly consider him even that--folded..." It adds a little more bite to the way Ethan is unaffected by him.

Awesome suggestion, thanks!


Oh heavens, more brilliant mirroring. Ethan/Dorian on the quest for violence and hate; Alakazam/Shelton incredulous at how the person they love as changed. Will either be able to save their friend from the road they are on?

Lol I hope so. Funny thing, the fact that you're picking up on that mirroring is awesome, and it makes a lot of sense, but I didn't write that with that in mind. To be honest I feel like it just flowed out of me and I'm only now realizing that it's in fact going on. Nicely done buddy


Ethan has a Salamence now; his team is WAY overpowered for what Dorian and Shelton have. What chance can they have against him?

Stay tuned ;)

Sorry I didn't have more time to comment on more of what you wrote, but I sincerely appreciate it. Especially the grammatical bits. I can't believe they escaped both me and my beta, but thanks for bringing them to my attention.


I will say, however, that the impact of Alakazam realizing the horrible act that Ethan has committed—his real tipping point that gets him to fight back—doesn’t come off as strong as it really could. I’m not sure I can explain entirely why. I think part of it is that the scene of him realizing what Ethan’s done isn’t a full-fledged scene, but instead a summarized flashback, so it doesn’t have a very in-the-moment feeling to it.

Hmm, good point. When I was writing the scene it was hard for me because I was struck with wanting to convey his inner struggle, while at the same time wanting to keep up with the action that was going on in the previous chapter. I found myself thinking that taking so much time delving into Alakazam's feelings would take away from the real time craziness that was going on. Thanks for bringing it to my attention


Something like “Why should Alakazam expect him to feel remorse for the man he killed or for the police that Scyther had maimed?” And then go on with the “They were beneath him” stuff. It just feels more natural and less obvious that way.

To be honest, that's one of my problem areas I've been working on. Dorian is based so much on myself that I feel like I write his emotions pretty well, but when it comes to characters like Alakazam who is completely made up, it's a lot harder for me to connect. Hopefully with time I'll get better at it


I think this is a moment that could be expanded on. It could be really effective if instead of just saying that Ethan loathes these basic aspects of the characters, if you really took some time to describe them in detail—in Ethan’s voice, with the overtone that he hates them all over it. He doesn’t have to outright say he hates or loathes them if you go that route—readers will have that hate brought home to them through the description. Not to mention it would create a great opportunity to see our main characters, our “heroes” through completely different eyes.

Excellent point as well, and I appreciate you bringing it up. That's another portion I'm really trying to work on. Talking and or reflecting on inner feelings rather than outright saying them. When I first started this I thought I would be able to express that easily, but as it turns out it's a lot harder than I imagined it would be.

Thanks for all your input as well, as well as the grammatical corrections you suggested, I really appreciate it! :)

To all the Requiem fans out there, the newest chapter should be posted by Friday, with the chapter after it to be posted by the following Monday since a lot will be going on. To all the people that have been reading/reviewing, thanks for the support :)

Sidewinder
4th November 2012, 5:34 AM
Finally my life is back to normal. Hope everyone enjoys




Chapter 17


“Absolutely?” Shelton asked.

“Will you please just let it go?” Dorian begged.

“Oh come on, please humor me. Do you actually know the literal definition of the word?” Shelton challenged.

“You know what, when we land in Orre I’ll let you crucify me for getting you a little wet. Somehow though, like always, I doubt that will be good enough.”

“For example, if I ask you if you can outrun an approaching thunderstorm and you say absolutely, to me that means that you’re completely and utterly positive you can. If you have even a hint of doubt, you shouldn’t use that word; because it makes me people think you actually know what the hell you’re doing. Do you know what happens to hair that’s been sprayed with hairspray then immediately has water dumped on it?”

“Just, I don’t know, wet down your hair and run a comb through it,” Dorian suggested.

“Thanks for the suggestion Dorian; I’m really surprised I didn’t think of that. I ABSOLUTELY appreciate your input,” Shelton hissed, rising from her seat and inching towards the back of the plane.

She crossed the narrow aisle past snoring elderly and screaming children with her head held low to avoid the embarrassment of people thinking Medusa had somehow boarded the plane. Shelton quickly closed the door to the bathroom behind her and let out an exasperated sigh. The whining of the jetliner steadily and slightly vibrated the mirror as she flipped on the light and took a long look at herself. Polished metal gleamed all around her, from the hoops in her ears to the toilet and sink in front of her. The silver of the room bathed her skin in a pleasant glow that made her think that it wasn't as bad as she thought. Sure, her hair had turned brittle with the copious amounts of hairspray mixed with the drenching downpour they went through on the way to Cerulean. Sure, her makeup had run down her face until she looked like a Zigzagoon. People had looked at her like she was some sort of side show clown when she and Dorian had checked into Cerulean International.

As she tried her best to wipe away the ruined eyeliner and plaster down the erect portions of her hair, she attempted to assure herself that she wasn't being stuck-up. As a struggling trainer who had challenged two different regions, Shelton was no stranger to camping for days without a shower or shaving her legs. Hell, for almost a week she lived without a toothbrush after an unfortunate encounter with a monstrously pissed-off Macargo. She had just spent so much time this morning trying to look nice that it angered her that an hour’s worth of work could be completely ruined by a little water. Well, the word flood was more appropriate. She and Dorian had only been thirty minutes outside Cerulean when the thunderstorm that had been following them for an hour finally caught up. How he managed to keep the motorcycle on the road through that was beyond her. Maybe she was being too hard on him.

As soon as that thought crossed her mind she always tried to physically slap the thought out. She knew she was being too hard on him, but he needed and deserved it. Her brother just straight up did not think ninety percent of the time. It wasn't enough that she took care of the finances, the house work, the yard work, but now she had been forced to go along with him across the world to make sure he didn't do anything to get himself killed. She was two years younger than him and now that they were in their twenties she still had to be his babysitter. Well, that wasn't quite correct either. Dorian hadn't made her come along, in fact; he had been quite content to go without her. She knew a small part of her wanted to rip Ethan’s head from his shoulders, but a larger part had no idea of what to do. Ronnie had been all she had besides Dorian and her Pokemon, and now she had a hole in her that couldn't be filled. Her own parents had died on the day of her birth, and as much as she wanted to feel love for them she couldn't. She genuinely smiled at the pictures she had of them, and marveled at the stories Ronnie use to tell of her parents. She didn't feel the love for them like she did for Ronnie and Dorian. Maybe that made her cold hearted, maybe it just made her more of a realist for caring for what was real instead of the memory of what was.

“Absolutely,” Shelton said while giving herself a smile.

Things would make sense after they found Ethan Bernard, or at least she hoped they would. Removing a hair band from her wrist she gathered up her hair the best she could and pulled it into a bun, finally crossing over to the realm of where she didn’t care what she looked like anymore. The floor of the plane shook spastically for a moment as she reached for the door, which in turn made her check her phone. Two hours left and they’d land in Phenac. After that they’d check in to their hotel and see if Dorian’s little vision or whatever was actually real.

“Feeling better?” Dorian asked as she plopped down into the seat next to him.

“Yes, no thanks to you,” Shelton said with a sneer.

“Well, that’s one way to treat people. Anyway, the flight attendant stopped by while you were gone and told me there hadn’t been any problems with The Box.”

“Good, now let’s not talk about it anymore. It freaks me out that they’re just hanging around like that underneath us,” Shelton admitted.

“Agreed.”

Ever since the Air Kanto flight of 1991, trainers all over the world dreaded flying with their Pokemon in tow. That particular flight had made lasting implications for trainers traveling abroad that most now accepted as a necessary precaution. The incident that sparked the new laws implemented by the various continental governments had come at a tragic cost; the lives of 274 humans and sixty Pokemon to be exact. From what the FAA gleaned from the frantic calls made by the pilot, somewhere about halfway through the flight an elderly man accidentally released his Magmar into the cabin. The Pokemon promptly had a panic attack when it realized how high up he and his trainer were and unintentionally loosed several jets of flame. Though the Magmar had been returned to its pokeball almost immediately, the damage had been done and the flaming remains of the plane had crashed to the ground outside Pallet Town. That incident, combined with Unovan terrorists using Pokemon to try and hijack a plane out of Nimbasa City a month later led to new rules governing Pokemon transportation.

All Pokemon traveling with trainers from then on were remanded to travel in the cargo hold in a special device known as, ‘The Box’. Upon check-in, all Pokemon were returned to their balls and registered with that particular flight. Trainer’s submitted identification, and their Pokemon were stored in a special cube in the cargo area. The device underwent months of redesign before the final model was released to the various governments. Equipped with an electrical current running throughout that temporarily shorted out the pokeball’s ability to be opened, a transmitter that continuously broadcasted its location from anywhere on the planet, surrounded with enough armor plating to put a tank to shame, and six parachutes that opened automatically if the box had to be ejected, the risk of another of either incident was hard pressed to occur again. An extra crew member was added to all flights to watch The Box from a live feed inside the cockpit; and given the task of ejecting the device in instances of extreme life threatening jeopardy.

“What do you want to do when we get to Phenac?” Dorian asked.

“Sleep,” Shelton responded. “And if you’re thinking of talking about the reason why we’re going to Orre on a crowded plane, I’ll make sure you’re unconscious for the rest of the flight.”

“You’re certainly a bundle of joy today,” Dorian said with a roll of his eyes.

“Oh shut up,” Shelton said, reaching over and shutting the plastic curtain of his window.

Wrapping both her arms around his left she leaned over and rested her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes. “Wake me when we get there.”

The last thought she had before she drifted off was of Golduck.



********


“Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey,” Dorian cooed.

“Ugghhmufas,” Shelton replied, using her left arm to shield her eyes from the sunlight.

“Oh get up, we’re landing.”

As if the plane was confirming his statement, an almighty screeching filled the cabin as the plane touched down on the tarmac. The landscape outside slowly became visible as the plane slowed down, revealing an ocean of orange and red. It wasn’t as desolate as she imagined though, there were several patches of rolling green and shocking pink; along with splashes of brown trees and sparkling water. Whether this was just the natural décor that surrounded Phenac City’s mantra of being a desert oasis, or this was the fruit of Orre’s government’s attempts to revitalize the harsh landscape with their ‘re-greening’ undertaking, Shelton didn’t know. Regardless of which it was, the result was gorgeous to behold.

“You ready for this?” Dorian asked, absentmindedly bobbing up and down.

“What’s wrong with you? You look like you’re on your way to space camp. Chill out, we still have another hour of customs to go through, the Pokemon to collect, the hotel to check in to, and I’m hungry.”

“Fine, mother. It is kind of exciting though, right? We’re one step closer to finding him.”

Shelton felt something inside her mind give in slightly, and when she spoke she did it with a smile. “Yeah, it is.”

The plane began its slow and deliberate turn towards the terminal with the boarded passengers beginning their usual routine of wondering how fast they could circumvent the other passengers and get to the door. Bags were retrieved from the overhead bins, courtesy nods were thrown, and people shuffled as politely as possible towards the door at the front. Since she and Dorian were seated at the rear of the plane they silently agreed to just wait until everyone had disembarked before following suit. They both got the expected smile and curtsy from the flight attendant as they stepped through the door and down the stairs to the ground below.

The first thing Shelton noticed was that the air was dry and thin, almost suspiciously so. She wolfed down deep gulps of air and found to her surprise that Dorian was doing the same as well. After breathing in the same recycled air from the plane for the last twelve hours their lungs were unaccustomed to the actual thing. It wasn’t just that though, the air was different from what she had grown up with in Kanto and later Johto. There the air had at the very least a hint of moisture at all times. It wasn’t as hot as she imagined it would be either. Surely the temperature was approaching the upper nineties, but it felt almost cool against her skin as she and Dorian followed the waving employees towards customs at the far side of the tarmac.

“Orre’s pretty liberal about incoming I’ve heard. I say we’re through in twenty minutes,” Dorian said.

“Bet you fifty credits the wait is over forty-five,” Shelton dared.

“You’re on,” Dorian grinned.

After more than an hour wait to get through customs, and another thirty minutes to collect their bags and retrieve their Pokemon, Dorian angrily handed over the money he had bet. Finally, they we’re back in the bright sunlight and waiting in line for the taxi service in front of the main terminal. Dorian had released Vibrava, who had settled down to the ground to people watch after taking a few laps around the roof. After they hailed a cab and loaded their bags they climbed inside and attempted to endure a twenty minute ride towards Phenac with the driver who seemed to have no greater pleasure in life than to complain about the problems that foreigners brought to his region. About ten minutes into it though Dorian had sarcastically made some comment about the driver’s possible ancestry and how they were the only reason he had a job at the moment, which not surprisingly landed them both on the side of the road with their bags piled neatly beside them.

“Are you capable of not being a smartass?” Shelton honestly asked.

“Oh come on, the guy was being a moron. I’m not going to sit there and listen to him complain about how underdeveloped my region is when he can barely articulate words that have more than three syllables,” he replied.

“Granted. But did you have to suggest his ancestry had some Snorlax mixed in?”

“Probably not, but it was pretty inspired, right?”

“Definitely Dorian, and believe me, despite the looks of utter hate I may give you, it was completely worth us being thrown out on our *** in the middle of the desert,” Shelton said dryly.

“For some reason I think you might be being sarcastic.”

“I’d probably stick with that idea for awhile, you might be onto something.”

It was almost thirty minutes later before they were able to catch another taxi. The rest of the ride was thankfully uneventful, in part because she had threatened Dorian with serious bodily harm if he opened his mouth for anything except breathing. As the cab entered the outskirts of the city, the thought of hitting him with something very heavy vanished.

If the area outside the airport had been gorgeous, the actual city of Phenac was easily a step above. Streams of sparkling water randomly leapt from fountain to fountain in the shade of lightly billowing palms. Sunlight glinted off the white marbled buildings and streets in such a way that it inspired thoughts of cleanliness and well-being. People walked freely across intersections and sidewalks, all with a pace that seemed lethargic and content. As their taxi slowed to a halt in front of their hotel Shelton thought she glimpsed the gargantuan top of the scarlet bazaar at the edge of the city.

“Thank you,” Shelton said as she paid the driver.

“My pleasure, little lady,” the driver said with a smile.

Removing two pokeballs from the holster on her hip she released Machoke and Shuppet. The Pokemon had completely different reactions upon being released. Whereas Shuppet joyously rocketed into the sky, cackling loudly and spinning around, Machoke stayed rooted to the spot. After a few moments of stillness and frantically looking left and right, Machoke spied Shelton and quickly lumbered over where he crouched down and slid both arms around her waist.

“Oh come on honey,” Shelton giggled, shaking him off. “You’re almost seven feet tall now; nothing is going to mess with you.”

“Besides, Vibrava’s got your back,” Dorian added.

“Bravaaaa,” the diminutive dragon agreed.

“Do me a favor and grab the bags for me, okay sweetie?” Shelton asked.

After taking a steadying breath, Machoke acquiesced and followed them up the steps. Inside, trainers and tourists alike lounged in strategically place leather sectionals surrounding the reception desk. The owned Pokemon inside were generally of the smaller variety and almost all of them stopped what they were doing to stare at Machoke’s impressive stature.

“May I help you?” The receptionist asked.

“I have a reservation under Street; I want to check in.”

“No problem,” the bored looking woman said, turning to her monitor. “Ah, here it is. One smoking adjoined room, two queen beds in each, is that correct?”

“Hold on a second,” Dorian interrupted. “You got us an adjoining room?”

“Yeah, so?”

“I want my own room.”

“You’ll have your own room; they’re separated by a door in the middle.”

“Whatever, I’ll just get my own room.”

“No, you won’t. We don’t need to waste more money on another room when we already have separate ones,” Shelton said, turning back to the receptionist. “The adjoining room will be fine.”

She heard Dorian mutter something about her being a ‘killer of joy’ before he pouted and walked away towards Vibrava who was playing with another trainer’s Eevee. Did he always have to be so damn difficult?

“I apologize Ms. Street, but your room is being cleaned right now. It should be ready in about an hour. You’re welcome to leave your bags here if you’d like to leave the hotel while you wait.”

“That’ll be fine.”

Shelton handed over each of their suitcases and walked back to Dorian on the far side of the lobby.

“Apparently the room is being cleaned and won’t be ready for an hour. Want to check out the bazaar while we wait?”

“Sounds good to me. We need to check out the main fountain for the door anyway.”

“Oh come on, Dorian. Can we just give it a day or two before we start cloak and daggering our way through the city?”

“I just want to check it out, chill.”

“Fine, let’s go.”

With Vibrava perched on Dorian’s shoulder and Machoke and Shuppet following close behind, they stepped back out into the midday sun.

“Are you going to let Nuzleaf and Growlithe out?”

“In a minute, I’m trying to think,” Dorian replied.

“About?”

“What do you think? About Ethan ****ing Bernard, and trying to remember how to open that passageway, that’s what.”

“Yeesh, calm down. Let’s just check it out on the way. Like I said before, it’s not like we’re going to run into him on the way.”

Dorian nodded and kept walking, though she saw more of a directness and intention in his stride. Though she said that she didn’t think they would see Ethan Bernard while they were in Phenac, it was entirely possible that they would. Dorian’s experience with the shard still made her uncomfortable. His mental journey with it went way past supernatural and crossed straight over into unbelievable. She had known Dorian her entire life and despite her reservations, she had believed every word he said. Dorian had seen three shards in Ethan’s pack, and with three more scattered around the planet it did seem logical that he was trying to gather him. To what end Shelton didn’t know, and to be honest she didn’t care. The goal was taking in Ethan Bernard, whatever he was doing or trying to do be damned.

“There it is,” Dorian said.

Shelton looked up as they entered the city square and saw the fountain. From her view it looked to be perfectly round and stretched out over seventy feet in every direction, with several streams of water erupting from its center. Various water Pokemon played throughout the interior of the fountain while their trainers lounged on the wrap around seating that followed its curves. She even saw a Golduck swimming lazily near the northernmost curve, taking measured strokes with both webbed hands. It almost pissed her off to think that that Golduck still had the benefit of all its limbs when her own was still trying to learn how to do everything right handed.

“I was almost at this exact angle when it brought me here. In fact,” Dorian said, moving over few feet to his right. “I was right here, and almost straight in front of me was this button in the rock. It wasn’t a button though actually, it was one of the smooth rocks on the bottom that acted like a button.”

Shelton moved forward to the edge of the fountain and saw that the floor of the pool was actually small bumps in the shape of small smooth stones.

“It’s weird, Shelton, I just, I can still see it.”

“Okay, well, first off we need to come back when everyone is gone and we can have som-“ Shelton started.

She stopped because all the water Pokemon in the pool stopped swimming at the same time. They looked around at each other in a shared confusion that made her very nervous. It was at that moment that she felt the ground shake beneath her feet. Shelton looked down to the blocks of marble that made up the street and saw that the lines between the stone were vibrating steadily. She could hear Dorian talking but for some reason she couldn’t hear what he was saying, she was too focused on the stones. It was more than just the lines vibrating now; the entire street was bucking wildly up and down. An almighty crash of shattering stone rang out about fifty feet to their right as something exploded out from under the surface of the earth.

“Get back!” Dorian shouted, grabbing her arm and pulling her backwards.

Shelton reached over with one arm and broke his grip and took a step forward. She saw him come around again yelling something, but to her relief he stopped when he saw the smile etched on her face. Shelton took another step forward as Vibrava roared and the assorted people on the square began to run and shriek. What they were running from though had to be, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful things Shelton had ever seen.

The Steelix was easily thirty feet long, it’s snakelike body carving deep ruts into the ground as it slithered out of the hole. Screeching filled her ears as its segmented body slithered across the street and out of the hole it made. Its monstrously armored head waved slightly from side to side as it roared a challenge to anyone present. When none presented itself, the Steelix turned its red eyes toward the building it had appeared next to. The Pokemon rolled itself into a crude ‘u’ shape and swung its tail with a grunt. The building the Pokemon had aimed at suddenly had a skylight as the roof practically exploded up into the air when the Pokemon’s tail struck. Bits of mortar and drywall shattered against the Pokemon’s solid steel skin as the pieces came back down, but the Steelix made no indication that it felt it at all.

“That’s a ****ing Steelix,” Dorian said aloud.

“Looks like it,” Shelton said, barely blinking as she continued to watch its serpentine body.

“What the hell is it doing?”

The Steelix had begun to arch its massive head up and down into the building whose roof it had just demolished. As Shelton struggled to understand why it was doing that, she saw the crumpled remains of the sign that used to hang from the roof. ‘Phenac City Diamond Exchange.’

“It’s going after the diamonds in the store,” Shelton laughed. Sure enough, when the Steelix arched its head back and gulped, she saw that its mouth was covered in a glittering dusting of shattered diamonds.

“Well, fine, whatever, let’s just let it do whatever and let’s get as far away as possible,” Dorian said with a nervous laugh.

“You go if you want, but I’m not leaving without it,” Shelton grinned, slapping the button on her Pokeflect that expanded the sapphire shield of energy around her.

Before Dorian could protest, Shelton was already sprinting to the far left of the Steelix, towards the northernmost edge of the fountain. Shelton planned out every strategy she could while she ran, weighing every option as she got closer to the Pokemon she was intent on capturing. Machoke was obviously out, too prone to panic attacks when Zigzagoons tried to play with him that putting him up against this Steelix would likely give him a brain hemorrhage. Golduck was still healing, and besides that, she never wanted him battling again. Kecleon’s type disadvantage and move-pool wouldn’t pose much of a threat, which left one option.

“Shuppet, shadow ball!” Shelton shouted.

Her ghost Pokemon swooped forward and low in front of her, black energy forming in her open mouth. When the sphere was charged and crackling with violet energy Shuppet blew it towards the steel type. The attack connected and bounced off the Steelix’s back and arced straight up into the sky where it dissipated. The Steelix lifted its head to glare at Shuppet, then after a moment returned to rooting around inside the ruined store.

“Shuppet, try it again with more power,” Shelton suggested.

Shuppet nodded and began charging the necessary power again, but instead of shooting it out again, she dipped her head low and allowed it to settle down on the point that topped her head. Once it was there she closed her eyes in concentration and started adding more energy to the ball, which promptly doubled in size and darkness.

“Hey Steelix!” Shelton shouted. “Look at me! I think I’m gonna go and use my hands to pick something up off the ground; doesn’t that piss you off!?”

The steel Pokemon turned at the mention of its name and roared at Shelton. The sound shook more brick from the ruined storefront and made her skin break out in goose bumps.

“That was insensitive, I apologize. Here, let’s just shake hands and put this behind us.”

“LIIIXXXX!” Steelix roared again, sliding his body around to face her.

“Shuppet, now,” Shelton whispered.

Shuppet screeched loudly as she released the glowing ball of energy. The super charged ball streaked through the air and collided with the side of the Steelix’s head in an explosion of silvery ghost fire. The sheer magnitude of the explosion forced the Steelix’s head almost to the ground but it quickly righted itself and came back up to its full height to glare at Shuppet. Pulling its head back and then forward, the Steelix retaliated by blowing a rather impressive sheet of purple and red flame straight towards Shuppet. She dodged the attack by executing a corkscrew in the air and diving low, the skirt of her body barely an inch above the ground.

“Double team three times and charge another shadow ball,” Shelton commanded.

Shuppet continued to fly low to the ground towards the Steelix who twisted its tail around in front of itself into a defensive stance. As Shuppet came within thirty feet of the steel type she split herself into six glowing copies that circled the Steelix while bobbing up and down. The Steelix lashed out at two of the copies with its tail and destroyed them, while it took out another with a well placed dragonbreath attack. The real Shuppet and her two copies all started charging shadow balls in their mouths as the Steelix started slithering down the road towards Shelton. All three of the Shuppet suddenly fired simultaneously at the Steelix. The Pokemon deflected all three with a wave of its tail and sent them spiraling up towards the sky.

“Shuppet, will-o-wisp!” Shelton screamed.

Growling at Shelton one final time, the Steelix turned back towards Shuppet and readied itself. Shuppet shot forward and spun in a quick circle in front of the Steelix, conjuring a ring of grey flames that zoomed towards the target. Seeking to block the attack, the Steelix lifted its tail and tried to batter it aside, but found to his surprise that it wrapped around the last three feet of its tail and scorched it black. The Steelix roared in rage and snaked its head forward to where Shuppet floated and released another dragonbreath point-blank into her face. Shuppet screeched loudly and lost altitude, body smoking heavily.

Just as Shelton was about to issue another command, no less than twelve jets of water suddenly shot from the fountain behind her and struck the Steelix full in the face. The icy blasts of water forced the steel type to the ground where it began beating its head against the ground in pain and frustration. Shelton turned and saw that the water Pokemon playing in the fountain from earlier were slowly creeping closer while keeping the streams of water steady on the twitching Steelix. Despite Shelton’s insistent yelling for them to back off they continued their assault and she turned back to the Steelix in time to see it slowly disappear into the hole it had created when it came to the surface.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Shelton said.

“You’re acting pretty calm,” Dorian said as he trotted over.

“What?”

“That Steelix just demolished a building, ate who knows how many diamonds, then charged you. And you seem fine.”

“I am fine, and it wasn’t its fault. What the hell’s the problem with all those water Pokemon?”

“I’m assuming they thought you needed help, so they helped,” Dorian stated, making it sound like she might be the dumbest person in the world.

“I had it under control,” Shelton replied.

“Oh yeah definitely,” Dorian agreed sheepishly, doing his best to hide a laugh.

“Screw it; I’m going back to the hotel. You guys just, well, do whatever bye,” Shelton said with a groan.

Shelton wasn’t surprised to hear Machoke lumbering along behind her, and after a few minutes of not seeing Shuppet she assumed that she was staying with Dorian. Shelton was pissed, almost livid actually. That Steelix had been so beautiful, so strong. It had taken the roof off the building like it was nothing. That Pokemon exemplified power in its rawest form. Body of solid metal, thirty feet long, that Steelix was a powerhouse. Shelton could have trained it up the right way too, she knew it. For a moment she pictured an empty field with Ethan Bernard standing in the middle of it. Him looking up, then screaming as the Steelix slammed his head into him until his body was nothing more than a thick paste.

She checked in with the receptionist and to her surprise found that her room was ready. After informing her that her suitcase was awaiting her upstairs, the receptionist gave the expected smile and slid her a keycard. In the elevator Shelton returned Machoke to his ball and found that her and Dorian’s room was at the very far end of the third floor. Except for the thick fake plants lining every inch of available wall space, the hotel room was just like every other she had ever stayed at. A mattress that was almost perfect except for being just slightly too firm, the scent of used air, and fluorescent lighting in the bathroom that managed to highlight every imperfection on her face. The first thing she did was change out of her dress and into a t-shirt and some sweats. After that she checked the mini-fridge and found to her delight that it was stocked with every kind of alcohol she could imagine. Shelton took out a miniature bottle of whiskey and sat down on the bed. Lighting a cigarette and taking a long draw from the bottle, Shelton began to think.

It wasn’t like her to go out on a limb like this based on some half-baked theory. Dorian’s vision or whatever he went through was something out of science-fiction. He’d been convincing enough sure, but now the idea was wearing on her. What Dorian said he went through had brought them to a completely different continent; this wasn’t just a walk down to the corner store. They had used Ronnie’s money to get here and now she was questioning herself again. The only thing she was sure of was Ethan Bernard. Video evidence verified he was the one that did this to Ronnie, but the reason she agreed to go had nothing to do with what Dorian went through at all. While she was fighting Ethan’s Scyther in Pewter, she had seen Ethan running forward to attack them, and he had been so fast. Inhumanly fast actually, more so than any Pokemon she had ever met. Shelton knew she was here to avenge Ronnie’s death, but a small part of her was curious about Ethan Bernard. How could someone be that fast? If Ronnie’s death drove her here then the mystery of who Ethan Bernard was made her put her foot on the gas.

Shelton stubbed her cigarette out in the ashtray beside her and laid down. It wasn’t long before she fell asleep, and while she slept, she dreamt of Ethan Bernard.



********


As Shelton Street slept and Dorian Dvakna pondered their next move, Marco and Ethan’s Scyther moved through the shadows cast by the streetlamps outside of their hotel. He had landed in Phenac a little over two hours ago, and had found out where Dorian and Shelton were in less time than it took him to get through customs. Hotels really needed to beef up their security in a big way. Upon landing he simply found a phone book and dialed every hotel in the city asking for them until one had said, “please hold while I connect you”. After ending the call before it could connect, he had his answer and his destination.

The Scyther was an annoyance to say the least. One of the firm points Bernard had made was that his Scyther had to witness what happened, when it happened. It wasn’t that Marco particularly disliked Pokemon, but they were too unpredictable to be relied upon, and this Scyther was the reason for the rule. Maybe it was because they were both killers, or kindred spirits, but Marco could smell the blood on her as soon as he released her from her pokeball. The Scyther was antsy, quick to anger, and undeniably vicious. Marco had commanded her to stay by his side was she was out, and not to do anything without his express command. He was sure that the only reason she obeyed was because Bernard had put the fear of Arceus in her before he handed her over back in Pewter. So, with a somewhat firm agreement between them, they waited.

Marco had witnessed Dorian Dvakna enter the lobby of the hotel about thirty minutes ago, and though he had yet to confirm the exact whereabouts of his second target, it was a safe assumption that she was already inside. Hours passed as Marco watched the entrance to the hotel, and though the passing time stirred the Scyther up more and more, an occasional glare from him kept her in check.

Dorian Dvakna appeared at a little past three in the morning. He walked with purpose, but he also stopped every few yards and looked around, like he was expecting someone to jump out at him. Not only that, but Marco saw in the low light that he was clutching something hidden in the back of his jeans; probably a dagger or some kind of blunt instrument. From his research and what he had been told by Bernard, both of his targets used Pokemon only, so Marco didn’t think he had anything to worry about in terms of firearms. Reaching into both holsters under his armpits, Marco checked both his weapons and chambered a round in each.

“Follow me and stick to the dark. Let’s see where he goes,” Marco told the Scyther.



*******


“What?!” Shelton snapped sharply as someone poked her in the ribs.

“Nunnuz,” Nuzleaf said from the dark.

“What?”

“Nuzleaf, leaf!”

“Come on, I’m trying to sleep, he can do whatever he wants.”

Nuzleaf sighed loudly in exasperation and flipped on her lamp.

“Nunuz!”

“Christ!” Shelton cried, flinging up her arm to shield herself from the brightness. “Fine, I’m up! Now what are you talking about?”

“Nu, Nuzleaf nuz, nu Nuzleaf Nuzleaf nuz,” he explained.

“He was acting weird how?”

“Nuzleaf nuz.”

“Like he was possessed? What are you talking about?”

“Nuzleaf, leaf leaf Nuzleaf.”

“Oh Christ, he’s probably at the fountain looking for that stupid button,” Shelton moaned. “He’ll come back later, just go back to sleep.”

“Nuzleaf!” he responded with an angry glare.

“You’re not going to give this up, are you?” Shelton asked.

“Leaf!”

“Fine, let me get dressed.”

Shelton quickly slipped on a pair of jeans and her boots, and after pulling her hair back into a bun and pocketing one of her batons, she threw her arms out wide at the miniature wooden figure standing by the door. Nuzleaf opened the door and left her to follow, which she did quickly after checking the clock by her bedside. Three-thirty in the morning, just perfect. Why couldn’t Dorian have just waited until the morning? Was it really that pressing?

They exited the lobby with Nuzleaf in the lead, catching sight of the receptionist from earlier in the day asleep with her head face down on the counter in front of her. Phenac City was dead at this hour, and their only companions were a few drunken morons who yelled at them as they passed by a side street. Unabated they kept walking and found Dorian exactly where she expected; waist deep in water near the middle of the fountain, his hands beneath the surface. As she approached the edge of the fountain she watched Nuzleaf jump into the water and start trudging towards him. Dorian whipped around when Nuzleaf splashed in, his right hand shooting towards the small of his back. When he looked past Nuzleaf, his face fell and he hung his shoulders down lower.

“Seriously?” Shelton asked. “Dorian, its three in the morning, have you completely lost your mind? Get out of there and let’s get back to the hotel. We’ll check it out tomorrow, I promise.”

“Shelton, you don’t understand, I can’t. I just, I need to do this now, it keeps calling for me.”

“What keeps calling for you?”

“The shard. It woke me up; it wants me to hold it. I know the button is around here somewhere. I have to find it.”

Just as Shelton was trying to come up with a counter argument, she heard two soft pops behind her. She caught a glimpse of yellow and as she stared forward, Nuzleaf fell backwards into the water. Two more pops echoed across the square and she heard the tinkle of breaking glass a millisecond later. Shelton spun around and heard Dorian yelling behind her, but she couldn’t pay attention to him because something was coming out of the shadows.

The Scyther from Pewter City was bent low to the ground, its feet a blur as it rushed forward, moving its head from side to side as it charged. Before Shelton fully processed the situation her baton was already out and extended to its full length. She backed up as the Scyther streaked towards her, the synapses in her brain firing wildly as it got closer. Shelton jumped backwards into the fountain as the Scyther raised its arm to strike and threw her baton as hard as she could. The weapon struck the Pokemon in the neck, which threw off its balance and sent it crashing into her stomach. Shelton was flung backwards from the impact and was instantly soaked up to her neck in lukewarm water. More pops echoed across the square as a humanoid figure became visible at the edge of the street. Shelton felt a strong arm grab her and haul her backwards as she struggled to catch her breath.

Turning around, she saw Dorian dragging her with his right arm, and the unconscious form of Nuzleaf with his left. The sticky sweet smell of stun spore hung over them like a cloud, making her eyes water. Shelton looked back towards the edge of the pool and saw the Scyther once again rushing towards them, with a man holding a gun in each hand close behind it. She pushed her hands down in order to get upright, and while her left hand found a firm grip, her right hand sank lower as one of the cobbled bubbles of stone sank beneath her weight. There was a sudden grinding sound of metal on metal and she found herself weightless as a large hole opened up beneath her.

As the Scyther and the man closed in on them, She, Dorian, and Nuzleaf fell into the blackness below.

diamondpearl876
4th November 2012, 11:05 PM
“For example, if I ask you if you can outrun an approaching thunderstorm and you say absolutely, to me that means that you’re completely and utterly positive you can. If you have even a hint of doubt, you shouldn’t use that word; because it makes me people think you actually know what the hell you’re doing. Do you know what happens to hair that’s been sprayed with hairspray then immediately has water dumped on it?”

“Just, I don’t know, wet down your hair and run a comb through it,” Dorian suggested.

“Thanks for the suggestion Dorian; I’m really surprised I didn’t think of that. I ABSOLUTELY appreciate your input,” Shelton hissed, rising from her seat and inching towards the back of the plane.

Lol, their bickering never ceases to amuse me.

Also, it should be “because it makes people think…” You put “me” in there out of nowhere.


Hell, for almost a week she lived without a toothbrush after an unfortunate encounter with a monstrously pissed-off Macargo.

Lol, sounds like an interesting story.

Should be “Magcargo”


Her own parents had died on the day of her birth, and as much as she wanted to feel love for them she couldn't. She genuinely smiled at the pictures she had of them, and marveled at the stories Ronnie use to tell of her parents. She didn't feel the love for them like she did for Ronnie and Dorian. Maybe that made her cold hearted, maybe it just made her more of a realist for caring for what was real instead of the memory of what was.

Not sure why, but this portion really sticks with me. Nicely written and a good portrayal of character.


Trainer’s submitted identification, and their Pokemon were stored in a special cube in the cargo area.

Should be