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View Full Version : Daniel Ross: The Johto Saga



Hax 'R' Us
4th May 2012, 2:50 PM
Chapter One

A soft winter breeze brushed over Cherrygrove Town as the sun began to rise. The sound of frost crunching under the milkman's boots reverberated through the empty streets. The man approached a small cottage and proceeded to unhook the latch, opening the gate. No sooner had he stepped through the gate, a shrill bark erupted out of nowhere.

A young Growlithe pup, which had been nestled away in a patch of weeds, began to yap away at the startled milkman, causing him to drop his delivery. The puppy began to snort loudly, black smoke emitting from it's nostrils.

The porch light switched on and the front door opened. A young boy in his pre-teens stepped out, his hair a jet black mess and his hazel eyes slightly squinted, partly from the bright sun and partly from the rude awakening he had received. The boy marched towards the Pokemon and fixed it with a harsh stare. "Growlithe," the boy barked, "inside, now!" The puppy's head sagged and it made its way towards the open door, its tail hanging between it's legs.

The boy's glare changed to an apologetic look at the milkman, who was rooting in his bag nervously for a replacement glass of milk. "I'm so sorry. He's only a few weeks old, he's still learning," the boy said, running his hand sheepishly through his spiky head of hair.

"It's ok, honest," the milkman said with a smile, passing the boy a fresh glass of milk, "he's going to be a right handful when he's older!" His expression changed to one of horror when he realised he would one day be faced with a fully-grown Arcanine on his morning delivery. He glanced towards the front window and saw the Pokemon fixing him with a fiery stare.

Shooting the boy a forced smile, he quickly turned away and made his way down the road, turning around every now again with a fearful look. The boy trudged towards the tidy cottage, ready to instill some discipline into his chaotic companion.

The canine sat curled up in front of the fireplace, head hung low as his owner entered the lounge. Placing the milk on a small side table, Daniel looked at his Pokemon and attempted to look serious and annoyed. However, this approach clearly did not have any effect on the puppy, as it stood up on all fours and wagged his tail energetically, his wet tongue sagging from his mouth.

Daniel gave a half-smile as he slumped down into the large couch, which quickly turned into a beaming grin as Growlithe jumped onto his lap, curling up with a small smile forming at the end of his snout. Daniel's eyes shut as he succumbed to his fatigue.

"We have a new Champion! Daniel Evans! Please, step up and collect your medal," cried the announcer, who proceeded to initiate a huge round of applause. Daniel stepped upon the podium, blinded by the stadium lights. The announcer placed a enormous platinum medal around Daniel's collar. "Before you say anything, I must ask you something?" Daniel nodded, words unable to come to fruition in his throat.

"Why are you not ready for school?!"

Daniel jolted forward, sending Growlithe flying across the room, a shocked expression upon his muzzle. Both of Daniel's grandparents stood over him. Grandma's wizened face was covered in anger, while Grandpa was trying his hardest not to laugh.

"What time is it?" Daniel asked, rubbing his eyes.

"Ten past eight! You should have been ready by now!" Grandma shouted, frustration showing on her wrinkled face. Grandpa chuckled quietly before being shot a look from Grandma that quickly set him straight. Clearing his throat, he picked Growlithe up off the floor and stroked the puppy fondly.

"Come on, Daniel. It's time to get moving," Grandpa said, his soft voice almost a murmur. Daniel nodded and retrieved Growlithe from Grandpa's arms, before making his way to his room to get ready for the day ahead.

Daniel shut his bedroom door and slumped down on the small bed in the corner of his room. He listened carefully as Grandma's attention turned to his sister, Marina, who was also nowhere near ready for school.

Marina was slightly older than Daniel at sixteen, and had already taken part in a few local tournaments with her Nidorina and had built a name for herself as a talented trainer. Daniel, however, was a different story. He had no knowledge of how to successfully battle Pokemon and his domestic training of Growlithe was far from perfect.

He sighed as he pulled a plain white t-shirt over his head and some tattered denim jeans up his legs.

"Daniel! School! Now!" Grandma's shrill cry came from down the corridor. Daniel sighed deeply as he pulled his backpack out from his wardrobe before heading to the bathroom, dreading the day ahead.

The sun shone brilliantly on Daniel as he strolled towards the entrance of Cherrygrove High School, followed by a few fellow latecomers.

Stood at the open doors of the school was Professor Thorn, a stern disciplinarian with a constant frown behind his glasses. His grey eyes narrowed as the stragglers passed by, heads hung in order to avoid his piercing gaze. "Mr Ross!" Professor Thorn shouted. Daniel, who had tried to sneak past undetected, stopped dead in his tracks as the professor proceeded to grab him by the collar and haul him through the doors and to the side of the entrance hall, inside the building. The professor looked over the young boy in contempt. "Care to explain," he said quietly, a menacing calmness in his tone, "why you are late for school yet again this week?"

"I'm sorry, Professor Thorn. It won't happen again," Daniel replied, afraid to lock eyes with the professor. Shuffling his feet and hanging his head, he awaited the order to leave for class. It never came.

"This is getting beyond a joke. This is an esteemed institution and you cannot simply waltz in here whenever you feel like it," Professor Thorn remarked.

"I know, professor, but I'm really trying to keep up with school as well as my jobs around the house. My grandparents are getting old now and they have trouble..." Daniel explained, before being cut off by the professor's outstretched hand.

"Enough. I tire of your expanding list of excuses. Your attendance record is a disgrace to look at and, with it being so low, it is being brought to the attention of the school's board of directors. If I have my way, you will not be a part of this establishment in time for your Trainer Aptitude Exam. I guarantee, boy, you will not be receiving a Pokemon from this school," the professor said threateningly, a cold smile forming on his thin lips. With that, he turned away, his dull grey lab coat billowing behind him as he glided down the corridor.

Daniel sighed for what seemed to be the thousandth time of the day.

The day passed slowly, with Daniel constantly watching the clock, the professor's threat looming in the depths of Daniel's mind. The professor had forever seemed to be at loggerheads with Daniel and, for reasons unknown, had taken an instant dislike and went out of his way whenever possible to make Daniel's school life even more miserable than it already was.

Suddenly, the bell rang and Daniel shot out his seat and out of the door before the teacher could dismiss the class. Sitting down at a table alone and blocking out the taunts of the jocks and cheerleaders, he tucked into his measly lunch that Grandma had made in a rush.

Before he could devour his sandwich, he felt a wet object thud off the back of his head, followed by a raucous bout of laughter. He looked to his side and realised the object in question was an overly-ripe banana. Wiping the sickening mush from his hair, he resumed his snack, tears filling his eyes as the jeers continued.

This was no life.

The rest of the day was more of the same, a depressing cycle of isolation, loneliness and torment. For Daniel, the bell signalling the end of the day could not come soon enough. Hastily heading off home, he found himself kind of hoping for Professor Thorn's threat to become reality.

Before he became totally enveloped in his thoughts, a heavy slap on the back brought him back to reality. Turning around and wincing massively, he fully expected a routine afternoon taunting session from the popular kids. "Relax, bro!" It was a familiar, kind voice. Daniel turned to see his sister beaming from ear to ear at him.

"Oh, hi, Marina," Daniel muttered, a flicker of a smile appearing on his tormented face.

"Don't smile too much!" Marina laughed.

"Sorry, I'm just tired," he explained, emitting a small yawn to make his lie believable. Marina stared at him in scepticism, before she resumed smiling.

"Sooooo...it's nearly the end of the year. The test will be soon, you excited?" Marina enquired.

"Of course," Daniel replied, more bluntly than he had intended to sound.

"Well, I was thinking I might head off out on the League Challenge. I've gotta say, beating local snobs and their Sentrets is getting pointless," Marina laughed, her golden curls bouncing as she giggled. She looked more like a cheerleader than a trainer.

"Do it," Daniel muttered, forcing a faint smirk. His sister looked over him intensely.

"What's up?" Marina questioned, her voice suddenly soft with concern.

"Nothing, I'm fine," Daniel answered, the smirk becoming a reassuring smile.

"Look, bro, whatever it is, you need to keep positive! Get these next few weeks done and you will be gone from here forever. Use this time well and make sure you pass this test. Then you can head off on your own and go wherever you like," Marina declared. Daniel smiled at the thought of leaving the school and the pair embarked on the journey home, chatting casually.

The days past by without incident and, before he knew it, Daniel was sat in the exam hall with an extremely official-looking test placed on the desk in front of him, surrounded by thousands of other students. Professor Thorn stood at the front of the exam hall, flanked by Pokemon League officials, gazing over at the sea of puzzled students in disgust.

The clock struck twelve and it was time to begin. The sound of pens scribbling suddenly enveloped the exam hall. Daniel turned to the first page and, with the hopes and dreams of his league ambitions fresh in his mind, began writing.

Two hours passed and the tests were handed in. The students were dismissed and left hurriedly, murmuring to each other about the trickier questions. Daniel slung his bag over his back and headed home. It was his birthday today. Nobody knew.

Hax 'R' Us
6th May 2012, 1:47 AM
Chapter Two

Snow drifted on the small cottage, building a thick layer of frost. Two weeks had passed since the test. Two weeks of misery for Daniel. Laying in bed, he stared at the ceiling. Living with his grandparents was great, but the empty feeling of missing parents constantly ate away at him. The only trace of his parentage that remained a constant in his life were his mother's parents, his guardians.

They had never brought up his parent's fate, and, frankly, Daniel was afraid to know. He was afraid to know their fates, their pasts and their flaws. He preferred to imagine his parents as a happy pair, with ordinary jobs, who had simply had a fatal accident.

Wrong.

Incredibly wrong.

He drifted back to sleep, blissfully unaware of the sins of his flesh and blood.

A rapid banging on the door woke Daniel from his peaceful slumber. "Daniel! Quick, wake up!" It was Grandma.

"I'm coming, Grandma," he replied, his voice incredibly groggy. He shuffled towards the door in his Charizard pyjamas. Opening the door, he found the whole family waiting behind the door, grinning intensely. Grandma pointed down at Growlithe, who had been incredibly quiet. In his mouth was a large envelope.

"You know what that letter is, right?" Grandpa asked, his smile giving his face even more wrinkles than usual. Daniel nodded his head, tongue-tied. This was it. The day he set off to conquer the league. Growlithe placed the envelope at Daniel's feet, pushing it forward with his muzzle. Daniel picked it up and walked back through his bedroom door, followed closely by his family. He stared at it as he sat down on his bed, surrounded by his kin.

"Open it!" Marina bellowed, unable to contain the excitement in her voice. Daniel ripped open the paper and found the enclosed document addressing him directly.

"To Daniel Ross, we are pleased to inform you that you passed the Trainer Aptitude Test with a score of seventy-four percent. This score makes you able to take the Pokemon League Challenge. Unfortunately, your score means you are unable to choose a Pokemon and it will be chosen for you. Please find your Pokemon enclosed," Daniel read, puzzled at the last sentence. Holding the envelope upside down, he awaited a Poke Ball to drop out. The entire family proceeded to scan the floor, perplexed by the situation.

Suddenly, a reptillian squeak broke the awkward silence.

"What was that?!" Grandma exclaimed. The sound came again, more excited this time. It seemed to be coming from outside. The family shuffled over hastily towards the window. There, rolling around in the crystal-clear snow, was a Totodile. The Pokemon beamed intensely as it dived into the thick layer of frost.

"It's a Totodile!" Marina exclaimed, eyes fixed on the childish crocodilian, as it ploughed through the snow at a hundred miles per hour.

"That must be the Pokemon that was chosen for you!" Grandpa remarked, pointing out the obvious. Everyone turned and looked at him, before facepalming simultaneously. Grandpa looked at them all in turn, opened his mouth to speak, before simply shrugging and muttering "I'll shut up."

"Now that I think about it, the letter was already open!" Grandma gasped. "Daniel, go bring the poor creature inside, before it freezes!" Daniel nodded and headed out of the door, amazed and lost for words by the whole situation. He had been totally unaware that today was results day.

Opening the front door, he stepped outside, blasted by a bitter wave of cold air. Walking down the garden path, he noticed the open Poke Ball, partly concealed by a blanket of snow. The Totodile stopped dead in it's tracks as Daniel reached down to pick up the capsule. Cocking it's head to the side, it gazed intensely at him, confused by the stranger who had interrupted its play session.

"Come here, buddy," Daniel said, crouching down and holding his hand out invitingly. The small Pokemon continued staring, before erupting in a playful squeak and dashing past Daniel and through the cottage's open door. Daniel smiled and followed.

By the time he had made it down the corridor, the whole family had gathered around the Pokemon, giving it plenty of attention. Totodile looked quite pleased with himself as Marina stroked his head. "He's so cute!" she cried, giggling as Totodile squeaked in appreciation.

"He is adorable," Grandma agreed. Growlithe nuzzled up to Daniel, clearly jealous of the attention the newcomer was receiving. Daniel tickled the puppy's chin and picked him up into his arms.

"Hey, buddy," Daniel muttered into Growlithe's ear. "Nothing's changed, you are still my best friend and we will be champions one day." Growlithe licked his face adoringly. Grandpa approached the two and stroked Growlithe's head.

"This is why we got Growlithe for you. You two are best friends and I'm not prepared to see the pair of you split up," Grandpa whispered with a small smile. Daniel nodded and placed Growlithe at his feet.

"Hey, Totodile," Daniel said, grinning as his sister stroked his Pokemon. The Pokemon looked up at Daniel and beamed back, before running over to his new trainer. Daniel picked both of his Pokemon up, placing Totodile on his shoulder and Growlithe in his arms. "When can I set off on my journey?" Daniel enquired, turning to his grandparents.

"We are nearly in the new year, would you not want to wait until then?" Grandma replied.

"I really want to go as soon as possible," Daniel remarked eagerly.

"We can't stop you going, I suppose..." Grandma said, resigned to the fact her only grandson was soon to be leaving home. Daniel whooped in excitement and began packing his bag, preparing to leave on the journey of a lifetime, not noticing the other envelope in Grandma's hand. It was addressed to him.

Later that evening, the family were sat at the table. Totodile and Growlithe were eating out of separate bowls, placed at Daniel's feet. Growlithe kept glancing intensely at Totodile, who was too busy hastily devouring his meal to notice. Meanwhile, the family was also tucking into their evening dinner. Daniel was too excited to notice the tension in the room.

His grandparents were nervously nibbling at their plates, exchanging awkward glances between each other. Daniel proceeded to finish off the last scraps of his meal before reclining in his seat, his expression one of pure satisfaction. "I have to say, Grandma, I'm going to miss your cooking!" Daniel said, burping extensively. His grandma gave a small smile as her grandson left the table. Daniel left the room, his Pokemon following closely at his heels.

The early morning hours came and Daniel found himself wide awake. His Pokemon snoozed deeply at the foot of his bed, worn out by the excitement of the day. Stretching his legs, he climbed out of bed, carefully avoiding his Pokemon so as to not wake them. He headed down the corridor, towards the kitchen. Making his way into the kitchen, he noticed a light on in the lounge. Creeping slowly, he stopped dead in his tracks. He heard voices. It was his Grandpa. "We can't tell the kids! They're better off not knowing, it would destroy them!"

"We have no choice! The longer we put it off, the more it will affect them when they find out!" Grandma whispered, her voice hoarse with frustration.

"Look, Marie, we have raised those kids with morals and values. They are everything their father wasn't! I will not stand by and let him corrupt them!" Grandpa replied, anger in his voice. Grandpa never got angry.

"Marina is sixteen and Daniel is heading off on his own! They are mature enough to handle this!" Grandma argued.

"That man got our daughter killed! Viola died because of him! Have you forgotten?" Grandpa cried, his struggle to keep calm evident in his tone.

There was a silence.

"No. No, I have not forgotten. She was our world. Was. Her children live on through them. They are our world. They need to know. They are adults and deserve to be treated as adults," Grandma muttered, a stubborn firmness in her voice.

"Fine," Grandpa sighed. "On one condition. We keep the boy as a secret."

"The boy. He is his father's son, alright. Yes, he stays a secret," Grandma murmured. She headed towards the door. Daniel rushed back to his room and dived into bed. His head was swimming with thoughts. His father. His mother. The boy? Daniel didn't understand. He shut his eyes, the mysteries of his heritage tormenting him as he tried to drift off.

Hax 'R' Us
7th May 2012, 5:39 PM
Chapter Three

The following day had passed by relatively quickly, his grandparents doing their best to avoid being awkward around their grandchildren, but the damage had been done. Daniel had heard enough. His bags were packed and his Pokemon were ready, but Daniel had been questioning whether he should have taken the chance to get the answers to his past, while he had the chance.

It was too late. He couldn't bear to interrogate them. If what he had heard them saying was to be believed, he'd rather not know.

After being tormented by his thoughts all day, it was finally time to leave the comfort of home and set off on his travels. It was pointless to let this momentous occasion be ruined by a simple bit of eavesdropping gone wrong. Today was a day to be enjoyed.

He sat in his bedroom, gazing around for the last time. His Charizard poster, his pictures of their family holidays and the rusty fan which made funny noises in the night. All things that had seemed normal but which were all things that were going to be missed. Little things that had been taken for granted. Just like family. Daniel stood up, waking Totodile and Growlithe, who were curled up at his feet, resting. The two Pokemon looked up, eyes groggy, at their trainer, wanting an explanation for their rude awakening. "Come on, guys. It's time we set off. The more I put it off, the harder it will be to say goodbye," Daniel explained, smiling faintly.

"Daniel! Come to the living room, we have something for you!" Grandma's voice sounded from down the corridor, a tinge of excitement in her tone. Daniel beckoned for his Pokemon to follow and headed towards the living room, where his grandparents stood, beaming at him. In Grandma's arms was a brand new rucksack.

"A little going away present," Grandpa smiled.

"Open it up!" Grandma ordered, still grinning. Daniel unzipped the bag, impressed with the pristine condition of it. Inside was an OranBerry, the latest smartphone, as well as huge, blue encyclopedia with the words "Pokemon 101: Everything You Need To Be A Master" emblazoned in crimson on the front cover. A small satchel lay underneath the enormous manual and, as Daniel pulled it from the bag, a steady flow of Poke Balls in their tiny, un-used form poured from the sack and back into the rucksack.

"Wow...thank you so much. I...don't know what to say," Daniel mumbled humbly. Grandpa stepped over to his grandson's side and placed his hand on his shoulder.

"You don't have to say anything. Go on, enjoy yourself. You deserve this," Grandpa said encouragingly. Daniel smiled and looked over at Grandma, who was wiping a tear from her eyes. Daniel hugged his Grandpa lovingly and picked the bag up from Grandma's feet.

"I'll be back, one day," he promised his Grandma, who nodded sagely. Slinging the heavy bag over his shoulder, he headed out of the door, not wanting to look back. Upon reaching the garden fence, he turned around slightly and saw Marina looking from her bedroom window, waving half-heartedly and wiping her eyes with a tissue. Daniel waved back, his eyes stinging. He didn't realise it would be this hard to simply leave.

It was too late to turn back now. Shutting the gate behind him, he left the safety of the house. Totodile and Growlithe ran ahead playfully. Daniel smiled and realised this what he had wanted all along. These creatures were his friends and his family now.

The path to Violet City was a simple one, albeit an incredibly long one. The sun was beginning to set and Daniel was becoming tired. His Pokemon had retired to their Poke Balls long ago. It had been an exciting day for them and their energy had been expended throughout the day as they had explored every nook and cranny they encountered during the day. The rivalry between the two had begun to take a back seat the further they ventured. This had, in turn, created a better atmosphere within the group. Home was quickly becoming a thing of the past.

An hour passed and the night was making it's presence clear. The moon had replaced the sun as the dominant source of light in the sky and, with it, had brought a bitter chill. Daniel finally decided to rest the night and set his belongings down on a patch of grass, sheltered by a huge oak tree.

Shivering intensely, he dispatched his Pokemon from their Poke Balls. Growlithe and Totodile emerged in a brilliant crimson flash, confused expressions on their faces. "Alright, guys. We're resting up for the night. I want the pair of you to go get big pieces of wood for a campfire," Daniel explained and the duo sprung into life, excited by the opportunity for further exploration. Watching as the two shot off into the night, Daniel trudged off for firewood.

The woods were eerily quiet and the further Daniel strayed from the path, the more he grew wary of his surroundings. Every snapped branch, rustling leaf and moving shadow caused him to freeze in terror. He continued to pick up bracken from the leaf-strewn floor, ears pricking up at every slight sound.

For all his caution, he still had not noticed the shadowy creature in the trees above. It watched him carefully as he stumbled through the woods, struggling to find a way back to the camp. It followed silently, awaiting the perfect moment to strike. The creature's fangs glinted in the darkness, razor sharp and with a slight purple hue.

Its victim continued on, the fear easy to see. Daniel grew more and more nervous as the silence grew. His hasty walk quickly became a jog and then developed into a desperate sprint.

The camp was nowhere to be seen, causing Daniel's anxiety to grow. The creature continued to stalk him, eyeing his prey hungrily. The time to attack was rapidly nearing. Daniel struggled through the thickening woods, terror growing as the path became darker.

The camp was in a clearing, where the woods were thin. He couldn't be anywhere near it. Suddenly, a rustling in the bushes caused him to freeze. He turned around to face his assailant, yelling for help.

Growlithe and Totodile sat at the camp, gazing proudly at there haul of firewood. Totodile began organising the pile neatly, before Growlithe shot a small ember at the bracken, lighting it. The pair sat down, eager for Daniel to return. He had been gone an awfully long time and the nocturnal wildlife was out in force tonight.

The pair watched as a Butterfree flitted through the forest. The calls of many Hoothoot sounded quietly, breaking the creepy silence every now and again. Growlithe looked at Totodile, expectantly. Go and find him, his eyes said. Totodile sighed loudly before setting off into the woods. He turned around, hoping he wouldn't have to go. Growlithe barked forcefully, and the crocodilian headed towards the wood, mumbling to himself.

Daniel found himself cocooned to the neck in a sticky silk. Struggling to break his way out, he froze as he realized this was the least of his problems. His attacker was now no longer alone. Three Spinarak stood in front of him, staring with blank expressions.

Suddenly, a large hiss erupted behind the Pokemon and a large creature towered over the spiders. Instead of fleeing in terror, the Spinarak in the middle simply scuttled aside to make way for the larger creature.

From the shadows, a huge Ariados emerged, its terrible fangs gleaming under the glow of the moon. Its crimson carapace was dull and scratched from it's struggles with prey. Unfortunately for Daniel, it was obvious who had come on top in those struggles. “Help! Somebody!” Daniel yelled. There was no reply.

At least half an hour past and Totodile found no sign of his trainer. The woods were growing thicker the further he ventured. The only light available was that from the moon and that was growing scarce, blocked by the bows of the massive oak trees. Totodile gazed around fearlessly, a smile where others would have had fear on their faces.

Suddenly, a rustle from above caused Totodile's head to jerk up. At first, it seemed to have been nothing, but after squinting, he noticed a squirming white mass. It was Daniel, hung up by his feet and encased in a sticky substance. Totodile cocked his head, confused, before bursting into laughter. Daniel mumbled angrily as his Pokemon rolled around on the floor, tears of laughter in his eyes.

After calming down, Totodile shot a stream of water at the Daniel's bonds, causing them to weaken and snap. Daniel tumbled to the ground, dazed from the crunching landing. Totodile proceeded to claw away at the remaining bonds.

The two set off back to camp, Daniel rubbing his head. He was safe. For now.

TheEliteEmpoleon
7th May 2012, 10:08 PM
I think it is pretty good so far. The ending of Chapter Three was a bit rushed in my opinion, but still, I don't know why no one else has posted about this yet.

Hax 'R' Us
7th May 2012, 11:23 PM
I think it is pretty good so far. The ending of Chapter Three was a bit rushed in my opinion, but still, I don't know why no one else has posted about this yet.

Thanks :d it was extremely rushed, going to edit it and flesh it out a bit

Hax 'R' Us
12th May 2012, 8:06 PM
Chapter Four

The trio awoke to a gleaming morning sun. Daniel was relieved to be back with his Pokemon after the night's scare. Sitting up from his makeshift bed, made from his clothes, Daniel rubbed his eyes.

The fire had long gone out and all that remained was a trail of thin black smoke. The effort and trauma gone through to create the fire didn't seem worth it now Daniel could see all was left of it. Growlithe lifted his head, wide awake. Out of the three, he had got the most rest. He had been fast asleep when Totodile returned with Daniel, unaware of his trainer's ordeal.

Totodile, as per his carefree attitude, had simply gone to sleep as soon as he got back to camp, whereas Daniel had tossed and turned for what seemed an age before finally dozing off. He had had a troubled sleep and incredibly felt more fatigued than when he had went to sleep. Growlithe licked Daniel's face, receiving a pet on the head in return. Totodile was busy chewing at a log from the fire, crushing the charred wood in his powerful jaws.

Reaching into his bag, Daniel pulled two tins of Pokemon food from his bag and proceeded to stab at the top of the can with a sharp pebble, with little success. His Pokemon looked in confusion as Daniel grew more and more frustrated at the tin's refusal to open. A tap on his shoulder from Totodile distracted Daniel from his metal adversary. In Totodile's grip was a small tin opener, taken from a plastic container that held various kitchen appliances. Holding his head in embarrassment, Daniel proceeded to open the damaged tin and serve breakfast.

Upon leaving camp, fatigue began to weigh down Daniel. His Pokemon, however, were full of energy and seemed to have never-ending batteries. The pair resumed the previous day's exploration duties, dashing ahead of Daniel at a breakneck pace. The route was full of trainers today, all starting their journeys. Many battles were erupting, with various Pokemon cries sounding through the route. So far, Daniel had avoided trouble, but with the amount of trainers present, he wasn't sure how long his peace would last.

After hours of walking, a signpost announcing the nearing of Violet City came into Daniel's view. “Look, guys! Only two hours more walking,” Daniel yelled excitedly. It had been over a day since he had set off from Cherrygrove and now he was growing ever closer to receiving his first gym badge. He hardly knew anything about the first Gym Leader's strengths, weaknesses or typing. Come to think of it, he hardly knew anything about battling.

Suddenly, a familiar screech from behind broke his trail of thought. Turning around, he was faced by the Ariados and it's gang from the previous night. Even in the afternoon sun, Ariados was a fearsome sight.

“Hey, guys! Look at that,” a random trainer called out to his friends. Surrounded by his friends, the young boy, dressed from head to toe in the newest gear, pulled out a Poke Ball, a cocky smirk on his face. Grunting, he threw the capsule at the large spider Pokemon. Ariados turned to face the trainer and caught the ball in it's mandibles. With no effort, the spider crushed the Poke Ball and dropped it to the ground, before facing Daniel once again. The watching crowd mumbled in awe and shock.

“Totodile! Come here!” Daniel ordered. The young Pokemon looked up from a bush not far ahead, before waddling back to his trainer as fast as his little legs would carry him, Growlithe in tow. The Ariados looked at the crocodile Pokemon with empty eyes, before launching itself at Totodile, it's deadly fangs glinting in the blazing sun. “Erm, Totodile...move out of the way?” Daniel said, his tone displaying how unsure he was.

Totodile moved out of the way just in time as the spider flew past him. Landing on it's many legs, Ariados flung himself at Totodile once again. This time, Daniel stayed silent, not knowing what to do. This time, Ariados' fangs crunched around Totodile's cream midsection and glowed a sickening purple, injecting it's venom into the Water type.

“Dude, you suck!” came a cry from the crowd. Yells of agreement rang through Daniel's ears.

“Yeah, try telling your Pokemon what to do instead of standing around like an idiot!” sounded another critic from among the rabble. Daniel simply stood there, dumbfounded, as Totodile was filled with Ariados' toxic venom. Suddenly, a hand appeared on Daniel's shoulder. A boy, around Daniel's height, was stood next to him, face hidden by a baseball cap.

“Stand aside,” the boy ordered. “I've got this.” Daniel stepped aside, head hung in shame. “Totodile, hit him square in between the eyes with Water Gun!” Totodile stopped wincing in pain and turned to the mystery trainer in confusion, before nodding.

A jet of water emerged from Totodile's maw, blasting Ariados in the face and causing his grip to loosen on Totodile's waist. Taking the opportunity, he leapt back to a safe distance, slightly hurt by Ariados' Toxic attack.

“He's good,” the crowd muttered amongst each other.

“Totodile, Leer at him and then fire another Water Gun!” ordered the boy, removing his cap. He had mousy brown hair and blue eyes. His stare was totally focused on the battle in front of him.

Totodile glared menacingly at Ariados, causing him to back down slightly.

Totodile's mouth instantly filled with water, puffing his cheeks out, before it emerged as a high-powered jet. Ariados was not ready for the attack and faced it's full force. Flying through the air, the Spinarak watched as their leader was flung over their heads.

Slamming into the ground, Ariados lifted its scratched carapace from the floor, glaring at Totodile. The trainer stepped back.

“It's all you now. Just focus. The more stressed you are, the more danger your Pokemon are in,” he explained to Daniel. Pulling a handful of berries out of his pocket, he flung them at Totodile. “He's poisoned,” the trainer said bluntly upon seeing Daniel's confused expression. They watched as Totodile proceeded to gobble up the berries.

“Erm...OK,” Daniel muttered nervously. The trainer smiled encouragingly, sticking his thumbs up. Daniel nodded, his nerves lessening. “Totodile, Leer again!” he ordered.

Totodile looked unsure, his confidence in his trainer lessened by the débâcle. Daniel looked at his Pokemon apologetically. The Water type nodded valiantly, before resuming his battle stance. Ariados had been watching, gathering his strength.

Totodile once again leered at the spider, who backed down once again before shooting a silk stream.

“Dodge and fire one last Water Gun!” Daniel yelled.

Totodile attempted to jump out of the way but the String Shot caught his leg, causing him to tumble onto his face. Ariados leapt through the air, looking for one last blow to finish the fight. Totodile grimaced as Ariados approached.

Gathering every ounce of strength, he filled his lungs with water. A stream of water billowed from his jaws, smashing into the Bug Pokemon. Continuing its journey through the air, it was unconscious before it hit the ground with a thud. Daniel sighed in relief as the crowd cheered simultaneously.

“Well done,” the trainer praised, before disappearing into the crowd. Daniel craned his neck to find him in the mass of people but he was already gone.

“Thanks,” Daniel whispered as the rabble crowded around him.

A familiar screech stopped everybody dead in his tracks. It was the Ariados, which had struggled to its feet. It hissed at the crowd before limped away, helped by two of the Spinarak. The third was staring at Daniel, a look of interest on it's expression. It scuttled towards him, through the crowd of bewildered trainers, before pulling at the bottom of Daniel's trousers gently.

“I think he wants you to capture him!” explained the trainer with the fresh gear. Daniel looked at the Pokemon with confusion.

“I guess if you want to stay with me...then, Spinarak, join the team!” Daniel yelled, withdrawing Spinarak into an empty Poke Ball. The capsule clicked and Spinarak was Daniel's!

The Great Butler
13th May 2012, 9:44 AM
Alright, just finished reading what you've written so far. Since it is covering several chapters, I'm not going to give play-by-play of every moment; I'm instead going to give you advice and pointers on different parts as I see fit.

I'll be honest, at first, I was wondering exactly where the story was going to go, because it initially appeared to start out like a very standard journey fic. Once you started having Daniel go to school, though, instead of becoming a trainer immediately, it split off from the usual path and didn't look back. You've certainly got what looks like the beginnings of a very solid plot here - it is close enough to what one would expect from a journey fic, yet makes itself stand out in enough ways that it should develop into an exceptional example of the life the journey fic genre still has in it. I like that Daniel's lot in life isn't entirely positive - his school experiences, reinforced by the mocking he received during the fight with Ariados in the latest chapter, coupled with the rather unusual and mysterious circumstances surrounding his home life... all of these things work together to make him a humanized character who the reader can identify with. He's not perfect or flawless, he's just a kid with strengths and shortcomings, and by setting him in the well-developed, believable environments and situations you have, everything works together very well to create a very good experience.

Now let me go over a few things you should take into consideration:

-In general, the fic flows very, very fast. I can understand that you want to cover a lot of ground, but there were a few times - most notably in the first chapter - that I felt like things were just going a bit too fast for me. The best way to deal with this is to just slow down a little and spend some time describing what we're seeing a bit more. This will allow the reader to immerse themselves in your world a bit more while doing it at a more easygoing, comfortable pace.

-There were a number of grammar issues that, while not terribly major alone, can add up to be a bit overwhelming. I noticed a lot of incorrect use of "it's" when in the context of the line it should be "its"; this appeared in a number of other places through unnecessary apostrophes at the end of multiples (for example, "Trainer's", where it should be "Trainers.") Also, the sentence structure is a little choppy in terms of flow, but that's gotten better over the course of the story so far.

-Your paragraph structure could use some work. Sometimes you have big paragraphs that throw a lot of information at the reader at once, when it would be far more beneficial to break things up. Allow me to use this example from the first chapter:



A soft winter breeze brushed over Cherrygrove Town as the sun began to rise. The sound of frost crunching under the milkman's boots reverberated through the empty streets. The man approached a small cottage and proceeded to unhook the latch, opening the gate. No sooner had he stepped through the gate, a shrill bark erupted out of nowhere. A young Growlithe pup, which had been nestled away in a patch of weeds, began to yap away at the startled milkman, causing him to drop his delivery. The puppy began to snort loudly, black smoke emitting from it's nostrils. The porch light switched on and the front door opened. A young boy in his pre-teens stepped out, his hair a jet black mess and his hazel eyes slightly squinted, partly from the bright sun and partly from the rude awakening he had received. The boy marched towards the Pokemon and fixed it with a harsh stare. "Growlithe," the boy barked, "inside, now!" The puppy's head sagged and it made it's way towards the open door, it's tail hanging between it's legs. The boy's glare changed to an apologetic look at the milkman, who was rooting in his bag nervously for a replacement glass of milk. "I'm so sorry. He's only a few weeks old, he's still learning," the boy said, running his hand sheepishly through his spiky head of hair.


As this is now, it can be very overwhelming for a reader to see this. The way I would recommend fixing it is to separate the information like this:



A soft winter breeze brushed over Cherrygrove Town as the sun began to rise.

The sound of frost crunching under the milkman's boots reverberated through the empty streets. The man approached a small cottage and proceeded to unhook the latch, opening the gate. No sooner had he stepped through the gate, a shrill bark erupted out of nowhere.

A young Growlithe pup, which had been nestled away in a patch of weeds, began to yap away at the startled milkman, causing him to drop his delivery. The puppy began to snort loudly, black smoke emitting from it's nostrils.

The porch light switched on and the front door opened. A young boy in his pre-teens stepped out, his hair a jet black mess and his hazel eyes slightly squinted, partly from the bright sun and partly from the rude awakening he had received. The boy marched towards the Pokemon and fixed it with a harsh stare. "Growlithe," the boy barked, "inside, now!" The puppy's head sagged and it made it's way towards the open door, it's tail hanging between it's legs.

The boy's glare changed to an apologetic look at the milkman, who was rooting in his bag nervously for a replacement glass of milk. "I'm so sorry. He's only a few weeks old, he's still learning," the boy said, running his hand sheepishly through his spiky head of hair.


This is a rough fix, since I would still personally go further and edit the lines themselves, but it should give you an idea of how to break up your paragraphs so they are not so overwhelming.

Overall, I think you have a very good start here. You've got enough conventions for the story to feel familiar and comfortable, but you are putting your own spin on many of said conventions, meaning that the overall product has a fairly unique feel. What I mean is, it doesn't feel like something I've read ten thousand times before. Your primary strengths are your characters and plot events, which together make up a vast majority of the story; all you really need to work on is how you present all of that, and the best advice I can give you is to get a beta reader. That should help your issues right away.

I'm certainly interested in seeing where you can take this.

Hax 'R' Us
13th May 2012, 3:44 PM
Thanks for the review, GB, I've gone back and chopped the chapters up a bit. The format I was going for only really works in a proper written format, i.e book or word processor, and doesn't suit the forum, so thanks for pointing it out.

I don't feel like I am able to pace the story properly but then again, I'm only six chapters in and only at the first Gym. If you look at the chapters as anime episodes, 7 episodes in and Ash was challenging Brock. So pacing, to me, would only seriously be a problem if it I was four chapters in and was the League champion. Reading back, I see where that worry could come from but I think the story is getting more relaxed and flowing as I go.

The Great Butler
14th May 2012, 4:00 AM
Thanks for the review, GB, I've gone back and chopped the chapters up a bit. The format I was going for only really works in a proper written format, i.e book or word processor, and doesn't suit the forum, so thanks for pointing it out.

Very good. I glanced over the past posts and they're much easier to read now.


I don't feel like I am able to pace the story properly but then again, I'm only six chapters in and only at the first Gym. If you look at the chapters as anime episodes, 7 episodes in and Ash was challenging Brock. So pacing, to me, would only seriously be a problem if it I was four chapters in and was the League champion. Reading back, I see where that worry could come from but I think the story is getting more relaxed and flowing as I go.

What I meant is that it felt each chapter was speeding through events too quickly, not that the events you've covered have gone too fast. Each post might become longer, but the events will feel more fleshed out while also covering the same ground.