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Shadow Jirachi
26th July 2012, 9:14 PM
Hello, everyone! For those of you who read my original idea for this in the Fic Ideas thread, the idea has expanded and changed quite a bit. A brief summary of this story is 'A pair of incompetent Rocket Grunts and their four other Rocket Grunt companions go around with the intention of defeating a branch of the Cipher syndicate who have come to Kanto and Johto and getting their repuation back, but only end up doing unintentionally good things instead of being evil.' It's mostly a comedy-parody, but it has its dark moments. Now, two more things:

1. I appreciate all constructive criticism and grammar corrections, as I want to make my story enjoyable for all. Oh, and if you're wondering, some of the long, unnecessary amounts of information are intentional, and I will note this.
2. I can either be a frequent updater or the worst updater in history, depending on how it is.


Without further ado...

The Rocket Tales: DeCiphering The Operation

Chapter 1- Scooters and Vans

A piece of advice to all readers: If you are a lowly member of a thuggish mafia-like crime syndicate infamous for its wicked crimes, it is never ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER a good idea to visit the abandoned café that all Grunt-level members of said syndicate visit to relax, have an egotistical argument with another Grunt-level member you know vaguely from somewhere, accidentally put ‘Hypco’s Sweet Dreams Sleeping Pills’ in your tea instead of sweetener, fall to the hallucinogenic substances in said pills, have a bizarre dream, and, once waking up from said dream which was technically a sort of drug trip, are then told by the person you were having an argument earlier that you’ve been asleep for several hours, the police have cornered the derelict café and you will be arrested in at least a minute…


…Because that is exactly what happened to the two Grunts of Team Rocket whose names were Danielle Smeed and Quentin Wreck, and what started this whole mess in the first place.



After reading that small wall of text, you are probably wondering, “How in the world could someone do something so ridiculous?”

Why, you ask? How did something so plain bizarre happen? I am afraid I must put emphasis on this point: At least 85% of the people in this story are morons. All of them were morons in some field: They had moronic motives, moronic reasoning, moronic logic, you name it. Even the 15% who weren’t morons couldn’t escape the other morons. That is the way the story goes, unfortunately, so please understand that you readers, with your superior intellect, might not be able to understand the sheer absurdity of the events and the decisions of the people. Now, let us begin the tale made mostly of imbecility, and it begins by a police van on Route 35, Johto, with a few Rocket Grunts being handcuffed and forced into it by young officers…



“Why meeeeeeeee?” whined a young woman who was being handcuffed.

To describe her simply, she had shoulder-length neon green hair (obviously dyed; if you were to search deeper, you might have spotted a few mousy-brown strands), which seemed rigid, as it was seemingly not being affected by the wind blowing that day (but alas, logical was not the way you would describe her or her fellows at all); her eyes resembled that of a hazelnut, in colour, at least…except maybe a little darker. She was about medium-height for a woman in her 20’s, and other than that, there was nothing particularly remarkable about her features.

One would have to wonder if she was cold, considering she was wearing a mini-skirt on a very breezy day. She was wearing your typical Rocket Grunt set-up: one of those plain black hats, a shirt with a large red ‘R’ slapped on it, the aforementioned black mini-skirt, strangely a belt into which one could put their Poké Balls for catching creatures known as Pokémon, and some simple black shoes.



The young woman continued to lament,

“I mean, I understand the second-generation Rockets, they’re just rookies, but, like, I’M a first generation Rocket! I’m an original! I’ve gone through this all! I know this stuff! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-“

“Oh shut up, will you?” snapped a young man with hard grey eyes near her, who had…well, quite literally, pink hair. It was the same kind of pink you’d find in strawberry ice cream, and although it was a slightly better done dye job than the woman’s, if you had only seen him pass by alone while not wearing a shirt with a big red ‘R’ on it however, you would probably shake your head and wonder what was up with young people these days.
The fact was that it seemed to be a sort of dress code in Team Rocket to have your hair dyed a colour that was not blonde, brown or black. Be it blue or pink or green or somewhere in between. But I am getting off-topic, so, let’s snap back to what we were doing before I told you an overly long explanation on odd hair colouring, hmm?


“Why should I shut up? You should shut up, kid!” retorted the young woman in a manner that was not menacing at all, but rather sulky.


“Kid? Hypo-“

“Shut up, both of you!” interrupted an older Rocket Grunt whose origins I don’t know and shall probably never appear in this tale again.
“We all failed, Dani and Rek. Even the ones who joined Rocket when Giovanni was in charge. But Team Rocket shall rise again! …On second thoughts, I do believe it has been disbanded again. Okay, so it won’t rise again,” he added, and soon after words a random officer handcuffing someone piped up much too late to be useful,
“Umm…remain silent! Words can be used against you!”


You stare at these words on your screen and groan, wondering why I am interrupting the story again for a meaningless explanation on something you already have guessed. To spare you from boredom, I shall make this quick.

You might have guessed that the aforementioned young woman and young man are called Dani and Rek. However, as you might have already guessed, these were merely nicknames, for their real names were Danielle Smeed and Quentin Wreck. As it seemed, half of Team Rocket had long, boring names that didn’t suit them, and half of Team Rocket were too proud to be called ‘Tom’ or ‘Steve’ or ‘Elizavanhephkinjenkin’ so someone ended up either giving them a nickname or a title. Most of these, frankly, were either their names chopped in half, like Dani, some letters of their name mixed around to sound ‘cool’ or ‘intimidating’, like Rek, and most were titles created from the letters of their true names to be insulting or ‘cool’. For example, if your name happened to be Anna Canisstor, and you were an unpleasant, idiotic person, you would unfortunately end up with a nickname like ‘***’. Or if you were Florida Lebrean, and you weren’t good in terms of hygiene, you would probably be ‘Flea’. As you get the message now, I shall end this filibuster and we shall, once again, get back to our idiot plot



…Well, to be true, the next few minutes weren’t very interesting. It consisted of Dani bemoaning her arrest, Rek rolling his eyes, and the ditzy police officers occasionally telling them to be silent when it was much too late to be useful. They were handcuffed, their Pokémon were taken into the front of the police van, and soon after the police van, somehow, rolled along the route without running anything over, Dani felt her eyelids droop, as she forgot all her many, many, many troubles in life, forgetting that she was handcuffed, and succumbed to her urge to sleep…


“WAKE UP, IDIOT!”


A suffocating heat and the sound of a second-generation Rocket’s voice woke Dani up with a start.


“W-W-W-W-W-W-W-Second gen guy! What is-“


But alas, Dani’s tone of mild surprise and smug superiority was cut short, for it was then it hit her.
The freaking van was on fire.
Yes, I am perfectly serious. Look at the text! It surely shows my seriousness regarding the matter.


So yes, the whole freaking van was indeed on fire


“Wh-Ho-Ye-Se-Po-“ stuttered Dani, swapping letters every few seconds.


“Yes, the van is on fire. The police made a run for it, and they dropped their keys. The Poké Balls are in the front of the van, and I think there are some scooters outside. Yes, this is all pretty shady business. No, I do not care. Just get up before you become more roasted then a Grass-type caught in a Flamethrower attack, will you


Dani smirked.


“Didn’t know you cared about little ol’ me, second genny.”


“I don’t. Just thought you mightn't like to burn to ash, you know.” he deadpanned, holding back a glare, and added,


“Also, it’s Rek. Grab a Ball and let’s go.”


“But we’re handcuffed!"


“I’m not, I got myself freed before you woke up- look, just GO already!"


Rek shoved Dani out a random hole in the wall that should not have been there but was onto the ground, in a rather…abrupt manner.


“Acccck! How did THAT get there? And why did you push ME? I’M your superior!”


“Superior my- never mind.” Rek grabbed two lone Poké Balls that were mysteriously lying on the ground in front of them, and ran. And ran more. And some more. And a little bit more. And then…


“A key! Maybe this will work!” cheered Dani, whose hands felt like they were about to drop off in a horribly disturbing, painful, unrealistic way.


“Are you truly such an idiot? Using a random key hanging on the side of a scooter that- hey, scooters?"


“Stop getting distraaaaaaaaaacted! You never know until you tryyyyyyyyyy! And I don’t know why I’m talking like thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis!” complained Dani, pouting while extending certain letters in the last words of her complete sentences for no particular reason.


Rek rolled his eyes, wondering when this tale of non-stop idiocy would ever end, but little did he know it never would. He slipped the tiny key into the tiny hole on the not-so-tiny handcuffs, which…well, to be perfectly honest with you, fell off instantly. Whether it was because Rek was good with keys or that everything in this situation was almost impossible, the world shall never know


Dani smirked smugly at him, like always.


“Sooooooo, why did you do that? I thought you didn’t like me, second genny.”


“Rek. Rek. REK. And it’s because-“


“We need to revive Team Rocket in a more awesome and epic way than before so the AOAPTYO won’t get us?”
(If you must wonder, the AOAPTYO were the ‘Annoying Obnoxious Absurdly Powerful Ten Year Olds. As it happened, it was ambitious children of around ten years old seemed to defeat Team Rocket most.)


“Actually, I thought-“


“C’mon! Get on the dang scooter!"


“I was supposed to say that…” said Rek simply, but what he was really thinking was something along the lines of 'Why in the name of Mew am I stuck with you?'


“Okay, let’s go! To the next city! Without being chased by the cops! Or the AOAPTYO! Let’s go! Aww yeah!” The duo got on the scooters, and with their feet, they-


‘But wait!’ you cry hoarsely, tossing your head side to side, staring in disbelief at the words in front of you on your computer/laptop/phone/Nintendo system screen. ‘Why-How- could something so ridiculous happen? This is a cop-out! It’s a one million-to-one-chance something like THIS could happen! I refuse to believe this!’

Alas, you and I are not so different, readers. Whenever I heard a part of this tale from one of the many people with knowledge of it, I shook my head in disbelief and murmured doubtfully, ‘That couldn’t happen. No one could be so stupid. It’s pure fluke!’

But unfortunately, it did happen. This is the truth as told by the many, many people involved. It is one of the nifty facts about living in the universe that we in this universe know as Pokémon- luck is a huge part of things. In the case of the story of the Rocket Grunts, it isn’t luck. Just a series of unfortunate events that could make the people viewed either as ‘luckiest people alive’ or ‘cosmic playthings’. Things that shouldn’t have happened but did happen make this tale. If things that should not have happened but did did not happen, there would be no story to tell, and Dani and Rek and all the other Rocket Grunts would have been arrested and prosecuted, hopefully by police that were actually competent, like the Pokémon Rangers or the International Police, rather than a bunch of dopey, cowardly people who shouldn’t have even got on the force but did.
So you see, it is one of the things that you must repeat as a mantra in your mind while reading this:


This should not have happened, but it did.


So, you see? This is the way things go. And so, as for Danielle Smeed and Quentin Wreck…



Thus, they scooted. They scooted and scooted and scooted and scooted.




A/N: …Trust me, that sounded a LOT better in my head. The writing style wasn’t so jerky. And there were less iffy grammar problems. So please, heap your constructive criticism upon me. And I’m sure you all get how much of a cop-out this chapter was supposed to be.
Also, it’s funny how this story originated. You know the aforementioned drug-trip café story? I wrote that as a YouNeedToBeHospitalizedIfYouAreSeriousAboutThisOne Shipping (random Team Rocket member x Persian) one-shot. I then realised I liked the characters of Dani and Rek much better than the dream Marty-Stu parody Persian. Also I felt they had too much potential to be in just a one-shot. Thus, this story was born. Except they aren’t the only central characters now.

Coming up next time: kimonos, hair dyes, plans, hotels, and more idiocy and author filibusters.

Rotomknight
26th July 2012, 11:21 PM
Hilarious.
Personally I find the random author ramblings to be hilarious. However unless you can find a way to put them in more fluently you should ... still keep it. They are the high pointof this fic.

Skiyomi
2nd August 2012, 3:20 AM
Hey there. I'm here from the review game, and here are my thoughts on your first chapter...

Overall, I'm enjoying your writing style. I dig the playful tone and, while fourth wall jokes don't always work, I feel like by and large the ones in your piece really work to their advantage. The way the fourth wall is broken is more in the way that the reader feels like the writer is talking directly to them, and that creates a greater sense of connection. It also allows for some good lampshading jokes, which is helpful if you're satirizing aspects of the fandom. I particularly liked the fourth wall breakage when you were talking about the van being on fire. That made me chuckle.

Some things I noted as I was reading:


A piece of advice to all readers: If you are a lowly member of a thuggish mafia-like crime syndicate infamous for its wicked crimes, it is never ever ever ever ever ever ever EVER a good idea to visit the abandoned café that all Grunt-level members of said syndicate visit to relax, have an egotistical argument with another Grunt-level member you know vaguely from somewhere, accidentally put ‘Hypco’s Sweet Dreams Sleeping Pills’ in your tea instead of sweetener, fall to the hallucinogenic substances in said pills, have a bizarre dream, and, once waking up from said dream which was technically a sort of drug trip, and are then told by the person you were having an argument earlier that you’ve been asleep for several hours, the police have cornered the derelict café and you will be arrested in at least a minute…

You've doubled up on "and"s here. The "once waking up from said dream which was technically a sort of drug trip" is an interrupting clause, so you don't need an and on either side of it.

I think this opening paragraph starts out well, but it ends up getting rather unweildy. Part of the point, I know, is to make the sentence long and chaotic to match the events, but, at least to me, it feels like it wobbles too much toward the end and would be better off broken up into smaller, more controlled bits.

Also, I know one of the things you were worried about when you posted in the Review Game was the slow pace in places. I think part of the question you've got to ask yourself is "where is the interesting scene?" Answering that question will tell you where you want to slow down time to take in the details of a scene and where you want to speed things up so that people don't get bored. In this case, I think the scene you've described is quite interesting--perhaps more interesting than, say, the arrest scene. But it only takes up a paragraph, whereas the arrest takes up more space. I'd prefer to have seem the scene in the opening paragraph teased out more, and, if you were budgeting words (which you don't have to. This chapter isn't that long.) then you could cut or contract other parts that aren't as actiony.


Why, you ask? How did something so plain bizarre happen, you question?

Sounds duplicative to me. I'd get rid of the "you question" part myself since it's not necessary. Though perhaps you did the doubling on purpose.

I get repeated word jokes, but the “moron” bit just feels a little flat to me. There are so many colorful synonyms for idiots and stupidity that it feels like a waste. Also, I’d start a new paragraph where “Now, let us begin” starts since it’s a new subject.


To describe her simply, she had shoulder-length neon green hair (obviously dyed; if you were to search deeper, you might have spotted a few mousy-brown strands), which seemed rigid, as it was seemingly not being affected by the wind blowing that day (but alas, logical was not the way you would describe her or her fellows at all); her eyes resembled that of a hazelnut, in colour, at least…except maybe a little darker. She was about medium-height for a woman in her 20’s, and other than that, there was nothing particularly remarkable about her features.

You’ve got some good descriptions here, but take a look at your verbs. You’ve got “had,” “search,” “spotted,” “seemed,” “affected,” “resembled,” “was” and “was” again. Search and spotted aren’t bad, though they don’t promote much visualization, but the rest are rather weak (and this happens in other places in the chapter too, particularly with descriptions). Strong, concrete verbs would make this description feel more like it flowed with the story instead of stopping everything just to tell us what the character looked like. Description is important, but it can be clunky and dull when it’s stitched together with static verbs. A good way to liven up your description is to wrap it around movement.

Though, as a side note, I do enjoy the “obviously dyed” jab.


It was the same kind of pink you’d find in strawberry ice cream, and although it was a slightly better done dye job than the woman’s, although if you had only seen him pass by alone while not wearing a shirt with a big red ‘R’ on it, you would probably shake your head and wonder what was up with young people these days.

You’ve doubled up on “although.”


“I was supposed to say that…” said Rek simply, but what he was really thing was

'Why in the name of Mew am I stuck with you?'

I think you mean “thinking” instead of thing. Also, that shouldn’t be in a new paragraph. A new person is not speaking.

...In general it seems like there's a lot of inconsistent spacing throughout this. It's not a huge deal, but fixing it would make the chapter more readable. I'd suggest proof-reading anyway, since there are some typos in this and sentences that could stand to flow better.

I really like the paragraph about “luck” or things that can be viewed as luck in small scale. It seems like a great theme for this kind of fic.

As for the characters, it still feels rather early for them. The narrator actually comes off as the strongest developed so far because you have a distinct voice as a writer. Dani would probably come in second in terms of development, though, I have to be honestly, I don't really connect with her as a character at this point. The whining and the way she treats Rek kind of turn me away from liking her, but I'm not really sure how sympathetic you want this character to be at this point.

A good, comedic voice is something I love to see in writing, and you've definitely got a leg up in that. I think this chapter could stand some refining in places that I've pointed out, but overall it seems like you've got the right tone down to get the laughs you're after. Good luck as you continue!