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Act
16th July 2005, 6:14 PM
The first chapter sucks. I willingly admit it. It hates me. I've tried to fix it and it doesn't work. I'm a bad author, so sue me.

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Why, hello. Some of you will recognize this fic. The first chapter is a revision, though not as heavy as I'd have liked, as I rushed it when Negrek told me I'd been nominated for an award. I've just made it a little more passable. It's still very subject to change. It's not nearly as long as I wanted it to be, though, admittedly, I am confined to the occurances of the furture chapters.

That said, do enjoy and please review.

EDIT II: Fixed some grammar bloops ^^;

EDIT: I've updated the revision, hopefully smoothing the transition between battle and rest of the day, as well as fixed up some errors. Nothing necessary to survival, but it's there.

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The little bird bounded up to his girl, chirping wildly. He was happy to be alive, it seemed. She gave him a weak smile before taking another glance at the town to her left, and at the grassy plains to her right. The bird followed her gaze, his head turning in time with hers, as he strained to see what exactly she was looking at. She gave the bird one more forced smile before taking a deep breath and standing up, grabbing her backpack.

Gina started down the crudely made dirt path. Tall grass stretched out for several hundred feet on either side of the winding track, swaying gracefully in the wind. The utter perfection of the day soon lifted the sourness from her mood, and the travel became joyous, with much correspondence between pokemon and trainer.

“So!” Gina said to her bird, smiling. He chirped in reply. “I guess I need to name you, right Catiel?”

The catiel again gave an elated chirp.

“Well…” She flipped open her field guide to the section about catiel. On the first page was a photograph of the bird that captured its essence very well. Its large eyes were closed happily, and the leaf marks on its cheeks glowed; the bird itself was a full foot off the ground. Its deep green wings were spread out wide, and its lime crest was raised high. The scruffy white collar of feathers on its neck was puffed and vibrant.

Catiel (Cah-teel)

Flying/Grass

Ht. 2’3”

Wt. 9.25 lbs.

Catiel are always joyous. They love to interact with everyone around them, especially other Catiel. If no other Pokemon or humans are present, they have been known to squawk at inanimate objects until someone comes along. They can be found in abundance in Sunrise City as well as throughout Triland.

“I have to warn you, first, Catiel,” she continued, “I’m awful at this. I couldn’t even name my online pokemon.”

The bird chirped curiously in reply.

“Okay, so you’re a guy and… you’re hyper.” She paused. “I guess ‘Hyper’ would be a stretch, huh?”

The little bird made a low, guttural sound that Gina took for disapproval.

“Alright then…” She sighed, “I wish I had my computer right now. Then I could look up some cool name for you in another language or something. I guess we just have to drop it for now.”

The pair walked in silence for some time. Every once in a while Gina would look around, stretching her limbs and surveying the grass. It was in one of these moments, late in the afternoon and as she looked over the tall grass and plains, that she spotted a zigzagoon.

The small raccoon animal was sitting in the grass, gnawing intently on a berry. He would briefly stick his nose into the air whenever the wind blew and, depending on one condition or another that was unknown to Gina, would sometimes take a few steps in any given direction. The wind stilled, however, and Gina was able to get close enough to him that she was able to hear his delighted growls as he chewed on the plump little berry.

Gina looked at the catiel, who was still standing on the path. She slowly backed away from the zigzagoon and approached her catiel. As quietly as she could, she gave him instructions. She took a deep breath, already feeling some remorse for disrupting the happy little zigzagoon, and sent Catiel forward.

Her bird dashed into the weeds, slamming himself into the raccoon, which in turn went flying. Gina ran in after Catiel, eager to see what had happened. The battle came into her view as the zigzagoon puffed up his spines and dashed at her catiel. Catiel dodged, but not without being clipped by the little rodent. Gina sighed with some relief as she saw that the attack hadn’t fully hit, but this zigzagoon wasn’t finished. He almost immediately whirled around and sped into another charge.

“Ah! Quick, dodge it!” Gina yelled.

Catiel jumped, propelling himself up several feet and evading Zigzagoon’s quick attack. Gina watched in awe. Her guidebook hadn’t said anything about the bird’s ability to jump. However, the zigzagoon had no intention of stopping so Gina could gawk: it turned around and prepared for another charge.

“Okay, Catiel! When he charges, jump and try and land on him. But do a peck attack, so your beak hits him and not your feet,” Gina ordered. She clapped her hands together, aggravated; that hadn’t come out correctly.

Nonetheless, Catiel seemed to have understood the order. As the zigzagoon shot himself into another lunge, the little bird sprung up, coming down on top of his opponent. Instead of landing the peck, though, he received a face full of the starched, pointy fur.

Gina brought her hand to her cheek, aggravated. She knew better than this. She quickly gave Catiel the order to ‘continue dodging’, and dashed to her backpack to retrieve her field guide. She praised herself for bookmarking her catiel’s page, and flipped to it to see what it did say about catiel’s attacking abilities.

“Razor leaf!” she shouted, more to herself than her bird. Regardless, the catiel carried out the order, and the zigzagoon had to abdicate its current charge as it tried to shake off the attack. However, as Gina and Catiel basked in their glory, the zigzagoon recovered and flung itself into another charge. This one connected with an unprepared Catiel, and he was sent flying backwards.

Gina yelled at herself again for being so naďve. Yet again, though, the zigzagoon reacted faster than she and charged at Catiel. This time Catiel was ready, and he jumped up, coming down with his beak hitting the zigzagoon’s backside. Gina cupped her hands over her mouth to prevent herself from laughing at the little animal’s misfortune as it squealed from the unpleasant jar and took off into the weeds.

Gina stood for a second, looking on in a state of surprise, before running over to her catiel and scooping it up. She ran with him back onto the path, her spirits, wary from the hours of walking, refreshed from the excitement. She and her little catiel both knew they had not truly won, but they had not quite lost either, a fact which greatly pleased the pair as they continued their travels down the path.

The day waned away without any further event, and Gina decided to put her minimal camping experience to the test. At a point where the path curved inward, close to the forest that bordered the plains, she and Catiel headed into the woods. A small clearing was found, thoroughly inspected for nests, dens, and the like, and a sleeping bag was unrolled in the middle of it.

Gina watched her little bird as he settled himself down, fixing his feathers and gathering leaves to cushion himself during the night. He dropped, exhausted, into the center of the pile he had created. With a turn of his head and a ruffle of his feathers, he closed his eyes.

She smiled. He slept in a strange position, definitely different than the pets she had kept at home, a dog and several bugs. His feet seemed to have retracted as he sat down on them, and though the front of his torso faced her, his beak was pointed in the opposite direction, immersed in fluff. Gina marveled for a second at his ability to turn his head so completely around before settling down as well.

Day 1 (One! Uno! God, I’m too excited. I’m gonna sound like some valleygirl.)

Okay, I know this is kind of kiddish, but my sister suggested it, and I think it’ll be fun to look back and see what my thoughts were. So, I’m going to keep a journal for as long as I can remember to. Let’s see. I didn’t do much today. Well, I started my journey! I got a catiel. A CATIEL. Oh well. He’s cute and he’s really funny, so I guess it’s okay. I’m thinking about naming him Sproing, considering he surprised me during our battle with a zigzagoon today by jumping like five feet in the air! Though, admittedly, that does sound a bit like ‘spoink’, the psychic pig pokemon.

Anyway, I got him. The ceremony is never spectacular, but I thought it was cute today. It’s nice that they give us pre-packed bags. The guidebook is super-helpful. It saved me against that zigzagoon.

So, there were only like seven of us. Usually there are about eleven, but there weren’t many kids in my class, so I guess it makes sense, especially considering the other schools all had big classes this year. We all stood onstage in the plaza, and Mrs. Byrne made some speech about how accomplished we had become. Then they gave us our bags, and one by one we took the Pokeballs out and opened them for our families and whoever else wanted to watch. Some people got really cool Pokemon. This one kid got a rattata. I know they don’t get that strong, but that’s so cool! They’re mad rare. I hear you can only get them when like shipments come in from Kanto and Hoenn and stuff. Maybe one day they’ll start to live here. I wonder why they don’t like it here.

I was a little sour as the beginning of the day. Between getting a common pokemon and having to leave home, things were a little upsetting. It really surprised me, because I’d never had problems with sleep-away camps or anything. I guess it’s different when you can look at a calendar and say, “Looks like only four days until I go home.” I think that’s it, because writing this now I feel sort of upset. I already have so many things I want to tell my brothers and even my sister. I was thinking about calling them before, but I don’t know how long it will be until I reach the first Center where I can recharge my phone’s battery, and I really don’t want to waste it on something so little and trivial as recapping my day to everyone. I wasted a lot of the morning sulking and feeling sorry for myself, so the three-day estimate from my home to Cuamenara Pass probably isn’t accurate.

It’s probably like, “If you travel nonstop for three days, there’s a slight chance you’ll get there.” Yeah, not happening.

Hm. Okay, I should probably stop complaining and say something about my home, in case if I ever go to Johto or something and someone reads this, they’ll know what it’s like. Well, it doesn’t have any evil organizations that I know of. Oh, and we don’t have badges here. We call them merits. Well, the main place here is Konnichiwa City. It’s sort of like their Celadon or Mauville. It’s this huge city that takes up the whole southern coast of the continent! Most of it is forest, though. I live in Sunrise City, the city farthest to the east. Isn’t that cute? There’s a Sunset City in the west

Anyway, there are 9 merits we have to get before we can battle the Dirija League, our league. Also, we have something really cool that no one else does. We have a mini-suburb thing called Triland. Triland is three islands and it even has its own league. You need the five merits of Triland to battle in the Triland League. I really want to go there; tropical places like that have always amazed me so much. But, because I’m from Sunrise, I have to beat the Dirija people in our mainland league before I can battle the league in Triland. I can go there for fun, though, and to battle non- merit trainers (AKA trainers who don’t run Arcs, which is what we call what Hoenn people call “GYMS”.) So, if I can get there before I beat Dirija, I’m going to go.

I think that’s all I really want to say for now.

Oh yeah. Catiel didn’t beat the zigzagoon, it fled. The zigzag-y one fled, not catiel. So we tied, I guess. I really didn’t battle as well as I wanted to. I made so many stupid mistakes, most of which came from taking my attention off the battle and not knowing what Catiel could really do. I guess battling with a trained pokemon from the school is that much different than training one yourself. Even when I didn’t know what to do with the school’s pokemon, it would react itself. My catiel just waited for me to tell it what to do. Maybe wild pokemon will be better at that. I’m sure it hasn’t helped Catiel that he was raised on a reserve specifically for being a starter pokemon.

Record:
Wins: -
Losses: -
Ties: 1!
Battles: None but one!
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^^; Do review.

Act
17th July 2005, 4:49 PM
I'll just go right ahead and bump this. I hate the first chapter anyway.

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The next day didn’t bring anything exceedingly significant.

Gina awoke early. How early she couldn’t tell, but the sun wasn’t entirely up yet so she assumed it was before seven. She was greeted by her catiel. He came bouncing over to her (from where she couldn’t guess), chirping happily.

“Hey, bud,” she said softly, “Oh yeah… I think I have a name for you. How do you like Sproing?”

The little bird cocked his head to the side, considering this proposal. He then looked at her and nodded, giving a loud shrill chirp. And so it was decided; he was Sproing the catiel.

It wasn’t much longer before they were packed up, had eaten, and were on their way. Sproing hopped ahead of Gina, following the swerving path. Every now and then he’d pick up a berry that had dropped from either a nearby tree or had been abandoned by another Pokemon. He’d run back to Gina with it; she would either take it and place it in her berry bag, or allow Sproing to eat it. They went on like this for a while.

Then Sproing stopped. He skidded to a sudden halt. Gina also stopped when she saw this, unsure of what to think of this uncharacteristic silence. Sproing tilted his head to one side, then the other. He did this when he was thinking, so Gina assumed he had seen or heard something, and was trying to figure out what exactly it had been. Nonetheless, she was worried by this abrupt change in his behavior.

The grass moved. Gina’s heart skipped a beat. Slowly, Sproing raised one of his feet. He set it down a few inches further than it had been and leaned toward the grass. And, just as suddenly as he had stopped, Sproing shot up into the air, and upon his landing dashed into the tall grass. Gina stared for a second before running after him.

What she saw surprised her. A trio of meditite sat in the grass, meditating—the perfect training for Sproing.

“Ready for our first win?” she whispered to him. He nodded eagerly. “Okay… ready… set… go.”

Sproing dashed into the area where the meditite were sitting. Judging by their size, Gina assumed them to be a fairly young—not much older than Sproing. One at a time, the monkey-like Pokemon opened their eyes and stared at Sproing.

“Peck whichever one you can! And stick with that one!” Gina ordered.

Sproing lunged at the nearest Pokemon. The meditite went tumbling, and it couldn’t recover before Sproing landed another peck. This time, the meditite stayed down.

The fallen Pokemon’s companions scattered upon seeing this. In his glory, Sproing dashed after the next one. He received a kick in the beak, but shook his head and continued his chase, unphased. He landed peck after peck, and succeeded in silencing two of the monkey Pokemon.

“Yes! That was so awesomely lucky! And you did great!” Gina scooped up Sproing. The catiel cooed happily. Gina decided to try their luck with the next zigzagoon they saw. Maybe they could win now…


--


Sproing walked alongside Gina as the sun lowered. Exhausted from unsuccessfully battling three zigzagoon, the spring had left his step. There had not been any signs for Cuamenara Pass, and it wasn’t visible in the distance.

Gina plunked down on the path. She opened her guide book to the page about Cuamenara Pass.


“Four Ways”


Named after the four paths leading to and from it, it has been said that all roads lead to Cuamenara. Though the Pass is encased by a huge mountain and looks impressively ominous from the outside, especially from afar, it is actually a series of four simple, small underground passageways. Instability of not only the surrounding ecosystem but of the mountain itself prevents further spelunking and excavation. {See next page for map.}

Cuamenara is almost always swarming with new trainers, mainly due to its population of young Pokemon. Studies show that once these Pokemon, such as Larvitar and Aron, mature they move steadily to either Widow’s Peak or even to places such as the Panobi Desert or Mount Sci. Occasionally a Pupitar will grace a lucky newbie.

When approaching, the mountain will become visible when only a few more hours are needed to reach the Pass.

Virtix City Journey Time: Less than a day possible. {See pg.6}
Sunrise City “ “ : Approx. three days. {See pg. 2}
Widow’s Pass “ “ : Approx. seven days {see pg. 9}
Centrimark Town “ “ : Two days max. {See pg. 14}


Gina closed the book and stood up. They still had another day to go at least. Sproing cooed softly, wanting to stop for the night. Gina took the hint, and they entered the next patch of trees and set up camp.


Gina was up and about early again the next morning. Catiel lay next to her, still asleep. She sighed. Two days had passed, their destination was nowhere in sight, they couldn’t beat zigzagoon, and she was exhausted. She sighed and lay back down as another thought crept up on her, And I got a Catiel as a starter Pokemon.

The catiel stirred, his sleep aggravated by his mentor’s movements. He raised his head and let out a chirp, happily greeting the morn. Soon enough, they had eaten their miniscule meal, and were off again.

Sproing hopped to and fro characteristically, and Gina walked along the dirt part sullenly, hoping desperately for a view of any mountain, even if it wasn’t the one they were looking for. The way the field stretched monotonously in almost all directions out made her feel as if they were making little if any progress.

Much to Gina’s surprise, the hours passed quickly. They lost to another Zigzagoon, beat another Meditite, and had a picnic in the grass. The day was cool and traveling was simple. It wasn’t long before a dark shadow appeared in the sky, and Gina sighed in relief. Their first excursion was almost over.

As the guidebook said, they reached the mountain in another few hours, arriving in the late afternoon. The lodges and Pokemon stores and centers scattered about were all crowded, and Gina even got glimpses of some people she knew. Sproing bounced around, energetically exploring his new surroundings.

Cuamenara Mountain itself was gigantic, but, as the text had read, the paths inside it seemed quite simple. An oversized map was taped crudely to a table outside the Pokemon Center; Gina was relieved to see that each tunnels’ passage was either a straight line or only slightly curvilinear. As Gina was reading the caption below the map, Sproing came hopping back to her side, chirping loudly and looking toward the many buildings lined up next to each other.

She looked down at him, “Hey, bud. What’s up?”

“Ca! Titi!” He bounced to and fro, nodding toward the structures.

“Those are buildings, Spro. That one is a Pokemon Center. It’s where you get healed when you’re hurt, and where we rest so we don’t have to camp out. And those are called PokeMarts, where I can buy things,” Gina replied.

Sproing nodded, taking this in and trying desperately to understand it. His thoughts were interrupted by Gina, “So, do you want to hang out in the tunnels for a bit? I think we’re gonna stay here tonight, and maybe we can decide where to go by tomorrow. I mean, though, if you’re too tired, we don’t have to go into the tunnels now.” The little bird titled his head, his mind draining of any prior thoughts as it considered this proposition. Eventually, the catiel gave a nod and the pair headed toward the tunnel entrance.

The inside of the passageways was dimly lit by hanging lanterns strung haphazardly across the ceiling. Hills of rock separated one road from another, as well as the travelers from the perils of the inner mountain. The caves were full of people to the point that Gina started to wonder how everyone fit. Both she and Sproing gazed about in awe, neither of them having ever seen much outside of the fields surrounding Sunrise City.

As she finished taking everything in, Gina shoved her way through the crowds and, after many failed attempts, she managed to find herself a small spot on a bench. Sproing hopped into her lap, chirping excitedly, as his partner pulled her guidebook out of her bag.

“I wonder how you find any Pokemon in here,” Gina thought aloud. Sproing gave a chirp of agreement. He wouldn’t like to live with so many people. “Well, apparently,” Gina continued, “we can find aron, larvitar, geodude, machop… a lot of Pokemon in here. I wonder if this thing tells me how…” She continued to scan over the pages for a minute or so, before finding the passage she was looking for:


Though Cuamenara is littered by hundreds of people at a time, it is still possible to catch Pokemon. In each of the four tunnels, there is a reservation where Pokemon may roam undisturbed by the crowds, and a set number of people at a time may enter to catch however many of these Pokemon they like. Some of these include: larvitar, aron, lairon (rare), pupitar (rare), magnegram (exclusive to Widow’s Peak area), and bagon.


Gina sighed, “Well, apparently we can’t train or catch or whatever until we decide which way we want to go. But… with all of the people here, maybe we can get ourselves into a real battle. Most of them look like us. New to this, I mean. So I bet they have some Pokemon from the cave, which might give us a slight advantage. Okay… so we don’t have any Pokemon from the cave yet… but we will!”

Sproing squawked happily, jumping down to the ground. His new mission, all other thoughts aside, was to find someone for them to fight. As soon as Gina was ready to start heading back toward the entrance to the cave, the little bird shot out into the crowd, looking for someone he found suitable. He paid no mind to the girl running after him, shoving her way through the hoards of people. Finally, he came to someone sitting on the ground, playing with a small Pokemon. He recognized this Pokemon. It had spines and was striped brown and an off-white color. Its little face scrunched up as its human offered it food. It was a zigzagoon.

Gina, panting, ran up to her catiel, “Sproing! Never, ever do that again! I could’ve lost you, buddy!”

Sproing gave his best pitiful look before pointing his foot toward the small rat. Gina looked the pair opposite them over before she replied, “Spro, I don’t think… we couldn’t beat the wild ones, and that one is bound to be better. It’s with a partner.” Sproing shook his head defiantly and continued to point. The zigzagoon wasn’t taking food from its human. It didn’t trust the boy. They would have an advantage.

She sighed, “Alright. We’ll give it a try. There’s a Center right outside if we need it, I guess.” Sproing jumped and gave an elated chirp. He ran up to the mouse. Gina followed.

“Hi…” she said, not entirely sure of how to go about this, “My catiel really wants to battle your zigzagoon for some reason… uh… do you mind?”

Gina figured she had said something right, because she didn’t receive a strange look and there was no sarcasm in his voice when he said, “Oh, sure. Sounds like fun. We need to find a place, though…”

“Well… the crowd seems to have just stepped aside for those two over there…Maybe we just start,” Gina suggested, not having thought of this problem.

“Maybe we should meet outside… just in case we’re not supposed to, or something,” the boy offered, “Why don’t we meet by the map table in front of the Pokemon Center in about a half-hour. Sound good?”

“Alright. I’ll see you then, I guess,” Gina agreed. She scooped up Sproing, waved to the boy, and started to head out of the tunnel.


--


The Pokemon Center was huge. Though that was something, Gina realized, that she should probably have expected. Then again, it looked like the normally sized one in her hometown from the front. But it stretched back into a crag, making it, from the inside, seem very much like a hotel.

The rooms were very much like that of a hotel also. They each boasted their own bathroom, something Gina was extremely grateful for, as well as a bed and television. Unlike most Pokemon Centers, however, this one required a small fee per night. It didn’t surprise Gina that a place like that couldn’t run on donations alone.

Gina wasn’t sure whether or not being fashionably late applied to Pokemon battles, but she had no interest in finding out. She stood in front of the map, by her time five or so minutes early. The boy showed up soon after. The acknowledged each other, and then started to head away from he mass of people and Pokemon.

“Alright, are you ready?” the boy asked, calling his zigzagoon out of its Pokeball.

“Yup!” Gina replied, nodding to Sproing. The Pokemon took their places between the two trainers. “Oh! This is a one-on-one, okay?” Gina said to the boy. He nodded in reply.

The zigzagoon puffed itself up, and Sproing bounced in place, each awaiting an order from their nervous trainers, each of whom was about to participate in their first battle. Gina finally took a deep breath, and said quietly to Sproing, “Alright, Spro, you wanted to do this… do your best. Let’s try the… uh…well, the butt-peck thing again. That we did to that first zigzag.” The catiel cocked his head to the side, considering for a second, before nodding, and charging at the zigzagoon.

“Alright, Spiny!” the boy shouted, excitement taking over, “Charge him!”

The zigzagoon, presumably named Spiny, complied and rushed at Sproing. Sproing jumped over the little animal and tried to peck his backside, only to tumble in the dirt. He righted himself, and Spiny turned around for another charge. The command “Tackle!” rang through the small battlefield, but Sproing wasn’t sure who had said it. The zigzagoon didn’t make any move to answer it, and instead curled himself into a ball and shot forward at his opponent. Sproing made the quick assumption that the tackle order hadn’t been for him, and he jumped the rollout.

Spiny uncoiled himself, much to his trainer’s delight, but still refused to listen to the order of tackle. Gina stood attentively, hoping that Sproing understood that their original plan was still in play. The two small Pokemon stood, staring at each other, for several seconds before the zigzagoon raised its spines, put its head down, and charged in full headbutt.

Sproing again leaped over this attack as well, but managed to land a hard peck on the unprepared zigzagoon’s backside. The small mouse squealed and swung its tail around vigorously, trying to hit a Sproing who had already retreated.

“Okay, Spro, razor leaf!” Gina ordered.

“C’mon Spiny, rollout!” the boy pleaded.

Sproing quickly called upon foliage, and Spiny, realizing that his mentor had chosen the best possible strategy, tucked himself into a ball.

“Sproing! Uh… can you fly? Not like the attack! Just normal flying!” Gina shouted at the battlefield.

Sproing nodded, and flapped his wings, rising just enough off the ground to avoid the zigzagoon’s charge. He came down with a plunk, as well as to the command, “Quick! Jump!” He jumped, but to late. His small legs were kicked out from under him and he fell backwards hard.

“Oy! C’mon, Spro, you can do it. Razor leaf again!” Gina called. Sproing stood up and shook himself off.

“Spiny! Rollout!” the boy shouted.

The zigzagoon looked at his trainer, his face harboring an awfully malicious expression. Sproing stood in place, near his end, waiting for the rat to move. Gina stared on.

If he listens, he wins.

It came to everyone at the same time.

It was out of their reach now, Gina realized. Whatever happened, her catiel had fought well. They just needed to lay off those zigzagoon for a while.


Day THREE


I skipped yesterday. Nothing really happened. Spro and I got sorta discouraged, and we lost to some zigzagoon, so we just moped around all day, and went in earlier than we did the night before. But we also won our first battle against some meditite. It wasn’t as glorious as I thought it would be. Sure, Spro jumped up and down and I hugged him, but… that has happened before. I thought it would be a little more exciting, but it just happened. Then, boom, it was over. I can go on with my life. I wanted something much more, well, cliché.

So, anyway, we finally got to Cuamenara Pass. It’s this huge mountain that people won’t excavate or spelunk (which is an awesome word, by the way) because it’s unstable. So it’s just these four separate tunnels. Worse, it’s overflowing with people. It’s like an amusement park. You look up; you’re going to lose whoever you’re with. That’s what happened, actually. Spro and I went into the caves to catch Pokemon ( which, incidentally, we couldn’t do because there are only certain areas near the intersection of the tunnels where you can catch them—you really need to decide where you’re going before you can get anything). Well, we found we couldn’t. So I said to him, “Maybe we can find someone to battle instead.” There were hundreds of people who only had one Pokemon, and plus, the guidebook said that a ton of new trainers gather there. I feel really cliché… this time, at least.

Anyway, Spro took that as, “Go find someone for us to battle!” That was really not cool because he shot off into the crowd! He ended up picking this kid with this awful disobedient zigzagoon. Seriously! He picked a zigzagoon, the one Pokemon (well, not the one, but one of the Pokemon) we haven’t been able to beat yet. So this guy and I decide to meet later for a zigzag vs. Spro match.

You would never believe this Pokemon center. Getting back to the whole amusement park this, it is a HOTEL! The place is huge! It has a swimming pool, for God’s sake! I got a hotel room! There’s this awesome, weird-smelling bed and a T.V. with one of those little controllers that you can play Super Nintendo games from (Kirby rules), and a cute little bathroom complete with mini shampoo bottles. Yeah, I did have to pay a little to get in, but it’s worth it. I could live here for the rest of my life with the fee they charge. And, hey, I could make money by battling people like that guy and his zigzagoon.

Anyway, that guy… yeah, we battled him. I think Spro saw the zigzagoon, Spiny, being a jerk to his partner, so he thought it would be easier if the Pokemon we battled didn’t listen. Wrong. It was much harder. We never knew what he would do. It was like battling a much stronger wild one. We actually did well for a while, Sproing landed a lot of pecks and a razor leaf, but the stupid little porcupine knew rollout.

So we eventually got to a bit of a dead heat, and nobody was landing attacks. Spro was starting to really get tired (though I guess it would be hard for anyone but me to notice; he was still bouncing around like a lunatic), and then this guy, who had been shouting tackle and headbutt the entire time, finally decides to order rollout, which would obviously be enough to finish the battle. I almost exploded. I felt so bad for poor Spro. I really wanted to do something, but I couldn’t think of anything but to wait and see what this little rodent would do. He looked so evil.

I guess it was only a few seconds worth of suspense before the zigzagoon shifted that mean little glare of his from his trainer to Sproing, but it felt like forever. He tucked his head down and pulled his legs in. I really wanted to close my eyes, or run for the guidebook. They need to put like a “Strategies for Defeating Zigzagoon” thing in there or something like that. So, this zigzagoon starts to rollout, but suddenly, he changes his mind and unrolls, running to tackle Spro instead. Sproing was totally unprepared, and so was I, so he took the full force of the attack. This wasn’t extra-effective like rollout, so he was able to get up. I was about to call him back, but he charged at Spiny, who thought he had won by surprise. Instead, Spiny got pecked in a really uncomfortable place.

So now Spiny is running in this little circle like a delibird with its head cut off, squealing. Sproing is just standing there chirping loudly. I swear he was laughing. I think, to him, it was like payback to all of those zigzagoon we lost to that we were able to see this evil, juvenile little zigzagoon acting so ridiculously. Maybe it was kind of mean to laugh (which I didn’t), but it was great to see. The guy was just standing there, totally stunned. Once the zigzagoon calmed down, which was almost a full minute later (which is actually a pretty long time to run in little circles squeaking), he rolled himself up and did this full-on charge at Spro, who wasn’t ready for it. So, yeah… we lost. But it was worth it to a surreal degree! I seriously think we can beat the next zigzagoon. Last time I was wrong, but I have a good feeling now.

On another note, I think we’re going to head toward Widow’s Peak tomorrow. So, next time I write, I’ll probably have a new Pokemon! Well, I hope so, anyway. I hope it’s as bright and fun as Spro. It must really stink to be stuck with a Pokemon with a bad disposition. The fun part will be naming it.

Yeah, right.

---

Comments are appreciated...

Act
18th July 2005, 4:13 PM
I'll just continue... o.o;; Tough crowd.

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“Sproing, get over here now,” Gina said, beginning to become agitated.

Sproing gave an obnoxious, defiant chirp before ramming himself loudly against the door of their room and shooting Gina a glare.

“Spro, it is too early. I don’t want to leave yet. C’mon over here, I want to ask you something anyway,” Gina flipped open her guidebook and sat on the bed, only to be met by a knocking noise at the door. She looked up, “Sproing, no! Don’t… if you like, dent this stupid door… I hardly have any money left as it is!” Gina grabbed her stubborn bird and carried him over to the bed where she sat down, still holding him.

She let Sproing go and proceeded to take stationary and a pen off the bedside table and write in large print, “6:00”. She didn’t notice Sproing bolt for the door.

“Here we go…” she said, looking up. “Oh, Sproing! Get over here!”

“Okay,” Gina said once she had herded Sproing over to the bed, “Here is what we do. See this paper? When the red on this clock says the same thing as what is on the paper, we can leave. Got it? So no more destroying the door, got it?” The catiel gave Gina one more dirty look before sulking off to the far corner of the room.

“No, Spro…! Fine, I’ll talk to you even if you’re over there being difficult,” Gina sat back down with her guidebook, “Look at this. See, if we head toward Widow’s Peak… Near the base of the mountain are a lot of bugs. You know, when I was little we had a family of wurmple living in my backyard. They scared the living daylights out of my big sister… so I liked them a lot. I might want one, or maybe a caterpie...Yeah, actually I like caterpie better. So when we come out of the tunnel we’ll catch a caterpie. You should be able to handle that, right?” This statement evoked a squawk from the exasperated catiel, who prodded over to the door again and set himself down.

Gina gave an agitated moan, and then flipped to the final page of her guidebook. She began to write vigorously on the blank page titled, “NOTES.”

Suddenly, she fell back on the bed and proclaimed, “Spro, I think I’m broke.”

The catiel, upon hearing this, dashed toward the center of the room and took a bounding leap onto the bed next to Gina. The bed fluctuated from the impact, and Gina sat up with a start, “Not bro-ken, Spro. Broke. As in no more money.” The catiel looked at her curiously. She had said the previous night that they were going “shopping” with this money. The way she had said it made the act of shopping sound appealing to Sproing… But what now, that she didn’t have any money to shop with?

“Listen. If we buy all of the things we really need, we’ll only have like 1000 left… which is enough for five Pokčballs… but… there’s a minimum of five balls to enter a reservation. So either we blow all of our money trying to get a mountain Pokemon or we save some and catch a caterpie, and the odds of actually catching him are a lot better,” Gina explained, more to herself then to Sproing. “What do you think, Spro? You want a mountain buddy next?”

A loud, negative chirp erupted from the corner of the room. Gina looked up, startled. The catiel had again retreated to the doorway, and was laying down staring intently at the grains of the wooden door. Gina sighed, and time passed in silence. By six o’clock, both Pokemon and trainer had fallen asleep, and were victim to the rude sound of the alarm.

The Pokemon Center was swarming and, from the amount of dirty plates being cleared and garbage on a floor that had been clean several hours earlier, had been active for a while. Gina checked out reluctantly, and allowed Sproing to romp around and get in other people’s faces while she sat down and faced reality.

Once she set foot inside this cave, she would be on her journey. It was a difficult concept to grasp, though it was something she had prepared for her entire life. So little of a distance decided whether or not she was somewhere she knew. Her mind wandered to the time an overnight class trip had brought her to the foot of this mountain. The trip had been a lot faster. It only seemed like a few hours on the long golf cart-like machines that had driven the class across the fields. They had stayed in a nearby Pokemart, whose owners graciously offered to rent the top floors of their building as lodging to nearby schools each year. Gina imagined they were paid handsomely. She remembered a restaurant that had been in the area, long since lost to the convenience of the Pokemon Center’s food court, and how they had eaten foreign foods for what seemed to be hours, hearing the stories the more experienced who were passing though had to tell of far-off lands. Yet they had never gone inside the Pass itself. Though, now that she herself had seen how rowdy and crowded it was that didn’t surprise her.

Gina realized she didn’t remember many of the details that one might think would stand out-- either that or she simply hadn’t paid attention to them. The way the mountain loomed over everything around it and the awesome size of the Pokemon center, among other things, were sights she felt she was seeing for the first time.

A peck on her ankle interrupted Gina’s thoughts, and she smiled at
the small bird that had roused her. Sproing supplied a happy chirp, and they proceeded out the door.

The Pokemarts weren’t any less crowded than the rest of the area, and shopping proved to be a challenge. It seemed, to Gina, to have the first-come-first-serve-I’ll-race you-to-that-item feeling that Christmas shopping did. The pounding feet and small aisles were too much for Sproing, who thrived in open space, so he stayed close to Gina for most of the time. She quickly and quietly gathered what she needed and paid, dismayed to see that her earlier calculations were nothing but correct. The lost battle had devastated her funds to the point that she would have to choose between buying Pokčballs and taking a chance with a Pokčmon from one of the reserves.

Gina sighed and collected her thoughts on a bench outside the store. She hadn’t realized how difficult decisions like this would be. Suppose she decided to take a chance with a mountain Pokemon, and she couldn’t catch anything? Yet, she realized, the same thing could happen if she opted to claim for herself a caterpie. She looked at Sproing, who returned her gaze.

“What do you think, Spro?” she sighed, “A caterpie or a mountain Pokemon?”

Her catiel characteristically titled his head, considering. He stared into space for a second, carefully going through each option. Eventually, he looked toward the mountain longingly, and then at Gina. He had no desire to go back inside that thing she called a “Pokemart,” but he knew his authority as the original companion on this journey would be challenged much more heavily by a forceful, stronger Pokemon such as larvitar or magnegram. He made his decision, but then recoiled from it. The aspect of a team came into his head, carefully turning the gears. What good would a butterfree do them? A bug and flying type has the same pitfalls and a grass and flying Pokemon, and no more useful strengths.

Maybe, he reasoned, he could simply tell Gina that he wanted the caterpie, but then refuse to fight it, or just knock out all of the caterpie they met. This sounded like an acceptable plan until Sproing’s conscience bubbled up and over, and he gave a low, long chirp, sighing. He couldn’t quite comprehend the origin of his desire to make this decision, but he was sure the feeling related to his loss the prior day.

“C’mon, Spro, we have to get going,” Gina said. Though, she realized, they didn’t really have to get going. There was no one to tell them what to do anymore; no due dates or curfews existed in this new world. She smiled, “Actually, never mind. Take your time.”

Sproing gave his friend a confused look before continuing in his exploration of his decision-making skills. He reviewed his reasoning thus far carefully. He didn’t have the faintest desire to relinquish any authority (or attention, for that matter), but he didn’t want his own selfishness to get in the way of their overall success as a team. Had he lived a life like Gina’s, he might have realized the validity of that thought as an oxymoron. Unfortunately, he had lived the uncultured, sheltered life of a grassland Pokemon, and this phenomenon passed over him, allowing him to venture further into his dilemma.

Gina looked down at her friend curiously. He was so deep in his thoughts; she began to wonder exactly what he was thinking about. Her question hadn’t been that trivial though, she realized, it was important. She smiled. Judging by what she knew of Sproing, he had forgotten the point and actual question and had digressed onto a totally different tangent. She impatiently waited his verdict... or any motion from him, for that matter.

Sproing kept focused. It had occurred to him that Gina didn’t realize the solemnity of this choice. It had also occurred to him that he was being overdramatic, but he dismissed that though instantly, enjoying the story he had begun to weave around what-ifs.

Her ten-year-old attention span finally winning her over, Gina stood up. Sproing jumped, startled by this sudden movement. She looked down at him expectantly, and he returned the gaze. Gina sighed, “Okay, Spro, we need to do something before we end up being in that cave at like midnight.” The little bird looked at her pitifully, and she sighed and sat back down, “C’mon, Spro, I want to get going.” Sproing continued to look up at the girl he’d only known for a few days. If the butterfree turned out that bad, he realized, they could just give it to someone else. This seemed more than a little cruel to Sproing, and he decided to push that option away. Truth be told, neither option appealed much to him. Why couldn’t she just decide? Why couldn’t he have won that battle yesterday? Plagued with the latter question and his consciousness of his own well-being, Sproing finally came to a conclusion. He looked again to Gina and nodded, letting out a shrill chirp.

“Oh, great, Spro, finally...so, are we going to the cave park?” Gina asked excitedly.

Sproing took a deep breath before slowly shaking his head. No, no… that wasn’t his ideal, and he wasn’t willing to forfeit anything—namely, his authority-- for another Pokemon or a girl he’d known only three days. Plus, she seemed to have an odd attraction to bugs, and wasn’t at all disappointed with his decision. In fact, she graciously presented him with a happy face and her encouraging words, announcing the official beginning of their journey.

The crowds in the cave hadn’t thinned out at all since the previous day, and Gina and Sproing were hustled along the tunnels to an intersection branching off in three other directions. They made their way to the left, over a small hill that declared loudly the leaving of one area and entrance into another.

Gina stopped, a decision not met happily by those who were behind her, and gazed up at the tall building that was the entrance to the reserve. She’d come back, she decided, after she and Spro weren’t so tight on money. Sproing glared at the ground guiltily, as if it would soak up his regrets. He was beginning to feel the consequences of making a selfish decision, even more so because he constantly reminded himself that it was, in fact, his fault that the decision had to be made in the first place. In his attempts to console himself, he decided that he would win the next battle at any cost.

“C’mon, Spro. Don’t want to lose you,” Gina said, starting to step away. Sproing quickly caught up, and they were off again, any problems and insecurities lost in the ever-moving crowd.

Very much to Gina’s surprise, the hoards of people had thinned into small, dispersed groups after only an hour or so of walking outside of the tunnel. Soon the path dissipated into the forest, and Gina and Sproing had only distant shouts to remind them of the crowds. Sproing was once again freely running around, occasionally bringing back berries and rocks he found interesting. The region had transformed from the quiet plains around Sunrise City to an area of jagged rocks, and the invisible path Gina was taking hugged the wall of a plateau-- a plateau Gina hoped was Widow’s Peak. None of the maps the guidebook sported nor the map Gina had printed several days earlier were very helpful in determining her location relative to the Peak, so she hugged the wall of rock to ensure that she was heading in the same direction constantly.

Meanwhile, Sproing was having the thrill of his short life running around forest. Everything was something new, something to be discovered and explored. The wilderness concealed so many treasures that Sproing was, much to both his and Gina’s disbelief, exhausting himself with all of the boomerang running he was doing.

The caterpie issue was settled fairly for both parties. In the late afternoon, Gina and Sproing happened upon a clearing in the woods where several other groups had dropped their belongings. According to her field guide, Gina found, caterpie were fairly common in the entire area around the still-visible mountain. It didn’t take much searching around the edge of the field to reveal what looked to be a small nest of the little bugs.

“Alright… I think we will just need to land one solid peck on them, Spro…” Gina quietly instructed her catiel, “When I say go... run in there and pick one.”

Sproing nodded. He already had his eye on one particular mite that was nonchalantly lying by a nearby tree, staring at the sylvan canopy of the forest.

“Ready…” Gina said, nervous, “…set…” Sproing tensed; eager to pounce. “Go!”

At Gina’s shout, all activity within the swarm of caterpie stopped. They all looked up in Gina’s direction, seemingly paralyzed. Sproing lunged in, charging for his acquired target. The bugs scattered in every imaginable direction, however, and Sproing quickly lost sight of the one he had initially been after. He stood as tall as manageable and looked around, trying to find his choice caterpie.

“Spro, just get any one! Go, go!” Gina shouted desperately. Sproing ran at the only caterpie who was standing still. The unlucky larva went sprawling, but quickly regained its poise.

“Good job, keep pecking him!” Gina called. Sproing steadied himself for another charge, and ran at his new aim. The caterpie responded by launching an attack of its own, and Sproing was met by sticky string in the face. The caterpie proceeded to throw itself at Sproing, who was running around, desperately trying to get the string off his face, and tripping over the caterpie who hadn’t yet climbed to safety.

Provoked by Sproing’s pleading squawks, Gina did the only thing she felt she could; she threw the first of the five pokčballs she bought. Sproing scratched the sticky substance away from his face enough to stop it from blinding him just in time, as the pokčball broke open. The caterpie, now very obviously enraged, made another dash for Sproing, who deftly jumped over it.

“C’mon Spro, just one more should do it!” Gina yelled. The caterpie turned to her and made a high-pitched noise that was unmistakably an attempt at a hiss. Sproing took this opportunity to peck the caterpie again, and for a second time the bug was sent flying. It slowly got up, its determination apparent, and it sped into another charge at Sproing. Sproing jumped, but this maneuver didn’t trick the caterpie again. Instead, it jumped with Sproing and grabbed onto his underside. He started to viciously bludgeon a very surprised Sproing in the face with his tail.

Sproing came down on top of the caterpie, and rolled over, manically kicking, trying to throw the caterpie off him. Now cut badly by his opponent’s sharp talons, the caterpie retreated behind a tree. Sproing stood, ready to pounce. However, the caterpie had a home turf advantage; Sproing was attacked from behind by the caterpie who had snuck around. The two rolled around, knocking into everything and anything, each of them striving to be the victor.

They separated again, caterpie breathing heavily and catiel exasperated and covered in the caterpie’s sticky thread. Each made another charge, and again rolled around madly. Gina desperately threw a second pokčball. Sproing stood up and collected himself. There was a human word for this concept, he thought, but he couldn’t quite remember what it was. He wasn’t allowed the time to meditate on it, however, as the ball snapped open and the caterpie threw itself at him.

“Ah… one more peck should do it, let’s go, Sproing!” Gina called, becoming increasingly agitated as it dawned on her that she was repeating herself. Sproing recovered from another series of rolling and clawing, and tossed a pitiful look Gina’s way. She threw a third pokčball. Sproing stood tense, breathing heavily. He didn’t understand how he could be having such a close battle with this little caterpie. His little legs shook and as the pokčball clicked, capturing what was inside of it. Relieved, he allowed himself to collapse. It was right then that the word came to him, and he laughed to himself a little: Karma.


Day 4


Well, hello again. So much stuff happened today. I think I’ll just relay a few important things I picked up along the course of the past twenty-four hours:

1: No amount of schooling or classes can prepare you for actually leaving home. I really did not want to leave Cuamenara today. It was a really weird feeling, and definitely depressing. It was so strange, going to someplace you’ve never been before in your life and knowing you wouldn’t be going back… not for a long time, anyway. And it’s not like moving or going to school far away, because you have your family to carry you through that. None of them could relate to any of this, so even when I do manage to talk to them it’s not like it will actually do me any good in the long run.

I have so much stuff I want to tell my brother. He and I never got along according to my parents, but we were really best friends for a long time, until my little sister came along. She sort of spoiled it… Also, I really want to show my big sister the caterpie I caught, since she’s so afraid of bugs but always pretends like she isn’t and it’s so funny. There’s really no turning back now, and I can’t wait until I get to see them next. I guess I’ll get used to it, though. I mean, so many new people set off on big excursions every year, you must get over it.

2: Using a type advantage to your advantage is a lot easier when you’re trading attacks on Game Boy Color. Seriously, I thought it would be just that simple—land a few pecks on a caterpie and you win because of type advantage. Uh, try no. I must've been like really lucky beating those meditite. It becomes a lot more complicated when you aren’t trading off moves and the caterpie your battling is some insane psychopathic little thing who looks like those animals from Animal Crossing when they get mad and do that weird thing where they shake their heads at the sky. Okay, that’s a weird comparison. But still, when the other Pokemon does nothing until you attack a type advantage is much more of an advantage. Not exactly what I had expected going into the whole “Let’s catch a caterpie!” thing.

That’s not to say that Spro was losing to a caterpie, but he was definitely getting tired and having some issues landing attacks. I feel bad, because I think I insulted him this morning when I asked him if he was sure he could beat a caterpie or something. It’s really just my luck to run into to totally insane caterpie that ended up using half of my items. Seriously, after I caught the caterpie Spro collapsed, so I carried him back to this field we had passed on our way to catch a caterpie and set up camp. After getting him back up to near-prime, I let out the caterpie and used most of the remainder of me meager amount of resources to revive him. Typically, the first thing he did after coming back to his senses was whack Sproing in the beak and give me a dirty look. He warmed up after a few minutes, though, and ate an early dinner with us. Though, there was a very good chance it was the food that made him warm up.

3. It is better to have a small, well-trained, evenly strong team than a big team with only one Pokemon that has any battling experience. Okay, so maybe that first part doesn’t exactly apply to me. But the overall idea is definitely true. After Spro, Caterpie, and I ate, it was still only late afternoon so we went out to train for a while. It actually went pretty well. Spro took out a few wurmple pretty successfully and Caterpie showed some weedle a thing or two. They actually tried to get along when we took on two other caterpie, and we won that too. We did have our pitfalls, losing to taillow and some bugs, especially when they got tired…and not to mention Spro and Caterpie still aren’t exactly best friends, but I really shouldn’t rush them. For all I know, they’ll never get along.

As far as Caterpie goes, actually, he turned out pretty agreeable. He was a poor loser and a little overly-aggressive on the battlefield, but overall he didn’t give me many problems regarding listening, mainly to things such as, “Please, Cat, don’t hit Sproing with your tail.” Every once in a while I’d turn around to a very sour looking Spro, though. I wonder why he was so tolerant, that really doesn’t seem like him. It would seem more in his nature to pummel the caterpie right back the second he touched him at all. I asked him, but he just gave me a strange look and walked away, so I guess I won’t get to know. Not that I can understand him that well, but charades is always fun. I can’t really blame him for not wanting to act the entire course of his reasoning out, though.

So, anyway, it was starting to get dark and my healing items were next to gone, so we decided to start to head back. After some creative use of my compass, I finally got us headed back in what eventually proved to be the right direction. We walked for a little while, Caterpie proudly leading the way and Sproing staying safely next to me, until Sproing suddenly stopped. He looked at me and turned his head a little, thinking. Just then, I heard someone calling me. It was the oddest feeling, because I knew I’d heard that voice many times before, but I couldn’t place it for a second…

“Gina! Hey, Gina!” the voice called through the forest.

Gina turned with a start. The boy who came quickly into view was one she had come to know very well over the course of her lifetime, a neighbor who had been in her class and departed from Sunrise City the same day as she. No Pokemon was in tow, and Gina didn’t remember which Pokemon it was that had left with him that day.

He ran up to her in way that pushed Gina into thinking he was going to hug her, something she was not overly comfortable with. She stepped back a little, and he stopped. Not meaning to offend him, she smiled, “Hey, Jon! How are you doing? It feels like I haven’t seen you in so long.”

“I know,” he panted, “I heard you yell not too long ago and I ran all the way here. You’re the first person from our class I’ve seen. I’m really good, what about you?” Before she could answer, Sproing gave a loud squawk and Gina had to grab Caterpie before he began slamming into her friend’s leg. Caterpie protested greatly to this, and managed to work his way out of Gina’s grasp and land a resentful pound on Sproing. Jon looked at her pitifully.

Gina forced a smile, “I’m really good! They’re a bit, um, well, restless, I guess. The caterpie is sort of aggressive.” She gave Caterpie a dirty look that was hastily returned.

He laughed. “I bet you’re doing really well so far. I already have a real team, four of them.”

Gina looked at him, feeling utterly incapable at the thought of the effort she and Sproing had put into catching their first addition. She knew very well what he was waiting for her to say. She gave a sheepish smile, “Wow, that’s so cool.” Sproing chirped pleadingly, and Caterpie shook in anticipation. Gina sighed, “So, you want to battle?”

“Duh!” he offered. “There’s a clearing right here!”

“Yeah, I know I… set up camp there,” Gina said, watching him jog off before she was finished. Yes, she had lived right next to him her entire life. Had she disliked him her entire life as well? Possibly—it depended on her mood. She walked after him, praying for it to hurry up and be dark so they couldn’t start. They arrived at the field a few minutes later, though, and much to Gina’s dismay her hand in front of her face was fully visible.

“So!” Jon said energetically, “What do you say about starting with a caterpie-on-caterpie battle?” Gina’s caterpie didn’t wait for a response, but charged onto the open field in front of her. She took a deep breath and nodded, watching as her friend’s Pokeball ignited a burst of light onto the field. The other caterpie appeared and looked at its surroundings. It was noticeably smaller than the caterpie she had seen before in the forest, though it didn’t seen much younger, so Gina guessed that Jon had caught it in the fields around Sunrise where they were much less common and very reclusive.

“Alright there Caterpie, it looks pretty confused. I think if you just do to it what you did to Spro, we’ll be fine,” Gina said. Caterpie nodded, backing up to Gina and then shooting forward, and the battle had begun. The other caterpie panicked and retreated to a low branch of a nearby tree. Gina’s caterpie eyed the tree before following his opponent up. It was an average tree, with just enough leaves to make it difficult to see too far ahead of you. Gina’s caterpie maneuvered its way through the foliage until the other caterpie came into view.

Gina watched the tree. Jon was shouting orders at the wood, as if the maple would uproot itself and comply. Gina eyed him, unsure of what to make of him. He wasn’t a bad person; definitely not mean… obnoxious was more correct of a term. In fact, Gina realized, he was a very nice guy. He was an overachiever, though, and didn’t detest anything more than being wrong or being told so.

The two caterpie tumbled out of the tree, rolling across the field. Gina’s caterpie was, once again, mercilessly bludgeoning his opponent with the yellow end of his tail. After they didn’t separate for some time, Jon called his caterpie back. Gina’s caterpie came crawling over to Gina and Sproing arrogantly, and the grass was lit up again and a small bird appeared on the field. Gina knew what this was: a zippurah, another flying Pokemon indigenous to the area around her hometown. It was a small Pokemon with nothing to complement its flying-type. The male form of this Pokemon, Gina knew, lacked the vibrant coloration of its female counterpart; the mother zippurah being the one responsible for bringing food to the family and attracting a mate as opposed to watching the nest. This particular zippurah was a male, its short brown and black feathers camouflaging it effectively against the darkness that was continuing to grow. It shared the size physique of a finch, minute and fragile with stubby tail feathers and a small head, though it had large feet which allowed it to grasp into things many times its own size.

“You stay out there, okay Caterpie?” Gina decided. She was counting on Caterpie fairing as well against this bird as it did against Sproing. The caterpie nodded, bouncing around as much as a caterpie could bounce. Jon said something to his zippurah, and it ran at Caterpie. Caterpie returned the charge, and the vicious tumbling began again. Caterpie’s tail was beating faster than his little heart, and tiny bird was clawing madly. They separated, and the zippurah disappeared into the night. Caterpie looked around, unnerved by the overbearing dark. Suddenly, the zippurah shot through the grass and struck Caterpie with a peck. The caterpie retaliated by launching them into another bout of hopeless wrestling in the grass. Both Pokemon came out breathing hard, exhausted, and Caterpie’s opponent again disappeared into the night. Another peck was too much for Caterpie, and he fainted.

Gina recalled Caterpie, and Sproing ran onto the field. The dark didn’t bother him, and he too ran right at the zippurah. His tackle hit hard, and the pint-size bird was sent sprawling. He managed to stand up, though Jon called him back. Gina looked on, a bit confused, as her opponent’s third Pokeball sent a flash through the ever-increasing darkness. Gina made out the shape of a totodile, another Pokemon easy to find around Sunrise.


“Alright, Spro,” Gina said as Sproing ran back in her direction for a battle plan, “I think you can avoid him, and razor leaf is a pretty long range attack. I don’t really get what he’s doing, but if you don’t get too hurt against this totodile, I think we can win.”

Sproing nodded and ran out into the field. The totodile followed suit, running toward Sproing after receiving commands of his own. He continued the pattern of charging as an opening, but Sproing’s longer legs easily carried him out of the way. The totodile lowered its head and again ran at Sproing, who jumped his pursuer and fired a flurry of leaves his way. The totodile took the attack lightly, and ran into yet another charge. Sproing ran around him and fired another storm of leaves that was responded to as poorly as the first.

“Keep going, Totodile, just follow our plan!” Jon shouted his first audible order since his attempts to make mobile the tree.

Gina looked on to the best of her ability as the night took complete hold of their surroundings and she lost sight of Sproing, the totodile, and Jon. Though, she realized, if she couldn’t see him he couldn’t see her run to get a flashlight from her things. She didn’t know if that was against any rules, but she didn’t want to risk Sproing getting hurt, or, she realized, losing.

She had left her backpack in her sleeping back before she left, though retrieving it in the dark proved to be a chore. The lock she had put on it in order to keep animals out of her food chose this time to be stubborn and she spent much longer than she would have liked just getting to her things. Jon’s call of “Keep charging at him!” rang across the field, and Gina reassured herself that nothing would happen while she was gone. Her flashlight had managed to sneak to the bottom of her bag, and even more of a chore than opening the sleeping bag was putting everything away and closing it again. She ran back to the field to a Sproing who was chirping quietly in confusion.

She quickly flipped on the flashlight to unmask a large Pokemon she knew immediately to be Jon’s starter, though she didn’t know exactly what it was. Gina remembered having marveled at the strange-looking creature’s presence during the presentation of Pokemon earlier in the week, but it had very obviously evolved. This form was much more ominous, and every time it’s outlandish, two-fingered hand would open and shut, a loud metallic clang would echo across the field. It was absolutely a Kantoian Pokemon, definitely not native to any area she had ever heard of.

Sproing, however, saw things differently. He recognized one thing about the odd monster: It was built for water. Sproing awaited an order, standing patiently until he realized Gina didn’t see this; she hadn’t figured out her friend’s strategy. The Pokemon standing before him was obviously much stronger than he was, that was no secret. Sproing reasoned that this boy had trained it around the field area he and Gina had started at until it was incredibly strong for a beginning Pokemon, and then used it to capture Pokemon from that area. He had undoubtedly trained very much at the reserve as well, breezing even more easily through the mainly rock and ground Pokemon.

It had probably evolved there, and then this boy felt it was ready to leave. This, realized Sproing, was why there were no bugs from this area yet on this team, and why he had run up from behind them to meet them. He had just arrived in this area, his intense training causing him to lag behind a Gina who, in her catiel’s opinion, was very rushed. Not that it mattered, anyway. All of the other Pokemon on this team served no other purpose than to sap their opponents’ power, making way for the one-mon barrage.

Sproing gawked at the large Pokemon, wondering why no one was giving any orders. Looking back, he realized the light from the flashlight had gone, and Gina was presumably fetching that book that she was always looking in. Sproing backed up some, and then sheepishly launched a razor leaf which seemed to bounce off the intimidatingly enormous beast. Sproing began to back up, warily retreating until his Gina returned with information on the creature in front of him.

The thing made a noise, a disturbing gurgling sound. Sproing turned tail and began a full retreat. A pain seared through his backside, and he peered behind himself to see several of his feathers between the thing’s two fingers. A full run was immediately employed, the now threatening darkness bearing no comparison to the lopsided monstrosity before him.


… ‘Kingler (King-ler)
Water

Ht. 4’3”

Wt. 132 lb

One claw grew massively and as hard as steel. With 10,000-HP crushing power, it is a deadly weapon. However, it can hardly life this massive, overgrown pincer and its large size makes it unwieldy to use and it is extremely difficult to aim properly. Also, if it lifts the pincer to quickly it the shift in weight will throw the creature off balance and it will stagger.’


So, that’s what the thing was, I found out: A kingler, the adult form of krabby. When I got back to the battlefield from checking the guidebook, I found Sproing standing a safe distance away from the creature shooting leaves at it while it made sluggish attempts at grabbing him in a vice grip. Jon wasn’t shouting like a madman, so I figured he couldn’t see very well. My light was weak and didn’t accomplish much besides barely silhouetting the Pokemon, so I stood there sort of helplessly. I mean, what could I tell Spro to do that he wasn’t already? The ugly gargantuan Pokemon wasn’t moving anything but its claws, so Sproing didn’t exactly seem to be getting much of a workout, forget about being tired.

In short, eventually Spro was taken out by bubble attacks. I think we did well, though. I don’t exactly know what the point of having just one super-Pokemon is. I mean, his Totodile at least could probably be really good. And a Pokemon can only grow so old… so what happens when Spro catches up to Kingler or Kingler just plain gets knocked out? Poof, you die. It's really a meaningless strategy... actually, it was the one my brother used in his game. It didn't really work, so there.

So, that’s my analysis of the day. Luckily for me, Jon insists on escorting us to the entrance to the Widow’s Peak grave site. Awesome fun yeah right! He will absolutely not be staying with me any longer than that.

Hn, now I need to nickname Caterpie, too. Curses.

-------

Please review o.o;; /enddesparation

Trillian
18th July 2005, 10:56 PM
I do remember reading this before. I can't remember why I stopped, but after picking up where I left off, I really enjoyed this. The chapters are long, but that's probably to fit in the description, which is excellent. Maybe slightly too much, but I do find it interesting to read fics with a high level of description. A few minor spelling mistakes, but nothing too bad. A very interesting story, and I like your new pokémon (and yes, I am waiting to see what a magnegram looks like!) and it's always great to see that Gina's pokémon have character to them!

Your style is very interesting, I remember being intrigued by the diary entry format at the end. All in all, pretty good stuff! Looking forward to reading more of it!

I will finish by saying something slightly off-topic: Yes! Another U2 fan!

Act
19th July 2005, 10:26 PM
Just noting an update: I've added some to the first chapter. Please review :(

(Reply: Aw, thanks. I'm very glad you enjoyed it. Heh, I'm working on spriting magnegram, but it always comes out weird o.o;;

Yay! <3 U2... your siggy is awesome ^^;)

Act
21st July 2005, 3:43 AM
Chpater four, part one. Woohoo.

o.o;; What is this, an audience or an oil painting?

Yeah, I should be shot for that. Please, please shoot me >.>

-------

It was stubbornly ominous.

Gina carefully let that sentence roll around in her mind. It had been tediously constructed, and she was then in a phase that consisted of considering the true meaning of it. It applied to so many things at once.

The decidedly bleak weather headed that list. The group had awoken to drizzle, and the drizzle’s grip still had hold as it neared noon. It wasn’t pleasant for anyone, but Gina felt especially sorry for Sproing who, in his refusal to be belittled by Caterpie, did not want to go inside his pokčball. Instead, he was stopping to preen his matted feathers every few steps; he was uncomfortable and sopping. The kingler from the previous day, appropriately named Cancer, had been released and was gratefully enjoying the closest thing to the ocean it had felt in a long time. It ran around—a strange side-to-side shuffle—with Caterpie (who had made a game of trying to stay dry) chasing after it and trying to stay in one of the havens its large body and claw provided. Yes, the rain was stubborn and, Gina worried, ominous.

The mountain was something else that her concoction applied to. Jon had insisted that they stop traveling alongside the rock wall—something about slides that Gina wasn’t paying attention to—so for quite a while they had gone without any directional marker. It had risen above the trees, though, and now towered over them; Gina wondered how this awesome congregation of solid rock could ever condense into something as simple as a plateau.

The next thing that came to Gina’s mind was a more specific aspect of the mountain. The description of Widow’s Peak in her field guide had been very foreboding, almost like a warning. Common sense told her that this was written like that purposely, to attract attention (though, she admitted, this was the same ‘common sense’ that had directed her wear jeans, which retain water very well and heat not so much).

This thought spurred several others. Her backpack was heavy. Her feet hurt. It was drizzling, and she was cold. She had layered her shirts, but a wet shirt was the same as several wet shirts: damp, chilly, and uncomfortable. And it wasn’t as if she could simply fix all of these things, as she was flat broke. And more so, she realized, she was bored.

“Hey, Gi?” It was Jon’s voice. Gina shook herself out of her thoughts to see Jon standing with two other boys, talking to them, with Cancer nowhere in sight. Sproing and Caterpie, however, were standing by him. Jon nodded to the boys, and then approached Gina. “Look,” he said quietly, “these guys want to do a two-on-two. All that this guy has been talking about it his amazing growlithe, so I figure I could beat him with Cancer and you could use your caterpie against the other guy, since he’ll probably evolve soon anyway. Plus, you really need the money.”

“Way to plan out the entire battle for me,” Gina sighed. “What if that other guy has a flying-type or something? Caterpie would get annihilated.”

“From what you told me the caterpie beat up your bird pretty bad,” he pointed out.

“It wasn’t that bad. There were like five hundred other caterpie there. He took out all of the caterpie we saw afterwards easily,” Gina said defensively.

“No need to get all offended. You want to try or not?” he replied.

“Sure… I do need the money, I guess,” she shrugged.

After seeking out a small clearing suitable for battle, the four contenders took their places. It was about then that Gina realized she should have recalled Caterpie and Sproing; the two boys now had been given ample time to work out a strategy that could easily destroy either of her vulnerable duo. Three pokčballs exploded onto the field, and Caterpie ran out to join them. Gina surveyed the scene. Both Cancer and the growlithe had appeared, as predicted. The fourth pokemon had, as Gina guessed, been chosen strategically: it was an electrike.

Immediately, Caterpie dove for the electrike. What ensued was chaos.

Every kind of element went flying. Cancer shot a slow bubble in the growlithe’s direction; at the same time the growlithe spat and ember at Caterpie. However, by then, Caterpie had been thrown off the electrike. The ember instead hit the electrike as the growlithe was hit by bubble.

Trainers shouted orders, and Cancer lunged for the growlithe, whose name had been revealed as Lupine. The dog was subjected to a painful vicegrip, but the sudden shift in weight threw Cancer off balance and he fell forwards, with the struggling growlithe still in his claw. Meanwhile the electrike, who seemed to not have a name quite yet, had begun to roll across the ground in an effort to choke the flames. Caterpie stood a safe distance away, watching the spectacle in amusement. As soon as electrike began to right itself, Gina sent Caterpie into another tackle.

Electrike, she had found, though they were in fact (and obviously) electric pokemon, did not have the ability to learn more than one electric attacks before evolving, and that attack was merely thunder wave. Instead the little animal was pawing wildly, hoping to hit the bug beating him mercilessly. When he had become bored, the caterpie deftly made to a safe distance and covered his foe with a string shot.

It was then that Cancer succeeded in righting himself and, though his large claw was becoming hot and sore, he held on still to the puppy. The crab shook his opponent, only to receive hot embers in the face. The vicegrip tightened. A noise, almost liked a muted gunshot, was heard and Caterpie staggered backwards, slightly convulsing. While Caterpie tried to recover, the electrike turned toward Cancer and, despite his trainer’s call of, “No!” let loose a thunder wave toward the large crustacean as well. As electricity generally is, the shot was almost immediately transferred to the growlithe. The giant claw slacked for s few seconds, and the electrike pulled Lupine out of its hold.

Caterpie—having (for the time being) overcome the paralysis—charged the growlithe before it, too, had a chance to recover. The bludgeoning that came with the larva’s tackle followed soon after, and it was a considerable time before the growlithe managed to shake him off.

While he was distracted with Caterpie, another series of bubbles made their way toward the dog pokemon. Electrike cut in, taking the hit. Cancer again tried to grab one of his foes, but the electrike moved, and the crab’s weight had nowhere to go. Cancer toppled forward; the claw came painfully close to crushing Caterpie.

Caterpie took no mind, however, and Gina quickly saw the advantage his partner had laid out for them. With Gina’s orders in mind, he made his way behind the huge claw, and, using it as a shield, proceeded to shoot string madly through the opening the grooves the teeth of the claw produced. From there, he climbed the crustaceous mountain to look down on the electrike ramming his head into the underside of a very unhappy Cancer. As he was about to douse the green dog in string, the paralyzing effects of thunder wave once again made themselves noticed, and he fell forward in time to take a charge from electrike.

With every ounce of strength he had, Cancer managed to lift himself enough to send a flurry of bubbles aimlessly onto the field. Jon, very unsure of how to help his friend, stood still with his mouth open, waiting for the correct order to come to him.

It was about this time as Gina and Jon stood, feeling very helpless, that Caterpie made his way around the living mountain and threw himself into a desperate charge at the growlithe’s very injured midsection. Still getting hit by stray bubbles (and increasingly annoyed by the rain), Lupine took the hit hard and he sprawled onto the ground nearby. He gave a whimper, and was gone in a flash of light.

All save the electrike who was still ramming Cancer-- as well as poor immobile Cancer himself-- watched intently as Caterpie stood stationary, gazing absently at the spot the growlithe had been and slightly shaking. Not now, Gina prayed, not now. You need to be able to really move, Cat. Cancer can’t get up. But Caterpie paid no heed to Gina’s thoughts, and a glow radiated from him as a chrysalis was spun.

The metapod sat there for several seconds as Cancer’s underside became rawer as a result of the repeated charges by the electrike. Suddenly both Cancer and Metapod gave a lunge, the crab shoving himself backward, successfully trapping one of the electrike’s legs under his massive midsection. Gina looked on, slightly embarrassed, as the results of the former caterpie’s attempt at movement took effect: Metapod wavered for a second, and then fell over. Cancer continued to push himself backwards, and it wasn’t long before, in a flash, the electrike was gone.

The rain, as if having waiting for them, then began to pick up. Jon recalled Cancer, re-releasing him in an upright position along with his totodile, Lockjaw. Sproing, who had retreated to the shelter of a shrub to watch the battle, ran over happily to meet Lockjaw. Gina gave her little bird a smile as he ran to meet his unlikely friend, and she went to retrieve Metapod. The traveling again began in silence, and Gina fingered the bills now in her pocket. She thought about what she’d buy, sell, and exchange once they reached the next city, or even the mountain.

Metapod tried to make himself comfortable to Gina’s arms. He knew he had been offered to ride inside a pokčball, and he knew he had turned it down. He eyed Sproing and Lockjaw jealously wishing he, too, could be running around in the rain with Cancer as a joyful umbrella. Not that he was entirely unhappy about evolution; this meant he would sooner be a butterfree. He was simply bored, wet, and… uncomfortable.

He fidgeted again. It wasn’t that he minded the rain. He’d always liked it. The drizzle generally drove everyone away, leaving him free to wander the fields. This wasn’t to imply that humans caused any problems. No-- the dangerous, more experienced ones simply stepped over him. It was the other inhabitants of the forest who caused a problem. A caterpie was quick lunch, a punching bag for venting any anger.

Not to say that he’d ever had that problem. He’d readily heard of it from other colonies, though-- those who lived deeper in the forest. Deeper in the forest was where the powerful trainers paid attention to where they placed their steps, where it was dangerous to be a small pokemon of any sort, caterpie notwithstanding.

It was dangerous to be a metapod. He’d seen so many butterfree, even in his own colony, who had been forever condemned to the ground, wings tattered and deformed. Some were sentenced to darkness, eyes not working properly. This was because they had to be metapod first: Weak, immobile. It was no wonder why there were hundreds of caterpie and so few butterfree. He wondered how his friends deep in the forest survived. He wondered if they were still surviving.

He shifted position and was glad to see that the girl had finally picked up on his lack of want for the pokčball.

That book that she always looked at might have told her. But the boy was stupid; he’d led them away from the edge, toward the Deep Forest. He’d seen power-hungry humans, but the boy was lacking some sense if he wanted so much to be in the Deep Forest.

He sighed again. It was good, he supposed, that he had ended up with a human, though such a juvenile one was not nearly what he had hoped for. But they were all juvenile once, and if his luck to decided to carry him further she would be comfortable in the Deep Forest one day. He gave an internal laugh. He was never lucky. It was all chance, as far as he was concerned. Not to mention that she’d soon drop him for a pokemon more powerful. Something twisted inside him, and he closed his eyes. He’d had enough of this girl carrying him.

He called to Sproing. The little bird slowly approached them, and then began to walk in time with Gina. Metapod reassured him that there was no way he could cause the bird any bodily harm.

So what did he want, Sproing wanted to know.

He wanted out: To be placed on top of Cancer, possibly wedged in between two of the prongs in his crown for stability.

Cancer, hearing this, made his way over to the three. Gina slowed, and then stopped as the giant creature approached them. Metapod began to squirm.

“What’s up?” Jon said, looking back at them.

“I think he’s sort of uncomfortable. I think he wants to ride Cancer,” Gina said, more to herself than to Jon. Cancer smiled in reply, slowly moving his torso into a twisted nod. Gina placed Metapod on top of the crab. Metapod toppled over as soon as his shuffle began.

It was a significant amount of time before the pokemon were able to communicate Metapod’s desire to be lodged in Cancer’s crown, yet it happened. With the language barrier leaving all frustrated, the rain continued.

---

Gina played with her hair again, trying to leash the horrible animal into a bun on the top of her head. The fact that it was wet made this extremely difficult, but she stubbornly refused to admit to herself that advice on getting a short haircut should have been taken. She gave an impatient sigh and turned around to face the entrance to Widow’s Peak.

It was boarded up crudely. The hinges where a door had once been were still visible, and Gina wondered whether they were costume or if the door really had been torn off at one point. More so, she wondered if the door had been ripped off recently.

She turned around again and hugged herself, rubbing her arms. Over the last few minutes the rain had picked up significantly, and between this and her ominous surroundings Gina was becoming increasingly uneasy. The land had become barren, with no path from the forest that sat a several hundred feet away. A hardy tree or shrub had sprung up here and there. Gina continued to coddle herself as she looked hopefully out into the oncoming darkness, wishing to see Jon coming back.

Her friend had left earlier, with Metapod—who had fallen asleep atop Cancer-- in tow. Both trainers had wanted ghost pokemon, which had become more and more abundant as the closed in on the Peak (Jon had gone as far as to claim he’d seen a chimecho). After wasting her final two pokčballs on a gastly, Jon offered to catch each of them a pokemon and meet her at Widow’s peak so she could check into the Pokemon Center.

But now there was no Center and no Jon, and with Metapod out of sight, Sproing had gratuitously accepted Gina’s last offer to enter his pokčball. Gina was unsettled and alone, without the initiative to check her guide to see if the Peak’s closing was routine, normal. In fact, she thought, she had no intention of ever finding out if the closing was normal, as her gut feeling told her enough.

Her heart skipped a beat and she shuddered as creaking and banging could be heard from inside the mountain. Pokemon live there, she convinced herself, it’s not like those stupid boards keep everything out and in. Gina had seriously considered breaking in; getting in trouble with an officer didn’t bother her at the moment as much as the rain and mysteriousness of her surroundings. In fact, she thought, an officer might even sympathize with a young girl’s situation.

Time passed slowly, and with every second came a new theory about what could have happened to Jon. Kidnapping, injury… if Gina didn’t have such a twist in her stomach when she thought about leaving—abandoning Metapod—she would have been on her way to the city long ago.

Headlights appeared in the distance at one point in the void of time, and Gina gasped loudly, a gasp that verged on a scream. She stood paralyzed for a second before working up the will to dash away. It took even more of a will to stop running, and to make herself duck behind a nearby boulder. The creaking and banging suddenly exited the realm of ‘I’m hearing things’ and made its way over to the entrance of the plateau. A pickup truck pulled up to meet it.

Gina didn’t want to see who was getting out, and she didn’t want to hear what was being said. Hide… she was always good at that. She’d always win tag and seeking games. She recited to herself the old rules she had lived by in hide-and-go-seek: Don’t look, don’t move, be quiet, don’t panic. Don’t look, don’t move, be quiet, don’t panic. Don’t look, don’t move, don’t… don’t…

---

Metapod stirred. He felt his eyes begin to open, but he closed them again, begging Celebi to let him fall asleep once more.

A sudden thrust forward woke him up entirely.

He examined his surroundings. He was still on Cancer, though he had loosened significantly and one more such lunge threatened to throw him off. The land whizzed by too quickly and he couldn’t see it well through his tired eyes, though it was obviously forested. Metapod wondered where they were, why they had left the barren land and headed back toward the forest. Most importantly, he wondered why he and Cancer were alone.

The king crab began to slow down in response to Metapod’s twitching. Breathing heavily, he came to a complete stop and set his claw down, facing the way they had come from. There was silence. Metapod waited for his taxi to offer an explanation, but none came. The eerie, complete lack of sound from not just his companion but from the forest as well unnerved Metapod, and he had no desire to break the silence. It seemed to him that Cancer felt much the same.

The brush in front of them moved without the prompting of a breeze. Metapod stiffened, hardened. They had been running. And Metapod’s common sense told him that a sea creature such as kingler, built for a life of leisure at the water’s edge, would not be running so quickly-- against his nature-- without reason. As the bush again wavered, Metapod could hear a muted groan come from Cancer as he took off again.

Metapod finally worked up the courage to speak as they fled, ((What’s going on?))

The sound of Cancer’s feet dominated the air for a second before Metapod heard him grunt, ((Don’t know.))

They again slowed as they reached the rock wall. Cancer turned in order to-- it seemed to Metapod-- make sure they weren’t being followed. Several moments passed before Cancer declared their safety by setting his torso to the ground. Metapod gave a sigh of relief.

((So. You have a name?)) Cancer asked, his voice still deep and more like a grunt than normal speech as he breathed heavily.

((Not by her yet,)) Metapod answered somewhat apprehensively. He wanted to know what had happened during his sleep, not what the weather was like. ((You’re welcome to call me Carsu.))

((Not by the girl; that I know. But Carsu.... Mean anything?)) Cancer droned, his breathing returning to normal. ((Not made for that,)) he added.

The metapod, seeing Cancer’s lax attitude, tried to calm himself. If the crab, who had assumedly seen whatever had happened, could relax, he could as well. Carsu took some time to examine his position. He carefully surveyed his surroundings. They had backtracked through the forest, most likely searching for a new pokemon. He gave a snort at the ignorance of the children as he realized they had just run from the edge of the dangerous part of the forest. There was no telling how deep into it they had been before he woke up. That would account for the missing human, the silly boy.

Still, Carsu put the question into the open again, ((What happened?))

There was no answer.

Now becoming nervous and exasperated, Carsu neared a shout, ((Where is the boy? The girl? The stupid bird? The lizard! What happened while I was asleep?))

The silence continued. Carsu strained his body, trying to bend over and see if, possibly, the crustacean had been knocked out by exhaustion. No, the metapod concluded, his eyes were wide open. There were a few moments more of silence, before an agitated moan came from the cocoon, followed by: ((It means ‘small falcon’.))

((Ah,)) Cancer came to life, ((I see. Don’t worry yourself, as far as I know the girl is safe. She took the bird to the chansey building. If you’d kindly direct me, I’ll take us to her now.))

((The boy,)) the metapod further demanded.

((He sent me to bring you to the girl,)) was the matter-of-fact reply.

((Why were we running, then?)) Carsu asked incredulously. He leaned over again, trying to look Cancer in the face. He wasn’t sure intimidation would work on a kingler as it had on other caterpie, but he wanted to see if Cancer’s expression gave away anything about the seriousness of their position.

((Before I left, we were attacked. We ran,)) Cancer continued, still unsettlingly serene. Carsu waited for him to finish; he expected some explanation for why they were alone. But instead he felt a rumble as Cancer again lifted himself and began to head along the side of the precipice.

((You’re going in the wrong direction,)) the metapod offered, ((Turn around.))

Cancer complied, turning himself slowly, and they walked for a while, quiet, as both sides contemplated their situation. After several minutes, Cancer spoke, ((I don’t remember what happened to the boy.))

Carsu remained silent.

----

Gina squeezed herself against the boulder, hands clasped tightly over her ears, for some time. When she listened, she could hear voices: some male, some female. She didn’t dare try to get away. Suddenly, there were several loud cracking noises and someone laughed loudly enough to penetrate Gina’s hold on her ears. Then everything settled back, with just the murmur of conversation.

At one point, there was a slamming noise-- unmistakably a car door shutting-- and an engine roared. The headlights again flared, casting long shadows. Gina opened her eyes to look at the shadows, hoping to have some idea of what these people looked like. What she saw instead astounded her; a huge silhouetted figure stood in front of her on six legs. Its torso was rounded, and it sported a single, huge horn on its head. Gina watched as it flailed one of its two disproportionate claws wildly, all the while making a loud droning noise.

Shouts of, “What is that?” emanated from the area around the truck for several seconds before someone called, “Come on, we have to get going anyway. Get in!”

As the sounds of the truck faded and the area again relinquished itself to darkness, Gina started at the spot where a black blotch could still be seen. She suddenly laughed, a noise that made the creature jump, and its horn wobbled and fell off. Gina threw her arms around Cancer to the best of her ability, never so relieved to see the type of creature that had plagued her childhood nightmares.

---

Do Review.

Trillian
21st July 2005, 7:56 PM
Again, brilliantly done! Hopefully I'm not going to be the only one to review this! But I liked the double battle, the description made it very easy to visualise. Just a few tiny spelling errors, like
The giant claw slacked for s few seconds , but no grammatical errors that I can see. This is turning out to be an excellent story, with a good insight into the pokémon characters as well as the trainer ones as well. Keep it up!

Act
22nd July 2005, 1:35 AM
Thanks muchly ^^;

I hope these are all the edited versions o.o;; I'll fix that typo ASAP.

Heh, refer people xD It's a ltot, so I think it's offsetting. ::shrug::

Negrek
22nd July 2005, 8:19 AM
Back to this, eh? I was planning to save a comprehensive review until this was in bad nee d of a bump, but I'm crushingly bored at the moment...

Chapter-by-chapter review

Chapter One

- I, too, dislike the piece of paper with Gina's name on it scene. I'm not quite sure what it is about it, though. I think it comes off as a little bit cheesy and perhaps a little bit weird, but I'm not really sure how to do anything about it. My best guess is that the part where she's talking to herself sounds weird. Perhaps removing that part would be best, and instead introducing her as Gina for the first time by using it as the subject of the sentence, as in just cutting to the first sentence of the next paragraph. The way it's written now makes it look like she doesn't know her own name which is...strange.

- I have to go over and sit in the camp of people who don't like the word makeshift in the second sentence... to me, it has always meant something temporary, "Not very good, but it will do until we get the real thing." Would rough or crude work as well here? Though I know you do wish to keep it the way it is. Your choice.


“I guess I need to name you, right catiel?”

- Someone mentioned this already, yes? Catiel needs to be capitalized, and there needs to be a comma after right.


One the first page was a photograph of the bird which captured its essence very well.

- Two errors here. Error number one I hope you can find yourself, error number two has to do with a new grammar rule I learned just last month. Mwahahaha...

You use "which" incorrectly in this sentence. Which is used for nonrestrictive clauses, or information that can be taken out of a sentence. Use which only if you would use a comma before it, as in, "The caterpie, which had a bad attitude, was clearly not to be taken lightly."

That, on the other hand, is for restrictive clauses: don't use a comma in front of it. "The caterpie that I caught yesterday is sweet."

So take a look at your two options:


One the first page was a photograph of the bird, which captured its essence very well.

One the first page was a photograph of the bird that captured its essence very well.

The first sentence makes it clear that the second clause is extraneous; it's just a description of the photo. The second sentence makes it more important to the sentence. Take your pick.


“I have to warn you, first, catiel,”

- Capitalize again.



“Alright then…” She sighed, “I wish I had my computer right now. Then I could look up some cool name for you in another language or something. I guess we just have to drop it for now.”

- The speech tag on this looks weird. Because you put the "She sighed" just after a short block of quoted text and just before another block of quoted text, it looks as if it should be, "Alright, then..." she sighed, "I wish I had my computer right now..." I'm not sure what you can do to fix it without changing the meaning of the dialogue, however.



The small raccoon animal was sitting in the grass gnawing intently on a berry.

- Comma in front of gnawing.


She took a deep breath, feeling already some remorse for disrupting the happy little zigzagoon, and sent Catiel forward.


- Syntax weirdness. Already feeling would sound better, wouldn't it?


Gina sighed with relief, but this zigzagoon wasn’t finished.

- Haven't fixed that one here, then?


...it turned around, and prepared for another charge.

- No comma there


As the zigzagoon shot himself into another lunge, the little bird sprung up...

- It looks odd to me to see sprung used like this. I generally used sprung as a state of being verb, and sprang as a... whatever it's called. I'll call it an action verb. That is, I might say that a trap had been sprung, but that I sprang up and ran to the door. There's nothing in my dictionary that seems to support my usage, though. It's a matter of my personal taste.

- I think that bookmarking is one word, as bookmark is one word.


She ran with him back onto the path, her joints refreshed from the excitement.

- Having her joints refreshed just sounds weird. There was never anything to indicate that they were locked up, in the first place, and refreshed just seems an odd word to use in this instance.


The day weaned away without any further event...

- I believe you mean waned.


We all stood on stage in the plaza...

- Hmm, I think it's onstage.


I guess its different when you...

- Ah, yes, a typo.


I live in Sunrise City, the city furthest to the east.

- Generally, you'd use further to mean "in addition to" (e.g. Do you have any further complaints?) and farther in situations relating to distance. Thus, I think farthest would be preferable in this sentence, though it is a fairly hazy, unrecognized distinction.


I wonder how the sun comes up there?

- I don't really understand what you're trying to say with this sentence.

So, overall not a bad chapter. I'm glad you kept the journal even though people on FF.net didn't seem to like it overmuch. The way you cut the beginning was interesting, though it does seem a rather abrupt jolt into the story now. You kinda throw readers in with a pokémon and character that they've never seen before. I didn't have much of a problem with it, but then I'd read this before so I knew what was going on. I dunno what I would have thought if I hadn't read this already.

Also, I'm just wondering about your region structure. Why does it require nine badges instead of eight? I never thought to ask that before.

Eh, that's all that I have the motivation for tonight. I'll do the rest later.

Act
22nd July 2005, 4:38 PM
Yay, a good review ^^;

I'm not on my own computer at the moment, so I can't fix it up, but I will.

Dammit I hate that chapter... I wish I could just take it out or something.


I, too, dislike the piece of paper with Gina's name on it scene.

I dislike it, too. o.o;; I took it out... but apparently I haven't updated this with all Ionem's errors fixed.... I just tacked on the end part. Curse all these forums I can't keep track of.


I have to go over and sit in the camp of people who don't like the word makeshift in the second sentence... to me, it has always meant something temporary, "Not very good, but it will do until we get the real thing." Would rough or crude work as well here? Though I know you do wish to keep it the way it is. Your choice.

I'm not too passionate about it. ::shrug:: I'll see if I remeber to fix it.


Having her joints refreshed just sounds weird. There was never anything to indicate that they were locked up, in the first place, and refreshed just seems an odd word to use in this instance.

I know, I realized that. I'll be a bad author and say that I was hoping no one would notice. ;.;


The way you cut the beginning was interesting, though it does seem a rather abrupt jolt into the story now. You kinda throw readers in with a pokémon and character that they've never seen before. I didn't have much of a problem with it, but then I'd read this before so I knew what was going on. I dunno what I would have thought if I hadn't read this already.


I actually liked the beginning, but after a few comments on it and in reading it over it seemed pointless. I think I might add it back, but meh. I'm so sick of this chapter that it's not even funny >.> But I shan't give up.

Korimura
22nd July 2005, 7:54 PM
LIke it. Own made up pokemon. Usually, I don't approve, but I guess this is good!

jupitol
23rd July 2005, 8:21 AM
I like this story, it's interesting. The picture of catiel in your sig is... creepy. Anyway, apart from a few small errors, I can't see any words spelt wrong. Keep it up!

Act
23rd July 2005, 8:25 PM
Yay, readers ^^; I'm glad your enjoying it.

Yeah, the siggy catiel is a heavily edited pidgey... -_-;; It's quite odd.

Act
21st May 2006, 8:24 PM
Okay, I finally touched up and finished this chapter. *prods closet readers* I know you exist.

----

Of all the places in Hoenn, Kanto, and Johto, Gina liked Hoenn’s Route 119, the route leading to Fortree City, the best. Of course, she’d only seen it in pictures and only had pictures to compare to, but it appealed to her most nonetheless. The amazing waterfall, cascading so picturesquely, intrigued her to such a degree that she nearly forgot her troubles as she stared at the photo on the wall of her room in the pokemon center.

She finished dressing herself, pulling over her shoulders her newly laundered tee shirt, and grabbed a fistful of money made from things she had sold over the past few hours. Looking around the small, cramped room, she sighed. No one was there; she was obviously late. Gina grabbed three pokčballs off her bed, stuffed them carelessly into her pocket, and ran out of the room.


----


“Um, I’ll just have a burger, thanks,” Gina said to the waiter. She and her four roommates had arranged a dinner at a nearby diner for the purpose of coming to know each other, and in that diner was where she sat. The people she was to be staying with for at least that one night seemed nice enough thus far. The oldest of the pack who had managed the organization of the dinner was a tall, broad girl named Camille. She had obviously been training for several years, this evident not only from the way she held herself and her full belt of pokčballs, but from the smiling glances she got from people as they walked by. As the talking began, it was revealed that she was thirteen and frequented this area of the city.

Sitting next to Camille was Megan, a novice trainer like Gina, who had begun her journey in the nearby town of Viewse. Meekly, she told the table of her tale thus far, recounting her days with a beloved spoink. The final girl was another young trainer who introduced herself as Cheryl. She spoke proudly of her expedition from Centrimark Town with her pidgey, zippurah, and murkrow. She wanted to be a bird trainer, she announced to her audience.

Gina, latest and-- according to rules set up by Camille-- last to introduce herself, took a deep breath. “Hi…” she began, “I’m Gina; I’m from Sunrise City. I just started a week and a half ago with a catiel, but I also have a butterfree and a kingler.” She contemplated adding that Cancer had come from a friend, but she winced and her chance was lost as the other girls gave words of affirmation.

The dinner came and went idly, and Gina quickly retreated to the girls’ room while the others went out to tour the city and, undoubtedly, the many stores. Gina had never been one for shopping—she saw it as an idle waste of time—and found no desire to accompany the girls, even after Camille tried to woo her with promises of ice cream.

Gina sat on her bed (the bottom bunk on the left) and pulled her backpack over to her feet. Her journal slid out as the bag moved forward, seemingly upset at the neglect it had been subjected to over the past few days. Gina grabbed the little book, found her favorite pen, and flipped it open.


Day 11

So I got to talk to him this morning. I guess that was why I seemed (or was) so antisocial at the dinner tonight, but… the one thing my mom told me when I was leaving was that I should always trust my intuition, but there’s also the problem of me being paranoid and having a wild imagination.

Anyway, recap.

So first I got a call from Colette, the same officer who came when I called at the Peak that night. She gave me all this totally fake stuff about how everything was under control and that kind of thing. I was seriously thinking about hanging up on her (and like blaming my phone’s faulty connection or something), but then she put Jon on. We agreed to meet in five days so I could give him Cancer back. He said in typical him fashion that I should use Cancer to beat the Arc tournament. I guess I’ll have to, since I need three pokčmon. Oh, and he said he caught the gastly and that he’ll give it to me for Cancer.

The whole thing is so sketchy. It’s like all of the stuff up at the buildings on Mt. Sci… the League just insists there’s nothing on the ‘dangerous’ mountain when any idiot could see that there are several active buildings. I hate the way the League covers things up like we’re all idiots. I don’t care if they dismiss the happenings, but claiming a building doesn’t exist is insane. And then there was that story about the nurse who was killed…

God, I have to never watch that again. I’m scarred (or scared, either way) for eternity. But I mean come on, the thing clearly said.
I think all the anxiety will go away when I see Jon on Saturday. Well, most of it. Some day, when I actually have pokčmon and stuff, I’m going back to Widow’s Peak.


Gina closed the book and commanded herself to calm down. Her eyes felt strained and sore (as they always did when she was tired) and were now tearing up (as they always did when she was watching or thinking about something that scared her). The tears went away on their own time, and Gina sat still for several seconds, feeling the strangest lack of satisfaction. She released her butterfree and opened her journal back up.


As for my actual ‘journey,’ I finally named butterfree. I felt bad for being nasty to Jon when he suggested it, so I did end up naming Butterfree Monarch. The problem is Butterfree doesn’t really like the name. So I’ve been going back and forth between ‘Butterfree’ and ‘Monarch.’ For all intents and purposes, though, he has a nickname. My new mission is to catch a psychic pokčmon to figure out what his problem is. The urban legend is that some psychic pokčmon are so smart that they speak every language on the planet, even some they’ve never heard. There are tons of people in the city and center, so I’m going to go up to the lounge in the center tomorrow morning and try to buy a psychic off someone.

I have money now! Isn’t that amazing? And my bag is lighter, so it all works out.

Back on the topic of my butterfree, he and I have become really close. This seems kind of cruel, but Sproing and I have been having an insane personality clash recently. Butterfree and I, despite the whole naming issue, have been really bonding. That’s good, because as I train him more he becomes more independent, and he’ll be a gem in the Arc battles.

As far as Spro goes, I do feel bad. I haven’t trained him much over the past few days, though I’m sure he should evolve soon. I guess after that maybe he’ll calm down and be easier to get along with.

Cancer is so funny. He’s very lazy and nonchalant (as opposed to chalant, I guess, but that’s not a word. Our language is retarded). He and Butterfree are really bonding, too. Thing is, it’s not a playful kind of bonding. They’re just talk to each other, sometimes for what seems like hours. And I think Cancer looks sad. I’d say it was his missing Jon, but my butterfree had the same look. I wish I could listen in… I bet they could fill in a lot of holes in this whole thing for me.

So, Butterfree/Monarch is looking over my shoulder right now, as if he can read. I wonder if he has any idea what I’m doing, or if the concept is totally foreign to him. For a pokčmon not raised around people, he and I do communicate pretty well. He knows more words that I say than I think people give butterfree credit for, and he’s a fast learner. This may sound weird, but I think I’m starting to figure out what he says, too. Their language, I think, depends a lot of how long they hold a sound, whether it’s high or low, and which syllable it is. He’s definitely ahead of me in that area, though.


Gina again shut her diary. The clap of the pages slamming together startled Monarch and he quickly retreated to the opposite bed and set himself down. He gave Gina a strange look, one she could not quite decipher. For a split second it seemed nearly human, speaking loudly feelings of pity and confusion. But just as quickly as it came it passed, and Monarch busied himself with trying to pull the sheets off the bed.

Gina stood up, and her butterfree gazed at her blankly as she headed toward the bathroom. At first she had been wary of leaving her pokčmon (Monarch in particular) alone in the room for fear that they would attempt escape, but after the one attempt Carsu made, she was sure it wouldn’t happen again.

The truth was, though Carsu has once considered the window as an exit, he had no desire to leave. He didn’t mind this life— he simply wanted to know what it was like to finally be a butterfree outside. His curiosity got the best of him once, but after his wing got caught in the hinge of the window and ended up entirely out of commission for a day, the odds of him attempting escape again were slim. Or, rather, the odds of him attempting escape through the window of this building.

He sighed. Monarch was quite happy, he told himself, shooting a glance at the window, but Carsu… was he, too?

For the first time in several days, Carsu felt uneasy about what had been happening to him more and more since the mountain. Or maybe it would have happened anyway, there was no way to be sure. It wasn’t exactly insanity, and in truth he didn’t find it that big of a deal, but Cancer insisted on bringing it up.

The butterfree had inadvertently separated himself into two persons. Cancer had pointed this out to him several days ago, and though the statement was characteristically concise and monotone, it had enough meaning to create a paranoid creature out of the normally collected and decisive butterfree, at least for a few minutes.

((You act so differently for her.))

That had been it, and naturally Carsu demanded an explanation. Cancer looked at him, eyes narrowed, concerned. ((You didn’t know?)) Carsu stared, and after Cancer realized his companion had no reply, he shuffled away.

Entirely bewildered and quite upset by this brief exchange, Carsu had resorted to asking the bird’s opinion.

Sproing had looked at him blankly, letting go of the shoelace that had been dangling from his beak. It never ceased to surprise Carsu what a child the silly bird was, though he knew it should. The butterfree wasn’t sure what he thought would happen if he confronted Sproing; the two weren’t particularly close, especially as of late, and the bird probably didn’t know him well enough to distinguish between one of Carsu’s mindsets and the other.

((You don’t think you’re a little weird?)) Sproing had asked.

Now, Carsu was not entirely sure what to make of this statement, and he hadn’t the desire to pursue it any further. So he left the conversation before it started, and went to meditate on everything. There, in a corner of a clearing and while Gina fed the bird, Cancer found the butterfree.

((You don’t get it,)) he stated plainly. Carsu looked at him silently.

Cancer gave a moan and a groan, setting his torso down. Suddenly, the butterfree felt like the child he always accused Sproing of being, seeking wisdom from this heaping mound. This was not at all a welcome feeling, but curiosity overcame him and he stayed put.

((Carsu,)) Cancer began, taking his time, ((you put on a show for the girl.))

The butterfree took this statement as an accusation, and was insulted to the point of being disgusted. He threw a horrific look toward the crab, who replied with a haughty laugh at the misinterpretation of his words. ((No, no…)) then a pause, ((You put on a mask of optimism for her, and you are most assuredly not like that toward the little bird or me… That Monarch you hate? That peppy title? You give into it with her. And that’s the best I can explain it.))

Carsu recognized it now, especially staring at the window. There was a division within him, and he decided the details were beyond his understanding. He opted to continue with his life and to not bother worrying all too much. He assumed Sproing and Cancer hadn’t felt the same thing because they had always lived with humans, and he figured that the girl was the cause. It was something he had not anticipated in his personal quest for some kind of better life; he had not expected to take any minute liking to this girl like the bird had. And in an inexplicable way, that both worried and comforted him.


------


Sproing ran around the room, chasing the shoelace manically. Monarch gave a torturous laugh as he again stopped, bringing to a halt with him the lace. He allowed it to dangle for just enough time to make Sproing think he had a chance at it. As soon as Sproing jumped for it, Monarch pulled it away. It was an almost cruel game, one that Monarch had played often as a caterpie with his siblings and using a fern’s leaf.

Cancer was, more practically, enclosed in his pokčball. Gina let her other two pokčmon exasperate each other while she prepared for her first Arc challenge and her second attempt at pokčmon catching. She had bought a great ball and four pokčballs, her heart set on at least one more pokčmon before she went to meet Jon in a few days. She had abandoned the idea of buying an abra after her mother told her it was an impractical way to spend her money and her brother had spooked her with all sorts of weird stories about them.

Gina truly wanted a fire-type pokčmon, but she knew none lived in the area surrounding the City, so she had decided to go after a permanent water-type. She felt awful at the prospect of giving up Cancer—she had become extremely attached to him, as had Carsu—so her initial idea was, despite her mother’s scolding, to buy a krabby. When this proved illogically expensive, Gina decided on the Konnichiwa City-native corphish.

It was exceedingly fascinating to Sproing to see how much more Gina had taken to depending on herself as opposed to when they set out. However, about thirty minutes into the excursion (after getting lost far more than once) when Gina announced that they had no actual means of getting a corphish out of the water, he had second thoughts.

Gina had assumed that the ponds where corphish were supposed to live would have banks; she would be able to lay some food out and the pokčmon would crawl up out of the water onto a shore and things would proceed from there. However, this was not the case. The pond was simply a hole in the ground—the grass ended, and the water began. The water was several yards deep, and, though she had a bucket for fish or any small crabs, Gina did not have a fishing pole, nor string with which to make one.

She released Cancer, “Cancer… can you swim? Like, if I sent you down there, could you get back up?”

Cancer surveyed his surroundings, resisting the urge to throw himself into the pond. He heard Carsu snort, presumably at the girl’s question. Of course he could not swim; he could hardly walk. He shook himself: no.

Gina stared hard at the pond, deep in thought, “I didn’t think so… but you know, everything weighs less in water… Hey, can you breathe underwater? Can crabs do that?”

Cancer looked around again, wondering where they were and why this mattered. Gina called him, bringing his attention back to the question. Yes, only naturally did he have gills.

Gina’s face lit up. “Okay then, here’s what we’ll do! Um, no, maybe… that won’t work… oh well, we’ll try. Cancer, I need you to go down there and find a corphish for me. When you’re done, I’ll just recall you down there; it’s not too deep. Hey… could you bring a pokčball with you? Is that possible? I know they float…” She pulled a pokčball out of her bag and tossed it in the water, just to be sure. When it bobbed back up to the surface, the grabbed it and handed it to Cancer’s smaller claw. “This isn’t going to work, is it? Do you think the corphish will float if it faints, like a fish?” She took back the pokčball.

((This is stupid,)) Sproing offered.

The catiel’s tone was all Gina needed to interpret the statement. “You have any ideas?”

Cancer set himself down with a characteristic groan, (([i]Get a fish-catching stick.))

Gina tapped her foot, and everyone stood in silence for several seconds, before the girl’s face lit up, and set declared, “I’ve got it.” And so she got to work.

She flung her bag on the ground and pulled out several cherries and some slices of ham from her bag. She grabbed the bucket, set it on its side, and poked two holes in it with her pocketknife. A vine—not poison ivy, Gina prayed—served as her rope, and she slowly lowered the contraption into the water, setting it on its side.

Gina looked on, proud of her efforts. “It’s like cage-crabbing-- now, we wait.”

Time passed at a fine pace. The four took turns watching the trap, and whoever was not on guard enjoyed the picnic lunch Gina had packed. The day was pleasant, and the cloudless sky reflected gloriously in the water. Gina savored the aura content—feelings and days such as this never lasted long. Not to mention the forecast was calling for thunderstorms starting that night.

It was Cancer who was on guard when one stupid, courageous corphish finally ventured into the bucket. Understanding the dynamic of the trap, he quickly gave the vine-rope a tug, and the bucket was jolted up toward the surface. It broke out of the water with a loud, gushing noise, and Gina immediately rushed over to the scene.

The pokčmon was extremely small, almost to the point that Gina felt sorry for it. Its pointed feet scratched against the side of the bucket, and when Gina peered in, it stuck its claws up toward her, wide open. Gina found the defensive measure heart melting.

In truth, she wasn’t sure if it was even legal to capture corphish this small. A quick check of her guidebook revealed that it was perfectly acceptable—as long as the corphish was male.

Several minutes later, the pokčmon was tossed back into the pond, and the trap restocked and re-lowered.

The next catch came nearly an hour later, when the weather had started getting rough, and the tiny bobbin Gina had made (a walnut with the vine strung through it) was being tossed to and fro. It was, actually, Carsu who refused to leave until a corphish was obtained. If not for the stubbornness of the fearless creature, the mission would have been lost.

Carsu was well aware of the fact that Cancer would soon be leaving them, and he resented it with every ounce of life in him. His advisor and companion was being torn away, and he saw no reason to let this opportunity to begin filling that gap pass them by-- storm clouds notwithstanding. They were going to catch a corphish, even if Carsu had to stand and man the trap alone. Gina had mentioned to them earlier that they were only attempting this once for whatever reason, and he took that to heart.

The second corphish was pulled up. It was of decent size, and the flailing of its pincers was anything but adorable. It couldn’t escape from the bucket while Cancer was holding but, so Gina found it safe to say that they had a corphish in their possession.

But she didn’t know what to do with it.

She did not try to take it out of the bucket and battle it. She had enough knowledge of the world to know that it would immediately head back for the pond. Yet, her better judgment told her it was too big to simply capture without a fight. And so she made a rather unconventional decision.

“We’re going to carry it back to the room, and then catch it there,” she proclaimed. With the verdict announced, the sky felt free to break open, and it began to rain.

----

The bucket swung back and forth despite Cancer’s strange gait having come to a halt; the rainwater that had filled the pail was sloshing back and forth, taking the young corphish on a sick ride with it. Gina was frantically clearing her and her roommates’ things off the floor. She thanked some higher power for the absence of the three from the room.

Things were cleared and put away, and the full contents of the bucket were dumped on the floor. The water cascaded out from the plastic thing, and the corphish flowed onto the floor with it in such a way that Gina had to giggle—he seemed to be surfing the little wave.

He stood and shook himself off, trying to regain a sense of up and down. He might have achieved this, but, regardless, he was quickly assaulted by Sproing and all sense of balance became null as he was hurled toward the wall. A razor leaf was enough to collapse the young pokémon, and a lone great ball enough to secure that it was in their possession. Gina then promptly opened the room’s window, and called the nurse. The window had been carelessly left open, Gina insisted, and the room allowed to flood.

Cancer stared out the open window blankly, his gaze, Gina thought, rather sad. There was symbolism in it somewhere, but she couldn’t find it.

---

Yeah, you can shoot me for reposting it and only having added like five paragraphs. Just review first.

Saffire Persian
23rd May 2006, 5:12 AM
Hey. o.o Yanno, I get the odd feeling of De'ja vu when I started reading this today... I think I've read the first chapter before, a long time ago on FF.net... Though I rightfully don't remember much. 0_o... In fact, I'm quite sure I reviewed it, too.

Annyway, time to refresh my memory, eh?

First, I'll start off by saying the start seemed a bit jarring... It seemed, at first, like I was starting to read in the middle of the starting chapter, not the beginning. That was my personal opinion, of course, but it didn't seem as much of an introduction as I was expecting, and I think it took me a bit longer to get "in synch" with the story, if you know what I mean.

I still very much liked the characters - well, so far. Admittedly, I don't know much about them. But I liked Gina's thoughts on the Catiel - as in, the observation of him waiting for orders and being more obedient because he was born and bred to be a starter Pokémon. (It's personally my theory of things, too.)

And Sproing. XD Interesting idea for a name. And I didn't mind the journal entries at all... I found them a nice deviation from the norm. Though, while I'm on the subject, her writing "Spoink, the Psychic Pig Pokemon" seemed a little unnatural for a journal entry. Why not just "Spoink" instead of tagging its species --whateveritscalled, classification? -- It just seems unnatural for anyone to bother to actually write that in a journal. That's just my opinion, however. I do like the voice Gina has in her journal writing, it makes things a bit interesting instead of dull, as some journal's can be. (I liked the "Zigzagg-y" comment.)

The battle between Catiel and the Zigzagoon was interesting (the poor thing; I could see it running off) Though, admittedly, it wasn't the most exciting. XD Of course, I don't know if it should be expected to be, considering it was their first battle, and the Zigzagoon just ran off after getting struck in an undignified place (which was amusing).


“I have to warn you, first, Catiel,” she continued, “I’m awful at this. I couldn’t even name my online pokemon.”

XDXD.. That line also made me laugh.

Overall, the beginning got me interested, and I'll probably read more as the days go by. (one or two chapters at a time 'till then) and I'm interested to see where this will go.

Hahahabvc87
23rd May 2006, 10:19 AM
It's always nice to read a fic resurrected out of the depths of this forum. ^_^
I'm not as good a reviewer as you, Act, but here's what I think of your story. Sorry in advance if I sound awfully blunt!

First off, you started the fic in quite an unorthodox manner with the journey having already begun. The new pokemon are a nice addition, and I just love their own personalities!

However, as the story went on, it got slightly confusing at more than one point. One of them was when Gina got to the entrance of Widow's peak, and the part where Kingler and Metapod were running away. I mean, Gina was hiding herself from the mysterious people, and suddenly the scene cut to the two pokemon escaping... Later Cancer said that he didn't know what had happened to the boy, and only much later it was mentioned that Jon was with a police officer... I had to re-read that chapter to get a hold of what had happened!


Now becoming nervous and exasperated, Carsu neared a shout, ((Where is the boy? The girl? The stupid bird? The lizard! What happened while I was asleep?))

The silence continued. Carsu strained his body, trying to bend over and see if, possibly, the crustacean had been knocked out by exhaustion. No, the metapod concluded, his eyes were wide open. There were a few moments more of silence, before an agitated moan came from the cocoon, followed by: ((It means ‘small falcon’.))

Hm? Was he referring to the part where they were running away as a "small falcon"? The dialogue before it should be rephrased with "the stupid bird" being placed last so that the next sentence makes sense.

Another confusing part was near the start of chapter 4 part 2, at the part where the butterfree was struggling with both his personalities: Carsu and Monach. I didn't actually realize that Carsu and Monach were one and he same until you mentioned that Cancer was the 3rd pokemon!

Here are some mistakes which I can't believe have remained uncaught for almost a year!


Gina yelled at herself again for being so naďve. Yet again, though, the zigzagoon reacted faster than she and charged at Catiel.

Shouldn't it be "her"? Or maybe you forgot to add a "did" behind "she"?


But I mean come on, the thing clearly said.

Said what?


(([i]Get a fish-catching stick.))

You left a stray "italics" code there.

Other than that, this is a solid piece of work. The events which happened were creatively designed (crazy caterpie, rules about catching certain pokemon etc.) and the locations are 100% original. The pace is kinda slow, and it might be quite awhile before you get to the end (assuming that you don't abandon it again), and by then I hope that this will be good enough to rival even novels!

This fic also had many moments which I found to be very enjoyable, e.g:


Instead, Spiny got pecked in a really uncomfortable place.

ROFL! Though I must say, a minute is a little short for recovery time. (I know, because I've been hit there more than once...) XD

Great job Act. This is the end of my most truthful review yet!

Act
23rd May 2006, 12:50 PM
First, I'll start off by saying the start seemed a bit jarring... It seemed, at first, like I was starting to read in the middle of the starting chapter, not the beginning.

The beginning is crap. I've tried revising, and apparently there's nothing I can do about it. I might dive in for a revision again soon just beause I hate it that much, but nothing I do seems to work.


Why not just "Spoink" instead of tagging its species --whateveritscalled, classification

I actually don't remeber that at all. I'll check it out.

Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. :)


I had to re-read that chapter to get a hold of what had happened!

Meh, it was supposed to be sort of jarring. Considering none of the characters really know what happened (save maybe Jon, but he's not there yet), I didn't think it fair to give the reader too much information.


Was he referring to the part where they were running away as a "small falcon"?

No, he was referring to where Cancer had asked the meaning of his name. I'll take a look and clear that up.


Shouldn't it be "her"? Or maybe you forgot to add a "did" behind "she"?

Nope. The 'did' is implied, so even without it 'she' is technically correct. It's one of those things that people just say wrong in normal everyday speech, like picking up the phone and saying, 'This is me.' That's technically wrong-- it should be, 'This is I.' I spent many weeks in elementary school on that one. -.-'


Said what?

Don't know. :D


You left a stray "italics" code there.


I'll fix that.

Thanks much for amaz reviews, you two. I really appreciate it, and I'm glad you're enjoying the boring fic. Something more plotty will happen one day -.-'

Sike Saner
25th May 2006, 12:54 AM
Okay, out of all the things of yours I've read, this story is easily my favorite. i like the way the diary entries sort of mix up the texture of the story, warding off monotony very effectively. The battles are very enjoyable to read; they're very rich and descriptive, never formulaic, and a lot more just seems to happen in them than just a bunch of attacks being thrown around. And big points for the quality of the Pokémon characters - I've said it before and I'll say it a million times: I love to see Pokémon as characters rather than mere props, and you present them here with more than enough personality to make me smile. Carsu in particular is very well-developed; he's my favorite character.

Random moments that I liked:


Let’s try the… uh…well, the butt-peck thing again.

Of all the battle commands I’ve ever read, that’s got to be one of my favorites. XD


There’s this awesome, weird-smelling bed

I like the mention of the bed being weird-smelling. XD


I was about to call him back, but he charged at Spiny, who thought he had won by surprise. Instead, Spiny got pecked in a really uncomfortable place.

Ouch. XD


Typically, the first thing he did after coming back to his senses was whack Sproing in the beak and give me a dirty look.

XD Very cute.


What ensued was chaos.

Every kind of element went flying. Cancer shot a slow bubble in the growlithe’s direction; at the same time the growlithe spat and ember at Caterpie. However, by then, Caterpie had been thrown off the electrike. The ember instead hit the electrike as the growlithe was hit by bubble.

Again, the battles here are something I really enjoy about this story, especially when unexpected things occur within them, such as the example given in the above excerpt. That right there was a highly entertaining moment, and fun to picture, too. ^^


He’s very lazy and nonchalant (as opposed to chalant, I guess, but that’s not a word. Our language is retarded).

Amen to that. XD


((This is stupid,)) Sproing offered.

That got a chuckle out of me.

Act
2nd June 2006, 12:46 AM
Thanks much for the kind review. :)

Always appreciative of knowing I've done something right with this fic. It is constantly at odds with me.

It dislikes me as a whole, I'm afraid.

xD

Torkoal
8th June 2006, 8:26 PM
Ok, I'm here. It took me forever to read this fic [I kept having to pee 0.0], but i finally did it. Anyway this fic is good. I like your characters and storytelling skill. Maybe I'll invite you to join the review club.

Act
20th July 2006, 6:28 PM
Alrighty. I thought I posted here, but I didn't:

My computer is currently out of commisison, so any chapters I have/am prepared to write are being viciously delayed. I hope to get Compy up and runnings ASAP, because I miss him. And I really want to write.

So, my apologies to anyone who was actually enjoying this fic. Maybe now I'll have enough time to come up with a plot and avoid boring you all to death.

ttfn~

TrueCharizard
27th October 2007, 7:03 PM
I've gotta say, I love your writing style, but after the first chapter, I've more been skimming through. I tend to hate fics with made up pokémon. I know it's silly and I should take the story for what it is, but when it comes to fanfics I tend to prefer things that are already constructed in some form, though it may be different I were reading a brand new piece of fiction.

Anyways, keep writing this because I'll make much more of an effort to read it.

Dragonfree
27th October 2007, 9:17 PM
...TrueCharizard, this thread is well over a year old. A new chapter hasn't been posted in more than a year and a half. Act herself hasn't been on in three months, but when she was on she was only updating her other fic. I'd say most of the evidence seems to say she's not going to continue posting it. Please don't bump old threads unless you're posting something of importance and have reason to believe the author won't think "Oh, gods, somebody brought this old thing back into daylight?" when he or she sees it (which is generally just about never unless said author is clearly still actively writing the story).

I'll close this for now to prevent spam. If Act wishes to post more chapters, she can PM me and I'll reopen it.