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cyndaquil_dratini
4th December 2005, 7:43 AM
Here's my very first fanfic, Alexi.

It's quite long, so if you've read the first two chapters n wanna comment on them, go to the last post and just post something there, coz its good to get reviews bout any part, no matter where I'm up to.

This is a chaptered generic fic...though I don't know how generic generic is. It's rated PG-13, for some adulty themes later on, nothing you wouldn't get on degrassi high. It's kinda adventure too, and almost goes into Drama in later chapters, but I'm not up to that bit yet.

Please, if you're reading, tell me what you think- I love just knowing that people are out there and reading it, as opposed to just clicking on it and then clicking right off again. And give me a good rating if you reckon I deserve it, ive been stuck with this one for yonks and I wanna get rid of it.

Index:

Chapter One- The Dream (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2439137&postcount=1)
Chapter Two- The Apricorn Tree and the Very Important Quest (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2443568&postcount=7)
Chapter Three- The Goode Family's Incredible Hospitality (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2473587&postcount=13)
Chapter Four- The Nouvella Gym Tournament (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2487285&postcount=25)
Chapter Five- What Alexi Found In The Middle Of The Forest (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2556631&postcount=33)
Chapter Six- The Grimm View Of Things (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2616306&postcount=42)
Chapter Seven- An Attempt At The Impossible, and a Hit Between The Eyes (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2743867&postcount=48)
Chapter Eight- Last resorts, and When To Resort To Them (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2791491&postcount=53)
Chapter Nine- Wurmple's Big Adventure (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2968947&postcount=66)
Chapter Ten- What Happened (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=3011343&postcount=69)
Chapter Eleven- The Sad Eventuality of the Slade City Gym (http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=3109993&postcount=80)

Alexi

Chapter One- The Dream

Dark. Scared. She strained her eyes. There must be something there. She threw her hands out. They felt air. They felt space. She span on the spot, reaching out for something to show her where she was. As she span, the black became a blur, and in the blur, there was a light. Alexi became aware of this and stopped. Faded purple light somewhere over there. She reached for it, but her feet stayed rooted on the spot and she fell onto hard concrete underfoot. She turned on her stomach and looked up. Above her, she found it. Here it was, the source of the light.

A dark purple shadow glistened, and Alexi’s eyes focused. She gasped air in shock. It was a monster. A huge, cream beast, with fourteen tube-like, scaly, stinking legs erupting from the tummy of a body like a fierce wild cat. Its tail was thick like a lion’s, and wings ripped out from its back; shaggy, ragged, leathery, grotesque. Its nose was long on its face. Its snout was sniffing. Its eyes were straight, sharp shapes of dark purple- the source of the quivering light. Most fierce of all, the eyes. Glistening, sickening, mystery shone out of them and caught Alexi’s mind. They pushed her backwards into the darkness and she screamed.

Alexi pushed herself onto her knees and, tripping over the darkness, ran. Once again, the world was pitch black and unknown. The unknown was cold and huge, almost as terrible as the source of the light behind her, but she kept on running. Pushing herself forwards, through heavy nothing.

Her eyes screamed in agony as, suddenly, a blinding light encompassed her. She shielded herself, and the light pulled her away, took her up, into the air, through a tiny hole, and shoved her uncomfortably into a cramped place.

The dark returned, but it was no longer unknown. Alexi was inside something, something much smaller than she was, and her body was twisted absurdly to fit inside. She knew she was trapped. So cramped, so suffocated for space. The feeling was demeaning, like she no longer had control of her life. She couldn’t stand it any more, she wouldn’t put up with it. She shouted angrily at nobody and raised her hand to push against the shell, but her hand felt empty air.

Slits of light streamed through as Alexi opened her eyes. She lay still on her bed for a minute, moving herself from her horribly vivid dream back to her waking life, which seemed almost less real.

--------------------------------------------------


After a minute or two, Alexi felt fine and she pulled herself out of bed, brushed her short, messy, dark hair out of her striking blue eyes and pushed open her bedroom door.

Alexi’s bedroom was rather unusual as far as bedrooms go- it was made up of a tangled ball of leaves, twigs and bark, like a birds’ nest, and held high up in the trees by branches which poked into it. There was a wooden bridge which led from her door, along the treetops to more cocoon rooms, all sitting comfortably on branches more than fifty feet from the forest floor. However, this is where Alexi had spent her entire life, and so was not unusual to her at all.

As she walked across the wooden bridges that connected her home, pokemon chirped and scuttled around her. Butterfree flittered past busily, Nincada and Heracross scuttled up trunks, Pidgey chirped in their nests. Celebi flew past playfully.
Another unusual event that seemed so everyday to Alexi was the sighting of legendary pokemon. The island that Alexi and her parents lived on was home to many of the rarest, most valuable pokemon in existence, but as Alexi had never been away from her island, she was completely unaware that these pokemon were any more unusual than the Pidgey or Butterfree she heard every morning. This was simply how she had always known things to be.

Alexi lived on an island far away from anywhere else, impossible to pinpoint and impossible to reach by water or air. Thick cloud cover kept the island hidden from anyone watching outside. It was a place where legendary pokemon came to hide from the rest of the world. It was the place they lived when they weren’t needed elsewhere. It was their home, their sanctuary, as it was Alexi’s.

Alexi reached the door to her parents’ bedroom and knocked politely. After a minute, her blonde, notably beautiful mother, Sandrine, pushed it open sleepily and let her inside.

“Good morning, precious. Did you sleep all right?” she asked her only daughter.

“No, it was terrible.”

Her father, Xander, with Alexi’s dark hair and blue eyes and a chiseled, well-worn face, pushed himself up in bed and looked at her.

“What’s wrong, Alexi? What happened?”

“Oh, nothing major. I had a yucky dream, that’s all. It was really vivid, and I woke up all shaky and sweaty.”

“Oh, that sounds terrible, darling,” her mother consoled. “What was it about?”

Alexi paused for a minute, not really wanting to recount the events of the dream, but her mother’s worried face made her continue.

“I was in the dark, and I was looking for light. And then I saw this monster thing, like a pokemon but much bigger. It was kind of like a lion, and it had lots of legs…”

Her voice trailed off as she tried to remember the rest of the dream, but her parents’ shocked expressions made her stop.

“What? What is it?” she asked them.

“Are you hurt?” her mother asked, concerned, checking her arms and legs for signs of bruising.

“No, of course not, don’t worry, it was only a dream, it’s nothing to get so worked up about. What’s wrong? What’s the matter? Did I see something I shouldn’t have?”

Her father stood up out of bed in his nightclothes and pulled on a dressing gown.

“Alexi, stay here. Your mother and I need to have a talk with some of the pokemon. Don’t go anywhere, we’ll be back in a minute.” He gave a knowing but worried look at Sandrine, and they turned and walked out into the morning. Sandrine pulled the door shut in what she had wanted to seem as a calm, normal way.

“Just stay here, possum, we’ll be back soon.”

The door clicked shut and Alexi was left alone in her parents’ bedroom. She sat down on the bed and, after a moment, fell back into it, thinking feverishly.

What had just happened? What had her dream meant? Where had her parents gone to? And why were they treating her like a little child? She was nearly thirteen and a half, after all, a perfectly grown-up, responsible age. She didn’t need to be given instructions like ‘stay put’ any more. She could look after herself now.

Annoyed, she sat upright again and looked around the room for something to keep her occupied while she waited. There was hardly anything in the bedroom apart from the large double-bed which she was sitting on, a bedside table with a lamp on it, and the old chest which stayed against the wall eternally and was always locked. She knew this, because she had tried to open it countless times. Her mother always said to her “Whatever you do, don’t go looking around our room when we’re not watching. What’s there is ours, and private, and doesn’t concern you, and if something’s locked, it’s locked for a reason.” Of course, since the day she said it, Alexi had been longing to open the box and see what treasures it held- nothing like reverse psychology for a curious tthirteen-year-old mind- but unfortunately for her, there was absolutely no chance she would ever see what was inside as her father kept the keys to it around his neck and only took them off when he went to bed and the door to the bedroom was locked.

And then, a wonderful thought occurred to Alexi, and she laughed out loud, because she couldn’t help herself. Her father had left rather abruptly this morning, and when he got out of bed, he had forgotten to take the keys from his bedside table. And now she, Alexi, was alone, in her parent’s bedroom, with the keys to the chest she had wanted to open for so long. Obviously, the fact that her father was so preoccupied with the dream she had had that he had forgotten to take his precious keys with him was a sign that he was extremely nervous about something and Alexi was probably in a lot of danger, but Alexi ignored this thought and pulled open the drawer of the bedside table eagerly. Sure enough, gleaming in the early morning light, were the keys to the eternally locked chest.

She grabbed them, ran to the chest, and shoved them in the keyhole. There was a satisfying click and she pushed the lid open. It was heavy, and creaked loudly. Alexi stuck her head inside the dusty chest and peered into the dark. It was full of pieces of paper, and folders and books and things. All completely boring- Thousands of pieces of paper are never a thirteen-year-old's idea of a good time. She opened one of the brown, dog-eared folders, looking for some kind of illustration for the story the papers told, and she screamed loudly without meaning to, and fell back on her tailbone with a fright.

The heavy wooden lid slammed shut with a huge crash and the lamp on the bedside table wobbled.

Alexi lay on the hard floor, looking at the ceiling, breathing heavily, unable to comprehend what she had seen. There, in the chest her parents had kept from her since she was born, was a clear, bright photo of the monster from her dream.

It was real.

xXSaberXx
4th December 2005, 8:09 AM
Oooh. This does have potential, dear, and thanks for trying, but you need to space your paragraphs. It would be best if you used a word Program like Microsoft Word to write it first, save it there, and then post it here. ^.^ I think people might find it hard to read the massive block of text.

But like I said, this does have potential. Live up to it, kay? ^.^ Great dream sequence, btw.

Good luck! And if you manage to start spacing, I'll definetly keep up with this one! :D

Saber.

cyndaquil_dratini
4th December 2005, 8:30 AM
ohhh, thanks heaps for the compliments, i shall do another one, ive almost finished chapter two now anyways.

yeah. on the spacing.....i did write it on word, and i write a lot, and i write like its written in books and they dont put spaces between every paragraph. i start a new line when theres a new paragraph, isnt that enough?
k, maybe its different on the net, but still......

ill write the others with the lots of spacings if you'd like me to, it doesnt really make much differenece to me, i guess, and ur the one reading it.

thanks again for the feedback, i posted this, like, an hour ago, so thats really good. yay! ill post the next chapter when im done.

---POST MERGE---

ahhhhahahha, im an idiot. i just went an read a book...yeah, k, ur right.
can i use indents instead of spacings? i dont like lots of spacing, i like the writing to be all together, makes me feel like its more...complete...i dunno.

xXSaberXx
4th December 2005, 8:55 AM
^ Um, don't double post, dear. o-o I know you're new, so we'll let it slide, but the 'other' people will get on your butt for it if I don't tell you now so....

That's what the edit button is for though, so always use that and don't double post.

You could use indents, but everytime you did that, it would symbolize the start of a new paragraph, which would need spaces between them so it's easier to read. ^.^ Ya see what I mean?

Xiang
4th December 2005, 2:04 PM
Wow. Wow. Simply Wow.

I couldn't possibly tell that this was your first. It has beautiful description and is original+catchy. Beautiful!

Ratiasu

IceKing
4th December 2005, 4:27 PM
Dark. Scared. She strained her eyes. There must be something there. She threw her hands out. They felt air. They felt space. She span on the spot, reaching out for something to show her where she was. As she span, the black became a blur, and in the blur, there was a light. Alexi became aware of this and stopped. Faded purple light somewhere over there. She reached for it, but her feet stayed rooted on the spot and she fell onto hard concrete underfoot. She turned on her stomach and looked up. Above her, she found it. Here it was, the source of the light.


Good use of short sentences, however, make sure they flow together really nicely because theres time in this paragraph when the flow breaks.


It was a monster. A huge, cream beast, with fourteen tube-like, scaly, stinking legs erupting from the tummy of a body like a fierce wild cat. Its tail was thick like a lion’s, and wings ripped out from its back; shaggy, ragged, leathery, grotesque. Its nose was long on its face. Its snout was sniffing. Its eyes were straight, sharp shapes of dark purple- the source of the quivering light.

Good description and Im glad that your using it, but you don't want to use so many adjectives in one row and dont start too many sentences with the same pronoun (it), which can be unnatractive to the reader.



The dark returned, but it was no longer unknown. Alexi was inside something, something much smaller than she was, and her body was twisted absurdly to fit inside. She knew she was trapped. So cramped, so suffocated for space. The feeling was demeaning, like she no longer had control of her life. She couldn’t stand it any more, she wouldn’t put up with it. She shouted angrily at nobody and raised her hand to push against the shell, but her hand felt empty air.


I really liked this passage, I can definetely see what your writing style is and Im taking this is your first shot at fanfiction? I like your style of imagery and language, but again watch out for stale repition.


Celebi flew past playfully.
I have no problem but you should be warned that some people will go "OMG YOUR USING A LEGENDARY LIKE ANY OTHER. NJAH NJAH NJAH NJAH NJAH JAH! BLAH BLAH BLAH!


“Whatever you do, don’t go looking around our room when we’re not watching. What’s there is ours, and private, and doesn’t concern you, and if something’s locked, it’s locked for a reason.”

Hmm, thats definetely some good suspense. And the parents behavior was rather peculiar. What is in that box???



All completely boring- Alexi couldn’t read, so none of the pieces of paper were any use to her at all.

...She's thirteen and cant read?



Ok, now that that's done here are my comments. Its a pretty good start to a story, I don't think it's quite five stars yet, right now I'd rate it a four. The description and imagery is pretty good, I liked it, but beware to not make it choppy and not flow well together as I pointed out in my qoute section of the review. The plot seems a bit corny to be honest, but I think it will get better. Is the "monster" Entei? I'm taking the fact that legendaries reside in their little island will play a big role. Also, if this island was unseeable by land how did Alexi's family get on it? And where did they get supplies like chests and paper?

Overall, pretty good start, you still have room for improvement though.

6.7/10

cyndaquil_dratini
5th December 2005, 1:29 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Iceking, its really helpful.

Ohhh, I know exactly what you mean about the whole "legendary pokemon" thing, but I've figured out this huge plot and, yeah, it HAS to start on this island where all the legendary pokemon are. As soon as Alexi gets off the island, legendary pokemon will be gone, I promise.

Yeah, and I know it's really corny, and the next chapter is even cornier...I don't usually write fantasy, simply because it's hard to not make it corny. But after the first two chapters, the set-up is there and the cornyness stops ( I hope.) If anyone has any suggestions on how to "uncornyfy" my story, that'd be really good, at the moment, I just don't know how else to do it. Alexi's spent her whole life on the island, so of course she can't read. Her parents have been teaching her other things they think are more important. No...I guess they would have taught her how to read, wouldn't they? Okay then, I'll change that. I will take your criticism bout choppyness on board, I'm aware I liek to repeat things too often and I'll try my hardest not to in the future. There are explainations for all your other questions...just not quite yet. I haven't named the monster in the dream for a reason, but, yeah "all shall be revealed!!!!!" oooooh!

Thanks Ratiasu for the positive feedback, its really encouraging.

Oh, just a side point thingy. How often do you think I should post new chapters? Every few days or so? Every week?

Ahhhhh! I can't hold the suspense any longer!

Ok, I've written the second chapter- since it sorta follows on from the first one, ill post it now. Thisll prolly give u a better idea of what Alexi's like. K, here you go.

Chapter Two-The Apricorn Tree and the Very Important Quest

It was almost half an hour before Alexi’s parents returned, but Alexi had hardly moved. She still couldn’t comprehend the meaning behind the photo in the chest. She hadn’t dared to open it again, preferring to pretend it didn’t exist; she had locked it again and replaced the key in her father’s bedside drawer. She sat on the bed, thinking, unaware of time until the door to the bedroom swung open again.

Her father was carrying a backpack, ready to burst, full to the zips. Her mother was holding the handle to a rather heavy looking suitcase that she had placed on the ground next to her. They both looked nervous, and kept exchanging glances at each other, neither wanting to talk. Alexi looked at them expectantly.

“Are we going somewhere?” she said. “Off the island?” She rather fancied a trip off the island; she had never been, and her curious mind had always wondered.

“No, Alexi.” Her mother spoke first. “We can’t come with you. You’re going alone.”

“What? Why not? How long will I be gone for?” Alexi’s mind was racing.

It was her father who spoke next. “We don’t know, Alexi. You’re going to become a Pokemon Trainer.”

Alexi’s heart skipped a beat. A pokemon trainer! Her father had told her about trainers before- Alexi had been learning from him how to care for and train pokemon since she was six. Life as a pokemon trainer sounded exciting, full of adventure. But she was still apprehensive. Why was she leaving so suddenly? Why didn’t her parents tell her about this before, so she could have prepared?

“Why?” she said simply to her worried parents.

“Well, every boy or girl gets to become a pokemon trainer when they’re thirteen. Their parents send them out into the world, and they travel around, finding pokemon and looking after them.”

“And battling them,” Xander added.

“Yes, and…battling them, yes.” Sandrine was obviously unsure about letting Alexia battle pokemon, and Alexia was not surprised. All her life, her parents had told her that pokemon were wonderful, beautiful creatures to be cared for and looked after,
and to suddenly turn around and say to Alexia to make her pokemon battle each other
seemed very out of the blue. Indeed, the whole concept of ‘owning’ pokemon seemed very strange and almost unheard of in Alexia’s protected island. But her father had told her that this was how things were done on the big island, on the mainland, in the real world. This was what pokemon were used for, and if Alexia was ever going to go out and discover what the world was like, she would need to be able to battle pokemon like everyone else.

“But why do I need to leave right now?” she said, still confused.

“Because we think it’s the right time,” her mother said, dodging the question.

“Because of your dream,” her father added, ignoring the dirty look Sandrine had just shot her. Her continued.

“Your dream has made us very worried, Alexi, and we want you to be safe. We want you to be able to protect yourself against anything that might want to harm you, and we think that learning to become a pokemon trainer is a good way of defending yourself against dangerous things.”

“Against what? What kind of pokemon was that monster I saw? What does it mean?” Alexi snapped back, realizing the chance she had to get some straight answers.

“Now, Alexi, I think that’s enough questions for now,” her mother cut in. “The point is that your father and I have realized it’s time for you to leave the island and go and…learn about the world. We want you to become a pokemon trainer, which means that you need to leave here and learn to live by yourself. And that makes us very sad, so we’d like to say goodbye properly, and make sure we give you all the help we can before you go.”

“Come with me, Alexi,” Xander said, and he put his hand out for Alexi to hold. She waited, still unsure and very taken aback by how fast all this was happening.

“Go with your father, Alexi. You’ll be fine, I’m sure. You’ll make a wonderful trainer.”

Alexi looked at her mother, searching for answers. She had so many questions. Why did she have to go so soon? Why couldn’t she stay in the sanctuary? She began to ask her mother for guidance, and saw that her eyes were full of tears.

“You can come back home whenever you need to, possum,” she said, her voice cracking.

And with that, Alexi smiled, wiped a tear away from her mother’s cheek and said in a very soft, but very assuring voice “Goodbye, Mum. I’ll see you soon.”

Her mother smiled and hugged her, for almost twenty minutes. Alexi could feel her mother’s heartbeat, and her breath get heavier as her sobbing continued. Her grasp was tight and protective, and she seemed unable to let go. She swayed her daughter slowly from side to side as she cried, and then took a deep breath and ruffled Alexi’s hair playfully.

“You’ll be fine,” she said, and let go.

Alexi took her father’s hand and he opened the bedroom door. Father and daughter walked out together, into the clear sunny day, onto the wooden walkway.

Alexi was too nervous to speak. What her father was about to show her seemed to be very important, she was anxious to take all of it in. They walked across the wooden walkway, Celebi floating up to greet them and somersaulting in the air, obviously aware of the grim atmosphere and wanting to cheer her friends up a little. Alexi wondered if she knew what was going on, if Celebi had been the pokemon her father had rushed off to talk to. She wished she had the skill her father had, she had always wanted to know what pokemon were thinking, but to her, they never said anything more interesting than their name.

Her father reached the long ladder, nailed to a tree trunk, which led to the forest floor. “This way, Alexi. We’re going to the clearing.”

Alexi watched her father make his way down, and then stepped onto the ladder herself, carefully lowering herself down, aware that Celebi was flitting around, making sure she could catch them if they fell.

Ah, Alexi thought. They were going to the clearing. She had always wondered what the point of that place was.

The clearing lay in roughly the center of the forest, and, apart from grass, the only thing that grew there was a large, round apricorn tree. Alexi could tell the apricorns that grew there were special, but she had never understood why. You couldn’t eat them- so what was the point of them? Perhaps they held some magical power.

When they got to the clearing, unsurprisingly, her father walked up to the apricorn tree and picked one of the round, hard fruits. “This tree is special, Alexi,” he said, as he walked back to her. “All apricorn trees are special, but this one is more so.”

“An apricorn holds one, very special use. It can be picked, and fashioned, into a pokeball. This apricorn tree, however, is unique in that its apricorns grow with the ability to catch pokemon without human intervention. It was grown from a seed of the only other apricorn tree known to have had this gift. That tree, it is said, is where humans learned the art of making pokeballs from- it is where the idea stems from, and hence, where the tradition of pokemon training first began. That tree is dead- its ashes lie scattered across the Big Island. The only reason this tree still exists today is because nobody except for us knows of its existence. Do you understand?”

Alexi looked at her father blankly. She was trying with all her might to understand, but none of it was sinking in. What was a pokeball? What did catching pokemon have to do with training them? Her father continued nonetheless.

“I will now demonstrate how to use a pokeball. If a pokemon is unwilling to be captured, you must first weaken it in a battle. Celebi, however, agreed to this demonstration earlier when I told her about the events of thismorning.”

Xander turned to Celebi and raised the apricorn. He threw it, and it hit her on the head, and bounced off onto the ground. As it bounced, a familiar white light engulfed the pokemon it had touched, and Celebi disappeared, trapped inside. Alexi now realized what the shell she had been ensnared in was. She had dreamt about being a pokemon, about being caught. She wondered if it meant anything, but a more important question was tugging at her brain.

“Why do you need to catch pokemon to be a trainer?” she asked.

“Because then the pokemon is yours, and you are free to command it however you wish. This is how millions of humans, some inadept at caring for and raising pokemon, have become trainers. They enslave pokemon against their will. And now you, too, must become a pokemon trainer, for enslavement seems to be the only language this world knows. The people this world worships and aspires to, the ones they adore so much; are not trainers, they are slavedrivers.”

“What? Hang on, I don’t understand. If pokemon trainers are so terrible, why do you want me to become one? You’re not making any sense!” Alexi shouted, taken aback by the weight of what her father had told her.

“You need to become a pokemon trainer, Alexi. It is not my choice, but it’s what needs to happen. People don’t…they don’t understand how to treat pokemon properly, they don’t understand how to care for them. If you go and become a really great pokemon trainer by caring for and looking after your pokemon, you can show them the right way of doing things. But they will not listen if you are not great, which is why I have spent so much time preparing you for this.”

Alexi didn’t know how to respond. She certainly didn’t feel prepared for this- she felt like she had just had a huge responsibility thrown onto her, and she wasn’t sure how to deal with it. Luckily, her father seemed not to need a response in order to continue. He took Alexi’s hand, and placed the apricorn pokeball with Celebi inside in it.

“Now Celebi is yours. You can command her as you wish. She will be your first pokemon, and your guardian on this journey. However, if any trainer finds out what pokemon you have possession of, they will lie and cheat their way to your heart, and they will take her from you. Do you understand?”

Alexi nodded. It seemed the only sensible thing to do.

“I’m glad. I’m sorry, Alexi, this must be a lot to take in for someone so young. Your mother and I never dreamed that we would need to tell you this when you were only thirteen, but we have no other choice. We’re going to the pinnacle now. Suicune will carry us.”

As Xander said this, Suicune appeared from the trees and walked to Alexi’s side. She took hold of Suicune, and pulled herself onto her back. Her father did the same and, protecting her daughter, he took hold of the pokemon’s neck. Suicune crouched low.

“Hold on,” Xander said with a smile.

-----------------------------------------------------------


The pinnacle was the name for the top of the huge volcano which sat in the middle of the island, bubbling and alive, but never active. When Suicune had dropped her and her father there, her mother was already waiting, Alexi’s suitcase in hand, eyes still red and puffy. Alexi’s father thanked Suicune graciously and walked up to the edge of the volcano. Alexi hugged her mother, took her suitcase, and followed him.

There was a rumbling sound from deep within the mountain, and the lava bubbled and plopped threateningly. Alexi realized she had no idea how anyone got away from the island- she had never been anywhere else, and nobody had ever come there. She knew it was stupidly hard to reach, even if you were aware it existed, but once you were there, how did you get off it again?

She was busy contemplating this when, from within the volcano, there was an almighty crash and the surface of the lava exploded. A sudden surge of heat hit Alexi’s face painfully and she stood back as a gush of lava erupted from the mountain, so her eyebrows weren’t charred off.

As suddenly as it had risen, the lava sunk back into the mountain, and in its wake was a giant, beautiful rainbow bird with golden feathers. Ho-oh landed gracefully on the volcano’s edge, and nuzzled its beak up against Alexi.

“Hop on, Alexi. Ho-oh will take you to the Big Island.” Alexi’s father said behind her.

He put his hand on her shoulder and gave her the backpack he had been carrying. “There is money inside. Once you get to the mainland, find a PokeMart and buy some pokeballs; the apricorn balls will attract too much attention. Remember, don’t show Celebi to anyone; and there’s one other thing. Don’t tell anyone about us or the island. We want you to stay safe.”

Alexi found this last request odd, although she realized there must be a reason why they lived away from the rest of the world, she had never thought to ask it. “Why not?” she said tentatively.

“We’re in hiding, Alexi,” her mother answered. “We have been all your life. But there’s no need for you to hide any more. Go, learn what you need to, teach what they need to learn. The world is waiting for you, Alexi, although they don’t know it yet. If ever you need to return to the Sanctuary, Celebi will show you how.”

“Who are you hiding from?” Alexi continued, although she thought she could guess the answer.

“Don’t get ahead of yourself, young girl. You’ll find out for yourself, soon enough. You don’t always need to be asking questions to answer them.”

Alexi knew she wouldn’t get her answer just yet. She turned to them each, painfully, and said her goodbyes.

“Goodbye Alexi. Look after yourself,” her mother said, on the verge of tears again.

“You will be brilliant,” her father said positively, beaming at her.

Alexi turned her back on her parents, the only two people she had ever known, and faced Ho-oh. He lowered his head, and Alexi hoisted herself among his beautiful feathers. With her suitcase in one hand and her backpack in the other, she braced herself and took one last look at her parents. They smiled and waved, and Ho-oh took flight.

-------------------------------------------------------

Behind him, a rainbow gleamed in the light and shot across the sky. Alexi turned to watch her home, her Sanctuary, get smaller and smaller, until she disappeared into a blanket of clouds.

When they reappeared, they were flying above a vast ocean, the waves like blades of grass below them. Alexi was in the air for what seemed like hours. Her grip on her suitcase got looser and looser as she felt herself slipping asleep. Every time she felt herself losing grip, Ho-oh would flap his wings to wake her again, but when Alexi first sighted land, there was no need to keep her on her toes any longer. She was more awake than she had ever been.

The land was green, though not nearly as green as the Sanctuary, and the forest was dark and more….menacing. The ocean hit the shore on a ragged coastline, which jutted out as steep, chalky cliffs for what seemed like miles. Alexi spotted a glimmer of light somewhere beyond the forest, which could be a town, but as she wondered, Ho-oh began his descent.

He landed above a rocky cliff-face, similar to the shoreline that stretched as far as the eye could see. Alexi slid off Ho-oh’s back, and she nuzzled his neck gratefully. Then, he took off again, in a spray of rainbow light. Alexi was left alone, the forest in front of her. She stared at it for a minute and then sighed.

“Well, here goes,” she said to herself.

And with that, she took off towards the trees.

Pinecone Tortoise
6th December 2005, 2:00 AM
Hey, wow! I'm impressed! When I read your thread in the Author's Cafe, I was under the impression that you were a newbie. But this evidently proves otherwise. As much as the concepts of a girl growing up with legendaries then for some random reason becomeing a trainer with a legendary as her starter are overused to the point of utter clichedness, you've done this brilliantly.

I'm a little unsure as to WHY she and her family have lived with the legendaries and no one else has, but your style and complexity is reassuring and I'm confident that this will be explained in time.

I was also surprised that she did not immediately release Celebi as a guide/comfort when she set off, but I suppose she wants to keep him a secret from anyone who might chance to be around, hmm? Even so, I'm rather shocked at her guts to suddenly set off into a completely unknown environment without companionship.

Ah well, you look to have the beginnings of a masterpiece on your hands. I hope that others will look past the overwhelming abundance of legendaries to the quality of what you've produced and that you yourself will continue to maintain this quality. Congratulations and thankyou for an enjoyable read!

Piney.
;204;;324;

mindripper
6th December 2005, 9:44 AM
As Piney above me has stated, your fic has nice flow most of the times. Your use of alternating long and short sentences to break the writing monotone is very intelligent as well. We move on to a few mistakes you made.


After a minute, her blonde, notably beautiful mother, Sandrine, pushed it open sleepily and let her inside.

I am very unsure about the use of "notably beautiful" here. It seems like an incorrect way to describe something, especially when "notably" lies in the eye of the beholder. Does not apply when you write from a third person POV.


“Whatever you do, don’t go looking around our room when we’re not watching. What’s there is ours, and private, and doesn’t concern you, and if something’s locked, it’s locked for a reason.”

I really think that parents in real life would not act in this way, and even if they did, would logic not denote that saying something like that would make the child more curious?


“Go with your father, Alexi. You’ll be fine, I’m sure. You’ll make a wonderful trainer.”

I am asking that same question as well-- why is this a certainty and why is this a must? Granted, people in the Pokemon world behave differently but I always thought that being a trainer was voluntary, not forced.

The only other thing which bugged me was that I was not sure what the name of your character was, as "Alexia" was used at several junctures.

Other than that and the fact that legendaries are almost seemingly spammed, you do have a good grasp of what is needed to drive a trainer fic, and your own writing abilities back it up. Add more description, and perhaps take away a little speec, and you will do just fine. Oh, and do let us know more bout Alexi. Good luck for the next and future chappies.

cyndaquil_dratini
7th December 2005, 12:32 AM
Ooooh, I love this. Yep, you've got it, the explanations will come. There's a good reason why Alexi (not Alexia) has to go and become a pokemon trainer, and why she lives on an island full of legendary pokemon. The main reasons for the cheezy legendary pokemon island are this- it's the place where the very rarest, most soguht after pokemon come to hide, so its the safest place in the world for someone to hide. So...Alexi's parents (unlike Alexi) have come to the island to hide from the rest of the world...which means they haven't lived there their whole lives. And the only way to get to the island (which i call the Sanctuary) is with a legendary pokemon, so Alexi's parents are obviously really really good pokemon trainers who treat pokemon really nicely and who legendaries respect. They're important people, very intelligent. If they went back to the "big island" they would be instantly recognised.
I know the plot, at this stage, is really cheezy. What I like to do with plots is make them really cheezy, and then twist them horribly at the end. I'll give you a clue to the plot twist concerning Alexi's parents- they're not hiding from who you think they are.
And, after these first two chapters...(three chapters) the legendary pokemon will be practically vanquished, i promise.
Mindripper, thanks for your review. What Alexi's parents told her comes directly from something my parents told me, so its obviously not that unrealistic. I don't think they anticipated Alexi finding the key anyways.
And, yeah, pokemon training is usually voluntary, but theres a really important reason why Alexi needs to become a pokemon trainer, I promise you, and it mainly stems from the monster she saw in her dream. Also, Alexi has lived on the Sanctuary her entire life...what much of the story will be about is Alexi discovering what the "real world" is like.
And thankyou for your compliments, Piney. I think its fun sometimes to take utter cliches and then twist them in ways people don't expect, but yeah, the cornyness is definitely there. Im glad you reckon I've pulled it off, thats what I was hoping. Surely someone must be able to write a good fanfic where the trainers first pokemon is a Celebi? The story will turn out to be more realistic than you think, but it needs to start off in this perfect, happy, unrealistic world. The big thing to this story is that Alexi doesn't know what real is; that's what she's going to find out.
Oh. And I AM a newbie...why does everyone keep thinking I'm not?
I'll stop answering questions now, so as to not give too much away. Keep reading, everyone, this story has a lot to reveal.

IceKing
7th December 2005, 3:31 AM
Ehh...I don't feel like doing my usual review so I'll just leave a few comments. Ok the whole "Your going to go off on a pokemon journey now!" was really random and unexpected. Im suprised Alexi isnt a bit more shocked and trying to ask more questions since her parents arent kicking them out of her home and into a whole new life she had never known. There kind of forcing her into pokemon training. As for the corniness, yes it is still quite corny, just try and make it a bit less cliche and try and tone down the legendaries. SPeaking of legendaries, dont they all have their own individual legends and stories rather than all being at one island? Kinda defeats the purpose. Im a bit worried about Celebi being her main pokemon but I get the feelign you can pull it off (pulling off a legendary pokemon being trained is one of the hardest things to do). I also like the theme of pokemon enslavement, though they're treating it rather nicely. I put my faith in you that it will get really twisted...good luck

Chaos Absol
7th December 2005, 4:41 AM
hmm...pretty good.Although the cornyness is too great, with celebi being starter after all.S'all good though, hope it continues.I didn't notice any mistakes going through it so I would currently rate it 7/10.While I have nothing to do I will try to read all the good fics like this and catch up.

cyndaquil_dratini
12th December 2005, 1:22 AM
Thanks heaps everyone for your reviews. Here's my very important Chapter Three, where the cornyness stops and the story begins. It was originally going to be twice as long, but I decided that was too long and so I cut it into two chapters. Tell me what you think about this- did I do the right thing? Would you have preferred a longer, more "complete" chapter?
Anyway, here's the third chapter to Alexi, and the bit where it starts getting fun. I'm really hopeful people will take a liking to this...

Chapter Three- The Goode Family’s Incredible Hospitality

Alexi took two steps towards the daunting forest, stopped, and then sat down on the windy grass. If this was going to be the beginning of her pokemon journey, she wanted to make sure she did it right.

She grabbed her bag, unzipped it, and pulled out a belt for pokeballs. She found Celebi’s apricorn ball and rolled it round in her hand for a minute. It was so beautiful, so precious. So dangerous. But however rare the pokemon, it was Alexi’s only one, and she was keen to keep protection close at hand at the moment. She stood up, attached the belt to her faded jeans, and stuck the apricorn ball to it. Now she was ready for anything. She took up her backpack and suitcase once more and meandered through the first few trees of the forest.

As she wandered through wilderness, she listened to the sounds of the ocean hitting the cliff behind her getting more and more distant. And maybe it was the intimidating, curly trees blocking out the light but she distinctly felt the sun go down as the forest grew deeper- as if one was making way for the other. Alexi had never been in a forest that wasn’t her home; if she had, she might have noticed the distinct lack of any common pokemon like Pidgey, or Rattata- or, indeed, any pokemon at all. As it was, she just assumed that that was how all “real” forests were.

What felt like night fell, and the Hoothoot came out of hiding. This forest was full of them, twooting and hooing in that ridiculous, comical, unnervingly humanesque way. There were hundreds of them; one on every tree, almost. Alexi kept on wandering through the trees. She didn’t really know where she thought she was going to end up, but she had a vague idea that if she kept walking in the same direction, she might reach what she had previously recognised as a town. It wasn’t until the dark was pitch and thick, and the Hoothoot had completely stopped, that she realised how lost she was. Hindsight now came to her. What Alexi needed now, more than anything else, was another pokemon. Celebi wasn’t going to be much use to her if she couldn’t let anyone see it, and sooner or later she was going to run into someone who would want to know what pokemon she had. She could use Celebi to catch one, althought she wasn’t sure how; if she was smart, she would have caught the very first Hoothoot she had seen, put Celebi away in her bag, taken for the town and pretended that the legendary pokemon she had possession of didn’t exist. Hindsight, she realised, was never a good thing for positive reinforcement. Defeated and blinded by the darkness, she fell to the forest floor clumsily.

She sat there for a minute or two, listening to the creaking and shivering of the trees, combing the night sounds for something that resembled a pokemon she could catch and pretend was her first. Then she heard it. A great, deep howling from somewhere else in the forest. A Mightyena call- enough to kill every flicker of hope in any person unlucky enough to catch a note of it. Not the most consoling thing for Alexi to hear at the moment. She groaned in response, feeling that everything that could be going wrong right now was, and Mightyena howled again in reply. The sound had moved to the other end of the forest, which meant another pokemon. Alexi quickly deducted that there was a pack nearby. Slowly but surely, the creaking of the trees became low, grumbling growls of warning from the wolf pokemon that had put her on edge. The sounds were closer this time, and seemed to surround her.

Suddenly, there was a kind of splattery smack from a pile of leaves near her left foot and she retreated it immediately. She peered closer to the source of the noise, a completely useless action in utter blackness. The leaves were rustling, unmistakeably. There was something in them.

Alexi extended her trembling hand, covering her eyes with the other. Somehow she had forgotten she was sitting in the dark. When she realised that covering her hand had achieved nothing, she stopped and laughed aloud to herself.

“I’m so stupi-AAAARGH!” her voicebox croaked. Her fingers had just curled around something thick and slimy, and she had thrown it into the trees instantly as a reflex. As soon as she’d done it, she realised she’d just thrown away the pokemon she was looking to catch, and hit herself hard on the forehead as punishment with the slime-covered hand, coating her face in the stuff. It wasn’t even worth a second groan; things like that always happened when there was nobody around to laugh with you.

“Right then, slimey thing. Prepare to meet your master. Celebi, appear!” Alexi grabbed the apricorn ball and held it at arms length apprehensively, her eyes shut tight in anticipation, waiting for her pokemon to appear. Nothing happened.

“Um…Celebi…come out now,” Alexi tried. “Now! Appear….now! Appear….now!” She stopped and sighed, thinking over what she was saying and, as she couldn’t be bothered thinking of anything else to say, she began again. Something would work eventually, surely. “Come on, Celebi, you know you want to. Come on Celebi, go!”

With these last words, Celebi appeared from the apricorn ball in a flash of blinding white light. A kind of green glow which surrounded Celebi half lit up the forest floor in front of her, and Alexi identified the bug pokemon she had thrown, which was now crawling away sheepishly, as a Wurmple. She silently thanked her somewhat laidback lucky stars that she hadn’t grabbed the pokemon’s spiky head or tail, but instead its slimy belly.

“Right then Celebi, I want you to catch Wurmple for me! Here, take this pokeball.”

Celebi turned at looked at Alexi in disbelief. There was an awkward pause as Alexi waited for her pokemon to respond to her outrageous command. Celebi blinked sarcastically.

“Ok then…attack it…so I can catch it myself. But don’t use any attacks that might kill it, or hurt it too much. Just weaken it a little bit, kinda. Sort of. Ok then, don’t.”

The overpowerful legendary hadn’t changed its blank expression, much to Alexi’s dismay.

“Oh, well what the hell am I supposed to do then, eh?” Alexi spurted at her. “If you’re so clever, why don’t you just show me how it’s done? As you’ve probably guessed, I haven’t had much practice at this whole ‘catch the pokemon, make them yours’ thing. I could use a little help.” Celebi blinked again. “Alright then, fine. Move out of the way, and let me handle this myself.”

Alexi pushed Celebi aside with one hand and reached for a pokeball in her pack with the other. She found one, took aim in the soft green light and threw it.

“Pokeball, go!” she shouted, mimicking her father. It missed Wurmple completely, and hit the mushy forest floor with an anticlimax you could cut with a knife. Alexi took to her feet in a rage, stumbled angrily over to the pokeball, brushed rotten leaves and mud off it and turned to face the Wurmple, which was now making its way slowly, as fast as it could, up a tree trunk.

“Right, slug-guts. I’ve had just about all I can take from you. Get in my pokeball! NOW! OR ELSE!!” Alexi’s shouts echoed around the trees. Wurmple seemed not to notice Alexi’s screaming too much, although it changed its direction on the tree and started wriggling round it, presumably to get away from the uncomfortable noise emitting from the human that was pursuing her.

With a deep breath, Alexi raised the pokeball she had picked up off the ground and touched its top, very gently, to Wurmple’s wiggling nose. The weak pokemon disappeared inside at once, with a flash of light.

“There. That’s better,” Alexi said softly and dangerously. “I’m glad we’ve gotten over that precarious first hurdle, Celebi, it’ so nice to know you’re here watching over me, guiding me every step of the way.”

She turned to face Celebi, who was grinning hysterically.

“Oh, stop it,” Alexi growled half-heartedly, defeated. Celebi’s s******ing continued, but the humour in the situation quickly extinguished. Something menacing had just barked loudly, very nearby.

“Celebi…” Alexi whimpered. “What was that?” Celebi raised a trembling finger and pointed to the tree behind Alexi.

The Poochyena had its teeth bared and advanced slowly on Alexi, its eyes glowing with the anticipation of a fight. Alexi turned to run, and saw a second Poochyena appear from the trees- and another, and another. Celebi and Alexi backed away simultaneously, closing in on themselves.

The Poochyena barked and snapped viciously, and lunged at Alexi, pushing her to the ground with lots of little, sharp, pointy claws. She threw one off her and it hit a tree and whimpered; another one bit her arm and she roared at it, madly trying to shake it off. She jumped onto her feet and swung the Poochyena on her arm into another tree, and as she did so, two more attached themselves to her ankles. Four Poochyena bashed into Alexi’s back, and she fell forward, throwing her arms in front of her and landing on the muddy ground with a slap. She felt teeth snapping at her ears and rolled over, kicking her legs out helplessly, trying to catch her opponents off guard and hitting one in the jaw. More Poochyena piled onto her stomach. Alexi tried to catch a glimpse of Celebi as she wrestled, but she couldn’t lift her arms from in front of her face- two Poochyena were standing on them, ripping at her hair with their back legs. She screamed for help through a mouthful of dirt and doghair; she could still hear Celebi’s sweet song as she felt herself grow faint. Her head was throbbing- the barking, stinking jaws that snapped at her face felt a million miles away. Alexi’s eyes rolled back into her skull and she blacked out, the putrid stench of Poochyena slobber still fresh in her mind.


-------------------------------------------------------


Refusing to give up the fight, Alexi pushed her eyelids open. She was upright, and the Poochyena had gone. The darkness had returned; this time more sinister, more alive than the forest had been. Alexi sensed that she was in danger, and needed help. She searched her jeans for her apricorn ball, for Celebi to light the darkness and show her what she couldn’t see, but there was nothing there. The belt was gone. She was alone.

No. She wasn’t alone at all. As she stood there, unblinking in the dark, she felt the beast behind her sniff her hair with its velvet nose. She felt her mind being snatched and squeezed, and something threw her onto her knees, grazing them on the hard floor. Alexi threw her hands over her head, cowering, pushing all the effort in her body into her mind, willing it to close itself to the horrible dream. Her ears picked up what her mind could not. The beast roared, and Alexi’s eardrums burst and bled. She screamed as she covered them, trying to shut out every part of her body from the monster. Her forehead ached from the effort she was putting into keeping her eyes shut. And in the darkness in the back of her eyelids, she saw a light- not a purple haze as she had feared, but a flickering, flittering flame, only just visible through the trees. Her mind sucked itself through to real life again, and she woke up.


-------------------------------------------------


A stick had stuck itself into Alexi’s hair uncomfortably. It pointed into her scalp and worsened the throbbing that spread through her head. She pulled herself up from the ground painfully, leaving imprints of pebbles and twigs in the cheek she had landed on. As she rose, dead leaves and dirt fell off her face. The blurry scene in front of her spinning eyes came into focus, and the cogs in her head slowly started turning.

On the ground around her, several Poochyenas lay limp and unconscious. Celebi was hovering above her, and Alexi spotted bigger bodies further into the woods that could have been defeated Mightyena. Alexi smiled. How could she have been so worried about her safety with a legendary pokemon here to protect her? She spotted the light she had seen in her dream, and her braincogs clicked. People were coming! Celebi would be spotted! Alexi grabbed at her belt, fumbled clumsily with the apricorn ball and quickly called Celebi inside. The last flash of green light faded as the strangers burst in through the bush.

It occurred to Alexi that it might be a good idea to pretend she was still unconscious, but as she was laying down, she caught eye contact with one of the newcomers and they rushed over to help her.

The girl had her boring brown hair in pigtails, and a cute innocent face that matched her puppy-brown eyes.

“Are you alright?” she asked, pushing Alexi’s hair out of her face to see her properly. “Did they hurt you?”

Alexi spat fine pebbles from her mouth onto the ground and looked at the girl. “I’m fine, thankyou. Thankyou. I’m completely fine. Who are you?” she groaned, slowly waking up, repeating sentences as the meaning of them became clearer.

“I’m Mary,” the girl responded. “And this is my father, William. We saved you.”

Alexi took in what Mary had said, spotting the chance to cover up for Celebi’s presence. She turned to the girl’s father, who was surveying her from above. He had broad shoulders and deep wrinkles in his forehead. The muscles on his arms bulged through the red flannelette shirt he was wearing. He was wielding an axe, and a Machoke stood dutifully beside him, holding the torch that Alexi had seen coming through the trees.

“Although it looks like you were doing a pretty good job of saving yourself,” the man called William said. “You fight off all these Poochyena yourself?” he asked, motioning to the fainted pokemon.

“Uhh…yeah,” Alexi said stupidly, her mind still groggy with sleep. She looked around and grabbed a thick stick from the ground beside her. “With this,” she added, trying to make her story sound more plausible, but failing. She felt for the pokeballs round her belt and found the newly filled one. “Wurmple helped,” she said, and Wurmple appeared from its pokeball, immediately wriggling away from its trainer and up the nearest tree, slowly, in steady panic. Alexi recalled it quickly, with an embarrassed grin plastered across her face.

“Bit of a tomboy, are you?” William concluded, confused, and Alexi nodded in thankful agreement. “Well, it’s lucky we were here to hear you screaming. I was just about to start heading home. My woodpile’s over there.” He pointed. “Come on, we’d better get you home to rest. You look like you could do with a sit down.”

William extended his thick, muscled hand and Alexi took it. She was hoisted up onto her feet easily, and Mary and the Machoke started back for the woods, back through the way they had come. William gestured for Alexi to join them, and she followed, grateful that her bad luck seemed to have finally come to an end.

William’s woodpile, it turned out, was about thirty or forty chunks of log he had chopped from a newly timbered tree- William was a lumberjack. When they reached the pile, William swung his axe into the lonely trunk and it stuck. He and Machoke hoisted the heavy load of wood onto their shoulders and started through the forest, to an old, windy road which lay nearby. Alexi stumbled along after them, thinking heavily as they made their way out of the forest and to the town Mary, William and Machoke all lived. As they walked, Alexi realised the seemingly pitch black of the forest was almost entirely due to the trees- when they emerged into the light again, it was nearly dusk.

Alexi swung her arms against her sides as she walked, her jeans and plain black top torn and stained with Poochyena saliva. Mary ambled along beside her, occasionally glancing at her, and soon began an awkward attempt at conversation.

“Gee. You were real lucky my daddy and I were in the forest to hear you. If we hadn’t been there…well…gee…I don’t know how long you and Wurmple could have held off those Poochyena for. They’re particularly vicious, you know, the ones in Blackwood.”

“Is that what this place is called? Blackwood Forest?” Alexi responded, keen to finally find out her mysterious location’s title, less keen to continue the conversation with Mary.

“Yeah. Only we just call it Blackwood. You’re not from around here, are you?”

Alexi mentally kicked herself for asking the name of the forest and at the same time, started frantically weaving a cover story while trying hard not to show any panicking in her face.

“No, I’m…not. I’m from…somewhere else. Over there.” She pointed in a random direction, and Mary smiled.

“You’re from Kanto? That’s a long way away, that is. Did you come here to study?”

“Um, no. I came here…to be a pokemon trainer,” Alexi responded truthfully.

Mary gasped. “Gosh. That’s odd. We don’t get many trainers round here any more. Not many at all. What made you…”

Alexi’s heart fell as she realised she had dug herself a trap.

“Oh!” At Alexi’s amazement, realisation dawned over Mary’s face. “You must be here for the Nouvella Gym Tournament.”

“Yeah. Yep, that’s exactly right,” Alexi quickly agreed.

“Yeah, we’re all pretty excited about it. I’ve been training my Seedot for weeks now. Me and daddy are heading over there tomorrow, so I can compete. You can come with us, if you want.”

Before Alexi could answer, Mary was tugging on her father’s shirt.

“Daddy, can the new girl come with us to Nouvella for the tournament tomorrow?” she pleaded.

“Of course she can, sweetie.” Her father replied, and Mary smiled in rapturous joy.

“My name’s Alexi, by the way,” Alexi said to her grinning companion. She figured it was safe enough to give her real name- her parents had said nothing about having to hide her own identity, only theirs, and this whole making-up-a-fake-other-life thing was getting tiring, especially since she didn’t even fully understand why her parents were hiding, or who they were hiding from, or what she was even doing here. Better to stick to the truth, sometimes- if anything, it made conversation much less prickly.

“Well, hello Alexi. Nice to meet you,” Mary replied enthusiastically. She slipped her hand into Alexi’s before she could object and they walked along the windy forest path together.

“Wanna be best friends?” Mary asked eagerly, and before Alexi could think about a response, Mary’s puppy dog eyes took hold of her heart. “Um…okay then,” she said, and Mary started skipping.

Besides, Alexi convinced herself silently, what with hiding her family, her past and the only pokemon she liked from the world, it felt nice to finally have someone to talk to, someone to share her life with. She had a friend, and she was happy. And that’s all anyone ever needs, isn’t it?

Alexi laughed at Mary, pigtails bouncing in the wind, and began skipping along beside her.

The winding, crooked forest path turned another sharp corner and rose over a small hill and when Alexi got to the top, she spotted her destination. The hill descended into a small plateau, which fell away into the air and became the jagged cliffs that bordered the area. The town was small- houses dotted themselves across the landscape, windows lit and chimneys smoking. Smoke curled its way up into the sky, and mixed with the clouds. Past the town, Alexi could see the vast, choppy ocean she had come across, stretching to the horizon, carrying small fishing boats back to shore.

Alexi made her way down into the township and when they reached an old wooden sign, the troupe stopped and William took his daughter in his arms and stood valiantly, chest high, taking in his hometown.

“Welcome to Goodeview,” he said to Alexi. “My home, and yours. You’re lucky enough to be staying with descendants of the original founders of this town- the Goode name is as impressive as any medal around here. My great grandfather, Jacob Goode, battled through the very forest we jut rescued you from, Blackwood, to build this town. We don’t get many visitors, because the only way to reach Goodeview by land is through Blackwood, and most people don’t attempt to sail round the Chalky Cliffs- too dangerous, you see. But the few visitors we do get appreciate the bravery and ruggedness the people here have developed to live in such a harsh environment and throughout Xela, we are respected and looked up to. I think you’ll find yourself right at home here.”

The troupe descended on the town as night descended on the sky. While Alexi walked through the cobbled Goodeview streets, she spotted more than a few fishermen making their way home with the day’s catch. The town was built right on the cliffs- the ones William had called the Chalky Cliffs- and Alexi supposed that most of the villagers were fishermen, and climbed down the steep slopes to the ocean each day. When she had asked Mary about this, she had told her that the cliffs near Goodeview were decorated with rope ladders which led to the ocean, and steps carved into the land wound their way down to the beach as well, which meant the fishermen could quite easily come and go, up and down the cliffs on a daily basis, to earn enough to stay alive. The town was quiet and charming, in a quaint, touristy kind of way. They reached the Goode residence earlier than Alexi had expected- it was a little way up another hill, closer to the forest than the rest of the town, and was made of logs and bricks. It looked very cosy, but also very grand. The front door was decorated with a large, iron knocker which William banged against it three times before it opened with a creak and a short, fat woman appeared in the hallway.

“Come in,” said Mrs Goode. “Oh, I see we have a visitor. I’ll set an extra plate on the table, and we’ll sit down for dinner shortly.” The woman smiled at Alexi lovingly. “What brings you to our humble home, dear?”

“We found her in the forest!” Mary cried gleefully. “She’s my new best friend- she’s staying with us, and going to the Tournament tomorrow!”

“Oh, how wonderful,” Mary’s mother exclaimed. “They found you in the forest? I’m sure you can tell us all about it over dinner. Make yourself at home, dear, Mary will show you where everything is.”

Mary grabbed Alexi’s hand and nearly pulled her arm out of its socket as she dragged her along the hallway. “Come to my room!” she shouted, overjoyed.

Alexi liked the Goode family very, very much so far. Mary was wonderful, in a bounding, excited, enthusiastic way and her father, William was so impressive- strong and brave, yet calm and collected. Mrs Goode, whose name Alexi found out was Jill, was so incredibly warm and inviting that it was hard not to feel as if she had been taken in as one of the family. The whole experience was almost too happy, almost too friendly and polite and lovely, although Alexi had never experienced hospitality at all before, and so such an extravagant display of the sort did not rouse any suspicions. Alexi had a lot to learn about people; at the moment, she was blissfully innocent, and enjoying her life immensely.

Conversation over dinner was drab. The same, polite, careful questions got posed at Alexi again and again, and she kept on having to make up more and more story to get herself out of it. They already knew her real first name, but instead of giving them her true last name, Skendr, which would have connected her to her parents, she told the Goode family that her family name was True, which, of course, it wasn’t. She had come here from Lavender Town, which, apparently, was some small place in Kanto, with only one pokemon, in order to begin what Mary’s parents kept calling a ‘pokemon journey.’ Jill obviously disapproved with Alexi’s parents’ method of dropping her in the middle of a dangerous wood in an unknown land in order to begin Alexi’s life as a trainer, but she didn’t voice her concerns- each to her own, she thought to herself. At least the girl would learn to be tough from early on. However, it was obvious that Jill and William took pity on Alexi- they obviously thought she had been abandoned, or something similar, by her parents in an attempt to get her to be great. They fed Alexi extra servings of everything, and kept patting her on the back sympathetically whenever she mentioned anything about herself at all.

“Do you miss your mother?” Jill asked at one point, and before Alexi could respond, Jill took from her seat and wrapped her arms around her newfound surrogate daughter, hugging her tight, tears in her eyes.
“Of course you do,” she continued. “Don’t worry- you’ll have a wonderful life here in Goodeview.”

When the conversation wasn’t uncomfortably turned towards Alexi and her past, it was seated comfortably on the hot topic of the upcoming Nouvella Gym Tournament. Without asking too many unusual questions, and while still managing to pretend that she had planned to compete all along, Alexi managed to discover what it was.

“Nouvella’s a wonderful place to build a gym, don’t you think? Everyone who lives round the Chalky Cliffs area is very excited about it- it’s the first time we’ve had this kind of exposure to the Pokemon League,” Jill spoke of the tournament. “And isn’t it a wonderful idea to hold a contest to see who the gym leader is? I think it’s a marvellous idea- encouraging people to really get involved in pokemon again, it’s like living in the old days. Me and William are very glad our daughter Mary has got this opportunity, of course. Small towns like Goodeview and Nouvella don’t often get the chance to compete in large tournaments like this, but as it’s so close by, we enrolled Mary in it as soon as the news reached us.”

It seemed like a little town nearby- Nouvella- had recently been chosen as the home for a new gym for the region Alexi was in, which she remembered William refer to as Xela. There had been some kind of dip in people’s interest in training pokemon in Xela, and so the new gym was very exciting and was generating a lot of interest from across the region, and in other regions too; it didn’t seem at all unusual that a trainer like Alexi had travelled all the way from Lavender Town to compete. The contest started tomorrow, was held in the just-built Gym quarters in Nouvella, and would run for almost three months. Beginning trainers were to battle up to two pokemon of their choice against each other, and the winners of each battle would go on to battle each other, until there were only twenty finalists. Then these finalists needed to choose the pokemon they thought was their strongest, and go out and catch five more pokemon of the same type. In three months time, the finals were held, where the twenty gym finalists would compete against each other again, with their new team of one-type pokemon, and the winner of that contest would become the new Nouvella Gym Leader, and part of the Xela Pokemon League. Mary had been talking about the contest for months, it seemed, and had been training her Seedot non-stop especially. Her only other pokemon, a Nidoran male, had also received regular weekly training exercises, complimentary of Mary’s dad, who had his heart set on his only daughter winning the contest.

“It’s gonna be so fun!” Mary exclaimed later that evening, after dinner, when the two girls were curled up in bed. Alexi was sleeping on a spare mattress, next to Mary’s bed, which made the small room seem rather cramped.

“I’m gonna be the next Xela Gym Leader, I can just feel it. I just know, you know sometimes when you get that kind of funny feeling? It’s like that, I can just tell I’m gonna be the winner. I’ve worked so hard for it, it’s gonna be awesome!” Mary whispered excitedly in the dark, sitting up in bed and clutching her blanket tight. Alexi lay with her eyes open, staring at the light under the bedroom door, pretending to be equally obsessed. The truth was, she was getting kind of bored of the topic- Mary had talked of nothing else for almost two hours now, and Alexi wanted to get to sleep.

“What are you going to wear tomorrow?” Mary said with a gasp, finally able to come up with something new, relating to the topic to talk about. Alexi sighed silently to herself and thought about her answer for a few minutes in the silence. Back on the Sanctuary, what clothes you wore from day to day had never seemed to matter. Alexi wore the same boring blue jeans and boring black t-shirt every day of the week- her suitcase was packed with similar attire. She had, in her possession, a warm brown jacket in case it got cold, but apart from that, her clothes were exact clones of one another. Mary, on the other hand, seemed obsessed with her daily appearance. Earlier that evening, she had proudly showed Alexi her wardrobe- neatly packed with pretty dresses, skirts and sequined, frilly tops and arranged in order, with a different outfit for every day of the month. Her hair and face was styled with similar attention to detail- Mary’s drawers were packed with different coloured ribbons and bows, and different flavours of lip-gloss and lipstick. Blush and eyeshadow of every colour was arranged neatly in a separate drawer in the bathroom, and Alexi had spotted, among other things, five different nail clippers and an elaborate-looking machine used for curling hair. Alexi was amazed at her new best friend’s sheer stubbornness to give in to nature and let herself reveal the normal, boring face she had been given at birth; she had never encountered a person who was aware of their appearance to this degree and, although Alexi knew she retained lots of her mother’s natural beauty and so looked fine without any of the makeup or accessories Mary coated her face with every morning, she found it hard to conceive how someone could find that much time to worry about what they looked like in their waking life. She hadn’t encountered many people apart from her mother and father, as of yet, and although Mary’s parents were sometimes patronisingly caring, and Mary herself a little too preoccupied with her personal appearance, Alexi forgave her new family these flaws. She was having a wonderful time with her new companions in what she had first assumed was going to be a lonely journey.

“Alexi?” Mary pushed. “What are you going to wear to the Tournament tomorrow?”

At long last, Alexi gave in to her guilty conscience. “I reckon it’s probably time to get some sleep now, don’t you think? We’ll talk about the Tournament tomorrow- we’ve got an early start, so we’d better go to sleep early.”

Mary seemed a little taken aback by this response, but if she was, she revealed little of it in her voice. “Oh. Alright then. Goodnight, Alexi. Have a good sleep.”

“Goodnight, Mary,” Alexi replied, and snuggled into her pillow. “You sleep well too.”


-----------------------------------------


It was still sunrise when Alexi started out with Mary and her father to Nouvella the following morning. Shoots of sunshine threw themselves across the ocean and sparkled on the waves. Sails on little fishing boats glowed with sun reflected off the water. Goodeview was a beautiful place to be. However, William and his dutiful Machoke did not head down to Goodeview and the pier, to catch a boat to Nouvella as Alexi had assumed. Instead, they headed back towards Blackwood, which was a dark grey colour, and misty in early morning fog.

“Come on, Alexi,” Mary called. “Nouvella’s on the other side of Blackwood, we’ll have to walk quickly if we’re gonna make it on time.”

Alexi quickened her pace as the troupe started up the little hill to the beginning of the forest. It was beautiful in the morning light; specks of sun shot through at odd angles through the trees and lit up sparkly fog that rose from the ground. The smell was fresh and new- dead leaves and bark littered the air with their scent. Little twigs crunched underfoot as Alexi began trudging through the forest, her jacket wrapped around her tightly.

It was odd to return to the forest that had seemed so dangerous the evening before. The Poochyena had gone, the Hoothoot nonexistent. Alexi and the group were travelling along the dirt track which they had followed out of the forest yesterday; evidently, it led to Nouvella, wherever that was. Mary had let her Seedot out of its pokeball, and it trundled along beside her, muttering “dot, dot, dot” to itself as it went, happy to be out in the morning air. Alexi had neglected to let Wurmple out for fresh air- she had a hunch that as soon as Wurmple had the chance, it would start climbing up the nearest tree. Alexi felt better off walking pokemon-free, and saving herself the embarrassment of explaining how she had only caught Wurmple yesterday. Celebi’s ball was no longer round her waist- it was back in her bag, safe in secrecy.

“It’s good to walk through the forest in the daytime. It’s much safer when it’s light- Blackwood gets very dangerous when the sun sets,” Mary told Alexi as they walked.

“Yeah, I figured, after being attacked by a pack of savage Poochyena last night,” Alexi replied, half sarcastic, half curious about the true nature of the forest- she distinctly remembered her father saying that Poochyena, although temperamental, are usually not very powerful pokemon and so do not pose much of a threat to a trainer who happens to be wandering through their territory. The Poochyena she met last night seemed far from that description.

“No, more than that,” Mary continued. “ Blackwood is dangerous. Very dangerous. Once night falls, hardly anyone gets out of it alive. That’s why, whenever we go through, Dad always brings Machoke with him. This forest has some kind of dark power. It’s very scary.”

“Dark power?” Alexi scoffed. “How much harm can trees do?”

“More than you think,” Mary replied. “At night, over the Mightyena howls and the Murkrow screeches, you can hear the forest breathing. Fierce winds often hit Goodeview- not from the ocean, but from inside the forest. Something in here, some huge pokemon, is making the wind on its own. They say that the terrifying gusts are the forests warnings to intruders, not to stray from the path.”

Alexi took a second glance at the trees surrounding her and noticed their grey, old, dead appearance for the first time. The bark was a very dark colour, almost black. Hence the name Blackwood, she concluded. That’s nothing too unusual. Just funny coloured wood. This place can’t possibly be as evil as Mary makes it out to be. It’s a forest, for God’s sakes.

“That’s not all,” Mary continued with her story, as if reading Alexi’s mind. “They say that at night, it gets so dark that it’s impossible to see, and so any traveller that finds themselves still in it becomes utterly lost. They say that, if you stray from the path and lose your way, a voice will call to you, telling you to follow the Murkrow calls. And then, if you do, the Murkrow leads you so deep into the forest that you’ll never get out again, and when you’re right in the heart, so deep inside that there’s never any escape, you’ll find a little house. And if you knock on the door to ask for shelter, a witch will appear, and take you inside, and drug you and put you in a cage and eat you alive.”

“A witch?” Alexi repeated, unbelieving. She could still remember stories like this that her mother read to her before she went to sleep.

“She’s not a witch, she’s a crazy old woman, and her name’s Demelza,” William butted in. “She used to live in Goodeview, but she hated the place so much she went to live in the forest instead. Most people think she got lost and died, others think she still lives there, driven insane by the Murkrow and the Mightyena.” Alexi suddenly had new faith in Mary’s story. William recounting it somehow made it seem a lot more believable. “Some pokemon are cruel,” William added. “It’s one thing you need to learn about real life, Alexi. You can trust a person, but you can never trust a pokemon. Unless it’s a brilliant Machoke like this one, of course,” he said, and patted Machoke lovingly on the head as he spoke. “Untrained pokemon are plain dangerous,” he warned.

“Well, Seedot’s from the forest, and it’s not dangerous,” Mary said, clearly as new to advice like this as Alexi was. “And so’s my Nidoran. And they’re both lovely pokemon, and they were both untrained before you caught them. So you’re wrong, untrained pokemon aren’t all bad.”

“There are some exceptions, I’ve already stated that,” William retorted, but Alexi sensed that William didn’t have much faith in Mary’s little Seedot or Nidoran. They might have been the strongest pokemon William could find round here, but Alexi suspected that Mary’s father hoped she would grow to love pokemon from other places more. He didn’t seem to be able to put much trust in pokemon from the wild, for some reason.

After that, the conversation subsided, and Alexi, Mary, seedot, William and Machoke continued their journey in silence. Alexi saw almost no pokemon in or around the trail, although she thought she might have spotted an Oddish take flight as they turned a corner. The pokemon didn’t seem to be very keen to get too near them- maybe they were as scared of trainers as the people of Goodeview were of them.

After they had journeyed for quite a while, Alexi was startled by a piercing scream Mary had let out spontaneously. William, who was ahead of Alexi, turned to see the source of his daughter’s fear. It wasn’t hard to spot. Dangling from an overhanging tree on a thin thread was a Spinarak. It had descended directly in front of Mary’s face, and Mary had retreated back down the path, her head in her hands.

“Make it go away, Daddy, it’s scary!” Mary squealed. The Spinarak clicked its fangs together and wriggled its little, furry legs.

“Don’t worry darling, Daddy’s here,” William called protectively, and he ushered Alexi behind his arm as he approached the bug pokemon. “Stand back, Alexi. Machoke, fight!”

On command, Machoke walked forwards towards Spinarak and growled at it menacingly “Machoke, choke!”

“Kill it!” William shouted, and Machoke raised a fist.

The fighting pokemon hit Spinarak like a punching bag and it flew into a tree, smacking against the bark and sliding to the ground, its thread snapping and flailing about in the air. Machoke advanced on the bug pokemon as it lay on its back, squirming helplessly. Machoke raised a chunky foot and slammed it down into Spinarak- its stomach exploded through its head, and its guts splattered across the forest floor.

“Ewwww…” Mary said, as she took her hands away from her eyes.

“Good job, Machoke,” William complimented, and Machoke returned to its master’s side. “Choke, choke.”

The party continued through the forest, the silence returned. Alexi couldn’t help feeling a little sorry for the poor bug pokemon that had just gotten squashed under Machoke’s huge foot. Surely, it didn’t deserve that? But the feelings of doubt for William’s judgement faded as they came through the other side of the forest, and the dirt path melded into grass. They had reached Nouvella.

Nouvella was a truly beautiful town. Its walls were built with elegant sandstone, and decorated with curly iron. The city gates looked magnificent, and were swung open to welcome the Tournament competitors. The buildings were ancient and precious, and shone in the sun, which was now high in the sky. This town, too, was built on the edge of the Chalky Cliffs, and Alexi was amazed to find that the town buildings continued down the cliff-face, shops and houses carved into the cliff itself. If Alexi had ever been to Italy, it would remind her of somewhere on the Adriatic coast- rustic and rugged, elegant and mysterious. Nouvella was a wonderful place, and it was now clear to Alexi why it was chosen as the home of the newest gym.

Nouvella Town Gym sat on the outskirts of town, facing towards the city centre, and behind it lush plains blanketed the hills. The gym looked almost out of place in the beautiful old town- it was brand new and sparkling, its bright white walls were almost hard to look at, and shining metal framed the doorway, the rooftop and the path that led to it. Clear, new glass twinkled in the automatic sliding doors at the entrance. The place was teeming with trainers- young and old, some with confident looks on their faces, some with nervous smiles. There were lots of parents there too, holding their anxious child’s hand. All of them were bee-lining towards the glass double doors, which had not yet opened. A large clock sat above the entrance, its hands ticking monotonously. The small hand was at the twelve, and the larger hand was making its way round to join it.

“Come on Dad, this is it! It’s nearly time to go in!” Mary shouted, full of excitement. She grabbed her fathers hand and dragged him up towards the gym, joining the mass of trainers already gathered there.

The clock struck midday with a tremendous dong; sirens went off, whistles started blowing and lights around the edge of the clock began flashing. The crowd let out an inspiring, heart lifting cheer and hats were thrown into the air. This was the moment they had all been waiting for. The glass doors opened smoothly, like clockwork, and the trainers flooded in.

xXSaberXx
12th December 2005, 1:55 AM
D:

Whomg.

A Mightyena call- enough to kill every flicker of hope in any person unlucky enough to catch a note of it.

That was the singularily most awesome sentence in the chap. x3 GOOD JOBS!

No, seriously. Good job. Description and such was great, but there was a few times where a huge paragraph that was describing looked like it needed to be seperated. D: Hoe wells.

I LOVED IT THOUGH. The trees.....the forest...RAWR. The region sounds interesting as well, though, are their new Xela pokemon? Just a question, cause it's fine if there isn't or is. x3

I like the Goodes too. KINDA BORING...but still. And the old witch....LMAO. I think we might meet her soon. x3

Celebi celebi....*sighs* I really hope Alexi doesn't use it in the tournament? TOO UBER LMAO. But it's good that she got a regular pokemon. o-o Very good. Now the question is....DUSTOX, or....THE TYPICAL BEAUTIFLY? Hm. And I really do hope you give more character to Wrumple and Celebi. Pokemon NEED character like I NEED CHOCOLATE. Lollerskates.

Seriously though. Great job. This chap made my opnion of the story do a 180. x3 congrats. It's very well written, and I'm starting to like Alexi more. Though, question. Will she travel with more people? Another person, maybe?

o.o Can't WAIT for the next chapter.

*HUGS TO YOU*

Saber.

Xiang
12th December 2005, 1:58 AM
Here's my review for the first two chapters, as I don't have time to read them all at one time. I will review the third chapter once I'm done reading it.

If this is your first fic, this is a brilliant effort. wonderful description, perfect lengths, nice vocabulary, and an original way to do the trainer fic thing. I don't mind the Legendary issue, as long as Alexi doesn't become some boring invincible girl.

I'm keeping my eye on this one. *subscribes*

Oh, and by the way, thank you for PMing me.

cyndaquil_dratini
12th December 2005, 2:09 AM
Awww, I'm so happy now. Go Saber! I'm really glad you liked my story, that's exactly the kind of response I want from people. Plus, it's like, the Queen of Trainer Fics likes my trainer fic. Hurrah! Jump for joy! I don't want to answer too many of your questions, as they will become apparent as the story progresses. The Goodes are pretty boring....wait and see, there are a few surprises in store. Yeah, you'll get to meet the witch, but not for a little bit. I shall be sure to inject Alexi's pokemon with as much liquid personality as their little veins can carry...I kinda tried with Wurple, but no, more, ok, I understand.

I'm a bit confused bout your response, Ratiasu, because you already reviewed the first two chapters. Maybe you were lying the first time...hmmm...I'm not sure. Ah, well.

Keep reading, everybody, and thanks for your unbelievably fast responses, Saber n Ratiasu. The next chappie's in the works (as it was originally meant to be part of this chapter anyway.)

Xiang
12th December 2005, 2:16 AM
Well, the review was more focused on the second chapter.

Still reading.

EDIT: I am speechless. *picks up jaw from floor*

You're not going to receive much crit from me anymore, you're just going to get a lot of flattering compliments. Simply wonderful.

Chaos Absol
12th December 2005, 5:46 AM
I really liked it.Although it seemed abit long(thaank god you didn't add that second chapter) but it was good and I saw absolutely no grammar or spelling mistakes in it.Me likey me likey^_^.I hope she gets another poke for the tourney, like a murkrow or houndour(what, I like dark type poke).I dont think that spinerak deserved that, I mean it was probably scared as well.

Overall I would rate 4.5/5.Thank you for the good chappie.


Cya next chater!

Pinecone Tortoise
12th December 2005, 8:38 AM
Wheeee! Finally got to read it and I'm so happy I did! You've got some lovely atmosphere in here! I tell ya, this is amazing! Alexi is starting to show some real personality here and even though she's got a Celebi, she's still not a Sue. No Sue would be clueless on how to use a pokeball and not have some hunky guy explain it to her, then fall in love with her. >< So congrats! You've got a well-developed character, an interesting plot, a delicious blend of power and puny with regards to pokemon and great supporting characters.

I'm laughing. Someone has a Celebi and it won't obey here. As logical as it is, you'd think it would have been done before (or I'd have seen it done before). Seriously. It's about time that someone had an uber pokemon that just laughed at them. ^^ Nice work. I think I'm a new fan of Celebi.

The only criticism I can find was was related to the pokemon. First, the brutal slaughter of the Spinarak. For a moment, I thought Alexi was going to capture it. >< Poor thing. Then, the lack of a distinctive personality amongst the pokemon seen so far. They seem slightly mindless - though sparks do show through. Like when Wurmple simply crawled around the other side of the tree - I could practically the thing sweatdropping. Well, I thought it was funny.

Anyway, I reckon you've got a masterpiece on your hands. Lovely writing, great characters, juicy plot... it's all here. Don't forget to PM me when the next chapter is up!

Piney.
;204;;324;

Saffire Persian
13th December 2005, 5:28 AM
Not bad for a first 'fic. The feline-tubed creature caught my attention, being a feline fan. I'd like to know what that thing is... >.>.. Feline tubed creature.. doens't sound like any that exist at the current moment.

You have a good style and flow, although I'm rather skeptical at the use of Celebi...eh.. I'm sure you know why, so I'm not going to flog a dead horse.. plus, you might do s omething unexpected..

Also, the random "Go on a pokemon journey" thing seemed to fast.. too stereotypical. As realistically, would your parents one day say out of the blue 'Time to go on a Pokemon journey!"

Otherwise.. quite a fun read.

StellarWind
13th December 2005, 6:24 PM
Eeeee.. o_o

I must say that I rather liked this. The atmosphere you're developing is quite eerie - And clueless characters are always fun.

What I'd love to know about this story (and I'm sure that it would be explained in further episodes) is - How did Alexi's parents manage to find this refuge of legendaries and hide within it from this... creature. I'm sure that this would be revealed when we know more about this creature and what does it want with her.

Now, I don't know what kind of people they are, since the only thing we know is that they're rather secretive about whatever they're hiding from, (maybe because to speak the name is to invoke the power, or somesuch?) - but sending their own daughter away like that makes me wonder - did they do it to protect HER, or to save themselves? Hmm... This could be an interesting plot device. (Of course, if it wasn't intended, nevermind. ^^; )

I like the way she is written - clueless about the 'real' world having lived in isolation for 13 years in the company of mighty creatures which are being, at least reasonably, friendly to her. And of course, seeing a character who 'starts' with a legendary (though she isn't permitted to use it) which doesn't INSTANTLY obey her - is always a refreshing change. ^^

Overall - I like. ^_^ Keep up the great work.

IceKing
14th December 2005, 7:06 PM
Wow, you have improved GREATLY and now I can officially say I will be a permanent reviewer to this. The description was simply marvelous and you knew just how to write it, I especially loved the descriptions of settings. The Poocheyena attack was nice as well, and the dream was some good foreshadowing along with Mary's story. It was also quite entertaining to see Alexi trying to catch a pokemon with absolutely no previous knowledge as well, I gave a nice chuckle when she gave the ball to Celebi and said "here go catch that pokemon." It was at a perfect and satisfying length and it flowed very nicely. Few grammar mistakes here and there, (Thankyou should be two words!) but other than that I don't feel like pointing them out. My main gripes goes to the fact she's using a legendary pokemon (Celebi is like the keeper of time, I don't think you're exactly portraying her power well enough) and this Novellou gym tournament. It sounds like its going to be a bunch of adolsecents who are trying out to be the gym leader and I highly doubt they can train their pokemon well enough to be gym material in only 3 months time! And the Machoke killing the Spinirak scene kinda bothered me o_0.

Overall, that chapter was a BIG improvement. With one G! And this fic is becoming very good, my only suggestion is to work on the plot details a bit and try to prevent your fic from becoming too anime like (her making friends with a family in everytown and having only limited conflicts)

cyndaquil_dratini
15th December 2005, 12:00 AM
Thanks everyone for reviewing, it's great.
It seems like everyone wants to know why Alexi's parents sent her away so quickly...or maybe I should have made it happen slower. I think when you discover what the monster in the dream is, you'll figure out what the rush was all about, but the actual reason doesnt become apparent till much much much much later on. Maybe I should reveal that bit of information sooner, so that the story doesn't seem so farfetch'd. People are taking the story exactly how I want them to, pondering bout the unanswered questions and such, which is very positive. And thank....you....(note the space) for the positive feedback Iceking, Piney, StellarWind, Saffire Persian and Chaos Absol, I'm over the moon this last chapter was good.

The other interesting thing you all seem to be taking on board is the horrific slaughter of the Spinarak. That's exactly how it's meant to be written, and seen. I was wondering if anyone would find it funny, and I'm glad none of you did- the Spinarak slaughter is leading up to something that happens in a couple of chapters time, so I shan't explain it all now, but I'm glad everyone read it and thought the same thing. I hate Machoke, they're my least favourite pokemon ever.

I'm glad you're all so pleased with my writing, keep reading, I'm about halfway through chapter four now so it'll be up sometime soon. I'd love to get a bit of speculaiton going...tell me who you think the monster in the dream is. Why are Alexi's parents hiding? Why does Alexi have to go on her pokemon journey so quickly? That kind of thing. It'd be interesting to know how obvious my plot is, and if any of you have picked up on it.

Tezza
15th December 2005, 5:19 AM
Hello Cyndaquil_Dratini! I don’t often come to forums but reading this made it worth it. You’ve come to the fanfiction fandom with a lot of guts and talent! While it seems this isn’t your first attempt, you’ve come out of the closet glowing!

Let’s have a look!

Wow, great opener, all those short sharp sentences are marvellous. It really sets the tone! Boom! Boom! Boom! Every one of those little sentences is like a punch! The tense ‘span’ is wrong, replace it with ‘spun’ to make it grammatically correct. There should also be a few more paragraphs in there, only one even beginning with ‘Alexi’ so the impact of sharp sentences isn’t swallowed up.

Another little thing is to avoid repetition, eg ‘but her feet’ and ‘underfoot’. . A little thing that could be ‘but her legs’ instead. When I read repetition I feel a kind of mental trip, I’m not sure if others have it too. Same with the ‘dark purple’ during her dream sequence. Deep fuschia? Rich indigo? Same thing but not the same. Other repetitive word’s I’ve noted is glistening, darkness and so on. Rereading is the best way to pick up these reiterations.

Gee, I feel so picky about the little things, but in this first paragraph and a quick glance, all the big things are perfect! Description, glorious. Grammar, understandable. Spelling, correct! Gawd, your descriptions are so tantalisingly vague! Some of the descriptions are just so delicious! ‘A dark purple shadow glistened’….. wow.

Considering my own, I’m surprised how vivid and coherent her dream is! Dear god, even I can feel the horror and aggravation of that hollow space! My god, if that dream sequence were a prologue… the readers would be hooked.

Now onto the rest of your first post. How original, and the tone from the dream has done a complete turn around! Fantastic, although I can put words to why. I really like the description of her room, so different.

I am however a little dubious of the legendary Pokemon. Being a biologist at heart I’m not one of those people who believe there is only one of each, but having an island, known by humans, to be full of legendary Pokemon makes me iffy. Why do her parents live there, how did they get there? Why hasn’t some greedy human capitalized on it? As you can tell, I have little faith in human nature. *wink*

Have a look at the description of her father. Not so much the description, which is great, but the wording. ‘And this and that and this’. The word and should be reserved for the end of the sentence so I would have done such paragraph as.

Her father, Xander, with Alexi’s dark hair and blue eyes, pushed himself up and looked at her with a chiselled, wellworn face.

Not as, I don’t know, broken.

Alexi’s dialogue is good too, words like ‘yucky’ really make me feel like she’s your average kid. At 13, she’s not overreaching it which is what most writers do, myself included. Keep that, it’s worth it.

I really like where this is going! How mysterious, checking for bruises!

Being on an island far away from humans, I have to wonder why there is a double poster bed and a lamp. It feels so out of place.

‘for a curious tthirteen-year’ is a minor mistake that can be fixed up on your next rewrite.

That’s our first chapter! Very nice! Great vivid imagery! You will be a clever writer once you hang around for a while and learn what cliché’s are hanging round. That comes with experience and you can find that on your own from reading.

The biggest thing to overcome is and Island full of legendaries, why your family is the only one on there and how they got there. If you could think of a plausible explanation for the parents, Alexi is set. Here’s my idea, excuse poor grammar.

Washing up on shore after a ship wreck with the Pokemon willing to help her parents back to shore, but mum and dad are scientists and want to learn about them so make a life for themselves on the Island. Little Alexi is born and things feel pretty spiffy. They’re accepted, if a little patronised by the legendary Pokemon.

***I’ve read down to see your explanation, and while mine isn’t any better I will point out some things. If Alexi’s parents can find it, why can’t others. What’s to stop Bob opening up a theme park and exploiting them? *cue Jurassic Park theme* The whole ‘they were so nice were accepted by Legendaries is corny to the point of disbelief, while so far you had been able to suspend the belief of the reader. You will have to make these explanations clear in your next rewrite. If things have to be clarified in Authors notes, then you’re not doing readers favours. Consider it like a published book.***

Now, I’ve noticed someone has commented on paragraphing, and I’ll give you a hit. You’re probably like me and do a single ‘enter’ rather than a double to space. What you can do is write in Microsoft Word if you have it, select everything (CTRL and A) right click and go to paragraphs. Where it says Spacing, Before and After put in one of the boxes. Then you can just copy and past and the spacing will double enter for you!

On how often you should post, considering how fast the forum moves, you should post every three days. That way readers aren’t swamped, but you won’t travel too far down the readers list. The thing I find most annoying on forums is that writers get so frantic when their story is gone from the first page they post a new chapter immediately and I feel like I’m being force fed. Try not to let over anxiousness get to you.

A piece of advice? Find a permanent place to store your fanfiction in case your computer fritzes. www.fanfiction.net is alright and so is http://www.thepokemontower.com/tpt.shtml It also means you may get more reviews!



Now onto Chapter 2

You know what I think would be awesome? If Alexi was illiterate! Now there’s a flaw so deep no one would wish it on their character! Think of the problems it would cause! Not completely illiterate, but at least a lot of difficulty reading if her parents didn’t have a lot of books for her.

I like Alexi’s reaction to the problem! Denial is so perfectly childish! Gawd, even I still use it! Love it! Same as her reaction to the bags, bright and enthusiastic, wistful even. But for a curious girl, I’m wondering why she isn’t questioning her parents more, demanding answers. Being a teenager she would want to start asserting her independence, and being left out of the loop of something this big, I’d be pretty obnoxious.

Gee, it’s a real trial by fire! I’m always sceptical about trainers leaving but for this it seems doubly so because she doesn’t know about civilization, and there is no civilization on the island to prepare her. No matches, not sleeping bags, so on and so forth. If Alexi has been sheltered thus far, you have to remember and portray it.

Personally I think this scene was so abrupt. “You’re in danger, so you better leave!” sounds like out of the frying pan into the fire. You could have explored this further, give her at least a day rather than 20 minutes. Maybe walk around the island and give us a better picture of it. Show us just how independent, or lack there of, she is. Can she light a fire? Can she cook?

While her personality is beginning to settle in, we have to add history too. Give her some fond memories of the island, or some trouble she’s been in. With her inquisitive nature I can picture her climbing trees and getting stuck, or falling down gullies and always relying on parents and other Pokemon to help her. Then when she journey’s it can have the secondary message of don’t rely on others to solve your problems or whatever. Dependent would be an awesome flaw!

Wow, I love the explanation of Apricot trees, and Alexi’s ignorance of them. She’s also coming of pretty doughy! Ahh, no Mary-Sue here if you can keep these up.

about the events of thismorning. spelling mistake.

I’m confused. If she doesn’t understand about Pokeballs, how can she dream of being caught? Consistence is a key. As I read through her father’s dialogue of trainers, everything feels so hypocritical and pompous. You’ve said yourself, her parents are trainers. On the mainland people are so mean and ignorant, but Alexi’s family have seen-the-light! I actually feel resentful towards the family now. This almost certainly wasn’t intended but this is how I feel as a reader.

pokemon you have possession of[/b] is grammatically incorrect. “the Pokemon you train,” Also, your description of the volcano means, geologically, it is active. Magma at the surface means it’s active. Rephrasing will easily put this right, no worries!

If her family are being so secretive, they aren’t preparing her well at all. Wouldn’t they at least tell her what’s after her so she knows? Things are contradicting each other and I’m loosing my Suspended Belief.

A clever writer such as yourself can pull off an infinite number of things, provided they take the time and have the patience to make each change subtle. You feel like you’re in a hurry to get her journeying, and I live by the rule Haste makes Waste. If you rush a story or chapter to get somewhere else your story will suffer for it. *winks* take the time, it’s worth it.

Ohhh, nice description of the island, especially the blanketing clouds.

Now onto Chapter 3, and I am daunted by the huge post. I, like a lot of forum readers don’t have a lot of time online. I save fanfictions off line, write reviews then paste them later. It’s these huge chunks which mean I can’t read it all at once and that’s what generally deters me from reading. You don’t have to make a single post for a chapter. Halve them if you can. It also means you have more lenience.

Eeek, that is one big paragraph. Probably should have started a new one at “What Alexi needed now” And “Hindsight,” because it’s so quirky it deserves its own. I really liked it!

I get the feeling that you’re depending a lot on a thesaurus too, as some words are out of context. I’m the first to praise the thesaurus *hugs hers* but don’t use any word you wouldn’t use in a sentence. I refer mostly to “not the most consoling”. Comforting fits better than consoling, because ‘consoling’ is something for people. A forest isn’t going to consol anyone….*grins at the idea of an Ent patting Alexi on the back*

I love the idea of her trying to find the magic words to release a Pokemon, very cute! I can so picture Celebi’s expression. Great display of personality!

Holy crap! Her eardrums burst? You don’t want to do that to your character. That mean she is now effectively deaf. No sound. Boom, gone. *cringes* My god I don’t want to even think of the pain and disorientation that would cause. And then people speak to her….. Eeek. Must rewrite. I’m sorry there is no way around it.

Nice description of the town, very clear and vivid.

Some of your paragraphs are very chunky and cluttered. Remember, for every new topic, a new paragraph.

Hey, nice description of how a new gym is founded, few people stop to consider it! I also like the ghoulish view and the legends spun about it. It makes it so real!

I really resent the way you keep portraying the trainers as ignorant and compassionless. That they view Pokemon no better than animals when anime and games have made it clear there’s trust and partnership. It feels like you’re trying to up Alexi’s credibility by making her seem like she’s the only one who understands Pokemon, which is strange because I really love the way you portray the Pokemon, like Celebi’s confusion and Wurmple still trying to escape after its been caught, realistic. It’s reinforced by Williams massacre of the Wurmple.



Now I’ve finally read all three chapters I’ll do a bit of a summary for any rewrites to be done in the future.



** Beware of repetition

** Clean up some contradictions

** Take your time, and never rush to get up to an ‘interesting bit’ take the time to describe things like Alexi’s family history, recount a few anecdotes, and dwell on just what kind of experience she has had on the island.

** Be wary of thesaurus entries, make sure they’re in context and don’t rely on it to heavily.

** Find a nice permanent place to store chapters.

** Watch for cluttered paragraphs.

** Eardrums…. Oh god, just remembering makes me shudder.

** Temper your portrayal of humans or otherwise you run the risk of Alexi being a goodie goodie.

** Split some posts in the future.



Things to be proud of!

** Your prose is lovely, if getting a bit fluffy in chapter three. Some of the imagery is brilliant! The battle with the Poochyena was great. Scenes are set up so clear!

** Pokemon portrayal, cool and realistic!

There you go! Pat yourself on the back

cyndaquil_dratini
15th December 2005, 9:13 AM
Thanks heaps Tezza, for such a comprehensive review. You've picked up on so many things.
Some of the stuff I don't want to change, some of the things that dont make sense to you make sense to me. I've planned this story out heaps- so there are reasons for everything that look like loose ends. Theres a reason Alexi dreams about getting caught in a pokeball, its imperative to the story. It's not a contradiction, its a coincidence that'll be explained later. The eardrums bursting thing that you seem so affected by is supposed to be like that. It's a dream, so the things that happen to her in it don't happen in real life. It's not real, it's in her mind. If it has affected you to this extent, it did what it was supposed to.

There is also an explanation for Alexi living on an island full of legendary pokemon. It seems such a big issue that maybe I should have given away that first half of the story much earlier on...you don't find out for another three or four chapters. It's not that Alexi's parents were so nice they were accepted. Soimething has happened, in Xela, which has changed the way people do things. The legendary pokemon were desperate like everyone else, they didn't really have a choice. Alexi's parents are really important, pivotal people in the story, not just because they're the parents of the main character. But you find out more about them later. And, yeah, the event explains Alexi's abrupt departure too...all the answers are there, just not just yet. I'm thinking maybe I've left far too much unexplained, that there isn't adequate explanation for things for readers to keep on reading. I have thought about the story though, I've planned this fanfic out from beginning to end, I'm not just making it up as I go along.

I originally made Alexi illiterate, and then changed it. It would be great, but way too prohibiting. It would be too hard to keep the story going if the main character couldnt read, and I decided that her parents would have taught her those kind of important thigns anyway- the journey she's on is one her parents have known she would have to make ever since she was born. Things like 'pokemon you have possesion of' are things I've thought about. This is how I think my character would have worded that sentence, I don't really want it changed. Thanks for the comment on how long a fic should be, I'll keep that in mind from now on- I just didn't know how long was too long, but I've got a general idea now, so that's really helpful.

Not all the trainers in the story are resentful and passionless, its just that the Goodes need to be. Its another one of those...itll make sense after the next chapter things- but there are good people in the story too. Thanks for picking up on these things, it seems my biggest mistake is leaving too much to be explained later on. I'm used to people just taking it on trust that there'll be explanations, but thats not how a fanfic works, I guess. Thyankyou for your thorough review, and I'm flattered by your comments. Whoever you are, you obviously know a great deal about this kind of thing and I'm honoured you've read my story so far. I hope you keep reading, maybe just to find out the explanations for some of those things that have been bugging you.

Ok, no more replys, time for a new chapter.

Oh- I've decided to rate this fic PG, for some "Adult Themes" (OOOOOH), but that comes much later on- and a pretty vicious fight that happens later on in this chapter.

This chapters another biggie- please bear with me, the first few chapters will be long, but once the story is established, Ill try and keep to an 8-page minimum.

I've already had a bit of feedback (yeah, you) about depressing, nasty, "real" things in stories, so let me know what you think about them, if you like them, or if you think theyre overused. I'd like to know what audience I'm catering for, because if you don't like this kind of thing, I shall steer the story in a different direction.

This chapter is the first of my twists I was talking bout a little further back. You'll come away from this feeling slightly shocked, compared to the rest of the story.

Fingers crossed this gets a positive response.

Chapter Four- The Nouvella Gym Tournament

What hit Alexi first about the Nouvella gym was its size. The huge, white, square building looked more like a work of modern art than a place to battle, but what was most surprising of all is that inside, the whole space was just opened up. There were no walls or doors or anything- the entire gym was like a big box, opened up to everywhere. There were metal bars which ran across the bright white walls, across the floor, and separating each battle ground. The floor of the gym was marked with circles and lines of blue and red, marking out the boundaries for each battle. The gym could fit about ten battles at once, and the whole left-hand side of the place was completely filled with spectator seats. The roof was high in the air, and clean white like the rest of the place. The whole building gave a kind of surreal feeling- like you were a Weedle in a box made entirely of ceiling.

The thousands of trainers that had come in from outside were now shoving their way through the rows of seats, and sitting themselves down. A man in a top hat, with a megaphone, stood in the middle arena and directed people up to the seats. Alexi, Mary and William were ushered somewhere up in the top half of the seats- Machoke and Seedot had to be retreated, because there simply wasn’t enough room to have them out. The whole place was packed, and buzzing. The hum of conversation had grown to a din, and the man with the megaphone could hardly be heard. Mary didn’t bother trying to talk- the group sat quietly until the din died down and the crowd sat still. The man in the top hat coughed, and brought his megaphone to his lips.

“Citizens of Xela, and the world; I welcome you. This is Nouvella Town Gym- the biggest of its kind in the world, designed by top architects and pokemon trainers, to give you the very best gym that we can provide. It is also the newest gym in the world, and so I, Mr Pokemon, chairman of the Board of Pokemon Related Things, am very pleased to declare this magnificent building officially open!”

The crowd roared like an ocean. People rose from their seats to applaud the little man; he looked very pleased with himself, and his nose grew red with excitement as he smiled.

When silence fell upon the audience, Mr Pokemon began again.

“I am also very pleased to announce the commencing of a unique and wonderful tournament, in which young trainers from Xela and beyond will gather and compete with each other to become the worlds newest gym leader- the Nouvella Town Gym Leader.”

Another cheer rose from the crowd, and died away quicker than the first, the trainers anxious to begin their battles now.

“You are all here today to test your skills as trainers, and to prove to us, the Pokemon Board, that you are truly worth the title of ‘Nouvella Town Gym Leader.’ As you all know, each of you are allowed to use only two pokemon, both of which must be under level 30. Before you step into the arena to battle, your pokemon will be checked. If a trainer is beaten twice in a row, that trainer is disqualified. Also, if a trainer is beaten without their opponent suffering any kind of damage, they are immideatly withdrawn from the contest. There are over one thousand of you here today, so I must stress that any decisions we make will not be entered into. However, I’m sure that you are all familiar with the rules of this contest, and so, without further ado, take your pokemon down to the arena and- let’s battle!”

The whole audience rose as one and scrambled to get to the floor of the gym, where Board officials were waiting. As it happened, the officials were handing out name badges, which had numbers on them, and the numbers pertained to what order the battles would occur. After most of the crowd had gotten back to their seats, William came back with Alexi and Mary’s badges. Alexi was a number 2, and Mary was number 3. Then, all contestants with the number 1 on their name badge were asked to come forward, and directed to the appropriate battle arena. Ten young trainers stood in pairs around the room, facing their opponents, nervous expressions on their faces. Mr Pokemon moved to a large seat at the end of the arena, and took a whistle out, ready to blow.

“Choose your pokemon,” he said.

“Take out your pokeballs.”

“Fight!” After this, he blew the whistle hard, so it rang out across the echoey room.

Twenty trainers all unleashed their pokemon in unison across the arena. Alexi’s gaze immediately averted to the battleground directly in front of where she was sitting where a muscly, very good looking boy with sunken eyes and sandy blonde hair that fell over his face was eyeing off an older looking girl with fiery red hair and freckles. The boy had sent out a Crawdaunt, and the girl had a Raichu.

“This should be interesting,” Mary murmured to Alexi, as they sat, waiting for the battle to begin.

Neither trainer felt able to begin the battle- they both obviously wanted to make the second move. Then, the blonde boy called out to his Crawdaunt.

“Crawdaunt- vicegrip!” he ordered, and Crawdaunt charged at Raichu, snapping its pincers dangerously. The pokemon sliced the air in front of Raichu’s face as his claws shut loudly- the attack had missed.

“Now Raichu, thundershock!” the girl shouted, and her pokemon obeyed swiftly. Raichu stodd itself up on its tail quickly and shot jolts of electricity out its cheeks to Crawdaunt. Crawdaunt ducked, but the attack hit and its body shook with electricity. It lay on the ground, smoking for a minute, and Raichu circled it, ready to attack again.

“And again, Raichu, thundershock him!”

Raichu raised itself up on its tail again, but before it could attack, the blonde boy yelled out.

“Crawdaunt, harden!”

Crawdaunt stiffened itself and its body shone. Its thick exoskeleten had become gold and unmoving, and glistened in the light. Raichu fired bolts at it, and they hit again, but bounced off Crawdaunt’s shell and into the floor.

“Raichu, quick attack!” the redheaded girl shouted, and as Crawdaunt’s body returned to normal, Raichu ran at it with incredible speed, knocking the pokemon out of the red circle they were battling it. Crawdaunt skidded to its trainer and immediately sprung to its feet again, but the pokemon was obviously shaken.

“Go, Crawdaunt, Vicegrip again, get him!”

Crawdaunt lunged at Raichu, but the mouse pokemon attached itself to Crawdaunt's head, and Crawdaunt landed clumsily on nothing. It swung its huge claws around, trying to knock its opponent off its back, but Raichu’s trainer had already shouted its attack.

“One more thundershock, Raichu, finish it off!”

Electricity swept through Raichu’s body and Crawdaunt shook with the force. It helplessly tried to throw Raichu off its back in some kind of strange dance, but Raichu held tight and the full force of the electrical blast hit Crawdaunt’s entire body. When Raichu had finished, it leampt nimbly off Crawdaunt’s tottering body and scampered over to its trainer’s side. Crawdaunt fell sideways into the battleground, its body charred from the electrical attack.

“Crawdaunt!” The blonde boy ran forward and took his pokemon in his arms. A official came to meet him, and ushered him off to the pokecentre. Battles around the room continued, and more pokemon fainted, their trainers carrying them off to Nouvella’s pokecentre. Soon enough, all of the first round battles had finished and Mr Pokemon took up his megaphone once more and called for round two trainers to come forward. Alexi glanced down at her name badge. That was her.

“That’s you Alexi, it’s your turn. Good luck!” Mary said to her, ushering her out of her seat and down to the arena.

Alexi’s knees wobbled as she made her way down. She was now regretting the severe lack of training she had given Wurmple. Maybe she should have asked Mary to battle? She didn’t want to risk embarrassment, but it was obvious now that a pokemon who had had no training at all would cause much more embarrassment by losing in front of thousands of trainers, as opposed to just one, in the middle of a forest. Why did she sign up for this again? As she stepped down onto the arena, she took the apricorn ball out of her bag and attached it to her belt- just in case.

“Alexi True?” the official in front of her asked. Alexi nodded, and the official took Alexi’s pokeballs, scanned them with a radar she had in her hand, and then gave Alexi the all clear to go onto the battlefield. For a while, Alexi stood on the battlefield alone, eyeing off an invisible opponent, but then the gym’s glass doors opened, and the trainers who had gone to the pokecentre returned for their second match. Alexi’s heart skipped a beat as she found herself face to face with the cute boy she had just watched being beaten by Raichu. He was even hotter close up, his skin completely smooth and his cheeks set high in his face. Alexi breathed deep and looked long into his eyes.

The official stepped between them and turned to each in turn.

“Trainer Stefan Collins versus trainer Alexi True. Are you ready?”

Alexi nodded, and watched the cute boy, Stefan, do the same.

The official stepped out of the ring, and Mr Pokemon blew his whistle from his seat at the far end of the arena. ‘Fight!” he cried, to the second lot of trainers.

“Go, Crawdaunt!” Stefan called, and let out his pokemon onto the arena once more. It was healthy and fit again.

Alexi stood sheepishly for a minute or two, playing with her feet, until she heard a cry from the spectator stand behind her.

“Go Alexi!” Mary called encouragingly. “Kick his arse!”

Alexi smiled as she heard William tell his daughter off for cursing and took her pokeball in her hand. This is my first battle ever, she thought. Better make it good.

“Wurmple, go!”

Wurmple emerged from its ball and landed in a heap on the arena. “Wurmple!!!!” it screamed, and immediately began wriggling back towards Alexi, away from the scary-looking Crawdaunt facing it.

“Wurmple, attack!” Alexi cried, but Wurmple didn’t listen. It kept wiggling back towards her, a panicked look on its face.

“Wurmple, wurmple, wurmple!” it cried as it panted back to safety. Alexi felt her cheeks go red. Stefan stood with his arms by his sides, unsure what to do. Its Crawdaunt stood still, waiting for instruction.

Trainers in the spectator seats began to laugh as they noticed the fat little bug pokemon crawling away from its opponent. Trainers battling next to Alexi stopped to look, and began pointing and laughing at the embarrassed look on her face.

“Wurmple, please. Do something,” Alexi said under her breath. “People are staring.”

Wurmple had reached Alexi’s foot and was tugging at the bottom of her jeans, squealing and squeaking in fright, begging to be put back inside its pokeball.

“WURMPLE!!!! WURMPLE WURMPLE!!!!!”

Now, most of the arena had stopped watching the other battles, and their attention was focused on Alexi and her Wurmple, which started crawling up her leg.

Alexi tried to brush it aside without drawing too much attention to herself, her ears now a deep scarlet and her cheeks bright pink.

“Wurmple, get off me! This is a battle, you have to fight!”

But as she scolded her pokemon, Alexi couldn’t help but feel sorry for it. It had never been in a pokemon battle in its life- Alexi hadn’t even caught it, it had kind of wandered into her pokeball by mistake, and now she was screaming at it to attack a terrifying beast of a Crawdaunt. Poor Wurmple probably just wanted to go back home, to curl up under a nice, cool leaf and go to sleep…

This was all Alexi’s fault. She heard the audience laugh and jeer, and their calls echoed around the walls of the huge gym.

“Stupid little girl. Can’t even train a Wurmple.”

“Look at her, that’s pathetic. What’s she doing here anyway?”

She hated them. She hated them all, because they were all right. She shouldn’t be here. She was stupid to even come here, it was stupid of her to enter the tournament in the first place. She turned to leave and noticed Mary in the grandstand behind her, cacking herself laughing.

“OMG!!!! Alexi, you’re hilarious!!! It’s the funniest thing I’ve seen for years!!!!! Keep going, it’s great. Most fun I’ve had all day! I could watch you for hours!”

Steaming, Alexi grabbed her pokeball and made to recall Wurmple, who was still clinging to her leg, but as she did so, she noticed that the only person not laughing at her in the entire gym was her opponent- Stefan. He had an expression of disappointment cast across his flawless face; he had obviously prepared himself to show the crowd what his Crawdaunt was made of. It was almost more than Alexi could handle, standing there with the hottest guy in the world looking at her like she was some kind of sad freak, while thousands of people laughed at her.

“She’s the weakest trainer I’ve ever seen!” someone called.

The weakest trainer they’d ever seen? Something about that comment stung. Alexi knew that with one swoop of her arm, she could unleash onto the arena one of the most powerful pokemon in the world, a pokemon none of the other competitors had ever seen in their entire life- a pokemon they had only ever dreamed about. She’d show them. Weakest trainer they’d ever seen, and they’ve got a Celebi. It’d wipe the smiles right of all their faces, every one of them- even Mary. It’d impress Stefan. Alexi’s fingers hovered above her apricorn ball, ready to unleash Celebi onto the world.

And then she stopped.

She remembered her father’s parting words. “Don’t show Celebi to anyone- we want you to stay safe.” She could picture her father’s proud, confident face. “Don’t worry, Alexi. You’ll be brilliant.” She imagined telling this face that she had lost Celebi, one of the rarest and most valuable pokemon in existence, because it had been taken from her when she couldn’t handle losing a stupid tournament. Nothing was worth that, she decided in her mind, and instead of bringing out her only other pokemon, she faced Wurmple, which had climbed up onto Alexi’s shirt and was making its way to her head, pointed at Crawdaunt, and said, in a very stern voice “String shot attack, now!”

Wurmple immediately reacted and shot a sticky string of thread from its mouth; the gooey substance hit Alexi in the face like a mouthful of spray cream as she was finishing her command, and Alexi doubled over, coughing and spluttering, ripping Wurmple from her shirt.

The crowd exploded in laughter, ten times worse than before. Most of the trainers couldn’t stand up- they were rolling around on the floor, chuckling uncontrollably or had their faces buried in their laps, trying to stem the heavy flow of hysteria from escaping out their mouths. Alexi spat the string shot from her mouth and wiped it from her face, holding her wriggling Wurmple at arms length.

“Wurmple, wuurrrrmp,” Wurmple squirmed, as it struggled to get free.

Alexi drew the pokemon to her eyes and stared at it, eyes popping from her skull.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHH!” she screamed, and threw Wurmple at Crawdaunt in a rage.

Wurmple hit its opponent with a slap, and landed at its feet. Stefan was caught daydreaming, suddenly coming to life in an effort to try and combat this unusual attack from his desperate opponent.

“Um… Crawdaunt, use vicegrip!” he said, thrown off guard.

Crawdaunt snatched up the Wurmple with its claws and snapped viciously, almost cutting the bug pokemon in two. Wurmple’s eyes popped out from its squishy head, and it gave one last, raspy cry, “Wurm…”, before it fainted in Crawdaunt’s hands.

Crawdaunt let the pokemon drop to the ground and Alexi recalled it into its pokeball, with as little movement as possible. The crowd was still laughing uncontrollably. The official that was in charge of the match came forward and declared Stefan the winner of the match, as Alexi’s pokemon had fainted without being harmed.

Alexi bowed her head in shame as the official rose Stefan’s arm in the air in victory. Stefan looked a little ashamed of what his pokemon had done; he was obviously aware that Alexi was a beginning trainer and shouldn’t have battled in the competition at all. His grey-blue eyes took hold of Alexi’s, and he took pity on her. Alexi had her short hair over her face in shame, but she looked up at her opponent as he took his hand back from the official and walked towards her.

“Good match,” he said, and offered his hand for Alexi to shake. Alexi’s face faded rapidly to a violent shade of crimson and she turned away from Stefan. She shoved her hands deep into her pockets, grunted a reply to him, and shuffled off sheepishly out the Gym doors.

She had to walk half the length of the gigantic gym to get to them, and as she did so, the crowd applauded sarcastically. As she walked past them, her audience got to their feet and gave Alexi a sickening standing ovation. Alexi scuffed her shoes on the ground and shuffled towards the exit, her face burning, murdering herself for what she had just put herself through. It was the most humiliating moment of her entire life.

When the pristine glass doors slid themselves open, Alexi ran through and out into the open air and dropped her limp self onto the grassy hill that led out from the gym. She lay there for ten minutes, the events of the tournament running through her mind. The image of Mary sitting there cacking herself with the rest of the spectators had burnt itself into her mind. Her best friend had been laughing along with everyone else, had been laughing at her shame with the rest of the idiots. Is that what friends are like? she asked herself. Maybe that’s how everyone is in the real world. Maybe that’s how friends are supposed to act. She lay, staring at the sun, thinking about her friend for what seemed like years until she finally pulled herself up from the grass and made her way into Nouvella Town, to find the Pokecentre.

Her father had told her about Pokecentres when she was little- he had often told Alexi about trainers who went around the world, battling each other, and how important the Pokecentres were for healing your pokemon. He had also showed Alexi some other methods of healing Pokemon- natural methods, using herbs and roots, which he used on the island if any of the pokemon got really sick. He and her mother both knew a lot about taking care of pokemon- they had never told Alexi what they had been before they came to the island, but Alexi had always had an inkling that they were doctors or nurses of some sort. In any case, although there were some aspects of pokemon training Alexi was a little rusty on, she was well informed about the importance of Pokecentres.

The Nouvella Pokecentre sat in the middle of town, overlooking the vast ocean that impended onto the coast. Alexi wandered in to the center and sat down on one of the little plastic chairs that lined the wall. Nurse Joy was looking after someone’s Scyther- it had sustained quite a large injury from some kind of battle, it had large cuts in its sides and its blades were sawn and ragged. There was a gruesome-looking wound at the base of its left arm, which looked like it could get infected.

Alexi looked on with mild interest as Nurse Joy treated the pokemon; rubbing a stinging antidote into the cuts and bandaging its blades with caution. The nurse would tip a small bottle of clear liquid into a cotton bud and pat the wet bud onto Scyther’s skin, and Scyther would hiss and spit at his trainer. Scyther looked in horrific pain- Alexi couldn’t tear herself away from its pitiful face, warped in agony. The pokemon was breathing heavily and its trainer looked worried.

As Alexi observed the scene, she wondered what the drive was behind pokemon training, and battles; what the point was to pit these animals against each other to compete. It didn’t seem like the pokemon much enjoyed the treatment, it was certainly very dangerous, and it didn’t seem like the kind of thing a pokemon would do in the wild. Violence itself was a very new concept to Alexi- the idea of survival of the fittest had not yet dawned upon the girl and she hadn’t yet realized that there would be more to success than smiling sweetly and being polite.

Once the Scyther was treated, its trainer took it graciously from Nurse Joy, and she came over to Alexi to help.

“How may I help you?” she asked politely.

“Oh,” Alexi started, trying to think of the best way to explain. “My Wurmple is hurt.”

Alexi released her Wurmple, and its limp body fell against the floor. There was a large cut in its side from where Crawdaunt had grabbed it. Nurse Joy took the pokemon with a smile.

“I’ll be right back,” she said, and disappeared behind the counter.

A few moments later, Nurse Joy returned with Wurmple happily crawling up her arm.

“Your Wurmple’s fine now,” she said. “It was very hurt though. Don’t overexert your pokemon so much, you’ll hurt them. From now on, you need to treat Wurmple with a lot of extra care, as it is still recovering.”

Alexi took her pokemon in her hands and felt a pang of guilt stick in her throat. She thanked Nurse Joy and took from the Pokecentre, heading back to the Gym but turning and instead walking back to Blackwood forest.

Alexi’s mind sped up as she marched through the forest undergrowth. The jeers from the crowd were still fresh from her mind, and Stefan’s disappointed face was etched into her head forever.

I could have beaten him, she thought to herself. They think I’m the weakest pokemon trainer in the world, well, the jokes on them. I’ve got Celebi here, I have Celebi here on my belt to protect me. Celebi is mine, one of the rarest and most valuable pokemon in the world. One of the most powerful.

But what was the point? She had one of the most powerful pokemon in the world at her command, but she didn’t know how to use it. She couldn’t show it to anyone, she couldn’t show it off. She couldn’t boast. And if nobody knew, it’s like it didn’t exist. If she wasn’t allowed to use Celebi, what was the point of having her?

“You’re useless!!!!!” she screamed at the apricorn ball, ripping it off her belt and shoving it in her face. She threw it at a tree and it hit it with a thunk.

Alexi finally let the tears she had held back since the Tournament flow freely, and they spilled out of her eyes and cascaded down her cheeks. Her pupils grew red and her voice grew hoarse as she cried to herself, because nobody else would understand.

She howled at the forest, and the trees and the dirt that was all that kept her company.

And the forest howled back.

A huge wind smashed through branches and twigs and picked up debris and dirt off the surface off the ground. Trees creaked with the force of it, nuts and berries fell from the branches. Leaves smacked against trunks. Alexi’s short hair shot upwards in the wind, and her clothes billowed outwards. And, from the center of the forest, in the crooked, knarled trees, was a terrible moaning.

Alexi was reminded of the legend Mary had told her that morning. Somewhere in the forest was a horrible beast.


----------------------------------------


Alexi picked herself up and ran through the forest back to Nouvella, turning back at the last minute when she remembered the Apricorn ball she had left. She grabbed it, shoved it in her bag, wind still screaming through the woods, and sped off back to the gym again, not aware of how fast her nerves had made her.

When she reached Nouvella Gym, Mary and William were outside waiting for her. William waved when he saw her, and she came to join them.

“Where did you go?” Mary asked angrily. “We’ve been waiting for ages. That big, fat, ugly Crawdaunt beat me ages ago, and we didn’t know where you were, so we had to stand outside and wait- it’s been nearly half an hour!”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Alexi apologized. “I went for a walk.”

“Yeah, well, before you run off on your little walks next time, why not think about other people? I thought you were meant to be my best friend. Come on, we’re going home.” Mary marched off back the way Alexi had gone, and William followed, producing his Machoke from its pokeball to protect them.

The walk home was stressful, and silent. Mary was obviously very hurt that her over-trained pokemon had lost the contest that she had counted on winning, and was being very cranky towards Alexi, which left her with nobody to talk to. William thought it best to keep his mouth shut.

Mary didn’t calm down till later that night- Jill had kindly let Alexi stay another night, until she figured out where she was headed, and Alexi was lying awake in Mary’s room again. Mary was chatting away in the dark, as seemed almost tradition for her.

“It’s a pity about the contest. It was obviously rigged- they only wanted Crawdaunt to win, because it’d make a good Gym Leader pokemon, seeing as Nouvella’s a fishing town and all. Plus, they probably just had the hots for that guy, the one with the weird hair,” Mary ploughed on.

“I’ve been meaning to ask you, Alexi,” she stopped unexpectedly. “Why did you send Wurmple out to battle that guy today? Why didn’t you use your other pokemon? The one I saw in the forest yesterday evening.”

Alexi’s heart stopped. Her muscles clenched. What was she supposed to do now? “Ummm…what pokemon?” she tried.

“Oh, don’t play silly games with me,” Mary replied. “I saw you with it. It was green, and it was hovering in the air. The one you pretended you didn’t have when we rescued you from the Poochyena.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Alexi lied. “The only pokemon I have is Wurmple.”

“Oh, come on!” Mary retaliated. “As if your parents would let you out of the house with just a Wurmple! You expect me to believe that? No, come on, tell me, what pokemon is it? It’s your starter. Is it a Bulbasaur? They’re really rare round here.”

“No, it’s not Bulbasaur,” Alexi said.

“Oh, so you do have another pokemon then?” Mary declared defiantly. “Go on, you’ve let it slip now- tell me what it is.”

“No!” Alexi shouted, a little louder than she’d hoped.

“Huh? Why not? What’s the problem?” Mary pushed. “Why can’t you tell me? I’m your best friend in the whole world. You can tell me anything.”

“No, Mary, I can’t. I can’t tell you this. Just trust me, alright? Just…leave it. I can’t tell anyone. Please?”

Mary seemed to need a few minutes to think about her answer to this.

“Alright then. If you feel that way about it, I won’t hassle you any more. It’s obviously a really big secret you’re keeping, and I’m your best friend in the whole world, so I’m not going to push that. I guess I’ll just have to keep guessing, if you’re not going to tell me.”

Mary’s response was surprisingly mature.

“Yeah,” Alexi said, taken aback. “That’s a good way of thinking about it.”

“Well, we should really get some sleep,” Mary said. “It’s nearly midnight. Goodnight, Alexi.”

“Goodnight, Mary,” Alexi replied. “Thanks heaps. You’re a good friend.”

“I know,” Mary said, and she rolled over and fell silent.

Alexi lay in bed, thinking to herself. She really did have one of the best friends in the world, she had been very lucky to find someone like that as soon as she started on her journey. Life would be easier now, knowing that whatever happens, Mary would be there. Alexi dropped off into dreamland, sleeping pleasant thoughts about her newly mature friend.

---------------------------------------


Alexi dreamt of calm things that night. She was walking across a cobbled street, lit with brilliant, colourful lights lining the street. It was night- the stars were glittering different shades of green and crimson, and the colours bounced off the shiny cobblestone street. Shop windows, iced with snow, slept soundly, the lights dim on the displays in their windows- old teddy bears and wooden trains, trays full of cream buns and cakes, and delicate glass ornaments balanced on little shelves.

As Alexi walked through the street, she heard footsteps come towards her. Around a corner walked a portly Slowking, nose red and rosy, sporting a jet black bowler hat. As Alexi passed it, it tipped its hat and smiled in recognition. Alexi skipped in joy at the charming chivalry of the Slowking. She continued walking through the streets happily, passing lit lampposts burning merrily beside her.

She noticed dark shadows fly across the lamp flames occasionally- a black bird was flying overhead. A Murkrow. An unlucky omen.

The stars above grew dark as clouds hit them from view- the playful coloured lights disappeared. The lamps flickered, now the only source of light in the cold, empty street. A breeze flew up through the street, and chilled Alexi’s spine. The wind picked up. Alexi recalled the howling sound of the beast in the forest coming from behind her. She quickened her step, and shoved her hands deep in her pockets to protect them from the cold.

Ahead of her, she heard a cry of help from a pokemon. A squeal of distress shot through the street, and Alexi began to run to the source of the noise.

“What’s wrong?” she cried. “What’s wrong, Celebi?”

Alexi became aware of her own voice talking and slipped back into consciousness.

“What’s wrong…oh,” she said to nobody, as she sat bolt upright in bed.

It was dark in the bedroom, but there was a faint green light flickering under the curtains- something was outside.

Alexi leant over to the bed which Mary slept on- Mary had gone, her blanket strewn across the mattress. Alexi’s bag, sitting at the foot of the bed, was unzipped and open, her spare pokeballs tossed across the floor.

Panicking, Alexi immediately grabbed her bag and checked through it.

Her apricorn ball was gone.

Again, Alexi heard the distressed calls of her Celebi, this time for real, coming from outside the window.

She threw herself across to the curtains, and ripped them open. Through the window, she saw Mary, holding her precious apricorn ball in one hand, and clutching Celebi’s foot with the other. Celebi was struggling fiercly, pulling with all its might upwards, into the sky, away from the unknown trainer. Alexi snapped.

“Hey! You! Let go of my pokemon!!!” She smacked her fist against the window, and Mary turned around. Startled, Mary let go of Celebi, and it took off into the sky. Alexi didn’t wait around to see any more- she ran out the bedroom door, and pushed the front door open violently, stepping out into the chilly air.

Alexi was fuming- fog lifted off her warm body as she marched around the side of the house. She reached Mary quickly, and stormed up to her, wild with rage.

“What the hell do you think you’re playing at? What the hell is all this? I thought you were my friend, you little rat! I told you I couldn’t tell you about Celebi, I told you I didn’t want you to know, and you said that was fine! I thought you were more mature than this, I thought you were better than this. How dare you go through my things while I’m asleep, how dare you! What kind of friend do you think you are? You lying little weasel, you little toad!”

Alexi smacked Mary across the face with her fist, without even realizing what she was doing, and she collapsed onto the ground with the shock. A drop of blood fell on the grass from Mary’s battered nose.

“What did you do that for?” Mary retaliated. “God, calm down, for heaven’s sakes! What did you think I was gonna do? Just leave you sleeping with a legendary pokemon in your bag?”

“Shut up,” Alexi said quietly. “Just shut up, now.”

“You didn’t actually think I wanted to be your friend, did you? I saw you with Celebi in the forest, I saw it that day, I knew I could get it, I could become the owner of one of the legendary pokemon, if I got close to you.”

“SHUT UP!”

“You actually believed all that best friend bull I fed you? People aren’t like that, Alexi. People don’t just decide to be friends. You’re a boring little pathetic loser with a haircut like a wet ferret, why would I want to be friends with you? Because you’ve got a Celebi, that’s why. That’s all there is to it, that’s the only reason there is.”

At the mention of Celebi, Alexi’s train of thought skidded off the rails, and hit a tree.

“Celebi? Where did you put her? Where did you hide her?” she demanded, screaming at Mary, who was still lying in the ground, holding her bleeding nose.

“Oh, I haven’t got a clue, the stupid ugly little thing wouldn’t listen to a word I said- as soon as I let it out, it tried to run away. So I let it go- its probably long gone now, flew off to a different timespace, I imagine. Better go run after it- quickly now! Before it disappears, before your mummy and daddy find out!”

It might have been coincidence Mary mentioned Alexi’s parents at this point, but as soon as she did, Alexi felt a deadweight drop into her stomach. She scanned the forest ahead of her- she could still see a faint green light glimmer over the trees- Celebi hadn’t left yet, there was still time to catch her. She snatched for the apricorn ball still in Mary’s hands.

“Give me that, you thief,” she shrieked, and ripped the ball out of Mary’s hands. Mary screamed in rage and grabbed Alexi’s leg with her other hand.

“You’re not going anywhere. If I can’t have Celebi, nobody can,” Mary spat hysterically.

Alexi pulled at her leg, but Mary had a strong grip. Her fingernails were digging into Alexi’s calves. Alexi roared in pain.

“Let go!” she screamed, and ripped Mary’s fingers from her leg. Mary fell backwards into the side of the house.

As Mary threw her arm back involuntarily, Alexi noticed somethign carved into the back of her wrist. It was a sliver of green, curled like a vine, the outlines of leaves visible.

Alexi buried the thought, took her chance at escape and, thinkign quickly, ran, not straight into the forest but instead back into the house. She barged into Mary’s room and scooped up her suitcase and bag with all her belongings in it. She bolted out the front door, smacking Mary, who had gotten up and made her way to stop Alexi from getting away, over the head with her suitcase as she went.

Alexi sprinted into the forest without another thought, weaving in and out of trees to try and throw off her pursuer.

Mary followed, crazed, looking for Celebi more than Alexi, but desperate to stop Alexi form recapturing the pokemon before she did.

The twisted trees cut out any inlking of moonlight which could have escaped through to light Alexi’s way- almost immediately, she was stumbling blindly, in complete blackness again, feeling her way around trees in search of Celebi’s light. Every now and then, she caught a glimpse of it though the branches, but it faded as soon as she reached it.

As soon as Alexi was completely lost, the morbid howling started again from deep within the forest’s stomach. She stumbled on nonetheless, desperate to find Celebi again and not to disappoint her father.

She felt so stupid for shouting at her pokemon now- Celebi was her only guardian, he only contact to her home, to the world she knew. Celebi was the only thing familiar at all in this new, scary landscape. She remembered something Mary’s father, William, had said to her. “You can trust a person but you can never trust a pokemon.” She realized now that it was the other way round- that humans were the ones you couldn’t trust, that pokemon didn’t have the ability to lie, or cheat, or steal. Pokemon were innocent, like she was, and lost, like she was, amongst horrible people.

As these melancholy thoughts span through Alexi’s mind, she caught sight of Celebi’s light again, this time a little closer than before. She reached out in front of her, felt for a tree, and stumbled on. She pulled herself closer to the light, trying to make as little sound as possible. Celebi was very close now, so close Alexi could hear it, she could feel it. The forest began to sway, and a blue glow rose from the trees. Celebi was preparing herself to time travel.

Alexi stepped forwards, slipped on a rock, and fell through a bush into the clearing where Celebi stood, now shining a bright white. Without a second thought, she ran to her pokemon and embraced it powerfully, clutching Celebi in her arms.

The white light that surrounded Celebi swept through Alexi, and as it did so, Celebi shot through Alexi’s hands and up into the sky. Alexi managed to grab hold of its foot before ot flew away, up into the night.


-----------------------------------


When the white light faded, Alexi was hovering above Blackwood forest. The forest was alight, a monstrous fire sweeping through it. She turned her head to Goodeview, and noticed a figure running to the forest. The figure resembled a woman, draped in a dark cloth.

The flames of the fire flickered against the night sky, and cinders rose as trees burned to their deaths. Out of the heat, a huge blue lizard erupted, and shot through the sky nimbly before dissolving into the flames again.

Celebi glowed a bright turqoise, trying to shake Alexi off her, back into the future. As she struggled to hold on to her pokemon's foot, Alexi looked down.

Below her stood a huge cream beast she knew only too well, uprooted trees revealing the path the monster had taken through the burning wood so far.

Alexi let go of Celebi’s foot and fell.


----------------------------------------------


In a second flash of white, Alexi landed with a thump, in the clearing she had taken off from. The wet moss which her head rested on was more comfortable than an attempt at moving, so she closed her eyes and began to dream.

She slept lightly, once again left utterly alone.

The wood kept on, and the wind blew cold.

Pinecone Tortoise
18th December 2005, 4:44 AM
Well, I have to say, I like this version a lot better. It still has the viciousness of the previous version, but goes about it in a way that is less vicious for the reader to read. IMO, at least.

You cut the egg? *shrug* I like this ending a bit better - it doesn't even have the potential of clichedness the other one did. It's more atmospheric as well.

Another point I noted - you said what numbers people got with the actual numbers. I think the convention (or preferred option) is to write the word out instead of just typing the number. Just a tiny point - it only came up twice.

So... she's lost her Celebi and now has only Wurmple for protection. (Incidentally, I'm a fan of the Wurmple. Poor thing. ^^) I really liked the battle scene, but I was slightly disappointed that there wasn't more personality revealed in the pokemon. I mean, sure, the Wurmple is quite a character, but I got the feeling from Celebi that it was more just an animal - not mindless, but lacking in character. As a personal preference, I like to see pokemon as characters in their own right. And if Celebi returns, I'd like to see her character fleshed out a bit more.

Speaking of Celebi, why didn't she drive off Mary on her own? Alexi mentions that Celebi is a powerful pokemon, but what powerful pokemon can't defeat a little human? Oh well, with Celebi out of the picture for now, Wurmple has a time to shine! *cheers* Go Wurmple! Go Wurmple!

Anyway, I reckon you've done an incredible job with this. It reads easily and there's a real atmosphere starting to form. ^^ Congratulations! Good luck for next chappie!

Piney.
;204;;324;

Chaos Absol
18th December 2005, 6:57 PM
wow.When you said plot twist, I though you meant like she was leaving or something.It was abit longer then I hoped, if it stopped around the part where the wind was everywhere in the forest it would've fit more to me.But meh.Mary was like, kamikaze to get that celebi, wonder why?
And what was that mark around her wrist from?Vine whip?
Well I could be here for alot longer of a time, but I wont be.I found no mistakes in spelling o grammar so I give this chapter 9.0/10.0

Saffire Persian
21st December 2005, 2:27 AM
Wurmple! XDXD.. I love your choice there, and as I read through this, you're actually doing a nice job with the Celebi thing.. XD haha.. it won't listen to her.. and now it's gone...

You have no idea how much amusement I get from that, though I should technically be feeling sad for Alexi....

Each chapter, you seem to be improving, and I'm beginning to very much like your style as I've finally read more of your work. ^^.. I wonder if she'll get Celebi back though..hmm... interesting thought. I could give criticism, but as I've just read a few chapters at a time, I don't feel up to doing every single one.. XD Whenever you post a new chapter, I'll give you a real review.

I'm also wondering if Alexi is in a different time period, now.. 0_o... with all the flashes of light and that.

Oh ^^.. And make sure to check this thread on the Night Before Christmas.. or Christmas..whenever I get to it... ^^ You'll prolly find something.

Sike Saner
22nd December 2005, 5:15 AM
*nods* I like this. Especially as it does appear to be taking a somewhat darker direction with each chapter in succession. Yummy. Alexi's one of those characters about whom I find myself really caring to see what happens next; considering what a sheltered existence Alexi came from, she's clearly got a lot to learn - and the more of it she learns the hard way, the better, I say. >=) Oh, and Mary? Kinda freaky, that girl is...I like it. ^_^ And what's with the curious, grass-related symbols she wore? Hmm...Interesting stuff on the horizon, I suspect. Boss. ^_^

Here's a couple of highlights. Just the stuff I found myself really liking for whatever reason:


Hindsight now came to her. What Alexi needed now, more than anything else, was another pokemon. Celebi wasn’t going to be much use to her if she couldn’t let anyone see it, and sooner or later she was going to run into someone who would want to know what pokemon she had. She could use Celebi to catch one, althought she wasn’t sure how; if she was smart, she would have caught the very first Hoothoot she had seen, put Celebi away in her bag, taken for the town and pretended that the legendary pokemon she had possession of didn’t exist. Hindsight, she realised, was never a good thing for positive reinforcement.

That just reads tastily, that section there. I like that last line, especially.


“Right then Celebi, I want you to catch Wurmple for me! Here, take this pokeball.”

Celebi turned at looked at Alexi in disbelief. There was an awkward pause as Alexi waited for her pokemon to respond to her outrageous command. Celebi blinked sarcastically.

“Ok then…attack it…so I can catch it myself. But don’t use any attacks that might kill it, or hurt it too much. Just weaken it a little bit, kinda. Sort of. Ok then, don’t.”

XD Ah, that was great. In addition to all the great, creepy elements, you also get some nice humor in there, too.


She screamed for help through a mouthful of dirt and doghair; she could still hear Celebi’s sweet song as she felt herself grow faint. Her head was throbbing- the barking, stinking jaws that snapped at her face felt a million miles away. Alexi’s eyes rolled back into her skull and she blacked out, the putrid stench of Poochyena slobber still fresh in her mind.

Ooh, nice. Very-well described; makes me not want to ever be attacked by a pack of dogs...not that I ever did want to, mind. :P I think I also like this because it's just one of those "ew" moments. ^_^ "Putrid stench"...*shudders*


Machoke advanced on the bug pokemon as it lay on its back, squirming helplessly. Machoke raised a chunky foot and slammed it down into Spinarak- its stomach exploded through its head, and its guts splattered across the forest floor.

O_O Okay, no, that last thing I cited, with the dogs? That was not an "ew" moment. THIS is an "ew" moment. XD That's just flippin' awesome. :D


“String shot attack, now!”

Wurmple immediately reacted and shot a sticky string of thread from its mouth; the gooey substance hit Alexi in the face like a mouthful of spray cream as she was finishing her command, and Alexi doubled over, coughing and spluttering, ripping Wurmple from her shirt.


Alexi drew the pokemon to her eyes and stared at it, eyes popping from her skull.

“AHHHHHHHHHHHH!” she screamed, and threw Wurmple at Crawdaunt in a rage.

Two examples of why if ever youre feeling blue, all you need is Wurmple. Wurmple will bring a laugh to any day. XD Love that stuff. *hugs you, then Wurmple* *notices Wurmple slime* Ewww...


She howled at the forest, and the trees and the dirt that was all that kept her company.

And the forest howled back.

WHOA. O_O Crap, that was cool…Seriously. That's the kind of thing that sticks with you. Very nice.


Around a corner walked a portly Slowking, nose red and rosy, sporting a jet black bowler hat. As Alexi passed it, it tipped its hat and smiled in recognition.

I JUST LOVE THAT MENTAL IMAGE! ^__________^ Man, I wish my dreams contained things like that...


The wood kept on, and the wind blew cold.

One of the best chapter endings I've ever encountered. It's just cool, and you know it.


Well, this is quite enjoyable, and rather addictive, to boot. I'll definitely be coming back for more of this. Boss work you've done, here. ^__^

cyndaquil_dratini
22nd December 2005, 2:21 PM
Wow, thanks everyone for the positive feedback. Sike saner, I'm so flattered bout everythign you said, you seem to like everything I like about my writing style...which is really good. Unfortunately, the next chapter of two is toned down on the dark depressing stuff, which I enjoy writing, but I also think is important to keep control of. The next chapter shall be return of the cornyness!!!, but I say...gosh, darned heck monsters this is a story about POKEMON! We're writing about POKEMON here! I'm gonna make it corny in some bits and thats just how it is.
But, yeah, I'm glad everyones picking up on the 'mystery' of the whle thing. There's a huge underlying plot which gets revealed in a few chapters time (return of the dark depressing stuff, sorry piney)
Mmm, but that's what's to come. I'm glad, Sike Saner, you approved of the Spinarak. We learn more bout that next chapter, its one of those things everyone has an opinion on- I think it's really interesting, the power words have. People can watch scary movies and not cringe, and people can actually do that to bugs and things and not think anything of it, but when it's down in words, its powerful, and it has an effect.
I'm so glad everyone loves Wurmple. Wurmple is cool, and it gets more personality next chapter, so I hope I've set everyone up for that nicely- Wurmple's very important to the next bit in the story.

I'm glad this 'dark twist' wasn't too dark- and I'm glad people enjoyed the ending, because, as Piney knows, it was changed at the last minute. There's much more to come of this story, lots of unanswered questions become clear- especially at chapter 7-8, but after that too. The vine symbol's keeping you all intrigued, I'm glad. Like I always say, keep reading, there's lots more to come.

StellarWind
22nd December 2005, 5:11 PM
Read the latest chapters and I must say - great work. ^_^ Honestly, I suspected Mary had a selfish reason for 'you're my best friend! ^^' from the very beginning.

Heh. And now she was abandoned by Celebi. Nice way of getting rid of an excess legendary. ^_^ Nice.

The fire and the monster of Alexi's dreams... Have they really happened (in the future or otherwise?) or did she just have another vision dream thing?

And yeah... I find myself pitying her from moment to moment. Excellent work on writing a character so clueless and gullible - suitable for a 13 year old that had no contact with the human world since her birth.

Keep up the good work.

Saffire Persian
24th December 2005, 6:25 PM
Nice job! I enjoyed the next few chapters.. XD.. All I can say right now, Wurmple rocks, even if it lost that battle.. which, I suppose, it had to chance to win to begin with.

But in order to spread the Christmas Cheer, I decided to make my friends in the Fanfiction community, here, banners! So I made one for your story. You can find it Here (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v290/Belle_starlia/alexi.jpg)

cyndaquil_dratini
29th December 2005, 1:05 AM
Here's chapter five of Alexi. Lots more Wurmple, though I've refrained from having my pokemon speak like normal people, unless the listener is "special", but that's further on- I wrote another really long chapter (14 pages) so I've had to split it again, which means Chapter Six is ready whenever I feel like posting it. It'll probably come pretty soon.

Without further ado, I give you Chapter Five of Alexi!

Chapter Five- What Alexi Found In The Middle Of The Forest


A little blue egg wriggled in the breeze near Alexi’s sleeping body, invisible in the dark of the night.

Alexi woke the next morning to a much different place than she had thought she had fallen asleep in. Blackwood Forest was alive- green and brown surfaced everywhere, flowers and leaves sprouted on every bough- and little shoots had appeared all over the branches and trunks of the once-grey trees. The forest had been visited by Celebi- while it was under the (somewhat uncertain) command of Alexi, its powers had been harnessed and kept from affecting anything, but as soon as it took flight from its pokeball, the forest came under the effects of Celebi’s visit. Now, as morning light revealed it, Blackwood hardly lived up to its name any more, although the bark of the trees was still notably darker than the trees Alexi remembered from the Sanctuary. The forest seemed a much safer, happier place than it had the night before.

Even if the place she woke was serene and pretty, Alexi felt less than comfortable lying in it. Her neck was strained and her sides were aching- the forest floor obviously didn’t agree with Alexi as much of a substitute for a bed. Her head was also aching- less with pain, more with worry. What would her parents say when they found out what had happened to her guardian pokemon? She could imagine her father’s face, shocked at how Alexi had mistreated her power and how useless Alexi was at being a trainer. Would she still have to be a pokemon trainer? How could she keep going without Celebi? All she had for protection was little Wurmple…

At the thought of Wurmple, Alexi reached for her bag. She still had plenty of pokeballs, Wurmple only took up one. Maybe it was time to catch a pokemon to replace Celebi- although no pokemon Alexi could hope to catch would be much substitute for the power of Celebi, at least it would be a pokemon Alexi could use in battle. It wasn’t much comfort, but it was enough.

Alexi picked up three or four pokeballs and attached them to her side. Then, as an afterthought, she let Wurmple out of its pokeball. She remembered telling herself she’d never keep her pokemon in there for too long, and still felt guilty for how she had treated Wurmple in the Nouvella tournament. Maybe some fresh air would do it good.

Wurmple popped out of its pokeball happily, sniffed the fresh morning air deeply, and then wriggled off to the nearest tree. Alexi watched it, intrigued. She observed Wurmple as it took bites out of the tree’s bark, ripping off little shreds that fell to the dirt. Then, Wurmple bit into the tree itself, which leaked sticky sap down its trunk. Wurmple stuck a little red tongue out and licked up the treat greedily like a cat drinking a bowl of milk, or a dog licking a wound.

Alexi smiled at her pokemon, and began to pack up her things. She was going to have to find somewhere more permanent to set up a home; Blackwood Forest was no place to live. As much as she hated the thought of returning to civilization, where people like Mary would be rife, Alexi decided the only thing she could hope to do to try and save herself was to try and find her way back out of the forest, to either Goodeview or Nouvella. To do that, she needed to find the dirt track she had followed the day before. Alexi knew that, if Mary was still in the forest somewhere, she would be sticking to the track she knew. Not even her brawly father dared to stray into the wild wood, although Alexi didn’t seem to have been eaten by Mightyena in the night that had passed. Alexi filled her mind with these kind of thoughts, tried to imagine the best way of discovering where the person she least wanted to see would be, picked up her suitcase and zipped up her bag, leaving Wurmple on its tree. And that’s when she noticed the egg.

Alexi thought she had imagined it at first, but she blinked, and the egg was still there. "Where did that come from?" she asked herself, and she picked the little egg up in her hands.

It didn’t look like anything special- just a little blue egg. It could have belonged to one of the Pidgeys or Spearows she had lived with back on the Sanctuary, only it was slightly larger and was just plain blue, no speckles like other eggs she had seen before. It intrigued her, so she kept it, and put it in her bag.

She turned back to recall Wurmple, but the worm pokemon looked so happy slurping up the sap that Alexi figured she may as well leave it there to finish its breakfast, and come back when she had a better idea of where she was headed. She didn’t stop to think about if Wurmple would be safe at the tree without her- this forest was its home, surely it would be able to look after itself? She kept her suitcase on her, just in case she found a good place to dump it before she returned, and with that thought, she headed off through the trees, looking for a way out.

Wurmple slurped at its sticky breakfast alone, unaware that its trainer had gone off and left it there. It was much too busy eating to notice anything, until a distinct wobble in the tree it was attached to let it know that something was sharing its eating space.

Wurmple stopped licking and turned its head to see what had joined it. On a branch parallel to Wurmple’s line of sight was a fat black bird with a bushy tail. The Murkrow cawed ominously.

“Wuuuurm…” Wurmple started, petrified. It very slowly started wriggling backwards down the trunk of the tree.

Murkrow rolled its eyes and stuck out its grizzly tongue.

“Krooooow” it croaked, and leant down towards Wurmple. It opened its beak.

Wurmple gulped, and it let go of its hold on the tree and fell to the forest floor with a plop. Terrified, the bug scrambled round on the forest floor, finding a cold, wet, dead leaf to hide underneath. On the ground, Wurmple realized the safest place it could possibly be was back inside its cramped little pokeball.

“WURMMM! WUUURMPLE!” it cried, but Alexi was too far gone to here it calling. “WURRRRRM!!!.”

Murkrow cackled from its branch, and then took flight. It scanned the forest floor and noticed the little wriggling leaf, and watched as the little worm wriggled out from under it and crawled desperately to cover somewhere else. Murkrow dived.

Wurmple shrieked and threw itself under a bush, and Murkrow’s beak hit the dirt with a dull thunk

“Krow, Mur mur Krow, kroooow….” the bird spat at Wurmple, and wobbled to its feet, falling on its feet towards the bush Wurmple had ran under.


------------------------------------------


Alexi didn’t walk for long before she heard the sounds of something coming near. If it was Mary, she would be saved, and if it was a pokemon, maybe she could try and catch it, although she’d have to just throw empty pokeballs at it like she did with Wurmple, as she had left her only pokemon back at the tree.

Alexi’s thoughts were interrupted by the source of the noise that had prompted her to hide. It was round, and glassy, and wore a brown, fat hat. The pokemon was a Seedot, the same kind of pokemon that Mary had. Alexi grinned. There couldn’t have been a luckier pokemon to spot. If the Seedot was Mary’s it would lead her back to the path- but if it led nowhere, Alexi could catch it herself, so either way, the outcome was good for her. The Seedot walked past Alexi, and Alexi decided that the smartest thing to do would be to follow it, and see if it led her back to the road. She crept after it carefully, leaves crunching underfoot.

Seedot trundled through the forest happily, right at home with the roots and shoots that grew out of the ground. "The forest must be full of them…" Alexi thought. "It’s the perfect habitat for Seedot. How odd to think the only Seedot I’ve seen since I’ve been in here have belonged to people- and I’ve spent more time in this forest than almost anywhere else. In fact, apart from Poochyena and Hoothoot, I’ve seen hardly any pokemon in Blackwood at all. The place should be full of them. Maybe they’re all hiding. But what’s there to hide from?" Alexi remembered the awful wind which came from the beast that lived somewhere deep in the forest, and the tales Mary had told her about how the wood was dangerous. Some kind of monster must have been driving all the pokemon that lived here into hiding- something really vicious, so that only the most vicious of Poochyena dared to venture out. Then Alexi remembered last night, when she had grabbed hold of Celebi and seen, for a few seconds, what the forest was like in some time in the past. The monster from her dream had been there. The monster had been in Blackwood, it had visited here once before. Could it be that the beast from Alexi’s dream lived somewhere deep in Blackwood, could it be there now? Something was lurking in the forest, something horrible.

Seedot bounced and tripped through the undergrowth ahead of Alexi, unaware it was being followed. As Alexi watched it, she noticed a shadow flash past her, in the distance, through trees far ahead. There was a figure nearby. In the shadows, Alexi could hardly tell anything about it, apart from that it wore a cloak, and a hood over its head. It raised a pokeball and recalled Seedot. They were nowhere near the path, so whoever it was couldn’t have been Mary.

“Seedot, return.”

And then the figure stepped forward, and noticed Alexi.


-----------------------------------------------------


Wurmple sweatdropped as it wriggled through the undergrowth, up and down roots and plants, through bushes, around trees, twisting its track every few steps to ensure a safe getaway from the Murkrow. As it ran, it could hardly glance ahead to see what was in front of it, let alone look out for its trainer, but a caw from above made Wurmple stop. There was a second Murkrow, perched high up in the tree, looking hungrily down at it.

“Krow, Krow, Kroooow," it said, in a voice croaky like cardboard.

Eyes wide in panic and breath heavy from all the crawling for its life it had been doing, Wurmple wriggled to the nearest tree, keen to find a hiding spot away from the vulnerable forest floor. Murkrow didn’t notice its prey climb up the tree, and was busy pecking in the grass below it when the second Murkrow appeared.

Thankful, Wurmple set about the business of finding a spot in the tree it could watch what was happening down below without being seen. Soon enough, it spotted a damp hole in the trunk where a branch used to be, and crawled over to it. It hadn’t noticed the little set of eyes lighting up the darkness, hadn’t realized that someone was already in that hiding place. Wurmple felt feathers brush its skin and recoiled in shock.

“HOOT!!!!!” The Hoothoot flapped its feathers and screeched at the intruder, and Wurmple lost its grip on the trunk and dropped to a branch below it.

Smacking into the branch, Wurmple’s suction feet grabbed air, and Wurmple slipped into a fern growing at the base of the trunk, which slapped as Wurmple’s weight hit it. The two Murkrow looked up at the sound, and bobbed over.

If Wurmple had its mind on other things, it may have noticed the human voices echo in the wood, as a father and daughter walked past, following a dirt road nearby- a Machoke tromping close behind. As the trespassers came, Oddish and Paras appeared from nooks and crannies in forest plants and trees nearby and fled for their life, away into a deeper part of the wood. But the Murkrow paid no attention to the rowdy visitors, who were talking rather loudly about a little blue egg, worth a small fortune, sitting unprotected somewhere in the forest. And Wurmple certainly didn’t hear them, as it was snatched from its fern by the larger of the two Murkrow and swallowed whole. It didn’t think for another second about the conversation on the blue egg- it was too busy being digested to think of anything, really.


--------------------------------------


“Hello? Who’s there?” the girl in the hood cried out.

Alexi stood perfectly still, contemplating her reaction. It had been a natural response to pretend to be invisible, but the more she thought about it, the more sense it made to introduce herself to this stranger. Surely, they would know the way out of the forest?

Alexi stepped out from behind the tree and faced her accompanier. The girl she saw was young, younger than Alexi, and the hooded cloak she wore was bright red. She had deep brown eyes not unlike Mary’s, but her light brown hair was long and tangled- it looked like it hadn’t been brushed in years. Her face was dirty, and her expression was that of wonderment and awe at the person she had found. It was as if she had never met a stranger in her life- like the only people she ever saw were the ones she knew already.

“I’m Alexi.” Alexi introduced herself, and held out her hand. “I’m lost.”

“My name is Greta,” the girl said in a very matter-of-fact way, as if she was reeling off a speech she had practiced over and over. She seemed to not need to think at all about the words she was saying, they simply slipped from her mouth like air.

“If you are lost, you should follow me, for I will lead you to safety, but as you are a stranger, I feel I cannot trust you, and so will try to lose you on my way back home. You will not be welcome there, but you will follow me regardless, as curiosity will overrule any other instinct you might have. And now, I must depart. Goodbye.”

The little girl called Greta turned and ran through the forest, and without thinking, Alexi bolted after her. “Wait, stop! Talk to me more, I don’t understand you! What are you saying?”

Greta was pounding through the trees, barely visible. Alexi ran not knowing where she was treading, following only the flashes of red hood in front of her.

“Where are you going? I want to talk to you more! Please, help me! Stop running!”

Trees whipped past Alexi’s face and her feet twisted into unnatural positions as she struggled to keep herself upright, running through the thick forest. Soon she was clambering through branches and vines, pulling sticky, spiky plants off her unwashed clothes.

The forest was getting thicker and thicker, and the sunlight slowly fading above her.
As she ran, Alexi became aware of the horrible wind picking up around her. Leaves on the branches she flew past clung to their stems for dear life.

The wind grew louder, and soon Alexi couldn’t hear her own feet crunching the ground as she ran. Her eyes strained against the air and tears flew behind her. All she could see was the little girl, up in front of her, sailing through the trees like a ghost. Then she stopped.

Alexi slowed down, then came to rest, leaning on her knees as she caught her breath. The wind was loud now, like a plane taking off, and drowned Alexi’s ears. The forest was barely light here, but there seemed to be sunlight streaming up ahead. Alexi took careful steps towards Greta, who was standing still, a few metres away.

“You can’t come here,” Greta said, not moving, her back still facing Alexi.

Alexi didn’t hear her, the wind now roaring through her hair. Greta’s cloak billowed out behind her where she stood. Alexi came towards her.

They were standing on the edge of a little valley, clear of any trees, where sunlight streamed in from the clear sky above. The forest grew around this place, kept it safe. In the valley were little houses, built of brick and straw and mud, chuffing white smoke from chimneys out into the open air. In the middle of the valley sat a large mud hut with a straw roof. There was a hole in the middle of the roof, and Alexi could see a large fire burning in the mud hut. A flock (murder?) of Murkrow flew round the place- Alexi had never seen one in daylight before. The valley, unlike the rest of the forest, was full of wild pokemon. Oddish and Ledyba bounded across the grass, skidding into dirt, chasing one another. Teddiursa sat licking their paws of honey, Butterfree flittered across the place. Seedot roamed around- they were plentiful here. Greta released her own Seedot, and it wandered down the slope to join them. None of the pokemon seemed to mind the huge wind blowing from the middle of their valley- it was as if they couldn’t feel it at all, although fur and feathers blowing in the wind made it obvious they did.

In the center of the little village, outside the mud hut, stood a wizened old Shiftry, throwing its huge, leafy arms about it, creating a gigantic storm. The Shiftry looked ancient, and was certainly powerful, and very angry. Next to the Shiftry stood a grotesque old woman with greasy black hair and an ugly black growth on her cheek. It seemed as thought she was commanding the Shiftry to cause the howling wind. The old woman looked up, and straight into Alexi’s eyes- her small, beady pupils penetrated Alexi’s sight. She shouted something that couldn’t be heard over the howling wind, and her Shiftry stopped its attack, and lowered its arms. The woman began slowly walking up the hill to Alexi, and Alexi retreated slightly, towards the trees.

“I told you you wouldn’t be welcome here. Demelza wants to speak to you,” Greta said, and she stepped back to make way for the old witch, hobbling up the hill. Alexi decided it was best to just take what was coming to her, and she stopped retreating and stood perfectly still.

Sike Saner
29th December 2005, 2:12 AM
Oops...so much for Wurmple. XD Oh well...

Now, I love Murkrow (and all corvine birds), so I'm glad to have seen them used here. Ditto Shiftry - frell, those things are freaky-looking. I just love them. ^^ The village sounds quite fascinating, and Demelza is definitely...ick, but...Greta's pretty frelling creepy, too. o_0


“If you are lost, you should follow me, for I will lead you to safety, but as you are a stranger, I feel I cannot trust you, and so will try to lose you on my way back home. You will not be welcome there, but you will follow me regardless, as curiosity will overrule any other instinct you might have. And now, I must depart. Goodbye.”

o_0 Yeah. Creepy...*backs away from Greta*

I see things turning in a very interesting direction from here. Very interesting, indeed.

IceKing
30th December 2005, 2:35 AM
Chapter 4 was the best so far! Ehh, Im really not feeling like a big review. I'm guessing from the fact you say PokeCentre that your British? First off, that battle in the gym was positively HILARIOUS! I literally burst out laughign when Alexi just picked and threw the Wurmple right at the Crawadaunt. I kept thinking Gary-Stu when you described how exceptionally hot that guy is (though I do that all the time in my fic XD), but he lost and it seems that he wont return, or will he? It was interesting seeing her muse over pokemon battles in the PokeCenter and Mary revealing her true side was teh aw3s0m3n3$$ (though not for Alexi). I kept thinking "That little *****!" in the Celebi escape scenes since Mary was being rather mean. At first I thought of Mary as childish and was astonished when Alexi hit her, but after reading those paragraphs I wished Alexi beat her up some more and perhaps had her fed to an Ariados (reference to squashing spinarak)! It was disappointing to see Celebi, her only protector, leave for good. Did you off her because of the legendary taboo here in SPPf? And I loved how Mary said that people just dont go "OMG!! WANA BE MY BEST FRIEND" because thats what I was thinking when Mary did that. ALso, I wanted to point out your descriptions and writing skills are improving GREATLY! You're an awesome writer now and expect some nominations from me!


Chapter 5 was quite disturbing. I liked the way you started it, but wondered how she survived such a great fall and what happened to the beast. I also liked how you described Wurmples happiness and how he ate from the tree and immediately dreaded it when Alexi left him alone. Alexi looking for a pokemon wasn't all that and a bag of chips, but Wurmple escaping the Murkrow was :) As soon as I saw the word Murkrow, I just said "Oh crap." I didn't think they'd try to eat him, but was obviously proven wrong. It was very nice to read his escape and I felt bad for the poor guy when he didnt find the hiding place. When I read that he was swallowed whole and was being digested I was like "WOAH" and my stomach dropped. Though normally I would haev said you shoulda made it more descripitive and gruesome, it was positively perfect the way it was. What else...Greta and Demelza (did you get that name from Harry Potter?) striked me immediately as witches, specifically from Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past. I wonder how they will fit in. The blue egg is definetely mysterious, perhaps it is the beasts egg? Maybe it will hatch and be her new pokemon??


to end this review...



R.I.P-Wurmple.



EDIT: Poor Piney, he was rootin that Wurmple on, I wonder what he'll think when he reads this?

cyndaquil_dratini
30th December 2005, 9:55 AM
Ahhhh, so many unanswered questions. Ypou've picked up on my habit of making every male in this fanfic incredibly gorgeous- hence the reason why my main character is female, not male like me (so she doesn't become a mary-sue or whatever).
I had no idea those names were from zelda, although I did notice Demelza in the Harry Potter book I was reading earlier today. I heard a friend talk about some long lost aunty or something called Demelza who was teaching English in France, so that's where that's from, although it doesn't seem as original after good ol' Harry copywrighted it- then again, I could have a character called Harry and you wouldn't notice- and Greta's kinda from Gretel, as in Hansel and Gretel, and kinda from my friend Greta Boots, whose name is both the best and worst name ever. And now stay tuned for this short plug...

Is Wurmple truly gone for good??

Is (was) Wurmple male or female? Or both?

Does Alexi find herself a plethora of new buddies or a few new enemies in this little forest village place?

Will Alexi ever see Mary and William, or Celebi, again?

Will we ever see sexy Crawdaunt boy again? (I'll give you a clue- he lost against Raichu but he won against Wurmple, so he's still in with a chance.)

Where's that blue egg from? What does it contain? What is its relevance in the story?
(actually, I've already given those things away, although its cleverly hidden within the plot of the chapter above...ooooh...)

And how will Alexi continue her pokemon journey without Celebi? How will her parents respond?

yeah, rereading that bit about Alexi deciding to catch a new pokemon, it is kinda dull...but I was really conscious that I should make everything Alexi does seem reasonable and not just out of the blue, and it seemed a plausible reason for her to go off and leave Wurmple all alone- and a good reason for her to follow Seedot too.

I'll see how many more reviews I get, and then I'll post chapter 7, which I shall probably end up calling "The Tragic Circumstances Concerning Demelza and the People She Surrounds Herself With,"(note my obsession with insanely enourmous titles- like the original Winnie the Pooh) and which will answer.....wait for it...ALL THESE QUESTIONS AND MORE!!!!!! )insert cheezy theme music. Hey. I wonder what the theme music to Alexi would sound like?......)

And Piney, if you need someone to talk to through this troubling time, you already know my addy- and remember, I knew Wurmple better than any of us.

Wink.

Pinecone Tortoise
1st January 2006, 12:17 PM
WUURRRRRRRMPLE!!!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!! SURVIVE! YOU CAN BEAT THAT MURKROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*tear* I refuse to believe that you've killed off Wurmple. We've had words to the effect that Wurmple rocks and I don't accept that you would simply kill off such a popular character.

Well, there's little I can say to this. But for some reason, the wording in the first part


She observed Wurmple take bites out of the tree’s bark, ripping off little shreds that fell to the dirt.

I reckon observed should be changed to watched or the sentence should be changed to "She observed Wurmple as it took bites out of the tree’s bark, ripping off little shreds that fell to the dirt."

Anyway, the plot is thick and twisting more complexly by the chapter. Good luck and have fun. ^^

Piney.
;204;;324;

Tezza
2nd January 2006, 1:49 AM
Review of the Review

I’m glad you acknowledge her parents as characters in themselves. We both know most people meet their parents for all of two seconds.

As for Alexi being illiterate. I was thinking more along the lines of a functional illiterate, the kind that have to sound out words, and frown, not a complete illiterate. However, whatever floats your toboggan. When it comes to the Goodes, it would have been better to have a balance. So far we’ve been sitting on a seesaw with Alexi’s family on one end and the Goodes on the other. Both at poles very far apart which made it difficult to swallow. An intermediate character would settle things down should it ever be rewritten.

A story should need Authors Notes to explain things. We are all aiming for a level of professionalism and next to no published authors have a “By the way” section, so don’t worry about we, the readers, and picking things for us. We’re just warning you in advance for points that could be taken to extremes. If you say things will turn out right, we’ll take your word for it but remember, readers will drop away.

A Mary-Sue always reasons things out. “She’s not a Sue because her hair is a knotty raven black and she only has controls of her powers on a full moon.” Definitely no accusations, just keep that in mind. If you have to tell us she’s not a Mary-sue, then she may very well be.

Personally, I don’t care about nasty, so long as its within the character of the story and the characters. This review would be so fawning, mostly because I can only say ‘you are so great at description!’ before it loses its impact. I’m still just as impressed with your writing, but writing doesn’t get better if I don’t point out mistakes.

The Review

We open up with a nice clear picture in our minds eye of the gym, well done, although remember word repetition. The word in question is “din”

Some of the ring leader’s dialogue doesn’t make sense.

“we make will not be entered into. However”

Not be entered into? I assume it means something along the lines of “we won’t fight about it, our decision is final.
Could be made clearer.

Your battle style is very much an act and react way of battling, feeling too much like the games with the Pokemon relying entirely on its trainer’s dialogue. It may very well be your intention but I like to see credit given where credit due. If it sees an opening, it should be able to attack with an order. We don’t feel in the middle of the battle, mostly because it lacks pronouns. Use *he* and *she*, it makes things personal. The descriptions are good, as always, but I want intensity! Pain, agony!

Alexi’s battle is much better. I love the picture in my head of Wurmple scrambling towards Alexi in fear. I can picture gushing anime tears.

…..OMG? Did Mary shout “Oh Em Gee!” or did she shout “Oh my god!” I assume the later was meant but what she actually shouted was O.M.G.

Alexi’s battle was marvellous! Just so newbie, how every trainer could start out and her reactions are even better. I like Alesi’s bitterness too. Keep it, it’s very becoming. A bitter pride could be the perfect Fatal Flaw (as aaaaalll classical heros have) for someone with a mysterious fate ahead of them

In the word’s of the masterful Terry Pratchett. "And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.” Use them too much and they lose their impact.

WAHOOO! GO YOU LITTLE LEGEND! *cackles gleefully* Good smack! My god that scene is perfect! Marvellous! Just so full of emotion. And the chase through the trees? Fa-antastic! Great descriptions. I… I’m replaying slapping the little cow inside my head. How satisfying! How realistic. Go mate!

A review of chapter five next time.

Saffire Persian
2nd January 2006, 7:01 AM
...>X.x.

Poor Wurmple, well, my tribute to him is that banner... may he rest in peace. Poor thing, being heckled by Murkrow....then BANG. The poor worm, I feel for him.

Oh, and thanks to the people at my bannershop who are hosting their banners off my account (which they are not supposed to, you're fine though) they ate up my bandwidth. It's due to be reset on the sixth, I'm gonna reupload it for you once it resets, sorry.. -_- didn't know so many people were leeching without permission.

Anyway, I wonder how Alexi will be fathoming when she realizes her little Wurmple was killed. Remorse? XD.. If she doesn't, I feel remorse for it tenfold.

A very interesting twist I would have never expected... 0-o.. As IceKing said: RIP - Wurmple.

Wah!

Good chapter, maybe one day I'll be able to return the review you gave me. XD...

Chaos Absol
6th January 2006, 4:23 AM
Silly people, didn't you see it say that wurmple was swallowed WHOLE? That means he may have a chance, as long as he fights off those digestive acids.

I have a geuss that the egg is a Lugia.Is it?

I liked this chapter but the plots are intertwining like a tree, so I'm getting confused. Oh well. I geuss I'll just have to wait until the next chapter to get my head outta a knot.

cyndaquil_dratini
6th January 2006, 8:30 AM
Thanks everyone for all your reviews- I'm glad people are so involved in this story.
Chaos Absol, you're right about some things and wrong about others. It's a huge honour that you're guessing at all though, keep it up, that's the kind of response I love. Haha, I'm not telling you whats right and whats wrong though, I've been doing way too much of that. All shall be revealed very shortly.

Tezza- you keep picking up things that seem like mistakes, but which I've made delibrate. I appreciate how thorough your reviews are- but, yeah, I did mean for Mary to say O.M.G...it was kind of a joke, but kind of what I can imagine Mary saying anyway. The "will not be entered into" sentence makes sense to me...maybe you haven't read as many bottoms of cornflake packets as I have. I take your point about how the story should run on its own withou me telling people things...but since this isnt a normal story, this is a fanfixc, whre you write chapter by chapter and people read little bit by little bit, I think there's a little leway here. Also- it all does make sense within the story, but it's fun to give hints and things in other posts too. Keeps people guessing, thats what I love.


I don't think Alexi is a Mary-Sue at all...I don' know where people are getting these ideas from. She hasn't done anything yet...

I'm glad everyone likes my twists, tis my forte, its the thing I like most about this story. There are so many more to come! heehee...oooh, I can't wait! *claps hands gleefully*

Nex chapter will be up when it's finished being BETA'd- I'm just not sure if I've fully explained everything satisfactorily (is that a word?) but once I'm sure tis perfect, I shall post it and you all can read it at your leisure. Hurrah!

cyndaquil_dratini
9th January 2006, 7:08 AM
Good morning everyone, I'm double-posting so people can find my new chapter. If that's wrong ,someone tell me and I shan't do it in future. Righto- here's chapter six. Oh, I shortened the title- tell me if you think it's better or not. Titles are important to me, for some reason.

Chapter Six- The Grimm View Of Things

Demelza came right up to Alexi, and poked her abnormally large nose in Alexi’s face. Her breath smelt of old food, and her teeth were black and rotten.

“I didn’t know we were expecting a visitor,” Demelza said. “You should have told us you were coming.”

She smiled.

“Welcome to Grimm Village,” she said, and put an arm around Alexi. “You’ll be right at home here.” The sentence was drooling sarcasm. “Come with me.”

Demelza ushered a bewildered Alexi to the large hut in the center of the village. The inside of the mud hut was dirty and cold, despite the roaring fire that took up most of the middle of the room. There was a distinct smell of burning leaves, and the air was thick with smoke. Wooden bowls sat on the outskirts of the fire, filled with berries and branches. A Paras skittered in one part of the round room, and Demelza sat crosslegged on the flat, thick floor. Alexi was standing at the door, unable to speak, let alone move. Shiftry stood behind her, its knobbly nose poking into her back. Demelza turned and shot a putrid, yellow glance at Alexi.

“Come, dear. Sit. Talk. Now.”

Alexi sat down, hands round her knees, next to Demelza immediately, without meaning to. The woman had a sternness in her voice that was hard not to obey automatically.

“Do you know where you are?” Demelza creaked, showing her rotten teeth again. Alexi didn’t answer, but curiosity shone from her eyes.

“This is Grimm Village. I am Demelza Boots, the founder of the village. Grimm, my dear, is a place of refuge. A home for people who have been exiled from everywhere else, who are no longer accepted by humanity. I am told you are lost, is that correct?”

Alexi didn’t speak again, almost out of shock. Greta hadn’t said a word to Demelza since she arrived, how could the woman possibly know she was lost?

“No need to answer, I know I’m right. I was simply trying to make you feel more comfortable about my knowledge. You are lost, in Blackwood, the forest of darkness- and you have come here for guidance? And yet, Grimm is a place for refuge, not guidance. Is that correct?”

Alexi kept her mouth shut, and looked straight into the fire. It had a green tinge to it.

“It is correct. Therefore, I should kill you.”

At Alexi’s obvious shock, Demelza continued with an explanation.

“Grimm is a very special place- a sanctuary. The people here come for safety, they are here in hiding- they are here to escape the rest of the world. An outsider who intends to return to their home with that kind of knowledge and tell the world about the people in Grimm would mean that every person living here would have their life ended. Grimm relies on secrecy, secrecy at all costs. Let me try and make it easier to understand. That girl, Greta, who led you here? Her and her mother came here with her grandmother, after the poor woman lost control of her mind in her old age, and went insane. The woman had been beaten her whole life- by her father, and then her spouse. She was ninety-four. Greta and her mother, Rosalie, took her here, into the forest that she had loved as a child, to take care of her until she passed away. Every time anyone came near her, she screamed until her throat was hoarse. When she died, she didn’t recognize the daughter and granddaughter who had spent their life looking after her. Do you see that as fair?”

Alexi continued to say nothing, though her mind pictured the innocence on Greta’s face and sympathized. Maybe this was an excuse for the girl’s somewhat unnatural behavior. Then again, maybe the village had done it to her…

“There is a girl here whose mother hadn’t meant to get pregnant and left her unwanted daughter in the forest one morning to die. The little girl would have died alone, but she befriended a Teddiursa. Teddiursa brought her here, and she lives with its family- she lives here on her own, with a Teddiura and two Ursaring. They have to steal porridge from the towns to survive. The girl has ribs like spiders’ legs and wrists like pencils, fragile as dust. These people, girl, these people deserve to be helped. Human cruelty made their life truly unfair, and they deserve to be given another chance- that is why I help them. And why do you deserve my help? Do you have parents that love you? Do you have a home to go to? Do you have a bed to sleep in? Do you have friends? Have you ever been lonely?”

Alexi felt tears slip off her cheeks. “I am completely alone,” she said finally, turning to Demelza with pain in her eyes. “I’ve lost my most important pokemon, I’ve lost my parents trust- I have no bed to sleep in, I can’t go home. I have nothing but my loneliness and despair.”

“Honestly, that’s pathetic. So you lost a pokemon and your parents are gonna be a bit angry at you for a little. Have a cry. You think you have problems worthy of my attention? You think this deserves my gratitude? You think you deserve my protection?”

“I can’t believe I let myself be deceived by Mary Goode; she seemed so nice…”

Demelza’s tone of voice suddenly got very harsh.

“You speak of that family as if they are kind, loving people- as if they live up to their own name. They are, indeed, very deceptive. They are also cruel, selfish people who are not worthy enough to set foot in this forest, in this place of serenity. Yet William Goode does it, every day. To chop down another beautiful old tree, home to a hundred wild pokemon. There are thousands of younger trees he could choose to kill, but instead, he constantly timbers the biggest, most bountiful trees in the wood. It is as if he enjoys seeing pokemon in distress- he has some kind of deluded idea that pokemon are evil, that pokemon cannot be trusted. I assure you, my dear- it is humans who cannot be trusted, not pokemon.”

Alexi immediately related to the croaky old woman, and began to listen more intently.

“He is an idiot,” she continued, “truly the thickest idiot I have come across, but he continues to destroy pokemon’s homes like it was the reason he was put on this earth. Did you notice the overabundance of Seedot in Grimm when you arrived? William Goode destroyed the tree they hung from for food, and now they live here, with me, under the protection of Shiftry. No man would dare come near this village, with Shiftry blowing terrifying gusts through the trees whenever I sense that an unwanted presence has entered the wood- they’re all too scared. What that silly Goode man doesn’t realize is that he’s got all the pokemon in the forest fleeing from him anyway- that Machoke he orders about like a slave- he stole that pokemon, long ago, and he has trained it to frighten to death every other pokemon it sets eyes on. It’s a wonder their daughter has two pokemon of her own- I think William harbors a great desire for Mary to follow his failed dream, and become a powerful trainer. However, there aren’t any pokemon for Mary to battle, what with William cutting down their homes all the time, and Machoke scaring off the ones stupid enough to stay. And the worst part, the worst part is…”

Demelza reached the climax of her outburst.

“The worst part is that nobody can do anything, because none of the stupid pokemon will fight as a team, unless they belong to someone; they have to be a trainers pokemon to be able to protect themselves. I don’t think that ugly brute of a fighting pokemon has ever been beaten in his life- oh, if I could stride out of this village and give him a piece of mind I would, and he would choke on it.”

“So why don’t you?” Alexi interrupted. It seemed a reasonable sort of question to ask. This insane woman who had threatened to kill Alexi moments before was now attacking William Goode like Alexi had some kind of personal vendetta against him- Alexi felt no remorse that she had been William’s friend, he seemed a perfectly reasonable man to her, nothing like the man Demelza was describing to her. Clearly, Demelza was delusional, and cared only for the safety of the trees and the twigs and the dirt on the ground.

“I can’t go out there, you fool! I’m dead, don’t you see?” Demelza exclaimed, and for a minute, Alexi thought he could see straight through the old woman to the hut wall behind her. Was Demelza a ghost?

“I’m dead to the world! Nobody knows I live here, nobody in their right mind believes the legends that have been spun about me. Even if they did, you haven’t heard half of them. It’s dangerous to reveal myself now. Half the people who still believe I exist think I’m hiding a huge pile of gold from them, that the person who finds me will be the receiver of good fortune for their entire life, or that I would eat them alive as soon as I set eyes on them! Do you realize what it would mean, to walk out of this village and show myself to someone like William Goode? Obviously you do not. Obviously, you understand nothing of this village, of the power of Grimm, of this precious place where people can hide from the world.”

Alexi wasn’t convinced at all that the old woman had a good reason not to go and fight Machoke herself. If she hated William Goode so much, and thought it so important his Machoke be taught a lesson, what was so wrong about battling him? There was something else there- Demelza seemed almost scared to be in contact with someone from Goodeview, scared to be in conteact with humans at all. Secrecy seemed so utmost in the keeping together of the village, it was as if the village was hiding from the rest of the world, not for their safety, but because they simply hated mankind. However, while Alexi was thinking this, she said none of it to Demelza, whose particularly powerful-looking Shiftry still had its wooden nose prodding the small of Alexi’s back. Demelza continued with her rant, now attacking Alexi.

“What have you ever known about suffering? Tell me- what happened to this poor, innocent, completely clueless girl to make her so self-pitying? Come on, have a whinge about something! Let it all out! Tell me- what terrible thing happened to you?”

“I lost Celebi. I let her be stolen, I gave her away, and now she’s gone and I’m alone.”

“Oh, you poor- Celebi?” Demelza softened immediately at the mention of the legendary pokemon’s name. “I noticed the green had returned to this forest. You are responsible for bringing Celebi here?” Demelza asked.

Alexi nodded and pushed the back of her palms into her eyes, wiping tears.

“You are a stupid girl if you think your own foolish actions causing you the loss of a pokemon and disapproval form your parents is anything like real suffering. You have a lot to learn about real suffering. However, since the fire, our forest has looked deader and darker with every day, and Celebi visiting here has lightened the place, and affected all our lives in a positive way. For this, I thank you, and so spare your life. You may stay here as long as you possibly need to, as soon as you can leave, you must. You must keep Grimm Village a secret from this world. I can see you are burdened with many secrets, and so feel that this will not be a great strain. While living in Blackwood, I have learnt much, and you may ask of me anything you wish. Do not expect, however, that I will instantly respond. I am not here to provide for you- you must learn to do that yourself. Right then, girl, is there anything I can help you with, seeing as you have helped my forest?”

Alexi suddenly remembered something, and her eyes widened in guilty realization. “Wurmple! Where’s Wurmple? Oh no, I’ve left it all alone, in the middle of the forest, I completely forgot about it…’

“You left your pokemon alone in the forest? Yet another foolish, stupid thing to do. It has most certainly been devoured by any number of the plethora of bug pokemon predators that live in this forest. How does that make you feel?”

Alexi was dumbfounded, and was at a complete loss at how to respond to this.

“You feel stupid, that’s how you feel. It would do you good to answer when someone asks something of you,” Demelza snapped, her patience obviously waning.

“Now, think hard. There are many pokemon which could have eaten your Wurmple. Your Wurmple could have been eaten by a Spearow, or a Taillow. It could have been eaten by a Murkrow, or an early-rising Hoothoot. I happen to have noticed that one of my Murkrow are looking particularly full this morning; I suggest that your Wurmple came in the belly of it. Fortunately, Murkrow tend to eat bugs like Wurmple entirely whole, so it is very possible that you pokemon is still whole and intact, inside Murkrows stomach. So, you have yourself a predicament. How are you going to get yourself out of it?”

Alexi sniffed and covered her hands in her eyes again. “I don’t know. I’m hopeless, I’m a failure. I lost my only pokemon, I let it be eaten by a Murkrow.”

“Right,” Demelza responded briskly. “You have chosen to sit here and sob and feel sorry for yourself for two, maybe three hours. Afterwards, you will feel much better- crying tends to have that effect on people. Will you have your Wurmple back?”

Alexi sniffed and hid her face from Demelza- the woman was getting quite grouchy.

“WILL YOU HAVE YOUR WURMPLE BACK OR NOT, GIRL? No, you will not. Sitting there and crying like a pathetic little sook will do no good for anyone, do you understand? What you should do, dear girl, is knock the Murkrow in question out with a fainting gas, produced by burning the husk of three wild Olverberries which have been soaked in Beedrill oil for three days straight, a concoction I happen to keep a jar of- jars being of an abundance here in Grimm, where people stow away to nearby towns and steal filthy rubbish to lick at for breakfast- you faint the Murkrow, take a knife, cut a hole in its belly, take out the Wurmple, wash it clean, replace the space in Murkrows belly with onions, and then sew it up again! That is what you should do, is it not? And then, at the end of the day, you have a Murkrow with a warm tummy full of onions, an ancient forest remedy for the aftereffects of an extensive operation like this one, and you have your Wurmple back! Is that correct?”

Alexi nodded quickly, sniffing and cleaning her face of tears at the same time, feeling very, very small indeed.

“Yes, you will, that’s right. You’re learning. Now, stop your pathetic blubbering, get off your fat backside, and if something in your life doesn’t turn out properly, bloody well fight to the death until it’s put right again! Understand?”

“YES!” Alexi screamed, by now devoid of any self-respect she had left, after losing the only two pokemon she ever had.

“Well, good!!!! And don’t forget it, either!”

Alexi glared at Demelza angrily- who did she think she was? Demelza raised dirt-smeared fingers to her lips and whistled a piercing note. For the first time, Alexi noticed the fourth finger on her right hand had an old, rusted ring on it. The thought was swept from her mind as there was a great flurry of movement from the roof of the hut, the large hole in which the fire was smoking out of completely invisible to the eye, although now becoming clearer as smoke was blown to the hut walls. A shadow seemed to fly in through the hole, and two Murkrow landed at Demelza’s feet.

Alexi had never seen anything like it- the first Murkrow, looking exceptionally plump and with a row of stiches spanning her underbelly, had an expression similar to that of a two-year-old who had just weed on the carpet. The second was much, much older- very old indeed. Its feathers were a lighter, graying colour, and parts of the birds skin was showing where the feathers had fallen away. The bird had one cloudy, light blue eye, indicating that it was half blind, but it seemed to have quite a good idea of where everything was positioned around it. The odd thing, however, was that the old bird had the young, bulging one by the headcrest, and was pecking at it as if it was telling off a naughty child.

“Thankyou, Mother,” Demelza addressed the old Murkrow. “Girl, this is Mother, the leader of the Murkrow clan. She takes orders from me, although I do not own her, as such. She is free to do whatever she pleases. Mother has been looking after the Murkrow that ate your Wurmple, and teaching it not to gobble up a pokemon that was clearly owned by someone. Pokemon have an instinctive ability to recognise a pokemon that has been caught and is owned, and in this forest, I try to discourage pokemon from eating prey that belongs to somebody else- it is unfair on the trainer’s pokemon, for starters, seeing as a trained pokemon has much waned survival instincts than a normal pokemon, and stands very little chance of surviving an attack unless at a very high level, but apart from anything else, it keeps angry trainers from venturing into the forest looking for revenge. This Murkrow then, has broken my law. Mother is teaching it not to break the law in future. Now, why do you think I wanted Mother to bring this Murkrow to you?”

Alexi shrugged and, catching Demelza’s disapproving glare, she blurted out an unthoughtful answer. “Because you think I should punish it too?”

“No, you silly girl,” Demelza dismissed. “Murkrow is already being punished for its crime. Can I teach you nothing? This, my dear, stupid child, is the type of punishment you deserve because firstly, you were careless enough to leave your pokemon alone in the wild, and secondly, you were too busy wallowing in your own self-pity to be able to think of a reasonable solution to your own, self-inflicted problem. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I do understand,” Alexi said, although she had had quite enough of this odd old woman’s constant nagging.

“I have also brought these two Murkrow to you to demonstrate how fair and just Blackwood forest really is. That is my doing. My dream, dear child, is to live in a completely fair and just world, but as that is not possible, I simply surround myself in a community that undertakes matters in that way. You will undoubtedly learn on your travels, however, that that is not the way of the world at all. The world is unjust, the world is unfair and bad things happen to good people. This is not fair, but if you learn nothing else from me, let me teach you this- life isn’t fair. Now, for the last time, do you understand?”

“Yeah, I get it, I just…where’s my Wurmple?”

“Oh, you silly girl, your pokemon is resting in one of my medicine bowls. Quite an adventure for a young bug pokemon, I imagine, to be eaten by a Murkrow. I trust you will not hold it against me, then, that your pokemon spends the night here with me? You can have it back in the morning, and don’t ever hassle anybody older than you again. Now, leave me alone! I’ve had enough of you, you silly, naive, ignorant girl!

Earlier than she had expected, Alexi was out in the open air again, squinting hard in the bright sun and breathing the fresh, smokeless air thankfully.

What a bitter old woman… Alexi thought to herself, and she spotted Greta sitting on the grass outside the hut, getting up to come and greet her.

“Has the Great Demelza let you stay?” the girl asked.

Alexi shrugged. “I guess so. She’s not very big on specifics, is she, your Demelza?”

“Oh, no, but she’s a wonderful person.” Greta had suddenly lost all coldness in her voice and was speaking to Alexi as if she was a normal human being.

“Looked after my Grandmother for the last seven years of her life. It’s been wonderful living here. Don’t let her appearance fool you- Demelza really is a saint.” Greta stood beaming, proclaiming her allegiance to Demelza like there was some kind of war going on.

“You’re either on one side or the other around here…” Alexi mumbled, half to herself. If Greta heard, she chose to ignore it.

“If you would like a meal, you’re welcome to come back to my house and meet my mother,” Greta offered.

“Thankyou,” Alexi answered truthfully. “That’d be really, really nice.”

Greta’s house sat nestled in the side of the valley. It was made of bricks, and comprised of only two rooms- one with old mattresses on the floor, one with an oven and a table. Greta’s mother, Rosalie, reminded Alexi of a kind of faded version of Jill. She had very light, wiry blonde hair which boofed out everywhere, a kind, plump face and a full, round body. She welcomed her daughter and Alexi into her home with open arms, giving Alexi and Greta a kiss on the forehead, as if they were long lost family members. Soon enough, the forest berry soup Rosalie had spent the day making was ready and served on the table, and the three were busily stuffing their faces with it.

“So, Greta tells me you went and met Demelza today? Was that good?” Rosalie asked over the meal.

“Yes, it was fine.” Alexi lied. “She’s a bit…odd. But she seems perfectly pleasant. Not very…um…accepting of other people. She doesn’t like the idea of leaving Grimm very much.”

“Well, that’s understandable, Grimm is her home. She’s safe here,” Rosalie answered.

“But it seems like the whole forest would be a lot safer if she’d go out and defend it once in a while,” Alexi retorted.

Greta looked as if she was about to burst.

“Demelza has had a hard life, like us all. She has had to live with selfishness of human actions like everyone who lives here. Do not make assumptions about someone before you know their full story- Demelza’s is very sad, a tragic tale, maybe more tragic than any of us living here. Demelza knows how cruel humans can be- she prefers to dedicate herself to protecting those that are mistreated, rather than go out and converse with others who deserve to be ignored.” Greta was once again speaking of Demelza in such high regard, Alexi would not be surprised if the woman was her mother, if it wasn’t for the fact that Greta’s mother was sitting opposite her.

“What happened to her to make her like this? Why does she despise all human beings that haven’t been mistreated their entire lives?” Alexi asked, more as an argument than an attempt at hearing Demelza’s life story.

Greta sighed a deep, long sigh, and seemed to be staring at the far end of the room for a very long time, before she spoke. “Demelza had her heart broken,” she said.

“They used to call the Chalky Cliffs the Devil’s Maze, because of the ragged, jagged rocks which jutted out all along it. So many ships were wrecked on those rocks, so many men lost their lives at sea. Never the fishing boats- the fishermen who lived here seemed to know a special path around the rocks- but the sailors, the explorers and the pirates that came from afar that cracked their boats open on the dangerous shore. Needless to say, Goodeview isn’t visited by many any more- the only outside visitors come by land, and even those are few, due to the forest.”

“Anyway, one evening, a pirate ship visited the Chalky Cliffs, and the ship was caught on the rocks. The entire crew survived, but their ship was damaged badly, and so were marooned until they could find resources to fix it. The captain of the ship was a man named James Jackal. He had dark, short hair, a cut, smooth face and beautiful gleaming eyes that reflected the sea. He was a very beautiful man, a very charming man; very stylish, very sexy. He came ashore to Goodeview to find resources for his ship, but instead he found Demelza- and the two fell instantly in love. The two spent a month and a half courting, and then Captain Jackal asked Demelza to marry him. Demelza was the happiest woman in the world on that day, although not many in the town trusted the pirates, and when Demelza told her family about the wedding, they disowned her and threw her out of her home. With nowhere to go, Demelza turned to Jack, asking to travel with him and together, they could find a place to live happily. Jack agreed to take Demelza with him, once their ship was mended. Another month passed, and as the wedding neared, Demelza grew happier and happier. She was living in a little house her parents had given her, just until she found a better place to stay- for her parents were very wealthy, and although they didn’t want to be associated with their daughter any more, they still felt for her and wanted to look after her safety. On the night of the wedding, Demelza slept soundly in her lonely bed, listening to the sounds of the sea. When she woke, she discovered that the pirate ship had been fixed, and her fiancé had sailed away without her. He left her broken-hearted and utterly alone. The people of Goodeview never talked to her again- they didn’t trust her, she had gotten engaged to a pirate. She was outcast from them entirely.”

“Her parents, unable to face the might of the town, refused to talk to their daughter or offer her any support and so, with nowhere else to go, Demelza turned to the forest for refuge. And the forest provided. Demelza lived alone for twenty years, living off the trees and berries that were her home. The pokemon she befriended helped her survive, and so she, in turn, helped them. Demelza’s father was the town doctor, and Demelza had wanted her whole life to be a nurse, so she was well-trained in medicine, and looking after people. She learnt to care for pokemon, and pokemon came to her whenever they were sick. Word spread of Demelza, the old woman living utterly alone in Blackwood, and rumours flew left and right. Six years ago, after the fire, many townspeople turned to the forest for answers, no longer able to cope with the true black hearts of human souls. Some found Demelza, and learned to live with her, and so Grimm was formed. Every day, Demelza provides a home and shelter for people burdened with the evil of human beings. She is the one true saint, she is the only one that can save us. She is truly magnificent, and stands alone in her might.”

Rosalie butted in, obviously feeling that maybe Greta was getting a little over the top. “Now now, darling, that’s enough. We don’t want to scare our visitor away.”

“And what about the Goode family? Why does Demelza hate them so much?” Alexi pushed, wanting all her questions answered once and for all.

It was Rosalie who answered this question.

“Oh, now, you’d be blind if you couldn’t see how horrible that family is,” she said plainly. “Why, only yesterday, I was cleaning the innards of a perfectly innocent Spinarak off the trees at the road. No nice man could order their pokemon to do such a thing unprovoked.”

Immediately, Alexi was thrown. An image of William Goode commanding his Machoke to squash Spinarak’s brain out its eyes seemed to have itself lodged inside her head. Something in Alexi began to turn. She had experienced how horrible humans could be first hand, she knew how unfair life could be. If this was what human contact was like, Alexi wanted nothing to do with it. She could almost understand how an entire village of people would want to hide themselves from the entire world, for the rest of their lives. Grimm had begun to make sense to her.

With these thoughts in mind, Alexi spent the night talking to Rosalie and Greta about what it was like living in the village, how they managed to survive, how they cooked and went about daily routines. When night fell, Rosalie’s Illumise was released from an ancient-looking pokeball that must have belonged to Rosalie before she moved into the forest and lit the house, and Rosalie gave Alexi a blanket, so that she could sleep on the floor in the other room.

Alexi had an almost sleepless night again- the hard floor in the second room of Greta and Rosalie’s house was almost as uncomfortable as the forest floor had been the night before. Alexi woke starving for breakfast, but Rosalie told her empathetically that there was none- in Grimm, you only got one meal a day. Alexi was appreciative of the family’s kindness in giving her a place to sleep the night and didn’t want to seem unkind, but in the bottom of her brain, she thought guiltily about how much more comfortable life with the Goodes had been. She wasted no time in leaving the house for Demelza’s hut- her excuse was that she wanted to check on Wurmple, but really, she was hoping the roaring fire in Demelza’s hut would be lit again and that maybe she could get some relief from the stinging frost which had fallen over the valley in the night.

Bidding a temporary farewell to Rosalie (Greta hadn’t yet awoken), she stepped outside. The little valley Grimm sat in was full of mist that rose like cold steam off the grass. Despite the freshness of the air, quite a few pokemon were already up and about- Alexi spotted a Teddiursa hauling three or four packets of clearly stolen porridge back to a small house on the other side of the valley, and Ledyba flew merrily overhead. There were also a lot of Spinarak around- it was odd, but in this new environment, Alexi didn’t find the little spider pokemon quite as threatening as she had when Mary had spotted one. They were cute, almost, in an ugly sort of way. Alexi greatly pitied the Spinarak that Machoke had killed so brutally in her company, and now felt horribly guilty she had done nothing to save it.

“If what Demelza said is true,” Alexi thought to herself, “all the pokemon in Blackwood have been treated like that. Pushed around by someone bigger and tougher than them, none of them brave enough to stand up for themselves. And Machoke strutting around as if he was some kind of hero…”

Alexi silently wished there was something she could do to help. She half imagined herself growing old and becoming a little like Demelza herself- she could relate to a lot of the ideas Demelza talked of now, they reminded her of things her parents would say. Her parents had always acted so strangely about pokemon, now Alexi came to think of it. If they had intended all along for Alexi to be a pokemon trainer, they had gone a very odd way about it. Her father had trained her to look after pokemon, to care for them, but hardly to fight with them. Indeed, she knew nothing of pokeballs until the very morning that she left home. That day, her father had said he prepared her, but she didn’t feel prepared at all. She felt almost betrayed by her parents now, the ones who were meant to be her guardians- surely, if they knew so much about pokemon, they wouldn’t have let her take care of a Celebi which she couldn’t command? Her parents, though very well informed when it came to pokemon habits and lifestyles, seemed to know nothing of training them, and getting them to do what you wanted them to. It was as if that kind of behavior was somehow taboo.

Thinking of her parents, wondering how soon it would be before they found out what had happened to Celebi, wondering how soon it would be until she saw them again, Alexi reached Demelza’s large mud hut. It looked different this morning- little green shoots were sprouting up in the walls, and flowers had even bloomed. Vines that had once twisted only round the roof now hung low to the ground, and the grass all around the area was lush and verdant. It was as if a Celebi had just visited. Alexi entered the hut, perplexed.

Demelza was sitting cross-legged, the way she had been doing the day before, when she had noticed Alexi come in.

“Dear, come in. Your Wurmple has recovered, as I predicted, and is now resting healthily in the corner over there with Paras. Sit, I have some things to tell you. Your parents have passed on a message to me.”

Demelza was definitely acting much nicer all of a sudden. It was as if she could somehow read Alexi’s thoughts, and was aware how Alexi’s view on her had changed. Then, what Demelza had said finally sunk in and Alexi’s jaw dropped in shock.

“My parents?” she shouted, flabbergasted.

“Yes dear, your loving, doting parents. Sit! It seems that you’re not so alone in the world after all. I will know better than to trust strangers who say they have been hard done by again. Luckily, as you can tell, Celebi visited again this morning, and my pretty little forest has never looked prettier, so I am allowing you to stay for a little while longer.”

Alexi had finally shut her shocked slack jaw, and was now sitting next to Demelza, cross-legged in mimicry. To Alexi’s dismay, the fire which had been roaring yesterday had gone out- grey cinders littered the place where it used to be, the fire’s home outlined by a circle of rocks.

“Now, dear, let me explain a little further about your parents’ wishes. They had received word that you resided in this forest from Celebi, and have sent her back to you, with a message. Mother Murkrow found Celebi last night, and took her here. Celebi appeared to me last night, while you were asleep, and, not wanting to disturb you, I agreed to pass the message she had been given on to you this morning.”

Just as Demelza had finished that sentence, there was a gargantuan cracking sound, and a whoomf from very far away. A tree had fallen heavily, and the sound of it toppling echoed across the valley. Demelza was distracted momentarily.

“Yes. That William, back to business as usual. I wonder what pokemon’s habitat he’s destroyed this morning? I had a horde of Ledyba come to me homeless the day before last, telling me they wanted to stay safe in Grimm with me and the other humans. Took me over half the day to find suitable homes for them all; there are more pokemon living here than humans nowadays.”

“Anyway, back to the matter at hand- Last night, Celebi told me that your parents were gravely disappointed at your actions, but that the matter had to be seen to sternly, and that success for you as a pokemon trainer was absolutely essential. They also asked me to choose a suitable pokemon to give you, as something of a substitute for Celebi- I believe they feel you would be better off with a more common pokemon as a guardian. I will make my decision tomorrow morning, when you will be leaving here.”

Alexi’s whimsical idea of living in Grimm with Rosalie and Greta was immediately deflated. She began to object, but Demelza held up a hand to stop her.

“Before you say anything…that was your parents’ wishes too. It seems that you have an uncle living in Slade City- which is just on the other side of Blackwood- and you are to travel there early tomorrow morning.”

As Alexi’s mind raced, trying to remember ever have heard anything about an Uncle living on the mainland, or indeed, mention of any relatives at all, another ear-splitting craaaack filled the air, and another large tree hit the forest floor with a loud thunk. The hooting of distressed nocturnal bird pokemon flying from their newly wrecked home could be heard clearly all through the valley.

“For God’s sakes, what the bloody hell does he think he’s up to? Two trees in one day? How fast does that man think he can chop? He’ll have cleared the whole forest by midday! And an entire flock of Hoothoot uprooted with that last tree as well, I ask you! Where the bloody hell am I supposed to house them, with a hundred Ledyba living with me too?”

Although the sounds of the forest being destroyed made Alexi quite as mad as it made Demelza, she was keen to hear anything more her parents had said, and so attempted to calm the wild old woman.

“It’s alright Demelza, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a wonderful…”

“No it’s not alright! Don’t tell me it’s alright, girl! The Hoothoot’ll be flying in here in minutes! I won’t have room to breathe!” At the sight of her guest’s awkward expression, Demelza forced her temper down. “Sorry, dear, it’s just….oh, well, never mind, we can deal with that when it comes. Now, where was I? Oh- that was all Celebi said to me, I think, certainly all that I can remember, which is anything of importance.”

An embarrassing thought seemed to have occurred to Demelza, for she grew slightly red in the ears.

“Ah. There is something I must ask you, I’m afraid, something potentially quite embarrassing. I hope you can forgive my rudeness.”

Alexi let Demelza speak, motioning for her to continue.

“In my fury yesterday, I fear I failed to catch your name. Now that Celebi has visited again, and made me somewhat calmer, may I be so rude to ask for a less…edgy…introduction?”

Alexi smiled. “My name is Alexi.” As a second thought, she added “May I ask something equally as embarrassing of you?”

Demelza nodded “Yes, certainly, although I doubt it can top mine.”

Alexi had the question prepared already, although it was certainly more difficult to speak the words that had plagued her mind. There were so many little, silly things that her parents had forgotten to tell her about pokemon, so many useful things that were so hard to ask anyone else…

“Can you…um…can you tell me…whether Wurmple’s a boy or a girl? I’ve never been really quite sure how to tell, see, the only pokemon I’ve known was female was Celebi, and that’s just because Dad talks about her like that…”

“Yes, yes, dear, I understand, that’s enough. There’s a fairly simple way to tell the gender of any pokemon…”

Demelza whispered something into Alexi’s ear, and realization dawned across Alexi’s face.

“Oh!” Alexi said aloud. “Yeah…that makes sense…right. So….’ She glanced over at her Wurmple, who was happily playing with Demelza’s Paras. “Wurmple’s a boy then?”

Demelza smiled and nodded. “Yes, dear. Just a silly little thing, but it’s silly of anyone just to assume that you learn those kind of things as soon as you’re born, isn’t it? Ah well, now you know…”

This rather awkward moment was interrupted by a clambering of paws from outside the hut, and a loud bark which followed. Demelza, worried, hurried to her feet and hobbled outside.

A beautiful, bedraggled, (female, Alexi told herself) Mightyena was standing outside the mud hut, with a panicked look on her face. She seemed to have brought her whole pack, because at least twenty Poochyena were trailing along behind her from the forest, all whining and all looking oddly worried.

“What is it, Mightyena? What’s happened?” Demelza asked promptly.

Mightyena barked loudly, jumped in the air, motioned its head back to Blackwood forest, and then growled. Its eyes looked deep into Demelza’s, and as Alexi stood there, she thought she could understand what was happening. Demelza was communicating with Mightyena.

With a jolt, Demelza jerked away from Mightyena’s eyesight and looked up at the forest in disbelief.

“It can’t be possible…” she said under her breath.

As she spoke, another huge crash echoed across the valley and a third giant tree fell to the forest floor.

Sike Saner
9th January 2006, 7:41 AM
Demelza came right up to Alexi, and poked her abnormally large nose in Alexi’s face. Her breath smelt of old food, and her teeth were black and rotten.

Ew. XD


“Can you…um…can you tell me…whether Wurmple’s a boy or a girl? I’ve never been really quite sure how to tell, see, the only pokemon I’ve known was female was Celebi, and that’s just because Dad talks about her like that…”

“Yes, yes, dear, I understand, that’s enough. There’s a fairly simple way to tell the gender of any pokemon…”

Demelza whispered something into Alexi’s ear, and realization dawned across Alexi’s face.

“Oh!” Alexi said aloud.

A priceless moment. :p


Well, hooray for Wurmple. ^___^ *hugs him and gets slimed again...ew...* Also hooray for the presence of the Murkrow again, and all the Spinarak present in the village. *loves corvine birds and spiders* I must say, Grimm seems like kind of a cool place, even though it still kind of puts off a bit of a discomfiting air. I like those allusions to fairy tales woven in there, too. Always nice.

Saffire Persian
14th January 2006, 4:20 AM
Well... XD All I can say is I'm very pleased about this chapter.. mainly because the little 'hero' escaped pretty much unscathed.. 0_o.. Is Wurmple going to have an even bigger phobia about Murkrow now, I wonder?

And now, for the names: Grimm village, Greta... any reference to the Grimm Fairytales, by chance? I'm sure Greta was a name of one of the characters from them, and the village's name helped spark that.

Anyway, Demelza is certainly a ... interesting old woman.. 0_o The imagry is not quite so nice, but still.. she certainly knows what goes on in her forests.. and happens to be quite blunt.


“You left your pokemon alone in the forest? Yet another foolish, stupid thing to do. It has most certainly been devoured by any number of the plethora of bug pokemon predators that live in this forest. How does that make you feel?”

XD Very blunt.. also, it also holds the quirk that I disliked. "by any number of the plethora"... sounds rather repetitive, doesn't it? Well, it sounds unnecessary to me, and I'd prefer that Plethora be deleted by some reason or other.

Otherwise, nice chapter. ^^

Kthleen
16th January 2006, 6:31 AM
With a jolt, Demelza jerked away from Mightyena’s eyesight and looked up at the forest in disbelief.

“It can’t be possible…” she said under her breath.

As she spoke, another huge crash echoed across the valley and a third giant tree fell to the forest floor.That doesn't sound good.


I'm liking it. Partly because Alexi's feelings toward battle echo mine to an extent, partly because it's dramatic without being too bloody so far (save for that poor Spinarak...), and partly because it's so bizarre. I wonder why the Skendr family is in hiding and what this winged lion-like creature with many legs is, but I I'll have to wait for the story to get there.

IceKing
31st January 2006, 3:24 AM
The sentence was drooling sarcasm

Shouldn't that be drooling with sarcasm? Though I actually like drooling sarcasm, sounds very vivid.


“This is Grimm Village. I am Demelza Boots, the founder of the village. Grimm, my dear, is a place of refuge. A home for people who have been exiled from everywhere else, who are no longer accepted by humanity. I am told you are lost, is that correct?”


Huh. How convenient XD


“It is correct. Therefore, I should kill you.”

That's my favorite type of humor right there ^^


They have to steal porridge from the towns to survive

Goldilocks allusion!


it is humans who cannot be trusted, not pokemon.”

What is Demelza then? A rock?


none of the stupid pokemon will fight as a team, unless they belong to someone; they have to be a trainers pokemon to be able to protect themselves.

Why do I feel this is foreshadowing something?


Alexi felt no remorse that she had been William’s friend, he seemed a perfectly reasonable man to her, nothing like the man Demelza was describing to her

That's what I was thinking right now


“I can’t go out there, you fool! I’m dead, don’t you see?” Demelza exclaimed, and for a minute, Alexi thought he could see straight through the old woman to the hut wall behind her. Was Demelza a ghost?


She seriously needs to say waht she means XD


If she hated William Goode so much, and thought it so important his Machoke be taught a lesson, what was so wrong about battling him?

I really don't get her logic there


You have a lot to learn about real suffering.

Go Demelza! But isn't she curious as to how Alexi got a Celebi 0_0


You feel stupid

Alexi needs to smack her, no one should take being called stupid over and over again


Sitting there and crying like a pathetic little sook will do no good for anyone, do you understand?

Here Here!


What you should do, dear girl, is knock the Murkrow in question out with a fainting gas, produced by burning the husk of three wild Olverberries which have been soaked in Beedrill oil for three days straight, a concoction I happen to keep a jar of- jars being of an abundance here in Grimm, where people stow away to nearby towns and steal filthy rubbish to lick at for breakfast- you faint the Murkrow, take a knife, cut a hole in its belly, take out the Wurmple, wash it clean, replace the space in Murkrows belly with onions, and then sew it up again! That is what you should do, is it not? And then, at the end of the day, you have a Murkrow with a warm tummy full of onions, an ancient forest remedy for the aftereffects of an extensive operation like this one, and you have your Wurmple back! Is that correct

So simple....why couldn't Alexi have figured it out XD? Nice imagiantion there


two-year-old who had just weed on the carpet.

Unless your taking about pot, I beleive you meant peed



“Thankyou, Mother,”

Thank you is two words


Yeah, I get it, I just…where’s my Wurmple?”

I'm beginning to question Alexi's intelligence


“What happened to her to make her like this? Why does she despise all human beings that haven’t been mistreated their entire lives?” Alexi asked, more as an argument than an attempt at hearing Demelza’s life story.

Good, that's what I was wondering


“Demelza had her heart broken,” she said.


Oh god...X_X


“Why, only yesterday, I was cleaning the innards of a perfectly innocent Spinarak off the trees at the road. No nice man could order their pokemon to do such a thing unprovoked.”

And here's its future reference! Innards of a Spinarak...such a gruesome image


“Before you say anything…that was your parents’ wishes too. It seems that you have an uncle living in Slade City- which is just on the other side of Blackwood- and you are to travel there early tomorrow morning.”


Good, it seems she has somewhere to go now. I wonder who her new guardian will be, I'm glad its not legendary.



“Yes, yes, dear, I understand, that’s enough. There’s a fairly simple way to tell the gender of any pokemon…”

Demelza whispered something into Alexi’s ear, and realization dawned across Alexi’s face.

...
...

ROFLMAO!!! I can't believe she just found out XDDD


As she spoke, another huge crash echoed across the valley and a third giant tree fell to the forest floor.

...I don't think thats Willaim


Anyways, this was a really good chapter, very interesting though a bit cliched. I thought Demelza was a very good charachter, though I really didn't like her backstory because it was incredibly corny "fell in love than dumped by a pirate" and rather 18th centuryish. Grimm seems like a lovely place, reminds me of the Brothers Grimm for some strange reason. Im glad we got Wurmple back.and that Alexi knows where to look to find out a pokemon's sex. It was kinda shocking to hear all the horrible things about William GOrde, who would have that. Its very obvious here that a central theme to this fic is the evilness of human nature, though I hope you put the goodness of human nature somewhere to counteract that. Description and details were lovely, you had a good deal of humor as well, I found myself chuckling several time. It kinda bothered me how ignant' and childish Alexi was acting at times, I can't say I exactly like her, but its nice when you aren't in love with the main charachter. Ahh, what else? The ending was a nice cliffhanger, I'm guessing someone is destroying the forest, but Celebi or the new guardian would probably be able to help. I sure hope we get to see more of Demelza, I <3 her. She kinda reminds me of Agatha.

Good chapter, DONT BE CORNY!!!

cyndaquil_dratini
31st January 2006, 3:03 PM
Hurrah! Such a wonderful, long response, and so well thought-out. Thanks heaps, IceKing, twas thrilling to read.

I know what you're saying bout me being corny. It's so hard!!!!!!!! I think it might be to do with the fact that I'm writing about pokemon...
Yeah, Demelza's backstory is bummy, I hear you there- but, as most corny things in the story, I try to give it a nice, completely unexpected twist. That story's a set-up for a later storyline- Demelza becomes a pretty important character, although you don't hear much of her for a while. Yeah, I like her too.

So far, you're right, Alexi hasn't got many redeeming features. I think that's what next chapter'll be about- the big turnaround. Lots of people have a few lessons to learn, not just Alexi- and not just the bad guys, either. That's what all my stories are always about- learning lessons. And, yeah, much of this story is about the "evil of humankind", but you're right, it's also about the goodness that's there that everyone seems to forget about. That bit'll come later, coz there's gotta be badness for the goodness to really show.

I think everyone'll be surprised at Alexi's new guardian pokemon, and I'm looking forward to revealing it to you next chapter. Her trip to her uncle marks the beginning of the real, actual adventure, so this story has just begun. I'm about halfway through the latest chapter at the moment, and really busy too, so it might not be out for a little while. I don't reckon that's a bad thing tho, maybe let some of the less up to date readers catch up.

Thanks everyone for pointing out structures of sentences which arent correct n things like that- sometimes I really like the way a sentence looks, and so won't change it. Fopr instance, I love thankyou as one word, so even if it's wrong, I'll keep it in there. Also- "any number of the plethora" sounds like its saying the same thing twice, but it makes sense after you read it a few times, and it made sense to me when I wrote it, and it's how I want it. There's a plethora of pokemon that eat bugs in Blackwood forest, and any number of them could have eaten Wurmple- like, 14 bug eating pokemon, out of a whole plethora of pokemon, could have eaten Wurmple, but the other ones might not have had a chance, or didnt eat Wurmples or some other thing like that.

Anyways, thats enough of being pedantic. I'm glad everyone's enjoying the story, I'm glad I've kept you all hanging on a cliff waiting for chapter seven, and I assure you it'll be up sometime soon...sometime before school starts again in February, lets say. You'll all love it, its got so many twists.

Ok, well, have a fun time guessing what Alexi's new pokemon will be- it's no use, you never will (unless you're Piney), and I shall post again soon.

Ohhh, sidenote- thankyou Lady Myuu for putting Alexi i nthe spotlight for a week or two, its been great being the first, and its a fantastic idea.

cyndaquil_dratini
7th February 2006, 12:39 AM
I'm double-posting again, I guess it means it's alright to do it, which is good.

I did that same old same old thing, you know the one, where I plan out a chapter and then write it and get halfway through and count up the pages and realise I've written twice the amount I thought I would? So, here's another one of those half-chapters, but the thrilling conclusion to a couple of loose threads is coming, and the revelation of Alexi's new pokemon isn't till next chapter, sorry everyone, but there might be a hint or a clue in this one.

I don't love this chapter to pieces, it's the battle sequences I have trouble with. This is one of the chapters I'd love as much criticism as possible, to try and improve on- I'm just not very good at writing pokemon battles, I haven't got the hang of it. So constructive criticism please, pile it on nice and thick. I'll try not to ignore any comment, and I'll see how much this chapter can improve. truth be told, I haven't got heaps of time on my hands at the moment, but I think it's the right time for this chapter to be posted, so here it is.

Chapter Seven- An Attempt At The Impossible, and a Hit Between The Eyes

Alexi stood outside Demelza’s hut, staring at Demelza and the Mightyena, thoroughly confused. Demelza continued her panicked conversation with the animal, Mightyena communicating through barks and yelps and facial gestures which meant nothing to Alexi, but which Demelza could obviously understand quite clearly. What was even more incredible was that Demelza was replying to the animal in plain English, and she was responding as if she understood also. Alexi watched the two carefully, but she was more interested in what they were saying than how they were doing it- the ‘how’ didn’t seem like it was of much importance.

“What are we to do?” Demelza asked Mightyena.

Mightyena replied in a language Alexi couldn’t understand.

“But it can’t be me, you know how dangerous that is…we need…”

As Demelza spoke, she looked around, and her eyes caught Alexi. Her eyes lit up greedily, and she pulled Alexi aside.

“Alexi,” Demelza began, “We have a problem.”

A hundred sarcastic comments filled Alexi’s head. Plainly, she knew that much already.

“William Goode is attacking the forest. They’re looking for something. I think you understand what that is?”

Alexi nodded. Surely, Mary would have given up the search for Celebi by now? Presumably not- perhaps Mary’s account of the night which Celebi went missing had prompted a more thorough search of the forest by her father.

Demelza spoke sternly to Alexi. “Alexi, we need you. You are a trainer. I'm not. You are not in hiding from the rest of the world. William Goode knows you’re in the forest somewhere. William Goode doesn't know I exist.”

Alexi was trying frantically to piece all the bits of the puzzle together, and plaster a look of understanding on her face, but she was failing.

“Alexi, you know how important it is that Grimm Village is not discovered- most of all, by William Goode. He’s gone mental, he’s tearing trees apart- he won’t stop until he’s found what he’s looking for. Or until someone stops him. Do you understand?”

Alexi was beginning to piece the picture together,and the picture she was coming up with seemed very grim indeed. Demelza sighed impatiently.

“Alexi, are you aware that in Xela, as in most of the world, a pokemon battle counts for much more than a contest, more than a game. It is about honour, it is about pride. A pokemon battle means a great deal to any trainer, as I'm sure you must be aware. Are you catching my drift? Do you get what I’m saying? William Goode will not stop, he has no reason to, his Machoke has never been beaten. He can pretty much do what he likes, at this point. Someone needs to stand up to William Goode, someone needs to show him, show his Machoke that he cannot continue doing what he's doing. It cannot be me. Alexi…”

At this point, Alexi felt it was time to intervene.

“You want me to battle Machoke? You want me to battle Machoke- and win? Win? A pokemon battle? Against a Machoke? I've already been humiliated once by going up against an opponent I had no chance of beating. Demelza, it's impossible that I will win. It won't happen. What you're asking me to do is not possible.”

“Alexi, I wouldn’t ask if I had a choice. You are the only trainer here in this forest who is in a position to battle someone from the outside world. For the sake of Grimm, for the sake of Blackwood, we need you to stand up to William Goode and show him that he can be beaten.”

“But I won't win! You really expect me to beat Machoke? Honestly?"

Demelza took Alexi by the shoulder. “Alexi, when something seems impossible, that's when someone stands up and proves it isn't. Nothing's easy. When you're faced with a challenge which you can't afford to lose, you surprise yourself, and things which you thought weren't possible suddenly are, because they have to be. Look, Christ, you're our only hope. You have to win, there isn't any other option.”

“Demelza, Wurmple doesn't stand a chance.”

“Well, I'm not sending you out to defend everything I've lived for empty handed, and neither is this forest. Mightyena and I have discussed this, we've considered sending her with you, we've considered giving you Shiftry. We think it better if you have a pokemon which is a level you're used to dealing with, a pokemon you will feel comfortable with controlling. Mightyena has chosen a suitable pup to accompany you, I suggest you start becoming better acquainted immediatly- you're only going to be together for one battle, but this battle counts for so much.”

Alexi stood flabbergasted, unable to respond. Mightyena had nudged a stong, healthy looking young Poochyena forwards and the pup was looking anxiously up at Alexi. How can I possibly refuse? she asked herself. I haven't got any other option. It's all planned out for me, I have to battle. I have to win. There seemed to be something not quite right about the whole situation, however- something was wrong.

"Demelza, why don't the pokemon in the forest attack William? If their homes are being terrorised, what's stopping them gnawing his leg off themselves? Plenty are powerful enough."

Demelza had a kind of far away look in her eyes when she responded, like this was something she herself had thought long and hard about, and hadn't been able to explain.

"I don't know. None of the pokemon in Blackwood will attack a pokemon that belongs to a trainer. After I made it a rule, for the sake of not drawing too much attention to the place, they all seemed to go along with it. And now, when it seems that their lives are dependant on breaking the rule, they don't seem to be able to. I don't really understand it at all- I certainly can't work out why an entire forest of pokemon would simply abide by a rule an old woman said years ago, even if it meant putting their own lives in danger. But they won't, none of them will attack, none of them will disobey. So it must be a trainer who battles William, and you're the only trainer we have. It must be you."

There was an awkward silence, as Demelza expected Alexi to respond.

“So?” Demelza tried.

Alexi nodded. “I have to do it, don’t I? I haven’t got any other choice.”

“You're right, you don't,” Demelza replied. “But thankyou. I know you’ll win- you have to win, the entire forest is depending on you.”

“I know, I get it.” Alexi said. "I'll win, I have to win, I know I'll win. I just don't know how."

----------------------------------------


Poochyena padded along the forest floor with ease- this was her home, she was safe here, she knew the forest well. Alexi pulled her feet alongside her, unsure where the wolf-like pokemon was taking them, keeping a strong hold of the pokeball on her belt that belonged to Wurmple; she would not let herself put his life in danger once again.

The Poochyena Alexi had been assigned for the battle was obviously very healthy- she had bright eyes and her wet nose glistened in sunlight glinting through the thick undergrowth. She seemed ready for anything; her face was alive and her tail alert. She skimmed across the forest floor, nose down, searching for a scent. Alexi figured Mightyena had already told her what scent they were looking for, and that the pup pokemon was leading Alexi through the forest to the place William Goode would be. Alexi trusted that Poochyena knew what she was doing, and the pooch certainly seemed confident in the job at hand. It was all Alexi could do to put her trust in her, for the light was so dim away from the open sky in Grimm, and under the heavy boughs and branches of Blackwood that it was difficult to see and impossible to keep track of which way they were travelling. Every so often, Alexi would hear the distant sound of another tree falling, and as they traveled, the distance grew smaller.

The further they got from Grimm, the closer together the trees seemed to grow, but the branches which jutted off them seemed alternatively to grow skinnier than Alexi had ever seen them. The passing sun shot morning light at them, and they cast odd, sharp, bony shadows which spread along the path ahead. The day grew longer, the air grew thicker, and Alexi began to notice a spindly, sparkling substance forming in between branches. A net of this shiny mess hung from one splintery branch to another, clinging to the trees, and drooping loosely in the middle. As they passed under it, Alexi reached out and touched it. It was sticky, and wrapped itself immoveably around her hand on contact.

Poochyena continued shuffling along the ground, nose down in a purposeful manner, certainly on the trail of a strong scent coming from somewhere and unaware of surroundings, but Alexi was not. She noticed that most of the spindly, spiky trees were covered in an impossibly thin, glittering layer of the sticky stuff- and as she looked closer, she noticed that it drew patterns across the trees, very faintly, like the marking of a soft, silver pencil.

Curious, Alexi reached out and touched the bark of one of the trees that had been sketched across, and once again found that the substance clung to her hand instantly. She wiped the stuff from her fingers and flicked it away, and tried instead to focus on the task in hand, casting her gaze to the waggling tail Poochyena stuck as high in the air as her nose was low, swaying proudly like a flag. The spindly trees grew tall and now cut across the air sharply, and long branches hung down like fingers to the ground, and scraped Alexi’s face. The sticky substance draped across the branches like fine silk. The light got dimmer, and the silk got thicker, and suddenly, the tail disappeared.

It had gone. The tail, which had a minute ago been right in front of Alexi's eyes, had disappeared. Slowly, Alexi made her way forwards. Poochyena had not apparated as Alexi first suspected- it seemed that the forest path took a sharp dip ahead, becoming less like a valley, more like an overgrown, dry old dam. The branches hung low, and an even, glistening wall of sticky web draped itself across the way ahead like a wall. As Alexi came nearer, stretching out her hands to pull apart the silk sheet, she realized what it was she was looking at.

Frogetting she was on a slope, Alexi tripped, her ankle gave way and she crashed headfirst through the silk wall. She flung her hands out in front of her and smacked into a muddy, damp, decaying dirty ground.

She was lying in some kind of wide hole, covered in moss, stinking and wet, which sloped down into a sort of small cave, or burrow, dug into the ground opposite. Poochyena was backing away from the burrow nervously. In her hands, Alexi held what she now knew to be spider-webs, and around her, a hundred little Spinarak descended from the trees.

A solitary finger emerged from the darkness of the burrow. It was slender, and hooked, and bent in the middle. Purple stripes divided the yellow finger into equal parts, making it unclear whether the stripes or the body were purple or yellow. Two black jewels shone behind the finger, and as they gleamed, Alexi recognized them as eyes. Poochyena growled menacingly, but instead of advancing on her foe, she kept on backing away, into Alexi's legs.

The Spinarak now scuttled to the floor in their thousands, rippling towards Alexi and Poochyena like waves, clicking and spitting. Alexi took her lead from Poochyena and began to back away, up the dry dam wall, back into the scratchy, pointy trees which had before seemed so dreadful, but now looked more innocent. The hole which Alexi stood in was bordered by the strange slim trees, caked with a mass of webs that threaded itself through them like knitting, and drooped to the ground, covering all the colour. The place was reminiscent of an old abandoned room in a big mansion, sheets draped over all the furniture, hiding them from outside eyes.

Alexi stood in this dismal hole; she watched the bizarre legs unfold themsleves from the darkness, she watched the oversized insect emerge from its den, she saw the Queen Ariados in all Her glory, shimmering and ravaging. Her fingers were legs, supporting her grotesque, swollen body. A solid spike protruded from her head, and her pinsirs clicked below it.

Alexi panicked, blood shooting through her veins, and made to run back the way she had come. She flung her arms in front of her face to shield from the web, desperately avoiding tiny Spinarak stingers. The Spinarak were upon her now, and began ascending her legs with their own little furry ones. Alexi didn’t notice- her only thought was to escape, to run away. As she pushed through the sticky, silky curtain, a high-pitched hissing met her ears on the wind. Ariados released a shining web, and Alexi felt it touch her skin gently and pull her back hard. She knew she was trapped now, she had to fight, Ariados had ensnared her.

Alexi struggled and pushed against her web, but she was stuck tight. She tripped as she was dragged back down towards the hole, skin coated in sticky, gluey web. She turned to face her attacker, and Ariados raised her pinsirs, dripping with poison, ready to fight. The giant spider scuttled closer to Alexi, prodding her with her skinny legs, and then trust her gleaming pinsirs into the sticky mess Alexi was caught in- and Poochyena leapt at the insect’s neck with her teeth bared, and bowled her over.

Ariados scrambled to the ground and advanced on her attacker, slashing the air with her hooked legs, slicing the air in Poochyena’s face. Poochyena backed up, throwing her head around wildly to dodge the swipes. A swipe caught her across the nose and she yelped in pain. Alexi frantically began unwrapping herself from the web, and she soon managed to stick her arm through the net. She pulled at her cage and it tore and stuck to her, clinging to her face. She ripped at it and shook it from her hands, moving quickly higher up, away from the Ariados nest.

Poochyena backed up to higher ground as Ariados swung at her, and lunged on the bug-type with her jaws again. Ariados ducked and dodged, and Poochyena threw herself at her. The two were locked for a moment, Ariados pushing up with her powerful, muscular, yet spindly legs and Poochyena pushing down, thrashing about with her head. Then, Ariados sent a thick, black strand of silk from her mouth straight up into the air, and it covered the sky.

Poochyena pushed Ariados back, and she rolled into her burrow, her Night Shade retreating from her mouth. Now, Poochyena took a flying leap, from one side of the hole to the other, and landed above Ariados’ nest. The dirt under Poochyena’s feet gave way as she scrabbled to find footing, and collapsed on Ariados, trapping her inside her own home. Spotting Alexi running for the safety of the bigger trees, Poochyena made a dash for it, and left Ariados spitting dirt, madly clicking orders at her Spinarak children to fix the nest.


--------------------------------------------


Alexi ran blindly for a little while, not really caring where her feet landed, as long as they took her away from the nest, away from danger. Poochyena followed her, panting heavily, weakened from the fight. Finally, when Alexi began to feel warm trickles on her back from a sun that must have been hiding somewhere above them, past the trees, she felt it was safe to rest. She leant her hands on her knees, her heart beating violently, and fought to catch her breath. Poochyena approached her.

Alexi kneeled next to Poochyena, wiping sweat off her brow, and smiled at the brave pokemon. She reached out her hand and Poochyena advanced, letting Alexi scratch her under her chin. Poochyena nudged Alexi’s leg affectionately, and Alexi rubbed the puppy’s head. Poochyena let her tongue roll out and panted, undeniably content.

“Good girl,” Alexi said to her Poochyena. “You’re a brave girl, aren’t you? You did well, you did very well.”

Poochyena lapped up the compliments lovingly.

“Geez…I wonder where we are? Do you think we’re anywhere near William and Machoke? Can you smell them?”

Fate didn’t lend Alexi any time to contemplate how to defeat William Goode, however, and at that moment, the undergrowth behind Alexi crunched underfoot. Poochyena growled, and Alexi turned.

“Alexi, where have you been?” William began, an overly loving tone in his voice. “We’ve been worried sick about you. Look at you, you look terrible. Come on, let’s get home and get you cleaned up, you’ve had a rough few days out here, I can tell.”

Alexi was lost for words- she hadn’t expected this caring, worried persona to be the one she’d have to battle with. Poochyena, on the other hand, showed no sign of softening to William, and stalked slowly towards him, teeth bared.

“Alexi, where did you get that Poochyena?” William asked. “They’re dangerous, I’ve told you that before.”

“William…” Alexi started, and made to get to her feet.

“Don’t move a muscle,” William said softly. “Don’t worry, you’re perfectly safe, Poochyena will only attack if they think you’re a threat. Just stay perfectly still.”

“William, I’m not in any danger, you’re the one she wants to attack.”

William stared intently into Poochyena’s yellow eyes. “Don’t you worry about me, Alexi. I’ll be fine. Machoke will arrive in just a minute. Just stay perfectly still, and everything will be fine. You’ll be out of this forest in no time.”

Poochyena began a low, menacing growl which Alexi had grown accustomed to, and related to entirely at that moment.

“I’m not going anywhere, William. I want you to stop…what you’re doing…” Alexi began, and started to feel very small.

William straightened up, and looked at Alexi in slight annoyance.

“What are you talking about, Alexi? Stop what? I’m just standing here.”

Alexi took a deep breath, and continued. She thought she could hear a chopping sound on the wind.

“I don’t want you to keep chopping down the forest. You don’t need to kill that many trees, they’re homes to…pokemon, and…important, and stuff….”

William smiled broadly. “Of course. No, of course they are. I’m sorry. Me and Machoke will stop chopping trees down now, we’ve found you, we don’t need to keep on chopping. I was just concerned, about your safety, that’s all. I wanted to find you. But, of course, now I know you’re safe, now I’ve found you, you can come back home and everything will be fine again. Alright?”

William reached out his gargantuan hand and grinned at Alexi. Poochyena continued her growling, but Alexi took William’s hand, and was helped to her feet. William brushed the leaves off her back.

“Now, do tell me all about your encounter with Celebi, we’ve all been dying to hear about it,” he said in a friendly way. ‘By the way, did you happen to come across an egg after the encounter? Just out of interest.”

Alexi stopped. She became aware of Poochyena, growling, ready to fight behind her, and continued the conversation warily.

“Yes, I did, actually. It’s not here. It’s back with my bag. Why?”

“Oh, no reason. Just…that…I’d appreciate it if you gave it to me- adult stuff, you understand, it’d come in very handy for Jill and I. Worth quite a lot, you see.”

The truth dawned on Alexi. So that’s what he’s after, she thought. He wants the egg. He’s not after Celebi at all. Of course, he realizes Celebi would have disappeared by now. The egg must be Celebi’s, must be some kind of byproduct of traveling through time. Of course, if it was rare to even see a Celebi, it would be almost unheard of to witness it traveling through time. That egg must be priceless. It would be worth millions to scientists. It’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen before.

Alexi saw the look of greed in William’s face.

“No,” Alexi said sternly, and William looked at her strangely.

“What do you mean, no?”

“No, you can’t have that egg, it’s mine, I found it, I want to keep it. It might be important.”

“It’s not important, Alexi, it’s nothing to do with you, now run and fetch it and hand it over, understand?”

William snatched Alexi’s wrist violently.

“No,” Alexi repeated, not budging an inch.

William leaned in close to Alexi’s face, and pushed her arm uncomfortably behind her back.

“Alexi, if you don’t give me that egg, I’m going to have to hurt you, do you understand? I’m going to have to get Machoke to get it for me.”

He twisted Alexi’s hand till it throbbed.

“Do you understand?”

At that moment, an ear-splitting crack filled the air. William looked up and, in shock, let go of Alexi. Alexi jumped back as a huge tree collapsed to the ground between them. She turned, and saw Poochyena.

“Ready?” she asked her. “This is it.”

Machoke came lumbering out of the wreckage and William smiled at him.

Alexi raised a finger.

“Poochyena, attack!”

Poochyena leapt up onto the log, and sprung off it, her teeth bared, flying towards Machoke’s head. Machoke held out an open palm, and then, in a flash, brought it across his face in a karate chop, which smacked Poochyena on the nose. Poochyena skidded across the ground, and scrambled to her feet as soon as she came to her senses.

William stepped forwards. “Now, Machoke. Be careful to save your energy until it’s most important. Don’t be too concerned about any damage this pokemon is gonna do you- Focus Energy, wait for the right moment.”

Poochyena growled and circled Machoke, who was lost in silent concentration, building up all his energy.

Poochyena ground her paws into the dirt, and sand flew into Machoke’s face.

“Leave it, Machoke. Don’t worry about it. Just concentrate.”

“Poochyena, attack while Machoke’s not defending.”

Poochyena ran at Machoke’s ankle, and locked her jaws into it. She swung her head from side to side, ripping at the flesh. Machoke didn’t move a muscle.

“Keep going, Poochyena, I think it’s working…”

Poochyena freed her jaws, ran behind Machoke and began smacking her body into the huge pokemon’s knees. They didn’t budge, but Poochyena kept pushing. Machoke’s face was growing red with concentration as Poochyena flung herself at his knees again and again.

“Wait for it…” came William’s orders.

Poochyena threw her head into Machoke with all the effort she could muster and finally, they buckled, and Machoke steadied himself. He swung round, one foot still rooted to the ground, the other one high in the air, all the energy he had been building shooting down to his leg.

Poochyena dropped as low to the ground as she could, but the Low Kick hit her square in the face, and threw her whole body backwards.

Alexi stared in disbelief.

William merely shrugged. “It was stupid of you to battle a dark pokemon against a Fighting pokemon anyway- Fighting pokemon always have the advantage.”

Alexi’s mind was racing. She knew the best thing to do would be to leave Poochyena there, for Demelza and her Paras to tend to later. Demelza had filled her with courage, she hadn’t counted on losing, but now the only pokemon she had was Wurmple, and Wurmple hardly even stood a chance. She had a vague idea that William was muttering something about pokemon types to her. He spoke again.

“Well, now that I’ve beaten you and taken your honour, you will hand over that Celebi egg. It’s mine rightfully. I will tear down this entire forest in search of it, you know I won’t give up. There’s no use keeping it from me- unless you want the whole of Blackwood destroyed.”

“You haven’t beaten me,” Alexi replied, her hand tingling, hovering above her pokeball. “I’ve still got one more pokemon.”

William laughed. “Alright then, we’ll keep battling. I’ll demand the same reward once I’ve beaten this next pokemon, too.”

Alexi took her pokeball in her hand and threw it. “Go, Wurmple!”

Wurmple appeared in a flash of white light, and stared at Machoke with bulging, terrified eyes. Machoke grunted.

William shrugged again, his smug demeanor not wavering for a second. “Machoke, no need to bother powering up for this one, Just seismic toss it- let’s see how far into the atmosphere it’ll fly.”

“Wurmple, attack! Poison sting! Please!!!”

Wurmple was shaking uncontrollably, but he slowly wriggled forward, eyes locked on Machoke’s bulging muscles. Something inside him told him that this battle was very important to Alexi- something in her voice, something about the way she was commanding him. He knew that this battle meant everything to her, and he was prepared to give it everything he had. He picked up all his courage, and wiggled slowly to Machoke’s foot.

Machoke looked down at the bug pokemon, and held out his hand for him to climb into. Wurmple wriggled into Machoke’s chunky palm, and Machoke curled his fingers round his opponent. He swung his arm, gaining momentum, and it sped past his face, again and again. He stepped back, took aim in the sky, and prepared to release Wurmple.

Suddenly, Machoke shrieked in pain, let go of Wurmple and took hold of his hand, which was throbbing painfully with a poison sting. Wurmple sailed through the air, in a completely different direction to the one that Machoke was aiming for, and managed to grab hold of the high branches of a tree with a string shot. William shouted at his Machoke, kicked him, and pointed to the tree. Alexi watched nervously, her fingers crossed tightly behind her back.

Machoke began to climb the tree that Wurmple had landed in, with some difficulty. Machoke’s weight was much too great for the tree to handle, and it began bending towards the ground, leaving Machoke hanging by its trunk. Then, Wurmple lowered himself down by a single stringshot, and dangled just above Machoke’s face.

Wurmple began to swing himself, back and forward, right in front of Machoke’s eyes, and they followed him- back and forth, back and forth. Then, as Wurmple’s swings became higher, he swung himself into Machoke’s face. Machoke lifted an arm to try and bat the bug away, but Wurmple dodged it, and Machoke slid further down the tree.

“Machoke, grab it and squash it! I’ve had enough of this,” William called out.

Machoke fixed his legs firmly round the trunk of the tree and held out both hands to try and squash Wurmple. He began clapping in the air. Wurmple continued swinging, each swing hitting Machoke harder and harder in the face, and Machoke continued to miss the little bug pokemon and leaving himself open to be tackled again and again.

Alexi was standing there in disbelief, amazed that Wurmple could possibly be winning against such a brute of a pokemon. William stood there deep in thought, sizing up the situation and what the best attack for Mahcoke to use next would be. His eyes rested on the skinny string Wurmple hung from, and he came to a conclusion.

“Machoke, use karate chop to cut Wurmple’s string!”

Machoke heard, and as Wurmple came in for the heaviest tackle so far, Machoke sliced through the air with his right hand and sliced through the string Wurmple was attached to the tree by. Wurmple landed on Machoke’s face, and immediately panicked. Machoke began thrashing about in the air, trying to get the bug pokemon off his head, and Wurmple began wriggling in circles, trying to figure out what to do next. Suddenly, his face came face to face with Machoke’s left eye, and they lookedat each other for a minute. As Machoke slammed his hand down on his own face, Wurmple stung his poison stinger right in between the brute’s eyes.

Machoke howled in pain, and let slip his tight hold on the tree trunk. Wurmple managed to jump back onto the tree that had acted as his stronghold, as Machoke fell out of it.

William’s and Alexi’s faces both moulded into equally powerful expressions of excitement and horror, were stuck for a moment, and then switched to the other, as the tree, which had bent over almost to the ground to hold Machoke’s weight, sprung back to its normal height, taking Wurmple with it.

Alexi ran through the forest, her eyes scanning the air, watching the tiny speck that was her pokemon flying through it. William rushed over to Machoke, and held up both his hands in a victory salute. Machoke sat wearily on the forest floor, glad the battle was over, a huge red bump forming in the middle of his face.

Alexi found Wurmple a few minutes later, tangled in the topmost branches of a very tall tree, almost ten metres from where he had started. She held out her pokemon’s pokeball, and let him disappear inside, fainted. She clicked the ball back to her belt, and as she did, she heard an angry cry from behind her.

“The battle is over, Alexi! I won! That egg is ours! Wherever is it, we will find it, if we have to chop down every tree in this forest first.”

Alexi scanned her eyes for the shape of William, holding his arms up manically, and the huge figure of Machoke sitting on the ground. She backed away slowly, and then turned and ran, straight through the forest, on a path she knew well, the one that led back to Grimm.

Only one thought encompassed her mind. She had lost. The battle she had to win, the battle for the sake of the forest, and the village- she had lost. There was no stopping William now.

Sike Saner
7th February 2006, 1:35 AM
I'm kind of scared to reply to this chapter since I don't have any criticism...

But anyway, I just thought I'd let you know that there were things about this chapter that I really enjoyed. Like the sequence in the spider nest with the Queen Ariados - I actually could have read several more paragraphs of that. The image of being confronted by a huge, lethal spider, while surrounded by hordes of her children surrounding you and crawling on you...very potent imagery, there. Just imagining the feeling of those scritchy, hairy legs crawling prodding your skin and crawling onto you...brr. *shudders* Nice description of Ariados's Night Shade, too. ^^

Machoke vs. Wurmple was surprising - I hadn't expected Wurmple to perform so well, but as I read that and saw how well Wurmple was outmanuevering (I am sure I misspelled that word. XD) his opponent, I actually thought for a moment that he might manage to beat Machoke...and then the poor worm got catapulted away. Aww. Well, he still did a respectable job there, and I'll think before underestimating him again, for sure.

On another note, William needs a good, hard Wurmple sting for kicking his Machoke. That was just plain mean of him. *shakes finger at William*

IceKing
7th February 2006, 3:20 AM
“Alexi, you know how important it is that Grimm Village is not discovered- most of all, by William Goode. He’s gone mental, he’s tearing trees apart- he won’t stop until he’s found what he’s looking for. Or until someone stops him. Do you understand?”

I still can't believe he is that evil. I-i-i LIKED him! I-i-i gave him a BFF necklace! HOW COULD HE DO THIS?


Alexi was beginning to piece the picture together,and the picture she was coming up with seemed very grim indeed.

Put a space before and


Someone needs to stand up to William Goode, someone needs to show him, show his Machoke that he cannot continue doing what he's doing. It cannot be me. Alexi…”

For some reason, I REALLY like this line. I think its because I'm in a facing your greatest enemy mood since I just read a scene where a Jynx takes on Santa Clause ^^


Alexi, when something seems impossible, that's when someone stands up and proves it isn't. Nothing's easy. When you're faced with a challenge which you can't afford to lose, you surprise yourself, and things which you thought weren't possible suddenly are, because they have to be. Look, christ, you're our only hope. You have to win, there isn't any other option.”

Christ should be capitilized ^^ He was a human after all (well, some consider him part God...but either way its capitlized). And thats some good theme development there as well


“Well, I'm not sending you out to defend everythign I've lived for empty handed, and neither is this forest. Mightyena and I have discussed this, we've considered sending her with you, we've considered giving you Shiftry. We think it better if you have a pokemon which is a level you're used to dealing with level, a pokemon you will feel comfortable with controlling. Mightyena has chosen a suitable pup to accompany you, I suggest you start becoming better acquainted immediatly- you're only going to be together for one battle, but this battle counts for so much.”

I forgot she also has a guardian...


Alexi tripped, her ankle gave way, and she crashed headfirst through the silk wall.

SPIDERS! And comma after way. I <3 spiders. I even considered makign a fic about an evil Ariados but didn't have a good plot for it XD


all Her glory, shimmering and ravaging

Her shouldn't be capitlized. And I <3 Queens/Female Bad guys!

Poocheyena VS Ariados-Crit.

Well, this battle was described and detailed nicely, but the problem was that it was kind of hard to read because it didn't realy hold my attention. Now let's establish something: it was good, not really boring just didn't really hold my attention

My suggestions to hold attention-

`.Add some one line paragraphs
2.Add some more details about pokemon emotion (Poocheyena's fear, the scaryness factor given off by Ariados)
3.Emphasize how incredibly horrific the Ariados is, make us TERRIFIED of this spider! Ariados is a cool pokemon, you can really show that
4.Perhaps have the children try and interfere and Alexi accidently squash one XD?

This battle REAALY reminded me of the Harry Potter scene with Aragog and the spiders. If you havent read it, it was just like your scene except Ariados was a male acromantula who had hundreds of children as well and he could talk and ordered his children to attack and replace poocheyena with Ron.


away ffrom danger

Take out the extraneous f


Poochyena lapped up the compliments lovingly.

I would have bit her really hard for abandoning me


William smiled broadly. “Of course. No, of course they are. I’m sorry. Me and Machoke will stop chopping trees down now, we’ve found you, we don’t need to keep on chopping. I was just concerned, about your safety, that’s all. I wanted to find you. But, of course, now I know you’re safe, now I’ve found you, you can come back home and everything will be fine again. Alright?”

Ok, I thought he was ok but its clear now that something VERY suspicious is going on. Im worried about that Poocheyena...


“Alexi, if you don’t give me that egg, I’m going to have to hurt you, do you understand? I’m going to have to get Machoke to get it for me.”


WILLAIM! HOW COULD YOU!

Poocheyena VS Machoke


Poochyena ground her paws into the dirt, and sand flew into Machoke’s face.


I think its better if you said she kicked sand into Machoke's face


It wasn't bad either, but it coulda used more detail in some parts, like when Machop kicked Poocheyena. You could have described the looks on their faces and how Poocheyena yelped in pain. Maybe add a little blood trickling from her mouth for effects. Emphasize Machoke's attitude more. One thing I always believed in was emphasizing the pokemon more in the battle than the humans come time for the actual descritpions.

Wurmple VS Machoke


Wurmple wriggled into Machoke’s chunky paml,

paml-palm


Well, this certainly was the best battle out of all three. Had a good balance of emotion (though Machoke's annoyance should be stressed more at times), description (loved the Wurmple sailing through the air), and overall interestingness (Wurmple smashing into machoke's face repeatedly just is funny!) The one thing I found weird was how Machoke just held out his arm and Wurmple crawled up there. That was rather...stupid. But hey, he proved himself worthy. I was very dissapointed when he lost over something as stupid as being flung through the sky, but it matters not, because a good twist is always good.



OVerall: This was another good chapter, I especially liked Demelza lecturing Alexi on the importance of her battling and the Machoke-Wurmple battle. I was really expecting this new guardian to arrive 0_0 Where is he/she? Also, why couldn't the pokemon just have attacked by themselves rather than relying on a little girl that knows less about battling then they do? I still can't believe how evil William is, hopefully he falls into that Spinarak den when they havent eaten in weeks ^^ And even more hopefully Mary will follow ^^

StellarWind
7th February 2006, 6:48 PM
... Meh. At least she fought this time. A shame that she lost. Then again, I've sort of expected that she will... I mean - Honestly, what was Demelza thinking? Sending a level 5-and-a-half dark type against a level-dog-knows-what-fighting-type? o_O

Not to mention the fact that Alexi's... well... Alexi. Meaning that she HAS to take more and more abuse from her creator before the story begins. :P

... And yeah. William's evil. Toss him to the Ariados pit. xD

Pinecone Tortoise
12th February 2006, 8:15 AM
Yippee! Presence of incredible talent as per usual. ^^


We think it better if you have a pokemon which is a level you're used to dealing with level, a pokemon you will feel comfortable with controlling.

Er, perhaps the second 'level' shouldn't be there?

And the Poochyena and Wurmple vs Machoke was so fun. I really like seeing moves put to alternate uses - Wurmple's method of 'tree-tackle' was crazy. But somehow fantastic. ^^


Machoke looked down at the bug pokemon, and held out his hand for him to climb into. Wurmple wriggled into Machoke’s chunky paml, and Machoke curled his fingers round his opponent.

That is SUCH a gut wrenching moment. POOR LI'L WURMPLE!!!!!!!! Eh, at least it survived.

Um, yah. Fantastic chapter. Sorry there's not more crit here - not much more seems needed. *shrug* Good luck and fun to you.

Piney.
;204;;324

cyndaquil_dratini
18th February 2006, 2:47 AM
Thankyou everyone for your reviews of Alexi, I did go back and change that last chapter, and thanks Iceking for all your in-depthness, its wonderful and so helpful, but I didn't redo it as I thought I would, since most fo you seemed to liek ti quite a lot, apart from the likeness to Harry Potter the Ariados nest had. Ah well. That's what big spiders would live like, I guess, so whenever someone writes about them, itll sound kinda the same.

I have finished Chapter Eight, which is a tres important chapter because it is the conclusion of everything you've read about so far. In fact, it's kind of like the conclusion to the first section of the whole story. It's very thrilling, anyways, it was lots of fun writing. All your crits are welcome....maybe even some new readers at some stage, seeing as this fic is getting a bit of publicity at the moment.

Oh! And.....this chapter contains the very exciting revalation of......alexi's new pokemon!!!!!!! yay! hold on to your seats, its one of those twists I told you about, I cant wait to hear your responses. Heehee, I'm getting so excited.

Righto, without further ado, here is Chapter Eight of Alexi.





Chapter Eight- Last Resorts, and When to Resort To Them


William was keeping a steady watch on Alexi- he knew that wherever she was headed, following her could only lead him closer to success. His Machoke was leveling wilderness as they trekked, leaving a trail of flattened bushes and undergrowth behind them. They kept their distance from the girl they were following however- as determined as William was to find the egg Alexi had, he knew she was smart enough not to lead them to it if she knew they were behind her.

And as of yet, she didn’t. Her mind was kept busy with other thoughts- it was the forest she was most concerned with now, her forest, her refuge, and the refuge of so many others. She had to keep it safe somehow. Perhaps- and Alexi felt a shiver of guilt wash over her as this thought slipped into her head- if all William wanted was the Celebi egg, it would be easiest to just give it to him, and spare the destruction of an entire forest. For some reason, she felt it was important not to give in, to stand her ground and keep possession of the egg. Perhaps it was just the overwhelming feeling of wanting to bring justice to William, and finally show him he couldn’t just do whatever he wanted. Perhaps it was something more; there was something special about that egg, something alluring about it. Surely it would be in Alexi’s interests to keep it safe? And at any rate, William wanted it for nothing more than the wealth it would get him, a greedy selfish reason to want such a precious thing.

However naive Alexi had been when she had first journeyed into Blackwood, she had learnt a great deal about how not to trust humans, and how to keep your back covered at all times, and although William did a great deal to try and disguise the fact that he and Machoke were following her, a few minutes from Grimm Village, Alexi noticed strange noises, and soon cottoned on to the fact she was not alone.

She took a detour, started walking in a completely different direction, then hid in a bush till she saw William and Machoke pass, and scurried back the way to Grimm. It was a clever move, and one that Alexi was quite proud of. Unfortunately, as with most things like that, there was nobody there to see it being done and there would never be an appropriate time to boast about it, so the clever move went unnoticed, if only perhaps to boost Alexi’s ego slightly.

Demelza was waiting, outside her hut, scanning the forest for noises. There had been no treefall for over an hour now, and she was getting quite concerned. Her concerns were nothing compared to the ones she experienced when Alexi burst out of the dark trees and scrambled down the valley towards her.

“What happened?” Demelza questioned. “Did you succeed? Where’s Poochyena?”

Alexi battled for air, and let her mind stand still as she thought for the quickest, simplest way to answer all these questions. She shook her head desperately as the last question was posed, and a look of horror swept across Demelza’s face.

“Why has the chopping stopped? What’s going on? Talk, dear, quickly, talk.”

Alexi took a deep breath and started. “We found William. Poochyena battled Machoke, but Machoke was too strong. Then I sent out Wurmple.”

Demelza grimaced.

“He put up a good fight, but he was no match for Machoke. He’s in his pokeball- I thought it was safer to leave Poochyena where she was, she probably knows the forest better than I do.”

Demelza nodded her agreement. “Yes, of course, good girl, good girl. You lost. Hmmm. You lost the battle that determined the fate of the entire forest. The battle that you had to win, at all costs. You lost. Bugger.”

Alexi was deflated. “I didn’t stand a chance, Demelza! I’ve never had a real pokemon battle in my life! You should have warned me, you should have given me more protection. This is your battle, not mine. I don’t stand a chance.”

“But we had no choice! All our choices are gone! Now the whole of Blackwood forest will be destroyed! That was our only hope, darling, and it’s gone now!”

“Demelza, you’re wrong. However right you think you are, you’re wrong.”

There was silence for a moment. The full effect of what was said sunk into Demelza.

“And why’s that, my dear?”

“I’m not your only chance! We haven’t lost yet!”

Demelza was completely confused, and her face wore an expression of contempt, but also interest. This was the first time since coming to Blackwood anybody had ever disagreed with something she said, the first time somebody had ever stood up and told her she was wrong. It was a feeling she hadn’t felt for a very long time.

Alexi began to rearrange all the words she had in her head into an order that would make the most sense, and least affect Demelza. The old woman was staring at her as if Alexi was hovering just above her ankles, which she wasn’t. Alexi knew Demelza had a chance, if only she could make her see without completely revolting her.

“Well then, if you’ve got a suggestion, go ahead and make it! Don’t just stand there glaring at me!” Demelza suggested, in a tone of voice Alexi hadn’t heard from her since they first met.

At that point, there was a crunching of the trees on one side of the valley, nd the undergrowth split under the weight off Machoke, who came lumbering through, William following behind.

The air was still for a minute, as everyone in Grimm stopped whatever it was they were doing and turned their heads to William. Every pokemon stood perfectly still, watching, waiting.

William’s eyes were overheating, madly dashing around, trying to gulp every detail of the image in front of him into his mind. His mouth opened and shut robotically, without uttering a sound, like a fish dying, or one of those porcelain clowns in a showground.

There was only one thought on everyone’s mind. Grimm, the hidden village, had been discovered. Demelza grabbed Alexi, her wrinkled brow quivering with nerves, her lips shaking, her eyes darting around as her head thought at breakneck speed. She spat at Alexi in a nervous whisper, which seemed appropriate in the shocked silence of their environment.

“Alexi, what have you done? I told you never to let Grimm village be discovered. William knows Grimm village is real! The secret lives of everyone here is over! What have you done?”

“Demelza, will you stop it? Will you stop laying the blame on me? This is no more my fault than it is yours! This is not something I can do. William knows your secret now, the walls are down, you’ve got nothing to hide. You battle him.”

Alexi spoke in a whisper, like Demelza had, but her words resonated like a gunshot. Demelza’s face froze for a second, her eyes searched Alexi’s for answers, but she found none, and so turned away and marched quickly back to her hut.

Alexi’s attention now turned back to William and Machoke, who had spotted her, and were advancing down on the valley. The inhabitants of Grimm, in total shock of how to react, were simply parting for him, their minds no longer working like they should. William spoke; his voice echoed and filled the entire valley, but he spoke solely to Alexi.

“So this is where you’ve been hiding, is it? Let me guess- this is where that old witch hid herself all those years ago? This is where every outcast member of Goodeview goes to hide? To sulk? Did you come here to sulk too? Life get too hard? Poor baby. Well, sulking’s over, Alexi, the game’s up. Give me the egg, or Machoke will destroy this village. And you know he can. I’m not afraid. Everyone here is. Look what I’ve found! A hidden valley full of cowards! A nest of cowards! Is this where you go to breed, is it?”

And Demelza emerged from her hut, rags billowing in a wind which seemed to have simply appeared for dramatic affect. Things like that often happen in dramatic moments like these.

Demelza held a pokeball in her right hand. She addressed William.

“William Goode, we meet at last. Here he is, the greedy, lazy, selfish pig who’s been destroying your home for years. That’s his job, to destroy your home. And we let him!”

The people of Grimm all turned to each other accusingly, and suddenly began arguing with each other in low, frantic mumbles. Demelza spoke again, and all of them fell silent.

“You’re right, you know. We have been cowards. Not one of us has stood up to you. You probably think you can do what you like, William Goode. But you can’t. This is my home, this is my forest, my village, my people, and I will not let you destroy them. It is I, William, I who will finally stand up to you and reveal you as the loser you are. Go, Shiftry!”

Demelza threw her pokeball, and Shiftry appeared in a flash of white light. The knobbly, powerful pokemon dug her heels into the earth and stood, steady as a tree.

“Machoke, attack!!!” William yelled in a blind rage, and Machoke took off down the valley, stampeding towards Shiftry, Donphan style.

Shiftry raised her arms, and her eyes grew dark. She didn’t seem to be taking any commands from Demelza, but when Alexi turned, she saw Demelza was staring intently at Shiftry, as if trying to convey what she wanted her pokemon to do.

William grew anxious. “Go, Machoke, jump into the air and cut that shrub down with a flying Karate Chop!”

Machoke was steadily growing speed, from running down the side of the valley, and he leapt off into the air, hands stiff and full of muscle, diving towards Shiftry.

Shiftry’s dark eyes narrowed, and she leaned back. Her leaf-hands slowly moved into position.

Just as Machoke jumped into the air, Shiftry span round in a whirl, her huge leaf hands cutting through the air at an immense speed. Sharp gusts of wind hit Machoke in the face, and he missed his attack, and instead hit the ground with a thud and began rolling down the valley.

“Machoke, get up, get on your feet, NOW!” William cried violently, but before Machoke had a chance to move, Shiftry rose her arms again, this time high to the sky.

The air around the valley seemed to still itself, and spiral towards Shiftry. Leaves and twigs were picked up, and floated in the air above Shiftry’s huge hands. The essence of the forest itself seemed to be collecting within Shiftry’s body, and when the power reached its peak, Shiftry uprooted a pointed foot from the earth, and slammed it back down again, into the ground.

A crack appeared along the valley, and wormed its way to Machoke, opening the earth around it. Machoke had been able to get to his feet at this stage, and stared at the crack worriedly before the ground he was standing on erupted and his feet went flying.

“NO!!!!” William screamed. “You idiot, Machoke! Hit her! Attack her! Hit her with anything!”

Machoke scrambled to safer ground and made his way to Shiftry, who was still embodied in the attack. He swung his huge fists round him and flung out his feet at odd angles, desperately trying to hit something. He charged up the valley at Shiftry and knocked her square in the head with one of his fists. The sound of muscle hitting wood echoed through the valley.

The dust settled. The ground sealed itself back up. All was silent. Shiftry lay motionless on the ground.

William roared with joy, and punched the sky ecstatically. “Yes! Yes! Take that, you arthritis-riddled old bag!!! I won! I cannot be beaten! I am invincible!”

Alexi’s face fell. There was only one option left now. She fell over herself in a rush to get to Greta’s house, where she had left her bag.

The rest of the village stood wide-eyed in shock, unable to move, looking desperately to Demelza for guidance, for some kind of order, to tell them what to do next.

Demelza, however, had not moved a muscle. She had not changed her stance. She still seemed to be concentrating all her energy on Shiftry, who lay in a heap on the mossy ground. William noticed.

“Wait, “ he said. “Machoke, I don’t trust this old bat. Go check if Shiftry really has fainted, it might be a trick.”

As Machoke knelt down to listen to Shiftry’s heartbeat, the wickid pokemon suddenly burst back to life, and slashed Machoke across the face with her branches. William’s jaw dropped, and he stood, flabbergasted.

“That deceitful little…Machoke, get her! Seismic Toss!”

Machoke lunged again for Shiftry, but in the blink of an eye, she had spun back on herself, and another Razor Wind attack had hit Machoke in the face, sending him backwards, up the valley.

At this point, Alexi emerged from Greta’s hut with Greta, her Seedot peering nervously out from behind her. Alexi was clutching the little blue egg that all the fuss had been about and holding it high above her head. She ploughed on with the speech she had already planned for the moment when Machoke beat Shiftry, without registering that the battle was still going on.

“Okay, alright, William! Here! Take it! You can have it, please, take it, just don’t destroy Grimm, don’t destroy these people’s…”

“Ahh…abdurbadumbugra…” Greta waved her hands in front of Alexi’s face to stop her. William took his focus away from the battle in hand. A wicked smile spread across his face. Demelza gasped in horror.

“Machoke, forget the battle, there’s the egg- grab it!”

Machoke immediately lurched to his feet, and stampeded towards Alexi with all the might of his legs of pure muscle. Alexi’s mouth opened in shock, she brought the egg to her heart, and looked around frantically for something to do.

“Run!!!!” Greta screamed, and grabbed Alexi’s sleeve. Suddenly, Alexi was in view of the forest, and then, she was running towards it, Greta dragging her forwards while looking behind her in fear, Seedot charging out ahead.

And then, all of a sudden, they were back in the forest, running for their lives, egg clutched safely to Alexi’s chest.

Demelza wiped her face with her hands and groaned. “What are we supposed to do now?” she said aloud.

Rosalie emerged from the hut. “Well, we’re not going to just stand here- that’s my daughter in danger out there, we’re going to go after them!”

Demelza looked up. “Right,” she said defiantly. “That’s right. Let’s do this. Ok, everyone, full speed ahead, after that Machoke!!!”

Shiftry came to Demelza’s side faithfully, and the people of Grimm started towards the forest. Behind them, every single pokemon in Grimm Village heard Demelza’s order, and obeyed. And behind them, over the branches of the giant trees, in the cover of constant darkness, every single pokemon in Blackwood forest heard Demelza’s order, and obeyed. The army had awoken.


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“What the hell was all that about, you twit?” Greta questioned Alexi, as they bolted through undergrowth as fast as their legs could carry them, following Seedot on the easiest path they knew out of the forest. “I thought you said Demelza had lost!”

“I thought she had!” Alexi replied, through gasps of air. “I was only going to use it as a last resort, I thought Shiftry had fainted, I thought the battle was over.”

“And what were you going to do after you gave William what he wanted? You just expected him to thank you, shake you warmly by the hand, and leave quietly? After you gave him what he wanted? You thought he’d just stop and go home?”

“Well…maybe…I thought…”

“Yeah, well, you’re pretty stupid sometimes, really, aren’t you?”

“Thanks for that, Greta. I really appreciate your support at this stage.”

“Well, you are pretty stupid. And I’m the one running through the forest with you. It’s my Seedot we’re following. Would you like me to turn back?”

In the heat of the moment, Alexi caught her shoe on a root, tripped, and fell on her face. Greta turned back, grabbed her by the arm, and heaved her to her feet again.

“Come on! Keep going! Whatever you do, don’t stop running,” she said to Alexi as the two pelted off again.

“Thankyou, Greta,” Alexi said between breaths. “And I really do mean it this time.”

“Alright, okay, stop talking, it’s slowing us down, just keep running.”

“Where are we going?”

“I haven’t got a clue!”

The two girls burst out laughing, and as they ran, their laugh bounced off the trees and bushes that made up the forest.

The forest rustled, as one, as every pokemon in it came after William Goode. Alexi and Greta heard nothing; they were too busy laughing. And for the first time since she had left the sanctuary, Alexi felt happy, and she finally understood what true friendship felt like.


------------------------------------------------


The girls were running blindly through the forest that never saw light- only Seedot could truly see where they were going, all Alexi and Greta could do was to follow him. The truth was, Seedot was simply running away from William and Machoke- he had about as much idea where they were going as either of the girls. They were running through the forest faster than any of them had ever done before, the glints of light that slipped through the thick overgrowth lit up trees speeding past them so fast, they could hardly tell they were even trees.

As they ran further and further, the light that escaped down to them became more frequent, which meant that they were nearing the end of the forest. Soon, Alexi could almost make out which way they were headed, and could see clearly the little bobbing figure of Seedot, bouncing round twigs and branches in front of them, steering them through bushes and undergrowth. Alexi remembered clambering through the forest after this particular Seedot once before, except they had been going the other way, and Seedot had led her to Grimm.

Grimm village- the only place, apart from her home, where Alexi had ever felt at home. The place that taught her that people can be accepted, that life can be good. And yet, the people in Grimm were there because they were afraid of people. Alexi had never heard of irony before, and so didn’t know how to describe the feeling she had of contradictions overlapping each other, becoming one. Strange things happened all the time in the real world, she decided, that’s just what it was like.

And then the forest ended, and the three were out in the open air again. They skidded to a halt, and took in their surroundings. They were standing on the edge of a vicious cliff, an uncaring wind slapping their faces, a place just like the one Alexi had first set eyes on way back when she had started out on her pokemon journey. The cliff was mighty, and encompassing- there was no escape. They had come to a dead end. The three turned to face the forest, and braced themselves.

-----------------------------------------------


William and Machoke erupted from the forest with a crash. Alexi, Greta and Seedot stood their ground. William wore the grin of a maniac as he stepped out, onto the cliff, where the three stood, clustered together in the wind.

“Ha! I win! There’s no escape now, there’s no backing out. There’s no way out! No “last resort”! This is it! That egg is mine!”

William spat his words like he was coughing, so ecstatic he was to get them out, for them to be true.

“Never!” Alexi screamed at him, her voice carrying on the wind, across the sea. “You don’t deserve what this will bring to you! You don’t deserve anything!”

“And you think you do, you little worm? What makes you so much better than anyone else?”

Alexi held the egg behind her back, and began to back away slowly, keeping her eyes fixed on William and Machoke.

“You’re not like this, William. This isn’t you. I know you. You’re a nice man. What’s happened?”

“Oh, will you stop living in your little dream! People aren’t nice! People don’t just stay exactly the way you think they are for their entire lives! People change! Accept it! Now, give me that egg, I want it more than you, I deserve it more than you, it’s mine! I want it!”

Greta backed up towards the forest, fidgeting nervously, leaving Alexi and William face to face at the edge of the cliff. This was their battle. She’d be there to help if anything happened, but she had to let Alexi fight William on her own. Alexi narrowed her eyes.

“The egg. That’s all you want, a stupid egg. This egg will bring you wealth, and fame. But it’s just an egg! Greed. You let your greed overtake you, William Goode. You’re disgusting. No emotion should have that much power over you. All this, for one little egg.”

William leant in close to Alexi, so she could feel his hot breath on her face.

“Alexi, give it to me now, or I’m just gonna take it. You said I could have the egg, you told me I could have the egg. Back there in the valley, you said I could have it. Remember?”

“I lied,” Alexi replied, and in a single movement she turned, pulled her arm behind her, and thrust the egg off the cliff. It smashed to pieces on the rocks below, and a green yolk came spilling out.

William sank to his knees.

“Why, though? Why throw it away?” he whimpered through tears.

Alexi looked down at him. “You can trust a pokemon, William. You can trust a pokemon, but you can never trust a human. One thing you have to learn about this world.”

William stood up and turned to walk away, his back to Alexi.

“I guess I lose then….you little-”

William span his body, fist out, and punched Alexi hard in the face. She groaned- blood dripped from her nose and she stumbled backwards. Her toes stepped on the very tip of the cliff, and it crumbled away. She tripped, and fell forwards, and flung out her hands from her face to steady herself. Blood from her face flew off in the wind and danced above the waves. William took her by the wrist and pulled her up to him by her arm.

“I’ll kill you for what you just did. Watch me.”

‘Alexi!” Greta cried out, and reached out to help.

“Machoke!” William screamed, and his pokemon took hold of Greta, and forced her arms behind her back.

William pulled Alexi up further; she whimpered in pain, but could do nothing to stop it. “I’ll kill you.” he repeated.

“But wait, William!” came a voice from the forest. Greta spun round.

Demelza was standing there, in all her glory, the rest of Grimm Village behind her. Shiftry stood in front of her. The wind whipped up Demelza’s grey hair dramatically,and Shiftry stepped forward. William dropped Alexi and turned.

Demelza smiled. “We haven’t finished our pokemon battle. We won’t ever know who won.”

“Machoke, finish her,” William said dismissively, and turned back to Alexi.

“Ah, no,” Demelza responded quietly. “You see, I think my village wants you to do it properly. Is that right?”

Every single person living in Grimm village took a step forward. William heard them, and turned back to Demelza carefully.

“Very well then. Machoke, let go of that girl.”

Machoke did as he was told, and Greta ran to Alexi, and helped her to her feet.

“Oh, I hope you don’t mind if I’ve brought reinforcements,” Demelza continued. She rose her arms. Machoke stood back.

“Pokemon, attack!” she cried, and the forest shook.

Out of the trees came spilling hundreds and hundreds of little Seedot, marching like a tiny army of helmets. They completely ignored Machoke, walked straight past to William. Hundreds of Seedot ambushed the heavy man, pushed him off his feet, and he feel into a sea of Seedot, who carried him on their heads. William squealed in panic- it was the oddest, least safe sensation he had ever felt.

“Machoke, do something! Save me! They’ve gone wild!”

Machoke moved to help his master, and was grabbed by behind by a gigantic Ursaring. Another four emerged from the forest behind him.

The Seedot carried William back into the forest, where thousands of Nidoran were waiting. They jumped on him, and they and the Seedot began attacking a helpless William, completely engrossed in a tidal wave of pokemon, all biting and scratching and knocking their heads on him. Several Nidoran were nibbling at his toes.

Alexi stood and watched in awe. She saw Demelza raise an arm to the trees, and from the crawled a hundred thousand Wurmple, stingers at the ready. They washed over William, and the Seedot and Nidoran, and took over, suffocating the man in sticky, stinky bugs. Alexi smiled. She spotted Greta’s Seedot finally hopping off William’s hair, which he had been enthusiastically pulling at.

Alexi walked up to Demelza.

“How is this happening?” she asked. “How did you do it? They’re all attacking, finally, they’re all standing up for themselves.”

Demelza replied without moving a muscle, still putting her concentration into commanding the pokemon army. “I just told them to. They all obey. They never attack anyone, because they all think they belong to me. They all think they’re my pokemon. It’s incredible, it really is. I’ve never felt so powerful in all my life.”

As they watched, the Wurmple finally left William and let him stand, so that a hundred Poochyena could emerge from the woods and surround him. William shrieked and ran for his life, as every Poochyena started chasing him.

As William ran, Hoothoot, Murkrow and thirteen other flying pokemon pelted sticks and stones at him, and flew down to peck at his head. They followed him right deep into the forest, right back to Grimm Village, where every Ledyba in Blackwood was waiting.

The Ledyba advanced as one, picked up William by his arms and legs, and lifted him up into the air. From the cliff, Alexi and Greta watched a tiny William fly off into the distance, carried on a sea of red.

The Ledyba carried William to a very special spot in the forest- a spot avoided by almost all who lived in it. William was dropped from the top of some very spindly-looking trees, into a kind of dip in the ground, covered in some kind of white, sliky stuff.

Finally rid of all the pokemon, William got to his feet and brushed himself off. “Stupid pokemon. You will pay for this! I’ll get you for this, do you understand?” he shouted to the sky, where he could still hear the beating of the Ledyba wings. They didn’t hear him, however- they were much too far away by that stage, and it was a pity, because William was much too caught up in abusing them to notice the eight spindly hooked legs that had just crawled out from the den behind him, or the tiny little Spinarak climbing down from the trees towards him.


----------------------------------------------------------


Back at Grimm Village later that day, all was well again, much as it always is after such an event. Sometimes, after events such as those that had just passed, a rare individual speaks up and says “But wait, that’s not right. Things don’t just go back to normal after something like that, things just don’t go happily ever after.” And they are right.

However, it is true to say that, after such an event like that, to go back to normal life seems so much better that it does indeed feel that everyone will forever more live happily ever after, and that feeling is a good one, and not a parade to be rained on by people pointing out the obvious and spoiling everyone’s fun.

Instead, most people go about normal, everyday business and smile a lot, and that is what most people were up to in Grimm village that afternoon. Most though, not all.

Alexi Skendr, which, as has been stated before, was her true last name, unlike True, which was not, was busy attending to matters in Demelza’s hut. She was leaving to Slade City on the other side of the forest the very next day; she had already said a tearful farewell to her new friend Greta, and she had one last person to say goodbye to.

“Now, dear, before you depart, I have a couple of things to tell you,” Demelza chatted to Alexi, as she pottered round her hut, fixing things up and putting things in jars and the like.

“First of all, I’d like to thank you dearly. You have taught us all a very important lesson here in Grimm- to never give up. It’s a lesson I should have learned long ago. Thankyou. You have brought back hope to all who live here, and you have showed me how good life can be again. I’d forgotten for so long. In fact, now that you’ve reminded me how wonderful people can be if you give them a second shot, I’ve felt happier than I’ve ever been, and I’ve decided to return to civilization once again. Rosalie will be taking over my duties once I leave. My discovery that every pokemon has been completely dependant on me since I arrived here prompted my decision further- no pokemon should be that dependant on anybody. I deserve another shot at life, and that’s what I’m giving myself. I wish you luck in the future, and I hope we meet again someday.”

Alexi nodded. “I’m glad you made that decision, I think it’s a clever one to make.”

Demelza smiled, and continued. “The other, altogether more important thing, is the issue of the pokemon I am to give to you, to replace Celebi. Now, before you say anything, you must understand that there is no possible way I could ever replace Celebi, seeing as there is only one, and she is so powerful. You know that.”

Alexi nodded, and held her breath subconsciously. Her Wurmple wriggled close by, as excited about the decision as she was.

“Now, it is important to me that you have a pokemon with lots of experience, but a pokemon wise enough not to use its powers to override any decisions you make. I think you may have ahd a little trouble controlling Celebi, because it was so much more powerful than any pokemon you’d ever dealt with before. So, a pokemon who is wise, who is knowledgeable, and who sin’t too powerful, but powerful enough to keep you safe. I think you know which pokemon I have chosen to allocate to you, and I think you’ll agree, with time, that I have made the right decision.”

Alexi nodded again. She, of course, had absolutely no idea what pokemon Demelza was talking about- she had half hoped she would be getting Poochyena. She had bonded with the wolf-type well on her quest, and really felt a connection with her. But surely, it couldn’t be a Poochyena, if Demelza was talking about a pokemon who was ‘wise and knowledgeable’? Perhaps, and this seemed very unlikely, demelza had decided to give Alexi her Shiftry?

“Alright then, come and meet Alexi, Mother,” Demelza called out, and from the open roof of her hut, the old, graying Murkrow flapped down onto Demelza’s shoulder.

“Say hello to Mother Murkrow, Alexi. She’s lived here for over twenty years now- I think she needs a bit of fresh air anyway. I’m sure you’ll be great friends.”

Alexi smiled politely, as she eyed the old bird. Her eyes were black as pearls, and her beak looked sharp as diamonds.

Wurmple retreated nervously behind Alexi’s leg.

Saffire Persian
18th February 2006, 2:54 AM
Hmm... this was defiinitely a good chapter, and I just love Demelza because of her personality - it entertains me to no end. The battles were described well, though I felt the Ariados scene could have been a bit more terrifying (though perhaps I have seen one too many giant spiders in books for them to have an effect on me.. such as Aragog and Shelob.)

In any case, the Machoke fight was better, and Wurmple did a nice job against the Machoke, despite the fact he lost. XD poor little guy, he's been beaten up enough all ready.

Poochyena is also a nice, likable character - they're one of my favorite pokemon when it comes down to it. ^^

And William @_@ yeesh.

Nice chapter!

cyndaquil_dratini
18th February 2006, 2:57 AM
Haha, that was funny. Saffire Persian, you just replied to the chapter before the one I just posted? You must have been reading while I was posting, how bizarre. Thanks for your review anyhow, I'm glad you read it, I was hoping you would.

Sike Saner
18th February 2006, 3:50 AM
Demelza nodded her agreement. “Yes, of course, good girl, good girl. You lost. Hmmm. You lost the battle that determined the fate of the entire forest. The battle that you had to win, at all costs. You lost. Bugger.”

That got a laugh (complete with snort) out of me. ^^


“Wait, “ he said. “Machoke, I don’t trust this old bat. Go check if Shiftry really has fainted, it might be a trick.”

As Machoke knelt down to listen to Shiftry’s heartbeat, the wickid pokemon suddenly burst back to life, and slashed Machoke across the face with her branches.

*cheers* That was great.


Finally rid of all the pokemon, William got to his feet and brushed himself off. “Stupid pokemon. You will pay for this! I’ll get you for this, do you understand?” he shouted to the sky, where he could still hear the beating of the Ledyba wings. They didn’t hear him, however- they were much too far away by that stage, and it was a pity, because William was much too caught up in abusing them to notice the eight spindly hooked legs that had just crawled out from the den behind him, or the tiny little Spinarak climbing down from the trees towards him.

XDDDDD Awesome!

I just loved the image of swarm after swarm of Pokémon giving William grief. Very satisfying image, that. ^^ And FWEE for the choice of Mother Murkrow! *squeals giddily* I just love corvine birds to death...of course, Wurmple doesn't... XD But anyway, I'm glad to see the nice little bird along for the trip now. ^___^ *hugs Mother Murkrow*

Demy
18th February 2006, 1:25 PM
Hay its Demy again i was lookiing for the chapter that has my name in it ? i must have past it which one was it? do you remeber cyndaquil_dratini the print is a bit small for me to read for long priedos.

your story is coming along great ^_^
Demy

cyndaquil_dratini
18th February 2006, 10:40 PM
Haha, yeah, I didn't used to bold my titles, so they're hard to find. Go chapter Six, that's when Demelza comes in. "A Grimm View On Things". It might be a bit difficult to understand the story if you just start halfway through tho. And how do you know I have a character in my story called Demelza if you haven't read it?

Demy
19th February 2006, 10:10 AM
These chapters are cool. keep up the chapters cyndaquil_dratini with the Demelza in them ^_^

Demy

StellarWind
19th February 2006, 9:01 PM
Nice episode. Celebi egg gone keput, William hurt majorly (and hopefully dying, or at least snapping out of his stupidity), And Mother Murkrow as a guardian. ^_^ Fun.

Demelza is one of the best characters that I've had the pleasure to read. I'd love to see her again in upcoming episodes.

IceKing
19th February 2006, 10:34 PM
I had a nice quoted resonse ready, and then my computer restarted ^^ Ah well. This chapter was good as usual, I liked the lessons shown when Alexi finally stood up to Demelza. You develop your themes nicely, and that is a good thing. The Shiftry-Machoke battle was nicely described, though I still like Wurmple-Machoke the best. Figures that Alexi and William would face off at the edge of a cliff XD I'm not complaining though. For some reason, I predict their will be conseuqences to Alexi destroying that egg. Oh, and this was my favorite line of the chapter:


“The egg. That’s all you want, a stupid egg. This egg will bring you wealth, and fame. But it’s just an egg! Greed. You let your greed overtake you, William Goode. You’re disgusting. No emotion should have that much power over you. All this, for one little egg.”


^^That was a very good sentence there. Alexi doesn't understand human greed that well yet, but has great views on it. It was extremely fun seeing WIlliam get his just desserts, I onyl wished you described it more vividly so that I could have laughed at him harder XD What happened to Machoke though? It was fitting William was done in by a Spinarak after the one he crushed. It would have been even funnier if a dialogue suggested he was about to be killed by the mother of the spinarak that Machoke squased.

And so Murkrow will be the new pokemon? Thats awesome! I love Murkrow and they are underused so you get 2 bonus points for that! I can hardly wait to see what this fic has in store. What adventures await in Alexi's uncle's house? We shall see!

cyndaquil_dratini
20th February 2006, 7:58 AM
I'm glad everyone likes my choice of Mother Murkrow, took ages to come to that conclusion. And everyne loves William's comeuppance! I sorta set that one up a bit with the spider den, but I'm glad it worked well. IceKing, I didn't describe it more vividly because, even though William thoroughly deserved it all, I felt like it wasn't right for someone to be killed- it was kind of like sayign that violence is ok, and thats the answer to everything, and all that kind of stuff, which I don't agree with, so that was my reason for not going too much into the revenge of the pokemon. It's kind of...mmm...I don't think anyone should ever get too much enjoyment out of violence.

I'm really loving everyone's positive response (which is normal, I guess, to love a positive response), and it's made me eally enthusiastic about this fic, so I've planned out about another...forty million chapters. Next chapter is another big revalation (i.e- revelation of what Alexi's second pokemon would be)...it's the chapter where Wurmple evolves, so that'll be fun to write, and to hear your responses about. The revelations will come more and more frequently as the story develops, and we start to see more of the bigger picture. Getting closer to discovering who the monster in the dream is....ooooh, excited. I'm excited. I'm gonna go off and write some more now.

Saffire Persian
4th March 2006, 6:51 AM
Poor Wurmple. XD.. I'd retreat, too, after my Trainer got a Murkrow. It's an interesting choice for a second Pokemon - at least it'll bring some experience into her small one-pokemon team. I think it was a definite good choice; I was actually expecting her to get the Poochyena. ^_^

And William gets what was coming for him.. yay! And all the flying Pokemon attacking him.. may they haunt him forever.

Anyway, I was surprised Delmeza didn't go out and fight William herself before, despite the fact you explained why. She seems just the type of person to go and whack a sense into somebody despite the consequences.

Oh - an error I found that I thought quite amusing:


This is my home, this is my fore4st

That mistake made my day.. XD.. I started laughing a bit at that one.

There's one simple request that I'm going to make - maybe you could give a link to each individual chapter in your first post? Then I won't have to shift through each reply to find the chapter. ^^

Great, as usual, I spotted a few spelling mistakes and such.. but I didn't take the time to make note of them all. ^^.. Mistakes and typos in small amounts don't bug me too much.

PS: Good luck in the awards.

cyndaquil_dratini
4th March 2006, 7:03 AM
Thanks Saffire Persian, good luck for you too. I fixed that mistake, I hope you don't mind, there are lots of other things to laugh at, I hope you find something else funny soon; I'd do the linky thing, but I'm stupid and I don't know how. One day, when I find out, I shall.

I'm a main role in a musical thats showing at the moment, which means all my time is taken up with resting or performing...which is great, but means the next chapter wont be up for another week or two. Hopefully, it'll appear before voting is over.

Saffire Persian
4th March 2006, 7:08 AM
Oh - how? That's easy.

You know that #post on the above right-hand side in each individual post? Well, click that, and it takes you to just the individual post with nothing else.

You copy that link, then do Insert chapter name here [/ url] And Voila.

Example: [url=http://www.serebiiforums.com/showpost.php?p=2860471&postcount=64] Your reply ( inserturltochapterhere ) ^^

cyndaquil_dratini
26th March 2006, 6:13 AM
Okay, at long last, here it is- the next chapter of Alexi. This one leaves you on a bit of a cliffhanger, so be prepared to be left hanging. You're probably used to it by now anyways, you know how I work. The chapter after this one is an exciting one, much is revealed about Alexi's quest and the monster from her dream. Ok, so here's my atest Alexi chapter-

Chapter Nine- Wurmple's Big Adventure


“ Krooow, Krooow.”

“Murkrow, will you cut it out!” Alexi groaned at her pokemon, perched on her shoulder. The big old bird was flapping her wings about, trying to keep balance on her trainer. She was just doing it to show off and Alexi knew it.

Wurmple wriggled alongside them, which meant that Alexi had to travel at snail’s pace so that he could keep up. He had adamantly refused to go inside his pokeball, after Murkrow had insisted on flying free for the journey. Murkrow was proving to be a lot more of a handful than maybe Demelza had expected. At the moment, she was painfully clutching Alexi’s shoulder with her bony feet, and flapping around, holding on for dear life, trying to keep her balance- which was hard, when you were blind in one eye.

Murkrow was a very old bird; Alexi didn’t know how old, Demelza hadn’t said, but it was apparent by her figure, and her countless ailments, that she was very, very old. Demelza had taken Murkrow in when she was in her prime, and leader of the murder she belonged to. The entire murder had come to roost in Demelza’s roof, after William cut their tree down. Mother Murkrow had lived with Demelza for decades, and so had almost forgotten what life was like in the wild, outside Grimm, battling. This was one of the reasons Demelza had given her to Alexi, another one being the fact that Demelza got the odd impression from somewhere that Murkrow was wise and all-knowing. Murkrow liked the notion, and ran with it.

The other reason for Demelza giving Murkrow as a guardian was so that there would always be someone there to look after her; Alexi was as much a guardian for the bird as Murkrow was for her. Poor old Mother Murkrow was getting old, and as well as being blind in one eye she was graying, getting weaker, and losing her memory. She hadn’t battled a single pokemon in over twenty years, and so was beginning to forget her attacks. Regular battle, such as she would gain from belonging to a young beginning trainer, was just what the witch doctor ordered.

But Murkrow wasn’t the healthiest choice for Alexi to have added to her team and this was because of many reasons. One was that Murkrow, although old, was very proud, and couldn't stand the notion of being outshined by Wurmple. So, despite her age, Murkrow refused to go into a pokeball, constantly squawked and pecked at Wurmple, who was terrified of the old thing, and would not give up trying to perch on Alexi’s shoulder. Poor little Wurmple, who didn’t want to be inside his pokeball if it meant that Murkrow was a better pokemon than he was, had to make do with crawling alongside Alexi as they walked because he couldn’t perch very well anywhere and he certainly didn’t want to be anywhere near Murkrow.

The road was dull, unchanging. The journey was labourious, not least of all because Alexi kept having to break up Wurmple and Murkrow. One time, Murkrow had flown down to Wurmple and hopped along behind him, just lightly pecking the ground behind him, and then moving a little bit closer, always that tiny bit away from Wurmple, always so close. Wurmple had taken enough after a few minutes, and chucked the dummy and went and climbed up a tree, refusing to come down. He was so high, Alexi couldn’t reach him, and had to wait there for fifteen minutes until he came down again. Wurmple was still sooking, and kept mumbling under his breath as he wriggled, as if complaining about his terrible situation, but only ever saying the words of his name over and over again. Alexi was slowly beginning to recognize different intonations in the way her pokemon spoke as conveying different emotions, and so conversation had broken out at various times along the journey. It was fairly one-sided, and usually went something like this:

“Wurmple, wurmple, wurmp wurmp wurmp.”

“Oh, stop complaining Wurmple, surely it’s not that bad? We’ll be there soon anyway, and we’ll get there faster if you stopped moping and wriggled a bit faster.”

“Wurmpy wurmple wurmp! Wurmple, wurmple, wurmple.”

“Well, you can try. Surely, you can go a little bit faster than that? Well, anyway, crawling along whinging about everything isn’t going to get you there any faster, so you may as well lighten up and have a bit of fun.”

Wurmple refrained from taking Alexi’s advice, unfortunately, and was in a grumpy mood the entire trip. Alexi wasn’t even sure if he could understand her or not, it was just nice to have someone to talk to. It was a long walk, after all, and it got boring very quickly.

And so it was that Alexi, Murkrow and Wurmple slowly made their way through Blackwood forest- almost without fuss, except for one incident. Murkrow finally gave up trying to balance on Alexi’s shoulder and flopped her wings up into the air, until she sat fat and feathered on top of Alexi’s head. This hurt Alexi’s neck considerably, and she kept having to move her head around to funny positions to keep the old bird stable up there, but once Murkrow was perched, she refused to move, and Alexi was left with no choice but to walk along, Wurmple wriggling with all his might beside them, Murkrow sitting awkwardly on top of her skull, like a flamboyant old lady’s hat.

It was, then, completely understandable that poor Alexi felt highly embarrassed when she was spotted, making her way through the forest, by someone she didn’t want to have seen her with a pokemon on her head in a million years. Mary Goode, who stormed through the trees towards the troupe, took little notice of the nonsensical situation she was approaching- her blazing eyes were fixed on Alexi’s, and swollen with tears.

“What the hell have you done with my father, you little cow! Where is he? Where did you leave him? What did you do to him? What did you do?” Mary spat out, gulping air and completely distraught. Alexi, caught off guard, didn’t reply immediately.

Mary slammed into Alexi, pushing her backwards with her palms. Murkrow toppled off Alexi’s head and flapped ungracefully to the ground, next to Wurmple, who retreated a little into the bush. Alexi took a few steps back, and tried to regain her composure.

“Wow, wow, slow down, what’s going on? I don’t know what’s happened to your father, Mary, I haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about.”

“Yes you do, you little liar! You did something to him! I know you did! He’s in here somewhere, he’s here, and you’re here, and I know it was you!”

“You’re not making any sense. Why would I do anything to your father?”

“To get back at me, that’s why! Because I lost your stupid little Celebi! You’ve taken Dad to get back at me! I’ll show you, little cow!”

Mary launched her pokeball into the air with considerable expertise, considering the state she was in. It opened with a click, a a flash of white light revealed her healthy Nidoran Male, scratching the ground, pointed teeth bared.

“Nidoran, get her! Hurt her! Kill her!”

“Mary, wait! Stop! You don’t know what you’re doing!”

Nidoran launched himself at Alexi, ears back, sailing through the air.

“Murkrow, go!” Alexi cried, and Murkrow flew up to meet her opponent. They collided into midair. A flurry of feathers and pink landed hard on the dirty ground, and rolled around, indistinguishable for a minute or two. Then, the dust settled, Nidoran with both his claws pinning Murkrow to a tree.

“Nidoran, leer!”

Muuuurkroww! the old bird cawed desperately, trying to pull her wings from Nidoran’s strong front legs. Nidoran looked Murkrow in the eye, and growled at her. His eyes tightened, and he leered angrily. Murkrow cawed once more, and then, with her sharp beak, poked Nidoran in the eye.

Nidoran cowered back, letting Murkrow free, and Murkrow fluttered up to a tree branch desperately.

“Get her, Nidoran! I’m not gonna lose this battle! Climb up that tree!”

Nidoran scrambled, pushing his legs against the trunk, up the big tree, locking his claws into the wood and scrambling up before gravity had a chance to take effect. Murkrow hopped along the branch a little way. From below, Wurmple wriggled back, so he was behind the tree’s trunk.

Nidoran tiptoed carefully towards his foe, letting the branch get used to his weight. It creaked under the two heavy pokemon. Murkrow cawed low and long, and stuck her tongue out, taunting Nidoran. She turned her back to him, and stretched her neck out to the air, to the very tip of the branch, the skinniest, flimsiest part. Nidoran crawled along a little more, a little closer, and a little closer still, until he was just behind the bird pokemon’s big, graying, bushy tail. Mary silently nodded her head, and couldn’t help but let a smile grow up her face. Nidoran lowered his head, and his poison stinger glinted in the morning light.

“Murkrow, astonish!”

Murkrow jumped up in the air, span around, and screeched right in Nidoran’s face, eyes bluging, beak wide. Nidoran squeaked, slipped, thunked onto the branch and took hold of it quickly before he slipped off, his back to Murkrow.

“Ok, now, Nidoran- double kick!”

Nidoran pummeled his powerful legs into Murkrows face, which was bent low to peck him. Murkrow reeled back, and her fragile balance wavered. The old bird lost her footing and came tumbling out of the tree onto the ground. Alexi grabbed a pokeball.

“Murkrow, return!”

Reluctantly, but knowing she had lost, Murkrow went into her pokeball. Mary laughed heartlessly.

“Okay, now Nidoran, get that weasel Alexi. Go! Bite her, sting her!”

Nidoran ran swiftly down the tree and took a run up towards Alexi. Alexi stood her ground, and made eye contact with Wurmple. Nidoran lowered his spike as he came closer.

“Wurmple, string shot!”

Wurmple, who had been hiding behind the tree, shot a string across Nidoran's path to another tree, and the poison pokemon tripped on it and went flying. Alexi sided out of the way, and Nidoran smacked into a tree and tumbled back onto the ground.

“Nidoran, get up! Get that worm!”

Nidoran pulled himself to his feet feebly, and stumbled towards Wurmple. Wurmple shot a second string from his mouth and tied it round a high branch. He scrambled up the side of a trunk and then launched himself off it, swinging on his string, sailing through the air like tarzan.

Wurmple wuuuurm!!!! the pokemon cried, and smashed his whole body into Nidoran’s now weakened one. Mary’s eyes grew wide as her pokemon teetered on his feet, and then fainted.

“Nidoran, return. Right, that’s it, you’ve had it now, Alexi. You’re really in for it now.” All signs of Mary’s distraught nature had disappeared; this was now a girl with a vengeance, and a reason to fight. “Seedot, go!”

Seedot appeared from his pokeball, hopped in the air, and landed, facing Wurmple, head down so that the hard helmet he wore protected him from any stings.

“Seedot, harden!”

Seedots body shone in the light, sleek, and cement.

“Ok, now Seedot, throw your Hardened body at Wurmple!”

Seedot wobbled forwards, jumped high in the air again, and then landed, rolling on the ground, building momentum towards Wurmple. Wurmple laid low in the leaves.

“Wurmple, let Seedot run over you, and Poison Sting it.”

Seedot rolled right over Wurmple, and Wurmple endured the attack as best he could, sticking his stingers in as his foe went over him. The stingers, though prevented from doing much damage by harden, found their way through to Seedots flesh and poisoned him. Seedot finished his roll, and got to his feet, his body now tinged a little with purple.

“Okay Seedot, forget about harden, use bide.”

Seedot began storing in energy, waiting for the right moment to attack, sizing up Wurmple- as poison seeped through his veins.

“Wurmple, string shot, up into the trees. Seedot can’t get us there.”

Wurmple shot his string straight up, and it hit a high branch. He raised himself up to the canopy and then wriggled right onto the branch, overlooking Seedot.

“Right, Seedot, climb that tree, get that Wurmple before your Bide runs out.”

Seedot ran to the trunk of the tree Wurmple was in, ran partly up the side of it, and then took a flying leap off it, connecting himself to one of the lower branches. He swung himself onto that branch, then jumped high in the air until his stalk connected with another branch. Wurmple made eye contact with Alexi, nodded in agreement, then shot another string through the trees, to a lower branch on a separate tree. Seedot bounced up to the branch Wurmple was on as he was just leaving it, and released his Bide on nothing.

“Seedot, go after that thing! Don’t let it get away! You’re a better climber than he is, so prove it.”

Seedot took a well-aimed leap of his branch and landed on another, ran along to the part where it connected to its trunk, and jumped of from there, to a branch parallel to the one Wurmple was now on. Wurmple shot his string high in the air again, this time flying up, above the leaves, to where the sun shone down on the treetops. Seedot groaned, and his eyes followed the bug pokemon up, up, up.

“Go, Seedot! Don’t let him beat you! Get him!”

Seedot took a moment to regain his energy, then bounced from one branch to another, until he was about halfway from the top of the trees. He sprung off a particularly elastic branch and connected to a much higher one by his stalk. He sided along the branch’s underside, hanging by his head, until he got to the very end, where it was much bendier, and bounced up and down until the momentum carried him through the air. Seedot was propelled through the topmost leaves and disappeared from the trainers view. The battle continued on above them, without them knowing what was happening.

Alexi and Mary craned their necks skywards, trying to make out what was going on, shouting orders at the pokemon they couldn’t see, not sure if they were being obeyed or not. At one point, Wurmple’s tail came into view for a second, but it was pulled back up again. But Alexi’s plan worked perfectly. Sure enough, after a few minutes running round in the treetops, the poison in Seedot's blood took effect, and his strength left him. Seedots tough body plummeted from the trees, through the forest, smacking into the ground and leaving a dent like a bowling ball.

“Seedot! No!” Mary ran to her pokemon, raised his pokeball, connected him back to her belt, stood up, and glared at Alexi.

“How dare you! How dare you beat me! I hate you, Alexi True, I hate you with all my heart. I will follow you, and outdo you, and I willdefeat you, if it is the last thing I ever do! I promise! I am better than you, and I’m going to prove it!”

Alexi stood her ground, and didn’t say a word. Mary stormed up to her, and whispered quietly in her ear.

“You haven’t heard the last of me, Alexi True. You haven’t heard the last of me.”

With that, Mary marched off through the forest, back the way Alexi came- presumably in search of her Dad.

Alexi waited until she was sure Mary was far away, and then let out a huge whoop of joy.

“Yes! Yes! We won! We beat her, we won! I beat someone!!!!!!!”

She was so ecstatic, she let Murkrow back out of her pokeball to celebrate.

“Murkrow, we won, we won the pokemon battle! I won! I won against someone! Oh, I’m so happy!”

”Krooow, krow!!!” Murkrow replied in what Alexi took to be a happy way.

“Wurmple, Wurmple, we won, we won! Wurmple, come down, you won, we won, I won!”

Alexi scanned the treetops for any sign of Wurmple, but all trace of life up there had vanished. And then, a rustle of leaves, a flurry of feathers, and a shaking branch- and Alexi spotted a Taillow flying off with freshly caught lunch in her beak.


-----------------------------------------


Alexi spent the afternoon looking for poor Wurmple- she scanned the horizon for any sign of Taillow, a pokemon she hadn’t seen in Blackwood till now. It was a sign she was moving on from the places she knew, and into new, unfamiliar lands. Suddenly, everything was foreign again. The trees looked unfamiliar, the ground was uneven, the sky poked in at frequent intervals. There wasn’t a Hoothoot or Poochyena in sight, not a sign of a Seedot, and definitely no trace of any Wurmple. Murkrow hopped along after Alexi, scanning for the bug pokemon, but not making too much of an effort about it- she was old, and wise, and knew Alexi needed to sort things out herself.

But it was late afternoon before Murkrow finally started accepting that maybe things wouldn’t turn out for the better- that maybe Alexi really had gone too far this time, and Wurmple was gone for good. And then, without warning, they reached the end of the forest.

The trees fell away to give way to sweeping grasslands, bordered with little wickety fences, hung together with barbed wire and cutting the landscape into squares and rectangles. Farmland stretched almost as far as the eye could see, the only hint of people the odd property for a farmer to live on; but up on the horizon, just over a hill which scanned the countryside, a church turret was poking up, and there was a sign or two that a city was nearby. That was Slade City, where Alexi was headed.

Alexi didn’t spend much time enjoying the scenery- the sun was descending over the plains, leaving bloody streaks in the clouds, and it meant that her uncle would be waiting for her, at the city gate, like Demelza had said. There wasn’t much time. She quickly turned back to the forest and sprinted a little way around it, doing her best to stay within the forest boundaries and not cross into paddocks that belonged to any angry farmers that might have been lurking. Her desperation led her there straight away- a Taillow nest, up in a tree, overlooking the hills. And in the Taillow nest, Alexi could see remnants of string shot.

Mother Murkrow watched with interest as Alexi began to climb the tree, hoping with all her heart that Wurmple would be there. The tree was gnarly and scratched her legs as she climbed, but it didn’t hinder her any. Her fingers were pulsing from the muscle movement, her arms ached, but she pulled herself up to that nest as if she was climbing her way to her last meal. And as she lifted her body up onto the thick branch, and her eyesight stretched up and into the nest, she saw, with a gasp, that there was no Wurmple there.

It was a Cascoon that sat heavy in the little nest, filling much of the space, its glittering red eye darting around for intruders. The taillow had gone- Alexi suspected perhaps the little bird had given up with the hardy skin Cascoon was covered in.

“Are you alright, Wurmple?”

Cascoon looked at Alexi with his beady eye, but said nothing. Alexi wasn’t even sure if he was able to speak any more- he had no mouth to talk from.

“Come on, we have to get going. I was worried I’d lost you,” Alexi chatted, taking the basket-sized pokemon under her arm and lowering herself down from the branch.

“Krawwwww!!!!!!” came a cry from the ground. “Oh, see, even Mother’s glad to see you back in one piece. Isn’t that lovely?”

But Murkrow’s cawing wasn’t in rejoice- it was a warning. Alexi soon saw what Murkrow was warning her about. A huge brown Tauros, muscles rippling, horns sharp, stood at one end of the field which she was directly below. He was staring at Alexi with red, angry eyes. The bull pokemon snorted and, startled, Alexi lost her footing on the tree and tumbled out of it into the paddock where Tauros stood.

Alexi stood still, eyes locked with Tauros and then, very slowly, took a step backwards. And another. And another. Murkrow cawed again, and flapped over the fence to the paddock. Tauros charged. Alexi turned, and ran. And from the trees, a Taillow who had left her dinner unguarded returned, with a flock of twenty other sisters she meant to share it with- and found it bouncing across the countryside under the arm of a human girl. She squawked, and took to the air, and twnty others followed, swooped, and as one dived down, heading straight for Cascoon.

Alexi ran for her life, tripping over stones and clumps of grass, holding on tight to her precious cargo, trying not to think about the two tonne monster charging for her. She heard the flap of wings from ahead, and suddenly, twenty angry Taillow swooped on her, pecking her hair and face, grabbing for cascoon. With her free hand, Alexi tried to bat them away, and Murkrow, who was flapping alongside, squawked at them and pecked at them and took hold of one or two and threw them off her master. They were heading towards the fence, downhill, which marked the end of Tauros’ paddock. Idle Mareep stood grazing in the next one, and they looked up in alarm at the procession coming towards them. Alexi screamed at the Taillow, pecking and clawing at her to get their dinner.

The fence was upon them, and Alexi ducked down low to try and get through, but tripped and rolled instead hugging Cascoon close to her body. The bottom rung of wire scraped across her clothes and tugged at her hair, and held fast. She struggled viciously, dragging herself to her feet, ripping chunks of her hair from her scalp. When she stood, she no longer had hold of Cascoon- he was on the other side of the fence, covered in the flock of predators. Tauros came charging forwards, saw the mess of feathers and string shot, and stopped short, then went back to munching grass as if nothing had ever happened.

The birds that now covered Cascoon pecked at his skin, trying to rip it off, to get at the tender flesh underneath. Mother Murkrow dived into the mob, screeching and cawing and pecking and smacking the Taillow fiercly. She cocked her head back to the sky, and from her beak, she let fly a Haze of smoke and dust and darkness that covered the Taillow, so that they couldn’t see a thing. Alexi watched helpless from the wrong side of the fence, and when the haze settled, the Taillow were alone, and Murkrow was high in the sky, Cascoon in her talons, beating her wings furiously. Alexi kept her eyes to the sky, and ran with Murkrow, through the Mareep busy grazing, down the valley, away from the Tauros and the Taillow, and to the stone gate that marked the back entrance to the city of Slade.

Murkrow landed with grace, and slipped her talons out of Cascoon's skin. Cascoon's beady eye rolled round to face her, and glared angrily. If Alexi had known more about pokemon, she would have understood that Cascoon now held a great grudge against Murkrow, even though she just saved his life, for piercing the precious skin he wrapped himself in- as all cascoon do against any other pokemon who pierces their skin before they’ve fully developed into Dustox. But Alexi had other things on her mind.

At the city gate stood her uncle, fat and sad-looking, brown hair sitting on his round face in a messy, bowl-cut type way. Behind him lay Slade- the first real city Alexi had ever come across in her life. It was in ruin. Much of the road had cracked, rubble littered the dusty, empty streets, at the stone walls were dotted with bulletholes and marks from horrible pokemon attacks. Many of the windows were smashed, and whole parts of buildings had been completely blown off, lying metres away from where they should be. The place was quiet, and painful to look at. Alexi stepped forward to her uncle, who was smiling and holding out his hand for her to shake. She couldn’t bear to tear her eyes away from the scene in front of her, and instead parted her lips and forced herself to speak.

“What happened?” she asked.

Sike Saner
27th March 2006, 3:46 AM
"What happened", indeed. I'm definitely interested to find out - kudos for a boss cliffhanger there.

And I'm glad that Wurmple went the Cascoon route rather than the Silcoon route - Dustox is cuter than Beautifly, in my opinion, at least. Perhaps a flakey reason to approve of your choice of evolution, yes, but at least I'm being honest about it. XP


This was one of the reasons Demelza had given her to Alexi, another one being the fact that Demelza got the odd impression from somewhere that Murkrow was wise and all-knowing. Murkrow liked the notion, and ran with it.

That's just terrific. And I have to say, Mother Murkrow, as a character, is making me like her more and more, and fast. ^^


Murkrow sitting awkwardly on top of her skull, like a flamboyant old lady’s hat.

Nice image there. XP


Murkrow cawed low and long, and stuck her tongue out, taunting Nidoran.

XDDDDDDD Frell, I love that Murkrow.


“Wurmple, let Seedot run over you, and Poison Sting it.”

Seedot rolled right over Wurmple, and Wurmple endured the attack as best he could, sticking his stingers in as his foe went over him. The stingers, though prevented from doing much damage by harden, found their way through to Seedots flesh and poisoned him. Seedot finished his roll, and got to his feet, his body now tinged a little with purple.

Clever... o_o

cyndaquil_dratini
2nd April 2006, 3:07 AM
Hey guys, I've finished the next chapter...its an important one...but I've only got one reply for the last one I wrote, so I was wondering if I should post chapter ten now, or maybe leave it and wait for a couple more responses. So- if you've been meaning to rview this chappie and haven't got around to it, get around to it and I can post the next chapter, I think is what I'm saying.

Thanks, Sike Saner, I'm glad you like Murkrow, I love her too, she's brilliant fun to write. Alexi's gonna get a heap more pokemon pretty quickly in the next few chapters, so watch out for that. And I'm glad you approved of my battle sequence; I'm always a bit wary about how my battles will be taken.

cyndaquil_dratini
3rd April 2006, 11:55 PM
Ok then, guess everyones busy with school stuff- is it exam time in the usa or summin? I always get a whole heap of spare time just when nobody else does.

Okay. Here's chapter ten- the revelation......the monster in the dream!! oooh... yeah, okay, you're not that excited, read on and you will be.

Chapter Ten- What Happened

Alexi’s uncle; unshaven and ragged-looking, with worn, brown eyes, looked at Alexi as if she were insane.

“What do you mean? What do you think happened? There was a war, remember?”

Alexi stood still and stared at her uncle wide-eyed. So there was a war. Should she let slip that she had been out of contact with the world until just last month? Surely, her father’s own brother would tell him where they went, where they lived. Perhaps not.

“You mean your parents never told you about the war?” Alexi’s uncle asked, before Alexi had time to begin making up her story.

“No, never. Did it end recently?”

“It ended three years ago. We’re still piecing back together our lives. Slade was one of the cities hit worst of all. At least our city still stands.”

“Where else did it hit?”

“All of Xela, Alexi. Wow, you really don’t know anything at all. Let’s go back to my house; we’ve got a lot of talking to do. I’m Al- Alex, like you. There’s a story to that too. Call me Uncle Al, before it gets confusing, O.K? I’ll tell you everything when we get up to my apartment. I live in the next block- this way.”

Slade must have once been a very beautiful city. Everything was made with a grey stone, and there were intricate and beautiful carvings and markings on the walls, on the columns and pillars that held the city up, and on the window-boxes that jutted out from most of the buildings, giving the city its green. The window-boxes were all well kept, and beautiful, and so the buildings overflowed with lush grass, and vines, and bright, poignant flowers- pink, yellow, red, purple. It was an odd thing to see in a city so torn from war.

The buildings were quite high, and were stacked together on top of each other closely, like soggy cardboard boxes. Uncle Al lived a few streets away, a few minutes walk- it didn’t take them long to get there.

To get to Uncle Al’s apartment, he and Alexi had to squeeze into a little metal cage of a lift that clanged and squealed as it lifted them up from the undercover car park to the fourth floor of flats. Uncle Al’s home was number 47.

There wasn’t much inside, but Al was obviously very proud of it. Some old, brown couches and chairs, sunken in the middle, sat round a fifties-style glass coffee table with a full ashtray on one edge. A wide, smudged window over looked the grey city- the view was mainly of the next apartment block. Uncle Al picked up an old newspaper off the seat of the armchair, and plonked himself down in it.

“Have a seat, Alexi,” he said to his niece, motioning to the couch alongside him. He kicked his shoes off and rested his feet on the coffee table. Alexi sat down, a little apprehensively, on the old brown couch.

“So, whatever happened to dear old Xander, anyways? I haven’t heard from him since you were born, and you’re thirteen now, almost a grown woman. He buggered off when the war began, same as many, but I spose you figured that. Maybe not. Where are you living now, just out of interest?”

Alexi started. “Um…a little place near…”

“In Kanto, was it? That’s where most people went. The furthest away they could get from this blasted war, it’s the furthest region from Xela. And why did they send you here?”

“I don’t know, actually. They, um…they never really told me. Something about learning how to raise pokemon and look after them properly, and set an example for others to follow, but I didn’t really translate that into real life very well. I’ve never…well…I mean, I don’t know much about training or anything, I’ve never been told. Where I come from…it’s pretty secluded.”

“I imagine you live on a big farm somewhere, where you can live off the land and don’t have to go relying on anyone else? Of course you do. That’s Xander for you. Always hated being dependant on other people. Well, I can tell ya why they sent you here anyways, it was in their letter.”

Uncle Al picked up a letter from the floor, and unfolded it.

“‘Al, blah blah, take care of Alexi, meet her here, make sure she goes in the Xela Pokemon league, and collects every badge. She’s gonna be a master one day, mark my words.’ Sounds like your parents want you to enter the league. Fair enough. That’s what all pokemon trainers do, I suppose- just that we don’t get many round here these days, that’s all. Not since the war.”

“Um…at the risk of sounding really stupid…what’s the league?”

Uncle Al gave Alexi a blank look.

“Right, God, they really haven’t told you anything, have they? Well- the Pokemon League is a system set up in every region to test trainer’s skills with their pokemon. The pokemon trainer goes round to eight cities in the region, and visits a gym in that city, and then they challenge the gym leader. And if they win, they get a badge, and once they get all eight badges, they can go against the Elite Four. And then, once you beat them, you’re a pokemon master- only not many people do it any more, the Elite Four are more like a continual training ground, not really there for you to beat. Anyways, there used to be a full League here in Xela, but the war’s changed things, you see- you can’t get eight badges any more, that’s for sure. Let’s see- the gym here in Slade’s closed down, and that one in Lusherte got destroyed too. I definitely know there’s still one in Vousant, that’d be the closest one, so you’d be going there next. I think there are about five left, maybe four, but your parents definitely want you to get them all. Sounds like they want you to be the next Pokemon Master. That’d be nice- Xela hasn’t had a Pokemon Master for over a decade.”

“Because of the war?”

“Yeah. It’s affected so much, changed all our lives completely, but especially training here in Xela. They’re only just starting to come out of hiding and start the whole League up again- I heard they’ve built a new gym over in Nouvella, did you go see it on your way through?”

“I did, actually.”

“How long have you been on the road for? Oh, God, you must be starving, I’m so sorry- how rude of me, I didn’t even think to offer you dinner. Look, there’s nothing here, I hope you don’t mind, we’ll have to go to Blissey’s. You’ve probably never been to one, I don’t reckon they’ve got them out in Kanto- it’ll be a cultural experience for ya. Come on then.”

Uncle Al hauled himself up off the armchair- a difficult feat, as Uncle Al wasn’t the healthiest guy in the entire universe. Soon enough, he and Alexi were down the road at the local fast food outlet, pigging out feeding a multi-million dollar corporation known as Blissey Foods Inc. and famous throughout the entire Xela region for its Blissey Burgers and Miltankshakes. Alexi sipped hers cautiously over conversation.

Much to her relief, Blissey Burgers were named after the Blissey that served behind the counter in all the stores, and not because they were made out of real Blissey. What they were made of, though, seemed a bit of a mystery. It didn’t seem to matter at the moment, one thing was foremost in Alexi’s mind and she couldn’t push it aside any longer. She cleared her throat.

“Um, Uncle Al…about the war…”

Uncle Al’s face fell, and he suddenly got very serious.

“I’m sorry to have to mention it, it’s just…well, I don’t know anything about it, and I know everyone around here would rather just forget about the whole thing and pretend it never happened, but if I’m going to pretend, I have to know a bit about it first.”

Uncle Al swallowed a bite of his Blissey Burger.

“It’s okay, kid, I understand. I feel a bit sorry for you, all alone in this big world, and your parents not telling you anything about anything, it seems like. To tell you the truth, I don’t know loads about it anyway- I mean, I only know what I’ve been told, what was on the news and stuff; and the stuff that directly affected me. But if you ask me a question, I’ll do my best to answer it as well as I can.”

“Okay, then. Thanks. I appreciate it. I promise I’ll shut up about it after this. I guess what I’d like to know more than anything right now is…when did it start?”

Uncle Al took a deep breath and leant forward in his chair.

“Okay, here goes. I think it started…about fifteen years ago. I think…and this is the bit I’m not sure about, but I think it started with some high up scientist deciding they wanted more power than they already had. They wanted to own the most powerful pokemon in the world. Well, years ago, ask anyone and they woulda told you that was Mewtwo. But that’s not so these days, not with all these high up Pokemon Masters battling each other with more and more powerful pokemon, and that Deoxys thing we all heard about that came and terrorized people from outer space; and, of coursed, nobody knew about Rayquaza back then- there was a lot people didn’t know about pokemon back then, and anyways, the point is that now they know a lot more, and this scientist, whoever he- or she, I suppose- may have been, figured out a way to evolve Mewtwo. And I’m not exactly sure who did it, because this all came out afterwards, but they gave him a few extra genes or something- and anyways, don’t ask me how they got hold of him, coz I haven’t got a clue, but they did, and they injected him with this evolving stuff and he evolved, right there, in front of their eyes. Grew an extra arm. So the scientists kept him in their lab overnight, to see whether he’d survive or not, with this new genetic structure, whether his condition was stable enough for them to go using him to terrorize the government or whatever they wanted to do, but it wasn’t, coz the next morning they came back and he’d evolved again. And he evolved twenty three more times before the day was through. And this kept happening, he kept on just evolving and evolving and evolving, and growing new limbs and changing colour and getting bigger and bigger- and at first, the thought ‘oh, well, we’ll just call him Mewthree’ which seemed reasonable enough, but after this new Mewtwo had finished all his evolvin’, which wasn’t for a month or two I suspect, he looked absolutely nothing like the Mewthree they saw that first time he evolved. They’d lost count, at that point, of how many times he’d evolved, so they called him Mewllion; they thought he might have evolved a million times and he looked like a lion by then. And that was that- Mewllion was born.”

Alexi sat there, burger and shake long finished, wide-eyed, listening intently to Uncle Al’s story. She couldn’t help feeling, deep down, that this whole thing had something to do with her.

“So what happened next?” she prompted.

Uncle Al changed his stance, leant back in his chair.

“Well, they tried to keep the whole Mewllion fiasco under wraps, so the government didn’t find out I guess- though how a government wouldn’t find out about something like that, I don’t know, and haven’t the government got tabs on all the really powerful pokemon like Mewtwo anyways? Well, the point is, these scientist guys- the first one and a couple of his mates, I think there were five of them- whatever their original intention was, world domination or what, changed very quickly after spending a bit of time with this new Mewllion. And for some reason, and this is the bit that’s least clear of all- for everybody, it’s got everybody completely baffled, nobody’s got a clue why they did it- but one day Mewllion decided to start attacking everyone, and these scientists, they decided to go along with it. So they gave Mewllion a whole heap of pokemon from somewhere, and he gave them special powers- there were seven of them, I think, that was significant, only I don’t know why- and they went around and started attacking people.”

“Which people? Why?” Alexi butted in.

“Oh, just everyone. Pokemon trainers mainly, at first, but before too long they were just attacking everyone. And nobody had a clue why, that’s what made it so horrible- just one day, this huge monster pokemon appears from nowhere and starts killing off the human race. And that’s how the war started. It wasn’t really a war at first, since there was only really a couple of people on the bad side, but after a while, some people started agreeing with Mewllion and joined up with him, and then all the pokemon in Xela decided that Mewllion had a point and all rose up and rebelled. It was terrible, really frightening, a horrible time. And everybody else, everyone who didn’t have an opinion on the whole thing either which way, ended up with no home or no family or dead. All because some scientist got too over his head trying to be tougher than he shoulda been. And that’s all I’m gonna say about the war now, because it’s starting to upset me, and that’s pretty much all I know anyway. I’m sorry to have to tell you, it’s a terrible thing that happened, I’d hate to burden you with more you can bear.”

“No, that’s fine,” Alexi replied. “I just wanted to understand, that’s all. I’m sick of not having a clue what’s going on. I still don’t have a clue what’s going on. Hang on, I don’t even know how the war ended yet, you can’t stop there!”

“Oh, that part- well, that part’s a happy part, so I don’t mind telling it to you. It was Lance, the Pokemon Master. Have you heard of Lance?”

Alexi shook her head. Uncle Al sighed.

“You’re awfully odd, do you realize that? Lance was one of the best trainers the world had ever seen, he was Pokemon Master for years. In fact, he was never defeated. He trained Dragon pokemon, the rarest type there is, and he was amazing, and everyone respected him. Anyway, that’s Lance, and someone or other let him know about this terrible war that had been going on for over a decade here in Xela, and he brought the Elite Four over to sort things out, and by that time, the pokemon had sort of begun to realize what they’d done to the land and kind of given up, and Mewllion’s influence was fading- he was much less powerful than he had been. And Lance set his Dragon pokemon after him, and he just collapsed, and Lance, being the good soul he is, captured Mewllion in a pokeball instead of kill him and then he buried the pokeball in the middle of the Daiieth Desert- which is the huge desert right in the middle of this island, in case that’s another stupid thing you’ve never heard of- and then, the war was over. And although it was kind of over before Lance came and sorted it out, he was the only one brave enough to go up against Mewllion, and everyone revered him as some kind of superhero, almost like a God. We built statues and things for him and everything, we all worshipped him. But- and this is the oddest bit of the whole story, I tell you- one day, almost a month after the war had ended, he dropped dead. For no reason at all, he just died one morning in his sleep. Some say it was assassins, who slipped poison into him somehow, but wouldn’t an autopsy have shown that up, and there wasn’t any mention of it in the papers? Most people think that Mewllion got him, somehow, his final victim- like a curse he went under after defeating him, or something like that. Anyway, that was three years ago and this is now and we’re still living in this horrible mess, and I’m so sick of talking now, so let’s go back home- it’s getting late anyway, what time do you normally go to bed?”

“Wait!” Alexi shouted, a lot louder than she had intended.

Everyone who was still in Blissey’s turned around in their seats and looked at Alexi, and she blushed, and waited for them to all turn back around, and then kind of half whispered to her uncle.

“Wait! Tell me one thing, one last thing and I promise, I won’t ask a single question for the rest of the time I’m here, for the rest of my life, I promise, please, just one question. Just one!”

Uncle Al gave Alexi a familiar expression. “Alright then, one more and that’s it and I really actually mean that.”

“Ok. Ok, I promise, this is it. What did Mewllion look like?”

“What would you wanna go asking that for? That hasn’t got anything to do with anything; it’s got nothing to do with anything at all.”

“Please! Tell me! It’s important, it’s important for me.”

“Why?”

“I can’t tell you. Please, come on, you promised you’d tell me.”

“Alright then, I’ll tell you, but only because I promised, and I think it’s a mighty odd question to be asking anyways.”

And he told her, but Alexi knew the answer already. Her worst fears were confirmed right then and there, and she finally began to realize the immensity of the task her parents had set her when they sent her off the island that day. Fate had begun.

“Mewllion was this huge, cream beast with lots and lots of these big, tubular legs- there were, like, fourteen of them or something like that, it was disgusting- I only saw him once, mind you, and that was only for a little while, but the thing I remember most, the thing I remember most of all, were his eyes. They were-what are you looking at me like that for?”

Alexi stared, blank-faced, at Uncle Al, unable to breathe. It was him. It was him, that’s what it was. That’s why she was here. Mewllion was the monster from her dream. It was him.


-----------------------------------------------------------


Understandably, Alexi didn’t sleep very well that night. Uncle Al pulled out the couch in the lounge room and made a bed for her, but it was awkward and wiry and hard to lie on. She listened to the sounds outside the window, from the traffic, from people walking past, from nothing. She’d never spent the night in a big city before; she’d never experienced the aliveness of night in such a place. She laid there, eyes open, watching headlights from passing cars flood the room with light in pulses. She imagined what Slade must have been like during the war. Did people sleep during the war? With Mewllion outside, and guns blazing, and people dying, did people sleep? A decade of insomnia, an entire decade without sleeping. Or maybe they got used to it. The hammering of gunfire, and the explosions, and toppling of important buildings lulled them to sleep after a while. Rocked them gently off to dreamland. When something gets repeated over and over, it is lulling, it makes your eyes droop and your mind fall and your senses leave you. Another car. Light. Dark. Another car. Light. Dark. Another car. Dark. Dark. Dark. And she was gone.


------------------------------------------------------------------


Dark. The dark. The dark had returned. She was back where she started, standing, in utter darkness. Now, a new light, coming from inside. Candles flickered. They decorated the space like tinsel, dotted across the room, all in lines. Their lights stood tall in unison, like a little army.

There was an altar, in that cathedral. Every pew was empty, but there was a man, at the altar, an old, passionate man with purple robes and a long hat, and he spoke words from a book- spoke his words to the empty church. Curious, Alexi walked forwards.

“It was dark, so Mew created light. He created Kyogre, and sent him to the place where oceans should be, and there were oceans. He created Groudon, and sent him to the place where land should be, and there was land. And he created Rayquaza, and Rayquaza flew, high above it all, and created the Heavens. And the land was…”

Every word the priest was saying seemed more important than his life, and he uttered it with a passion and urgency unparalleled by any Alexi had experienced. His old, saggy face kept shaking with every shouted, emphasized phrase, every quotation mark. The priest’s eyes were alive, and kept staring ahead of him, to the double doors, as if he were speaking to someone who wasn’t there. Perhaps he was.

“And Mew created Regirock, and Regice, and Registeel, and sent them to the land to give it form- and Regirock created mountains in the land, and Regice created ripples in the ocean, and Registeel created minerals in the earth that Men would use to build their cities. But let us not talk of Men just yet. It is not yet that day, that awful day, where we must speak of everything. O! please may we hold our tongues when they speak of Men! Men! MEN!”

The priest’s whole body quaked when he said that word, like he was saying the devil’s name, or swearing loudly to his mother. Alexi was transfixed by this odd ritual, this sermon to nobody she seemed to have walked into. She walked closer, slowly, feeling the wood of the pews as she passed them, watching the priest ignite with every new sentence he spoke.

“And Mew created Ho-oh, and Ho-oh became the sun, and Mew created Lugia, and Lugia became the moon, and so there was night and day. And Mew created Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos, and sent them forth to the sky, and Articuno made the land cold, and Moltres made the land hot, and they fought fiercely with each other, and Zapdos kept their temperature at bay and threw thunderbolts when the birds grew aggressive and had battles in the sky. And so there was weather, and a constant wind blew from the south. And Mew created Raikou, and Entei, and Suicune, and set them forth on the land, and the beasts witnessed the terrible battle in the sky between Moltres and Articuno, and so fled- and Suicune fled to the North, and the North wind billowed out from behind her, and Entei fled to the west, and the West Wind blew out behind him, and Raikou fled to the east and the East Wind followed him where he went. And so the weather had balance.”

Alexi had stopped at the last row of pews, and now sat down in one of them, watching the priest curiously. The priest stopped his sermon, and turned to Alexi, and looked her straight in the eye with an angry face. And there was a thundering from outside, a huge clamour, and giant footsteps that rocked the cathedral, so that the candles swayed and the light swayed with them.

And then the priest had Alexi’s blue eyes and dark hair and a well-worn, chiseled face, and was the face of her father, and he looked at Alexi in concern.

“Alexi! You must listen to me! He is lying to you, what he is saying is not the truth!”

Alexi stood up in shock.

“My brother, Alex, he has lied to you. Do not believe him. Do you understand?”

Alexi tried hard to comprehend what her father was saying to her, but her brain seemed to have stopped working. Xander grabbed his daughter by the collar and pulled her to his face.

“Do you understand, Alexi?!!”

Alexi tried her hardest to speak to her father, to tell him what he wanted to hear, but she couldn’t speak- nobody can speak in dreams. And her brain’s signals to her lips, on the couchbed in Slade, to start operating, to speak, were beginning to wake the rest of her up.

“Do you understand what I’m saying to you?”

A sound prompted Alexi to look up, and the ceiling of the cathedral cracked in two, and a terrible, scaly, tubular leg drove itself into the building, and the roof opened to the sky, and rain poured down on her.

“I understand,” Alexi said, and consciousness immediately began slipping into her. She saw the awful purple slits of Mewllion’s eyes in the dark night sky before she left that worrying scene and returned to the dead of night in her uncle’s house, in Slade, mumbling ‘I understand’ to nobody.

Alexi had been sweating, the sheets were drenched in it, and her brow was wet. She blinked in the darkness. Another car driving past flooded the room with light, and, as the dark returned, Alexi heard her father’s voice again, whispering, lips touching her ear softly.

“Seek the truth.”

Sike Saner
4th April 2006, 7:23 AM
Wow.

Mewllion...This creature sounds absolutely grotesque, and yet very, very cool. *_* Maybe cool due to being so grotesque? Hmmm...And learning more about the significance of the monster from Alexi's dream was neat. ^^


I really, really liked the dream sequence near the end of the chapter, I just say. ^^ This part in particular:


“And Mew created Regirock, and Regice, and Registeel, and sent them to the land to give it form- and Regirock created mountains in the land, and Regice created ripples in the ocean, and Registeel created minerals in the earth that Men would use to build their cities. But let us not talk of Men just yet. It is not yet that day, that awful day, where we must speak of everything. O! please may we hold our tongues when they speak of Men! Men! MEN!”

Wow. *_*


My absolute favorite part of the chapter would be this, though:


Understandably, Alexi didn’t sleep very well that night. Uncle Al pulled out the couch in the lounge room and made a bed for her, but it was awkward and wiry and hard to lie on. She listened to the sounds outside the window, from the traffic, from people walking past, from nothing. She’d never spent the night in a big city before; she’d never experienced the aliveness of night in such a place. She laid there, eyes open, watching headlights from passing cars flood the room with light in pulses. She imagined what Slade must have been like during the war. Did people sleep during the war? With Mewllion outside, and guns blazing, and people dying, did people sleep? A decade of insomnia, an entire decade without sleeping. Or maybe they got used to it. The hammering of gunfire, and the explosions, and toppling of important buildings lulled them to sleep after a while. Rocked them gently off to dreamland. When something gets repeated over and over, it is lulling, it makes your eyes droop and your mind fall and your senses leave you. Another car. Light. Dark. Another car. Light. Dark. Another car. Dark. Dark. Dark. And she was gone.

That was just fantastically written. I love it. ^^

Demy
4th April 2006, 2:34 PM
Hi wow they found a way to evelo Mewtwo. taht is cool.

Mewllion

Demy

IceKing
9th April 2006, 7:35 PM
Chapter Nine:


One time, Murkrow had flown down to Wurmple and hopped along behind him, just lightly pecking the ground behind him, and then moving a little bit closer, always that tiny bit away from Wurmple, always so close

This reminds me of the "I'm not touching you...I'm not touching you..." bit. It's nice to see the two pokemons relationship; I'm just glad Murkrow's not attempting to eat him constantly.


Alexi wasn’t even sure if he could understand her or not, it was just nice to have someone to talk to.

Semi-colon I believe


Murkrow finally gave up trying to balance on Alexi’s shoulder and flopped her wings up into the air, until she sat fat and feathered on top of Alexi’s head.

That is a frickin hilarious position XD


“What the hell have you done with my father, you little cow! Where is he? Where did you leave him? What did you do to him? What did you do?” Mary spat out, gulping air and completely distraught.

HAH! I couldnt wait for her to come


He scrambled up the side of a trunk and then launched himself off it, swinging on his string, sailing through the air like tarzan.


Tarzan should be capitlized, Hun. And that Wurmple always makes me laugh XD


“Right, Seedot, climb that tree, get that Wurmple before your Bide runs out.”

Sorry to be nitpicky, but this was annoying me. Bide is more of a verb order rather than a noun attack. Maybe its better to replace bide with attack


“How dare you! How dare you beat me! I hate you, Alexi True, I hate you with all my heart. I will follow you, and outdo you, and I willdefeat you, if it is the last thing I ever do! I promise! I am better than you, and I’m going to prove it!”

Seperate willdefeat, and I could just hear her screaming like a little girl. I was expecting a cat-fight to break out...


“Yes! Yes! We won! We beat her, we won! I beat someone!!!!!!!”

And about damn time too


Alexi scanned the treetops for any sign of Wurmple, but all trace of life up there had vanished. And then, a rustle of leaves, a flurry of feathers, and a shaking branch- and Alexi spotted a Taillow flying off with freshly caught lunch in her beak.

Oh my Shiva....XD Poor guy


It was a Cascoon that sat heavy in the little nest, filling much of the space, its glittering red eye darting around for intruders. The taillow had gone- Alexi suspected perhaps the little bird had given up with the hardy skin Cascoon was covered in.


Hurray! He evolved! Unless....that's not Alexis old Wurmple, which would make a nice twist


Alexi stood still, eyes locked with Tauros and then, very slowly, took a step backwards. And another. And another. Murkrow cawed again, and flapped over the fence to the paddock. Tauros charged. Alexi turned, and ran. And from the trees, a Taillow who had left her dinner unguarded returned, with a flock of twenty other sisters she meant to share it with- and found it bouncing across the countryside under the arm of a human girl. She squawked, and took to the air, and twenty others followed, swooped, and as one dived down, heading straight for Cascoon.

0_0 The poor girl can't get a break. I got into the chapter at this point, BTW


It was in ruin. Much of the road had cracked, rubble littered the dusty, empty streets, at the stone walls were dotted with bulletholes and marks from horrible pokemon attacks. Many of the windows were smashed, and whole parts of buildings had been completely blown off, lying metres away from where they should be.

No offense, but what ever happened to whenever God (or Allah, or Buddha, or Shiva, or Darwin) closes a door, he opens a window? One bad thing after another....


Well, C_D, you have certainly come a long way from the iffy prologue. Your writing skills have blossomed amazingly and you are beginning to join the ranks of "Best Writers in Serebii" You certainly have improved your battles since the last chapter with all those battles. They were nicely described, and interesting to read how the attacks weren't set in stone and were flexible. Especially the Wurmple-Tarzan XD Unless you suddenly become sucky, I have nothing more to comment about your writing style XD It's brilliant, and I'll just leave it at that for future reviews. Though I think I said that before...

As for the actual plot, I'm curious as to how this Uncle comes in play and whether he rememebers the island or not. I suppose we'll discover new information....dang it I accidently peeked at Demys review XD Ill just ignore that... Well, this chapter nine review may be posted now but I am going to edit the chapter ten review in, m'kay?

Chapter Ten:


“What do you mean? What do you think happened? There was a war, remember?”

Funny, you would have think war would have affected Blackwood somehow. Alexi has another lesson coming I guess, mankind and war.


The buildings were quite high, and were stacked together on top of each other closely, like soggy cardboard boxes

For some reason, I really loved that simile


Where are you living now, just out of interest?”

So he doesn't know. Then how did the parents contact him? Also, it must be pretty darn uncomfortable for a young girl to be living in a dirty house with a middle-aged man. I know it was uncomfortable for me, a man.


“‘Al, blah blah, take care of Alexi, meet her here, make sure she goes in the Xela Pokemon league, and collects every badge. She’s gonna be a master one day, mark my words.’ Sounds like your parents want you to enter the league. Fair enough. That’s what all pokemon trainers do, I suppose- just that we don’t get many round here these days, that’s all. Not since the war.”

Ok, another question anwsered. Its bout time she gets started on the league, I like OT fics, especially ones with flare.


can go against the Elite Four. And then, once you beat them, you’re a pokemon master

I'm just curious as to your views. How on Earth does a 13 year old go through gyms in less than a year and beat trainers who have been training for decades? Personally, I like the anime approach better with the end of the year tournament and the fact that the Elite Four are pretty much unstoppable by teenagers. But this is your fic, and it appears there isnt a regular Elite Four, but what do you think about that subject?


Much to her relief, Blissey Burgers were named after the Blissey that served behind the counter in all the stores, and not because they were made out of real Blissey.

HAH! That got a good laugh out of me, Blissey are just...hilarious. And that's obviously a satire of fast food... s'pecially with this line:


What they were made of, though, seemed a bit of a mystery


They’d lost count, at that point, of how many times he’d evolved, so they called him Mewllion; they thought he might have evolved a million times and he looked like a lion by then. And that was that- Mewllion was born.”


...Great, another fic with a Super-Mewtwo <_> I can't say I'm too happy, but that doesn't make your fic bad or anything, just not my taste... But that creature in her dreams (heh, it kinda reminds me of the big yellow banana) seemed like a hyped up Entei


he buried the pokeball in the middle of the Daiieth Desert

I will bet my life that the pokeball will be dug up =)


Alexi stared, blank-faced, at Uncle Al, unable to breathe. It was him. It was him, that’s what it was. That’s why she was here. Mewllion was the monster from her dream. It was him.

...oooooh! I thought it would be one of the seven sooped up pokemon!


“My brother, Alex, he has lied to you. Do not believe him. Do you understand?”

You really do deserve Best Storyline Twist because this fic is just one twist after another!


Well, so after ten chapters we start a new era. To be honest, I kind of forgot about the whole beast and the reason she was on a journey in the first place XD Mewllion is the beast, but I get the feeling that he actually is good, and the people of Xela are bad. Fits in with the theme of human greed, ect. Just curious, how many chapters is this fic aiming for? At my first impression, I thought the city was completely demolished but it turns out its just run-down. Uncle Al reminds me a lot of a New Yorker (like me! or like ex-me...) and he isn't the most tactful person when it comes to teenage girls (like me! or like ex-me...). It was interesting to learn about this war against Mewllion, though Mewtwo evolutions are a wee bit overdone. But like always, I don't mind overdone as long as its written extremely well (and to this date, it is)

The dream sequence at the end was my favorite. Cathedrals and mystical priests always kick A. I liked how you described the legendary pokemon creating the world, almost everyone has a different version and I particularly liked yours, though it did exclude some pokemon.

Well, I'm dead from reviewing now. All I can say is good chapter and happy days ^^

Saffire Persian
10th April 2006, 2:47 AM
Review of Chapter Ten- What Happened


“All of Xela, Alexi. Wow, you really don’t know anything at all. Let’s go back to my house; we’ve got a lot of talking to do. I’m Al- Alex, like you. There’s a story to that too. Call me Uncle Al, before it gets confusing, O.K? I’ll tell you everything when we get up to my apartment. I live in the next block- this way.”

While O.K is all well and good, I think spelling it out (okay) sounds a little bit better in dialogue and such. I dunno -- more professional IMO. But that's just my take.


“‘Al, blah blah, take care of Alexi, meet her here, make sure she goes in the Xela Pokemon league, and collects every badge. She’s gonna be a master one day, mark my words.’ Sounds like your parents want you to enter the league. Fair enough. That’s what all pokemon trainers do, I suppose- just that we don’t get many round here these days, that’s all. Not since the war.”

Alexi has very odd (and interesting) parents. 0_o I'm sure there's more to them than meets the eye.


“Um…at the risk of sounding really stupid…what’s the league?”

She is naive. XD oy.


Much to her relief, Blissey Burgers were named after the Blissey that served behind the counter in all the stores, and not because they were made out of real Blissey. What they were made of, though, seemed a bit of a mystery.

Maybe egg-burgers? XD And I agree with Iceking: Blissey rock.



They’d lost count, at that point, of how many times he’d evolved, so they called him Mewllion; they thought he might have evolved a million times and he looked like a lion by then. And that was that- Mewllion was born.”

I'm glad he looks like a lion - being a feline lover.. But I'm a little iffy of (seemingly) super-powerful Mewllion here. But I'm sure I won't be disappointed.


Mewllion decided to start attacking everyone, and these scientists, they decided to go along with it. So they gave Mewllion a whole heap of pokemon from somewhere, and he gave them special powers- there were seven of them, I think, that was significant, only I don’t know why- and they went around and started attacking people.”

Odd. 0_o They GAVE Mewllion POkemon. Oy. XD


being the good soul he is, captured Mewllion in a pokeball instead of killing him and then he buried the pokeball in the middle of the Daiieth Desert-

XD... I think you should've left his burial spot unknown, because if Al knows that it's buried there, a whole bunch of people do, and hten they'd be looking for it. X.x


Alexi stared, blank-faced, at Uncle Al, unable to breathe. It was him. It was him, that’s what it was. That’s why she was here. Mewllion was the monster from her dream. It was him.

Heh. Thought so.



Another car. Light. Dark. Another car. Light. Dark. Another car. Dark. Dark. Dark. And she was gone.

I agree with Sike. Boss sentence.


----------

Overall, you have an interesting, if not extremely plot laden chapter here. It did feel a bit heavy at times because of that, and took me a bit of time to get into. And what's with all the 'AL' names - there a reason for it. Alex, Alexi, Al...

It looks like things are going to be picking up speed soon, too. ^_^ Good luck.

cyndaquil_dratini
10th April 2006, 9:39 AM
Hurrah, reviews! And such beautiful, comprehensive ones. Thankyou so much, Iceking- you make me feel fantastic. I shall write a fic and dedicate it to you. Hmm...perhaps a Slowpoke intertwined into this one somewhere along the way. I'm glad you liked Uncle Al's character, I did try hard to make him not just a faceless plot-reeler. Yeah, this chapter was a bit plotty, the next one is a bit too- but then we get straight back into it. I'm glad you all really pciked up on the whole new era thing. This fic has a looooong way to go, my challenge is to finish it. So many fics just get forgotten about round here, it's really sad (coughedy cough- saffire persian) coz I only ever review good stories. Hmm. Mostly.


I'm glad everyone likes the chapel scene, that dreams a very, very incredibly important one- and clever of you to notice the missing out of a couple of legendary pokemon there, Iceking- that sermon's not finished yet. I won't say anything else bout that, moving right along. Yeah, I'm glad people like my plot twists, theyre so much fun to write after planning out this whole thing.

Yeah, I think the thing I've done most wrong in this story- and a clear trait that it's my first fic- is that I've put a lot of corny, overused things in there. I planned out this fic before I read any others, before I knew what was overused and what wasn't. I've come through the 'legendary pokemon' business okay, fingers crossed I can get away with the Mewtwo superclone. I like the dieas floating round here bout him, some of you are very estute indeed.

I've never really understood the whole end of the league thing, Iceking. Hmm. I think what you say, how the anime works (I never saw much of the anime, they dont show it down here in little tassie) sounds like what I was trying to say with the whole 'nobody really beats the elite four' thing. I'll research the way the anime works and keep it at that- the elite four the Xela league people battle are the ones in Kanto, on Mt Silver. I'm glad everyone likes Blissey's- there's much more to come about Blissey Foods Inc., just you wait.

I'm glad this chapter was bearable even though there wasn't much actual story, and a lot of explaining. And I'm so grateful for all your wonderful reviews, they just want to make me write and write and write all day. I've been playing around with an idea I had for a new fic- Alexi's pretty straight, even though it's great fun to write, and I'd like to have a medium to delve into some more 'experimental' writing. I've called it Boy and Bonsly, theres a preview of it in the Authors Cafe as well as a better explanation of how it'd work, if you like the idea, the format, let me know (and thanks Saffire!).

The Alex name thing will all be explained in the next chapter, its nothing big. It's just a little thing for clever people to spot, Alex is my name so I know all the variations on it and there are quite a few in this fic (not just people names either.)

I'll madly dash away and write chapter eleven then, shall I? get a bit more of this Mewllion debacle explained?

Saffire, you're right about the Daiieth desert, just you wait and see whats been going on with that but, yeah, its such a set-up, isn't it? Ah well, its a corny fic, theres no getting around it. it's lots of fun to write, heres hoping its lots of fun to read too.

Act
15th April 2006, 2:42 AM
I feel like reading an OT. :D:D:D

*is shot by people on her requests list*

Well, this is a big IMO, but I can't stand the short, choppy sentences for effect thing. I just hate it. No one thinks like that; no one talks like that. It never fails to rub me the wrong way, especially more than four consecutive sentences of it. Two or three I can take fine, but you have a whole paragraph of weird sentence structure here.

This is more minor, but isn't Alexi a boy's name? Or is that different from Alexei? Alexei Kovalev, Alexei Yashin, Alexei Zhitnik... all dudes. *shrug* Just a thought. Actually, now that I look it up, 'Alexi' without the 'e' isn't even a name... o.o;; And it says 'primarily male,' so I guess it could be a girl's name, too. I do have to wonder if you heard the name, liked it, and then spelled it wrong...? Research = love.


Its tail was thick like a lion’s, and wings ripped out from its back

I'm sure what you said here isn't what you meant. You said that wings had been ripped out of its back. I think you meant wings were jutting out of its back.


and wings ripped out from its back; shaggy, ragged, leathery, grotesque.

Semicolon abuse! A semicolon has to connect two complete sentences. IE, if one part could not stand alone as a sentence, you can't do it. The second clause here is not independant, and you should not be using a semicolon. I think you meant to use a colon, anyway.


Pushing herself forwards, through heavy nothing.

Forward, not forwards. And in any case, it's a fragment.


Her eyes screamed in agony as,

How does that work?


She shielded herself, and the light pulled her away, took her up, into the air, through a tiny hole, and shoved her uncomfortably into a cramped place.

Whoa, comma abuse. Read this through, pausing at every single comma. Yeah, that's the problem. Free up the sentence; take some of them out.


So cramped, so suffocated for space.

Sentence fragment much.


Pidgey chirped in their nests. Celebi flew past playfully.
Another unusual event that seemed so everyday to Alexi was the sighting of

You forgot to space out the paragraphs here.

I could lecture you about how pokemon names probably shouldn't be capatalized, but I'll spare you the long explanation and say that, logically, if you are going to capatalize 'magicarp' you might as well captalize 'trout,' 'salmon,' and 'fish,' too. They're not proper nouns.


After a minute, her blonde, notably beautiful mother,

Ehh, it's never good to come out in narration and tell us she's objectively beautiful. After all, what you find beautiful may differ from what I do. Instead, the better way to go about would be to say something more along the lines of, "Alexei had always found her beautiful."


“No, it was terrible.”

... her daughter replied.


“Oh, nothing major. I had a yucky dream, that’s all. It was really vivid, and I woke up all shaky and sweaty.”


When you have more than two people having a conversation, you have to specify who is speaking each time. You just do. If two people start to converse on their own, then you can stray from it. IMO, though, it's always better to mention the speaker after anything is said. *shrug*


She was nearly thirteen and a half, after all, a perfectly grown-up, responsible age. She didn’t need to be given instructions like ‘stay put’ any more. She could look after herself now.

Again, it feels like you're telling us this. Is she thinking it, or is this meant to be a fact the reader must oblige by? If the former, you should make it more clear that this is *her* opinion. I mean, my brother is that age, and I'd never call him responsible or grown up. -.- On the other hand, my cousin is the same age and very mature.


tthirteen-year-old mind

Typo :)


And now she, Alexi, was alone, in her parent’s bedroom, with the keys to the chest she had wanted to open for so long.

Ehh, that's a little *too* much of a coincidence for me, but I'll stretch my imagination.

Why would she scream? I mean, I know she'd be scared, but she'd supposed to be secretive about this, and it's just a picture.

I also have to wonder how her parents got their hands on a full-color photograph having lived in the woods in complete isolation all of their lives, but whatever.

---

I'd go on to the next chapter, but I want to play MapleStory. :X

Anyway, this wasn't too bad. I'm going to assume you've gottne better over time, so until I get further into it there's really not any general comments I can make.

My big complaint is that everything unfolds too perfectly. Her parents *happen* to ask for the exact details of the dream, they *happen* to forget themselves and rush out in a panic, and Alexei just *happens* to begin thinking about the chest the one day her parents *happen* to forget the keys. And of course, she *happens* upon a picture of her friends. It seems to chancey.

Ledgendaries don't bother me, really. The end!

So yeah, I s'pose I'll pick this up later. It was a mildly enjoyable read, though not really my cup of tea so far. Not blaringly bad, but nothing too special. Though, I must admit, it's quite obvious that this was your first fic attempt. :X x)

Shadows Follower
15th April 2006, 3:15 AM
Great story so far cynd. Well written, interesting plot an characters, gives you a laugh... what else could you want? (except a great deal of money). I hope you keep up your work.

cyndaquil_dratini
15th April 2006, 3:40 AM
Hurrah, new readers! That's always lots of fun. Thanks, Shadows Follower- did you read it all so far, or just the first chapter like Act? I shall indeed keep writing, thanks to comments like yours.

Oh. Deflated by Act. I guess all I can say is to please keep reading. I am a newbie, and so this fic gets better over time. Yeah, I like short, choppy sentences- that's how I write things in dreams, because I think that's how people's minds work in dreams.

Lots of people have said about that first chapter that it's too coincidental, everything just seems too perfect. It's not, it's just that you don't know the reasons behind something. In a rewrite, I'd make a lot of things clearer in that first little bit- not much is given away in chapter one, I sort of wanted to leave the reader with a kind of 'what's going on here?' mysterious air. The fic gets better as things move along but, as I said lots when that chapte was first posted, and as everyone else now knows- the themes Alexi deals with makes it essential to begin the fic in this perfect, happy way. There's no coincidence in Alexi thinking about opening the chest at the same time her parents have left her that opportunity- that's the reason she's thinking aboutit. Her parents are incredibly worried about her daughter, there's good reason for them not to be worried about something little like a key. It's the monster in the photo, not Alexi's friends, and her parents haven't lived on the island (It's an island, not woods) all their lives, just Alexi has.

I'm glad you haven't given up all hope on this fic, as the story and the plot becoms clearer, I'm sure you'll enjoy it more. I hope you'll enjoy it more- you're one of the writers on Serebii i most admire.

Yeah, Alexi is her name, and it is a girls name, and it's spelt however I want it to be spelt. I did actually find it in a name book (perhaps the book was lying, and made the name up) but aside from that- you can call your child whatever you feel like, legally, a person can be named anything. I decided to call her Alexi, and I'm the author, so that's what her name is. None of this 'haven't done your research' poo, her name is Alexi, spelt like that, and she's a girl, right?

Aside from all that, it's wonderful to have new readers and keep on reading! It's good to know I've improved vastly and good to have that reminder that my first chapters aren't as good as the most recent ones. Thanks for doing such a comprehensive review, and stick around (both of you) please because I'd like to see what you think of what happens next.

Act
15th April 2006, 4:58 AM
Lots of people have said about that first chapter that it's too coincidental, everything just seems too perfect. It's not, it's just that you don't know the reasons behind something.

Ehh, you know what they say: 50,000 Frenchmen can't be wrong. Just IMO, when people keep saying something, it just might be true, and it's probably best not to write it off because it's not the most favorable truth. *shrug*


It's the monster in the photo, not Alexi's friends,

What? When did I say that? If I did, it came out way wrong, and my bad.


It's an island, not woods

What, they're can't be a forest on an island? O.o;; It was pretty clear that where she was living was in a network of trees. I'm fairly sure that qualifies as a forest as opposed to a beach or something, but whatever. Not important, I s'pose.


I'm glad you haven't given up all hope on this fic, as the story and the plot becoms clearer, I'm sure you'll enjoy it more. I hope you'll enjoy it more- you're one of the writers on Serebii i most admire.

:3 I'm flattered, really. Like I said, I can't really judge the whole fic too accurately by the first chapter of a first fic. I hope I'll enjoy it.



Yeah, Alexi is her name, and it is a girls name, and it's spelt however I want it to be spelt. I did actually find it in a name book (perhaps the book was lying, and made the name up) but aside from that- you can call your child whatever you feel like, legally, a person can be named anything. I decided to call her Alexi, and I'm the author, so that's what her name is. None of this 'haven't done your research' poo, her name is Alexi, spelt like that, and she's a girl, right?

It's spelled S-M-I-T-H, but it's pronounced throat-warbler-mangrove.

Rarw much. I know all that, I was just curious. I was thinking as I wrote it, "I'm going to be told that *technically* a name can be anything, and it's *his* fic." And I was right. Woohoo! I was fairly sure that 'Alexei' could be a girl's name, and, actually, I was also sure 'Alexi' was a name in itself. *shrug* I only brought it up because every time I see the title of this fic, I think of Alexei Kovalev back in '94 saying the only word he could: "Unbelievable." xD Redundantly, I was just wondering where it came from. No skin off my back.

I'll go on to the next chapter some day... er, soon. I intend to, if that matters. It's like 11 PM right now, so I wouldn't be too coherent. I don't think I am.

cyndaquil_dratini
21st April 2006, 7:41 AM
Here's the latest chapter of Alexi. It's very long, but I'm sure you're all used to Alexi chapter length by now. It has been my favourite chapter to write so far, so I hope you like it. It's a bit background-information heavy, hopefully you won't get too bored. watch out for Alexi's newest pokemon at the end, signalling the beginning of the story getting back into the swing of things, next chapter. Here we go.


Chapter Eleven- The Sad Eventuality of the Slade City Gym

Alexi woke warm in her bedclothes, sun pouring in the large window in Uncle Al’s loungeroom. Al was already sitting at a table on the other side of the room, reading a paper over a bowl of cereal.

“Morning, kiddo. Better go hop in the shower soonish, I’m off to work and I’ve got a hunch your dad’d like me to bring you along with me.”

Alexi was still rubbing sleep out of her eyes and curling herself round in odd shapes in the warmth of the blanket.

“Take me to your work?” she said, after a minute or two. “Why? What’s Dad got to do with your work?”

“Oh, plenty. It’s not really what you’d call work; I only really have to pop in once a month to check up on everything and they send me enough money to rent this place. It’s a good thing I’ve got going here; I’m practically living for free. It’s kinda like living off the dole, but classier.”

A thought crossed Alexi’s mind that perhaps she should ask what a doll had to do with anything, but she remembered all the funny looks her uncle had given her when she’d asked about something that sounded like something she should already know before, and she thought better of it. She decided to change the topic to avoid embarrassment.

“So,” Alexi began, sitting up in bed “What was my Dad like when he was little? Got any dirt on him? Any embarrassing childhood memories I can blackmail him with when I get back home?”

Uncle Al chuckled between mouthfuls of cereal. “Nah, your Dad was good as gold. Couldn’t put a foot wrong. Same as Rex. Xander and Rex this, Xander and Rex that, that’s how things were back then. I was the naughty one; spose I was just looking for attention really. Rex was the oldest, and Xander wasn’t too far behind; they were both so successful and always made Mum and Dad so proud and I wasn’t anything like that, so I kinda got forgotten about. Bottom of the food chain, that’s how it works.”

Alexi was trying her hardest to have an entire conversation with her uncle without him looking at her like she was a nutter and she had a very strong feeling that asking about her dad's brother, Rex, who she had never heard of, would have that kind of effect, but curiosity got the better of her- her father had never talked about his family, she didn’t know the first thing about what it was like for him growing up. All this was much too interesting to skim over for the sake of pretending to be cleverer than you actually were.

“Oh, yeah. Rex. Yeah, Dad’s always going on about him,” Alexi tried, attempting to steer the conversation in that direction without sounding completely thick.

“Mm, I can imagine. Rex, the smart one. Mum and Dad were high-up scientists, always off doing some experiment or another, always to do with pokemon. Rex kinda inherited the sciencey gene, if that’s what you’d call it. He loved all that boring stuff they’d go on about- so did Xander. After a while, they both branched off into more specific areas. Well, Rex decided he was more interested in ancient pokemon, you know, prehistoric ones who’d died out and so forth; and I think Xander wanted to make sure he was good at something that Rex wasn’t so that’s why he became more focused on the Legendary pokemon side of things. They both got pretty famous, too- this was before the war, of course.”

“Did you…um…did you ever get into science and that kind of thing at all? What were you interested in?” Alexi asked, politely trying to relate the conversation back to her uncle.

“Oh, nah, yeah, like I said- our house was pretty much an Al-free zone. I just wasn’t very good with numbers and smart scientific stuff. Nah, Mum and Dad loved Rex way too much to take heaps of notice of me, ‘specially after he became gym leader.”

Alexi opened her mouth before she could stop herself. “My uncle was the gym leader?”

Uncle Al gave her that look of extreme puzzlement again, and Alexi sank back under the covers.

“I thought you said Xander talked about Rex all the time,” Al confronted.

Alexi resurfaced.

“Well, not really heaps about, um, being a Gym Leader, he mainly just talked about …um…what a great guy he was?”

Alexi tried a smile, and Uncle Al rolled his eyes.

“Yeah, right. Okay, so, when Rex was still pretty young, just getting out of school and starting to make it as a scientist/archeolothingy whatever you’d call him, he made a really big discovery, kinda accidentally. There’s a cave up in the mountains near here somewhere called Loophole Cave. My brother found it. Well, I mean, he didn’t find the cave, he just found out what was special about it, decided there was something really odd about it- I think it was something to do with something Mum and Dad had found out- and he went exploring into it and found this lake full of all these ancient pokemon people thought had been dead for a bazillion years- that’s why it’s called Loophole Cave, Rex named it, coz he reckoned there was almost a kind of loophole in time in there which all the prehistoric pokemon got trapped in, so that’s why they didn’t die out, kinda thing. Now, people had been discovering these kinda pokemon all over the place, and they resurrected a couple on Cinnibar Island a while ago too, but this discovery was real exciting coz it was the first time all of ‘em had been found in the one place. Anyway, I think that’s why Rex got involved with all the prehistoric pokemon- and as you can imagine, scientists from far and wide came to have a look at this cave. But Mum and Dad got really tetchy bout the whole thing, coz they didn’t want too many people going into this amazing cave and destroying it all, so Rex went in and caught as many ancient pokemon as he needed to start breeding them, and brought them back and did experiments and studies on them that way instead.”

“So how did he become Gym Leader then, if he didn’t have anything to do with the League thingo?”

“Yeah, well, he started breeding all these ancient pokemon in this big lab he built, with all the money he got from selling his amazing discovery or however scientists get their money, I don’t know. And after studying with all these ancient pokemon nobody had ever really known anything about before, he started getting real good at battling with them. People were coming to Slade to see these ancient pokemon, and sooner or later, trainers came and started challenging Rex to battles- and it just so happened that Rex wasn’t half-bad as a pokemon trainer, and since he was the guy who’d put Slade City on the map, and he was the only reason trainers bothered coming all the way up here for, the Xela league made him Gym Leader and he turned his lab into a prehistoric pokemon gym.”

Alexi sat up in awe. Her uncle had been a prehistoric pokemon gym leader. He was famous. It was a really odd feeling, to start discovering all these things about her past and her family that she should have known years ago. Every little bit of information she discovered her father had kept from her kept making her question why she was out here, why they’d sent her away- and although they were always wonderful parents before that day when Alexi first had the dream, it was starting to look more and more like something funny was going on about them. There was one thing that kept bugging her more than that though- Al kept talking about her famous uncle, Rex, in past tense. And surely, if Rex was around and he was closer to Xander, Alexi would have been staying with him, not Uncle Al, the ‘forgotten son’. Last night, hadn’t she been told that there wasn’t a gym leader in Slade? Not since…

“Look, Alexi, I’ve got something to tell you.”

Alexi looked up. Her uncle’s face was stern- perhaps he’d thought the long pause in conversation had been Alexi’s way of making him feel uncomfortable, of trying to wiggle a secret out of him. He continued.

“I thought your father would have told you about what happened with Rex but obviously, he’s been keeping a lot of stuff from you. I don’t know what’s going on there, it’s not my business, but I feel like there are some things you really should know before you get much older. Um, Alexi, last night…I lied to you.”

Alexi pulled her covers up to her knees; she was really awake now.

“When I said I only saw Mewllion once and only for a little bit, I probably wasn’t letting on everything I know about him. Not that I know heaps, mind you but- something happened. In the war. Your uncle died. Mewllion killed him.”

“Oh. That’s terrible.” Alexi didn’t really know what else to say. Her famous uncle had been killed, it was a terrible thing, but Alexi had kind of half-foreseen it anyway, so her response was subdued. Last night, and her fathers words, kept coming back to her. ‘Seek the truth’- surely, this truth wasn’t what he was talking about when he said Al had been lying? Alexi wasn’t even sure if what her father said to her had been real and important, or just a figment of her imagination, something her mind dreamed up to pass the time before morning. Uncle Al was unaware of all this thought process however, and rambled on regardless.

“Yeah, he destroyed the gym and killed Rex. It was such a loss. I wish I was there when it happened, I wish I could have done something. But I don’t at the same time. Just…you know…everyone loved him so much and…well, Mewllion coulda killed me instead, then maybe less people woulda cared. Not that I’m going ‘poor me, poor me’ or anything, just- I miss my brother. That’s fair enough, to miss your own brother. And then Xander packed up and left, and not a word for twelve years or however long its been and then suddenly this letter asking…not that I don’t love you coming to stay, it’s great to see the family, specially since I never got around to having any….um…oh, God, look at the time, we’d better get going.”

Uncle Al picked up his now-empty breakfast bowl and chucked it on the sink, fixing his collar with his other hand at the same time. Alexi thought about getting up out of bed and into the shower, but didn’t know where it was and preferred to stay under her warm sheets. Uncle Al made eye contact.

“Come on, we’ve got to get down to the park before nine or I’ll start feeling guilty, I’m only needed once a month after all.”

Looking for a reason to postpone hopping out of bed, Alexi continued the conversation that had stopped abruptly a minute ago.

“So, where do you work again? The park?”

Alexi had images of her uncle sitting on a park bench reading a paper for a day once a month. Working…for the council?

“The zoo, the museum, the fossil park, whatever you call it. It’s what they turned the gym into after the war- the gym belongs to the gym leader, and so rights were passed down to me after Rex passed away and Xander up and left. All the prehistoric pokemon were fine after the war, obviously, Mewllion wouldn’t have harmed them, and the scientists researching them would have had a fit if I shut the place down so I rented it out to this business, and they keep the pokemon alive and charge people a dollar or something to go have a gander. I go in and check it out, once a month, make sure everything’s running smoothly. They restored the whole place quite nicely though and it’s great, coz I don’t need a proper job now since this pays so well. I’m kind of living off Rex’s memory, I guess. That’s why I thought you’d be interested, come down and have a look at where Rex used to work. I’m sure you’d like to know a bit more about him, wouldn’t you? He was pretty well known in his day. Isn’t that cool? You’ve got a famous uncle.”

“Yeah, no, that sounds great. Fossil park. Sounds great. Right, well, show me your shower then. I’ll be five seconds.”


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But Alexi is female, and hadn’t had a shower in months. Uncle Al was half an hour late to get to the Fossil Park that morning, which was in the middle of town. Big stone steps led up to the large glass building which made it look like a kind of public library. Ferns were growing up against the glass on one side, but apart from what was touching the windows, you couldn’t see anything, because they were all fogged up. It seemed that inside was very humid; perhaps that was the temperature the ancient pokemon inside liked it, or perhaps that was grime, not moisture. The other half was all thick glass too, but it had all been painted over. The building looked pretty run down, like most of the town- it had the appearance of a building that hadn’t had anyone care for it for a long time, like a teenage girls dollhouse, maybe an old greenhouse which the owners had gotten bored of tending to. It was enormous, bloated- continued on right down under the pavement.

The doors were long and tall and looked heavy. They were grey and had the same texture as conctrete, though Alexi didn’t think it was very likely that that’s what they were actually made of. Uncle Al took considerable effort pushing them open- they seemed to scrape against the floor inside, which was lino.

Inside, a cathedral-high ceiling spanned a corridor that seemed to go on for an age. Along the walls were glass panes, and behind the glass, various habitats where pokemon sat and watched each other. The whole place was only one room, like a warehouse. It probably would have been an impressive gym, but time was taking its toll on this building, and it was obvious that Uncle Al was considerably lenient in his monthly inspections of the place. ‘As long as I’m getting paid, I don’t much care,’ Alexi could imagine her uncle saying, regarding the topic.

There were only a few people wandering around the place, taking photos, reading plaques, fogging up the glass cages they looked into intently. A desk sat at the front of the room, with a security guard behind it. He looked up, bored, as Alexi and her uncle came closer, and signaled to Al to go on through. Al unclipped a blue rope, attached to two short, gold poles at the entrance to the ‘park’ and let Alexi through. The man behind the desk leant back in his chair and took out a thick novel. He had the look of a man who had read a lot of thick novels in his time.

Uncle Al took her neice by the shoulder and showed her round.

“Okay, so this is the park. Rex kept all these pokemon- some of them are from the cave, some of them bred here. Some of the younger ones, actually, haven’t seen Rex- they were bred here since I’ve been running the place. Up there, the Omanyte tank- that’s a happy place. There’s been this huge surge in Omanyte reproduction, they’re recreating like crazy. Hopefully, that means there might even be Omanyte in the wild sometime soon, I dunno, I don’t really take care of the sciency aspect of stuff as you can guess. There’s only one Aerodactyl, too, since that’s the only one Rex ever caught, and the poor old dinosaur's been real sick lately too so I’m gonna go check on him. You feel free to wander round, there’s stuff bout all these pokemon on the little plaques in front of all the enclosures. Oh, that’s the other thing- it’s fine to take out your pokemon round here too, show them the nasties they could have been battling if they were alive two million years ago. Yeah, when they turned the gym into this Fossil Park, that was one of the features that was real important to them, to attract trainers. Of course, we weren’t aware of how much the number of trainers round here would decline after the war, some people said there’d be a resurgence of popularity as a kind of backlash, but that hasn’t happened. I dunno. Business stuff- I try to stay out of that area too. Just here to inspect, really, and to keep old Rex’s memory alive. So yeah, feel free to let your little pals wander round with you, haven’t seen them yet, it’d be good to let them have some fresh air.”

Uncle Al took his arm off Alexi and ran over to a large window halfway along the room, where an official-looking person was waving him over. Alexi took her pokeballs off her belt.

“Cascoon, Murkrow- go!”


-------------------------------------------------------


Behind the first few windows was a huge tank that must have stretched halfway down the hall. In it, sand created a smooth, curved desert landscape under a faux ocean floor. The sand was dotted with rocks- huge craggy boulders sometimes, and tiny pebbles that shone like jewellery in other places. Goldeen swam through this beautiful underwater landscape in schools, and Magikarp bobbed around up near the surface, too. To see right at the bottom of the tank, Alexi and her pokemon had to put their faces right up against the glass- the tank stretched down below them for about the size of the room. It was now obvious why the building appeared so bloated from the outside, yet had only one tall corridor inside.

On the rocks that lay in the sand on the bottom of the tank, Lileep attached themselves. Their glowing eyes peered up through their tentacles, watching the shadows above them. There were groups of four or five together, each taking up as much area on their big rock as they could. Their pink tentacles swayed together with the water current, following the fish pokemon swimming over them; ten glowing eyes hungrily followed the flowery Goldeen flap across above them. The school of Goldeen dipped and slid across the tank floor, sifting through sand for food. As the group passed the Lileep, the tentacled pokemon lashed out with their rubber necks. Two of the Goldeen were snapped up, into the dark bodies of the Lileep, held there by the strong tentacles, and flapped helplessly for a few minutes before acid took affect and they lay still. Other Lileep snatched at the food, eager to steal their associate's lunch from their mouths, but the tentacles held strong. The lucky Lileep digested their food slowly, and the Goldeen swam on.

Mother Murkrow pushed her old, feathered head up against the glass and peered into the tank with one beady eye. Her beak tapped the tank with a little ‘clink’ as she adjusted herself to follow the Goldeen swimming by. She pecked at the glass as one of the fish came right up to her, and ruffled its frilly fins as if to say ‘na na na na boogie, you can't get me’. Mother cawed lowly, and the fish moved on.

Cascoon sat on the lino floor, wobbling from side to side, rolling his one red eye round, trying to catch a glimpse of what was going on inside the tank. His awkward body tipped over at funny places as he shifted his weight, managing only to wobble a little too far to the left and tip himself upside down. He grunted grumpily and shook himself till Alexi noticed. Mother Murkrow saw the situation out of the corner of one eye and chuckled to herself.

Alexi had her hands up against the tank, watching the scene below her with wonderment. Cascoon’s grunting broke the moment, and she picked him up with both hands and lifted him up to see the beautiful world inside the tank. Cascoon made grumbling noises at Mother Murkrow, who seemed to be enjoying the use of her limbs and the fact that she had them and Cascoon didn’t. Alexi nuzzled her head into Cascoons soft, silky exterior and he refrained his grumbling for a moment to take a look into the tank.

Bang! Deadly sickles rammed the glass as a Kabutops swam past, hunting for a Magikarp. Alexi stepped back in fright, a little shaken. Cascoon trembled uncontrollably and Murkrow shook with silent laughter.

Kabutops slipped one of its deadly claws into the side of one of the Magikarp and it gulped in silent screams. Blood blossomed out and drifted through the water, and Alexi took her pokemon and moved on from the unsettling sight. Below the killing, huge Cradily dragged themselves along the sand, their huge heads gulping up water to breath and swaying round in search of prey.

A little further on, the sea floor came up to eye level and Alexi spotted Krabby crawling along, hiding behind rocks. She noticed shoals of tiny Remoraid, swimming and shimmering with the water. Anorith appeared from behind rocks and vibrated their little wings, propelling them along in the water at a walking pace. One snapped its claws around playfully, then spotted the Remoraid and reached for them. Another swam to a particularly large rock and started prying its claws under it, to try and get hold of the Krabby desperately seeking sanctuary under it. Krabby fought back, snapping its large claws at the Anorith, and Anorith’s long, stalked eyes retreated and it clicked its mouth, then swam away. Further on, an army of Kabuto shuffled along- about ten of them, each overlapping the other with their shell and so encasing the group in one big shield. They shuffled along like a big flat rock, perfectly succinct, and the eyes on their shells blinked as they scanned the water for predators.

Murkrow hopped a little further on, intrigued by the sound of splashing water up ahead, and came to the end of the first tank and the start of the second. Alexi was mesmerised by the Kabuto clan for a minute, but noticed Mother Murkrow’s presence missing and soon came after her.

Here was a much smaller tank than the other- the height of the room, with a tall ladder leaning up against one side, but only about one meter lengthwise. The top was open, and water was sloshing about and spilling over out of the tank, onto the floor. A worker stood at the top of the ladder, a big marker in her hand. The tank was full of Omanyte; completely full of Omanyte. An Omanyte was stuck to the surface of almost all the area of the glass, so you could almost not see inside the tank at all. Their slimy blue tentacles grabbed hold of whatever space they had, and through the holes in the layering of pokemon, you could see Omanyte sucked on top of each other, crawling over each other’s shells trying to find a place to breathe.

The woman at the top of the tank was taking each Omanyte out, one by one, and drawing big red crosses on the back of their shells. The process of taking the Omanyte out of the water, signing it, and then putting it back in, was causing a tremendous amount of mess, mainly water, mainly landing on Murkrow’s head. Murkrow dipped with her wet head, looked up angrily, and then hopped along to a safer place to stand.

Alexi watched, indescribably ambivalent. She saw the big, sad eyes of these poor pokemon being squashed up against each other; the heaving of their shells as they tried to breathe in any oxygen the water had to offer. She saw the way they sat on top of each other, trying their hardest to make the most of their situation. Many of the Omanyte had obviously lived in this sort of confined space their entire lives; unaware that they could be living happier, healthier, more comfortable lives. They all just needed more space. More space meant more money, Alexi guessed, and she had an inkling that the paying customers wouldn’t particularly want to see a huge tank full of only Omanyte, no matter that that’s what the Fossil Park had to offer. Alexi tried hard to comprehend what the worker was doing, high on her ladder, marking some Omanyte and leaving others. Was she choosing the less healthy ones to be put to sleep? Was she taking some back to the wild, where they should be? Were some to have experiments conducted on them, to try and find out what they needed to survive in the modern world? Alexi suddenly found herself thinking-This would not have been what her uncle would have wanted his gym turned into, some sweat shop for making as many pokemon as possible, some tourist attraction. Alexi felt her emotions swing to one side, and her blood begin to boil. What Uncle Al was doing wasn’t right. These pokemon deserved better.

A tank right next to the too-full Omanyte one was a similar size, and much less crowded. It had in it about six or seven Omastar, floating about, sinking to the bottom, sticking themselves to the glass. The sharp spikes that protruded out of their shells certainly looked dangerous, as did the razor sharp teeth that clicked in their mouths. Each one of them looked at the other as if, at any moment, they would strike and kill every Omastar in that tank with them. Each one was on edge. Long, blue tentacles flicked in and out of shells, occasionally brushing the shells of other Omastar, causing them to thud their foot hard on the ground in disapproval. Perhaps this tank had a tenth the number of pokemon in it that the one next-door did, but Alexi suspected this amount of space between these territorial-looking Omastar was nowhere near enough, and was causing their lives to be incredibly stressful, and for them all to be on constant alert, ready for a fight at any second. At that moment, Alexi understood what the worker was marking the Omanyte for.

In the Omanyte tank, one of the spiral pokemon with a shell marked with a red cross began to glow. All the Omanyte around it immediately became aware of this, and desperately tried to move as far away from it as possible. Omanyte crashed into Omanyte in a frenzy to get to the bottom of the tank, away from the glowing one near the top. Alexi watched shells get cracked, bodies get squashed and pokemon after pokemon suffer in the panic. Water was thrashing about everywhere, every Omanyte had hot fear in their eyes. The worker pushed through the tank of pokemon, frantically trying to grab hold of the Omanyte that was beginning to grow…

And then, the Omanyte evolved and pandemonium erupted in the tank. Each of the new Omastar’s shining spikes skewered a different Omanyte and the Omastar grabbed three more with its powerful tentacles and pushed them towards its jaws, snapping shut fiercly. The worker on top of the ladder sped down it, straight past Alexi, who watched the scene in horror. Omastar thrashed itself about, destroying every Omanyte around it and crushing many others, stuck at the bottom of the tank, under countless numbers of their friends being pushed and smashed and eaten by the one that had evolved. Alexi stepped back, speechless, hand over her mouth, unable to tear her eyes away, as the worker returned with a huge, metal set of pinsirs. Alexi watched as the worker climbed back up the ladder again, reached into the tank with her pinsirs, and grabbed hold of the Omastar firmly, between its two spirals. She lifted the dangerous pokemon out of the tank while it was still thrashing, as the Omanyte below tried to recover from the damage that had been done. The worker took out a needle-gun from her pocket and injected Omastar in the mouth with it, holding it well away from her eyes as she waited for the pokemon to calm down. Alexi stepped away slowly, trying to wipe the horrible scene from her mind.

“Alexi, come over here!” her uncle shouted from the other side of the room.

So thankful for a reason to escape, Alexi turned and ran to her uncle’s side, her eyes still wide in shock.

The worker, having dropped the new Omastar into the second tank, much to the dismay of its fellow inhabitants, was now picking up the few Omanyte that managed to crawl down the side of the tank and escape during the ordeal. She didn’t notice one, crawling towards Alexi’s backpack.


----------------------------------------------


“Alexi, come have a look at this!” Uncle Al said excitedly, pulling Alexi to him.

“Uncle Al, I…” Alexi began, trying to figure out what she wanted to say, and how best to say it. She had to say something about the park, someone had to say something…

“Look at that, Alexi!”

Uncle Al pointed past the glass, into the enclosure on the opposite side of the hallway to the tanks Alexi had just been at. This enclosure was more like a zoo, with a grassy, forest-like habitat taking up much of the space. There was a small lake in one corner and trees stuck out at the sky. It was enourmous like the first tank, continuing on down below the corridor Alexi was in, but what Uncle Al was pointing at was plain to see with anyone’s eyes.

Standing at a tree trunk, ripping branches off and munching on the leaves, was one of the largest pokemon Alexi had ever seen. It was an Armaldo, according to the plaque, the evolved form of Anorith, which were climbing up tree trunks nearby.

Armaldo’s giant claws snipped the branches it was holding with elegant ease, and its eyes, protruding from its head on tiny leaf-like stalks, gazed patiently at its spectators. Its legs sat thick and heavy on the solid ground and little claws wrapped around the earth like toes, keeping the pokemon’s balance. It had an incredible tail, erupting from its back and weaving across the grass like a snake; pure muscle. Spines jutted out at its tip, two sitting parallel to each other, reminders that this engrossing beast was just as powerful as it was beautiful. Its odd head munched away placidly, and it searched the landscape for someone interesting to watch.

“That’s Armaldo, your famous uncle’s favourite pokemon. That boy in there’s what made this city famous. We look after him more than all the others- see, look how shiny his coat is- because he’s the pokemon everyone comes here to see. However tough a trainer thought they were, when they came up against Rex and his Armaldo, they didn’t stand a chance. Look at him, isn’t he great? He’s looking at us, see? Wave.”

Alexi lifted an arm without thinking and waved softly at the ancient pokemon, and she swore she saw him smile. She imagined what the gym would have been like, back in the day when Rex was still around.

Kadabra stood at the end of the gym, spoon out, pointed to Armaldo. His trainer smiled.

“Go, Kadabra, Psychic attack!”

“Armaldo, use protect.” Rex said calmly.

Armaldo raised his great claws above his winged neck, up to his face, and as the blast of energy shot out of Kadabra’s spoon, swung them back and around his whole body, creating a forcefield around himself. The psychic energy surrounded the ball of protection, and then retreated, back to Kadabra. Kadabra lowered his eyes.

“Kadabra, confusion!”

Kadabra spun round on one foot, and Armaldo lowered his head.

“Armaldo, slash!” Rex called out quickly and as the second blast of psychic power reached his pokemon, Armaldo cut across the space with his thick claws, slicing the attack and rendering its powers useless.

Armaldo thundered towards Kadabra, his powerful legs pushing his heavy body through the space, his claws still outstretched. Kadabra retreated.

“Kadabra, use-” his trainer started, but before he could finish, Armaldo’s great claw slashed across Kadabra’s face and the psychic pokemon skidded across the gym floor.

The little Omanyte, about the size of a large cat, which was waddling across the Fossil Park floor towards Alexi, had not yet been spotted. Its little eyes darted round in amazement- the park was empty, perhaps the Omastar event had prompted the other visitors to leave, and the man who was looking after Aerodactyl before had finished and gone. The only people still there was the worker, busy with the Omastar tank, trying to break up a fight, the guard at the front desk, his head buried deep in his book, and Alexi and Uncle Al, their attention undivided and focused utterly on the Armaldo in the enclosure in front of them. “Almost there!” Omanyte thought excitedly to itself, struggling to comprehend the beauty of the situation. “Almost free! Just a little further…”

“Kadabra, get up! Use foresight, quick!”

Kadabra got to his feet and stared intently into his spoon, attempting to predict the future before Armaldo could make his next move.

“Armaldo- Ancientpower.” Rex said, without showing a single emotion. A flicker of a smile appeared for a second, but was wiped in an instant.

Armaldo raised both his claws to the sky and stomped his feet loudly. He growled, then roared- a long, old, mighty roar which echoed across the gym. His body glowed with a kind of brown-grey and he lowered his head to face Kadabra. He lunged.

“Kadabra, no!”

Kadabra was hit with the full force of the attack, rocks flying at him from nowhere, from the floor, from the air, and he lay fainted on the ground as the dust settled. His trainer pulled out a pokeball and he disappeared inside it.

Rex nodded at his Armaldo, then took out his own pokeball and returned his victorious bug/rock type.

"Better luck next time," he said to the trainer, with just a hint of smugness.


-------------------------------------------------


“So Alexi, was that enjoyable?” Uncle Al called from the other room.

Alexi was in her uncle’s bedroom, folding up clothes and putting them in her bag. Cascoon and Murkrow were back in their pokeballs, and had been polished. The full pokeballs were wriggling slightly on the bed, as Alexi left them out while she sorted her things.

“Yeah, it was great,” Alexi replied, deciding to save the chat about the Omanyte tank for a more appropriate time. In reality, Alexi wanted to ignore the fact that her uncle was being negligent and that the park was treating the pokemon appalingly- it would have been easier just to ignore it. The fact was still there though, niggling at the back of her mind.

“I’m glad. Did your pokemon enjoy it?” came the next question from the kitchen.

Alexi stopped, and looked at her bag. She had four pokeballs in it- enough to fill up her team; the four that, with her other two, made six she had bought in Nouvella before the tournament had begun. She had two out already, filled with pokemon, wriggling on the bed. So why was there one there, in her bag, wriggling like she’d caught something in it? She took it out, held it in her hand. There was definitely something inside.

Curious, Alexi opened the pokeball. A bright light shot out onto the bed, and a very happy Omanyte emerged, eyes wide with excitement, surveying its surroundings eagerly. Alexi could see clearly it was female- how did she get it? She hadn’t caught an Omanyte. How did it get in her pokeball?

Alexi looked back to her bag, where a trail of snail slime traveled up the outside of it, through the zipper entry, and into the inside compartment where she kept her spare pokeballs. She looked at Omanyte in shock, her mouth open. She had stolen a pokemon from the Fossil Park. What would her uncle think?

“Alexi, is everything alright?” Al called from the kitchen, and Alexi heard his footsteps walk towards the room.

Alexi grabbed the pokeball and recalled Omanyte quickly, shoving it back inside her bag and zipping it up as fast as she could. Her uncle came in and she held the bag behind her, shaking and trying to smile.

“Alexi?”

Sike Saner
21st April 2006, 8:50 PM
Ah. You know, I like the idea of a gym with a theme other than mere type. Prehistoric gym = cool concept. Shame about Rex, though. ;-;

In its post-Rex incarnation as a sort of zoo/museum sort of attraction, with those Omanyte and Omastar in dire need of better care, it reminded me of a lot of the cheap animal parks I used to go to on class field trips and such as a kid, places with these lame, spartan cages and pens containing animals whose life has been whittled down to just sitting in a box or fence, waiting for tourists to feed it some smelly little alfalfa pellets. Quite sad - I definitely feel sorry for the Pokémon in that park.

The Omanyte-evolving-into-Omastar scene was incredible. o_o Seriously, that was just...wow. Amazing.

I like Armaldo a lot, and I think that your description of the creature was very good and very flattering. That made me happy. ^^

I also liked the Armaldo vs. Kadabra bits; those were cool. The use of Ancientpower was particularly well written IMO.

I like that one of the Omanyte ended up with Alexi. Said Omanyte is very lucky to have gotten out of that awful tank (unless little snail's going to end up encountering something even worse somewhere down the line... o_o), and is also a CUTIE! ^^ Lovable little snail, she is. ^^

Oh, and one more thing. I really liked the name "Loophole Cave", as well as the explanation behind that name. ^^

Highlights:


“So,” Alexi began, sitting up in bed “What was my Dad like when he was little? Got any dirt on him? Any embarrassing childhood memories I can blackmail him with when I get back home?”

Heh heh. ^^


She pecked at the glass as one of the fish came right up to her, and ruffled its frilly fins as if to say ‘na na na na boogie, you can't get me’. Mother cawed lowly, and the fish moved on.

Cute! XDD


Bang! Deadly sickles rammed the glass as a Kabutops swam past, hunting for a Magikarp. Alexi stepped back in fright, a little shaken. Cascoon trembled uncontrollably and Murkrow shook with silent laughter.

If I had been there right then, I would have laughed my butt off, too, just like Mother Murkrow. XD


She noticed shoals of tiny Remoraid, swimming and shimmering with the water.

That’s a pretty image. ^^


Anorith appeared from behind rocks and vibrated their little wings, propelling them along in the water at a walking pace. One snapped its claws around playfully, then spotted the Remoraid and reached for them. Another swam to a particularly large rock and started prying its claws under it, to try and get hold of the Krabby desperately seeking sanctuary under it. Krabby fought back, snapping its large claws at the Anorith, and Anorith’s long, stalked eyes retreated and it clicked its mouth, then swam away.

Anorith are just cute as heck IMO, and this portrayal of them definitely reinforces that image of cuteness in my mind. ^^


The process of taking to Omanyte out of the water, signing it, and then putting it back in, was causing a tremendous amount of mess, mainly water, mainly landing on Murkrow’s head. Murkrow dipped with her wet head, looked up angrily, and then hopped along to a safer place to stand.

Aww, poor Murkrow. XD


And then, the Omanyte evolved and pandemonium erupted in the tank. Each of the new Omastar’s shining spikes skewered a different Omanyte and the Omastar grabbed three more with its powerful tentacles and pushed them towards its jaws, snapping shut fiercly.

... Wow. o_o

StellarWind
27th April 2006, 7:36 PM
Nyaaaa. Finally got to read these. Great couple of chapters - I loved the interactions between the PokéMon (Mother effing rocks. xD). And yes, 'Mewllion' indeed. o_o

You're getting even better at battles - GREAT creative usage of attacks here. ^_^

I really loved the description on a lot of scenes - mainly the cathedral scene (Lovely version of the creation story, and an EXCELLENT dramatic speech...) And the habitats in the Fossil Park - The integration of the fossil PokéMon and the modern-day PokéMon in a prey/predator environment.

Most of the humans, as usual, ****** me off to no end - I can see how Xander's bitter about them (especially considering what we know of the war in Xela - It seems to me that Mewllion's will overpowered that of its creators without them even knowing it...) - And some things were just plain creepy. That's an... interesting way of controlling Omanyte population O_o.

Personally, I never liked Omanytes that much. If only because their evolved form is one of the freakiest, most convulted things that PokeMon ever thought of. ('Sure, Satoshi! Let's cross a dead cephalopod and a starfish, stick razor-sharp spikes on its shell and call it a day! Mr. Sugimori, draw that, please...'), but still... Poor things. Death by overpopulation and thrashing evolved forms o'doom. I was rather amused to see how Alexi got one. ^^

Now, I hate to be nitpicky, but as an all-around worldbuilding fanatic, I couldn't help but notice some things about your PokeMon biology I figure as odd.

First of all, any 'crawling' PokéMon that I've seen so far, you seem to pass off as being slimy in some way. Wurmples shouldn't feel 'slimy' or leave a trail of slime behind them as they walk - they are caterpillars, and though their suction-cupped legs may feel unpleasant in contact with skin, it cannot leave a trail of slime. In fact, a trail of slime would have probably prevented the suction cups from actually working and enabling it to cling to surfaces (and the PokéDex entry for it actually says it can climb up glass walls - a feat that gastropods - creatures who leave a trail of slime behind them as they walk in the manner of snails - would not have been able to preform).

Then there's Omanyte. Again with the slime. Omanytes are based on Ammonites, creatures that resemble a cross of modern-day Nautiloids and a squid - both belonging to the order Cephalopoda, which also includes creatures like Octopii and Cuttlefish. Again, they are supposed to be completely waterbound (although we've seen waterbound PokéMon are much more resistant to land-life than their real life counterparts... Gills AND Lungs? interesting thought...), and even so, they are definitely not supposed to leave a trail of slime behind them - or feel 'slimy'. Cold and clammy in the manner of an octopus mayhap, but not slimy. (Unless if Omanytes and Omastars developed a slime-production mechanism in order to prevent their own dehydration and make land-travel easier, like gastropods - In which case, they're still going to have to hibernate during particularily hot days and conserve their humidity - may be something interesting to think about in the future.)

Last but not least, Anorith and Armaldo. Armaldo, canonically, is a predator (as are all ressurected 'prehistoric' PokéMon, for some reason o_O), which is what might have happened if, rather than becoming extinct at the end of the Cambrian age, the 2-foot-long-predatory-crustaceans known as Anomalocarids left the seas and adapted to life on land - and so I find it hard to believe that it would have been capable to digest vegetable matter. The lake was a wise idea - it seems like (at least according to the 'dex) Armaldos still hunt in watery environments, skewering their oceanbound prey with their claws.

But I think I'll leave the nitpicking to people more skilled in it than I am and just enjoy the story the way it flows. Keep up the great work, Cynda!

~ Teh Stel.

cyndaquil_dratini
28th April 2006, 11:04 AM
Hmmm. They're some interesting points on the biology, I just kinda go with what fits in my story (seeing as it's pokemon, so they're made up, and if we're gonna start getting nitpicky- where does a Jigglypuff keep its organs, for example, or how could a Tropius possibly stay airborne with a body that big?) but I understand your points. I don't think it's quite worth going back over everything and changing it all- I'll change little things where it's easy, btu rest assured that Wurmple will not be slimy from now on, neither will Omanyte leave a trail of slime. And I always thought Armaldo were grass eaters, but looking at the pokedex, I suppose you're right, so there.

I'm glad you're all liking the chapter/s...and I'm still trying to decide whether Alexi gets to keep Omanyte or not. It's a difficult decision, one that determines if her next pokemon is blankityblank or blankachu. I've just started planning out fully the entire body of the story, and while theres a long way to go, the pokemon Alexi gets now will largely determine how she battles later on. So what do you guys reckon? Keep Omanyte or go another water/something pokemon in a few chapters? I'm leaning towards the keep Omanyte side of things- any objections? I'm a bit stuck, to be honest.

Thanks Stellar and Sike for reviewing, hint hint hint, it's lovely reading reviews, specially nice ones like those- nice knowing people are reading and liking what they read. Nice being on page one...

shadowlight
29th April 2006, 1:25 AM
I liked this chapter

I think you should keep Omanyte because it makes her like her uncle

cyndaquil_dratini you said her uncle only caught one Aerodactyl so he couldn't breed but couldn't he use a ditto

ribonucleic
29th April 2006, 12:08 PM
Wow this truly is one of the most unique and interesting stories that I have read as it doesn't follow the usual trainer fic with the normal starters etc. I like how you have given all of Alexi's pokemon distinct personalities. Go wurmple he is da best.

Even though I am not a big fan of Omanyte, it probably would be good if Alexi kept Omanyte as it is not a pokemon that is usually used in fics, however the decision is yours. keep up the good work.

Pinecone Tortoise
29th April 2006, 12:57 PM
Wow... been AGES since I reviewed here! -_- Apologies muchly!

Anyway... um, what can I say? Apart form a few li'l typos and stuff like that, you've done absolutely brilliantly. Your ability to mix the beautiful with the horrific is astounding... and kinda scary. o_o Still... that's what you wanted, I suppose? It's certainly a very powerful effect and I seem to recall you telling me that was what you were aiming for. So muchly congrats on so masterfully achieving your goal.

As for the story itself... Omanyte, despite a current lack of screen time, is a cute li'l thing and highly adorable. ^^ Besides, if Alexi doesn't keep it, wouldn't that mean it'd end up in that tank again? Cause that'd be a horrible end for such a cute critter. Then again... Alexi's presumably not got the safest of times ahead of her, so the poor thing seems to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. Ah, well. Wait and see, eh?

Moving on... the atmosphere is stunning, the tension is high (even with Uncle Al being so friendly, I don't feel safe labelling him 'good guy'... you have a knack for twisting even the most apparently lovely characters into cruel antagonists) and the bitterly dark elements are intricately woven in amongst some of the more beautiful scenes. ... yeh know what this story reminds me of? Black lace - beautiful, dark and intricate.

Ugh... I know I've been horribly neglecting this, but there's not a lot for me to say now. I like teh cute, gentle stuff, the dark elements make me considerably uneasy and the overall work is eerily stunning. Congrats.

Best of luck and fun to you, as always.

Piney.
;204;;324;

cyndaquil_dratini
30th April 2006, 1:18 PM
Ohh, this is great, all these phantom readers suddenlly popping out of the blue. I love having new people comment on this story, which I just love writing so much.

I think I'm almost decided on my Omanyte dilemma- you'll find out soon, I suppose. As for all your insightful and clever pokemon-biology loopholes and things you've picked up on- thankyou so much for pointing them out to me. Some of them, I'm not gonna worry too much about changing but will continue on doing it properly. Shadow light, you're absolutely right about the ditto- the only explanations I could think of were to do with rex wanting to produce a 'true' reproduction of Aerodactyl. I think in the modern pokemon world, where breeding has become fairly standard and widely practiced, probably some high-up scientists have started thinkign that breeding a pokemon with a ditto would not create a truly genetically pure reproduction of that pokemon. Because rex was interested in repopulating the world with true Aerodactyl, he'd probably shun away from the ditto option.

Piney, you have an interesting way of looking at Alexi- compared to the other stuff I'm writing at the moment, this fic is fairly safe. I do understand what you mean though, about it being dark and beautiful at the same time. Alexi (the fic) is primarily about an innocent girl discovering what the real world is like, what people really are like, so for this reason- yes, it has to be a bit terrible, scary, dark, because thats what real life is like sometimes.

I'm holding off posting the next chapter for a bit on request, to give a couple of people time to review, but I'll post it soon of course- hopefully, you've come to expect regular updates for this story, I ty to make myself do at least two chapters a month. There's a lot to get through yet.

Go phantom readers! Are you new readers, who've been following Boy and Bonsly, or the recent awards, or just silent readers who've just never bothered posting till now? Keep it up, it's a lovely feeling.

IceKing
7th May 2006, 9:39 PM
0_0 I can't believe I didn't review this chapter yet! OH NO! I DID HAVE A REVIEW BUT DIDNT POST IT! AND I JUST DELETED IT....ugg

Ill just do a little short review then...

Nice chapter.

XD

For a little more detail, it was nice seeing Slade City's gym. A prehistoric theme is definetely an interesting theme, so that's how one of Alexi's uncles became famous? I second Sike Saner's last quote with the whole Omastar tank. That was just creepy. An Omanyte will definetely be an interesting addition to Alexi's team. Yeah. Interesting. Yeah. Loved the Anorith scene, that pokemon looks pretty kickA. Im actually writin a one shot with an Anorith! Writing was excellent as usual...yeah

Have a fun day!

LightAbsol
28th May 2006, 8:00 PM
Your fanfic is really cool. I like it very much. Keep up the good work.

Growing old is inevitable
Growing up is optional

Boogiepop
14th August 2006, 3:08 PM
Just finished reading all the chapters so far, and i do like the unusal way it is planning out especial all the twists as Alexi finds out about the true natures of the people she meets. I love the inculsion of the prehistoric pokemon and how Alexi may get an omanyte, prehistoric pokemon are rather cool, shame it wasn't a aerodactyl or kabuto though, but meh, omanyte seems to suit Alexi better. Keep up the good work with the chapters.