View Poll Results: Which Corei Starter would you choose?

Voters
30. You may not vote on this poll
  • Mongle

    10 33.33%
  • Fryger

    10 33.33%
  • Aquari

    10 33.33%
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Thread: The Corei Quest...rewritten!

  1. #26
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    May 2005
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    Default

    Double-posting a chapter. Good job, dude.

    Anyway, once again, we have upped the rivalry factor. Once again, Haley angers things. Once again, Mongle incurrs the wrath of the Chansey. Once again, Sapph shows how utterly screwed he is.

    We do have something new though...Do I smell a love triangle?

    As usual, the trainer is teased for the love relationship. X_X

    I shall wait for your next chapter because I feel that somehow, it is worth the wait.

    Pika out.
    FTMP is officially dead. Those who are still interested in reading click
    here.
    Last Update: Chapter 17: Date: 6-2-2006(MM-DD-YYYY)

    "I have returned from the depths of hell to do battle with you." ~ Godot

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Manchester, NH
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    110

    Default Me again

    What's up? Hey, I have some ideas for some made up pokemon. I can give you some and if you're looking for another traveling partner, let me know. Keep writing.

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    USA
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    Default

    Wow, Sapph's pokemon aren't at all competent...I guess they made it out mostly okay, but a Ledyba forgetting it can fly and a Moogle that's sidetracked by drugs... Well, at least Bubbles was okay even after getting separated.

    And Kamren's more of a jerk each time he shows up. I hope Sapph will get a chance to fight him soon... then again with his luck maybe it's better they wait a while.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Behind you...
    Posts
    1,292

    Smile Appreciation

    hey guys! thanks for reviews!

    Felix (name or not, that's who you are to me...): rawr. glad you liked it... next chappie ready, just got a gym battle coming up so stay on!

    MVB: sure! that'll be awesome! TCQ is far from over, so hold on and hope i can make the targeted 60 chapters!

    icemew: don't worry, they'll get serious sooner or later... we'll get a sneak preview of a new team mate in the next couple of chapters. stay fixed! next chapter should be ready in a day or two! Later!

    Diddy: thank you so much! glad you're enjoying TCQ! People like Sapph more because he's the epitome of murphy's law! Enjoy what is to come!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 4th November 2006 at 2:10 AM.
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
    HEART OF SEVEN STONES IS ON INDEFINITE HIATUS (REAPED) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
    Butt-ugly Banner by Me
    (Still waiting on the excellent Saffire Persian for another awesome TCQ banner!)

  5. #30
    Join Date
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    Question Gym Battle number one! As wellas some more non-shipping garble...

    Crazy irrelevant ranting crap: Oh-kaay, so it's another double post. so sue and screw me over...pant, pant...DkZM0mA, Saffire Persian, where the hell are you guys? C'mon, i won't bite ya! Rip the chapter open with thine critique and plaster it with thine comments,i prithee! Uni sucks like hell!!! death to communists!!! Long live a country i couldn't care less about! i got no brains and eat wheatabix for breakfast!

    okay, ranting over...now onto the revised chapter!

    Chapter Seven: Quit Buggin’! Vs. Cassandra!


    The next day dawned bright and sunny at the Pokémon Centre. In a hospital bed, Sapph woke up the next morning with his eyes tightly shut and feeling twice as much pain as he’d felt after his first visit to the dentist.

    I’ve gotta stop winding up here, Sapph thought furtively.

    Thinking the pain had woken him, he kept them shut, hoping the pain would go away until he felt a hand brushing his hair off his forehead. Opening his eyes, the first thing he saw were a pair of bright green eyes under a slightly pink forehead a few inches away.

    “What the-“ Sapph asked, sitting bolt upright and causing Nurse Joy Jr. to drop a breakfast tray in surprise as she backed away.

    “Oh! I-I’m s-s-sorry! I d-didn’t mean to-to…” Nurse Joy Jr. stammered, looking aghast as Sapph pulled a pair of fried eggs off of his face and popped them in his mouth.

    “No worries… hey, this is good! Did you make this?” Sapph said jocularly, pulling a strip of slightly burnt bacon from behind his ear and eating that too. The young nurse nodded, blushing to the roots of her pink hair.

    “Um…thanks for saving me yesterday,” she said, not looking at Sapph.

    “My pleasure, Nurse Joy Jr.” Sapph said cheerfully. Not to mention my responsibility, he added mentally.

    “P-please, you can call me Joy, uh… Mr. Sapph,” She said quickly, blushing some more.

    “Deal. You can call me Sapph,” Sapph said with a smile.

    They stared at each other for a moment before the door slid open again and Chansey said <I told you we’d need a second tray…> Both heads spun towards the doorway.

    “Be quiet, Chansey,” Nurse Joy muttered back.

    <G’morning, Sleeping Beauty!> Chansey said, waddling over with the older Nurse Joy, who carried a second breakfast tray, and Mongle and Ledyba who looked fully recovered following in the Egg Pokemon's wake.

    “We better go, we’ve other patients to look after,” Nurse Joy Sr. told her little sister, who nodded, still looking anywhere but at Sapph in her embarrassment.

    “I’ll come too,” Sapph said eagerly, “just let me get my shirt…”

    “You really don’t need to,” Nurse Joy Sr. said. “We are indebted to you, you know,”

    “Then think of this as paying me back!” Sapph said jovially, grinning from ear to ear.

    ***

    That evening in the Pokémon Centre, Sapph lay back on his bed in a lodging room, staring out of the window at the Corei sunset, deep in thought.

    He’d spent the most of the morning and afternoon at the Centre, helping the two Nurse Joys and Nurse Chansey tend to the injured Pokémon. He reasoned that by exposing Mongle and Ledyba to as many different species of Pokémon as possible, they would handle being in battle against them much more easily in future, particularly Ledyba. It also served as a way of keeping Chansey from hunting Mongle down for his blood. Furthermore, it served a third purpose of giving Sapph a good idea of and chance to figure out which Pokémon would work out on his team.

    Victims…so that’s where Kamren’s going… Sapph thought furiously to himself, his eyes narrowing slightly in the gathering gloom. I’ll show him… those Pokémon didn’t deserve that kind of treatment, even if it was in battle…

    One thing puzzled Sapph though…as he rose from the bed to release Mongle and Ledyba, he decided to ask them a couple of questions…

    “Come on out guys.” Sapph said, releasing his Pokémon.

    Mongle leapt on to Sapph’s bed and began bouncing up and down on it.

    <What’s… up… Sapph?> the Leaf Squirrel Pokémon asked between bounces.

    <Is something wrong? Can we help?> Ledyba queried, hovering before his trainer with a worried look at Sapph’s unusually sombre face.

    “No, nothing’s wrong. I just wanted to talk… you know, about this afternoon…” Sapph mused, more to himself than to his audience.

    <I’d have thought that would have been obvious, even for you!> Mongle chirped as Ledyba nodded.

    “Whaddya mean?” Sapph asked, totally nonplussed.

    <Nurse Joy Jr.!> Ledyba chortled.

    <No…make that Joy,> Mongle snickered.

    “Hunh?” Sapph said nonplussed, unaware that footsteps had stopped outside his slightly opened door.

    <OK, let’s review…crimson cheeks whenever you looked at her…> Mongle began to list, holding up a hand to tick off the points.

    “Yeah,” Sapph said slowly, still oblivious to where this conversation was obviously heading for.

    <Super accident-prone in your presence…> Mongle went on.

    “Uhhh-hunh,” Sapph said slowly, arms and legs crossed as his brow furrowed in thought.

    <Timid stuttering…> Ledyba said brightly.

    <Yeah, yeah, good one, Ledyba!> Mongle said nodding vigorously as he ticked off that point and went on. <Absentmindedness… Head lost in the clouds all the while when working…>

    “Still don’t follow…” Sapph went on, his eyes reduced to slits as he pondered the arguments being propounded.

    <Oy…you…you mean…didn’t you notice anything about her Ledyba-like disposition around you, especially when you looked at her or said something to her?> the Mongle asked, a totally incredulous look on its face.

    <HEY! What d’you mean, “Ledyba-like”?> Ledyba demanded in an unusually heated tone.

    “Now that you mention it, she was kinda… I dunno, shy… what about it?” Sapph mumbled, uncrossing his arms and legs and rising to a squatting position and staring suspiciously at his two companions, starting (at very long last) to cotton on to his Pokémon’s assumptions.

    <Only the fact that she may have a crush on you!> Mongle taunted.

    Sapph jaw dropped to the mattress.

    “No. No way,” Sapph said in disbelief, blushing slightly.

    <Sure does, Sherlock! Hey, are you bwushing? Does widdle Sappy like the little cutie nursey-wursey too?> Mongle asked, a sly, cat-like grin unfurling on his face as he noticed Sapph flush.

    “You guys are nuts! Totally. Flipped. THAT’S what this was about?!” Sapph demanded slowly, a look of hilarious incredulity on his face.

    <Yeah. Well, it was funny from my point of view,> Ledyba said innocently.

    “You guys are so… totally… flipped! Even if by some rare, crazy fluke that were true…and I ain’t saying that the latter part is,” Sapph added hastily as the duo let out a loud whoop of gleeful laughter. “She’d totally prefer Rubin to me. Everyone has and does...” Sapph trailed off, looking away as his voice shrunk to a mumble.

    <That’s not true! We don’t!> Ledyba cried out, looking slightly hurt.

    <Neither do Mrs. Kent or Haley,> Mongle reasoned, temporarily ceasing in his messing up of Sapph's bed to fix him with a kindly eye.

    Sapph fell silent for a while. They were right. Mongle and Ledyba hadn’t even seen Rubin before, and Haley and Mrs. Kent were always there for him, despite all they’d heard about his twin brother. He felt a faint prickling in the corner of his eyes and smiled as happiness filled him.

    “Thanks, guys.” Sapph said quietly. “You’d better get back, it’s late and I plan to reach Entover City before nightfall tomorrow.”

    <Okay.> Ledyba said, disappearing into his Pokéball.

    <G’night, Lover Boy!> Mongle snickered once more as he disappeared into his ball.

    “Those guys… just nuts…” Sapph muttered bemusedly as he rolled over onto his side, dreaming of defeating Rubin soundly as he snorted and snored. There was silence for a while and the footsteps continued down the hallway…

    ***

    The next morning, Sapph felt ready to go. The morning sun shone brightly as he said his goodbyes to the nurses at the Centre.

    “Thank you for all your help yesterday, Sapph. Look after yourself. Don’t forget to give us a call from time to time, especially at Entover, okay?” Nurse Joy Sr said.

    “Sure thing, Nurse Joy Sr.! Bye, Chansey!” Sapph said, raising a hand in farewell.

    <CHANSEEEEEEEEE!> The Egg Pokémon chimed, waddling forward to hug Sapph goodbye. She seemed much calmer than she was two evenings ago now that the thorn in her flesh was out of sight.

    “Say, Nurse Joy? Where’s your little sister?” Sapph asked, looking around.

    “I’m not sure, Sapph… she said she had to get something…” Nurse Joy Sr said, also looking around.

    “Um, okay, I guess I’ll see her around soon.” Sapph shrugged, turning to leave. “Bye!”

    <Ah, mon ami, missing your leetle romance alreadee?> Mongle chirped with a phony French accent ruined by the fact that he was laughing hard.

    <Careful, Sapph,> Ledyba added in a serious tone, although his eyes sparkled with mischief as well. <Haley won’t like that kind of competition.>

    Mongle fell off Sapph’s shoulder and screamed with mirth, rolling all over the road.

    “Oh, ha, ha, you two…real funny,” Sapph said, rolling his eyes and returning the Pokémon to the confines of their orbs.

    Sapph didn’t have to go too far before seeing the junior Nurse Joy. He’d barely left the outskirts of EverWood Town when he heard his name being called. Turning around, he saw the young nurse running towards him with a parcel in her arms.

    Nurse Joy Jr. seemed slightly sadder than the others did when Sapph said goodbye.

    “Uh Sapph, this is for you…” she said, holding out the package, blushing.

    “Thanks. But it’s not my birthday,” Sapph said, shaking it to try figuring it out. Whatever it was felt soft.

    The nurse giggled shyly.

    “Urgh, I give up… what is it?” Sapph asked, giving up trying to guess without opening it.

    “Uh… not too much… just something for your journey…d’you like it?” she asked nervously, as Sapph unwrapped a bright red anorak with a pair of red and black riding gloves.

    Sapph was momentarily speechless. “Wow…uh, thanks a million, Joy…erm, I mean…thanks, Nurse Joy.” He said, putting on the anorak over his round neck shirt, causing Nurse Joy Jr. to smile shyly.

    “Bye, Sapph.” Nurse Joy Jr. said softly, blushing. “I’ll… I’ll…”

    It was the second time in three days that Sapph had been in such an awkward situation before, and was still not handling it too well. Trying to look cool, he reached out to scratch the back of his head with one hand while extending the other in a handshake.

    “Uh…it’s okay. I guess I will too. Catch ya later!” Sapph said with a faint smile, figuring it would be easier on her if he left sooner than later.

    Nurse Joy Jr. looked at Sapph’s hand for a moment. She then looked up at Sapph for a while as though studying him. Sapph started feeling uncomfortable as she saw that she was close to tears again. Sapph asked, “What? What’s wrong?”

    “Nothing,” Nurse Joy said quickly, looking down quickly. “It’s just hard to… to say…”

    “Saaay?” Sapph asked curiously. She’s such a contrast from Haley, Sapph thought bemusedly. One girl would pulverise you in a second if you made her mad, the other just blushes and looks away every time you talk to her. Girls were definitely not a topic he felt he was very good at yet.

    Deciding that actions speak louder than words, she dried her eyes quickly, walked past his outstretched arm and planted a quick kiss on his cheek. This move caught Sapph so off guard that his hand dropped limply to his side, went stock still in surprise and blush crimson in turn.

    All she said when Sapph felt her pull away was “For luck.” She then turned and ran back into town.

    Sapph only thanked the Legendary Pokémon that Mongle and Ledyba were still in their pokéballs as he felt the spot on his cheek, his other hand reaching into his anorak pocket and finding a note. Pulling it out and opening it, he read: ‘Even if I met your twin, I’d still like you loads more than him, no matter what. I really, really like you and I’ll really, really miss you, Sapph. Please don’t forget that because I’ll never, ever forget you. Joy. P.S. – Thank you again for saving my life in the forest.’

    Corei sure is weird, Sapph thought as he watched the little nurse run off, folding the note and placing it safely in the private little rip between the lining of his knapsack and smiling faintly, but I guess I’m beginning to really like it…

    ***

    Sapph whistled cheerfully as he strolled along the path to Entover City. The morning’s events had been capped with Ledyba perfecting control over his Supersonic attacks and Mongle upping his base speed and attack statistics significantly.

    “That badge is as good as ours, guys,” Sapph had said gleefully at the end of practice. “Now, if only I knew where the nearest gym is…”

    <It’s in Entover City, Sapph,> Ledyba had told him.

    <Yeah, and that’s on the other side of the forest,> Mongle chipped in.

    “Okay, guys. Thanks. Return for now,” Sapph said, recalling his Pokémon and setting off down the forest’s dirt road, humming to the tune of Viridian City when suddenly he heard a dull, stupid laugh ahead. Thinking it was Dex, Sapph sped up, hoping to beat Kamren to Entover City and win the badge first when he heard another voice which he was willing to bet wasn’t Kamren’s.

    “Why’re you wasting time?” A rough voice yelled up ahead. Sapph froze in his tracks, listening hard.

    “Awww... it’s so cute with its little flying cap,” a second, dull voice said in a coochy coochy voice that Sapph had loathed since the age of three.

    Now, knowing Sapph isn’t the smartest tool in the shed, you’d say even he wasn’t that stupid to try taking on two potentially dangerous people single-handed… but hey, you’d have been wrong before. Sapph’s curiosity got the better of him and he went off the path to see what was going on.

    “We don’t have time to waste playing with the cargo,” the first voice said sharply. “Just stuff the Litaire in the sack with the others and let’s go.”

    “Litaire? Sack?” Sapph said in shock, peeking through a large bush to see what was going on, shutting off his Pokédex as he did so before it gave his position away to potentially dangerous people.

    Two men dressed in black stood before a sack which bulged in several place. Both wore identical scarves around their necks. A small, green and red feathered bird with an old-fashioned flying helmet was being manhandled by the larger of the two.

    That must be a Litaire, Sapph thought. The poor Normal/Flying type chirped in discomfort as its wings were twisted in all directions. The smaller skinnier guy had his booted foot placed firmly on the mouth of the large sack to prevent its contents’ escape. Sapph, thinking fast, found a large rock and threw it at the back of the larger guy’s head.

    Connecting with Sapph’s target, the bully let his prey go.

    “Hey, what the-?” the smaller guy said in his sharp voice, his slanting eyes widening as he turned to see his comrade stumble. The Litaire took its chance and aimed a sharp Peck attack at the other man’s knee. He howled in pain, and automatically hoisted his foot up and away from the sack, releasing all the Pokémon the duo had poached, which included a Squirtle, several Spinocle, a Growlithe, Vulpix, two Poochyena, three Ekans, a Butterfree, several Litaire, Taillow, Rattata and Pidgey, an Ivysaur and – Sapph couldn’t believe his eyes – a Dratini.

    Sapph would have given a lot to catch a lot of the Pokémon but thought better of it as the Pokémon scattered in all directions and the two poachers looked wildly around to see who’d cost them their bounty. Retreating for the time being, Sapph felt, or rather prayed that he hadn’t been seen…

    …it was quite a shame that Sapph’s luck was so lousy…

    “Where’d that rock come from?” the larger guy said angrily, clambering up the short cliff to where Sapph had chucked the rock from.

    “Damn, Captain Doracus won’t like this,” the sharp voiced man said sourly, eyeing the empty sack.

    “Captain Doracus won’t like what?” a young voice said in a voice of carefree cheer.

    Both men froze and spun around to see a youth who looked barely a year or two older than Sapph appear out of thin air behind a tree in the small clearing into which the Pokémon had escaped. Dressed predominantly in a black and white trim tracksuit with matching sneakers, his neat black hair revealed dancing brown eyes and his face, though his unnaturally happy smile was obvious even from the little of his face that could be seen from within the shadows had an expression that told you he felt nothing but a detached pleasure. Upon seeing him, both men hurried forwards, bowing as they went.

    “Captain Orion, sir,” the larger of the two said fearfully.

    “What brings you here? Captain Doracos asked us t-“The other said greasily but the youth cut him off.

    “Catch him another Dragon Pokémon?” Orion said cheerfully, looking totally unperturbed. “That was quite a beauty you let get away…too bad…Mr. Doracus won’t like this at all…”

    The two men watched, sweating profusely all the while.

    “So, two Team Shadow Admins got outwitted by a brat and a measly Litaire,” the youth named Orion went on. He was fingering a pokéball in between his fingers which he’d obtained from somewhere within his black cloak. “Dear, dear…what would Mr. Doracus say?”

    “Y-you wouldn’t,” the men stammered, cold sweat cascading down the back of their necks, not daring to look into the youth’s face.

    “Don’t worry, this failure will go unreported,” Orion said in a carelessly cheerful voice. “You’re still too useful to be disposed of and the matter is so trivial. Besides,” he went on, playfully twirling his pokéball on his finger. “I got what I wanted from the exercise and there are much stronger dragons in Corei for Mr. Doracus to obtain. And the disturbance is one measly boy. We really don’t need to worry. If he continues to meddle in our affairs,” Orion went on, turning to leave, “his time will come soon enough.”

    Orion faded into the darkness as he said to the duo “You’re dismissed.”

    Both men looked up quickly but Orion had vanished.

    “That kid,” the shorter man said tremulously. “Scary…”

    His partner could only nod…

    Meanwhile from a branch some eighteen feet above their heads, the Litaire watched as Sapph hurried along the path to Entover. Making up its mind after a brief moment’s hesitation, it spread its wings and fluttered off after Sapph wanting to learn more about his rescuer…

    ***

    After another five hours of comparatively uneventful marching through forest terrain, the dark green rooftops and the wide, shrubbery-laced roads of Entover City came into view.

    Good! Sapph thought enthusiastically, spotting a larger than usual rooftop which belonged to an equally large chalk white building as he approached the city outskirts. There’s a gym in town! Time to earn my first league badge!

    Half an hour later after a quick stop at the Pokémon Centre to refresh his crew, Sapph was standing in the Entover City Pokémon Gym waiting room, registering for a match.

    “The Leader is ready now,” the female secretary said. “Go on in.”

    “Erm, thanks.” Sapph said, his throat a little dry from nerves. “Can I get any tips?”

    “Sorry, you’ll just have to do your best with no beforehand knowledge. No real gym does tell you that sort of stuff anyway. Good luck, you’re gonna need it!” The secretary said, giving Sapph a look that said plainly, ‘What are you? A complete retard?!’

    Sapph gulped and sweat dropped. “Okay” he said hastily, moving over to the double doors that lead to the battle room.

    Gee, thanks, he thought sarcastically, pushing open the oak doors and going in.

    The doors closed behind him as he stepped over the threshold. Cree-py! Sapph muttered mentally, spinning around to take in the arena’s appearance.

    The gym was dark and musty, strung from every nook and cranny were spidery strands of webbing. There was a shallow square depression in the middle of the pitch riddled with strong looking two by fours which rose from the ground and above the rim of the basin.

    Don’t they ever clean up in this gym? Sapph thought, remembering the one back home which his parents run, and how hard he’d had it when he forgot to do it twice a day.

    Just then, several spotlights burst to life, illuminating the gym floor. The rafters were pretty low, Sapph noted as he became accustomed to the light, not to mention covered with even more sticky web.

    “So you’re my next prey, hunh?” a playfully cold female voice called out from the glare. Sapph squinted to see a tall, stringy woman in a back dress that looked like it was made from spider web standing on the other side of the battle field. She had black, bobbed hair and extremely dark brown eyes that looked black to Sapph and glittered strangely.

    Very creepy, Sapph thought, taking in her appearance.

    “You look weaker than my last opponent,” she continued as Sapph stepped up to the edge of the field, shielding his eyes. “He creamed my whole team with only one Pokémon. Hardly surprising, he had a heavy type advantage…”

    “Yeah? Well wake up, lady, cuz I ain’t leaving this gym until I earn a badge here too!” Sapph called, readying his first Pokéball.

    “Fine, but when your Pokémon wake up in ICU, don’t blame me!” She called back, pulling out a Pokéball too and enlarging it.

    A male referee in a black-and-white striped shirt holding two flags stepped up to the sidelines to declare the rules of the match.

    “An official gym match between Sapph Manson and the Entover City Gym Leader Cassandra will now begin. If Sapph wins, he will earn a Web Badge. Each trainer may use three Pokémon each…”

    Wah! Three?! I only have two!! Sapph thought in a panicky way. A feathery spectator’s eyes narrowed at this point…

    “A Pokémon is out of contest if one of them faints or if the Gym Leader recalls it in the case of hers. Let the match begin!” He called, raising both flags above his head.

    But I can’t back down now! He thought to himself determinedly. “Let’s go, Ledyba!” Sapph called, throwing Ledyba’s Pokéball onto the field.

    “I choose Nimbee!” Cassandra called, throwing hers.

    Ledyba burst from his orb as a larger insect on four legs appeared on the field. A cross between a winged ant and a bee, Nimbee stood around five foot three, with red and gold banded wings, legs and body. Its purple and black eyes glittered just like its trainer.

    “You use BUG TYPE POKÉMON!!” Sapph screamed, pointing at the Nimbee.

    “What? You do too, remember?” Cassandra said scornfully.

    Nimbee, the Worker Bee Pokémon. Nimbee possesses great mass which it uses in powerful, full-body attacks. Despite its size, Nimbee are quite adept at flight, Sapph’s Pokédex recited as Sapph scanned his and Ledyba’s opposition.

    This could be troublesome, Sapph thought frantically, but I didn’t come here to lose either.

    “If that’s the best you got, then this’ll be easier than I thought” Cassandra mused.

    “You take that back! Ledyba, Tackle attack, now!” Sapph yelled, pumping his fist.

    “Nimbee, String Shot!” Cassandra countered.

    Nimbee rose into the air and fired a thick string of webbing at Ledyba.

    <Not again!> Ledyba moaned.

    Ledyba saw the sticky line of webbing and dived just in time to avoid getting trapped in the gooey mess.

    “Again!” Cassandra ordered.

    “Dodge it again!” Sapph commanded.

    <Roger!> Ledyba called back.

    “Who’s Roger?” Sapph asked suddenly, earning himself a few weirded out stares from the others.

    “Never mind,” Sapph said quickly.

    “Keep up the String Shot, Nimbee!” Cassandra yelled.

    Ledyba kept weaving in and out of the attacks, which kept missing their mark. Soon the ring was filled with thick, gooey strings, a fact Sapph and Cassandra were both quick to notice.

    “Nowhere to run now, Manson,” Cassandra said with a satisfied smile. “Nimbee! Use Poison Sting!” Cassandra ordered.

    “Watch out, Ledyba! Try deflecting ‘em with Supersonic!” Sapph ordered briskly.

    A series of purplish, poisoned needles shot across the gym from Nimbee’s sharpened abdomen at the shy insect, who retorted by unleashing its high pitched shriek right back. The string magnified the volume of the piercing noise, which blew the needles away, majority of them being sent straight back at Nimbee, who also shrieked in a higher pitch as the needles peppered its body.

    “Gah! Pull away, Nimbee!” Cassandra yelled. Nimbee, still feeling the projectiles strike its body, lashed out at a rafter with a line of strong webbing and pulled itself safely out of the sound and poison attack path.

    Good thing this Nimbee seems to have the same attacks as Spinarak and Ariados, Sapph said, reflecting on the techniques he’d tangled with in the EverWood Forest and exhaling softly. But if Cassandra thinks she’s escaped with that trick, Sapph thought grimly, she’s got another thing coming!

    “Good, Ledyba! Now Tackle him up!” Sapph hollered.

    At this command, the Five Star Pokémon rocketed up slamming into Nimbee’s under body. Nimbee flew into the rafters from the force of Ledyba’s charge, smashing through one and sticking onto another, seriously weakened.

    “Good job, Ledyba! Nice!” Sapph cheered.

    “Don’t take that from a wimp like that! Use Signal Beam!” Cassandra hollered.

    Signal Beam? Sapph wondered. What’s that? The Johto-born trainer hadn’t heard of or seen any attacks from Hoenn.

    Ledyba watched enthralled as Nimbee’s eyes glowed different colours: one red, one green. Two beady beams of light shot from each eye and twisted itself into a glowing helix.

    <Ooooh, pretty lights…> Ledyba mumbled, still transfixed by the strange sight.

    Whatever Signal Beam is, it can’t be good, Sapph thought frantically. “Ledyba, RUN!” Sapph yelled, his panic reflecting in his voice.

    “Too late!” Cassandra yelled triumphantly.

    Ledyba vaguely heard Sapph yell, but before his body could catch up with his senses, the twin beams hit him sending the Five Star Pokémon soaring across the field.

    “Ledyba?” Sapph called out to his friend in a worried voice. “Ledyba!” Sapph cried out in relief as he saw his Pokémon rise shakily a few feet into the air. “Okay buddy, let’s go! Use Tackle!”

    At this, Ledyba started laughing like a witch in flight, zooming around the room. Sapph's jaw fell open as Cassandra fell over animé-style.

    “I guess your Ledyba in its confusion thought you said ‘Cackle’ instead of Tackle,” Cassandra mused as she pulled herself together, obviously torn between exasperation at how stupid Ledyba looked and how funny Sapph did with his mouth open in a dumb expression, watching his Pokémon soar around the room. “That’s a response we haven’t had before …”

    Confusion? Sapph thought, looking at Ledyba. Upon closer inspection, he saw that his friend’s eyes had gone out of focus as he ran splat into a wall and hovered away dizzily a few feet away, only to fly right back into the same rafter, still giggling with a loud <Ow!> at each bump.

    “Ledyba! Knock it- ooh now that will hurt in the morning- off already!” Sapph ordered firmly.

    “Well, might as well end this… Nimbee, Body Slam!” Cassandra said coolly after watching Ledyba slam into the rafter another six times, each time with a feebler giggle.

    Nimbee sprang off the rafter in a free fall motion with the aim of squishing Ledyba flat.

    “Ledyba, above you!” Sapph cried out.

    <I see , I see, WHEEEEEEEEEE!> Ledyba giggled feebly, moving aside at the last second and barely escaping Nimbee’s falling bulk by darting to his right. Nimbee crashed full force into the floor, creating a huge cloud of dust which cleared to show Nimbee lying flat on his belly with swirls in its eyes.

    The ref stepped up to Nimbee to check its condition, and then raised his red flag towards Sapph’s end of the field and called out: “Nimbee is unable to battle, this round goes to Ledyba!”

    “All right! Way to go, Ledyba!” Sapph yelled to Ledyba, who’d stopped flying around. Apparently, the force of the shockwave from Nimbee’s failed Body Slam had awoken him to his senses.

    <What happened, Sapph?> Ledyba asked his trainer with a confused expression on his face.

    “Nothing you’d want Mongle to see,” Sapph replied with a smirk, making Ledyba blush.

    I got too cocky there, Cassandra thought ruefully as she returned Nimbee to its pokéball, I know now that I shouldn’ta, but I can still win this one…

    Aloud she said:”Not bad. You use Bug Pokémon pretty well. I’m even impressed at your luck. But playtime is over, I’ll now show you how a true Bug Pokémon Master battles!”

    Sapph gulped, but tensed as Cassandra enlarged her second pokéball.

    “Be ready for anything.” He warned Ledyba, who nodded his assent, turning to face the opposition.

    “Here we go, Shuckle!” Cassandra yelled, her long black skirt flaring out as she tossed her second pokéball onto the field.

    What looked like a small, smooth red clay sculpture formed on the ground. Suddenly, four long, stringy appendages shot out of four of the white ringed holes and a similar one came out of the largest pore on top, each with a loud ‘shloop’. This one seemed to widen out at the top into a face which had two beady eyes and a small mouth.

    “Hah! I know about that Pokémon!” Sapph said gleefully. “Shuckle, the Mold Pokémon! It’s more or less strictly defensive! Ledyba, use Tackle!”

    “Who said that means that’s all it can do?” Cassandra said testily. “Shuckle, Withdraw!”

    ’Who said that means that’s all it can do?’ Lady, Withdraw is a defensive technique,” Sapph mumbled through fishy lips earning a sweat drop from the Gym Leader.

    The Mold Pokémon quickly withdrew its stringy appendages and head back into its body as Ledyba rammed into it. The Shuckle flew into the sunken area of the gym and right into one of the beams.

    Perfect, Sapph thought, glancing at the gym leader and surprised to see her looking so calm. Then in the next second, his eyes became wide in shock as he saw what Cassandra was smirking about.

    Shuckle slammed into the post and bounced off into another one. Ledyba gazed in astonishment as he watched his opponent, in a manner similar to a pinball, tear around the pitch, gaining speed with each collision.

    “Hey, what gives?” Sapph cried out, watching the Bug/Rock Pokémon race along the ground at breakneck speed.

    “A good trainer fights with the knowledge of the surroundings,” Cassandra told him confidently. “Any and every part of the battlefield can be used to gain victory. Shuckle, now use Mimic!”

    With heightened acceleration, Shuckle latched one limb around the next wooden post and used it to swing itself around and right at Ledyba’s back, who couldn’t fly away in time. The Five Star Pokémon slammed into the basin, the wind knocked out of him.

    “LEDYBA!” Sapph yelled.

    “Keep it up, Shuckle!” Cassandra urged her Pokémon, who’d hit a beam and ricocheted straight for Ledyba.

    “Look out!” Sapph called out to Ledyba, who barely managed to cartwheel away from the spinning sphere of chaos.

    “Not so fast…Shuckle, grab him and use Wrap!” Cassandra ordered deftly.

    One of Shuckle’s legs stretched out abnormally and caught Ledyba by the arm. Before he’d noticed anything, the other three joined in on wrapping around his body, denying him escape as they squeezed tighter.

    “Grrr…Ledyba, use Tackle again!” Sapph growled.

    “Do you really expect it to be that easy, Sapph?” Cassandra taunted.

    Ledyba lunged towards Shuckle again, but the Mold Pokémon was ready. As Ledyba closed in, it withdrew its legs quickly, which resulted in Sapph’s Ledyba being yanked towards it. It then spun around, spinning Ledyba with it and into another post, where it let go and let the Bug/Flying Pokémon tumble down into the dirt.

    “Ledyba, you OK?” Sapph cried out worriedly.

    <I-I think so,> Ledyba said shakily, trying and failing to fire up his wings.

    “Your Ledyba’s really something promising, Sapph” Cassandra said impressively. “But its time in this match is over! Shuckle, use Tackle again!”

    Shuckle proceeded to bounce around the field again as Ledyba tried again and again to start up his wings without success.

    C’mon Sapph, think! Sapph thought desperately as he watched the Shuckle build up momentum. If I attack, she’ll just have it withdraw and if I stand still she’ll use her Mimicked Tackle attack on me! And even if I manage to evade it, she’ll wrap us up again… gotta figure out how to use that strategy against her…if only we could…that’s it!

    <Sapph, help!> Ledyba yelled as Shuckle came at him again.

    “Ledyba, jump as high as you can now!” Sapph yelled.

    <JUMP?! Sapph, I’m a ladybug-like Pokémon, not a grasshopper type!> Ledyba said in a panicky screech as Shuckle closed in, fragments of wood flying off the posts where Shuckle hit them.

    “NOW!”

    <OK!> Ledyba said, giving his legs all they had and barely escaping the speeding shell.

    “How many times must I show you that it’s pointless?” Cassandra whooped. “Shuckle, let’s Wrap this up!”

    Shuckle spun around and snagged Ledyba with all four of its legs, binding him tightly.

    She's falling for it! Sapph thought with glee. "Aloud, he ordered, "Ledyba! Use Tackle!"

    He just doesn't learn, does he? Cassandra thought to herself in disbelief, shaking her head.

    “Reel him in for the finale! Withdraw!” Cassandra hollered triumphantly as Shuckle withdrew only its head and pulled his opponent in.

    “Steady now…steeeaadee…,” Sapph muttered, watching as the gap between them shrank rapidly. Four feet…three…two feet…

    “Now, Ledyba! Use your Supersonic attack at full power down the head pore and Tackle it!” Sapph yelled when it looked like Ledyba would hit any second.

    A mere two inches from the shell, Ledyba unleashed its Supersonic attack with full force into Shuckle’s shell, making the latter release its hold on his prey. Without stopping, Ledyba slammed the Shuckle clean out of the shallow pit and smack onto the floor at Cassandra’s feet, with its head out, swirls in its eyes and foam at the mouth. Its shell was still vibrating and looked seriously cracked.

    “Shuckle is unable to battle,” the ref announced, raising the red flag again as Ledyba clambered out of the pit and successfully fired up his wings at last. “Ledyba wins!”

    “Awesome!” Sapph yelled triumphantly, hugging his Ledyba, who’d fluttered back to his trainer for some praise.

    Cassandra returned Shuckle silently, lost in thought.

    I see, so he had his Ledyba use sound to stun Shuckle long enough for him to successfully use a powerful Tackle attack at critical power. Analysing my attack pattern like that, he really is to be commended…

    Aloud, though, she looked across at her opponent, who was now rubbing his Ledyba’s head affectionately and said, “You’re pretty good, Manson. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a battle that intense in a long while. Or used this,” she added, raising her third pokéball.

    Sapph and Ledyba let go of each other and focussed on their last opponent.

    So, she’s deciding to use that here? The ref thought, eyeing the pokéball as well. She didn’t use it against that other kid… maybe that was why he won so easily…

    “Meet the strongest of my crew…go, Ledian!”

    A shape emerged from her pokéball, twisting itself into a shorter, yet more slender Pokémon. Standing about a foot taller than Ledyba, it shared Ledyba’s colour scheme, except for its now elongated head with prominent, blue eyes and its hind legs developed into two red feet.

    Both Sapph and Ledyba gaped at their new opposition. Sapph decided to get some info on Ledian from his Pokédex:

    Ledian, the Five Star Pokémon. The number of spots on its back increases as the number of stars in the night sky increase. Ledian is the evolved form of Ledyba.

    “Whoa,” Sapph gasped.

    “Ledian, use Flash!” Cassandra ordered.

    Ledian’s body glowed and then exploded in a burst of light, which blinded Sapph and Ledyba.

    <Oww! My eyes!> Ledyba yelled, trying and failing to shield its eyes with its stumpy arms.

    “Ledyba, try a Supersonic attack” Sapph called desperately.

    “Too late again, Sapph! Ledian, use Comet Punch!” Cassandra crowed.

    Ledyba inhaled deeply, but before he could launch his attack, Ledian pummelled Ledyba with a volley of lightning quick punches, the first three striking Ledyba in the belly and the last two finding their mark on his face. Ledyba flew back into the ground in a dead faint, due to exhaustion.

    Raising his green flag, the ref announced: “Ledyba is unable to battle, this round goes to Ledian!”

    “Ledyba, return!” Sapph cried out, returning his defeated Pokémon to its ball.

    The fainted Ledyba returned to its ball in a beam of red light. “Thanks, Ledyba, you did great, take a rest now.” Sapph murmured to the pokéball.

    Looks like it’s all up to you now, buddy, Sapph thought, enlarging his second pokéball.

    I wonder what Pokémon he’s gonna use now, Cassandra mused to herself, a faint crease forming on her brow. A Flying type would put me at a serious disadvantage. Let’s hope he doesn’t have one…Especially since I’ve already lost two Pokémon and he’s just lost one…

    “Go, Mongle!” Sapph yelled, throwing the ball on to the pitch.

    “Have you lost your marbles? Mongle?! This match is in the bag!” Cassandra crowed in triumph as the Grass Pokémon took an attack stance on the field.

    Sapph clenched his fists and teeth as he said, “It ain’t over ‘til the fat Persian says! Mongle, Pound!”

    “Double Team!” Cassandra countered lazily.

    First two, then four. In a space of mere seconds, Mongle was surrounded by Ledians. Mongle skidded to a halt and stared around at all the bugs.

    <Uh, Sapph? Which is the real one?> Mongle asked tentatively.

    “Bugged, hunh? Don’t worry, I’ll end it now! Ledian, Comet Punch again!” Cassandra taunted.

    “Mongle!” Sapph yelled frantically as all the Ledian lunged at the Leaf Squirrel Pokémon with their fists cocked back. Mongle leapt up at the last available second, leaving the Ledian to hit each other, which caused majority of the clones to fade away.

    “Now I got you! Ledians, get him while he’s stuck in the web!” Cassandra ordered.

    Web?, Sapph thought bemusedly looking up into the rafters. Then his eyes widened in shock when he saw what the gym leader had meant.

    Oh, sh-

    Mongle caught hold of a rafter and meant to jump to the next one as the Ledian bore down on him. But the sticky secretions left on the posts held him fast.

    <What the-?> He gasped.

    Shoot! What do I do? Sapph wondered as he watched Mongle get stuck in the web-laden rafters.

    “Too late once again, kid! Comet Punch attack! Now!” Cassandra hollered, getting more and more pumped.

    Just as Mongle managed to free itself, four Ledian fists collided forcefully with his chest, sending him through another two rafters and into the roof. Sapph watched helplessly as strands of webbing fell onto Cassandra’s Ledians.

    Wait, that’s it!

    “Mongle, use Razor Leaf!” Sapph called.

    “That’ll never work, Sapph! Ledian, Double Team again! And use Tackle to end it!”

    <I hope you know what you’re up to, Sapph, > Mongle thought as he swiped his glowing tail through the air, releasing a barrage of sharp leaves which sliced through the rafters en route to the oncoming Ledian, creating a cascade of logs, which took out all the bugs and buried the real one under a pile of heavy wood and tangled webbing.

    “Oh no!” Ledian isn’t used to the webbing either, Cassandra moaned. “Ledian, get out of there, fast!”

    “Wait for it… now! Pound attack!” Sapph cried.

    Mongle fired himself down just as Ledian freed his upper body. Mongle smashed Ledian’s head back into the mound of web and wood with tremendous force. Mongle landed on all fours and turned to look at Ledian, who had swirls in his eyes.

    The ref had seen enough. “Ledian is unable to continue. This round goes to Mongle. The winner of this match is Sapph Manson from Cherrygrove Town”.

    “Yes! We did it! We won!” Sapph yelled in triumph as Mongle cheered.

    He’s good, Cassandra thought, watching the Johto trainer's antics with a smile, he’s really good. Who’d have guessed he’d think to use the webbing and wood to slow Ledian down long enough to deliver a critical hit?

    She then returned her Ledian to its pokéball and said,” Well done, Sapph. I guess you taught me a lesson about what it really takes to win a battle: it’s not type advantage, but skill and guts. Beating three of my Pokémon whilst holding back like that was genius.”

    All Sapph could say to this was “Erm, thanks.”

    Who was holding back? He thought exasperatedly.

    “Oh, and one more thing, Sapph,” Cassandra continued, walking towards him,” Verity?”

    The reception lady came in holding a badge case.

    Sapph noticed the case and said, “Uh, Cassandra, I’ve got one of those already…” Though most of Sapph’s belongings were second-hand, he’d bought a badge case from the Cherrygrove Odds and Ends Store before leaving.

    “Then just take what’s in it.” Cassandra smiled as she took the case, opened it and removed something silvery from within, which she then presented to Sapph.

    “As Gym Leader of the Entover City Gym, I, Cassandra, hereby bequeath this Web Badge onto Sapph Manson for a victory in battle in my Gym. Wear it well.”

    Sapph picked up the badge from Cassandra’s palm and stared at it. It looked like a silvery spider web embossed on a white background.

    “Thanks, Cassandra! Take a look Mongle, our first badge!” Sapph said cheerfully.

    <Yay! Now for the Star-spangled Banner!> Mongle chirped, half-asleep.

    Sapph, Cassandra and Verity all sweat-dropped.

    "Uh... erm- well, see ya!" Sapph said hastily, running for the exit.

    Cassandra and Verity stared at each other in disbelief and mouthed 'Star-spangled Banner?'

    ***

    Later in the Pokémon Centre as Ledyba and Mongle were being treated, Sapph related the good news to the EverWood Town Pokémon Centre nurses, and Richie (an experienced that he relished).

    Well done Sapph! I knew you could do it!” Nurse Joy Jr. said happily over the videophone.

    “Thanks…erm, Joy,” Sapph said uncertainly. She smiled shyly, blushing slightly.

    “Well, gotta go,” Sapph said shortly. “Got to make another call to Olville Town. Greet your sister for me!”

    Okay, bye! I’m cheering for you!” She said, hanging up. Smiling, Sapph phoned the Kent Villa.

    Well done, Sapph! You’ve taken your first step to the championships! Have you told your parents? ” Mrs. Kent congratulated.

    Sapph hesitated for a second then said “Not yet.”

    Mrs. Kent seemed to understand.

    Alright, Sapph. But promise me you will, OK?” she said, fixing Sapph with a look he deemed reminiscent of the one his mother used demanding who took the last cookie from the jar without permission when he and Rubin were six.

    Sapph’s face darkened a little, but brightened at once. “Um, sure, Mrs. Kent! I’ll tell ‘em!”

    Mrs. Kent smiled, “Thank you dear. Now you must get some sleep. I’m about to do the same now. Goodnight!

    “Goodnight.” Sapph replied, cutting the videophone connection.

    I’ll tell ‘em all right, Sapph thought to himself, his new Web Badge held aloft and reflected double in his eyes, but only when I win all eight of these badges!

    ***

    *In the quarters of Air Dragon*

    So! Comments, please! They’re really appreciated! Later!

    : yeah! we like you're comments!

    Mongle:hey! what's with Ledyba getting a sprite and me not?!

    Me: uh, I said Later...

    Mongle: I mean where r ma fans? is there no love for me out there?

    : No, I don't think there is...

    Mongle: AAAAAARGH (Runs out of the room)

    Me: Now you've hurt his feelings...

    : What feelings? You didn't give him any did you?

    Me: He may not show 'em sometimes, but yep, they're there...

    : Oops! Hey Mongle, I'm sorreee! Hey, wait up! (chases after Mongle)

    Me:now they've left me alone for a bit, Later!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 9th October 2012 at 10:10 AM.
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  6. #31
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    Not bad! What of this pokemon that he rescued in the chapter? Will he capture it at all?

  7. #32
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    Wow, awesome battle. It was really inventive and I liked how you thought up strategies and counterstrategies for both trainers. And it's great to see something go right for Sapph for once.

    I wonder what'll wind up happening with Joy. Is she doomed to be forgotten when the story moves on, or will she show up again?

  8. #33
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    Twas a great chapter, a gym battle, Sapph learning of Joys liking of him and a pokemon stalking Sapph, who is incompetent because if he would of appeared earlier the whole gym battle could of been easier. Grr*shakes fist*

    And waking up with your head being stroked would be wierd in any situation, even if it was a nurse. But still with all that she should reappear or even randomly appear through the fic and stalk Sapph and give him random gifts to try and win his affection.

    Yes that will do. Anyway, poor Mongle, I'm a fan don't worry, i'll be cheering for ya. Go Mongle !!!Wooo!!!

    Reply again I shall, hope to see you soon I do.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  9. #34
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    Endless teasing. Graagh.

    The battle is genius. Totally. I was expecting Mongle to go down and bird-boy to come to the rescue as his last pokemon.

    Anyway, you should remember to close those format tags. They're wide open and do absolutely nothing.

    A few missing aprostrophys and letters, but no major errors.

    Mmmmm. I'm still waiting.

    Pika out.
    FTMP is officially dead. Those who are still interested in reading click
    here.
    Last Update: Chapter 17: Date: 6-2-2006(MM-DD-YYYY)

    "I have returned from the depths of hell to do battle with you." ~ Godot

  10. #35
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    Felix: YERSE! i'm evil to the core...y'know, that would have been a cool end to it, but "bird-boy" wanted to observe the battle, size Sapph up. oh yeah, a little more info on Sapph's stalker will come out in the next chapter, so watch out!
    i'll edit the corrections soon! main e-of-sems are rolling up so i'll try to mass produce and surpass the chapter limit part one reached...so keep at your inbox!

    Diddy: hahaaa! gotta show Sapph good for something, although he's going to have to gain ground... oh yeah, thanks from Mongle for the fanhood! now i've got a hyperactive green blur speeding around the pc, screaming for joy! wrecked my keyboard, the little furball...

    MVB: thank you! far too kind! as for your question, only chapter 13 or 14 will tell...

    icemew: glad you liked the chapter! joy's future in the fic will be ...ooops!

    Me: step. away. from the keyboard...

    sorry, icemew. he almost spoilt a major twist in the plot! oh well, keep it real y'all! once i'm done with chapter 9's editing, i'll post chapter 8! Later!
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
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  11. #36
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    Question Chapter Eight Rewritten!

    Chapter Eight: Across the Bay


    As Sapph ate breakfast the next day, Ledyba and Mongle were catching up with each other’s news from the gym battle they had the previous day.

    <…so it was all WHAM! POW! SMASH! That Ledian was out like a light!> Mongle crowed with a mouth full of Pokémon food.

    Ledyba didn’t say anything. Sapph figured out what was on his friend’s mind and said, “Lighten up, Ledyba! I’ll do my best to make you stronger than that Ledian was, I promise!”

    <Thanks, Sapph...> Ledyba chirped, still sounding a bit put out.

    “Besides,” Sapph went on in a low, offhand voice so Ledyba couldn’t hear. “You beat two of Cassandra’s Pokémon single-handedly…you couldn’t have faced Ledian anyway…”

    <Sorry, Sapph?> Ledyba asked apologetically. <Did you say something?>

    “Wha….no, nothing, Ledyba, nothing!” Sapph hastily reassured the Five Star Pokémon, quickly slurping down more of his porridge.

    <Anyways, you should’ve seen me Ledyba! I didn’t get a single scratch…> Mongle went on.

    “Yeah, you only got about ten bruises.” Sapph supplied slyly.

    <HEY!> Mongle yelled as Ledyba giggled. <That wasn’t fair!>

    “Sorry, you just had it coming. I couldn’t resist.” Sapph chuckled.

    “I take it you beat Cassandra,” Nurse Joy said coming round to check on Ledyba, who’d begun choking on a piece of Pokémon food from giggling too hard, which went soaring into the local Chansey’s face, who’d also come along to check on Ledyba’s condition, when Mongle thumped him on the back.

    <URGH! GROSS!> She screamed, the nerve on her temple beginning to pulsate furiously as she rounded on the two team mates who both broke into feverish cold sweats.

    <His fault.> Mongle said quickly, pointing at Ledyba. Ledyba spun around and stared indignantly at his ‘partner’.

    <Well, it was,> Mongle said reasonably. <WHOA!> he yelped as he ducked under Chansey’s Karate Chop.

    <So you’re the Mongle the Chansey in EverWood told us about,> the Chansey growled. She sounded like a Soviet military training camp personnel who ate steel barbed wire for breakfast. <The rude one…>

    <Groovy, a fan!> Mongle said, his face lightening up.

    <And you are his accomplice?> The Chansey went on, her eyes flicking to Ledyba, who blushed.

    <W-where’d you learn that?!> Ledyba squealed, his eyes larger than cartwheels as he surveyed the crack in the tile the Chansey had made.

    <So, it's true,> Chansey said, an evil smile lit her face.

    <Who cares? Run for it!> Mongle said, high-tailing it from the room.

    “Yep!” Sapph said, ignoring the Pokémon Nurse chase his Pokémon out of the room, Mongle’s yells of <IT WASN’T ME!> echoing down the hallways. His happy bubble deflated slightly as he continued, “But according to the map, the next gym is in Nightspark City across on the other side of the cove, and I haven’t a Water or Flying Pokémon strong enough to carry me there,” Sapph ended on a slightly worried note.

    “Even if you did, there’s no way you’d be allowed…you need certain badges before you’re allowed to use HM moves like Fly and Surf…” Nurse Joy informed Sapph firmly with her arms crossed though not in an angry manner.

    “Then how will I get to Nightspark? I just gotta get there!” Sapph cried, definitely panicky now.

    “Relax, Sapph. There’s a ferry service that runs between Entover and Nightspark Harbour. They’re leaving today, so if you go to the ferry port now, you can easily get a ride.” Nurse Joy said cheerfully.

    “Wow! Really?” Sapph said, lightening up at once.

    “Yes. Just tell the crew I asked you to send these supplies to the Nightspark City Power Plant. We’ve been having problems with our power supply, and as we need a trainer to get these parts from Azura Port to them, I just wondered…”

    “No problemo! I’ll take them for you!” Sapph exclaimed, jumping to his feet and grabbing his backpack and putting the parts in it.

    “You will? Oh, thank you, Sapph! You really are a hero!” Nurse Joy said happily.

    Sapph flushed embarrassedly. "That's a bit much, isn't it?" he said, rubbing the nape of his neck modestly.

    “I asked some other trainers to do that for me yesterday, but my request was severely snubbed by an extremely snobbish boy with reddish-blond hair and silver eyes who seemed to think he was in charge…” Nurse Joy went on.

    Sapph’s face darkened as he realised who Nurse Joy was talking about…

    Nurse Joy’s voice faltered as she saw the change come over Sapph. “Anything wrong?” she asked worriedly.

    Noticing what she was talking about, Sapph quickly rearranged his face into a wide grin and said, “Nothing’s wrong. Okay, I’ll leave now.” Sapph said, finishing off the rest of his breakfast and opening the sliding door as he rose to his feet and looking around for Mongle and Ledyba so he could return them to their pokéballs with a slight frown.

    Now where are those two? Sapph wondered as he scanned the room for his companions.

    “MONGLE! LEDYBA! Time to go alrea…” He called, stopped dead at the sight of Chansey chasing them down the corridor towards him.

    <SAPPH, HELP! Mongle made Chansey mad again!> Ledyba screamed, flying as fast as he could out of the open door.

    <RUNAWAY MAD NURSE!> Mongle added, racing after the Five Star Pokémon, a seriously hacked off Chansey hot on his heels.

    NOT that again?! Sapph moaned inside as he and Nurse Joy watched them go with tiny eyes and large sweat drops on the back of their heads.

    “Umm… Thank you again, Sapph. I’ll give you directions to the pier…” Nurse Joy said, and within three minutes Sapph was racing off to catch the ferry and stop another Chansey from attempting to kill his best friends with Nurse Joy calling behind him, “…and be careful! I heard some thieves have already tried to lift the package on its way here!”

    ***

    A dark cloaked man sat in what looked like a ruby-gilt, oaken throne as he surveyed the holographic map of Corei that spread out before him. The green lines that formed the map glinted brightly, illuminating the man’s alert and watchful red eyes and pale cheeks, one of which rested against the back of his gloved hand.

    “What’s the word with our base in Dragon Cove, Doracus?” he said softly yet deliberately, crossing his platinum-buckled boots as he leaned back with a sigh.

    A large, heavily-muscled man in a similar hooded cloaked stepped out from the shadows into the pool of light cast by the overhead, candle-lit chandelier. “Not so well, My Lord,” he said in a deep yet refined grunt. “We still require a generator powerful enough to power the electric cages. The untamed beauties keep smashing the iron ones…” he added, a cruel grin splitting his scrubby face and revealing a glint of gold.

    “Very well,” the man said heavily and the man named Doracus returned to the shadows. His eyes roving away from the spot where Doracus had returned to stare to a point nearly directly in front of him but slightly to his right. “Captain Orion?”

    “Yes, my Lord Theologos?” the cheerful voice of Orion piped up as he stepped into the circle of illumination.

    “My intelligence tells me that a vital generator part for the Nightspark City Power Plant is en route to Nightspark and is currently at Entover City Pokémon Centre,” the man named Lord Theologos went on.

    “Am I to lift the package for you?” Orion supplied in his sunny tone of voice.

    “No, not personally,” Lord Theologos answered, a twisted smile forming on his face at the thought. “Just send a couple of grunts in. A Team Shadow Executive needn’t bother with such a petty D-rank mission…and besides, I need you here to manage the other projects.”

    “I’m honoured, my Lord,” Orion said again, bowing his light brown-haired head.

    “You have your orders, Captain,” Lord Theologos said calmly.

    “Yes, sir, my Lord,” Orion said, bowing.

    “Let them be informed that extreme measures have been approved,” Lord Theologos informed the youth calmly, his dark hair falling slowly across his face as he leaned back some more.

    “It will be done, my Lord,” Orion said, bowing again and turning to leave.

    A silence filled the room for a minute or two before Lord Theologos looked to his left. He smiled softly, his eyes closed lightly and asked “You wish to speak, Captain Doracus?”

    “My Lord, I heard two Admins botched a C-rank mission in EverWood mission the other day,” Doracus interrupted suddenly, a frown on his face as he stared at the spot where Orion had left the room. “And that Captain Orion covered for the said Admins…”

    “Yes, I know, Doracus,” Lord Theologos said lazily. “I also know that the boy that thwarted them is the same one who has taken the parts into his custody,” he added softly, his eyes roving over the map.

    “A-and you believe two grunts can stop him?” Captain Doracus spluttered. “I mean, the admins he overcame…”

    “Were in your division, were they not, Doracus?” The man on the throne said idly, his eyes flashing in a quelling way. Captain Doracus’s golden yellow eyes met Theologos’s ruby red ones and fell silent at once. Then Theologos spoke again.

    “Orion’s men are much better at these sorts of missions than yours, Doracus. I’d also appreciate you not question the way I choose to have things done. I usually do so in such fashion for a reason. Am I understood, Doracus?” he went on, his voice showing a trace of anger and finality in it.

    “Yes, my Lord,” Captain Doracus said falteringly.

    “You’re dismissed, Doracus,” Lord Theologos said softly, consulting the map once more. “Meeting adjourned,” he added to the four other shadows that lined the walls and left silently after Captain Doracus’s retreating back.

    ***

    The Litaire from EverWood Forest had followed Sapph through the twisting streets of Entover City to the harbour where it had settled on the mast of a large ferry with a shape that resembled a catamaran. Suddenly a group of four Pelipper appeared with fish in their bills appeared on the same mast, two on each side. One particularly large one said roughly, <This ‘ere’s our rig, li’l missie,> in a salty sea dog’s voice.

    The Litaire closed her eyes and chose to ignore the rude Pokémon’s remark.

    <Didn’cha hear ‘im, missie? He said clear orf!> Another one half-yelled.

    <No, he said ‘This ‘ere’s our rig, li’l missie’, and rather rudely at that,> the Litaire said calmly, her eyes half-opened as she stared straight ahead of her.

    <Lissen, lady, we don’t wanna rumble with a girlie, so jus’ leave, will ya?> the third Pelipper said in a calm yet reedy voice.

    <I’m sure you don’t,> the Litaire said without looking at him.

    <Listen, lady,> the fourth one said shortly. <Shove orf, or be shoved orf. Got it?>

    <Sure. Looks like you boys will have to be shoved off then,> the Litaire said calmly, still not looking at her assailants.

    <Alrighty, let’s give ‘er ‘e ol’ heave ho!> The first Pelipper said and swung a beefy wing at the Litaire only to get his beak knocked crooked by the Litaire’s lighting-fast counter. At this the other three Pelipper attacked the Litaire as one.

    A quick scuffle erupted on the mast as a cartoon cloud of wings forming fists and clawed talons whirled around. Soon, the four Pelipper flew off haphazardly, sporting black eyes and dislocated beaks, muttering about women and how unreasonable they could get. Whereas the unscathed Litaire settled down on her perch, muttered <Amatuerish civilians> and closed her eyes to get a better look at her quarry who was explaining something to a sailor clad in a white vest and white slacks.

    “Alright, sir. I understand. We need that power here too.” The burly sailor told Sapph after he explained the situation for his needing to cross over to Nightspark City. “Besides,” he added, his cheeks growing slightly pink as he lowered his voice. “Who wouldn’t do that cutie of a nurse a favour?”

    “That wasn’t quite why I volunteered, but thanks a lot!” Sapph said, blushing faintly as he climbed on board, Mongle and Ledyba, muttering about each other behind his back, in tow.

    ***

    A shady couple skulked in the shadows on the port side of the deck as Sapph stood on the other side of the ferry and waved goodbye to the people who usually saw off the ferry. The woman held a walkie-talkie whilst the man scanned the area for eavesdroppers.

    The boy is wearing a red and white anorak,” a sunny voice crackled over the walkie-talkie, “Do try not to fail.

    “Yes, captain,” the female voice said and the walkie-talkie died in her hand.

    The twosome looked at each other as Sapph leaned against the starboard side railing to watch Entover Town disappear behind him.

    “So shall we look for our target?” she said in a coldly playful voice.

    “Let’s” the man rasped, a mean smile curving his thin lips.

    The two headed below to begin their search.

    ***

    Ten minutes after watching nothing but sea water, Sapph got bored and decided to go explore the ship and find his cabin. The journey’s scenery had not done anything to soothe Mongle and Ledyba’s tempers anyway, Sapph thought dryly, watching his Pokémon mutter as they trailed after him.

    “Er, Excusez-moi, Monsieur,” a sniffy waiter hailed Sapph, staring at Mongle and Ledyba.

    “Yes?” Sapph asked, turning around, ignoring the huffy noises issuing from his Pokémon.

    “Whereas battling eez seemingly allowed in ze cabins and the battle room below, all Pokémon must be kept in their pokéballs at all uzzer times.” The sailor explained in a French accent.

    “No worries, sir, I’ll ensure they behave themselves.” Sapph assured him, plastering a large false smile on his face, which fell as they rounded the corner out of sight.

    “Do you have to annoy every Chansey you see?” Sapph asked Mongle exasperatedly as they entered the gangway leading to their cabin.

    <HEY, it’s not my fault Chansey nurses have the temperament of a rabid Primeape when they get a little food all over them!> Mongle complained as he walked along side Sapph over the threshold of their cabin door inside.

    It was fairly roomy inside, with a videophone, computer, desk and chair and a comfortable single bed with blue and white linen sheets. Two small, circular portholes lined the opposite wall. The floors were oak panelled and varnished to give in a golden sheen and the walls and ceiling had been painted a luxuriant blue colour.

    Not too shabby, Sapph thought impressively, giving the room a complimentary smile as he put his rucksack and proceeded to the windows.

    “Chansey was right… you ARE revolting!> Ledyba muttered, fluttering along in behind them as Sapph opened the window to air the cabin.

    <HEY!> Mongle yelled again, rounding on Ledyba. <It WAS your fault!>

    <This time, it was partly, yeah! Last time it was yours!> Ledyba said, heating up.

    <Partly?! Whaddya mean, ‘partly’? Hey, if you didn’t hit my back so hard then…> Mongle said, sticking his face up to Ledyba’s.

    <What? You want to go at it, Flea Butt?> Ledyba retorted, pushing Mongle back.

    <WHAT DID YOU CALL ME, BUG EYE?!!> Mongle retorted, trying to get around the sole of Sapph’s sneaker to get at Ledyba.

    <BUG EYE?! I ought to…> Ledyba yelled, trying to get at the Leaf Squirrel Pokémon from behind Sapph’s elbow.

    “Guys, chill… save the aggro for the next battle…” Sapph said, trying to keep Mongle and Ledyba from fighting.

    <You just can’t take the fact that girl Pokémon everywhere are crazy about my cool sense of humour rather than your inferiority complex!> Mongle yelled.

    Sapph froze and sweat dropped.

    <Crazy about what?! You?! Don’t make me throw up! AGAIN!> Ledyba yelled back.

    <Sapph, get outta this! I’m gonna squish you flat, Bug Eye!> Mongle yelled, struggling to get a decent shot at Ledyba.

    <Just try it, you!> Ledyba yelled back. <I’ll pluck that leaf outta your flea-ridden backside! Sapph, stand aside and let me at him!> Ledyba countered.

    “Guys, calm down!” Sapph pleaded, straining to keep them apart.

    The door swivelled open and the stiff waiter poked his head in to give Sapph a chiding stare as he asked rhetorically “No trouble, monsieur?”

    Sapph sweat dropped as he smiled broadly back and said airily “Nope, no trouble, garcon. None at all… all under control here…heh, heh.”

    “Indeed,” the waiter said coldly, his watchful eyes wandering to Mongle, whom Sapph was half-squashing under his right sneaker and his Ledyba, who he was currently grasping in a tight half-nelson. Not smiling, he backed out of the room, closing the door with a snap.

    Sapph exhaled deeply and loosening his hold on his Pokémon, said exasperatedly “Do you guys seriously want to get me into trouble every where we go?”

    <Sapph, let me at him!> Both Pokémon yelled, staring electric daggers at each other.

    “Okay, THAT’S IT! BOTH of you take a time out!” Sapph yelled, returning the squabbling Pokémon to the confines of their pokéballs. Sapph then flopped onto his bed, closing his sapphire blue eyes. An unbidden image of Chanseys, Nidorina and a Kangaskhan chasing Mongle who wore some platinum chains and a mink coat with hearts in their eyes then appeared in his mind.

    <WE LOVE YOU MONGLE!> The Chansey screamed.

    <MARRY ME MONGLE!> The Nidorina yelled.

    <MEET MONGLE JR.! I NAMED HIM AFTER YOU!> The Kangaskhan squealed, holding up her baby.

    “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRR RRRRRRRRRRGH!” Sapph screamed, jolting awake suddenly, his face drenched in sweat.

    ‘Don’t make me throw up?’ Sapph thought furtively, reaching for his backpack and heading for the door. I think it may be too late for me, Ledyba…urgh, I need air…

    Sapph staggered topside, looking faintly green; oblivious to two shady figures skulking in the shadow of the wall behind him.

    “He’s the one, hunh?” A cold male voice asked.

    “Yeah,” a female voice answered.

    “Then we make our move now.” He replied, starting after Sapph.

    “Not yet! We can’t afford to mess up the boss’s plans or we’ll catch heck!” the female voice hissed imperiously, beckoning its companion to follow.

    “Right,” The male voice answered grudgingly, following the female one’s lead.

    Sapph walked along the deck of the ferry towards the railing where he’d be able to see Nightspark Harbour when it would first roll into view

    Damn that Kamren, Sapph thought angrily, quickly getting over his wave of nausea as the cool sea air whipped his face pleasantly, I’ll get that jerk if it’s the last thing I do! How could he refuse to help all those Pokémon he probably landed in the Centre! Just you wait, Kamren Kent! Just you wait!

    “I say, young ‘un! What would you say to a quick battle?” Sapph turned to see that the speaker was an elderly man in a neatly pressed brown suit with a cane and bowler hat to match. The man held himself in a highly dignified manner.

    “Sure thing! Is one Pokémon each OK with you?” Sapph said cockily. Inwardly though he said I’ll need all the training I can get! Mongle and Ledyba need to blow some steam too, anyway!

    “Decided. I choose Knuks.” The Gentleman said showing and opening a pokéball. Many of the crew on duty stopped their work to watch as white light spilled onto the deck forming a small black rodent-like animal. It looked very similar to Mongle, except it had a stump for a tail and was black with two white stripes running down its back and a white triangular streak running down the middle of its face.

    Knuks, the Skunk Pokémon. Knuks are friendly Pokémon except when scared or angry, in which case they cloak themselves with a cloud of pungent fumes.

    Sounds like Mongle when he’s insulted after he eats a chilli burrito, Sapph thought with a grin.

    “Go, Ledyba! Use Tackle now!” Sapph called, straightening his face and throwing Ledyba’s ball onto the pitch.

    Ledyba appeared and charged into battle in a full force tackle.

    “Knuks, Poison Gas!” the gentleman ordered primly.

    A whirlwind of poison gas blew up around Knuks which sent Ledyba up and away. Ledyba crashed onto the deck, choking on the gas.

    Whoa, that was a strong attack! Sapph thought. How do I beat that?

    “Now, Knuks, Scratch attack!” the Gentleman ordered reservedly, pointing his cane at Ledyba, who hovered close to the deck, gagging on the deck.

    Knuks ran his clawed paw across Ledyba’s forehead, sending the Five Star Pokémon skidding across the deck.

    “This battle won’t last long.” One sailor told another.

    “Ay, the poison seems to be taking its toll on Ledyba” his companion agreed.

    “Are you sure that you are worthy of that Web Badge on your chest?” the gentleman asked Sapph auspiciously.

    Ledyba and Sapph’s eyes reduced to slits.

    “Ledyba, use Tackle!”

    “Knuks, Poison Gas again!”

    The whirlwind of gas started up again as Ledyba bore down on Knuks.

    “Now, Ledyba hold your breath and ride the winds up!” Sapph ordered.

    What the-, the gentleman gasped.

    Ledyba spiralled up until he was above the twister.

    “Now, dive bomb him with a Tackle!”

    “No!”

    Ledyba shot down into the middle of the vortex at Knuks; the force of the tackle dispelled the gas and sent Knuks into the ferry’s on-deck pool. The crew were in shock after this ploy. It was only after the Gentleman’s shout for help that they awoke to their senses.

    “Help! Knuks can’t swim!” the gentleman whimpered.

    “Ledyba, rescue it fast!” Sapph said.

    Ledyba tried to rise, but coughed and hit the deck.

    “Ledyba!” Sapph cried. Quickly returning Ledyba to his ball, Sapph ran to the pool, shrugging off his backpack and dived in.

    “Hey!” One of the sailors cried.

    “Hold on, I got you!” Sapph said, reaching the Knuks and placing its bedraggled form onto his head as he swam back onto the deck.

    “Are you OK?” asked a crew member, helping Sapph out of the water.

    “Yeah. Sorry about…” Sapph began as the gentleman took Knuks back and examined it.

    “No, it’s OK… he’s fine. I’m the one who should be thanking you.” The gentleman said, profusely shaking Sapph’s hand.

    “It’s OK, really,” Sapph said, rubbing the back of his head embarrassedly.

    “I’m also sorry for my jibe on your ability,” he continued, “You did earn that badge. You’re Knuks’s hero!”

    “Ours too,” said a cold voice.

    Everyone turned to see Sapph’s rucksack in the hand of a tall, young woman with long dark hair and cold, hazel eyes in a black cat suit. Beside her stood a tall man with short, silver hair and matching eyes in an identical cat suit. Both wore identical navy blue bandannas with black ‘S’s on them: the man had his on his right arm, the woman wore hers around her neck like a neckerchief.

    “Who are you guys? Give me my rucksack back!” Sapph demanded.

    <And what’s with your awful Halloween outfits?> Knuks asked, sizing the duo up.

    “Tch, tch. So many questions, so little time.” The woman said with a smirk.

    “And to refer to your rude question and demand, we’re Team Shadow…” the man said.

    “…and you can have your dirty sack after we take this!” the woman finished, as the man fished out the machine parts.

    “Give those back! Entover City and half of Corei need that for their electricity!” Sapph yelled.

    “So does our boss…” the woman said.

    “…and our boss always gets what he wants, hunh Kayla?” the man smirked, only to receive a great big smack on the head.

    “Andre, you idiot! We were supposed to- oops!” the woman’s snarl turned to a look of stupidity and humiliation.

    “-remain anonymous? Like thieves as asinine as you could even manage that.” The gentleman snorted.

    “Anyway, give my stuff and those parts back right now, or I’ll…” Sapph called

    “You’ll what?” the woman called Kayla challenged.

    “Or I’ll make you! Go, Mongle!” Sapph finished, releasing his faithful friend into the fray.

    “Pfft, child’s play. Hold on to the parts, Andre, I’ll deal with our young friend,” Kayla said, pulling out a Pokéball and throwing it onto the deck. “Go, Zubat!”

    A small, purple bat-like creature formed in midair from the light that spilled from the pokéball. With two tails, large dart shaped ears and wings which it fluttered constantly to stay up, Zubat had no eyes.

    Zubat, the Bat Pokémon. To make up for its zero vision, Zubat’s ears allow it to effectively use echolocation in navigating the caves where it lives.

    “Sapph! We can’t be much help, mate! Our Pokémon are still in the Nightspark City Pokémon Centre!” One of the sailors cried.

    “They accidentally got drunk during ze ongoing annual Nightspark Pokémon festival during their last shore leave and fought each uzzer to exhaustion.” The sniffy waiter explained, who’d also come topside to see what the ruckus was.

    All the other sailors sweat dropped.

    “It was an accident!” One sailor yelled.

    “AYE!” the rest hollered in unison.

    Gee, that’s helpful, Sapph thought, rolling his eyes as another unwelcome vision filled his head as he saw several Machop, Horsea, Staryu and Tentacool all with red tinges in their cheeks in a bar late at night.

    “No problem,” Sapph assured them, staring Kayla down. “After a Gym Leader, these losers are a walk in the park!”

    “What an arrogant child...Zubat, Supersonic! On your right!” Kayla ordered.

    “Dodge it!” Sapph yelled.

    Using its heightened speed, Mongle was able to stay out of the incoming sound waves’ way. They hit the deck and shattered a four inch portion of the polished deck.

    “Mongle, use Razor Leaf!” Sapph ordered.

    “Dodge it! On your right!” Kayla ordered.

    Zubat dropped into a tailspin to avoid the stream of leaves Mongle released at it. It flapped its wings rapidly and pulled out of the sharp drop, twirling to face Mongle again.

    <How’d it do that?> Mongle yelled, it's eyes as wide as dinner plates.

    “Your little rat just made a big mistake,” Kayla smirked. “Zubat, Air Cutter!”

    Zubat reared up by flapping its wings faster and dived right at Mongle, hugging the deck and creating a blade of high pressure wind which kept on its course towards the Leaf Squirrel Pokémon even after it pulled away. Mongle jumped aside and rolled across the deck, leaving the attack to create a sizeable gash in the deck. Zubat dipped its wing and swooped around the deck to make another Air Cutter attack connect this time with Mongle’s flank, sending him spinning across the deck and crashing into a bucket.

    “Mongle!” Sapph yelled.

    “We don’t need any distractions, Zubat,” Kayla said coolly. “Use your Haze technique!”

    Thick fog descended onto the deck as Sapph looked on aghast. Soon, he could see nothing in front of his nose, let alone the battle.

    What did she mean by ‘distractions’? Sapph thought frantically. Zubat can’t see, so the only way she could attack in an open space like this is…

    “Slow, aren’t you?” Kayla’s voice taunted as the noise of another failed Air Cutter reached Sapph. “How Cassandra of Entover Gym’s Ledian could lose to the likes of you two is beyond me…”

    “Of course!” Sapph cried out.

    <It’s SOUND!> Mongle thought, completing Sapph’s outburst.

    “Tsk, you’re a noisy brat aren’t you?” Kayla scolded. “Now I’ve gotta get rid of you too. Zubat, Air Cutter the kid off the deck!”

    Sapph stood transfixed in terror as he heard the speeding Poison/Flying combination Pokémon wing towards him. Even if the first attack missed, the second wouldn’t…

    Suddenly, a large wind blew in from above, scattering the Haze created by Zubat. Its strength was such that it even blew the Zubat off course. As it tried to right itself, a second burst of air knocked the Bat Pokémon silly. Fluke or not, Sapph thought, this had to be his only chance to win. Mongle was back on his feet, breathing heavily. A long horizontal cut ran along its side as an identical fire lit in the duo’s eyes as they nodded at each other. It was now or never…

    “Mongle, Razor Leaf Attack, go!” Sapph yelled, pumping his fist.

    “Zubat, Supersonic!” Kayla yelled in retaliation.

    Zubat opened its fanged mouth to release a series of sound waves to confuse Mongle once more, but before it could launch its attack, Mongle pummelled the Bat Pokémon’s head with a rapid fire strafe of sharp leaves. Zubat was forced to drop several feet only to meet Mongle’s tail in an uncommanded Pound attack which sent Zubat smashing into the deck.

    “What kind of Flying Pokémon are you?!” Andre screamed as Zubat struggled to gain its wits.

    “Another one, Mongle!” Sapph commanded.

    “You help too, Knuks! Use Faint Attack to get the parcel back!” The gentleman whispered to Knuks who nodded his assent and vanished in a wisp of darkness.

    Mongle launched another round, this time at Andre’s wrist, which, upon connecting caused him to drop the package, which was quickly caught by Knuks, who then slammed Andre into Kayla and Zubat.

    “Give that here, you little rat!” Kayla demanded. “Zubat, attack it with Bite! And get off me, Andre! What kind of grip have you got?”

    “Oh, SHUT UP!” Andre retorted, scrambling off his team mate on to his feet.

    “Knuks, Poison Gas!” its trainer called as Zubat zoomed in on it.

    Knuks complied by closing its eyes and releasing a focussed gas attack at Team Shadow, who were instantly immobilised by the stink for ten whole seconds before screaming in protest and pain.

    “What an unearthly stench!” Kayla shrieked, trying and failing to clear the gas by waving her hand while her other one clutched her throat.

    “MY NOSE! I can’t feel my nose!” Andre bellowed his hand over his face.

    “Thanks for the assist, sir! Now Pound them away, Mongle!” Sapph called.

    Mongle began to run at such a terrific speed, he suddenly disappeared from view, reappearing only as he made contact with the troublesome trio, who dropped Sapph’s bag as they flew beyond the horizon.

    “My word! That was no doubt a Quick Attack!” the Gentleman remarked.

    <Thanks for the assistance, Knuks… Knuks?> Mongle said hesitantly as Knuks doubled over in seeming pain. A split second later, Knuks began to glow with white light as he began to change form.

    <HEY! You OK, Knuks?> Mongle asked again.

    “Is my little Knuks…” the Gentleman said, startled.

    “…evolving.” A sailor said in hushed tones.

    Everyone looked on in awe as Knuks’s body grew longer. His hind paws grew bigger as his forelimbs and claws elongated and thickened. At last, the light died down. Knuks new form rose onto its stumpy hind legs as it raised its thickened forelimbs as it examined its powerful new claws. It then wobbled a little and fell on all fours again where it looked itself over. The stripes on its back were the same, only longer, but the mark on its forehead had split into two and seemed to have shifted to its eyebrows. Its ears and eyes remained the same, although its nose had doubled in size.

    “Wow… I wonder what that is…” Sapph said aloud.

    His Pokédex replied: Stinx, the Skunk Pokémon. Stinx’s new powerful claws can easily shatter steel. However, due to their weight, Stinx often has to move them in a wide arc while in battle.

    “LAND HO!” the lookout called as the last of Zubat’s Haze cleared away to reveal the evening twilight’s arrival.

    “Nightspark Harbour, finally!” Sapph exclaimed, watching as a large city ablaze with light came into view.

    “Stinx, return!” The gentleman said, returning his newly evolved Pokémon in a flash of white light. “Bravo, Sapph! Even watching you battle was a great honour!”

    “Gee, thanks. Mongle, return!” Sapph replied, copying the gentleman’s actions as the ferry slowed to a stop at the pier.

    “The festival is still on ‘til the end of the week… I hear there’s an event for trainers on the last day. Maybe you’d want to check it out…” one of the sailors on shore told Sapph as he wended his way through the crowd at the pier asking for directions the local Pokémon Centre.

    “Sounds good,” Sapph agreed, “Thanks for the info!”

    Okay, first things first… Sapph thought as he walked down the brightly lit streets, admiring the displays, parades and performers, I’ve got to get Mongle and Ledyba to the Pokémon Centre. While they’re being treated, I’ll head for the Power Plant…

    After getting directions to the Power Plant from the local Nurse Joy (who happened to be the Olville Town Nurse Joy’s first cousin twice removed), Sapph proceeded to the station to finish his errand.

    The engineer he met was nothing short of thrilled.

    “We can’t thank you enough for your help,” the engineer said gratefully after Sapph told him his tale. “Now all of Southeast Corei can get uninterrupted power and we engineers can get a bit of a break from our chief engineer…” he added with a sly grin.

    “What was that?” a sharp voice said behind the man, who suddenly broke out into a cold sweat.

    Sapph looked over his shoulder to see an extremely pretty lady with straight black hair in a blue and yellow jumpsuit heading towards them. Her sparkling green eyes were presently narrowed in suspicion.

    “Errrr… nothing, nothing!” The man said hastily.

    “And who do we have here?” she said, her eyes fixing on Sapph.

    “I-erm, I-I-I’m Sapph.” Sapph stammered, mainly out of nerves.

    “He just brought us the needed generator parts from Entover City.” The man cut in.

    “Oh! Why, thank you Sapph! This is wonderful!” the chief engineer said, her face breaking into a dazzling smile.

    Sapph felt himself reddening for the second time in two days. What was wrong with my face? He asked himself furiously.

    “No problemo, now I can go challenge the gym for my second league badge!” Sapph said rearranging his face.

    “Oh! Sapph, I’m sorry, but the gym’s closed for the day!” she apologized, a sad smile on her face.

    “WHAAAAAAAAAT?!” Sapph yelled in disbelief as he face-faulted.

    “Oh, don’t worry, Sapph. I know the leader, Arlene, and I’m sure she’ll see you tomorrow!” the chief engineer reassured Sapph.

    This proposition had the effect of cheering Sapph up loads.

    “Really? I mean, it won’t be a bother?” Sapph asked joyously.

    “Sure, I’m positive she’ll be thrilled. Don’t worry about a thing,” the chief engineer said with a wink.

    “Oh-kay! Well, I guess I’ll stay in town ‘til tomorrow then!” Sapph said.

    “Sure, enjoy the festival during your stay!” the chief engineer said cheerfully.

    “You bet!” Sapph said, his voice packed with pep.

    “What spark! I like you already!” the chief engineer said again, flashing another dazzling smile.

    Stop blushing already! Sapph ordered himself, reddening as he told himself so.

    “Well, come on Carson, we have to get that generator running… maybe we’ll get a little rest after that! Bye!” She said as she turned to leave.

    Sapph and Carson exchanged a bewildered look. Sapph wished he could stop blushing. He threw an askance look at Carson and saw that he wished he could stop sweating as much as he wanted to stop looking like a Charmeleon with sunburn.

    “Got to go… oh, and one more thing. Take this TM as my thanks. Its technique is a little archaic, but it may come in handy.” The engineer called Carson said, giving Sapph a yellow disc.

    “Wow, thanks! But, won’t you need it?” Sapph asked, placing the disc in his TM case (another artefact he had acquired brand new from the Cherrygrove Odds and Ends Store.)

    “Don’t worry; I’ve got a friend in Kanto who has copies. Just don’t let my boss know where you got it, OK? Bye!” Carson replied, turning to go.

    “OK, bye!” Sapph said as Carson left.

    ***

    As he made his way back to the Centre, Sapph’s thoughts finally returned to Team Shadow. And it was only after passing the message that he’d successfully delivered the parts over the videophone to the Nurse Joy stationed in Entover City, did he voice his thoughts to a fully healed Mongle and Ledyba.

    <Now what, Sapph? You don’t miss Joy that much already, do ya?> Mongle said slyly, opening his cinnamon sprinkle ice cream Sapph had bought him at the fair on his way back to the centre.

    “Shut up, Mongle,” Sapph said warningly. “Don’t forget, that cost me a bit…”

    <My silence shall never be bought! Sapph-y and Joy-ey, sittin’ in a tree…> Mongle sang out in a voice full of cheer.

    <What is wrong then, Sapph?> Ledyba asked curiously, graciously accepting the large bag of honey-coated popcorn Sapph had got him and popping a few into his mouth chewing softly.

    “They seemed to know an awful lot about my movements in Corei, that Team Shadow. It’s as if they’re stalking me, though that’s not possible,” Sapph said slowly.

    <Don’t worry about them, Sapph. They must be long gone by now!> Ledyba said soothingly.

    <If they worry you so much, why not ask Prof. Yew or Mrs. Kent about them?> Mongle asked reasonably.

    “I would, but it’s not like I’m at war with them or anything. I don’t want to get mixed up in anything messy…” Sapph demurred.

    <Yeah, you worry way too much. It doesn’t suit you at all,> Mongle chuckled.

    <Anyway, out of sight, out of mind. You have other things to worry about than those guys, Sapph.> Ledyba agreed.

    “Like what?”

    <Your gym battle tomorrow morning!> the two Pokémon chorused.

    “Speaking of which, we’ll have a training session before that tomorrow, so get some rest, OK?” Sapph said, reaching for their Pokéballs.

    <OK, good night.> Ledyba said disappearing into his ball.

    <I just wonder where Bubbles, Haley, Burner and Kamren are.> Mongle wondered, dodging the beam of light to hear Sapph’s comments.

    “Dunno, Mongle. Frankly, in Kamren and Burner’s case, I couldn’t really care less.” Sapph said, stifling a yawn.

    <Yeah, like Ledyba said, ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’> Mongle replied, finally returning to the confines of his pokéball.

    Good point, Sapph thought as he rolled over on his side and drifted off to sleep the hustle and bustle of the Nightspark City carnival lulling him on to dream world.

    ***

    Don’t forget to criticize where it’s needed!

    Okay, L@er!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 16th October 2012 at 7:53 PM.
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  12. #37
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    Your punctuation kills me. >_>

    Not a bad chapter. Skink is an interesting Pokemon. XD POISON GAS!

    Kayla and Andre are stupid. They have no brains. >_<

    And Litaire still hasn't joined the party. This is stupid. All she probably contributed was a gust of wind...

    Herm. Must wait for next chapter now.

    -enters hibernation-
    FTMP is officially dead. Those who are still interested in reading click
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    Last Update: Chapter 17: Date: 6-2-2006(MM-DD-YYYY)

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    What's up? A skunk pokemon, nice one. Great chapter. Hopefully, Haley returns and travels with Sapph perminantly. Did you get my last pm?
    Visit Nocturne of Shadows. Check the chats and forums section to visit the forum. I have a guestbook and a mini shout box.

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    yeah i got it, MVB. Your character may have a fair few appearances in upcoming chapters so sit tight!

    Felix, glad to know i'm killin' ya...meh. Well, gotta slide!

    Later!
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    I've been meaning to review, but college is hectic and it's hard to find the time to just sit down and review. I'm afraid I'll have to take it chapter-by-chapter. Hope that's all right. If you post slowly I might be able to catch up come winter vacation. (Roughly Dec. 16th for me).

    Anyways

    The breathtaking scenery however, was not on the mind of some of the passengers. Indeed, an eleven year old boy found sleeping a more fulfilling past time than stopping to sniff the roses (not that he could stop the train to sniff them anyway.
    A good beginning. Not entirely catchy, but good. And I found it quite amusing that he decided to sleep - oh, and I think 'smell' would be better than the irregular sniff in the first use of the world. It just flows better.

    You also could have extended this.. prologue thing a bit longer, in my opinion it was just a little short and abrupt to me. And you don't really need the 'flashback' with the whole "Cherrygrove three days ago" thing in place already. It kinda tells us we're already in a flashback.

    -Flashback-

    . At least he would have if his mother didn’t know how to get him out of bed in the mornings.
    I tend to sleep in realllly late to if given the chance.

    “Really, how’s Tyra?” she asked, looking up form her waffles.

    Tyra was Katherine’s Typhlosion.

    “Looks like she’s going to go into labour or something,” Sapph mumbled his mouth once again filled with waffle.

    Katherine’s fork fell from her hand with a loud clattering.

    “She’s what?” she breathed.

    (...)

    I don’t get it, Sapph thought, a piece of waffle hanging out the corner of his mouth. If Tyra’s having the baby, why’s she so happy?
    An amusing exchange that I actually smiled at. Particularly the last line.

    “I’ve gotta show Dad that I can do this,” Sapph murmured to her, pushing two flags; one red and one green into her hands.
    *snorts* forcing her to be a referee. Though I don't think murmured is quite the right tag. PRobably, 'whispered quickly' or something.

    What the! Rumble and Sapph thought frantically.
    This thought seemed horribly out of place. So far you've been in 3rd person single perspective - as in, through Sapph's eyes only. Ala Harry Potter. No other outside thoughts but Sapphs. So having Rumble's thoughts show with Sapph's seems horribly awkward.

    Maybe: Sapph's eyes constricted as the Cubone disappeared in a cloud of smoke. What the...


    “FLAMETHROWER!!!” Emma yelled incredulously.
    I'd stay away from multiple !. If you must emphasize, ?! can be used sparingly, and italicizing it could work just was well. not to mention it's caps locked already.

    “Here,” he mumbled, still in shock at what his impatience had cost the family. “The Strength Badge. Wear with honour.”
    At least he's not too bad of a sport.

    “Lay off, alright ,Emm?” Sapph yelled hotly. “I admit it, I screwed up big time. I shoulda listened but noooo… I had to go ahead with my stupid, abjectly insane plot to get Dad to be pleased with me for once! I messed up Dad’s best chance to promote the gym, I blew it, I threw all their hard work out of the window, I…”
    “Dad did see you lose,” Emma cut across her big brother. “So did Mum and Rubin.”


    “After all,” he added, “it took you three years to graduate from Earl’s Pokémon Academy, and it took Rubin one. Geniuses do exist, and they know how best to handle themselves and their responsibilities,” Justin Manson’s emphasis on the last word was suffocating.
    What a nice dad. XD

    “Listen, Sapph: I can’t say I’m sorry about the battle yesterday. Someone had to win, and we both know it. Let’s just use the experience to look forward and try to be the best that we can be, deal?” Rickie asked offering his hand.
    I'm oddly glad to see Rickie again.XD I wish he had stayed.


    ===

    Anyways, I think the revision is much better than the original. You're showing a lot of potential here, and seem to be getting better - I'm sure I'll notice as I read more chapters.

    However, you tend to fill your chapters with dialogue - which, no, that isn't a bad thing. But oftentimes you need a bit of narrative in between, not just after the dialogue tags. It helps slow the pace down when it's going to fast or ending to abrupt. This can be as simple as feelings, or what's going on around him.

    Also, you tend to use the same patterns for dialogue. "Hey, what's up," Sapph said. - Then go on to next paragraph. You can break dialogue to help heighten the impact in the middle of dialogue, or even for a change of pace, use something like:

    Angry, Sapph said "I won't lose you you!"

    Breaking up dialogue in the middle can be good. You can break it with actions on how a character feels. I'll use an example from your chapter, shall I?

    “Justin, honey, please relax and try to enjoy your meal!” Katherine said for the umpteenth time.

    Or "Justin.. honey," Katherine said quietly, hesitantly, touching her husband's arm, "please relax and try to enjoy your meal."

    --

    “Filming your loss to the Pokémon League HQ…do you understand the magnitude of what you’ve done?” Justin continued to bawl.

    Bawl's an awefully childish sounding word, and doesn't seem to fit, BTW. And I found this sentence awkwardly worded:

    "The whole battle was being filmed! Filmed, Sapph! Filmed! " Sapph's father's face reddened with increasing rage, while his dad's gravelly tone lowered into almost a whisper. "Do you understand the magnitude of what you've done - to the Gym, to my reputation?"

    On a whole, you're getting a good grasp of dialogue and how to use it. Right now, pacing seems to be your main topic, and helping to work it into dialogue that flows a bit better. You're doing a good job though.

    Your characters also seem quite realistic this time around. We get to know about other character's motivations -- Sapph wanting to be respected, Rubin's indifference.. Emma's sympathy. It was good, and you structured things pretty well. And on a whole, you had several interesting things going, such as Sapph battling Ricky even though he wasn't supposed to. It was a nice plot twist.

    Professor Yew's motivation for asking Sapph to come to Corei was a little sketchy and I was rather confused. Perhaps you could've included dialogue on how he had seen the battle, and saw potential in the boy more in depth. You still did a pretty good job with this, and was much better than the "wake up and go get first pokemon type of thing."

    Personalities are very good this time around. I can actually imagine them as real people instead of cardboard boxes pretending to be people. I could tell that Emma sympathized with Sapph, Katherine (love the name) is on her son's side and is a nice, loving wife. Rubine is, for whatever reason, indifferent. Justin's hotheaded and doesn't like to be disgraced and so on and so forth.

    With a bit more work you could have a very epic work in your hands. You sure are doing a good job thus far, and I wasn't bored reading it. ^^

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    hearin' you loud and clear, cap'n! glad to hear from you, SP! thanks for all the input! chapter nine will definitely have more of your ideas in there! (as chapters 1-8 are already posted...)

    exams started today so i'll be low on the radar... chapter 9 will be out before i leave though... count on it!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 6th December 2006 at 3:54 PM.
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  17. #42
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    Cool Chapter Nine is in the House!

    Ok, I tried to edit my last post with this chapter but it didn't load completely...

    So, here's what i promised for vacation reading, TCQ chapter 9! To progress with the story, the next chapter won't be posted til next year. this is to give me some time to run ahead with some new chapters and hopefully end part one before resuming uni (12 Jan for me)... not to mention let some critics catch up with the rest of you. Enjoy!

    Disclaimer: you know what goes here...

    Chapter Nine: Shocking Developments! Vs. Arlene!


    Ten a.m. the next morning finds our hero now stands outside the gym doors, taking a few deep breaths to steady himself for the impending gym battle. Sapph had little understanding to his sense of increased panic. One may say he felt he was rushing the pace of his training and gym-challenging. One who knew Sapph may say the first guy was nuts. He'd say Sapph is never nervous and that the author was recovering from something nasty, like mental fatigue, malaria, or sheer lunacy. I'd bet my money on the first guy...

    We’ve been training since dawn, Sapph reminded himself for what could have been the hundred and fiftieth time that morning. We’re in top form! Plus with Ledyba’s new technique, we can’t possibly lose!

    Pumped, Sapph made for the gym reception area to register an official challenge...

    ...and promptly turned around, looking green and clutching his stomach.

    Whoa, Sapph Manson! He thought worriedly. Easy...easy...

    And without another word, Sapph threw up all over his front.

    Sapph looked down at his shirt and with a sarcastic eye roll, thought, You go, buddy...

    ***

    “You may go in now.” The reception lady told Sapph after an extremely tense fifteen minute wait. Sapph had changed his shirt and wiped his sweaty brow dry.

    “Thank you,” Sapph said, heading for the leader’s battle room, knowing better not to ask for tips.

    "Like a tip?" the receptionist said nicely.

    Sapph's head spun around to face her and asked excitedly "You-you're joking, right? You'll really give me a tip?"

    The receptionist laughed and said, "Of course not, silly!"

    Sapph fell over animé-style. Picking himself up off the floor, he slouched over to the doors which led to the arena proper, grousing along the way.

    "Memo to me...puke on the next gym receptionist when nervous," Sapph growled to himself as he stepped on the mat. The doors slid open automatically like those at the Pokémon Centre and the PokéMarts.

    Immediately after passing through the electric glass sliding door, it slid shut behind him with a loud snap. Sapph almost had a heart attack!

    What is with these gym leaders and their freaking creepy gym doors? Sapph asked furiously, looking around for the gym leader.

    At least this gym is cleaner that Cassandra’s, Sapph thought as he looked around at the cables that ran along all the walls and the ceiling, presumably to provide power for the treadmills or conveyor belts (Sapph couldn’t decide which they were) which lay on both sides of the gym floor. Several panels, half of them red, the other half blue also lay dotted around the floor at random places.

    Wow!, Sapph thought, his eyes glued to the treadmills on the floor. The gym leader here, whoever he is, must be seriously into working out! Those panels must be there for a reason, probably to…

    “Oh! Hello, Sapph!” called a cheerfully familiar voice. Sapph tore his eyes away from the intricate floor design to look at the gym leader’s half and saw… the chief engineer from yesterday!

    “YOU’RE THE LEADER HERE?!” Sapph yelled, half-surprised, half-awed.

    “Oh, yes! I’m Arlene. Thank you for all your help the other time. I’d like to say though that the friendly formalities are over. Let’s see if you can back up your claim and win my Volt Badge!”

    “You got it!” Sapph grinned, pulling out a pokéball and enlarging it.

    “There’s that spark I love again!” Arlene cried, readying her first Pokémon, and throwing Sapph slightly off track with a bright smile.

    A male referee stepped up to the sidelines to explain the rules.

    “An official gym match between Sapphire Manson…”

    A large nerve drummed its way to the surface of Sapph’s head.

    Say what?! It ain’t Sapphire, you moron! It’s Sapph!, Sapph thought furiously, turning the ball over in his hand as Arlene enlarged hers.

    “… and the Nightspark City Gym Leader Arlene will now begin. If Sapphire wins…”

    Sapph was seriously close to losing it now. Furious veins started popping out along his temple and the fist he longed to drive into the ref’s face.

    My name is Sapph, damn it! Sapph, Sapph, SAPPH! Sapph reiterated, screaming in his head now.

    “…he will earn a Volt Badge. Each trainer may use two Pokémon each. A Pokémon is out of contest if one of them faints or if the Gym Leader recalls it in the case of hers. Let the match begin!” He called, raising both flags above his head.

    “Let’s go, Ledyba!” Sapph called, releasing his Five Star Pokémon on the field a little more aggressively than he usually would have.

    What’s he thinking? Even part-Flying types like Ledyba are at a disadvantage here… Arlene thought to herself.

    Aloud, she said “Come out, Ballomb!”

    The light that spilled from her ball formed itself into a short, black, round figure with a friendly smile. It had two stumpy yellow arms and feet and stood about a foot and a half tall. It had a short fuse dangling out of the top of its head. What seemed to be an electric surge seemed to ripple through its body as it took a battle pose.

    Before Sapph could wonder what Arlene had sent out, his Pokédex answered:

    Ballomb, the Blast Pokémon. Ballomb have very kind natures and only explode when threatened. Ballomb is a Dark/Electric combination type Pokémon.

    Sapph and Ledyba couldn’t see the bright side to any of the info the Pokédex had said.

    “Did that thing just say explode?!” Sapph asked faintly.

    <Okaaay… we’re in deep trouble, Sapph! If Ballomb’s an Electric type, we’re in so deep trouble!> Ledyba lamented frantically.

    Sapph assured his shy companion calmly, “Relax, Ledyba. I know… we just gotta stick to the training, Ledyba! We can do this!”

    “Guess again, Sapph! Ballomb, Zap Cannon!” Arlene said in an annoyingly cool, unconcerned voice.

    Electricity began to circulate all throughout Ballomb’s body. When it reached a crescendo, Ballomb released a black ball of electric charge straight at Ledyba.

    Sapph ordered, “Evade it by diving, Ledyba!”

    The Zap Cannon attack seemed to be powerful, but in comparison to Ledyba, it was slow. Ledyba cleared it easily.

    Good job, Ledyba! Sapph cheered inwardly. Outwardly, though all Sapph said was, “Now, Ledyba! Use Comet Punch!”

    All four of Ledyba’s fists glowed silver with cosmic energy as he raced in and unleashed a lightning quick volley of four jabs and a rising hook to send Ballomb skidding back with a shrill grunting noise. Without an order, Ballomb unleashed a jolt of electricity that barely missed the agile insect. The blast of lightning hit one of the blue floor panels instead, starting one of the treadmills.

    “Hey, what gives? The treadmills started up!” Sapph cried out.

    <Ballomb’s heavier than he looks, too,> Ledyba thought. <That Comet Punch should have sent him flying back five feet at least!>

    “Well, Sapph… that’s the secret of the Nightspark City Gym. Any form of energy that hits the blue panels is converted to electricity which runs the treadmills. The more energy that’s accumulated, the faster they run!” Arlene explained. Her eyes became slightly colder as she then said, “Ballomb, Thunder Shock attack!”

    Sapph, temporarily disarmed by this information, yelled too late “Ledyba, look out!”

    The Blast Pokémon squarely hit Ledyba on his underbelly with a second jolt of electric energy, sending the Bug/Flying Pokémon crashing onto the treadmill, crackling with loose sparks of electricity.

    “Ledyba, you can do it! I know you can! Get up!” Sapph coaxed his friend.

    Slowly, Ledyba fluttered into the air, shaking off the Thunder Shock attack as though it were nothing, though Sapph could tell that his friend was getting worn out by the extremely effective attack.

    Thank you, Ledyba. I knew you’d pull through for me, Sapph thought inwardly with a warm smile at his friend.

    Wow, that thing sure has spunk! Arlene thought. But this next attack will end it…

    Arlene then commanded, “Ballomb, use continual Thunder Shock!”

    Sapph tutted her and with a wagging of his finger said calmly, “Do you really think we’ll stick around for that to hit us again?”

    Ballomb let fly a volley of lightning bolts at the Bug Pokémon who zigged and zagged in between them, eager to avoid taking on any more damage.

    Ledyba, deciding to take a crack at witticism, crowed out <What does a Ballomb call a Dodrio's egg? Mommy!>

    Arlene told her Pokémon swiftly: “Cool down Ballomb! Wait for your chance and use your Ultimate Thundershock attack!”

    Ultimate Thundershock? Sapph queried mentally. Aloud, he commanded: “Ledyba, Comet Punch! One more time!”

    Ledyba, although with similar worries in mind, acknowledged the order and slowed down slightly as he angled straight towards Ballomb, his little fists glowing with white cosmic energy.

    Ballomb was getting rather tired of not being able to hit the speeding Ledyba now and at Arlene’s order began to charge up a large amount of static energy in the air above him for a Thunderbolt-like attack. Crossing its short arms when the static had hit a crescendo level, Ballomb flinched slightly as the electricity hit him and ran all over his body. Crying out with a loud <Taaaake…This!> Ballomb uncrossed its arms and sent a ten thousand volt blast of electric power speeding for Ledyba in a zigzag pattern.

    Sapph’s counter was swift and precise. ”Ledyba, counter with Comet Punch!”

    The tough Bug/Flying Pokémon cocked its fist back and let it meet the Thundershock attack dead on. The mini-comet did something very strange at this junction; the Thundershock attack was drawn into the comet and the silver trail of comet dust crackled with golden electricity momentarily, drawing a gasp from Sapph.

    Whoa! What happened? Sapph pondered in wonderment.

    All Arlene and Ballomb could do was dropping their jaws in shock and looking rather silly.

    “Great stuff, buddy! Keep going!” Sapph cheered.

    “Curl up in defence, Ballomb!” Arlene screamed, fast over the shock of seeing a Flying Pokémon repel her Ultimate Thundershock attack like that.

    Ballomb hitched his jaw off the ground and tried a feeble attempt at a Defense Curl technique. Though inexpert, the manoeuvre had the added effect of doubling his weight. When Ledyba slammed a second strike into where his opponent’s navel would have been had it been humanoid. End result: A red insect hovering around the arena shrieking what Sapph had a shrewd suspicion were swear words in an ultrasonic voice, waving its hand around like crazy.

    “Tut, tut, Ledyba,” Sapph said half-whimsically, half-chastising. “Such language…”

    Ledyba stopped hovering on the spot and screamed <Who’s swearing? I’m just yelling in pain!>

    Short on patience and angry at how long beating Sapph and Ledyba was taking, Arlene shouted furiously, “Ballomb, finish it with another Zap Cannon!”

    “Reflect it with Supersonic, Ledyba!” Sapph called out, remembering its effect in his last gym match and praying it would work here.

    Ledyba turned his head towards Ballomb and released his powerful sound attack just as Ballomb released a second black sphere brimming with electricity. The two attacks met in mid air, and fought there for control. After three seconds of tension and furious pushing, the Zap Cannon attack was miraculously sent back to a stunned Ballomb, causing a small amount of damage and severe paralysis in the Blast Pokémon.

    “YES! Now, Ledyba, us your Tackle attack to wrap this up!” Sapph cheered.

    “Self Destruct!” Arlene called frantically.

    OH, … Sapph began to cuss mentally as he watched Ledyba fly straight for a reddening Ballomb, who blew up on a blue panel when the Five Star Pokémon was barely inches away.

    When the explosion passed away, both Pokémon had fainted. Sapph dimly registered that the force of the explosion had caused all the conveyor belts on the field to run at a fast rate. With an incredulous expression on his face, he turned from the sight of his fainted Pokémon to bawl out Arlene.

    “WHAT WAS ALL THAT FOR?!” Sapph yelled at Arlene, pointing a furious finger at his opponent.

    “What?” Arlene queried in a nonchalant tone, although Sapph and the referee could see she was shaken by her choice of technique. “What do you think I am? I wasn’t about to give you the upper hand.”

    “But- But, to let your Ballomb to blow itself up to do it…” Sapph spluttered incensed.

    “I know it was painful,” Arlene said, her voice and hands shaking now. “But a trainer that has one more than the opponent allowed to and ready to fight has the edge of testing the opponent’s second Pokémon before sending out his or her own. I-I’m just not good enough at fighting under those circumstances…”

    She must mean business for her to have sacrificed one of her Pokémon to keep me from getting ‘one over’ on her Sapph thought ruefully, still shaken by Arlene’s tactic and her shaky reply.

    “Both Pokémon are unable to battle… this round is a tie” The ref said, raising both flags above his head.

    “Are you OK?” the referee asked the leader, who looked severely shaken at her decision to sacrifice Ballomb to keep Sapph from gaining an advantage.

    Arlene looked close to tears as she silently returned her first Pokémon to its pokéball with a whispered apology. She nodded mutely. Sapph was in a state of semi-shock as he called Ledyba back for some rest. Praising him for a job well done and swearing not to be so reckless in this battle again, he pulled out his second pokéball and enlarged it, just as Arlene was doing the same.

    “Go for it, Mongle!” Sapph yelled, hurling his pokéball onto the field.

    “Get ‘em, Pichu!” Arlene called out, tossing hers towards the field with a bit of a twirl.

    Pichu, the Lightning Mouse Pokémon. Although Pichu can readily store and release electricity consistently, they have a limit as to how much electricity they can safely store in their bodies without suffering any damage to themselves, Sapph’s Pokédex recited.

    Mongle and a small, yellow mouse with a short black, lightning shaped tail, short, diamond-shaped, black-tipped ears and large red circles on its cheeks both took shape on conveyor belts at the same time. Both realised they had to start running at the same time and commenced to do so at top speed to keep up with the pace of the treadmills. Pichu, being the smaller of the two seemed to be experiencing some trouble adjusting to the speed of the treadmill.

    “Looks like your Pichu is out of shape” Sapph jibed Arlene with a smirk. Mongle’s got the advantage now, all we need is an opening… he thought to himself.

    Arlene just smiled softly. I’ll show him not to mock a master of Electric Pokémon, she thought determinedly.

    “Mongle, -“Sapph began.

    “Pichu, -“Arlene called.

    “- Quick Attack now!” the trainers yelled in unison.

    Both rodents leapt off their treadmills and tore towards each other at breakneck speed, colliding with each other at the middle line of the pitch. Upon impact; both Pokémon flew back in a shower of sparks onto a red panel on their respective sides.

    “What happened?” Sapph asked Arlene in alarm.

    “Pichu has the Static ability, which enables it to paralyze its foes on contact,” Arlene answered confidently. “All the running on the treadmill only increased the potency of that ability.”

    If Sapph thought the worst was over, he was wrong. Upon hitting the panels, both Mongle and Pichu were thrown high into the air in a second explosion of charge. Twisting and screeching in pain, Mongle clearly receiving what looked like the bulk of the damage while Pichu seemed to absorb it, making it stronger.

    Pichu seemed to choose that moment to glow with a bright white light, taking both Sapph and its trainer by surprise. As they watched, Pichu’s ears and tail seemed to lengthen as its body grew longer. Distinct digits appeared on its hands and feet and as the light fizzled out brown stripes were observed to have grown across its back and along the base of its now yellow lightning bolt tail.

    “Pichu’s evolved…” the referee said in wonder.

    What the…aww man, talk about rotten timing, Sapph thought.

    “Oh, and another thing…” Arlene added matter-of-factly as both Pokémon fell back to earth, Pikachu landing on it’s feet whilst Mongle fell heavily on its face, twitching with spasms of paralysis. “Step on a red panel, and twenty-five percent of the energy running the treadmill is converted to electricity and used on the culprit. For an Electric type like mine, that’s good news. However, even for a Grass type,” she gestured towards Mongle’s jerking and twitching form on the field and let the sentence hang as though it were obvious, even for Sapph.

    Sapph grit his teeth.

    “Pikachu, use the surplus energy and Thundershock Mongle!” Arlene said, hitching back her poker face.

    “MONGLE!” Sapph yelled as his Pokémon rose from the arena floor painfully only to get blasted back into the air by Pikachu’s electrical surge.

    What can I do? Sapph thought furiously, watching Mongle rise into the air once more. Even with a defensive advantage, Mongle seems to be no match for Pichu...no, Pikachu now…

    “Ready to quit, Sapph?” Arlene taunted.

    “No way!” Sapph roared.

    He turned to desperately look at Pikachu as it jogged on the treadmill with apparent ease. It’s almost seems as if Pikachu’s attack power is limitless now that it’s evolved… Wait a second, Sapph said to himself as he saw something odd about his opponent’s Pokémon. Limits… that’s it!

    Mongle, try to use your Razor Leaf to sever the cable above, NOW!” Sapph rallied.

    Just as it looked like Mongle couldn’t respond, the Leaf Squirrel Pokémon twitched its tail at the roof, releasing a salvo of razor-sharp leaves, which cut into one of the power cables as the Leaf Squirrel Pokémon began to fall.

    “Pikachu, jump up and use Slam!” Arlene commanded, clearly on the warpath.

    Pikachu leapt up and with a swift midair pirouette, smacked Mongle heavily in the side of the head, sending him spinning into what looked like a crash landing on the field.

    <I’m not gonna lose to a loser like you!> Mongle thought through gritted teeth as he flew through the air, twisting with his characteristic cat-like agility and skidding to a halt on the field, stumbling a bit and rolling over back onto his feet, one of his front paws clutching his aching ribs as he watched Pikachu.

    Pikachu, following suit, also landed on all fours on the pitch, though he was more graceful about it than Mongle, landing after a series of high speed back-flips. The air was fully charged with tension as they struggled to catch their breath, glaring at each other all the while.

    <You…just don’t…know when t-to…quit, hunh?> Pikachu said, panting hard and crackling with angry electricity.

    <Looks like you don’t either,> Mongle countered, before he went down on one knee, sparks running across his body, his green fur beginning to suffuse an otherworldly green light. Arlene and Pikachu’s eyes widened as the light seemed to cause the static electricity to stop dancing across his body, curing his paralysis. Mongle rose up a little higher, the green light dying down. Mnogle winced and dropped to one knee again.

    “Mongle…” Sapph said in wonder, his face alight with the green hue that diffused from his Pokémon. “What in the world…?”

    <Sapph…d’you really…think …we got time… for dumb questions…like that…now?!> Mongle gasped, throwing a sceptical, one-eyed look at his trainer as he said so.

    Sapph effected a sigh of relief as he saw Mongle hadn’t lost any of his witty sarcasm. A sure sign that he was going to be okay. “Yeah, you’re right.” He smiled.

    Whatever that green light was, it was able to cure Mongle’s paralysis like it was nothing Arlene thought, frowning. But seeing as it’s too tired to fight off another attack, it’s time to call this battle over.

    “You sure it’s okay to be so relaxed, Sapph?” Arlene said coolly, Pikachu’s eyes looked wickedly at Mongle as an acrid smell reached Sapph’s nose.

    He looked up…and looked back at Mongle, who nodded, reaching for a couple of leaves that had materialized as he twitched his leaf as he stared across the field at Pikachu.

    Sapph turned back to look at her, his eyes narrowed in a way they had never been before. The look made him look older and more mature than he’d ever been and would ever be throughout his life on this journey.

    “You’re finished. Pikachu, use Quick Attack to end this!” she ordered.

    Pikachu raced at Mongle, building speed. Mongle flung the first leaf at Pikachu, who jumped to his left not slowing down. A split second later, Mongle seemingly faltered as he launched the second leaf upwards. Mongle, who seemed incapable of moving due to the dizzying pain at his midsection at that point, seemed to crumple up with pain. Pikachu, oblivious to what was happening above kept on his charge.

    <What’s with your aim, greenhorn?> Arlene’s Pikachu crowed in presumed triumph as the distance between itself and its target rapidly diminished.

    Just before Pikachu made contact, the corners of Sapph and Mongle’s mouths ached upwards into identical smiles and Sapph murmured, “Got you.”

    “What d’you – “Arlene asked. Then her eyes widened in horror.

    Oh, damn! You little bas-

    Spare feet to impact, the severed cable hit it, causing it to go rigid, squealing in pain. It was Arlene’s turn to be shocked.

    “What the- ? What’s happening? What did you do?! “She began, staring flabbergasted at Sapph, who’d regained some of his cool now that his plan had worked.

    Sapph, imitating her nonchalant tone replied “Nothing fancy… Pichu may have just evolved, but that doesn’t mean it’s gotten used to storing more electrical power yet. I just had Pikachu receive more electricity than it can handle.”

    “But…but, when? How?” Arlene spluttered in unflattering disbelief.

    “When I saw Pikachu running on the treadmill,” Sapph answered as his Pokémon rose up again on all fours. “As it accumulated Static, Pikachu began to run out of stamina fast as it required more energy to counteract the muscle cramp the electricity was putting it through. Mongle, finish it with Razor Leaf!”

    Mongle rose to his feet, and revealed a third leaf which took on a green glow similar to Mongle’s a minute ago and hardened as he clenched it. With all he had, Mongle swung its leaf at Pikachu’s chest region at full force, releasing a powerful, concentrated explosion of sharp leaves on contact with the fast-building electric force around it. The smaller leaves hung in mid air, spinning around Pikachu as he was blasted backwards from the electric cable. Mongle’s eyes narrowed, and the leaves froze in midair, straightened out and flew at the Lightning Mouse Pokémon like arrows, who flew back away from the cable and hit the floor. Sapph and Mongle held their breath as Pikachu staggered upright. Unable to do the same, Mongle stumbled onto his back, breathing hard. Lifting himself onto one elbow, Mongle stared at Pikachu as it built up energy for another attack.

    When was this match gonna be over?, Sapph thought, shocked at how powerful evolving had made Pikachu.

    Pikachu struggled to stay on its feet for what seemed an age, flinched and hit the gym floor again in a dead faint.

    After a brief, yet unnecessary check on Pikachu, the ref raised his red flag and announced: “Pikachu is unable to battle. This round and the match go to Mongle and Sapphire Manson from Cherrygrove Town!”

    <YES!> Mongle wearily cheered inwardly as Sapph rushed onto the pitch and picked up his faithful starter. The boy trainer sprayed Mongle with the Paralyze Heal he’d bought in Olville Town and watched Arlene returned Pikachu to it’s pokéball with words of praise and comfort.

    “Oh, Sapph! You were able to back up your claim after all! That’s wonderful!” Arlene said with a smile on his face walking towards Sapph, applauding her opponent as she went.

    “Told you,” Sapph grinned wearily.

    “In accordance to the Corei League rules and regulations, winners at this gym must bear the Volt Badge as a sign of victory. Take this one as your own.” She beamed, handing Sapph a badge that resembled a thin, golden lightning bolt dividing a dark blue circle in two onto which it was embossed.

    “Thanks a million!” Sapph said joyfully, examining his new badge in the light.

    Arlene turned her open palm into a proffered handshake as she continued, “Your strategy is a unique and truly wonderful thing. Just like the trainer. You’ve taught me that I’ve still got a lot to learn. I’ll spend more time in the gym now. Oh, maybe one day we’ll have a rematch, OK?”

    “Definitely!” Sapph agreed cheerfully, taking her hand in a handshake and grasping it firmly, Mongle bundled in the crook of his other arm and his confident grin back in place.

    ***

    <CHANSEEEEEEEEEEE!>

    “Thanks, Nurse Chansey.” Sapph said, gratefully accepting Mongle and Ledyba’s pokéballs back and leaning back in the chair, ready to resume his reflections on his second gym badge victory when something else cut in on his patting himself on the back and seeing how Rickie would take him taking the lead in their unspoken contest: Mongle glowing green with an unusual power that made him feel a chill. Hunching over on the couch, he picked off Mongle’s pokéball off his belt and fiddled with it. He began debating with himself whether to let Mongle out to ask him what it was and whether the new form of Razor Leaf was a new attack until a loud cry rent the balmy evening air.

    “Hey, cut it out! You’re hurting him!”

    Sapph sat bolt upright as a snide, horribly-familiar voice replied, “What’s with you, shrimp? What kind of sissy trainer are ya?”

    Sapph was up and running in the direction of the voice, which had come from the training field behind the Pokémon Centre, where Kamren, Carla, Calvin and Dex were bullying a young boy who was possibly a year or two younger than Calvin. Haley was there too, trying to stop her older brother and her gang, but not being able to do much without her Pokémon, which Sapph suddenly noticed were not with her.

    I guess her Pokémon are inside, Sapph thought exasperatedly. Geez, does the girl even think like a trainer?

    “Anyways, just fork over all your money, sissy! You lost after all… it’s only fair…” Kamren continued, holding his palm out at the boy.

    Sapph couldn’t believe this. “Fair, my butt, Kamren Kent! Quit picking on kids!”

    “If it ain’t Sappy Sapphire!” Kamren crowed, looking around to see who’d spoken. The kids on either side of him backed away as though he had the plague.

    “Sapph!” Haley cried out, running towards the dark-haired boy. “Boy, am I ever glad to see you!”

    “Oh… hey, Haley,” Sapph said, turning to smile at a speeding fist which looked for and found Sapph’s nose. The resulting dull thumping sound that followed caused the bullies to wince in empathy, though not much. Haley rubbed her knuckles, which had left a red fist mark right in the middle of Sapph’s face.

    “OW! Not again, Haley! What was THAT one for?”

    “Letting me lose Bubbles in that terrible forest,” Haley said calmly, now blowing air onto her knuckles, not looking perturbed by the fact that she may have just shattered Sapph’s nose.

    “I’m frankly surprised you made it this far with a Mongle, Sappy,” Kamren taunted.

    “Yeah?” Sapph snarled, flaring up. “Well, let’s see how cool you are after me and Mongle whup your guys stupid in a two on two, right here, right now.”

    “Pfft…as if. Anywho, let’s get it on. I was getting bored with the local zeroes… not that you’ll do any better.” Kamren snorted.

    “We’ll see who’s a loser after I whip your butt raw,” Sapph retorted, readying a pokéball for battle.

    “Pfft,” Kamren snorted again, readying his own.

    “This will be a two a piece battle with no time limit”, Carla said, stepping up to assume the role of referee. “Pokémon can only be recalled if they faint. Let the battle begin!”

    “WHAT!” Haley and Sapph yelled in protest swivelling around to stare at Carla.

    “Don’t like it, tell it to the judge… no wait, that’s ME!” Carla laughed.

    “Why, you arrogant, ugly, little…” Haley yelled.

    Sapph stared. He hadn’t really seen Haley get this heated up by trash talk before.

    No, wait…yes I have, Sapph thought dryly.

    “Scared, Sappy?” Kamren taunted, lightly tossing his first pokéball up and down in his palm, his other hand in his pocket.

    “Who, me? Not on ya life!!” Sapph yelled, his blue eyes narrowing as they focussed on the trainer whom he had disliked from day one.

    Both trainers’ eyes locked. This battle was a long time in coming, Sapph thought but I don’t mind. He was finally going to get Kamren for his over bloated ego and vicious bullying and he couldn’t be happier for the opportunity.

    “I’ve been waiting a long time for this”, Sapph snarled, a furious expression on his face.

    “Really?” Kamren yawned, a lax expression on his face. “For what? A chance to get your *** kicked?” he asked, now twirling his pokéball on his finger.

    “KAMREN! Did you just say the ‘A-word’?!” Haley yelled incredulously, a wicked smile on her face, “You are SOOO …”

    “Shut Up!” Kamren roared, an almost murderous expression on his face. Haley went into a cold sweat.

    “…busted.” Haley finished in a feeble undertone.

    Everything was still in the evening air. Only the wind blew gently as both trainers cocked back their fists, ready to begin.

    ***

    Yes, a rivalry clash, finally! Humph, I guess your right in saying it took a while. -_- Relax; I’ll make the wait (if you were waiting) as well worth it as I can. The TM from Chapter Seven will be a mystery ‘til I say so! ; P Don’t forget to let me know your views, opinions and criticisms, Okay? But be fair! Ideas are also welcome!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 9th October 2012 at 10:33 AM.
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
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  18. #43
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    Not bad. Nice idea for another character.
    Visit Nocturne of Shadows. Check the chats and forums section to visit the forum. I have a guestbook and a mini shout box.

  19. #44
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    yesssss, rival battle!
    advance shipping forever
    contestshipping must die painfully

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  20. #45
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    So now they get to duke it out. Great. XD

    Pikachu got defeated. T.T Pikachu must WIN!

    -goes into hack and slash frenzy-

    I have to admit that you're good at thinking too, though. XD

    Well, it's time to sit back and wait.

    Pika out.
    FTMP is officially dead. Those who are still interested in reading click
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  21. #46
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    A skunk pokemon? XD Brilliant idea.

    Sapph's luck seems to finally be improving...of course, with the plot thickening with Team Shadow and an upcoming battle with Kamren, I guess being optimistic now might be a bad idea. I wonder what the TM was? Archaic...Does that mean it's one of the TMs from the first games (thunderbolt?)? Or...

    And dark/electric...that's a cool type combo. Arlene seemed kind of weird, though. I'd think a gym leader would be more confident, and why was it such a big deal she ordered self-destruct? Gym leaders are supposed to try to win, after all...

    Anyway, I hope Sapph manages to beat Kamren, he's been such a jerk so far!

  22. #47
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    MVB: okay! PM me with it and let's see what you got!

    lordzangoose: yesssss new reader! glad to have you!

    Felix: *locks pikachu in electric admantium cage before responding* thanks for the compliments! i really enjoy keeping your expectations up!

    icemew: everyone loves the skunk pokemon (hmmm, hope my other ideas come off just as well) Optimism, a bad idea? Maybe...Arlene did want to win... i just though adding the after effect would distinguish her from Cassandra and the other gym leaders. She's focussed, yet compassionate almost to the point of empathy. she doesn't want her pokemon hurt at all, so ordering them to hurt themselves sort of makes her feel that she's her own worst enemy. Definitely a worrisome character...again, i hope i did jusice in that capacity.

    General: I'm glad ballomb's dark electric nature has a following now! cool. remember, i sketched the Corei-gen pokemon from scratch, so i had to bring up a fair few new combinations, with a little help from my little bro. Dark is cool to play around with...there aren't many mixes there so more unique ones won't hurt. Expect other type blends coming out soon.

    Gotta go, the next chapter won't revise itself!

    L@ER
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
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  23. #48
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    Was that green glowing from Mongle an Aromatherapy attack, if so cool, not many pokemon learn it naturally.

    As people have already said, the dark/electric is a cool mix. My very favourite mix of all time to be exact. Which makes Ballomb instantly awesome, it also reminded me of the Bob-ombs from the mario games, with the bomb like appearance and tendancy to explode.

    Go Mongle!
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air Dragon View Post
    MVB: okay! PM me with it and let's see what you got!

    lordzangoose: yesssss new reader! glad to have you!

    I just realized that that was my first post here. I've read it for a while. I could have sworn I posted before. so I'm not really a new reader, i'm just a new poster.
    advance shipping forever
    contestshipping must die painfully

    I have claimed Saint Bernards and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Together they shall rule the world.

    Proud member of Xbox 360/Xbox Live Club and the Mythical Creatures Club.



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    She's a Contestshipper that dislikes Advanceshipping and I'm an Advanceshipper that dislikes Contestshipping. *nodnod*

  25. #50
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    One review, coming up!

    Okay...Keep in mind this is based on my first impressions based on the first chapter.

    First, I love how you've portrayed the Manson family, especially Sapph and Emma. The battle where Sapph plays Gym Leader was well done too.

    ::stretches to find things to fix, but fails::

    Very nicely done!

    Rating:

    You've become one of the proud Raichus...aka the writers that impress me!

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