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Thread: Clockrow

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    Default Clockrow

    This is a reinvention of the fanfic I did which died back in July. By reinvention I mean total overhaul, keeping basically only certain plot ideas and characters in place. This is set in my own interpretation of the Pokémon world, so if anything contradicts established canon, it's only doing so in the way that the animé is a different interpretation to the games. You can assume that something is as normal unless stated otherwise. This interpretation of Pokémon is more in-line with the real world than most others; treat Lucidia as a real-world island where Pokémon happen to live.

    Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, I hope you enjoy the story! (By the way, do click on that link and if possible keep the window open throughout; I would have it as an image but it's disabled in here).

    Clockrow


    Chapter 1 – Just Passing Through


    Héva Island was probably the most isolated town in all of Lucidia. Since the cohesium mines closed five years ago, people had been emigrating away like nothing Amy Queen had ever seen. The once industrial centre had become a ghost town, with only the extremely stubborn remaining. Extremely stubborn primarily referring to Amy’s parents. Personally, Amy would love the opportunity to travel, but her family had lived on the island since the first colony arrived from Cielo City and her parents were very proud of the “family line”. She personally thought it was a poor excuse to be involved with the aristocratic, and considering they were the last upper class family remaining, it was an outdated way to behave. Her peers delighted in making fun of her because of it. Amy was clever enough to put it down to jealousy, though she would rather be in their position than her own. Normal family, normal parents. Normal house, which was something she particularly wanted as she reached the gates of Héva Hall, where she was approached by a particularly brawny one of her peers. The boy’s name was Guy Thistle, the son of one of the few remaining mining families. He attended her school and was determined to make like difficult for Amy Queen. He had confronted her three times already today, but those times were under the eyes of the college staff and he wasn’t quite stupid enough to do anything serious while at school. Outside of college was another matter, and it was just as Amy was thinking this that he knocked her to the floor.

    He sneered. “Alright, Amy?”

    She spat at the ground. “Perfectly fine, Guy,” She responded.

    “Don’t give me that cheek!” He kicked her in the face, and Amy felt her nose start to bleed. With a great effort she didn’t cry out. She slowly pulled herself from the ground and drew herself up to full height.

    Guy laughed. “Looks like I’m going to have to hit you a bit harder.” He made to punch her, but she blocked his arm with hers, Pokéball in hand. Noticing this, he stood back involuntarily, something that gave Amy a little comfort.

    “That’s just like you, isn’t it Amy, eh? Always hiding behind someone. Your parents, your gates and your Pokémon.”

    “Hiding behind a Pokémon is perfectly acceptable behaviour. I believe the term is a Pokémon battle. I know you’re hardly the brightest of individuals, but surely you’re familiar with the expression?” She spoke with an upper-class accent, but personally she would prefer to drop the nobility for a less formal approach. Nevertheless, as long as she was on Héva she was trapped in the confines of her family’s ways. And she had no prospect of leaving the family estate.

    “I’ve had it with you,” responded Guy, “Go Machoke!” He shouted, releasing a Pokéball. The blue-grey muscle-bound humanoid was a typical choice for Thistle.

    “Oh please, such battle cries are hardly dignified.” She threw her Pokéball in response, releasing a Lunatone; a yellow crescent-moon shaped Pokémon with a red eye on each side of its body.

    “Let’s finish this quickly,” Said Guy. “Brick Break!”

    “Defense Curl.” Amy was astoundingly calm considering all that had happened to her, though anyone who knew her would be unsurprised. Amy Queen was remarkably strong-willed.

    Her Lunatone began rotating at quite a speed. The Machoke aimed a karate chop with considerable force at Amy’s Pokémon, but it deflected the attack hardly slowing its spin at all. Despite this, Guy sneered.

    “Defensive moves are for losers.”

    “Hardly. Rollout!” Her Lunatone, still spinning, dropped to the ground and rolled with considerable speed toward Machoke. It flinched, but stood its ground. Lunatone returned to its original position and ceased rotating.

    “Heh, see what I mean? Dynamicpunch!” The Machoke spun rapidly before throwing a powerful punch in entirely the wrong direction, and falling to the ground in the process.

    “It seems inaccurate moves like that are for the real losers, Guy.”

    “That’s enough! Get up, Machoke!” The Pokémon responded, though only half-willingly.

    “Lunatone, it seems we shall have to resort to a Psybeam.” The moon-rock’s eyes glowed purple, and a multicoloured beam almost the size of Lunatone itself was shot toward Machoke. The Pokémon was lifted from the ground and slammed into its master, who fell down to the floor with the weighty Pokémon landing on him.

    “Dear me, Guy. This is a fine example of poetic justice.”

    “MACHOKE! REVENGE!” The Pokémon leapt up with a glint of anger in its eyes, and threw an enormous punch at Lunatone. This time its aim was true, and Lunatone fell to the floor with no clear prospect of recovery. Amy immediately abandoned her demeanour and fell to the floor to cradle her fallen Pokémon. Sobbing gently, she returned it to its Pokéball.

    Guy went to kick her again, but stopped short. “You’re not worth it.” He left her crouched in the middle of the road.

    Amy knelt there for a while, thinking. She was sure that all the tormenting was due mainly to her upper-class conduct, and yet if her parents ever found out she had been acting like one of the “commoners”, she would be disowned for certain. To her surprise, se felt a warm arm wrap around her in a comforting sort of way. She looked up, and saw John Matthews gazing down at her.

    “Hey, come on, cheer up!” John looked at her in that special way that always made her smile, and despite everything she couldn’t help but grin broadly.

    “I saw Guy just now. I don’t know what happened, but he certainly didn’t look as smug as usual. You must’ve given him a real run for his money.” Amy was sure that he was just saying this to cheer her up, but she couldn’t help but feel an inward glint of triumph.

    “Come on, you’d best get out of the road.” He offered her his hand, and she stood up.

    It was at that moment that the ground collapsed beneath her.

    ***

    Amy screamed as she slipped backward into the hole. John seemed to have secured his footing, and was trying to pull her out of whatever it was she was falling into. Amy risked a glance downward, and immediately regretted it. She was falling into a dark pit with no clear bottom in the fading daylight. She resolved not to look down again, and swung her other hand around to meet John’s.

    “I… can’t hold on much longer…” John was trying as hard as he could to pull Amy out, but the ground was slipping out from underneath him too, and in the chaos the self-preservation instinct got the better of him and he changed his footing. In this moment, he couldn’t help loosening his grip on Amy. With a pang of guilt and shock, he saw Amy slip from his fingers and into the abyss.

    ***

    “Do you have any idea what you’ve just done? This is my mission! You have no business saving someone so close to an important historical figure!”

    The voice shouting was an unfamiliar male, with a vaguely British accent. Amy reasoned that the someone being saved was herself, and wondered whom the “important historical figure” was, before inwardly cringing and telling herself that this boy couldn’t possibly know who would be an important historical figure. She risked a glance around, and saw that she was surrounded by debris and rubble, probably the bottom of the pit. She looked around for the source of the voice, and saw two people. The boy who had spoken looked around her age of fourteen. He had blonde hair gelled so that it was spiky, and wore a light green jacket with brown trousers. He had his hands in his pockets, and was speaking to the girl also present, who had long dark blonde hair and a purple dress. She replied to the boy.

    “If this really is your mission, Reniss, then no-one here should die in the first place.” She spoke with an upper-class accent not unlike Amy’s own.

    “Don’t call me Reniss, Roma,” said the boy. “It’s Roan. And only the cause here is anachronistic, the disaster itself is part of natural time.”

    “Well Roan, if I’m not needed here-” With these words she turned her nose up pompously, “-then I’ll leave.” She promptly disappeared in a green glow, to Amy’s astonishment.

    “See you, Lizzie.” Roan turned around in frustration, only to step back in surprise when he saw that Amy was conscious. She stood up.

    “Where am I?” she demanded, “and what has happened to me?”

    Roan simply put his head in his hands and sat on a particularly large rock. “Oh God, you sound just like her. That’s all I need, another pompous idiot messing up time. See you around.” He pulled out a Pokéball.

    “Wait!” Said Amy, a little too loudly, determined to make a good impression on her latest acquaintance. “I’m sorry. My name is Amy Queen.”

    “I know what you’re name is.” He dropped his hands to his sides. “I’m ‘Reniss’ Roan Clockrow, of the Kalians. Call me Roan, I can’t stand titles.”

    “Well Roan, would you mind telling me what’s going on?”

    He laughed, not unkindly, but cheerfully. “You’re still on Néva, though about twenty metres below where you were about half an hour ago.”

    “What caused that earthquake? Something tells me you were involved.”

    “Not causally,” said Roan, “but yes, it’s my job to be involved.”

    “Would you mind telling me what this job is?”

    “That’ll take a hell of a lot of explaining. And I shouldn’t really tell you.” He paused. “But since you’re anachronistic anyway, it doesn’t really matter.

    “The Kalians are an organisation formed by the seven Celebi. They picked seven people from all over Lucidia to be their trainers.” He paused. “That little bit is the hardest to grasp. It sounds like an old legend, but it’s true. I know it’s a little hard to believe...”

    Amy nodded.

    “Well, I do have proof.” He released a Pokéball. There, before Amy’s very eyes, was the legendary fairy Pokémon with the ability to control time. Celebi. Amy could do nothing but gape, mouth open.

    “Heh, he does tend to have that effect on people. That’s why I keep him in his Pokéball.”

    Amy pulled herself together. “And this… Lizzie, does she have one too?”

    “All the Kalians do. So anyway, the Celebi allow us a lot of freedom with their power. We do a lot of things with it, mostly research, but my job is the most exciting.” He winked. “The repairing of anachronisms in history and the restoration of natural time.”

    “What about Lizzie?”

    At this he groaned. “Lizzie’s job is to save lives in preventable incidents. It sounds all high and mighty, but half of my work is fixing effects on the timeline caused by people she’s saved. I’ve suggested to Milleva hundreds of times that we do away with the Roma position altogether, but…”

    “Milleva?”


    “The leader of the Kalians. She basically co-ordinates all of our work and controls any additions to the database. She doesn’t get off Chronos Island much, but…”

    The Chronos Island?”

    Roan chuckled again. “Yeah, I here it’s sorta’ an Atlantis among you Lucidians. The Celebi created a temporal shield around it, which is nigh on impenetrable. We use it as our base.”

    They were silent for a moment. Amy was trying to take everything she had heard in, but there was one question digging at the back of her mind.

    “When you were talking to Lizzie earlier you said… well, it sounded like I was supposed to die.”

    Roan looked momentarily surprised. “You’re sharp. I probably couldn’t figure that out.” He spoke calmly and slowly.

    “So it’s true.” The reality of what she had said hit her hard, and she sank to the floor in shock. She said nothing for a moment, but then chanced, “Are you going to kill me?”

    “Naa, course not! I wouldn’t do that, none of the Kalians would.” This thought had been playing on Amy’s mind for a while, and she was relieved to find it was simply paranoia.

    Roan thought for a moment. “You know, I could use a hand with this problem I have right now. You seem like you might be able to figure it out for me.”

    At this, Amy stood and rubbed her hands together. “Excellent,” she said. “I love a challenge.”

    “Great, pull up a piece of debris, I have a story to tell.”

    ***

    “Back on Chronos Island, we’d called a conference, so all seven of us were together. It was about the hooded man, but he’s not really important to this.”

    “Go on, I’m curious.”

    “Well, he’s sorta’ the enemy of the Kalians. We’ve no idea who he is; we call him what we call him because he wears a long hooded cloak. He’s been trying to destabilise our organisation for almost fifty years of perceived time now.”

    “Fifty years! You’re looking good for it.”

    “The Kalian organisation was established almost one thousand years ago from our perspective, about five hundred from yours. It’s part of Celebi’s power that we remain this age. We assume it’s because we retain a childlike imaginative approach to problems combined with a slightly more mature outlook on life.

    “Anyway, the hooded man. He can travel through time too, but he doesn’t seem to be bound to time’s tide like us.”

    “Sorry, time’s tide?”

    “Ah. That’s a difficult concept to get your head around. I haven’t actually had to explain this before, so stick with me. No matter where you are in time, you still move at the same rate. Of course, there’s all the stuff about relativity and that, but you’re still bound to the general flow of absolute time. It works like that with Celebi too. When we go back to Chronos Island after a mission, the same amount of time that passed on a mission will have passed there too, and there’s not a lot we can do about it- it’s one of the limitations of Celebi’s power.”

    “I think I get you.”

    “Wow, it took me a hell of a lot longer than that. It must be my incredible descriptive skills.” He winked. “Or my lack of attention to detail.

    “So during this meeting, my Chronometer bleeped at me…”

    “Chronometer?”

    He shook back his sleeve, to reveal a metallic object worn on his wrist like a watch. It was egg-shaped, though about three times the size of a chicken’s egg.

    “This is a Microsoft Chronometer Vista. We bought them around a millennium from now, when believe it or not Microsoft stuff is still flaming awful. Still, these aren’t too bad, with the upgrades I added. I’m the computer wizard, me. These have a holographic interface, temporal sensors and a full copy of the Kalian’s database. When they work that is; the operating system is absolutely terrible. A complete copy of the Apple iQuantum interface, too.”

    “Ahem…” Amy personally couldn’t stand computer talk.

    “Sorry. My Chronometer was bleeping to tell me that there was a developing anachronism.”

    Amy sighed. “Excuse me again, but…”

    “Look, if you’re going to stop me every time I hit a bit of jargon then we’ll be back in 2506 without Celebi’s help.”

    “I understand the term,” said Amy irritably, “But if something changes in time, then shouldn’t the changes happen without warning?”

    “The Kalians are safe from this, because of Celebi. When we’re on Chronos, the temporal shield protects us from any changes in the timeline, and when we’re on a mission we’re independent of relative time and so safe from any changes.

    “Anyway, my Chronometer’s temporal sensors pointed me here: the collapse of Néva Island.” He stopped. “Oh God, sorry.”

    Amy was silent.

    “There was only one fatality. And none now.” Roan’s tone was one of attempted reassurance, but Amy didn’t feel much better about it. Roan was telling her that her home and everything she had ever known, was reduced to rubble like that they were sitting on. She hated having to live on Néva, but yet now that it was gone…

    “Why?” She demanded.

    “What?” Said Roan, blankly.

    “Why did it collapse? What caused it?”

    “The cause I have on record is because of excessive cohesium mining. The quarries collapsed, causing a chain reaction that collapsed the entire network of mining tunnels. The remains of one is probably what we’re sitting in now.”

    “But doesn’t this mean that everything can be rebuilt?”

    Roan shook his head. “Néva is sat on top of an enormous empty magma chamber from the extinct volcano. It won’t happen yet, but sooner or later the main settlement will fall into the hole. The mine cave-in gave it the push to start the real collapse. Néva will be around for maybe six months more, before it sinks into the sea.”

    Amy thought for a moment again. “You said to Lizzie that only the cause of the events was anachronistic. I think I know what you mean. The mining here stopped five years ago; Hartley Industries moved to Prias City. They said they found a higher grade source of cohesium.”

    Roan stopped and looked at her. “Well, I know that’s not right. The only Pokéball-grade cohesium in Lucidia is found here on Néva.”

    “Pokéball-grade cohesium? Sorry, I never studied it.”

    Roan laughed. “Typical, not learning the local trade. Mind you, I never once visited the Pokémon championships back in Cielo City. Anyway, cohesium is element 126 on the periodic table. It’s used to contain Pokémon in Pokéballs. You see, Pokémon life is made of a different sort of matter. Even the Kalians don’t fully understand it. This Pokématter, if you want to call it that, is extremely reactive with cohesium. If Pokémon come anywhere near it, about two metres or so, they are absorbed within the cohesium. This is called cohesidising, and it’s what happens every time you catch a Pokémon. Over the years, Pokémon have adapted to survive cohesidising, and through a process similar to electrolysis they can be returned to their original form. That’s basically what happens when you send out a Pokémon.”

    Amy nodded. “I think I remember reading that somewhere. You were saying about coming here to sort out an anachronism?”

    “Oh yeah. Normally I like to head off on my missions alone, or at least with Dominik.”

    “Who?”

    “Pagas Domink Hundert. German lad, a great guy. I grew up with him in Cielo City; we were the only two Kalians to know each other at the formation of the group. As Pagas his job is historical research, so we often end up on the same missions. Anyway, I usually like to go alone, ‘cos otherwise Lizzie ends up following me, like she did today. I arrived just in time to witness the collapse, and that was when I saw Lizzie turn up and rush in to rescue you.

    “So basically you’re up to date now. Any thoughts about my problem?”

    Amy didn’t reply for a moment. “If the quarries here were abandoned, then how can excessive mining have triggered a collapse? Surely it wouldn’t take five years.”

    “That’s a fair point,” said Roan, “And one that would’ve taken me ages to notice.”

    “Perhaps,” she continued, “The mining here continued in secret, and the mines on Prias were a decoy.”

    “A decoy? Why would anyone go to all that effort?”

    “Well alright then,” said Amy, “perhaps they’re mining something else. Except all the mineworkers here have left. Néva is a ghost town. How could they run a mine here?”

    “By 2506 things like mining are fully automated.”

    “Yes, but we don’t have that kind of technology yet. Mind you, you said this was anachronistic.”

    “I tell you what, let me access the file on Hartley Industries.” Roan pressed a few buttons on his Chronometer. “Access database file- Jacob Hartley.”

    Nothing happened.

    “Damn, I bet it’s crashed again. I’ll have to reboot, hang on…” He held a button down for a few seconds, and then pressed it. With a small flash of light, hovering above the Chronometer was what was unmistakably the Windows logo.

    Roan seemed to be irritated by this, but Amy was intrigued. “How does it…”

    “The logo is created by a projection of photons and force fields. In layman’s terms, it’s a hologram.”

    The logo disappeared and the Chronometer played the traditional Windows logging on jingle.

    “There we go. Access database file- Jacob Hartley.”

    A three-dimensional image appeared in front of them of a plump man wearing a suit, with lots of text around it. The Chronometer began to speak, in a German accent.

    “Yacob Hartley. Jour average pompous aristocrat. Owner of sevral mining and processing vacilities in zee late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Timeline risk- minimal to none. Auf wiederhören!”

    “That was Dominik,” explained Roan, “He recorded this file, being in charge of history and all. This ‘Yacob’ doesn’t seem to be the sort of person to create anachronisms.”

    “Perhaps he had help, someone from the future.”

    “Excellent deduction, but who?”

    The two of them looked at each other, sensing a connecting idea. “The hooded man!” they said together.

    “Well, if it is him, I really should report back to Chronos and get backup.” Roan seemed thoroughly unenthusiastic about the idea.

    “Well, all we have is pure speculation,” said Amy with a grin, “There’s absolutely no evidence that he’s involved at all.”

    “And in such a situation,” responded Roan, grinning too, “I might feel that it is unnecessary to trouble HQ with requests for support. Go Celebi!”

    The time lord appeared in front of them.

    “Take us to the mines on Prias, if Amy wants to come along.”

    “You’ll take me? Sure!” Her voice was filled with excitement.

    “What? Have you never been to Prias before? They’ve got all the best beaches.”

    “I’ve never even been away from Héva before. It’s my family, they are determined to stay.”

    Roan looked genuinely sympathetic. “If I were you, I would tell them where to stick it. You’re coming then?”

    Amy smiled. “You needn’t even ask.”

    And with that, they disappeared in a flash of green light.

    ***

    The sensation of a time-warp, or space-warp as was the case here, was fascinating for Amy. After the initial shock, Amy began to process the sensations. She couldn’t breathe, and yet she somehow didn’t feel the need to. Her surroundings were a pure acidy-green light. She couldn’t see Roan, which she knew would trouble her normally and yet she felt calm here. This place where people shouldn’t be oddly seemed like where she was most at home. It was over in an instant that lasted an eternity.

    When she returned to the natural world, she felt a sudden shiver of feeling returning to her. The mine was cold and black, with only the dimmest of lights coming from a small green LED nearby, on what she assumed and hoped was the Chronometer.

    “This is cheerful,” Said Roan’s voice from the direction of the light, confirming Amy’s suspicion. “I’ll add a little light. I’m going to create some holographic night vision visors with the Chronometer, which equalise all light in the surroundings making it as clear as… well, day.”

    Amy nodded, before realising he couldn’t see. “I understand,” she said.

    Suddenly she felt a pair of sunglasses materialise on her head, and she saw the mine in full detail. It looked like your average cave, like those on the Néva beaches, except for small wooden supports that had been erected to bear the ceiling, which was not much above head height. She glanced across at Roan, who he was wearing mirrored sunglasses. She assumed she was too. Celebi was hovering behind him.

    “Shouldn’t you recall Celebi? If there is cohesium in this mine he could become trapped.”

    “Good idea, but for the wrong reasons.” He pulled out a Pokéball and returned Celebi to its cohesidised state. “Keeping a legendary Pokémon in full view is never good. I can’t even battle with Celebi, unless the opponent knows about the Kalians. Which has never happened, until the hooded man. The cohesium in here, if it is in here, shouldn’t affect Celebi. Once a Pokémon has been cohesidised, it’s entangled with that particular piece of cohesium. That’s what makes it impossible to capture other trainer’s Pokémon.”

    “Quantum entanglement? I had no idea this had a practical application.”

    “It’s not common knowledge that this is how cohesidisation works. Marion figured it out. Medieva Marion Seine, in charge of Pokémon research, if you’re interested.” He paused. “I shouldn’t really be telling you all this. Not any of this. I don’t know why I am doing.”

    “There must be something about me,” She winked.

    “Maybe,” he said seriously, missing the joke. “Anyway, cohesidisation. If a Pokémon like Celebi were to become trapped, they can be freed using tangeum. Element 124, which has the odd property of breaking entanglement bonds. Marion would be able to explain, I’m not so good with quantum physics. This is Kalian-only knowledge too, so keep your mouth shut.”

    “I will,” Said Amy, with a smile. “So we came here to look for cohesium?”

    “Oh yeah, sorry.”

    “These visors, can they be recalibrated to detect it?”

    “I think so.” He began fiddling with his Chronometer. “I should be able to make ‘em highlight trans-Uranium elements, using radiation.”

    Amy nodded in understanding.

    “There we go.” Amy looked up, and almost stepped back in surprise. The walls were covered with yellow-highlighted material. “Well,” she said, “that answers that question.”

    “And creates another,” responded Roan. “The question of why the Kalian databanks are wrong.”

    “Well, the best way to find that out would be to confront an involved party.”

    Roan nodded. “Jacob Hartley.”

    ***

    One short space-warp later, Roan and Amy found themselves outside a luxurious office.

    “So how are we getting in?” asked Amy.

    “I’ll need to do a bit of acting,” replied Roan, who immediately burst through the doors. The room they entered was not terribly exciting; it looked like a doctor’s waiting room. A dowdy secretary was at a desk.

    “Can I help you at all?” She said testily.

    “Damn right you can help me. My sister and I have travelled here all the way from Néva chasing your boss for my money.”

    “Your…”

    “Don’t play ignorant with me,” he snapped. “My name is Alex Hartley, and I’m the nephew of that pompous fool through there. When my father passed a way, his three billion Pokédollars should have been passed on to me. Instead, my dear uncle has someone impersonate me to claim my father’s fortune. I’m here to get it back.”

    “I’d better call Mr. Hartley…”

    “You do anything like that and I’ll shove those glasses…”

    “Alex…” said Amy warningly. The secretary hastily withdrew her hand from the telephone receiver.

    “I’ll send you in, but he has someone with him at the moment.”

    “Do I look like I care?” Roan proceeded through the next set of doors, quietly chuckling to himself.

    ***

    The best word to describe Hartley’s office would be expensive. It was an unusual blend of modern and classical with wood panelling on the walls, complete with a fireplace, but with a silver floor and desk. At the back of the room was a window that filled the entire wall, looking out onto the picturesque Prias shore. Hartley was sat in his swivel chair looking outraged at Roan and Amy, and in the corner was a man dressed in a long brown hooded cloak.

    “You!” Shouted Roan, pointing at the hooded man. “I’m arresting you under the authority of the Kalians for disturbing the flow of natural time. Please come quietly, or the use of force will be necessary.”

    The hooded man simply laughed. It was a cold, menacing laugh that was oddly high-pitched. Suddenly, he released a Celebi, and disappeared in a green glow.

    “Damn.” He said.

    “Perhaps next time it would be more appropriate to arrest him after he can’t get away,” said Amy.

    “Excuse me,” said Hartley, “But I would appreciate an explanation for why you’ve come in here and attempted to arrest my business partner!”

    “Well, you’re not going to get one,” said Roan. “Though I expect you know already, as any business you had with that man was no doubt criminal activity.”

    “Aha!” Said Hartley. “There is absolutely no law against what we have been doing. That’s the beauty of our operation, it’s so far ahead technologically that the law hasn’t caught up with us yet.”

    “What about the use of classified material?” said Amy, though it was only a half-truth. “Those technological advances were no doubt provided by that man, who could have got it from nowhere but a restricted source.”

    “He developed them himself, it took him years!”

    “Which I’m sure is what he told you,” responded Amy. “We demand that you shut down whatever operation you have here. We know about the secret mines on Héva.”

    Hartley paused. “Regardless of what you know, I’m not coming in without a fight. Shuckle!” He released a Pokéball.

    Amy went for her Lunatone, but Roan stopped her. “Kalian Pokémon are genetically engineered to be stronger. Let me handle this. Go Charizard!”

    The fire dragon appeared on the floor in front of them.

    “Oh please,” said Hartley, “such battle cries are hardly dignified.” Amy privately agreed.

    “Like I give a damn what you think. Flamethrower!” The Charizard shot a jet of fire from its mouth. Just in time, the Shuckle withdrew into its shell. When the flames stopped, it appeared again and seemed to have suffered very little damage, though its shell was blackened.

    “Stealth Rock!” ordered Hartley. The Shuckle began to spin rapidly, and a large round rock was flung away from it and disappeared out of sight.

    Roan laughed. “I expected as much. The only real reason to use a Shuckle is Stealth Rock.”

    “You can hardly talk about poor strategy,” said Hartley, “when you selected a Charizard to bring down a Shuckle.”

    Roan shrugged. “It’s better than having to take a Stealth Rock attack on a Fire and Flying Pokémon when I would send him in later.”

    “Regardless, a Charizard cannot beat a Shuckle. You have no effective attacks.”

    “Don’t I?” said Roan with a grin. “Iron Tail!”

    Hartley did little to hide his shock. Charizard’s tail began to shine metallically, and it slammed into Shuckle with great force. The shell cracked, and Shuckle fainted.

    “A well played round,” said Hartley, returning his Shuckle to a Pokéball. “But openings aren’t everything, and my Shuckle achieved its aim. Feraligatr!”

    Roan contemplated the situation for a moment. “Sunny Day!” He ordered. Charizard raised its arms, and the light shining in from the window intensified. Amy felt the room grow considerably hotter.

    “Well played,” commented Hartley. “Reducing the power of water attacks was a good idea. But I expect you didn’t plan for this. Feraligatr, Dragon Dance, then proceed immediately into a Waterfall.”

    The blue crocodile nodded, and flexed its muscles in an unusual ritualistic dance, before surrounding itself with water and running at Charizard. The fire dragon was badly hurt, and was knocked to the floor, but it recovered.

    “You’re okay?” asked Roan. “Good. Solarbeam!” Charizard opened its mouth and created a ball of light, and sent it toward Feraligatr in a large beam.

    “Ha, eat that!” Said Roan enthusiastically.

    “The round’s not over yet. Mirror Coat!”

    “What? No!”

    Feraligatr covered itself with purple energy, and reflected the Solarbeam back at Charizard with a greater intensity. The resulting explosions obscured Amy’s view for a moment, but when the blast cleared, both Pokémon had been knocked down.

    “A draw.” Commented Roan. Nicely played round. Scizor!” The metal mantis immediately took a hit from the spinning Stealth Rock, though it wasn’t too badly hurt.

    “Thank you, I try. Skarmory!” The metal bird appeared in a flash of red light.

    “Well,” Said Hartley. “It seems this round is already mine. Scizor is virtually incapable of damaging me.”

    Roan said nothing, but gave a very small nod. “Agility,” he said half-heartedly.

    Hartley laughed. “Stall tactics won’t save you! Aerial Ace!” Skarmory flew at Scizor at quite a speed. Scizor was hit hard, but it stood it’s ground. It looked extremely weak.

    “Hit it with another Aerial Ace, that should finish it off!”

    “Baton Pass to Manmuu!” shouted Roan, and the Scizor disappeared to be replaced by an enormous mammoth Pokémon.

    Roan laughed. “You called my bluff. Scizor can take a hell of a lot more than an Aerial Ace, and I don’t admit defeat quite that easily. With my Manmuu’s Baton Passed speed, you’re in serious trouble. Snow Slide!”

    Manmuu shot an Ice Beam at the ceiling above Skarmory. It jumped, making the whole office shake and the ice fall down, crushing Skarmory.

    Hartley looked saddened. He recalled Skarmory, and sat on his desk. “I admit defeat. Ask me whatever you want.”

    ***

    Outside the window, the hooded man was watching and frowning.

    ***

    “First of all,” said Amy, “Where did the cohesium in the mines here come from?”

    “Fool!” Said Hartley. “The mines here are for tangeum.”

    “Tangeum, the element that can break entanglement bonds.” Repeated Roan. “You were trying to develop something that could release trainer’s Pokémon!”

    “It’s more than that,” said Amy, “He was trying to develop a Pokéball that could steal Pokémon! Why else would he still need a source of cohesium? The hidden mine on Néva…”

    “And I would’ve got away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling…”

    “Please, just don’t say it,” said Roan. “You villains and your clichés.”

    ***

    After his confession, it was a simple matter to explain Hartley’s crimes to the police and have him taken away. Roan had taken Amy back to Néva, and to her parent’s house.

    “I must admit,” said Amy, “that I would rather stay with you.”

    “You would make an excellent Kalian. But all our positions are filled.”

    “You said I was supposed to be dead. Taking me out of time will stop me having an impact.”

    “I think I can risk it. That’s not to say you won’t be seeing me again.” He winked, but Amy didn’t cheer up.

    “Look, I would love for you to come with me, but Milleva would never agree to it. It’s just one of those things.”

    “How can I live a normal life now, knowing everything I know?”

    “You’ll adjust. You’ll have to.”

    Amy said nothing for a moment. “Then I guess this is goodbye.”

    “See you around. Live long and prosper!”

    And with that, he disappeared in a green glow.

    “I’ll miss you,” said Amy.

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

    Please do comment and rate. Thanks for reading!
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  2. #2
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    Nice story. Battles, places and people characteristics were well explained and the story seems interesting.
    Also I liked the way you drew Lucidia, added Jotho and Kanto there and put some curious islands.
    Can´t wait for Capther 2!
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    Excellent stuff, I think I like this better than V1, as you referred to it. Excellent descriptions of areas and battles, good integration of fourth-gen Pokémon also.

    I look forward to the next instalment.
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    whoa! when you said reinvention, you really did mean it. total story overhaul.

    I like it better than the original version, It has a bigger doctor who feel to it, which is never bad, cos as the british (and maybe american, don't know whether it was shown over the pond) should know. Doctor Who rocks, and to a lesser extent the Torchwood spin-off.

    Enough of my tv ramblings. I must say Roan has a Scizor, serious w00tness, scizor owns, it looks so damn cool.

    Shuckle also is pretty good and that stealth rock was cool aswell, though i'm not sure on my DP move info, ive been trying to not to read too much info about it. As some members shud agree, i'd like to keep the game a surprise.

    And I'm not sure i posted on your old fic, I still read it though.

    i'm confused now. well, bye
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    SPACE RESERVED FOR A SMILE GUY REVIEW!!!!

    This is just to let you know that I have indeed read the first chapter, Tachyon. It's just a matter of finding the time to write a review. But one will come! For now, I've just summed up a few brief pros and cons:

    Pros
    - Excellent dialogue as usual
    - Good storyline
    - Not direct remake; I'm guessing it's set after travelling with May. What happened to May?
    - Interesting new characters
    - Loved the battle scenes
    - Good(ish) cliffhanger

    Cons
    - Far too fast-paced
    - A little bit of awkwardness at times (I'll delve into this within the main review)
    - Amy is not an interesting character. It was going well, but she just seemed to drop halfway through
    - Amy knows too much. She would be far more bemused by the going-ons in the story I believe
    - Too much info too soon. I believe you could have drawn this out a bit more than you have. A few smiles of realisation throughout the first few chapters rather than just in the first chapter would have been nice
    - Not nearly enough description
    - Describing all characters by their full names when we first meet them. A pet hate of mine

    Full review will come soon! It looks here like the cons outweigh the pros but they don't really, it's just the cons are more obscures so take up more space. XD
    It returns...
    Are you looking forward to it?

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    Thanks guys, now to respond:

    Quote Originally Posted by Smile Guy View Post
    - Not direct remake; I'm guessing it's set after travelling with May. What happened to May?
    This is completely unconnected with the old story. I removed animé elements as OCs are generally considered better. There are absolutely no animé or games characters in here, that's a guarantee. When I was talking about this not being a direct remake I was saying that some characters are the same as before (the hooded man and maybe Roan), some have been 'relabeled' (though these are few and far between, John and maybe Amy are the only real examples), the very basic plot outline is still the same and some of the chapters have similar themes to their old counterparts. Despite this, the actual content of the fic is very different. The opening chapter is a fine example of this.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smile Guy View Post
    - Far too fast-paced.
    Everyone said this about the last one, I guess it's just a block I have. I'll work on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smile Guy View Post
    - Amy is not an interesting character. It was going well, but she just seemed to drop halfway through.
    Don't worry, I have many, many more plans for Amy yet.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smile Guy View Post
    - Amy knows too much. She would be far more bemused by the going-ons in the story I believe.
    I made Amy smarter than May was on purpose. One of the major criticisms of v1 was that May simply became a sounding board for Roan and it was him doing all the work. Here, I've modified the characters a bit so that this doesn't happen. Because of the nature of the first chapter this didn't really come out, but I hope it will later on.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smile Guy View Post
    - Too much info too soon. I believe you could have drawn this out a bit more than you have. A few smiles of realisation throughout the first few chapters rather than just in the first chapter would have been nice.
    I knew this would be said and I'm afraid that there isn't a lot I can do about it. You need to know all this to get through the second chapter and revealing things there would sound a bit cheesy, as all the involved characters would know this stuff without being told. I shan't say no more than that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smile Guy View Post
    - Not nearly enough description.
    Again, people said this about the old one. It's not something I've really got the hang of. Hopefully I'll get better with practice.


    Quote Originally Posted by Smile Guy View Post
    - Describing all characters by their full names when we first meet them. A pet hate of mine
    Fair enough, but I want to get the Kalians titles in there and "Roma Lizzie" just isn't the same as saying "Roma Elizabeth Parks". I'll avoid this as much as possible.


    Thanks for the support guys. What do you guys think of Lucidia? Only Volt' mentioned it, and it's something I quite wanted feedback on.

    I'm gonna say this 'cos I know it will come up. I only noticed that 'Amy' was an anagram of 'May' after I'd chosen the name for the character. I know it's a bit cheesy, but it wasn't on purpose.

    Thanks a lot! You'll be used to long delays from me, but I hope this will be an exception. Don't quote me on this, but in no more than a week's time you should have chapter 2.
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    I liked the idea of having the map as an image so we could see where the action was taking place at any time. I've not seen this in any other fanfics (granted, I haven't read many), but was this your own idea? If so, it's pretty damn cool.

    If not, kudos for borrowing a good idea.
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    Everything here is entirely my own work, map included.
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    Good idea then, well implemented.
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    Heh cheers, and also thanks for the mention in your sig, though you might want to update the link

    I'm working on chapter two, but my entire plan for that chapter has been erased due to a computer crash (now you know where I get my inspiration for the faulty Chronometers from). Expect a slightly longer delay than the week I mentioned earlier. I'm going to backup this stuff from now on, this isn't the first time something like this has happened.
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    Oops, my bad, the link has now been fixed.

    Looking forward to the next chapter, computers can be an arse can't they?
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    I'll say. I found a early hard copy of about half of it, so it's not all bad.

    EDIT: Plan re-finished, already started writing it.
    Last edited by Koubagia; 6th December 2006 at 7:04 PM.
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    Hum... 6 days since your last edit. It´s time to post a new chapter! Well, I´m still waiting, and curious =)
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    Just finished it!

    Chapter 2 – Foul play


    The Kalian headquarters was and had always been the most technologically advanced institution in Lucidia, typically remaining at least five hundred years ahead of present-day science. Despite the building being the only feature of Chronos Island, it was only 14m x 8.5m in area and no more than four storeys tall. Considering the fact that it housed seven people, forty-two Pokémon and countless pieces of technology, it was remarkable that they fit everything in. In retrospect, Roan felt they should have designed it to be bigger, but it had seemed like all they needed at the time and the technology would be too difficult to relocate now.
    He materialised in the operations centre, a room of his own design where the main decision-making took place. He had taken his inspiration from the bridge of the Enterprise-D, and it showed clearly. The predominant colour was a pale peach with computer consoles and chairs filling most of the floor space. At the back of the room was a conference table with its own viewscreen, though the main viewer was at the front of the room and dominated most of the south wall. Ops was considerably more cramped than Roan’s inspiration, but it served them well enough. Only three of the team were present at their stations- obviously the briefing was over. Closest to him was Pavel, a Russian albino wearing a black t-shirt and jeans. His title was Darkus, putting him in charge of research on the Cyran Sun- or the rift, as the Kalians called it. He was stood working at his console; a computer embedded into a wooden crescent around the three command chairs. Sitting in the central one was Milleva, slouching in her captain’s seat. Roan nicknamed her Captain Janeway, something that had inspired her to have her brown hair at shoulder length. She wore dark green jeans and a yellow blouse, with futuristic-looking shoulder ridges. On her right at one of the side science consoles was Marion, their Pokémon researcher. She wore a white polar neck jumper and black jeans with dark hair tied into a ponytail at the back. Roan cherished a soft spot for her, but she was never very receptive. He had long since abandoned any stereotypes of French romance. He made his way past her and took his seat at Milleva’s left. He was second officer, which meant he took charge if Industrius and Technola were simultaneously on mission, which sadly didn’t happen very often. He enjoyed his occasional shots at the big chair. But command was at the moment the last thing on his mind.

    “Enjoy Héva?” asked Milleva in her charming Irish accent. “I take you’ve sorted out the trouble.”

    “I always do,” smiled Roan. “The impact was one of the worst I’ve ever seen, but I’ve pretty much eliminated any lasting consequences. The only trouble is the premature emigration from Héva (which would’ve happened sooner or later anyway) and one girl who should’ve died but didn’t.” He paused. “It was old Mr. Hood again.”

    Milleva looked up, concerned. “It was him? I thought you said this was a high-impact thing.”

    “It was,” admitted Roan. “Which is why I think we need to get everyone back together again.”

    ***

    Half an hour later, only Industrius had returned of the three absent members. Marion was drumming her fingers on the conference table, and Roan was playing Super Mario Bros. on his Chronometer.

    “I thought you sent out a Priority-1,” said Industrius. Jack Carter was a Texan, with black crew-cut hair, a leather jacket and black jeans.

    “I thought I did,” replied Technola. “Can anyone explain our missing comrades?”

    Roan lost the game, and turned off his Chronometer in frustration. “I might know where Roma is. She got in my way back in Héva. Probably sulking in Mount Moon again.”

    Milleva sighed. “Now why on earth didn’t you tell me this before?”

    He shrugged. “I figured until Dominik got here it wouldn’t matter.”

    “Ve may as vell start.” Said Pavel. “You mentioned zee hooded man?”

    Roan sat up. “The anachronism I just checked out was his fault. It was the biggest-scale thing he’s ever done.”

    Milleva broke in. “Roan tells me that it extended over five years.”

    “In that time,” said Roan, “He persuaded good-hearted businessman Jacob Hartley to start a covert mining operation with the intent of manufacturing Pokéballs capable of stealing other trainers’ Pokémon.”

    “Ah, I myself ‘av been looking into ‘zis technology.” said Marion, “if ‘ve ever needed to do ‘zis for some reason, ‘ve would need to be able to. I ‘av not been able to think ‘zis properly yet. How did ‘e do it, may I ask?”

    “He was developing a regular cohesium-based Pokéball with tangeum components.”

    Marion slapped herself in the face. “Of course, it ‘ees obvious to me now.”

    Milleva coughed. “Regardless of the ways and means, he did something seriously dangerous here. With a bit of luck, Reniss has just thwarted a major plan of his.”

    “Or he could’ve just seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Industrius. “For all we know, HM could’ve been involved in Pagas’ disappearance.”

    At this, Roan looked extremely disturbed. “He wouldn’t kidnap a Kalian, would he?”

    Milleva sighed. “At this point I’m not sure what he would do.”

    She was interrupted by an alarm on Roan’s Chronometer. He activated the holographic display, and read a few paragraphs. “We’ve got a problem in 1994. It looks to me like there’s a Ramuparudo loose on the Wilda Barrens. I expect that an anachronistic trainer that was saved by Lizzie revived a fossil they found and wasn’t happy with the result.”

    “Ah, but ‘zis is not possible,” said Marion. “’Zey could not clone Pokémon at ‘zis time.”

    “It’s probably worth looking into,” said Milleva. “Medieva and Reniss, you head off there and sort out the dinosaur. Darkus, I want you to put everything you have into keeping that rift secure. Who knows what HM could do with a power source like that? Industrius, I’m taking you off future for now. I want you find me HM, do whatever’s necessary short of disrupting the timeline. I’ll keep trying to reach Roma, and when I find her I’ll set her looking for Pagas. Dismissed.”

    Roan crossed around the table to meet Marion. “Are you ready to go?”

    Non,” she replied, “my Pokémon, ‘zey are in ‘ze Holosuite.”

    “Fair enough. You know, I don’t give my team nearly enough Holosuite time.”

    The two of them entered a door on their left, the main lift. “Level 2,” said Roan. The lift rose one level, before admitting them onto a corridor. They crossed it and entered the door on their far left.

    The Kalian Holosuites used the same basic projection technology as the Chronometers, though on a much larger scale. This room was configured to create an ideal living environment for the Kalian Pokémon. While they were here, it was almost like their Pokémon were in the wild. Roan thought of it as fitting repayment for the great services they do. By a lucky coincidence all the Kalian Pokémon were reasonably comfortable in a temperate climate, so when they came into the Holosuite Roan and Marion found themselves in a representation of the Gap of Cielo. Many considered the valley the most picturesque view in all of Lucidia. Roan and Marion had stepped out onto a grassy plain extending right across the valley. There were innumerable Pokémon playing in the environment, though only the Kalians’ parties were not artificially generated. To their left was the crystal-clear Lake of Cielo, with water Pokémon playing near the shore. On their other side was an enormous pine forest, which Roan knew in reality extended all the way to the coast at Fir Town. They strolled together for a few minutes, force field “treadmills” adapting the environment so that they couldn’t perceive the walls.

    “I really enjoy just being able to just do nothing like this,” said Roan. “Maybe when we get back, we could spend some time together in the Holosuite. I know a great café in 19th Century Fir Town.”

    “Maybe,” said Marion, not even looking at him.

    Roan decided it would be best to steer the conversation away from his persisting attempts at romance. “So, where are we going to find your Pokémon?”

    Marion simply said, “computer, halt program.” Their environment disappeared and was replaced by the grey emitter-lined walls. Only eighteen Pokémon were now visible. Marion recalled hers, and left the room.

    “Computer, resume program but display the exit,” said Roan, slightly irritated that Marion hadn’t done this. “And remove the doors when I leave the room.” He jogged out to follow her.

    ***

    In the Héva Hall grounds, Amy was building a bonfire. Her family was very distantly of British origin, though that was hundreds of years ago and they did not normally celebrate November 5th. This November 5th though, was the day after Roan Clockrow had come and changed her life. It was no ordinary Bonfire Night. Nor was this any ordinary bonfire. On top of the mound of wood she had scavenged from the grounds was every single dress, corset and skirt she had ever owned. Instead, she had refilled her wardrobes with t-shirts and jeans. The outfit she had on now was a particularly slack pair of denims with an Iron Maiden top. She had pulled her hair out of the bun she had been told to wear by her parents and allowed her hair to fall onto her back. She lit the fire and collapsed onto the ground, happy with her handiwork.
    She remained by the fireside for some time, enjoying the sensations. She had no regrets about what she was doing, but she was dreading what her parents would say. They would almost certainly disown her, but she was prepared for that. She had stolen some money from her father’s room, enough to buy a flight off Héva and keep her fed and watered for a substantial time. She was planning to follow the age-old tradition of leaving home to be a Pokémon trainer. She had a better baseline than most amateurs, with a team of four Pokémon already, but she knew that she would have a hard time. Anything was better than being stuck in Héva Hall.
    With that thought in mind, she decided to join her parents for dinner.

    ***

    She peered through a small crack in the dining room doors. Her father was in his suit as always, and perhaps even sterner-looking than usual. The maid was serving her parents soup, and was filling a bowl for Amy too. No doubt someone had been sent to look for her, probably nanny Sarah. Amy’s stomach turned at the thought of her; she was the only thing at Héva Hall that Amy was truly reluctant to leave behind. But there was no going back now. She burst through the double doors.
    Her father stood in outrage at the mere fact that the doors had been thrown open in this way, and his anger turned to shock as he saw Amy. Quickly recovering his posture, he glared at her and shouted.

    “What in God’s name are you wearing?” was all he could manage.

    “I’m wearing what I want to wear,” replied Amy. “I’ve had it with you forcing me to live my life the way you mean me to.”

    “You had better go back to your room, and change back into what you usually wear,” he bellowed. “You had a lovely dress on for dinner yesterday, I would like to see you in it again.”

    “I don’t have any dresses left to wear!” Amy raised her voice too. “If you can’t accept me the way I want to be then I’ll leave. I’ve realised that I don’t belong here.”

    “If this is more about that Roan boy…” warned her father.

    “And what if it is! What he told me was true; I have every reason to believe it. In six months Héva Island will have collapsed into the ocean. He showed me things I’ve never seen before, and opened my eyes to how I could be living my life.”

    “Amy dear,” said her mother. “Are you really sure this is what you want? Stop and think for a moment about the life you are denying yourself.”

    “The only thing I’m denying myself is a life of miserable upper-class nonsense. I don’t wish to be a part of this family any longer.”

    “Fine then!” shouted her father. “See how long you last before you realise what an appalling decision you are making. I don’t want to see you in this house again, unless you are wearing a dress!”

    “Then goodbye father, mother.” she walked calmly back out of the door, but paused before closing them. “Live long and prosper,” she said.

    And her parents never saw her again.

    ***

    Roan and Marion materialised in a small alley off a bustling paved street. The stone houses were ridiculously close together, and with the market stalls lining each side of the road it was a miracle anyone managed to walk in a fashion anything other than single-file, let alone in the bedlam which the two Kalians found themselves in. The street extended a long way in both directions, with impressive monuments being the only sight at either end, a disheartening contrast to the poverty in which they currently stood. Marion recalled her Celebi, and Roan attempted to load his Chronometer.

    “I think it’s crashed,” he said weakly. “Typical. Remind me to give everyone’s Chronometers a maintenance check.”

    “We have no time for ‘zis now- ‘ow are we going to find ‘ze Ramuparudo without ‘ze anachronism detectors?”

    “I think,” he said, “we’ll have to speak to the locals. I learnt Cumreean back in school.”

    “‘Zat was one thousand years ago!”

    “I still remember the basics,” he said, and strode onto the street and picked out a local man. “Erm, chizan’ti kilmar… mi’spol Ramuparudo’lop losetii?” The man simply gave him an odd look and continued walking.

    “Perhaps your Cumreean ‘ees not as good as you thought,” said Marion with a smile.

    “I know I’ve got this right.” He picked out a woman trying to sell some carpets on a market stall. “Chizan’ti kolmoro, mo’spol Ramuparudo’lop losetti?” The woman simply indicated her carpets and said something.

    “What ‘ees she trying to tell us?” asked Marion.

    “I think,” said Roan, “that she wants us to buy a carpet. Nip, chizan’mo. Shi’mo!” He moved onto another man. “Chizan’ti kilmar… mi’spol Ramuparudo’lop losetii?” he asked.

    The man laughed. “Why you want know if I smell Ramuparudo’s ocean?”

    Roan clicked his fingers against his side. “Sorry about that, my Cumreean is a little rusty.”

    Marion shook her head, “My friend, ‘ee wants to know if you have seen a monster in ‘ze desert.”

    The man lost his smile almost immediately. “I no see this. But I hear things. Boy was killed in shrine two week ago. People see monster then. People say monster boy’s spirit. Want revenge.”

    Roan was intrigued by this news. “Do you know who the boy was, or the murderer?”

    He shrugged and laughed. “I say all I hear. You want more, you ask shrine elders.”

    ***

    The dragon Pokémon shrine was extremely easy to find. Their informant had pointed it out atop a hill, and the large statue of a Rayquaza on the roof of the building was more than enough to help them locate it once they had said shi’mi to him. Roan ran into the building.

    “I can at least remember ‘Do you speak English’,” he said, before approaching one of the monks. “Chizan’ti kilmar, mi’pestra Tohjopest?

    The monk his head pathetically. “Nip, chizan’mi. Nip drakilmar’pestra Tohjopest.

    “Great,” said Roan sarcastically. “Chizan’ti. Shi’mo! I think he said that none of the monks here speak English.”

    “You think?” replied Marion, raising an eyebrow.

    “Well, I assume the dra prefix on kilmar means holy or something.”

    “Do you know enough Cumreean to ask ‘zem about ‘ze murder?”

    “Not likely. My best guess would be mi’denk nipkilkilmar’lop drafortu, but I have an awful feeling that means ‘do you think death man’s holy castle’ or something.”

    “Couldn’t we use ‘ze Chronometer’s universal translator?”

    “My Chronometer’s broken, and yours isn’t equipped with one. It’s hardly a priority on a Pokémon research system.” He paused. “Didn’t I give yours DNA tracking capabilities?”

    Oui, why is ‘zis important?”

    “Couldn’t we use them to locate the Ramuparudo?”

    She thought for a moment. “I think ‘zat we could. I cannot use ‘ze Chronometer with all of ‘zese people nearby, we should find somewhere quiet.”

    Roan nodded. “I saw an alleyway to the left of here just as we came in.”

    ***

    Two weeks ago Jara had been orphaned. His father had been a missionary from the United States, who had married a local woman ten years ago. Two years later, Jara had been born. A half-cast outcast among the children of Wilda, always left out because of his strange accent and looks. He had found comfort only in the welcoming arms of his parents, but now they were gone. His sadness had quickly turned to anger. Anger at the monster that had killed them.

    He was hiding in an alleyway near the shrine. His father had always taught him that worshipping Pokémon was against God’s will, but he felt safe when he was near the statues of the dragons. That was why he had come here when he lost his parents. His life over the past two weeks had been extremely strange. As two teenagers walked into his hiding place, it became a lot stranger. The girl began pressing buttons on a silver egg she wore on her arm, and suddenly a large arrow appeared floating in mid-air between the two of them, with some words beneath it. The girl spoke in his father’s language, English.

    “’Ze Ramuparudo is in zat direction, about five kilometres out into ‘ze desert.” She paused. “’Zis is interesting. Its DNA has evidence of genetic modification.”

    “Genetic modification?” Said the boy. “The plot thickens.”

    Jara had never heard most of these words before, or seen anything like what he’d just seen. They had said they were looking for something in the desert. They must mean the monster. He decided to step out and speak to them.

    “Excuse me,” He said in his best polite voice, “Are you looking for the monster? It killed my parents, and I would like revenge on it.”

    The boy and girl looked extremely surprised to see him. The girl spoke first. “Who ‘ees looking after you?”

    “I haven’t got anyone left to look after me,” said Jara sadly. “I’ve been asking the monks for food.”

    The girl looked pitifully at him, but the boy turned away and rolled his eyes.

    The girl spoke. “We are going to look for the monster. Did ‘eet really kill your parents?”

    Jara looked at the ground. “I wouldn’t tell a lie about that.”

    The girl looked extremely disturbed, and said something to the boy. “’Zis ‘ees very unusual. Pokémon never harm human beings, not even a Ramuparudo.”

    The boy turned to look at her. “Maybe it was genetically modified to do that. You know about Shadow Pokémon, maybe this is a genetically created one.”

    “Maybe,” she said.

    “We should go with Celebi and get it as soon as possible, especially now we know it’s dangerous.”

    Non, if we go with Celebi, we will have to leave ‘zis boy here. What ‘ees your name?”

    “Jara,” he replied.

    Bonjour Jara. My name ‘ees Marion, ‘zis ‘ees Roan.”

    “You can’t seriously think we should take him with us,” said Roan.”

    “We cannot leave an orphan on ‘ees own!” Marion looked irritated. “Anyway, ’ee might be able to help.”

    “Fine, if you’re that worried about him,” said Roan.

    ***

    Amy was emptying her wardrobe for the second time that day, this time into a suitcase. She was sure that leaving home was the best thing for her to do, and yet now that she had made the decision she was having regrets. She did love her parents, as any child does, and she knew that she would miss them. But at the same time she knew she couldn’t be truly happy until she left home.

    There was a knock at the bedroom door. “Miss Amy, are you in there?” It was nanny Sarah.

    “Come in,” she called, though she wasn’t sure whether she was happy to see her or not. She didn’t want to have to say goodbye to Sarah.

    “Your parents ‘av been tellin’ me what you said to them at dinner,” she said in her strong cockney accent, though with a touch of sympathy and regret.

    “They haven’t told you to convince me to stay, have they?”

    “As a matter of fact, they ‘av.” She sat on Amy’s bed and beckoned her to do the same. She put her arm round Amy. “’am not gonna’ tell you to stay ‘ere, ‘cos a knew this day would come.” Sarah spoke slowly and caringly, the only person who ever did this for Amy, who was already in tears.

    “You never ‘av been one for all this posh business. I remember the time I used to ‘av getting you to wear your Sunday dresses!”

    Amy managed a smile.

    “Look, I know what you’re going through. Your heart’s tellin’ you to stay, but you’re ‘ead’s telling you to go. And I know you well enough to know which you’ll listen to. But I think you should know Amy, that your parents do love you, and they will be heartbroken if you go. I know it doesn’t seem like it sometimes, but they really do care about you.”

    Amy wiped the tears from her eyes. “I’m sorry Sarah, I really am. But I know what I have to do.”

    Sarah patted her on the back and smiled. “Well I’m not gonna’ stand in your way. Goodbye Amy.”

    Amy just couldn’t bring herself to say goodbye, but Sarah understood.

    ***

    Roan, Marion and Jara soon found themselves trekking through the Wilda Barrens on two “borrowed” Camerupt. Roan had insisted that their tag-along rode with Marion. The two of them were conversing cheerfully. It was a lot hotter than Roan was accustomed to; there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and there was no shade for cover. He discreetly wiped the sweat from his brow, not wanting to show any signs of weakness in front of Marion.

    “’Ze Ramuparudo should be within 100 metres,” she said to Roan.

    “Well that’s stupid,” he said. “This is a desert. Open plains for kilometres. If there was a dinosaur out here, we’d certainly be able to see it by now.”

    At that moment, a deafening roar thundered directly behind them. They turned to see the enormous blue-and-grey dinosaur Pokémon charging at them.

    The trio leapt off their Camerupt. Marion told Jara to hide behind the volcano-camels, and Roan pulled a Pokéball.

    Excuse moi,” said Marion, “Who ‘ees ‘ze Pokémon specialist here?”

    Roan hastily put the Pokéball away. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”

    She smiled. “Aller, PorygonZ!” The virtual Pokémon materialised in a flash of red light.

    “As PorygonZ ‘ees a virtual Pokémon, it can use ‘ze effective attacks without being weakened by ‘ze strong sunlight like a water Pokémon would be,” she explained to Roan.

    “I know that, I’m not completely Pokémon-stupid you know,” he said. “In fact I used a similar technique just last mission. Solarbeam?” He asked her.

    Marion’s smile widened. “Swagger!” The PorygonZ split into its component parts and began whizzing around the Ramuparudo’s head. The dinosaur tried to swat the pieces, with very little success.

    “Are you insane?” said Roan. “Ramuparudo is strong enough as it is, without you making it angrier than a drunk after a Monopoly pub crawl!”

    “An angry Pokémon thinks less about battling intelligently, so ‘eet will probably hurt ‘eetself and forget to defend ‘eetself.”

    “I still think it’s suicide,” said Roan.

    The virtual Pokémon reformed itself. The dinosaur Pokémon looked wrathfully at it, and aimed a kick with tremendous force, which PorygonZ had to expertly dodge at the last minute.

    “I hate to say I told you…” began Roan, before watching the Ramuparudo fall to the floor after losing its balance. “Well, so what?” he said, changing tact. “You only just avoided serious damage.”

    “Ah, ‘eet ‘ees not over yet. Psych Up!” The PorygonZ copied Ramuparudo’s kick, aiming it at mid air. A glint appeared in its eye.

    Touché,” said Roan.

    “Finish ‘eet off! Iron Tail!” The PorygonZ changed colour to a metallic white, and slammed its tail into Ramuparudo, which was still lying dazed on the floor. The immense force was enough to knock it unconscious.

    Marion recalled PorygonZ, and pulled an empty Pokéball. She threw it at the Ramuparudo, but it simply bounced off.

    “That’s odd,” said Roan. “It must already be cohesidised, which means it must belong to someone.

    “I think,” said Marion, “’zat I will take ‘zis back to ‘ze base, and I will study ‘eet in quarantine.”

    “You’ll need to use Celebi,” said Roan, “where should I take your little friend?”

    “You can take ‘eem to ‘ze shrine. ‘Ee speaks English and Cumreean, ‘ee can translate ‘ze monks for you.”

    “Fair enough,” agreed Roan. He looked across at Jara, sizing him up. “I’m tired of riding Camerupt, I reckon both of us can fit on my Charizard.”

    Marion sighed, and looked at the camels. “Find your way home,” she said to them. They plodded off.

    Roan released his Charizard. “A dragon! A real dragon!” said Jara. He ran up to the orange fire Pokémon and hugged it.

    “Well, strictly speaking…” began Roan, before noticing Marion’s cold look. “Yep, a real dragon. And you’re going to ride it with me.”

    At these words Jara ran to Roan and hugged him too. “Thank you!” he said. “I’ve always wanted to ride a dragon!”

    “I’d… noticed,” said Roan awkwardly. He broke off the hug as soon as courtesy allowed, and mounted himself and the boy on Charizard’s back.

    “Wheeeee!” shouted Jara as they took off. Marion put her head in her hands and laughed to herself, before releasing Celebi and disappearing in a green glow.

    ***

    “Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you!!!” said Jara as Roan recalled Charizard. “Can we ride him again?”

    “Maybe some other time,” lied Roan. “But now we have an important job to do. I need to speak to the monks but they don’t understand English. Can you tell me what they say, and tell them what I say?”

    The boy nodded, and they walked into the shrine. Roan stopped one of the monks. “Chizan’ti drakilmar. Ask him if he knows anything about the murder.”

    Mi’denk nipkil?

    The monk looked between Roan and Jara. “Yeep, pindrakilmar’denk nipkil.”

    “He says, ‘yes, all the monks know about the murder’.”

    “Tell him that the victim was my friend and I want to see him,” lied Roan.

    Nipkilkilmar’wop Roan.” Jara gestured toward Roan. “Mi’spolki mil.”

    The monk looked extremely disturbed at this. “Ti’spolki Roan’lop niptirola.

    “He says he doesn’t want to see your monster. Do you have a monster?” asked Jara.

    “I don’t have any monsters like that one. Ask him where the monsters came from.”

    Mi’denk tirola orgin?”

    Upokilmar’lop tirola stir nipkilkilmar’lop tirola. Mil’heril mil stir upokilmar’lop yeepheril Upokilmar’lop tirola’nipkil nipkilkilmar. Nipkilkilmar’lop tirola’retip fordo.

    “He says a man in a hood and the victim had a Pokémon battle with those monsters. The man in the hood won, and his monster killed the victim. The victim’s monster ran outside.”

    “The hooded man, I should’ve known. Why didn’t I see this before? The Ramuparudo would surely be distressed enough at the loss of his master to kill your parents.” He paused. “This is the first time HM has ever killed anyone. I wonder who the victim was.”

    He thought for a moment, but then froze. “My God. Dominik has a Ramuparudo.

    “Jara, quickly! Ask him to take us to the victim!”

    Mi’spolki nipkilkilmar!”

    The monk beckoned them into a side room. All the lights were out in here save one spotlight onto a stone table. A table with the ravaged body of Roan’s best friend.

    “Dominik!” shouted Roan, rushing to him. His face was pale and blooded, but he was still easily recognisable as the bright-eyed, enthusiastic German boy Roan had known all of his life. Roan picked up his hand, and sank to kneeling. He broke down resting his head on the table and cried tears of extreme shock and fear. He just couldn’t believe that he was gone. Dominik couldn’t be gone. In an act of desperation, he felt for his pulse. Of course there was none. But there was still hope! Roan felt for a Pokéball, and tossed it up in the air. His Ampharos appeared next to him.

    “Ampharos, use a Thunderbolt on Dominik!” He looked up through his tears, as blue light from the electric Pokémon hit his friend. Nothing happened.

    “Again.” He remained there, still and lifeless.

    “AGAIN!” No change.

    The monk rushed up to him. “Mil’lop nipkil!”

    “THUNDER! VOLT TACKLE! ANY DAMNED THING YOU CAN DO, JUST DO IT!” He shouted these words with every gram of life in him. Somehow he could come back. He just couldn’t be dead.

    “MIL’LOP NIPKIL!” shouted the monk. He’s dead. He’s dead Roan, and you know it. You can’t change it.

    He broke down the floor again. He felt the warm arms of his Ampharos cuddling him, comforting him. What was the point? Why should he need comfort? Dominik was the one who needed pity, not him. Dominik was the one who had been murdered.

    Murdered. Murdered. Murdered. The word echoed around his head. Somewhere among all his grief, a spark of anger ignited, sending his whole body up in a flame of rage.

    “HOODED MAN!”

    ***

    Roan didn’t know how he ever got himself back to HQ. It could have been an eternity he was there by Dominik’s body. He came back, and painfully told Milleva the news. Somewhere between then and now the Kalians and their Celebi had gathered in the laboratory around Dominik’s body. They were all dressed in black, and Milleva had prepared a eulogy.

    “We are gathered here today, trainers and Pokémon alike, to honour the memory of our friend and comrade, Pagas Dominik Hundert. For one thousand years he has been the life and soul of the Kalians. His wit, humour and intellect will live on long after we have said goodbye. His loss will be hard felt by all of us, and by all of time. Everyone who’s heart he has ever warmed should be here with us today to see him move on, but we don’t have a big enough island.” Everyone smiled weakly through their tears. “Our thoughts and feelings go out to wherever you are now. Know, Pagas, that you will be truly missed.” She stepped back. All seven of the Celebi began glowing green, and Dominik’s body lifted gently from the table and disappeared.

    ***

    “Well, this has been a hard week for all of us,” said Milleva, at the head of the conference table. “But we do have a pressing issue at hand. We need to name a successor to the title of Pagas. Normally Roan, this would be your job, but I can understand if you don’t want to.”

    “No, it’s okay,” he said. “I know just the person to do it.”

    ***

    Amy was at the gates of Héva Hall, suitcase in hand. She stared up the drive at her family home. It felt oddly difficult to let go.

    “Going somewhere?” said a voice behind her. She jumped, and wheeled around.

    “Roan!” she exclaimed. Dropping her bags, she ran up to him and hugged him.

    “I haven’t been away that long, or is Celebi’s aim off?”

    “I thought I’d never see you again!”

    “So did I,” he said honestly. “Listen, there’s become a… an opening on our staff. How would you like to be a Kalian?”

    :: The most intelligent idiot you'll ever meet ::





    :: Banner by Cheshire Cat :: Made my own trainer card ::

  15. #15
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    Nice, very nice.

    Perhaps Dominik's death was not as impactful as it could have been, but that could be because he was not a major character, and as such we had not grown attached to him. Possibly it was because his death came early in the story, with the same consequence. Or maybe it was because I didn't bother to read the first chapter again before reading this one.

    But on the whole, very good.
    FC: 3050-7633-2044

  16. #16
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    Hmm...an interesting tale you have here. I've read the first chapter and skimmed the second, because I've noticed things, many of which Smile Guy already picked up on; you have an excellent hand for explaining things, especially in dialogue. However, everything is still a bit fast-paced. I would have spanned out that chapter into at least two (MAYBE three) chapters, containing how Amy's regular day might go, a second chapter with the unexpected thrashing she gets from Guy, and transitioning into a possible third chapter for falling into the pit.

    It's moving too fast mostly because you haven't bothered to lay out the scenes very well, nor let us into the character's heads. A little lack of description in the emotion department, but overall, it could turn into something solid and interesting to read if only you paint your canvas more thoroughly. Having trouble with description? Use a thesaurus or Microsoft Word to find synonyms; however, don't overuse synonyms and turn it into purple prose. Similes are also help in comparing and contrasting different things, so take that into consideration as well.

    In general, slow it down a notch, and don't let all the information come pouring out at once (though Roan did a rather fine, smooth job in explaining everything to Amy). The reason for this is because if there are hidden elements that only you, and not the readers know, then you can certainly hint and tantalize them, allowing them to get a taste of your story and wanting more. With no secrets, the predictability of the plot increases.

    By the way, I thought you might want a more deserving banner, so I dished something up on Photoshop:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...g?t=1165970462

    Happy holidays
    ~Chesh

  17. #17
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    Review Responses

    Quote Originally Posted by Y2Gray
    Perhaps Dominik's death was not as impactful as it could have been, but that could be because he was not a major character, and as such we had not grown attached to him. Possibly it was because his death came early in the story, with the same consequence. Or maybe it was because I didn't bother to read the first chapter again before reading this one.
    The impact of Dominik's death will be seen in the characters, particularly Roan, throughout. I knew this wasn't going to have too much effect on the reader, but it had to be done and it had to be done then.

    Quote Originally Posted by CHeSHiRe-CaT View Post
    Hmm...an interesting tale you have here. I've read the first chapter and skimmed the second, because I've noticed things, many of which Smile Guy already picked up on; you have an excellent hand for explaining things, especially in dialogue. However, everything is still a bit fast-paced. I would have spanned out that chapter into at least two (MAYBE three) chapters, containing how Amy's regular day might go, a second chapter with the unexpected thrashing she gets from Guy, and transitioning into a possible third chapter for falling into the pit.
    I did consider having chapter(s) about Amy before the events of C1, but I thought that they would be a bit boring and irrelavent to the story as a whole. I dunno though.

    Quote Originally Posted by CHeSHiRe-CaT View Post
    It's moving too fast mostly because you haven't bothered to lay out the scenes very well, nor let us into the character's heads. A little lack of description in the emotion department, but overall, it could turn into something solid and interesting to read if only you paint your canvas more thoroughly. Having trouble with description? Use a thesaurus or Microsoft Word to find synonyms; however, don't overuse synonyms and turn it into purple prose. Similes are also help in comparing and contrasting different things, so take that into consideration as well.
    Description with me isn't as much a not-know-how-to-do as an always-forget-to-do-it. I guess I forget that the reader knows a lot less than I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by CHeSHiRe-CaT View Post
    In general, slow it down a notch, and don't let all the information come pouring out at once (though Roan did a rather fine, smooth job in explaining everything to Amy). The reason for this is because if there are hidden elements that only you, and not the readers know, then you can certainly hint and tantalize them, allowing them to get a taste of your story and wanting more. With no secrets, the predictability of the plot increases.
    That stuff in the first chapter was sort of need-to-know. Both of these chapters are still introduction-ish for me, as is C3 (though to a lesser extent). Hidden elements are on their way, we just haven't got to the bulk of the main mystery yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by CHeSHiRe-CaT View Post
    By the way, I thought you might want a more deserving banner, so I dished something up on Photoshop:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...g?t=1165970462

    Happy holidays
    Cheers for that, my current banner was a real quick job that I did for the sake of having a banner. I did intend to do a better one, but that's a lot better than anything I would've come up with. Thanks!

    ---

    My questions

    What do you guys think of the Cumreean language? I tried quite hard with that, keeping words and syntax the same throughout.

    Any speculation yet? I really liked reading through/laughing at people's ideas in the old thread, and I'm missing it a bit here.
    Last edited by Koubagia; 13th December 2006 at 6:25 PM.
    :: The most intelligent idiot you'll ever meet ::





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  18. #18
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    I liked the idea of having another language, and spending time making it consistent. Reminds me of Tolkein's concept of Elvish, though he went and made it pretty much a full blown translatable language for anyone who can be bothered to learn to speak it (read: geeks).

    Like you said, we haven't got to the bulk of the mystery yet, so I'm not going to try speculating on anything as of yet. Rest assured, when I get any theories I'll post them here.
    FC: 3050-7633-2044

  19. #19
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    Cool chapter again, this is getting more interesting that it already was!
    Cumreean language, it´s a nice and diferent twist. Will you keep it? I hope so.

    Ah, Christmas! Merry Christmas for everyone that´s reading this =D because I know you should

    BTW, when the third chapter is going to be!? I´m curious. Taking a while, but I think it´s because it´s end of year. Well take your time!
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