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Thread: Pokemon Revolution: Advent Phoenix (Rated T)

  1. #276
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    This was a great chapter. The battle was really detaled. I like the part about Kenjiro.

  2. #277
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    Cool

    Arrrgh, I missed first dibs! Oh, well...

    I'm off to do what I do best with your chapters... take them apart!

    Be back...

    It was less than five minutes later that Travis emerged from the shower, fully dressed and panicky.

    “What time is it now??” Travis asked.

    “Quarter after seven,” Katrina said nonchalantly.

    “Well, come on! We gotta…whoa…hold on,” Travis stopped yelling after what Katrina said had registered. “What time did you say that it was?”

    “Quarter after eight,” Katrina replied, looking furtively around herself as if Travis had simply misheard her.

    Travis frowned.

    “Wait a second…it’d be lighter than this at quarter after eight,” he muttered to himself. A second or two passed and he looked at Katrina, who responded with the most adorable smile imaginable in an attempt to feign innocence.
    ^Best part of the chapter. No contest...^ Did it work? XD

    “Get out here, damn it!!” Shiro heard a voice from the other side of the door. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked back at his girlfriend.

    “…Crap,” he muttered through his teeth. Madeline giggled.

    Slowly, Shiro turned the doorknob and opened the door.

    SMACK.

    He fell backward as a red-and-white sphere bounced into the air. A boy walked inside and caught the ball, minimizing it and slipping it back into his pocket in one fell swoop.

    “So,” Travis said, looking at Shiro, who was on his back and had a large, red marking on his forehead where the ball had hit. “Think it’s funny to screw with someone’s clock when they’re not looking, huh?”

    “Call it even?” Shiro grunted, rubbing his forehead. Travis laughed good-naturedly and helped him up. “Damn. What were you tryin’ to do? Capture me or something?!”

    “Of course not,” Travis replied. “Katrina just said it’d look funny to her if you got hit in the face by a Pokéball.”

    “I wasn’t disappointed, either,” Katrina came into the room, her face red from laughing so hard.

    “Gee, thanks,” Shiro seethed.
    Guess so. How come girls get away with everything?

    And the thoughts she was having now – now that she had blossomed from an adorable and impetuous Eevee to a beautiful, strong, and elegant Espeon…

    They sent small shivers up her spine and made her smile…

    “<Angel?>” Crescent’s voice broke through her daydream.

    “<Oh!>” Angel exclaimed. “<I was going to ask you…have you ever thought about…never mind. We can talk about it some other time.>”

    Crescent watched Angel through his burgundy eyes. Her face was pink and she wasn’t quite looking at him. She had acted like this before, and it was always when she was on the edge of saying something very important to him. Yet she always wanted to put it off until later…it was almost as if she didn’t really know how to say what she wanted to say to him.

    He frowned.

    <Angel,> he thought, <why won’t you tell me what you’re thinking?>

    <I don’t want to say it in front of everyone else,> Angel’s voice responded in Crescent’s head. <I’m not really ready to tell you today. Today’d be a really bad day to bring it up – we both have battles later.>

    Crescent blinked for a second. He’d forgotten that Angel could communicate telepathically with those with whom she shared a strong bond. Crescent, who wasn’t as good at it by virtue of not being a Psychic-type, concentrated as hard as he could.

    <Will you tell me after we win?> he asked.

    Angel looked at him and wordlessly nodded, a smile flashing over her face.
    OMFGZ! Is Angel talking about what I'm thinking she's talking about?

    All in all, an awesome chapter! More shippyness and butt-kicking makes it all worth the read!

    No grammar errors to right... i mean, write home about... well done!

    OK, i’m outta here!

    Oh yeah, before i go... the first project’s in its pdf stage, and the second’s coming along nicely.

    OK that’s it!

    L@er!

    P.S. Did you get my mail?
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 14th February 2008 at 2:51 PM.
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  3. #278
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    It was less than five minutes later that Travis emerged from the shower, fully dressed and panicky.

    “What time is it now??” Travis asked.

    “Quarter after seven,” Katrina said nonchalantly.

    “Well, come on! We gotta…whoa…hold on,” Travis stopped yelling after what Katrina said had registered. “What time did you say that it was?”

    “Quarter after eight,” Katrina replied, looking furtively around herself as if Travis had simply misheard her.

    Travis frowned.

    “Wait a second…it’d be lighter than this at quarter after eight,” he muttered to himself. A second or two passed and he looked at Katrina, who responded with the most adorable smile imaginable in an attempt to feign innocence.
    I'll second Air Dragon's motion and name this the best part of the chapter. This was hilarious. Now, I'm not sure exactly how long it has been since we got to see a pokemon battle, but it feels close to forever. Seeing Matt duke it out was refreshing, most likely from the extra exercise my heart got after reading the climax of it. Props for using Charmeleon, too. You don't really see him much in gym battle because Charizard takes the spotlight.

    Also, could this be breaking of the Fellowship, er... what would you call Travis and company? Anyway, it seems that we're going to be flashing between two groups for a while. It seems annoying to write, but I for one like the author to hopscotch across whatever setting he has chosen. Either way, if this the route you choose, I'm sure it will be fun to read.

    Finally, one thing bugs me about this chapter:

    “It’s four-on-four here, right?” he heard Katrina’s voice fade in and out of his mind.

    “Yeah. Do you have four Pokémon?” Travis asked her.
    Here it is 4-4, but in Matt's battle it is 3-3. I dunno, call it OCD, but I like for things to match up. Honestly, I'm suprised I can still watch Naruto... Ahem, either way, the battle was top class, so the conflict isn't necessarily legitimate.

    Good luck with school/churning out more great installments, -Oath

  4. #279
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    SamuraiDragon1: Detailed battles are what I do best. I get really tired of stories where I see no difference at all between a story's battle description and what the game looks like. I know it's a bit lame, but I like to compare battle descriptions somewhat to the present franchise of games that are out for Pokemon right now. Really bad color/attack description reminds me of Red/Blue/Green/Yellow, and if it's great, then it'll be something like Pokemon Battle Revolution, except on steroids. There aren't a whole lot of quality authors with terrible description. Most could be great but don't spend enough time on it because they're trying to advance the plot. This kind of gets on my nerves, too, and it's really something authors have to watch out for if they've got a Journey fic with a solar system's worth of extra subplots orbiting around it. At the end of the day, it's still a Pokemon fic. Otherwise, you might as well take the Pokemon out and stick your story on some other forum.

    *gets off soapbox*

    Okay, that's enough of that.

    AD: Not really ^_^, and I wonder how, too.

    Maybe...it depends on what you're thinking about. My lips are sealed for now.

    Yes, I did get your e-mail, and thanks. I also have something to send to you regarding my new project. A progress report of such. Hopefully I can get the preliminary stuff ready before long - I want to have the majority of this stuff prepared before I actually start it, because you can't make something like that up as you go along.

    Oath: I think you'll like the group I'm planning on putting together. I know I'm really happy about it. This is where the writing gets hard, because, technically, the main protagonists are away from a lot of the action. When Travis was in Verdanturf/Rustboro and everything was going on around him, it was difficult enough, but for a while it's almost going to be like two stories in one. That said, there are various reasons (some of them have been brought up on the thread recently) I'm extremely happy with my own decision to start Maverick Heart with a new set of main characters.

    As for the battle, that's one of the things that can happen when you write a story of this length. You get ten pages or so down and you forget what you said earlier in the chapter, or you get ten chapters or so down and you forget what you said earlier in the story. This is one of those that I realized immediately after I posted and just kind of went, "DOH!"

    I've found a way to remedy this issue.

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

    One thing that I tried to do during this fic (because it's almost like two stories in one) is focus on the proper juxtaposition between the brewing conflict in Hoenn and Travis' journey. Expect much more of that in coming chapters.

    I'm still plugging along and I've just started Chapter 29. It might take a while because I want to pour some of my time into peeking my head into a few new threads and helping those guys out. There's a couple that have caught my eye recently:

    The Phoenix by Ash_Junior. It's in its early stages, but it's based in a created region and the author obviously has talent for writing.

    Pokemon: Shining Nightmare, Glajummy. Also in a created region, it's on about chapter seven or eight or so and coming along nicely.

    In addition to writing Advent Phoenix and doing a bit of reviewing - and school, of course, I (along with some help) have been putting together things for Maverick Heart. I'm shooting to start MH by sometime in '09, and I plan to promote that fic a lot more than I did the first two.

    If you don't hear from me (for example, if the server goes to hell like it always does on weekends), have a great weekend. Starting next week, I'd like to give some further insight on what makes certain characters in PRJ (human and Pokemon alike) tick. So, hopefully Monday, I'll have for you my first in the series of what I like to call Inside the Head Of...

    Well, that's all, folks. Later.

    - EM1

    Dalton Gregg was a mostly-ordinary university student from the region once called Johto.
    Then a fateful encounter set him on a quest to change history.




  5. #280
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    was just about to pop in to say that I'd get you a review...sometime.

    saw that you were plugging my fic.

    heh, thanks. however, there's gonna be a brief break in the Indigo Plateau before the fic jumps back into a created country.

    k, 'nough of that, but I'll be reading and reviewing this.

    not sure when it's gonna come, but it's coming.

    0.-

  6. #281
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    Here’s an example of a simple rule of logic called Modus Ponens.
    If it’s Monday, EonMaster One will post the first of his character analyses.
    It’s Monday.
    EonMaster One will post the first of his character analyses.
    Here we go:
    Inside the Head of…


    Travis

    Full Name: Travis Shelton DePaul, III
    DOB: July 29, PA 1998
    Birthplace: New Bark Town, Johto
    Current Age: 14
    Debut: Pokémon: Revolution Johto, Chapter 1
    Approximate Height: 5’7½”
    Approximate Weight: 140 lbs.
    Occupation: Pokémon Trainer, Member of Emerald Knights
    Defining Characteristics: Carries the Sacred Flame, the ‘Judging Sword’ of the Blade Trinity

    From a very young age, this boy from New Bark Town displayed remarkable intelligence, especially when it came to Pokémon. Now in his mid-teens, his battling skills have become increasingly well-known in the places where he has competed. Some have even honored him with the moniker of ‘genius’ and have compared the talent he has displayed at such a young age to the legendary Dragon Tamer, Lance Blackthorn. Not only that, the fierce training regimen he forced upon himself in preparation for his journey to Hoenn has resulted in him being very strong and athletic, even without the aid of the legendary Sacred Flame. He is also known as a very caring individual with an immovable sense of justice, even if he is accused of sometimes being too serious for his own good.

    Nevertheless, underneath all of these admirable qualities, Travis is an emotionally and mentally troubled individual who allows the trauma of the Lineage War to haunt him more often than not. When these memories resurface periodically during times of peace, he turns into a very introverted, insecure, and emotionally fragile person. When those thoughts are brought out of him during battle, however, he becomes volatile, vicious, merciless, and often teeters on the brink of insanity. These changes from his normal nature are so distinct and glaring that he can, in fact, be said to have three different personalities.

    As a result of sheer willpower, recovering from the physical injuries he sustained in the Lineage War’s final battle in September 2011 took just a little more than a year. Recovering from the emotional scars has proven to be a different story…but there is a small part of him, however, that will not allow him to give up and will not allow him to be defeated. If anything or anyone manages to fully unleash that and allow Travis to let go of his burden, he might very well become nigh unstoppable.

    Dalton Gregg was a mostly-ordinary university student from the region once called Johto.
    Then a fateful encounter set him on a quest to change history.




  7. #282
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    Okaay... I finally caught up with all the chapters EM1. Awesome as always. Nothing else really to say - I could just give my highlights being Shiro returning (With Madeliene (sp?) in tow), Matt getting some humanising features, and the conflict brewing in Hoenn.
    In the most recent chapter... that alarm clock prank was definitely the funniest thing I've read in a while - so kudos.

    ANyway, keep it up etc. I might actually be regularly reviewing nowadays.
    Pokémon KD (Kanto Dimension) is located at a Fan Comics forum. Updates (whe)never.

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  8. #283
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    Can you put me on the PM list?

  9. #284
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    Default My promised review....of Chapter 1

    k, I'm gonna review this chapter by chapter until I catch up. Some things that I mention will probably have been mentioned before, so bear with me, please...

    first thing that caught my eye in Chapter 1:

    “NOW!” Roald shouted. Both of the men swung their weapons around their steeds without looking while the Prince trailed behind them so as to not get caught in the crossfire.
    from what I read, it looked like everyone had melee weapons. and that in itself is confusing.


    “Father...” Rashid sighed. He didn’t like the idea of being forced to fight fellow Hoennite soldiers. Reluctantly, he drew both of his sabers and assumed a battle position on his mount. Both of them had extremely long spears designed to forcefully dismount riders. Roald and his son had to be quick.
    did both of the sabers have long spears on them, or did Roald and his kid both have long spears? And if it they both had long spears, why did Rashid take out his sabers?

    “Your Majesty!!” a shout sounded from the Prince’s far left. There were two people dressed in silver armor with red-and-white helmets. One of them was a tall, burly man carrying a great sword. He had silver-blond hair and a tough face. The other was a short, young woman who had her blonde hair arranged in two braids that hung under her red-and-white helmet. The prince, under different circumstances, would have smiled at seeing her. Behind them, the prince saw a small ship with mostly white sails and one green (that hadn’t been there before), upon which appeared to be several knights, who were dressed in their peacetime armor plating and seemed to be making preparations to cast off.
    is that supposed to be an adjective as in "a great sword" or a noun, as in a type of sword?

    just curious

    personally, I would have split that into two paragraphs--well, three. One describing the man, one describing the girl, and the last describing the ship.

    but that's just me.

    His two protectors followed suit, and all three steeds were led by three different knights across the plank of wood and onto the ship.
    that just feels clunky to me. it seems like it would fit better to just take it out entirely, and say that they were taken onto the ship.

    “That’s the truth,” Roald said firmly. “So, we’ve got to get you the hell off of this island and somewhere safe where Edgar can’t touch you.”

    “Why?” Elrik asked.


    “Because we want you alive!” the young woman to Izaak’s left side said rather firmly. The prince turned in her direction and caught her eye. Immediately, the woman bowed and said quickly, “Your Majesty, please forgive my disrespect...”
    just a little thing, but you might wanna take out one of the spaces between the 'Elrik Said' and the "Because we want..." paragraph. otherwise it looks like a scene change at first--at least to me.

    k, I've gotten to the first scene change.

    something that I've noticed so far is that there's quite a bit of description of thigns initially, but once dialogue starts, there's almost no description of what's going on in there.

    I know how incredibly easy it is to do this, lol. It's one of the major things I'm working on getting rid of. Considering your 23 chapters past where I'm reading now, you may or may not have gotten a handle on it yet.

    k, finished the first post. interesting thing with the girl and the orb, and the chasing. That part was very well done....


    He looked down at his own clothing. His shirt was a loose-fitting button-down with short sleeves. It was mainly navy blue, like his hair, but the portion of the shirt from the bottom of the shoulders up was a bright white. Below this shirt was a pair of navy blue pants that had white stripes running the entire length of the pant leg. Under these were his navy-blue sneakers with royal-blue trim and fresh, white laces. Slung over his shoulder was a one-strap backpack, which was – big surprise...navy blue with silver trim. Around his waist was a belt with one red-and-white sphere on it and five empty slots where it appeared that five more of this same ball might go. That red ball was a Pokéball, for this youth of fourteen was a Pokémon Trainer, now on his second journey since receiving his Trainer’s License at the age of twelve, nearly exactly two years ago in the year 2011. His first journey was interrupted by extraordinary events surrounding a war against a tyrant with demonic powers. For the details of this war, which are far too numerous and cumbersome to record here, it would probably serve you best to read the first chronicle concerning this young man – as this story is his second.
    big, long, chunk of text, lol.

    first thing I'll deal with--suspension of reality. the bolded parts are breaking the fourth wall. It would probably be better to convey most of that in an Author's Note at the end of the post, with maybe a reference to him thinking back about why he abandoned his first journey.

    Second. The way you describe is very awkward to me. You just state what he looks like. It'd be a lot better, IMHO, if you worked in his description into the narrative. kind of like you did with the first part.

    I don't really know how to explain it, but the whole thing just seems...awkward. I try to release little bits of information here and there, trying to work in bits of description as their first scene or so progresses. also try to make it less awkward. for example, in describing his hair:

    The fringe of his navy-blue hair, which was spiky and hung mostly around his left eyebrow, tickled his face gently as the wind played with it.
    The fringe of his spiky, navy-blue hair that hung down near his left eyebrow tickled his face gently as the wind played with it.
    slightly different wording, but reads a lot easier.

    The boy looked down, smiling at this lavender creature with a gem on her head and a forked tail. This Espeon had been his loyal partner since his first journey two years ago...
    the description, IMHO, should be spread out. It could even help to describe the Espeon.

    for example:

    The boy looked down at the lavender feline as she slowly stretched, her forked tail twitching lazily. The Espeon, his loyal partner from his first journey, looked up at him slyly, the sun glinting off of the gem on her head. The two had long been fast friends, since she was, after all his starter Pokemon.
    you get the same information, but it reads more easily and you get a feel for the personality. I have no clue if I got it right or not, but that's not the point.

    Prof. Birch’s Johton counterpart, Professor Horatio (named after the famed military strategist who led Johto to victory during its war for independence over two millennia ago – but that is a story for another day) Elm.
    I prefer to use the term Johtan, rather than Johton--just looks better, but I have no idea which is better. Also, the parentheses with the mini-author's note thing looks kind of tacky. if you did do it, I'd have put the opening parenthesis after you had finished the guy's name. Again, I would have worked the stuff in the parentheses into the narrative, maybe giving some information about the guy's personality.

    “<You’re higher off the ground than I am,>” Angel commented, to which Travis responded by laughing.
    I'm getting quite picky now, but personally I would have pout in "retorted"

    yeah, I know, nit picking. moving on.

    Laughing...he was doing a lot more of that nowadays than he was at this time two years ago. Even before the crisis of the war, Travis had not been what you would call a laughing individual.
    ...lol

    laughing individual.

    that's just awkward. mirthful person maybe?

    She was wearing large shades with two tones in the lenses. These sat on her baby-blue eyes and took up a reasonable portion of her face, which was surrounded by long hair of a rose-pink color.
    ...*snickers*

    *imagines huge eyes that take up most of her face*

    *snickers again*

    sorry. just...looks funny to me.

    once again, as you're describing her clothing and stuff, you might have taken advantage of that as maybe adding a commentary about her.

    and what is her Pokemon? I'm assuming...an Umbreon?

    meh, I'll find out later on, I'm sure. yup. Umbreon.

    “You know...” Katrina sighed. “This time around...we need to enjoy it.”

    “Enjoy...what?” Travis asked.

    “Being together, silly,” Katrina laughed, hitting Travis’ shoulder jestingly.

    “Yeah, well...” Travis replied, “Last time, we were sort of...bouncing off of each other, I guess.”

    “Ha ha...” Katrina giggled. “...’bouncing’...violently.”

    “It wasn’t that bad,” Travis said.

    “Speak for yourself,” Katrina replied. “We’d been ‘bouncing’ for years, and I was a little bit bounced out at that point. Not to mention the fact that both of us were a little bit...”
    ...

    ...what kind of bouncing...

    never mind.

    darn you, TPTF! You've dragged my mind back into the gutter!

    lol...


    question...why were they still using swords/spears in 2012 when in 2013 a state-of-the-art lab has automatic doors, probably motion or weight-sensitive, which implies circuits and high technology?

    the expression "Never bring a knife to a gunfight" certainly applies here. If anything, I'd say that the Pokemon world should be FAR beyond us, because they have electricity long before we did, and the threats they had to face (a la Pokemon) were far greater than any kinds of threats--

    ....

    /endrant

    Somehow, back home, Professor Elm always seemed to manage with a relatively small laboratory. This monstrosity, however, was anything but. As soon as they entered, they were walking through a large room with tables and huge stacks of books. There was even a desk where a young woman who appeared to be in her twenties was apparently settling in for work. She was wearing a white lab coat and had very short, blonde hair. She was also rather tall, but that might have been the six-inch heels talking.
    I thought she was behind a desk? So how would they know about the six-inch heels? and btw, the desk implies a chair, so if she was sitting down, that takes the heels out of the equation....?

    It took a moment for the young woman to register the presence of others in front of her as, when they approached, she was in the middle of a good God almighty yawn.
    heh...couldn't resist. I tweaked the bold part. just couldn't resist when I say the "almighty yawn" lol...

    “You shouldn’t be so rude to your patrons, Leslie,” hearing a jovial-sounding voice, Travis and Katrina swung around. Maybe it was the exaggerated mental effect of seeing him for the first time, but Travis could have sworn he felt slight tremors with every step this man took toward them. Granted, Travis had seen bigger guys. This man was short, but he had to be at least 230 or 240 pounds – and that would be a very well-distributed 230 or 240 pounds. If Travis’ estimation was right, this man was about the weight of a fully-grown male Donphan – that is, 250 pounds. His brown hair sat wildly upon the top of his rather round head. In addition to that, he had sideburns that curved all the way around his chin, forming a brown beard as well. His white lab coat (Travis didn’t know that the people who made lab coats could manage to fashion one to fit this man’s frame) covered a black t-shirt and went down to his shins, which were covered (as well as the rest of his legs) by khaki pants.
    The bolded sentence probably shouldn't be there. it's just...awkward. maybe incorporating the Donphan thing in, like

    This man was short, but looked like he weighed as much as a Donphan.
    cuts out a bit of line, and just looks nicer.

    Travis, his eyes downcast and suddenly very concentrated on the equipment below, muttered, “Oh...right.”

    “Hey, now, I wasn’t trying to depress you when I said that!” Birch exclaimed. “Perk up!”

    Travis tried his best and, finally, managed to curl his lips upward into a smile. “He’s in a better place now, I guess...”
    it'd be nice if you told us a little bit about it, since I haven't read the previous story. and please, no "Go read the other story if you wanna know more about it." that's just patronizing.

    “That, too,” Katrina muttered. Her mother, Nicholette, was the designer of the ‘Katfight’ clothing label (which explained why ninety-nine percent of Katrina’s substantial wardrobe at her rather large house back in New Bark Town bore this brand name).
    *facepalm*

    mid-chapter author's notes really break a person out of their suspension of disbelief or whatever it's called.

    “Seriously?” Katrina replied with a bit of surprise in her voice. Travis and Kendall Forrest had been acquaintances and had even traveled together at one point in Travis’ journey. Kenny was always talking about how he would like to take Brandon’s post and oust him. You can imagine Travis’ delight when the news came in 2012 that Kenny had been successful. Kenny’s gym was now one of the rare dual-type gyms in the world. Apparently, Kenny not only loved Bug-types, but had become rather fascinated with Grass-types as well.
    boo! boo! I love Bugsy! Bugsy and his annoying little twin sisters!

    well, at least the way I write 'em. 0.-

    just kidding, btw.

    the bolded part is where you slipped from third person to second person. stick with one or the other.

    Travis had fought a close match with number-four-ranked Zinnia Roberts, an emo girl that (he never told Katrina this) was taken with him and was pretty vocal about it.
    *winces*

    emo girl...that could mean SO many things. does she cry a lot? stereotypical gothic type thing? and you've got the parentheses again. it's usually better when you're in the omniscient third person mode (as you are here) to stay back from slang, at least IMHO.

    “Exactly,” Birch replied. “The League, for one thing, doesn’t like Trainers that always get owned by a Gym at least twice before they win a badge. But if you can pull out close matches and make it look good for the fans, the League’ll know that fans will pay to see you duke it out in Evergrande. Simple enough?”
    as a rule, I'm against l33tspeak and its derivatives being used in every-day life, especially spoken, especially in fics, unless it's gamers or something talking to each other.

    besides, it doesn't seem like a word that Birch would necessarily use.

    “Yeah...simple enough,” Travis replied, in slight disbelief that Birch had just used the terms ‘owned’ and ‘duke it out’ in normal conversation.
    *facepalm*

    sorry, lol...

    “Nice indeed,” Birch responded. “This guy’s been itchin’ to get himself a Trainer forever. From the little that I’ve seen of him, he’s a real gamer and really competitive.”
    Gamer?

    0.o

    This staff was a symbol of her heritage as an Aurillian. A long story short, she was royalty of an ancient civilization that had access to powerful magic.
    I'd get rid of the bolded.

    breaks the fourth wall.

    For Travis had indeed disappeared. There were several trees around this dirt road, but not so many so that Katrina couldn’t see where Travis was. Where could he have gotten off to that quickly–

    Katrina screamed as she felt an unknown force lift her legs out from under her and continue to move. The next thing she knew, she was being carried bridal-style. She turned her head, and there he was. After a few seconds, he let her down. By the time she was on the ground, she had caught the bug. She held out her hand and a ball of light formed in it. It lengthened into a staff, which she grabbed as the light faded. This staff was white and ended in a golden crescent-moon shape. In the middle of that crescent was a white, pearl-like orb that seemed to be hanging onto absolutely nothing. This staff was a symbol of her heritage as an Aurillian. A long story short, she was royalty of an ancient civilization that had access to powerful magic. That orb began to glow a bright bluish-white. She began to twirl it around, causing the glow to create a trail of light wherever the core of the staff traveled. The light began to waft slightly, almost as if it was allowing itself to be caught and directed by the spring breeze. It caught across Travis’ face and lightly caressed it, giving him a feeling of warmth and comfort. He stopped for a second as Katrina reached the top of the hill and stopped as well. He ran up to catch up with her. Sensing him there, Katrina gradually started to fall back. She was still nearly upright when her head came to a rest on his shoulder.
    ...
    ...
    ...
    ...

    I can not make heads ortails of this at all.

    she's picked up by somebody. a bug? she conjures a weird staff, spins it around, and suddenly Travis is around? He stops doing something, I'm not sure what....

    she starts falling, and...?


    okay, to review. things I didn't like:

    mid-chapter Author's notes--the parentheses et al.

    technological differences in a year in a same country--OMG Swords to OMG Supercomputer.

    Some of the description is just...just...clunky.

    Also, once that initial burst of description is finished, you don't really do much describing during the dialogue (pretty much every author struggles with this lol, me included).

    I also have a problem with Pokemon speaking. I was fine with the Espeon, because in my fics, Psychics are the only ones that can translate Pokemon to human, because they can translate the thoughts and insert what was meant by the Pokemon into the human's mind as human speech. but the others--I have a problem with it. and you don't really explain HOW the Pokemon are understood by the humans.

    out of curiousity, why would they need another starter? They've both got an evolved Pokemon....why do they need another one?

    Birch: "Owned" and described a Pokemon as a "gamer".

    ...

    0.o

    disrupts my suspension of belief, disbelief, whatever it is.

    now, also, I don't see why you had to at that minute say exactly where everyone was form the previous fan fic. the Gym LEader stuff up to Kenny was fine, but it seemed weird to me that the Zennia person and onwards.

    just seemed...awkward.


    now, that said, it is incredibly well done. descriptions, while a bit awkward, are very good. Characters are mostly believable. At least as believable as you can get in a world where huge, honking, powerful monsters are contained in little tiny Pokeballs. And apparently magic and swords and staves are still used.

    pacing was done well, although it lagged a bit in the lab.

    All in all, pretty good. I'm going to keep reading and reviewing a chapter at a time, but this is all I have time for.

    until I review the next chapter,

    A_J

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    ...

    ...

    *sigh*

    If you're going to formulate that long of a post listing all the stuff you couldn't stand about one chapter, could you at least tell me something I did right so I don't feel like I've been utterly wasting my time?

    I don't consider this a masterpiece - far from it. But from the very first word I posted as an author to that chapter - almost three years. THREE YEARS!!

    I'd be very well within my rights to lose my temper, but I won't do that.

    You've finished talking; now it's your turn to listen.

    Was there anything you liked about the first chapter of my story? My gosh - give it some time, it's the freakin' exposition.

    That wasn't even a review I could take anything from because the criticism was anything but constructive.

    It's too bad that you find an issue with the whole breaking the fourth wall thing. Really, it's just a hint over and over that, in order to have a full-on understanding of some of the background, one needs to read Revolution: Johto. I wish I could have avoided this, but so much of the backstory of the characters is based on how events from that first series affected them. That's just how the story's told. I'm not telling everyone to go read the first one because I want them to just read another story; I believe this one's a lot better because I'm several years more experienced as a writer. I'm saying that you can read this if you like, but there will be several things you won't understand if you don't read the original. I'm sorry if you feel that it's 'patronizing'. If you were looking for this to be a standalone story, I apologize for disappointing you.

    There'll be less and less telling you to go read the story and more and more allusions to the story itself, as well as flashbacks and direct quotations, as this fiction goes on.



    As for the swords, staves, and supercomputers...there's reasons I feel I can get away with that. You can find things taken from a lot of sources when you look at my writings. One of my prime sources of inspiration is the Final Fantasy series. If you've played those games, they have the same thing going on. Whereas the world around the characters can be very futuristic, the weapons and combat methods employed by the denizens are, in comparison, rather primitive. Really, the fact is, there is only one continent in my world that uses slightly more advanced fighting methods - and I won't spoil that here.

    Granted, all in all, you bring up some very good points, but with all respect, the majority of them seem to be rather preferences of yours than rules that every writer should follow. I admit that part of the parentheses thing comes from my personality. I'm the type of person that tends to go off on small rabbit trails when I talk and write. The truth is, if you can find this much fault in one early chapter - even so far as to accuse me of being patronizing - maybe this story isn't for you. I have absolutely no problem with one person not reading my story. Most people that read this don't even say what's on their minds about it, and I respect you for at least having the decency to do that. But if you're going to be concentrated on doing this for 27 more chapters (maybe more because if you can find this many errors in one chapter I guarantee you you'll never catch up), maybe you should look elsewhere because, obviously, you're not enjoying it.

    I try to please as many people as I can, but I've been around long enough to have a distinct writing and storytelling style that enough people will read to be comfortable with myself as a writer. Obviously you never read the original story I did, if you're missing references to earlier characters. I actually started that work in 2004, so I'm no rookie when it comes to this.

    Here's the short of it; if five or ten different people come to me with the same concerns, I do what I can to change it. For example, there was a certain grammar mistake with prepositions that used to drive my readers nuts, and I've done my best to pay attention so that it doesn't happen again. But I can't in good conscience change my entire writing style to cater to the tastes of one reader. There are many writers on this forum that are better than both of us, and if someone doesn't fit your tastes, there's probably a fic on this forum that does.

    So, I appreciate your opinion, but I don't appreciate anyone who comes in and criticizes a writing style and a plotline that they have incomplete knowledge of because they got here several years late and then reviews - no, utterly and mercilessly shreds - a chapter that was posted almost a full year ago - which does me no good at all because it's not like I plan on going back to edit things that sound 'awkward' to one person.

    This really upset me. It isn't so much about this being a negative review, but about the fact that you didn't grant me the same courtesy as I tried my best to give you. I offered suggestions and addressed legitimate issues when I reviewed your fiction. I didn't go in nitpicking and looking for my preferences. In fact, I was going to give you the benefit of the doubt because your story was in its early stages.

    I have readers that have understood the concept of a direct sequel, and have actually gone through and read (or at least skimmed for important information) the 58 chapters and nearly 1,000 pages that compose my original fanfiction, Revolution Johto - and found that they enjoyed Advent Phoenix a lot more for it. I read to enjoy - that's why I don't usually write long reviews. I'm not here to feed anyone's ego - but I also don't want to tear my fellow writers down, especially if they're younger or less experienced.

    I want people to enjoy my writing. I'm not getting paid for this. I don't have any extra hidden incentives under the table that benefit me if I put out a good chapter - or a chapter, period. If you're not going to enjoy it, don't read, because these are long chapters and they eat up a lot of time you could be spending reading something else or even writing your own story.

    Just a word to the wise - you're a very good and talented author and you do know what you're talking about...but it's not always about that. If you continue reviewing in the way you just did, not only will you not enjoy anyone's fic other than your own for trying so hard to find each and every single mistake or difference in opinion, but people will stop reading your work because you'll lose friends and make enemies very quickly. You don't want to make any author on this forum an enemy of yours - especially one that's been around for a while.

    - EM1

    Dalton Gregg was a mostly-ordinary university student from the region once called Johto.
    Then a fateful encounter set him on a quest to change history.




  11. #286
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    Erm.

    Well, that massively long uber tear-apart-evaluate-and-gently-put-back-together-again review, kinda reminded of the way I always used to think that English teachers read to much into and over evaluate a novel, book etc. No I don't care that breaking something means that he is in fact expressing his desire to learn arabic. darn english teachers.

    After reading said review, and indeed the reply. I would have to say I agree totally with EM1. By the looks of things you plain just didnt enjoy it, and thats what reading is all about. enjoying yourself and getting lost in a good piece of writing.

    And I definately wouldn't enjoy reading 27 more of them.
    Skogsrå

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    Red face this is an intervention...

    -_- # <- (****** off smilie...)

    OK, this stops here...

    A-J... you make valid points... but telling a writer to stop writing his way and conform to what a single reviewer would prefer is plain wrong. Please, just understand that as the fingers on a hand are different lengths, so also are the lengths of people’s tolerance streaks... We all have our own styles... personalities... and the like.

    Next time, do try to mix in the good with the bad as well, so that he can feel like he hasn’t wasted his time here... we do this for free. Some of the literature here goes beyond what the world has ever seen. We try to bring the world of Pokémon alive in many different ways since the anime and official books are beginning to suck at the element of surprise... OK, maybe that was going a little too far...

    Oh, yeah... EM1, the Inside the Head of... series sounds really cool, and I like where you’re going with it. I’d put it at the end of an actual chapter, but each to his own device... and as you may be doing it to keep original readers well informed and veterans interested, I won’t stand in the way.

    ^That’s how you review... we advise, not dictate... nor do we stand in the way, unless the writer goes off the deep end of the keyboard...^

    For once, an Eminem lyric will come in handy...XD: ‘There’s a certain line that you don’t cross, and they crossed it.’ Don’t let this be the story of your forum life... people can be really sensitive...

    That’s all I’m gonna say on this matter. Don’t give me just cause to say any more...


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    okay, first off, I did enjoy Chapter 1, even though I didn't read any of the prequel. I did not INTEND for it to upset you. I don't review that often, and when I do I generally go way in depth.

    as far as I go, I'm a veteran fic writer, but a newbie when it comes to reviewing. And yeah, I'm not the best at it.

    but, personally, I'd want to see a big long post like I put up rather than an "OMG pls update f@$t!!"

    yeah, some things were nitpicky, and some things, like the last quoted thing, I didn't follow at all. some things I quoted because I found them weird, and OOC for Birch as I knew him, and that was...odd. and now that I realize that you're trying to do more of a FF kind of thing, that's a bit easier to handle, too.

    I'm not trying to tear you down, I'm just trying to offer what I consider to be helpful and constructive criticism, and I DID enjoy Chapter 1, despite what everyone seems to be saying.

    this has just been the way that I generally review.

    EDIT: and yes, I did let my personal bias influence what to bring to your attention most of the time. I can't help that, really.

    I'm sorry that you took it this badly. I was simply trying to repay the "debt" back since you reviewed one of my chapters. If you wanna go back to the Pheonix and do the same thing that I did here, I'd welcome it.

    granted, I probably should have used a bit more tact and put in things that I enjoyed more than I did, and I do apologize for that.
    Last edited by Ash_Junior; 20th February 2008 at 7:39 PM.

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    Reviewing...

    Nice little bio on Travis. Even though it doesn't add to the actual stroyline, it does help with identifing Travis's charecter.

    Oddly enough, after reading that little bio, I was struck by a sudden urge to watch Rurouni Kenshin. Travis does seem like Kenshin, in the sense that neither wish to kill anymore.

    Chapter-wise, excellant. Shorter than usual, but still good.

    Charecter Development: Travis seems to have changed a bit, he isn't as emo-ish as before. Means he's coming to grips with his past. Also, Matt seems much less hostile and more open than before. He certainly is one of the three charecters that changed the most; Travis, Nate and now Matt.

    Kenjiro is also changing, and much more accepting and nice.

    Plot Development: Not much, seeing as how it was a "gym battle filler", but we DO get to see Matt in action.

    You make valid points AJ. It is hard to see weapons like swords in places where huge creatures are kept in orange-sized balls. However, giant cannons are also used...the chapter at Cianwood? With the giant Megacite cannon?

    Also, regarding reading Revolution Johto; it's generally expected that in order to read and understand a sequel, you must read the works that preceed it. Otherwise, if a whole bunch o' noobs came inand read Advent Phoenix first, they would be flaming the author for making no sense.

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    Relax, A_J... as long as you get the message, there's no worry.

    Oh, yh... Pheonix is spelt P-H-O-E-N-I-X. I know that's how you spelt the title... I just thought I'd tell you before it becomes a habit. LOL

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    *makes whip noise*

    Sorry, just had to do that.

    Anyway, seeing as I already expressed my point a few posts upwards, I wont say much.

    And I agree with the others, the character bio is a pretty cool way for people to get to know the characters better. I would like it better when it gets to the lesser known more obscure people we sometimes forget. As an added note, will you be doing some from PRJ, Lorca for example, or are you sticking to just AP characters.

    buh-bye
    Skogsrå

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    Default Chapter 29

    Oh…my…word.

    Okay, there’s two reasons this chapter took so long for me to crank out.

    One: I’ve been up to my neck in it here the last couple of weeks, and…

    Two: This chapter ended up being nearly thirty meaty pages long. The next one will be a lot quicker getting up. What happened in this chapter made me smile. I’m finally putting some character development in the right place, but it might take another chapter or two for you to notice the change.

    Chapter 29: Finally, Clarity

    July 4, 2013 – Lavaridge Pokémon Center


    PING.

    Travis was on his feet as the doors to the Pokémon Center’s emergency unit swung open. Katrina and Angel strode out of it.

    “So…” Travis started. Katrina responded by nodding and smiling.

    “He’s fine,” she said. “It’s just a matter of him getting rest now, so I’ve asked Nurse Joy to keep him for the rest of the day, at least.”

    “That’s good,” Travis sighed, looking down at Angel, who had relief written all over her lavender face. Travis had no idea what he would have or could have done for Angel if Crescent had been seriously injured, or perhaps worse.

    “That’s the hardest I’ve ever seen him fight,” Katrina commented. “Normally, he’s pretty laid back, but today, it was like he was possessed…”

    Crescent had been injured rather badly in a battle with a rather ferocious Houndoom during Katrina’s battle for the Heatbadge against Flannery that morning. Houndoom had made rather liberal use of his fangs during that battle, resulting in Crescent being peppered with wounds and bleeding bite marks, not to mention a few burns from where the Bite Pokémon had used Flamethrower. The fortunate thing for Katrina was that Matthew, who had gone first that morning for his rematch, had thrashed Flannery’s Charmeleon so thoroughly that the lizard-like Fire-type was out of commission – at least for Katrina’s match.

    Today also marked the first battle appearance by Magnus, the Georyx that Katrina had caught a mere two days ago…


    An amber-coated, six-tailed Vulpix stood at the feet of the wild-haired Lavaridge Gym Leader, Flannery Moore. The Fox Pokémon’s amber eyes stared across the stadium at the opposing combatant.

    He was just under three-and-a-half feet tall and his coat of fur was a slate gray. His horns, several feet in length, were a russet shade and protruded sharply from the Ground-type’s forehead like a pair of sabers. His hard, cloven hoofs were alabaster in color and hard as stones.

    “Hmm…a Georyx,” Flannery commented. “Pretty rare breed you got there.”

    Katrina tried her best to keep her cool.

    “Okay, this’ll be interesting,” she muttered to herself. It was one thing that she had never used Magnus in a Gym battle before – but she had just caught the creature two days ago.

    “<Oh…what’s this? A battle?>” the Ground-type yawned. He had a lilting drawl to his voice as of someone who was content just to laze around.

    This, however, was a battlefield – not a good place for lounging.

    “<Well, this is irritating…am I going to have to beat that Vulpix to get some sleep?>” Magnus muttered.

    “This won’t be all that hard,” Katrina said. Of course, she wasn’t sure of that statement, but she had to find a way to motivate him.

    “<Alright. I guess I’ll follow your lead, seeing as it’ll be easier on me,>” Magnus drawled again. “<Battles are such a pain sometimes…>”

    “Vulpix, use Quick Attack!” Flannery shouted. Vulpix took a step toward Magnus and then became an amorphous blur of orange.

    “<Oh, brother…>” Magnus groaned.

    “Magnus, Tackle!!” Katrina ordered loudly.

    “<Whatever floats your boat, I guess…>” Magnus answered, lowering his head. “<Okay, let’s get this over with…>”

    And with that, he charged at his smaller opponent. The two combatants met forcefully in the center of the stadium, Vulpix taking the worse end of the collision because of her obvious size disadvantage.

    “<Oh, great – a feisty one…>” Magnus sighed. “<This is gonna take longer than I thought…>”

    “Vulpix, Flamethrower!” the Gym Leader shouted. With a loud cry, the Fox Pokémon opened her mouth and let loose a crimson-and-white stream of searing flames at Magnus, who had only enough time to turn his head as the attack reached him. He groaned under its intense heat for a few painful seconds and then jumped away to relative safety as the attack ceased. Fortunately, by virtue of his Ground-type properties, he wasn’t harmed all that much.

    “<Boy…that smarts,>” Magnus said rather understatedly.

    “Go with Magnitude!” Katrina shouted. Magnus, after a bit of effort, reared himself back onto his hind legs, kicking out wildly for a moment or so before stomping the ground in front of him very powerfully. Vulpix buckled as the arena floor began to shake with a decent measure of violence. The small Fire-type was thrown aside by the force of the tremor and fell to the ground hard. Flannery was quick to respond.

    “Will-o-Wisp, Vulpix!” Instead of a quick-moving stream of flames, Vulpix released a series of little, blue fireballs that would have looked cute as they spiraled hypnotically toward the Georyx on the other side of the field…that is, if sapphire-blue flames weren’t the very hottest known to man.

    “Duck those and use Tackle!” Katrina ordered, reacting quickly. Magnus lowered his head as the small flames wafted over him harmlessly. Keeping his eyes up, he managed to take a better aim at Vulpix, who seemed ready to dodge at a moment’s notice.

    Just as the Georyx got there, Vulpix disappeared entirely, coming back into sight behind the unaware Ground-type, who was looking around for his quarry with an annoyed groan.

    “<All this dancing around is wasting my ti…>” Magnus turned around slowly as he realized what had happened. “<Oh, brother…>”

    “Vulpix, Ember!” Flannery ordered.

    “<Whoa!!>” With unwonted quickness, Magnus jumped left just as a volley of miniscule fireballs tore through the spot where he had just been standing like shells from an automatic rifle. He pivoted toward Vulpix and began charging. The brave, vulpine creature held her ground – after all of her years working as one of her Trainer’s strongest fighters, there wasn’t much that intimidated her anymore. As for Magnus, he just wanted to get this battle over with so he could get some sleep.

    “Headbutt!” Katrina called. Magnus tapped one of his hooves against the ground one, and came at Vulpix, leading with the apex of his head.

    The unprepared Fire-type was damaged badly after taking such a harsh physical attack from a Pokémon several times her size. She seemed to be clinging still to her last ounce of battling energy, but was apparently unable to attack.

    “Flinched her…damn!” Flannery swore through her teeth.

    “Let’s see one more Magnitude attack, Magnus!” Katrina yelled.

    Magnus reared up onto his hind legs and crushed the ground beneath him with his hooves. This time, the violent shaking was accompanied by short spires of rock jutting out from the ground. Vulpix was hit and thrown several feet into the air – it was just lucky for her, in fact, that the sudden formations in the middle of the arena were barely too blunt to leave any lasting damage.

    The Fox Pokémon bounced off the hard surface of the arena and remained motionless…


    The ninety minutes between the Pokémon Center and here, where he sat in the locker room of the Lavaridge Gym, seemed to pass like a blur. He’d somehow gotten through lunch and a lengthy period of walking without paying attention to much of anything but the match looming ahead.

    “Are you listening to me at all?” Katrina’s voice invaded his consciousness. He sat bolt upright, looking blankly at the locker in front of him. Gradually, his head turned to the left…

    ”I’m over here.”

    He looked to his right and saw Katrina sitting down next to him. She edged closer to him and placed a concerned hand on his shoulder.

    “Tell me what’s on your mind,” she said. She wasn’t really ordering him, per se, but her tone did come off as trying to communicate to Travis that letting some things off his chest would do him some good.

    “...Before the war started,” he finally told her. “Everybody had five badges, remember? Everything got sour after that. I’m not sure if I want to do this…suppose the same thing happens as last time? What if…”

    Katrina withdrew her hand from Travis’ shoulder and looked upset. Travis knew something was wrong.

    “I just wasted two years of my (she used a rather intense adjective here) life, didn’t I? Is that it?” she asked Travis, sounding cold and angry. One thing was for sure, though – her unexpected use of strong language definitely earned Travis’ attention. She stood up. “I spent two years by your side pretty much every day trying to nurse you back to health – all those long days in physical therapy up at the hospital – all the talks, the encouragement, the ‘I love yous’…just so you could survive to think about everything that happened back then! Is that what I did?!”

    Travis was taken aback at Katrina’s sudden anger and remained silent.

    “Maybe…” she said, her very voice shuddering at the thought, “maybe if I loved you properly…the better thing to do was to let you go.”

    “What?” Travis stood up now. “So you would have rather watched me kill myself?”

    “No matter what I do, you always choose to think about that war,” Katrina replied. “Why can’t you be more like you were back when we were little?! You were easier to deal with back then…”

    “You’re talking crazy,” Travis replied dismissively. “You of all people should know that it’s not going to happen. I’ve seen too much – gone through too much.”

    “You’d think that you’d have a better appreciation for what peace we do have,” Katrina said, turning her back on him. She shook her head quickly and Travis heard a muffled sob. “After all we’ve gone through together…I’m still going to lose you.”

    “What?” Travis exclaimed incredulously. “What are you talking about? You’re not losing me at all. I’m here. I’m alive.”

    “Are you, Travis?” Katrina asked in a quick response, her rosy hair fanning out as she pivoted on the spot. “Are you really?”

    There was a long silence between the two as she stared into his azure eyes with a gaze that was dampened by welling tears, and yet hard and fiery at the same time. He looked back morosely at the love of his life, his other half, his best and most faithful earthly companion through all these years of trouble…

    “…the Volcanic Vixen, Flannery Moore!” the announcer’s voice came loud and clear over the television, which had been running rather ignored throughout this entire conversation. Travis’ heart gave a jolt. Angel, who had been sitting in the corner meditating, opened her eyes with a start and ran to Travis’ side.

    “Looks like you’re up,” Katrina said, tearing herself away from her blank stare and looking at the ground. “Good luck.”

    Travis opened his mouth to say something – he didn’t know what exactly, he just felt that he had to – but she was already walking away, through the opposite door and out of sight. He lowered his hand hopelessly, and started toward the tunnel…


    Ivanna McAdrien looked around at the dark, wood-crafted war room. It had only been a few weeks since they had been here last, but each day seemed to have taken days upon days. It seemed like it had been so long since the Romero Mansion had been occupied by the Emerald Knights. When they arrived to take the city several days back, they were surprised to find out that this mansion was indeed still standing. It had stood (in the mind of Edgar) as a symbol and a haven for rebellion and treason for so long, Elrik and Ivanna were certain that Edgar would have had the place burned or in some other way demolished. Apparently, either he never got around to it or he had no particular qualm about…symbols.

    Sitting across from Ivanna was Roald al-Zevi, who now looked more fatigued than ever. He had been running around Rustboro City, nipping any potential threats to the Emerald Knights’ security in the bud. He had even been back to check on Verdanturf once or twice, just to see that all was well.

    Rashid had accompanied his father on a few of these trips. Rashid was a well-documented worrywart and had been since childhood (probably the only thing that held his father back from retiring outright and entrusting command of his section of the army totally to Rashid), but it seemed like ever since he had returned from the covert mission that won Rustboro for them without a single casualty to their forces, he had been on edge. All of the Imperial forces had withdrawn from the city, moving southeast to Petalburg, and Rashid, who was not known for his love of battle, was always asking Elrik when the Emerald Knights were going to attack. It seemed that Rashid wanted a piece of the Imperial Army…or perhaps, Ivanna thought, someone in particular…

    Further down the table was the young magician, Creon. Hong Liu, the old sage of whom Creon was a disciple, was conspicuous by his absence – as was Creon’s wife, Agnes, whose belly seemed to become slightly more protuberant with each passing day as the new life inside her continued to grow.

    A groan escaped from the mouth of Roald.

    “He’s late,” the aging soldier stated.

    “He’s probably got his reasons,” Creon reassured Roald. “He’s got a lot more on his plate now that this rebellion has actually taken off.”

    A muscle started going in Ivanna’s jaw.

    “Please don’t call it that,” she said calmly, closing her eyes in disgust.

    “Sorry, but where I come from, that’s what it’s called when a bunch of people get together for the purpose of overthrowing the incumbent government,” Creon replied, running this rather long statement together smoothly.

    “…With two major differences,” Ivanna replied sharply. “First off, our leader is an actual heir to the throne, not a pretender. Second – we are fighting a totalitarian regime, not a justly-ruled kingdom.”

    “Then it is a righteous rebellion,” Creon answered loudly. “But a rebellion nonetheless.”

    Ivanna rolled her eyes. She had been taught there was no such thing as a ‘righteous rebellion’, rather that choosing rebellion over slavery was choosing the lesser of two evils. In a way, it was true – she had no desire to turn her sword against fellow Hoennites and fellow soldiers – some of which she knew and trained with regularly in her adolescence. That was a civil war, though. Every man had to choose his side…

    …As she, probably a long time ago, had chosen hers.

    “Must you always be the voice of negativity in these councils, Creon?” she asked. “Try to be a bit grateful. If Hong Liu weren’t your master, you’d have no idea what was going on.”

    “I sit in on every single one of these meetings,” Creon answered. “And I still don’t have any idea what’s going on.”

    “Quiet – the both of you!” Roald interjected, cutting the argument short then and there. “His Majesty is coming.”

    As if on cue, the door swung open. All parties present in the room got to their feet as Prince Elrik of Hoenn strode into the room. All close to him had noticed the change; he now exuded an air of confidence that had not been present the last time this mansion had been their base of operations. His lavender eyes scanned his cabinet of commanders as he walked around them to the head of the table. He motioned with his hand for everyone to sit. He, however, remained standing. He didn’t even bother to pull out his own chair (he would never allow someone else to do this for him). Instead, he looked straight at all of them in turn.

    “After only seven days, two cities, and no major conflicts, I will not be so arrogant as to assume that we are winning a war that hasn’t started yet,” Elrik explained. “As my brother, Edgar knows me better than perhaps anyone. Or, so he thinks.”

    Ivanna, Rashid, Roald, and Creon all looked at Elrik.

    “Edgar has ordered General Ludwig to muster his troops in the Petalburg Forest, just south of here,” Elrik said. “There, he will quietly build his army until it is strong enough to reclaim Rustboro.”

    “What?!” Rashid nearly screamed, earning a reproving look from his father. “But…we can’t let Edgar retake Rustboro! All our hard work will have been for nothing!”

    “Calm down, Rashid – I know that,” Elrik replied in his a voice that was calm, but strong. “Sir Roald, what are our numbers?”

    “Growing ever stronger, your Majesty,” Roald said with confidence. “Some five hundred at last count.”

    “Five hundred?” Elrik sounded surprised. “Are you sure about that?”

    “Not a man less, sire,” the dark-skinned general replied, shaking his head to emphasize his point.

    “Ludwig does not expect us to mount any kind of attack…” Elrik explained. “So, that’s exactly what we’ll do.”

    Ivanna and Rashid both looked up in surprise and intrigue.

    “Imperial forces are resting and waiting for their attack orders,” Roald commented. “They won’t be expecting a strike now. Granted, we’d have to make it a hit-and-run.”

    “Well, of course,” Ivanna replied. “First off, we don’t have the numbers to guard the city as well as stage a full-scale attack on Ludwig and his forces. Second, formation combat in a wooded area…”

    “I figured you’d say that…and I agree with you,” Elrik replied. “Edgar was the consummate tactician, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t read up on these things. My father was not a master of military strategy; that was Sir Roald’s area of expertise.”

    The aged soldier smiled; he and the late Sir Izaak had tutored Elrik and Edgar in the ways of war. They may have had their disagreements, but Roald al-Zevi and Izaak McAdrien were, in fact, close friends. At least, for his part, and probably for the young woman across the table as well – Izaak’s sole offspring and a strong and noble knight in her own right – this war was more than a matter of patriotism. It was a sin enough that Edgar had executed Izaak, but to send the severed head of the loyal knight to them by messenger as a form of intimidation…

    This war was personal.

    Ivanna, Roald, and Rashid all set their eyes upon the Prince. Elrik even had Creon’s attention, and therefore opened his mouth to speak:

    “If you can’t overpower your enemy, you outlast it. You chip away at its strength and keep your vitals intact to fight another day, and one day – maybe when you yourself are on the very edge of death – you’ll find that your enemy’s desire to destroy you does not match your will to survive…”

    “…and then, son…you are victorious.”



    Travis’ heart pounded in his chest and echoed in his ears as he took his place in the Trainer’s Box. He tried his best to block out the crowd – they were, of course, slanted almost completely in Flannery’s favor. But they couldn’t help her – or him – win this match.

    Travis knew the rules already – three-on-three, no time limit.

    By the time Flannery was calling on her first Pokémon, Travis already knew that he would start big.

    The beast sprang forth from its capture sphere. He was a sable and skeletal-looking creature standing well over four feet tall with a red maw, sharp teeth, horns, and a spear-like tail – all of which combined to give him the appearance of nothing less fierce and vile than the Devil himself in canine form…

    Houndoom.


    Travis stared down this demonic, Doberman-like creature as a formality – he already knew whom he was going to use to counter him.

    He threw his Pokéball into the air, and it burst open, spilling shapeless, white light onto the ground. The light faded to reveal an aquamarine-colored, fox-like creature.

    “<About time,>” Meru quipped sassily, stretching and shaking slightly to work out the stiffness. “<I haven’t seen daylight in ages.>”

    “A Water-type…how lame. You think we haven’t seen Water-types before?” Flannery blustered.

    In a lot of other gym matches, Travis was apt to talk as much trash as his opponents. Today, however, he found he wasn’t in the mood.

    “Water Gun!” he shouted. The Kitide under his command opened her mouth and let loose a quick stream of foam from long range at Houndoom. The Dark Pokémon ducked, easily avoided the stream of water, and growled in pent-up rage at being attacked.

    “Howl, then use Bite!” the Lavaridge Gym Leader shouted. Houndoom reared his head back to the sky and uttered a hair-raising howl to the heavens. With that as his battle cry, he rushed, his mouth wide open and his fangs bared to strike.

    “Dodge, then Quick Attack!” Travis ordered quickly in response. Meru advanced toward her Fire-type opponent at a steady clip as Houndoom lowered his head down to his opponent’s height and clamped his jaws upon…

    …nothing but air.

    The Kitide had rolled under the attack, resurfacing on one of the beast’s flanks. As Houndoom looked to his right, he was crushed by an incoming blue bullet and knocked to the ground. He rolled to his feet and opened his mouth in a growl at his opponent. One second later, Meru found herself barely avoiding a black ball of energy that hit the ground near her with explosive results. Travis let out a gasp of worry as Houndoom began to unload on Meru’s ever-changing position with a barrage of Shadow Balls. Meru jumped right, left, backward, and then up. Using the larger Pokémon’s back as a springboard, she jumped over Houndoom’s head, dodging a sudden spurt of red-orange flames as well before landing on the challenger’s half of the field.

    “Done dancing around?” Flannery taunted. “Houndoom, use Ember!”

    Houndoom began to spit forth small fireballs that were larger in size and faster than any Ember attack that Travis had ever seen before. Meru dodged the first round, but the second caught her, charring her turquoise fur and doing minor damage. Travis saw instantly that the battle was beginning to turn ugly, so he pulled his trump card…

    “Rain Dance!!” Meru let out a cry to the heavens almost immediately. As if her supplication to Nature had been answered, clouds began to gather over the stadium in swift order, pouring down their life-giving liquid upon the hard and arid field. A flash illuminated Travis’ fierce visage as his hair fell matted against his face, again giving him the appearance of one associated with that subculture he hated so much…but there were bigger things to worry about now than his cultural tastes. He pushed his locks of cobalt locks of fringe, now straight and limp from a drenching of rainwater, off to the side as he reassessed the battlefield.

    Predictably, it was wet, but that wasn’t all. White wisps of steam were currently rising from the ground, draping the battlefield in a thick fog.

    “You know what’s next…” Travis said, pulling out of his crouch to issue a definitive order. “Acid Armor!”

    Meru nodded and made herself one with the mist.

    Meanwhile, a lone Houndoom was left in the center of the clouded arena, growling and snarling in frustration because, try as he might, he simply could not locate his opponent in this thick curtain of fog.

    Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a bluish shape moving. Immediately, he turned his head in that direction and spouted off another round of Ember. These tended to fizzle out before reaching their would-be target because of all the moisture.

    Furthermore, the shape was gone.

    Houndoom barked in anger, becoming so consumed with his inability to find Meru that he almost missed her a second time – now, out of the corner of his left eye…

    She was skidding to a stop and changing direction, kicking up a puddle of rainwater as she came.

    “<You’re in my world now! Take this!>” Meru shouted, accelerating until she became nothing more than a bluish wisp skirting along the hard arena floor. Houndoom had no time whatsoever to dodge and was summarily bowled over by yet another Quick Attack. Rolling to his feet – this time, a bit more slowly – Houndoom scanned his surroundings again. The rain continued to fall fast and hard, rendering the Acid-Armored Meru almost completely invisible to his eyes.

    He blew a Flamethrower through the mist, hoping to hit something. Realizing that he had been unsuccessful, his canine facial features contorted into an expression of disgust. Fighting in this rain was going to be next to impossible, especially with his opponent essentially cloaked by the weather conditions.

    “Houndoom, Sunny Day!” Flannery called into the mist. Houndoom didn’t need telling twice; he raised his voice to the sky in a howl. Golden-white beams of light forced their way through the clouds in patches, moments before the mist was burned away permanently. All that were left were a blue sky and a sun that seemed to be much closer and warmer than it had been…

    And Meru, who had stopped midway through launching a subsequent attack on her dog-like adversary because of the sudden shift in weather.

    “Water Gun!” Travis shouted immediately, hoping to get his hit in before Flannery hit back.

    Unfortunately for Travis and Meru, the latter of the two events was the first to occur.

    “Solarbeam!” Flannery shouted. Travis stopped for a second – why would Flannery call for a Solarbeam at this point? It would certainly take an extremely long time to complete the attack – time that Flannery didn’t really have…

    BANG.

    Just that quickly, Travis watched in horror as Meru was engulfed by a golden beam of solar energy. Travis heard her squeal loudly as the high-powered rays scorched her body. As the ray of searing sunlight finally died, Travis saw Meru emerge from it, burned and beleaguered. The bluish-green Water-type hit the ground in a heap and remained motionless.

    Drops of sweat began to pepper Travis’ face as the intense sun began to affect him, coupled with the realization that his best advantage was now gone.

    “Kitide is unable to battle!” the referee announced the obvious to the crowd, pointing the green flag in Flannery’s direction.


    Shiro, Madeline, Mariah (with little Mimi perched upon her knees), and Matt had made it to the front row and were on the edge of their seats, more or less teetering over the railing in an attempt to be as close to the match as possible. A seat next to them was noticeably empty.

    “Shit,” Matthew cursed, letting go of the rail. “Well, that covers Houndoom’s weakness against Water-types.”

    “Sorry…why is that?” Mariah asked. As much as she knew about Pokémon’s characteristics, she wasn’t a battling expert.

    “Even though Houndoom can learn it, Solarbeam’s actually a Grass-type move,” Matt explained. “Not to mention that Sunny Day shortens Solarbeam’s charge time to pretty much nothing. Flannery sure did a good job of covering her back – Grass-type moves beat pretty much anything that can beat Fire.”

    “Damn – now what?” Shiro sighed.

    “Well, it’s a slugfest from here on in,” Matt said. “Unless Travis has two more Water-types on him…”

    Madeline turned to her left, tapping Shiro on the knee.

    “I thought Katrina was supposed to meet us here,” she commented. “I wonder where she is?”

    “She probably went to go see him off,” Shiro replied. “Chances are she’s on her way up here.”


    Returning Meru, Travis weighed his options.

    Damn, he thought to himself. She was the only one I could count on for a type advantage. There’s no way I can risk using Champ in this battle – as tough as he is, he’d get burned alive. I have to save Angel for later – especially seeing as Houndoom’s part-Dark-type…no, that won’t work. That leaves me one option…

    “I’m counting on you…Raiden!” he shouted, throwing the ball into the air. As it burst open, from it emerged a black, panther-like creature with draped in jagged, electric-blue stripes that seemed to be giving off audible crackles as he stood there, taking in the gravity of the situation.

    Travis was going to have to hold his breath for this one…Raiden was, by a mile, the fastest of any of his Pokémon, but he was also the least confident and least experienced in battle.

    Angel tried to think of something encouraging to say to Raiden. The main thing that she’d picked up from watching him fight was that he was absolutely fine until he was hit once or twice. Then he began to hesitate and lose faith in himself.

    The Espeon sitting at Travis’ ankle abstained from saying anything. She simply couldn’t think of anything to say to Raiden that lacked the chance to backfire and make the young Voltyger even more nervous than he was already.

    “Let’s end this quickly!” Flannery shouted. “Solarbeam!”

    “Quick Attack!” Travis yelled in response. Mightyena opened his mouth…

    …Raiden was gone already…

    …and fired a beam of solar energy toward the opposite side of the field. Before it had the chance to make contact with the arena floor and explode, the large, black canine felt himself being jarred from his left as a blur every bit as black as he was slammed into him. As the ground shook with the power of the Solarbeam, Raiden rolled off the downed Houndoom’s body. The Dark-type hound rolled over onto his stomach and shot a blazing stream of crimson fire from deep within his throat. Raiden jumped to the left…

    “Thundershock!” Travis ordered. Lightning-quick (literally), electricity surrounded Raiden’s body. A tendril extended from this aura of lightning, snapping like a whip across Houndoom’s muzzle and knocking him to the ground – an occurrence marked by a loud growl of pain and indignation. Raiden jumped back, putting a few extra feet between himself and his opponent.

    “Use Shadow Ball!!” Flannery yelled. Houndoom rolled to his feet and let loose a black blob of energy. Raiden ducked it and began advancing. Houndoom let a second Shadow Ball fly. Raiden moved to the left so fast that he left a blur behind as he continued to charge.

    The Electric-type leapt into the air and came down with fangs bared.

    “That doesn’t scare us!” Flannery taunted. “Houndoom! Show this cub a real Bite attack!”

    Houndoom literally caught the smaller Voltyger in his maw. From there, Travis and Angel could only look on in horror as Houndoom slammed Raiden to the ground once…

    Then a second time…

    …Then a third time, pinning the Electric-type feline to the ground after this repetition. From there, he had finally managed to get Raiden to stop squirming long enough to use the full power of his jaws and clamp down.

    A bloodcurdling cry of pain pierced the air as Raiden himself was pierced by multiple fangs on both sable flanks.

    Flannery made a dismissive gesture with her hand. Houndoom clamped his fangs around Raiden and tossed him to the opposite end of the field. Raiden met the arena floor with a loud noise and rolled several times, grunting in pain the entire way. Finally, he fell limp a few feet away from where Travis and Angel were standing.

    “Raiden!” Travis shouted in horror. “No!!”

    Raiden, surprisingly, began to struggle to his feet soon afterward, but hit the ground again.

    “<Can’t…>” he grunted.

    “<Come on, Raiden, get up!>” Angel finally yelled. “<Don’t give up on us!>”

    “<Easy for you to say…>” Raiden choked, trying and failing to stand again. “<You’re good at battling.>”

    “<There you go, talking yourself down again,>” Angel said. “<But I’ll let you in on a little secret. You’re stronger than you think you are. And I know someone in particular that would be very sad if you just gave up.>”

    Raiden seemed to have gotten the message because his blue eyes stared up at Angel from the ground.

    “<You don’t want to let her down, do you?>” Angel asked.

    Meanwhile, Travis was ignoring the conversation between his Pokémon, watching in horror as the referee’s hand began to come down.

    One…

    Two…


    “Shit!” Shiro grunted from the stands, a hand on his forehead. “If he goes down by two, he’s screwed!!”

    “I know...where the hell is Katrina?” Matthew muttered, looking around himself nervously. “The match started ten minutes ago – there’s no way it should have taken her this long. We’re on the first friggin’ deck.”

    “I know…” Shiro groaned with a little bit more snap than he’d meant to out of frustration. “I sure hope those two didn’t have another argument...”

    “Why would you even think something like that?” Madeline grabbed her boyfriend’s arm, obviously attempting to scold him.

    “You know those two have been on the rocks at least as long as we’ve been here,” Shiro stated. “All three of us used to be able to read each other like books, but ever since the war…”

    “Shiro…” Madeline uttered pleadingly.

    “It’s my fault, you know,” he said. “That’s why I felt I had to come back. I wasn’t there for either of them. I haven’t been a good friend at all.”

    “You had your own issues to worry about,” Madeline tried to reassure him.

    “That’s never stopped you before, has it?” Shiro asked a bit forcefully. Madeline fell silent. Shiro slunk back into his chair. “I sure hope you’re ready to stay here for the long haul…because I’m not running off this time.”

    “Don’t look now, guys, but he’s getting up,” Matt commented, indicating the event with a sort of crooked point of his finger toward the stadium. Down on the floor, Raiden had struggled to his feet right after the count of “four,” staring across the field at Houndoom through the curtain of matted, black fur that had fallen messily over his eyes.

    “<This isn’t over yet,>” he panted.

    Houndoom responded with a growl that told all who could hear it of his vicious intentions.

    “Take – him – down,” Flannery seemed close to growling herself. “Flamethrower!”

    “Use Agility!” Travis shouted his counter-command quickly. As the streak of red flames tore through where he had been standing mere seconds ago, Raiden seemed to slide to the left.

    Then he disappeared.


    “Hey – hey, he’s gone!” Mariah shouted, pointing down at the stadium. Shiro just blinked as if he couldn’t believe what he had just seen.

    “Well, that’s almost not fair…” Matt said in amazement. “That’s some kind of speed.”


    “Ember!” the young Gym Leader ordered. Houndoom released a spray of tiny, red fireballs, shot from his mouth like shelling from an assault rifle. Try as he might, he couldn’t hit the speedy Raiden, who managed to relocate himself before and after every single salvo. Houndoom spat a huge, red sphere of flame from his mouth, missing long just as Raiden approached, sliding in a blur to the canine’s right. Houndoom’s glaring, red eyes caught sight of his small, agile opponent for just a second…

    “Quick Attack!” Travis shouted. Houndoom whimpered as Raiden slammed into him and both went tumbling to the ground, much to the chagrin of most of the crowd.

    “Tch,” Flannery spat. “Shoot.”

    Houndoom pounced and hit nothing but air as Raiden vanished once again, reappearing right behind the fire-breathing Doberman as the latter rolled to his feet.

    “<I’m over here!>” Raiden yelled.

    “Shadow Ball!” Flannery yelled.

    Houndoom opened his mouth, revealing a sphere of blackness with a silver core. Raiden immediately prepared to move, but the wily Houndoom redirected his attack, sending it instead to the spot where he guessed Raiden would be…

    His guess was right.

    Raiden went several feet into the air with a loud explosion, but rebounded and landed on his feet, panting just like Houndoom. It was obvious that Raiden had reached his limit, as he seemed to be staying up on pure willpower whereas he would not otherwise.

    Travis wiped sweat from his forehead, releasing a quiet groan.

    “This isn’t over,” he panted. Gathering himself again, he yelled, “Raiden – Thundershock!”

    “Shadow Ball!” Flannery immediately yelled in response.

    Raiden’s attack hit before Houndoom could even open his mouth again. The doglike Pokémon took the zigzagging bolt of electricity right down the throat, swallowing hundreds upon hundreds of volts in one crackling and screaming moment. Houndoom, now smoking from burns around his body, sank to the ground, an aftershock causing him to convulse every moment or two.


    Katrina ran her fingers through the fur of the sleeping, black creature that lay in stark contrast to his white bed and the white walls around them. With her free hand and her eyes up toward the ceiling-mounted television that was currently displaying little more than white noise on its small screen, she clicked the remote several times. Predictably, this changed the channel and progressed through several different scenes.

    The first appeared to be far out to sea – perhaps someplace of the polar variety – where a white, seal-like creature was diving into the sea with a vacant drone of “Gong-gong…”

    She flipped the channel again.

    A teenage boy roared as he put all of his strength into pedaling the bicycle carrying himself and a helmeted, female companion. He took in his breath and the girl screamed as they jumped a rather sizable gap, which was revealed five seconds later (by the blare of the oncoming train) to be a railroad track. They reached solid ground on the other side just as the huge, metal beast bore through the space that they had at least partially occupied less than a second prior. The boy hit the brakes and gracefully (as gracefully as one could at this speed) allowed his bike to drift into something of a controlled wipeout, at which point both boy and girl let go of the bike and hit the desert pavement, rolling and rolling until they finally came to a stop on their backs.

    “Whoa…” the boy on-screen panted. “Holy crap…that ride was the sh—”

    As if on cue, she began to channel surf.

    A newsbreak, apparently…

    Synchronized swimming? Who cares, honestly?

    Skateboarding. What a rookie. Shiro would probably own this guy.

    Who the hell had the spare time to research Magikarp?

    A blue-haired boy with a black-coated creature in front of him. Both appeared to be on the edge of collapsing.

    Katrina nearly made the mistake of flipping the channel again, but managed to catch herself at the right moment.

    A display came up in the normal league style of displaying scores. One of the lit indicators on Flannery’s side had just dimmed, and one on Travis’ side was already gone. From this small tidbit of information, Katrina tried to figure out how exactly the battle had played out.

    Whatever Travis’ first Pokémon had been, it had been knocked out by the Pokémon that Raiden, who looked to be on his last legs, had just defeated.

    For all intents and purposes, Travis was losing. One more attack and he’d be down to Angel only.

    Sitting forward in the chair, her eyes remained fixed and mostly unblinking on the television screen.

    And Flannery’s next choice is Quilava! This is one of her newer Pokémon. It took her a while to evolve from Cyndaquil, but ever since then, she’s been a force to be reckoned with for anyone that wants a Heat Badge. Will the challenger stick with his tired-out Voltyger, or will he switch to his third Pokémon?

    Katrina found that she couldn’t stay still. She could see it in Travis’ eyes. He knew that something was wrong. She wondered…did he know that she was not there with him?

    It appears that Travis has decided not to switch out. Not necessarily a bad decision – this Voltyger proved to be very elusive in its battle with Houndoom, so a couple of ill-timed misses by Flannery could turn the tide in the challenger’s favor. Unfortunately, Quilava’s known for being a very precise attacker, so those misses will be hard for the challenger to come by. If Voltyger loses here, Travis DePaul is down to one Pokémon. How much energy Quilava uses trying to beat it may determine the outcome of this entire match.

    Everyone was likely wondering where she was, most likely. Should she go back?

    She didn’t know.

    There was a point where she had given up…a point where she was fully convinced that he would never recover. Now, she had seemingly reached that place yet again.

    All of this fighting…he had enemies on every side…and inside. How could he possibly fight these things…without her?

    She stood up, almost too quickly for her mind to think about what she was doing. But why in the world was she ‘thinking’ so much? She didn’t need to think – she already knew.

    Crescent opened his red eyes, looking at his owner as if sad to see her go.

    “I’m sorry…I’ll be back,” she whispered, closing the door behind her, leaving her Umbreon alone to rest. Crescent’s scarlet eyes rose toward the television just in time to see the other black quadruped on-screen burst into flames and fall. The camera switched to the boy and his Espeon. The latter’s misty, jewel-like eyes narrowed…

    Dalton Gregg was a mostly-ordinary university student from the region once called Johto.
    Then a fateful encounter set him on a quest to change history.




  18. #293
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    May 2005
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    Maryland
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    Default Chapter 29-2

    “The challenger’s final Pokémon is an Espeon!” the announcer shouted. Matthew sat back in his chair, now looking rather disinterested.

    “Well, that’s about it, isn’t it?” he muttered rather stoically.

    “Are you blind, or what?” Shiro questioned hotly. “Travis still has Angel left, and everyone knows that she’s his strongest!”

    Matthew shook his head.

    “You’re the one that’s blind. Just take a look at him – up there.”

    With an index finger, he indicated one of the two large screens towering above the stadium. The one to which Matthew was pointing showed Travis, looking tired, drained, and perhaps in shock. In any case, if you were to take a look at him as Matt had done, you, too, would have thought that this match was already over.

    “He doesn’t look like he even wants it anymore,” Matt commented. “I think he’s given up.”

    “You’ve gotta be kidding me!” Shiro shouted angrily. “After all this? He’s come too far to give up on his dream now…”

    “The last few days have been sort of crazy,” Matt reminded Shiro. “He might still be fragile…”

    “What was that?” Shiro was on his feet now. “Don’t you dare call him weak!!”

    “Did anyone other than Shiro hear me use the word ‘weak’?” Matt asked calmly. Neither his girlfriend nor his twin sister raised so much as a finger. “Everyone knows that he’s not weak. He’s hardly beatable, actually…unless, like in this case, it’s him beating himself.”

    Shiro sat down, wearing a facial expression that made him look like he’d just caught a whiff of a Muk.

    “Shit,” he groaned, resting his hand on his chin. “I feel so powerless…”

    “And you should,” Matt replied. “At this rate, I’ll crush him easily.”

    “What is it with you?” Shiro snapped, his golden eyes boring into Matthew’s green ones. “Are you his friend or his rival?”

    Matt didn’t hesitate with his answer.

    “Both,” he explained. “Sure, when the time comes, I’ll probably have to battle him in the League…but only if he’s at his absolute best. That’s why I root for him to come out on top. I’ll only know that I deserve to win if I beat him when he’s at top form.”

    Shiro gave Matt a quizzical stare.

    “You’re so friggin’ complicated,” he muttered, shaking his head.


    “So, I’ll give you one chance,” Flannery explained. “You’ve put up a good fight, but you’re just not strong enough. Step out of the box.”

    “Forfeit?” Travis seemed incredulous.

    “By rule, I have to offer you a rematch three days from now if you ask for one,” Flannery asked. “Go train for a while – I’ll see you on the seventh and you might have a shot by then.”

    Travis stayed silent and motionless.

    “So? What’s your answer?” Flannery asked.

    “Angel, Confusion!” Travis responded quickly and aggressively. Angel stepped forward, the jewel on her head glowing a shining white. The golden-and-reddish flames on Quilava’s back were extinguished for a brief moment as she took the full force of the Espeon’s attack, reeling backward as a result.

    “Your funeral,” Flannery declared, brushing her crimson bangs away from her right eye. Then, with a commanding gesture, she clenched her fist and shouted. “Quilava, Flamethrower!!”

    “Watch out!” Travis yelled. Angel rolled out of the way of the quickly approaching stream of fire. As he saw Angel look back at the stream of flames approaching him, an idea clicked in his head. Sidestepping the Flamethrower, he shouted, “Confusion!!”

    Angel understood immediately and focused her psychic abilities not on the Quilava in front of her, but on the flames behind her. The stream of fire rounded the stadium until it arrived in front of Angel, in the form of a sphere about the size of a beach ball.

    “What’s this…?” Flannery uttered with intrigue.

    Travis scratched the back of his head in a show of contempt. “Swift!”


    Quilava stared at the sphere composed of a flame of her own creation. Her small eyes widened in surprise as projectiles came shooting forth from it like bullets. Burning brightly, these small meteors screamed through the air, each carrying behind it a tail of hot smoke. Flannery’s eyes utterly lost their irises for a brief second in shock, leaving her with barely enough time to desperately cry, “Dodge!”

    Quilava didn’t need telling twice. She danced around as each Fire-powered beam came, missing her by inches – sometimes less than inches – and easily searing blackened holes into the arena floor.

    Avoiding the final, comet-like ray of melded flame and Megacite energy, Quilava launched her entire frame at her opponent. Angel, who had been charging, caught sight of her and came to a halt, her four feet screaming with friction against the ground like screeching brakes.

    “<Go away!>” she exclaimed, dodging the Volcano Pokémon’s Quick Attack, but not before getting in a quality swat to her opponent’s face. This impact was enough to knock Quilava slightly off-balance. The Fire-type hit the ground on all four feet but summarily skidded and turned around. Angel had been lunging…

    “Use Flamethrower!” Flannery shouted loudly. Quilava roared and let loose another stream of flames. Travis prepared to issue a counter-order, clenched his fist…

    …And saw, instead of a human arm endowed with a five-fingered hand…

    The enormous claw of a demon, sprouting three white claws that stood in stark contrast to the blackened limb.

    He clenched this hand with the other and came to his senses just in time to see Angel in the crosshairs of an incoming Flamethrower, her jeweled eyes locked upon the fire in an expression of fearful resignation, like a deer caught in headlights…

    “Psybeam!” Travis shouted, his voice cracking from a pain in his throat that resulted in trying to force his body to spew forth the word with the same speed and urgency as his brain, which was too much for his vocal cords to handle.

    Nevertheless, Angel followed his instructions, and a second later, a shining, rainbow-colored beam of Psychic energy burst forth from the jewel on her head, holding the fire at bay and creating an ever-swelling globe of mixed flames and psychic energy – an entity that was sure to reach critical mass in a matter of seconds. Slowly, Angel’s psychic power began to neutralize the advantage that Quilava had over her in the struggle. The fire and the rainbow floods of light began to turn in upon each other, melding into a swelling mass of energies…

    BANG.

    The arena was enveloped in a thick cloud of dust as the converging powers finally reached their limits and detonated. Travis looked up in horror as Angel disappeared into the film of loess, her shriek drowned out by the deafening explosion.

    “Angel!!” Travis exclaimed.


    Meanwhile, Travis’ friends, watching from the crowd, were just as shocked.

    “Oh, dude…” Shiro droned incredulously.

    Please don’t tell me that’s it,” Matthew seemed surprised.


    The dust began to settle, leaving both of the Pokémon that had been enveloped in the spectral fireball rather battered. Angel seemed to be shaking and trying her level best to stay on her feet. Flannery’s Quilava, if anything, looked extremely exhausted, but relieved to be alive.

    Travis looked down at the ground. He was standing on his own long shadow, which, by his perception, took the form of a black, winged silhouette against the ground. One arm was much too large, and it writhed and twisted as if it had a mind of its own…

    MONSTER.

    Travis shook his head quickly, trying to clear the thoughts from his mind. He looked up and saw Angel fall to the ground, the victim of a well-timed Quick Attack by Quilava.

    It was at this point that the harsh reality of the situation hit him.

    This was only the fifth gym battle – if he was unable to win here, then what could he possibly hope to do in the league?

    The end of the road comes so quickly at times…

    “<Wait,>” Angel said weakly, struggling to her feet. “<This isn’t over.>”

    “I don’t want to see you get hurt,” Travis muttered.

    “<That’s nice of you,>” Angel replied with a bit of a sarcastic edge in her voice that Travis couldn’t quite understand.

    “I’ve been fooling myself this entire time,” he answered. “I didn’t want to believe that I was a lost cause, but…”

    “<Then, why?>” Angel asked. “<You don’t have to believe that your life is over if you don’t want to.>”

    “We’re talking about facts here,” Travis replied resignedly.

    Facts?

    Facts are easier to overcome than just about anything. You can hear facts.

    You can even feel the effects of facts.

    Facts said you weren’t supposed to walk again. Facts said you would never be back out here, doing this…


    “This is your last chance!” Flannery’s shout rang loud and clear over Angel’s voice resonating in his head. “You have ten seconds – then we’re calling the match!”

    Facts said you were meant to die alone.

    But there are other facts…

    You are walking. You are here.

    And you’re not alone.

    Katrina loves you more than anything. And all your friends are here to support you. Shiro and Madeline came all the way from Johto, just to see if you were alright. Don’t you realize that? It’s almost…it’s almost like you’re normal.

    Light and darkness are inside of you – just like they are inside of all of us. Which do you want to win?

    …do you want to win?



    Something inside Travis’ consciousness had broken.

    It was as if a fog had been lifted from his eyes. Everything seemed clearer, brighter, louder, more beautiful. It took no tidal wave of emotion, no sudden convulsions of enlightenment.

    He had weighed his thoughts on the scale of his heart, and he had definitively, in that moment, chosen one over the other.

    Boys his age were usually Pokémon Trainers with a year or two of experience under their belts, but even if they weren’t…what did they do? They interacted with friends – a select few group of people that were closer to their young hearts than nearly anyone else on the planet. A few were even fortunate enough at that age, to have found a special someone…someone who tugged on their tender heartstrings and made the sunny days sunnier and the rainy days bearable.

    That was ‘normal’ in his world.

    …And that was him.

    For what seemed like forever, he had been pursuing not so much a Championship, but the joy that a fourteen-year-old boy enjoying the company of his friends and Pokémon should by right have. He thought, maybe, that his dream would be attained if and only if he managed a Championship. Now he knew that it wasn’t the case.

    Gradually, he watched as feathers began to fall from the wings behind him like petals from a wilted, thorned rose. The grotesque arm he saw in his own shadow shrank back to its normal size.

    He was free…


    “Travis!!” he heard a female voice yell loudly – and it wasn’t Angel. Travis didn’t even have to turn, to wonder whether he was hearing things or not…

    “I guess I’ll make the decision for you,” Flannery’s statement reached Travis’ ears from the opposite end of the stadium. “Quilava, Fire Blast!”

    Travis clenched his right fist. There, he saw, instead of a demonic claw, a fiery glow that he hadn’t seen in years. He looked up, straight at his competition through his curtain of cobalt locks. With a quick nod, he snapped them to the back of his head, stood up straight, and issued the order:

    “Confusion!” Travis watched as Angel used her mental power to invisibly hold the flaming kanji at bay…

    You’ve got a second once she releases. That’s enough time – cut her loose.

    “Dodge and Quick Attack!” Travis yelled immediately after hearing his own voice in his head. Angel leapt to the left just as the Fire Blast blew by her, and in a blur of alabaster and lavender, launched herself at the unprepared Quilava, who had just enough time to dodge the full force of the hit but was still grazed, falling off balance then allowing herself to roll once to regain it.

    “Quilava, Swift!” Flannery, who hadn’t expected such a sudden surge of confidence, ordered a bit desperately.

    “Angel, Swift!” Travis yelled right afterward. It seemed as if the words were out of his mouth before he thought them. Nevertheless, they were right on target. Quilava sprayed a salvo of star-shaped rays at Angel, who responded with a Swift attack of her own. The two special attacks deflected each other in midair, causing many small explosions. Angel leapt back toward Travis’ side of the field as Quilava fired another few rounds at her. The Espeon turned her head around, shot a few of her own, and rolled right, ducking a third Swift attack that burned right through the space she had been occupying. She immediately got to her feet and began sprinting in a wide arc around the back of Travis’ half of the field as Quilava’s projectiles changed from Swift stars to flaming Embers under Flannery’s order.

    Fiery bullets lined the back half of Travis’ field as he stood at the front of the box unafraid, watching his loyal friend and partner evade the attacks with a measure of speed that had not been there before.

    Travis’ eyes and brain honed in on one particular step she made…

    In the corner of the arena, right off to his very left, he watched as she slid to the very edge and cut the other way, drawing an Ember attack to that corner while turning herself forward ready for a counterstrike. As soon as she had done so…

    “Angel!!” Travis yelled. “Quick Attack!”

    Taking chunks out of the ground with the force of her steps, Angel wasted no time. Quilava ceased her fire-spraying and looked up straight ahead of her only to realize that her opponent was barreling at her full-speed with absolutely no qualms about the inevitable collision.

    “Quilava, Flamethrower!!” Flannery shouted quickly. Quilava let loose a stream of flames…

    Angel slid to the left…

    A second…

    Angel slid to the right…

    A third…

    She leapt…

    His heart nearly bursting, Travis suddenly changed the order. “Tackle!!”

    Angel, concentrating and pouring all of her physical power and mental focus into the attack, aimed her head straight down at that of the Volcano Pokémon below her and…

    CRUNCH.

    “YES!!” Knowing instantly what had happened, Shiro pounded the railing with both fists, springing to his feet, all of his pent-up emotion releasing itself in the form of a loud, air-rending exclamation. “YES! That’s what I’m talking about!!”

    “That’s right!” Matthew pumped his fist in a show of enthusiasm. They looked up at the screen, which happened to switch to a close-up of their friend at that moment. His long, wild, hair, ending with the back-length braid, was blowing in the wind, and the look on his face and in his azure eyes was that of the most terrible, the most fearful…

    The most unstoppable…

    Determination.

    Flannery appeared taken aback. She returned Quilava to her ball and appeared lost in thought for a moment.

    “I hope you don’t think you’ve won already,” Flannery commented with a smirk. “That was one battle. But to get my badge, you’ll have to win this entire war. Do you think you can handle that?”

    Travis laughed – not a bitter laugh, but an amused laugh at Flannery’s choice of words. “You have no idea.”

    “Remember when you’re picking yourself up off the ground – I gave you a chance to back out,” Flannery replied rather aggressively, displaying a Pokéball to Travis with a menacing look on her face.

    “You’d better do your worst,” Travis replied simply, “because we will – bank on it.”

    Flannery tossed the ball into the air.

    Out came the fearsome, crimson reptile that was Flannery’s absolute strongest creature. He reared his head back and roared skyward. Angel stood her ground and shook her head.

    “<As if that scares me,>” she uttered disdainfully.

    “<Slash…crush…burn…bite…BWARGH!!!>” Charmeleon roared savagely, spewing flames from deep within his being. Angel blinked.

    “<You really don’t have many friends acting like that, do you?>” Angel asked by way of an insult.

    “<Crush…you,>” the Charmeleon responded, drawing his finger across his throat threateningly.

    “<Aren’t you just a ray of sunshine?>” Angel dug her hind leg into the ground repeatedly and crouched low to the ground. “<Let’s finish this.>”

    “Angel, Quick Attack!” Travis shouted. With a thunderous noise, Angel reached her top speed as she began to sprint full-stride at Charmeleon, who lowered his claws and waited for an order…

    “Slash!!” Flannery yelled. Charmeleon advanced upon Angel, raising his claw in an attack stance. Angel disappeared right as Charmeleon got there. Charmeleon, growling loudly, ripped his claw from the ground and swung it out around him. Angel shrieked as she was clawed across the nose by the Fire-type lizard, who growled nastily as he tore a nasty gash into the Espeon’s face. Espeon crashed into the ground and rolled repeatedly.

    “Damn it,” Travis swore in frustration. Flannery, sensing momentary weakness, went on the offensive:

    “Ember!!” Flannery shouted. Charmeleon, snarling and baring his teeth, spewed forth a volley of flaming shells. Travis was quick to respond.

    “Use Swift!” he yelled. From the red gem on her forehead came an enfilade of star-shaped energy rays, colliding with the embers and exploding upon each contact. She then focused her strike on Charmeleon himself, who crossed is arms in defense as the Swift attack began to buffet him. After about ten seconds or so, Charmeleon’s guard was finally broken, and he took a sustained attack to his now-exposed belly as he gradually reeled backward.

    Bellowing loudly, Charmeleon snapped his head forward, staring at Angel with malice glittering in his eyes.

    “Hit back!” Flannery growled. “Flamethrower!”

    The angry, red reptilian emitted a stream of angry, red flame. Angel sprang to the left, avoiding the blazing flow of red and orange. Charmeleon issued another Flamethrower from deep within his belly, missing Angel again as she leapt to the right.

    “Dodge again and use Confusion!!” Angel ground to a halt and rolled as a third stream of fire barely missed her. Rising to her feet, she stared down Charmeleon, the jewel on her forehead as well as her gem-like eyes all burning a brilliant white. She shrieked as she focused her gaze upon Charmeleon, who reeled and convulsed as a series of impact noises rang out across the arena. Charmeleon dropped to his knees.

    “Charmeleon!!” Flannery shouted in worry.

    “Finish him off,” Travis ordered. “Tackle!!”

    Angel hesitated for a brief moment to catch her breath, then broke into a run. Charmeleon gradually began to stagger to his feet, both of his long, red arms hanging limply at his sides as his strength slowly returned to him.

    “Rage!” Flannery shouted. Charmeleon raised one claw as Angel approached. Then, at the right moment...dug his razor-sharp nails into his opponent, missing her windpipe by mere inches.

    “Angel…!” Travis gasped. Charmeleon ripped his claws from the Espeon’s flesh, creating another wound on the way out, and jumped back, his tail glowing a bluish-white that seemed to radiate from his entire body, and flames of the same color flaring in his nostrils…

    WHOOSH.

    In a brilliant display of azure fire, Angel was utterly and completely engulfed. On the other side of the field, Flannery allowed a smirk to grace her lips.

    “That’s it,” she said to herself, breathing a sigh of relief. “That was way too close for comfort.”

    Angel slammed into the ground, burns blossoming all over her body. In short, she looked terrible.

    “Damn…” Travis sighed. “So close…”

    “ONE…” the referee announced, dropping his hand once. Travis stood resigned to his fate. The responsibility of losing this match would fall not on the weakness of the Pokémon but on the weakness of the Trainer. They had lost, sure – but they had done so fighting.

    As the referee’s count reached “TWO!” Angel’s body lay twitching and smoking on the arena floor. Her eyes were open, but she found herself unable to move…

    She couldn’t let everyone down.

    She couldn’t let herself down. There was a prize waiting for her at the end of this road, and she had only to claim it.

    “THREE!”

    She could feel how close they were. The efforts of her teammates, the efforts of their Trainer, in this one battle…

    “FOUR!!”

    She could not…would not…

    …let them go to waste.

    “FI—” Right as the referee began to bring his hand down for the final count, he noticed something. As shaky and as tentative as they were, Angel’s legs began to stretch out as she pushed herself back up onto her feet.

    “<I’ve got some bad news,>” the Espeon said to her shocked trainer, standing upon legs that seemed to be a heartbeat away from buckling utterly. “<My body isn’t just burned…it’s nearly immolated…so another attack could probably kill me.>”

    Travis’ heart stopped for a second and he put a hand to his chest to catch his breath.

    “<Although…there’s an upside,>” Angel answered, her voice every bit as weak and shaky as her legs, but still confident. She looked straight at Charmeleon. Travis, whose head was down, heard heartrending cries and snarls of agony from the other side of the field and looked up immediately. Charmeleon had begun smoking, and was convulsing in pain. Boils began erupting on all areas of his body and bursting into flame, leaving burn marks almost identical to the ones Angel herself had. This entire time, Angel was breathing heavily with the effort of keeping herself on her feet, a satisfied smile crossing her scarred and blackened face as she watched her vengeance take effect.

    “Angel!” Travis seemed astonished. For any other creature less brutal than this Charmeleon, he would have thought such a treatment would have been almost cruel. “Wh-what the hell did you do to him?”

    “<The exact same thing…he did to me,>” Angel answered, not tearing her eyes away from her now pitiful-looking opponent the entire time.


    “Synchronize…” Matt muttered to himself.

    “What the hell just happened?” Shiro asked, turning to look at Matt.

    “Some Pokémon – it’s mostly Psychic-types – have this strange ability,” Matt explained. “When their body is seriously damaged in some way, they can mentally project that same pain onto their opponent.”


    “<You…will pay…>” Charmeleon growled as flames (and perhaps even hot blood) burst forth from two or three spots on his flesh, making him look rather defeated in one way but in another more intimidating than before – if such a thing is possible.

    “<I know – I won’t feel like getting up after this one…>” Angel said. Then, forcing her weakened face into a smile as she thought of a certain someone, she added, “<But it’ll be worth it.>”

    As she panted and struggled to stay on her feet, Travis stayed frozen for a moment, knowing what she was thinking.

    “<Well, go on! Call it!>” Angel managed as much of a shout as her nearly-lifeless body would produce. “<I’m pretty sure my head won’t explode. I’m too tired to make it that powerful, so we’re safe.>”

    Travis gulped as he felt a lump in his throat.

    “Thanks,” he said simply.

    “<No big deal – just as long as you don’t get all mushy on me,>” Angel answered.

    Travis smiled.

    “Angel, use Psychic!” Travis yelled. Angel’s forehead core and eyes began to glow a purplish-white this time. Charmeleon, who had gone limp on his feet, was surrounded by a purple aura of a similar color and began to slowly rise from the ground. He reached a height of ten feet after a long while, and immediately afterward…

    BANG.

    A sound akin to cannon fire and subsequent screams of awe and fear roared throughout the stadium as a purple globe of psychic energy surrounded Charmeleon and spat him forth from itself within a split-second, sending the smoking Flame Pokémon to the ground in a trail of violet and white. Charmeleon hit the ground straightaway, bounced, flipped, and then landed face-first and obviously unconscious, burn marks still visible on his blood-red body.

    Angel was shaking violently and sounded extremely short of breath.

    “ONE!”

    Angel was breathing hard; the rest of the crowd didn’t seem to be breathing at all.

    “TWO!”

    “Come on…” Shiro muttered.

    “THREE!”

    A pair of eyes watched mistily from the shadows of the entrance tunnel.

    “FOUR!”

    “He got her,” Matthew repeated, his emerald eyes wide in a shock that was nearly beyond words. “He – he did it, he got her…”

    “FIVE!”

    As soon as the hand came down and the flag went up, the crowd absolutely erupted.

    Travis’ ears finally tuned to the announcer’s speech enough to pick up something about “one of the more impressive comebacks that Hoenn has seen this season,” but didn’t hear the rest over the crowd’s yelling and cheering. It seemed that even those who were clearly Lavaridge locals and in favor of Flannery had felt their hearts softened after seeing such a valiant effort put forth. Travis himself, on the other hand, stood at the edge of his box. There was something inside this victory that meant more to him than any other he’d had, and that something had hardly anything to do with the match itself. He suddenly felt a wave of emotion overtake him. Embarrassingly enough, his eyes prickled at their outer corners and it felt suddenly like someone had shoved a walnut down his throat. However, he managed to contain himself – albeit into a fist pump so emphatic that it looked as if he were trying to knock the very air around him unconscious. He stepped into the arena from his box and walked over to Angel, scooping her up into his arms. She was indeed a difficult sight to behold – burns, claw marks, and bruises earned as battle scars from two separate fights obscured and marred her beautiful form.

    “You really do push yourself too hard,” he said softly. She didn’t respond. Hoisting her up into one arm for a second, he pulled out her Pokéball and returned her. He stood with the intent of approaching Flannery but found that there was no need.

    She was standing right in front of him. As tall as she looked from a distance, she looked that much taller now. She was easily as tall as Shiro – perhaps taller – and slim, but not quite skinny.

    “I underestimated how badly you wanted this badge,” Flannery answered, holding out her hand to Travis. The badge in her hand was shaped like a flame. Travis carefully put it into his pocket and sighed.

    “Thanks,” Travis said, shaking her hand.

    “Good luck,” Flannery answered politely. Travis nodded and turned around. He strode off toward the tunnel. It wasn’t long at all before he saw her waiting there in the darkness of the tunnel, out of the sight of the crowds and away from all the noise. He smiled.

    “I knew I heard you,” Travis replied. Katrina, her roseate hair veiling her dropped forehead, responded with a ragged breath. “What’s wrong?”

    Guided by a hand under her chin, Katrina looked up at him. Great drops fell from beneath her long eyelashes as she alternated between sobbing and a tearful smile every so often. He took her into his arms and felt warmth on his chest as her tears leaked onto his shirt. After a few moments, she went quiet and then looked up at him, beaming adorably. He understood and said nothing, for nothing needed to be said.

    They both knew what had happened that day…that nothing would ever be the same.



    Today, I think something finally snapped in him – but I mean that in a good way.

    For the first time in a while, he seems normal. He’s not the savior of a nation or the commander of an army. He’s just an average, fourteen-year-old guy, hanging out with average friends on a Pokémon Journey. It just happens that he’s really good at what he does.

    I don’t think he’s forgotten. I don’t think any of us will ever forget what happened to us two years ago. But maybe he’s realized just that. What happened then was then, and we all have to find a way to move on. I know it was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn after it was all over.

    After it was all said and done, I ran around the world trying to find a piece of myself. I felt I had lost something.

    We all lost something during that war – something we’ll never be able to get back.

    Innocence.

    But we got something else – something better. At least I did. I learned that life’s too short to go through it afraid of the future because of what happened in the past. The fact is, as much as all of us lost fighting that war, we didn’t lose our lives.

    So we shouldn’t give up our right to live them to the fullest.

    Oars against the waves,
    We press on,
    We press on,
    Falling into the iron sea of life.
    The water can be our greatest friend if we master it.
    But if it masters us…
    It will be our demise.


    The girl signed her name to the notepad.

    P.S: We’re probably going to be here in Lavaridge another two or three days. A few of Travis and Katrina’s Pokémon got hurt really badly. Nothing life-threatening, they’ll just have to stay off their feet for a couple days.

    “Madeline!” she heard a shout and smiled. “What are you doing, writing a novel? Come on already!”

    She put down her notebook and pencil. Her bright, jade-green eyes turned to the right. She had the rest of her hair tied back with a claw comb, but allowed her bangs on the left side of her face (including the hair she had dyed blonde) to hang down. She thought it looked cute.

    She removed the green towel covering her. Two years of growth had made her much more at home in a bathing suit, and she had chosen black for today. It seemed that her facial features, which were bright, energetic, and inquisitive almost to the point of being childishly adorable, never changed very much as she aged. In fact, many of Madeline’s facial features were duplicated in her little sister, Veronica.

    Madeline stood and made her way over to the pool, where she sat down and slid into the water. It washed over her body, cool and refreshing. She felt two arms grip her around her midriff and giggled.

    “You’re such a flirt,” she said, turning around and seeing a grinning Shiro.


    Travis, sitting on the topmost underwater stair, gazed up at the ceiling of the indoor pool, which contained a few glass panels that let sunlight in but also served to make anywhere outside the water quite warm. He, however, was in the water, and therefore quite cool.

    There was a splash, and Travis saw Katrina coming toward him with a tall glass of lemonade with two straws lodged deep inside it. They both laughed upon seeing each other. Katrina sat down next to him, laying her head on his shoulder.

    “So…” she began to speak, taking a sip of the lemonade. “The next gym’s in Fortree, right?”

    “Yeah,” Travis answered. “It’s kind of far, but with any luck, we should make it there in about ten days once we leave.”

    Katrina drank some more lemonade. “And if we don’t?”

    “No big deal,” Travis answered. “It’s only the beginning of July, so we’ve got time. Besides…getting there’s half the fun.”

    “That’s so cliché,” Katrina laughed, setting the glass on the side of the pool. “But so true.”

    She rubbed noses with him, tickling his face with her breath. He kissed her lightly on the lips and offered a smile.

    “Hey, I just read in a magazine,” she said by way of starting a conversation. “They’re starting to prepare things for the Tournament in Evergrande…guess who they got to headline the concert?”

    “Who?” Travis asked. “It wasn’t Silvercoin, was it?”

    “Sure was,” Katrina answered.

    Travis smiled. Sure, Silvercoin had been his favorite band ever since he heard them in concert back in Johto, but that wasn’t the reason he was so happy. To be able to talk simply about current events that didn’t involve war…just to be able to relax and enjoy an afternoon at the pool with the love of his life…that meant a lot to him.

    He was no longer simply breathing.

    He was alive.


    Whew…long one, eh? I cut down on Angel’s last battle with Charmeleon for length purposes – I think I got the point across. If I didn’t, let me know.

    Dalton Gregg was a mostly-ordinary university student from the region once called Johto.
    Then a fateful encounter set him on a quest to change history.




  19. #294
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    This was a really great chapter. I could have used some sword fighting but if you had it in every chapter it wouldent be a very good fic.

    I like how you Finaly snaped Travis out of his emo state. And you gave Raiden more confidence.
    Einstein: If life is XYZ then X = having fun Y = working hard and Z = knowing when to keep your mouth shut

  20. #295
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    Whoa. THAT, my friend, is talent.

    About time that Travis snapped out of it. I've been rooting for him since Day One. Raise the roof, raise the roof!

    Matt is pretty weird, isn't he? He'd better pound the snot outta the other gym leaders, he's destined for greatness (as long as his cockiness doesn't get in the way).

    I'm gonna pull an Air Dragon and review more later, I hope.

    Auf Wiedersein
    --Lucarioman777
    I have died.

  21. #296
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    yo! great fic. awesome chapter. finally got travis out of his emo/depression stage huh? though i must say everytime he loses it i love the reactions. :P Especialy the black flame that. is bad ***. to a t. love what you do with descriptions, and i don't know if it was just me, but charmeleon from the last chapter to this one seemed to go from american bad *** to hulk #2. must.... crush... slash... kinda reminds me of a deranged monster. which i guess is what you were going after. nice affect with psychic at the end. was not expecting that. i was thinking another psybeam considering what it did to her the first time angel used it... nice chapter in there.


    the only thing i have to say is i Think you used the name Mightyena instead of Houndoom somewhere up there when describing the battle with Meru. so might wanna check that, iirc. besides that everything was fine.

  22. #297
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    The Espeon sitting at Travis’ ankle abstained from saying anything. She simply couldn’t think of anything to say to Raiden that lacked the chance to backfire and make the young Voltyger even more nervous than he was already.

    “Let’s end this quickly!” Flannery shouted. “Solarbeam!”

    “Quick Attack!” Travis yelled in response. Mightyena opened his mouth…

    …Raiden was gone already…

    Right there is where.

    Hooray for Travis escaping emoness. That was getting a little dull chapter after chapter. Great Battles. Though IT got a little boring to read the words "ember, flamethrower, and quick attack" Through Matt's Battle and Travis's.


    Magnus is super cool. I love that guy.

    Black/White front images. Nontransparent background for MS Paint users
    Need Black/White different formes? Send me a message or post on my profile. I'll hook you up.

  23. #298
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    I knew they'd be a chapter by the time i got online again... damn the internet providers thirst to provide better service when they're very good already. And i say that because when you try to perfect something that's already very good, you tend to make it worse...

    Thanks for trying to pick up the slack for me, SamuraiDragon1... much appreciated... well, let's go!

    “Quick Attack!” Travis yelled in response. Mightyena opened his mouth…
    Umm... i thought Raiden was fighting a Houndoom... oh wait... Venastois already caught that one... damn being broke and disconnected from the net...

    while turning herself forward ready for a counter-strike.
    “<Slash…crush…burn…bite…BWARGH!!!>” Charmeleon roared savagely, spewing flames from deep within his being. Angel blinked.

    “<You really don’t have many friends acting like that, do you?>” Angel asked by way of an insult.

    “<Crush…you,>” the Charmeleon responded, drawing his finger across his throat threateningly.

    “<Aren’t you just a ray of sunshine?>” Angel dug her hind leg into the ground repeatedly and crouched low to the ground. “<Let’s finish this.>”
    Oh, yeah... Travis and Angel are BACK! Now all we need is the Slipstream attack returning with a bang...

    Awesomeness all round, baby! This chapter was the chaotic BOMB! Magnus reminds me so much of Shikamaru from the NARUTO series... insanely lazy, yet impossibly reliable. Raiden kicks *** for Amber’s sake? Ooh, Fakeshipping! LOL at that idea...

    Charmeleon was vicious... and neanderthalic... is that a word?

    A ten-outta-ten piece of work here... keep it coming!

    L@er!
    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
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  24. #299
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    A therapist's Sofa
    Posts
    996

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    I was kinda late on the uptake wasn't I.

    Been kinda engrossed in some project of my own recently and haven't had much time to do anything else, but on the good side. 4-day weekend from college and I'm off work next weekend, in which I'm finally getting my haircut. And if you'd seen my hair and knew what I am going to do with it, wait, I just thought of an example. Think Dragonforce length hair going down to the longer haired brother from 'Supernatural', Sam I think his name is.

    Anywaaay. the chapter, Yeah the twinge of PRJ that went on in that last chapter, Travis and Angel against the world. Very nostalgic. Very well written and the biggest mistake I saw was the metamorphing Houndoom. I expect more like this.

    Also, a big round of applause for Travis *takes in clap* thank you all. All it took was some Cillit Bang* - Bang and the emo's gone

    Oh yeah. On a side note. Totally unrelated issue. If your playing a gamecube game on the Wii. Do you have to have a gamecube controller to play it. I just need to know so I don't go out and buy a game that I won't be able to play.

    *Believe me, the british folk will understand. An advert that I don't believe you get in america. funny stuff.
    Skogsrå

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

    Author's Profile

  25. #300
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    879

    Default

    Awesome. About time Travis snapped back to normal, it was depressing to see him like that.

    CHARECTER DEVELOPMENT

    Finally! Travis is normal once more. No more emo or depressed Travis. It's good, since being that emotionally screwed up is really bad for yourself and others.

    PLOT DEVELOPMENT

    Travis got his fifth badge, and Angel nearly got killed. Other than that, not much in the ways of plot.

    OTHER

    Good diction and use of different sentence types. Really helped reading the chapter.

    Well, it's good. Can't wait for next chapter.

    ~xXPorygonXx

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