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Thread: Pokemon Revolution: Advent Phoenix (Rated T)

  1. #201
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    Feb 2006
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    *pant pant pant...* ....wait....*pant* ...don't...start the fight...without me...! *flop*


    uuuuuuugh.........Kenji can't go ONE chapter without a fight, can he? i love his character.


    I'm gunna be the first to speculate what that surprise that Travis has for Katrina at the end of the series.

        Spoiler:- CHAMP::

  2. #202
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    Nah, I dont think so.

    I think thats too obvious. That, to anyone wondering is to above poster.

    Anywho. Hi, I know i've not been here in a while, I really don't know why. Just forgot, I was just bored on the internet and I thought I wonder if theres a new chapter and pow. There was.

    Anyway, I'm just enjoying playing on super paper mario at the mo. Waiting for Mass Effect and of course the continuation of this.

    damn half finished gym battles.
    Skogsrå

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

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  3. #203
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    Feb 2006
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    eh. whatever. i was hyper active and watching desperate house wives, so guess where my mind was? :P

  4. #204
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    Default Chapter 21

    I worked my tail off on this chapter, and now it's finally done. There might be a slight gap in between this chapter and the next one because I'm going home for Thanksgiving on Friday and might not have regular internet access until I get back to school.

    In any case - here's Chapter 21. It ended up being a touch longer than I thought it'd be, but it went for the most part as I planned it.

    And as for the theories...I'll say nothing lest I spoil the fun for someone else.

    Chapter 21: Spare Not The Rod

    Kenjiro Kazaki and the mysterious, red-haired man stared each other down in the upper concourse of the Mauville Gym. The sun setting behind them shone fiery light onto both of their figures and seemed to lengthen their shadows before their eyes. Tension was the order of the day. Kenjiro had to be calm. He knew nothing about this man – who he was or where he came from. He just knew that he was not on their side. He said that his intentions here were about Travis, and Kenjiro could only assume, until he was proven to be incorrect, that this man was here either for Travis’ sword or his life…

    …For that was the way things normally went.

    “So…whose side are you on?” Kenjiro asked after a long, weighty silence. The red-haired man seemed to scoff at him, straightening his fedora with one palm atop his head.

    “Side?” the red-haired man replied.

    “Imperials, Temple – some third party looking for trouble?” Kenjiro questioned. “That sword and the boy who carries it are none of your business.”

    “Really? How much are they of yours?” the man asked knowingly.

    “Simply put, Travis could be here and incinerating you right now, but he’s a bit preoccupied,” the bronze-haired youth replied. “You’re just light work, so I’ll handle you myself.”

    “Is that so?” the man asked. “Unarmed as you are? All balls, no brains – people like that usually end up being someone’s pawns.”

    “That’s no help at all,” Kenjiro sighed, rolling his eyes. “I asked you – whose side are you on?”

    “I’m on my side,” the red-haired man responded nonchalantly.

    “Really? That’s an interesting philosophy. Normally, it keeps you out of trouble,” Kenjiro answered. “But since you go looking for trouble, I guess it won’t help you all that much, will it?”

    “I’m not here to get into a conversation about lifestyles,” the red-haired man said flatly. “I’m here to get what I came for.”

    “What is that?” Kenjiro asked. “Do you want the sword, or do you want him?”

    “Not sure – which one has the power?” the man asked. “Is it the sword, or the boy who wields it?”

    “Good question,” Kenjiro said. “I’d have to say that neither can be drawn to its full potential without the other.”

    “I see…so there is something inside the sword that gives the boy power…and yet something inside the boy that empowers the blade,” the man said.

    “Huh…how about that? You’re not as dull as I thought you were,” Kenjiro chuckled. “But that’s enough talking. You’ve learned all you will about the both of them. We need that weapon for something important.”

    “That’s all he is, huh? A weapon?” the man asked. Kenjiro smirked.

    “Oh, if it were that simple…” he sighed. “In any case, he’s more than you can handle…so I think I’ll kill you right now to avoid wasting everyone’s time.”

    “Big words from a little maggot,” the red-haired man snarled. Kenjiro smirked…and then burst into laughter, which rang through the empty halls and gave the impression that he was his own army.

    “You really don’t know who you’re dealing with, do you?” he asked, reaching behind himself. “A revolution is about to happen…and we’re counting on that kid. So…nothing personal, but…”

    Two kunai emerged from behind Kenjiro, neither with friendly intentions.

    The man sighed in mock remorse.

    “I was hoping to avoid unnecessary bloodshed…” the man said. “But, I guess…since you choose to remain in my way,
    bloodshed is indeed necessary.”

    He outstretched his right arm. For a moment, there was complete silence. Then, a large projectile came flying around the concourse. Upon its approach, Kenjiro recognized it as the cane-like object upon which he had seen the man leaning at his first appearance. The object was caught by the mystery man, who took his other hand and pulled from it a long sword with decent width. He held it in the air as he threw the other part (which Kenjiro now realized had been a sheath) away from him forcefully. This blade seemed to emit a red glow from the bevel in the center.

    “Hmm…” Kenjiro uttered with eerie calmness, seeing as most people who saw someone telekinetically call an object to himself and draw a sword this size from it would be running clear in the other direction. “That’s a ******* sword, isn’t it?”

    “Good guess,” the man said. Kenjiro chuckled.

    “How appropriate.”


    Travis had two Pokémon left to use in this match. Fortunately, with his second Pokémon, Angel, having just entered the battle, and the Electrode that Rod was using as his own second Pokémon badly damaged, Travis was understood to be ahead in the match by a slight margin. Electrode sparked slightly – the scratches in its shell caused by Champ’s last powerful Leaf Blade had to be about an inch deep, but Electrode still appeared able to fight. If Travis had his way, though, it wouldn’t be able to fight for very long.

    “Okay – let’s go, Angel!” Travis yelled. “Open up with Quick Attack!!”

    “Not very smart,” Rod said. “Electrode, use Rollout!”

    Electrode began to tumble over itself, approaching Angel, who ricocheted off its hard exterior and landed on the ground in a heap. The Espeon looked up to see Electrode coming around for a second pass.

    “<Oh, man…>” she groaned. “<I hate Rollout attacks.>”

    “Angel, use Swift and then get outta there!!” Travis yelled. Firing a series of star-shaped beams of Megacite energy at certain spots on Electrode’s body with pinpoint accuracy, Angel rolled out of the way of the follow-up attack like a matador fighting an angry bull.
    Electrode, returning to Rod’s side of the field, ceased to spin, as a panel under Angel glowed yellow. She looked down just in time.

    “<Oh my – >”

    She jumped left and…BANG. One of the smaller panels went up in a cloud of flame, smoke, and fragments. Meanwhile, Electrode was crackling madly, gearing up for an attack.

    “Spark, Electrode!” Angel whirled around after hearing Rod shout. A large, 150-pound, explosive ball was coming at her, crackling with electricity. Travis saw the straight-line attack, and took his shot:

    “Angel, Psybeam!!” he shouted.

    Angel reared her head back and let loose a rainbow-colored beam of psychic energy that hit Electrode head-on, stopping it dead in its tracks and causing it to spin fruitlessly like tires stuck in mud. She continued to pour energy through the gem in her forehead as Electrode’s spinning became slower and slower…until, finally, it stopped. Electrode looked to be on its last legs – figuratively speaking.

    “That’s it,” Travis replied with a smirk on his face. “Finish him off! Slipstream!!”

    Hearing the secret attack called, Angel stamped the ground, let out a yell, and erupted into a purple glow of energy, charging Electrode quickly and activating a few of the exploding panels as she passed them. She leapt with all intent of diving into the large Ball Pokémon, when…

    “Thought you’d do that,” Rod smirked. “SELFDESTRUCT!!”

    As Electrode became a large, yellowish ball of light, Travis opened his mouth in horror, watching three seconds that seemed to unfold with the slowness of days right before him. Electrode went off with a thunderous BOOM, worse than any of the panels before, causing a tremor that caused Travis to lose his balance and fall to his knees. The resulting cloud of dust hid Angel, Electrode, and Rod from sight. Once he got over the shock, Travis looked into the dust cloud, the reality of what had just happened hitting him like a ton of bricks.

    “NOOO! Angel!!” he shouted at the top of his lungs as the dust began to settle around the site of the explosion. When it finally cleared, Electrode was obviously burnt, blackened, and in no condition to fight any further.

    “<That…was not fun.>” Angel’s voice came from Travis’ ankle. With a slight start, Travis looked below him and found his Espeon – bruised, blackened, but not yet beaten.

    “Angel? How – what – how’d you…” Travis stammered in shock.

    “<Survive? Guess I’m tougher than I look,>” Angel replied with a weak smile.



    “I can’t believe he’d use a move like that…” Katrina said, staring in shock at what had just transpired below her. “We’re going to have to be careful.”

    “<No kidding,>” muttered Crescent.

    “Where is he?” a feminine murmur came from Katrina’s left. Reivyn was staring down at the ground worriedly. “He’s taking a long time.”

    “You mean Kenjiro?” Katrina asked, already knowing the answer. “Maybe he just went back to the Center.”

    Katrina realized that she’d said the wrong thing almost immediately after it came out of her mouth.

    “Without me?” Reivyn asked, looking very downcast all of a sudden.

    “Well…” Katrina sighed to herself. “Probably not. Let’s just see.”



    “Down to just one…” Rod muttered shortly after returning his defeated Electrode. Enlarging the Pokéball, he finished, “…but one’s all I need.”

    Meanwhile, Travis struggled with a decision. He knew that Raiden would be his last Pokémon. He wasn’t going to use Meru because no amount of skill could compensate for stupidity. Sending Meru into battle against a full-blown Electric-type such as a Volterror was like sending her on a suicide mission.

    The question was…when? With Angel obviously weakened by Rod’s kamikaze strike, could he trust Raiden, whom he had never used in a gym battle before, to beat Rod’s Volterror without having to bring Angel back into the battle at less than a hundred percent? Or did he use Angel to try to gut out as much damage as possible against Volterror, knowing full well that the Psychic-type attacks she employed as the more potent part of her offense would be rendered powerless against a part-Dark-type?

    Obviously, he didn’t want to see Angel hurt…but that was part of the territory, wasn’t it?

    “Angel, how are you?” he asked finally – he’d let her make the decision.

    “<I can still fight,>” she answered simply. Travis smiled.

    “I had a feeling you’d say that…”

    Rod threw his last Pokéball, shouting, “GO – Volterror!”

    The Pokémon that appeared was just as fearsome as Travis had remembered it – a large, black beast with blue, lightning-bolt stripes that had the appearance of a big cat, perhaps a tiger or a panther…or maybe a little bit of both. He roared loudly as he pawed the ground, scratching some of the tiles with his sharp claws.

    “Attack when you can, Angel,” Travis said quietly to his own Pokémon, “and watch out for those exploding tiles.”

    “<Don’t worry,>” Angel said with a smile. “<I’m psychic. I know which tiles are the ones to stay away from.>”

    “Really?” Travis replied, smiling himself. “Well, that’s a load off my mind.”

    “Tired of waiting!” Rod shouted. “Volterror, use Quick Attack!”

    With a loud roar, Volterror disappeared.

    “<What?>” Angel uttered.

    “NO!” Travis groaned.

    WHAM.

    Angel was knocked skyward upon Volterror’s sudden reappearance. Leaping into the air, he disappeared again. A half second later, Angel screamed out in pain as Volterror’s razor-sharp fangs caught hold of her and hurled her to the ground violently. She fell upon one of the panels in a heap and staggered to her feet in time to see Volterror descending toward her. With a loud yell, she summoned a bit of her psychic energy.

    “Angel, what are you doing?!” Travis shouted anxiously. “I told you, Psychic-type attacks aren’t going to work against Volterror!!”

    “<Every rule has a loophole,>” she grunted, her eyes glowing a bright white as panels behind her began to detach themselves from the ground and hover in the air in the form of cubes. “<Now, let’s see…a couple of these had Voltorb in them that hadn’t detonated, if I remember correctly…>”

    “What do you think you’re doing?!” Rod shouted.

    The light turned on.

    “That’s it!!” Travis shouted. “Angel, use Confusion!!”

    “<Eat this!!>” Angel shouted, erupting into an aura of purple and white energy as about six or seven large cubes launched themselves at Volterror. Volterror took the first and second head-on, snarling and spitting as he did so. Then the third came, glowing a faint white…

    “Got him,” Travis muttered with a smirk. Rod’s eyes went wide.

    “SHI--!”

    The explosion rocked the arena and made the ground shake slightly as Volterror reappeared through a cloud of dust, crashing mightily into the ground below. Angel jumped back.

    “I don’t need to hurt my own Pokémon to blow you away,” Travis said defiantly. Rod could only manage a growl.

    “We’ll see how smug you are in a little bit!!” he shouted after a while. “Volterror, use Agility to dodge the rest!”

    Volterror just seemed to stand there as the remaining few cubes fell on top of him. Two of them exploded in spectacular fashion, kicking up an enormous cloud of dust. Travis smiled confidently as the entire stadium gasped in unison.

    “I know we didn’t hit,” he laughed. “Volterror’s way too fast for that – and with Agility, too? No way – your tricks don’t fool me, Rod.”

    “Is that so?” Rod responded. “Faint Attack!”
    Travis had no time to react before Angel was thrown into the air by Volterror, who reappeared in an instant. The beast’s eyes narrowed as he waited for his Trainer to call out the final attack.

    “Don’t piss me off,” Rod said aggressively. “Volterror, Thunderbolt!!”

    Volterror roared loudly and began to crackle with electricity as Travis watched in horror. With a loud clap of thunder, a bolt shot from Volterror’s body into Angel’s, suspending her in midair as she twitched and convulsed from the electricity. She hit the ground in a heap…and this time, she didn’t move, save for one final twitch that made Travis’ stomach curl. He grit his teeth and groaned as the referee initiated the five-count.

    “Espeon is unable to battle!” the referee declared. “Volterror is the winner!”

    Travis returned Angel to her ball and looked up at Rod.

    “She was already unconscious in the air,” he growled, barely able to contain his anger. “That last attack wasn’t necessary.”

    “You can never be too sure,” Rod said flippantly.

    “I’ll remember that later,” Travis replied sharply, enlarging the Pokéball containing his last Pokémon as he did so.

    “What could you possibly have that can match against speed like this?” Rod asked confidently.

    Travis smirked.

    “Speed like this,” he replied. “Raiden, let’s go!!”

    Out popped the small Voltyger from his Pokéball.

    Rod burst into laughter.

    “You…heheh…you’re kidding me, right? You’re going to battle my Volterror with its unevolved form?! You must really be running out of ideas!” he scoffed. “Either that, or you’ve just cracked.”

    A slightly malignant grin crossed Travis’ lips as he ominously replied, “No, Rod, I haven’t cracked yet. When I do, you’ll know it.”

    “How intimidating…” Rod snickered. “Let’s see if you can even make this a fight!”

    “<Um…what do I do?>” Raiden asked. “<I look like a shrimp compared to him!!>”

    “Don’t try to outmuscle him, Raiden,” Travis said. “You and I both know that wouldn’t work. Whatever happens, just concentrate on moving as fast as possible.”

    “<You really think my speed’s that good?>” Raiden asked. “<I’m not sure…>”

    “The question is…” Travis asked. “Do you think your speed’s that good? That’ll decide whether you win or not.”

    “<Okay…>” Raiden sighed.

    “Agility!!” Travis shouted.



    Katrina, Reivyn, and Crescent all watched the match, wondering what new things Raiden was going to bring to the table.

    “Angel’s tough…she’ll be fine,” Katrina said comfortingly to Crescent, who had been extremely downcast ever since he had seen his companion fall in battle.

    “<I sure hope so…>” Crescent groaned.

    Reivyn stood up.

    “Where are you going?” Katrina asked immediately.

    “I’m going to go look for him. I’ve got a bad feeling that he went after that man we saw earlier,” Reivyn replied, trying to force her way past Katrina.

    “No way,” the younger girl said forcefully. “Kenjiro wouldn’t want you wandering anywhere on your own.”

    “Don’t treat me like a child!!” Reivyn shouted. “I can handle myself.”

    “It does us no good if all four of us get separated!!” Katrina yelled, standing up.

    “But something’s wrong…” Reivyn replied. “Everywhere he goes, he always seems to get into a fight. It’s like trouble follows him around – I don’t know why…”

    “Exactly, and we’re all in the same boat!” Katrina interrupted stubbornly. “Kenjiro can handle himself, too. He’ll come back. You have to believe in him.”

    There was a long pause. Eventually Reivyn backed down and slunk into her chair, letting out a quick sob. Katrina sighed as she watched Reivyn attempt to hold back tears of worry. A part of her knew how it had to feel. She was strongly reminded of the day Travis received the sword.

    Once that thought crossed her mind, so did another one – one that was worse.

    “Travis…” she muttered. “His sword’s back at the Center, so if anyone does attack us…should I go back and get it...? No…my match could start at any moment. Damn it!”

    Kenjiro… she thought to herself. Wherever you are, I hope you’re alive…for everyone’s sake.



    In a flash of white light, Raiden the Voltyger skidded backward, sparking furiously.

    “<Grr…>” the small Electric-type growled.

    “Keep it up,” Travis encouraged him. “He’ll be tired after a while.”

    “That puny little cub’s puttin’ up one hell of a fight,” Rod muttered to himself. “I can’t hit the son of a ***** if he keeps moving around, either. Volterror! Thunder Wave!”

    A thin static bolt wafted forth from Volterror’s glowing body. It moved in the erratic pattern toward the small Voltyger.

    “Dodge with Agility and use Bite!” Travis shouted. Just as Volterror’s Thunder Wave would have hit him, Raiden disappeared. Sprinting toward the Volterror with ridiculous speed, Raiden dodged a couple more thunder waves, which hit the panels and bounced off with the sound of cracking whips. With an agile roll, Raiden dodged one more static bolt and skidded toward Volterror’s underbelly, baring his fangs at the same time and clamping down on the nearest part of Volterror he could find, which happened to be the Storm Pokémon’s front right ankle. A terrible roar of pain escaped from the throat of Volterror, and Raiden escaped from under the Electric-type’s body just as he came down with an almighty crash.

    Raiden lowered his head and stalked his opponent, waiting for him to rise from the ground. As soon as he did, Raiden sprung into action.

    “Quick Attack!” Travis shouted. Raiden leapt and attempted to dive into the downed Volterror, but the larger Pokémon got the jump on him, catching him in razor-sharp fangs and hurling him to the other side of the field. Raiden somehow managed to find his feet and skid to a stop, his claws creating deep runs in the tiled gym floor.

    “Quick Attack!!” Rod yelled. Volterror stamped the ground and launched himself at Raiden with amazing speed. Travis had barely enough time to react.

    “Again!!” Travis shouted. Raiden disappeared just as Volterror got there. A second later, a white blur rammed the tiger-like creature from the side and sent him reeling.

    “Damn, he’s too fast!” Rod groaned.

    Raiden landed on the ground, letting out a snarl. Meanwhile, Volterror’s breathing became ragged and short.

    “What’s going on?” Rod shouted.

    “Haha…too bad,” Travis shouted. “Or haven’t you noticed that your Volterror’s ankle’s been busted all this time?”

    “Ankle?” Rod repeated, then he let out an anguished groan. “That first…Bite Attack…”

    “Yeah…there’s no way Volterror can keep up now,” Travis warned. “I’d call him off if I were you.”

    “You’re telling me to forfeit?!” Rod shouted, sounding insulted. “That’s rich. Volterror, use Thunderbolt!!”

    Volterror began to glow an electric blue color and crackle with electricity. Travis shook his head.

    “Raiden, Thundershock all of the tiles around Volterror,” he ordered simply. Raiden’s less powerful attack took a much shorter time to charge than Volterror’s. Five seconds later, bolts shot in every direction, all landing on panels in the vicinity of Volterror. Travis crossed his arms and braced himself. Rod’s mouth opened up in horror.

    “You didn’t…”

    BOOM.

    Predictably, Travis was blown backward into the wall of electricity by a huge explosion that went off right near Volterror, engulfing the Storm Pokémon in a cloud of vicious smoke. As Travis felt thousands of volts running through his body, he winced and let out a slight groan. To screams of numerous audience members, including Katrina, he fell from the wall and hit the ground with a dull flump. The cloud cleared, showing a defeated Volterror lying in a burnt heap on the ground as Travis, too, lay motionless in the Trainer’s Box.

    There were a couple of seconds of deafening silence – the kind of silence that sucks up any nearby sound and renders it inaudible…the kind of silence that presses in on your ears and brings with it whispers of horrible things…

    Travis’ fingers grasped the ground beneath him and he hoisted himself up to one knee. His braid flew into the air as his head snapped up alertly, his hard, blue eyes shooting a laser across the field into those of the defeated Gym Leader, who stood there, cathartic with awe.

    “Heh heh…” Travis let out a slightly sick chuckle. “You think I just got shocked? You should look in a mirror.”

    “You’re…you did that on purpose,” Rod stammered. “You’re out of your mind!”

    “Well, if it’ll beat you on the first try…” Travis panted. “…there’s no sense wasting everyone’s time with a rematch, is there?”



    Travis placed his fourth badge in his case as he walked down the tunnel toward the locker room. Truth be told, he had even mildly surprised himself with how far he was willing to push in order to win that match against Rod. His left arm tingled a bit. No big deal – he’d definitely felt a lot worse.

    …The image of a demon with a huge, unwieldly claw flashed through his mind as his knees buckled for just a moment…


    He leaned against the wall and allowed himself a moment of laughter.

    There were few who could understand him…how much he truly wanted to become Champion, how much the life he wanted rode on doing so…failure was unacceptable.

    Unacceptable.


    October. PA 2011 – New Bark Town

    Through a curtain of lank, dead, cobalt hair, Travis stared blankly at the cast on his leg, which he had broken in several places the month before. It had been only in the last couple of weeks that he had been able to summon the strength to go anywhere, although he was limited always either to a wheelchair or crutches, neither of which he was used to and neither of which he liked. This cast reminded him of all the hell he had gone through that past summer. It was strange. Last time he came here for a physical was in May, right before he was scheduled to leave for his Pokémon Journey through the land of Johto.

    Back then, he was a normal kid. Perhaps the grandson of a former Pokémon Champion and an insanely talented Trainer in his own right (at least according to other people)…but still, more or less a normal kid.

    That summer, he had found the sword…or rather, the sword had found him…and everything changed.

    Now, here he sat, with a leg broken into pieces. Perhaps that would heal…eventually.

    But he had tragically lost his innocence. His mind and soul would probably never recover.

    He still woke up sweating, screaming and sobbing most nights – the dreams, in truth, were almost as bad as the reality. He could still remember the smug grin he saw when he first met him in person…

    It’s a chilling thing to come face-to-face with someone who has been after your life for months on end, and that’s exactly what had happened to him.

    He’d preferred the docile side, in retrospect. Sure, he was a delusional psychopath, but at least he still talked and looked something like a normal person.

    Then came the transformation.

    Those huge black wings and one large, clawed arm – one – all of which looked like they had been borrowed from the stores of Hell itself…

    He remembered the burning, stabbing pain as those claws entered his back, the shock as they began to pierce, and the sickening feeling he got when he looked up and saw those claws shooting forth from his belly…

    But actually, those dreams were sweeter than his reality…for in those dreams, Angelos always won.

    In those dreams, Angelos exacted a terrible mercy upon him.

    Torturous though they were, but Travis never wanted to wake up…yet he always did. His dream self would be praying for the deliverance, waiting for death to take him, hoping that he would not awaken.

    He always awakened. Those dreams were not his existence. His existence was here, torn into pieces by the things he had felt and witnessed…

    Nobody could help him…nobody…but her.

    And as she had been that day, as she had been everyday…she was there.

    The two of them never talked anymore. The things they had seen were too enormous, too horrific, to put into words to each other – let alone anyone else. They just sat in silence – a beautiful absence of…anything…the sole shred of sanity he had left.

    And she was there today…sitting in silence again, waiting for news that he was sure would end his life as he knew it...

    He wanted to die. Every day he went to sleep, he hoped that he would not wake up to see the next empty sunrise.

    The footsteps came…louder and louder with each echoing tap. Then, the door opened.

    In strode the young doctor, towering over the two adolescents, wearing a white coat, and carrying a clipboard. He looked Travis right in the eye.

    “I’m sorry it took so long,” Doctor Audrey said. “I double-checked and triple-checked, looking for some sort of outside chance, and…you’re fortunate that your leg might enough for you to walk normally, but…your traveling days are over.”

    This was expected news…it did not make the pain any better, though. Before he got the chance to react, the tears came down his face fast and hard, rolling off his nose and chin and forming a puddle on the ground below.

    “I’m sorry, Travis…” Audrey said morosely. “And I mean that – not just as a doctor, but as a friend…”

    “Stop,” Katrina’s voice rang with a slight quaver, bringing the young doctor to absolute silence. “Just…stop talking.”

    “Did you want me to lie to – ” Audrey started, but Katrina cut him off viciously.

    “I SAID, STOP TALKING!!” she yelled this time, staring daggers at Audrey with tears in her eyes. “STOP ACTING LIKE YOU UNDERSTAND, BECAUSE YOU DON’T!!”

    “What do you want me to do, then?” Audrey asked.

    “Leave,” Katrina said, her eyes now streaming as she dropped her voice to a firm whisper. “Leave us alone.”

    Audrey set down his clipboard and started toward the door.

    “I really am sorry about all of this,” he said, shutting the door before
    Katrina got a chance to follow him.

    This left Katrina and Travis in silence, tears running down their faces. The former slumped back into her chair.

    “Katrina,” Travis found words escaping from his mouth, almost subconsciously. The pink-haired girl, who’d had her face buried in her hands, looked up at him. “Go home.”

    “I…” Katrina stammered.

    “Go home,” Travis repeated. “I’m not going to just take this. Not yet.”

    “What do you mean?” Katrina asked.

    “I’m going to find a way to get back…somehow,” Travis said. “And if I can’t…if I can’t…well, then…I’m checking out.”

    “No!” Katrina screamed. “Please – why would you…”

    “I don’t want to live anymore, don’t you understand?!” Travis interrupted her. “What would I have to live for?”

    “Us,” Katrina replied desperately. “You could live for us. Please don’t do anything rash –”

    “I’d never be able to live with myself if you never got anywhere from being too busy trying to take care of me,” Travis answered. “You’d be better off without me.”

    Katrina shook her head.

    “I wouldn’t really have a purpose in life anymore,” she replied. “Please…I love you more than anything.”

    There was silence.

    “I guess since I can’t give it up altogether…there’s only one option,” Travis said. Katrina noticed a marked change in his voice – like some sort of fire had began to consume him from the inside out, burning him and yet bolstering him at the same time. “That’s to come back…stronger.”

    “Stronger…?” Katrina repeated.

    “I don’t care anymore. I don’t care about what Audrey says, or the way things or supposed to work – I don’t give a damn what anybody says is impossible,” Travis said, sticking his crutches onto the ground and supporting himself onto them, his head still drooped over and staring at the cast on his foot. “I will get out of this thing…and I will become a Trainer again. Not just any Trainer, either. I’ll become twice the Trainer I was when the war started. On my grandfather’s grave…I’ll become a Champion…”

    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. #205
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    “…and I’ll do whatever it takes to get there,” Travis repeated this pledge to himself as he reached the locker.

    “‘Whatever it takes’ is right,” Katrina walked in from the opposite door at the same time. She looked about a mix of about nineteen emotions at the same time. Scared, worried, amused, ******…if it’s on the list, it was probably on her face. “You scared the living hell out of everybody – what the hell kind of Trainer nearly gets himself blown to bits and is willing to put himself into an electric wall in order to win a match?”

    “One who wants to win it more than anybody else on the planet,” Travis answered simply.

    Katrina fell upon him so quickly that she nearly knocked him flat.

    “That was the – craziest – **** – I have ever seen you pull,” she replied.

    “It worked, didn’t it?” Travis quipped.

    “Seriously,” Katrina answered. “I worry about you sometimes…I wonder if it’s healthy for you to push yourself so hard in these battles.”

    “It’s less healthy to lose,” Travis replied, releasing himself from her and facing the lockers. “Look…it took me almost two years to get here. I didn’t come out here to do a half-assed job. I came out here to go all the way.”

    “Is it worth causing your body so much pain, though?” Katrina asked. To her surprise, Travis laughed.

    “Pain?” he repeated. “I’m guessing that, in most cases, going through hell on earth, falling a hundred feet, and breaking your body into about a million pieces will kind of change your outlook on what ‘pain’ is.”

    “I just…don’t want you to get hurt again,” Katrina said, burying her face in his back and wrapping her arms around him. “…I love you.”

    “I know…” Travis answered. “That’s why I’m going through all of this trouble. It’s all about keeping my word. You remember what I said to you that day in the hospital? If I become Champion, maybe it’ll convince both of us that I’m finally alright.”

    “What about Hoenn?” Katrina answered. “We’ve found ourselves in a little bit of trouble since we got here…”

    “Angelos didn’t beat me back then…these guys won’t now,” Travis said with certainty. “Because I want to win all of my battles – all of them – more than anyone else does. I think I might have been right in the first place…”

    “What do you mean?” Katrina asked.

    “Angelos wasn’t the be-all, end-all to everything,” Travis replied. “Defeating him was supposed to prepare me…for now. Think about it. There’s no way I could have the burden of a country on my shoulders and face the prospect of war like this if I hadn’t done it once before. Will this be harder? Probably – that’s how life works. But I’m stronger, too.”

    “You really have grown up a lot,” Katrina said. “I know you hear it all the time nowadays, but everyone who says it is right. Actually, in a lot of ways…you’re like your grandfather.”

    Travis turned around.

    “You really mean that?” he asked. Katrina nodded. “Thanks. Oh, that reminds me…I wanted to say something to you.”

    “What is it?” Katrina asked.

    “I’m hoping nothing happens to me, but if something does and you want to leave New Bark Town…” Travis replied. “There’s a house in Ecruteak City…”

    “You mean your grandfather’s mansion?” Katrina gasped.

    “Right after we saw him, he wrote out a will,” Travis said soberly. “Maybe he knew what was going to happen next…anyway, he left me a lot of his things.”

    “Why not your father?” Katrina asked. “He’d be the next in line, right?”

    “Yeah, but…my dad never really liked that mansion. It reminded him of the fact that he was always in Grandpa’s shadow,” Travis answered. “So, Grandpa left it to me because I was next in line after Dad. I sent Lorca a letter, so he’s been having Tyrus and other people look after it. He also left a lot of other things…”

    “Like what?” Katrina asked.

    “Well…” Travis scratched his head and then heard an amplified voice. “Oh, damn! Katrina, they’re calling you – hurry up!!”

    “Oh??”

    “<Wha?>” a black creature came stumbling into the room. Katrina folded her arms.

    “Crescent, don’t wander off like that!!” she shouted. Looking down at Travis, she said, “Reivyn’s still up in 217 where we were sitting. Kenjiro’s gone off somewhere, so make sure she doesn’t leave by herself.”

    Travis nodded, smiled, and received the kiss Katrina gave him. She stood and led Crescent down the tunnel. Travis watched her leave, and then whirled around toward the opposite door, making his way toward Section 217.


    Reivyn craned her neck over a rather tall, lanky man sitting in front of her to watch the challenger emerging from the arena. With a smile, she recognized her as a friend and ally – one she had traveled and talked with for going on a month now. The two seats adjacent to her were empty. Both occupants had left. One was down in the arena now, but the other…

    Where was he?

    She wanted to leave and find him, but had been firmly suggested (more like ordered) to stay put where she was, so as not to completely separate the group and put them all in more danger. She couldn’t help feeling that something was horribly wrong, though.

    Kenjiro’s disappearance seemed to coincide with the appearance and subsequent disappearance of that strange, red-haired man – the one that made Kenjiro very uneasy. She just hoped that he wasn’t in some sort of serious trouble by now…he was a strong fighter, so if he had gotten into a fight, he probably would have won and returned by now…

    …If he won.

    Reivyn’s mind went back to a week or two ago, when Kenjiro had come within inches of death trying to protect her. This time, there were no magicians or doctors around to help if he encountered another near-fatal wound like the one he had sustained earlier.



    Katrina was sending out her first Pokémon. Reivyn recognized the one she had chosen, and was glad she was at a distance.

    “Arcus, are you ready?” Katrina asked.

    “<I was born ready,>” Arcus replied arrogantly.

    “<Geez, if you’re going to use a cocky one-liner, think of one that hasn’t been done to death,>” Crescent quipped.

    “<Just shut up and watch me work, then,>” Arcus replied.

    Rod reared back a Pokéball…

    Electrode or Magnemite? Katrina thought to herself.

    “Let’s roll, Electrike!!” Rod shouted. Out of the ball came an actual, organic creature this time. He had short, stubby legs and was a bright green color with yellow accents on his body, which crackled as he snarled in an unsuccessful attempt to intimidate the Arcidane opposite him on the field.

    “<You’re kidding me, right? That’s it?>” Arcus replied, crouching down on all fours. “<This’ll be a piece of cake.>”

    “<Arcus, you haven’t battled in a few days – don’t get cocky!>” Crescent advised him.

    “<Shut – up!>” Arcus groaned in annoyance. “<I know what I’m doing.>”

    Meanwhile, Katrina was cursing her own stupidity.

    Damn! she thought to herself. Why I didn’t remember…hardly any Gym Leaders use the exact same team in consecutive matches.

    “Here we go!” Rod shouted first. “Electrike, use Tackle!”

    “Howl, then Quick Attack!” Katrina ordered in response. Arcus planted his feet into the ground, reared his head back, and let out a bloodcurdling howl that could be heard over the crowd noise. Now burning a crimson color with the extra energy, he launched himself from the ground (creating a small crack in the panel he was standing on) and directly at Electrike, who was not ready for the sudden increase in speed and was immediately bowled over by the wolf-like Ice-type.

    Electrike hit the ground and bounced. Arcus skidded around, avoiding an exploding panel by inches as the tile blew up just to his left as his feet passed over it.

    “Arcus, Aurora Beam!” Katrina yelled. Arcus opened his mouth and let fly a colorful beam of frozen energy. Electrike winced under it at he was blown backward.

    “C’mon, Electrike, you can do better than that, damn it!” Rod swore. “Shock Wave!”

    Electrike opened his own mouth and released a fast-moving, crackling, ball of electricity that seemed to glow with white and all shades of blue as it shot at Arcus like a comet released from the heavens. Katrina had barely enough time to react.

    “Arcus, jump!!” she shouted. Arcus, forcing all of his strength into his legs, leapt into the air right at the ball of electric energy got there. This ball passed under the Arcidane and began to hum ominously…

    BANG.

    In a sudden explosion that rocked the entire stadium, Arcus was blown backward by radiating waves of energy. He hit the electric barrier back-first, snarling in pain as the electricity began to run through his body, bounced off it, and hit the stadium floor face-down in a cloud of dust and smoke.

    “One!” the referee’s hand came down. “Two! ….Three!!”

    Just as the blue-shirted official was about to give the fourth count, the Fang Pup Pokémon began to stagger to his feet.

    “<If you think I’m going down that easily,>” Arcus growled. “<You’re sadly mistaken.>”

    “Ice Beam, Arcus!!” Katrina shouted. Arcus reared back and fired a white beam of arctic chill at Electrike, who responded by dancing around and causing Arcus to shoot several more times, freezing several of the tiles on his side. Katrina smiled.

    “Your attack missed – what’s so funny?” Rod shouted.

    “Who said I was trying to hit you?” Katrina replied. Rod looked around, and with a groaned oath, realized that at least half of the field was covered in a thick layer of ice. “There goes about half of your exploding floor. On top of that, your clumsy Electrike can’t move around on ice.”

    “And your pooch can?” Rod replied. Arcus growled loudly at the insult.

    “Arcus, show him,” Katrina replied calmly. “Quick Attack!”

    “Electrike, get out of there!” Rod shouted. Electrike did manage to dodge left just as Arcus got there, but was thrown into a skid by the ice on his side of the field. Arcus, on the other hand, dug his claws into the ice, turned on a dime, and launched himself at the opposing Electric-type a second time. This time his aim was true.

    WHAM. Electrike skidded backward, attempting to dig his feet into the ice, but Arcus kept coming.

    WHAM. Electrike bounced off the electric barrier, over Arcus’ head, and landed at some distance behind him. Arcus turned around, sizing up his weakened opponent for the final blow.

    “Finish him off!” Katrina shouted. “Use Bite!”

    Arcus bared his razor-sharp canines and rushed. Electrike, who was disoriented, had a bit of a Stantler-in-headlights moment right before Arcus fell upon him. He sank his teeth into the Electric-type Pokémon and hurled the green creature to the icy ground, where the latter stayed, now unconscious. The referee ran over and began to commence the five-count.

    “Good job,” a male voice frightened Reivyn. She jumped up and immediately threw a fist to her left. It was grabbed by a boy about her height with blue hair tied back in a braid, who seemed to have defended himself with almost as much instinct as she had attacked. Recognizing the boy and immediately feeling foolish, Reivyn withdrew her hand and sat down.

    “A little bit jumpy?” Travis laughed, edging past her into the empty seat and taking it.

    “Sorry,” Reivyn apologized.

    “Don’t worry about it – I know exactly how you feel,” Travis said, looking ahead over the arena.

    “You do?” Reivyn sat back, interested to hear more.

    “Two years ago,” Travis began, “there were evil people after my life, too. All because of that sword I carry…the one you tried to steal, remember?”

    Reivyn avoided Travis’ eyes guiltily.

    “It’s okay,” Travis reassured her. “Why were you after that sword, anyway?”

    “I wanted to trade it…for my freedom,” Reivyn explained. “I thought, maybe, if they had a sword that powerful, they wouldn’t be so concerned about one person who escaped…”

    “Does the Temple want the sword?” Travis asked.

    “I don’t know…” Reivyn replied, shaking her head. “There are a lot of things that I don’t know about the Temple. I know the Temple is waiting for a ‘Chosen One’ – one who is able to wield the legendary sword.”

    Travis’ eyes became more intense.

    “A chosen one…but it’s not me,” Travis replied. “Any interaction the Temple’s had with me has involved you. So, who?”

    “They are looking for…a king,” Reivyn said. “Shoryuu…it’s roughly translated, ‘Sacred Dragon.’”

    “So, do you mean…the Legendary Pokémon, Rayquaza?” Travis asked.

    Slowly, the red-haired girl nodded.

    “Ah…” Travis gasped. “The day Kenjiro fought me, he said something about there being three swords. I have one – Ho-oh’s sword. Then there’s Lugia’s sword…and I think I know who has that one. As for Rayquaza’s sword…is it the symbol of Hoenn’s king? Only those in line for the throne can wield the sword, then…”

    “That’s right, I think,” Reivyn replied.

    “Which brings us back to Elrik and Edgar,” Travis muttered. “Edgar has the sword…and, in terms of blood, he is a rightful wielder. But each sword must work in harmony to the other two. Edgar’s such a tyrant, the power of his sword would never work in harmony with Ho-oh’s or Lugia’s…”

    There was a long pause. Reivyn gasped as Travis punched the armrest hard, right where her hand had been seconds before.

    “Damn it,” Travis cursed. “I’m trying to sort this whole thing out, and I’m getting nothing…what about Kenjiro? He doesn’t strike me as particularly loyal to Prince Elrik, but he has some stake in the way this war goes. Why is that?”

    Reivyn looked at him for a moment.

    “Kenji…” she finally began. “He was born in the Temple, too…”

    “Hm?” Travis looked up, surprised.

    “He was born into a high-ranking family and showed a lot of promise as a fighter,” Reivyn continued. “Everyone thought that he might have even become an Archbishop – the chief leader of the Temple. But he had a brother…Hayate. Hayate was a Temple Knight – one of the strongest ones…but he had different beliefs. The Temple taught that our fates were determined at birth and that concepts like love and loyalty to family were empty and foolish. Hayate believed different. For that, they killed his parents. Then, they tried to kill Kenjiro. So Hayate tried to leave. He took Kenji with him and killed anyone who stood in his way. Then one Temple Knights and twelve acolytes caught up with him when he was at his weakest. He hid Kenjiro in a bush and fought them all. He didn’t survive.”

    Travis stared at Reivyn blankly.

    “Kenji got away, though…and he’s been trying to bring down the Temple ever since,” Reivyn finished.

    “That’s right…” Travis muttered. “Kenjiro said something to me about getting Elrik on the throne and having him destroy the Temple. So he’s been using the Prince all this time… Everyone wants to use someone else to accomplish their goals. The Emerald Knights want me to be a weapon. Kenjiro wants me to be a weapon, and he wants the Prince to supply him with military power. Everyone can use each other all they want. But this time, I’m getting what I want.”

    “What’s that?” Reivyn asked.

    Right before Travis got the chance to answer, the crowd erupted into raucous cheering and booing. Travis looked down into the arena and realized that Katrina had just won her match.



    Katrina shut her pink badge case – now containing a Dynamobadge earned from the Mauville Gym – and slipped it into her pants pocket. The door clicked open and Katrina looked up toward it to see Travis waving and smiling, Reivyn standing calmly behind him. She sprang to her feet and fell into Travis’ arms. After a few moments, she released her and exclaimed, “I can’t believe both of us have four badges already!”

    “I know,” Travis replied, “Looks like we’ll be in Evergrande in no time.”

    “I’m tired…” Katrina said. “Let’s go back to the center. It’s got to be almost ten or eleven.”

    “That late?” Travis asked. “Didn’t you beat Rod pretty quick?”

    “But…Kenji…” Reivyn said timidly. Katrina’s heart sank.

    “He never came back?” Katrina asked Travis.

    “No,” he replied, shaking his head vehemently. “We never saw him…but we did see a busted-out window that had been roped off.”

    “You don’t think…” Katrina asked.

    “Kenjiro jumping through a window? What the hell reason would Kenjiro have for jumping through a window…?” Travis muttered. “Unless…”

    “What?” Reivyn asked.

    Travis didn’t answer her question. Instead, he walked toward the door and said, “Let’s get back to the Center.”



    The Center was a short walk away from Mauville’s Gym, and was definitely visible from nearly anywhere in the city. Travis, Katrina, and Reivyn walked the road they had taken on the way to the Gym the first time. This road had a few dark alleys that were not exactly safe places to tread at this time of night – the few places in the city that were not illuminated by neon lighting of some sort. At about the third alleyway, Reivyn stopped.

    “I think I just heard someone groaning,” she said quickly.

    “What?” Travis looked at her like she was crazy.

    “I didn’t hear anything – did you?” Katrina asked Travis.

    “Nothing,” Travis answered.

    Travis strained his ears to listen.

    “It’s really muffled,” Reivyn muttered. “But I hear it.”

    There was a second’s pause, and she ran into the alley.

    “Reivyn, wait!” Katrina shouted.

    “That’s not safe!!” Travis yelled even louder, but to no avail. A faint glow began to emanate from the alley, almost as if someone had conjured some sort of flame very far away. Travis and Katrina waited for two seconds. Instantly, the light was extinguished as they heard a bloodcurdling shriek.

    “Reivyn!” Katrina shouted, holding out her hand and summoning her Aurillian staff, whose core was already glowing with a bright, bluish-white light. “Travis, hurry up!!”

    She ran in first. Travis stood for a second with his eyes on the partly cloudy sky.

    “Of all nights for me not to have my sword on me – damn – it…!” Travis groaned through gritted teeth, following Katrina into the alley at full speed.

    “Are you back there??” Katrina shouted, still looking ahead with her staff held out in front of her and illuminating the alleyway.

    “I’m here!” Travis panted, catching up with her. “Geez – why the hell is this alleyway so narrow?”

    “Question is, why the hell did Reivyn run down here?” Katrina muttered. “Well, I think I see a dead end…we’re about to find out!!”

    The end of the alleyway contained a huge space. Dumpsters, ladders and entrances to slum-like houses lined the brick walls of this small square. Gingerly, Katrina walked forward.

    “Reivyn! Where are…oh – my – GOD!” she shouted. Wondering what the problem was, Travis ran up alongside her and turned in the direction she’d pointed. There, with Reivyn kneeling over him, beaten, bloodied, and barely alive…

    …was Kenjiro Kazaki.

    “Kenjiro…” Travis muttered. A groan escaped the lips of the wounded young man.

    “He’s still alive…” Reivyn said, “but barely.”

    “What happened?” Travis asked loudly. “What happened to you?”
    Kenjiro’s eyes opened barely.

    “Run…” he muttered. “Mystic…Carona...”

    “Mystic? Carona? What the hell?” Travis asked Katrina.

    “That name sounds familiar…” Katrina muttered. “It’s not a person.”

    “No…not…his name…” Kenjiro groaned.

    “Kenji, don’t talk anymore!!” Reivyn shouted.

    “…Klein….D-Darris Klein…” he continued to babble incoherently. “Get the sword…get out…get the hell out!!”

    “Klein? Darris Klein? Who is Darris Klein – and what the hell’s a ‘Carona’?” Travis asked. “Kenjiro? Are you there? Kenjiro, say something!!”

    “Kenji!!” Reivyn cried. No response.

    “He’s passed out,” Katrina said, upon kneeling to take a further examination. She put her hand to his chest. His heart was still beating faintly. Travis stood up straight, thoughts swimming in his head.

    “We’re going to get back to the Center and get him some help,” he said. “I don’t know what’s happened, but…after that, we have to get out of Mauville.”

    “I’m not leaving Kenji here by himself!!” Reivyn immediately exclaimed.
    “You, of all people!!” Travis shouted just as vehemently. “Or did you forget that you’ve got an entire crazed cult after you? We have to stay together. We’ll be able to cover each other’s backs better.”

    “But what about Kenji?” Reivyn asked.

    “He said something about the sword. If this person’s after the sword, we’ve got to get it the hell outta Mauville, don’t you understand that?!” Travis shouted.

    “Don’t yell at her so much,” Katrina said.

    “Sorry,” Travis sighed. “Reivyn, how well can you fight?”

    “As well as I need to,” Reivyn responded.

    “Okay – we’re going now. Reivyn, you’ll be the only one with your hands free – you’ll have to cover us if we get attacked until I get my sword. Then, we’re leaving,” Travis said.

    As they both draped one of Kenjiro’s arms around them, Katrina looked up at Travis, who saw something in her eyes that he had not seen for a long time.

    “Travis…” she whispered. “I’m scared. Where will we go?”

    “Verdanturf,” Travis said. “We’re going to Verdanturf. That way, if things go badly, we can get back to Rustboro and the Emerald Knights’ base through that tunnel.”

    “Do we want to disturb a place like Verdanturf?” Katrina asked.

    “Well, we’ll have a hell of a better chance to survive going that way instead of north – over Mt. Chimney…which I hear has been active lately…or the Sand of Khalid.”

    “Khalid?” Katrina repeated.

    “Huge desert – sandstorms,” Travis said quickly. Katrina’s eyes did a blank sort of blink.

    “Okay…it’s Verdanturf, then…” she muttered.

    “Alright – Reivyn, you ready?” Travis asked. Reivyn, who had her weapons drawn, gulped and nodded. Travis, the arm of his fallen comrade draped over his shoulders, steeled himself and gave the final command:

    “Let’s go.”

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

    The plot thickens...anyway, my stomach's growling, so I've gotta get to lunch before I starve to death. R&R when you get the chance! L8r!

    - 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.




  6. #206
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    Go, man go! First post once again!

    Chapter important, your health imperative! DON'T FORGET IT!

    You know my style...

    L@er!

    Right, Let's do it to it!

    It was shorter than your usual standard (shows you can still write a short chappie. I may be doomed to long chapterdom for a while...) but it was one of the best i've read in a while...

    Travis is one crazy son of a gun... i dunno which is worse: leaving the sword behind or getting fried...

    Kenjiro gets pwned! Man, he needs a new gun...

    No errors (as far as i could see) were detected, so i'll leave this to the Castform...

    Keep up the good stuff and Happy Thanksgiving in advance!

    L@er!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 13th November 2007 at 7:43 AM.
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    (Still waiting on the excellent Saffire Persian for another awesome TCQ banner!)

  7. #207
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    "Well darn, I could've sworn that I'd saw that red-haired guy somewhere, but it turns out that he's another villan that Travis will incinerate" is what I'd like to say, but you being yourself, I have the utmost faith that you'll make it interesting. I said a similar something about Xavier and Co. way back when, and look where that got me.

    Poor Travis has trouble with leaving the pain to the pokemon in battles doesn't he? His win was great, and with my sick sense of humor quite funny. I've got to say that Travis' gutsy side is the one that I love the best, whether in his usual self or the one whom likes to slice people into bite sized pieces and/or blow them up with flaming energy blasts. In a fragment, go Travis. And Angel; it is possible for her to have learned Reflect, or something? *goes to EV an Espeon to survive Explosion*

    “I’m sorry it took so long,” Doctor Audrey said. “I double-checked and triple-checked, looking for some sort of outside chance, and…you’re fortunate that your leg might enough for you to walk normally, but…your traveling days are over.”
    Typos suck, believe me. At least it wasn't something embarassing like making **** out of shift. *guilty*

    About the only complaint I have with this chapter, not being a member of the grammar gestapo, is the lack of screentime Katrina's battle had. Now, make note that this is the same dissatisfaction that I had with the ending of Death Note, in that while I didn't like it (yes, this is a hint at future installments ^_^; ), I can see no way of including it without ruining the mood you created going into the discovery of Kenjiro's beaten body. Of course, plot advancement > mindless violence any day.

    Happy Thanksgiving, considering we won't hear from you until after the fact! -Oath

    PS: Watch the parade on the superstation coming out of Chicago. </shamelessplug>

  8. #208
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    Oath:
    Yeah...I really wanted to extend Katrina's battle a bit, too, but there was business to be taken care of. My main goal for Katrina's gym battle (because, originally, I wasn't sure if I was even going to include it) was to feature Arcus in one-on-one action, because I don't think I have before.

    Yes, I kind of felt like including that full battle would have caused things to drag just a little bit. Also, I wanted to portray Travis and Reivyn's first real interaction by themselves with neither Katrina's nor Kenjiro's influence. In typical fashion, Travis wants information and therefore gleans what little Reivyn has in an attempt to put two and two (and two and two and five) together.

    AD:

    These chapters are shorter than my usual because, when I planned this storyline, the last two chapters were originally supposed to be one chapter. Granted, I wasn't really very sure that I would have finished the entire thing by Thanksgiving, which would have set the chapter back about two weeks, so I broke it up.
    Last edited by EonMaster One; 13th November 2007 at 3:10 PM.

    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.




  9. #209
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    Woo! Chapter is up! Sorry I didn't review yesterday, it was busy.

    Erhem, anyway, this chapter was pretty good, I liked it. For the Arcus v.s. Elecktrike battle, I would of had Arcus feel invigorated by howl, not glowing crimson, but hey. That's your call.

    Everything else has been covered, so I'm outta here. Lucario/Gallade/Staraptor pwn all.

    --Lucarioman777
    I have died.

  10. #210
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    woohoo! new chapter!


    awesomely done, as always. except for one thing.........





    YOU LEFT US WITH A CLIFFHANGER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!

    now how am i supposed to think of anything else until you put up the new chapter!?


    at any rate, happy thanksgiving if we don't see you AGAIN again.

  11. #211
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    Darn Americans and thanksgiving, us brits have no holidays until christmas.

    Speaking of christmas, I don't know whether it airs in America, but on sunday, I saw the coca-cola advert with the trucks and the "holidays are coming" song in the background. You know its christmas when that comes on.

    All this and I aint mentioned the chapter. The omission of Katrinas battle I think was necessary, Already seen one, and no one likes to see a gym leader get beat twice, its just unfair. Poor rod. We all like plot development and if it means no second battle. I welcome it.

    Shine on you crazy Diamond.
    Skogsrå

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

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  12. #212
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    worse than that....it's spam...with a double post!!!!!!! >_<



    geee....exercising and eating right....yeah how long have people been saying that?



    anyway, i'm dieing here trying to figure out what happens next. XP
    i hate cliffhangers......

  13. #213
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    Well...it turns out I'm able to post a chapter earlier than expected. This one's meaty, so hang on for the ride!

    Chapter 22: Revolution in Flight


    June 19, PA 2013 – Route 117


    “His name was…Darris Klein, he said. A Mystic from Carona.”

    “Carona’s a place, then?”

    “A continent – far away. My blade-rifle…it’s from Carona.”

    “That’s all you know about it?”

    “That’s it.”

    “What about the Mystics?”

    “Just what it sounds like – a group of people….fighters, most of them…simply seeking to uncover the secrets of magical power.”

    “Kenjiro, do you know anything else?”

    “Darris was extremely strong.”

    “Obviously – I mean, if he could put someone like you in a state like this…”

    “Kenji…I don’t want to leave you here…”

    “Reivyn…these guys will be counting on you to help them out. You have to be strong for them.”

    “I’ll find the one that did this to you…I promise.”

    “No! You can’t take him on by yourself. He’s got…powers. I hardly stood a chance. You guys have got to get to Verdanturf. Look for a widow named Arsham. Tell her I sent you.”


    The cool water on Travis’ face awakened him to the start of the day as he took a single, deep, tense breath and looked around. Wiping his face with a white towel, the boy stood, looking over his shoulder at the girl behind him, who was busy stuffing their packs with all of the supplies they had taken out over the night.

    She watched the expression on his face as he looked at her. He’d had the look ever since they had left Mauville the night before last. It was the look of someone who knew what he had to do…and was not looking forward to it. She knew that he was hiding something. He didn’t do a good job of deception – his heart was too honest for that. She knew…that if she just asked, she would receive an answer.

    “What’s wrong?” she asked him. “You look like there’s something you want to say to me.”

    “Katrina…” Travis sighed, turning around and looking up toward the rising sun. “It’s starting.”

    “Starting?” Katrina asked, sounding very confused.

    “Just like back at South Sea…” Travis muttered. “It’s the same feeling. This time, though…this time, I won’t let it stop me.”

    “Stop you?” Katrina repeated.

    “I realize…” Travis sighed. “…I can’t show mercy on anyone like I did last time. If I fight Darris and beat him…I can’t let him live.”

    There was a pregnant silence for a few moments as Travis and Katrina stared at each other quietly. It was as if they had agreed…and had both agreed that they didn’t like what they had agreed upon.

    “Somehow, I thought I could come through this without much bloodshed…” Travis mused. Laughing, he asked, “How naïve is that, right?”

    “Well…it’s a different brand of war,” Katrina commented somberly. “We’re not fighting robots anymore.”

    Travis, hands in his pockets, smiled.

    “With any luck, we’ll get to Verdanturf sometime today,” he said, walking toward her and strapping his katana to his waist. “Tomorrow’s Shiro’s birthday, so we’ve got to call him before he takes off somewhere.”

    “You’re right,” Katrina replied. “Then, the day after that…”

    “…The day after that…?” Travis repeated rather stupidly. Katrina groaned.

    Our anniversary…?” she said in exasperation.

    “….Oh,” Travis muttered sort of morosely. She was right. They had first started going out June 21, two years ago.

    “Why are you being like that?” Katrina asked.

    “It’s nothing,” Travis answered. “I just…I just hope we don’t have to spend our anniversary on the run from anybody…like the one time we celebrated my birthday by preparing for war...”

    “Let’s get to Verdanturf,” Katrina said finally, reaching up and patting Travis on the shoulder comfortingly.

    “Yeah,” Travis responded, nodding in assent. “Where’s Reivyn?”


    She stood high on a treetop, her eyes scanning the skyline for anything suspicious. But there was nothing suspicious. Just a few Taillow and Swellow flying around, wild Pokémon waking for the first time. Just nature. She saw no sign of the man – the one she was after.

    This time, she would not be weak. He hurt the only person she had ever loved in her life…

    …and he was going to pay for it with his own.

    She was tired – tired of people underestimating her, coddling her, treating her as if she were a small child…

    She could stand on her own two feet…and she just needed the chance to prove that.

    The Temple…they didn’t matter anymore. She and Kenjiro both knew that. There were bigger things going on. But should they come…she would not run anymore. Running would not make them leave her alone. They would only pursue and pursue until she or they were all dead.

    “No matter what they try…they can’t take anything else from us. We’ll have peace.”

    She closed her eyes and remembered the words he had said to her right before they had kissed for the first time. She believed him wholeheartedly – he was the most hopeful thing in her life, and the one thing that made her refuse to give in as she had done so many times before. She would not die…she would not be held captive.

    …And she would take her destiny in her own hands.

    Her heart leapt as she saw a form emerging across the horizon. Circling the sky high above this form was what looked to be a large, bird-like creature. It looked a lot like a Taillow, but it was a bit bigger. What was it called again…?

    That thought was put on hold as Reivyn got a better look at the form now passing under the tree…

    Trenchcoat…

    That strange hat…

    Long, coarse, bright red hair…

    It was him!!

    Resisting the urge to leap straight from the tree and fall upon him, Reivyn sat back and attempted to figure out a different plan. She drew her knives and watched for a moment.


    The man stopped and yawned. Brushing some of his crimson hair out of his eyes, he heaved a sigh.

    “Dammit,” he muttered. “I can’t believe he got out of the city before I could get to him…what a botched job…”

    At that moment, he heard a metallic clink and noticed that a knife of some sorts…which he could have sworn wasn’t there a minute or two ago…was stuck in the ground in front of him.

    “What the hell’s that?” the mid-twenties man muttered, kneeling down and grabbing the knife. Yanking it out of the ground, he got a look at his design. The blade was made of a steel-like substance, was about nine inches long, and had a diamond-shaped cross section. It looked like something a ninja would use… “Huh…”

    The man heard something…

    Unsheathing his sword, he swung it around with a loud yell. Immediately, he came face-to-face as well as blade-to-blade with the soaring, upended figure of a beautiful, young woman in her teens carrying another one of those knives. After about a second (which felt like a lot longer), the young warrior rotated in mid-air and landed on her feet, skidding to a stop several yards away from him. The man grunted in pain as the dagger in his hand exploded into ball lightning and shot back into the girl’s hand, where it was caught by the blade and between two fingers.

    “You’re Darris Klein,” Reivyn shouted her inquiry at the swordsman. “Aren’t you?!”

    “Where’d you learn my name?” Darris asked, looking at Reivyn curiously.

    “Why’d you attack Kenji??” Reivyn countered.

    “Kenji…I have no idea who you’re talking about, little girl,” Darris said, shrugging his shoulders. Lowering his sword and standing straight, he added, “What I do know, though…is that I don’t take it well when strangers draw weapons on me.”

    “Answer my question,” Reivyn said loudly.

    “You’re in no position to be making demands, little girl,” Darris said smugly. “You’re in way over your head. Do you want to know what happened to the last boy that got in my w—”

    “SHUT UP!” Reivyn, her patience at an end, charged. Darris was caught off guard for about a second and a half, which, as it turned out, was still nowhere near enough time for someone, even someone with Reivyn’s speed, to mount any kind of quality attack. She swung one of her daggers at Darris and met the heavy long sword the man commonly used in battle. Darris returned by slinging his sword at Reivyn’s face. She managed to block, but the man’s swing was so powerful that she was rendered completely off-balance, leaving her wide open to Darris’ follow-up attack.

    Darris executed this attack by thrusting an open palm out toward Reivyn’s head, stopping, making two or three signals with that hand, and then blasting Reivyn full-on in the face with what appeared to have been a bolt of lightning. The girl went flying backward until she finally met the ground, where she hit it, bounced once, and began an uncontrollable roll for several feet, finally coming to a halt face-down and about fifty yards away.

    Darris observed the girl’s motionless body as it continue to crackle with electricity, and lowered his hand with a satisfied smirk.

    “Ha,” he chuckled. “That was kinda disappointing. At least the other guy put up a fight.”

    “Urgh…” Darris took a closer look. To his amusement, the girl was actually struggling to her feet. As she revealed her face, it showed a bruise and a bloody lip as well as slightly trembling eyes. Darris smiled.

    “Just as well,” he said. “I wanted to have a little more fun with you. Huh?”

    The girl had disappeared.

    “What the –” Darris ducked out of the way of a roundhouse kick, rose, and, using his gauntleted free hand, blocked a follow-up kick. Reivyn continued trying to force it through. Then Darris threw his blade into the air. Hooking Reivyn’s leg with his now unhindered sword arm, he tossed the girl to the ground violently and watched her roll, not even bothering to look at his sword as its hilt dropped back into his palm.

    “Like I said before…” Darris proclaimed. “You’re in over your head.”

    Reivyn looked up at Darris with a fire in her eyes that amused him greatly. She rose to her feet and drove both of her knives into the ground.

    Tsuchi! Rock Spire!!” she shouted. A second later, the ground began to shake.

    “What in the…” Darris muttered. He found out ‘what’ in less than a second. Spikes began to shoot out from the ground, moving in Darris’ general direction. “Damn!!”

    He swore, leaping into the air. Just as he did so, a spear of rock pierced through the ground, right where he had been standing a second ago. Floating high into the air, he smirked. He heard a yell and looked up…

    Too late…

    WHAM.

    Reivyn hit him in the jaw with a strong roundhouse kick that he was not prepared to block. She hooked around his neck with this leg, then the other, then flipped, yanking Darris over with him and sending him plummeting to the ground at breakneck speed. Still in midair and pulling out of her flip, Reivyn, her hands glowing an earthy, amber color, performed four hand signs and shouted, “Tsuchi! Stone Arrows!”

    Darris skidded to a stop, caught his hat, and looked up into the air.

    “How irritating,” he muttered as he watched dozens of arrows made out of the hardest and sharpest rock aimed right at him. He reared back with his sword, which began to glow a crimson color in its fuller. He swung, shooting forth a wave of energy into the air that met with and atomized most of the arrows of rock. He swung again, obliterating the last of them. Then he swung a third time, with the intent of attacking Reivyn, who was still in the air and would have difficulty blocking.

    He was right.

    An explosion and a quickly muffled scream told Darris that he had hit his mark.

    “Got her,” he said simply, lowering his sword as he watched Reivyn emerge from the dust cloud and plummet to the ground. He waited for the sickening crack that would have signaled the end of the fight, but it never came. Darris’ eyes returned to ground level, where he saw Reivyn standing. He chuckled in slight annoyance, “Tough cookie.”

    Kaze! Hurricane Flare!!” Reivyn made three hand signals and reared back with her hand, holding a translucent, green ball of spinning energy and gripping it. With a loud yell, she launched it at Darris, who stood there for a second, thinking that he had time to dodge Reivyn’s strike. That second was long enough for Darris to be hit and blasted backward. After several moments, the red-haired swordsman planted his blade into the ground, braking him and causing him to slide to a stop. Darris leaned on the sword slightly, taking in a quick breath.

    “Whew…holy **** – that was a head rush,” he gasped, righting himself and yanking his sword from the ground. “That’s it.”

    Immediately, Darris flung his fedora from his head, revealing a strange mark on his forehead, as well as cerulean eyes. His smug expression was completely erased, and his new face was all business.

    “Tsk tsk tsk…you brought this upon yourself,” he said in a tone of mock pity. “I wish I could say that this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you…but I’d be lying through my teeth, wouldn’t I?”

    Darris disappeared. Reivyn let out a loud gasp and looked around her. She let out a scream as she felt a hand squeeze around her throat. Darris was looking down straight into her eyes with a disturbingly calm expression on his face.

    “It’s a shame, too...having to end the life of such a beautiful creature…but then again, they say that the pretty faces don’t have a lot going for them upstairs…”

    She continued to stare up into Darris’ face, now struggling, attempting to remove herself from the clutch of his strong right hand. But it was like her throat was enclosed in a vice grip…with no chance for escape. As the seconds wore on, Reivyn found her vision blurring. The one Darris Klein became three, then five, then one again. Then he was simply a mass of mottled red and black, like a badly-done abstract painting. All she could see clearly was the terrifying glow of those two, blue eyes…and then…

    “Up you go!!” Darris shouted. Reivyn was free – she choked in the air whipping past her as she was tossed skyward. Her eyes watered and her head felt like it was about to burst…she had to find the presence of mind to right herself and continue the fight…but where was it? She looked up and saw the tall, trenchcoat-covered form of Darris Klein descending upon her.

    “This is what happens when you mess with a Mystic!!”

    With a sickening CRUNCH, Darris drove the hilt of his sword into Reivyn’s ribs, smashing her downward toward the ground. Reivyn braced for the impact knowing that, at that height, her chance for survival was extremely low. She felt herself stop, felt herself in strong arms…

    Looked up into gentle, but powerful blue eyes…

    And then felt herself reach the ground – gently.

    “Who are those kids?” As Darris landed, he saw a blue-haired boy and a pink-haired girl kneeling over the red-haired girl he had been inches away from killing. Both stood, and the boy turned around. The girl had some sort of rod in her hand. She went to make a move toward Darris, but the boy stopped her, walking toward Darris himself. As he advanced, Darris noticed two things. One made his heart leap, and the other made him slightly curious.

    The first – the boy’s left hip was accented with what appeared to be a katana with a white sheath.

    The second – the boy’s blue eyes were cold with anger.

    He came within twenty yards of the red-haired man, then stopped.

    “Darris Klein,” Travis declared coolly. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

    “I have fans here and there,” Darris jibed – but it didn’t seem that Travis was having any of it.

    “I hear you’re looking for a sword,” Travis said. “A powerful sword. This sword.”

    “You mean to tell me that you really are the one that wields the Godfire sword?” Darris laughed. “How amusing. That boy I left for dead in a Mauville alleyway said you were something to be feared.”

    “Feared?” Travis repeated, raising an eyebrow. “That depends on whether you get in my way or not.”

    “I take it you’re not going to give me the sword, then?” Darris asked.

    “Give you the sword?” Travis laughed. “You’ll be lucky if I give you any mercy.”

    “Mercy?” Darris seemed just as amused.

    “If you want the sword…” Travis muttered, crouching slightly. “…come get it.”

    Travis phased out of sight. Darris had barely enough time to scream before Travis, from the draw, had struck Darris under the chin with the hilt of his weapon. Darris reeled backward, barely keeping his balance.

    “Gah…” the Mystic swordsman grunted, snapping his head up soon thereafter. “Enjoy that? That’ll be the last time you touch me.”

    Travis stood straight, sheathing his sword wordlessly.

    “Do you fear death, boy?” Darris asked.

    “No,” Travis replied tersely. “Do you?”

    Darris raised an eyebrow.

    “I’ll wipe that smug expression off your face,” he said, lowering his sword and charging. Travis drew his sword quickly to meet Darris’ weapon, and the two clashed with a metallic clang that could probably be heard a mile or two away. Darris landed on the ground and swung at Travis again. Travis blocked successfully, but buckled under the weight of Darris’ heavy sword. Darris swung a third time and Travis rejected him once again. Darris saw a flash of light and had to duck as Travis’ sword now went on the offensive, crackling with pure-white flames. The fire scorched his nose slightly, but Darris had the presence of mind to use his hand to grab Travis’ wrist, yank it across the boy’s body, and raise a size-13 boot that soon connected with the back of Travis’ head, separating sword from boy and sending both skidding across the flat ground. Darris, however, wasn’t surprised at all when the boy immediately sprung back on his feet and stomped on the hilt of his grounded sword, flipping it back up into his hand.

    Meanwhile, Travis, clutching the back of his head slightly, caught his breath.

    “Shit!” he snarled, one of his eyes half-open as he attempted to formulate a new attack plan through the ringing in his ears. “This guy’s hands are faster than I thought…not to mention his feet. Now what?”

    “That ought to get his attention,” Darris muttered. Then, raising his voice to a shout, he yelled at Travis, “Do you give up yet??”

    The boy charged.

    “Guess not,” Darris sighed, watching the boy approach and leap. Nonchalantly, Darris Klein held his blade up at head level to block Travis’ strike. As he had predicted, their swords made contact with each other. Travis was holding his own weapon with one hand. As for the other hand, it was pointed directly at Darris’ ribs. Before he had a chance to wonder what Travis was doing, it came.

    BANG.

    There was a blast like a cannon going off, and Darris was engulfed in white light and smoke. He felt himself hit the ground hard. When he opened his eyes, he saw that Travis had shrunk into the distance.

    “Urgh…” he groaned, pulling himself to his feet. “What the hell was that?”

    Travis was standing there, his sword sheathed again, seemingly inviting Darris to attack.

    Darris charged this time, with a loud yell of anger. Once he got within three long strides, he knew something wasn’t quite right. He barely had enough time to stop and switch to a defensive stance as Travis cried:

    “Hundredfold Sword of Heaven!!”

    A red glow began to surround Travis. It looked rather like he had a dozen arms, all armed with katana and all moving in different directions. Darris found himself having to defend against sword strike after sword strike. His arms ached, and his brain was reeling, wondering how in the world a human being could move this quickly…

    Then it stopped. Darris took a breath and was quickly blasted off his feet by an apparent fireball issued from the hand of his opponent.

    Travis watched Darris hit the ground and groaned in frustration.

    “He blocked all of them,” he panted. “No one’s ever done that before.”

    “Meowth got your tongue?” Darris taunted. “You look shocked.”

    He held up one of his hands, and shot a smattering of lightning bolts at Travis, who was up quickly, and stopped the lightning with a stream of flame issued from his own left hand. The two attacks struggled with each other for a moment. Each fighter’s grip on his respective sword tightened. After a few seconds, they broke their mystical grapple and rushed each other with the weapons.

    CLANG.

    Shockwaves radiated from where their swords hit each other…again…and again…and again…

    Each thinking along the same lines, they went for each other’s ribs with magically-infused fists. These two fists hit each other, resulting in a small explosion that sent both skidding in opposite directions. Travis, his sword now crackling with red and white flames, snarled, twirling his blade as he came to a full stop and rushing Darris, who had just removed his own sword from the ground. Darris brought his blade down with a mighty slash, invoking the same red wave of energy he had used on Reivyn minutes before, but Travis dodged it with superhuman speed, still advancing on his opponent. He leapt into the air and drove his foot down into Darris’ knee, stomped him on the chest with the other, and lifted the first foot up to Darris’ face…

    Darris grabbed this foot, but wasn’t prepared for the other, which connected mightily with his forehead soon after. Travis regained control of his body and dove at Darris, his sword glowing. Darris inched to the left and sparks flew as Travis’ sword grazed his. Too late, Travis realized he had extended himself much too far…

    He felt a burning and tingling in his back and felt his body flying uncontrollably forward and downward. Based on recent experience, it didn’t take Travis long at all to realize that he had been hit with some form of electricity…probably the same lightning Darris had shot at him moments earlier.

    With a crash, Travis hit the ground, skidding on his face for a few moments before sliding to a complete stop. Good thing this grass was reasonably soft, but the ground under it didn’t have much give, immediately knocking the wind out of Travis upon contact.

    “Ow…” Travis groaned, half in pain and half in annoyance. “Damn!!”

    He rolled over onto his back and immediately saw a glowing sword aimed straight for his heart. His sword was a foot away – he didn’t have enough time…

    Thordengata!” Darris was hit in the chest with a bolt of lightning. He looked down in surprise. Soon after, three more of these bolts struck him in quick succession, blasting the mystic Swordsman backwards.

    Travis sat up and shook the cobwebs out of his head. He felt the sword reach his hand again, along with a paler, smaller, gentler hand.

    “I know you didn’t want me to step in, but…” Katrina said, lowering her rod.

    “You couldn’t have picked a better time to ignore what I said,” Travis grunted, struggling to his feet.

    “Damn you all! I’ll have to get rid of the maggots first…” Darris seemed to have snapped in frustration, shooting another powerful wave of energy from his sword. Reacting quickly, Travis bumped Katrina to the ground. Soon after, he felt a burning down the center of his back for the second time and froze.

    Darris stepped backward, smirking confidently. It wasn’t long, though, before the smirk was gone from his face. Travis had turned around, and there had been a marked change. His eyes no longer looked calm and controlled. They were wide beyond all normalcy. His teeth were bared in what appeared to be a permanent growl, and his sword was crackling with red and white fire, as well as streaks of pitch-black.

    “That…” the changed boy before him growled, his neck twitching at a disturbing angle. “…was a mistake on your part.”

    “You’re about to throw a tantrum because I attacked your girlfriend? That’s really nice,” Darris chuckled. “How about you do something about it then?”

    Travis disappeared. Darris was hit (the hilt of the Sacred Flame right in his chin once again) before he realized Travis was gone. He looked up…Travis was already above him. He blocked the sword just in time, but a violent change of direction by his opponent’s blade sent him into a tailspin. He hit the ground on all fours and coughed. Rolling onto his back, he saw a faint glow from above. Travis seemed to be doing something with a large fireball. This globe of flame shrunk into what appeared to be a birdlike shape as he held it in his hand.

    “Haven’t had the chance to use this,” Travis chuckled. “Homing Firebird!!”

    With a loud screech, the flaming creature took flight from Travis’ palm, diving straight at Darris, who was rising to his feet. Darris adroitly rolled to his left before the bird could reach him, looking up at Travis and smirking.

    “Heheh…” the boy laughed…an unsettling laugh that caught Darris off guard just a bit. “It’s called ‘homing’ for a reason.”

    Darris slowly whirled around. He had to time to open his mouth in panic.

    Travis watched as Darris let out a loud roar of pain – the flaming bird had exploded into his chest, scorching his flesh. Immediately, Travis pointed his finger down at Darris, almost as if he was holding a gun.

    “SACRED NOVA SHOT!!” Travis shouted, firing the beam of flames at Darris. Darris had wrestled the bird away and turned around right before the attack hit…

    BANG.

    The ground below Travis went up with a tremendous explosion. A satisfied smile crossed his lips. There was no way Darris could have survived.

    When the light and smoke died down, a crater – probably measuring about fifty feet from one edge to the other – was visible in the ground. Travis landed at the edge of the crater, peering down into it. There was nothing left.

    “Whew, that’s enough of that,” a voice caught Travis attention. Far away from him, a form wearing a trenchcoat stood, holding a fedora and then reattaching it to his head. “I see what he meant by fearsome…”

    “How the hell are you still breathing??” Travis growled.

    “Hey, kid, that was pretty fun,” Darris shouted at him across the crater. “I’ve got some other stuff I need to do, but I’ll play with you some other time.”

    “I don’t remember saying I was done with you,” Travis responded harshly.

    “You probably didn’t…” Darris muttered. “But, then again, it really isn’t your call, now, is it?”

    “Are you working for Edgar?” Travis asked loudly.

    “Edgar? Hell, no. I want his sword just as much as I want yours,” Darris chuckled. “At least you understand how your sword works. He’s just a fool.”

    Travis didn’t respond.

    “I will warn you of this, though...there are a certain people waiting for the chosen Swordbearer. If Edgar meets those people and they ally…you’ll be in a world of hurt,” Darris said.

    Again, Travis stayed silent.

    “You know who I’m talking about,” Darris eyes shifted from Travis to Katrina and then, finally, settled on Reivyn. Turning his head back to Travis, he continued, “Do try and make sure that Edgar doesn’t get his hands on your sword, won’t you? It’ll make things easier for me when I come to collect it.”

    Without a word, Travis launched the fireball he had been conjuring behind him. Predictably, Darris disappeared in a column of red rings just as the attack reached him.

    “Damn it!” Travis groaned, sheathing his sword. “He got away…”

    “Planning on going after him?” Katrina asked, approaching him. “The three of us barely survived that.”

    “Three…” Travis muttered, immediately counting himself and Katrina. “Where’s Reivyn? Don’t tell me she ran off again!”

    Just as Travis was about to start panicking, Katrina pointed out a girl slumped over by a nearby tree.

    “She won’t be running anywhere anytime soon,” Katrina replied. “Sprained ankle.”

    “That’s it?” Travis questioned incredulously. “She’s tougher than I gave her credit for. That guy was a freak – no wonder he gave Kenjiro such a hard time.”

    “Yeah…” Katrina sighed. “But this isn’t the time to talk about it. We need to get to Verdanturf and find this Arsham lady…”

    She looked up and saw the Swellow circle them several times…and then fly west toward their destination.

    “…and something tells me that the faster we get there, the better,” she finished.

    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.




  14. #214
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    May 2005
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    ~~~ *** ~~~

    ”Sire! Imperials! They found the mansion and they’re marching right towards this place as we speak!!”

    “Imperials! How many?”

    “More than a hundred, sir!!”

    “A hundred...damn you, Edgar! Prince, what should we do?”

    “I’m not a military commander, but it sounds like we should cut our losses.”

    “Surrender?”

    “Of course not!!”

    “Prince…?”

    “Truth be told, with the men we have, we could probably beat a force of only a hundred…but at what cost? We’re still building our army. We can’t afford to be losing men…”

    “Where do we go?”

    “Through the tunnel – Verdanturf…if our spy didn’t lie to us, we should have sympathizers there…”

    “Sympathizers...? With all due respect, Prince, how in the world can we depend on sympathizers when the majority of the nation is convinced that you’re dead??”

    “With all due respect, Sir Roald, if we don’t go somewhere now, then we all will be dead.”

    “Elrik…”

    “Mind your tongue, Ivanna! That’s ‘Prince Elrik’ to you!”

    “Father, calm down. This isn’t exactly the best time to be discussing proper terms of address, is it?”

    “Rashid…you’re right. But, Prince, are you sure about this?”

    “At the end of the day, I’ll feel better if this turns out being the wrong decision than if I lose by default for making no decision at all. That’s what got me into this mess in the first place…never mind. Tell all of our men that we’re going.”



    By the light of a sole candle, Elrik studied the large world map spread before him. To Hoenn’s north, he saw the continent of Albara, divided into the Republics of Kanto and Johto, often collectively known as the “Twin States” in Hoenn because of their similarities in size, geography, and government, as well as their common root in the ancient Kingdom of Aldibar. To that continent’s north was the nation of Sinnoh, whose government was very complex. Elrik had studied it as a child and remembered it that it had a government ruled by sections of four. There was a group of four making decisions for Sinnoh, but there were also identical groups that had control over each major city in Sinnoh.

    These men were called ‘Executors’. The national leaders were called ‘High Executors.’

    One for security and warfare purposes (the Executor of Defense), one for relating to other nations (the Executor of Diplomacy), one for fostering the economy and strengthening the nation’s infrastructure (the Executor of Interior Affairs), and, finally, one that held power over the laws of the land (the Executor of Judicial Affairs).

    It was an interesting idea, Elrik thought. Sinnoh had always managed to keep itself allied with either the Twin States or Hoenn, if not both, and had managed to keep itself (in most cases) out of squabbles between the Albaran States and Hoenn, who were not always on the best terms.

    Then, the monolithic landmass that fell to the west of Sinnoh was…

    “Prince?” Elrik was snapped back to reality upon hearing a female voice behind him. He jumped slightly and turned around. Ivanna was standing there, in light armor and looking like her normal, businesslike self. Elrik always had to fight down a laugh when he saw Ivanna in armor. All the military training her father had put her through never gave her the appearance of a warrior. Whenever Elrik saw Ivanna’s face – her flaxen-blonde, springy curls and her pretty, brown eyes – he didn’t see the commander of his few Knights…he saw the little girl he had grown up with in Sootopolis, the nobleman’s daughter whose secret dream it was to steal a kiss from the young prince of Hoenn…

    At the same time, though, he knew for a fact that the majority of the Knights he had feared her for her swordsmanship and her harsh training regimen.

    “How are things?” Elrik asked her.

    “Everything is fine,” Ivanna answered.

    Elrik could no longer hold in his laugh. Ivanna folded her arms.

    “What’s so funny?” she asked.

    “I’m sorry,” he sighed. “I’ve never really gotten used to seeing you in armor. I don’t know…I guess it’s that you’re too…cute to look like a fighter.”

    He said the last part very quickly, which did not prevent Ivanna from hearing him and blushing so severely that it looked like she would soon pop blood vessels in both of her cheeks.

    “Did you have something you needed to discuss with me?” Ivanna asked, not meeting Elrik’s eyes.

    Elrik’s heart jumped into his throat.

    “Erm…not really. I just wanted to see your face – that’s all,” Elrik answered quickly. “I just…needed to know if you were alright. Crazy things have been happening the last few weeks.”

    “I know…” Ivanna sighed. “It makes me wonder how long we can keep this going.”

    “This place isn’t anywhere near as big as Rustboro,” Elrik groaned. “If the Imperials come in this direction…we’ve got nowhere to run. You know, maybe…maybe I was just never meant to be King.”

    There was a long silence.

    “How could you say that?” Ivanna asked. “…I’ve…got to get back to my men. I hope you feel better tomorrow.”

    “Right,” Elrik said, turning toward the map and slamming his head into the wall. Hitting it once again with his fist, he muttered, “How the hell can a man rule a country if he can’t even master his own feelings?”

    “Feelings?”

    Elrik stopped dead and nearly had a heart attack on the spot. He stood up straight immediately and turned around with the calmest face he could possibly fake.

    “Oh – Ivanna,” he said cheerily. “I thought you’d left.”

    “I was leaving, but then I heard you hit something and came back to see what was wrong,” Ivanna said. “You said something about ‘mastering your own feelings’….what do you mean by that?”

    “You wouldn’t understand,” Elrik felt like he was watching himself speak and act from another vantage point. “You’ve stifled yours for years. I’m just trying to make sense of mine.”

    “Feelings? About what?” Ivanna asked.

    “…Just about…” Elrik trailed off.

    “Elrik,” the Prince looked straight at Ivanna, who was wearing the same expression Elrik would wear whenever he felt Ivanna wasn’t being straightforward with him. As much as he gave that look to her, he couldn’t stand getting it back – because he knew what it meant. It meant that she saw right through him.

    Elrik turned around. “I think…no, I know…”

    His heart was about to burst forth from his chest. Figuring it would hurt him less if he went through with it, he finished his sentence:

    “I’m in love with you.”

    He heard a loud gasp…then footsteps…walking away. He couldn’t really say that he was terribly surprised. She always ran away from him. She had been running away from him for years, it seemed…

    But this sealed it.

    From that reaction, he didn’t know if she felt the same way about him or not…and he would probably never know.

    Silently, he broke down. What in the world was he alive for? Was he cursed forever to be a king with no throne? He couldn’t disavow his connection to the royal line of Thalrair…not at this point. At the same time, however, he couldn’t be a normal person. The only thing that Elrik remembered, though…the only thing that kept him from giving up and gave him the will to fight…was the look on her face that day, over a year ago.


    February, PA 2012 – Zephyr Sea

    They had been adrift on the seas of Hoenn for over a week. It had taken exactly that long for Elrik to make a decision on what they were going to do next. Finally, though, he had done it. He was going to travel to Kanto to request political asylum for himself and everyone who had come with him. That way, if Edgar still wanted him, it would take a war with both Kanto and Johto. There were some who wanted to fight back…Elrik knew that, but the young prince could not see the point. The majority of the army had recognized Edgar as the rightful king anyway – especially with the rumor spreading that Elrik himself was dead as a result of trying to take the throne by force. The people of Hoenn were not quite gullible, but extremely trusting. Only those who had met Elrik personally would question the credibility of this story…and, the way things were going, anyone who was questioning Edgar’s credibility probably wouldn’t last very long. There was nothing left for him in Hoenn. Maybe, in Kanto, he’d have the chance at a somewhat normal life…somewhat…

    He stood on the deck of the small ship, pondering how best to tell Ivanna, Rashid, Roald, and the few men that were with them. He wondered what Izaak’s fate had been. Maybe it all could have been construed as a misunderstanding. Maybe Izaak McAdrien had escaped with at least his life…

    “Sir!!” one of the lookouts shouted. Elrik opened his eyes to the nighttime. His teeth chattered slightly as an extremely cold wave washed up onto the boat. “There’s a man in the water – he says he’s looking for you!”

    Elrik ran in the direction the lookout was pointing until he hit the rail, at which point he craned his neck over the edge of the ship in an attempt to see what the lookout was seeing. It was a soldier in black armor – one of Edgar’s guardsmen – and he seemed to have a couple of things in the boat with him.

    At that moment, Roald, Rashid, and Ivanna ran out onto the deck. Before Elrik could make a decision (which wasn’t for lack of opportunities), he heard Roald shout, “Bring him up!!”



    Moments later, Roald, Rashid, Ivanna, and Elrik were lined up in front of this lone soldier. The man was in full armor and was carrying a sword, which really didn’t worry Elrik that much because there was only one of him. If this soldier had any sense at all, he wouldn’t draw his weapon. The guardsman opened the letter and began to speak:

    “His Majesty the King advises his brother to quit Hoenn with all haste,” the soldier said. “Make no contact with any denizen, swear to abstain from bearing arms, and accept at the very least long-term exile until the transition of rule is complete.”

    “So, pretty much, Edgar wants us to leave Hoenn with our tails between our legs and not come back until he says we can,” Roald growled. “I’m not buying whatever he’s selling…”

    Perhaps, Elrik thought, this wasn’t the best time to tell Roald that he was planning on leaving the country anyway.

    “Finally, if you do not comply, the new Imperial Army will not hesitate to make an example of you…”

    “Imperial Army? Who the hell does Edgar think he is?!” Roald shouted. “Hoenn has never been an Empire!! And what does he mean by ‘example’?”

    “He says you should recognize the contents of this box,” the soldier said, presenting what looked like a wooden cube, eight inches in length, width, and depth. Elrik and the others all took a step closer as the soldier opened it.

    Dead silence immediately followed this action, followed by an anguished yell of “FATHER!!”

    Elrik heard the clanking of armor as Ivanna dropped to her knees. What he saw in front of him was gruesome and horrific, and yet, he couldn’t look away. Positioned perfectly on a chintz pillow, cleaned of any blood around the neck, but nonetheless matted and broken, complete with facial wounds, two black eyes, and thin, blond hair….

    …was the severed head of Sir Izaak McAdrien.

    “Izaak…” Roald whispered hoarsely. Rashid had immediately run over to comfort Ivanna, whose groaning and sobbing cut through the cold silence like the blade of a sword…like, perhaps, the blade that had parted her father’s head from his shoulders.

    “Please consider His Majesty’s offer. He is trying to avoid his own brother falling to the same fate…” the soldier said. Elrik’s eyes glossed over as he continued to watch Ivanna’s anguished crying.

    “*******!!” Roald charged, raising a fist to hit the soldier. As he got there, Elrik, in a daze, stopped Roald’s arm. “Prince – what the –”

    “There will be no torture here tonight, Roald.” The middle-aged, dark-skinned man looked up at Elrik like he was out of his mind. “Remember my father – ‘the best justice is swift justice.’”

    With those words as his only warning, he pulled out the sword that Roald had given him for emergency purposes, aimed it right at the soldier’s heart, and plunged immediately. Roaring in rage, he drove the man backward until his sword hit a mast of the ship and pierced it, pinning the guardsman…or, rather, the guardsman’s corpse…to the wall. Immediately, the head on the body slumped over and went limp. Elrik took no time to reflect on what he had done. He turned around and shouted, “Where’s the nearest land?!”

    “We are less than five miles away from Petalburg Harbor, sir!!” a navigator replied.

    “Roald, get Ivanna inside,” Elrik said firmly. Roald and Rashid supported Ivanna, who was now barely conscious, and began to lead her down to the cabin. Elrik walked up alongside her and stroked her face, knowing that she wouldn’t respond. “Edgar went too far…I’ll make him pay for this. I promise.”


    Elrik stared blankly at the world map, straight at the island that was Sootopolis City…how would he ever get back there unless he were chased again? How would he take Sootopolis?

    “I can’t surrender now…” he muttered. “Not after all the work we’ve done…I knew that day there was no turning back…but how? It seems impossible…just a dream of mine. Like…other things…”

    “Elrik…” Elrik heard someone enter the room and slowly turned around. Ivanna had dispensed with her armor and was now standing in the doorway. Elrik wanted to say something to avert the awkward silence he was sure would follow, but he could find nothing, and thus the awkward silence stood. Gradually, Elrik made his way around the table.

    “How are the soldiers?” he asked – a stupid question, considering the circumstances, but the only thing he could think of.

    “Fine. Tired, but fine,” Ivanna replied. Elrik froze for a moment. Ivanna bit her lip for a few agonizing seconds and then fell upon Elrik. She drew her head back and looked up into the Prince’s violet eyes.

    “You’re not going to run this time?” Elrik asked.

    “I think we’re all tired of running,” Ivanna replied. Then she kissed him. For a moment, they forgot that they were prince and soldier, that they were in hiding from a tyrant king, that civil war could be on their doorstep at any second…for a moment, they were human again, a man and a woman that cared for each other deeply and could finally express that.

    When they broke apart, Ivanna (blushing madly) asked, “Elrik…could you do me a favor?”

    “What do you want?” Elrik asked.

    “Could you please…keep this a secret from everyone? I wouldn’t want them to lose any respect for me as a soldier,” she said.

    “Ivanna,” Elrik laughed. “We’re all in a rebel army. How much respect are you looking for?”

    Ivanna laughed appreciatively and embraced Elrik again. Tomorrow, they could both be caught and executed…but, today, at least for a minute or two, they were happy together.


    Dusk was approaching, but they were making good time as they trudged the last mile or two of the journey between Mauville and the much smaller Verdanturf.

    “Damn!!” Travis groaned, panting a bit. “My back is killing me…”

    “I’ll get off if you want,” Reivyn piped in. Travis had carried her for this most recent leg of the journey. She could walk on her ankle, but not well. In fact, what they found was that Reivyn had sprained the same ankle that she had injured fighting Kenjiro a month or so ago. Maybe, Travis thought, if they could manage a few days’ worth of peace in Verdanturf, they’d stay here for two or three days. That way, Reivyn’s ankle could have at least a few days to properly heal. After all, there wasn’t that much of a hurry…unless Darris came after them again, in which case, they were in trouble. But Travis would make sure to be prepared this time…

    “No, you’re fine,” Travis responded quickly. “My back was hurting before then…I think it was that lightning blast Darris hit me with – damn, that thing smarts…”

    “He wasn’t screwing around, was he?” Katrina commented. Then, with a wry grin, she added in Reivyn’s direction, “Kind of wish I had sprained my ankle.”

    Reivyn got the joke and smiled.

    “How far are we from Verdanturf?” Travis asked.

    “Not very far at all,” Katrina said. “According to my PokéNav, it should be…oh, boy…”

    Travis looked up to see what the problem was. The problem was that there were no less than three riders on Rapidash coming toward them…and all of them were in armor.

    “Oh, great…now what??” Travis groaned, taking care not to drop Reivyn as he stood up straight.

    “Wait a second…take a look at the guy up front,” Katrina said, indicating said rider with a half-jab of her index finger. The man in front had long, black hair, and a dark, clean-shaven face. It then registered with Travis that their armor was green and silver…very familiar colors.

    “That’s…Rashid? What the heck? What’s he doing here?” Travis muttered as the riders approached and surrounded them. What happened? Had something gone horribly wrong? Were he and the others about to be captured?

    “Hmm – Via wasn’t lying,” Rashid commented, his chin buried thoughtfully in his fingertips. Studying the three, he noticed immediately. “Somebody’s missing.”

    “Long story,” Travis said impatiently.

    “Hmm…I was going to come alone, but I guess this works out perfectly!” Rashid exclaimed. “Why’s she on your back?”

    “Sprained ankle,” Travis answered. He was tempted to finish the statement with ‘again,’ but Rashid wouldn’t have known about the first time Reivyn hurt her ankle, anyway.

    “Alright, then – her, first,” Rashid said, turning his Rapidash sideways. Reivyn reached over and climbed onto the Horse Pokémon’s back. Leaning down toward the face of his mount, Rashid asked, “Ivory, how’s that? Are the two of us too heavy?”

    The Rapidash shook her head and responded with a negating whinny. The Rapidash to her left – apparently a male – snorted in disapproval at something.

    “Hey – Euan!! No, I don’t!!” the soldier riding him said, sounding insulted.

    “What just happened?” Katrina asked.

    “Well, sounds like when I asked Ivory if the load was too heavy for her, she said, ‘Of course not – I’m not Euan,’” Rashid answered. With an appreciative chuckle, he continued, “Euan got ****** off and said something about it being harder to carry someone on your back when he’s always asking for seconds and thirds at dinner.”

    Travis and Katrina laughed. Reivyn seemed impressed.

    “You understand them?” she asked, an awed smile on her face.

    “Yeah – it’s not all that difficult. You just have to know them for a while,” Rashid answered. “My father was part of Hoenn’s cavalry unit for almost thirty years, so I’ve been around Rapidash since I was a baby. Well, we can continue this later. Kayla, wasn’t it?”

    “Katrina,” Katrina answered, a little bit annoyed at Rashid’s lapse in memory.

    “Katrina – sorry, it’s been a month,” Rashid said. “Maybe you’d better ride Euan since he’s whining and you’re obviously lighter.”

    “Alright,” Katrina said, making her way over to the youngest of the three steeds.

    “Travis, you’re over there on Eilyn, then,” Rashid finished. Travis moved over to the other side of Rashid.

    “Thanks for the ride,” he said directly to the Rapidash, petting the equine Fire-type’s nose and earning an appreciative neigh.

    “<At least someone here appreciates the work I do,>” she said, her eyes rolling up to the soldier sitting astride her as Travis got on.

    “Alright...our Rapidash don’t spook easily, but if you make any funny moves, we might all get fried,” Rashid commented. Travis looked down upon hearing this comment and realized that Rapidash had a mane of what looked like pure fire…and that this fire was flapping around dangerously close to his crotch area.

    “Okay…” If Travis had been stupid enough to think about pulling anything funny during the ride, he definitely wasn’t thinking about it now.



    Either they weren’t as far from town as he had originally thought, or these three Rapidash were amazingly fast. Travis figured that it had to be a little bit of both as he found himself within the town limits about five minutes later. They approached a hill just past the gate. Katrina and Reivyn simultaneously took in gasps of amazement as they approached the top of the hill, which revealed to them the entirety of Verdanturf.

    “How beautiful…” Katrina sighed.

    With a slight smile, Travis inwardly agreed. Travis had heard of Verdanturf’s reputation as a peaceful, beautiful town built on sprawling hills and meadows and with land and flowers as far as the eye could see. He had even heard rumors that the health and beauty of the place could alleviate illnesses and cure injuries…but the fact was that the few words he’d heard and the few pictures he’d seen simply didn’t do the place justice.

    Verdanturf was built on one huge, hilly plain. Back, far in the distance, Travis saw a small mountain – that had to be where the tunnel was built. Down in one corner of the town was a large building…if he remembered correctly, that was where the Pokémon Contests were held every so often. There was a Pokémon Center, of course – it wasn’t anywhere near as big as Mauville’s. The few houses in the town were spread out over hills. Actually, in the grand scheme of things, it was a bit bigger than Travis had imagined it to be. It might have taken up nearly as much space as Petalburg…except that Petalburg had been exponentially busier.

    “So, Rashid…” Travis asked. “I guess the question’s obvious, but how did you end up here? Aren’t you worried about leaving Prince Elrik in Rustboro?”

    “Boy, are you behind on the times,” Rashid laughed. “His Majesty is here in Verdanturf.”

    “Here? What happened?” Travis asked.

    “Maybe you’ll be better off if he tells you himself,” Rashid replied. “That’s where we’re going – he’ll probably want to see you. Ivory, let’s go!!”

    The lead Rapidash neighed and took off down the hill, followed by the other two.

    As they passed through town, Travis realized that this particular town in Hoenn had a bit of a ‘ye-olde-village’ feel to it. (In fact, there was a hotel there called the ‘Ye Olde Village Inn’.) Verdanturf had present-day amenities like running water and electricity (they had to in order to run Contest Halls and Pokémon Centers with any effectiveness, right), but it still felt like something that Travis had heard about in his ancestor, Paulus’ time – the 11th century or so…

    Small children played around the dirt roads and fountains. One little girl waved up at Rashid excitedly. Travis thought she rather resembled a little girl whose farm he had defended from Angelos very early in his first journey…

    “Ooh! Look! Ponyta! There are people riding Ponyta!!” one boy, flanked by two of his friends, shouted. None of them could have been any older than seven.

    “No – that’s not a Ponyta – it’s way too big!!” one of his friends piped up. “It’s the other one…Mom told me what it’s called, but I forgot.”

    “It’s called a Rapidash,” Travis called loudly from his seat astride one of the aforementioned Pokémon.

    “Rapidash! Yeah, that’s right!” the second little boy exclaimed. “It’s called a Rapidash, Jake!”

    Jake, the first boy, didn’t seem pleased about being wrong.

    “You’re such a stupid know-it-all, Dan!”

    “There’s no such thing as a ‘stupid know-it-all’!” Jake shouted back.

    As the three boys faded into the distance, the third could be seen folding his arms and inhaling, perhaps in an attempt to act as a mediator and stop the argument. Travis turned his head and looked over Reivyn’s shoulder at Katrina, who giggled.



    The three approached a large mansion – not quite as big as the Romero Mansion, but big enough. It, like the majority of Verdanturf’s other residences, had an aged, traditional look to it. Travis then remembered something…

    “Rashid!” he shouted as the three Rapidash cantered up the walkway to the large estate. “I just remembered – we’re supposed to meet a widow named Arsham!! We’ve got to turn around!!”

    “Arsham, you said?” Rashid turned toward Travis with a knowing smile. “Just wait a second.”

    They made their way around the mansion, down a hill that was quite steep. For a couple of scary moments, in fact, Travis thought that he’d be thrown headlong from Eilyn’s back. He’d had enough nasty crashes into solid earth for the day, he thought.

    When they reached the bottom, Travis saw what had to be one of the biggest expanses of flat grassland he’d ever seen. There were tents set up everywhere, and soldiers walking around in green and silver armor.

    “You hear about ‘blessings in disguise’ all the time, but you never believe it until it actually happens to you,” Rashid said, pulling the reins and directing Ivory sideways so that Reivyn, who was much shorter than Rashid, could get a good look at the encampment. “We were found out in Rustboro and had to retreat. So we came here and got this. Not the best living conditions, to be sure, but it sure as heck fits everyone better.”

    “So…this is your new headquarters?” Travis asked.

    “I guess so,” Rashid replied. “No Imperials ever seem to bother coming here because it’s so small. There’s a saying in Hoenn. When something’s ‘about as noisy as a Verdanturf morning’, it pretty much means the same thing as ‘so quiet you can hear a pin drop’.”

    Travis laughed, while feeling slightly more informed at the same time. As a native of Johto, he wouldn’t know something like that.

    “How do the people feel?” Travis asked, wondering how a town would react to an influx of a couple dozen rebel soldiers suddenly showing up in their own backyard.

    “The people? They just think the owner’s hired guards to protect the place from thieves,” Rashid replied as he led the others and their horses around to a small building at the back of the mansion. “They already think she’s a crackpot, but we know better…”

    “Who’re you callin’ a crackpot??” As they reached the building, which turned out to be the stables, they were stopped by a female voice. With an obvious grimace, Rashid turned around to face the direction from whence he had heard it. As Travis, Katrina, and Reivyn looked in this direction, they all saw a rather broad woman with her short hair (light brown flecked with gray) tied with a bandana. She was wearing a beige turtleneck shirt and black pants as well. She was wearing a strong-willed sneer on her face and looked to be Travis’ height, if not taller.

    She wasn’t fat – rather, she looked like the type of woman that had spent the majority of her days doing hard, physical labor, and enjoying it. The size of her arms would have made a lot of young men don tutus and start pirouetting on the spot. Her fists were no joke, either. Travis had gone through enough trouble dealing with Darris that morning. He wasn’t about to irritate this lady and have her knock him out in one punch. That said, he wasn’t about to ask aloud about this woman’s age. His estimate was perhaps fifty, give or take a few years – and a young fifty, at that.

    “I said, who’re you callin’ a crackpot??” the woman asked with a firmer voice, standing right under Rashid’s Rapidash.

    Rashid didn’t say anything.

    “Good grief,” the woman sighed, folding her huge arms. “I tell you – you let a bunch of dissenters borrow your house for a couple of days, and the notion of courtesy goes straight to hell.”

    “Ms. Arsham, please, calm down,” Rashid said quickly, sounding a little unnerved.

    “Arsham?” Travis and Katrina looked at each other simultaneously.

    “I wasn’t calling you a crackpot – I was just repeating what some of the people in town have said about you,” Rashid pleaded.

    “I know what they say about me,” Arsham answered stubbornly. “Does it look like I give a flying Aipom’s *** what Verdanturf says about me? Like I ain’t heard it before! ‘Poor, pitiful Arsham – she’s old and lonely an’ it’s driven her straight out of her cotton-pickin’. Says she sees dead people all the time.’ Hooey! I’ll tell you what – dear Prince Elrik don’t look dead to me. Judging by all the action back here, he’s alive and kicking!”

    Travis and Katrina couldn’t hold it in anymore. They both burst into laughter, thinking the same thing – Arsham was probably the most cantankerous woman they had ever met in their life, but she pulled it off in an endearing kind of way.

    “Who are these young’uns?” Arsham asked. “New recruits? Boy, they start ‘em earlier and earlier these days, don’t they?”

    “Well, they’re not soldiers, but…” Rashid tried to explain.

    “Tell him that. I know my eyes might be going a little bit, but that sure looks like a sword to me,” Arsham said, indicating the weapon at Travis’ hip. “What’s a kid like you doing with a sword?”

    Visions of that day two summers ago at the Burned Tower in Ecruteak flashed through Travis’ mind.

    “Long story,” Travis answered simply.

    “Hmm…can you handle it?” Arsham asked. “That is – do you know how to use it without losing body parts?”

    Travis inwardly laughed. If only she knew…

    “I’ve still got all my body parts, so I guess I’m alright,” he replied wryly. Rashid smirked.

    “Wouldja look at that? Boy’s got a sense of humor,” Arsham laughed. “Tell me. What’s your name?”

    “Travis,” Travis answered. “Travis DePaul.”

    “Really? You a Pokémon Trainer?” Arsham asked.

    “Yes. Why?” Travis couldn’t help but question her.

    “Must be the same one I saw in the paper this morning,” Arsham replied. “A jump from eight to two – that’s impressive, especially for someone who wasn’t born in Hoenn.”

    “Eight to two?” Travis replied. “What do you mean?”

    “Dear, you don’t keep track of your own ranking?” Arsham laughed.

    “Ranking? You mean, I’m ranked number two?” Travis asked.

    “The pollsters really like you nowadays,” Arsham answered. “And why not? Anybody that gets themselves zapped to win a Pokémon battle is definitely someone worth watching, in my book. I had a son that wanted to be a Trainer…but Pokémon never quite took to him for some reason, so he ended up going into the service. That was over ten years ago…but there’s bigger things at hand. Let’s get you off them ponies’ backs so they can get some rest.”

    “<Thank goodness,>” Euan sighed.

    They all dismounted the Rapidash and allowed Arsham to lead them into the nearby stables. As soon as he was on his own two feet again, he realized that his entire body was in pain.

    “Gah…” he grunted.

    “What’s your problem?” Arsham asked. “Was that your first ride on a Rapidash?”

    “Yeah,” Travis choked.

    “Ah, that’ll do it to you. You’ll be fine by tomorrow – just walk it off,” Arsham said.

    “Tch…” Travis snickered to himself. “This’ll be a story…eh. Ms. Arsham?”

    “Hm? What is it?” Arsham asked, turning around (for she had begun to walk back toward her mansion).

    “I’ve got a bit of a favor to ask.”


    A tall, lanky teenage boy sat on his bed and watched as the primetime program Johto League Daily resumed from its commercial break. It was fun watching and hearing about the exploits of rookie Trainers even if he didn’t participate so much anymore. He still battled Pokémon, no doubt – and he was good at it…but, in his opinion, all of the really good Trainers that he would measure himself up against had either retired, dropped off the face of the earth, or gone to other nations to participate in leagues there. He really didn’t see any reward right now in being a Champion or an Elite Four member…he’d be stuck in Johto most of the time, and he hated being stuck in Johto. He’d already seen all of Johto – even Mahogany Town, where his girlfriend had insisted on going once even though he hated anything cold with a passion. He’d been a lot of places in the last couple of years, actually.

    He leaned back and heard a crumpling sound. He jumped up immediately.

    “Shit,” he swore, looking down at the damaged end of one of the five posters that had been on his bed this entire time. It was just then that the program resumed:

    ”Ladies and germs, we’re back here at JLD! And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for…Jack ‘Out-The-Box’ Conrad with the latest Johto League polls!

    “Here we are then, Mace – just as last week, hot rookie trainer Jylena Pritchett is #1 after her impressive victory over Zinnia for the Shadebadge in Ecruteak!”

    “Shame Zinnia lost that – I always liked her.”

    “We know, Mace.”

    “Yeah, yeah, but that aside – looks like someone’s not getting a whole lot of love from the pollsters. Who’s that?”

    “Saito Kin from Ecruteak City. Apparently, it got out that he battled – and
    barely beat – Kendall’s assistant, Breanna Branch, for his Woodbadge and that lost him some brownie points. On top of that, he’s seemed a bit out of sorts ever since that battle. Think Saito might be crushing a bit on Kendall’s top junior, Jack?”

    “Well, that won’t work, she’s already taken…”

    “No one seems to be challenging Jylena much for her #1 spot. I guess, barring a loss, she’ll keep it until the Summer Invitational at Olivine.”

    “Boy, there’ve been some barn-burners out there in Olivine the past couple of years…but we’re still yet to have anyone blown into any electric fences.”

    “Yeah – how about that? That was over in Hoenn a couple of days ago, wasn’t it?”

    “That’s right. What do you think?”

    “Bring that guy over here and throw him into the mix. That oughta stir things up a bit.”


    The boy clicked the television off.

    “Tch,” he scoffed, cocking his head. “Maybe I should have signed up for the League this year – show some of these rookies how to go all out. There aren’t any electric fences in Johto, though…I can’t believe someone actually did that to win a match. Hoenn must be pullin’ **** that’s not even legal over here…”

    The door opened at that moment. The boy leaned forward a bit and saw a girl come in. Immediately, he grinned.

    “Hello, hotness,” he jibed charmingly. She responded with a giggle. She was about the average height for a girl of almost fifteen. She was six weeks younger than he was, as he was celebrating his fifteenth birthday tomorrow and hers was the first week of August. She was indeed very pretty. He laughed to himself as he remembered how timid and awkward she was when they had first met a couple of years ago. Back then, her hair was tied in pigtails and she had no bangs. Now, her hair was shoulder-length and full, and she had pretty bangs that reached her eyelashes. As it had been then, her hair was the brown of dark chocolate. However, she had recently bleached a few of her bangs blonde, which really stood out on her naturally-tan face. As for her figure, let’s just say that everything was right where it was supposed to be.

    “Shiro…you’re such a joker,” she laughed, sitting down on the boy’s lap and smothering his lips with short but continual kisses for a few moments. Ruffling his crimson hair, which he had cut slightly shorter (save for his fringe, which now hung over a black headband and ended up an inch or so in front of the bridge of his nose), she asked, “Anything interesting happening on JLD?”

    “Nothing going on in Johto,” Shiro replied. “Although there was some bit about some guy in Hoenn getting blasted into an electric wall…”

    The girl raised her eyebrow.

    “Crazy,” she sighed, shaking her head. “Oh – Hoenn! That’s right! That’s what I came here to tell you. You’ve got a call from Hoenn downstairs.”

    “A call from Hoenn?” Shiro repeated. “Geez, Madeline – you could have told me earlier while you were trying to eat my face off…not that I’m complaining about that.”

    Madeline stood and good-naturedly slapped Shiro over the head.

    “Hurry up,” she said. “Those long-distance calls don’t hold forever.”


    They made their way down to the ground floor of the Goldenrod Pokémon Center, where Nurse Joy directed them to the correct videophone. Slowly, Shiro pushed the button. Up came a couple of familiar faces:

    “Travis! Katrina!” Shiro exclaimed with a smile, elated at seeing (albeit on a screen) the smiling faces of his best childhood friends for the first time in several months.

    --- *** ---

    YES! Finally worked them back into the script! W00t!

    Whew…that chapter ended up being a crapload longer than I was expecting…but I got through it all right!

    I’m starting work on 23 right now, so keep your fingers crossed!

    (P.S. Good news! You know the little hiatus thing I’m normally forced onto for about a month during the holidays?

    Well, it just went out the window. My wi-fi connection lets me get online long enough to post chapters every so often. I won’t be on as often as I normally am during the semester, but it sure beats the living crap out of nothing, right??

    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.




  15. #215
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    Cool First post... again...

    I was just going to be online to finish work on my dissertation... that was all i was gona do...

    God bless ya, short attention span...

    I'm copying now, R&Ring asap!

    W00T for ya return! Finished editing my dissertion so i may work on my fanfiction chapter 22 before my exams start (next Monday).

    Sinnoh’s government intrigued me, not to mention the unmentioned continent before Ivanna stepped in. Yay for Elrik, going all evil on the loser messenger and (finally) sorting out his feelings and winning the lovely Ivanna! Shiro and Madeline’s lovey-doveyness makes me all mushy inside. OH yeah, this is the first chapter in a long while that Angel and Crescent (plus their teams didn’t get any chapter time.

    Most grammar errors were region-related (US-UK) so i’ll skip them... they were all i saw...

    “Alright...our Rapidash don’t spook easily, but if you make any funny moves, we might all get fried,” Rashid commented. Travis looked down upon hearing this comment and realized that Rapidash had a mane of what looked like pure fire…and that this fire was flapping around dangerously close to his crotch area.

    “Okay…” If Travis had been stupid enough to think about pulling anything funny during the ride, he definitely wasn’t thinking about it now.
    Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! XD

    “The pollsters really like you nowadays,” Arsham answered. “And why not? Anybody that gets themselves zapped to win a Pokémon battle is definitely someone worth watching, in my book. I had a son that wanted to be a Trainer…but Pokémon never quite took to him for some reason, so he ended up going into the service. That was over ten years ago…but there’s bigger things at hand. Let’s get you off them ponies’ backs so they can get some rest.”

    “<Thank goodness,>” Euan sighed.
    Don’t ask me why, but that line just cracked me up!

    Nice to see the ball-breaker duo back in the mix (feels artistic) and the group had better step up their game if they want to survive Darris again.

    L@ER!

    P.S. How was Thanksgiving?
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 22nd November 2007 at 7:21 AM.
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  16. #216
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    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!!!!



    oh, sweet sweet turkey......another chapter! *yesssshhh*

    loved the battle scene between Darris and Travis. that was great. GO BLACK FLAMES!!!!!! i missed those things. those are by far the most bad *** powers in this fic.

    loved the little inclusion of Shiro and Madelyn at the end. will their pokemon pop up too!?

  17. #217
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    Heh...Happy Thanksgiving everybody! Glad to hear that you won't have to take that hiatus, EonMaster. With you and eventually xXSaberXx around, we certainly won't have a dull December.

    Geez, Travis just keeps getting more and more crazy, don't he? And good to see more old school *** kicking sword fights. You really do those the best.

    Aah, Shiro and Madeline. Missed them alot, good to see they got a little screen time. Will they be returning at some point, to travel with Travis and Co.?

    Interesting little backstory with Ivanna and Elrik. Really addsflavor to the story.

    Well, good luck with the next chapter. And stay away from stores; I hear those Black Friday sales are killer. xXPorygonXx, out!

    P.S How goes the advertising on other sites?

  18. #218
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    Finally back and un-tired from my trip... Anyway, to sum up this chapter in two (or three) words: Yay swordfight! It's something with you and violence, but this fic and its predecessor have the best fights out of anything I have ever read. I don't believe I've said that before for all of my praising of your backstories.

    I don't know if you really had this in mind, but the way you described Darris' energy-sword-lightning-wave-thingy made me scream "getsuga tenshou." Thus, from that point onward, it became a Bleach v. Ruroken fight, with much bias toward Kenshin. I was actually suprised that Travis had that much trouble with him, even though you prepared us all for it by his handy beating up of Kenjiro. I don't know if its Darris that's good, or Travis that's slipping. So many possibilities just by introducing one new character... how will I ever write something that can compare to you, Saber, and Dragonfree? T.T

    Meh, enough self pity. Reivyn's fight was awesome, and I mean that in every way possible. Sure, throwing around stone and lightning kunai is always fun, but who knew her resolve to protect lil' Kenji developed her character that much (besides the author)? I for one am glad to see her break out of that shell. Reivyn's one of the characters that really makes this fic worth reading. And yes, I still hate her name.

    I take it you're planning for YoD with the whole Carona bit, and I also take it that the huge landmass beside Sinnoh (great description of the goverment, if a bit random) is Carona. I also take it that another huge war between all four (or five, if Sinnoh quits acting like a certain country we know and love to make fun of) will break out after/if Travis gets his championship. That would also explain why you said that the ending of AP will not allow a sequel with Travis and Katrina... Why am I expecting you to answer all of this and give away the ending?

    I like the callback to that one early chapter with the mareep girl. So far, that is the only chapter of yours that I disliked wholly, and to see it used again makes it not so filler-y. Could it be that the mareep girl is now leader of the Ampharos cannon squaron?? Meh, I'm rambling again. Kudos to you for that; you never cease to amaze me.

    Shiro and Madeline!! -Oath

    PS: In honor of Omnipotence's release, I give you a quote from CoF. Not that anyone cares.

        Spoiler:- .:

  19. #219
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    I finally replied! I've been insanely busy recently, but now things have cooled down.

    Erhem, anyway, the jokes were funny as always, the description is good, Shiro/Madeline are back (at least for now) and that's good. I was wondering when the nut-buster and her friend were coming back. I am happy.

    Also, is Kenjiro dead? Severly wounded? Or are we not allowed to know? Oh well.

    I'm outta here. Lucario/Gallade/Staraptor pwn all.

    --Lucarioman777

    P.S. I kind of used the some of the same ideas for sword-tricks in my fic, and just want to give you credit right now. (I mean, I needed a close- and long-ranged attack for it, so what else was I supposed to do?)
    I have died.

  20. #220
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    Oh...believe me, if Kenjiro was dead, you'd know it. He's in Mauville, out of commission...for now.

    Hey, all. I write with a heavy heart this afternoon. My favorite defensive player from my favorite team, Sean Taylor for the Washington Redskins, died in Miami this morning.

    It's almost apropos that I was planning on coming on this morning to announce that I'm making progress on the next chapter and planned on posting it sometime in the next seven days.

    The Revolution Trilogy is set in a fantasy world, but it addresses real issues. One of those issues that shines through in a lot of places in this fan fiction series (intentionally) is that, no matter how powerful, how popular, how famous, how rich, how good or bad someone is, they're still a human being. They feel like human beings, they make mistakes like human beings, they die like human beings.

    I didn't post today to sound all preachy, but I think that there's a lesson in what happened. Sean Taylor was a young man who started his adulthood with a lot of turmoil, but was maturing as a person and cared for his young family, no matter how much the media or other people continued to paint him with a 'thug' or a 'troublemaker' image. Look at the people in your life - especially those you tend to keep at arm's length for some reason or another. Are you making rash judgments about them? Are there things about them that you wouldn't know if you just continued to look at the surface?

    Most people that look at post-war Travis see him as an extremely bipolar individual that is either unsettlingly calm or just plain unsettled. Most of the people that meet him from day to day don't know the half of everything he went through as a younger boy. So many people judge him on his age, not knowing that he was forced to shoulder burdens that would cause men to crumble. We, as readers, though, get a glance inside of his head. That's the beauty of characterization in stories. In-universe, a lot of times, one person doesn't know what the other's thinking. That's why dialogue is necessary, and through dialogue, we get to see what everyone's thinking.

    That's what it all comes down to in real life. If there's someone that you're not sure about - maybe someone who's quiet, or a loner or something like that - talk to them. Don't stand at arms' length and assume, because you're probably wrong.

    The next series in this trilogy will have this subject (as well as the awkwardness and difficulty of adolescence) at its forefront. I say the 'next series' because I'm not completely sure that I'm going to stick with "Year of the Dragon" as its title. The more and more I think about it, the more it sounds cookie-cutter and predictable. I've been playing around in my head with different titles like these:

    (Speaking of which, don't open this spoiler if you want to wait to find out where the third PR title is going to be taking place!!)

        Spoiler:- TITLE CHANGE?:


    I'm leaning toward the third one because of the basic plot premise I'm planning (a journey fic, yes, but not in the sense that normal trainers take their journey, and that name has something to do with the plotline - not to mention it sounds the least cheesy). If any of you like those titles - or if you've got a better one - PM me and let me know what you think. One last tidbit of information:

        Spoiler:- Third title::



    That's about it. I'm gonna try to get the chapter list updated soon - I know I'm behind on it. And I apologize for sort of neglecting the PM list. I've just been up to my neck in work again and I've got exams starting at the end of next week. I should be able to make huge strides once I get past tomorrow, when the bulk of my work for this week is due.

    Other than that, I've been trying a little harder to read more fanfics...like Saber's new one, for instance. I'm still committed to seeing this series through all the way through.

    Thanks.

    - EM1, out.

    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.




  21. #221
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    It always sucks when someone dies. Especially if that person is a guy who you respect. I'm not a Redskins fan, but I still bow my head for him.

    I have a heavy heart too, but from nothing like that (although that is something you'd get one from). I've just had a bad week.

    Anyway...

    Yeah, I definetly like the third one, for the same reasons. Also, is Lucas Blackthorn:

        Spoiler:- Just in case...:


    --p.s. I'm an Eagles fan. I guess it's because I have an affinity with birds? Plus, I like green and silver.

    Lucario/Gallade/Staraptor pwn all.

    --Lucarioman777
    I have died.

  22. #222
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    Cool If I may...

    Hey guys... sorry to hear about your idol, EM 1. I don't even follow American football, but I'll observe a moment's silence for the guy too. Thanks for the insight into this fic trilogy too... it was a real eye opener.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lucarioman777
    Yeah, I definetly like the third one, for the same reasons. Also, is Lucas Blackthorn:

    -Shiro's son?
    -or-
    -Lance's son?
    I got this one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pokemon Revolution: Johto, Chapter 58
    “Where am I supposed to live now?!” Marco – a rather small boy with dangerous-looking, short black hair with red streaks and golden eyes characteristic of the maternal side of his ancestry shouted at them from a chair in the back of the living room. “If my liar of a dad’s gone, now what?!”

    “I don’t know!!” Travis shouted, turning around. It just so happened that, weeks before Michael Azuki’s untimely death, the secret of his wife had been coaxed out of him by his eldest son (who later left for Goldenrod City to win Junior Regional Vert Champion for a second year, and then left for Sevii soon after), with Marco as a witness. This had caused the seven-year-old boy to resent his father from hiding this secret for so long. As a result, when Marco received the news that his father had died, the shock wore off very quickly. It had also been implied, however, that Michael, because of his freewheeling tendencies, might have crossed some rather unsavory characters at one point – and that was the reason that Travis and Katrina were presently guarding his house. They had called some people, but they didn’t know when – or if – they would show themselves.

    Just as Travis thought that, there was a loud knock at the door. Katrina jumped several feet and ran to open it, conjuring her rod at her back in case something went wrong. She gradually opened the door and there was a very tall young man of about twenty with slightly wild, sky-blue hair that was tied in a bit of a ponytail. Along with him was a young woman with auburn hair, tan skin, and wearing a black lace headband.

    “Where’s the kid?” the young man stepped in, shaking his head a bit because it had been raining quite hard outside. The young woman was behind her.

    “Lorca! Are we glad to see you!” Travis exclaimed. “And Marcia’s with you, too. Congratulations, by the way. Sorry we couldn’t make it...”

    “It’s alright, I understand – kind of a long trip, and with your bum leg and all...” Lorca sighed. “How’s your baby sister?”

    “Screaming as loud as always,” Travis replied. “What about things on your end? I heard there was another wedding?”

    “Lance and Fiona beat us by a month,” Lorca commented.


    “That wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t taken so long to propose, Lorca,” Marcia piped in.

    “Lance is twenty-seven,” Lorca replied. “That’s why he was in such a rush. In our city, if you’re a guy and haven’t even found a potential wife by twenty-five, people start wondering about you...”

    “Who are these people?!?!” Marco suddenly shouted, making everyone in the room jump. He was on his feet and his fists were clenched.

    “We’re your aunt and uncle, Lucas,” Lorca said loudly. The boy looked at Lorca, his golden eyes examining those of this so-called relative whom he had never met before.

    “That’s what Shiro said Mom called me,” Marco said, still eyeing Lorca suspiciously. “Are you really...am I really...”

    Lorca nodded. “I’ve got no reason to lie to you, kid,” he said.

    “Can I see Lance, then – if he’s my uncle like you say?” Marco asked.

    “Actually, that’s why we’re here –“ Lorca said. “We’re here to take you home with us – to Blackthorn City.”

    Travis and Katrina both turned toward Lorca, looks of utter surprise on their faces.

    “You’ll live with us from now on,” Marcia piped in and . “Come on – we’ll take care of you and you’ll be a Blackthorn. How does that sound, Marco?”

    “Lucas,” Marco said flatly. “Call me Lucas from now on.”
    OK? Right!

    L@er!
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
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  23. #223
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    Err, that was the last page of PR:J, wasn't it? Accursed McAfee blocked that! I hate McAfee.

    Well, that clears things up a bit. For some reason, I was looking farther into the future than what I was supposed to. That, and I forgot about Marco. Oh well. Can't wait for your next chapter!

    --Lucarioman777
    I have died.

  24. #224
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    Darn, how do I reply to this...? I suppose that I'll just speak what went through my mind as I read the news: "Aw, that's sad. What about the guy's family and friends?" While I barely follow football anymore, and only knew Sean Taylor by the mention of a few of my peers, the fact that someone loved my so many was killed in such a tragic manner saddens my heart. This is like Steve Irwin all over again, man... *sniff*

    Also, I'll give your comments on your themes a good amen. I've been on that side of the fence before, and I daresay that it garners such glares that you wouldn't believe. However useful when you don't feel like talking to people, exuding an aura a fraction of a degree above absolute zero isn't the best way to succeed in life. So, addressing any viewers of this post, give those loner people a simple "Hi" at the very least, just to show that someone cares, if a little.

    As for the title change, please don't go with anything but Bloodfeud or Maverick Heart. I personally prefer Bloodfeud, for my liking of single-word and/or subordinate clause titles. Also, good luck on getting everything done, and don't worry about the PM list. Because Saber doesn't do one, I check my subscriptions after I log in every time I'm on. It doesn't take that much more energy to move my eyeballs down the list...

    *isn't feeling creative* -Oath

  25. #225
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    Well, sorry for any losses people may have had.

    I was just listening to 'Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own' by U2, very sad song.

    In fact, there was a rugby legend who played for my local super league team that died recently, I'm not a rugby fan but I can sort of feel what it's like.

    Anyway, great chapter, with the big scary woman at the end.

    cant seem to say anything else. so I'll leave it to next time.
    Skogsrå

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

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