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Thread: Pokemon Revolution: Advent Phoenix (Rated T)

  1. #51
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Chapter 3...

    Hello, all – EM1 here.

    Okay, so...holy freaking hell...I started writing and thought that this chapter was going to be a short one. It ended up being the longest chapter I’ve ever written thus far – in excess of twenty-eight pages. So...yeah, definitely a three-poster, this one.

    WARNING: Travis will probably want to make you hit him in this chapter because of being in that emo funk again...but don't waste your energy. Someone's going to do it for you.

    DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokémon. But I do own a couple in this particular series, as they are my own creation. I took the liberty (with the help of some of you, of course) of expanding the Pokédex just a little bit. That’s why Prof. Birch mentions something about there being 525 Pokémon. After the additions, that’s just about what you get. I’ll credit the creator of the Fan Pokémon name-by-name at the end of each chapter in which one is introduced.

    With that said, on to Chapter 3!

    Chapter 3: Blue Streak

    May 18, PA 2013 – Route 102, Hoenn

    Katrina’s eyes opened slowly to the flaming colors of a spring sunrise. She sat up, stretching and uttering an almighty yawn. She climbed out of her green sleeping bag and trudged slowly over to the pond near which they had camped, in order to wash up and change. She approached the clean-looking pond of water and lowered her hands into it, feeling the cool of the water washing over them. She gathered a bit of it into her hands and slapped it onto her face. She then wiped her dripping wet face with a towel, drying it off and resurfacing from the cloth with a sigh.

    This was their second day out of Oldale Town, on their way to Petalburg City, the location of the first Pokémon Gym out of eight whose badges were required to enter the Emerald League in Evergrande City this August. This was a new journey for them...and yet...

    They had run into someone from his past – someone who had not been their ally.

    It had been a long time since she had seen him that flustered. But, now that she was older, she understood the burden that he carried. That sword was their greatest blessing – and yet, it was their greatest curse. Metaphorically speaking, it truly was double-edged. As much as it pained him, he had to wield that sword – it was who he was. He didn’t need anybody to tell him that to understand. One could look into his eyes and comprehend it. At least, she could. She didn’t really know about anyone else. He always told her that she was the only one that truly understood him. She was the only one that had been there – in body and in spirit – throughout the entire journey. That’s what he always told her.

    Were those just words?


    He didn’t just say words. He always...always...spoke his heart. That’s what she loved about him. Even with his mind in the state that it was in, you didn’t have to dig under a whole lot of garbage to know what he was thinking or feeling. Of course she worried about him when he wasn’t at his best – when he was stressed out or frustrated, like he’d been a couple of days ago – but it was better for her that he was the way he was. She’d rather worry because she knew something was wrong than be worried and have to guess at it.

    She pulled her shirt over her body and turned, beginning the short walk back to the campsite, where he was most certainly awake by now. This late spring morning was cool, but rather humid. Her feet in their sandals were cold from the morning dew that had accumulated on the grasses of this pathway. She looked around her in this forest path. There were small, bright red creatures slithering down trees here and there. She closed her eyes for a second, attempting to jar her memory. Giving up after a few moments, she pulled out her pink Pokédex and simply pointed it at the creature. Her new Pokédex had a scanner function on it, where information could be gathered about a Pokémon just by pointing at it.

    The Pokédex took a snapshot of the red, insect-like creature to save on her database and revealed it to be a Wurmple, the most common Bug-type native to Hoenn. Smiling, Katrina now remembered. She’d heard that Wurmple had two possible evolutionary paths, and that which one it took was essentially up to chance. At the right experience level (which, as it is for the majority of Bug-types, was fairly early), it could evolve into a Silcoon, which would evolve in short order to the aesthetically pleasing Beautifly, who was known for its appearance and its potentially tide-turning ability to absorb energy from an opponent. It could also, however, with theoretically equal chance, evolve into a Cascoon, which then turned into a Dustox, which could, if trained correctly, unleash some rather nasty Psychic-type attacks such as Confusion. She went for her belt – she’d try to catch one...

    ...Until she realized that her only Pokémon – her Umbreon, Crescent – was not only out of his Pokéball as he was regularly, but currently sleeping back at the camp...wait a second, what was that four-legged shadow walking toward her?

    “Crescent?” Katrina called into a slight distance. “Is that you?”

    A yawn reverberated back from the foggy light of the forest. Three seconds later, the Moonlight Pokémon came into view.

    “<I woke up and realized you weren’t around,>” Crescent said, blinking his crimson eyes sleepily. “<I figured you weren’t around to stretch your legs, so I decided I’d do a little of the same. You headed back to camp?>”

    “Yeah,” Katrina said. Then, just remembering what she’d wanted to do, she added, “Good timing, though. I was just looking for you.”

    She looked to her left and saw no Wurmple at all.

    “Oh...” she groaned in disappointment. “It’s gone.”

    “<What’s gone?>” Crescent asked, looking a bit confused.

    “Eh...nothing...” Katrina sighed. “C’mon, let’s go back to camp.”

    The quiet snoring of a sleeping boy was the only thing that could be heard at the campsite, more than half a mile away. Curled up beside him was a lavender Espeon, deep in sleep next to this boy, who was stretched out in a blue sleeping bag.

    A few feet away from them, on the other side of the remains of a campfire, was a pile of possessions – a couple of bags and a sword.

    She would have to be quick, but as quiet as possible. There was always the chance that he could wake in the process of her doing this. The other thing that worried her...

    Next to the boy’s sleeping bag was another sleeping bag...a green one – and this one was empty. Whoever had occupied this sleeping bag had left and could return and catch her in the act in very short order. She had to be quick. She’d heard about this sword...she’d been silently tailing the pair since Oldale Town, waiting for a chance to make their move. Last night, the Umbreon had stayed up extremely late, making her goal impossible. Today, though, that Umbreon was gone and there was no one to stop her.

    She sidled around the ash and wood that had last night been a blazing campfire, making her way slowly to the sword, which was resting in its white scabbard and sitting on top of the pair of one-strap backpacks. She slowly lowered her hands, partially covered by fingerless gloves that extended into a black sleeve that ran all the way up her forearm and then her slender upper arm, revealing only the shoulder. Her fingers were no more than a foot away from touching the legendary weapon...nine inches...six inches...three...

    She had it in her grasp. The Legendary and revered Godfire sword – forged in the flames of Ho-oh, the Phoenix. This was a true sacred artifact – not the cult idols that her religion had told her to honor.

    She felt a hot light hit her face. Her silver eyes narrowed by an extreme amount as she looked left – a staff whose charm was in the staff of a crescent moon, in the center of which was glowing a white-hot orb...was pointing directly at her face.

    “Drop the sword,” a female voice said in a dangerous whisper behind her. “Now.

    With a quick pivot and flick of her wrist, she knocked the staff away from her face and immediately jumped back. Looking up, she got a good look at her assailant’s entire body. The girl standing before her had pink hair and looked to be even younger than she was.

    “Are you deaf?” Katrina said, enraged that someone would have the gall to attempt to steal the Sacred Flame while Travis was sleeping and while she was away. “I said, drop it.”

    “I knew someone would try to interfere,” the mysterious girl said. Katrina got a good look at her. She couldn’t get a good measure of her years – possibly a decade and a half or more, but she could have possibly passed for younger. She was wearing black fingerless, sleeved gloves that seemed to be detached from her actual outfit, which was essentially a scarlet color and consisted of a very tight tank-like upper garment that tied around the neck instead of having shoulder straps, as well as a tight pair of scarlet pants that appeared to be about the length of girls’ capri pants. These both matched her blood-red hair, which was slightly longer than shoulder length and tied back with a white, makeshift headband that appeared to be nothing more than bandage material wrapped twice around the girl’s forehead. The last noticing feature was that near her right temple, which was where the majority of her fringe hung over her headband, the hair was a silver-white to match her irises.

    “...and you still tried it,” Katrina added. “Doesn’t sound too smart to me. Now...drop the sword – or I’ll make you drop it.”

    “Stay out of my way,” the girl said blankly. “I don’t want to hurt an innocent girl.”

    “I’m not as ‘innocent’ as you think,” Katrina said, brandishing her rod and pointing it directly at the other girl’s head from a distance, her patience finally at an end. “Thordengata!

    An electric-blue bolt of lightning made a beeline from Katrina’s staff straight toward the scarlet-haired girl, who threw the sword down on the ground and jumped high into the air. Katrina was taken aback at the height of her leap, which had to have been ten feet at the very least. It became very clear to her that this girl, whoever she was, was no amateur. However, she had made a very amateur mistake.

    “You cannot strike a shadow,” the girl said in nearly a drone.

    “It’s a good thing lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, then, isn’t it?” Katrina responded harshly, raising her rod up into the air and pointing the glowing core straight at the girl. “Thordengata!

    Another sizzling thunderbolt zipped out of her staff and shot up into the air, right where the girl was hanging with no time to dodge. With no expression on her face whatsoever, she performed about ten hand signals in quick succession and a lightning bolt shot out of her extended hands, met Katrina’s at the last second, and canceled it out with a small shockwave. Flipping backward in mid-air, the mysterious girl landed on her unshod feet, skidding to a stop.

    Katrina had seen more than the average person as far as the supernatural was concerned, but even that experience was not enough to prevent the other girl’s maneuver from catching her off guard just slightly.

    “What was that?” she muttered. “I’ve never seen that one before. Might have to pull out some of my new tricks...”

    “This power I have...” the girl droned. “Most are not blessed with it.”

    “Join the club,” Katrina replied scathingly. Pointing her staff at the mysterious girl, she shouted, “Elbaflir!

    A red-hot ball of flame shot forth from her staff and bulleted toward the red-haired girl, who again countered with a variety of hand signals – producing a blue-colored fireball of her own. The two spheres of flame melded together momentarily and then dissipated, leaving no sign of their former presence.

    Elbaflir–Akvr!” Katrina shouted. This time, five of the same fireballs blasted forth from the core of her rod in very quick succession. The mysterious girl, knowing that she had no time to use the same art five times to counter (which was, of course, what Katrina had been counting on), decided to jump – high in the air and slightly toward Katrina. In mid-air (and in mid-somersault) she yanked out from behind her two diamond-shaped knives with hoops for their handles – ninja kunai. With one sweep of her hand, she sent both – each eight inches long – shooting straight at Katrina. With a relatively quick move of her own out of necessity, Katrina leapt sideways and watched the two knives smash into the ground. A second later, the girl landed and grabbed onto the knives. Katrina saw her for a brief second before she disappeared. Hearing a slight movement behind her, Katrina turned around. The girl was there, in mid-air, prepared to strike with her kunai. She swung once, and Katrina barely blocked. Suddenly gaining a new appreciation for the girl’s fighting style, she thought, She’s been taught to fight as a kunoichi – I can’t believe there are some still around!

    She didn’t have much time to dwell on this thought, though – the girl aimed yet another strike at her face that she had to block. Then a third. And then a fourth. The girl did all this while rotating in different directions and yet not allowing either of her feet to touch the dirt. However, she hesitated on the fifth, allowing Katrina to counterattack.

    “Take this!” the pink-haired girl shouted, swinging her rod, which was glowing white, into the face of this kunoichi. There was an explosion upon contact, sending the scarlet-haired girl flying backwards. She hit the ground and bounced off rather painfully, bouncing and skidding until she went into an uncontrollable roll and somehow then got her feet back under her and skidded to a stop. She got up – she still had a kunai in each hand – and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, grimacing.

    “I was too slow...” she said in a lamenting drone. “Next time...”

    She stood and performed, as well, a variety of hand signals, and disappeared in a rush of leaves that seemed to come out of nowhere, leaving the sword and a confused Katrina.

    Defusing the rod in her hand, the pink-haired Aurillian descendant muttered, “Who in the world? What’s with everyone trying to take a shot at us nowadays?”

    “Hmm...” there was a groaning behind her. She whirled around. The blue-haired boy that had been sleeping was now sitting up in his sleeping bag, stretching his arms wide. Briskly walking over to the sword, she laid it on the bags as it had been just in time to see Travis open his eyes and look at her.

    “Now you wake up,” she muttered so that Travis couldn’t hear her.

    “Morning,” he sighed, blinking hard in an attempt to get his eyes to focus a bit better than they were doing. “You’re up before me again. What’s going on?”

    She could have told him – but, as she’d already fought off the threat, there was no point. Plus, she would much rather spend a day with the new, less serious and more fun Travis than the guarded and slightly paranoid one of two years ago. Moreover, she’d much rather be on a journey with the Pokémon Trainer than with the Swordbearer. So, there was no point telling him.

    Instead, she replied with a smile and a brisk clip to her voice, “Nothing new.”

    In about an hour, they were on the road again, headed west to Petalburg City, the site of the first Hoenn Gym. On this heavily forested pathway, they had seen – mostly from a distance – several wild Pokémon that they scanned into their Pokédex. Strangely enough, their new Pokédexes were now the topic of their conversation.

    “It’s really cool that, whenever you look up the data of that Pokémon next time, it’ll show that Pokémon the exact way you first saw it,” Katrina commented, referencing the scanner feature on their Pokédexes. “Like, that Wurmple on the tree...”

    “Why didn’t you catch it?” Travis asked. “A Beautifly would suit you, I think. Pretty but dangerous.”

    Katrina smiled. “Well, Crescent got there late.”

    “<Not everyone wakes up at the crack of dawn, Katrina,>” Crescent sighed. “<Even Angel slept in this morning. Granted, it was only until quarter after seven, but...>”

    “<Yeah, whatever...>” Angel sighed. “<Urgh...this is irritating! We need to find something I can warm up on. I’m getting bored!>”

    “<You’ll get your shot,>” Crescent replied. Ever since Angel lost to Matt’s Combusken two days ago, she had been raring for opponents to fight and win. However, the case was that either they simply hadn’t run into anything, or that Travis was attempting to keep Angel safe by not battling. The very thought of the second option upset Angel quite a bit – if he was doing that, it was defeating the purpose, wasn’t it?

    “<Easy for you to say! You’ve beaten a Zigzagoon, that floating lily pad thing...>” Angel muttered. True enough, Crescent and Katrina had battled a wild Zigzagoon just a few minutes ago and had beaten it handily. Katrina thought for a moment about catching it, but then decided against it. She had only brought five extra Pokéballs with her and she wasn’t going to waste them, frankly, on a Pokémon that, according to what she’d heard, could be found virtually anywhere.

    “<It’s called a Lotad, Angel. A Lotad.>” Crescent found himself, not for the first time, having to tutor Angel on the names of other species of Pokémon that couldn’t be found in Johto.

    “<Yeah, a Lotad – whatever,>” Angel said a bit snippily. “<I just want to fight something.>”

    “<Looks like you might get your chance,>” Crescent replied. Angel looked in front of her. Doing a double take, she then decided to make her way out in front of Travis’ ankles.

    “Hey, what’s that?” Katrina commented. What she, Angel, and Travis were looking at in the road was a Pokémon they had neither seen nor heard of. It was a dark brown, pika-like creature with large ears and a large tail with an even larger, golden flame on that tail. That golden flame was a good match for the creature’s saffron eyes.

    “Haven’t seen this one before,” Travis assented. Then, pointing his scanner at the creature, he exclaimed, “This must be one of the new species that Professor Birch was talking about!!”

    Startled at Travis’ shout, the creature turned its head toward him, jumped, yelping in surprise, and shot a couple of golden streaks of light from its mouth. Travis jumped toward the left just as those streaks of light hit where he was and exploded into what looked like extremely hot fireworks.

    “Whoa!” Travis yelled. “Easy!”

    “She’s so cute!” Katrina squealed. Travis looked at her, sweatdropping and appearing to be very confused.

    “‘She’?” Travis repeated.

    “You weren’t paying attention?” Katrina replied. “Our scanners can identify the gender of an individual Pokémon, too.”

    “Well – doesn’t matter,” Travis said. “I’m gonna take a wild guess here and say that this...Pyrika? Is that how it’s pronounced?...this a Fire-type. If I throw Champ into the fire, it could get ugly. I’ve only got one option. Angel, let’s go.”

    “<Sure thing,>” Angel replied, stepping out in front of Travis. “<Just don’t zone out on me this time, ‘kay?>”

    “Wouldn’t dream of it,” Travis responded. His wording was ironic, as he’d just had a nightmare early that morning about completely freezing up in an important match at the Emerald Tournament. That had been what had awakened him, as a matter of fact...

    “<Watch it!>” Angel yelled, dodging left. Travis, seeing another streak of golden light like the last one, jumped to the right.

    “<Pay attention!>” Crescent groaned loudly, having the desired effect – Travis turned back toward the Pyrika and his eyes narrowed.

    “Angel, start off with a Quick Attack!” he shouted enthusiastically. Angel turned and looked at him.

    “<Quick Attack? What’s that?>” she asked. Everyone face-faulted on the spot. Smiling, she added, “<Sorry, just had to do that for the reaction.>”

    She took off toward the Pyrika, who had already started out on a Tackle attack. The two Pokémon made contact a couple of inches off the ground, bounced off each other, and slid to a stop on their respective sides.

    “<Be careful! You’re gonna get yourself hurt fooling around like that!>” Crescent shouted warningly.

    “<I know what I’m doing,>” Angel spat back.

    The Pyrika came hard and fast toward Angel, smashing into her with deceptive force. The lavender Sun Pokémon fell to the ground but immediately rolled to her feet, staring down the coney-like Fire-type Pokémon. Pyrika squealed and shot forth a golden jet of light in a high arc. She had missed Angel badly with her attack – that was the good news. The bad news, though, was the fact that she had missed Angel badly with her attack...and that the exploding jet of saffron light was headed straight for Travis’ head.

    Adroitly, Travis fell into a side roll and dodged to the right just as the streak of light exploded right where his head would have been. Pulling out his Pokédex in one move, he muttered, “What the heck is that attack, anyways?! Fireworks – an explosive Fire attack that also blinds the target, lowering accuracy. That’s bad – Angel, use Confusion!”

    “<Fine – let’s go!>” Angel shouted. Her gem-like eyes glowed white and a shockwave emanated from the circular jewel on her forehead. This shockwave then proceeded to smash rather mercilessly into Pyrika, who appeared to not have seen it coming. The small mouse hare Pokémon looked straight up at Angel as soon as her own backward momentum had stopped. She raised her mouth straight at Angel and shot forth a cloud of black smoke. This cloud was a lot bigger than they had anticipated, and it engulfed not only Pyrika and Angel, but Travis, Katrina, and Crescent as well.

    “<The heck?!>” Crescent shouted. Travis could see Crescent’s rings glowing yellow from where he was standing – but that’s about all he could see.

    “Crap – this is a Smokescreen! How am I supposed to hit...” Travis groaned. Angel, meanwhile, was looking to and fro in this thick layer of Stygian smoke. A brown blur entered the cloud from her left, and she turned that way only to be bowled over by Pyrika’s Tackle. Then again, at the speed she’d been moving, that could very well have been a Quick Attack. Either way, it didn’t feel good. Then, the Espeon heard a yell from somewhere semi-distant. “ would be a good time for a Swift!”

    She looked straight ahead of her. The gem core on her head glowed white and began to shoot forth small, star-shaped formations of Megacite – the pure energy that powers attacks such as Mega Punch and Hyper Beam – into the cloud. She shot for a few more seconds. Then, realizing that she was probably failing to hit anything, she stopped. Five seconds later, a creature with a dark brown body came rushing through the cloud and into her very small field of vision. She saw it in her periphery and jumped just as Pyrika would have hit her from the left a second time. However, a straight line of star-shaped energy charges had been chasing Pyrika. She turned around and then felt a burning pain on her back and on the back of her head...

    She’d been hit with her own attack. She let out a yelp and rolled over. Now staring down the dark cloud of Smokescreen again, she used Confusion without being ordered, with the hope that the shockwave would blow away a bit of the smoke. Her attack worked, but what she saw behind the veil of black was horrifying.

    “ANGEL!” Travis, who could also see what was going on now, shouted immediately. “Fire a Swift attack now or get out of there!!”

    Pyrika shot forth the Fireworks attack again – a golden streak of flaming light from her mouth. Angel, heeding Travis’ words, opted for the first choice, firing a star-shaped beam directly at Pyrika’s attack. The two met midway and clashed for supremacy, each momentarily giving up a small bit of ground to the other. Although Angel was holding her ground, it was obvious that she was the more fatigued of the two. Sweat dripped down her lavender face as she attempted to hold her position, which was hard enough. That’s not to mention the fact that she wanted to win outright. A draw was unacceptable. Apparently, Pyrika was thinking the same thing, as another pulse of golden light traveled through the original one, adding more power and finally pushing Angel over the edge.

    Her energy to hold the Swift attack gave out and the beam of golden light smashed into her and exploded into a fireworks-like light display, knocking her to the ground. She attempted to stagger to her feet.

    “<No...>” she groaned, struggling to stay conscious. “<Can’t...lose...again...>”

    She sank to the ground, her energy spent.

    “Damn it,” Travis sighed, running over to pick up the Espeon. “Why am I so off...?”

    “Mind if I take a shot?” Katrina piped up.

    “No – go ahead,” Travis commented, walking over to a large rock next to a tree and seating himself upon it, stroking Angel’s messed-up fur back into place.

    “Alright...” Katrina sighed. This would be her chance. She only had one Pokémon, and she could definitely use a second. This Pyrika was pretty powerful, and therefore, would make a fine addition to her team. “Crescent, let’s go!”

    Crescent sighed and advanced past Katrina’s ankles into the battle zone. Pyrika stared at him for a moment, understood what his presence meant, and lowered herself into a battle-ready position for a second time.

    “<You won’t get lucky twice,>” Crescent growled. He, unlike Angel, had been winning all of his battles, and justifiably felt very sure of himself.

    “Quick Attack, Crescent!” Katrina shouted, pointing at the target. Crescent kicked off the ground and became a sable missile, smashing into Pyrika with incredible force and bouncing off again. Landing at his original position, he watched as Pyrika rolled to her feet, her saffron eyes flashing. She opened her mouth and let loose a jet of light, which smashed into Crescent before he could react and promptly exploded, blowing him backwards. Crescent showed a bit of toughness by keeping his feet yet absorbing the full force of Pyrika’s attack. There were a couple of scorch marks on the Umbreon’s face, but that was a moot point as they were pretty much invisible with his pitch-black coat of fur. He looked up, his red eyes narrowing – just to witness a brown blur of fur coming straight at him.

    Crescent rolled out of the way and allowed Pyrika, who was using a Quick Attack of her own, to sail straight past him. Pyrika, however, was not to be tricked; she stopped directly in front of Katrina without losing a bit of speed, bounded off in the other direction, and promptly pounded Crescent for all she was worth. Crescent and Pyrika both rolled to their feet simultaneously.

    “<She’s good,>” Crescent commented.

    “Crescent, use Sand-Attack!” Katrina shouted. Crescent ran straight at Pyrika, who stood her ground and braced for contact. Just as he was about to reach her, however, Crescent changed direction rather quickly, kicking up a copious amount of dust directly into Pyrika’s face. The coney-like Fire-type Pokémon yelped and hiccoughed with the irritation of the dust entering her throat and her eyes. Travis looked up at that point – he had a feeling what was coming next.

    “<Hyper Beam?>” Crescent asked, waiting for the call. Katrina, though, shook her head.

    “We don’t want to kill her,” she commented. “Instead...use Shadow Ball!”

    “<Works for me,>” Crescent commented. Inhaling, he conjured a large ball of energy, the core of which was white, which faded to violet, which then faded to black at its edges. It swelled slightly as black sparks began to crackle and surround it, almost as if Crescent was summoning lightning from hell itself. He fired this ball at Pyrika, who was still shaking dust out of her eyes. With a yelp, Pyrika received the attack as it bowled her over, leaving her on the ground and barely conscious. The golden flame from her prominent, chestnut tail died down to a flicker in her fatigue.

    “Should’ve known...” Travis muttered with a sigh.

    Katrina pulled a Pokéball off her belt and enlarged it. She reared her hand back and prepared to throw, but took one look at Travis, who was sitting on the rock and attempting to comfort Angel, who had just come to. The Espeon, watching from Travis’ lap, had seen the very end of the battle. When her eyes met with those of Crescent, she managed to deliver him a weak smile. Travis, right then, noticed that Katrina was hesitating. She had the ball out but seemed to be refusing to throw it.

    What was she waiting for?

    If it had been a Zigzagoon, she probably would have been able to wait about five or ten minutes and she probably would have found another one. But Pyrika didn’t just stray into your path six to ten times every hour – they were extremely rare, and if Katrina let this one escape, there would be a very good chance she would never see another one...let alone a wild one...for a long time. Yet, Katrina didn’t seem to want to throw the ball.

    Meanwhile, she stood there with the ball in her hand. It seemed as if she was mere seconds away from releasing it...but something was holding her back. She continued to look at his eyes from where she was standing. That fire that he always had in his eyes when she saw him battle in his first journey – it just didn’t seem to be there anymore. For some reason, it just didn’t seem like his heart was in it. Perhaps she had come to a rather dangerous point in her relationship with him, but she felt nowadays like she didn’t need this as much as he did.

    Did she even want to have success as a Trainer here in Hoenn?

    There was that small part of her that was still a competitor. But if she somehow got into the tournament without him...which seemed almost bound to happen, the way things were going just wouldn’t feel right.

    She wondered what was going so wrong with him lately. He hadn’t won a single battle since he’d set foot in Hoenn. She didn’t want to believe it herself, let alone say it to him, but...maybe the fact was that his mind simply wasn’t ready for a journey. Maybe, as she had thought for a short time, it would never be.

    The scars formed from the knives of his dark history ran deep...deep as rivers that drowned you in liquid despair – drowned you before sending you to the surface, half the person you once were.

    Half the person he once was...but, at the same time, it wasn’t true.

    He had become a better and (if possible) more likable person in the two years since the war ended. He wasn’t quite so serious all the time. He still had issues with his temper from time to time. Whenever he got upset with someone, it was hard to calm him down – especially if they said or did anything that reminded him of the war. Not even the hardiest of men could stay the same after witnessing what he had witnessed, fighting what he had fought...

    ...and he had been no man. He had been a boy, barely thirteen. A boy with dreams and aspirations for the future. Aspirations that stood the chance of never being fulfilled with him in his present state.

    The doctors had told her...the doctors had told the time his body healed enough to do any long-term traveling, he would be sixteen. Perhaps it was Travis’ determination to get here more quickly that pushed his body to heal itself. But, if the scars on the mind and the heart don’t heal as quickly as the body, then...

    “What’s wrong?” Travis’ voice snapped her out of her twisted musing. She gasped slightly when she realized that he was standing right next to him, with his hand on her shoulder. “You earned it – go on.”

    Katrina didn’t respond.

    “Go on,” Travis said more firmly this time. “If you’re so worried about catching her in front of me, I’ll turn around.”

    Katrina watched as Travis went around behind her and turned his back to her and to Pyrika. Something seemed different about him. She slowly turned around, facing away from him and toward Pyrika. She slowly raised the Pokéball in the air and then threw it at Pyrika, who was starting to struggle to her feet. The ball tapped her on the forehead, hovered away for a second, and then opened, ingesting her in the form of bright red light. The red-and-white sphere hit the ground with a tap. Then, whirring, it shook once...


    Three times...

    And then stopped. She walked over slowly to pick up the ball containing her new Pokémon. Now she and Travis had two each. In that category, she and Travis were doing rather well. Speaking of Travis, Katrina now heard a voice behind her.

    “Good job,” he said. There was a strange kind of color to his voice – he didn’t sound bitter or jealous, but he definitely wasn’t himself. He turned around back toward her, smiling. “You pulled that one off just right.”

    Normally, out of gratitude or at least out of courtesy, Katrina would have thanked him for such a compliment. Today, though, he seemed just a bit cold and distant. She sighed.

    “C’mon,” she said. “I looked at the Navigator earlier, and it says that there’s a good place to set up a campsite just past this forest. We’ll stop and have lunch there.”

    It was about an hour after this that Katrina finished the last of her sandwich. It had to have been one of the most painful meals that Katrina had been forced to endure in a long while. Travis said nothing to her. He was silent and almost lethargic. Never in their entire two years of being together had Travis and Katrina been face-to-face without saying a word to each other. Presently, Travis wasn’t even sitting across from her. He was in the distance, sitting alone at the very top of the hill, staring out at the sky. She had seen him this contemplative before, but he wasn’t quite so depressed. Not even Angel could snap him out of it. In fact, it seemed like Travis’ depression was worse every time Angel was around. There was tension there. Everyone could feel it – especially Katrina. For her, it was getting harder and harder for her to take.

    Groaning, Katrina stood and walked over to where Travis was sitting. She stopped directly on his left. It disturbed her barely when she realized that it took him five seconds to register her presence. He looked like his mind was somewhere else at the moment.

    “Something’s up with you,” Katrina didn’t just say – she gave a firm, peremptory statement. “What’s wrong?”

    “We might be on the same side for now...” Travis sighed. “But...if we both make it to the Emerald League...”

    When,” Katrina said firmly. “There’s no ‘if’.”

    “Speak for yourself,” Travis said bitterly. “At the rate I’m going...”

    “You’re just rusty – that’s all,” Katrina said, looking across the skyline as well. “Not to mention you’re going up against Pokémon you’ve never seen before. Hoenn’s a completely different world than what we’re used to. Heck, even the government system is different.”

    “Hoenn has a king, right?” Travis asked. He’d heard something about that.

    “Yeah – Hoenn’s ruled by a royal family,” Katrina said. “Even has its own knights...”

    “I wonder how those knights are...” Travis mused. “I guess it depends on the king, right?”

    “I guess so...but you’d hope that, regardless of what the king’s like, a real knight would be strong and virtuous,” Katrina said, a significant smile flickering across her lips like a candle in the wind. “Speaking of kings...”

    Travis looked up at her. She stretched and sat down beside him, leaning her head on his shoulder.

    “Doesn’t this place remind you of King’s Mound?” she asked.

    “King’s Mound?” Travis repeated. Katrina sighed in exasperation, shifting herself over Travis’ leg and into his lap. She leaned into his chest, looking up at him.

    “Okay, now I know something’s wrong with you,” she said. “I know you remember where King’s Mound is.”

    Travis sighed and his mind went back a couple of years. King’s Mound was on the road from Goldenrod to Ecruteak. It was a hilly grassland known for its beautiful scenic views. More importantly, was the first place that Travis and Katrina had traveled together as a couple. It had been two years...but a long two years, and Travis hardly remembered the place until Katrina brought it back to the front of his mind. For the first time in a day or two, a smile crossed his lips.

    “You told me we’d be together forever,” he said nostalgically. “Back then, I thought you were just saying that, but now...”

    Katrina looked up at him hopefully.

    “Now you actually believe me?” she asked.

    “Forever’s a long time,” Travis sighed. “But you’ve been putting up with me for almost two years, so I guess that’s a start.”

    Katrina looked up at him. “You’re not as much of a burden as you think you are.”

    “I know – I’m worse,” Travis commented with a bitter smile.

    “You’re too hard on yourself,” Katrina sighed. “You’ve just gotten here, and you should still be recovering, anyway.”

    “Am I not?” Travis muttered. He looked over the field with a resigned sort of smile on his face. Katrina responded with a heavy sigh.

    “You’re being a downer,” Katrina commented, looking up at him. “Looks like you need some cheering up.”

    “I’m not a d–“ Travis didn’t get to finish his statement, as Katrina laid a kiss on his lips.

    “Yes, you are,” Katrina said with a teasing tone in her voice. “You’re depressing.”

    She kissed him again.

    “Hey!!” Travis’ eyes switched focus from his girlfriend to the bottom of the hill. There, a young boy stood at the bottom of the hill, pointing up at the two teen trainers with his left index finger. “You two are Trainers, aren’t you?!”

    “Weren’t we rudely interrupted that time, too?” Katrina asked – although she already knew the answer. Travis saw an opportunity and whispered into Katrina’s ear.

    “I’ll take him this time,” he said. Katrina stood up and allowed Travis to do the same. Travis slowly descended the hill and, as his steps took him lower, his eyes got a better look at the challenger. He might have been twelve...might have been. But he was...well, a shrimp. Whereas Travis was just over five and a half feet tall, this kid was a head and a half shorter – five feet tall, at a generously high estimate. He wore a bright red cap, which was fitted on his head backwards. Out from under this cap came messy, black hair that sat upon his eyebrows, which sat in turn upon dark, brown eyes. Under this head was a rather skinny neck. Under this neck was a chest that was covered by a white t-shirt. Below this shirt were a pair of khaki shorts that stopped right above knee level, exposing ashy, scabbed knees and extremely skinny shins.

    “My name’s Brian and I challenge you to a Pokémon battle!” the boy shouted. “I just caught a new Pokémon, and I’m looking to try him out!”

    “That’s a coincidence,” Travis said, taking a ball off of his belt and enlarging it. “Same here.”

    “You show me yours and I’ll show you mine!” Brian shouted, jumping back and running to the foot of a neighboring hill. Travis took two steps back, placing himself at the foot of the hill on which he and Katrina had stopped to have lunch.

    “Alright – Champ, let’s go!” Travis yelled, throwing the ball into the air. It burst open, shooting forth an extremely bright, white light toward the ground. This amorphous light took form and faded to reveal a green, gecko-like creature with a bright red belly and a prominent, dark green tail.

    “<First-round pick ready to rock!>” Champ shouted, performing a flip for show and imitating a martial-arts stance.

    “A Treecko? My brother got a Treecko when he left two years ago,” Brian commented. “I still think we can take you, though. Porcuspine!”

    Brian slung his Pokéball into the air. It rose to about ten feet from the ground and dropped, bursting open and shooting forth a white light of its own. This light shrank substantially until it formed into a hedgehog-like creature – brown and barely a foot off of the ground, it that.

    “Porcuspine?” Travis muttered, taking out his Pokédex. “Normal-type known for its defense. Lack of speed...we’ll just have to outpace them.”

    “Porcuspine’s defense is near impenetrable!!” Brian exclaimed.

    “Can you keep up, with Champ, though?” Travis asked. “Use Pound attack!”

    The Treecko planted one foot on the ground and took off toward Porcuspine. He closed the distance between them in four steps and on the fifth, he stopped and pivoted on his foot, bringing his tail around to make contact with the Hedgehog Pokémon’s flank. With less than two seconds to react, Porcuspine was far too slow. He took the hit full-force, flying a substantial distance because of his lack of size. Porcuspine hit the ground and rolled to his feet. Squeaking loudly, he scuttled forward, apparently angry enough to blow smoke out of his nostrils.

    “Good shot!” Travis shouted.

    “<Home team: one; other guys: zip!!>” Champ exclaimed enthusiastically. “<Want some more?>”

    “Crap...” Brian muttered. “Porcuspine, use Tackle attack!”

    Porcuspine scuttled along the ground again, its many spines standing on end, and rushed Champ. Champ, having the speed advantage, dodges left just as Porcuspine gets there. Porcuspine changed direction and rushed the green Wood Gecko again. Champ dodged a second time by performing a rather fancy flip out of Porcuspine’s path. This, however, caused Champ to stay in the air a second too long, which resulted in Porcuspine catching up with him and delivering a sharp blow to the Treecko, knocking him backward. Getting his feet under him, he skidded to a stop only to be hit a second time by Porcuspine, who was still moving. Champ hit the ground hard and rolled to a stop at Travis’ feet. Staggering to his feet, Champ looked up at Porcuspine with a fire in his eyes.

    “<Time-out...>” Champ grunted. “<That didn’t feel good at all...>”

    “Not this time,” Travis groaned. “Champ, try another Pound!”

    For a second time, Champ took several quick strides toward Porcuspine and began to pivot on his back foot.

    “Defense Curl, now!” Brian shouted. As hedgehogs are known to do, Porcuspine curled up into a ball and caused all of the hundreds of little spines on his tiny, brown body to stand erect. As Champ smashed his tail into the minuscule Normal-type, these spines took the full force of the blow, thereby protecting Porcuspine from much of the damage he would have sustained. But it also had another effect.

    “<Ouch!>” Champ groaned, favoring his tail. “<Hey, what the heck?!>”

    “What happened?!” Travis shouted in shock and worry. He then recounted those last ten seconds in his mind. “Those spines...damn it!”

    To add to Travis’ problems, the adrenaline rush that Champ had been feeling for most of his first battle had worn off, and the puncture wounds from the repeated Tackle attacks became very noticeable to him. Champ fell to one knee, in obvious pain and also appearing to be very tired.

    “Finish him off!” Brian shouted. “Pin Missile!”

    Travis’ eyes went wide. Despite Porcuspine being a Normal-type, Pin Missile, he remembered, was classified as a Bug-type attack. Bug-type moves tended to do very well against pure Grass-types like a Treecko. To make matters worse, Champ couldn’t move – they were screwed.

    Champ took the majority of the spines that Porcuspine had fired from his back to his own, bright red belly. Completely out of energy and severely wounded, he teetered backward on his heels and then hit the ground with a thud and a slight kick-up of dust. Katrina, having witnessed the battle from the top of the hill, sighed morosely.

    “Good job, Porcuspine!” Brian exclaimed, pumping his fist while the small Hedgehog Pokémon squeaked in celebration. “Hey, you put up a good fight, but it looks like Porcuspine and I outlasted you!”

    Travis didn’t bother to say anything, or to even look at Brian as he returned his Pokémon and left. Travis returned Champ to his ball and sighed. Katrina was descending down the hill, but he didn’t hear her or pay any attention to her words of encouragement. Only one thing stood out in his mind –

    He had lost, again – and, what was worse, he had lost to a boy that was very obviously a rookie. In fact, Travis wasn’t even sure the boy had been old enough to get his Trainer’s License and participate in the Emerald League.
    Last edited by EonMaster One; 9th April 2007 at 4:53 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.

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    At my house


    I'll review later

    gotta go read

  3. #53
    Join Date
    May 2005


    ~~~ *** ~~~

    “Why didn’t anyone tell me?” he muttered to himself. “If someone had told me I was going to be this bad at it, I wouldn’t have bothered becoming a Trainer. Even when I put up a fight, I wind up with absolutely nothing. Maybe what Matt said about me was right...I’m all washed up – a has-been. I should’ve accepted the truth...I knew I wouldn’t be the same once the war was over, but a part of me still tried holding on. Now, I’m paying for being so...unrealistic.”

    “What are you mumbling about, Travis?” Katrina’s voice snapped Travis back to reality. It was only at that point that Travis realized that he’d been walking around in a daze for quite a while. They had since packed their things and were back on Route 102. They were crossing through another wooded area that was actually very bright due to the filtering sunlight that was shining in through the trees. Travis saw on several trees the royal-blue flying type known by species as Taillow. However, he wasn’t about to push his luck and try to capture one – what luck, anyways? He hadn’t had a lick of it since he’d arrived nearly a week ago.

    “Nothing,” Travis lied. I shouldn’t have been so greedy, that’s it. I had my life, I had peace, I had her...and it wasn’t good enough for me. I had to try to be Champion. That’s what’s going on. This must be my punishment for being greedy.

    <You didn’t give up on your dream – that’s not greedy,> another voice – a female voice – sounded in his head. Travis looked around and then down to find Angel looking up at him with her gem-like eyes. Again, he had forgotten that she could read his mind.

    I didn’t accept reality. That is, he thought.

    <Good grief,> even in Travis’ head, Angel’s voice now sounded exasperated. <Seems like we’ve told you a thousand times since we’ve been here. You’re way–>

    “...too hard on myself. How can you say that?” Travis thought – or, he thought that he’d thought...and when I say ‘thought’, I mean ‘thought silently’. Apparently, as it’d gotten Katrina’s attention, he had either thought really loud – or there was something that Katrina wasn’t telling him.

    “Because you are,” Katrina responded for Angel. “You put too much pressure on yourself nowadays. This was supposed to be a fun journey – we were supposed to enjoy it, remember?”

    “Easy for you to say,” Travis spat a bit more harshly than he would have liked. “Your family doesn’t expect so much of you.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?” Katrina asked, raising her voice.

    “No matter how much I try to come off as this average joe, the fact still is that my grandfather was a Pokémon Champion,” Travis said, not meeting Katrina’s eye. “I’ve got a lot to live up to – especially now that he’s gone...”

    “You’re not your grandfather,” Katrina said. “You have a totally different path to follow, and you have to follow your heart and do what you think is right.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?!” Travis exclaimed. “Are you saying I’m not meant to become Champion? That I’m just wasting my time here? That’s completely fine. I’ll just go back to Littleroot and catch the next ship home if that’s the case. And you can stay here if you want, since you’re actually doing well.”

    “What?” Katrina gasped. “I only came out here because of you!”

    “Obviously, I’m not worth all that!” Travis shouted. “Don’t worry about me. You’ve still got a shot, but let’s face it – that war ruined my life and any chance I ever had of even being a good Trainer, let alone Champion.”

    “You know what?” Katrina said, her voice now deathly quiet. “Maybe you’re right. Only people with a winner’s mentality make good Champions – and you don’t have that.”

    Travis, stung to the heart by her words, turned his back on her. The hard look faded from Katrina’s face as she realized that she might have made a mistake.

    “Mentality only makes a difference when you have talent,” he said, starting to walk away. “I don’t have that – so ‘mentality’...that’s pretty much a moot point.”

    “<Wait!>” Angel started after him, but Katrina stopped her.

    “Don’t,” she said morosely. “He doesn’t want to talk to anyone right now.”

    “<What’s wrong with you?!>” Angel lashed out at Katrina, her gem-like eyes watering. “<You know better than anyone what he’s been through, and still...>”

    “I know...” Katrina sighed. “I’ve just got this thing about people who give up. He’s got no reason to give up; he has a history as a winner. I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”

    “<You don’t know? Well, fine – let me tell you!>” Angel shouted. “<You might have visited just about every day after it happened, but you weren’t there during the night – you didn’t hear him tossing and turning in bed, screaming and shouting to the darkness!>”

    “But I know it happened!” Katrina retorted. “He told me. He tells me everything!”

    “<So how could you set your mouth to lecture him about ‘mentality’, then?!>” Angel shouted. “<His ‘mind’ was shattered to pieces during that war. You know that as well as I do.>”

    Angel turned her head toward the direction in which Travis had run off.

    “<Angel!>” Crescent cried out.

    Without turning around, Angel responded. “<I’m sorry...but someone has to be there for him if neither of you will.>”

    Katrina stood still as the gravity of what she’d done hit her. For the first time in years, she was unsure of how he felt about her – could he forgive her after she’d said something like that?

    He sat in a clearing, completely alone. He had circled around her and had moved ahead on Route 102.


    How could she say anything to her about mentality? It’d been over two years since his mind had been right. That wasn’t even his fault. She should have tried fighting that enemy...

    ...but she had.

    So what excuse could she give? It wasn’t ignorance. When someone wants to throw in the towel, you should respect their wishes and not force them to stay in and keep getting pounded – that’s how he felt. She could yell at him until she was blue in the face, for all he cared – he wasn’t going back to Johto, much less empty-handed. Back home, with only the nightmares and the bad memories of that place to accompany him? There was no way. He refused to do it. He was going to disavow Johto as his homeland – become an expatriate...and the only way to do that was to be a Champion.

    But how could he become Champion without winning a single match?

    How could he become Champion by losing to trainers less experienced than he was?

    How could he become Champion without even the support of those he cared about?

    The answer was – he couldn’t.

    So, his only other option was to rot away here until starvation took him. No one would miss him – no one would weep for him. No one would mourn a shadow...

    That was what he had become. A shadow...of his former self.

    And he could not abandon the sword – the symbol of his lineage and the source of his power. Two days in Hoenn had taught him that. There were people who sought his sword here as well. If that young man or anyone else came for this sword, he wouldn’t be as merciful next time. He would blow them away with his full power – grant them, through the point of flaming steel, a one-way ticket to the hell he had gone through. He would never be able to close the wounds – all he could do was stop the spilling the blood of anyone who still wanted him to bleed. Ironic, but true.

    He heard a sound behind him.

    “Who’s there?!” he shouted, springing up to his feet and pulling out his sword all in one motion. He saw a nearby bush shake slightly. Out of it rolled a small, lavender, fox-like creature that Travis recognized. She was panting, and the eyelids that covered her gem-like eyes appeared heavy with fatigue.

    “<I finally...found you,>” she sighed. “<Where have you been? It’s been...hours...>”

    She stumbled forward, teetering dangerously. It appeared that she’d either been wounded or was very tired...or a little bit of both.

    “<I’ve got no luck at all,>” she groaned, getting her feet under her. “<Just so happens, as I was trying to find you...a swarm of Dustox pops up out of nowhere. How many did I fight my way through – ten, twenty? I lost count, but I didn’t care.>”

    “Angel...” Travis groaned weakly, kneeling out and extending his arms. “You’re hurt.”

    “<You try fighting a dozen Dustox at the same time while they’re all trying to poison you,>” Angel said just as weakly. “<It’s not easy.>”

    Travis caught her as she fell into his arms. Clutching her close to him, he asked, “Why?”

    “<I’m still on your side,>” Angel said. “<I wasn’t sure about them at first, but I think...she just made a mistake. She’s looking for you – but she’s tied up.>”

    “Tied up?” Travis repeated.

    “<Don’t go anywhere,>” Angel replied. “<Just wait.>”

    “How many times do I have to say this to you? I don’t have time for this!” Katrina shouted at a girl of about thirteen with brown hair and wearing a white blouse and a blue miniskirt. She looked rather like a schoolgirl. Crescent was snarling at her impatiently. Both of them had somewhere they wanted to be right now, and this girl was in the way.

    “You’re a Trainer – you’re supposed to,” the brunette girl said snippily, flipping her hair snobbishly with her hand.

    “Well, I’ve got something a little more important than you to deal with,” Katrina said, pulling a Pokéball off of her belt and enlarging it. “Now, look, Jadyn, or whatever your name is – move out of my way or I’ll make you.”

    “Fine,” Jadyn replied, enlarging a Pokéball of her own. “Ziggy, let’s go!”

    Jadyn threw her ball into the air. Out of it burst a striped, brown raccoon-like Pokémon, complete with the facial ‘mask’ – Zigzagoon, the most common Normal-type known to Hoenn.

    “A Zigzagoon? That’s it? You’ll have to do better than that,” Katrina replied harshly. “Amber, go!”

    She threw a Pokéball of her own into the air. It smacked against the ground and burst open to reveal a hare-like creature whose tail erupted into golden flames. This was none other than the Pyrika she’d caught earlier today. This Pokémon announced her presence on the field by shooting a golden streak of light from her mouth that promptly ascended several feet into the air and exploded in beautiful fireworks.

    “Wha–“ Jadyn looked taken aback at first, but tried her best to keep on a good game face. “Doesn’t matter! Ziggy, use Headbutt!”

    Ziggy took off in a straight line toward the Pyrika, the top of his head glowing a slight bit.

    “Dodge and use Tackle!” Katrina yelled. Amber rolled to her left, barely avoiding the Zigzagoon’s quick blow. She responded with a weak body charge that knocked Ziggy a couple of feet backward. However, since Amber didn’t get any momentum behind the attack, Ziggy wasn’t damaged that terribly. The brown Tinyraccoon Pokémon and Amber stalked around in a circle, each looking for an opening.

    “Headbutt, now!” Jadyn shouted.

    “Dodge!” Katrina yelled in response. Amber was able to get out of the way out of the charging Normal-type Zigzagoon, who overextended himself badly and was careening straight for a tree. To Katrina’s great surprise, however, Ziggy was able to plant his feet on the tree and effectively ricochet off of it, coming back at an unguarded Amber at nearly double momentum. He smashed into her and knocked her to the ground rather forcefully.

    “<Ouch! Anybody get the number of that truck?>” Amber spoke for the first time, staggering to her feet.

    “<‘That truck’ is right behind you,>” Crescent warned. Amber turned around and jumped backward just as Ziggy skidded to a stop right where she would have been. Ziggy took off again, his head glowing white. Amber had barely landed before she was forced to roll sideways to avoid Ziggy’s head for a second time.

    “<There’s a real truck around? Where?>” Amber shouted, looking around.

    “<Geez...>” Crescent muttered to himself, groaning in exasperation. “<This is gonna be a long trip. My ditz radar’s going off.>”

    “<What are you muttering about?>” Amber asked nonchalantly.

    “<Hello – Battle!>” Crescent yelled. Amber turned around and let out a scream just as Ziggy came crashing into her, knocking her backward. “<Is your attention span always that short?!>”

    “<Hey, that was a cheap shot!>” Amber groaned. Then, putting on a sad face just for show, she whined. “<That’re gonna make me cwy...>”

    “<Urgh...what in the blue hell?>” Crescent muttered in exasperation.

    “Enough playing around!” Katrina shouted, probably more to Amber then to Jadyn. “Use Fireworks!”

    “<One Zigzagoon, PWNED and well-done, coming right up!>” Amber shouted, firing a golden streak of light at Ziggy, who wasn’t ready for it by a long shot. It smashed into him and exploded, knocking him to the ground. As Zigzagoon are not necessarily known for their ability to take big hits, this was all that Ziggy could stand. His eyes reappeared as two giant swirls on his head, signifying that he was far away in dreamland by now.

    Crescent smiled in approval and said, “<You might be a little...nuts, but you can fight.>”

    “<Really? Thank you. Tee-hee!>” Amber giggled, blushing and running over to Crescent. You can imagine his surprise and embarrassment when she began to lick him on the cheek rather mercilessly.

    “<Hey – cut that out – stop – no – Quit it! I’ve already got a girlfriend!>” Crescent groaned.

    “<Really? Where is she?>” Amber asked with the air of a little child.

    “<No idea...we’re looking for her and this guy....>” Crescent said.

    “<Wait a second...I think I remember...the Espeon and the boy with the blue hair?>” Amber said enthusiastically. “<The Espeon’s the same one I beat up earlier, right?>”

    “<You got lucky,>” Crescent said airily.

    “<That’s not very nice,>” Amber pouted. “<You’re mean. I don’t like you anymore.>”

    And she walked away from Crescent to continue fighting.

    “<Fine – suit yourself,>” Crescent muttered. “<I know she’s going to have me wishing for death before this is all over...>”

    “Oh, no...” Jadyn groaned in disapproval. “I wasn’t ready for that...fine, then – if that’s how you want to play...let’s go, Royal!”

    She threw another ball into the air. The Pokémon that burst out of this one did indeed materialize in the air as the ball fell on its own back into Jadyn’s outstretched palm. Katrina could see it from here – a small, blue bird Pokémon by the name of Taillow.

    “A flyer...” Katrina muttered. “Amber, use Fireworks!”

    Amber reared back and shot a golden streak of light into the air. Upon Jadyn’s order, Royal barrel rolled in midair to avoid the beam of light and the subsequent explosion, all the while descending toward Amber’s position.

    “You’re way too slow!” Jadyn taunted. “Royal, use Quick Attack!”

    Royal became a blur and began to move so quickly that Katrina could not even see the blue of its feathers anymore.

    “That’s too fast!” she exclaimed as she witnessed her Pyrika being bowled over by Royal, who had swooped in very close to the ground for an attack. Royal reappeared going behind Amber and cawed loudly.

    “<That was...>” Amber squealed. “<...ouchy...>”

    “Amber, use Fireworks again!” Katrina shouted. Amber turned around and shot a golden stream of flame at Royal, who took off into the air, thereby avoiding the attack. Unfortunately, the Fireworks attack was now bearing down on Crescent rather quickly, and the Umbreon was forced to hit the deck and roll out of the way.

    “<Watch –>” Crescent yelled as he heard an explosion behind him. “<...where you’re aiming that!>”

    “<Whoopsy...>” Amber piped up, wearing a sheepish grin on her face.

    “<Urgh...I wish she’d told me to use Hyper Beam...>” Crescent muttered to himself.

    “Amber, watch out!” Katrina shouted worriedly – but too late. She was hit again by the advancing Taillow and received a rather vicious wing across the face.

    “<What are you doing?!>” Crescent shouted. “<She doesn’t need any more head shots!>”

    “<I’m really...dizzy...>” Amber sighed dreamily before falling to the ground, knocked out.

    “Good job, Royal!” Jadyn shouted. “Ha! Now, beat that!”

    Katrina smiled smugly, returning Amber to her Pokéball. “You’ve been holding me up for the past five minutes – now, I’m tired of it. Crescent, finish them off.”

    “<My pleasure,>” Crescent said. Then, muttering so Katrina couldn’t hear him, he added, “<As long as I don’t have to hear Amber talk for the rest of my natural life.>”

    “Use Quick Attack!” Jadyn ordered. Royal proceeded to attempt to dive-bomb Crescent at this point – but his mistake was coming at the Umbreon in a straight line.

    Katrina was through playing games. She had somewhere to be. Somewhere very important.

    “Crescent,” she said, her eyes narrowing. “Use Hyper Beam.”

    Travis continued to rub together the two sticks he had found over a slightly larger pile of wood that he had gathered from various surrounding places. Night had fallen, and there was still no sign of Katrina and Crescent, so Travis decided to camp here in this clearing for the night. He still wasn’t very sure what he’d do. Part of him wanted to move on, on his own – he wouldn’t be slowing anyone down, then. But there was a part of him that did indeed give up. That part of him wanted to make the trek back to Littleroot Town, in hopes of finding a ship that would bear him back to Johto.

    The sticks continued to grind away at each other with no sign of a flame.

    “<Need more wood, Coach?>” Champ piped up.

    “That’s okay,” Travis sighed. He tried a few more times before he realized that this was an exercise in futility. Throwing the sticks down onto the pile, he muttered morosely, “Story of my life.”

    He leaned back a bit on his hands and sat there in a daze for a while. Suddenly, he felt a light and a flickering warmth on his face. He took a closer look at the wood pile. He, Angel, and Champ all put some distance between themselves and what was now basically a pillar of combustion worthy of a bonfire.

    “What the heck?” he muttered, looking over his shoulder. Standing there and returning a Pokémon to the Pokéball in her Umbreon at her left ankle...there she was. She had come looking for him. He watched her as she silently trudged around him. Completely entranced...wondering what she was going to say...or do...

    She turned toward him. The fire behind her set her beautiful silhouette aglow. Even from a distance, he could see her blue eyes shining.

    Then she pounced.

    Before Travis could even react, she had knocked him to the ground, pinned him, and straddled him all in the same motion. He felt a slight mark forming on his jaw where she’d just punched him. Her eyes narrowed as she lowered her own nose to his.

    “You’re such a jerk,” she growled, smiling a smile that clearly told Travis that her intentions were not good. “We’ve been looking for you for hours. I was halfway back to Oldale before I realized that you’d given me the slip and doubled back the other way. I’ve been walking around this damn forest all evening. Do you have any idea what I want to do to you right now?”

    Travis couldn’t think of anything. His mind was numb. On the one hand – he wasn’t completely complaining about this predicament...although, to be fair, it definitely wasn’t the most chaste or platonic position in which to be. But the question was, was it worth the pummeling he was about to receive?

    She stared a hole straight into his brain for what seemed like hours. Travis’ face was in a permanent flinching motion, as he was waiting for a punch, a slap...something. He waited for what seemed like an eternity, until, slowly, she tilted her head...

    ...and kissed him.

    “<Isn’t that sweet,>” a female voice sounded to the right of Crescent, who was to the right of Angel, who was to the right of a relaxing Champ. All three of the aforementioned Pokémon turned their heads to the right simultaneously.

    “<ARGH!>” Crescent jumped about five feet in to the air. “<Amber, what the hell?! I thought you were in your ball!>”

    “<Balls...they’re overrated,>” Amber said. “<...That’s why I’m glad I’m a girl.>”

    All three of the other Pokémon felt their jaws drop to the ground with no control over them.

    “<What?!>” Crescent groaned, “<That is so...not what the hell I was talking about!>”

    “<Throw a flag!>” Champ piped in. “<Personal foul – unnecessary insanity!>”

    Angel had a sweatdrop beside her head that was so large, the other two wouldn’t have been surprised if Magikarp were swimming in it.

    “<You think I’m insane?>” Amber said, stalking around Angel and Crescent toward the Treecko, who craned his head around to see her coming. “<You think I’m cuckoo?....Huh, little Treecko?...How about I burn your little green derriere to a crisp? Then you’ll see how ‘insane’ I am!!>”

    “<What’s a ‘derriere’? That’s not in my playbook,>” Champ muttered. Seeing Amber inhale, he realized what was going on and shouted, “<Oh, sh–>”

    “<This is going to be very interesting,>” Crescent sighed. Shaking his head, he added, “<I can’t believe she actually said that...>”

    “<She’s even worse than Cannon...>” Angel muttered. “<I thought he was a nutjob...>”

    “<I’m not sure she’s a ‘nutjob’, Angel,>” Crescent said. “<Her diet could just have some very ‘special’ mushrooms...>”

    “<Special...mushrooms?>” Angel choked, fighting down a laugh. “<I love you. Now, let’s break this up before one of us loses a teammate.>”

    “<I guess we don’t have a choice...>” Crescent sighed, as Amber was now chasing Champ around the bonfire. Meanwhile, Katrina had allowed Travis off his back into a sitting position – and was now behind him, draped over his shoulder as they talked to each other.

    “You know I love you, right?” she asked, pecking him on the cheek.

    “Yeah,” Travis replied laconically.

    “And that I’d never try to hurt you?” (She kissed him on the cheek again.)


    “And that I’d never let you go that easily?”


    “And that one-word answers get really irritating after two or three of them?”


    “Are you listening to me?”


    She hugged him so tightly that he was nearly a victim of strangulation. He smiled again – because all was right in the world. Maybe not from Johto to the far reaches of Sinnoh...maybe not that world...but in their world, tonight, everything was back to how it should have been. So, the challenges would come...

    Let them come.

    Her voice and presence gave him strength to fight...even if some fights ended up being losing battles.

    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.

  4. #54
    Join Date
    May 2005


    ~~~ *** ~~~

    The young man’s eyes searched the skyline and found a cerulean horizon – a horizon that signaled that dawn was quickly approaching. He gazed down the darkened pathway. It was just as he thought – soldiers in foreboding-looking black armor were patrolling the streets. He began to move swiftly and quietly down the roads, hoping that he would not be seen. Then again – he had been trained for stealth at one point, so he was better at it than others.

    Out of the corner of his golden-brown eyes, he caught a glimpse of something – a young woman was up before the sun as well. She looked like one of the ordinary townsfolk, out to take a brisk morning walk.

    The young man heard a rattling and stopped cold in the shadow of one of the houses. He had kicked up a small stone in his movements – a rookie mistake. He swore mentally as he saw a man with a black helmet, a black chestplate, and shoulder pads turn around. This man was obviously light infantry – a common rank-and-file soldier. He was accompanied by another light infantryman whose hair was visible even under his helmet. The second soldier appeared to be older, as he had a full beard of brown flecked with auburn, whereas the other was clean-shaven and looked, in fact, like he could not grow facial hair if he tried.

    “Hey, kid, what’re you looking at?” the older soldier spoke, as the young man predicted, in a gruff-sounding voice.

    “I heard something,” the younger soldier replied. The young man in the shadows did his level best to keep even his breathing silent. Of course, with no reinforcements around, he could just shoot them – that was his normal way of doing things – but, he had somewhere to be and someone that he had to meet...very soon, and the bodies of two dead soldiers laying in the middle of the road at sunrise wouldn’t do much to help secrecy.

    After about six seconds, the older soldier grunted, “Boy, you’re bein’ paranoid. You think someone’d dare try to ambush us? We’re the army of His Imperial Majesty. We hold all the power around here. And if someone does try something stupid, we just kill ‘em. Simple as that.”

    It was all the young man in the shadows could do to keep from pouncing on them in that moment. He was calling himself ‘Imperial Majesty’...trying to set himself up as an Emperor. Kings are content, most of the time, to rule the land they inherited from whoever was last in line. Emperors, however, were an entirely different story. Emperors – true emperors – had no qualms about taking over neighboring nations and ruling them with an iron fist. This young man knew that the current king had that attitude – consolidate his own power and crush all opposition. This was exactly why there were guards in the streets of Petalburg City for no good reason except to intimidate the people. It was just a good thing that...with his current occupation, he had put ‘them’ off of his trail. If ‘they’ were still after him, then the King’s soldiers would be the least of his worries.

    “Hey!” the young man heard yelling in the distance.

    “You can’t do this!” he then heard the shriek of a young woman – was it that same young woman he’d seen leaving her home moments ago? Had she been captured?

    “We’re the King’s soldiers. We can do whatever the hell we – want!” another voice joined the clamor and the young man heard a sound of contact. He couldn’t see anything from here, but his guess was that the young woman had just been struck. How dishonorable – men that call themselves knights attacking a woman before dawn...cowardly. If he had his way, they would all be dead.

    But, alas, he had to wait...wait and hope that they didn’t kill her...because he had somewhere to go.

    “Something’s going on over there – let’s move!” he heard the older infantryman shout.

    “Right!” the younger footman replied, and both of them ran down the road and out of sight.

    Amazed at his fortune, the young man moved from one shadow into the next, until he finally came upon an alleyway that led to a dead end between two buildings. There were about six feet between the buildings – he would have barely been able to stretch himself out between them and fit. He immediately ran into a man with a green hood over his head and covering his eyes.

    “Hello,” the hooded man said.

    “ ‘Sup,” the young man said lazily, massaging his neck in a nonchalant manner.

    “What is more precious to you – rubies or sapphires?” the hooded man asked. The young man smiled and didn’t take this as an awkward question. He had seen it coming. He opened his mouth and gave a strange answer.

    “Emeralds,” he said.

    Instantly, as if he’d said some sort of secret password, the hooded man parted to let him past. As soon as he was in, the hooded youth, like a human gate, turned and barred the way again. The young man started down the alley. He took three steps, and then turned around.

    “Good job, Cal – you’re getting the hang of this,” he said. Truth be told, the youth that was guarding the alleyway was a year younger than he. Technically, by the country’s laws, he was still a boy – but he had been assigned to this task and was doing a very good job of it. The young man turned and continued to walk down the alley. He reached the end of it and hung a right, opening a door there. Inside appeared to be a dilapidated living room. From the roof hung one light – and rather precariously, at that. The walls were cracked in places and from one of them hung a picture of a sunrise over mountains. At least, that’s what the young man thought that it had been at one time. Now, it was broken in two and severely faded. He stepped inside and down two stairs. Both of them creaked, alerting two men that were sitting at a table and appeared to be playing chess to his presence.

    “Oh, you’re here,” one of them said. Both of them appeared to be wearing the same green hoods that the boy outside had been wearing. They both turned their chairs toward the young man, who plopped himself rather lazily on the broken-down sofa at the near side of the room. His bronze eyes studied both men intently for a few seconds before anyone spoke.

    “So...back from your little scouting mission,” the second hooded man said. “How much trouble did you stir up this time?”

    “Just a little,” the young man replied. Then, smirking, he added, “But the information I did get is well worth the trouble.”

    The two hooded men now stared at this young man intently.

    “And what’s that?” the first one asked.

    “One of the other two is here in Hoenn,” the young man said.

    For the calmness of his statement, you would have thought that someone had just dropped a bombshell in the dimly lit room. Both of the hooded men’s expressions changed instantly, as they knew exactly what this youth was talking about.

    “You’re not lying to us, are you?” the second hooded man asked.

    “Would I have a reason to?” the young man replied. “This is our shot.”

    “Speaking of shooting...” the first hooded man said. “ many people did you knock off in order to get this information?”

    “None,” the young man said. “That’s not to say that I didn’t try, though. I fought him.”

    “Someone brought it here?” the second hooded man asked incredulously.

    “Yeah – you know the rules,” the young man said. “You can’t have two just pop up in the same nation – it’d upset the balance of power. It had to be brought here – either by the creator of the sword or by the wielder. In this case, it was the wielder.”

    “And you fought him?” the first hooded man asked.

    “Sure did,” the young man said. “I found it in the hands of a kid. He couldn’t have even been Cal’s age, actually. So...I tried to take it off of him. I thought he just happened to come upon it by chance and didn’t know what it was – one of my rare mistakes. It turns out, this kid...well, he’s no ordinary kid, that’s for sure.”

    “You would have killed a boy to get it?” the first hooded man nearly exclaimed. “You’re more brutal than I thought!”

    “Whatever needs to be done, right?” the young man said nonchalantly. “Yeah, I would have killed him...if I could have. But he knew what he was doing. Not only did he have it, but he knew how to use it – very well. When I realized that, I backed off and I had a better idea...getting it’s great, but getting that and the one using it...”

    “Why him? Why can’t you just take it from him?” the second hooded man asked.

    “There’s a couple of reasons for that,” the young man said. “First off, only one of them can truly unlock its power...second, it’d be one hell of a lot easier to protect it if it’s being protected by its rightful owner. If they fall into the wrong hands...or worse yet, if he chooses that side.”

    “This kid’s that good?” the first hooded man asked.

    “He’s damn good,” the young man replied. “I told you, he’s a freak. He already has perfect command of battojutsu. Few people nowadays do, much less at his age.”

    “Battojutsu?” the first hooded man repeated.

    “Fighting from the draw,” the young man explained. “To do that, you need a decent amount of speed. This kid has speed...on top of speed. He disappears when he attacks, which makes him a real ***** to try and fight off. I don’t look scratched up, but the truth is, I barely got away with my life. But the third thing....”

    “Huh?” both hooded men chorused as the young man’s expression suddenly became serious.

    “...His eyes...” the young man said in nearly a whisper. “He’s got the same look in his eyes a lot of people told me I had when I got here – only worse.”

    “Worse?!” the first hooded man exclaimed as the other one gasped.

    “When he looks at you,” the young man said, closing his own eyes. “It’s enough to freeze your blood over. If I hadn’t been so intent on getting the sword, I would have turned and run. Those eyes have seen things...indescribable things.”

    He stood and drove his fists into the table that was between him and the two seated men. Leaning over it, he stared at them both, a wild look in his eyes.

    “He looked...” the young man said. “...he looked like someone who had seen hell itself and was determined not to go back.”

    As the youth backed away and slumped back onto the sofa, one of the hooded men commented, “Don’t you think you’re being a little bit dramatic?”

    “No,” the young man said. “I knew something was off about him when I realized that he wasn’t the slightest bit afraid of me. He said that he wouldn’t show me any mercy. He had no qualms about killing. I could tell that by the way he fought...we can’t get that sword away from him. Not the way I tried to do. He’s too skilled.”

    “What should we do about him, then?” the hooded man asked.

    “We have to get him to join us – it’s the only way,” the young man replied. “And even that’s a little risky. If we don’t do it right, we could end up dead – or worse, pushing him away to the other side. If he joins on the other side...we have no chance.”

    “You think he would?” the second hooded man asked.

    “I don’t know anything about his moral position...” the young man replied. “But what concerns me more is his mental state. When I fought him, I saw just a tiny glimpse of desperation – insanity, you could even call it. In that state...there’s no telling what he could –“

    The young man stopped midway through his sentence. The other two hooded men proceeded to ask them what was going on, until he quickly put a finger to his mouth and shushed them.

    “Hello,” he heard a voice outside and knew instantly what it was. “What is more precious to you? Rubies or sapph–AARGH!”

    A loud scream echoed in from the alley. The young man’s eyes went wide.

    “Stay here!” he shouted to the other men, exiting and drawing his weapon. His eyes turned left immediately as he saw a horrific sight – a man with black armor plunging a bloodied sword in and out of a fallen body on the ground. His eyes flashing, he pointed his weapon and aimed. The soldier stopped making a pincushion out of the body and looked at him blankly –


    Lightning shot forth from the two barrels on the young man’s gun. It struck the soldier in the heart, and his smoking corpse fell limply on the top of the other body. The young man sprinted to where the two bodies lay and forcefully kicked the body of the soldier off of the other to find the body of the body of the boy who had greeted him a few minutes before. His entire outfit was matted and stained with blood, and his eyes were locked in a wide stare straight up into the sky...but these eyes did not see anything any longer. Lowering his hand onto the boy’s face, he veiled those eyes with their own lids and allowed his eternal sleep to be full.

    “Rest in peace, kid,” he sighed. Then, standing up, he looked out toward the alleyway, his eyes hard and emotionless. He’d been looking for a good excuse to do this all day.

    Again, he was in the shadows of the buildings of Petalburg. Things were a bit tougher this time around, however, as the sky was substantially lighter. He saw a soldier run into a nearby alley. How comical. This man, no doubt looking for his comrade, had made a wrong turn. Apparently, the soldier realized that as well and started out of the alley, right at the young man. The young man took off into the alley to confront the soldier head-on.

    Two stabs, a shot, and a can of spray-paint later, the young man came out of the alley. The soldier, however remained there – dead and slumped against a wall with a word that had been spray-painted on his black armor in capital, white letters.


    He walked through the streets, doing a rather good job of hiding his weapon (not like there were a lot of people around yet) until he reached a slightly wider alley, from which he heard screaming and clamor much like he’d heard nearly an hour ago when that young woman had been captured. Then he heard three words – all he needed to hear:

    “Hold her down!”

    He rushed into this alleyway to see a group of soldiers chaining a struggling young woman – the same one he’d seen taking her morning walk earlier that day – to a post in front of a wall. One of the lieutenants of this small band of six or seven reached a hand up to the young woman’s pale, white face and stroked it.

    “Now, don’t you worry your little head, missy,” he said sinisterly. “You’re doing the King a favor – meetin’ the needs of his we won’t hurt you too badly.”

    “You shouldn’t do that,” the soldier whirled around to see a young man leaning against the far wall, tapping a strange weapon on his shoulder. “Some passerby might feel sorry for the innocent lady and decide to do something about it.”

    “Is that so?” the lieutenant took two steps toward the young man. “Tell me when he gets here.”

    “Go to hell,” the young man said quickly. The lieutenant laughed.

    “That’s a funny one, boy,” the soldier guffawed.

    “I meant it literally,” the young man said, drawing his weapon. “Here – let me show you the way!”


    A bolt of lightning shot from the gun again, and the lieutenant fell in a heap – dead before he hit the ground.

    “Lieutenant!” one of the soldiers ran over to his officer to check for a pulse...a pulse that wasn’t there. Realizing this, the soldier looked up and his eyes flashed. “–“

    The rest of that statement was replaced by a death gurgle and a coughing up of blood. The other five soldiers all jumped backwards once they realized why – the young man was presently yanking the blade that protruded from his gun out of the soldier’s stomach. The issue with that was the fact that, a second ago, he’d been standing at least twenty yards away. He sidestepped the body and allowed it to fall upon the corpse of the other man whose life he had just ended. He shot a hard look at the other soldiers, who all looked like they were about to wet their pants.

    “We’ve got to tell Fergus!” one of the soldiers shouted.

    “Right!” another shouted, and all five took off full speed out of the alley, running in zigzags so that the young fighter could not get a clear shot.

    “Damn it,” the young man muttered. “I’ll deal with them later.”

    With a flick of his wrist, he managed to cut the ropes tying the young woman to the post without cutting the young woman herself. Once free, she examined both of her wrists, which were red and rubbed raw by the ropes the soldiers had used to tie her.

    “Sorry you had to see that,” he said, turning away from the young woman. “But I guess seeing that won’t scar you half as much as what they were going to do to you...”

    “What’s your name?” the young woman asked. “I want to know who saved me.”

    “Can’t tell you that,” the youth replied briskly. “Then, I’d have to kill you.”

    “Alright, well...thank you,” the young woman said, running out of the alley as quickly as her legs would take her. This left the young man alone in the alley with the two corpses, so he moved to an inside wall and pressed himself against it, so as to not make himself visible to anyone who happened to be walking down the main road. With the sky still not at full daytime light, anyone who passed that way would be fortunate indeed to even see the corpses of the two soldiers. While he stood there, he wondered inwardly if there were any other young women that had been tied to that post – any that he wasn’t around to save. Spurred on by this thought (great timing – he could have sworn that he heard a scream), he swept around the corner and out of the alley. It took about three steps out of the alley for it to register with the young man that his element of surprise was gone.

    “So, I guess this solves that little mystery we had for a few weeks about some of our soldiers inexplicably turning up dead,” the young man turned to his right. Five soldiers – no doubt the five that had escaped him moments earlier – surrounded a taller man in full black armor who had a serrated sword to...

    The young man’s heart sank. The young woman whom he had just rescued had been captured again and was now being used as a hostage, apparently. So, he had to play it cool – not like that was something new for him.

    “Turning up dead? That sucks,” the young man said, lowering his weapon. “Apparently, someone has a problem with ‘His Imperial Brutality’.”

    “Don’t you mock the King!” one of the soldiers said, brandishing a sword about two feet in length.

    “Don’t charge,” the young man said lazily. “You’re going to wish you hadn’t.”

    But the impulsive soldier didn’t listen. Running full speed at the young man, he reared back and swung his sword at him wildly. The youth moved at the last possible second, so quickly that it looked like he’d just...

    “...disappeared...” the captain of the five muttered.

    Make that four – as the one that had charged now had a blade coming through his heart from the back. The youth yanked it out so quickly that even the blood flew clean off and turned around toward the remaining infantryman and their captain as this one soldier, now behind him, slumped to the ground, dead.

    “That’s five today,” the young man sighed. “So...why don’t you let go of the nice lady I just rescued ten minutes ago, before you dig an early grave for yourself and all the peons you’ve got left? I think I recognize you now – Fergus, was it?”

    “Heh,” the captain, who had grizzled skin and a noticeable scar over his left eye, grunted. “So, the rumors are true. You talk about brutality...a boy hardly of age that kills indiscriminately with no fear and no conscience...Iceman.”

    “Iceman? Damn, I’ve gotten pretty popular,” the young man commented. “I’ve got a problem with about half of your statement, though. First of all, I don’t kill indiscriminately. There’s only two groups of people that have been victims to this weapon. The first includes anyone that’s on the wrong side. The second...well, that’s none of your business. And the second...I don’t lack a conscience. I don’t kill beings with souls – but as far as I’m concerned, anyone that can put on that armor and wear it with their head up has sold their soul to you-know-who...that’s where you and I have a problem.”

    “You’ve been a pain in our *** for half a year,” Fergus grunted. “Matter of’re up in the Top Ten of the King’s ‘Most Wanted’ list. Let me put it this way. With the money somebody could get for ruining their purity by killing you, they could buy themselves some more of it.”

    “I’m being hunted – I won’t lie,” the young man said. “First you you’ve got bounty hunters on my ***...but isn’t it funny how all the ones that do manage to find me just seem to disappear from the face of the earth? Hell, it’s self-defense at that point, so I’m well within my rights as a citizen. Oh, that’s right – under the ‘New Regime’, there are so such things as ‘rights’ anymore. I forgot – sorry. Then, not to mention, ‘they’ have been tracking me ever since I escaped two years ago...”

    “What are you yammering on about?” Fergus asked. “You’re lucky I’m deciding to humor you. You could be dead already.”

    “I sort of doubt that,” the young man said, raising the barrel of his gun toward Fergus’ head.

    “Yeah...bullet beats a sword, no doubt...but you still don’t want to do that,” the grizzled captain said. “Not unless you’re damn sure about your aim. Don’t want to hurt little missy here, do you?”

    He yanked the young woman closer to him, putting her in a sort of one-armed stranglehold. The young man groaned and lowered his weapon. Suddenly, though, he saw something flashing along the high buildings to his right. It was a shadow...but no ordinary shadow. He recognized the way those shadows moved. They were here, too? The timing was about as bad as it could get...but he knew his own priorities.

    Roaring, he turned and shot up toward that building. A fireball shot up in that direction from his gun, but missed its mark and continued to streak skyward like a rocket being propelled into space. He looked around and then toward Fergus and his gang. Fergus swung his sword at something behind him but appeared to have missed it. Roaring in frustration he threw the young woman to the ground.

    “Get the hell outta here!” he shouted. The young woman did not need telling twice – she took off for her home as quickly as possible. At that point, Fergus let out an awful roar and the young man watched a fleck of blood fly up from his left shoulder. The young man saw Fergus yank what appeared to be a kunai-like knife from that shoulder. His worst fears were confirmed.

    Half because he needed to, and half because this was his perfect chance to escape from under the noses of the soldiers, he broke in the other direction, down another alley different from the ones had he had walked earlier. He heard a shouting behind him and realized that Fergus and the troops were clearing off. He stopped at the end of this alleyway. Like the others, there was a bit of an open area here – like the urban version of a forest clearing. In front of him, there was a chainlink fence that went up some ten...twenty...thirty feet. He saw in the dim light a form perched upon this fence with knives in its hands. The two stared at each other for several seconds. He knew who this person belonged to, even if he couldn’t see the face. Hatred welled up inside him like a volcano ready to erupt.

    And then it did.

    Screaming violently, the young man raised his gun toward the fence and fired. A bolt of lightning shot from it. The form leapt from the height of the fence. It was now at least fifty feet in the air, silhouetted by the brightening sky to the point of nearly being impossible to see. It was performing strange hand signals. It took a knife from what appeared to be its side pocket and threw it – except the knife never came down. Instead, it was a ball of red flame. The youth rolled out of the way and looked to his left to see a kunai protruding from the ground. He heard another scream...
    like the devil possessing the shadow...
    ...and looked up. He barely had time to block an attempted double stab from a pair of kunai, but he responded quickly enough, by slashing –

    Nothing but air. The shadow had flipped behind him and he turned around, jumping backward just in time to avoid a very rough ‘X’ being carved into his chest. The shadow was way too quick for him, though. He fended off strike after strike after strike after strike from its kunai, until he was finally backed into a wall. With an ear-piercing shriek, the shadow pounced upon him one last time with one of its knives. The young man avoided having his jugular vein cut by mere inches as the knife pierced the top of the outfit into which he had changed recently. It consisted of a black, red-trimmed, trenchcoat-like garment that extended all the way down to his knees, as well as black pants. The knife had gotten in right at the collar of his jacket, so he was fortunate indeed. He heard panting below him and finally got a good look at who had been attacking him.
    the beautiful shadow...

    She was a girl – maybe about his own age. Her shoulder-length hair was a deep blood red, and was held in place slightly by a white bandage around her forehead, which threw into sharp relief the bangs on one side of her forehead, which were somehow an aged-looking silver-white color. There was a wildness seizing her silver eyes – a wildness that was, fortunately, becoming more and more tamed with each passing second. She had fingerless, black gloves on, which were attached to sleeves, which were in turn attached to absolutely nothing. Her outfit – blood-red and very tight – was an entity all on its own.

    “You’re of them?” the girl asked, stepping away. “Your strange.”

    “A rogue?” the young man muttered.

    The eyes of each studied the other for a few silent moments. The young man silently battled within himself...she was beautiful, and she seemed to be so afraid...but she was one of them. One of his sworn enemies. He could tell. No one else on the planet fought like that anymore.

    “I have no business with you,” the girl said, quickly yanking the knife out of the collar of his jacket and freeing him from the wall. She bounded up an opposite wall and on top of the fence, then leapt again and was out of sight.

    “You’d better hope it stays that way,” the young man muttered, cocking his gun. “If we ever meet again, I’ll be the last thing you ever see. Runaway or not – I hate your kind, regardless.”

    As he left the alley, wondering if the two men he had left at the shack were still even alive after this long rabbit trail, his heart felt something a bit different. For some strange reason, the world was darker, and yet brighter at the same time. Clearer, and yet foggier.

    Something in his dark world had been shaken, and he couldn’t tell what it was. It scared him, to be completely honest, which was saying something significant. He was called ‘Iceman’ for a reason – he was said to have ice running through his veins, because he felt little and feared nothing...normally. Today, though...something was different. All of these meetings with people...something big was around the corner – and he had this strange feeling that he was to be a part of it.


    Lots of stuff going on here, eh? The sh!t's going to hit the fan in the next chapter, though. For now, here's info on the Fakemon used in this chapter. There were two of them.

    Type: Normal
    Height/Length: 0'9"
    Weight: 10 lbs.
    The word on Porcuspine: Normal-type that is becoming increasingly common around Hoenn. Definitely not known for being a speedster - but its defense is amazing.

    Supplied by: Air Dragon

    Type: Fire
    Height/Length: 2'01"
    Weight: 27 lbs.
    The word on Pyrika: Very rare fire-type that has been recently discovered. In Hoenn, it is usually seen around Mt. Chimney, so the fact that Katrina happened upon one where she did was very lucky indeed. It is well-rounded in battle, and also uses the pesky Fireworks attack, which can also lower a target's accuracy if it makes contact.

    Supplied by: Air Dragon


    Now, things to ask yourself for the next chapter:

    - How do Travis and Katrina fare in their battles against the rookie gym leader, Stella?
    - What is the true name of the youth known as the 'Iceman'?
    - Who is the kunoichi that has been appearing in the area, and what are her motives?

    Hope you enjoyed this chapter - and Amber's random personality. I'm going to have a lot of fun with that. ^_^

    - EM1, out.
    Last edited by EonMaster One; 9th April 2007 at 5:10 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.

  5. #55
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    At my house


    Should have been cry (unless you wanted that annoying baby accent on her )

    2 words I think.

    Chapter I liked it, don't know why but I can't get the whole tropical rainforest setting out of my head after this chapter. Amber, I liked her, if only Cannon was here I wonder how the two would react to each other.

    : ROFLPWNARAGE23432, balls classic

    Travis: Just shut up about the balls already!

    Amber: You can't tell me what to do.

    *rolls on ground laughing his head off* BALLS!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #56
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Staten Island


    Yes you kept the Random personality in a certain pokemon alive! Amber is like the smaller version of Cannon (oh how i miss him so)

    That was a very long took me like an hour to read. I can't wait to read more of this masterpiece in progress
    What? Am I back?

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2006


    Sweet! Champ the Treecko totally rocks! Another awesome chapter, EM1. Heh... Cannon reincarnated into Amber, that made my day. Although, she's a whole, 'randomer' than Cannon ever was. Poor Travis, losing...repeatedly to Trainers. Interesting... ninjas and knights. And a whole lot of interest in the 'Godfire'. Anyway, great chappie. I leave you with one final statement: BALLS! xXPorygonXx, out!

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    o.o That was long. Are you trying to become the next SilvorMoon and write a full-length fic (about the size of PR:J) in 11 chapters? Anyway, I really liked this chapter even more than I thought I would (normally the opening few chapters of any literature are boring). Travis got beat up by his own girlfriend. Shiro and his off-color jokes got reincarnated in Amber, along with great humor from Crescent). And last but not least, some mystery guy just waylaid the Man in Petalburg.

    Porcuspine scuttled along the ground again, its many spines standing on end, and rushed Champ. Champ, having the speed advantage, dodges left just as Porcuspine gets there.
    I think you need "dodged" there instead of "dodges". Tense phasing. Ahem, now for a couple of highlights.

    “<Urgh...I wish she’d told me to use Hyper Beam...>” Crescent muttered to himself.

    “<Balls...they’re overrated,>” Amber said. “<...That’s why I’m glad I’m a girl.>”

    All three of the other Pokémon felt their jaws drop to the ground with no control over them.

    “<What?!>” Crescent groaned, “<That is so...not what the hell I was talking about!>”

    “<Throw a flag!>” Champ piped in. “<Personal foul – unnecessary insanity!>”
    Crude (and athletic) jokes. This fic is the best. -Oath

    PS: Does Stella have a Miltank or a Snorlax? That'll determine it.
    Pride! Conceit! Courage! Insolence! Fearful of nothing! Daunted by nothing! Let us laugh uproariously!

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Manchester, NH


    The one liners by Champ and Amber are sweet. Keep it up. hopefully no wars.
    Visit Nocturne of Shadows. Check the chats and forums section to visit the forum. I have a guestbook and a mini shout box.

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Behind you...


    “No matter how much I try to come off as this average joe, the fact still is that my grandfather was a Pokémon Champion,” Travis said, not meeting Katrina’s eye. “I’ve got a lot to live up to – especially now that he’s gone...”
    “No matter how much I try to come off as this average Joe, the fact still is that my grandfather was a Pokémon Champion,” Travis said, not meeting Katrina’s eye. “I’ve got a lot to live up to – especially now that he’s gone...”

    “<Watch –>” Crescent yelled as he heard an explosion behind him. “<...where you’re aiming that!>”

    “<Whoopsy...>” Amber piped up, wearing a sheepish grin on her face.

    “<Urgh...I wish she’d told me to use Hyper Beam...>” Crescent muttered to himself.
    LOVE the randomage!

    “<Balls...they’re overrated,>” Amber said. “<...That’s why I’m glad I’m a girl.>”

    All three of the other Pokémon felt their jaws drop to the ground with no control over them.

    “<What?!>” Crescent groaned, “<That is so...not what the hell I was talking about!>”

    “<Throw a flag!>” Champ piped in. “<Personal foul – unnecessary insanity!>”

    Angel had a sweatdrop beside her head that was so large, the other two wouldn’t have been surprised if Magikarp were swimming in it.
    “<You think I’m insane?>” Amber said, stalking around Angel and Crescent toward the Treecko, who craned his head around to see her coming. “<You think I’m cuckoo?....Huh, little Treecko?...How about I burn your little green derriere to a crisp? Then you’ll see how ‘insane’ I am!!>”
    These guys are good! They should get their own sitcom!

    “<She’s even worse than Cannon...>” Angel muttered. “<I thought he was a nutjob...>”

    “<I’m not sure she’s a ‘nutjob’, Angel,>” Crescent said. “<Her diet could just have some very ‘special’ mushrooms...>”

    “<Special...mushrooms?>” Angel choked, fighting down a laugh. “<I love you. Now, let’s break this up before one of us loses a teammate.>”
    Yeah, you do that...

    a black helmet, a black chestplate
    a black helmet, a black chest plate

    Hope you enjoyed this chapter - and Amber's random personality. I'm going to have a lot of fun with that. ^_^
    you know i did... go randomage!

    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
    Butt-ugly Banner by Me
    (Still waiting on the excellent Saffire Persian for another awesome TCQ banner!)

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    On a drifting iceberg...


    Hey, I'm here. First things first, I've been forgetting about the fakemon, but you didn't really get back to me on my fakemon. Is it accepted?

    This chapter was hilarious, but I loved seeing Champ fight. Treecko are pretty cool, ya know... Anyway, Amber is a lot like Cannon. I can see how Crescent is annoyed. Great chapter, I enjoyed it.
    My bishie is Grimmjow Jeagerjaques from Bleach.

    B Grade Referee

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    At my house


    Damn I forgot to rate the chapter.

    9.7/10, good chapter EM1. This was the best third chapter I've ever read

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Giving Up Is Not My Option


    Hey EM1. I thought I'd review your awesome new version of an old favourite.

    So, at first glance, the story, description, spelling and grammer is great, bar a few mistakes that Air Dragon pointed out. I like how you managed to keep the Travis story going, but still making it interesting enough (For example, Travis' disability and washed up Pokémon skills).

    The characters are great, I was happy to see my favourite character (Matt) back after a long wait, but I still can't wait for Madeliene and Shiro to appear, even though that isn't likely enough. The new Fakemon you created (Or, in this case, came to you by others' ideas) are great btw.

    Anyway, can't wait for the next chapter, I'll be reading it most certainly (If I'm not writing my own fic at the same time). See ya!
    Pokémon KD (Kanto Dimension) is located at a Fan Comics forum. Updates (whe)never.


    Click the banner to go to the thread. Banner Credits to Coronis and Pe2k.

  14. #64


    Amber's random personality made me laugh so hard that my mom thought I was insane.Chapter was good except Katrina should have hit Travis much much harder.Too bad champ lost, I like Treeckos.

    And since Katrina did'nt hit Travis hard enough,I'll take care of that problem myself.*Hits Travis Repeatedly*

  15. #65
    Join Date
    Mar 2007


    Loved everything about that chapter

    I give it a 8/8

    “<ARGH!>” Crescent jumped about five feet in to the air. “<Amber, what the hell?! I thought you were in your ball!>”

    “<Balls...they’re overrated,>” Amber said. “<...That’s why I’m glad I’m a girl.>”

    All three of the other Pokémon felt their jaws drop to the ground with no control over them.

    “<What?!>” Crescent groaned, “<That is so...not what the hell I was talking about!>”

    “<Throw a flag!>” Champ piped in. “<Personal foul – unnecessary insanity!>”
    “<You think I’m insane?>” Amber said, stalking around Angel and Crescent toward the Treecko, who craned his head around to see her coming. “<You think I’m cuckoo?....Huh, little Treecko?...How about I burn your little green derriere to a crisp? Then you’ll see how ‘insane’ I am!!>”

    “<What’s a ‘derriere’? That’s not in my playbook,>” Champ muttered. Seeing Amber inhale, he realized what was going on and shouted, “<Oh, sh–>”
    Ah randomness, what would we do without you

    Peace, KingT

    P.S.(I added PRJ and PRAP links to my signiture)
    My LeafGreen Scramble Challenge-
    Whirlwind Lv.24
    Lily Lv. 21
    Nexus Lv.10
    Where-Cerulean training Nexus
    My Brawl and Wii Codes
    Wii- 5954 4612 0258 5882
    Brawl- 4811-6624-6176 Diamond- 2836 1459 1980

    " width="468" height="100">

  16. #66
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Hey, all. I'm still alive. A bit tired, but still alive.

    So...I haven't had a lot of time to write much. I am writing. But...yeah, I've had a busy weekend - so, Chapter 4 won't be up for a few days. I'll do my best to get it up this week, though, because I want to get as many chapters up as possible before I go on hiatus starting May 17 or so. I'll still be writing, of course. I'm putting things in place so I can continue writing - and write very much - during the summer, where I have limited access to a computer. I might still be able to get a chapter or two up this summer, but it'd be a difficult thing, especially if I get the job that I have lined up. So...that's all I wanted to say for now.

    (While I'm gone, you might want to occupy yourself with Air Dragon's The Corei Quest and Breezy's HLBMA. Those never get old, and they're still going. )

    I should be back from hiatus in August, and I'll probably have about 8-10 new chapters ready at that point since I have practically infinite free time...good stuff.

    So...don't stop reading. I'm still here.

    - 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.

  17. #67
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Chapter 4

    Hello. EM1 here.

    So, you guys that read PRJ remember that it took over ten chapters to get to a gym battle last time, right? Well, smile – I did it a little faster this time.

    DISCLAIMER: I do not own Pokémon – at least not the 493 existing canon species, anyways. Again...I’ll cite the Fakemon at the end of the chapter. Oh, yeah – I don’t own the song lyrics, either. I wish I did, though, because that song (written by Phil Collins) is freakin’ sw33t. There’s been a couple of covers done by others, but the best by far IMHO is the version done by Nonpoint.

    Chapter 4: Breakdown and Takedown

    May 21, PA 2013 – Petalburg City, Hoenn

    “Both the challenger and our gym leader, Stella, have only one Pokémon each! This one’s going down to the wire!” an announcer shouted loudly over a cheering crowd of several thousand at the Gym in Petalburg City. These fans looked on as the battlefield was empty of Pokémon and only held two teenage girls. One of them was familiar to the crowd, as they came every day to watch her battle. She was nearly sixteen and was quite tall for her age. Her fuchsia hair was contained in a yellow bandana, and otherwise tied in two braided loops that fell down near her neck. Her white tanktop was ordinary except for the fact that it did show a bit of her cleavage, flaunting to young males around the city that she was quite...well-endowed for her age. She also wore yellow pants that were extremely bright and made her easily visible from a distance. This was the Gym Leader of Petalburg City, Stella. This was her first year as Gym Leader, and she had already won over the city – starting with the demographic of males ages thirteen to twenty-five. It didn’t hurt, though, that she was also a good Trainer. So far this season (which started on the first of May), only two trainers had managed to beat her on the first try – a fact that made for some very interesting and heated rematches.

    The other girl was slightly younger – with long, pink hair. She was the challenger, and no one in Petalburg City had ever seen her before. Unbeknownst to her, though, she had been fighting two battles since she had set foot inside the stadium. The first and more obvious was the contest she was having with Stella in order to win an Astralbadge, the first of eight badges required for admittance into Evergrande City at the Emerald League Tournament toward the end of this summer. The second, however, was the war that was being waged for the hearts of teenage boys in the crowd. Most of them had dubbed themselves as Stella’s most loyal fans, and were indeed there every day they could be to support her. With the appearance of this challenger, though, they found themselves questioning their loyalties...because the majority of teenage boys were just like that.

    The crowd cheered as an Umbreon stepped into the battle area on the challenger’s side of the field.

    “And the challenger’s final Pokémon will be an Umbreon!” the announcer shouted. There were many murmurs of interest in the large crowd – Eevee and its subsequent evolutions were even rarer in Hoenn than they were in the Albara region (which consists of Kanto and Johto), so it was not every day that one saw an Umbreon battle. “What Pokémon does Stella have to counter it?”

    A bright flash of light produced a moderately-sized creature with mostly white fur, except for aggressive-looking red stripes in some cases. The claws on this Pokémon looked like a force to be reckoned with.

    The challenger pointed her Pokédex at the creature and scanned it.

    “Zangoose...” she muttered to herself. “Normal-type – huh? Is my Pokédex reading this thing’s Attack and Speed stats right? They’re off the charts!”

    “Zangooze!” the young woman opposite her – the Petalburg Gym Leader – shouted. “Start things off with a Scratch attack!”

    “Crescent!” the challenger shouted. “Watch those claws! Dodge that!”

    Zangoose came after Crescent on all fours. Leaping in the air, she attempted to lower her claw onto the Umbreon’s head and end the match in one hit. The stalwart Dark-type, however, had other ideas. He rolled to the left just as Zangoose got there and rammed into her, sending her backward a few feet. The ever-dangerous Cat Rabbit Pokémon snarled in pain and fury and advanced upon Crescent again. This time, her aim was true and her claw connected, sending a snarling Crescent flying across the field. He landed at his trainer’s feet.

    “<Ouch!>” Crescent snarled, rolling to his feet. “<Katrina, can’t we use...>”

    “Not yet – Zangoose is too quick,” the pink-haired girl replied. “We don’t want to waste it.”

    “<What about Shadow Ball?>” Crescent asked.

    “Doesn’t work on Normal-types for some least, that’s what Travis told me,” Katrina sighed.

    “<Damn it,>” Crescent spat angrily.

    “You can only go toe-to-toe with me for so long,” Stella said loudly. “Zangoose, Fury Cutter!”

    “Use Quick Attack, Crescent!” Katrina shouted. Crescent got there first, as a Quick Attack is designed to do – but the force was not quite enough to knock Zangoose off of her feet, or to interrupt her attack. A claw came whistling through the air and nearly cut some of the black off the Umbreon’s face. He groaned in pain as he staggered backward. Zangoose, however, wasn’t done. She advanced again, clawing Crescent’s face a second time – then a third.

    “<No!>” Crescent groaned.

    “Crescent, use Quick Attack again!” the Moonlight Pokémon responded quickly to his Trainer’s orders by rolling out of the way and ramming an unprepared Zangoose directly in her back. She went flying forward, and Katrina knew what to do next. “Now, use Pursuit!”

    In a blur, Crescent ran around Zangoose’s flying body. He reappeared on the other side of her and lowered his head, vaulting her high into the air. She went into a dizzying spin as she ascended higher and higher. At the apex of her air time, she broke out of her spin and reassumed a ready position as she began to come back toward earth.

    “Way to go, Zangoose!” Stella shouted enthusiastically.

    “Use Shadow Ball!” Katrina shouted. Readying a ball of dark energy in his mouth, Crescent fired this sparking, black sphere at Zangoose’s descending body. Zangoose, however, saw it coming and crossed her claws across her body, diving right through the attack and breaking it apart. Zangoose broke through and saw a small but very bright point of light shining up at her from the ground.

    “You should have known that wasn’t going to work,” Stella commented. “Finish him off! Use Slash, NOW!”

    Katrina smirked as Zangoose continued to descend at her partner Pokémon, a claw raised to attack. Zangoose, however, was descending straight toward Crescent in a straight line...and that would be Zangoose’s downfall.

    “Right where I want you,” she muttered. “Crescent, NOW! USE HYPER BEAM!”

    Right as Zangoose was about to lay her claw into Crescent’s muzzle, the Umbreon released the full strength of the Megacite beam that he had been charging for the past seven or so seconds. It shot straight into the air, engulfing Zangoose in a bright flash of white as a shockwave thundered from the center of the stadium, where the attack had been launched. Under the bright, white light, Zangoose was invisible for several heart-stopping moments, until she came flying out of the beam looking bruised, burned, and otherwise broken. She landed in a heap on Stella’s side of the field, utterly knocked out.

    The referee (clad in a similar outfit to the referees in Johto, except that their shirts were green as opposed to blue) ran over to stand parallel with the Zangoose and raised his hand. The crowd knew what was coming next and they chanted along with him.


    Katrina and Crescent both held their breath.

    “FIVE!!” the crowd shouted before erupting into cheers that drowned out the referee’s announcement that stated Zangoose as being unable to continue and that Katrina was the winner of the match and an Astralbadge.

    “<Whew...>” Crescent sighed, dropping his head. “<Couldn’t have taken much more of that.>”

    “See? That’s why I said we couldn’t waste our shot,” Katrina sighed, smiling and reveling in her victory.

    That had been nearly two hours ago. Now, at five minutes to twelve, Katrina and Travis were on their way to the Gym again, after waiting the two hours that the League allots for Gym Leaders between their matches. This time, it was the latter’s turn to try for his badge. However, he had suffered the express disadvantage of having time to reflect on his match. To make matters worse, he had been inside the stadium the first time and knew for sure how loud it could get. It had been years since he had been in front of a crowd this large. It didn’t help, either, that Travis did remember exactly how his first Gym match in Johto had gone. He had lost all confidence in his skills as a Trainer and thus lost by forfeit.

    And he had been doing well up to that point. This time around, he hadn’t won a single battle since he set foot in Hoenn nearly a week ago.

    Katrina was pulling his arm and trying to alert him to the sights of the city, but he didn’t really hear her. He wasn’t really all there. His mind was already at the stadium. He was there, losing...losing even before he’d chosen a Pokémon – losing before he’d even set foot inside the stadium. He already felt like he was losing.

    “Hey, watch it, kid!” a man’s voice spoke gruffly in front of him right after he felt himself hit something. He looked up and saw a hassled-looking man wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. He looked like he had somewhere to be – and actually looked like he should have been there several minutes ago.

    “Sorry,” Travis muttered, continuing to walk. Katrina was at his shoulder, asking him a question – but he didn’t really hear much of what she was saying.

    Below him, Angel stared at the ground while Crescent attempted to ask her the same question his Trainer was asking hers.

    “<What’s wrong with you?>” the Umbreon asked.

    “<He’s nervous,>” Angel whimpered. “<He doesn’t think he can win. I’ve never felt him this scared before.>”

    “<Well, it won’t help for you to think like that,>” Crescent sighed. “<You might know what he’s thinking, but you can’t control it. That’s something he has to work out on his own...and he’d better do it quick before he chokes and gets you hurt like he did last time. But then again...>”

    “<What?>” Angel asked. “<What’s wrong?>”

    “<I’m saying this because I care about you,>” Crescent said. “<You need to be a little bit less stiff. If you can do some things on your own while he’s thinking up a strategy...>”

    “<You, freelancing or something?>” Angel asked.

    “<That’s exactly what I’m talking about,>” Crescent replied. “<Back when...well, back when I was with her...>”

    “<That’s okay – you don’t have to talk about it,>” Angel said quickly, knowing exactly who Crescent was talking about.

    “<No, I’m fine – you need to hear this,>” Crescent sighed heavily. “<Back then...I learned that if I could hold my own without her dictating my every single move, it took some of the pressure off of her if she had to change her strategy on the fly. kept me from getting pummeled too badly. The enemy won’t wait for you, so at least keep moving around. Easy enough?>”

    “<Yeah – I understand,>” Angel replied emphatically.

    “<I knew you would. Beautiful and smart – a deadly combination...>” Crescent said wryly. Angel let out a slight laugh as her face went crimson. “<Just do your best. Nobody can ask any more of you than that.>”

    “<I’ll be sure to,>” Angel nodded with a smile. Then, blushing harder, she muttered, “<You know...>”

    “<Hm?>” Crescent uttered, turning toward her.

    “<I wonder how much stronger I’ll get...learning from you...>” Angel said haltingly, not bothering to meet Crescent’s eyes. “<...for the rest of my life, you know?>”

    “<Hm?>” Crescent uttered again, sounding confused – judging by the reddish tinge in his face, though, he got exactly what Angel meant.

    “<What I mean is...>” Angel stammered, still looking away from him. “<It’s been two years since I met you...kind of ironic how things turned out. The first time we met, I won, and now I’m looking to you for tips. I guess the best way to explain it is...well...>”

    “<What’s going on with you?>” Crescent asked. Normally, there wasn’t much Angel would ever try to say to Crescent that got her all embarrassed like this.

    “<Well...I’ve grown up a lot since then...>” Angel sighed. “<And, one day – someday, if I ever...>”

    Her face went a brilliant shade of crimson and she shook her head.

    “<Never mind,>” she said. “<I’m not ready to say that now. Can you just accept a ‘thank you’?>”

    “<Say what?>” the Umbreon asked curiously. Then, realizing that there was no point in pushing the conversation further, he sighed and said, “<You’re welcome.>”

    The yelling of a crowd grew to a crescendo, aided by the yawning shape of the black tunnel in which he was standing. The effect of it all seemed to have unhinged him just a bit. He forgot what path he took to get here – he would need someone to guide him back outside when it was all done, one way or the other. For at least two hours, he had paid attention to nothing other than the match looming before him like an ominous thundercloud. Now that he was actually here, however, he seemed to be focused on everything except the match.

    “Heh heh...” he laughed in a rather abnormal manner. “Look at this light at the end of the tunnel – people say this is what death looks like. I wonder if you hear loud cheering when you die, too?”

    “<While we’re on the subject of death, you’re about as cheerful as a graveyard,>” the Espeon at his ankle piped in. “<Are you sure you’re okay? We don’t have to do this...>”

    “No – I’m pretty sure we do, Angel,” Travis sighed. “...All right. I’m ready.”

    “<Ready? You’re shaking like a leaf,>” Angel commented.

    “I don’t care,” Travis said, his voice trembling along with the rest of him. “It’s all or nothing. It’s the only way I’ll know if this is meant to be or not. If it is, then laying it all on the table’s gonna have to count for something.”

    “<I won’t let you down this time,>” Angel said firmly.

    I won’t let you down,” Travis responded, his gaze hardening. “Let’s more questioning myself. I’ll find the answer here and now.”

    Suddenly, everything was amplified: He could hear his heartbeat reverberating throughout the tunnel – feel it pulsating throughout his entire body, there in the darkness. He wondered for a moment if he was literally glowing in his determination. He could see everything a little more clearly. Everything was louder – brighter. He heard the announcer’s introduction and felt his heart burning within him. It was a difficult thing to explain. Just like, sometimes, at defining moments, we feel things break within was just like that, but the other way. It felt like something within him that had been broken had, much more quickly than it had been shattered, been pieced together again. The fear was gone...the uncertainty was gone...and the pain of yesterday no longer mattered. He stepped out and felt the light and sound overtake him.

    I can feel it coming in the air tonight...
    From this spot, he saw it all. The lights that dotted the perimeter of the stadium, dimmed to conserve energy in the noonday sun...
    ...oh, Lord...

    The crowd, around and above him, five thousand strong...
    And I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life...

    All eyes were on him. He was the news. They had never seen him before. A boy from a foreign land, taking a shot at the highest prize this nation had to offer. Within those five thousand people...were there some that had indeed heard his name before?
    ...oh, Lord...

    He could just imagine some of the conversations – some of the monikers that could be used of him. Retired? Washed-up? Perhaps...mad? There was always the off chance that someone in the crowd could know his name, especially since he had been the grandson of a former Champion and, at one point, he had been the one to set the bar. He’d been the one to beat in his first journey – the early favorite to win the tournament. That was, of course, before his world came crashing down around him...before everything changed. After it was all done, they didn’t think he’d return. They didn’t think that he’d be able to come back. He had proven them all wrong once, and he was ready to do it again. Roadblocks? Those didn’t matter to him anymore. He had seen too much to allow himself to be stopped like this. Only one other had gone with him to fight in that godforsaken place. He could not...would not...
    ...oh, Lord... stopped.

    He planted himself in the box meant for him and gazed across the stadium at the young woman that was the Gym Leader and his opponent, who stared at him with an unimpressed expression on her face. He didn’t care if she was impressed or not. He was going to give her all she could handle.

    As the referee stated the rules of the match (two-on-two, no time limit – the Gym Leader was not allowed to substitute Pokémon), Travis’ eyes scanned the crowd for the one person he was sure would be in his corner. Meanwhile, this same person had already found him, using a pair of binoculars she had gotten as a going-away present from her mother (along with, of course, about three outfits, one of which she was currently wearing). She withdrew her eyes from the binoculars, her lips curled up into a shocked smile.

    “<What’s up?>” Crescent craned his neck over the railing and asked.

    “You know, I never told him this...” Katrina sighed. “But, back when we were twelve and he was in the Gym Challenge for the Crystal Cup Championship...some people used to think that he was superhuman.”

    “<Superhuman?>” Crescent repeated. “<What do you mean by that?>”

    “...When he got into that box and started calling orders,” Katrina replied, “He was in a sort of ‘zone’...aware of just about everything – so aware, actually, that it looked almost like he could see some things coming before they happened. Like everything slowed down for him out there. And looking at him now, he’s got this look in his eyes. Something about being in the stadium again must have jolted him back. He looks like his old self – no...he looks better.”

    “<You think being in front of a crowd with all this noise would make him nervous,>” Crescent said. “<I mean, I’m used to it, because I used to belong to a Gym Leader, but...>”

    “People always said that his father, back when he was a Trainer about twenty-five years ago...that he used to cave under situations like this. Back then, you could only find crowds this big at the League – Gym Matches were private,” Katrina said. “Travis, though...he’s just the opposite of his father when it comes to that. He feeds off the noise and the lights like no one I’ve ever seen before.”

    Travis’ eyes locked on to a girl in the front row with pink hair and binoculars. He raised his right hand in a wave and turned to look at the gym leaders.

    Travis took a good long look at Stella, wondering if he should make the first call or if he should see what she’s got. He already had an idea, though, from seeing Katrina’s match two hours ago. Stella specialized in Normal-types, and had a Linoone (which he found out was the evolved form of Zigzagoon) and a Zangoose. Unless Stella had a ridiculously large plethora of Normal-types at her disposal, it was a pretty sure bet that he would see at least one of those two Pokémon in this battle. He hoped that, if that was the case, he would see Linoone, as he knew that Zangoose would be the tougher fight no matter which Pokémon he used. But he knew, in order to truly be worthy of the Astralbadge, his best would have to beat hers. He’d save the real thunder for later...but for right now...

    “Champ, let’s go!” Travis shouted, throwing the Pokéball containing his Treecko. The Wood Gecko Pokémon enthusiastically burst out of his ball to begin battle.

    “<Game time!>” he exclaimed. Looking at his surroundings with his huge, yellow eyes, he took everything in. “<Wow, man – look at the size of this crowd! This is gotta be the big leagues! I’m getting pumped just standing here! C’mon – bring ‘em out, bring ‘em out!>”

    “Glad to see you’re excited, Champ,” Travis said. “Now, who’s Stella gonna use...Linoone or Zangoose...”

    “Spinocle, let’s GO!” Stella shouted, throwing a Pokéball. In reaction, Travis cupped his ear in a ‘what-did-she-say?’ kind of pose. The ball burst open to reveal a larger, hedgehog-like creature. With his coffee-brown body and chocolate-colored spines, it looked rather like something that Travis had seen before.

    “I wonder if that’s...” Travis pointed his Pokédex at the creature. “Yeah, I guessed right. Spinocle – Normal-type, the evolved form of Porcuspine. Slow, but exceptional defense. This might be a long one...”

    “<At least the spines are obvious, now – I couldn’t sit down for two days after that last time...>” Champ sighed. “<But everybody knows that speed never goes into a slump. If I’m faster, I’ll own. Simple as that. Let’s rock, Coach!>”

    “Rock, we will,” Travis replied. “Champ, open up with Pound attack!”

    “<Alright – let’s roll!>” Champ shouted, running at Spinocle and leaping up into the air. Somersaulting in midair, he brought his tail down on the head of the hapless Hedgehog Pokémon. Then, before he could take a face-plant right into Spinocle’s dangerous, brown spines, Champ used his head as a springboard and jumped backward, away from the spiky, brown Normal-type.

    “Hung there too long!” Stella shouted. “Spinocle, use Pin Missile!”

    “Damn!” Travis swore. Spinocle’s spines all stood on end and seemed to fire themselves at the Treecko from Spinocle’s back. Champ groaned as he was hit by several of them, having been unable to change direction while in midair. He flipped backward in midair in order to minimize some of the damage, landing on one knee and skidding to a stop a few feet in front of Travis. “Champ, are you okay?”

    “<No sweat, Coach!>” Champ grunted, yanking out a spine that was about six inches long and had been lodged in his shoulder. “<The toughest wins are always the ones to shout about!>”

    “We’d better keep our distance,” Travis commented. “Use Absorb!”

    “Watch out!” Stella warned. “Don’t let him lock eyes with you!”

    But Spinocle wasn’t quick enough on the uptake. His small, red eyes found Champ’s enormous, yellow ones. Champ began emanating wispy, green streaks of energy. The same glow began to overtake Spinocle’s body, turning it a drab moss green for a moment. The streaks around Spinocle’s body began to waft straight toward the Treecko on the opposite side of the field as Spinocle trembled slightly, sweat running down his face from sudden and inexplicable fatigue. At last, Champ spread his arms wide and began to glow an extremely bright green – a color that took over his entire form and rendered his features invisible for a moment. Then, the light faded similar to how it would when he emerged from his ball, revealing him to be slightly less wounded and tired-looking than he had been seconds ago.

    “That’s the way...” Travis muttered in approval. “Use Leer!”

    “Don’t stare him down, Spinocle!” Stellla shouted. But Spinocle continued to eye Champ as the Treecko’s bulbous, yellow eyes began to glow a bluish-white color and narrow dangerously. Spinocle appeared to be frightened as he took a step back on his trembling, stubby legs.

    “<Is it time to use our trump card?>” Champ asked.

    “Trump card?” Travis repeated.

    “<The new play you taught me – remember?>” Champ answered.

    “Oh! That trump card,” Travis said, a lightbulb having gone off in his brain. He had actually obtained quite a few TM’s on his first journey, as they were offered as prizes along with the badges. He hardly used them, though, except for a few special situations. Therefore, when he started out on this journey, he still had a couple left, one of them being the last one that he had earned from a Gym in Johto.

    “Pin Missile, Spinocle!” Stella ordered. Spinocle’s spines began to stand on end again, as if he’d just been supercharged with static electricity.

    “Watch it! Dodge those!” Travis shouted. Champ began to strafe to the right to avoid the steady stream of spines that were coming in his direction at the speed of extremely large bullets. After about five seconds, Spinocle ceased to shoot spines and stood in his place, looking a bit winded. Travis saw his opportunity. “There’s your opening, Champ! Use Iron Tail!”

    Champ skidded to a stop and broke into a run toward Spinocle, who didn’t seem to see him initially. After Champ had run about six steps, Spinocle turned around and eyed the Treecko. His eyes shifted upward as the small Wood Gecko Pokemon’s verdant-looking form took off into the air on a single bound, his normally-forest-green tail glowing a radiant white.

    “Pin Missile!” Stella shouted. “Shoot him down!!”

    Spinocle’s spines stood erect once again, prepared to fire directly at Champ, who was in no good position to block. This time, however, Travis was prepared.

    “No chance!” he shouted. “Champ, go into a spin and knock those away!”

    “<Spin move coming right up!>” Champ shouted, tucking his arms and sending himself into an extremely fast barrel roll. Trails of white energy swirled around him and deflected the many pins and needles away from his body as he continued to descend. Champ, even though he was spinning at about two rotations a second, still managed to see his target, which was Spinocle’s face – the only part of him not covered in those painful spines. He descended...

    Ten feet...

    Eight feet...

    Six feet...

    Four feet...

    Two feet...

    THUNK. With a nasty cracking sound, Champ’s glowing, super-hardened tail smashed directly into the top of Spinocle’s skull. A yell could be heard from the crowd as Spinocle lost consciousness while still on his feet.

    “That’s how you drop the hammer! A devastating spinning Iron Tail attack has Spinocle seeing stars!” the announcer shouted over the roar of the crowd. “And there’s the umpire, over to do the five-count!”

    Five seconds later, the umpire pointed the green flag at Travis and shouted, “Spinocle is unable to battle! Treecko wins!”

    Mixed sounds of cheering and booing filled the stadium at this announcement. It was apparent that most that came here to watch the battle came here to support Stella.

    “Good job, Champ!” Travis shouted, his confidence building now that he’d won his first battle on the continent – although not the match in his entirety.

    “<I told you: Speed owns the game!>” Champ shouted, turning around and flashing a thumbs-up.

    “That it does – now, who’s next...” Travis shouted. “It’s gotta be either Linoone or Zangoose. Linoone or Zangoose...”

    “Now, I’m going to show you why Normal-types are more dangerous than you think!” Stella shouted, throwing a ball into the air. Out of this ball popped an extremely long creature that looked like a striped, brown missile on four feet.

    “She used Linoone...” Travis sighed. “I thought Zangoose was her strongest. Does she know something I don’t?”

    “Can your Treecko adjust to the new pace?” Stella asked. “Linoone, Headbutt!”

    Linoone came headfirst at Champ so quickly that it looked like he’d been shot out of a cannon. Champ, in fear of his safety, rolled out of the way just as the Normal-type arrived at where Champ had been a second ago. While Champ jumped away and skidded to a stop, Linoone was changing direction – he turned almost on a dime and shot at Champ a second time while the latter was in midair. Just in time, Champ got a foot on the top of Linoone’s head and used it as a springboard to jump away from him. The air current created by Linoone’s pure speed sucked Champ in and caused him to flop around in midair involuntarily. He floated back to Travis’ side of the field, crashing spectacularly into the dirt floor.

    “<Ouch...bad defense...>” Champ grunted, rolling to his feet and clutching his right shoulder.

    “Good speed,” Travis echoed. “We’ll just have to match them. Champ, use Quick Attack!”

    “<Let’s kick it up a notch!>” Champ exclaimed, taking off in a blur of green and smashing into Linoone head-on, rolling him over and damaging him substantially.

    “Nice hit!” Travis shouted, pumping his fist.

    Champ changed direction in midair, propelling himself back at Linoone and attempting to lash the Rushing Pokémon with his enormous tail. Linoone, however, rolled out of the way and began to charge Champ, who had to roll himself to avoid the charging Normal-type. Linoone ended up behind Champ, who noticed this and quickly looked over his shoulder. Showing some of his physical skills, Champ leapt extremely high to avoid a subsequent Headbutt.

    “Looks like I’ll have to pull out all the stops and get serious,” Stella commented. “Linoone, use Shadow Ball!”

    “Shadow Ball?!” Travis shouted, taken aback. All of a sudden, he had a flashback to another Normal-type Gym Leader he’d battled in Johto...he was the victim of a Lickitung’s Flamethrower that he understood. “Iron Tail! Knock it back!”

    Linoone squealed and opened his mouth wide, shooting forth a sphere of crackling black. Champ, however, threw his entire body into a spin and, with his glowing tail, knocked the ball of energy back from whence it came. Linoone’s eyes went humorously wide as he realized that his attack was now targeting him. He rolled out of the way just as the Shadow Ball exploded into the ground right next to him. Immediately, he took off toward the descending Treecko, who had a mind to (once again) use Linoone’s head as a springboard to put some distance between himself and the russet-colored Normal-type. Unfortunately for Champ, Linoone saw this maneuver coming this time, and purposely stopped short, pulling his head back so as to avoid getting stomped on the nose. Therefore, Champ kicked his foot out into nothing and hung in midair for a while.

    “<Swing and a miss!>” Champ groaned.

    “That’s too close!!” Travis shouted.

    “Linoone! Show him your Ice Beam!” Stella shouted. Travis felt like his heart and stomach had somehow switched positions within him as Linoone, squealing loudly, unleashed a white, zigzagging beam at Champ – at point-blank range. Champ was sent flying, his body completely motionless and not even affected by the wind movements as he sailed over the arena back to Travis’ side of the field. There, he landed hard with a crunching sound as a translucent, blue encasement that had formed around him shattered into several pieces. The Treecko’s normally-green tail was white and pale with cold. He struggled to his feet, looking every bit like the competitor that he had been described to be. Shaking with cold, and with his very breath coming out in white wisps (although the actual air temperature was about seventy degrees or so), he sighed.

    “<Tch...tie game,>” he grunted before falling face-first into the arena floor, unconscious. The referee ran over to count Champ out.

    “That’s alright,” Travis sighed, returning Champ to his ball. “You did a hell of a job. Linoone’s gotta be kinda worn out at this point. Angel? It’s up to you.”

    “<No pressure,>” Angel responded, giving a nervous smile and stepping out onto the battlefield. She and Linoone stared each other down.

    “Keep your eyes open,” Travis sighed. “That Linoone’s stronger than I gave him credit for.”

    “<Right,>” Angel sighed.

    “Linoone, use your Headbutt!” Stella shouted. Linoone took one step....two steps...he was off. Before Angel could react, Linoone smashed into her, knocking her to the ground. She got to her feet, hardly able to even keep her balance for several seconds. By the time she did regain it, Linoone was ready to attack again.

    “No!” Travis groaned. “What happened?”

    “Some attacks can stun a Pokémon every once in a while,” Stella replied. “Headbutt’s one of them. Well – that worked once...let’s try it again! Linoone, Headbutt!”

    “Angel, dodge and use Confusion!” Travis shouted. Angel rolled out of the way just as Linoone got there. Linoone skidded to a stop, did a complete 180, and shot at Angel in a straight line again. Angel, who wasn’t ready to unleash her psychic blast, rolled out of the way again....and again...trying to get far enough ahead of Linoone to use Confusion – but, to no avail.

    “Damn!” Travis cursed. “He’s too fast!”

    Linoone smashed into Angel again, knocking her backward. This time, however, she kept her feet, shook off the cobwebs, and was ready to go again in a second or two.

    “Ice Beam, NOW!” Stella shouted. Linoone’s mouth began to glow – right before he unleashed a deathly cold beam of energy.

    “Confusion, then roll out of there!” Travis shouted. Angel’s eyes glowed a bright white, and a shockwave emanated from her forehead that stopped the Ice Beam in its tracks for about a second and a half, allowing the Espeon enough time to dodge it. The beam landed right at Travis’ feet, creating a slick sheet of ice right next to him.

    “Ice Beam again!” Stella shouted.

    “Jump!” Travis shouted, determined to stay one step ahead of Stella so that Angel didn’t get frozen solid. Angel leapt backward into the air just as an Ice Beam struck near the far end of Travis’ half of the field. She landed...and slipped...and hit the ice, hard. Travis looked up and his heart sank – nearly half of his side of the field was covered in ice. She attempted to rise to her feet, wincing horribly. Apparently, her leg had been hurt in the fall. There was no way she could keep her balance on ice the way her leg was – let alone move anywhere.

    “<No...>” she groaned loudly.

    Travis’ eyes widened as Stella uttered the words that would seal his fate.

    “Use Shadow Ball!”
    Last edited by EonMaster One; 19th April 2007 at 11:33 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.

  18. #68
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Chapter 4-2

    ~~~ *** ~~~

    Five minutes later, Travis could be found in the locker room, staring blankly at one of the lockers and bouncing an empty Pokéball against it repeatedly. A couple of Stella’s Junior Trainers were getting ready for one of the exhibition matches that normally took place in Gyms during the two-hour downtime that Gym Leaders were allotted between matches to ready and heal their own Pokémon. Both were boys, perhaps about Travis’ age, and wore white shirts with the symbol of the Astralbadge (essentially three stars arranged in a triangle) on their backs, along with jeans. One of them had short, brown hair with emo-style fringe, and his jeans were tight and rather ripped.

    “Tough break, man,” this particular boy said as he walked behind Travis and out toward the tunnel. Behind him, the other boy, who was a bit shorter and had black hair that was a bit wild, followed without a word. “Maybe next time.”

    Again, he was left alone in the locker room, with nothing to distract him from his thoughts.

    Tough break...that was the story of his life, wasn’t it? What was he to do now? Even his best wasn’t enough, apparently. He just couldn’t catch a break.

    He was in disbelief. He thought for sure that, if he gave his all out there, he would be rewarded somehow. If things were going to be like this, what was the use of going on?

    This loss – where he’d left it all on the field – only meant one thing.

    His career was over.

    Matthew had been right about him. He was washed up – a has-been.

    He began to reflect on how unfair it all was. If it hadn’t been for the war, he might have been Champion already. That ruined so many things that he’d had before. He’d hardly slept properly in the last two years – not without nightmares of the hellish places he had been.


    Why did it have to be him? He was still breathing, yes – but he had sacrificed his life in that war...


    ...all the same. He had sacrificed his life in the worst way. He had given his soul in that battle. And now...he had nothing left.


    “WHAT?!” he shouted, standing up and looking to his left, where he kept hearing his name. “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT WITH ME?!”

    Without thinking to look at who exactly had been speaking to him, he turned, roared loudly and hit a locker hard. The metal of the locker bent inward as his fist smashed into it. He finally looked to his left again to find Katrina, who was standing there silently and didn’t look the least bit afraid.

    “Again, you’re being too hard on yourself,” she said simply. “One loss isn’t the end of the world.”

    “Try four...five,” Travis growled savagely. “Try not having won a damn thing since you got here. How many times to I have to get up off the ground before you finally say that it’s over?”

    “I see right through you...” Katrina said, turning around. “It’s one of your few character flaws.”

    “What’s that?” Travis asked.

    “...Back when you were just a rookie, you were really successful as a Trainer,” Katrina remarked. “Too successful for your own good, actually. So much think that anything that’s meant to be comes without resistance. And if that’s what it is...then Matt – even though I’m not sure what’s up with him now – had a really valid reason for hating your guts back then.”

    “What?” Travis gasped, not willing to even believe what he was hearing.

    “Think about it,” Katrina said. “When you started out, you had a leg up on everybody. You had the best scores, the best battle instincts, one of the rarest Pokémon. You even had the right pedigree. Out of everybody we knew, who can say that they were at least the third generation in their family to be a Pokémon Trainer? Even me – Nate and I had money on our side. Shiro even had it in his blood – even though he didn’t know that until later. We went to one of the best Pokémon Academies in the country and got some of the rarest Pokémon for partners. And you had even more than that. Sure, you were pretty good in your own right, but it didn’t help that you were basically on everyone’s radar from the moment you started your journey. Come to think of it...I was probably on most people’s radar because of you...”

    “Don’t say that,” Travis said.

    “But that’s just my point,” Katrina said. “What about people like Matt and Madeline – broken family, no schooling, bought their first Pokémon using saved-up child support payments from their estranged father...they had to fight and claw their way, and they recognized that. They knew the road wouldn’t be easy.”

    Travis’ mind settled on these words as he sat down on the bench again.

    “Really – be honest,” Katrina said. “Right now, I can tell you’re being short with me because you’ve been having a hard time and everything seemed to be falling in place for me. How do you think they must have felt about you?”

    “So you’re saying I’m not being hard enough on myself,” Travis said. “Sounds like a contradiction.”

    “...Yes...and no,” Katrina replied, sitting down next to him. Gripping his shoulder with her hand, she said, “You keep beating yourself up because you know it takes more than what you’ve got to win. But beating yourself up isn’t the way to go about it. I understand you want everything to be a little bit easier – anybody would if they’d been in your shoes. But...Pokémon Training takes hard work of another kind – and I won’t lie to you and say that it takes any less energy than what you had to do.”

    “Hmm...” Travis sighed. Katrina reacted by groaning.

    “I’m talking in circles,” she said. “Let me put it to you this way. The bad news – you lost.”

    Her face curled up into a smile.

    “The good news – you gave Stella hell out there,” she added. “You probably only would have needed one more push, and you would have won it. So, now what do you do? ....what’d you do when you lost to Falkner that time?”

    “I...went and trained some more,” Travis replied. “And came back stronger...and beat him.”

    “Hoenn’s a different League,” Katrina said. “But the concept of using your defeats to get stronger doesn’t answer to time, place, or even the field itself. It’s not just a Pokémon Training thing. It’s a life thing – get it?”

    “Yeah...” Travis replied, laughing a bit and turning away from Katrina.

    “What’s so funny?” Katrina asked.

    “<You’re blushing,>” Angel, who had stayed rather silent throughout the entire sequence, piped in.

    “Nothing big, it’s just...” Travis began, turning around. “I remembered something my dad said to me back when I was ten.”

    “That was a while ago, “ Katrina commented.

    “It was one of those father-son things,” Travis said, still not meeting Katrina’s eyes fully. “It was pretty late that year. I got the ‘birds and the bees’ from my dad for my birthday that year. But that winter, he told me something just as important.”

    “What?” Katrina asked.

    Travis smiled and looked straight at her. “He told me, ‘Trav, you’re going to be a man someday, and there’s some things you need to know. It’s better if you learn as much as possible sooner rather than later...since I can guarantee you that you’ll still be learning at my age. But remember this – if she’s good, she’ll love you with all of her heart. She’ll stand behind you when you’re doing good in the world and she’ll let you know when you screw up. She’ll either hug you or hit you, but both can mean ‘I love you’ depending on the situation. And best of all...she’ll be able to lift you up out of the pit and knock you off your high horse if you need it.’ I asked him what he meant by that.”

    He looked straight ahead toward the dented locker.

    “Yeah?” Katrina uttered in confusion.

    Travis finally responded, “He told me, ‘Son, if you grow up and meet a girl that can do all of that for you better than anyone else can...make sure you keep her...’cause she’ll probably be your wife.’”

    “That’s good advice,” Katrina said simply.

    “I know – I haven’t forgotten it, either,” Travis said, reaching up to his own shoulder and grabbing her hand. It was at this point that Katrina got a hint of the message. Her face began to match her hair color as the two sat there in silence for a while. Gradually, he moved his face closer to hers and kissed her on the lips. As soon as he let go, he stood to his feet and said, “And I won’t forget what you just told me.”

    May 22, PA 2013 – Route 102

    The following day, Travis and Katrina returned to Route 102, just outside the city. Travis recognized one of his main problems – he and Angel weren’t on the same page as much as they should have been. There was a time when he and Angel had been so synchronized that Angel knew what he wanted her to do almost before he called out the attack. Therefore, Angel and Travis had battled the Pokémon indigenous to the area, trying to refine their techniques. Not willing to return to the city just yet, Travis and Katrina took a break and ate their lunch in the same clearing where they had spent a night on the way a few days ago. Therefore, all four of Travis and Katrina’s total Pokémon were out of their balls and eating, as well as interacting with each other.

    “<Geez – chill out, Amber,>” Champ commented, using his hands to thrust a pellet of Pokémon food into his mouth, as he watched the Pyrika mercilessly obliterating the food in her bowl.

    “<‘Geez – chill out, Amber,’>” Amber mimed.

    “<Urgh...can you stop mocking me?>” Champ groaned.

    “<‘Urgh...can you stop mocking me?’>” Amber imitated again.

    “< annoying...>” Champ sighed.

    “<‘ annoying...’>” Amber sighed as well.

    “<Okay – I’m an idiot,>” Champ said flatly.

    “<Okay – Champ’s an idiot,>” Amber responded.

    Both Crescent and Angel sweatdropped at the same time as Champ, temporarily losing his temper, chucked a bit of food at the Pyrika, who swiftly opened her mouth and gulped it out of the air.

    “<...Owned,>” Crescent said, blinking a bit stupidly.

    “<No kidding,>” Angel said, returning to her food and eating the last of it out of her bowl. Crescent looked down at her.

    “<Are you doing alright?>” he asked. “<You’re not pushing yourself too hard, are you?>”

    “<Don’t be a worrywart, Crescent,>” Angel replied, smiling. “<I’m just fine.>”

    Using his head, Crescent moved the bowl containing his own food between them. Angel looked sideways at him for a moment. Leaning her head sideways, she licked his cheek lightly and the two began to share what was left in Crescent’s bowl.

    “<You need to keep eating,>” Crescent commented. “<You’ve got two more days of training and you need to keep your strength up.>”

    “<Okay, Mom,>” Angel replied semi-sarcastically, burying her face in the bowl again.

    “<Champ! Throw me another one!>” Amber squealed playfully.

    “<Are you sure?>” Champ, now a bit annoyed by Angel, asked.

    “<Abso-tively!>” Amber shouted, smiling. Champ’s jaw twitched at Amber’s word splicing.

    “<Fine – here comes a fastball!>” Champ shouted, slinging a pellet directly at Amber’s head. To Champ’s great shock, Amber caught it in midair...while doing a back flip...and gulped it down, a joyful look upon her face.

    “<That was super-cool!>” Amber yelled enthusiastically. “<Do it again!>”

    “<Okay...>” Champ said, laying on his back and grabbing another pellet out of his bowl. Lobbing it in the air, he sighed, “<Change-up...>”

    Amber caught that one, too, although it took a lot longer to get there.

    “<Try again!>” Amber piped up. Champ responded with a malicious glint in one of his bulbous, yellow eyes.

    “<Curveball,>” he said, throwing it with a flourish. The pellet came on straight and then started to sink down and to Amber’s left. Crouching down low to the ground, Amber caught that one as well. Surprised by Amber’s reaction time, he said, “<You’re not bad at this.>”

    “<You really mean that?>” Amber asked, her brown face turning pink.

    “<Yeah...I guess,>” Champ replied, sitting down to resume his own meal.

    “<That’s...really nice,>” Amber said, looking away from the Treecko and blushing furiously. Looking straight at Crescent, she giggled, the pink tinge still on her cheeks, and ran away.

    “<Oh, brother,>” Crescent muttered, emerging from his bowl.

    “<What?>” Angel asked.

    “<Oh...nothing,>” the Umbreon sighed, shaking his black head.

    Meanwhile, Travis and Katrina had already finished up their lunch, and the latter happened to be napping, or at least resting with her eyes closed, which she considered (per an earlier conversation) to be something altogether different. He looked to his left and saw a royal-blue feather he immediately recognized to be the wing feather of a Taillow. He looked to his right and saw her, stretched out on the ground, her closed eyes covered by her sunshades and her bare belly obvious between the two halves of her outfit. He picked up the feather – the thought was very tempting. He smirked and figured that he might as well. With a mischievous grin still on his face, he took the feather and lightly touched his girlfriend’s bare stomach with it. She reacted with a gasp of sorts and tensed up, relaxing again when Travis ceased to tickle her. He waited for five seconds, the smirk still on his face. He then lowered the feather again...

    As soon as he got there, she began to shake with laughter again. He stopped for a second and dropped the feather back onto the ground. In a swift movement, she caught his wrist and summarily flipped him onto his back.

    “You weren’t enjoying that anymore?” she asked. “I thought it was kind of fun.”

    “So you were awake,” Travis sighed simply, sounding winded.

    “What’s wrong with you?” Katrina asked. “I’m not – heavy, am I?”

    “What? No,” Travis said. “I’m not complaining at all.”

    “Right answer,” Katrina said, moving some of her straight, pink hair behind her ear. She then put her finger to Travis’ nose. “ ‘cause if you ever say different...”

    “I wouldn’t do that,” Travis remarked. Then, for good measure, he added, “You’re beautiful.”

    “Now you’re trying to butter me up,” Katrina replied, pushing her knuckle into Travis’ nose harder. “What are you gonna tell me next? That I have the body of a supermodel?”

    “Heck, no,” Travis laughed. “You actually eat something every once in a while. Your smile is real...oh, yeah – you’ve got it pretty good upstairs, too. So, I’d have to’re better.”

    “You...” Katrina moaned, nuzzling his cheek. “You’re teasing me, aren’t you?”

    “Maybe,” Travis sighed. He paused for a second and turned Katrina over onto her back, then pulled her to her feet as he stood. She tripped on her own feet as she stood and fell into his arms. The two looked at each other for a second and then burst into laughter. It was little moments like that – just being able to be with each other, to touch and cuddle and laugh...that were missing from their relationship two years ago at this time –

    Actually...two years ago, at this time, their relationship was nonexistent, as they were hardly speaking to each other in late May of 2011. They didn’t start going out until late June. Then, in July, the war started, which is a completely different story altogether. The point was...the eighteen months or so of forced vacation that were the interim between the two journeys did everyone some good. Granted, Travis’ battling skills were a bit rusty, but that was an obstacle that was quickly being overcome.

    “ ready to pack up and start training again?” Katrina asked.

    “Sounds like an idea,” Travis replied, smiling. Ever since he’d realized what was going so wrong with him, he’d been much less of...well, an emo prick. “ about...we split up and meet here in about an hour or two so we’re not both doing the exact same thing?”

    “I dunno...” Katrina, who obviously hated the idea of being away from Travis, replied.

    “C’mon...I don’t want to get in your way,” Travis commented.

    “Alright...” Katrina said, looking around Travis’ shoulder. “I guess you’ve got a point. Plus, Amber’s following Champ around...but I don’t think he’s too keen on her.”

    Travis, alone with Angel at his ankles, looked around the forest for Pokémon to fight. He hadn’t seen any in a while, and it had to have been about half an hour since Travis’ last battle.

    “<Nuts,>” Angel groaned. “<It’s like they’re all hiding.>”

    At that moment, Travis heard a loud howling sound, as of a lone wolf. It sounded similar to a Growlithe (he’d know – he’d owned one at one point), but not exactly. Travis knew that there was also another canine-like Pokémon that was native to Hoenn – Poochyena...but Poochyena didn’t howl like that, if Travis remembered correctly.

    “Wonder what that was?” Travis asked.

    “<Probably something just trying to show off...wait a second...>” Angel’s long ears perked up and then fell again after a few seconds.

    “What happened?” Travis asked.

    “<I heard a voice that sounded kind of like Crescent’s...>” Angel said.

    “If they’re in trouble...” Travis said, half to himself. “...Katrina will probably have him start using Hyper Beam. We’ll just watch for any random explosions.”

    “<They can take care of themselves, I’m pretty sure...>” Angel commented.

    “Yeah, and on top of that, anybody that’s gonna attack is gonna come after me...” Travis muttered.

    “<What?>” Angel uttered questioningly.

    “Nothing...” Travis sighed. “Let’s keep going.”

    They walked through a rather dense part of the forest for a while and then heard a combination of a squeal and bark that he didn’t recognize. He then heard a loud yell.

    “OW! What the hell?! Keep your fangs to yourself, you stupid little fox cub!” it shouted in a gruff, foreboding voice.

    “Fox cub...?” Travis muttered, his mind immediately going to one specific species of Pokémon. “Are there Vulpix here...?”

    He walked past a fork in the forest path, where he heard the yelling again and stopped. Backing up and looking to his left, he saw that this particular path led into a bright light.

    “C’mon – this is taking too long!” another voice chimed in. “His Imperial Majesty needs to get this present before we all get old!”

    “You try to hold it, then!” the first voice shouted. “But don’t cry to me if it rips your arm off!”

    Travis took off down the path, his heart pounding within him. There was a Pokémon somewhere ahead of him, from what he could gather, that was being dragged somewhere against its will. The two voices sounded unscrupulous. They could be poachers – but what kind of poachers would work for the king? At least...that’s who Travis thought ‘His Imperial Majesty’ was referring to.

    Travis stepped into the light and found that he was in a clearing similar to the one in which he and Katrina had made camp. Sunlight filtered in through a loose canopy of trees to produce highlights and shadows on this bed of soft, wild grass. Some of the grass appeared to be wet, as if there were a pond or something nearby. Obvious in the middle of this setting were two men. They were wearing black chest plates and both had short swords at their sides. They appeared to be some sort of soldiers. Another obvious presence, made even more so against the black of their armor, was a small creature struggling to escape the clutches of one of the men, who appeared to have a bleeding cut on his right hand. It was a small creature that had an elongated muzzle much like a fox. Its entire body was an aquamarine color with the exception of the inside of its ears, feet, and nose, which were all a russet brown. Seeing the fangs protruding from its mouth in a way that made it look as if its face was locked in a toothy grin, Travis knew instantly where the bite mark on the man’s hand had come from. The creature noticed his presence and stared at him pleadingly with its brown eyes.

    “Huh? What’s with this kid?” the other soldier grunted. “He keeps starin’ at us.”

    “You’d better get outta here,” the soldier holding the Pokémon said sharply. “I think I hear your mother calling.”

    “My mom’s overseas,” Travis responded curtly. “So you must have pretty good hearing – and, no wonder...look at the size of those things. Looks like you could take off and start flying any moment.”

    “What’s your problem?” the other soldier grunted. “Your mother didn’t teach you to respect the King’s soldiers?”

    These guys were starting to grate on him a bit. “Like I said before...I’m not from here.”

    “I should have known,” the gruff soldier holding the fox-like Pokémon replied. “After all...not many kids walk around wearing swords. It’s not exactly the ideal fashion statement – not here, anyway.”

    “Well, where I live, we normally don’t see upstanding soldiers kidnapping Pokémon against their will,” Travis replied. “So I guess you and I come from two different worlds.”

    “That’s it!” the soldier holding the Pokémon shouted. “Teach this kid a lesson!”

    “I’m on it!” the other soldier yelled, making a quick move toward Travis, who held his ground.

    Using his thumb to partially unsheathe his sword from its scabbard, Travis muttered, “Bad idea.”

    The soldier was left slashing at air as Travis moved quickly behind him. The footman’s eyes widened as he felt the hilt of a sword in his spine. He tried to turn around and retaliate, but found that he couldn’t move. Meanwhile, Travis turned around and looked at the soldier holding the Pokémon, who appeared to be shocked and a bit frightened.

    “What are you?” the soldier stammered. “W-what the hell are you?”

    He received no answer. Travis simply turned around and looked at him with dangerously narrow eyes.

    “Angel, Confusion,” Travis said simply. The Espeon jumped forward and shot a wave of invisible Psychic energy that went barreling directly into the soldier, who fell backward, groaning, and dropped the Pokémon on the ground. The fox-like creature landed on the grass in a heap and quickly got to its feet, assuming a look that clearly said that it was surprised at its luck. The soldier growled and yanked out his sword. Roaring loudly, he rushed the cobalt-haired youth, who stared at his advancing, armored form and stood his ground. Just as the soldier would have cut him in two, Travis rolled out of the way and cut downward, slashing the man’s ankles. The soldier cried out in pain and fell to his knees, blood pooling around his legs.

    “How?!” the man groaned. “! GRAAAH!”

    “Be thankful you’re still breathing,” Travis said harshly, sheathing his sword. His eyes changed again, and he smiled, turning around sympathetically at the vulpine creature, who was staring at him through coffee-brown eyes. “Are you okay?”

    “<More humans...>” the foxlike creature groaned in a voice that Travis could understand, signaling that this creature...whatever its species was...was a female. “<This is so not my day...>”

    “It’s fine, I won’t hurt you,” Travis said.

    “<You hurt him,>” the Pokémon replied, pointing her chin at the soldier behind Travis, who had passed out from the pain.

    “That’s because he was a jerk and he deserved it,” Travis explained. “ can go if you want to...or better yet, you can come with us?”

    “<Just give myself up to you?>” the young, foxlike Pokémon said incredulously. “<Sorry...not without a fight. You’ll have to get me the proper way. You look strong...>”

    She was now addressing Angel, whose ears perked up to signal that this unknown Pokémon had grabbed her attention.

    “<I don’t think you can beat me, though,>” the small, aqua-colored creature boasted.

    “<Really?>” Angel said with a bit of an edge in her voice. “<I beg to differ.>”

    Travis sighed. It looked like he was stuck.

    “Angel, Confusion!” Travis shouted. Angel sent out a shockwave of invisible Psychic energy. This foxlike Pokémon rolled out of the way and looked straight at Angel, her eyes flashing. She opened her mouth and let loose a white jet of what appeared to be water. This came too fast for an unprepared Angel to react, so she was subsequently engulfed by the high-pressure water stream and blasted backward, missing a large tree by inches and she skidded to a stop. It was at that point that Travis realized that he’d just rushed in without an idea of what this Pokémon even was. He pointed his Pokédex at the foxlike creature. “Kitide...the Water Cub Pokémon. Known for its powerful Water Gun.”

    “<Tell me something I don’t know,>” Angel groaned, struggling to her feet and emerging from behind the tree, her lavender fur soaking wet.

    “Use your Swift attack!” Travis ordered. Angel lowered her head and, from the ruby-like circle on her forehead came a star-shaped beams of Megacite energy. They shot toward the small, aquamarine Kitide with the speed of bullets, making her unable to dodge in time. Small explosions riddled the Cub Pokemon’s body, blasting her backward and damaging her substantially.

    “<Tch, lucky shot,>” the Kitide groaned. “<Eat this!!>”

    She took off in a blur of aquamarine and smashed into Angel, knocking her down and then reappearing at her original position. Angel looked up, her eyes glowing widely. The gem on her forehead grew with all seven colors of the spectrum. Then, a beam with all of those seven colors...and then some...shot forth from the Espeon’s head, smashing into Kitide with monolithic force and lifting her off of the ground with its power.

    “What was that?!” Travis shouted in surprise, consulting his Pokédex. “That was...a Psybeam? That’s insane! When’d you learn how to do that?!”

    “<I dunno,>” Angel replied. “<Gimme a second – my head’s spinning a little bit.>”

    Her eyes indeed looked like they were a tiny bit out of focus. The good news – Kitide was on the ground and not getting up. Yanking a ball off his belt, his heart pounded with assignment. With hardly any delay, he threw it and watched it make contact with the aquamarine fox Pokémon, sucking her inside. It was just at that moment that he heard someone call his name behind him.

    He turned around to see Katrina coming straight toward him, with Crescent at her ankles. Immediately, the presence of the men on the ground registered with Katrina. Meanwhile (Travis’ heart gave a leap), a loud ping sounded in the clearing, and Travis ceased to hear the rustling of the moving ball on the ground behind him.

    “What the heck happened?” Katrina asked, looking around at the men on the ground.

    “Long story short, I caught these two giving a Pokémon a hard time,” Travis said matter-of-factly. “They rushed me, so I taught them why that’s not a good idea.”

    “Seems like everyone wants to pick a fight with you lately,” Katrina commented.

    “ ‘Lately’?” Travis repeated incredulously.

    “Okay, you got me,” Katrina sighed. “Actually, I came looking for you because I wanted to tell you something interesting. I caught a Pokémon!”

    “Same here,” said Travis, glancing over his shoulder at the ball.

    It was an hour later that Travis and Katrina found their original campsite, which they had absentmindedly failed to mark before leaving. They took another break, as it was now approaching mid-afternoon. The main purpose for this was for everyone to reintroduce themselves. A total of six Pokémon now sat awkwardly in a circle, with the two newest members exactly opposite each other.

    “<I’m Meru,>” the Kitide said enthusiastically.

    “<Hi, Meru!>” Amber chimed in. Champ responded with a cool salute, while Angel and Crescent both bowed simultaneously in greeting.

    “<Arcus...>” the other Pokémon said in a low, laconic voice. The other five looked at him. ‘He’ was a wolf-like creature with brown fur streaked with snow white. The fringe on the edge of his legs was also white, as well as a streak of fur right down the middle of his muzzle. “<If you must call me anything...>”

    “<Wait a sec...>” Meru chimed in. “<You’re an Arcidane. I thought you only lived in the mountains...>”

    “<We do,>” Arcus said tersely.

    “<What happened? Why are you so far from home?>” Meru asked. Arcus looked at her for a second.

    “<...I don’t want to talk about it,>” he replied, shaking his head.

    “<Fine...suit yourself,>” Meru said curtly. “<But don’t be a jerk about it.>”

    “<...Whatever,>” Arcus sighed, walking away from the rest. “<Look – stay out of my way and we won’t have any problems.>”

    “<Lone wolf-type...>” Meru sighed. “<Gotcha.>”

    “<What’s happening?>” Amber piped in with her bubbly voice. “<What’s going on? Did I miss something?>”

    “<Nothing more than usual...>” Champ muttered.

    “<Arcus is being ridiculously emo right now,>” Meru replied. “<Wonder what the hell’s his problem...?>”

    “<Well, obviously his home is a sore subject,>” Crescent sighed.

    “<I think he’s sort of handsome,>” Amber said, gazing dreamily at the wolf Pokémon’s back.

    “<You’re entitled to that opinion,>” Meru said smugly, closing her eyes in disdain. “<I won’t say that you’re lying, but...>”

    “<You think he’s a prick,>” Amber finished quickly, earning raised eyebrows from Champ and Crescent.

    “<You’re not as clueless as you look, Amber,>” Meru commented silkily. Amber’s tail flame glowed a bright golden color.

    “<Wha...?!>” she exclaimed.

    “<At least, sometimes,>” Meru added.

    “<I think he’s sad,>” Amber said simply.

    “<You don’t know the half of it,>” Meru said, rolling her eyes. “<But everyone’s got their own language. Someone just has to speak his to get his attention. So...Angel – that’s you, right?>”

    She was looking at the Espeon. Next to Angel was Crescent, who sarcastically said, “<How can you say that? I’m obviously better-looking.>”

    “<I hear it’s our job to battle in these ‘Gyms’ the humans put up,>” Meru said. “<So, exactly how does that work?>”
    Last edited by EonMaster One; 19th April 2007 at 11:28 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.

  19. #69
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Chapter 4-3

    ~~~ *** ~~~

    May 24, PA 2013 – Petalburg City

    It was another two days of quality training before Travis found himself under the sounds of the roaring crowd at Petalburg Gym. It was packed out even more than before, this time, as the school year for the Academy students (who, like the children in Johto, participated in a six-year program in most cases) had ended, effectively doubling the daytime attendance. Moreover, the more passionate of the fifth-year and sixth-year students tended to frequent the Gym so as to pick up tips and strategies from watching real Pokémon battles with their own two eyes. A smart move, in Travis’ opinion – if he were ever to start a school, he’d probably suggest, if not require, that his students do that. In fact, it might have just been a tip that he’d want to pass on to Prof. Elm the next time he saw him.

    In this afternoon’s case, the students were watching him. With the beginning of the battle having been a near carbon copy of the first one – Champ faced off against Spinocle and won, only to be knocked out of the match by Linoone later and replaced by Angel – the score was tied. Angel was now taking on Linoone. Better yet, Travis knew better about that Ice Beam and Champ had lasted a bit longer in this second battle, meaning that by the time Angel came out to fight, Linoone was showing signs of fatigue.

    “Use Confusion, Angel!” Travis shouted. His Espeon let loose a powerful, invisible wave of Psychic energy. Linoone seemed unprepared and was therefore knocked for a loop. Landing on his long belly, Linoone staggered to his feet, growling loudly.

    “Headbutt!” Linoone took off like a brown bullet and smashed into Angel full-force, rolling the Espeon into the arena floor. Angel retaliated by rolling to her feet and hitting Linoone with a Quick Attack directly into his flank, which caused him to roll over in the dirt faster than a guy with his clothes on fire.

    “Good work, Angel! Now, use Swift!” Travis shouted with the intent of staying on the attack. Angel lowered her head and shot forth several Megacite stars. All of them impacted into Linoone’s body, causing an explosion and blowing him up into the air. He landed with a thump and his eyes narrowed.

    “Ice Beam, Linoone!” the Petalburg Gym Leader, Stella, shouted. The Rushing Pokémon reared his head back and let loose a white beam of arctic-cold energy. Angel, this time, was too quick; she backed away. The only problem about her motion was the fact that she allowed Linoone to turn nearly the entire field to ice. Smirking, Stella said, “You’re trapped – again.”

    “Who just trapped who?” Travis responded confidently. “Angel, use Confusion on the Ice!”

    Angel pointed her head straight down and the air around her blurred. The ground began to shake slightly and, to everyone’s surprise, the once sleek and dormant ice began to spike up at points, forming deadly-looking icicles that shot straight up out of the ground. This line of icicles sharpened and came straight at Linoone.

    “Linoone, jump! Get out of there!” Stella shouted. Linoone leapt high into the air in order to avoid being skewered. Unfortunately for him and Stella, however, Travis was ready:

    “Show ‘em Psybeam!” Travis yelled. Angel, roaring loudly and her eyes a bright white, shot forth a rainbow-colored blast of energy from the gem on her forehead. It engulfed Linoone, who screeched in pain as the psychic energy continued to drain him. An explosion of cheers and boos was heard from the crowd...

    Ten minutes later, Katrina and Travis were walking down the streets of Petalburg City. The latter was admiring his first Hoenn badge, which was fitted perfectly in the slot meant for it, at the top left corner of the velvet-lined case he had bought before he left Johto nearly a week and a half ago.

    “You did great, Angel!” Travis said enthusiastically. “Is your head okay?”

    “<Everything’s stopped spinning,>” the Espeon replied. A side effect of Psybeam, Travis came to quickly realize, was that it was a bit hard on Angel’s brain right now, causing things like mild headaches and dizziness. “<So, that’s an improvement.>”

    “Y’know, maybe you shouldn’t use Psybeam,” Travis commented.

    “<No, that’s not it,>” Angel replied. “<I’ll probably be able to deal with it better the more I use it. It’s just sort of new right now.>”

    “<That’s the spirit,>” Crescent chimed in. “<But just don’t overdo it,>”

    “<You worry too much,>” Angel remarked.

    “<You’re always saying that,>” Crescent groaned. “<I just don’t want you to get hurt.>”

    “<I hate to say it, but it kind of comes with the territory,>” Angel sighed. “<You should know that better than anybody.>”

    Crescent’s eyes dropped and he began to look at the ground.

    “<I’m sorry,>” Angel said quickly. “<I didn’t mean to...>”

    “<No – you’re right,>” the Umbreon cut her off.

    “Hey, I just noticed something,” Katrina said to Travis, looking at his hip. “Your sword...”

    “I left it at the room,” Travis said. “Don’t feel like dealing with so many people asking me questions...”

    “What if somebody...” Katrina started.

    “Nobody can get in – the door’s locked,” Travis replied.

    “Maybe we should go back and check on it,” Katrina sighed. “I’ve heard rumors...that Petalburg’s kind of dangerous nowadays. There’s supposed to be this one guy called the Iceman – that’s why there’s soldiers all over the place in this city. He’s a merciless serial killer with a grudge against the king. That’s what I hear.”

    “Wow, that’s pretty bad...” Travis commented. “A serial killer...”

    “Actually, just a day or two before we got here, there were five more soldiers murdered,” Katrina said. “One of them was found in an alley with the word ‘TRAITOR’ spray-painted on his armor.”

    “Really? So, this guy seems to like picking off the king’s soldiers...” Travis muttered.

    “Well...that’s what I hear,” Katrina said. “Why would someone want to kill the men that help protect his own country?”

    “Rebel? Anarchist? I couldn’t tell you,” Travis said, just as they arrived at the Pokémon Center and stood in front of it for a second. “All I know is that, ever since I got here, I’ve had this nothing’s really what it seems.”

    Katrina stopped and turned toward him as he looked up toward the top floors of the Center with a strange expression on his face. It was almost as if he was looking for something in particular.

    “Maybe you’re just a little bit paranoid,” Katrina said with a hopeful tone in her voice.

    “Is our window open...?” Travis muttered. “I didn’t leave our window open – did you?”

    “No way,” Katrina said, shaking her head quickly. “I never open the windows. Maybe you’re looking at someone else’s room.”

    “But ours faces out this way, though...” Travis said. “This is the odd side of the building. And that’s the third floor – we’re on the third floor. And we’re the third window from the left – 301...303...”

    Without finishing, Travis took off at a run toward the doors. Katrina, having nearly been left behind, followed him – then Angel, then Crescent. Travis got to the doors, running in place for a couple of steps before they slid open. As soon as he saw daylight, he tore into the room, around a passing waitress in the restaurant area who looked at him disapprovingly, and up the stairs. Travis didn’t see the young man sitting in the fourth booth, who put down his mug and eyed Travis as he, along with the group he was with, ascended the stairs to the second floor. On that floor, Travis saw a lone maid of about twenty with a cart sitting directly in the middle of the hallway.

    Groaning loudly, Travis took two enormous steps and leapt into the air with the hopes of clearing the cart. The young, redhead maid screamed and ducked as Travis attempted to jump over her. Unfortunately, his back foot failed to clear the four-foot cart. His heart sank as he felt his ankle catch. A second later, he face-planted into the carpet of the floor and rolled to a stop, facing sideways. Katrina ran around the cart very quickly, as Angel and Crescent both winced in tandem. The maid, meanwhile, was still cowering behind the cart and whimpering loudly.

    Grabbing onto Travis’ arm, Katrina shouted, “Are you alright?!”

    “I’m fine,” Travis said, quickly standing up. He took a breath, steeled himself, and broke into a run again. Katrina, who always used to beat him in races when they were only twelve, had a hard time keeping up now. Up the stairs they quickly, they were on the third floor, looking for the third-to-last door on the left.

    “311...309...307...305!” Travis panted, yanking a card out of his pocket and swiping it along a slot just above the doorknob just as Katrina and the two Pokémon caught up. He quickly opened it and found...a young girl holding a katana with a white sheath. She stood and turned around. Her austerely straight, blood-red hair went halfway down her back, and her outfit –

    No time. The form ran in a blur right past him. Katrina barely saw a knife coming in Travis’ direction. Conjuring her staff in half of a second, she jumped in front of Travis, knocked it down with her rod, and watched as the girl turned and escaped down the hall toward the fourth-floor stairs.

    “That was –“ Katrina whispered, something having jarred her memory.

    “LET’S GO!” Travis shouted. He was halfway down the hall already, shouting, “STOP THIEF!! GET BACK HERE!!”

    Just then, the door to Room 301 swung open and a form came bursting out of it so quickly that Travis was knocked sideways into the wall with amazing force. His back slammed into the corner right next to the doorway and he slumped to the ground, holding his wrist and crying out in pain as Katrina, Angel and Crescent all approached him.

    “No – I’m fine!” Travis groaned. “Get after whoever that was! She’s heading to the roof!”

    Katrina nodded, tearing up the steps with Crescent in her wake. Angel, meanwhile, stayed and watched as Travis rose to his knees and raised his head. His eyes were wide and his pupils narrow and he staggered to his feet and looked toward the stairs...

    Katrina traversed the fourth floor and then ran up the spiral stairs (which the girl that she had been pursuing accessed by somehow opening the locked door before she’d reached it). She was on the very roof of the building now. She looked over the edge out of the corner of her eye – a fifty-foot drop to the bottom. She heard footsteps coming from the stairs – what now? Emerging from the shadow of the doorway was a boy of fourteen with blue hair tied in a long braid, accompanied by an Espeon. She gave a sigh of relief.

    “You caught up quick,” Katrina said. “Are you alright?”

    “Where’d she go?” Travis asked. Katrina pointed in the general direction. Travis scrambled across the roof, followed by Katrina, Angel, and Crescent. From here, Travis could see many of the important buildings in Petalburg City – including the Gym where he’d won his Astralbadge less than an hour ago. Closer to home, however, were two figures standing opposite each other on the far corners of the roof. One was the red-haired girl that he’d seen with his sword – she still had the sword...the other had a black-and-red outfit and bronze hair...and looked familiar. He shouted out loud – “HEY!”

    The girl and the young man both turned at the same time. At this point, Travis and Katrina had separated, creating a square of sorts.

    From the roof and over the city reverberated four different but simultaneous cries of “YOU!!!”

    Travis recognized the young man with the bronze hair and wearing the red-trimmed, black outfit. The weapon – a strange combination between a sword and a gun – was a dead giveaway.

    “What the hell are you doing here?!” Travis shouted.

    “You’re the girl from earlier!” Katrina exclaimed. Travis looked at her.

    “What?!” Travis shouted.

    “She’s tried to take your sword before,” Katrina said. Travis sighed.

    “Why am I not surprised?!”

    “Give it up, rogue!” the young man was shouting. He seemed to be addressing the girl. “Drop that sword, or I’ll pry it from your hands after I kill you!”

    “You’re not taking that sword!” Travis shouted. “I am! And once I get it, I’m using it – on you!

    Travis and the young man eyed each other suspiciously.

    “You’re sure he’s not on our side?” Katrina asked.

    “He’s the guy that tried to off me back in Oldale Town, remember?” Travis replied. “Of course he’s not on our side.”

    “You three stay away from me!” the girl cried out loudly. “I plan to trade this sword for my freedom!”

    “Well, you’ll have to get another one,” Katrina said, pointing her rod at the girl. Meanwhile, Travis’ hand was twitching and beginning to spark.

    “I will do whatever it takes to get that sword, rogue,” the young man growled.

    “Are you really brave enough to kill to get what you want?” the girl asked. “I doubt it.”

    “Then, you don’t know me very well...” the young man said nonchalantly. “I do whatever it takes. They’ve even got a nickname around here for me nowadays – ‘Iceman’.”

    “ ‘Iceman’?!” Katrina exclaimed – but Travis’ patience had run out.

    “ENOUGH!” he shouted at the top of his lungs, a small fireball appearing in his hand. He reared back and hurled it at the girl. Just then, the young man on the far corner decided to load a bullet into his gun and shoot – out of the barrel of the gun came a fireball as well.

    Elbaflir!” Katrina yelled as a fireball shot forth from her staff. The young girl quickly did a backflip off of the building and out of sight.

    “DAMN!” the young man shouted, running to the other corner of the building. The girl yanked out a kunai and drove it with all the force she could muster into the brick wall of the building, cutting into it. Sparks flew from the knife as she gradually slowed her fall. Then, once she had closed the jump to a manageable height, she yanked the knife out of the wall and leapt the rest of the way down to the ground. Sprinting around the corner, she took off down the street toward the west – on the ground, where Travis, Katrina, and the mysterious youth could not hope to reach her. Shaking his head and growling, he turned around and made to cross the roof the other way, but stopped once he realized that the pink-haired girl was pointing her rod at him. There was a lull of silence for about five seconds.

    “ ‘Iceman’...” Katrina whispered. “You’re the serial killer.”

    “ ‘Serial killer’?” the young man known as ‘Iceman’ seemed a little bit confused. “Where’d you get that from?”

    “That’s what I’ve heard on the streets,” Katrina said in a low tone of voice. “You kill the king’s soldiers...for fun.”

    “For fun? can’t believe everything you hear, little girl –“ the young man said, but Katrina was having none of it.

    “Don’t play stupid with me, murderer,” she said in a growl. “That’s why you want Travis’ sword, isn’t it? To have another weapon to use to kill people.”

    “You’re the one that nearly blew me to bits last time,” the young man said, stepping away from the edge of the building and toward her. She held her ground, not giving an inch. “I can see you’re no innocent little girl.”

    “Why do you want his sword?” Katrina asked. “Tell me!”

    “I plan to trade that sword for my freedom,” the young man said. Katrina was about to open her mouth and respond, but the young man said quickly, “But not just for mine – cause is a little bit more noble than hers. I plan to trade that sword for this country’s freedom.”

    “Hate to disappoint you...” Travis’ voice joined in with the conversation as he approached the young man and Katrina. “...but that sword’s useless without...”

    “...the Swordbearer,” the young man cut him off. “Unfortunately, not everyone knows if the sword falls into the wrong hands, it can be used as an instrument for rule with an iron fist.”

    “What would you do with it if you got it?” Travis asked him.

    “Me? I’d bring justice down upon certain people...” the young man said. “...just what the sword’s designed to do. But I’m not fetching that sword for me.”

    “Who are you getting for, then?” Travis asked.

    “I’m trying to get it back to its owner,” the young man said. “You.

    Travis and Katrina both looked at each other in disbelief.

    “That’s right – I’m on your side...and damn good thing, too,” the young man continued. “I know where that rogue’s going with that sword, and it just happens to be exactly where you want to go next.”

    “What?” Travis said incredulously. “Where? Rustboro?”

    “Unless she can walk on water...I’ve heard about it being done before, but I doubt she can...she has nowhere to go but Rustboro,” the young man said. “First things off, we’ve gotta get the hell out of here. She’s no snail when it comes to running, so the quicker we leave, the quicker we can catch up with her.”

    “’ll help us find her?” Travis asked.

    “Yeah – on one condition,” the young man said. “When we get the sword back, I’ll let you have it – but there’s someone I want you to meet in Rustboro. Someone important.”

    “Fine,” Travis said without much hesitation.

    “Travis!” Katrina exclaimed concernedly. “How do you know...”

    “I don’t, alright?” Travis sighed. “But he’s gotta know his way around Hoenn better than we do, and if we don’t have a guide...well, when we get to that forest, we’ll have a better shot at losing ourselves than we’ll have at finding her.”

    Katrina fell silent, realizing that Travis had brought up a pretty good point.

    “But...” Katrina muttered. “He’s a criminal...a serial killer.”

    “Where’d you find that out from, anyway?” the young man groaned.

    “I’ve heard soldiers talking,” Katrina said.

    “Well, you can’t trust everything soldiers say,” the young man said. “Especially these soldiers.”

    “He’s right, you know,” Travis piped in. “If the majority of those guys are anything like the guys I met on Route 102 a few days ago...I wouldn’t trust them at all.”

    “Sounds like you’ve had a run-in with them,” the young man said. Travis nodded.

    “ question. What’s your real name?” Travis asked.

    The young man sighed, and the heavens sighed along with him, blowing a breeze across the roof that ruffled his bronze-colored hair. “I guess I might as well tell you since we’ll be seeing a lot of each other. My Kenjiro. Kenjiro Kazaki.”

    Type: Water
    Height/Length: 2'04"
    Weight: 35 lbs. (although Meru will never tell you that)
    The word on Kitide: Kitide makes use of biting attacks, along with Water Gun. The power of this Water Gun is amazing, but its accuracy (especially on inexperienced Kitide) sometimes leaves something to be desired.

    Supplied by: EonMaster One

    Type: Ice
    Height/Length: 2'06"
    Weight: 42 lbs.
    The word on Arcidane: A rare pure Ice-type, its fangs are like knives, allowing it to use biting attacks to much effectiveness. Most Arcidane travel in packs and are therefore very social...most of them.

    Holy crap, that was long...see, this is why chapters take me two weeks nowadays. I figure I have an adequate excuse, right?

    Working on chapter 5, but for now, you can digest, read and review this monster.

    - 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.

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Kinda late here so my sub par review will be even more sub... par. ^^ Anyway, another great chapter! No suprise there though; I think there's been like, 2 chapters that I didn't like of yours, if that. I'm eternally grateful for Travis losing his first battle, as doing it any other way would've been rushing. All the fakemon are pretty good considering most people rape them horribly, but I can't get the idea of a blue Vulpix out of my mind for Kitide (is it supposed to be an aquamarine Vulpix?)

    Um, let's see. I didn't find any grammar errors, but then again I wasn't really looking. I can see that you waste no time with the shipping (however one-sided it may be) either. ...Champ and Amber. It'll be fun for sure!

    *insert adjectivial (?sp) phrase here* -Oath

    PS: Nice little plot twist at the end too. Somehow I didn't see that coming even after the last chapter... What if there's treachery afoot? o.o
    Pride! Conceit! Courage! Insolence! Fearful of nothing! Daunted by nothing! Let us laugh uproariously!

  21. #71
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Manchester, NH


    Holy smoke. Not bad. I'm liking it so far.
    Visit Nocturne of Shadows. Check the chats and forums section to visit the forum. I have a guestbook and a mini shout box.

  22. #72
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Behind you...

    Cool Review # 4!

    uh, heh, heh, heh... new chapterage! lemme at it, lemme at it!

    *let at it*

    Reading now... you know i'll be back...


    Right, Review time!

    “<At least the spines are obvious, now – I couldn’t sit down for two days after that last time...>” Champ sighed. “<But everybody knows that speed never goes into a slump. If I’m faster, I’ll own. Simple as that. Let’s rock, Coach!>”

    “<Geez – chill out, Amber,>” Champ commented, using his hands to thrust a pellet of Pokémon food into his mouth, as he watched the Pyrika mercilessly obliterating the food in her bowl.

    “<‘Geez – chill out, Amber,’>” Amber mimed.

    “<Urgh...can you stop mocking me?>” Champ groaned.

    “<‘Urgh...can you stop mocking me?’>” Amber imitated again.

    “< annoying...>” Champ sighed.

    “<‘ annoying...’>” Amber sighed as well.

    “<Okay – I’m an idiot,>” Champ said flatly.

    “<Okay – Champ’s an idiot,>” Amber responded.

    Both Crescent and Angel sweatdropped at the same time as Champ, temporarily losing his temper, chucked a bit of food at the Pyrika, who swiftly opened her mouth and gulped it out of the air.

    “<...Owned,>” Crescent said, blinking a bit stupidly.

    “<No kidding,>” Angel said, returning to her food and eating the last of it out of her bowl. Crescent looked down at her.
    Damn, Amber’s good…

    “My mom’s overseas,” Travis responded curtly. “So you must have pretty good hearing – and, no wonder...look at the size of those things. Looks like you could take off and start flying any moment.”
    So’s Travis…

    No grammar errors this time, EM1! just one thing was off to me...

    “<‘Geez – chill out, Amber,’>” Amber mimed.
    Mimed is a word meaning to act like something without using words. Mimicked sounds like a better option to me.

    OK, i'm outta heree! Catch ya on the flip side!

    Last edited by Air Dragon; 20th April 2007 at 9:34 AM.
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
    Butt-ugly Banner by Me
    (Still waiting on the excellent Saffire Persian for another awesome TCQ banner!)

  23. #73
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Hi EonMaster01(is it okay if I call you Eon?). I have been a closet reader ever since you were at, like, chapter 22 of Revolution Johto. I never had an account, but I got one today. I LOVE your stories! You are an awesome writer.
    all right, Araleon out.
    Last edited by Araleon; 20th April 2007 at 11:28 PM.

  24. #74
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    In a twisted world........


    Not bad this time, I only spot a few mistakes! ^_^

    Grammar aspect:

    The Pokédex took a snapshot of the red, insect-like creature to save on her database and revealed it to be a Wurmple, the most common Bug-type native to Hoenn.
    Wordiness, personally I'd rephrase the whole sentence, as that is kind of awkward.

    This shockwave then proceeded to smash rather mercilessly into Pyrika, who appeared to not have seen it coming.
    Remember, last chapter, yes this split infintive thing reared its ugly head again. You have to use not to have seen. Don't split up the infinitive.

    Whenever he got upset with someone, it was hard to calm him down – especially if they said or did anything that reminded him of the war.
    Pronoun use, sorry. Someone is singular, therefore, you do not use they, you use he or she.

    Not even the hardiest of men could stay the same after witnessing what he had witnessed, fighting what he had fought...

    ...and he had been no man.
    Another dumb rule, can't have the not even and together, its called negation use. To fix this all you need to do it "Even the hardiest of men could not stay the same..."

    He had been a boy, barely thirteen. A boy with dreams and aspirations for the future.Aspirations that stood the chance of never being fulfilled with him in his present state.
    Fragment, just use a comma before A and after thirteen and it should be fine and a comma between future and Aspirations. Granted that makes it a long sentence, but you can't leave them as fragments either.

    “I’m not a d–“ Travis didn’t get to finish his statement, as Katrina laid a kiss on his lips.
    your "" is facing the wrong way!

    Below this shirt were a pair of khaki shorts that stopped right above knee level, exposing ashy, scabbed knees and extremely skinny shins.
    Was a pair, not were a pair. There is only one pair. Also comma is needed after "Below the shirt..."

    That’s a coincidence,” Travis said, taking a ball off of his belt and enlarging it.
    Not this again... It had to rear its ugly head. Well, better than last chapter, this seems to be the only one, you know how to fix this by now. Off not off of.

    Champ fell to one knee, in obvious pain and also appearing to be very tired.
    personal opnion hear, and also is wordy, I would use "...and appeared to be tired"

    Travis didn’t bother to say anything, or to even look at Brian as he returned his Pokémon and left.
    Split the infinitive AGAIN. You have probably seen this mistake a lot last chapter this is only your second time this chapter.

    When someone wants to throw in the towel, you should respect their wishes and not force them to stay in and keep getting pounded – that’s how he felt.
    Technically, you should use the word being in that area. Getting may SOUND right, but being should be used there.

    That was what he had become. A shadow...of his former self.
    Fragment. A comma between become and A should fix it.

    “Well, I’ve got something a little more important than you to deal with,” Katrina said, pulling a Pokéball off of her belt and enlarging it.
    ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Not saying anything...

    “Wha–“ Jadyn looked taken aback at first, but tried her best to keep on a good game face.
    quotation mark facing the wrong way.

    Ziggy took off in a straight line toward the Pyrika, the top of his head glowing a slight bit.
    Verb confusion, his could refer to Pyrika or Ziggy, you can get away with it THIS TIME because Pyrika is a girl, but in the future, be careful.

    To Katrina’s great surprise, however, Ziggy was able to plant his feet on the tree and effectively ricochet off of it, coming back at an unguarded Amber at nearly double momentum.
    What happened! You were doing so well. Please fix...

    “<No idea...we’re looking for her and this guy....>” Crescent said.
    Elipse is a period too long.

    Royal reappeared going behind Amber and cawed loudly.
    ??? What the heck? Reappeared going behind... i don't think you need going.

    He took a closer look at the wood pile.
    Believe it or not, woodpile is one word.

    He, Angel, and Champ all put some distance between themselves and what was now basically a pillar of combustion worthy of a bonfire.
    Both words pretty much mean the same thing, sorta wordy or redundant if you ask me. Choose one or the other.

    “<I thought he was a nutjob...>”

    “<I’m not sure she’s a ‘nutjob’, Angel,>” Crescent said.
    Spelling, not grammar mistake so i can correct the dialogue! nut job is two words.

    Then again – he had been trained for stealth at one point, so he was better at it than others.
    Need were, or you are comparing his stealth to people and that doesn't make sense. Yes I know you meant stealth to other people's stealth, I'm not stupid, but I am correcting GRAMMAR.

    It was just a good thing that...with his current occupation, he had put ‘them’ off of his trail.
    I swear if I see this one more time... *pulls out hair*

    Truth be told, the youth that was guarding the alleyway was a year younger than he.
    Look at the quote above the quote above, this also applies to here.

    So...I tried to take it off of him.
    AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! *blows up causing a nuclear explosion*

    When I realized that, I backed off and I had a better idea...getting it’s great, but getting that and the one using it...”
    I don't understand that sentence but I think it's should be its.

    He disappears when he attacks, which makes him a real ***** to try and fight off.
    Idioms. I hate them, you would use to, not and.

    The young man sprinted to where the two bodies lay and forcefully kicked the body of the soldier off of the other to find the body of the body of the boy who had greeted him a few minutes before.
    ... I can't blow up twice...

    This left the young man alone in the alley with the two corpses, so he moved to an inside wall and pressed himself against it, so as to not make himself visible to anyone who happened to be walking down the main road.
    Wordy, only need to. You also split the infinitive again

    Parts I liked:
    A red-hot ball of flame shot forth from her staff and bulleted toward the red-haired girl, who again countered with a variety of hand signals – producing a blue-colored fireball of her own.
    Can you say Naruto? :P Very Narutoy *my own word* to me, I love it!!!!

    “<Balls...they’re overrated,>” Amber said. “<...That’s why I’m glad I’m a girl.>”

    All three of the other Pokémon felt their jaws drop to the ground with no control over them.

    “<What?!>” Crescent groaned, “<That is so...not what the hell I was talking about!>”

    “<Throw a flag!>” Champ piped in. “<Personal foul – unnecessary insanity!>”

    Angel had a sweatdrop beside her head that was so large, the other two wouldn’t have been surprised if Magikarp were swimming in it.

    “<You think I’m insane?>” Amber said, stalking around Angel and Crescent toward the Treecko, who craned his head around to see her coming. “<You think I’m cuckoo?....Huh, little Treecko?...How about I burn your little green derriere to a crisp? Then you’ll see how ‘insane’ I am!!>”

    “<What’s a ‘derriere’? That’s not in my playbook,>” Champ muttered. Seeing Amber inhale, he realized what was going on and shouted, “<Oh, sh–>”
    Yes!!!!! Oh my gosh, I was laughing so hard after reading this!!!!

    Sorry, I have been meaning to post this, these are the errors from Chapter 3 ALONE. Here it is. Grammar mistakes repetitive, especially a certain particular phrase that is annoying me to death since you have posted, ALL the time... its listed so many times, its not funny. Yes you know EXACTLY what I am talking about. Yes, no grammar correct inside qutations.

    I'm working on chapter 4 corrections...

    No grammar errors this time, EM1! just one thing was off to me...

    “<‘Geez – chill out, Amber,’>” Amber mimed.
    Mimed is a word meaning to act like something without using words. Mimicked sounds like a better option to me.

    OK, i'm outta heree! Catch ya on the flip side!

    Really, I beg to differ... just give me two days. :P


    PS: Yes I know I am giving you a REALLY hard time with grammar and such. Sorry, but correcting grammar is one of my strong points (although I never write use perfect grammar when correcting.) and I feel its one of the ways I can help make your work better. Your writing and detail is fantastic and everyone knows that. You know it to! I just don't want to post a one liner saying, "Great Job, you're writing is great!" That really doesn't help you become a better writer. Of course this is my opnion.

    ~Castform Out, this time I mean it!!!!!

  25. #75


    Another wonderful chappie!
    And Kitide always give me an impression of a blue Vulpix.Or aquamarine. Whatever.As usual, Amber is as random and insane as usual.

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