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Thread: Lost Evolution

  1. #301
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    Ka-kaw? :V

    So this is what it feels like when you take an extremely long time to post a new chapter. It feels so unreal. I should take the time to appreciate the color orange on a green background more. :o

    And what I find ironic is that you decided to hide under a rock when you're writing a fic where there's mostly nothing but trees for the setting, but now I'm just digressing. :P

        Spoiler:- News Flash: The crow is now in therapy to treat its recent outbreak of bipolarism; we'll bring you more as it develops. But for now, here's Wiki Ikii Ticky with the weather:



    -______________- Kaw.
    Last edited by SlowCrow; 30th June 2009 at 7:10 PM.

  2. #302
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    GAAAAAAAA!!!!!! Don't kill me, pleeeeeaaaaase! I wanted to come back and review this sooner, I really did! I've been so terribly busy. (let me tell ya, it didn't do me any good to come back, see two chapters up, and see that the first thing you said to me was "don't disappear again")

    However -luckily for me- you have requested that I not read the most recent chapter due to your rewriting thing. So technically, I'm still on pace! Whoohoo!

    With that in mind, I'll be reviewing chapter 25. (25!!! really!!! My how this fic is growing up so fast. I could cry)

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

    This chapter gets the ball rolling again, and with rigor. It seems as though Carrie never gets a break, but then it gives her a chance to show off why she makes such a wonderful protagonist. She faces such adversity and refuses to give up. That leads me into my next point about her, one which I think deserves attention. She does feel the strain. She does feel the fear. At almost every turn, there seems to be an opportunity to throw in the towel, and it looks so good. She's worn out, there appears to be no chance of success, yet she presses on- NOT because she doesn't feel the pain, the fatigue, or the fear, but IN SPITE of it.

    With the whole Theo thing, I loved seeing how Carrie handled the ordeal of having to leave him behind. She's just beginning to appreciate him as more than an asset, and she had to make a hard choice. Her thought process was absolutely human. She wanted to go back and save him, but she knew that in doing so she could save no one. I don't know what you've done in the most recent chapter in terms of what happened to Theo, but I can't wait to find out.

    One thing that I think would be well worth your time is to put a little more work into developing Theo. What you've done with Carrie is excellent. She's human, she's vulnerable, she has character-- now I want to see you do the same thing with him. Yes, you have shown the foundation of his character, but in this chapter he felt somewhat absent. Granted, there wasn't a way you could have done much more with him here, given the amount of things he actually did in the chapter, but my point still stands for the future. I know you can do it. I'm guessing that with whatever happened after he was left behind, you'll have some great opportunity for it too!

    We are shown in the chapter that Vanessa is still following them. I like how her character, though she isn't doing to much, has had somewhat of an arc already. When we first saw her, she seemed like a bimbo with an eye for rare Pokemon, now we see that she has always been capable of so much more. Rules do not apply to her. She is ready to go to any lengths to win her prize. One thing that I might like to see a little more of are her emotions. She's been tricked, manipulated, and beaten. These are not the ingredients of a happy camper. Now, I might be wrong, but I feel as though her desire for vengeance has got to be around or on the same level with her desire for Archopy at this point. For now though, I wait to see how she will proceed. She's a variable that could screw things up for a lot of people, not just our protagonists, but also anyone else who wants what is hers.

    As for the action sequence. I LOVED IT. You truly have a talent for these, and I like you you only show us what Carrie can see. It gives it a kind of first person perspective which, with the way you're handling it, is very engaging. The intensity and suspense of the moment is done so well, because, to Carrie, any moment could be her last if she makes the wrong step. The fire in the rain... that was just an awesome picture in my brain thanks!

    Congratulations on a chapter very well done. In the chapter before this, you gave us a breather, now you've hit the gas and we're flying again. I look forward very much to the little note at the top of 26 telling me I can read it now, but until then... well my life will keep me busy, I'm sure.


    Oh, and speaking of which, it is due to that busy-ness that I choose to go without my Grammar Nazi section this time. (you might have guessed that those things can be real time-suckers)

    ... shocking, I know. However, I have confidence in your improving grammar skills, and as long as your readers don't nitpick, they probably won't notice. I didn't anyway

    Good Fortune!

    Now up in the Fanfiction Forum!


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  3. #303
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    Whoa, just read the first few chapters, and this. Is. Awesome.

    Seriously, whatever you're doing, you're doing it right. This is superawesomelicious =D Me loves the concept, and the whole concept and plot is just astounding! Me loves the Archopy, and your writing is flowing along like any good river. The way you use descriptions is just perfectly balanced to keep it interesting and yet leaving room for vivid imagery. Very well done!

    Also, reading such a fantastic fic really gives me motivation to work harder on my own =P For that, and for writing such a marvelous piece of writing, you have my thanks!
    There is no higher purpose in life. Humans never had, and never will have, a reason for living. God merely created us because he wanted to allow someone to experience the beauty of living.

  4. #304
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    Fix the chapter already woman.

    I'm a veritable teapot of rage here.
    AND YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.

    I kid, I love you really.
    In the face.
    Platonically.

    I've missed me.

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  5. #305
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    This is the note you all (well, two of you, at least) have been waiting for: Chapter 26 has been updated with the rewrite, and you may now go and read it without incurring my wrath! 8D I also hope that people who've already read the original version will find time to read the new one to see if they like the improvements. Enjoy!

    Sireath - Nah, I'm not going to kill you, because A, your reviews are always awesome, and B, I never actually thought anyone would not read Chapter 26 just because I told them to and am really happy that you haven't. :3

    So. I loved what you said about Carrie in your first paragraph, because I've always liked the courageous kinds of characters who keep going despite how difficult it gets, but it never occurred to me that Carrie was one of these, and now I can see that she is. 8D Which is awesome, as it's totally unintentional. Her indecision about Theo was fun to do as well - since she's trying to be more friendly to Theo now, she knows that going to rescue him is what a friend is supposed to do, but there's both the fact that it's hopeless and the fact that she doesn't actually feel any kind of instinctive urge to help him yet. Ah, Carrie, you antisocial thing.

    As for Theo himself, I suppose the reason he hasn't been developed quite as much is because this fic is largely from Carrie's perspective, and - as much as she might be trying to be nice to him now - she still doesn't see him as overly significant. I've only done Theo POV scenes when there's been a definite need for it, and doing one randomly just for the sake of fleshing him out more might seem a bit out of place. :/ I can see why this chapter of all chapters made you ask for more Theo-ness, though, what with him getting like three lines or something and then running off to get attacked off-screen. xD Yeah. He does get to contribute a fair bit in Chapter 26, if that helps.

    Nice to see that Vanessa's ruthlessness is liked. I'll see if I can get some more emotion out of her next time we see her, although she is by nature a very calm and collected person most of the time. I think in this chapter she's focusing on Archopy as a way of putting aside and ignoring her frustration at Carrie/Theo/the Skarmory for now. Still, I'll see what I can do.

    Also yay at how much you liked the chase scene. I write in third person limited: as in, third person with the narration limited to what one character (in this case, Carrie) is seeing and thinking even to the point of being biased, and according to you it really worked for such a fast-paced scene, did it? Which is good to hear. =D Your lack of going Grammar Nazi on this particular chapter is probably a good thing, since I expect I butchered several of the less important rules of grammar for the sake of maintaining the pace.

    Oh, and you can go read Chapter 26 now. =P

    Llama_Guy - Eeeee. :3 Your post makes me feel all warm and fuzzy about my writing skills - while also probably inflating my ego, which probably isn't a good thing, but still. I hope you can keep reading and enjoying as you have done so far.

    Darkfall - You're not the only one who's missed you! *super-mega-awesome-handshake-of-DOOM*

    Teapots of rage can be cooled, however. It is surprisingly doable. :>
    .: Evolution is a battle .:. Something has to lose :.
    LOST EVOLUTION
    Chapter 33: Inside has been posted.


    Foregone Conclusion
    Spinoff/prequel/backstory/thingy to Lost Evolution, written for NaNoWriMo 2010

    Three Heads Are Better Than One

  6. #306
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    Someone else missed me? Where, who!?

    Heh, Joe lent me his psp... To console the long summer without him ;.;

    So yeah, cancel your social life.
    I have net access, devote all time to me.

    Handshake, or spoutshake? Bwahahahahaaaaa

    Minor flaw? Steel Hill, 2nd highest point in Hoenn?
    Mt. Pyre, surely?

    Ah well, loved it all, really enjoying the twist as the chase scenes are getting repetitive.
    Last edited by Darkfall; 11th July 2009 at 2:14 AM.

    Banner credit: Jakotsu.
    Quote Originally Posted by MSN
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    Quote Originally Posted by L0L View Post
    They named a game after me?

  7. #307
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    Time to review the rewritten version!

    “Why’d he do that?” Carrie muttered. Theo turned to stare at her; she realised that must have come out as insensitive. “No,” she said, “I mean, why un-paralyse you when you’re a prisoner? Seems a bit... counter-productive.” She studied the spiky-haired man as he threw down Theo’s rucksack onto the pile of her things, trying to work him out. Did he really want his captive able to talk freely and escape more easily?
    This is new in the rewritten chapter, isn't it? I like it; it's sort of pointing out these little personality idiosyncracies of Zack and Andrew as professional kidnappers.

    Theo shrugged as best as anyone could while tied to a tree.
    Hee. x3 Nice line.

    A grin was forming on his colleague’s face. “By the way, I’m Andrew, and he’s Zack,” he said, for all the world as if they were having a friendly conversation. “Not that you two need to introduce yourselves. We know all about you already.”

    Zack shot him an unamused glance; on catching it, Andrew’s grin only widened. Carrie was coming to realise just how difficult it would be to get anything useful out of their captors.
    I'm playing this little game of spot-the-changes here. :P I'm probably not very good at it in general, but this one is really fun. It's so very nicely in-character for Andrew to randomly introduce him. "For all the world as if they were having a friendly conversation," indeed.

    And eee Zack glancing at Andrew! :3 ...I am being way crazy and fangirly, aren't I?

    “The rain isn’t that loud, you know,” said Andrew lazily, not even looking at them. “We can hear everything you’re saying.”
    Why do I love Andrew so much for everything he says? D:

    Either way, Andrew had rather dampened the mood for any further conversation with Theo, and the afternoon passed in relative silence save for the patter of raindrops on leaves.
    I don't quite remember if this is new, but I really like this sentence; I'm not quite sure how, but something about the use of "dampened the mood" plus bringing up the patter of raindrops on leaves just really helps bring out the mood with the rain and all. Actually, originally I'd completely forgotten it was raining in this scene; did you add some of these additional rain references in in the rewrite or am I just imagining things?

    Carrie, fidgety in her bonds with boredom and impatience, started glancing at Velotus every five minutes as though checking a watch.
    This is still awesome.

    What with having been tied to a tree in the rain and all, by the way, I'm now finding it a bit odd that Carrie is not described as feeling cold and wet at all. o.o

    It took Carrie a moment to click that he’d been caught by the Kecleon’s tongue
    It took her a moment to click? o.o Shouldn't it be "It took Carrie a moment to realize that..." or "It took a moment for it to click that..."?

    By the way, I didn't really notice this when I read the first version, but when does Velotus snap out of his confusion exactly? One moment he's too out of the world to realize what's in the syringe, and the next there is a flash of sheer panic in his eyes and he's perfectly clear-headed in his POV. It feels a bit odd.

    But why was it holding him back? Velotus was far faster than the human with the syringe – it was seriously unlikely that he’d be…

    No. Unlikely didn’t mean impossible, and given the moment it would take for him to relight his blades and slice his new bonds, the human might well be alerted and have time to use the syringe. There was simply no reason for Velotus to take such a risk, as he could not afford to let the consequences happen to him. It was perfectly rational.
    Muuuch better than the beta version. :3

    He had to be mistaken. It had grown colder since. That was the only thing that made any sense.
    <3

    They all thought he was scared, but how could they prove it, when it was too dark for them to see him? They were wrong, all of them.

    He let out an abrupt, shaky giggle, then broke off as he realised it wasn’t funny.
    <333

    He felt the syringe tickling his skin and shuddered, craning his neck as far out as he could, desperate to pull away completely. Escape was hopeless without his blades, and if he lit them, it would be over. He was trapped, not only by his bonds, but by the sheer darkness that surrounded him, isolating him. With no-one to see how terrified he was, no-one could do anything to save him.
    <3333333

    Velotus felt his mind descend into frantic despair as he realised that, for all he knew, this was never going to end.
    ...I still don't quite like this final sentence, but I really don't know anymore precisely what bothers me about it. x.x

    Torn from a dream about her coming to terms with Velotus being a Sceptile, Carrie jerked forward in her bonds, wide awake.
    This is new, isn't it? I like it, in any case. :3

    He was shivering, his mouth half-open in a silent cry for help, his eyes desperately reaching out to something only he could see. He looked so utterly broken that if Carrie hadn’t known which Grovyle had been bound there since yesterday, she’d have found it difficult to believe this was even Velotus at all.
    Awww. :3

    Pressing himself into the tree behind him, he gripped the bark desperately with his claws like it could offer him some sort of comfort.
    Eeee. <3 *fangirl*

    Grace White scene still nice, interesting plot developments, etc. Mostly, Velotuuuus. <3 Much better than the old version.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
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  8. #308
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    Kaw! >:V

    It seems like Dagonfree has already beaten me to the punch on this one. I'm guessing she said what needed to be said behind the scenes with you, so I'm guessing that's why she reserved this particular post for fangirling. Too bad I'm going to blow her review out of the water with my less than humorous, crudely put together, hardly articulate post. >:)

        Spoiler:- SLOWCROW used REVIEW!:


    -_________________- Kaw.
    Last edited by SlowCrow; 11th July 2009 at 3:37 PM.

  9. #309
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    I think it's about time for one of those "I'm not dead and I'm nearly done with the next chapter" posts, don't you? So...

    I'm not dead, and I'm nearly done with the next chapter! "Nearly done" meaning I've finished writing Chapter 28 at last, so all I need to do is proofread it some and then I can go and finish editing up Chapter 27 (which still has several things I want to fix about it) before I post it. I'd make some kind of estimate, but I don't trust myself with those; not too long ago I was only a few paragraphs away from finishing the chapter and thought I'd have it up in a few days, then I went and got distracted by shiny things for like a week. So. No estimates for you, but it'll be soon. Honest. Proving I'm alive as I'm doing now will probably provide some incentive for me, too.

    Now I shall reply to two-and-a-half month old reviews of a chapter rewrite (except for Darkfall's because we discussed it over MSN) because I'm just that awesome.

    Dragonfree - Yay for Velotus-fangirling! And for Andrew- and Zack-fangirling too, even though I don't fangirl over Zack myself - I just find him an amusing foil for Andrew because he takes his job too seriously whereas Andrew doesn't take it seriously enough. I was pleased with the rewritten method of dropping in their names mainly because it allowed me to play them off each other like that. xP

    ...Shame Andrew's on his own next chapter. D:

    About the rain, it always was raining in the first scene, and I don't think I actually added any more references to it in the rewrite. You are completely right, though, when you say that Carrie really should have been described as being cold/wet; that just utterly failed to occur to me and is yet another example of my realism-fail. Will try harder to remember stuff like that next time it becomes appropriate. >.<

    Incidentally, the line about Carrie waking up from a dream where Velotus was a Sceptile was also originally there.

    The moment Velotus snapped out of confusion is meant to be the moment Andrew mentioned that the syringe would evolve him. Before that, his mind is working too fuzzily to properly figure out for himself what's inside the syringe just by seeing it, but when Andrew states that it'll make him evolve, that sends the panic through his mind and that completely wipes out his confusion. Granted, that might not have been all that clear from the narration, but as it wasn't in Velotus' POV at that point I figure I probably couldn't have made it clearer anyway.

    But again, yay for the fangirling of Velotus. :3

    SlowCrow - You're probably going to have to backtrack and read your own post again for this to make any sense to you unless you have an insane memory, but still.

        Spoiler:- ELYVORG used REPLY!:



    Thanks for bothering to comment on the rewrite, both of you. :3
    .: Evolution is a battle .:. Something has to lose :.
    LOST EVOLUTION
    Chapter 33: Inside has been posted.


    Foregone Conclusion
    Spinoff/prequel/backstory/thingy to Lost Evolution, written for NaNoWriMo 2010

    Three Heads Are Better Than One

  10. #310
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    And now, after a long hiatus, an old reader returns!
    At first, I hesitated to review because I’m afraid everyone else already says what I wanted to point out (Especially after Dragonfree’s first review. It made me notice some things I hadn’t before and changed my mind on others), but after catching up I realized I have a few things to say:

    1. I loved the scenes with the shiny Skarmory, especially his revenge on Vanessa. Also, poor Tyranitar. I obviously want to see more of her.

    2. The scene with Archopy and the plushie was brilliant- you captured exactly what any creature from the distant past would probably think of a doll. The fact that Aiden’s Sceptile is still following her is worrisome, though.

    3. Am I the only one who’s annoyed by Andrew? He’s genre savvy to the point of almost being too good, and he’s smug about it to boot. I almost want the stupid thugs back so Carrie and Theo can finally win by themselves. Which brings me to my next point…

    4. Your characters are starting to lose too often. Sure, it’s more interesting than them winning all the time, but it gets annoying too. It probably wouldn’t hurt to let them win by their own intuition, like very early in the fic, instead of some deus ex machina (Like the Skarmory and Carrie’s dad.)

    5. Yay for 4th gen Pokemon! Was your species choice inspired by SlowCrow?

    Aaand that's all.
    Author's Profile

    Want your fic reviewed? Send me a PM asking! I'll see if I can make time.

    (Keep in mind I'm not usually partial to really dark fics, so I may take longer to get to those.)

  11. #311
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    Default Chapter 27: Trickster

    InsaneTyranitar - Thanks for showing up to reassure me that you're still reading. :3 Glad you liked the parts you did.

    It may be the case that Carrie and Theo lose a lot of the time, but that isn't particularly intentional on my part. I don't make them lose for the sake of losing; I just write the plot how I want it to go, and that often tends to require Carrie and Theo to lose for it to actually work and move forward. So... I dunno. :/ You did make me think about how I could go about having them win on their own initiative, though, which led to me doing some more thinking about the as of yet still not fully planned climax, so thanks for that. :3

    As for Andrew, it's fine if you don't like him. He is an antagonist, after all, and rather full of himself, so you're totally entitled to hate him if you want. =P I don't know about the other thugs being stupid, though - Carrie and Theo didn't exactly have an easy time with them, after all.

    The Honchkrow inclusion was actually not inspired by SlowCrow at all. It simply happened to be a Flying-type large enough to be feasibly ridden, and it could learn Pursuit, which was fitting for the scene.

    But yeah, thanks for reviewing, and I take your points on board. Hope you can still enjoy the new chapter, despite a certain someone who features in it quite a lot.


    Did I say "new chapter"? Why yes, I do believe I did. :3

    Chapter 27: Trickster

    “Not that I mind or anything,” Carrie said to Theo, “but why does Aerodactyl always feel the need to make so much noise?”

    They were trudging across the last stretch of Route 119-and-a-half, having been left to their own devices almost as soon as they’d been released. Aerodactyl was providing his usual cacophony overhead, complete with the occasional violent rustling sounds. Every now and then, a flurry of leaves would come fluttering down from above. Carrie felt sorry for the branches unlucky enough to be growing in the pterosaur’s way.

    Theo seemed far more lively than he had the previous day, despite still being soaked through and stuck in a forest that he probably felt completely lost in. “I don’t know about most of the time,” he replied, “but right now he just sounds plain happy. Making a racket is probably his way of getting it out of his system.”

    “You can tell from that noise that he’s happy?” asked Carrie.

    Theo looked across at her. “That should be no wonder to someone who can understand practically everything her Grovyle say.”

    She smirked. “Good point.”

    “And even if I couldn’t,” he went on, “why wouldn’t Aerodactyl be happy? He’s just heard that the world’s going to be filled with his own species. He’s not going to be alone any more.”

    It occurred to Carrie that this could have been the reason Aerodactyl liked to soar around, shrieking calls that could be heard far and wide. Was he just lonely?

    If Aerodactyl was lonely, she hated to think how Archopy felt.

    They walked in silence for a few minutes before Theo suddenly spoke up out of nowhere. “Do you trust her?”

    “Who?” said Carrie, caught off-guard.

    “The Director.”

    “Her? Of course not.” She paused. “But you’ve got to admit, it makes a lot of sense that she’d want to bring back all the fossil Pokémon. Doesn’t it?” Carrie looked at Theo. “I mean, you’re a… you’re someone who likes fossils. Isn’t this something all fossil-loving people want to do?”

    “That’s the thing,” said Theo, frowning. “I’m not sure it is. The best part about hunting for fossils is the discovery – the uncovering an ancient, unknown world. If she brings them back, that world won’t be unknown any more. It’ll… it’ll defeat the point.”

    She raised an eyebrow.

    “Don’t get me wrong,” he added hurriedly, “I do love what she’s doing. It’s not just the discovery – after all this time searching for fossils, I’ve grown to like the species themselves. It’s amazing to think that they could actually become wild in Hoenn.”

    Carrie nodded in silent agreement; the thought of wild Archopy – as well as the rest, she supposed – really was an amazing one.

    “It’s just…” Theo sighed. “I wish she didn’t have to treat her test subjects like she does in order to do this. It’s probably because I’ve got so attached to the species, but I feel kind of bad for the Pokémon stuck in MemorCorp with all those false memories inside their heads. I hope it’s worth it, her plan.”

    Theo had a point. Was a world full of their species worth it for the fossil Pokémon who’d never see the light of day? More importantly to Carrie’s mind, was a world full of Archopy worth it for the sake of the one individual Archopy they had been chasing for so long? Carrie could only begin to imagine it, a world where Sceptile wasn’t the only option, where beginning trainers could choose a Treecko and be flying around Hoenn on an Archopy by the time they had their sixth badge. She wanted to believe that the well-being of that one Archopy was a worthy sacrifice. It had to be.

    But what if Archopy herself thought otherwise?

    That question was one Carrie couldn’t answer, so she put the thought out of mind as they continued on in silence.

    After several more minutes of walking, the tree trunks began to thin out. The undergrowth shrank down to far less impeding shrubs and bushes clumped mostly around the bases of trees. Aerodactyl’s constant racket grew louder as he flew closer to the ground, just above the new expanse of canopies that were cast out wider and lower. The lack of quite so many branches blocking the sky led to more light hitting the forest floor, which was now little more than a carpet of fallen leaves. As they travelled further into this new forest, the previously torrential rain lessened to a light drizzle.

    Theo pulled out a Poké Ball and aimed it carefully upwards towards Aerodactyl, recalling him. “We’ve left Route 119-and-a-half now, haven’t we?” he asked, filling the sudden silence that the ancient Pokémon’s absence had caused. “Your dad told me there’s a different kind of forest on Steel Hill.”

    Carrie nodded. “Yeah. It should start sloping upwards pretty soon. I’m guessing Archopy’s somewhere near the top.” She came to a halt and looked at him. “How come you recalled Aerodactyl? He still sounded… happy, from what I could tell.”

    “He makes too much noise,” Theo replied. “This place is probably crawling with Bad Light’s thugs, and I don’t want him drawing attention to us.”

    “Why not?” said Carrie. “The other ones back there let us go. We’ve got the Director’s permission to look for Archopy. They’re not exactly going to try and stop us now they’ve given us free rein, are they?”

    He frowned. “Maybe not, but still… I don’t really want everyone knowing where we are.”

    She shrugged indifferently, and they carried on. The ground was indeed beginning to slope upwards; Carrie felt a twinge of excitement as it sunk in that they were almost there once again – and this time, Archopy really was somewhere to be found. At least, if the Director was to be believed.

    Shaking such thoughts out of her head, Carrie focused on moving on upwards, trying to savour the fact that they were actually free to roam about without the threat of anyone chasing them or blocking their path. Far up ahead – it was much easier to see distant things in this more open forest – there looked like what might have been another Bad Light member, leaning against a tree. But it didn’t matter, did it? They could just walk straight past him, and he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.

    Theo noticed the man as well and shot Carrie an apprehensive glance.

    “It’ll be fine,” she insisted, not altering her path. Theo seemed uneasy, but he didn’t make any effort to convince her to take a detour.

    It only took a minute or two for them to approach him, and soon enough the man in question noticed them and turned towards them, letting Carrie see from the words on his shirt that he was indeed a Bad Light member. He looked puzzled as he took in their faces. “What are you two doing here?” he asked, his voice full of suspicion.

    Carrie came to a halt and frowned at him. “We’re looking for Archopy.”

    “Well, obviously,” the man replied, still looking at them strangely. “But wasn’t Savage’s team meant to be taking care of you? Don’t tell me you escaped and now we’ve got to clean up his mess.”

    She stared. “Um, no. He let us go. We’ve got permission from the Director to talk to Archopy if we find it before you lot do.”

    The man snorted. “Like heck you have. I’m supposed to believe some random story you made up so I’d let you past?” His hand moved to his belt. “Not a chance.”

    Crap.

    Carrie shared a panicked glance with Theo; she saw a hint of I told you so in his face.

    “Magneton!” the man called as he threw a Poké Ball into the air. “Paralyse them!”

    As Theo stepped backwards involuntarily out of the corner of her eye, Carrie pulled out a Poké Ball and threw it at the Pokémon emerging in front of them, calling, “Velotus, Leaf Blade it, quick!”

    Electric sparks were already beginning to crackle around the magnets of the metallic Pokémon, but before it could fire them, a white blur shot towards it, slicing at its bodies with a shining scythe. Velotus bounced back from his assault, landing on the ground as the Poké Ball glow faded from him, but a second later he cringed in discomfort as the Magneton unleashed its Thunder Wave on him instead.

    Carrie gritted her teeth as she saw the Electric-type forming its sparks for a second time. Could Velotus still defend them while paralysed? The Grovyle glared up at his foe from under a mask of determination, his blades flickering at the edges.

    “Now hold on just a minute, Archie,” came a voice from nowhere; Carrie was sure she’d heard it before, recently, in fact…

    The Magneton broke off its attack, and along with its trainer, turned to look at the new arrival. Carrie’s suspicions were confirmed as Andrew, the more annoying of the pair who had held them captive the previous day, wandered towards them with his hands in his pockets as though he’d just happened to be passing by. His arrival was heralded by a harsh hiss from Velotus, who was staring at the man with quiet but intense hatred in his eyes.

    “Andy,” muttered the Magneton’s trainer, looking confused. “I thought you were one of the ones Savage sent to capture these two?”

    “Yeah, I was,” said Andrew. “Didn’t they tell you? We let them go.”

    Archie frowned. “It’s true?”

    “Yup. I’m here to tell you lot that, since the Director can’t be bothered to do it herself – she’s busy with something, apparently. So yeah, these two have her permission to capture Archopy if they can find it first, provided they give it to one of you guys straight away. It’s your job to go and tell everyone to leave them to it.”

    “Why me?” asked Archie, now looking simply annoyed.

    Andrew shrugged. “I don’t have a walkie-talkie linked to everyone on the hill like you do. And besides, I’ve got better things to do with my time.”

    “Like?”

    “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Andrew said with a sly grin, and with that, he turned and wandered off in the direction he’d come from.

    There was a pause as everyone watched him leave, not sure what to say. Eventually, Archie recalled his Magneton and gave Carrie and Theo a frustrated glance. “Looks like you two are off the hook, then,” he muttered. “Go on, get out of here.”

    Without waiting for them to leave, he retreated to a tree a few metres behind them, presumably to relay Andrew’s message to the rest of his team.

    Carrie shared another bemused look with Theo before shrugging and continuing onwards, Velotus following behind them. Remembering he’d been paralysed, she fished in her bag for a Full Heal and sprayed it on him. He shook himself down, seeming grateful for the increased mobility, but remained behind his trainer as they carried on up the hill. Carrie had vaguely expected him to take to the trees and lead them like he usually would, but the reason for him not doing so wasn’t exactly difficult to work out. Not after what had happened in the early hours of the morning.

    The longer they walked along in silence, the more Carrie was plagued with uncomfortable thoughts of what might have been going on in Velotus’ mind. Eventually, she gave in and turned around, walking backwards so that she could keep moving while facing him. He didn’t even acknowledge her presence, keeping his gaze fixed firmly on the ground in front of him.

    “Velotus,” she said, “you don’t need to be ashamed about –”

    Aren’t you going to tell the others?” he spat, his head whipping up and his eyes piercing her with an accusing stare.

    “What?” Carrie spluttered, stumbling in her backwards walk; she’d seen that look on Velotus before, but never used on her.

    Foliano and Ivyx,” Velotus said, still with that same glare. “Don’t you think they’ll want to know about the plans for Archopy?

    He was changing the subject. Of course he was. Had Carrie really expected anything else?

    “Well, er…” she muttered, pushing her mind onto the topic Velotus has brought up. “I was going to at some point, but, well, they fainted while we were being chased, so…”

    Then revive them,” he snapped back. He still hadn’t lowered that accusing stare, and Carrie’s heart went out to him as she wondered what he must have been hiding behind it.

    “Fine,” she sighed, turning around to walk forwards again and pulling out two Poké Balls to release Foliano and Ivyx’s unconscious forms on the ground in front of her. Giving Theo an apologetic glance, she stopped to dig a pair of Revives and a pair of Hyper Potions out of her bag, having stocked up on the former in Fortree the previous day. Theo said nothing, standing there patiently as she sprayed the potions onto the two Grovyle so that they could go on.

    Ivyx shook herself down and muttered a quick thanks before following her mate into the nearest tree. They jumped from branch to branch to keep level with their trainer as she continued walking.

    What happened?” Ivyx said, shooting her a puzzled glance. “Did you manage to get away?

    “No, we didn’t,” Carrie replied. “Velotus didn’t faint, but he was weakened too much to fight back, and they captured us. But that was yesterday. They’ve let us go now.”

    This made Ivyx look even more confused. “But, how com –

    “The Director of MemorCorp wants to reintroduce Archopy as a species back into the wild,” Carrie said simply. The Grovyle fell into stunned silence as she explained everything as briefly as she could about MemorCorp’s plans and their agreement with the Director.

    What?” Foliano managed to splutter after a pause, staring incredulously at Carrie from a branch on her eye level, Ivyx in the same tree some way behind him. “That place, those people – they’re really trying to do something like that?

    Carrie nodded. “They’re bringing back the rest of the fossil Pokémon they’ve been studying, too.” She shot a glance at Theo, who had once again come to a patient halt, before turning back to her Grovyle. “But I didn’t think you'd be too bothered about that.”

    Kabutops will be happy about that,” Foliano murmured, seemingly more to himself than anyone else. “But Archopy… that’s really… wow.” He looked to Ivyx, who was similarly lost for words, before turning to see what Velotus made of it and appearing somewhat surprised that there was no sign of amazement on the other Grovyle’s face.

    Velotus, still on the ground behind his trainer, glared up at Foliano as though he took the mild surprise as an insult. “I already knew, obviously,” he said. “I was…” He looked away with the faintest of shudders. “I was there when they were told about it.

    “But anyway,” Carrie said quickly, quite sure that Velotus didn’t want that thread of conversation to go any further, “they’re letting us find Archopy.” She looked back at Foliano and Ivyx. “I suppose you two will be able to help explain to her about… wait. What’s he doing here?”

    These last words were directed at a figure she’d caught sight of through the branches of the tree Foliano and Ivyx were in. From the orange t-shirt and the way he was aimlessly wandering directly towards them, Carrie could make a pretty good guess who it was.

    Andrew came to lean against the tree, ducking his head so that the branch above him, weighed down by Ivyx, didn’t block his view. He grinned at Carrie; she replied with a cold stare.

    “Like I was saying,” she hissed. “What are you doing here?”

    Andrew shot her a mock-offended look. “Is that any way to greet a potential ally?”

    Carrie raised an eyebrow; she could hear Theo mutter “What?” from somewhere behind her.

    Who is this human?” Ivyx asked, staring down at the man from her branch above his head.

    “Oh, only one of the people who held us captive yesterday,” Carrie spat. “How on earth could you be a potential ally?”

    Andrew shrugged. “I want the same as you. I think it’s a pretty nice idea to tell Archopy what’s going on before you capture her, and ‘cause I’m in Bad Light, I thought I might be able to help you guys find her first – I can find out all the places they haven’t looked yet just by asking one of them.” He gazed up at the sky indifferently. “But if you think you’ll do fine without me, go ahead.”

    “I don’t believe you,” said Theo, firmly and immediately.

    “’Course you don’t,” Andrew replied, still apparently finding the clouds fascinating. “I didn’t expect either of you to. But the offer’s still there, and I was at least hoping you’d see me as a bit of a better person than my colleagues.” He looked directly at Carrie, grinning. “What about you, Grovyle-girl?”

    Could he possibly be telling the truth, Carrie wondered? Whether or not he was, him mentioning Grovyle had brought to the front of her mind exactly why she disliked him so much. She glanced down at Velotus, seeing him frozen in place, glaring with powerless fury at Andrew from where he stood.

    “I don’t care if I believe you or not,” Carrie hissed, turning to look at the man with a poisonous stare. “You are not coming with us if you still have that syringe.”

    Andrew looked momentarily confused before his eyes lit up. “Oh – the syringe that makes Pokémon evolve?” He grinned again, reaching into his pocket. “You mean this one?”

    There was a sharp intake of breath from Velotus as a painfully familiar needle glinted in Andrew’s hand. The man’s grin reached manic levels as he looked up, saw Ivyx just above him – and stabbed the syringe into her.

    The female Grovyle screeched in panic. Carrie watched in horror as the plunger descended; part of her numbly thought about reaching for her Poké Ball and recalling her, but would she be quick enough? What about Theo’s Everstone? How on earth was Velotus going to react?

    She caught sight of the gleeful amusement in Andrew’s eyes as he pulled out the syringe and silently wished a horribly painful death upon him for taking such delight in doing this to her.

    Ivyx clung tightly to her branch, shuddering uncontrollably, as Foliano appeared next to her with plain, helpless fear all over his face. Every part of Carrie’s mind was screaming at her not to watch her Grovyle’s evolution, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away out of some morbid fascination with seeing Ivyx burst into blinding white light.

    Except she didn’t.

    A long moment passed. Ivyx continued to tremble, but she seemed to be slowly calming as Foliano put an arm around her, looking at her with a worried, questioning gaze.

    I’m okay,” she muttered between rapid breaths. “It doesn’t feel like I’m about to evolve at all. It’s just shock.

    Carrie stared at her, hardly able to believe it. “It didn’t work?” she said incredulously. A laugh of relief escaped her, and she looked towards Andrew. “It didn’t work!”

    To her dismay, the amused glee still hadn’t left his eyes. “Of course it didn’t!” he said in a voice that sounded as though he was desperately trying not to burst out laughing. He held up the now-empty syringe. “Water! That’s all it was. But I didn’t expect you to be willing to risk it this morning, and ever-so-predictably, you weren’t.”

    Carrie’s mouth fell open.

    Water?” came a low, disbelieving growl from behind her. She turned to see Velotus staring furiously at nothing at all, his anger directed at himself. “It was water?” He shuddered, confusion and insecurity flashing behind his eyes.

    Before they could take hold, Velotus flared up with rage and flew at Andrew, a blur of green slamming into his torso and sending him crashing to the floor. A Leaf Blade sliced through the air, stopping millimetres above the human’s throat.

    Tell me!” Velotus roared, his gaze burning into Andrew. “Tell me mine wasn’t water!” He trembled as he struggled to keep his blade in place, his voice growing desperate. “Tell me it was the real thing!

    Floored and staring at imminent death, Andrew still managed to crack into a grin. “Just like before,” he said with a derisive laugh. “You’re still scared.”

    A look of sheer panic flitted across Velotus’ eyes. “I am not!” he shrieked in a tone so frantic and unlike him that it betrayed how frightened he really was. “I am not scared!” He roared in desperate fury, raising his blade as if to deliver a killing strike, but before he could, his arm was grabbed by a green tendril and jerked sideways, dragging him off the human altogether.

    Screeching in indignation, he thrust his other blade forward in a raging attempt to slash at Andrew, who was scrambling up off the forest floor. A second vine rose out of the ground and wound firmly around Velotus’ body, holding him in place no matter how frenzied his struggles to reach the man.

    Stop it!” he hissed furiously as Foliano dropped down from the branch above him. “Let me get to him!” Velotus’ clawed feet scrabbled wildly, sending shreds of fallen leaves whirling into the air as he strained desperately against his bonds, his gaze infused with hate towards the human who now stood ever so slightly out of his reach, grinning widely. “He lied about the syringe! He deserves to –

    Velotus,” Foliano said calmly. The enraged Grovyle snapped around to look at him, his eyes still blazing. He was breathing heavily, shaking with the strain of holding back the emotions that threatened to break through his wall of forced fury.

    Then it shattered. Carrie caught only a glimpse of the despair underneath before Velotus scrambled frantically out of sight, ripping the Grass Knot from the ground in his desperation to escape and fleeing into the boughs of the tree where her gaze couldn’t reach him.

    She turned and glared daggers at Andrew, who was still standing there, hands in his pockets, looking incredibly pleased with himself.

    “I think you should go,” she hissed, hoping her stare alone would be enough to make him vanish on the spot.

    Andrew shrugged. “Sure,” he said, and he grinned one last time before turning around and wandering off.

    Fuming at his casual indifference, Carrie looked back down at Foliano and saw him staring up into the tree where Velotus had gone to hide. Without a word to his trainer, he leapt onto the trunk and climbed after him.

    She glanced at Theo with an apologetic cringe. “Would it be okay if we stopped here for a bit?” she asked. “It’s about midday, anyway – we might as well eat something.”

    Theo sighed in exasperation, but he seemed to understand that Velotus needed some time to cool off. “All right then,” he said. “It’s about time I told my Pokémon what’s happening, anyway.” He sat himself down where he was and started digging in his pockets for his Poké Balls.

    Carrie leaned her back against the tree trunk and slid down it until she was sitting on the ground. On a normal day, she would have joined her Grovyle in the boughs, but this wasn’t exactly a normal day. It wasn’t as if she could just talk to Velotus and magically make everything all right for him, especially given how volatile he was right now. It would have been a hopeless task at the best of times. Carrie silently wished Foliano luck; he needed it.

    Several bursts of light in quick succession snapped her out of her thoughts as the forest became filled with noise. The hearty screech of the pterodactyl who was already soaring in wide circles above his trainer came coupled with the gleeful “Craaaay!” of Cradily as she wrapped her flailing tentacles around Theo’s arm in what Carrie only hoped was a gesture of affection rather than anything else. Theo laughed and made no attempt to free himself as he looked around and smiled at his Pokémon. A pair of small blue tentacles crept cautiously from the opening of the spiral shell that sat at Kabutops’ feet. Beside him, Armaldo stared off blankly into the distance, the only one not taking any notice of his trainer’s presence.

    Carrie raised an eyebrow. “Is there really any point telling Armaldo?”

    Theo gave her a stony look. “He deserves to know just as much as the others.”

    “Ka?” asked Kabutops curiously, tilting his head to the side.

    His trainer grinned back at him and gestured with his free hand for the Pokémon to make themselves comfortable. As Cradily ceased her frenzied tugging on his other arm, Omanyte emerged fully from her shell and squirmed closer on her many tiny legs. Kabutops came to sit beside the sea lily, who had fallen still, clinging to Theo, her free tentacles undulating happily. With a final smug roar of someone who already knew the gossip, Aerodactyl flapped his wings and landed next to his trainer, sending a gust of air blowing past the one Pokémon not joining in. Armaldo’s feathery flaps fluttered in the momentary wind.

    Carrie sighed and leaned back against the tree as she listened to Theo begin his explanation about MemorCorp and what they planned to do. She considered rooting in her bag for something to eat but gave up on that thought when she realised that she wasn’t hungry. They’d eaten enough to make up for the time they’d been tied up as soon as they’d been released, and her appetite didn’t seem to have reappeared yet. It probably had to do with Velotus – she couldn’t help feeling intensely sorry for him despite not understanding why he was letting it bother him so much. It wasn’t such a big deal to have been scared, surely? Admittedly, she couldn’t remember him ever having been frightened before, but she’d expected him to brush it off like he brushed off everything else. This seemed to have hurt him much more deeply.

    Foliano dropped down beside her, drawing her gaze away from where Cradily’s tentacles had begun to flail more wildly; Carrie assumed Theo had reached the part about their species being reintroduced, although she hadn’t really been listening. She looked into her Grovyle’s eyes, seeing them filled with the same concern she was feeling.

    “How is he?” she asked quietly.

    Foliano’s gaze fell. “He won’t tell us what happened to him,” he said. “However many ways we asked, he insisted he couldn’t say it. I can pretty much work out what happened, but when I tried to mention it, he cut me off straight away.” He looked back at his trainer. “He’s desperate not to think about it. I think we should just leave him be.

    Carrie frowned. “We just pretend it didn’t happen and let him get over it by forgetting about it?”

    It sounded bizarre in theory, but now that she said it, it did seem like the kind of thing Velotus would do.

    Foliano tilted his head as though thinking and then sighed. “He’ll deal with it in his own way, I suppose.

    Giving a neutral grunt, Carrie leaned back again so that she was staring up at the sky through the canopy of the tree. She tried to spot where her other two Grovyle were, but she couldn’t quite make them out. All she could tell was that one of the branches seemed to be shaking. There was no breeze.

    * * *

    The drizzle had finally stopped, leaving the light rustling of the Grovyle jumping from tree to tree the only sounds accompanying Carrie and Theo as they made their way up the hill. There hadn’t been any further encounters with Bad Light members so far; Carrie hoped that the last guy they’d met had told all of his colleagues to keep out of their way. It certainly seemed to be the case – the forest was spacious enough that she could see far into the distance on all sides, and there weren’t any loitering men in sight.

    There did seem to be something, though, Carrie thought as she looked behind her. A flash of orange – not a human, no, it was larger, and from the way it moved, it had four legs rather than two. She caught sight of a creamy mane as it darted between a pair of trees and recognised the Pokémon as an Arcanine.

    Carrie let out an annoyed groan. Andrew had an Arcanine, and she doubted this one was anyone else’s.

    Theo heard the groan and gave her a puzzled glance; she simply jabbed a thumb over her shoulder to where the dog Pokémon was making its way towards them, rushing to and fro between tree trunks in what seemed to be an effort to stay unnoticed. It gave up on that strategy as soon as it saw that its cover had been blown, instead turning and dashing straight towards them at frightening speed.

    Startled, Carrie reached into her pocket and had Empathy’s Poké Ball ready in her hand when the Arcanine simply came to a halt a few metres away from them, apparently not about to attack. She frowned, fingers still tensed around the ball, and watched as the great canine lowered its head and began to sniff the air, seemingly with intense concentration. It padded slowly towards them, not coming too close as to appear threatening, but close enough that it was clearly her and Theo that it was smelling.

    After a long inspection from the Arcanine’s nose, Carrie watched, bemused, as it simply turned around and dashed back in the direction it had come from.

    “That was odd,” Theo said after a moment’s pause.

    “Andrew’s up to something,” Carrie muttered between gritted teeth as she re-pocketed Empathy’s ball. “Why else would he randomly send his Arcanine just to sniff us?”

    Theo shrugged. “Well, there’s not much we can do about it unless we know what exactly he’s doing. We might as well just carry on.”

    “I suppose.”

    It was a tense few minutes of walking, for Carrie at least, as she half expected either Andrew or his Arcanine to jump out at them from behind the nearest tree. It didn’t last long, though – soon enough, and predictably enough, she noticed a lean, orange-t-shirted figure loitering ahead of them. The Arcanine appeared, padding towards him as they approached, having apparently looped around to catch up with its trainer before they did. Andrew stooped to whisper something to his Pokémon, who responded with a short, sharp bark.

    He straightened up and grinned at them as they came within speaking distance.

    “I thought you two had made a promise to the Director,” was the first thing he said. “Something about not stopping us from getting Archopy and not trying to capture her for yourselves?”

    Carrie stared. “Yeah, and we weren’t planning on breaking it.”

    “Arcanine seems to think otherwise,” Andrew said. “He’s smelled something on one of you that indicates you are planning on breaking it. But since he can’t exactly tell me what it is, and I don’t really fancy having a game of Twenty Questions with him to work it out, I’ll just ask you instead.” He grinned slyly. “What are you hiding?”

    “What the…” muttered Theo, who was wearing a bemused frown. “How on earth is he meant to have smelled something like that?”

    Andrew seemed completely unfazed by the challenge. “Odour Sleuth makes his sense of smell even more powerful than it normally is,” he said. “He can distinguish almost anything with it. So what are you hiding, hm?” He leaned forward. “Something to capture Archopy for yourselves? Some special kind of ball, perhaps?”

    It hit Carrie all too suddenly what he was getting at, and she recoiled in surprise. “Wait… there’s no way it can smell a Master Ball with –”

    A sharp glare from Theo cut her off. As Andrew burst into great cackles of laughter, she realised just how blindly she’d walked into his trap.

    It took a moment for the Bad Light member to compose himself enough to be capable of speech. “I never thought that would actually work,” he managed to gasp between laughs, giving Carrie an all-too-amused glance. “Of course Arcanine can’t smell Master Balls with Odour Sleuth! It was either that or pretending Ninjask could see through fabric with Foresight.”

    Carrie really, really felt like slapping herself.

    “But the point is,” Andrew went on, having just about calmed down by now, “you apparently have a Master Ball. Are you still going to say you’re not planning on breaking that promise to the Director?”

    “No, we’re not, actually,” she snapped, this having done nothing to lower her amount of annoyance towards the man. “Even if we did have a Master Ball, which, okay, yes, we do, how exactly does that mean we’re planning to break our agreement?”

    “Isn’t it obvious?” Andrew said, his grin back in place again. “If you really were going to talk to Archopy and have her agree to come, why would you need a Master Ball to catch her with?”

    Carrie gritted her teeth. She didn’t want to admit that she’d essentially stolen the ball unless she absolutely had to. “But what if Arch –”

    “If she doesn’t agree to come?” finished Andrew. “Then you could just battle her. You wouldn’t need anything more than an Ultra Ball. You have enough Pokémon to weaken her with, right? Even if you don’t, you could ask some of us to help.” He smirked. “It seems to me that the logical conclusion of you having a Master Ball is that you want to rush in and grab her as quickly as possible before any of my colleagues can find you. In other words, you want Archopy for yourself.”

    There was a menacing glint in his eyes as he looked back at them, waiting for their response.

    “Wait a moment,” Theo said suddenly. “We’ve obviously had the Master Ball since long before the agreement with the Director. What if we don’t intend on using it any more?”

    Andrew laughed. “If you don’t want it any more, then you’ll quite happily give it to me, right?” He held out a hand.

    “No way,” Carrie snapped. “Knowing you, you probably just want to jump in and catch Archopy before she can even make up her mind, just to be annoying. You’re not having that ball.”

    The menace was back in his grin as Andrew ran a hand through his Arcanine’s creamy mane. “Well, if you don’t want to give it to me, then I can only assume that you really are planning on capturing Archopy for yourself. That’s what I’m here for, you know – the Director sent me to make sure you’re sticking to the agreement. And apparently, you’re not.” He gazed lazily up into the sky. “I also seem to remember her saying something about you being taken care of if you showed signs of breaking the terms, don’t you? So… Arcanine?”

    The fiery canine growled and stepped forward, staring at the two of them with far more hostility than before.

    “Wait,” said Carrie, giving in. “What if we told you that this Master Ball isn’t even ours?”

    He stopped staring at the sky and looked at her, interested. “Go on,” he said.

    “It belonged to someone else who wanted to capture Archopy. We stole it so that they couldn’t, not because we wanted to catch her too.”

    Andrew was grinning again. “That could have been made up on the spot. Trust me, I’ve got a lot of experience in that field. I’m going to need a name if you want me to believe you. Otherwise…” He glanced at Arcanine, who was still growling softly.

    Carrie let out a huff of frustration; she really didn’t like telling him this much. “Her name was Vanessa… something. I think her surname began with an S.” She glared at him. “Happy now?”

    “Vanessa S,” Andrew muttered to himself, patting Arcanine twice. The dog Pokémon crouched down, letting his trainer climb onto his back and grab hold of his creamy fur. “Yeah, that’ll do.” He gave Carrie and Theo one final grin. “If you’re lying, though, expect to see me again.”

    With that, he leaned forward on his Pokémon’s back, and Arcanine took off, racing away through the trees.

    “Good riddance,” Carrie muttered, still staring at the spot where he’d been a moment ago.

    Theo was frowning. “Isn’t it a bit strange how he dropped it as soon as he’d got the name?”

    She shrugged. “I suppose he’s gone to check we’re telling the truth somehow. Find out if Vanessa really exists, or something. Come to think of it, where is Vanessa? We haven’t seen her since the desert, have we?”

    Theo looked about to answer, but he was cut off as a Grovyle shot past him, landing on the ground in front of Carrie.

    Foliano looked up at his trainer with worry in his eyes. “We thought I’d better tell you – Velotus is gone.

    ~~~

    << Previous chapter
    Last edited by elyvorg; 23rd December 2009 at 11:06 PM.
    .: Evolution is a battle .:. Something has to lose :.
    LOST EVOLUTION
    Chapter 33: Inside has been posted.


    Foregone Conclusion
    Spinoff/prequel/backstory/thingy to Lost Evolution, written for NaNoWriMo 2010

    Three Heads Are Better Than One

  12. #312
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    First reply ftw XD Now that doesn't happen often

    I really like how you've developed Theo's Pok&#233;mon and included them into the story. It would seem relevant because of the whole reviving fossil thing but they're not just there if you get what i mean. They seem to have their own little stories. Armaldo's is the obvious one, but there's also Cradily's compassionate to his trainer now you've gone into Aerodactyl's feelings. I do very much like that Aerodactyl now. I might have forgotten something, but Omanyte doesn't seem to have anything about it at the moment though.

    I'm getting a little irritated at Bad Light for continously being irritating.
    *Tells myself that i can't argue with fictional characters* But it just makes me want Carrie and Theo to win this even more. I guess that's the point of them though.

    Cliffhanger. ... Now i have to wait ages to find out where Velotus has gone (I'm not rushing you though) It did bring back some memories of my apparently dead fanfic though, because one of my chapters end with 'Grovyle's gone!'

  13. #313
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    Carrie felt sorry for the branches unlucky enough to be growing in the pterosaur’s way.
    Hee, this reminds me a lot of a particular line from The Fall of a Leader. :P

    Aww, Aerodactyl is lonely. :3 That's adorable.

    “That’s the thing,” said Theo, frowning. “I’m not sure it is. The best part about hunting for fossils is the discovery – the uncovering an ancient, unknown world. If she brings them back, that world won’t be unknown any more. It’ll… it’ll defeat the point.”

    She raised an eyebrow.

    “Don’t get me wrong,” he added hurriedly, “I do love what she’s doing. It’s not just the discovery – after all this time searching for fossils, I’ve grown to like the species themselves. It’s amazing to think that they could actually become wild in Hoenn.”

    Carrie nodded in silent agreement; the thought of wild Archopy – as well as the rest, she supposed – really was an amazing one.

    “It’s just…” Theo sighed. “I wish she didn’t have to treat her test subjects like she does in order to do this. It’s probably because I’ve got so attached to the species, but I feel kind of bad for the Pokémon stuck in MemorCorp with all those false memories inside their heads. I hope it’s worth it, her plan.”
    *pokes* Isn't he contradicting himself? First he says it is mostly about the discovery, and then he says it's "just" her treatment of the test subjects. Make up your mind, Theo!

    Hee, good of the many/good of the few moral dilemma. Good luck figuring that one out, Carrie.

    As they travelled further into this new forest, the previously torrential rain lessened to a light drizzle.
    The sudden mention of torrential rain feels rather abrupt, since you hadn't mentioned rain at all before; you just mentioned Theo "still" being soaked, which would more imply that he is only soaked because he was before than that there is rain right now.

    They’re not exactly going to try and stop us now they’ve given us free reign, are they?
    I believe the expression is supposed to be "free rein", as in loosening the reins on them, rather than letting them reign over anything.

    It strikes me as a bit funny that the Bad Light member they meet doesn't do anything about them immediately instead of standing there and asking them what they're doing there and whether they escaped, if he believes they're supposed to be captured. o.o

    Carrie’s suspicions were confirmed as Andrew, one of the people who had held them captive the previous day, wandered towards them with his hands in his pockets as though he’d just happened to be passing by.
    It would seem more natural to me if Carrie specifically remembered him as, say, the blond-haired one of those that had held them captive the previous day, rather than just "one of them", which sounds like she can't tell them apart. Maybe it's just me.

    Andrew shrugged. “I don’t have a walkie-talkie linked to everyone on the hill like you do. And besides, I’ve got better things to do with my time.”

    “Like?”

    “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Andrew said with a sly grin, and with that, he turned and wandered off in the direction he’d come from.
    Oh, Andrew. <3

    Eeee Velotus's defense mechanisms! <3

    Yet again, something strikes me as odd: how come Carrie revives Foliano and Ivyx completely without words, waits for them to climb into a tree, and then waits for them to ask before actually telling them what happened?

    “But I didn’t think that’d bother you that much.”
    Bother? o.o Wouldn't that imply they'd be against it? Right now she seems to think they'd be slightly against reintroducing the rest of the fossil Pokémon, if not that much, which seems odd, to say the least.

    Andrew shrugged. “I want the same as you. I think it’s a pretty nice idea to tell Archopy what’s going on before you capture her, and ‘cause I’m in Bad Light, I thought I might be able to help you guys find her first – I can find out all the places they haven’t looked yet just by asking one of them.” He gazed up at the sky indifferently. “But if you think you’ll do fine without me, go ahead.”

    “I don’t believe you,” said Theo, firmly and immediately.

    “’Course you don’t,” Andrew replied, still apparently finding the clouds fascinating. “I didn’t expect either of you to. But the offer’s still there, and I was at least hoping you’d see me as a bit of a better person than my colleagues.” He looked directly at Carrie, grinning. “What about you, Grovyle-girl?”
    Andreeeeeeew. <3 I love that he calls her Grovyle-girl. And the fascinated-by-clouds line.

    Haha, the syringe was fake and I knew it and ANDREW and VELOTUS and DEATH THREATS and I love you and heee. :3

    (Sorry, I'm too bubbly and incoherent at the moment to comment on individual quotes)

    Theo's Pokémon are all adorable.

    It was some time later.
    Seems like a bit of an awkward sentence that could be left out without hurting the flow, since the scene break already implies the following is happening some time later.

    Hee, Andrew is stalking them.

    Startled, Carrie reached into her pocket and had Empathy’s Poké Ball ready in her hand, when the Arcanine simply came to a halt a few metres away from them, apparently not about to attack.
    The comma before "when" shouldn't be there, I think.

    ...for some reason I love Andrew's Arcanine now just because it came and sniffed them and left. I think I'm a bit fangirl-crazy.

    “That was odd,” Theo said after a moment’s pause.
    Love that line.

    Hee, Andrew just toooys with them... <3

    Hmm, I wonder what Andrew is going to do when he finds Vanessa. My brain is constructing this scenario where he captures her and gets them to give her the Master Ball back or something. Not that that makes a lot of sense.

    Foliano looked up at his trainer with worry in his eyes. “We thought I’d better tell you – Velotus is gone.”
    Do I smell VELOTUS in chapter 28? And he'll be all conflicted and desperate and full of self-loathing! Moooar.

    The chapter felt kind of short, probably because not much really happened - they just walked around with Andrew constantly bothering them, which is wonderful and all, but makes it feel like Carrie and Theo have been spending the chapter doing absolutely nothing. There's not much to be done about that, though, so...

    :3 Yay. [/incoherent review]

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

  14. #314
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    Something I forgot to mention in the earlier review- I like how you made “Them” some you-know whats but not all; it lessens the hate- fic effect of earlier chapters.
    And as for easy thugs, I was talking about the very first ones, where we first saw the “psychic/ grass knot” trick. After that is when the thugs got smart.

    Now for this chapter:

    Aww, Areodactyl’s lonely. Him, Tyranitar, Skarmory, Anorith/Armaldo, Archopy… you’re good at making me feel sorry for Pokemon.

    Just to clear this up: I’m not that annoyed by Andrew; at least, not anymore than I would be with any other smug antagonist. Heck, in this chapter, he hardly annoyed me at all, even with the whole Ivyx stunt.

    Maybe he’s grown on me

    Velotus’ reaction was PERFECT. Seriously, the fear and Andrew’s reaction and the description of the attack were so well done… if Dragonfree is the official Velotus fangirl, I want to be his official fanboy.

    Other than that, not the most eventful chapter, even with the cliffhanger. Hopefully something big happens next time.
    Last edited by InsaneTyranitar; 6th October 2009 at 1:14 AM.
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    (Keep in mind I'm not usually partial to really dark fics, so I may take longer to get to those.)

  15. #315
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    Whee, replies. Thanks for reading, all of you.

    (If anyone reading this happens to be too lazy to read through my replies, skip down to the bottom of the post. There be art. :3)

    Sinnohdragon - Yay for Theo's Pok&#233;mon! Their little scene really was mostly just there to give them some much-needed screentime, but it seems to have helped give them a bit of development in the readers' eyes, which is awesome to see. :3 Omanyte doesn't really have much to her, no - her basic personality is that she's really shy and hides in her shell at almost anything, but I haven't been able to find a way to flesh that out yet.

    The general point of Bad Light is really nothing more than to provide some hopefully entertaining conflict. But if I'm managing to make you feel Carrie's frustration towards them and root for her more as a result, then that can only be a plus. =P

    Whee for cliffhangers. :3 Hopefully I shouldn't keep you waiting too long this time - I've been in the mood to write a lot these days, and additionally I have an awesome new real life friend who writes and talks about writing a lot, so I'm even less likely to stop being in writing-mode thanks to her. =D

    Dragonfree - Incoherent fangirly reviews are fun. :3

    Hee, this reminds me a lot of a particular line from The Fall of a Leader. :P
    I have a feeling I may have been kinda semi-consciously inspired by that line when I wrote that. ^^;

    *pokes* Isn't he contradicting himself? First he says it is mostly about the discovery, and then he says it's "just" her treatment of the test subjects. Make up your mind, Theo!
    You're misunderstanding the "just". That word seems to have roughly a million and one meanings, and in this particular instance it didn't mean "only". I'm not sure how to explain what it did mean; it was sort of like a part of speech which doesn't have any actual meaning, or something. Gah. "Just" is a funny word.

    Eh. What Theo meant overall was basically that it's partly the imminent lack of discovery and partly Grace's treatment of the test subjects that's making him have his doubts, but he still likes the species and would really love to see them wild again.

    The sudden mention of torrential rain feels rather abrupt, since you hadn't mentioned rain at all before; you just mentioned Theo "still" being soaked, which would more imply that he is only soaked because he was before than that there is rain right now.
    You're right there. It would seem that I really suck at remembering to mention rain. D:

    It strikes me as a bit funny that the Bad Light member they meet doesn't do anything about them immediately instead of standing there and asking them what they're doing there and whether they escaped, if he believes they're supposed to be captured. o.o
    Well, he didn't turn around and see them until they were pretty close to him, and then... maybe he didn't attack immediately because he was really, really surprised to see that they'd "escaped"? ^^;

    ...Yeah. Logicfail #1 noted and hopefully learnt from.

    It would seem more natural to me if Carrie specifically remembered him as, say, the blond-haired one of those that had held them captive the previous day, rather than just "one of them", which sounds like she can't tell them apart. Maybe it's just me.
    Mhmm, true. I'll change it to something like "the more annoying of the two". 8D

    Yet again, something strikes me as odd: how come Carrie revives Foliano and Ivyx completely without words, waits for them to climb into a tree, and then waits for them to ask before actually telling them what happened?
    I could say something about how Carrie wanted to get moving again quickly and expected one of them to ask what happened or something, but... yeah.

    Logicfail #2 also noted and hopefully learnt from!

    Bother? o.o Wouldn't that imply they'd be against it? Right now she seems to think they'd be slightly against reintroducing the rest of the fossil Pok&#233;mon, if not that much, which seems odd, to say the least.
    Here I meant "bother" in less the "annoy" sense and more the indifferent, "I'm not bothered" sense. But I can reword that line to make it clearer.


    Yay for Andrew. And clouds. And syringes full of water and death threats and Velotus' defence mechanisms breaking down. :3

    Also Theo's Pok&#233;mon. Like I said to Sinnohdragon, I'm really pleased with how that small bit of screentime seems to have been a hit with some of the readers.

    Seems like a bit of an awkward sentence that could be left out without hurting the flow, since the scene break already implies the following is happening some time later.
    You're right. Dunno why that never occurred to me during the proofreads.

    More yay for Andrew's toying and teasing and tantalising and tricking and taunting and tormenting and lots of other words beginning with T. :3

    Do I smell VELOTUS in chapter 28?
    Why yes. Yes, you do. 8D In fact, there's so much Velotus in Chapter 28 that I'm actually considering titling it "Velotus" if I can't think of anything better.

    The chapter felt kind of short, probably because not much really happened - they just walked around with Andrew constantly bothering them, which is wonderful and all, but makes it feel like Carrie and Theo have been spending the chapter doing absolutely nothing. There's not much to be done about that, though, so...
    This is very true. This chapter was basically just a get-from-point-A-to-point-B chapter to fill in the gap between Chapters 26 and 28. Andrew was allowed to wander free in it because I didn't really know how else I'd get myself particularly interested in writing it. :3

    Whee.

    InsaneTyranitar - Ah, I know which easy thugs you're talking about. Those two guarding Archopy's hole in the wall in MemorCorp were some of Bad Light's lowest members, since the rest of them were all out frantically searching for Archopy, hence them being fairly easily bested.

    Glad to hear Andrew's grown on you. And hey, even if he hadn't, he is just a naturally annoying person, so it couldn't be helped. =P

    Very pleased to see how much you liked Velotus' reaction, since, well, that was my favourite part of the chapter too for obvious reasons. I was rather ridiculously excited when I read that you've become Velotus' newest fanboy, too - it filled me with glee to think that just the way I wrote that scene could have made you like him so much. :3 As for the next chapter... well, if you really are a Velotus fanboy now, then you should have fun. :>



    Incidentally and completely unrelatedly to all the Velotus and Andrew fangirling I've been doing in this post, Theo and Cradily are adorable. And I must thank Sinnohdragon and Dragonfree's comments about Theo's Pok&#233;mon this chapter for infecting me with a sudden and irresistible urge to draw that. :3
    Last edited by elyvorg; 7th October 2009 at 10:06 PM.
    .: Evolution is a battle .:. Something has to lose :.
    LOST EVOLUTION
    Chapter 33: Inside has been posted.


    Foregone Conclusion
    Spinoff/prequel/backstory/thingy to Lost Evolution, written for NaNoWriMo 2010

    Three Heads Are Better Than One

  16. #316
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    ...Hmm? A new Chapter? I didn't notice that, what with all the responses that you're getting...

    Let's get moving.
    *busts out his microscopic sights*

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    They were trudging across the last stretch of Route 119-and-a-half, having been left to their own devices almost as soon as they’d been released. Aerodactyl was providing his usual cacophony overhead, complete with the occasional violent rustling sounds. Every now and then, a flurry of leaves would come fluttering down from above. Carrie felt sorry for the branches unlucky enough to be growing in the pterosaur’s way.
    This is a bit... puzzling to say the least; I never knew that a Route 119 & a half even "exists" in this world...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Theo seemed far more lively than he had the previous day, despite still being soaked through and stuck in a forest that he probably felt completely lost in. “I don’t know about most of the time,” he replied, “but right now he just sounds plain happy. Making a racket is probably his way of getting it out of his system.”

    “You can tell from that noise that he’s happy?” asked Carrie.
    That's a pretty noisy way of expressing joy. I generally don't mind any sort of noise, but if it's deafening, I don't want to be anywhere near it.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    If Aerodactyl was lonely, she hated to think how Archopy felt.
    Yeah, it would.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    They walked in silence for a few minutes before Theo suddenly spoke up out of nowhere. “Do you trust her?”

    “Who?” said Carrie, caught off-guard.

    “The Director.”

    “Her? Of course not.” She paused. “But you’ve got to admit, it makes a lot of sense that she’d want to bring back all the fossil Pok&#233;mon. Doesn’t it?” Carrie looked at Theo. “I mean, you’re a… you’re someone who likes fossils. Isn’t this something all fossil-loving people want to do?”
    I saw that coming a mile away...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Theo had a point. Was a world full of their species worth it for the fossil Pok&#233;mon who’d never see the light of day? More importantly to Carrie’s mind, was a world full of Archopy worth it for the sake of the one individual Archopy they had been chasing for so long? Carrie could only begin to imagine it, a world where Sceptile wasn’t the only option, where beginning trainers could choose a Treecko and be flying around Hoenn on an Archopy by the time they had their sixth badge. She wanted to believe that the well-being of that one Archopy was a worthy sacrifice. It had to be.

    But what if Archopy herself thought otherwise?
    That would actually be nifty, being able to raise an Archopy, but the fact that they can't fly indefinitely "can" pose a problem if your using one to travel anywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Shaking such thoughts out of her head, Carrie focused on moving on upwards, trying to savour the fact that they were actually free to roam about without the threat of anyone chasing them or blocking their path. Far up ahead – it was much easier to see distant things in this more open forest – there looked like what might have been another Bad Light member, leaning against a tree. But it didn’t matter, did it? They could just walk straight past him, and he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.
    Their freedom is most likely too good to be true...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    “It’ll be fine,” she insisted, not altering her path. Theo seemed uneasy, but he didn’t make any effort to convince her to take a detour.
    Yeah, sure, it'll be fine...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    It only took a minute or two for them to approach him, and soon enough the man in question noticed them and turned towards them, letting Carrie see from the words on his shirt that he was indeed a Bad Light member. He looked puzzled as he took in their faces. “What are you two doing here?” he asked, his voice full of suspicion.

    Carrie came to a halt and frowned at him. “We’re looking for Archopy.”

    “Well, obviously,” the man replied, still looking at them strangely. “But wasn’t Savage’s team meant to be taking care of you? Don’t tell me you escaped and now we’ve got to clean up his mess.”
    Told you that peace isn't going to last long. *gets out his shotgun*

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    “Magneton!” the man called as he threw a Pok&#233; Ball into the air. “Paralyse them!”

    As Theo stepped backwards involuntarily out of the corner of her eye, Carrie pulled out a Pok&#233; Ball and threw it at the Pok&#233;mon emerging in front of them, calling, “Velotus, Leaf Blade it, quick!”

    Electric sparks were already beginning to crackle around the magnets of the metallic Pok&#233;mon, but before it could fire them, a white blur shot towards it, slicing at its bodies with a shining scythe. Velotus bounced back from his assault, landing on the ground as the Pok&#233; Ball glow faded from him, but a second later he cringed in discomfort as the Magneton unleashed its Thunder Wave on him instead.
    Too sllllooooooowwwww.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    “Andy,” muttered the Magneton’s trainer, looking confused. “I thought you were one of the ones Savage sent to capture these two?”

    “Yeah, I was,” said Andrew. “Didn’t they tell you? We let them go.”

    Archie frowned. “It’s true?”

    “Yup. I’m here to tell you lot that, since the Director can’t be bothered to do it herself – she’s busy with something, apparently. So yeah, these two have her permission to capture Archopy if they can find it first, provided they give it to one of you guys straight away. It’s your job to go and tell everyone to leave them to it.”
    Wonderful, another misinformed numbskull... There's more than enough of them in the Anime Discussion...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Kabutops will be happy about that,” Foliano murmured, seemingly more to himself than anyone else. “But Archopy… that’s really… wow.” He looked to Ivyx, who was similarly lost for words, before turning to see what Velotus made of it and appearing somewhat surprised that there was no sign of amazement on the other Grovyle’s face.
    I'd never thought that they would react to MemorCorp's purpose like this. It's pretty surprising.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    “Like I was saying,” she hissed. “What are you doing here?”

    Andrew shot her a mock-offended look. “Is that any way to greet a potential ally?”

    Carrie raised an eyebrow; she could hear Theo mutter “What?” from somewhere behind her.
    That's a nifty little twist.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Andrew looked momentarily confused before his eyes lit up. “Oh – the syringe that makes Pok&#233;mon evolve?” He grinned again, reaching into his pocket. “You mean this one?”

    There was a sharp intake of breath from Velotus as a painfully familiar needle glinted in Andrew’s hand. The man’s grin reached manic levels as he looked up, saw Ivyx just above him – and stabbed the syringe into her.

    The female Grovyle screeched in panic. Carrie watched in horror as the plunger descended; part of her numbly thought about reaching for her Pok&#233; Ball and recalling her, but would she be quick enough? What about Theo’s Everstone? How on earth was Velotus going to react?
    AHHH!!! NOOOO!! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Ivyx clung tightly to her branch, shuddering uncontrollably, as Foliano appeared next to her with plain, helpless fear all over his face. Every part of Carrie’s mind was screaming at her not to watch her Grovyle’s evolution, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away out of some morbid fascination with seeing Ivyx burst into blinding white light.

    Except she didn’t.

    A long moment passed. Ivyx continued to tremble, but she seemed to be slowly calming as Foliano put an arm around her, looking at her with a worried, questioning gaze.

    I’m okay,” she muttered between rapid breaths. “It doesn’t feel like I’m about to evolve at all. It’s just shock.

    Carrie stared at her, hardly able to believe it. “It didn’t work?” she said incredulously. A laugh of relief escaped her, and she looked towards Andrew. “It didn’t work!”

    To her dismay, the amused glee still hadn’t left his eyes. “Of course it didn’t!” he said in a voice that sounded as though he was desperately trying not to burst out laughing. He held up the now-empty syringe. “Water! That’s all it was. But I didn’t expect you to be willing to risk it this morning, and ever-so-predictably, you weren’t.”
    *sigh* Dammit! That's a hell of a way to scare someone; it's most likely enough to cause a heart attack/stroke.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Floored and staring at imminent death, Andrew still managed to crack into a grin. “Just like before,” he said with a derisive laugh. “You’re still scared.”

    A look of sheer panic flitted across Velotus’ eyes. “I am not!” he shrieked in a tone so frantic and unlike him that it betrayed how frightened he really was. “I am not scared!” He roared in desperate fury, raising his blade as if to deliver a killing strike, but before he could, his arm was grabbed by a green tendril and jerked sideways, dragging him off the human altogether.
    Sure, you're not scared...

    Denial is only going to make things worse for him, I'm afraid...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Startled, Carrie reached into her pocket and had Empathy’s Pok&#233; Ball ready in her hand when the Arcanine simply came to a halt a few metres away from them, apparently not about to attack. She frowned, fingers still tensed around the ball, and watched as the great canine lowered its head and began to sniff the air, seemingly with intense concentration. It padded slowly towards them, not coming too close as to appear threatening, but close enough that it was clearly her and Theo that it was smelling.

    After a long inspection from the Arcanine’s nose, Carrie watched, bemused, as it simply turned around and dashed back in the direction it had come from.
    For a moment, I thought it was going to go after their throats...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Andrew seemed completely unfazed by the challenge. “Odour Sleuth makes his sense of smell even more powerful than it normally is,” he said. “He can distinguish almost anything with it. So what are you hiding, hm?” He leaned forward. “Something to capture Archopy for yourselves? Some special kind of ball, perhaps?”

    It hit Carrie all too suddenly what he was getting at, and she recoiled in surprise. “Wait… there’s no way it can smell a Master Ball with –”

    A sharp glare from Theo cut her off. As Andrew burst into great cackles of laughter, she realised just how blindly she’d walked into his trap.
    That was excellent thinking on Andrew's part; not so much for Carrie, though... I think I might have to crack her head open with my sledgehammer for this...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Carrie let out a huff of frustration; she really didn’t like telling him this much. “Her name was Vanessa… something. I think her surname began with an S.” She glared at him. “Happy now?”

    “Vanessa S,” Andrew muttered to himself, patting Arcanine twice. The dog Pok&#233;mon crouched down, letting his trainer climb onto his back and grab hold of his creamy fur. “Yeah, that’ll do.” He gave Carrie and Theo one final grin. “If you’re lying, though, expect to see me again.”
    That's a real great way to get someone off your back...

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Theo looked about to answer, but he was cut off as a Grovyle shot past him, landing on the ground in front of Carrie.

    Foliano looked up at his trainer with worry in his eyes. “We thought I’d better tell you – Velotus is gone."
    That's a hell of a cliffhanger...

    *puts away his sights, then hangs his head down low*

    I've unfortunately got nothing on this, so that means that it's brilliantly executed.

    That's pretty much it, so I can leave, & since it's late in my area, that's what I'm going to do...

  17. #317
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    I LOVE Aero. I love how he soars through the skies, like a lonely, wandering cloud, looking for solace in soulmates destined to perhaps never exist. Such is the cruelty of sky - As big and free as it may be, it is also naught but a vast, empty void.

    "The Director" sounds like a Time Lord (Lady)

    Archie, is clearly final boss. BECAUSE ARCH(IE) NEMESIS.
    Also Magneton.

    Carried on up the hill Carrie.
    I sometimes get carried away with particularily unfunny humour. BUT HEY.

    The whole, reviving Pokemon/telling them everything/Velotus is a teapot ting felt a bit boring this time round. Not even the great poetic prose of my perfectly poetic personal opinion could placate the placid plague of those paragraphs. Alliteration in the way of sense? BUT OF COURSE.

    ANDREW APPRECIATES ME AERODACTYL/CLOUD metaphor comparison thingy. Also, I thought he called Carrie "Cover girl". . . =/

    Huh. . . Velotus didn't fly off the (teapot) handle?

    SO. Now that Ivyx's equilibrium in unequal and there's more water in her body then should be, I suppose we can expect her to explode or drown very soon? I MEAN REALLY NOW. Was it salt water btw? Because, if not, he'd better not have got it from a tap, because EW. But, river water contains silt, so, Silty Ivyx? Hmm.

    OR IS IT RAIN WATER? MADE FROM THE TEARS OF CLOUDY LONELYDACTYLS. ERGO SALT WATER. Ivyx is now, metaphorically, Aero's mother. IT'S ALL IN THE SYMBOLISM. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    There Velotus goes. A speedy shot of seething rage. Vehement, vicious, voracious, Velotus.
    FLASH! SMASH! SLASH! Such an onomatopeic presence. His very character brings a loud ruckus to receedings and really screams out of the story. Very stoic and strong.

    Armaldo, the emptiness echoes loud. The opposite of Velotus, he highlights the ultimate futility of everything. Perhaps a reflection on our individual impact on the whole state of the entire world? Can one truely change everything in such a way, or are we all just trying to fill that empty shell, as our feathers merely flap against an unstoppable wind of solitude?

    She couldn't see the Grovyle. The Grovyle are the future, shrouded by trees - representative of nature. The future of the environment is unknown! HOHOHO I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE.

    Why aren't Emp/Cres being filled in on the backstory any whoop? HONESTLY NOW.

    Arcanine has a fetish. Scentophile.

    Andrew and Vanessa used to be lovers, however she fell for Grace White. Because of this Andrew obtained such a high position in Bad Light - Sympathy vote.

    Velotus just REALLY needed the toilet guys - No need to follow him. Jeese.

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  18. #318
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    Wow. This completely blew me away, it's beautifully written. Now I'm going to keep my Grovyle as just a Grovyle. Will be following up.

    *clicks "Subscribe"*
    I sometimes use "uber" Pokémon. I sometimes calculate stat values. I never use cheating devices. I sometimes try to breed my way to perfection (and maybe fail), and I care about natures to an extent. But I like my Pokémon the way they are, and treat them like individuals instead of brainless drones. If you use this philosophy, copy & paste this into your signature.
    (Adapted from Tyranitar's philosophy.)

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    Sort of back! Playing through Black 2 and working through my Dex. PM me for inquiries!

    Black 2 ID/FC: Cassie 3311 2386 7094

    LF: Legends/Events, shinies, Kangaskhan, Smeargle, Miltank, Whismur, Minun, Torkoal, Lileep, Kecleon, Glameow

    ALLONS-Y!

  19. #319
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    Wow. This completely blew me away, it's beautifully written. Now I'm going to keep my Grovyle as just a Grovyle. Will be following up.

    *clicks "Subscribe"*
    I sometimes use "uber" Pokémon. I sometimes calculate stat values. I never use cheating devices. I sometimes try to breed my way to perfection (and maybe fail), and I care about natures to an extent. But I like my Pokémon the way they are, and treat them like individuals instead of brainless drones. If you use this philosophy, copy & paste this into your signature.
    (Adapted from Tyranitar's philosophy.)

    Claims:
    David Tennant
    Viggo Mortensen

    Sort of back! Playing through Black 2 and working through my Dex. PM me for inquiries!

    Black 2 ID/FC: Cassie 3311 2386 7094

    LF: Legends/Events, shinies, Kangaskhan, Smeargle, Miltank, Whismur, Minun, Torkoal, Lileep, Kecleon, Glameow

    ALLONS-Y!

  20. #320
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    Wow, I'm so late with this that I would be a hypocrite if I actually said "Finally! It took you long enough to post this; do you know how long I've been waiting?!". But I'm SlowCrow, so at least I have an excuse that I could use for both being late and violating speed limits. Although I could have actually typed this intro during the patches of free time I had during the course of this week and made this a little less awkward and a bit more thought out, but foresight is for the weak, preparedness is for the cowardly, and artificial praise is for the multi-million dollar industry of greeting cards.

    I just hope I suddenly become unfunny since I didn't do this for a whole three months. D:

        Spoiler:- Special special, yes you are, it's your birthday, here's a new car(d)!:



    -_____________________- Kaw.

  21. #321
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    I've been reading you're fic for a while but I finally got around to posting on it! Yeah, I guess, well might as well review the chapter while I'm at it! Sorry that my reviews aren’t skyscrapers,

    “I think you should go,” she hissed, hoping her stare alone would be enough to make him vanish on the spot.
    I do that too sometimes...

    Carrie raised an eyebrow. “Is there really any point telling Armaldo?”

    Theo gave her a stony look. “He deserves to know just as much as the others.”
    Good moarals or something I guess?

    There was a sharp intake of breath from Velotus as a painfully familiar needle glinted in Andrew’s hand. The man’s grin reached manic levels as he looked up, saw Ivyx just above him – and stabbed the syringe into her.

    The female Grovyle screeched in panic. Carrie watched in horror as the plunger descended; part of her numbly thought about reaching for her Pok&#233; Ball and recalling her, but would she be quick enough? What about Theo’s Everstone? How on earth was Velotus going to react?

    She caught sight of the gleeful amusement in Andrew’s eyes as he pulled out the syringe and silently wished a horribly painful death upon him for taking such delight in doing this to her.

    Ivyx clung tightly to her branch, shuddering uncontrollably, as Foliano appeared next to her with plain, helpless fear all over his face. Every part of Carrie’s mind was screaming at her not to watch her Grovyle’s evolution, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away out of some morbid fascination with seeing Ivyx burst into blinding white light.

    Except she didn’t.

    Okay that kind of ticked me off.

    “It belonged to someone else who wanted to capture Archopy. We stole it so that they couldn’t, not because we wanted to catch her too.”

    Andrew was grinning again. “That could have been made up on the spot. Trust me, I’ve got a lot of experience in that field. I’m going to need a name if you want me to believe you. Otherwise…” He glanced at Arcanine, who was still growling softly.

    Carrie let out a huff of frustration; she really didn’t like telling him this much. “Her name was Vanessa… something. I think her surname began with an S.” She glared at him. “Happy now?”

    “Vanessa S,” Andrew muttered to himself, patting Arcanine twice. The dog Pok&#233;mon crouched down, letting his trainer climb onto his back and grab hold of his creamy fur. “Yeah, that’ll do.” He gave Carrie and Theo one final grin. “If you’re lying, though, expect to see me again.”

    With that, he leaned forward on his Pok&#233;mon’s back, and Arcanine took off, racing away through the trees.
    That's all it took?

    Theo looked about to answer, but he was cut off as a Grovyle shot past him, landing on the ground in front of Carrie.

    Foliano looked up at his trainer with worry in his eyes. “We thought I’d better tell you – Velotus is gone.”
    Well I can say that even after all of Velotus's episodes I really didn't see that one coming.

    I love cliff hangers, though it does meant that you have to have some kind of good come back for the reason why that happened since the good old, "He just needs to walk it off isn't going to work this time."

    Well this is one awesome fic! It's pretty amazing how long it's lasted! Keep up the good work!


    We have to keep running to the unseen end
    We may have never seen such restful days again
    Bury your despair deep in your heart
    Let your face show nothing but strength
    Ever onwards our tired wings carry us
    They'll never ever beat us down

    ~Credit to Lyniar for the amazing banner
    Lyrics from D. Gray Man Opening~

  22. #322
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    Considering the nature of the chapter after chapter 25, I'll probably only be able to properly review chapter 25, because after chapter 26... let's just say... Well you bloody know already how I like Velotus and don't start fangirling over the fact that I'm probably going to go through equally bad psychological trauma as him! *growl sputter snarl*

    You know I would even be reading these if you didn't bribe me with that picture of Velotus you drew specifically for me. =P

    who was by now thinking on a less Sam-centric note than Theo seemed to be.
    xD I see that there's some in-universe fanboys of Sam too?

    I didn't know 'acidly' was an adverb- I like it.

    And who the hell says Velotus isn't being heroic, he's being perfectly heroic in this chapter!

    And now that I've finished the chapter, I'm sh*t p*ssed already. D:

    Chapter 26:
    \
    Ihhate you and I feel like crawiling into a balll and dying.. You know moere detail on the MSN oocnvoe
    Claimed: Grovyle - November 10th, 2013
    Chapter 19 is up.

  23. #323
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    It's time for another "I'm not dead" post, I think.

    Thing is, I still haven't actually finished writing Chapter 29 yet. It's been a difficult chapter to write, and over these past couple of months I seem to have been finding distractions all over the place. So I've still got one scene to go, and it's going to be tricky to write for various reasons - I doubt I'll get it done before Christmas.

    But! Chapter 28 is, of course, written, and I'm going to do my utmost to get it polished to my satisfaction and posted before Christmas Day. This is because I am almost completely certain that from Christmas Day to New Year's Day and probably quite a while after that, I won't be remotely in the mood to do anything Lost Evolution-related, so I reckon it's best to give you the next chapter beforehand rather than making you wait even longer than you already have been.

    Until then, extremely late review replies!

    Brumrha - Thanks for your comments. There's a couple which I can reply to, so...

    This is a bit... puzzling to say the least; I never knew that a Route 119 & a half even "exists" in this world...
    Oh, it does. This was brought up back in Chapter 24 or so - it's not an officially-numbered route, but it's directly between Routes 119 and 120, so the people from Fortree (who are generally the only people who ever go there) call it Route 119-and-a-half, just so that it has something they can refer to it by.

    That would actually be nifty, being able to raise an Archopy, but the fact that they can't fly indefinitely "can" pose a problem if your using one to travel anywhere.
    Mmm, they can't. Carrie doesn't know that, though, and she's thinking about it really idealistically at this point, so. =P

    Darkfall - I rather enjoyed perusing your poetic praise and picking of points that perhaps need... 'provement. Yes. It amused me quite a bit. Also yay for the liking of Aerodactyl. :3 I've been growing seriously attached to Theo's Pokémon during their brief screentimes.

    LadyMiir - Thanks for reading! I understand that it can be hard to think of what to say when posting for the first time in a fic because there's too much to comment on, but I hope you can find something a bit more to say about it next time you post. Welcome to the fic, either way.

    SlowCrow - Late reply is late, and as such you've probably forgotten half the stuff you said, but... QUOTEY SPOILER TIME.

        Spoiler:- Words:


    As always, thanks for taking the time to get all quotey on me.

    1# manga fan! - Thanks for reading and dropping by to comment.

    Theo telling Armaldo doesn't really have anything to do with his morals as such; it's just that he really cares about Armaldo just as much as any of his other Pokémon and isn't going to let the fact that he's apparently completely emotionless stop him from being included. Well, maybe that is morals, if you look at it one way, but yeah. That's why.

    As for Vanessa's name being all it took to get rid of Andrew - well, do you really think someone as annoying and persistent as Andrew is going to be gone for good just because he got given one name? =P That would be no fun for him, surely?

    Of course there's some reason Velotus has gone. I'm not about to make the hook for the next chapter be a total anticlimax - if it was just a case of "he needs to walk it off", I wouldn't have gone and made it a chapter ending. :>

    Griff4815 - Hi there. :3

    I do remember telling you that Velotus gets a kind of heroic moment in Chapter 25, but overall, as a character... he so isn't. You see him through such rose-tinted glasses. xP

    And yes, I did rather get moere detail on the MSN oocnvoe. =D

    -

    So, then. The next chapter will be up... uh... soon?
    .: Evolution is a battle .:. Something has to lose :.
    LOST EVOLUTION
    Chapter 33: Inside has been posted.


    Foregone Conclusion
    Spinoff/prequel/backstory/thingy to Lost Evolution, written for NaNoWriMo 2010

    Three Heads Are Better Than One

  24. #324
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    Default Chapter 28: Hopeless Fight

    Soon is apparently now, because the next chapter is ready! Yay.

    It is fairly likely that, due to my mind's tendency to be drawn towards distractions, I won't get around to replying to reviews for a while. So I'll make this the post in which I wish all of you readers a Merry Christmas-Or-Whatever-Else-You-Might-Celebrate, and may your New Year still be happy, even if you're really attached to the old one.



    Chapter 28: Hopeless Fight

    The glare of the afternoon sun flashed in and out of Velotus’ eyes as he raced through the wide canopy of a tree, stopping only for a moment as he reached the edge to calculate his jump towards the next one. He glimpsed the ground rushing by underneath him before he landed on the new branch and paused, feeling it swaying from his weight. A multitude of scratching, rustling noises could be heard faintly around him, noises that only a forest-dweller could properly interpret. One in particular, the sound of something large making its way around on foot, was still there, far enough away for the creature in question to be well out of sight but just close enough to be within Velotus’ earshot.

    Good. He hadn’t lost track of it, then. Without waiting any longer, he flew back into action, dashing up one branch and down another to leap off this tree and latch onto the next one that brought him closer to the source of the noise. Travel in more open forests like this was trickier than in dense ones for a Grovyle who didn’t want to touch the ground, but Velotus knew exactly what he was doing. Staying in the treetops was vital if he wanted to mask the sounds of his approach among the swishing of branches in the wind.

    He chuckled inwardly; he was thinking about this almost as if it were a hunt. But then again, how wasn’t it one? He was giving it the same amount of concentration, slipping into that same state of mind where nothing existed but him and his quarry. The complete focus was such that it blocked out all other thoughts, even those of…

    No. Nothing had happened. He was still the same Velotus he always had been. And the creature whose movement he could hear ahead of him was the only thing that mattered to him right now.

    Feeling a burning wave of energy rush through him at this thought, he powered himself onwards, faster than before. He was getting closer – he could tell from the noises that had grown louder, the smell that had entered his nostrils. His prey hadn’t the faintest idea that he was stalking it. It was only a matter of time before it came within sight, and then…

    Velotus would finally have his revenge.

    A grin slid onto his face as his leaves morphed into blades, sending sliced foliage flying from the sheer speed at which he was darting through the treetops. In a forest, he was the fastest thing alive. Nothing could stop him now. He was –

    A large green shape below loomed into view so suddenly that he was shooting past above it before he could properly register what it was. Flailing around in midair, Velotus came to an ungainly halt on the next tree, its branches swinging wildly back and forth from the force of his landing. Taking a moment to regain his balance and noting with irritation that his blades had gone out, he turned to get a proper look as his prey.

    A mixture of disgust and fury bubbled up within Velotus as it always did when he took in the bright green, angular body, the huge, spiked tail, those arrogant, leering eyes. It was an outrage of nature that a Grovyle could become something like this.

    The Sceptile seemed to be searching around, scanning the treetops intently, but it paid no attention to Velotus. He was still hidden, then. Even though he’d been going so fast that he’d missed his target first time around, he still had the upper hand. Velotus would prove to this creature that it didn’t even deserve to exist.

    Feeling a rush of righteous fury, he prepared to flare up his leaves and throw himself at his enemy, finishing it once and for all.

    Nothing happened. In his mind’s eye, Velotus saw himself leaping at his foe, destroying it in a single hit, but the Velotus in reality stayed frozen where he was, glaring at his evolved form from the safety of the tree.

    A long moment passed without anything happening. No matter how much Velotus tried to tell himself that he had to do this, that it would be easy, he simply couldn’t get himself to move.

    Without warning, the Sceptile looked straight at him. Startled, Velotus watched in indignation as it merely sniffed disdainfully and turned to wander away, passing directly underneath his very tree.

    It was retreating. It had let its guard down. He could still do this; he could still end it, right here and now.

    But once again his body refused to listen to what his mind was telling it. There was nothing Velotus could do but cling to the branch and watch helplessly as his foe retreated from sight.

    As soon as it was gone, everything snapped back into place. With a roar of bitter frustration, Velotus launched himself at the ground, skidding messily over a grassy bump and coming to rest in a pile of leaf litter scattered around the base of a small shrub. He hissed and lit up his blades, slicing at the defenceless plant for no reason other than to let out steam.

    How had he missed such an opportunity? First… first last night, and now this. What was wrong with him?

    His glare burned through the undergrowth in the direction the Sceptile had been headed. He knew that he shouldn’t be wasting any more time, that he should be following it, right now. But the longer he stood there, staring at an enemy far out of reach, the more he realised that a large part of him really didn’t want to go. The realisation sent an unpleasant tingle down his spine, stirring thoughts he refused to think, thoughts he had fought to keep hidden that were already forcing their way back.

    Velotus let out a roar that couldn’t possibly have sounded as frantic as he thought it had and swung another slice at the shrub in front of him, watching as a few of its outermost leaves fluttered to the ground. He shouldn’t allow himself to dwell on such insignificant events. It was in the past now; it had nothing to do with the fact that right here and right now he needed to take down that Sceptile.

    He forced a grin onto his face and tried to picture himself delivering the final blow, imagining the look in his evolution’s eyes as he sealed his victory – but all he could see was the Sceptile’s leering superiority as he gazed helplessly up at it, lying defeated in the undergrowth. It had happened the last time. Why should this time be any different?

    Velotus shook his head furiously and pushed fresh energy into his blades, snarling at them for daring to have gone out. What was the matter with him? This was the very thing he’d been waiting his entire life to do. He wasn’t afraid, was he?

    The shiver ran through him with renewed vigour as he jerked his head away from something that wasn’t there.

    A moment later, Velotus hated himself for it. He shouldn’t be letting something so small bother him so much – it shouldn’t be holding him back from more important things. Yet now, as he tried to convince himself how vital it was that he did this, Velotus was faced with the knowledge that suddenly, fighting the Sceptile was the one thing he absolutely did not want to do. Just thinking about it filled him with a looming terror.

    He screeched in hopeless fury and slashed at the hapless shrub, not even bothering to relight his blades. It had all been for nothing – there was simply no way he could possibly go near that Sceptile any more now, not with his own emotions acting so irrationally again. It was all that human’s fault. That disgusting human who’d tricked him and lied to him and made him think…

    Velotus took a few heavy breaths, just about managing to stay in control. Okay, so the Sceptile was stronger than him. What was the point in battling it if he knew he’d lose? It’d be a waste of time and effort on his part. He might as well go back to his trainer. He could do that; he could act like nothing had happened. She probably hadn’t even noticed he was gone. And if she had, he could just tell her something else – maybe pretend he thought he’d seen Archopy, or –

    Archopy.

    Wasn’t she the reason he had to fight the Sceptile in the first place? He’d been so caught up in his own personal vendetta that he’d forgotten why he really needed this rematch so badly. The Sceptile had promised to kill Archopy. Velotus had to protect her. It was that simple. That was why he’d been so desperate to battle as much as possible since then, wasn’t it? So that he could win this time. He had to.

    Yet, as much as he cared about Archopy, hadn’t he already established that it was a lost cause? He wasn’t naive enough to think he’d be any stronger just because he was doing it for Archopy as well as himself, was he? He’d be alone, fighting a battle he’d already lost once – a battle he knew he would lose again.

    Velotus gritted his teeth as the crushing shame of defeat from before came back to him. How much worse would that feel with Archopy on the line, too? He found himself taking a step backwards and realised that he couldn’t even bear to look in the direction the Sceptile had gone any more. Even his instincts knew it was hopeless.

    He had to go back. He couldn’t stand the thought of losing that fight; he had to get away so he could put it out of mind.

    Velotus had turned and was about to leave when a cold breeze made him shiver. The fact remained that Archopy’s life was still on the line whether he was fighting for it or not. Running away like this would do nothing to help her; it would do nothing but make him a coward. It would only prove that the unflinching Grovyle on the surface was all an elaborate lie, and the Velotus of last night, frozen in fear by nothing at all, was the true one.

    He shook his head forcefully, pushing the surfacing memories back down. That wasn’t the case. It couldn’t be. Turning back in the direction of the Sceptile, Velotus stared as resolutely through the undergrowth as he could, desperate to prove himself wrong, but even just turning around had told him how shaky he was on his feet. That same feeling of dread began to rise within him; it unnerved him how familiar it felt.

    Looking ahead, he saw nothing but his imminent defeat. Turn back, and the events of last night would never leave him alone. Impossible options trapped Velotus on both sides. There was no way out; whatever he did, the enemy he’d been hiding from would finally catch up to him. Shuddering, he closed his eyes in despair at his powerlessness, having no choice but let the fear take hold again.

    No.

    Not this time.


    Eyes snapping open, Velotus stared unseeingly at the mutilated shrub in front of him. He wasn’t going to be a victim. He wasn’t going to let himself be controlled by his own emotions. Archopy needed him, and yet here he was, worrying about himself? Not any more.

    Listening intently, he locked onto the sound of the Sceptile roaming the forest in the distance and began racing towards it without allowing himself a second thought. He could still feel the shaking in his limbs despite how fast he was running. Clawing instincts to turn back flared up in his brain, but he let none of it slow him down. This wasn’t about him. It didn’t matter that even just going near the Sceptile seemed like the hardest thing in the world right now; he would do it. He’d face a completely hopeless fight, for Archopy’s sake.

    * * *

    “Gone? What do you mean, gone?”

    Foliano glanced around the treetops as if to make sure that Velotus really wasn’t there. “He’s nowhere to be seen,” he said, looking back up at his trainer apologetically. “We’ve checked all the nearby trees, but he must have disappeared while we were distracted by that human with the Arcanine.

    Grinding her teeth in frustration, Carrie stared through the forest without properly taking in what she was seeing. Why did Velotus have to choose now of all times to run off on his own, when they were so close to Archopy? It was annoyingly inconvenient of him, to say the least. Not that it was unheard of for Velotus to disappear for a while and then return like nothing had happened – Carrie didn’t like to ask what he did while he was away but figured he was hunting or something – but ever since they’d been looking for Archopy, he’d stayed fairly reliably with his trainer. Why now?

    Ivyx stuck her head out of a tree beside Carrie. “We’re not overreacting, are we?” she asked. “It could be nothing – he could have just gone off on another one of his…

    Carrie shook her head. “He wouldn’t do that. Not now we’re so close to –” She broke off, staring wide-eyed from Ivyx to Foliano. “You don’t think that’s why he’s run off, do you? Because he can tell where Archopy is?”

    I doubt that,” Foliano answered almost immediately, not meeting her eye. “I mean, we’d be able to tell, too, if he could. It’s got to be about… something else.

    Carrie nodded grimly, knowing exactly what Foliano meant. “We’ve got to find him. Everything else can wait.” She’d pulled out Empathy and Crescent’s Poké Balls and was about to throw them when Theo edged into her line of vision, looking awkward. Carrie blinked, having practically forgotten he existed.

    “I suppose this is where you go off looking for your Pokémon again?” he said.

    Carrie narrowed her eyes. “Yes. And?”

    “Nothing,” said Theo. “It’s just that… well, you’re not going to want me to come, are you?”

    She shrugged and dropped the defensiveness. “No, not really. I didn’t expect you to want to come, either. You can just keep looking for Archopy, can’t you? More chance of us finding her if we split up, anyway.”

    “Yeah.” Theo nodded and turned to leave. He came to a stop after only a few paces and looked back at her. “Hold on. If one of us finds Archopy, should they tell the other, or what?”

    Carrie thought for a moment. “It doesn’t really matter, does it, as long as one of us talks to her before she goes back to MemorCorp? But if you get the chance to come and tell me, that’d be… yeah, I’d really appreciate that.” She grinned at Theo. “See you later, then.”

    “Uh, okay,” he said. “Bye.” Then he turned and walked off through the trees.

    As soon as he’d gone, Carrie turned her attention back to the Poké Balls that were still in her hands and threw them. With twin flashes of light, Empathy and Crescent emerged, the Espeon yawning and flexing his tail, the Absol glancing around nervously. On seeing his trainer, Crescent let out a bark of delight and ran over to rub affectionately against her leg.

    Smiling, Carrie reached down to stroke his furry white mane. “You’re okay now, aren’t you? Never knew you knew Perish Song.” Crescent glanced downwards at the mention of the move, but she kept ruffling his fur encouragingly. “From what my dad said, that kinda helped to save us. So, well, thanks.”

    “Ab?” The Absol looked up at his trainer for a moment with shining eyes before padding away, clearly much happier with himself.

    Carrie straightened up. “Now,” she said, addressing both Empathy and Crescent. “Velotus has run off somewhere, and I’m worried about him for reasons he’d probably kill me for if I told you. But either way, I need to find him, so could you two help us look?” She paused, seeing that Crescent still looked a little anxious. “Don’t worry,” she said, crouching down to his level. “Those humans aren’t after us any more. We’ve made a deal with them – they’re letting us talk to Archopy if we can find her first. They want to bring her kind back into the wild, which is really…” She trailed off. “That’s beside the point right now, though. We need to find Velotus, okay?”

    Emboldened by her assurance, Crescent nodded and bounded away through the trees. Empathy stayed a moment to rub reassuringly against Carrie’s hand with his head, before pricking his ears and running off in a different direction to Crescent.

    Foliano stood beside Carrie, gazing out through the forest. “Do you think we’ll find him, or do you think he’ll just come back of his own accord like nothing ever happened?

    “I’m worried that he’s not going to come back of his own accord,” Carrie replied darkly as she straightened up, watching Ivyx dart away with a rustle of tree branches. “I just hope we find him before he does anything drastic.”

    She looked back down at her Grovyle, but Foliano wasn’t meeting her eye.

    I’m sorry about this,” he muttered. “I shouldn’t have let it happen.

    “What?”

    I should have been keeping an eye on him instead of getting distracted by your conversation with that human. It was obvious something was wrong with Velotus and he could easily do something rash, but I…

    “Oh, don’t let it bother you,” said Carrie. “He’s not your responsibility. He’d probably be annoyed if he knew that you thought he was.”

    I suppose,” Foliano murmured, falling into line beside his trainer as she started walking through the forest. “It’s just… remember after he lost to that Sceptile and started attacking all those wild Pokémon to get stronger? I hope he isn’t going to try too hard to prove himself again.

    * * *

    There it was, straight ahead. It had its back to him and still seemed to be looking among the treetops for something – with any luck, it would be completely distracted and have no idea he was coming. Assuring himself that he could do this, Velotus primed his blades and shot at his foe, letting the sheer speed at which he was moving power his strike.

    At the last second, the Sceptile turned around, parrying Velotus’ incoming scythe with one of its own and send him sprawling off to the side. He frantically picked himself up and turned to see his evolved form regaining its balance, unhurt, with a grin reeking of superiority.

    Velotus stared, wide-eyed. If the Sceptile could block something as fast and unexpected as that opening strike, then how much chance did he stand?

    He needed an advantage, and quickly. Closing his eyes, he focused as best he could, shoving aside all the growing doubts and insecurities that clouded his mind, and thought of Archopy. Fury welled up within him at how her species had been wiped out, replaced by the creature in front of him, this monster that aimed to murder the last remnant of what could have been. Velotus latched onto the heat and passion of these thoughts, drawing it to the surface, feeling it burn through him. His eyes opened to white-hot light shining from his body which morphed into glowing spheres orbiting around him, forming a defensive circle of fiery energy.

    Velotus looked at the Sceptile and saw it pause, unsure. A flicker of his old confidence came back to him; it didn’t seem so threatening any more, not now that it couldn’t come near him without getting burned.

    The smug grin found its way back onto the Sceptile’s face, and it chuckled. “What’s to stop me from just Bullet Seeding you until you lose your concentration?” it said, guessing his thoughts. “Let’s face it – you’re not really doing that to be all defensive and strategic, are you? You’re just scared to battle me properly after losing miserably last time.”

    Velotus fought to stay calm – he knew it was a deliberate attempt to goad him into dropping the tactics and attacking with blind rage. What made it so hard was that he also knew it was probably true. He kept the orbs circling him carefully, kept his eyes on his evolved form in case it did decide to fire a Bullet Seed, but somewhere at the back of his mind, the unease lingered. If the Sceptile was right and he really was afraid, how could he possibly win this fight?

    Then again, did it matter? Hadn’t he dragged himself all this way despite his every urge and instinct screaming otherwise? Wasn’t he still here, facing a foe he knew all too well was stronger than him? Fear wasn’t a force that could hold him back, not any more. The Velotus bound to the tree last night – that was the lie. He would prove it, here and now.

    Spinning faster as they did so, the fiery spheres drew in closer to Velotus as he smiled to himself and looked his enemy straight in the eye.

    “I am not scared.”

    One by one, the Hidden Power orbs shot towards the Sceptile in streaks of blazing light.

    With alarming quickness, it brought up its blades and slashed at each one as it came, disintegrating some then and there and sending others flying off through the canopy and into the sky, charring leaves as they brushed past. Refusing to be disheartened, Velotus dodged behind the Sceptile in two quick jumps and thrust his own Leaf Blade upwards between the seeds on its back.

    Roaring, the reptile whipped around; Velotus narrowly leapt the spiked tail that rushed underneath him and ducked the scythe that sailed by overhead. Just as he regained his balance, a point-blank Bullet Seed to the face nearly knocked him off his feet.

    Velotus winced under the onslaught and flattened himself against the ground, using it to push himself off to the side, away from the volley of seeds. Baring his teeth, he leapt and latched onto the Sceptile’s right shoulder, clamping down with all his strength, determined to cripple it effectively this time.

    He found himself barraged again by rock-hard seeds and held on all the tighter, ignoring the way it made his head pound and thinking of how he loathed this creature being so much more powerful than him. The thought turned itself into a flood of searing heat that flowed through his body, and Velotus heard his foe scream as it felt the fire against its skin.

    The Bullet Seed ceased, only to be replaced by vicious claws slashing at his flank, pain piercing into him from the power of the Bug type. Velotus kept his vicelike jaws locked on the Sceptile’s shoulder as his world became nothing but holding on and keeping his inner fire burning with all he had, despite claws raking his side more and more ferociously each time. He screeched as they tore across his sensitive crest leaf, sending a spike of agony coursing through his mind, and the searing light that had been blotting out his vision faded away.

    The next thing Velotus knew, the world around him had rushed past and slammed a tree into him, dislodging his teeth from the Sceptile’s shoulder and leaving him sprawled on the ground. It took him a few moments to drag himself up and regain his bearings; his head was throbbing and making him dizzy, and his side had flared up with stinging pain that he didn’t expect would be leaving him for a while.

    But as he looked over to the Sceptile and saw it clutching its right shoulder, the skin around it darkened in a savage burn, Velotus knew that he wasn’t the only one who’d taken considerable damage. He could still do this, he reassured himself. Archopy needed him to.

    The Sceptile seemed to be holding back, almost waiting for Velotus to make the next move. Grinning in spite of the odds, he stepped forward and reached inside himself for the natural energy that was so much easier to access than his fire. He found it in an instant and used it to call up an army of leaves from the surrounding undergrowth, whipping them into a tornado around him. Through the swirling foliage that surged forwards to surround his foe, Velotus caught a glimpse of the Sceptile’s face, utterly unimpressed and barely even flinching as the leaves buffeted its body.

    It wouldn’t stay that way for long.

    Reaching inside himself again, Velotus narrowed his eyes and dragged out his inner fire, catapulting the burning orbs towards the leafy twister. With a wave of orange light and the powerful roar of flame, an inferno engulfed the Leaf Storm and the Sceptile inside it. Velotus heard it screech in fury as the fire rolled and twisted around it, riding on the swirling leaves.

    Even as he strained under the effort of keeping up the attack, the searing pain in his side threatening to kill his focus, Velotus couldn’t help but grin. These were the perfect conditions for his little combination – there was plenty of loose vegetation around to fuel the Leaf Storm for a good while, and the clear sky above meant that the fire wouldn’t be extinguished any time soon. He had his enemy trapped. He really stood a chance now.

    The Sceptile had other ideas.

    Flecks of fire flashed in the air as it leapt up out of the tornado with an impossibly high jump, blotting out Velotus’ view of the sky. He had only a split second to take it in before the reptile shot downwards. In three frighteningly quick movements, it rebounded off one tree then another and slammed into Velotus from behind with all the force from its fall, dealing him a slashing strike powered by the wind itself.

    Giving a yelp of surprise and pain as he was sent flying forwards, Velotus felt blazing heat rage over him and suddenly realised with horror that the Sceptile had managed to knock him into his own twisting inferno. He frantically rolled onto his back but found himself pinned down, staring up at his foe, unable to do a thing. The Sceptile was reaching into the flames to forcefully hold Velotus still among them, showing no signs of pain as the fire licked its arms, the Crunch that was supposed to have crippled one of them having seemingly done nothing.

    As the flames clawed at his skin, Velotus stared disbelievingly into his evolved form’s eyes. For the first time, he saw them glare back at him with a fire to equal that that burned around them – a fire that reminded Velotus of his own loathing. He felt a tiny flare of pride at the fact that he’d got his foe to hate him back – he’d been nothing but an insignificant pest before, but now he’d made himself matter.

    Yet that thought was swamped by the despair that was flooding his mind. Velotus’ frantic struggles against the Sceptile’s weight were pathetically futile with how little strength he had left. It was far too powerful for him; he was trapped in the mercy of his own inferno that threatened to devour him with its burning ferocity. After all his false self-assurance, here he was, about to lose the fight he’d always known was hopeless. Gazing helplessly up at his foe through the flames, Velotus knew with heavy shame that he must have looked completely terrified.

    “You,” the Sceptile hissed, its voice laced with pure poison. “I should force you to kill that beloved Archopy of yours with your very own fire. But as I can’t…”

    Without loosening its hold on Velotus, it reared its head and threw open its mouth, charging a ball of energy between its jaws.

    Velotus sucked in a ragged, panicked breath, his heart thumping in his ears as he stared into the glowing attack that he was sure would kill him. This was it. He was going to die, right here, right now, destroyed by his lifelong enemy. Archopy – he’d never be able to save her.

    Hating himself for needing to do it, Velotus screwed his eyes shut and cowered in his foe’s grip as he waited for his end to come.

    A searing white light burned the back of his eyelids. The crackling of fire was gone, replaced by a roar of indignation from the Sceptile, and suddenly there was nothing holding Velotus down any more. Incredulously, he opened his eyes, the sight of the forest around him almost unfamiliar after what had felt like such a long time surrounded by flames. In front of him was the Sceptile, reeling backwards like it had been hit. Had its attack backfired somehow?

    Velotus doubted it, but he didn’t dwell on it any longer as his fighting instinct clicked back into place. He couldn’t let this chance go.

    Ignoring how his body screamed at him in agony, Velotus pushed himself up off the ground, pumped energy into his blades and surged forwards, slashing madly, repeatedly, at the Sceptile. Between his evolved form’s roars of pain, he could tell his attack was far too frantic and disorderly but was too desperate to care – he had to knock it out right now before it responded with another counterattack of terrible force that he’d never be able to withstand.

    To his great relief, he saw the Sceptile’s eyes roll back into its head as he gave it one last slash, and it keeled over backwards, its spiked tail splayed out awkwardly beside it on the ground.

    He’d done it.

    Velotus stared incredulously at his evolution’s unconscious body, hardly able to believe what he was seeing. He’d really done it. He’d finally proven that a Grovyle didn’t need to evolve to be more powerful than its evolved form.

    Without having really consciously decided to, Velotus found himself snickering. There was just something so priceless about a Sceptile, this huge, ominous creature that had been looming over his thoughts all this time, lying there on the ground, harmless and defeated by his own hand. He began to shake as gleeful chortling overtook him, laughter forcing its way out uncontrollably from some unknown place within. Part of Velotus didn’t think it was supposed to be quite this funny; another part insisted that the Sceptile deserved every derisive giggle he gave it.

    The next thing he knew, he was standing atop its stomach, Leaf Blade held above its throat, barely able to keep himself still from the laughter that poured out of him as he stared into the Sceptile’s unconscious face. He could end it. He could kill it, right here and now, and it would never be a danger to Archopy again. There was nothing it could do to stop him.

    Still shaking with uncontrollable snickering, his malicious grin twisting his face, Velotus took one final look down at what had once been his foe. Blackened chars ran all the way down its arms, and Velotus cackled in delight as he realised it must have dealt itself serious damage while holding him down in the flames. It had been arrogant enough to think it had him beaten, and that had been its downfall. The irony was delicious.

    A rustle of undergrowth, a flicker of movement in the corner of his vision, and his eyes were drawn away from their target for just a moment. Velotus’ laughter died in his throat as he realised something was there, off to the side, watching him but staying hidden. He looked down at the unconscious Sceptile beneath him, saw his blade above its throat ready to end its life – and then looked back across the battleground, blackened and charred by his fire, towards its undamaged fringe of shrubs and bushes which very definitely hid some kind of creature shrouded within their foliage.

    Velotus caught sight of a pair of yellow eyes, so like his own and yet so different, and suddenly everything else ceased to matter.

    It was Archopy.

    ~~~

    << Previous chapter
    Last edited by elyvorg; 28th March 2010 at 6:18 PM.
    .: Evolution is a battle .:. Something has to lose :.
    LOST EVOLUTION
    Chapter 33: Inside has been posted.


    Foregone Conclusion
    Spinoff/prequel/backstory/thingy to Lost Evolution, written for NaNoWriMo 2010

    Three Heads Are Better Than One

  25. #325
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    The afternoon sun flashed in and out of Velotus' eyes
    o.O That's a weird image. I'm picturing the sun jumping back and forth between inside Velotus's eye and outside, which sounds... uncomfortable, to say the least. I know what you're going for, but I don't think this description works here.

    It also seems odd to me that he can mask his arrival in the sounds of the wind, particularly if he specifically can't crawl around on foot, and particularly since Sceptile is at least genetically a forest-dwelling Pokémon; one would think that distinguishing the sound of a living creature landing on a presumably reasonably thick branch from the sound of the wind rustling through the smaller twigs and leaves would be pretty easy, especially for a forest Pokémon that would hear these sounds all day when in its natural environment. Meanwhile, crawling along on the ground should produce much less sound, since there you can step down very softly and you have a much better control over what your body touches. Traveling in the trees would be a good idea if you don't want to be seen, sure, but when trying to be quiet? Not so much.

    Hee, delicious Velotus trying to prove to himself that he's unaffected by what happened while he's totally not.

    In his mind's eye, Velotus saw himself leaping at his foe, destroying it in a single hit, but the Velotus in reality stayed frozen where he was, glaring at his evolved form from the safety of the tree.
    I love your choice of words here - just by calling it "the safety of the tree", you manage to subtly portray one hell of a lot about what's going on under the surface of Velotus's emotions: he's not moving from the tree because the Sceptile actually terrifies him and the tree feels safe. At the same time, he's "glaring", because on the surface he's converting all his fear into anger and hatred. And it's all fun and Velotusy. :3 I love how you manage to say a lot with few words.

    Aww, frustrated confused Velotus. :3

    That same feeling of dread began to rise within him; it unnerved him how familiar it felt.
    Velotuuus. <3

    It didn't matter that even just going near the Sceptile seemed like the hardest thing in the world right now, he would do it.
    Since there are complete sentences on both sides of that comma, it should be a semicolon or period (probably the former).

    Grinding her teeth in frustration, Carrie stared unseeingly through the forest.
    "Unseeingly" is a pretty unusual word and you used it just earlier in the Velotus scene, so you should probably reword one of them.

    "I just realised that it could be nothing - he could have just gone off on another one of his..."
    It seems a bit odd to me that she'd use "I just realized..." here; I mean, it's not as if it's difficult to think of that possibility, and you're making it sound like that's some sort of a revelation.

    Aww, Crescent is all happy. Though I never took him for the rubbing-against-legs type. o.o

    The battle between Velotus and the Sceptile was great and very tense, and I loved Velotus throughout, especially at the end when he starts all cackling madly about it. <3 I'm assuming Archopy attacked the Sceptile somehow? I really like that too, actually; you don't just go make Velotus stronger than the Sceptile after all, you make outside intervention give him an opportunity, while at the same time he is doing most of the work so it still feels like a victory for him. Good stuff.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

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