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Thread: Lost Evolution

  1. #176
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    storymasterb - Added to the list. Your post made me chuckle. xD

    DarkPersian479 - Well, the only other Grovyle to have Grass Knot is Raptola (he got it from his father), so using him for it would have been an even less desirable choice than risking Foliano's Everstone, really. I'm quite glad that Carrie happens to be a spur-of-the-moment decision maker sort of person, because her plan wasn't particularly intended to be rash, it just came out that way (though as I suppose it was intended by me to fail, that'd probably be why).

    I'm actually quite pleased to hear you found Theo's plan rather WTF?, though, as that was pretty much the impression I was trying to give as I wrote it. =D

    We'll see about that last line of the chapter. =P

    It's nice to hear what you think about Vanessa. I'm really pleased to know I've created an antagonist who isn't out and out evil and whom readers can almost side with, in a way.

    Tyranitar's Sand Stream wasn't so much cleverness as an automatic effect of it being sent out in a desert. Some more light shall be shed on why it acted how it did next chapter.

    As ever, thanks for reviewing!

    asperger1981 - I know you were just making a point. Thing is, I don't see what you expect me to do about it if you don't make your point clearly enough.
    .: 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

  2. #177
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    Elyvorg, this is probably a dumb question, but why is Carrie so worried about her Grovyle evolving if they could evolve into Archopy? I mean Sceptiles genes might be dominant, but the Archopy genes are still in Grovyle right? So Grovyle could still evolve into Archopy. Maybe you could put that as an ending. One of Carries Grovyle evolving into Archopy.
    Last edited by storymasterb; 3rd June 2008 at 6:19 PM.
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  3. #178
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    I've enjoyed reading this the past few days.

    I'm not much of a fan of the Treecko line, or any of Hoenn's Pokemon for that matter, but Grovyle never really seemed to fit that family, it evolving from Treecko is more logical than it evolving into Sceptile, but Trecko transitioning into Sceptile directly would make much more sense, at least those two look alike. Then, of course, Grovyle could just be some unrelated species.

    All we need is a breeding centre, Archopy and 100 Dittos (all transformed an breeding amongst themselves) and the old evolution can return. Though I suspect MemorCorp may have been planning something like that anyway.

  4. #179
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    I've enjoyed reading this the past few days.

    I'm not much of a fan of the Treecko line, or any of Hoenn's Pokemon for that matter, but Grovyle never really seemed to fit that family, it evolving from Treecko is more logical than it evolving into Sceptile, but Trecko transitioning into Sceptile directly would make much more sense, at least those two look alike. Then, of course, Grovyle could just be some unrelated species.

    All we need is a breeding centre, Archopy and 100 Dittos (all transformed an breeding amongst themselves) and the old evolution can return. Though I suspect MemorCorp may have been planning something like that anyway.

  5. #180
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    Hi, new reader here *looks around expectantly for a cookie* boy, your fic must be good because I just read all 18 chapters in one go (I was intrigued by the title and the "Evolution is a battle..." thing, did you right that by the way - if so you may just be a genius.) and I'm supposed to be revising for my GCSEs.

    Anyway, I'm no good at writing huge long reviews so I'll just say this: Its awesome! And so original, someone's gonna have to think of a new category for Archopy because "fakemon" really doesn't fit, I only read about it for the first time this morning and I'm already having a hard time convincing myself its not an official pokemon (but it should be! ).

    Looking forward to chapter 19,

    Your fellow writer, JammyU.

    PS: I'd be honoured if you'd read my fic and tell me what you think (Its more of a comedy adventure than a mystery like yours, but still... there's a cookie in it for you ).

    PPS: If you are planning on reading it don't look at the spoiler in my signature!

    PPPS: I'd love to be added to the PM list.
    3DS Name: James
    Friend Code: 4897-7143-5332
    Friend Safari: Poison (Gloom, Garbodor, Drapion)
        Spoiler:- Looking For:

    Happy to help people find out what their safari is.
    Palaeontologist and proud.
    Previously known as JammyU.

  6. #181
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    storymasterb - Because they can't evolve into Archopy, simple as that. I've mentioned it in several responses to similar comments, and Milo made it pretty clear (I think/hope) in the chapter where he explained it. Now, I know I rather effed up on how dominant and recessive genes actually work in real life as Dragonfree pointed out to me, but for the purposes of this fic, all trace of Archopy genes are completely gone from modern Grovyle.

    Even if there were recessive Archopy genes still in there under the dominant Sceptile ones (which there aren't, as it would mean that Archopy-evolving Treecko would randomly be born now and then from some breedings), the fact that the Sceptile genes are dominant would mean that the Archopy-genes don't affect how the Pokémon evolves at all. Think of genes for brown eyes and blue eyes in humans, for example. Brown eyes are dominant (at least, I think they are), so if someone got, say, brown-eyed genes from their mother and blue-eyed genes from their father, their eyes would be brown. The blue genes wouldn't be able to affect their eye colour at all - there'd be no way the person's eyes could randomly become blue; they're stuck with brown eyes for their whole life.

    Okay, I digress, as that's not even how Pokémon genetics works in Lost Evolution thanks to me having effed that part up. I really hope I didn't confuse you, because I think I might have confused myself.

    Also, try to refrain from comments like your last sentence; I know you didn't mean badly, but it almost gives the impression you're trying to write the fic for me. I already know how events are going to pan out (to a certain extent, at least), so I don't need people to suggest things to me when I've already got something likely very different planned. (Even for the chunks of plot which currently are just large, gaping gaps in the storyline on my plan, I don't want suggestions as I'd like everything to be my own.)

    On to simpler matters: New readers! *throws out cookies, seeing as one of them asked*

    NotBoris - Thanks for reading. I'd noticed myself that Treecko and Sceptile are a lot more similar to each other than they are to Grovyle. I've occasionally toyed with the idea of creating an alternate pre-evo to Grovyle as well (it'd just be fanart, mind - there's no way it'd work in the fic) but never got around to it. I don't mind Treecko at all.

    Whee. Speculation. :3

    Do you want to be added to the PM list? (Don't mind me, I ask this of all new readers.)

    JammyU - Also thanks for reading, and wow, all of them in one go. I'm surprised that this fic could be really that "unputdownable", so to speak. But unputdownability is one of the things I value most in books, so I consider that a huge compliment. Thanks!

    As for the "Evolution is a battle..." catchphrase, I kinda thought it up myself but kinda didn't. I got the general idea from one of Mohinder's voiceovers from an episode in the first series of Heroes (if you don't watch it, the basic idea is that he says something deep-sounding but a bit pointless at the start of each episode). It went something along the lines of: "Evolution is a dangerous and often violent process - a battle between what already exists and what is yet to be born." I realised what significance that had in relation to Lost Evolution, so I took it and shortened it, then added the second part because that's the point of the fic.

    And yay, I'm always pleased when someone likes Archopy, as it's the Fakemon I'm most proud of (yes, I do have quite a few others, which you can find if you search for threads started by me and go to my sprite thread). :3

    Added you to the PM list (or at least, I will do as soon as I've posted this). I doubt I'll get the chance to read and review your fic as I'm really, really lazy with stuff like reviewing nowadays and I'm not into journey fics so much, but I might. It's a very small might, though.
    .: 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

  7. #182
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    Aaahh, Heroes, I thought it sounded familiar, but you've made it different enough to call it your own I think.

    My fic isn't particularly long and I'm not asking for a full review, just whether you like it or not, my readership is fairly limited and I could do with another opinion. Its fairly light reading (I try to make it humourous) and,

        Spoiler:- I'll spoiler the next bit incase any of my readers see this (I'm talking to you Storymasterb don't you dare look.):
    3DS Name: James
    Friend Code: 4897-7143-5332
    Friend Safari: Poison (Gloom, Garbodor, Drapion)
        Spoiler:- Looking For:

    Happy to help people find out what their safari is.
    Palaeontologist and proud.
    Previously known as JammyU.

  8. #183
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    Well, I'm finally back after my unforgivably long absence, and I have one thing to say before I start...

    OMIGAWDOMIGAWDOMIGAWDOMIGAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWD!

    There, I feel much better.

    You really have done a wonderful job with this. I am thoroughly impressed with how engaging the story has become. It really got awesome with the kidnapping. GAWD, I wanted to shoot those guys... point blank... in the face... after some cool little phrase like the terminator or something. You've really developed all the characters so well, no one person seems useless to the story in any way. I really feel exhausted after reading through the ten chapters i've missed in one sitting, but I LOVE it. No exaggeration.

    I totally can't wait for the next continuation. Keep up the good work! And sorry that I kinda dropped out for that big period.

    Good Fortune!

    Now up in the Fanfiction Forum!


    banner a collaboration between Warlord-Pickle and myself

  9. #184
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    Sireath - Woohoo, welcome back! You were an awesome reviewer in your short time here before, if I remember correctly. 8D And wow, I'm really pleased to see that the chapters have got such an enthusiastic response.

    There are some smaller matters that I was waiting for something to reply to before mentioning so that it wouldn't seem like a pointless bump. First, in a moment of sheer boredom I went through each of the chapter posts and put links at the bottom for easier access to the previous and next chapters. If any of these links don't work or end up at the wrong chapter, I'd appreciate being told (not that I'm expecting anyone to go trawling through to check for me; just, if you notice one...).

    Secondly, I know the fic's been a bit inactive lately. We're approaching part of the plotline where events I have planned are a lot less defined, so I've been spending a lot of time thinking things over. I wanted to get a certain amount worked out before starting on a new chapter, and I'm happy to say that I've reached that point now. I've made a start in writing the next chapter, so it shouldn't take too long to get here. I won't make promises I can't keep, but I'm estimating about a week if the going stays good.

    And some of the stuff that I thought up in my plot-planning sessions... well, let's just say that I'm more enthusiastic about the plotline of this fic than I've ever been before. =D
    .: 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. #185
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    Hooray for plot continuation!

    Oh, and I totally put those link type things in my own fic, hope you don't mind
    (BTW, all your "next-chapter" links work from ch. 9 to current chapter. I ought to know)

    And about me giving good reviews, I'll try and get back to that from now on. I think you can understand why I didn't want to be too thorough in my last one. ^_^;

    Good Fortune!

    Now up in the Fanfiction Forum!


    banner a collaboration between Warlord-Pickle and myself

  11. #186
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    Default Chapter 19: Human Nature

    Well, well, well. I said a week in my post last Thursday, and it looks like, unbeknownst even to me, I meant it. New chapter!

    Now that I'm no longer plagued by the nagging feeling of being behind with my fic, I will try and do some catching up with reviews I owe.

    Chapter 19: Human Nature

    The Skarmory soared in wide circles above the human with the small white Pokémon, thinking carefully. Now that he’d finally found his target, he wasn’t sure what to do.

    His long search had led him into a desert that his flock had often skirted around but never flown directly over. Having seen the full extent of it, he could understand why. It was an almost infinite stretch of nothing – no shelter, no water, barely any food. Which meant that any humans in the desert stood out as plainly as he had among his own flock.

    He eyed the human as he wheeled around in midair yet again, considering how exposed it was. The part of him that now knew its kind to be selfish creatures who didn’t care about Pokémon couldn’t help thinking it was a trap to lure him into a false sense of ease; another part of him wondered whether maybe this human was simply being foolish. Either way, he found himself hesitating.

    What if he ended up attacked by one of its Pokémon? The brown spinning thing it had used before had hurt him an awful lot, but the long blue creature he’d seen looked more powerful, if anything. And the giant green monster that brought sandstorms in its wake was too terrifying to even think about.

    There was another question that he had avoided thinking about during the search for his target, too: how was he going to carry out his revenge, anyway?

    He wanted to make it angry, make it suffer, that much he knew. He wanted to make it regret the moment it had captured him and destroyed his hopes for a normal life. He’d watched from afar as the other two humans had confronted it, battled with their Pokémon – and then the black and white bringer of disaster had attacked it directly, and that above all seemed to have made it furious. Could he do the same?

    He wasn’t going to get anywhere by flying around just thinking about it. In a snap decision, the Skarmory fixed his sights on the human below and dove towards it with a brief sparkle. Swooping within range, he raised his sharp talons and slashed madly at his target, hardly caring that the heavy mass of cloth brought up by the human as a barrier was the only thing he was managing to strike. The material tore again and again, dropping from the human’s grip and spilling several strange objects out onto the sandy ground.

    He ignored them and powered onwards as his target, now defenceless, began to back away. The white Pokémon took off from its shoulder and zoomed at him, squeaking frantically, before bouncing harmlessly off his tarnished armour. Staying airborne with quick flaps of his wings, the Skarmory struck out at the human again and again, but his blows only managed to tear its loose skin as it retreated.

    Satisfied that it had been both frightened and injured, he broke off his attack. He hadn’t particularly been planning to kill it – as far as he knew, humans tasted disgusting – so he considered this to be a success, his job done.

    What was strange was how he’d torn its white skin but there wasn’t any noticeable blood - only a small, round object which had come loose and dropped onto the sand. He wondered if it might have been one of the human’s innards until something clicked in his mind: it looked almost the same as the thing which had been thrown at him to capture him.

    He wasn’t about to let that happen again.

    The human had already reached for it and picked it up, so he darted in and knocked the object out of its hand with his beak. It rolled across the ground until he grabbed it in his talons, daring the human to take it off him with a sharp glare. The white creature on its shoulder charged at him again, but he batted her back with one shining emerald wing. She retreated, looking too wary to attack for a third time.

    In the standoff that followed, the Skarmory was once again unsure what to do. He’d got his revenge – what next?

    The human was looking from him to the white Pokémon, then back to him. “Give that to me,” it ordered, slowly but forcefully.

    The Skarmory understood the words even though the language was foreign to him, and he knew one thing: he wasn’t going to give the object back. Not if it was what the human wanted. “No,” he cawed, his armour adding a defiant twinkle to underline his refusal.

    The human seemed to come to a decision and reached into its lower loose skin before flinging another round object into the air. “Tyranitar, attack it!” it called.

    It didn’t take the Skarmory long to work out what was happening. He almost fell over in his haste to take off, hardly realising that the round object was still in his claws, desperate only to put as much distance between himself and the emerging Pokémon as he could. He hoped it wasn’t the giant green monster, he really didn’t want to be attacked by the giant green monster…

    The wind around him swirled, whipping the desert sand up into a storm but sending his hopes plummeting. From behind him came a roar followed by the human’s command of, “Attack the Skarmory, now!” He willed his wings to flap faster, bracing himself for the worst – surely his armour wouldn’t withstand one of those terrifying beams of light…

    Why?” growled the creature, taking the Skarmory completely by surprise. He paused in his escape and remained hovering, listening carefully in case he had imagined it. “Why should I?” came the voice again. He detected a slight feminine tone to it; the monster – the Tyranitar, that was its name – was female.

    As the human launched into a furious tirade of orders, the Skarmory stayed where he was, torn by indecision. The larger, more sensible part of him wanted nothing other than to get out of there as quickly as possible before the Tyranitar changed her mind and started listening to her trainer. The other part of him – the curious side which had been intrigued by humans in the first place – wondered why she was refusing: whether she, like him, resented belonging to a trainer.

    Despite everything, he couldn’t let that spark of curiosity go. With half his mind protesting vehemently about what a bad idea it was, he flipped himself around in midair and flew deeper into the sandstorm, feeling the sand surround him and tickle his metallic skin. The Tyranitar wasn’t hard to locate; she was the huge shape in the middle of it all. Her powerful form with its impenetrable craggy skin loomed closer, giving even his curious side second thoughts.

    She turned and regarded him through the sand, looking bemused rather than angry. “You’re a funny colour,” she said.

    The Skarmory let out a long breath as he started to circle above her head, reluctant to risk landing. “That’s what everyone says,” he complained. “Can’t I just be normal?

    Oh.” The Tyranitar looked at the ground. “Sorry.

    There was an awkward silence; even the human had stopped yelling orders from outside. Perhaps the sandstorm was so thick that it couldn’t see in and assumed that its Pokémon was attacking. At least, the Skarmory hoped so.

    Why aren’t you running away?” asked the Tyranitar eventually. “Most of them do.

    Because you’re not attacking me,” he said. “But how come you’re not?

    The vast creature gave a grunt and kicked at the sand grumpily. “That human isn’t my trainer,” she growled. “She doesn’t even try to be.

    But it caught you –

    No, she didn’t,” the Tyranitar snarled, cutting him off. “I was captured by a different human, a long time ago. He cared about me – he treated me with respect, not as a tool for battling like this one does. He was everything I could have wanted from a human.

    The Skarmory almost fell out of the air as his wings simply forgot to flap. He picked himself up and stared unseeingly through the sandstorm. Was it true? Had the stories been right all along? Could it be that he’d only seen the worst of humans so far?

    He was drawn from his thoughts by his armour giving off another dazzling but distracting sparkle. “What happened to him?” he managed to ask, looking down at the Tyranitar.

    She let out a low, almost sad growl before answering. “He had to sell me to this pathetic excuse for a human,” she grumbled. “His family were poor, they needed the money… He said he had no choice. I know he wouldn’t have done it if he had.” With a loud thump, she sat down. “I don’t want to talk about it any more. Please, just go.

    The Skarmory’s survival instinct heeded the creature’s last words and propelled him hurriedly out of the sandstorm, but his mind was more occupied with wonderful new thoughts on humans. If what the Tyranitar said was true – and she seemed genuinely crushed about losing her trainer – then there really were humans out there who cared. His dreams of a life being treated with kindness like an ordinary Skarmory were suddenly within reach again.

    Filled with fresh hope, he darted off towards the horizon, seeking out the other two humans for answers to the countless questions bubbling in his mind. He barely noticed that he was still clutching the small, round object tightly in his talons.

    * * *

    Carrie plonked herself down in the shade of a large, overhanging rock. Her legs were aching with the toll of spending all morning and half the afternoon trekking over the desert; it was a relief to finally be able to sit down somewhere where the sun’s rays couldn’t reach her. She tore off her jacket and threw it next to Crescent before gazing out over the terrain. The dry but refreshingly sand-free ground was host to a multitude of muddy brown rocks and boulders, large and small, that stretched on for as far as the eye could see. The desert was behind them at last. They’d be in Northern Canyon by evening.

    Theo joined her, tossing his hat onto the ground.

    “We’re stopping here for a rest,” Carrie said at once before he could make a decision for her. “I don’t care about our progress – I don’t want to reach Archopy only to keel over in exhaustion.”

    “I was going to say that myself, actually,” said Theo. “We can’t go losing Vanessa, not now she has that Master Ball.”

    Carrie looked over in the direction they had come from and realised for the first time that there was no sign of Vanessa. Due to the slight rise and fall of the rocky terrain, the horizon was much closer, a lot of it shielded from view by boulders. It would take the woman a good bit of searching to pick up their trail again, that much was clear.

    Crescent whined softly from beside his trainer, gazing out over the rugged landscape with a hint of longing. Carrie smiled and whispered, “Go on, then.” Eagerly, the Absol rose and dashed off into the mishmash of rocks, disappearing from sight. Carrie found herself worrying slightly, but she trusted him not to go far enough that she’d lose him.

    As they were presumably going to be resting for a while, she took out her drinks canister from her bag. Next to her, Theo was producing a Poké Ball from his pocket. “I also thought I could use the time to talk to An… to Armaldo, now that he’s evolved,” he said, practically grinning.

    “Do what you like,” Carrie muttered, taking a nonchalant sip of her drink. “Doesn’t bother me.”

    “Fine.” Theo tossed the ball into the air, and it opened with a burst of light. Doing her best not to seem all that interested even if she was – it wasn’t every day she saw an Armaldo, after all – Carrie watched the creature emerge.

    Already bigger than its pre-evolved form, Armaldo appeared even larger due to standing upright on two stubby but strong legs, his craggy claws much more potent as weapons now that he didn’t need them to drag himself around. Sunlight gleamed off the black armour plating on his back, and his powerful, spiked tail rested on the ground. From the look of pride on Theo’s face, he might as well have been the Pokémon’s father. “Armaldo!” he cried, full of delight.

    Carrie filled the ensuing silence by putting her drinks canister away as noisily as possible. Armaldo’s eyes, jutting from either side of his face, blinked once.

    “How was evolving?” Theo asked, still beaming.

    The Pokémon stared into the distance, not looking at his trainer. The feathery flaps on his sides fluttered in the light breeze.

    The smile on Theo’s face became more and more forced. “Are you still hurt? Do you want healing?”

    No response.

    His face fell. “Please,” he said desperately. “Please, Armaldo, don’t do this to me. I’ve wanted you to evolve all this time so you’d stop being like this. You can’t tell me it’s all been for nothing!” Theo gave an angry sigh. “No, of course you can’t. You can’t tell me anything.”

    There was a long pause as Theo stared at the ground, during which Armaldo continued to gaze blankly ahead and Carrie began to feel increasingly awkward. This decidedly one-sided argument had nothing to do with her.

    “Look, will you just look at me!” Theo suddenly exploded at his Pokémon, almost making Carrie jump. Obediently, Armaldo turned his head towards his trainer, oblivious to the ferocity of the outburst. Carrie wasn’t even being looked at directly, but she could see that his eyes were empty, as emotionless as they ever had been. The evolution hadn’t changed a thing.

    Theo’s anger faded into dull resignation as he saw the state of his Pokémon. “Sorry,” he sighed. “I know it’s not your fault. It’s just… sometimes…” He raised the Poké Ball and pointed it towards Armaldo. “Sometimes I don’t know why I bother.” Without even a twitch, the creature dissolved into red light.

    “Well, that went well,” said Carrie brightly after a pause.

    “Don’t,” Theo snapped, glaring at her.

    For once, she listened.

    * * *

    Sitting alone atop a tall boulder, Crescent gazed out over the rough, rocky landscape. The drawback to belonging to his trainer was that he rarely got to enjoy the atmosphere of such wild, open areas as this. Forests were special in their own way, but they weren’t as oddly comforting as places which reminded him of home. This wasn’t home either, but at least it had the same air about it, the same feel to it.

    Being alone was a feeling familiar and not uncomfortable to him. Though he preferred the company of his trainer, he savoured moments like these as they allowed him to reflect on life before he had known her. For a creature endlessly plagued by what the future brought, it was a welcome distraction to think on the past.

    Even if, sometimes, he still found himself haunted by it.

    Four years ago, a small human settlement near to his home mountain range had been completely destroyed in the path of a flood. Being an Absol, Crescent had sensed the oncoming disaster long before it had struck, and he’d done his best to warn the townspeople of the danger. Believing him to be a bringer of bad luck, they had driven him away. He had encountered many humans suspicious of him in his time, of course, but none with such complete refusal to heed his warnings.

    From a nearby hillside, he had helplessly watched the entire town die.

    Crescent was drawn out of his memories as he began to sense that he was no longer alone. Circling overhead was some kind of bird Pokémon; on looking up, he recognised it as the strangely-coloured Skarmory from the previous day. Clearly realising that he had been noticed, the bird circled lower and lower before landing slightly clumsily on the dry ground below Crescent’s rock.

    Crescent looked down at the Skarmory. The Skarmory sparkled as he craned his neck to look back up at him.

    “Are you captured by one of those humans?” the bird asked without introduction.

    “Yes,” Crescent replied, assuming the Skarmory meant his trainer and the brown human. Then he realised that probably wasn’t enough of an answer and added, “Why?”

    “I want to find out more about humans,” said the Skarmory. “I didn’t really want to ask you,” he went on in a slightly awkward tone, “but I couldn’t see any Pokémon near them, and…”

    Crescent suppressed a growl. “Why didn’t you want to ask me?”

    “Because...” The Skarmory shuffled away from the rock, then seemed to stop himself. “Because you bring disasters.” He gave Crescent a half-curious, half-accusing look. “Don’t you?”

    Crescent dug his claws into the boulder and averted his gaze. “That’s not true. We try to warn people because we can sense them coming. Everyone thinks they’re our fault, but they aren’t.” He thought ruefully about how this Skarmory was just like most Pokémon, fearing him because of something he couldn’t help. The Breloom in the forest two days ago had been the same. Crescent had only asked him what he was frightened of; “You, among other things,” had been the reply.

    “Oh,” said the Skarmory after a pause. He looked sheepishly at the ground. “Sorry.”

    As the bird gave another bizarre twinkle, Crescent suddenly realised that with the Skarmory’s unusual appearance, he probably wasn’t a stranger to being judged either.

    “So, um…” began the bird Pokémon hesitantly, “do you like your human?”

    After thinking about it for a moment, Crescent simply answered, “Yes.” He wasn’t sure if he wanted to elaborate to a wild stranger.

    “Is it because it gives you food?” the Skarmory asked. “Is that why you like it?”

    Crescent was rather taken aback; why would he think that? “No,” he said. “I mean, she does give me food, but that’s not why I like her.”

    “Oh.” The Skarmory stared at the ground again. “I was captured by a human not very long ago. It gave me food – good food – and a nice place to live. But it thought I was a freak. A special freak, but…” He shook his head. “No-one ever thinks I’m normal.”

    Crescent looked closely at the Pokémon for the first time, taking in his dull brown-grey armour, his green wings, the way he glittered on occasion. This Skarmory was, undoubtedly, different. Then he realised he probably shouldn’t be staring and quickly gazed towards the horizon instead.

    “Why do you like your human, then? If it’s not the food?” the bird asked.

    “She likes me,” Crescent said simply. “I don’t think she likes me quite as much as her other Pokémon, but she still treats me well. Before she caught me, I’d begun to think disasters might really be my fault – there was this town that…” He trailed off and gave his white mane a shake to clear his thoughts. “Anyway, she didn’t care that I was an Absol, she just respected me for who I –”

    Crescent came to a stop as he realised that he was being gazed at in unabashed awe and wonder. “Really?” breathed the bird. “It really cares about you?”

    “Why do you look so surprised? Most humans are like that.”

    Crescent didn’t think the Skarmory could have looked any more amazed, but somehow he managed to do so.

    “Some of them are probably better than mine,” Crescent went on. “But I’m happy with my trainer as she is.”

    The bird started flapping his sparkling green wings in a flurry of excitement, propelling himself higher and higher until his feet – and the thing he was clutching in them – were on a level with Crescent’s head. Crescent stared at what was being held in his talons – surely…

    “Thank you!” the Skarmory was squawking. “Thank you so much! You’ve really –”

    “What’s that you’ve got?” Crescent interrupted. “In your claws?”

    “What?” Still flapping wildly, he looked down at his own feet. “Oh, that.” The round object dropped to the ground with a clatter. “Don’t know,” the Skarmory admitted. “Took it off that bad human back there – the one you attacked. Think it might be a thing humans catch Pokémon with.”

    Crescent leapt off his rock to examine the ball more closely. It had the same colour, the same pattern – it was definitely the one he had been told to steal. “It is,” he muttered, almost to himself. “My trainer wants it.”

    “It – she – can have it!” the Skarmory declared, flying around Crescent’s head in tight, erratic circles. “She deserves it more than the other human!” He suddenly came to a stop, landing haphazardly on the rock Crescent had been on and looking down at him eagerly. “Can she catch me?”

    His eyes widened. “What? Her? She doesn’t really catch –”

    “She caught you,” the Skarmory pointed out.

    “I know, but that was a long time ago,” said Crescent. “And only because she said I was annoying her. I was following her to see if disaster really did strike humans when I was around, and in the end she got annoyed and caught me so I’d be following on her terms, not mine.”

    The Skarmory seemed to think about this. “What if I follow her?” he asked.

    “Not a good idea,” Crescent told him shortly. “She’s sort of busy.”

    “What about the other human she’s with? Wait – is yours the brown one or the green one?”

    He shook his head in exasperation. “I don’t think the other one will want you either.” Crescent turned back to the ball lying on the ground. “Look, thank you for this, and I hope you find a nice human, but…” Opening his mouth as wide as he would have done for a Bite attack, he crammed the object in. Then he realised he could no longer speak, so he gave up on that option and raced straight for where he’d left his trainer, leaving the Skarmory atop the rock, still squawking his thanks.

    * * *

    Vanessa was seething.

    As if it wasn’t bad enough being attacked by not one but two Pokémon apparently bent on stealing her Master Ball, her Tyranitar utterly refusing to do anything she said had meant that one of them had actually succeeded. She was bleeding slightly in a few places from where the Skarmory had managed to tear straight through her jacket – which in itself was ruined – and her bag had been completely ripped to shreds. It was impossible to carry anything in it without items falling out of gaping holes left, right and centre. She had resorted to carrying the valuable pieces of equipment in her arms and burying her less expensive items in the sand at the edge of the desert in the hope she could return later and find them again.

    She was a mess, and she knew it. But it all paled in comparison with the fact that the Skarmory had stolen her Master Ball. Vanessa cursed the bird for escaping, having never expected it to come back for her. How had it known exactly what to steal, anyway? It couldn’t possibly have somehow been in league with the two trainers, could it?

    Joy chirped angrily from her shoulder. The Togetic had picked up on her owner’s frustration and was acting uncharacteristically moody, something Vanessa didn’t like to see from her friend. “Hush. We have to make the best of it,” she hissed in an unenthusiastic attempt to cheer the both of them up.

    Joy shook her head and chirped again more insistently, one tiny arm pointing into the distance where a hint of green could be seen against a rock. Squinting, Vanessa could make out the shape of the girl, with the less conspicuously clothed man sitting beside her. They wouldn’t have her Master Ball, she knew, but she couldn’t shake the irrational suspicion that they were in league with the Skarmory somehow – that, perhaps, they knew of its whereabouts.

    Cradling her laptop protectively with one hand and making sure her PokéNav and Poké Balls didn’t fall out of her half-torn pockets with the other, she scrambled over and between the rocks, hoping to come within earshot. It didn’t seem like the pair were speaking to each other at all; Vanessa couldn’t hear a thing being said as she managed to approach far enough to hide herself behind a nearby rock.

    She caught a flash of movement at the edge of her vision and craned her neck around as discreetly as she could to get a proper look. It was the girl’s Absol, the creature that had attacked her; she quickly inched further behind the rock to avoid it seeing her, then stopped as she noticed what it held in its mouth.

    Vanessa had to suppress a gasp of sheer indignation: it was her Master Ball. How could it be? How had the bird known who to give it to?

    Fuming silently behind the rock as Joy did much the same, Vanessa overheard the trainers’ surprise as they realised what the Absol was carrying. She listened to the girl congratulate her Pokémon for its find. She heard them standing up as they decided to end their rest right then and move on, taking Vanessa’s extremely expensive property with them.

    The one thing that kept running through Vanessa’s mind was how these people had somehow cheated at this game.

    It was so tempting to jump out from behind the rock there and then in an attempt to steal back the Master Ball. But Vanessa wasn’t one to act on impulse; she knew that the trainers now held the upper hand and would likely be able to fend her off as easily as she had done to them. It didn’t help that she’d buried all of her Potions in the sand so that she couldn’t heal the weakened Dragonair and make him chase them, and she was reluctant to send Joy in case the Togetic got hurt.

    As soon as she was sure the trainers were completely out of earshot, Vanessa rose from behind the rock and let out a shriek of sheer frustration. Breathing heavily, she sat down again. Joy looked rather worried, but Vanessa was privately glad that only the Togetic had witnessed her moment of indignity.

    It had helped clear her head, at least. Thinking sensibly again, she deduced that the most logical thing to do was simply to regroup, come back later when she was ready and reclaim her Master Ball then. Going to the police was out of the picture; Vanessa was used to the grey area between legal and illegal and didn’t fancy being asked too many questions. She would make the best of the situation her own way.

    Now that she thought of it, she could indeed do just that. It would doubtless take her so long to sort things out that the trainers would have reached and captured her prize by the time she came back for them. Wouldn’t it be so much simpler just to take the Master Ball back once it contained Archopy?

    Vanessa smiled to herself. It would be like killing two birds with one stone.

    ~~~

    << Previous chapter
    Last edited by elyvorg; 30th July 2008 at 12:53 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. #187
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    Another great chapter!

    I don't doo actual errors, so onto content...

    You seem to show emotion in the characters really well, including the pokemon. Also, your characters are really building there own personalities. I also like the fact that skarmory helped out (as i said i like birds). But personally i would have had Carrie catch him - but of course its up to you in the end.

    Plus i would like to say that this is very inspirational, and i refer to this as i write my own fanfic (without actually coping of course ^^, just for wording ideas).

    Continue the good work,

    Sinnohdragon

  13. #188
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    This went quite well. Theos Armaldo being exactly the same made me laugh, as well as Skarmory stealing the Master Ball. I kind of agree with Skarmory, I want to be normal, but get treated differently. Absol knows how it feels seeing as people think it brings disasters. I hate Vanessa at the same time I know she is going to fail. I know what shes going to try and it will fail becuase Carrie isn't going to catch Archopy, Master Ball or no Master Ball. I hope this goes well with chapter 20, good luck.
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  14. #189
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    Damn amusing vengeance that Skarmory got over Vanessa. Clearly one of the best ways of wreaking havoc. The fact that Vanessa has lost her Master Ball makes me utterly amused, and clearly this chapter was all about Skarm and his notion of him feeling like a freak. I sincerely hope the bird stays free.

    Once again, Magnifique chapter.


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  15. #190
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    Great chapter, I especially love Absol and Scarmory's character development. Also, ingenius title - "The Human Race" - because Scarmory's learning about humans and they're continuing the race to Archopy. Excellent.
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  16. #191
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    So, Skarmory got his revenge AND learned that not all humans are cold and uncaring. I guess she and Crescent struck a chord in the brief time they chatted. Overall, I'd say it's a good day for our shiny-fied friend. Oh, and what sweet revenge it was! Not out to kill, but to majorly inconvenience her. I suppose it goes to show you that you never know when some deed you did will come back and bite you.

    But that has to suck for Tyranitar, being sold to Vanessa for money. I'm a bit surprised she doesn't harbor any ill will toward her old trainer for selling her off to Vanessa, though. She must have been very understanding of his dire financial situation.

    And just like that, the upper hand now belongs with Carrie and Theo. They've got possession of the Master Ball, and Vanessa is stuck having to juggle the remainder of her belongings by hand, which will hinder her mobility. And I like her crafty plan for taking back Archopy after it's inside the Master Ball... too bad she doesn't know their true intentions... and that the two of them WON'T be returning with her prey.

    The MemorCorp hired thugs are still a threat though, and I know they aren't going down without a fight. I look forward to seeing what their next move is.

    To sum it up, nice chapter, and a pretty sweet way of turning the tables on Vanessa.

  17. #192
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    Sinnohdragon - Well, Crescent pretty much summed up why it's very unlikely that Carrie will ever catch the Skarmory in the chapter. It just doesn't fit her. Bit of a blow for the Skarmory, though - he has to search a bit further for a suitable human.

    Part if me is slightly worried that you imply my characters are only starting to build personalities nineteen chapters in. But I doubt you really meant it that way. ^^; (If by some chance you do, by all means say so and elaborate.)

    And it's really nice to hear that you think of this fic as inspirational. ^^ Thanks.

    storymasterb - Hmm, don't know what to think about you finding the Armaldo development (or lack of any) funny. On the one hand, I can see how it could be funny, but on the other, I was going for a more serious reaction to that scene, specifically on how Theo takes it (incidentally, that scene was probably my favourite moment to write for Theo so far in this fic just because of how much I liked the result).

    Oh, Chapter 20 has certainly gone well (I've already written all of it - I go by a rhythm of having two chapters written before I post the first of them, mostly to help smooth out continuity). It's where the plot starts getting really interesting. You think the plot is interesting so far? You haven't seen anything yet. >=D

    (Yes, that was a very un-subtle teaser to try and get you hyped for the rest of the fic. x3)

    fishyfool - Haha, everyone seems to be amused at how much Vanessa got owned in this chapter. And everyone wants Skarmory to be free and happy and stuff. Whoo. :3

    JammyU - I find it slightly amusing that I'm being congratulated on the ingenuity of a title that this chapter doesn't even have. xP It's called Human Nature, a title rather ashamedly taken from an episode of my favourite TV programme (I am not worthy...), not the one you said. Although now that you have said it, The Human Race would have been a really good title to use. I like punny titles - take (and groan at) the title Head in the Sand, which is mostly referring to Carrie pretending Velotus' battle with the Sceptile never happened, but is also a reference to Theo mentioning that they'll be going through the desert.

    Incidentally, Chapter 20 is almost definitely going to be titled Finish Line. Make of that what you will. :>

    DarkPersian479 - The Skarmory learning that some humans can be nice was one of the most fun things about writing this chapter, simply because I was making a character I'm fond of so happy. :3 His similarity with Crescent in that they've both experienced some kind of outcast-ness allowed me to get in some development for the Absol, too.

    I don't think Tyranitar exactly understands fully the financial situation of her old trainer - I doubt Pokémon have much of a grasp on the concept of money - rather, I think it's more that she trusted him so much that when he said he had no choice, she believed that he truly had no choice.

    Heh, Vanessa's "regroup and come back later" strategy is largely a way for me to get her out of the picture for a bit, but at least it is far more logical than a lot of the other things I put into motion mostly for my own convenience.


    Thank you all for your comments on the chapter. It seems that with no actual criticism to respond to, I'm reduced to practically giving a commentary on things people mention, with rambles on why I (or a character) did what I (or they) did, and how much I enjoyed writing it. But hey, I love a ramble, so it's all good.
    .: 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

  18. #193
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    God, I hate myself for always falling inactive, but at least I'm not that late this time, let's get to my review of inactive FH's doom.


    Like Darkpersian479 already commented, the utter convenience of Skarmory (Who I know adore) nabbing that exact ball Vanessa needed to catch Archopy, it's somewhat humorous if you think about, all it wanted was some revenge but he actively put a stop to Vanessa's plans. This also makes me wonder what Vanessa is going to do once she finds out Carrie and Theo's plans radically differ from her. Technically though, she has a big disadvantage now.


    That said, I'll move on to Skarmory, who I really hope will return, in the ownership of a good trainer or just as a wandering ally, perhaps he will follow them out of persistence, though I think Theo would capture it then. Anyway, his interactions with both Tyranitar and Absol were very well executed and explain quite some things. I like the Tyranitar close bond to her previous trainer as well as the revelation that she's a 'she'.

    Though Carrie and Theo didn't really receive as much attention as previous chapters, there small parts were very deep, for example, Armaldo's lifeless behavour that hasn't changed at all both made me feel very sorry for Theo and make me very curious what caused this to happen, Theo seems to know though.


    The last thing, Joy was so very cute this chapter, not the stereotypical cute, but she actually forced Vanessa to try and soothe it as well as fight against Skarmory although she couldn't damage him (which is why I also like this comment from Vanessa)

    and she was reluctant to send Joy in case the Togetic got hurt.

    It was very, very cute.

    Vanessa rose from behind the rock and let out a shriek of sheer frustration.
    As was this x3

    That'd be all, byebye.




    +Frosted Heavens+
    Searching for Inspiration...

  19. #194
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    Frosted Heavens - Finally getting around to replying to your review because I noticed this thing was on the seventh page. ^^; And to mention that I might be posting the next chapter fairly soon even though I've only just started writing Chapter 21 - I've got summer holidays now so I should have more time to write and catch up with my system.

    ...To think, in a month and a bit this fic will be a year old. :O

    Anyway.

    I don't think the Skarmory himself actually quite realises it, but yeah, his revenge ended up being a lot better than he meant it to. And it might take a while for Vanessa to realise Carrie and Theo's true plans because it'll take her a bit of time to go and regroup. Who knows - she might even be too late by the time she gets back.

    It is true that this chapter didn't have much Carrie and Theo in it, and due to the expanding plot of the fic, this is likely to happen more often in later chapters too. Nice that you could feel sorry for Theo as that was the kind of thing I was going for - and incidentally, he doesn't know what's wrong with Armaldo; he's just lived with it for so long that he knows what to expect. It's like he knows the symptoms but not the cause, if you get what I mean.

    It's good to see you still like Joy, and for those reasons, too. I often worry that the Togetic is little more than something cute that's just there, so that's good to hear. It's also a relief to see you liked Vanessa's scream, as I was worried it'd be a bit... over the top. I put it in because it did seem fitting for a character as proud as Vanessa, at least.
    Last edited by elyvorg; 19th July 2008 at 7:28 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

  20. #195
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    Default Chapter 20: Finish Line

    Bah. So when I say a week I apparently mean a week, but when I say fairly soon, it means five days. :/

    Still, it's here now, so let's do this.

    Chapter 20: Finish Line

    Carrie almost wanted to laugh. After their dismally unsuccessful attempts to steal Vanessa’s Master Ball in the desert, Crescent had suddenly turned up with the item inexplicably in his jaws. It made no sense how he’d come across it, but Carrie wasn’t about to complain. She had what she wanted now, so the fact that Vanessa was still nowhere to be seen could now only be considered a good thing. To top it all off, according to Theo, they were so close to Northern Canyon that they’d be there in a couple of hours at most.

    Carrie didn’t think she’d felt so optimistic since laying eyes on Archopy.

    “So, what are you going to do with that, anyway?” Theo asked her as she tossed the ball from one hand to the other, barely looking where she was going.

    She caught it one last time and snapped into the present. “What?”

    “The Master Ball. What do we do with it now?”

    “Get rid of it,” Carrie said immediately. “We’ve got to get rid of it somehow. Can’t have Vanessa stealing it back.”

    “Or anyone else,” Theo put in.

    She nodded. “But we can’t just throw it away because someone might find it, so...” A thought suddenly flitted into Carrie’s mind, and she cringed at the memory it brought. “Well, it worked for Raptola,” she muttered, before raising her arm and flinging the Master Ball against the solid ground as hard as she could.

    There was a loud ping of toughened plastic hitting rock, followed by the soft padding of Crescent’s paws as he bounded forward to pick up the ball before it rolled too far. He passed it back to Carrie, who examined it with slowly widening eyes. It was completely intact.

    “Maybe it’s a lot sturdier than a normal Poké Ball?” Theo offered.

    “It won’t be able to withstand everything, though,” Carrie insisted. She placed the Master Ball on the ground, then stepped back and called out Velotus.

    Ever alert, the Grovyle’s eyes darted around for opponents before he looked up at his trainer, frowning. Clearly an inanimate object wasn’t good enough for him as a foe. “What is this?” he said in an accusatory tone.

    “Look, Velotus, I’m not in the mood for another argument about battling or not battling. Just attack the ball and break it, would you?” Carrie told him.

    Velotus stared at it as though sizing it up. “Why?

    “Because Vanessa was going to use it to capture Archopy.”

    She had barely finished her sentence before Velotus flared up with sudden anger, flying at the Master Ball and slashing at it with a razor-sharp Leaf Blade. It skidded across the ground and rebounded off a nearby rock back towards him, only to be sent careering off again by a second strike. Carrie and her Pokémon hurriedly chased after the ball, not wanting to lose it and run the risk of somebody else picking it up.

    “Okay, calm down,” she said to Velotus as they caught up with it. The Master Ball had rolled to a stop on a flat piece of ground but had by some cruel miracle managed to remain intact. “Try a Crunch.”

    Velotus picked up the ball and clamped down on it with his viciously pointed teeth. He recoiled and let go almost immediately. “Too hard,” he muttered.

    “Well, bite it harder!” said Carrie. “It’s not like you were trying just then.”

    He shook his head. “I’m not risking my teeth. Not now.

    Carrie frowned at him. Crescent took advantage of the moment, darting in with a few words in his tongue seemingly directed at Velotus and crunching down on the ball with his own sharp teeth. A grunt of exertion escaped him as he tried to force his jaws shut, but eventually he gave in and dropped the Master Ball back on the ground, whining slightly in pain.

    Carrie shot him a concerned look. “That didn’t break your teeth, did it?” The Absol shook his head, and his trainer picked up the ball and glared at it. “Didn’t break this, either.”

    Velotus treated the Master Ball to his most heated gaze, then aimed a rather more thoughtful glance towards the horizon. “We’re near it, aren’t we?” he said.

    She nodded. “Two hours, Theo says.”

    It struck her suddenly that the man in question wasn’t next to her as she had assumed he was. “Theo?” Carrie spun around and saw him standing exactly where he had been before she had run off after the wayward Master Ball. He was looking in the opposite direction. “What are you doing?” she called.

    Theo turned back towards her and approached. “Oh, nothing,” he said. “Just checking for Vanessa – we don’t want her suddenly coming in and snatching the Master Ball while you’re rolling it around all over the place.” He paused. “But she still hasn’t shown up, and we were resting for quite a while. It’s strange.”

    “Strange, but also good,” Carrie pointed out as he reached her side. “Anyway, we can’t seem to break the damn thing – I dunno, maybe it’s designed to never break as well as never fail to catch anything – so…” She trailed off, hoping Theo would fill in the blank. He didn’t. “So, I guess we’ll just have to keep it,” she went on. “I’ll stick it at the bottom of my bag, and we’ll forget it ever existed.”

    Theo shrugged. “Sounds like the best option.”

    Carrie flipped open the bag at her waist and delved into it, pushing her hand with the Master Ball in through the masses of her things. The bag was a lot deeper than it looked; the company that made them had hit on the idea of using the move Secret Power, which could create a fairly spacious cavern from a small clump of grass, to expand their bags and make them somehow bigger on the inside. They’d been an instant hit with trainers everywhere.

    Carrie dropped the Master Ball at the very bottom and pulled her hand out quickly, aware that it probably looked odd to anyone observing from the outside. Theo wasn’t fazed; he seemed, not at all surprisingly, to be familiar with the concept.

    They started walking again as the sun crept lower in the sky behind them. Crescent trotted by Carrie’s side, looking as content as he ever did when surrounded by the wide, rocky landscape. Now that the Master Ball was out of sight and out of mind, Velotus’ eyes remained fixed firmly on the horizon. Watching him, Carrie couldn’t help reflecting on how much he – and her other Grovyle – must be looking forward to seeing Archopy again, and properly this time. With this in mind, she pulled out four Poké Balls and tossed them into the air.

    The next thing Carrie was aware of was the pain of her Trapinch bite flaring up again as Raptola, desperate to cling to something solid, dug his claws into her right leg. She yelped and shook it before realising who it was and nudging the Grovyle gently with her left foot. “It hurts,” she said apologetically. “Could you cling to the other one, at least?”

    Raptola craned his neck up at her, treating her to his best innocent gaze. She refused to be swayed, raising an eyebrow at him, and he duly let go only to latch onto her uninjured left leg instead. Ivyx watched her son with motherly affection, but her worried gaze kept flicking between him and Foliano, who was clutching his Everstone tightly and seemed to be concentrating.

    Eventually, he snapped out of it and looked first at Ivyx, then at his trainer. “It’s gone,” he said. “The energy – it flared up just then, but now there’s nothing left. I don’t need this any more.” With those words, Foliano tossed the Everstone onto the ground in front of him. Carrie started; she’d got used to thinking of the object as something of a life-support system for him, so it took the fact that he didn’t suddenly burst out with a white glow to convince her that the Grovyle was safe.

    Immobilised by Raptola clinging to her leg, Carrie could only watch as Theo stepped forward and picked up the Everstone from by Empathy’s feet, pocketing it. She’d almost forgotten that the stone even belonged to him.

    Will Daddy stay Daddy now?” Raptola asked.

    Of course he will, sweetie,” Ivyx told him, putting an arm around Foliano and offering him a smile, which he returned.

    Carrie tugged at her still-anchored leg, eager to get going again. “Up you get, come on,” she said.

    Raptola gave a “Do I have to?” sort of moan and started laboriously clambering up her leg into his usual place on her back. As soon as he had reached it and the group had started walking again, he piped up with, “Are we nearly there yet?

    “Actually, we are,” Carrie said, and she couldn’t help smiling as she did. “Only a couple more hours.”

    Empathy, who was walking in front with Crescent, pricked up his ears. Claw-in-claw with Foliano, Ivyx looked around at her trainer. “Really? We’ll be there by sundown?

    Cottoning on to what was being talked about, Theo pointed into the distance. “See over there, where the rocks get paler? That’s it.”

    Carrie was surprised; she hadn’t quite realised just how within reach Northern Canyon was. It was right at the edge of the horizon where the dull brown of the rocks they were currently amongst faded into a sandy yellow, almost white shade. After days of trekking and exhaustion and heartache, Archopy was finally close. Soon it would all be over.

    At least, Carrie hoped. Vanessa might have been out of the equation, but there was still the factor of MemorCorp and the gang that served it.

    Raptola chose that moment to yawn widely next to Carrie’s ear, reminding her that it was best simply not to think about such things. They’d deal with that problem when it came. If it even came at all.

    * * *

    “Northern Canyon. Not much of a canyon, is it?”

    Carrie stood with her Pokémon and Theo on the rim of what was indeed shaped less like a canyon and more like a quarry. It was as if the surface of the earth had been scraped away, leaving a wide trough of pale, bare rock, made to look yellower than it actually was by the setting sun behind them. The sides of the canyon were the only remotely interesting parts to look at: treacherous, craggy rock faces mingled with the occasional gentler slope for a quick path down to the bottom. Lining the edge of the pit was a mishmash of caves, some small, others much bigger.

    Carrie scanned the floor of the canyon for any flashes of green that might have been Archopy. Dull browns and greys of what were probably Rock or Ground types were the only colours in sight, most of them near the edge of the canyon. Not a speck of green or red was visible; Archopy was nowhere to be seen.

    For a moment, Carrie panicked. What if this meant MemorCorp had beaten them to it? What if their journey had all been for nothing?

    She told herself to calm down. Obviously Archopy wasn’t going to be displayed on some podium in the middle of the canyon for all to see, despite what her subconscious had apparently been picturing. It’d be hiding somewhere.

    Theo seemed to have picked up on Carrie’s thoughts. “It might be in one of those caves,” he said, pointing towards the opposite canyon wall. “If we get closer, I should be able to recognise the one I found the fossil in. We can start from there.”

    She nodded and made her way along the rim to a point where she’d be able to descend without the likelihood of breaking her neck. Picking her way down carefully, Raptola clinging onto her back as if for dear life, Carrie eventually made it to the bottom. Her three adult Grovyle followed with elegant ease that made it look like they’d been practicing their whole lives. Empathy and Crescent also made light work of the slope; even Theo, bringing up the rear, seemed to stroll down it in record time.

    A Geodude was staring at Carrie as she watched the others. Realising its presence, she stared back and walked further into the centre of the canyon, followed by her Pokémon and Theo.

    As they slowly traversed the width of the canyon bottom, Carrie began to appreciate the sheer size of the place. It seemed to be taking an impossibly long time to make any noticeable progress at all, and the craggy sides, even as they became more and more distant, still loomed around her, giving her the unnerving sense of being trapped. The sun slowly slipped lower in the sky, gradually shifting through amber into orange.

    ’S boring here,” Raptola mumbled after they’d managed to make it about halfway across the canyon.

    “I know it is,” Carrie agreed. “But we’re not here to enjoy the view, we’re here to find Archopy, remember?”

    Raptola stared into space and seemed to think hard for a moment. “The pretty flying thing?

    His trainer nodded encouragingly. “Yes, the pretty flying thing.”

    “There,” Theo interrupted. He pointed across to the opposite side of the canyon. “See that cave mouth? The big one next to that square-ish rock? That’s the one.”

    Carrie fixed her sights on the cave in question, noting exactly where it was and adjusting her path slightly to head straight at it. Without warning, Velotus leapt towards the front of the group, fizzing with his usual energy – and with what might have been a hint of tension.

    What’s the matter with him?” Ivyx asked softly. “We’re near the end of all this – shouldn’t he be less... agitated?

    Foliano shook his head. “I don’t think Velotus knows how to relax. At least not since…” His eyes flicked towards his son on Carrie’s shoulder and he trailed off. “He’s always been more worked up about Archopy than the rest of us,” he added after a pause.

    “Esp Espeon,” said Empathy.

    He said Velotus is looking for a fight,” Foliano translated, glancing at his trainer.

    “Isn’t he always?” she replied.

    Empathy shook his head and said more forcefully, “Espeon.”

    Grudge,” said Foliano. “He can sense a grudge.

    A grudge? thought Carrie. Against Archopy? He can’t have…

    “Velotus,” she called to the Grovyle in front. “What’s the matter?”

    The matter is my own business,” he replied shortly.

    “But you can’t be looking to fight Ar –”

    Of course I’m not!” spat Velotus, turning and giving Carrie a dark look that suggested utter disgust at her even considering it. He turned away without elaborating, but his attitude was enough to make her realise what must have been bothering him: Aiden’s Sceptile.

    Carrie bit back the words that wanted to spurt out of her mouth; Raptola was out, and she didn’t want to risk reminding him of the trauma of the previous day. Instead, she mulled over the possibilities in her head. Could Aiden be here in Northern Canyon? He worked for the same gang as the thugs that had kidnapped Raptola, but their bald-headed leader had implied that Aiden had nothing to do with it. So why did Velotus think the Sceptile was going to be here?

    Whatever the case, Carrie had been uncomfortably reminded of the threat that MemorCorp’s thugs posed. Suddenly she felt a lot less safe, almost expecting men in leather jackets to jump out of nowhere and snatch Raptola off her back. She placed her hands protectively on the small claws that were gripping her shoulder.

    Theo was glancing awkwardly around the rest of the group, knowing only a small part of what was being talked about. Carrie began formulating some kind of half-hearted explanation simply to stop him looking so paranoid but was distracted as she saw Crescent rush forward out of the corner of her eye, his tail flicking in irritation. He passed a rather indignant Velotus and headed not to Theo’s nearby cave but to a smaller one next to it.

    The reason why became evident as a huge Aggron came charging out of the cave mouth and straight towards them.

    Its metal plates clanked and clattered against its rocky skin as it ran, putting on an impressive burst of speed for something so large. The Pokémon reared its pointy, armoured head and let out a guttural roar before twisting to slam its thick, glowing tail into Crescent. Agile as the Absol was, he saw it coming in time and jumped clear of the attack.

    Carrie sized the Aggron up: the charging, the roaring and the ferocious look in its eyes equalled something not happy to see them. She took a few instinctive steps backwards, keeping her hands reassuringly on Raptola’s claws as they dug into her shoulders in fright. Maybe the Aggron was simply being territorial; Carrie knew very little about these Pokémon, so it seemed the most likely guess.

    “Okay,” she said, as calmly as she could. “We’re not headed for its cave, so if we just stay back and go around it...”

    Velotus made to dodge past it towards the cave with Archopy in, but he was met with an even louder roar directed at him. He only had time to shoot a look of irritation at the Aggron before it slammed one of its powerful legs into the ground, creating a spreading shockwave that caused obvious discomfort to every Pokémon it struck.

    “Okay, maybe they’re all its caves,” Carrie muttered.

    “Actually, that might be true,” put in Theo. “The caves are all linked to each other in some way. It can be easy to get lost in there.”

    She shot him a look. “Thanks, Theo, that really helps right now.”

    The Aggron stood where it was, growling intimidatingly, but its hostility seemed reined in as long as they didn’t try to go anywhere. Which, unfortunately, was exactly what they needed to do.

    “Right,” said Carrie. “Someone needs to reason with it. Tell it we mean no harm to its territory, or something. Crescent?”

    “Abs?” He threw his trainer a look of surprise and backed away until he was behind Empathy.

    I’ll do it,” Foliano said in the tense pause that followed. He let go of Ivyx’s claws, stepped forward and looked the Aggron directly in the eye, unflinching despite it being easily twice his size. From where she was, Ivyx watched worriedly.

    None of us want to hurt you,” said Foliano, slowly and carefully. “I know we’re headed for your caves, and I know you don’t like that, but I promise we won’t damage them in any way. We’re just looking for a Pokémon – one that has no connection to you.” He hesitated, gazing into the Aggron’s cold, almost disinterested blue eyes. “So… we’d be really grateful if…

    His speech was cut short by the loud clang of the Aggron’s steel jaws snapping shut on thin air. It shook its head and growled at the whole group again, more threateningly this time. Foliano looked around warily and began to back away into Ivyx’s arms.

    Apparently tired of the waiting game, Velotus made another dash for the cave mouth. The Aggron cottoned on and threw itself at him, slamming into the Grovyle with such force that he was knocked off his feet. Velotus got up almost instantly and glared at his attacker with a fierceness that suggested this had just become personal.

    Carrie sighed. “Didn’t really want to have to do this, but…” She raised her voice. “Everyone, attack it! Leaf Blade! Grass Knot! Crescent, give it a Night Slash! Empathy…” She shrugged. “I’m sure you’ll think of something.”

    Velotus, having not even waited for the order to form his shining weapons, leapt into action and flew at the Aggron, slashing viciously at its wide, rocky torso. Ivyx followed suit rather more carefully, leaping in for a quick strike and back to safety again as the Aggron began flailing around with claws and tail. A blue shimmer surrounded the beast’s form, but Empathy seemed to be managing little in the way of holding it still – perhaps its sheer weight made it difficult to control.

    Twisting vines wriggled their way out of the ground beneath the Aggron’s feet, narrowly missing slapping Crescent in the face as he slashed as best he could with darkness-infused claws. The tendrils succeeded in wrapping themselves around a chunky foot, and with an extra burst of concentration from Foliano, they yanked sharply and sent the Aggron toppling onto its back.

    Already weakened, the beast had difficulty hauling itself up again, not helped by the blue glow that was asserting itself more strongly around its body. Panting, both Ivyx and Crescent happily backed off, but Velotus seemed to be moving in for the kill, his blades still primed and gleaming.

    “Stop!” Carrie told him sharply. He glared at her, but she matched his look. “It’s just a wild Pokémon. You don’t need to attack it any more than that.” She glanced pointedly at the Aggron, whose struggles were ceasing. Both its legs were now wrapped in vines, the blue glow brighter than before. Velotus hissed resentfully but retracted his blades.

    Carrie, along with her Pokémon and Theo, made their way towards Archopy’s cave as quickly as they could given that two of the Pokémon were occupied with restraining something so large. Empathy in particular seemed to be having a hard time keeping his mental concentration whilst walking backwards, and his grip appeared to be slipping the further away he went. Unable to look where he was going, he bumped into Theo’s leg, and the hold was lost.

    The Aggron renewed its struggles with a fierce roar as the blue glow simply snapped out of existence, replaced only by a flash of frustration from Empathy that pushed its way into Carrie’s mind. His eyes shone blue as he tried to refresh his control, but his trainer shook her head. “Run. Just run. We can faint it later if we have to.”

    None of them needed telling twice as they piled into the cave, dashing blindly over the uneven ground to put some distance between themselves and the recovering Aggron. Carrie stopped herself before they went too far and she became utterly lost, and she and the others stood panting in the dim red light from outside. For whatever reason, the Aggron was not pursuing them. Yet.

    Trembling from the shock of recent events, Raptola dropped from Carrie’s back and found his way into his mother’s arms. Ivyx stroked him soothingly with a softly murmured, “It’s okay, sweetie, it’s okay.

    Carrie perched on a rock jutting from one of the cave walls and caught her breath as her eyes adjusted to the dim light of the sunset. Her Pokémon looked somewhat warily around the cave, shooting occasional worried glances towards the entrance which the Aggron was still rather conspicuously not storming through in a rage.

    “So,” Carrie said to Theo, “what now?”

    Theo looked behind him, sizing up the two tunnels the cave split off into before turning back to her. “Well,” he began, but he got no further.

    The sounds of commotion – muttered, human voices – floated in from just outside the cave, coupled with thumping footsteps that almost certainly belonged to the Aggron. Carrie stood up and started worriedly towards the entrance, but she was stopped in her tracks by a gruff male voice which made Raptola squeal in fright.

    “Aggron, Rock Slide!”

    All around them, the entire cave began to shake, loosening dust and pebbles from the ceiling and sending them clattering towards the floor. Sharp shadows were thrown across the walls as rocks tumbled down from above the cave mouth, momentarily blotting out the light from the sunset outside. More and more boulders collapsed into a growing mound at the entrance, forming a blockade which threatened to cut off their only path of escape.

    They were being sealed in.

    ~~~

    << Previous chapter
    Last edited by elyvorg; 11th August 2008 at 11:51 AM.
    .: 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

  21. #196
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    Excellent as always , but I am slightly annoyed; when I saw the chapter title I thought this would be the last chapter, not that I want it to end but now I have to wait again . I'm so impatient.

    I loved the inginuity of the Secret Power bag thing - so that's the Doctor's secret !
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  22. #197
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    I hate you.

    Just kidding, but still. I thought we were finally going to find out what happens to Archopy. But no, it has to be a cliffhanger! Why?! WWWHHHYYY!!!??? What made you do that to us?

    Well I suppose I always have to expect disappointment, the lengthening of the Inheritence set being a notable exception. I thought that Brisingr would be the last one, but instead I get told that after Brisingr I wait for one more book. When I found out i screamed "Why do we need another book!" I promptly got detention for yelling in the library.

    Anyway, review.
    The Master Ball being indestructable made me laugh, just becuase of all those attacks being chucked at it and doing nothing (I bet Judgement could break it). I wonder what Velotus is going to do... And finally the cliffhanger ending. I suppose it is good becuase of the suspense, but I was thinking "its called Finish Line." It must be the end. And then I reach the end of the chapter. I then used words that I cannot repeat here due to recieving a warning if I tried. But I still hate you for getting my hopes up. If you don't end it with Chapter 21 then I'll... Thinks of random threatening thing "get Dalek Caan to prophesy something horrible about you!"
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  23. #198
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    Sometimes I really enjoy how you explain silly little things like the backpack, but sometimes it seems unnecessary. Hard to say what makes for the best writing, but just see if the humor and slight distraction of these explanations are taking away from the flow or excitement of the chapter. It seemed to work well this time, though. Great job!

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  24. #199
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    Sometimes I really enjoy how you explain silly little things like the backpack, but sometimes it seems unnecessary. Hard to say what makes for the best writing, but just see if the humor and slight distraction of these explanations are taking away from the flow or excitement of the chapter. It seemed to work well this time, though. Great job!

    Link to my fanfic.
    I was Superkeeleybro on Nsider
    Another great fanfic is The Saga of Team Supernova by FPE

  25. #200
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    Behold, my two chapter review...OF DOOM!!!!!!!!

    Anyway...

    Some of my favorite parts:
    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    The white Pokémon took off from its shoulder and zoomed at him, squeaking frantically, before bouncing harmlessly off his tarnished armour.
    A squeaking togetic just bouncing off of a skarmory is just really funny. Nice job; your writing makes it easy to form a mental picture of what's going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    She turned and regarded him through the sand, looking bemused rather than angry. “You’re a funny colour,” she said.
    Skarmory's terrified of this gigantic green monster, and that's the first thing it says.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    “I know, but that was a long time ago,” said Crescent. “And only because she said I was annoying her. I was following her to see if disaster really did strike humans when I was around, and in the end she got annoyed and caught me so I’d be following on her terms, not mine.”
    Annoyance - what better way to make friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    “Strange, but also good,” Carrie pointed out as he reached her side. “Anyway, we can’t seem to break the damn thing – I dunno, maybe it’s designed to never break as well as never fail to catch anything – so…” She trailed off, hoping Theo would fill in the blank. He didn’t. “So, I guess we’ll just have to keep it,” she went on. “I’ll stick it at the bottom of my bag, and we’ll forget it ever existed.”

    Theo shrugged. “Sounds like the best option.”

    Carrie flipped open the bag at her waist and delved into it, pushing her hand with the Master Ball in through the masses of her things. The bag was a lot deeper than it looked; the company that made them had hit on the idea of using the move Secret Power, which could create a fairly spacious cavern from a small clump of grass, to expand their bags and make them somehow bigger on the inside. They’d been an instant hit with trainers everywhere.

    Carrie dropped the Master Ball at the very bottom and pulled her hand out quickly, aware that it probably looked odd to anyone observing from the outside. Theo wasn’t fazed; he seemed, not at all surprisingly, to be familiar with the concept.
    That is really cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    A Geodude was staring at Carrie as she watched the others. Realising its presence, she stared back and walked further into the centre of the canyon, followed by her Pokémon and Theo.
    Staring contest! Who won, anyway?


    And now, a question and the one mistake I noticed:

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    Already bigger than its pre-evolved form, Armaldo appeared even larger due to standing upright on two stubby but strong legs, his craggy claws much more potent as weapons now that he didn’t need them to drag himself around. Sunlight gleamed off the black armour plating on his back, and his powerful, spiked tail rested on the ground. From the look of pride on Theo’s face, he might as well have been the Pokémon’s father. “Armaldo!” he cried, full of delight.

    Carrie filled the ensuing silence by putting her drinks canister away as noisily as possible. Armaldo’s eyes, jutting from either side of his face, blinked once.

    “How was evolving?” Theo asked, still beaming.

    The Pokémon stared into the distance, not looking at his trainer. The feathery flaps on his sides fluttered in the light breeze.

    The smile on Theo’s face became more and more forced. “Are you still hurt? Do you want healing?”

    No response.

    His face fell. “Please,” he said desperately. “Please, Armaldo, don’t do this to me. I’ve wanted you to evolve all this time so you’d stop being like this. You can’t tell me it’s all been for nothing!” Theo gave an angry sigh. “No, of course you can’t. You can’t tell me anything.”

    There was a long pause as Theo stared at the ground, during which Armaldo continued to gaze blankly ahead and Carrie began to feel increasingly awkward. This decidedly one-sided argument had nothing to do with her.

    “Look, will you just look at me!” Theo suddenly exploded at his Pokémon, almost making Carrie jump. Obediently, Armaldo turned his head towards his trainer, oblivious to the ferocity of the outburst. Carrie wasn’t even being looked at directly, but she could see that his eyes were empty, as emotionless as they ever had been. The evolution hadn’t changed a thing.

    Theo’s anger faded into dull resignation as he saw the state of his Pokémon. “Sorry,” he sighed. “I know it’s not your fault. It’s just… sometimes…” He raised the Poké Ball and pointed it towards Armaldo. “Sometimes I don’t know why I bother.” Without even a twitch, the creature dissolved into red light.

    “Well, that went well,” said Carrie brightly after a pause.

    “Don’t,” Theo snapped, glaring at her.

    For once, she listened.
    Is Armaldo going to have a major part in the plot at some point?

    Quote Originally Posted by elyvorg View Post
    She nodded. “But we can’t just throw it away because someone might find it, so...” A thought suddenly flitted into Carrie’s mind, and she cringed at the memory it brought. “Well, it worked for Raptola,” she muttered, before raising her arm and flinging the Master Ball against the solid ground as hard as she could.
    I think there's a bit of a plot hole here. Couldn't she just break one of her pokemon's pokeballs and recapture it with the master ball? I guess you could just say that she didn't think of it, but after remembering Raptola it seems like that's what she would think of next.

    All in all though, great job!

    Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementiae fuit.

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