Last edited by InsaneTyranitar; 20th September 2007 at 5:52 PM.
I'f I'm being a n00b, please don't hesitate to tell me.
Wow, someone please remind me why I put off reading Chapter 2 for so long. Sorry I was slow with it- I’m just incredibly lazy when it comes to reviewing nowadays. So I’m doing Chapters 2 and 3 at once and knowing my procrastination skills will probably end up doing something similar in the future as well. XP
Firstly, to reply to your reply.
here that they do have tails, and imo the leaves just come out from their forearms, not their wrists or elbows (yes, changing my opinion).
I posted him cuz I'm paranoid and I got the impression that maybe you'd use something similar - "something similar" ended up being Archopy, though.
Now, to get on with the review, these chapters were quite interesting: we meet Theo and find out about Archopy, and this creepy MemorCorp, and many fascinating, vital questions come up: if Archopy evolves from Grovyle, why has nobody in the modern world heard of it? Does the idea of the Lost Evolution tie in with this- was Archopy perhaps lost over the course if time? What does this mean for modern Grovyle? Why is MemorCorp being such a jerk? What are their true intentions? You did a great job engaging your readers and setting up for the rest of the story here, and we’re all very interested in seeing just what will happen next – very nicely done with all this mystery. =)
Description was much better here, and I am thrilled that you took me advice; everything looks much better now without the listy descriptions. I quite liked your description of Ivyx jumping through the trees (automatically made me think of the Hork-Bajir of the Animorphs series, very cool), your evolution scene was a great interpretation of the process (a bit reminiscent of the morphing again in Animorphs) and your distasteful description of Sceptile was well-done. However I felt that a bit more of a focus on Archopy was needed; since it has such a huge role in the fic, just adding one more sentence before the last sentence of that paragraph, just something that shows the way it moved or how they feel about it. “As it swept through the air gracefully, Carrie felt an unexplainable rush of joy in her heart” just because imo, “awe and complete respect” doesn’t say as much as it could. Hard to explain what I mean – just underdstand that I think you could have added a tad bit more, just because that one moment is a vital turning point in the fic, and you have to make it show.
However I really do love Archopy; it’s a very cool Grovyle evolution, and I really love the design.
Also, a note about describing tails: you used "coming out of its rear" (and similar wording) a few times, however it gets a bit repetitive. If anything, I think you could change the "its rear" bit in the Archopy evolution scene; remember that tails are just elongated spines, so you could just say "she felt her spine growing, extending to become a tail..." sort of thing. Oh, and Grovyle do have leafy tails, so meh. :P
The battle seemed a bit short to me, though it makes sense since Raptola is stronger than Omanyte. One thing that also bothered me some was that Omanyte starts off the battle by hiding in her shell all afraid, but then when Theo tells her to use Rollout she immediately obeys despite her prior fear. Did she maybe become excited and got more into the battle? You also might want to note that Pokémon don’t stay silent during the battle – they have battle cries! ^^ So when Omanyte is about to use Rollout, just have her cry “Nyte!” and so on.
One other note about the Pokémon: I don’t remember precisely when this was, but at some point I just started feeling like the Grovyle seemed very human. Yes, Pokémon are intelligent beings and all, but they starting seemed a bit too human-like, so you’ve got to remember that Pokémon are still slightly animalistic and don’t tend to have the intellect or emotional capacity as humans. This thought mostly occurred to me when Velotus recalled himself into his Pokéball on his own. Just a heads up.
Oh, and random note: did Theo find a Grovyle fossil or Archopy fossil? I had originally assumed it was an Archopy one, but then she evolved in the lab, so that doesn’t really make any sense. o.O
Oh, and my guess is that she knew of this other Archopy because perhaps the species has a collective memory? That way they all share their memories and such…like the Howlers from once again, the Animorphs series. :P
Anyhow, grammar was fine throughout, except for the following:
It should be ‘he’ instead of ‘him.’ The trick to knowing whether to use ‘he’ or ‘hiim’ is if you take away ‘Foliano and Ivyx,” is it still proper grammar? ‘Him [was] staring intently at the sky…” doesn’t really work, so it must be ‘he’. This goes for all instances where you say ‘____ and him/he’ or ‘____ and I/me.’ For example:Him, Foliano and Ivyx were all staring intently at the sky through a break in the canopy.
Betty gave a present to Kathy and I.
Take away ‘Kathy’: you can’t say ‘Betty gave a present to I.’ This is one of the few cases where you say ‘____ and me.’
Jordan and she went to bed early last night.
If you take away ‘Jordan,’ it makes sense to say ‘She went to bed early last night.’
Like I said in my other review, you need a comma before ‘Rappy,’ not because there’s a pause in speech but you’re always supposed to have a comma when addressing somebody.“Go on then Rappy, Leaf Blade!” Carrie called. Raptola’s smile turned to a mischievous grin as the leaves on its arms glowed and formed two neon green scythes.
Eventually realising the futility of its attacks
Raptola closed its eyes, etc.
Also, I thought Raptola was a boy. If you’re going to give genders to your Pokémon you can’t randomly call them ‘it.’
Dug its foot claws where? You can just add ‘into the loamy soil’ or something, because I get the impression that you didn’t specify so as to avoid saying ‘ground’ twice.The Grovyle dug in its foot claws and stood its ground, taking the hit but not seeming that affected.
I’m almost positive that ‘a’ should be capitalized.“Yes, actually,” Carrie replied instantly, as if she had been expecting the question, “a flying Pokémon. Big, leafy wings. Did you see it too?”
Comma between ‘did’ and ‘though,’ I believe.“No,” Theo admitted, “but I know what it is and where it came from. I was walking through here in the hope of seeing it. Never did though,” he added pointlessly.
It’s interesting to just randomly note that this is the second fic I’ve read where the author and I both share a hate for a certain Pokémon’s evolution, but love the ‘mon itself. Here it’s obviously Grovyle (Sceptile = oogleh) and Dragonfree’s The Quest for the Legends (deep, strong hate for Scizor cuz Scyther rock). Nice to note that I’m not the only one who hates certain evolutions. =)
Aaaaaaand that’s it. One thing I must quote, though:
I just really like the way you phrased this and find it to be a great mental image and metaphor. :3It was as if she had spent her entire life crawling to get around, not knowing there was any better way, and just now she had seen someone walk past her on two legs.
Anyhow, great fic here, my intent is to continue reading and reviewing – I really want to see where this is going and can’t wait to read on. This is progressing very nicely, though a bit quickly, but hey, I’m not about to complain. Keep it up, and I can’t wait to read on! ^-^
Last edited by Psychic; 21st September 2007 at 5:43 AM.
Forestrunner - Heehee. Grovyle being elegant and its evo being an arrogant ******* is definitely the impression I intended to give. Anyway, thanks for the review ^^;
Psychic - Seeing as that was such a long review and I actually want to reply to everything in it, I'm gonna do it with quotes.
Whoo, lots of mysteries. I didn't realise this fic was so enigmatic o.oNow, to get on with the review, these chapters were quite interesting: we meet Theo and find out about Archopy, and this creepy MemorCorp, and many fascinating, vital questions come up: if Archopy evolves from Grovyle, why has nobody in the modern world heard of it? Does the idea of the Lost Evolution tie in with this- was Archopy perhaps lost over the course if time? What does this mean for modern Grovyle? Why is MemorCorp being such a jerk? What are their true intentions? You did a great job engaging your readers and setting up for the rest of the story here, and we’re all very interested in seeing just what will happen next – very nicely done with all this mystery. =)
You have a point there. It's probably because the "awe and complete respect" sentence was the sole survivor of the original boring-list-of-facts paragraph I had down before your first review. Shoulda changed that one too >.<However I felt that a bit more of a focus on Archopy was needed; since it has such a huge role in the fic, just adding one more sentence before the last sentence of that paragraph, just something that shows the way it moved or how they feel about it. “As it swept through the air gracefully, Carrie felt an unexplainable rush of joy in her heart” just because imo, “awe and complete respect” doesn’t say as much as it could. Hard to explain what I mean – just underdstand that I think you could have added a tad bit more, just because that one moment is a vital turning point in the fic, and you have to make it show.
Yeah, constant use of the word "rear" is starting to disturb me too. Nice idea with the spine thing, I might use that later. I'm not going to edit anything in existing chapters apart from grammar, because I want to see how I've improved and it also seems kinda weird to me how some people will read the old version but some latecomers will read the new, better version of a chapter.Also, a note about describing tails: you used "coming out of its rear" (and similar wording) a few times, however it gets a bit repetitive. If anything, I think you could change the "its rear" bit in the Archopy evolution scene; remember that tails are just elongated spines, so you could just say "she felt her spine growing, extending to become a tail..." sort of thing. Oh, and Grovyle do have leafy tails, so meh. :P
Omanyte was happy with using Rollout because she could hide in her shell for that. xD Battle cries! *adds to list of Things To Remember To Add In*The battle seemed a bit short to me, though it makes sense since Raptola is stronger than Omanyte. One thing that also bothered me some was that Omanyte starts off the battle by hiding in her shell all afraid, but then when Theo tells her to use Rollout she immediately obeys despite her prior fear. Did she maybe become excited and got more into the battle? You also might want to note that Pokémon don’t stay silent during the battle – they have battle cries! ^^ So when Omanyte is about to use Rollout, just have her cry “Nyte!” and so on.
You have a very good point there, and I'm going to be a bit more careful in future - particularly with Velotus.One other note about the Pokémon: I don’t remember precisely when this was, but at some point I just started feeling like the Grovyle seemed very human. Yes, Pokémon are intelligent beings and all, but they starting seemed a bit too human-like, so you’ve got to remember that Pokémon are still slightly animalistic and don’t tend to have the intellect or emotional capacity as humans. This thought mostly occurred to me when Velotus recalled himself into his Pokéball on his own. Just a heads up.
That will all be revealed at some point. For the sharing memories thing, there is already a small hint. *is not saying any more*Oh, and random note: did Theo find a Grovyle fossil or Archopy fossil? I had originally assumed it was an Archopy one, but then she evolved in the lab, so that doesn’t really make any sense. o.O
Oh, and my guess is that she knew of this other Archopy because perhaps the species has a collective memory? That way they all share their memories and such…like the Howlers from once again, the Animorphs series. :P
Wow, thanks. I never really got the whole "____ and I" thing, and you've just summed it up so simply.It should be ‘he’ instead of ‘him.’ The trick to knowing whether to use ‘he’ or ‘hiim’ is if you take away ‘Foliano and Ivyx,” is it still proper grammar? ‘Him [was] staring intently at the sky…” doesn’t really work, so it must be ‘he’. This goes for all instances where you say ‘____ and him/he’ or ‘____ and I/me.’ For example:
Betty gave a present to Kathy and I.
Take away ‘Kathy’: you can’t say ‘Betty gave a present to I.’ This is one of the few cases where you say ‘____ and me.’
Jordan and she went to bed early last night.
If you take away ‘Jordan,’ it makes sense to say ‘She went to bed early last night.’
Raptola is male. The reason I referred to him as "it" during that battle is that I was writing in third person limited from Theo's perspective. Theo didn't know what gender Raptola was, so he thought of him as "it". I did a similar thing in Carrie's battle against Roy with the Growlithe - referring to her as "it" throughout the whole thing until just before she gets recalled, when Roy says "Well done, girl." The next sentence then refers to Growlithe as "she".Also, I thought Raptola was a boy. If you’re going to give genders to your Pokémon you can’t randomly call them ‘it.’
Duly noted, but as I said above, the only things I'll be changing are grammar errors.Dug its foot claws where? You can just add ‘into the loamy soil’ or something, because I get the impression that you didn’t specify so as to avoid saying ‘ground’ twice.
I'm not sure. The "Yes, actually, a flying Pokémon." is all one sentence broken by narrative in between, and the "as if she had been expecting the question," doesn't end the sentence. Perhaps you're saying I should have ended the sentence after "question", to go on and start a new one in the speech?I’m almost positive that ‘a’ should be capitalized.
Indeed. I have read Dragonfree's The Quest for the Legends (hell, it was mainly what inspired me to write fanfiction, believe it or not), and I was very intrigued with the whole Scizor hate thing as I obviously have a similar thing myself with a different Pokemon. I'd also wondered whether Dragonfree really does hate Scizor or whether that's only her Scyther character's opinion - you seem to be implying she hates it too?It’s interesting to just randomly note that this is the second fic I’ve read where the author and I both share a hate for a certain Pokémon’s evolution, but love the ‘mon itself. Here it’s obviously Grovyle (Sceptile = oogleh) and Dragonfree’s The Quest for the Legends (deep, strong hate for Scizor cuz Scyther rock). Nice to note that I’m not the only one who hates certain evolutions. =)
Anyway, many thanks once again for the awesome review. I'm flattered that you want to read this as you rarely get time to review.
And this will probably be my final post before my trip, unless someone else reviews before I log off tonight. Please feel free to keep reviewing while I'm gone. Auf Wiedersehen!
I found the fic to be very enjoyable. The descriptions were quite clear, and to be honest, I had an easier time with visualizing what was going on than I do with most of the books I read. The story was able to keep my attention the whole way through, which takes a lot to do these days. Its also nice to see that there's others that like Grovyle but not Sceptile...
Though there were a few things that bothered me. First thing, I'm kinda surprised that the fight in the first chapter didn't cause a forest fire or at least damage some of the surrounding area... Second thing, I found the Grovyles to be very, very human like. It just didn't seem normal. Last thing, I didn't personally feel that the name Archopy fit the Pokémon.
I think thats everything. So, keep up the good work...
Kneecaps - Thankyou for reading, your compliments, and for being a Grovyle fan. xD As for the things that bothered you; it is kinda true about the Fire attacks in the forest, I guess they just... dissipated because it was only a little Growlithe? The human thing has been brought to my attention and I have tried to keep them Pokemon-like - a hard feat considering that I've also tried to put in a lot of their personalities this chapter, and that I think I consider Pokemon more sentient beings than most do. As for Archopy, it's a pity you don't like the name, but that's one thing that I won't change. Perhaps it'll grow on you. :/ Hope you don't mind being added to the PM list, either.
So, after a very long wait, I finally bring you Chapter 4.
Chapter 4: Intrusion
A pair of twisting, interlocking ribbons revolved on the screen, brightly coloured shapes linking the two, like rungs on a distorted ladder. Many more helixes, identical to the first, spun slowly alongside it. DNA – the building blocks of life. So much DNA. But why?
The scientist observing shook his head to clear his thoughts. It had been one mystery after another since he’d got a new job with MemorCorp, and despite boldly claiming to be a whistleblower to his friend, he had nowhere near enough information to go public with. Why did he need to extract so much DNA? What exactly was the purpose of the work done by the other side? And why, with his life spiralling rapidly downhill ever since his new employment here, why had he not quit?
Milo Walsh sighed. That answer was a simple one: he couldn’t.
He stared once more at the screen, but his blue eyes failed to take in what was on it, instead defocusing, looking through at his reflection. His small, round face, topped with neatly combed indigo hair, looked back at him in puzzlement. The white lab coat he wore on his short figure sported a MemorCorp logo, serving as a reminder that he truly belonged to the company.
Milo blinked, and the twirling shapes on the screen snapped into focus. Back to work, he instructed himself, or it’d be Aiden following him home tonight, rather than one of his minions. Squinting at the DNA before him, he attempted to identify those of sub-par quality – those that would not be suitable for development into embryos. After a few minutes peering at the monitor, he was satisfied: all were acceptable. Tapping the Enter button of the high-tech computer he was working with, he stood up and allowed himself a moment to observe the others before he left the room.
Three other scientists sat dotted around the large, tech-filled space at computers just like his – though there were many more of the machines there, most were unoccupied. All three wore lab coats identical to Milo’s; all three were peering intently at their screens. Milo shook his head and walked from the room, closing the gleaming white door behind him.
They’ve given up, he thought as he wandered down the bland corridor, they’ve just resigned themselves to it all. The scientists – not just the three in the computer room, but the whole Genetics department – were like Growlithe, obediently following their masters without understanding why. It was as if they assumed that nothing could ever change. Milo, though his efforts were currently minimal, was content in that he was the only person he knew of who was actually attempting to fight back.
* * *
“What do you think of him?” Foliano asked casually, looking Ivyx in the eye. The two of them plus Velotus were following Carrie’s lead as she strode confidently ahead through crowds of trees. Theo walked a short way behind them, perhaps put off by the air of solitude she had. Foliano knew that his trainer would be listening to them as they talked, interested in what they had to say.
“Who? The brown human?” The female Grovyle’s voice sounded as light as the swishing of branches in the breeze. “I’m not sure… He seems okay. But he doesn’t seem too happy to be with us right now.”
Foliano turned his head to size Theo up again and almost flinched as he realised how close the man was. Large, solid boots trampled the fallen leaves only metres behind him. Mud-brown trousers hid stocky legs that looked worryingly strong from a Pokémon’s perspective. But the human trained Pokémon himself – he wouldn’t be the type to harm them.
Realising Theo was staring unsurely at him, Foliano shifted his gaze back to Ivyx. “You’re right, he does seem a bit cut off from us. But I don’t think his intentions are bad, either,” he mused. Ivyx nodded as she delicately stepped over an obstructing root.
Foliano glanced at his bushy surroundings for a few moments before his eyes fell upon the third Grovyle. “Velotus? What do you make of him?”
Velotus, who had been eavesdropping, narrowed his sharp eyes for a moment before muttering, “He’ll do.” He then lapsed into silence and showed no indication of having heard any of Foliano’s further questions. After a while, the stocky Grovyle gave up asking.
Minutes wore on. Sunlight fell between gaps in the canopy overhead, lighting the forest with a soft, translucent glow. The terrain underfoot remained uneven and treacherous – this was not a path meant to be travelled on by many – but neither humans nor Pokémon showed any signs of fatigue.
“So,” Theo announced suddenly, as if trying to fill the lack of noise, “how are you – we – going to break into the lab then?”
“Oh, I dunno,” replied Carrie. “I haven’t thought about it.” Her shrug looked almost comical from behind as Raptola rose and fell in quick succession.
“Well,” Theo’s low, firm voice sounded determined to continue the conversation, “we could find wherever Archopy escaped from and get in from there. I doubt it unlocked a door and tiptoed out quietly.”
Carrie’s face swivelled right, frowned as Raptola blocked her view, then turned the other way. She craned her head around and stared at Theo accusingly. “I thought you said there were guards. Lots of guards.”
He blinked. “There are. Look,” his voice took on a reasonable tone, “at least I’m actually trying to think of something.”
Carrie rolled her eyes and faced ahead once more. Raptola shook his head melodramatically in agreement with his trainer. “Think of something useful then,” she called out. “Like how to get rid of the guards.” The words contained an unspoken command not to talk again until he had something to say. Theo complied.
Foliano gazed up at his trainer. “You should try and be more sociable, you know,” he advised her conversationally. “At least with this guy. He could be really helpful.”
She didn’t reply or turn her head – clearly because of Theo’s presence – but Foliano doubted that his words had got through to her. Grovyle were naturally quite solitary creatures, and it seemed that by living with them, Carrie had gained this attribute too – at least towards other humans.
Shaking his head briefly to clear these thoughts, Foliano turned to thinking about the matter at hand – dealing with the guards. Though he wasn’t as imaginative or intelligent as a human, he knew better than them what he could do and how his strengths could be useful. He stopped walking and closed his eyes. Focusing his affinity with nature on the ground in front of him, he summoned a tendril from within the earth. The twisted, woody vine burst through the soil just in front of him as he opened his eyes, causing Carrie to notice and turn. Foliano concentrated for a moment, and the stem looped itself into a crude knot. Looking up at his trainer suggestively, he muttered: “Would this help?”
Carrie’s face brightened as if someone had turned on a light. “Yes, that would… work,” she added, trying to sound as though her words were a separate comment, not a response. Beside her, the smug grin of Raptola rang out, as if saying, “I can do that, too!”
“Would it, though?” Theo asked. “Is he strong enough to pull down a man – most likely a strong one at that – all by himself?”
“Well…” Carrie thought for a moment. “I have a Psychic Pokémon, he’d probably help…” Her words faded into incoherence as Foliano’s mind focused once more on the grassy tendril, commanding it to untie itself and retreat into the earth. He and his fellow Grovyle continued after their trainer as she resumed walking, now in conversation with the other human.
* * *
The afternoon sun shone down upon Petalburg City, its rays glancing off the tops of buildings. A few skyscrapers stood tall in the centre, but most of the city consisted of low, wide structures, giving it a laid-back feel. This impression was accentuated by the hedges and trees that decorated the open streets, the lush lawns that lay wherever there was space. Surrounding the buildings as they petered out towards the northern outskirts was Petalburg Woods, the dark green mass of trees from which two humans and four Pokémon had emerged a few hours ago.
The humans in question now stood closely beside a smooth white wall, peering around a corner. The imposing, blocky building behind them displayed a large, blue logo of the name “MemorCorp” above the entrance. Carrie and Theo, however, were out of sight around the side, watching a lilac cat intently as he neared the two men in navy uniforms who guarded a jagged hole in the wall.
Empathy’s lithe, forked tail flexed as he crept stealthily towards the guards. Having been healed from his battle wounds, the Espeon was now playing his vital role in “the plan”. Carrie thought of it in inverted commas as it was unnervingly hit and miss – if this didn’t work, the whole thing would go to pieces. Empathy looked worryingly exposed against the background of plain, yellowish grass – he would have quite a way to flee to reach the forest if things went wrong.
At last the guards noticed him. They turned their bulky figures towards the prone Pokémon questioningly, but didn’t react straight away. This was the moment of truth. Without flinching, Empathy’s eyes confidently glowed with a blue aura which shrouded the men’s faces, forcing their square jaws shut before they could utter a sound. An extra burst of concentration from the feline and their entire bodies appeared bluish; with startled looks they found their legs propelling them across the grassy ground, towards the trees. Carrie and Theo collectively held their breath as Empathy trotted in front of the helpless men as if leading a march.
Eventually both Pokémon and guards were out of sight in the forest. Sighs of relief came from the hidden humans – but stage one of “the plan” wasn’t over yet. Carrie stared at the gap in the trees where Empathy had disappeared, wondering how long it would be. Her back felt empty without the familiar weight of Raptola – but the mission was far too risky for him to be involved in.
After what seemed like ages, the Espeon’s skinny form could be seen dashing back towards them. Carrie heaved another relieved sigh. It had worked. Probably. As he came to stand by her side, she held out a Poké Ball and carefully opened it, whispering, “Come out, Ivyx.”
The ever-graceful Ivyx emerged from white light. Knowing exactly what to do, she rounded the corner of the building and leapt at the back wall, latching onto it. Her claws made clicking noises against the smooth stone, yet somehow managed to keep her clinging on as she manoeuvred around windows to approach the now unguarded hole. Soon she was through it and out of sight, her tail leaves flicking behind her. Seconds later, her head reappeared at the opening and nodded, before retreating again.
Feeling once again relieved, Carrie ducked below the windows and began to near the jagged gap, with Theo and her Espeon following closely. Inside, they found themselves in a dull, box-shaped room no more than a couple of metres across. A window lay above where they had entered from, but more interesting were the things that snaked from tiny holes either side of the door opposite – electrodes and some kind of intravenous drip. Carrie pulled a face; this was most likely where Archopy had spent the majority of its life.
Just as she reached for the door’s handle, she felt Empathy nudging her leg. She looked into his eyes and felt a sudden feeling of being out of breath, as if she had just run a race. Carrie blinked, and the sensation disappeared as quickly as it had come. Her Espeon had been using his psychic powers to communicate – he was already tired.
“Okay,” she whispered. “We’ll try to steer clear of more guards, but if we meet any, you’ll have to do it again. It’s our only option.” Empathy nodded, accepting his role. Theo said nothing of it, but looked confused at the sudden whispered statement.
Carrie opened the door – it moved without a sound. Ivyx crept through eagerly to scout out the building beyond, leaving the two people and the Espeon standing silently, nervously in the tiny prison.
Minutes passed tensely. Carrie couldn’t help imagining what might be going on behind the door – what if Ivyx had got lost? What if she’d been caught? It was a good thing the Grovyle had been happy to play her part in “the plan” – otherwise, the trainer would have felt guilty about putting her companion into danger.
Finally, when Carrie was almost ready to step into the unknown herself to find her Pokémon, Ivyx slipped in through the gap in the door. The girl let out a breath she didn’t even realise she’d been holding as many motherly, clichéd expressions she remembered from her childhood burst into her mind: “You nearly gave me a heart attack!” “I’ve been having kittens worrying about you!” She swallowed these words before they reached her mouth and instead listened to what Ivyx had to say.
“It’s clear,” came her silky voice. “I went a little way in both directions – there are no guards, but I had to break a couple of…” she trailed off, looking for the right word.
“Cameras,” Carrie finished, for both Ivyx’s and Theo’s sake, too on edge to bother hiding the fact she could understand her Pokémon’s language.
“Milo reckons that the cameras are just there to scare people into thinking they’re being watched.” Theo sounded nervous. “Of course, they check the tapes at the end of every day, but he doesn’t think anyone actually watches them, you know, live.”
“In that case, we should be okay,” Carrie muttered, thinking out loud. “But we might not. We’d better get going, quick.”
Without further conversation, both humans and Pokémon crept as quietly as they could through the door.
* * *
Foliano gazed unsurely at the whimpering human below him. The man’s solid figure was wrapped tightly in the snaking vines the Grovyle had called up from the floor of the forest in which they stood. Concentrating on maintaining their hold was unnecessary – the unfortunate human had given up struggling the moment a scythe, flashing silver in the sunlight, had neared his throat.
It belonged to the only Pokémon of Theo’s who was helping with the lab infiltration. Skinny but savage-looking with a back consisting of brown spines, it was no wonder this human was afraid. The Pokémon turned his wide, triangular head towards Foliano, his small eyes looking at the Grovyle questioningly.
“Do you think this is fair?” The Kabutops’ low, rough voice surprised Foliano. Or rather, the question did. Kabutops hadn’t said a word since Theo had introduced him to Carrie’s Pokémon and outlined the plan. Now he was asking the last thing Foliano expected him to – and the one thing on the Grovyle’s mind right now. He felt himself warm slightly to the ancient Pokémon. Perhaps he wasn’t as savage as he looked.
“As a matter of fact, I don’t,” Foliano replied, glad that Kabutops apparently felt the same. “It’s the only way to keep these humans here, and my trainer – our trainers – need us to do it. But no, it isn’t fair. They did nothing to us.”
Kabutops nodded solemnly and stared down at his clawed feet, while all the time keeping his right scythe positioned near the trembling man’s soft neck. The human couldn’t understand them – for all he knew, the two Pokémon were deciding where to hide his body.
“Have you tried telling that to him?” Kabutops raised his other curved scythe, gesturing at the figure who stood a few trees away from them over a second grassily bound human.
“What?” Velotus stared accusingly back, an expression of distaste on his face. One arm’s leaves were formed into a vicious, glowing blade which was held expertly, unerringly, just below the throat of the other man. “These humans work for that place. The place which stole Archopy. The place which tortured Archopy.” He glared down at his human, a glint in his eyes delighting in the man’s fear. “They deserve it.”
Foliano could see his point, partly. Kabutops seemed utterly unconvinced, not having seen Archopy, not understanding the true beauty of the Grovyle species having another evolution. “We don’t know that the place tortured Archopy,” he said, attempting to reason with Velotus. “Even if it did, these men probably have nothing to do with it. They’re just guards.”
Velotus’ piercing eyes glared once more at the fossil Pokémon, and the coldness of his stare disturbed Foliano. Apparently, the savage raptor simply didn’t care. Foliano shuddered. Their trainers had made it clear that the object was to threaten, to scare into submission, not to kill. At the most, they were to wound the humans, but only as a last resort. It seemed that Kabutops was happy with this, and had no intention of doing harm. Velotus, on the other hand… Foliano was not sure.
Unable to hold the ruthless stare of the Grovyle, Kabutops gazed sadly at his pitiful human, now sobbing underneath the Pokémon’s outstretched scythe.
* * *
The room beyond Archopy’s cell was nothing more than a clinically white corridor, leading off in both directions. Plain, identical doors lined both sides, illuminated by harsh ceiling lighting. All was silent bar a distant humming of electronic machinery.
Carrie tiptoed out of the door and Theo shut it behind them. Ivyx leapt once again onto a wall; Empathy stood silently at his trainer’s heels. The girl took a moment to scan the many doors for writing – apparently, Milo’s individual lab room had his name on – but all were utterly blank; most likely prisons for more unfortunate fossils. Without a word, she took the lead, opting to go left.
Several doors down, the corridor turned to the right. A quick scout from Ivyx reported another camera, soon disabled, and a door more important looking than the others. Spurred on by the fortunate lack of more guards, the two humans ran as quietly as they could – Carrie being rather more successful – and were down the second corridor, around another corner and at the door in under a minute. It was as plain as the others, but larger and with a general air of importance. Cautiously, they tested the handle.
It was locked.
“The plan” was rather vague about locked doors. There had been many possibilities – Empathy opening it psychically; Ivyx somehow having the skill to pick locks; smashing it down and damning the consequences – but overall they’d been, rather optimistically, hoping not to encounter any. Carrie looked down – and up – at her Pokémon. Ivyx appeared totally unsure about her lock-picking abilities. Empathy however, seemed confident.
“Right then,” Carrie whispered to him. “Let’s try option one.” The psychic cat nodded, his eyes glowing blue. Within seconds there was a clicking noise. Empathy ceased concentrating and waved his sinuous tail smugly, indicating it had worked. He seemed to have known all along he could do it. Perhaps he should have made “the plan”, instead of her and Theo.
The door was opened slightly and Ivyx slipped through alone. Again another torturous wait, again more worries about what might happen to Carrie’s friend. Ominous sounds of footsteps – human footsteps – trickled in from the adjoining part of the building, but mercifully there were no noises indicating discovery of intruders. Yet.
Aeons later – or was it just minutes? – Ivyx returned to the relative safety of the empty section. She was unhurt, but seemed slightly shaken.
“Lots of corridors,” she reported. “No guards, cameras sorted. But there were a few humans in white walking around – good thing your kind doesn’t tend to stare at the sky… ceiling.” Her voice was wavering uncharacteristically.
Carrie nodded, and the four of them – particularly Empathy with his sensitive hearing – listened intently until no footsteps could be heard, nothing except the background humming. Knowing they may not have long, she wrenched the door open and charged into the semi-unknown. Ahead of her lay a long stretch of corridor with others branching off, at the end of which was another “important” door, this time with writing on that she couldn’t make out from a distance.
As she jogged towards it, ducking underneath the windows that were now set into each minor door, she couldn’t help feeling apprehensive at the lack of inside guards. Why had they not encountered any others yet? What if they were being set up? Thinking wryly that at least half of those feelings probably belonged to Empathy, then glancing behind her to check that he and the others were actually following, she reached the large door. The writing on it read: “GENETICS”. Bingo.
“Empathy, quickly, befo –” She stopped as she noticed her Espeon already on the case. He skidded to a halt, eyes glowing blue and the door giving an obedient click. Quick as a Grovyle itself, Carrie whipped open the door and both humans and Pokémon bundled themselves through it. She slammed it behind them – not at all silently, she realised – and paused for a moment, panting heavily.
Chances were, the unknown was preferable to definite wandering scientists; indeed, the sound of footsteps had started up again behind the door. Then an unwelcome feeling of alarm pushed its way into Carrie’s head. She glared accusingly at Empathy before realising what he meant. The footsteps were not behind them. They were coming from the very corridor she now stood inside.
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Last edited by elyvorg; 14th June 2008 at 5:37 PM.
A few grammar nit-picks
Not sure how you handle these, but I like to believe that these scenarios get treated the same as if they were dialogue, meaning putting the punctuation inside the quotation marks.now playing his vital role in “the plan.”
Forgot the "a."Inside, they found themselves in a dull, box-shaped room
See first grammar comment.should have made “the plan,” instead
The detail you put into the process of simply getting into the lab... it makes my lab infiltration scenes look pathetic in comparison. The group's coming up with a well-planned mode of attack and thinking through every step. I like how the group was calculating, but also a bit nervous at the prospect of invading the laboratory of a mysterious company. And the chapter does detail how trainers and the team of Grovyle (oh, and Empathy too) interact during tense and nerve-wracking moments.
About making Pokemon seem "too human"- I honestly have no preference one way or another. It would make sense that a newly caught Pokemon might be clueless to the ways of the humans, but since (I'm assuming) Carrie's had her team for awhile, her Pokemon would be more acclimated to it. Just my thoughts on the subject. Perhaps another reviewer can better comment on whether they think the Pokemon are too sentient or not.
I enjoyed this chapter, as well. You put in enough description so we know what is happening, but not so much that it interrupts the flow of events. Then there's the way you handle interactions between the Pokemon so well.
And I've learned not to do anything to tick Velotus off, or else he might slash my neck or something...
I noticed you had a fanfic awhile back, but I never got around to reading it until now. I'm glad I did.
I love it, of course. I agree with you on the preference of Grovyle over Scutpile, naturally. So it's awesome to see them in such preferential roles, and to see how crafty, clever, and adept at wriggling out of tight spots they can be.
As far as the plot goes, I have no complaints, and only compliments. It's kept my interest throughout, and it's kept me guessing all the time. Each time I think I've got something figured out, you surprise me with new possibilities. xD The very origins of Archy's birth are still a mystery to me (I opted not to click the spoiler), but I think I have a good idea in mind now. At first I thought you were making a big deal out of something simple, but now I'm not so sure. I'd run the idea by you if I knew how to make spoiler tags (and I'm not using the advanced editor, so I'll just leave my guess unsaid for now).
As far as description goes, your work is by far better than anything I've done, and it's both pleasing and fulfilling. I get an excellent idea of how things appear to you as you describe them (at least I think I do), and there are very few questions you've left unanswered. One that I DO have, however, is about Carrie's past. We only get brief glimpses here and there... there was the bit about the sceptile and the grovyle in the forest, and then there was the part about her relationship with her dad. But we know nothing about her mother, about growing up, or about why she hangs out in the forest all the time instead of pursuing a career of some sort. Come to think of it, I don't even know how old she is, lol.
If these details were in the story and I missed them, I apologize. I'm not as good at retaining details as most people are.
Your grammar was nearly flawless, but I feel obligated to make at least one correction to heal my wounded ego a bit (I make more grammar mistakes than I'd like, lol). Observe the following sentence:
“Who? The brown human?” The female Grovyle’s voice sounded as light as the swishing of branches in the breeze. “I’m not sure… He seems okay. But he doesn’t seem to happy to be with us right now.”
The word in bold should be "too."
Very wonderful story you have going here, Elyvorg-san. I'll be popping in from time to time to check it out. Add me to the PM list, wouldja? :3
Aww, Shuko got the only grammar mistake I spotted.
Nice job. That was a very intense chapter. As cool as Velotus is, that last scene with him made me lose respect for him. :/ I was/am hoping the humans didn't die...did they die? Otherwise this knot of anticipation in my stomach won't untangle.
Yay, you wrote a Kabutops too. :3 They're one of my favorite pokemon...next to Grovyle of course. :P
That said, will we find out how Theo got the Kabutops?
Off topic: There's this Theo in my English class, who's...lets just say "quirky" so I can't take the character as seriously as I'd like too XD
Anyways I'm really looking forwards to the next chapter.
ooooh that was entertaining!!!
i love the whole espeon thing.... if only it had been a glaceon
very well written, lovely work!
cant wait for the next chapter!
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First of all, I cannot BELIEVE how careless those two grammar mistakes were. I guess that's what I get for rushing the proofreading due to being in a hurry to post it after such a long delay. Anyway, thanks for pointing those out.
DarkPersian479 - I think I'll leave the comma in quotation marks thing as it is for now as you seem unsure, and I'm unsure. If you find some kind of source which will convince me that the British way is actually how you've been telling me to do it, I'll change.
I'm surprised at how much you like the infiltration - I thought that it was rather... meh-ish, and the whole "the plan" thing was partly me poking fun at myself and how cobbled together my plan for their plan was. So it's great that you liked it. Emotions are indeed one of the most enjoyable things in writing, for me.
Not ticking off Velotus would be a very good idea. >:] Damn, he was so fun to write in that chapter.
Shuko - Whoo! I never thought you'd review this - I read something you said in the Café a while back saying that you never find time to review others' work and don't care about getting reviews yourself. So I'm flattered that you're making an exception here. Duly added to the PM list.
I can only hope that the plot stays this good; my plans for the story later on are decidedly vague with only the occasional truly planned out moment. As for my spoiler, all it contained was basically something saying "Archopy is mine, no stealing". It was only spoilered for the sake of people who didn't want to know its name/identity at that point for whatever reason. Nothing about its past has been revealed to anyone, I'm having fun being incredibly secretive with this fic, and it keeps the readers in suspense. Or something. :3
Carrie's past. Apart from what you know, there isn't actually much of it that I've really worked out - it's once again rather vague. I don't particularly want to bore people with a backstory at a random moment, but if the appropriate time arises then perhaps I'll say more about her childhood (and her mother, who I totally have NO CLUE about right now). As for her age, the first chapter describes her as mid-teens. Here's the stupid part - I can't actually remember whether I'd originally planned for her to be fifteen or sixteen. And to be honest, I don't think a number will make all that much difference to how the readers view her.
Griff4815 - I don't actually mind that you've gone off Velotus due to this chapter, as I did what I intended to do, to show how he would react when told by Carrie to do what he (and Kabutops) did. Both reacted, as well as I could manage, according to their personalities. I shall leave you hanging on whether or not the humans die - like I said above, I like keeping my readers in suspense.
Unfortunately I doubt you'll get anything particularly detailed about how Theo got Kabutops. Most likely, it wasn't that interesting anyway.
Do not diss the quirky. Quirky people are cool.
Erm. That sentence is not to be taken seriously, btw. *shuts up*
Edit: HommeDor - That review's not helpful at all. It's nice that you like it and all, but I'd assumed that your reviews would be a bit longer and more constructive than the one for the first three chapters as I know how hard it is to write a proper review when you have three chapters to comment on. Please, try to say more - good points, bad points - when you review or I may have to report you. And there's also no point saying you'd have preferred a Glaceon - he's an Espeon for my own reasons and I'm not changing that.
Last edited by elyvorg; 5th October 2007 at 10:22 PM.
what can i say? i am not very good with english grammer and i liked it, i saw nothing wrong with it...
i cannot say what i do not know and i cannot find a problem with something unless i look at it under a microscope, and this is a computer.... i dont wanna spoil my eyes THAT badly....
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Sorry for the late review- I've had a busy week.
You've delivered yet another great installment that was well worth the wait. I especially liked the part where Foliano, Velotus, and Kabutops were guarding the "prisoners"- it really got in depth with their respective personalities. The cliffhanger ending was a nice touch, but don't do it too often, as it may make your more impatient readers (such as myself) annoyed. I initially worried that Carrie might be too much of a Mary Sue character, seeing as she seems to be based so heavily around yourself, but you've made her quite believable personality wise.
One thing that sort of bothers me though, is the lack of Sinnoh Pokemon. I'm sort of a stickler about "Generation Representation", as I call it, and I couldn't help notice that although there are plenty of 4th gen moves, there are no 4th gen Pokemon to be found.
my first assumption is that you were one of those people who greatly dislike the 4th gen Pokemon, but looking at your sprite thread (which is awesome, by the way) I saw several 4th gen Pokemon as part of some of the hybrids. so this is still a mystery to me.
Now I can't wait for Chapter 5- hope you can get it done soon!
P.S.- There's something I forgot to mention in my first review. although Raticate is pretty shweet, it's still got too much ugliness to compare with the pwnsomeness of Rattata.
I'f I'm being a n00b, please don't hesitate to tell me.
HommeDor - There's more to a constructive review than pointing out grammar mistakes. Why did you like the chapter? What was your favourite part, and why? Was there anything you didn't like? What do you think of the characters, are they realistic? Do you like my description? If not, how could I improve it? These are just a few examples of the questions you can answer when reviewing. I don't even mind if you can't think of anything negative, just so long as the positive comments tell me what you liked and why you liked it. That way, I can try to include more of what it was you liked in the next chapter.
I hope that you can take some of these ideas on board to make your next review a useful one.
InsaneTyranitar - Thankyou for your review and don't worry about the lateness. I was beginning to think that I'd get no more reviews until the next chapter, so yours is a pleasant surprise.
It is true that Carrie's opinions are very similar to mine, but I personally think that her personality is rather different. Either way, it's relieving to hear that she doesn't come across as a self-insert Mary-Sue; that was something I'd been worrying about. As for the cliffhanger, I'm not planning to overdo them so don't worry. I know it can annoy readers. To tell the truth, I hadn't originally planned for Chapter 4 to end with one when I started writing it, but I got to that point and it seemed like a much better place to end the chapter than where I first intended.
The lack of Sinnoh Pokémon is due to nothing other than the fact this fic is set in Hoenn. If they do appear, they're more likely to be trainer owned than wild as I don't want to suddenly shove a load of non-Hoenn-natives into the region. Oh, and in case I just made you wonder, Roy is from Kanto, hence his Pokémon being from there (though you might have read my comment about that anyway).
Chapter 5 should probably be up sometime this weekend.
*stares at the Raticate comment for a while*
-a minute later-
Ah, I get what you mean there. xD I can be incredibly slow sometimes.
Chapter 5 is ready, finally.
Chapter 5: Lost and Found
Milo was rounding the corner on the way to his individual room. He stopped abruptly as he noticed a purple feline Pokémon sitting directly in the middle of the corridor. It was staring at him, the ruby on its forehead twinkling from the light above. Behind it stood a raptor-like Pokémon decorated with teal coloured leaves. Behind that was a strange teenage girl, dressed completely in green with a long, messy ponytail and an alert but worried expression. She towered over Milo, but was herself dwarfed by the large figure which stood beside her. He gaped as he took in the ruffled brown hair, the solid features, the practical clothing.
“Milo!” Theo let out a large breath. “You had us scared there. We thought you were a guard…”
“So this is the famous Milo?” the girl asked, peering down at his tiny figure, unimpressed.
Milo stared at her for a moment, before deciding to ignore the comment. “Why are you here?” he asked his friend. “It sounds as if you’ve broken in or something!”
“We have,” said the stranger bluntly.
“Look, we need to get somewhere safe before a guard really does come walking round the corner,” Theo told him worriedly. “Can you take us to your room?”
“Sure, I was heading that way anyway. Once we’re in there you can tell me what on earth this is all about. But we’d better go quickly – you do realise we’re being caught on camera?”
* * *
Oh, sh*t. Ivyx didn’t disable the camera.
The thoughts running through Carrie’s mind as the group was led through the corridor by the diminutive scientist were not positive. There was no point in her Grovyle breaking the camera now – she’d already been caught on tape which would be viewed in the evening, and after that, MemorCorp would not be happy. Still, there was no point being annoyed at herself now. She was inside, safe for the moment, and about to find out what she wanted to know.
Milo reached a door bearing the name “M. WALSH” and opened it, gesturing for everyone to enter. As Carrie wandered in, she was struck by how unoriginal MemorCorp’s rooms were. White. All of them a plain, artificial white. Did they have no imagination here?
She and Theo sat themselves on a low bench running across one wall, the only seating the room had to offer. Ivyx came to stand on it next to her; Empathy settled himself reassuringly by Carrie’s feet. She took a moment to survey the place where Milo worked. It was a decent size, most of it taken up by a large work table, predictably white. On it lay a plethora of equipment, none of which Carrie understood the purpose of, and a flat, brown rock.
On seeing it, Theo leapt up from beside her to take a closer look. His eyes widened in astonishment as he picked it up, his face becoming more animated than Carrie had ever seen it before. “This is… a Scythe Fossil! But they’re so rare…” Theo held up the rock, and Carrie could just make out a faint outline vaguely resembling a crescent.
Milo nodded, exasperated. “Yes, that’s the fossilised remains of a Kabutops – our boss prefers us to use fossils of evolved Pokémon whenever we can,” he explained. “But surely you shouldn’t be so amazed, being the discoverer of the only Leaf Fossil ever found? And weren’t you going to tell me why you’re here?”
Theo replaced the rock and sat down, looking sheepish at his sudden burst of emotion. “Yes, of course. This is Carrie –”
“Hi.” Carrie waved vaguely at the miniature scientist. Even sitting down, she was only just below his eye line.
“And these are her Pokémon –”
“– Obviously,” she finished. Empathy and Ivyx nodded and muttered greetings, the Psychic type rather more enthusiastically.
“Right. Er, nice to meet you, I think.” Milo turned to Theo once more. “Now, what are you doing here? I hope this has nothing to do with my… phone calls. I think this place would do more than just sack me if they found out.” For the first time, a note of panic could be heard in his voice.
“No, it isn’t,” Theo said reassuringly. “At least, not directly. To cut a long story short, we want to know more about Archopy. Well, Carrie does anyway.”
“Yes,” she cut in eagerly as Ivyx started paying attention. “I really want to know – why is Archopy extinct? Why does Grovyle evolve into… into something else?”
The scientist paused for a moment. “Well, I do know that, but I‘m not sure why I should be telling a stranger who apparently broke in.”
“Oh, come on,” Carrie chided. “Isn’t the whole point of being a whistleblower to give out information?”
“But…” Milo frowned. “It’s complicated.”
“I don’t care. Tell me.”
“Okay.” He gave in. “Let me start with the basics: all living creatures, whether human, Pokémon, plant, or other, are made up of DNA, short for deoxyribonucleic acid. You probably already know this, but bear with me.
“This DNA holds every bit of information about the living organism: what it looks like; what it’s capable of; how it grows. For Pokémon and only Pokémon, it also contains information on how and why they evolve.
“Now, being in the Genetics department, and seeing that Theo gave the Leaf Fossil – Archopy’s fossil – to me, I was the lucky one who got to examine its DNA. The coding appears to say that after enough experience, and with conscious consent, the Pokémon’s Grovyle form will evolve into an Archopy. This is the same natural kind of evolution experienced by most Pokémon, and is indeed the same kind shown by modern Grovyle.”
At the last few words, Carrie’s stomach tied itself into an angry knot. She glanced to the side, but if Ivyx had any hostile feelings at the casual mention of modern Grovyle evolution, she was hiding them well. Carrie ignored her automatic emotions and turned back to Milo, who was continuing.
“The intriguing part is that nowhere in the DNA does it say anything about Sceptile. Not even as an alternate evolution with a different method, as I thought might be the case. Nothing.”
“So why did Ar –”
“I’m getting to it. After examining Archopy’s DNA, I was given the DNA from a modern day Treecko to compare it with. I did so, and found that the coding for the first two evolution stages was exactly the same – bar individual traits that differ between each Pokémon. So were the instructions on conditions for evolution. In fact, it’s practically the same as Archopy’s DNA except for the coding of the final evolution stage, which is, of course, Sceptile. And nowhere on it could I find any trace of Archopy.”
These facts floated vaguely through Carrie’s head, some of them actually registering. Ancient and modern Treecko and Grovyle were exactly the same, bar their evolution. And modern day Grovyle – and this fact was like a pin to the bubble of hope she had been keeping within her since seeing the ancient Pokémon – they would never be able to evolve into Archopy. It simply wasn’t in their genes. She sighed and continued listening; there was still a lot she wanted to know.
“The thing is, though Archopy and Sceptile are very different in looks, their DNA is fairly similar. You’d be surprised how much of DNA coding remains the same for all Pokémon – it’s only a small amount that determines the species, even less if the species are relatively similar. Take Butterfree and Beautifly for example. Both the same type, both have large eyes, antennae and pretty wings. I’d say that about ninety per cent of their DNA is exactly the same. Perhaps more.
“What I’m trying to say here is that it can take only a small genetic mutation to drastically change a Pokémon. It’s these mutations that make Pokémon adapt to their environment – it’s what made the Treecko line fast, capable of climbing trees, etcetera. My theory is that once, a long time ago, all Grovyle would evolve into Archopy. Then, completely by chance, one or two newborn Treecko had slightly mutated genes. But instead of making them faster runners or better tree climbers, these mutations changed what the Grovyle form would evolve into. They made it so that these Pokémon would become Sceptile – it only takes a small mutation, as I said.
“To put it in simple terms, the Treecko line evolved. Not in the sudden sense that happens to nearly every Pokémon, but in the more general sense, like how Mawile used to have steel horns rather than a fully working metal jaw coming off its head.”
The irony. The Grovyle line had “evolved”, and with that, an entire evolution stage had been lost. Sitting beside her trainer, Ivyx stared vacantly ahead, deep in thought.
An idea struck Carrie. “But why isn’t the world populated with both S… those things, and Archopy? Two mutations isn’t enough to make a whole species die out.”
“It can be. The DNA for Archopy happens to be what’s called recessive, while the DNA for a Sceptile is dominant. This means that if those two different kinds of DNA were to combine and make an offspring, the dominant gene would always overwrite the recessive one. Basically, if an Archopy were to breed with a Sceptile –“ Milo paused, seeing the look of disgust on Carrie’s face, “– which could and did happen, given how similar they are genetically – then the Treecko offspring would evolve into Sceptile, and only Sceptile.”
“So only two Archopy breeding would get you another Archopy, nothing else?” This was Theo, pretending he’d been listening the whole time. Not that Carrie blamed him if he hadn’t – Milo rambled a lot, and Theo wasn’t particularly interested in what the scientist had to say.
“Yes. Of course, other factors would probably have had a hand in Archopy dying out, such as a climate change which suited the Sceptile more than them, but ultimately, it was their recessive genes which did for them in the end.”
So that was it. A small detail with a big name, and whoops, no more Archopy. Carrie could picture in her mind’s eye the population of the flying Pokémon decreasing as the numbers of their rivals – they probably lived in perfect harmony, but Carrie still thought of them like that – increased. She wondered vaguely whether the Archopy who had been fossilised was one of the last to die, or whether it had known nothing of its species’ impending doom.
Lost in thought, she barely heard Theo’s voice as he was saying something to Milo. She tuned in as he finished with, “…about these tests you carry out?”
The tests. Of course. That was something else she was interested in knowing, despite that it would probably not improve her mood.
“Yes. Well,” Milo began hesitatingly. “The thing is, the only tests we – that is, the Genetics department – do on the resurrected Pokémon is take a sample of their living DNA and compare it with the fossilised DNA. Everything else is done by the other side.”
“The other side?” Carrie asked, listening properly once more. Ivyx, too, was no longer staring into space; Empathy had, on the contrary, been paying attention the whole time.
“Yes. The Memory department, or as we geneticists nickname it, the other side.” Milo gestured in the vague direction of the corridor Carrie had charged rashly down. “I don’t know exactly how it works – only that it involves a lot of Psychic Pokémon – but somehow, they take the memories of the Pokémon which lived millions of years ago and place them in the mind of a growing foetus, the ancient Pokémon’s clone.”
Milo paused for dramatic effect.
“Whoa,” Theo exclaimed, awestruck. “To take memories from so long ago – that’s incredible!” He narrowed his eyes cynically. “You’re not just having us on, are you?”
“No, I’m not,” said Milo dully. “There’s a reason this place is called MemorCorp.”
“And the tests?” asked Carrie, more interested in Archopy’s treatment than groundbreaking science.
“I don’t know everything about them – the other side think they’re better than us and like to keep to themselves. But from what I can gather, they attach electrodes to the Pokémon’s head which allow them to see the memories on a screen. Then they sit around all day, watching them like they’re in some cinema. Research on ancient times, apparently.” He muttered the last few sentences with disdain.
“But…” Theo was practically jumping off the bench. “But that would be amazing! To witness life as it was for ancient Pokémon…” He trailed off, staring into space.
Carrie didn’t share his enthusiasm. To be locked in a room and forced to relive memories that weren’t even yours… It didn’t seem amazing from the Pokémon’s point of view. She found herself wondering just how bad it would have been for a Pokémon in MemorCorp. For Archopy.
“Milo,” she said, the words tumbling out of her mouth before she could really consider how logical they were. “I don’t suppose we could go and see one of these Pokémon?” As soon as she had suggested it, it seemed stupid. Ridiculous. MemorCorp had to have security on the small prisons, didn’t they?
“Most of them have security on their doors,” Milo told her, voicing her thoughts. “Geneticists aren’t allowed in without permission. But there is one that the other side don’t care about. I could show you that one.” He glanced briefly at Ivyx, then suddenly looked Carrie in the eye. She got the impression that he knew something he wasn’t letting on. “Are you sure you want to see it?”
Carrie decided to take the question seriously. Did she, really? She wasn’t honestly all that bothered about the treatments of a few fossil Pokémon – it was Archopy she cared about. But she wanted more than anything right now to truly understand the creature she had glimpsed, whatever it took. And besides, how bad could seeing this Pokémon be?
Theo was now standing up; it was clear what he wanted. Carrie glanced down at Empathy. He looked up at her with an expression that understood her intentions and urged her to go for it. Her eyes flicked towards Ivyx, who shrugged.
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
Milo nodded and led the group in a silent procession out of his room. They headed towards an unfamiliar door bearing no name. A corridor greeted them beyond it: long, plain and utterly devoid of doors except at the very end.
“The other side don’t like us going through their section,” Milo explained as they walked, the bitter edge to his voice back again. “This corridor is our route past them to the holding section, though we rarely use it.”
Eventually they passed through the exit on the opposite side and found themselves in a smaller corridor, nameless doors cluttering the plain white walls. This was the holding area; Carrie recognised it as the place she and Theo had first entered into.
Milo stopped in front of one of the doors, identical to the rest. “It’s not quite the same as the other Pokémon,” he admitted. “Hence the lack of security.” He unlocked the door with a key from his pocket, tugged down on the handle and slowly eased it open. “This is where we kept the Treecko we took comparison DNA from.”
The words hit Carrie like a bombshell. Ivyx froze.
No. No, no… Implications whirled through Carrie’s head, all of them feeling like a stab in the brain. This could not be good. Not in her view. Half of her wanted desperately to screw up her eyes and run, to get out of there before she saw the true disgrace of MemorCorp, but some morbid curiosity kept her feet fixed in place, her eyelids firmly back as the door opened.
Behind it, slumped miserably against the opposite wall, drip in its arm but with a noticeable lack of electrodes fixed to its head, was the melancholy figure of a Grovyle.
The Treecko had evolved only once.
Carrie breathed an immense sigh of relief. Seconds later she wondered just why she had done so; what could possibly be relieving about an innocent Grovyle trapped in a glorified box with who-knows-what being pumped into its arm?
Trancelike, she stepped forward into the cell. Only then did she remember that other people were there with her as Milo and Theo moved out of the way to allow her through. Softly approaching the unfortunate raptor, she observed how its leaves were drooping dully; how its half-closed eyes registered nothing. And then her eyes fell upon the intravenous drip with its tube leading back into the wall.
Carrie turned her head sharply back towards the two men, faltering for a moment on seeing Ivyx’s pitiful expression. Then her gaze fixed itself on Milo. “What does this do?” she asked, pointing fiercely at the drip.
“Er,” said Milo, alarmed at the display of emotions. “It’s a cocktail of chemicals. Some of them are sedatives to keep the Pokémon docile and make sure they don’t break out. And the others…” he paused for a moment, looking half afraid, half apologetic, “they accelerate evolution. They force it without needing the Pokémon’s consent. The other side can only get the memories the ancient Pokémon had when it was in the current evolution stage, so they have to evolve to remember everythi…” He trailed off as he realised Carrie was not listening.
Ivyx was now staring at the dejected Grovyle like it was a bomb about to go off. Carrie was frozen for a moment, then came to her senses. If the Pokémon was a bomb, she had to defuse it before it exploded on her conscience. She crouched, reached towards the prone Grovyle and plucked the IV tube from its arm. A drop of fluid slid out of the exposed tip. Simple.
Carrie watched in alarm as the Grovyle began to shiver uncontrollably. Its eyes jerked open, yellow irises filled with pain. She glanced rapidly at Ivyx, who now looked as though the bomb had begun the final countdown, at Empathy, who for once didn’t seem to know what was happening, and at Theo, standing confused like a spare part. Finally, her frantic gaze found Milo, her expression desperate for an explanation.
“You really shouldn’t have done that,” he told her with a hint of regret. “Withdrawal symptoms; its hormones are going into overdrive. And now, I’m afraid it’s going to evolve.”
“No!” Carrie stood up awkwardly and stumbled backwards from the Grovyle, whose form was beginning to glow with a blistering white light. She and Ivyx watched in horror as the Pokémon stretched, swelled, its belly doubling in width. The crest leaf shrank into its skull, being replaced by ridge-like protuberances. A long spike pushed its way out from where the tail leaves were, sprouting pointed branches. The small, satirical part of Carrie’s mind which was not in shock idly wondered if the spikes would grow Christmas baubles, but the round shapes formed higher up, bulging from its back. No more were the leaves like feathers; instead two deformed knives protruded from its wrists.
Having served its purpose, the blinding glow dissipated. The bright green beast now inside the room stared around dully with heavy, bloodshot eyes. Part of Carrie’s numb mind wanted to curl up in shame and die. A Grovyle had evolved, and it was her fault.
She felt a strong hand on her shoulder and mutely submitted to its guidance, steering her out of the small room. A second later she registered that the hand was Theo’s, and that Milo was locking the door, trapping the Pokémon inside. Carrie shook her head vigorously in an attempt to return to reality; they were still trespassing in a laboratory, and chances were that the… event in the cell had alerted someone to their presence.
“We’d better leave,” Theo announced quietly.
Carrie swallowed and nodded with more strength than she felt she had. Before she had taken a step, she felt a light tug on her trouser leg. Ivyx’s sorrowful eyes met her as she looked down.
“Recall me. Please,” she murmured softly, suddenly seeming incredibly vulnerable. Carrie obliged, crouching to the Pokémon’s level and touching her gently with her red and white sphere. If this place could force evolution, it was not a place for one of her Grovyle. Ivyx’s form wavered and disappeared in a flush of red light; she was safe for now.
Turning for a moment to her other Pokémon, Carrie ran her hand through Empathy’s smooth fur. A comforting wave of warmth spread through her mind; the Psychic type was doing his best to soothe his trainer’s painful emotions. Her face flickered with a hint of contentment, and the two of them followed Theo down the corridor.
* * *
The woman gazed apathetically at the flashing message on the screen. Intruders in the holding area, it told her. Had apparently disturbed a specimen – the least important one at that. It didn’t bother her at all; people were insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Easily sorted, or even just ignored.
She sat back in her office chair, her sharp blue eyes surveying the multitude of monitors. None of them held the news she wanted: recapture of the escaped specimen. It had been an unlucky occurrence – anything else escaping would not be worrying, but this one was unique. The representation of an entire species, and it had been lost.
Her tight, dull blonde bun of hair waved from side to side as she shook her head in exasperation. What was taking them? How hard was it to recapture one Pokémon? Not that it mattered for now, she reassured herself. There was still plenty of time until she needed it again.
The first screen was flashing once more. Intruders may have acquired classified information, it warned. The woman ignored it. She was not bothered about secrets leaking out from her scientists. None of them knew the true scale of their work yet; only she as the Director had any inkling of how groundbreaking this laboratory’s research would be.
She, Grace White, was going to change the world.
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A/N: Apologies if anyone found the cliffhanger resolution rather anticlimatic - I hadn't originally planned for it to be a cliffhanger. And I'm afraid the guard thing didn't get resolved this chapter either; it just sort of didn't fit.
Last edited by elyvorg; 14th June 2008 at 5:39 PM.
Wow I sure read that fast.
I found this chapter particularily interesting simply because of the talk of genetics since I'm learning about this kind of genetics in my biology class right now.
I was a bit dissappointed by the lack of action and the lack of Velotus, Foliano, and Kabutops (does he have a name? I kinda forget) I wanted to see if they spared those humans.
I felt pretty bad for the Treecko and Grovyle test subjects (especially That one Grovyle in particular who was in the cell and evolved (although I found you made the evolution side-affect seem worse than it could have been, ie. worse sickness, or death)).
All in all, It was quite good, although I'm worried that, if it wasn't for my current genetics fascination, I may have been bored. But luckily that wasn't the case. Keep up the great writing.
A comma would be more appropriate here than a semicolon.Sure, I was heading that way anyway.
There was no point in her Grovyle breaking the camera nowEven though "the other side" refers to a group of people, it still strikes me as weird to see the plural forms of "think" (instead of "thinks") and "like" (instead of "likes") being used.the other side think they’re better than us and like to keep to themselves.
I have something similar explained in my fic, except that in mine it's a brainwave that affects Pokemon obedience and loyalty.“This DNA holds every bit of information about the living organism: what it looks like; what it’s capable of; how it grows. For Pokémon and only Pokémon, it also contains information on how and why they evolve.
"The process of evolution evolves itself." Very interesting biological/genetic look at a process that is taken for granted. It's actually got me wondering which of our other current-day Pokemon also used to have alternate evolutions that disappeared and were replaced by the dominant alternative evolution seen today.
The whole "implanting ancient memory" project is intriguing, though seemingly rather unethical. It'll be interesting to find out what MemorCorp intends to do with the information it gathers, and the side effects it has on the Pokemon that were used for the project.
And it looks like Carrie did something inadvertently that's going to affect her for the rest of her life- and Ivyx who witnessed her trigger the transformation. Methinks it'll be very interesting to see how this event affects both characters in the future.
Another well-written chapter that hints at events and character development to come.
You balanced technical details with action and dialog rather nicely in this latest chapter. I didn't notice any real mistakes either. Good job.
Can't geneticists alter DNA? That was how Mewtwo was made, but I wonder if such a thing could be done with existing pokemon to change their evolution...
Thanks for the reviews everyone.
Griff4815 - Funny how you find this chapter interesting because of your biology class, yet I'm going to find my biology class (when we get onto the topic of evolution) interesting because of this chapter. xP
I can't really help the lack of action, this is just one of those kinds of chapters which gives a lot of information but not much happens. I did regret not concluding the hostage situation, but that'll happen pretty much first thing next chapter, so don't worry. Oh, and Theo doesn't nickname any of his Pokémon.
Treecko and Grovyle test subjects? "That one Grovyle in particular" seems to be implying that you think there are more than two; also, both Grovyle test subjects were in a cell and evolved (though I know which one you were referring to). I don't think I unintentionally implied that there are a large number of the Treecko line used for research, did I?
I totally don't get what you mean here. I made it seem worse than worse sickness or death? o.o(although I found you made the evolution side-affect seem worse than it could have been, ie. worse sickness, or death)
DarkPersian479 - Fixed the first two grammar mistakes. The third one is rather subjective, and I personally prefer it how it is.
Oddly enough, I never really thought about how other Pokémon might have an alternate recessive evolution like Archopy until just now. I guess it's because the mutation which changed the Treecko line would have had a millions-to-one chance of happening, so I never really considered that it might have happened more than once.
The "implanting ancient memory" project is indeed unethical, which is why MemorCorp is being so secretive and a general jerk to the public, eg, Theo.
You may also be interested to know that I'm slowly working my way through your fic and will probably start regularly reviewing once I've caught up.
Apotheosis - Your comment was a nice summing up of the chapter, but I can't help thinking that with the eloquent way you phrased it, you'd do well with a full-on review if you really had the time.
I don't know about real life geneticists altering DNA, but in the Pokémon universe they definitely can. I shall say no more on that subject...
I think I meant "You made it seem worse than it had to have been." But I fully understand that Carrie hates the evolution with a passion so I now see that it makes sense from a characters view point.
I also reread the part where I thought there were more than one test subjects and noticed that I read wrong (I guess my focus is compromised when singing along to The Beatles while reading. If it makes you feel better, the song "Yesterday" made the chapter more sad...even in parts which weren't sad). ANYways, I'm very eager for the next chapter.
Very interesting stuff. I really like where the story is going. I'm a bit of a sucker for explanation chapters... I kinda feel bad for what happened to all of the Archopies. Same thing for that Grovyle that evolved.
Now I'm curious about what that Grace White person is up to. No real telling what it is yet, unless I missed something (not surprising if I did. I tend to miss a lot of things). Ah well, cliffhangers don't bother me too much anyways.
Just two thing that I noticed. In chapter four:
Yeah, just a small typo, nothing major.Her claws made clicking noises against the smooth stone, yet somehow managed to keep her clinging on as she manoeuvred around windows to approach the now unguarded hole.
Also, at the end of chapter five:
I might be wrong, but shouldn't that be "What was taking them so long?" or something like that?What was taking them?
Well, thats it for now, I guess. Looking forward to chapter six