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Thread: Yearning For Freedom [PG/PG 13]

  1. #1
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    Default Yearning For Freedom [PG/PG 13]

    I’d like to thank my friend, DP479, for helping me with a description of Giovanni and Mewtwo. I’d also like to thank him personally for allowing me to use his Zapdos description, for editing the prologue and giving me ideas.

    PM List:
    Demy
    DarkPersian479
    Kutie Pie
    Saffire Persian
    RandomCharizard
    Dilasc
    Sike Saner
    Kadjaft
    Blues

    Chapter Index
    Prologue
    Chapter 1: The Adventure Begins
    Chapter 2: Talk of Sinnoh
    Chapter 3: Josephine's First Battles
    Chapter 4: Insanity
    Chapter 5: A Rocky Start
    Chapter 6: Mt. Moon and Beyond


    Prologue:

    A Team Rocket Admin named Ross stood in a darkened room. The room had steel walls; on the right side of the room was a large cherry wood desk, and behind the desk stood a man. The man standing before Ross was a tall, mysterious individual with neat black hair. Dressed formally in a black suit, he had a triumphant smirk on his clean-cut face. In an intimidating voice with a distinct Italian accent, he proceeded to tell his subordinate about Team Rocket’s latest victory as he pressed a button hidden by the darkness. A small clicking noise was heard, and light burst forth from the ceiling light, revealing a huge sphere made up of sizzling red energy beams.

    A gigantic bird, of a brilliant yellow colour, stood inside the force field. Its sizeable, sharply pointed wings were wrapped around its body, as it was in a confined space. Its body wore many scars and bruises, evidence of the horrible punishment that it received after its capture. The normally regal creature had nowhere to move within its tiny prison. Its head was just as jagged and pointed as its wings, with two thin, black eyes and a long, slender beak. It stood there, hardly moving, as if all of its power had been drained out of it. Those eyes, which would normally have a determined look, instead wore a defeated expression, and it appeared that the avian Pokèmon’s thin legs and talons could give out at any time. On occasion, however, electric sparks could be seen shooting from its body.

    “This is the legendary Zapdos,” Giovanni gloated. “It is the key to disturbing the balance of power between the three birds, the other two being Articuno and Moltres. With the balance of power disrupted, the world will be easier to conquer.”

    *****

    Deep in the Viridian Forest, the wind moaned like a wounded beast. Gathering speed, it ripped through the dark forest, shredding young flowers and plants to pieces. Above the forest, the evening sky darkened as the heavy underbellies of the clouds tumbled into a chaotic stampede of black and leaden grey. Lightning scarred the skies and thunder boomed out, like the sound of mountains cracking from peak to base. Leaves showered widespread as the trees, inside the forest, shook their heads, goaded by the gale into an insane dance.

    The large Pokèmon stood on its hind legs and stared at the human intently. Despite some obvious feline-like features, this light-purple coloured creature looked… unnatural, somehow. It was more than its dark purple tail that seemed to flow seamlessly into its lower torso, and more than the tube-like appendage running from the back of its head to its upper back. Those menacing, enraged eyes told it all – this creature’s level of anger and hatred was too high for it to have a natural Pokèmon heart.

    The tall man stood rather calmly, watching the man made clone’s every move. The middle of his face, below the temple and above the mouth, was covered by a black mask, while he kept his brown hair tied up in a ponytail. As for his outfit, he wore a white shirt and tan trousers, having a dark brown jacket covering his shirt. But he usually kept the jacket open to expose his shirt as well.

    “Mewtwo, what do you want?” Garrett Byrne asked.

    More than you could dare to imagine, human,” Mewtwo spoke telepathically, his deep voice thick with anger. “I wish to start a Pokèmon-human war… and in some ways, it has already started.”

    “How so?”

    In time you will see,” the Pokèmon replied.

    Seeing that the sun was just starting to peek over the canopy of the trees, Garrett walked out the gates of the forest and to the outskirts of Viridian City, while Mewtwo levitated into the air and shot towards the Cerulean Cave like a bullet.

    “A Pokèmon-human war?” Garrett muttered out loud, as he arrived at Viridian. “I wonder… why? Why would Mewtwo want to start a war? Kanto’s only just gotten over the last war. Does it have something to do with the strange disappearance of Zapdos?”

    *****

    In a large brick red city-style house in the small town of Pallet, an obnoxious red haired teenage girl was just getting out of her bed, unaware that her upcoming journey would be fraught with more than its fair share of dangerous situations.
    Last edited by Saphira_Thorn; 18th October 2007 at 4:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    and light burst forth from the ceiling light,
    "Light" sounds a bit repetitive in this sentence.

    Setting descriptions were done well. I'm not going to comment on the Pokemon or human descriptions, as I was mainly responsible for them.

    I am going to be honest, though. I haven't really formed any real opinions, positive or negative, on this one yet. With the Mewtwo/Garrett scene, you're repeating your old habit of having Legendary Pokemon appear before humans/other Pokemon for no apparent reason other than to explicitly state major plot points before disappearing. And garrett seems unusually calm for someone who's having communication with a legendary. It's almost as if it's no big deal if he sees 'em on his morning commute to the office. I'm not sure there are too many people who are familiar enough to be on a first name basis with the legendaries.

    Why would Mewtwo communicate with this one guy about its plans? Wouldn't it make more sense to keep them a secret and take the world by complete surprise?

    Well, I suppose I'll keep checking back in to see how you handle the whole Garrett/Mewtwo situation in the future, because right now it seems too much like they're buddies.

    However, the whole Giovanni/Zapdos situation is intriguing enough, and is more than enough reason to see where you're going as far as his involvement.

    Good luck on the future chapters, and just be careful with your human/legendary interactions.

  3. #3
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    So Giovanni's managed to capture and imprison Zapdos? I wonder how he managed to do that? o.o However he did that, I imagine that either the bird would have put up a serious fight, or else Giovanni had anticipated Zapdos's power in planning its capture and built his strategy accordingly, thereby preventing Zapdos from being able to resist capture. The matter of how a person manages to capture such a powerful Pokémon is just one of those things that interests me. Another thing I wonder is if Giovanni chose Zapdos for a specific reason, or if he figured that taking any one of the birds would achieve the result he desired and Zapdos just happened to be the most convenient of the three for him to acquire (or was the first legendary bird Giovanni happened to find).

    I'm also curious as to why Mewtwo chose to inform Garrett of his plans to start a war between Pokémon and humans. I can't seem to come up with any potential answers to that question. ^^; And is there some sort of history between those two--do they know each other from a previous encounter? Garrett's calmness around Mewtwo suggests that that may not have the first time the two met. o.o

    Speaking of Garrett, I also wonder about the fact that he wore a mask over much of his face. It's not an article of clothing that one sees much of, so I find myself imagining that he must have some very specific reason for wearing it, and possibly an interesting one, at that.

    Anyway, I'll see where this goes. The answers to my questions may lie in chapters to come...
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Sike Saner
    And is there some sort of history between those two--do they know each other from a previous encounter? Garrett's calmness around Mewtwo suggests that that may not have the first time the two met.
    Yes, Garrett does know Mewtwo from a previous encounter, but that will not be revealed until later in teh story.

    Originally posted by Sike Saner
    Speaking of Garrett, I also wonder about the fact that he wore a mask over much of his face. It's not an article of clothing that one sees much of, so I find myself imagining that he must have some very specific reason for wearing it, and possibly an interesting one, at that.
    Garrett is a rebel. In "Ascension, Take Three", his 'code name' would have been mentioned at teh end of teh Mt. Moon chapter... had I continued with it, that is. But as I've already promised DP, I fully intend to continue with this version.


    And now, here's teh first chapter.

    I’d like to thank Dark Amethyst and DarkPersian479 for the descriptions of Dragonite, Lorelei, Walrein, Houndoom and Rhydon respectively. Thanks guys.

    Chapter 1: The Adventure Begins

    After showering herself, the girl went over to her closet and removed two hangers; one of which held a bright red sleeveless top and a sky-blue miniskirt, with the other holding a red and white short sleeved jacket. She dressed herself, and then began brushing her long red hair into place. Placing her digital watch on her left arm, she headed down the hall.

    “Josephine! Josephine, hurry and come downstairs, will you? There’s a special news bulletin on the television!” a middle-aged woman shouted from downstairs. She had pale red hair, with green eyes that were brimming with impatience. She wore a black and white striped polo shirt and fading red three-quarter pants. This was Fiona Harris, mother of a Pokèmon trainer to be. She was a very caring and kind person, but didn’t want her only daughter to miss out on one of the most important days of her life.

    Josephine put her right on the railing as she descended the stairs, admiring the wall to wall purple carpet.

    “Hi mum,” the teen greeted her mother as she sat down on the maroon couch, reached for the remote control and pressed the volume button to increase the sound.

    “Our main story this morning concerns an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Zapdos, the legendary bird of Thunder,” the reporter stated professionally as he stared at the cameras. He wore a prim tan suit that crinkled at just the slightest movement. This was evident from his thin elbows resting tiredly on the silver desk and slightly twitching. His sleek, brown hair covered his dull blue eyes as he looked down at his paper before continuing on.

    “It is part of a trio, with the other two birds being Articuno and Moltres. Authorities are utterly baffled by the disappearance of the majestic creature and have no clue as to where it might have gone. When the Power Plant was looked over, there were obvious traces of burn marks from Zapdos’ electrical powers, but nothing else is known at this stage. We now take you to…”

    Josephine turned off the television with the screen blinking from a white flash to a blank screen with a small ‘click’.

    “Man…” the red haired teen was obviously shocked, as she relaxed on the couch. “Things are bad. Who would have dared to even think of this?”

    “Hmm,” Fiona mumbled, as she worked on packing her daughter’s backpack. She believed she knew who had committed such a horrible crime, but for now wasn’t going to let on.

    Josephine started to wonder about how successful her journey would be. Of course, she wanted to become a great trainer, but the reality of achieving such greatness didn’t seem to be at very good odds. She began to feel slightly unsure if she would be a success or a failure, but then shook her head and reminded herself that over-thinking was one of her weaknesses.

    “Hello Josephine,” a voice called out to her. It was Professor Oak. The Professor was an old, but young spirited man. His greying hair was trimmed neatly, as it came down just short of his ears. He wore a long white lab coat that fell down to his black boots.

    “Hello Professor,” the teen waved, and then realized something. “Oh sh*t! I’m late! I’m sorry Professor Oak.”

    The Pokèmon researcher shrugged off the apology, saying, “That’s why I’m here. Paul Oak, Rachel Savina and Michael Wilcox have already been to my lab and obtained their starters – Squirtle, Bulbasaur and Charmander.”

    Hearing this, Josephine started jumping up and down angrily.

    “Let me continue, please. I came to give you these – your starter, five Pokèballs and a Pokèdex.”

    At once, the red haired teen stopped jumping up and down and blinked a couple of times in confusion. As Professor Oak explained the history behind the Pokèdex and how to use the Pokèballs, he handed the items to Josephine, who accepted them and thanked the researcher profusely.

    Emerging from the Pokèball was a creature covered in blue fuzz called Shinx. Its stout feline body and short azure fur shivered in the wind, while its tail and ears glowed bright yellow; useful in dark places, but hardly noticeable once they were outside. Hissing, the Shinx leaned down on its front legs, its yellow bands gleaming in the sunlight.

    “Oh my god!” Josephine squealed. “Shinx are so cute! Oh man, thank you professor!”

    “You’re welcome, Josephine,” the researcher smiled warmly, as the teen became fast friends with her partner.

    Seeing Fiona standing in the kitchen made Samuel remember something important, so he waited until Josephine stood up from playing with her starter, and then cleared his throat. Surprised, Josephine looked at the Pokèmon researcher curiously.

    “As I’m sure you would have heard by now, the legendary Zapdos has disappeared from the Power Plant,” Professor Oak paused and waited for any acknowledgement. The red haired teenager nodded and explained that it had been on the morning’s news.

    “Well,” he continued on, “Lance Blackthorn has decided that you, Paul, Rachel and Michael are to be the ones to find and rescue Zapdos. The four of you will get help along the way, of course, but the majority of the task is up to you four.”

    “WHAT?!!!” Josephine practically screamed. “You expect us to rescue a legendary?!!!! We don’t even know where it is!”

    Fiona knew it was now or never. She sat down on the maroon couch and beckoned for her daughter to sit with her as well. Once she had sat down, Fiona explained where she believed Zapdos was and who had committed the crime of capturing it. When she had finished explaining, Josephine looked even more shocked than before.

    “You… were marriedto that jerk? You’re saying my fathercaptured Zapdos?!”

    “We divorced when you were two years old, but yes, Giovanni is your father.” Fiona felt so hollow after telling her daughter the information, she felt like she was going to be sick.

    *****

    A tall man, aged approximately in his early thirties, stood in the Viridian Gym. He had short red spiky hair. He looked comfortable in his outfit – a black cape with a red underside and black boots with red trimmings. His suit was mostly black with red sleeves, a red torso area and a wide black belt.

    The second person was a young woman, wearing a black blouse and short purple skirt. She had red hair that was styled so that it extended out to the sides of her head rather than flow straight down, and she had on a pair of black wide-rimmed glasses.

    “Lance,” the woman began, “let’s get this over with so we can go to the Pokèmon Centre.”

    Lance Blackthorn smiled inwardly and chuckled. “You always were impatient, weren’t you, Lorelei? Very well. Come out, my friend!!”

    With that, a golden dragon that had an orange-yellow belly colour, going from the neck to the tip of its tail emerged from the Pokèball. Its wings had dark turquoise membranes, along with a small horn growing on the top of its forehead, and antennae that were curved into an ‘s’ form. Surprisingly, despite its size, it had an innocent and gentle nature.

    Lorelei sent out a powerful blue walrus with enormous tusks. Its head was adorned with a furry white coat that offered protection from the cold environment where its species usually lived. The arctic-dwelling Pokémon let out a low cry of “Walllllll!” The massive mammal used its powerful front flippers to drag its considerable mass along the ground.

    Out of the shadows of the Gym came Giovanni, with two Pokèmon walking beside him.

    A large, orange creature, looking like a large dog of sorts, growled viciously, small embers of flame dripping from its mouth. The body was covered in black stripes, and it had a long and thick creamy mane and tail, as well as creamy patches of fur on its legs.

    Its partner in the battle was going to be Giovanni’s heavy grey mammal. Standing on its hind legs, the armored rhino-like creature waved its thick tail from side to side. The imposing horn on its face was pointed at its two foes. The rocky Pokèmon grinned tauntingly as it stomped its feet on the floor, causing small tremors with each step.

    *****

    “Walrein, finish this with Water Pulse!”

    “Dragonite, Hyper Beam!!”

    The hefty blue walrus that was Walrein fired off a rippling blue blast of water. Rhydon was taken by surprise when the watery attack bowled it over. The rhino Pokèmon had taken enough damage and made no attempt to get up.

    Meanwhile, inside Dragonite’s mouth was an orb of golden energy, increasing in size and volume until its form changed into that of a fire blast, streaking towards the dog Pokèmon at what could have been mistaken as the speed of light. The attack hit home, only this time it didn’t try and rise to its feet; it slumped to the ground, battered and bruised.

    “It’s over, Giovanni,” Lance said triumphantly, recalling Dragonite as Lorelei recalled her Walrein. “Let Zapdos go.”

    In a cold, cruel, sharp tone, Giovanni replied: “Never.”

    Lance mentally groaned. He and Lorelei would have to come back to the Gym at another time with backup; now was the time to retreat and arrive at the Pokèmon Centre.

    Ah well…’ he thought, and brought out his trusted dragon Pokèmon again.

    “Lorelei, grab my hand,” he shouted, as he vaulted onto Dragonite’s back. Lorelei, the Elite Four member known as the Ice Queen, grabbed Lance’s hand and hopped on as the dragon took off, heading towards the Gym’s entrance.

    *****

    Back at the Harris household, Professor Oak finished up his discussion by saying, “Rachel has promised to meet you at Viridian. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about Paul or Michael, but I’m sure that one day they’ll learn the value of patience.”

    “Thank you very much, professor,” Josephine replied. Satisfied that her backpack was packed, Josephine placed it over her shoulder and proceeded to leave the house. Her next destination was Viridian City, via Route One.

    As Josephine walked down the path, she noticed something burrow to the surface in the field next to her. She immediately took out her Pokèdex and hoped it was a Pokèmon for her to capture. In a flat, electronic voice, the Pokèdex recorded the Pokèmon’s information.

    “Sandshrew burrows and lives underground. If threatened, it curls itself up into a ball for protection.”

    At the mention of its name, the small, scaly yellow rodent, similar to an armadillo in shape, turned its head and looked at Josephine. The petite snout, underside and inner ears were white-ish, when compared to the proper scales, and a small tail curled inwards towards its back. Rather distressed black eyes looked at the trainer.

    Josephine sent out her Shinx, whom she had nicknamed Riley. “We can capture Sandshrew, Riley. Use Bite!”

    The small blue and yellow cat Pokèmon lunged at Sandshrew with her teeth bared, but by that time, the shrew had already curled up into a tight ball and the tough scales repelled the attack. It showed no intention of uncurling afterwards.

    “I guess I’ll have to use a Pokèball,” Josephine said loudly, in order for the Sandshrew to hear her, and then took out a red and white sphere. She paused, waiting for a reaction, but when there were none, she threw the ball at the shrew Pokèmon. The sphere hit the Sandshrew, opened around the middle and the shrew was transformed into red energy before being drawn into the Pokèball in a beam of red light.

    First the ball was still, and then the button glowed red as the sphere started twitching from side to side. Slowly, the ball slowed down as the red light on the button was fading… The sphere suddenly twitched sharply, its two halves separating again as Josephine disappointedly watched the Sandshrew materialize on the ground. The shrew Pokèmon growled unsurely, realizing that just curling up and waiting wasn’t the best choice.

    “Now Riley! Tackle!” Josephine commanded, pointing at the Sandshrew. The female Shinx charged, sending the shrew stumbling backwards and crying out in pain.

    “Pokèball, go!” The girl threw the ball at Sandshrew again, and it opened, drawing the shrew Pokèmon inside. Both Josephine and Riley waited with bated breath as the ball moved from side to side in the grass.

    Ping!

    Sandshrew was caught!

    Josephine went over, picked up the Pokèball and attached it to her Pokèbelt, letting her partner stay out for a while longer.

    “Hmm, his name will be Sandy,” the girl told Riley, as they walked on the dirt path, the blue and yellow feline Pokèmon trotting by her trainer’s side.

    *****

    Shortly after her successful capture of Sandshrew, Josephine noticed a purple, circular, gaseous Pokèmon appear. Behind it stood a man dressed entirely in black, with white boots, cap, gloves and a red ‘R’ imprinted on his shirt.

    “Hand over that rare Pokèmon!” he shouted.

    “Huh?” Josephine’s confused expression annoyed the man, so he pointed straight at the female Shinx.

    “Hand over that Pokèmon… NOW!!!”

    “No way! You’re not getting my starter!” Josephine retorted.

    “Go, Koffing! Tackle it!”

    “Tackle it right back, Riley!”

    Both Pokèmon went towards each other, colliding with one another and sending each other back to where they had been.

    “Koffing, use Smog!” the man commanded.

    Koffing let out a poisonous purple haze, blinding Josephine and Riley.

    “Now! While they can’t see, tackle that Pokèmon again!”

    Koffing went at Riley and tackled her hard. This made Riley mad that she’d been hit while unable to see, so she decided to get back at it. She jumped straight at Koffing, with sparks flying from her bared teeth. Koffing hit the ground with a thump; his eyes had swirls in them, showing that he was unconscious.

    “You’re in way over your head. Kid, you haven’t seen the last of me or Team Rocket!” With that, he recalled his exhausted Koffing and ran off.

    A couple of seconds later, Josephine heard the baying of a group of canine Pokèmon. Before she could even wonder about Team Rocket, the Pokèmon appeared, flanking a motorbike police officer.

    Dressed in a suit which showed off various shades of blue, the woman sergeant dismounted her vehicle and whistled sharply to the canine Pokèmon. Black as the blackest night, with curved white horns where its ears would have been, Houndoom was quite the mysterious Pokèmon. White strips resembling ribs ran across its body and its pointed tail was swaying rapidly. It opened its orange muzzle to show a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. Its four thin legs gave the hound a rather athletic build.

    “Good day to you. I’m Officer Jenny. I heard a Team Rocket grunt was in the area. Did you see which way he went?”

    Josephine nodded and pointed in the direction of Pallet. Hopping back onto her bike, she paused and asked for the teenager’s name. Josephine readily gave her name to the female police officer, who thanked her and sped off, the Houndoom following close behind.

    *****

    A young male Houndoom poked his head out of a bush further down the grassy path, searching for any sign of the girl. Upon seeing her, he growled at a human standing behind him. <She’s here. Is Magepup ready?>

    A tall, but thin, figure sporting long brown hair came forward. Wearing orange pants and a black tank top with two orange octagons imprinted on it, he had a concerned look on his face. Resting in his arms was a small white female pup. Her tiny legs, which each had four black stripes on them, were trembling violently and her sky-blue eyes were wide with fear.

    “It’s okay little one,” the man attempted to calm the pup down. Shaking his head, he looked at the Houndoom. “It’s no use, Lex. She won’t stop trembling.”

    <Put her down then, Kevin,> the Dark and Fire type Pokèmon replied. As Kevin placed the frightened pup on the ground, Lex gently nosed her and tilted his head to one side questioningly.

    The pup instinctively understood what the Houndoom was asking her, and replied with a small, sob-filled growl.

    That was all it took for Lex to immediately understand what the problem was, and so he reported back to Kevin. <She’s trembling like this because she’s lost her parents. They died of old age.>

    Hearing rustling noises that suspiciously sounded like footsteps, Lex and Kevin waited in plain view of Josephine. The teen breathed in sharply when she saw them and asked them who they were. Kevin replied that he was the leader of a group of rebels who fought against evil and tyranny. He showed her the white pup and went on to explain that he and his Houndoom had found her lying beside the motionless bodies of two Cerberus-size dogs. Kevin then requested of the teenager to take the pup and train her to her full potential.

    Though she could be obnoxious at times, Josephine, deep down, was a really caring and kind person. She agreed to take care of Magepup, so she pulled a Pokèball off her Pokèbelt and gently touched the scared creature with it. The sphere opened at the middle; a red light came from it, turned her into energy and drew her back into the ball, finally closing with a small snapping noise.

    “I’ll call her Fern,” Josephine murmured quietly.

    *****

    Later that evening, Josephine was nearing Viridian City. She was happy because she didn’t have much for supplies at the moment. She sighed when she saw the city and its lights. When she arrived at the Pokèmon Centre, she found that the place was empty, as the Viridian City Gym had been closed for a month, so finding a room was easy. As soon as her partners were healed, she was about to retire to her room, A343, when two strangers walked up to her.

    “Hello,” the man said. “I’m Lance Blackthorn and this is my colleague, Lorelei Winters,” Lance motioned at the woman.

    “Hi,” Josephine replied nervously. “I’m Josephine Harris from Pallet Town.”

    Lorelei nodded briskly. “We know,” she answered. “Your friend’s been waiting here since this morning, and we arrived here not long after that.”

    A tall girl walked forward, her long blonde hair flowing behind her. She looked comfortable and loose in her outfit – a sky-blue sleeveless top and bright red miniskirt. Her huge socks, almost like leg-warmers, perfectly matched her shirt, while her white athletic shoes were accented with a single red stripe. Her white wide brimmed hat had a red stripe on it.

    “Hi Josephine, I’m Rachel Savina,” the blonde introduced herself.

    “Hi,” Josephine replied.

    Sitting to the left of Rachel’s feet was a small lizard-like quadruped with a large bulb on its back, about half the size of its body. The face was flat and had several markings on its forehead, as well as two triangular ears and a pair of crimson eyes. When its mouth opened slightly, fangs could be seen. The body was mostly spotted with those markings, but the two front legs were more marked than the back ones.

    To the right was a small bird with a yellow beak and a pair of yellowish feathered eyebrows, while the eyes had black feathers surrounding them. The top of the head and most of the body, including the main body of the wings and tail, was brown, while the front, bottom, and the ends of the wings were yellowish. The feet were small and ended in three talons each.

    “We’ll talk with the two of you more in the morning,” Lance said.

    “We have an important issue to discuss,” Lorelei added.

    “Okay,” Josephine and Rachel said in unison. The girls were both tired and, as Lance and Lorelei left the Pokèmon Centre, decided to retire to their rooms. Luckily, the rooms were next to each other. Saying good night to one another at the entrance to their rooms, they simply got changed, got into bed and pulled up the sheets. When they eventually went to sleep, they dreamt of their journeys and all of the adventures they and their Pokèmon would have…

  5. #5
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    Josephine put her right (missing word here?) on the railing as she descended the stairs,
    You… were married to that jerk? You’re saying my father captured
    Some spacing issues here.

    That's it for grammar, but there are some other points I need to address.
    reminded herself that over-thinking was one of her weaknesses.
    Though she could be obnoxious at times, Josephine, deep down, was a really caring and kind person.
    Remember, "Show, Don't Tell."

    as the teen became fast friends with her partner.
    How did this friendship come about, and why so quickly? This should have been expanded on, where you mention how the two became fast friends. I'm not complaining that the friendship developed quickly, but it would be nice to know HOW the two forged their bond.

    Several other scenes felt rushed, including the Sandshrew battle and (like in your previous versions of this) the Magepup scene. Concerning the battle, Sandshrew is a fairly defensive Pokemon, so I would think it would take more than one or two hits to bring it down to where it could be captured.

    With Magepup, Josephine doesn't even question why this mysterious Kevin dude is handing her this Pokemon, which (I presume) is not native to Kanto.

    And on that subject, why is it that the three other trainers get standard Kanto starters while she gets a Sinnoh Pokemon? It does seem a bit unfair, even if Blastoise is more useful than Luxray in battle IMO.

    Your story could be helped out a lot by expanding on certain scenes. Insert character thoughts and actions into pivotal scenes like battles and receiving new Pokemon. Also explain why she's chosen to receive the Magepup. This is an issue I've brought up before, as it seems like Kevin (whoever he is) is just dumping this Pokemon in Josephine's hands.

    I also would have appreciated it if you let me know you were using the description I came up for Rachel, as well. Now I have to change around her description in my fic as that chapter ain't up yet.

    Your fic's plot is interesting enough and has the potential for something really exciting. Your grammar is also very good. However, your habit of rushing through important scenes holds it back a bit, as well as the reliance on "telling" character personalities instead of "showing" them.

  6. #6
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    One of the main things that caught my attention was the fact that Giovanni is revealed to be Josephine's father. Now, I don't remember whether she had this relation to him in any of the previous incarnations of this story, but at any rate, it was certainly unexpected. o.o

    One thing I've come to wonder about following that chapter is how Josephine chooses names for her Pokémon. Well, with one exception: I think I know perfectly well why someone would choose to call a Sandshrew "Sandy". But yeah, I wonder what inspired her to choose Riley as a name for her Shinx and Fern for her Magepup.

    Two other things in particular I feel like mentioning:

    Hissing, the Shinx leaned down on its front legs, its yellow bands gleaming in the sunlight.
    Aww. ^^ Hissing kitties are cute; in my opinion, at least.

    Shortly after her successful capture of Sandshrew, Josephine noticed a purple, circular, gaseous Pokèmon appear.
    Fwee for one of my favorite Pokémon making an appearance. ^^
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

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    The prologe has better information then the presvise version. And the plot has impoved also the discription of all the charters,

    Chapter 1

    The background infor is easyer for the reader to know where the story is located. At the start of the opening paragraph.

    Demy

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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the review, Demy.

    And now here's chapter 2...

    I’d like to thank DP for letting me use his Weezing and Exeggutor descriptions, and for giving me a couple of hints about my Gardenia description. Thanks heaps, DP.

    Chapter 2: Talk of Sinnoh

    A solitary Pokèmon, dog-like in shape, of about one foot five inches height wise, lay outside the Viridian City Pokèmon Centre that night. It was Magepup, or, for the creature was indeed female, Fern. Fern remained silent as she thought, looking somewhat regretful that she hadn’t told Riley or Sandy she was leaving for a little while.

    She looked up slowly, not really focusing on anything, but then did a double take. Standing there in front of her, looking eerily unreal, were two pure grey canines. Each the size of the mythical Cerberus, they had three heads, with four black stripes on each thick, and well muscled leg. Both had softened expressions on their deceptively fierce faces.

    Knowing that some people were walking around, Fern wondered why the humans couldn’t see her parents, and then realized that as they were walking through them, the humans couldn’t see them at all.

    <Little one,> the male began, <we’ve been looking for you.>

    Fern ran over to her parents, whining happily, her sky-blue eyes shining brightly once again. It was so good to be able to see her parents; having watched them die had traumatized her and she still didn’t have enough courage to talk to her trainer, Josephine, but she desperately hoped that that would change.

    But even in death, the dominant personality of the female Mageberus showed as her outline shone an eerie blue. Fern skidded to a halt, tears welling up in her eyes, as she instinctively displayed submissive behaviour by curling her short white tail underneath her body.

    <Stay where you are,> her telepathic voice snapped. <We can not be touched by physical beings.>

    Fern’s father looked at his mate and quietly said, <You don’t need to be so harsh. We can manage a little bit of contact, even though it’ll be a shock to her.>

    The female replied, <For many generations, female Mageberus have always led the pack. When necessary, it is our duty to be harsh.>

    She paused, thinking for a brief moment, and then sighed, adding, <You’re right, it was wrong of me to be harsh to our daughter.>

    Addressing Fern, she asked her how she felt being a human trained Pokèmon.

    Fern answered that she thought it was unusual, but she believed she would get used to it. She saw her father indicate with his head for her to come over to them. Her mother lowered one of her three heads to sniff her, while the male gently placed a large forepaw on her tiny body and pulled her in close. As her parents shed tears that would never fall to the ground, Fern wept openly. This time it was not sadness which gripped her… but happiness.

    However, Fern quickly realized the words she knew she had to say next pained her. Gulping nervously, she decided to get it over and done with, feeling sadder than before.

    <We’re leaving tomorrow, and… I will miss you,> she said, as a tear ran through the thick white fur of her face. The weight of this truth hung around her neck like a steel anvil.

    The female did what she was so truly afraid, and nuzzled her offspring, hoping against hope that the Magepup wouldn’t react badly to the shock of being touched by a ghost. It didn’t seem to affect Fern, though, and her mother breathed a sigh of relief. Both of the adults caught their daughter’s eyes and held her gaze firmly. <We will miss you too,> they said in unison.

    Seeing that the sun was starting to peek over the horizon, the male said, <We must go now because ghosts can’t stand the sunlight. Know that we will be with you wherever you go.>

    They faded until all that remained were their sky-blue eyes, and then even they disappeared. Fern hurried back into the Pokèmon Centre, her meeting with her parents giving her strength and hope, just as Nurse Joy started coming to. The small white pup scurried into Josephine’s room, A343, before the trainer woke up and wondered why she wasn’t in her sleeping spot.

    *****

    Josephine awoke to find Riley jumping up and down on the bed. It seemed clear to the teenager that the kitten wanted to proceed with the journey, despite waking her trainer up.

    “Settle down, Riley,” Josephine mumbled. She sat up and rubbed her hazel coloured eyes to try and properly come to. Her red hair was matted down, evidence that she had had a rough night sleeping. She glared at the kitten, who simply stared back at her.

    The female Shinx purred contentedly as she rubbed against her trainer’s arm.

    “Not now, Riley,” the girl gently pushed Riley away from her, as she recalled Sandy and Fern to their Pokèballs. Getting up slowly, she made her way to the bathroom and started getting ready for the journey ahead of her.

    After about twenty-five minutes, Josephine was still in the bathroom and Rachel was starting to become annoyed. The blonde haired teen rapped on the door and yelled at her friend to hurry up.

    “Huh?” the girl responded. “What time is it? I’m still brushing my hair.”

    Outside, Rachel grimaced while groaning inwardly. “It’s about seven AM. Just hurry up, will you? Lance and Lorelei are here.”

    *****

    A tall thirteen year old boy with a red cap on his light brown hair leant against a moss-covered tree. His cap covered his dark brown eyes and his face shone with a serious demeanour. Over his black t-shirt was a red sleeveless vest. Turning his face away from what little light there was in the Forest, he closed his eyes and became motionless.

    Flashback

    It had been night-time, seven PM to be exact, but to him the night seemed darker than normal… in fact, it was pitch black. He remembered seeing a cat-like figure levitating in the room, with its glowing cyan eyes. A three-fingered paw-like hand reached out towards his father, placed its fingers together and slowly drained his father of life by choking the air out of him.

    He’d been only twelve at the time, and the event had traumatized him badly.


    End flashback

    *****

    “We need to talk to you about an important issue,” Lorelei began. “Lance, I’ll let you do all the hard work.”

    Lance grimaced; being the more mature one, he had decided to let Josephine and Rachel have their breakfast in peace. But what does Lorelei do? She goes and disturbs them. He couldn’t do anything about their annoyed expressions, but they would just have to put up with him talking.

    “Well,” Lance hesitated, gathering his thoughts. “You already know about the Zapdos case, so we won’t go there again. But what I do need to talk to you about is the fact that there is a new Gym Leader called Gardenia in Kanto. She has come to replace Erika of Celadon City.”

    Hearing Lance begin with the Zapdos issue made the teenagers wrinkle their noses in disgust, but upon hearing him speak of a new Gym Leader, their expressions changed to ones of wonder and curiosity. Josephine asked where she came from and why she was replacing Erika. Lance answered that she came from Sinnoh – the region from which her Shinx originated – and was replacing Erika McGrady because the original Grass type Gym Leader had had enough and had considered closing down the Gym.

    “I’m going,” Rachel said, getting up out of her seat and walking out of the building. Due to her impatience, the blonde haired teen was tired of listening to adults rambling on, so she decided to walk out.

    *****

    When Lance and Lorelei had finished talking to Josephine, the two Elite Four members bid farewell to the girl and let her get ready for the journey ahead.

    After buying some Pokèballs, Potions and Antidotes, the red haired teen left the store and headed for the entrance to the Viridian Forest.

    As Josephine and the female Shinx approached the entrance gate, she questioned her trainer as to why she, Magepup and Sandshrew had been given the nicknames of ‘Riley’, ‘Fern’ and ‘Sandy’. Josephine replied that a character from a television show she often watched was called Riley, Magepup had been called ‘Fern’ because ‘Spirit’ didn’t seem quite right and she’d nicknamed Sandshrew ‘Sandy’ because of his sandy coloured skin.

    “We better go in,” Josephine said as confidently as she could. As the teen and her partner entered the Forest, they were amazed at all of the plant life there. There were trees as far as the eye could see, bushes were everywhere and flowers could be seen on the ground wherever one walked.

    The trainer and her Pokèmon wandered about until they were accosted by two Team Rocket grunts.

    One stood there, as a poisonous purple Pokèmon floated beside him, preparing for the battle by elevating its lightweight, low-density body. A “skull and crossbones” marking on its lower body was barely visible as smoke was billowing out of numerous ventilation openings scattered throughout its body. One head was decidedly larger than the other, and the larger one’s face had a look of boredom and indifference, with its eyes half shut.

    The other threw a black Pokèball with a red ‘R’ on it into the air. A large, yellow porcupine creature, with several spikes sprouting from its back emerged. The yellow skin was hardened and looked fairly solid, while the front paws looked like they were separate, what with the two long silver claws. A small tail came from the back, and the face looked fairly nasty.

    “Not so fast!” a feminine voice yelled.

    Caught off-guard, the two Team Rocket grunts looked around in surprise, before a figure jumped out of a nearby tree. The figure was a tall woman with short auburn coloured hair; two locks of which came down on either side of her face and the fringe just above her eyes. Covering her upper body was a green cloak which was held together by a dark green stitched ‘x’ and underneath the cloak was a black skin tight crop top. A thin black belt was fixed in place on top of her tawny coloured shorts and her green boots perfectly matched her cloak. Her right hand reached down to her Pokèbelt and grabbed two Pokèballs, while she glared at the Team Rocket grunts.

    Calling upon her Pokèmon, she waited as they materialized. One was a very large, green lizard, which some thought was a dinosaur. It stood on four heavy legs that held most of its body. Despite looking rather dopey, its strength was quite obvious. Standing underneath a palm tree-like trunk which opened into a beautiful flower with spotted petals were several open palm leaves. A yellow ring was on top.

    A huge brown Pokèmon made its appearance, looking for all the world like a palm tree with an unusually wide trunk – and with big legs, to boot. Three coconut-like yellow heads seemingly hung from the mass of green palm leaves that grew out in all directions. While each of the faces wore a different expression, it seemed as if all three were having a good time.

    “Venusaur, use Frenzy Plant! Exeggutor, full strength Psychic!” Gardenia commanded.

    Venusaur’s body glowed with a light green aura, weak at first but gradually glowing brighter, and brighter until… a cluster of enormous vines, tall as a man, thick as a Dragonair and heavily thorned, erupted from the plant on its back. Some sped towards Sandslash with the speed of a bullet train; others snaked into the ground, diving up occasionally only to speed back down again, snaring the Ground type’s stocky legs, holding it in place while the rest of them pummelled it ferociously.

    All of the eyes of Exeggutor’s three heads glowed cyan, as the psychic power lifted Weezing higher into the air and then slammed it into an oak tree, knocking it out cold. Sandslash slumped to the ground, as Weezing fell beside it, battered and bruised.

    Recalling her Pokèmon, Gardenia faced the two Team Rocket grunts. “I have stopped you from harming this girl, and, as such, I want you to leave.”

    In their haste to get away from the woman who appeared to be unbeatable, the grunts almost forgot to return their Pokèmon to their Pokèballs. Doing so, they ran away as fast as they could, not looking back once.

    “Who are you?” Josephine asked the woman, in awe at her battling abilities. Never before had the teen seen anyone battle like the woman had; her battling skills were excellent. The woman turned to the red haired teenager and replied that her name was Gardenia, formerly of Eterna City in Sinnoh.

    “I regret to say this,” Gardenia began, “but I must leave now and go back to Celadon City.”

    And before Josephine could return the farewell, Gardenia was gone… just like that.

    Josephine and Riley stood in the spot in which they’d been when the Team Rocket grunts confronted them and stared into the Forest, wondering what adventures would surprise them next…

  9. #9
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    The female did what she was so truly afraid to do, and nuzzled
    Now, some other comments:
    One stood there, as a poisonous purple Pokèmon floated beside him, preparing for the battle by elevating its lightweight, low-density body. A “skull and crossbones” marking on its lower body was barely visible as smoke was billowing out of numerous ventilation openings scattered throughout its body. One head was decidedly larger than the other, and the larger one’s face had a look of boredom and indifference, with its eyes half shut.
    A huge brown Pokèmon made its appearance, looking for all the world like a palm tree with an unusually wide trunk – and with big legs, to boot. Three coconut-like yellow heads seemingly hung from the mass of green palm leaves that grew out in all directions. While each of the faces wore a different expression, it seemed as if all three were having a good time.
    I gave you permission to adapt my descriptions and use them as a base for coming up with your own. I DID NOT give you permission to copy them WORD-FOR-WORD. Please make sure you change the wording around a bit for your future chapters. Thanks.

    “I’m going,” Rachel said, getting up out of her seat and walking out of the building. Due to her impatience, the blonde haired teen was tired of listening to adults rambling on, so she decided to walk out.

    *****

    When Lance and Lorelei had finished talking to Josephine, the two Elite Four members bid farewell to the girl and let her get ready for the journey ahead.
    It actually sounds like you too are too impatient to sit through the speech, and it feels rushed. I am sure powerful entities like Lorelei and Lance would not meet with two beginning trainers just for casual conversation. What is it about the new gym leader that they felt it was so important to tell the girls about? Do the girls need to seek her out and ask her about the impending crisis? Does she hold some important information that Josephine needs to hear?

    The mystery boy's appearance seems random, as does Gardenia's. She just so happens to be in the right place at the right time, pwns Team Rocket, and promptly exits stage left. This is the whole "character randomly shows up, then mysteriously departs with no real reason" syndrome again.

    Best part of the chapter was easily the part with Fern and her parents, because it felt like you devoted more time to that scene. I'll admit, that entire scene was a bit emotional. But that's the type of writing that needs to be extended to other scenes as well.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the review, DP. I will change teh descriptions next time.

    And now for chappie 3...

    Chapter 3: Josephine’s First Battles

    Wandering a bit further, Josephine and Riley noticed a young boy up ahead. He was wearing a large straw hat and had a net with him. He was spraying bug spray on himself and he seemed to need it, as he was wearing a white short sleeved t-shirt and blue shorts. As they approached, he turned around, saw them and ran over to greet them.

    “Geez… too many Bug Pokèmon,” he laughed and then sighed.

    “My name’s Nigel, I’m a Bug Catcher. Do you want to battle?” As he pointed at Josephine, he seemed eager.

    “I just caught a Caterpie,” he grinned. Nigel took the Pokèball off his Pokèbelt and started tossing it up and down.

    “I’m Josephine Harris from Pallet Town,” Josephine introduced herself and then she sent her recently obtained Pokèmon out to battle.

    “Rare Pokèmon you got there. Let’s go Caterpie!” He raised the Pokèball, clicked the centre button, and a larger than average small, green Pokèmon with two large black eyes and a segmented body appeared in a flash of light. The underside, feet, mouth and tail were yellowish, and there were yellow circles framing its body. A pink antenna ending in two tips was stuck to the top of its head. It looked strong and high levelled.

    “Oh wow. Caterpie are so cute. What level is it?” Josephine asked, wanting so much to pick the little caterpillar up and pat it.

    “I was lucky to catch it, it’s at level seven! And it hasn’t evolved into Metapod either. Now, Caterpie! String Shot!” Nigel called out. Caterpie quickly listened and started shooting silk out of its mouth.

    “Ohh, but it must be close. Anyway, enough chatter. Fern, use Psybeam!” Josephine instructed her Pokèmon, but Magepup just sat there, trembling slightly.

    The silk quickly covered Magepup’s face. It was sticky and her speed was much lower than usual.

    “This is a great chance! Let’s go Caterpie – a Tackle this time!”

    Like the first time, Caterpie was quick to listen and rushed straight at Fern. Thanks to the silk, Fern wasn’t fast enough, causing her to get hit.

    “Fern, COME on! You’re past Psychic, for crying out loud. Do something! Otherwise, you’re going to lose!”

    “Hehe, you should call an attack. Fern is just sitting there trembling. Don’t you know how to be a real trainer?” Nigel said with a smirk. “Alright Caterpie, use Tackle one more time!”

    Caterpie rushed at Fern once more, but it missed. Tackle didn’t have a one hundred percent accuracy rate.

    Galvanized into action by the Bug Catcher’s scornful words against her trainer, Fern scratched the gooey silk off her face and lunged at Caterpie, biting it around the neck area. A thin line of blood trickled down the green exoskeleton.

    “Well done, Fern. Now we’re getting somewhere. Use Psybeam again!”

    “It doesn’t matter now. I’ll easily win this. Caterpie, use String Shot!”

    Even if Fern’s heart wasn’t into fighting her fellow Pokèmon, something had to be said for her courage. A wave of multicoloured energy flashed from her eyes and blew away the silk, causing the attack to fail.

    “Damn it! It’s a critical hit! Return, Caterpie!” Nigel sighed, unhappy with his loss. He touched his Pokèmon lightly with the Pokèball and it was drawn back into the sphere as red energy.

    “Here’s the money you won,” Nigel tried to sound happy as he handed Josephine three hundred and fifty Pokèdollars for beating him. “I hope to see you again one day, when we’re both stronger.”

    “Me too,” Josephine replied, as she shook Nigel’s hand and went off deeper into the Forest, with Riley following her.

    *****

    Standing at the exit of the Viridian Forest, the boy was experiencing another memory.

    Flashback

    A couple of months after witnessing his father be killed, his mother re-married. Disliking his step-father to the point where they argued all of the time, he ran away from home, knowing he would always be a loner because of the tragedy.

    End flashback

    *****

    The leaves crunched and crackled as the trainer and her partner ventured deeper into the Viridian Forest. It was a very different area to the Forest’s beginning; the shadows cast by the trees caused Josephine’s heart to beat faster, jarred by the thought that dangerous Pokèmon could be waiting for them in the darkness.

    Josephine was starting to become worried as they pressed on, knowing that without Pokèmon to battle, Riley, Sandy and Fern would weaken. She was also looking to add a Bug Pokèmon to her team, so, brushing aside her concerns, she had searched feverishly in the long grass of the Forest, but still nothing emerged.

    It didn’t help that the normally cool temperatures of spring were rising steadily, especially here in the Forest. Sweat poured off her body and Riley’s sleek, short azure fur was starting to become matted from the heat. It caused Josephine to wonder why the young cat wasn’t grooming herself.

    From the corner of her eye, the red haired teen spotted something worthy of note. It was a small, green cocoon Pokèmon she couldn’t identify, its pose solidified into an upwards curve. The face looked a tad lonely, due to the way its eyes were positioned and the crust on its mouth was frozen. The back was rather stretched, and there were two bindings on the tail. Taking out her Pokèdex, she pressed the scan button.

    “Metapod, the cocoon Pokèmon – a Pokèmon of the Bug type. Metapod is soft and weak inside its shell as it prepares to evolve. It stays completely motionless and hardens its exterior to protect itself; however, sufficient trauma can cause Metapod to pop out of its shell,” the Pokèdex said in a flat electronic voice.

    As the Pokèdex had reported, the Metapod was completely motionless; however, that raised the question of how it manoeuvred its way onto the branch it was resting on in the first place. To Josephine, though, it didn’t really matter how it got there, as she was more interested in adding it to her team.

    Releasing Fern, she pointed at the Metapod and shouted an attack command. “Fern, use Psybeam!”

    As with before, a wave of multicoloured energy was released from Magepup’s eyes at the Bug, causing it to drop unceremoniously from its perch and land on the dirt path of the Forest.

    As far as Pokèmon captures went, this one was far too easy for Josephine’s liking, but she knew to never look a gift Ponyta in the mouth, so she grabbed an empty Pokèball from her Pokèbelt and prepared for the capture. Not knowing at all how much Metapod had sustained, Josephine recalled Fern and threw the empty Pokèball. It hit the cocoon with the activation trigger and drew it inside with little fuss.

    Metapod struggled very little as it was embraced by the red and white sphere, which was understandable considering his docile nature.

    “It looks like we’ve got another team member, Riley,” Josephine said, as she picked up the Pokèball.

    Riley didn’t answer; instead, she stood perfectly still, staring off into the Forest. Something had attracted the she-cat’s attention and judging by her hesitant posture, it wasn’t a Pokèmon. Josephine looked to where the female Shinx was staring, trying to discern wood from leaf and branch from flesh. The Forest was very quiet, so any movements on the dry leaves would alert them to the presence of a shadow.

    Josephine made sure her Pokèballs were secured and ushered Riley to continue down the path. Stepping carefully, so as to make little noise, the teen watched Riley’s ears. As they moved down the path, the female Shinx’s ears flattened against her head at the sound of twigs breaking.

    Tired of being the hunted, Josephine grabbed Riley and leapt up into a tree, scrambling to find cover behind the leaves. Hauling the extra weight that constituted the female Shinx was simple for the girl. She had spent her childhood adventuring outside of Pallet with Paul, before the rivalry kicked in, so trees were something she knew very well.

    Together, Josephine and Riley waited, not knowing what to expect, but after thirty minutes of crouching in the tree, a figure appeared on the path where they had been standing. He wore a white tank top, khaki cargo pants and simple looking sandals. On his Pokèbelt were six Pokèballs and a sheathed sword. His jet-black crew cut shimmered in the afternoon light that managed to filter through the canopy of the Forest.

    The boy’s eyes narrowed as he scanned the surrounding area. “You may come out. I mean you no harm,” he yelled to the woods, causing whatever Pokèmon were hiding from Josephine to flee.

    Riley dropped down first, baring her teeth, and Josephine came next. Together they faced the kid who had promised that he wouldn’t hurt them. Resting his hand on the hilt of his sword, the boy bowed, unnerving the red haired teen. There was something about the boy that didn’t sit right with her. It could’ve been the metre of steel by his side, or maybe it was something more.

    “What do you want?” Josephine inquired.

    “I am Samurai,” the boy replied, his caution evaporating. “I challenge you to a Pokèmon battle.”

    “… What?”

    Samurai raised an eyebrow. “You are a Pokèmon trainer, are you not?”

    “Yes…”

    “Then you must accept my challenge.”

    Josephine was incredulous. After seven hours in the Forest, she had only caught one Pokèmon and this was her second battle. Ignoring previous worries, she smiled eagerly. She was committed to winning this battle.

    “Fine, I’m Josephine Harris from Pallet Town. I accept your challenge, Samurai.”

    The warrior trainer nodded. “You are from Pallet after all. Good.”

    “What does it matter where I’m from?!” Josephine was starting to lose her patience.

    “I’m the master Bug Catcher in this Forest and I await the challenge brought to me by the trainers of Pallet as they travel to Pewter in the north,” Samurai explained. “I have challenged four trainers so far.”

    “Did you defeat them?” Josephine asked.

    “Three of them defeated me,” Samurai admitted.

    “Then stop talking and choose your Pokèmon.”

    Josephine’s command carried with it the intensity she felt in her heart, which caused Riley to turn and stare at her trainer, sensing the choice she was about to make.

    “Is a two on two battle okay with you?” Samurai asked, selecting a Pokèball.

    Josephine nodded. “I choose Magepup.”

    “So, so predictable!” Samurai laughed. “Go, Butterfree!”

    Emerging from his Pokèball was a purple butterfly-like Pokèmon, with two pairs of white wings with black markings on them. The large, red eyes were multifaceted; there were two long antennae, and a small blue mouth with two fangs, as well as two blue hands and two blue feet.

    “Butterfree, the butterfly Pokèmon – a Pokèmon of the Bug and Flying types. Butterfree flaps its wings at high speed in battle, releasing spores onto its enemies. These same spores help to create a waterproof coat on Butterfree’s wings, allowing it to collect honey from flowers in even the heaviest of downpours,” the Pokèdex said.

    “Spores?!” Josephine exclaimed.

    “That’s right,” Samurai grinned. “Butterfree, use Stun Spore! Don’t worry about evading, that Magepup is unable to properly use its psychic attacks.”

    Butterfree nodded knowingly and began flapping its wings with increasing intensity. Josephine could see the air becoming clouded with an orange haze as the spores descended on Fern. The Psychic and Ghost pup from Deltazen stared at the cloud, obviously worried, but she didn’t falter.

    Josephine had never really questioned why Fern couldn’t properly use psychic attacks. It crossed her mind that perhaps Fern was incapable of summoning the intense mind bending powers of an Alakazam, but being part Psychic, she must have had some proficiency with using psychic attacks. Regardless of whether she could or not, Fern was in danger of being paralyzed.

    Josephine knew that without proper attacks, there was no way Magepup could hit Butterfree. He was hovering up near the tree canopy, and Fern was on the ground. Thinking for a moment, the red haired teenager concocted a strategy.

    “Fern, the tree,” Josephine said, pointing to the tree in which she and Riley had hidden. It had low branches and firm footholds, perfect for climbing, which is why it had initially caught her attention, however, whether Fern could tackle the tree by herself was about to be put to the test.

    Fern nodded and dashed up the tree, scraping bark and breaking branches as her short legs looked desperately for footholds. She eventually made it high enough up the tree that she could leap from one branch to another. However, by this time, the spores exuded by Butterfree had reached the tree, settling on the green leaves.

    Running past the silvery leaves, Magepup reached a point where she was in range of Butterfree and, ignoring whatever effects the spores could curse her with, Fern leapt out of the shadows and into the air. The branches sighed as she shot past as if paying their respects to her as she bore down on her quarry.

    Immediately after leaving the safety of the tree, Fern began to feel the effects of the Stun Spore. It settled on her white fur and she twisted and spasmed in the air, as she wrestled desperately with her muscles for control of her body. Butterfree, however, was caught off-guard by the speed of her attack and could only watch as she dropped down from above, teeth bared.

    “Fern!” Josephine shouted above the flapping of wings, groans and convulsions. “Bite!”

    Fighting off the paralysis that was rapidly setting in, Fern brought her head around and bit into the exposed body of Butterfree, causing it to squeak in pain and be pulled down to the floor of the Forest. Both Pokèmon hit with equal intensity, Magepup rolling into a tree and Butterfree simply landing like a sackful of Meowth.

    Josephine knew there was no hope if Butterfree got into the air. “Fern! You have to bite it again!”

    Struggling, Magepup lifted herself off the ground and started hobbling over to the downed butterfly Pokèmon. For a moment, it looked as though she would reach it in time; however, the closer she got, the further away victory became for Fern. By the time Butterfree was in attack position, Magepup was completely paralyzed.

    “Fern,” Josephine whispered sadly as she walked over to recall her Pokèmon.

  11. #11
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    For this chapter you move away from the encounters with legendary Pokemon and high-ranking Trainers, and tend toward the first couple of battles of a new trainer's career- and it works better that way, more realistic.

    One thing I must comment on, though...
    I was lucky to catch it, it’s at level seven!
    It was sticky and her speed was much lower than usual.
    I think I brought this issue up after one of your reviews in my fic back in the day... but in general, it's not recommended that you include a numerical level or stats like Speed, Attack, etc. in fanfics. I think it says that somewhere deep within the Advice for Aspiring Authors, as well. My argument for the "no-level" argument is it makes the Pokemon seem too much like Pokebots, that someone has reduced the indicators of a Pokemon's strength to a mere group of numerical statistics instead of factoring in their personality, fears, etc.

    Your descriptions still err on reading like a list:
    Example:
    Emerging from his Pokèball was a purple butterfly-like Pokèmon, with two pairs of white wings with black markings on them. The large, red eyes were multifaceted; there were two long antennae, and a small blue mouth with two fangs, as well as two blue hands and two blue feet.
    You could mention that it's flapping its wings rapidly to stay in the air, that it's flying in a somewhat random pattern, or something to that effect. Admittedly I sometimes fall into the "list" mode of descriptions myself, but I do try to keep those instances to a minimum.

    Other than that, the battles were well done, and an interesting weakness with Fern is brought into the spotlight- its inability to use psychic-based attacks. An opportunity exists here to really develop the little guy's personality.

    I had to LOL at Samurai- I haven't heard from him in a long time!

    I did enjoy this chapter more than he past ones, mostly because you avoid "unlikely encounters with powerful entities" in this one- and because you made an attempt to handle descriptions yourself. Just use the ones I've done for you as examples, and soon you'll be able to handle all your descriptions on your own

  12. #12
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    The scene with Fern and the ghosts of her parents was the main highlight of the most recent chapters due to the emotion employed there and some cute imagery, a prime example of such being this:

    Fern answered that she thought it was unusual, but she believed she would get used to it. She saw her father indicate with his head for her to come over to them. Her mother lowered one of her three heads to sniff her, while the male gently placed a large forepaw on her tiny body and pulled her in close. As her parents shed tears that would never fall to the ground, Fern wept openly. This time it was not sadness which gripped her… but happiness.
    Other highlights and et cetera:

    As the Pokèdex had reported, the Metapod was completely motionless; however, that raised the question of how it manoeuvred its way onto the branch it was resting on in the first place.
    My guess is that it probably crawled up there as a Caterpie and evolved there. *shrugs*


    As with before, a wave of multicoloured energy was released from Magepup’s eyes at the Bug, causing it to drop unceremoniously from its perch and land on the dirt path of the Forest.
    That image amused me. Metapod dropping off the branch like that and going thud on the ground... yeah. XD


    I do wonder who that boy who keeps appearing and having brief flashbacks is. All I'm certain of is that he's had an encounter with Mewtwo in the past--the mention of three-fingered hands and levitation immediately raised the "Mewtwo" flag in my mind. I also wonder what made Erika get sick of her gym duties. Hmm...
    Last edited by Sike Saner; 29th September 2007 at 9:00 AM.
    DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
    (Or do. I don't actually mind.)
    The Origin of Storms | Communication

  13. #13
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    DP and Sike, thanks for teh reviews. Teh US and Australian Word Spell/Grammar check must be different.

    Chapter 4: Insanity

    Fern’s POV


    By not being able to properly use psychic attacks, it would make me the laughingstock of all Psychic type Pokèmon. I have to get over the fact that I lost my parents and somehow re-discover myself, somehow unleash the power within me… but how? Because I’m part Psychic, I can read minds, and what I’m learning right now isn’t good. Josephine doesn’t plan on using me much. Maybe I’ll talk with Riley and see what she can do for me.

    *****

    Josephine turned her head, staring through the Forest in the direction of Pewter City. The sun was slowly descending from the sky and a lavender haze was beginning to fall over the Forest, bathing everything in a blue glow. The red haired teenager could sense the Pokèmon of the Forest returning to their homes, whether it is in a tree or a burrow, and curling up to rest in readiness of the night.

    It was a magical evening, with Butterfree floating over the Forest, flapping spores over the forest dwellers as if encouraging them to lay their heads on their pillows. Beedrill returned to their hives in droves, making the Forest come alive with their buzzing and the beating of their wings. Every sense told Josephine it was time for bed.

    Yet in all the peace and tranquillity of the Viridian Forest at night, something was horribly wrong. She couldn’t be sure, but she thought she had heard a girl scream. It was faint, and in the distance, as if merely a whisper.

    Shaking her head and banishing the ghostly scream from her mind, Josephine leant closer to her patient. She fed Fern a Paralyze Heal, which she had found after narrowly beating Nigel, causing the white pup to whine as her muscles jerked and released themselves. Fern looked quite sad at having been beaten by a simple Butterfree. Her pride, as well as her body, had taken a bad beating.

    Josephine stood and faced Samurai. The Bug Catcher was carefully applying a Potion to his other creature – a small, yellow pupa Pokèmon, shaped a bit like a cicada was resting against a tree. The head was oval and had two triangular, evil-looking eyes, as well as looking rather like a bee’s body. A low buzzing was being emitted from below the mouth area and layers of hardened skin looked like wings. Riley had easily defeated the Kakuna.

    Her second battle in the Forest was over, but with Fern taken out so quickly, it didn’t feel like a victory at all.

    “Well done, Josephine Harris of Pallet,” Samurai bowed. “I hope we can battle again one day.”

    “Sure, if I’m in the area,” Josephine replied, recalling Fern.

    The Bug Catcher nodded. “I must part company with you now. The sun is setting and the Viridian Forest can be dangerous at night.”

    “Okay, see you later,” she muttered. Then something occurred to the teenager, something that caused her to think. “Wait a minute.”

    Samurai had recalled Kakuna and was walking away, but stopped and turned around. “Yes?”

    “How did you know that Fern couldn’t properly use psychic attacks?”

    For a moment, the Bug Catcher seemed perplexed, but then he smiled. “Simple. When you saw Metapod, you released Magepup to attack and capture it. Half of the Psybeam didn't even hit Metapod, though.”

    “So the Metapod was yours,” Josephine said, as realization dawned on her.

    Unclipping the Pokèball from her Pokèbelt, she threw it at Samurai’s feet. “Then take it back. I don’t want it.”

    “You’re being unreasonable,” Samurai shook his head, picking up the small sphere. “It’s your Pokèmon.”

    “No, it isn’t. It’s yours. You tested me.”

    “Does it really matter where it came from?” Samurai asked. “All that matters is that you were victorious in the battle. You defeated Metapod and captured it. It is a willing member of your team and it’s stronger than it appears. I raised it from a Caterpie myself and I allow you to take it in recognition of my defeat.”

    Feeling defeated herself; Josephine sighed and caught the Pokèball in one hand when it was thrown back to her, clipping it back onto her Pokèbelt. She watched Samurai walk away, and then hung her head in shame. Riley joined her and together they watched the sun set.

    After five minutes, the two companions continued on down the path to Pewter City in silence. Pewter couldn’t be terribly far away, but she needed to get there fast.

    Josephine’s mind began to wander and she wondered what her mother was doing back in Pallet Town. It was nearly seven PM, so dinner was about to be served, but it would be eaten without her and this concerned the teenager.

    She was still musing over things when Riley stopped short and started growling throatily, as her hackles rose.

    In front of them was a very badly scorched beech. Its bark was dull black in colour because of whatever had happened to it, and a whole pile of smouldering leaves lay at its base.

    “What happened here?” Josephine asked, as she inspected the tree, knowing that something had happened, but not knowing what.

    Something was eating away at the back of her mind, some fact or piece of knowledge that she couldn’t recall. Then it clicked and she felt really idiotic.

    The scream.

    “Riley,” Josephine whispered. “I think Rachel’s in trouble.”

    Josephine dashed after her partner into the Forest, brushing bushes and branches out of her way. They ran for what seemed like hours, never pausing for rest or breath and they both knew why. This was the ultimate test for them. They would keep pushing themselves and would never stop getting back up. As Josephine followed Riley, her legs felt like rubber, her chest as though a Hitmonchan had landed a direct hit, and she felt nothing but power coursing through her veins. She stopped to drink the remainder of the water, grabbing Riley and letting her drink as well, and then they pushed on.

    Their pace eventually began to slacken, but just when Josephine thought they were too tired to go on, Riley stopped completely, her sides heaving. Between sharp intakes of breath, the female Shinx nodded her head towards a clearing a couple of metres away. Josephine pushed forward, staring into the clearing for any signs of Rachel or whatever had attacked her. The red haired teenager saw her friend slumped against a tree at the far side of the clearing, blood matting her blonde hair to her forehead. There was no-one else in the clearing, but Josephine wasn’t ready to take any chances.

    “Stay here, Riley.”

    <Okay,> the female Shinx replied.

    Pushing through the Forest, Josephine entered the clearing, crouching low to avoid being spotted by anything that was watching Rachel. Whatever had happened here, there’d been a lot of fighting. The trees around the clearing had been cut by sharp leaves and talons, and footprints – both human and Pokèmon – were everywhere.

    When she reached Rachel, she leaned forward, brushing the blonde hair out of her face and inspecting the wound. It had already clotted, but the gash looked rather nasty. Josephine was overcome with relief when she found a pulse in her friend’s arm.

    Cradling her friend’s head, she lowered Rachel to the ground and nudged her gently, trying not to injure her further, but trying to get her attention. The blonde haired teenager stirred for a moment, groaning loudly. This caused Josephine to look around the clearing for any signs of attack. When none came, she tried again and managed to wake her friend up.

    She stared up into Josephine’s hazel coloured eyes, not fully conscious yet. “I know you.”

    “Yes, you do,” Josephine agreed. “Are you okay?”

    “I’m a bit thirsty.”

    Caught by surprise, Josephine muttered an apology.

    Rachel stared at her blankly, and Josephine began to realize that her friend was completely out of it. Sighing, she tried to help Rachel up, so she could carry her out of the clearing, but she fell unconscious and Josephine had to wake her up again. She was afraid that her friend may have suffered trauma to the head, and she didn’t want her to fall asleep.

    “Let me handle this,” a rough sounding voice said.

    A teenage girl appeared, stepping out from a tall patch of green grass. Her brown hair was long with blonde streaks in it, and it blew to one side as the wind’s speed increased. A dark purple shirt and navy blue shorts were her outfit, not very clean from her days of travel, but still good enough for her. Adorned upon her left wrist was a light purple and grey Aqualite digital watch. Underneath it, protecting the arm from sweat, was an old blue and yellow sweat-band which had been given to the girl by her mother.

    A small, orange dog, stood beside her on all fours, growling angrily. A mane of white hair covered the top of its head, while below its chin was a large beard of the same fur. Black stripes covered most of its body, giving it a feline look, but the fluffy white tail was stripe-less. Its small ears drooped slightly, and its tongue was currently dry, indicating its tiredness.

    A sharp-beaked bird, with a head full of spiky and thick feathers, landed on the ground beside the dog. Black feathers made a collar around its neck, while its wings were red with white tips. The main body was covered with white and brown feathers, while the small, yet powerful-looking feet supported its body. The tail was small, so as to aid it on the flight.

    “I’m Katie Emerson, and this is Ted,” the girl introduced herself and pointed to the Growlithe. She then turned to Rachel and began tending to her badly hurt Pokèmon – Bulbasaur and Pidgey.

    Having finished her examination of Bulbasaur and Pidgey, Katie started putting a bandage on the Grass type’s bulb.

    From a nearby bush, a scary laughter rang out, sounding strangely alien and yet… it wasn’t as alien as Josephine thought it was; it was as if it was… familiar, at least. The laughter was a “Chachachachachachacha…”, which didn’t stop… until the creature jumped off the bush.

    It was a yellow mouse Pokèmon, which had landed on its four feet, an expression of hatred on its face. The red spheres on its cheeks were sparking with electricity, and the black tips of its rabbit-like ears were at their edges, ready for action. The brown and yellow tail, shaped like a bolt, was stretched at its max, and the fur was static, in a mood akin to the creature. The laughter, however, still continued.

    Josephine turned to see the Pokèmon, covered in scars, grinning maliciously at her from across the clearing. Confused, she brought out her Pokèdex and aimed it at the electric rodent.

    “Pikachu, the mouse Pokèmon – a Pokèmon of the Electric type. Pikachu has small electric sacs on both of its cheeks. If threatened, it releases electric charges from the sacs,” the Pokèdex said.

    The red haired teenager had never heard of insanity in Pokèmon, but it was clearly obvious that the Pikachu was looking at her with murder in its eyes.

    “Why are you doing this, Pikachu?” Josephine asked, placing herself between the mouse and Katie, who was now treating Pidgey.

    “Chachachacha,” was the only reply she got, and then Pikachu bounded forward.

    *****

    “Oh!” Josephine gasped. “No!”

    Knowing what was going on, without actually witnessing the situation, Katie turned her head quickly and thrust out her right hand. “Stop!” She demanded. As she had commanded, everything stopped and Pikachu was left hanging in mid-air.

    Riley was frightened by the insanity in Pikachu’s eyes, for it was something she’d seen only in humans, never a fellow Pokèmon. There was only one answer for that much hatred. Either her trainer or the new human had to capture him and stop him from hurting anyone else, not matter what the cost to Pikachu.

    Growlithe stepped up beside the female Shinx and nodded at her. It was then that Riley knew that Katie had agreed to work with Josephine and stop Pikachu for good.

    Neither Riley nor Ted, the Growlithe, would hesitate to unleash their full fury on the electric mouse. If any of the trainers were put in danger, the two Pokèmon would protect them.

    “You had better hurry,” Katie said, not taking her focus off returning Rachel’s Pokèmon to their Pokèballs and attaching them to the girl’s Pokèbelt. “Whenever I freeze time, it always wears off in two minutes.”

    No sooner than she had said that, everything unfroze. As fast as a bolt of lightning, Shinx and Growlithe raced out of the thicket and were at Pikachu’s side in no time, biting and clawing the electric rodent until it stumbled back, turning its attention to the cat and dog. Riley and Ted lashed out with grim determination, but Pikachu only laughed, evading their attacks.

    Everything the female Shinx and male Growlithe hit the electric mouse with was easily deflected or transformed by a parry into dive, but they pushed on, growling fiercely and biting frantically in search of flesh latch onto. The Pikachu smiled, as though his victory was assured, and then squeezed.

    The Thundershock threw Growlithe across the clearing and into a tree. He felt the air leave him as his lungs were crushed against his rib-cage. Gasping for breath as he fell to the ground, he could only think of his constant failures in battle and of Katie, who always believed in him.

    “Spearow!” Katie shouted, pointing at Pikachu. “Fury Attack!”

    Growlithe’s eyes widened. Katie wasn’t going to give up; she continued to fight, trusting in Spearow’s strength, even though against an Electric type Pokèmon, Spearow didn’t stand a chance. The Fire Pokèmon now knew that his trainer was determined to defeat Pikachu and continue her journey, no matter what, which suddenly made her look a lot nobler in Growlithe’s eyes. Katie would never give up, never get tired, and most importantly, never blame her Pokèmon for her own failures.

    As Spearow raked his talons along Pikachu’s side, only to be hit with a wave of electricity, Growlithe pushed himself to his feet, trying his hardest to stand before the person he admired.

    Katie recalled Spearow and yelled to Josephine that it was her turn now.

    Josephine grabbed the third Pokèball from her Pokèbelt and released Metapod, whose nickname was Rosso. This caused Pikachu to laugh and attack with a Thundershock. Growlithe, however, ignored the battle, focusing instead on a part of his body he’d been ignoring for so long – his heart.

    *****

    “Metapod!” Josephine shouted over Pikachu’s scream of frustration. “Harden!”

    She could see that while Metapod contracted his body, pulling his armour plates closer to the surface of his shell, it did nothing to dampen the effects of the Thundershock being released into it.

    Thinking quickly, she tried to recall something from her memory that could help her. A smile spread across her face as a strategy formed in her head.

    “Metapod, Harden!”

    Pikachu stopped for a moment and looked at Josephine quizzically, as if she were an idiot. Shrugging, he squeezed again and hit Metapod with another blast of energy, burning his shell and roasting his soft interior. Pretty soon, he saw something that made him slow down and eventually stop.

    The greenish cocoon Pokèmon groaned, in pain, as it fell on its side limply. The attack had shattered some of its outer shell, and Josephine looked at it worriedly, while the yellow eyes showed the true, hurt expression of the creature.

    “Pod…” it groaned, one last time… before its body began to glow, the shell becoming darker with each passing second. Slowly, a creature began to move out of the husk, and as the glow slowly faded, its body looked… impressive. The Pokèmon had a purple body, with two large, multifaceted, red eyes that peered in every direction at once, and four tiny paws that served as hands and feet. Wings had sprouted from its back, white ones with black traces.

    “Alright, Butterfree,” Josephine said happily. “Before Pikachu can get to you, hit him with Stun Spore!”

    Flapping his wings, Rosso flew up above the clearing and blanketed the entire area with Stun Spore. There was no-where for Pikachu to run and the mouse could only scream in frustration as his muscles became rigid. His automatic response was to hit Rosso with a Thundershock, but the newly evolved Butterfree was full of life and dodged the blast, releasing a String Shot down on Pikachu, sticking his legs together and bringing his remarkable speed under control.

    As Pikachu struggled with the gooey silk, he laughed and created a wave of energy that washed over Butterfree, causing all of his muscles to tense up at once. Josephine watched Butterfree closely, but nothing else happened.

    While trying to figure out what technique Pikachu had just used, Josephine commanded Rosso to finish what he’d started. “Confusion!”

    Butterfree squeaked loudly and the air around him quivered as a bolt of mental energy shot towards Pikachu. The rodent glared at the butterfly Pokèmon as the blast knocked it from its feet and into a tree. Rolling to the ground, he tried to get to his feet, but his muscles began spasming. Josephine could see the anger on Pikachu’s face.

    Just as she was ordering Butterfree to attack one last time, the butterfly screamed and fell to the ground as his wings locked. Rosso was as paralyzed as Pikachu. The technique Pikachu used must have been Thunder Wave. It did no damage to the Pokèmon it was used on, but caused its muscles to lock randomly, just like Stun Spore.

    “Butterfree!” Josephine cried in fear and desperation.

    To her horror, she saw Pikachu stand up, no longer under the effects of the Stun Spore. The mouse strode over to Butterfree, who twitched sporadically on the ground, and smiled malevolently. The butterfly could only watch as Pikachu emptied everything he had into him. Josephine couldn’t just stand there and watch Butterfree be killed by Pikachu, so she quickly brought out the Pokèball and recalled Butterfree.

    In one quick battle, Pikachu had defeated two Pokèmon, belonging to two different trainers. He didn’t even seem fazed by the paralysis he was suffering, or the beating Spearow and Butterfree had delivered.

    Pikachu glared at Josephine, as if daring her to select another Pokèmon for him to defeat. Knowing that electric attacks nullified each other, Riley wouldn’t be able to fight, and as for Fern… well, she was still weak from the battle with Samurai’s Butterfree and her psychic attacks weren’t strong enough.

    Glancing back at the still unconscious Rachel, Josephine began screaming in anger.

    Pikachu looked taken aback. He was used to people begging for their lives, but he had never encountered somebody like this. She had called Pikachu a person and that was a huge insult to the electric rodent. Evil wasn’t something inherent to nature, it was something conceived of by humans to explain the inequity of the world, and to call a Pokèmon human was to call it evil.

    Furious, Pikachu squeezed its cheeks as hard as it could and aimed at the young trainer. If the girl wanted evil, she would receive it.

    Josephine cringed when she saw death approaching, but before the disappointment and rage could register with him, Pikachu stopped and looked to the side where Growlithe had fallen. The Fire Pokèmon was on his feet, his eyes burning with an intensity Katie had never seen before. It was as if he had been re-born. Pikachu stared at him, dumbfounded, and Growlithe smirked back at the electric rodent.

    <Is that all you’ve got?> Growlithe asked.

    Pikachu’s eyes darkened and he turned towards his new target, ignoring the helpless human girl. That was a mistake Katie was going to be sure to point out. She reached down and pulled an empty Pokèball off her Pokèbelt. It was now or never.

    In a flash, Pikachu was upon Growlithe, the gooey silk binding him to the ground broken and forgotten. It did slow him for an instant, though, and that was all Growlithe needed. He bounded forward, straight at Pikachu, causing the electric mouse to skid to a halt and prepare an electric attack.

    As his cheeks contracted and energy pulsed around Pikachu’s body, Growlithe dived; slamming his body into the electric mouse, and knocking him clean off his feet. He landed on the ground, jarred for a second and Growlithe struck again. He raced over to Pikachu, sank his teeth into the Pokèmon’s side and flung him across the clearing, staining the ground with crimson blood.

    Screaming, Pikachu stood, his small paws wiping away the blood. He was losing consciousness quickly, but where he was in the clearing, he could launch any attack against his opponent and Growlithe knew that. No amount of Body Slams or Bites would save him if Pikachu decided to use Thundershock.

    Grinning, Pikachu squeezed his cheeks and then stopped. His eyes widened and he dropped to the ground, fear spread across his face. As he looked at Growlithe accusingly, his muscles began convulsing; ignoring any commands the small yellow Pokèmon gave them. Butterfree’s Stun Spore attack hadn’t quite worn off.

    “Now, Ted!!” Katie yelled.

    Expecting Growlithe to charge Pikachu down, she was shocked when the orange puppy did nothing. He simply breathed deeply, as though preparing to force a burp. When he did bark, however, only an intense heat emerged. Katie shielded her face as the very air caught fire and a sphere of red, raw energy blazed across the clearing.

    Pikachu’s eyes opened wide as the Ember bore down on him. Defeat showed on his face, and by the time the smoke cleared from the resulting explosion, only calm surrender was evident. Katie threw her Pokèball, capturing Pikachu in a white light. The Pokèball didn’t shake; Pikachu struggled not.

    Growlithe’s victory had happened so quickly, Katie was speechless. She simply stared at her partner. It was finally her time to be surprised. Growlithe stood firm and proud, but the exhaustion was clear all over his body. It had been a long day and both trainers and their Pokèmon were wiped out, but they knew it wasn’t over yet.

    “Are you a psychic?” Josephine asked Katie, referring to when she had frozen time.

    Katie smiled. “I am, yes. A third generation psychic from Johto’s Newbark Town.”

    “Could you possibly help me with…?” Josephine trailed off as Katie waved her hand.

    “Of course I’ll help. I can deal with your friend easily,” the girl replied, looking unconcerned.

    Putting out her right hand, Katie used her powers to raise Rachel off the ground and indicated for Josephine to lead the way. Growlithe smiled at his trainer, as the trainers and their Pokèmon walked out of the Viridian Forest in silence.
    Last edited by Saphira_Thorn; 10th October 2007 at 1:50 AM.

  14. #14
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    Chapter 5: A Rocky Start

    Awareness slowly returned to Rachel’s mind as her eyes creaked open. Instead of a hideous blackness, she saw pure white, as if a bright light was being shone in her face from a source far away. The light stung her eyes, as though she had been in the dark for days, but she knew that couldn’t be possible. She couldn’t remember what she was doing before she fell into darkness, but she could recall a vague sense of importance. Whatever had happened to her, she knew, if given the opportunity, she wouldn’t have taken it lying down.

    Groaning, she rolled over to try and see where she was and was surprised to find that she was in a hospital room. The white light that burned her eyes was daylight streaming in through the window. Judging by the intensity of the light, she guessed it was about mid-day, but she felt groggy and didn’t dare trust her senses.

    Absentmindedly, Rachel reached for her Pokèbelt and found it to be missing. Her clothes and equipment had been removed and placed on a table next to her bed, replaced by a white hospital gown and a saline drip. Resting on top of her clothes were her two Pokèballs, both of which contained her Bulbasaur and Pidgey.

    Grabbing the Pokèballs, she tapped the activation trigger and waited patiently. Nothing happened. Panicking, she hit the buttons again, and then a third time. When she finally realized that the Pokèballs were empty, she let them slip from her hands and hit the floor of the hospital room.

    She tried to remember what had happened to her before she blacked out, but all that she could recall was a bright flash of yellow, and then black. Digging through her mind caused it to ache and she was forced to clutch her head to try and lessen the pain. Her entire body tingled with fury and anger similar to that of a thunderstorm.

    “Miss Savina, you must not strain yourself.”

    Rachel gazed up as a nurse rushed into the room, easing her back into her bed. Even if she had the strength to fight back, she wouldn’t have, preferring instead to sit back and rest. The Taillow chirping through the open window started lulling her back to sleep, but she had too many questions to simply slip back into the sinister embrace of unconsciousness.

    “Where am I?”

    The nurse smiled. “You’re in Pewter City. We were worried about you, Miss Savina.”

    “Why?” Rachel asked groggily, watching as the nurse injected something into the drip.

    “You were in a bad way when you were brought in.”

    Becoming fed up from watching the nurse evade her questions, she asked something more direct. “What happened to me?”

    “From what we were told by the two girls who brought you in, you were attacked by a Pikachu,” the nurse admitted, gliding over to the window and opening it further. She had a grace and beauty that her white apron hid. As she returned, she spotted something on the floor. Dipping out of sight briefly, she bent down and picked up two Pokèballs.

    Rachel cursed her battered mind for letting the memory of her Pokèmon slip. “My Pokèmon?”

    “They’re fine. They were treated at the Pokèmon Centre and are waiting outside.”

    “Can I see them, please?”

    She didn’t know what she would have done if her Pokèmon were seriously injured. It’s a hard reality for any trainer to face, but it’s one that must be. In a world where strength is decided at the drop of a Pokèball, and battles for supremacy are common place, it isn’t unusual for Pokèmon and their trainers to be badly hurt. Caution had to be maintained, as safety should be a trainer’s number one concern.

    As the nurse glided from the room, Rachel rubbed her temples and tried to think of what had happened to her in the Forest. She remembered the Forest vividly, as the haze of trauma and drugs lifted. Whatever had been injected into her drip was working. Images flashed before her eyes; images of people and Pokèmon. A samurai perhaps, and a girl from Pallet. Straining, she tried to recall what happened after her battle with the samurai, which she had lost.

    Gritting her teeth, her memories of Pikachu’s insanity flooded back. The electric mouse was furious with her and she didn’t know why. Something he blamed all humankind for. It struck her once again as odd for a Pokèmon to be so angry. Most Pokèmon were calm and peaceful, never resorting to violence unless forced to.

    War was something humans did, but for some reason the Pokèmon that had attacked her thought it was time for Pokèmon to go to war as well.

    “Bulbasaur! Pidgey!” Rachel cried happily, as her Pokèmon rushed into the room, relief all over their faces. They jumped onto her bed and let her hug them. Pidgey had a bandage wrapped around her chest where Pikachu had tried to kick her ribs in. Bulbasaur had taken a greater beating than Pidgey, due to the fact that Grass Pokèmon are somewhat resistant to electric attacks, and her resistance had eventually protected her.

    “You three know each other, then?” The nurse chuckled.

    Rachel nodded happily. “We know each very well.”

    As she sat with her Pokèmon, her memory revealed one of the names of the trainers who had saved her in the Viridian Forest. “Josephine.”

    “I beg your pardon,” the nurse asked, leaning forward to hear her.

    “Josephine Harris. She’s my friend.”

    “Yes, that’s the name of one of the trainers who brought you here.”

    Rachel remembered floating in the air as the two trainers left the Viridian Forest and entered Pewter City; the two trainers rested periodically to make sure they didn’t die of exhaustion and to ensure that she was still stable.

    “And the Pikachu?”

    The nurse shrugged. “The brownish-blonde haired girl captured it.”

    “What?”

    She knew this had to be impossible. Pikachu had completely outclassed her and there was no way that he had been defeated by another novice.

    “The girl’s name is Katie Emerson. If you want to detain the Pikachu, I believe she’s still in the city,” the nurse said, misunderstanding Rachel’s outburst.

    Rachel pulled back the covers of the bed, and crawled out, grabbing her clothes. “Where is she?”

    “Who? Katie?”

    “Yes,” Rachel nodded, recalling her Pokèmon.

    “I’m pretty sure that both Josephine and Katie were going to see Brock.”

    Rachel remembered reading something on Brock in the Kantonian Times, and nodded accordingly. “The Gym Leader.”

    “That’s right.”

    “Thank you,” Rachel replied, as the nurse left the room, allowing her to get dressed. As she made her way out of the hospital, the nurse questioned her about her fitness. Although her joints ached and her muscles felt like they were bleeding, she was desperate to see the battle at the Pewter City Gym, so she assured all of the medical staff she saw that she was perfectly fine.

    It was soon apparent to Rachel that she was lying when she stopped on the street outside the hospital to catch her breath. Her injuries were more severe than she had originally thought, and for a fleeting moment she entertained the idea of returning to bed and resting, but when she saw Pikachu’s sneering face and this new trainer, who against all the odds had managed to defeat the electric mouse, she knew she had to press on.

    Pewter City, her home, wasn’t beautiful by any standard, being dwarfed by Celadon’s tranquillity, and the fast paced metropolis of Saffron. Originally a mining community, Pewter’s buildings were old and constructed primarily of wood and simple materials that made the town look makeshift.

    The surly, almost backwater vibe that was instilled in the atmosphere of the city was only a vibe.

    A little further down the road was the Pewter City Gym. It was a large building, like all Pokèmon Gyms, built specifically for housing the most intense Pokèmon battles. Like every other building in Pewter, the Gym was constructed from badly cut stones that were probably quarried from the Pewter mines.

    Having already seen the splendour of the Gym before leaving for Pallet to begin her journey, Rachel rushed inside, racing up the steps that led to the Gym’s spectator stands. As she climbed, she heard chanting, which usually meant a Pokèmon battle was about to begin.

    Appearing above the arena, Rachel looked down at the looming battle.

    A teen stood on the opposite side of the arena. He wore baggy green trousers and a brown t-shirt that covered his tanned torso. The teenager’s perpetual squint hid the dark eyes that matched his spiky brown hair. With the crowd filling the dark stands above at his back, Brock raised a muscular arm and smiled, as he released his Pokèmon. “Go, Sandslash!”

    A large, yellow porcupine creature, with several spikes sprouting from its back, emerged from the Pokèball. The yellow skin was hardened and looked fairly solid, while the front paws looked like they were separate, what with the two long claws. A small tail came from the back, and the face looked fairly nasty.

    A shadow fell on the arena from the large rock cut entrance across from the Gym Leader. Rachel was somewhat excited when she saw a brownish-blonde haired girl enter, a Growlithe at her side.

    This must be this Katie Emerson that the nurse was telling me about, Rachel thought to herself.

    Following closely was Josephine, but she stood on the sidelines, determined to battle Brock after Katie had. Katie marched into the stadium and took up her position where a challenger should.

    “What is your name?” Brock asked, his deep voice booming throughout the Gym.

    “I am Katie Emerson from Newbark Town.”

    “Is this your first Gym challenge, Katie?” His tone was suddenly very cold.

    Katie frowned slightly, but dared not speak against the Gym Leader. “It is.”

    Katie put her hand on her Pokèbelt and the Pokèballs attached to it, but removed her hand a moment later, as she made a wild gesture at the arena. “Ted, away to me.”

    Rachel was about to shout down at the girl from Newbark Town and point out her mistake, but she stopped herself. It made no sense to choose Growlithe to fight against Sandslash, because the ground based attacks would tear the Fire Pokèmon apart. Katie was taking a huge risk on Growlithe’s abilities, but the newcomer suddenly had Rachel intrigued.

    Growlithe raced away from his trainer’s side towards Sandslash’s left as per Katie’s command. The whole crowd was ablaze with chatter regarding Katie’s choice against Brock; in the end, Rachel could only see two people apart from herself engrossed in the fight – Josephine and a shadowy figure across the arena who was sitting by him.

    “Sandslash!” Brock started things off. “Defence Curl!”

    In a flash, the shrew Pokèmon leapt off the floor, curled itself into a ball and landed, exposing deadly spines for the enemy to fight past. Growlithe’s charge halted, and he released a volley of burning embers, which blasted past Sandslash’s defence and went straight for his body.

    Rachel counted three fire balls in all, which surprised her. Three fireballs was the international standard for the Ember technique, and while she didn’t know Katie, Rachel was a bit surprised that Katie had managed to teach him to create that many in such a short time.

    Brock smiled confidently, ignoring the fire attack. “Poison Sting!”

    Both Katie and Growlithe cringed as Sandslash fired a volley of poison barbs. Rachel couldn’t count how many, as they darted towards Growlithe faster than her eye could see, but she knew there were more poison-tipped needles than Growlithe could handle. The Fire Pokèmon attempted to roll, but the spray of barbs caught him in the side.

    Growlithe bit at his flank, tearing out the poison barbs and throwing them to the rock floor of the Gym. As blood poured from the wounds, Ted watched Sandslash uncurl from its ball.

    “Sandslash! Slash him!” Brock commanded.

    As he rushed at Growlithe, one of Sandslash’s silver claws lashed out, raking against Growlithe’s fur and cutting him badly. The Fire Pokèmon veered away from the attack and faced off against his opponent as blood seeped from a nasty gash in his side. Although her vantage point was wrong, Rachel could tell that the hit hadn’t been critical.

    “Fury Swipes!”

    The Ground Pokèmon somersaulted over Growlithe, a blur of yellow that only Growlithe seemed to be able to track. While the shrew was in the air, he whipped out his claws again, and using the momentum of his leap, he clawed at Growlithe below. In the first pass, Sandslash managed to only land two blows, but when he came out of his flip, he landed in a crouch and repeated the attack twice more. In the end, Growlithe was covered in scratches.

    Despite the beating he had taken, Growlithe was willing to continue the battle, although Sandslash leant on one clawed arm as if he had been fighting forever. The shrew obviously didn’t have much stamina, which meant is was Growlithe’s move. Brock waited patiently for Katie to decide on a move, but it didn’t take long for the trainer from Newbark Town to devise a strategy.

    “Ted,” Katie shouted over the whispers in the crowd. “Take Down!”

    Rachel wasn’t sure if charging Sandslash would be enough. However, when Katie gave her order, Growlithe turned to look at his trainer and nodded knowingly, as though the two of them were communicating silently. Everything was not as it seemed and Rachel could tell that a plan had been hatched.

    Growlithe charged straight at Sandslash, causing the larger Pokèmon’s eyes to widen in surprise. He was obviously not used to being attacked directly. The Fire Pokèmon growled viciously as he bore down on his target, further intimidating Sandslash.

    “Sandslash, Sand Attack!” Brock shouted.

    Dirt that had sat peacefully on the hard rock floor of the Gym was kicked up and went into Growlithe’s face, momentarily blinding the Fire Pokèmon and halting his charge.

    Before another command could be issued, a fireball burnt through the sand and then another. Sandslash was unprepared for the sudden attack and took the blasts straight in the face, blurring his vision and causing him to double over in pain. A third scorched his side, leaving a hideous red burn wherever it had touched the shrew’s scales.

    Brock saw the battle turn bad and tried to save his Pokèmon, but no commands came to mind. “Sandslash!”

    The veil of sand fell away a second later to reveal Growlithe, his eyes shut tight in pain, tearing towards Sandslash who was still recovering from the Embers. With a bone-jarring crunch, Growlithe fulfilled Katie’s command and executed Take Down on his opponent, throwing them both to the hard ground. The recoil from the attack was enough to make Growlithe yelp in pain. However, when the Fire Pokèmon struggled to his feet, Sandslash did not.

    Rachel could tell that the crowd was impressed by Katie’s performance, since many of them were Brock’s fans and so thought that he was invincible. Even Brock was shocked that he’d lost so easily.

    “Well done, Katie,” Brock shouted so that all could hear. As Katie returned her Growlithe to his Pokèball, and walked over to the sidelines, Brock announced that he would only accept one more challenger for the day.

    “And that would be me,” Josephine said, as she walked onto the stadium floor.

    “Go, Graveler!” Brock yelled, flinging a Pokèball into the air.

    After the light had faded, a large, boulder-shaped creature with a body made of stone, as well as two pairs of arms and a single pair of legs appeared. The face was rather nasty-looking, and there were dozens of protrusions, like if it had smashed its body against countless rocks.

    He grinned wickedly at Josephine and uncurled his four huge rocky arms that looked like they could tear the head off a Nidoking. Graveler taunted Josephine by banging his fists on the ground making the entire Gym shake. The spectators were anxious for the battle to begin and murmured amongst themselves.

    Ignoring the Rock and Ground type Pokèmon, Josephine removed a red and white sphere from her Pokèbelt and threw it to the ground, releasing Butterfree in a flash of white brilliance. It was as Rachel had expected; Butterfree had numerous chemical and mental attacks that could bypass Graveler’s defences provided the butterfly Pokèmon could stay in the air long enough. If Butterfree were struck by the Rock Pokèmon, he would be taken down in a second.

    Not wasting any time, Brock issued the first command. “Rock Throw!”

    Instead of devising a counter, Josephine simply let Butterfree evade the attack. At first, however, it seemed as though it wouldn’t, for Graveler smashed his fists into the bedrock, creating a dozen decently sized rocks that could be thrown at Butterfree. Graveler, however, ignored these rocks and forced his arms beneath them, clawing through the bed rock until he found what he wanted – a giant shard of pewter larger than Graveler himself.

    Following his orders, Graveler raised the boulder above his head and, using the combined strength of all four arms, he hurled the chunk of earth at Butterfree. The speed and ferociousness of Graveler’s attack caught Butterfree off-guard, but the butterfly Pokèmon managed to get out of the way of the attack, leaving it to come crashing down near Josephine.

    “Poison Powder!” Josephine shouted, trying her hardest to remain calm in the face of such an overwhelming opening attack.

    Following his trainer’s example, Butterfree glided over to Graveler, feverishly flapping his delicate wings. The air became stained with Butterfree’s toxins, obviously upsetting Graveler; however, the Rock Pokèmon stood his ground, trying hard to keep calm as a blanket of poison fell on him. Brock watched the attack sombrely, disapproving of the effective spray. It was common knowledge that the Gym Leader of Pewter City preferred to battle blatantly and with no disguise, much like the un-moving nature of rock.

    Graveler’s reaction to the poison was immediate. The Rock Pokèmon cried out, cringing in pain as the poison worked its way through his stone body, invading his cells and using the waste to create more deadly pollutants. In unison with his master’s creed, Graveler scowled at Butterfree, preparing himself for a return attack.

    Josephine was determined not to let the Rock Pokèmon recover from the attack. If Graveler hit Butterfree just once, it could spell doom for her companion. “Butterfree, hit him with Supersonic!”

    Like everybody else in the Gym at that moment, Rachel grabbed her ears, as if she could erase the discomfort caused by the blast of supersonic sound from Butterfree. Although it was a lingering nuisance to those outside of the battle, for the focus of the attack – Graveler – it was debilitating.

    Graveler staggered about, clutching his head in a vain attempt to squeeze out the offensive feelings from his mind. He only succeeded in making things worse when he tripped over the hole that he had gouged for ammunition and struck what passed for his head on the exposed bedrock.

    “Graveler!” Brock shouted, concern evident in his voice.

    It didn’t look good for Graveler, so to keep from hurting himself further, the Rock Pokèmon curled into a ball, tucking his arms and legs into inconspicuous grooves, making him look like nothing more than another porous rock amongst the other exotic boulders in the room. Although Josephine had the advantage, she wasn’t smiling and Rachel could see why; Brock wasn’t concerned anymore.

    “Rollout!”

    With these words, it became Josephine’s turn to look concerned . If Graveler were to hit Butterfree with Rollout, especially after taking the time to use Defence Curl without anyone noticing, a fact that caused Josephine to rub her forehead in frustration, Butterfree would be felled like a sackful of Meowth.

    Graveler began to roll around the giant area, slowly at first, but faster and faster as he skimmed across the smooth bedrock that made up the Gym floor. Butterfree could only float above his enemy and wait for him to make his move, which would undoubtedly be an attack. Rocks exploded beneath Graveler as he circled the stadium in an effort to gain enough momentum to launch himself into the air and hit Butterfree directly. It was only a matter of time until Josephine would have to deal with the onslaught that was Graveler’s Rollout and the Pallet trainer knew that.

    The entire crowd watched the circling Rock Pokèmon with hushed silence. Katie’s victory over Brock was still fresh in their minds, so they were anxious to know what this promising young trainer would do to counter Graveler’s attack. Rachel had similar thoughts to the other spectators for she had never seen Josephine in battle until now, without the white haze of a concussion pulled over her eyes.

    “Butterfree,” Josephine began, uncertainty in her voice. “String Shot.”

    Rachel shook her head at Josephine’s command. String Shot would slow Graveler’s roll, but Josephine had waited too long to use the technique; for at his current speed, Graveler could launch his attack whenever he wanted and losing the momentum that Butterfree’s string would rob him of didn’t change that fact. As she predicted, Graveler tore through the attack and lined himself up against Butterfree.

    Seeing the opportunity Graveler presented to him, Brock acted without hesitation. “Now!”

    At the sound of his master’s voice, Graveler was in the air, spinning dangerously close to Butterfree at an angle that left the majestic butterfly with no-where to go. The entire crowd joined Josephine in gasping when Graveler struck Butterfree, knocking him out of the air and throwing him to the hard stadium floor below.

    Butterfree struggled to get his wings moving after he recovered from the initial shock of being knocked between rock and rock. The purple butterfly looked desperate to get into the air, aware of the ever-present Graveler who was lining up for another Rollout attack. Since it had successfully hit with the first attack, its speed had increased even more, so hitting Butterfree again would most likely result in a knockout. Both parties knew this and both were frantic to protect their interests.

    It was pure luck that Josephine protected her interests more thoroughly, as Butterfree somehow managed to launch himself into the air using a gust from his wings, narrowly avoiding Graveler’s attack, but avoiding it nonetheless. With his rhythm ruined, Graveler had to begin again, so he made one quick circle of the room, while Butterfree fought for breath.

    “Butterfree!” Josephine shouted over the roar of Graveler’s rally. “Confusion!”

    Brock’s eyes widened. “Graveler…”

    The Gym Leader’s command came a moment too late and the rampaging Pokèmon was in the air, spinning towards Butterfree who floated before him, the manifestation of total calm. Nobody could see the effects of the psychic attack until it struck, because it was born in the curls of Butterfree’s brain, invisible to the outside world. Although hidden beneath flesh, bone and skin, the chain reaction started within Butterfree’s mind was amongst the most potent of Pokèmon techniques, striking straight at the soul.

    Blue sparks flared from Butterfree’s eyes and Graveler was uncurled in the air. He writhed in pain as the butterfly Pokèmon held the Rock type’s mind in his grasp. Graveler groaned in frustration, and then plummeted to the ground far below, landing in a roll before falling forward, sprawled on the hard bedrock that made up the stadium floor, kicking up a wall of dust. The sound of the impact reverberated around the vast building, shaking its foundations and causing several spectators to cover their ears.

    When the dust cleared, Josephine was surprised to see Graveler on his feet, a grim expression on his face. Rachel noted that nobody else was surprised, as though they expected Graveler to press on, a sign of their confidence in Brock’s abilities as a trainer.

    Just as Brock allowed himself a smug smile, Graveler’s expression became blank and the Rock Pokèmon collapsed in a resounding explosion of rock on rock. A single breath escaped Graveler as he became limp before Butterfree. There was much commotion in the Gym, with inexperienced trainers trying to justify Graveler’s defeat to those nearby by claiming he had fatigued himself, but Rachel knew better than to listen to them. Slowly, everybody’s gaze followed Brock’s up to Butterfree and the poison locked within his wings.

    Prompted into announcing the victory by the crowd’s clapping, Jerry, the match official, stepped forward. “Graveler is unable to continue. Butterfree is the victor.”

    “Impressive,” Brock admitted as he recalled his Pokèmon. “I must say that I would expect nothing less of a trainer from Pallet Town. The male who came before you two was just as skilled with his battle, perhaps even more so. I felt no dishonour losing to him, for he was truly an excellent trainer.”

    Josephine understood the significance of Brock’s words. “Paul? He defeated you?”

    “Indeed,” was all that Brock said.

    As Josephine recalled her Pokèmon, the crowd began filing out of the stands, some heading towards the exit and still more heading towards the arena to congratulate the battlers. Rachel rose to follow one group of spectators to the arena.

    By the time Rachel reached the battlefield, Brock was presenting Katie and Josephine with the Boulder Badges.

    “Congratulations on your victories, Katie and Josephine. I’m pleased to present to you the Boulder Badge for besting my Pokèmon and I in battle. Your names will be chiselled on the great pewter stone outside so that everyone will know that you were victors here.”

    And from his pocket, Brock produced two small badges of carefully cut rock. They were grey, almost silver, and octagonal in shape. Although plain, they meant a lot to Katie and Josephine.

    As Rachel walked towards them, she caught Brock’s eye, causing him to raise a hand in protest. “I’m sorry, this area is off limits at the moment. If you’re looking for a Gym battle, please come back tomorrow, otherwise I must ask you to…”

    “Wait,” Josephine interrupted Brock. “Rachel, what are you doing here? You should be recovering.”

    “I wanted to see your battle,” the blonde replied.

    Recognizing Rachel’s face, Brock’s attitude changed. “Rachel Savina of Pewter, welcome to my Gym. I trust you approve of your friend’s battle?”

    “They all did great,” Rachel smiled.

    “All?” Following her gaze, the Gym Leader saw Katie kneeling over an exhausted Growlithe. “Of course.”

    “Seriously, Rachel, you should be in bed,” Josephine looked worried.

    Still wearing a healthy, reassuring smile, she tried to convince Josephine that she was perfectly fine. “I’m okay, believe me. Would the hospital staff have released me if I wasn’t one hundred percent?”

    “I guess not,” Josephine admitted, finally accepting defeat.

    *****

    After getting some information from Brock about Paul, Josephine headed over to the Pokèmon Centre to meet Katie who had gone ahead of her. By the time she had entered the building, she happened to catch the tail end of a conversation between Katie and Nurse Joy.

    “Can you identify the reason for the scarring?” Katie questioned.

    The nurse shook her head. “They seem to have been made at various points of Pikachu’s body where his electrical power pools as well as near the brain stem, indicating some sort of operation to help him control such power pools. It’s possible that Pikachu could be suffering from a glandular disorder that prevents him from controlling his power, but…”

    “What is it?” Katie asked, fearing the worst.

    “If that’s so, then he’s already suffered major brain damage. Pikachu is schizophrenic to the point of multiple personalities. He must have been in so much pain, that he lashed out at those trying to help him and escaped into the wild, submerging his consciousness beneath his subconsciousness. Defeat was such a shock to him that his derangement has subsided. Now that that’s gone, there’s nothing left.”

    “What can we do?”

    Katie had seen her expression many times before, so she knew what it meant.

    “There’s nothing we can do.”

    “I see,” Katie forgot about her earlier victory.

    “However,” the nurse continued, “there are some other avenues you could explore. If you were to go to Vermillion City, you could speak to the leading expert on Electric type Pokèmon, Lieutenant Surge. He may be able to help you identify the source of Pikachu’s introversion.”

    Thanking the nurse, Katie picked up Pikachu’s Pokèball and, with Josephine following, left the Pokèmon Centre, bound for the Pokèmon Mart where the trainers hoped to get some Potions for Growlithe and Butterfree.

    *****

    The sun was setting in a ball of fire, turning the top of the horizon to flame and sending long shadows across the city of Pewter. The clouds in the east were blood red, but quickly faded to purple and finally dark blue of the evening sky.

    Josephine, Rachel and Katie were in front of the Pokèmon Centre again, after watching Rachel train her Bulbasaur and Pidgey on Route Three. It looked safer in the dark with the fluorescent lighting of the roof, made that way to help trainers find it. Stepping inside to be greeted by the warmth, the three trainers walked across the room and to the counter, where the pink-haired nurse was currently waiting for more patients.

    “Evening trainers. You’re out late,” she said in her trademark soft voice.

    “Hi,” Rachel began. “I’d like to have my Pokèmon treated overnight.” She plucked the two occupied spheres off her Pokèbelt and handed them to the nurse.

    “Please come back for them tomorrow,” Joy said, smiling.

    Josephine, Rachel and Katie went up the stairs and separated, going to their own rooms. Rachel felt alone without her Pokèmon; she sighed deeply and knew she couldn’t wait to retrieve her partners the next day.

  15. #15
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    Apr 2005
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    Chapter 4 grammar:
    The red haired teenager could sense the Pokèmon of the Forest returning to their homes, whether they were (located) in a tree or a burrow,

    Josephine leaned closer to her patient.
    The Bug Catcher was carefully applying a Potion to his other creature, which was a small, yellow pupa Pokèmon, who was shaped a bit like a cicada and who was resting against a tree.
    easily deflected or transformed by a parry into a dive, but they pushed on, growling fiercely and biting frantically in search of flesh to latch onto.
    There was nowhere
    Chapter 5:
    New Bark Town.
    obviously didn’t have much stamina, which meant it was Growlithe’s move.
    Now, about the chapters themselves:
    First, I must say, "Psychotic Pikachu FTW!" Though personally, I would have handled the whole story behind its rampage differently (If you recall, I simply say that Pikachu are the Pokemon equivalent of dangerous child predators and attack others out of some sick sense of pleasure) your reasoning does appear to be a fairly important point in your plot.

    Battle description was done quite well, and having the gym battle told from a spectator's (Rachel's) view was an interesting take on how they're usually handled.

    Still, some of the details of the battles could be better expressed through Rachel's own thoughts rather than have the narrator tell them outright. Just remember Psychic's advice of "Show, Don't Tell." Throughout your fic, I think readers would be able to connect with characters better if their thoughts were portrayed along with their actions and words. Or so I was told in a review quite a long time ago.

    Your use of PokeSpeech is inconsistent. You have the Pokemon "talk" but those moments of speech are few and far between. If you're going to employ that tactic, it's better that the Pokemon "talk" more often so it doesn't seem so jarring when you do include PokeSpeech. Either do it fairly consistently and often, or don't do it at all.

    The descriptions that you did yourself are "getting there," there is improvement over your previous chapters. I hope that the ones I've been doing for you have been helping you improve in that area.

    These two chapters were quite enjoyable on the whole, aside from the small things I already pointed out. And I know we discussed this over Messenger, but please don't post two chapters in one go. It's why this review took so long.

  16. #16
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    Jan 2007
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    Thanks for teh review, DP.

    I’d like to thank DP for helping me with a description of Trapinch.

    Chapter 6: Mt. Moon and Beyond

    “Here are your Pokèmon,” the nurse said to Rachel the next morning. After having an early breakfast with Josephine and Katie, Rachel had gone downstairs to collect her Pokèmon.

    “Thanks Nurse Joy,” Rachel replied, as she attached the two Pokèballs to her Pokèbelt. As the trio left the Pokèmon Centre, she turned to Josephine and Katie and said excitedly, “Let’s go to the Gym! I can’t wait to beat Brock!”

    Josephine sighed, uninterested, and Katie replied, “You’re going to use Flora against Brock, aren’t you?”

    “I am, and I’m going to earn that Boulder Badge!” Rachel answered firmly, her blue eyes shining with determination.

    *****

    Brock stood on a platform looking down over the arena. Lumps of stone hewn from the surrounding mountains were scattered over its sandy surface, hiding pits and depths that an unsuspecting Pokèmon could fall into and be sucked under like quicksand. Light streamed through the skylights, but there were many dark shadows and corners to evade potential attacks. He smiled wanly, for he had an appointment with a trainer this morning and she would arrive any minute now.

    The tall fourteen year old blonde haired girl walked into the Gym, her hand already resting on the red and white sphere containing her Bulbasaur. Today was her day to challenge Brock and win the Boulder Badge. She was determined to win.

    Ahh, there she was! Time to get the show on the road. He glanced at the notes on the computer screen in front of him. She was a new trainer with no Pokèmon above level fifteen. “So trainer, what’s your challenge? Two on two? One on one? Or a full belt?”

    “I have only my Bulbasaur and Pidgey, but I challenge you with Flora,” Rachel replied, picking the Pokèball off her Pokèbelt and pressing the centre button, which enlarged the red and white orb.

    Brock’s footsteps echoed as he made his way down the spiral staircase onto the battle platform. He gestured welcomingly for her to take up her own position.

    “The Bulbasaur? Good choice, but type isn’t everything.”

    He reached into a pocket of his vest, feeling the familiarity of his team. Geodude would be best, as he was at a low enough level, but well trained to actually test her limits.

    “Geodude, I choose you!” he said, feeling the thrill of the challenge sizzle up his spine. He caught the ball on the rebound and a small, round rock-shaped creature emerged, somehow hovering over the ground. The nose-less face was staring valiantly ahead, waiting for its enemy to appear, with both of its muscular arms having powerful fists closed.

    “You’re up, Flora!” Like Brock, Rachel felt the same desire to win the battle. The green, lizard-like quadruped appeared in a flash of light, looking docile, but in fact just wanted to get the battle over and done with and return to her Pokèball.

    “Flora, Tackle attack!”

    The female Bulbasaur charged towards Geodude.

    “Geodude, Defence Curl!”

    Geodude rolled up into a ball right before the Bulbasaur struck. The attack didn’t even phase the Rock type Pokèmon, while Flora was favouring her head.

    “Now, Rock Throw!”

    “Dodge it, Flora!”

    The female Bulbasaur dodged it with ease. Geodude continued attacking. Again Flora dodged every one of them. Brock saw that this was going to be a defensive battle, so he decided to end it.

    “This isn’t going anywhere. Geodude, get close to the Bulbasaur and use Explosion!”

    Geodude hovered over to where Flora was and began basking itself in a bright white light before triggering a massive explosion of light and smoke, the deafening sound and force of the explosion engulfing the entire room. When the smoke and debris cleared, no Pokèmon was left standing.

    “Flora!!” was all Rachel could say when she saw both Pokèmon on the ground, fainted.

    “I guess this is a tie, Rachel,” Brock said as both trainers returned their Pokèmon. Pulling out a grey, almost silver coloured object from his pocket, he presented it to the teen. “Even though you lost, you did well and so I present you with the Boulder Badge.”

    Taken aback, Rachel was speechless as she accepted the badge. “Thanks,” she said after a period of time.

    Leaving the Gym, the trio headed to the Pokèmon Centre to get Rachel’s Bulbasaur healed; after that, their next stop was Mt. Moon.

    *****

    The three teenagers now stood outside the entrance to Mt. Moon, looking at the cave in disdain.

    “But the map said it was small…” Katie protested, as Rachel finished explaining that it had four massive floors, lots of ladders, wild Pokèmon and, of course, trainers.

    “Never rely on the map for everything,” Josephine stated dryly.

    Each of the Pokèmon stood, or hovered in the case of Butterfree, beside their trainers before entering the dungeon-like cave. It was pitch black; someone tripped and fell over sooner than expected.

    “Ah sh*t!”

    It was Josephine. She’d tripped over a rock and was now in a foul mood.

    “Riley, for crying out loud, turn the light on!”

    Almost instantly, there was light, and it was so bright it lit the whole of the first floor. Rachel and Katie noticed that the female Shinx’s tail and ears were glowing bright yellow, which was useful in dark places.

    Katie then saw the rock that Josephine had tripped over. “That’s no ordinary rock, Josephine. That’s a Moon Stone!” She picked it up and observed how it sparkled. She also noted how dark the shade of black was.

    “What’s a Moon Stone?” Josephine inquired, picking herself up off the floor.

    Just as Katie was about to reply, she saw a trainer come up to them with two Pokèballs attached to his Pokèbelt. He skilfully grabbed them with one hand and, with the other, pointed at Josephine and Rachel.

    “You two up for a battle? I’m James, by the way. The best trainer in all of Mt. Moon,” he declared. With that, he threw the two Pokèballs and the Pokèmon appeared in a flash of light.

    A small, white cat with black ears and six whiskers, two of them pointing upwards, with the other four stuck to its face’s sides sprang out of the first sphere. The front paws were purely white, but the hind paws and the curled tip of its tail were brown. A golden coin was stuck to its head, between the top two whiskers, and only a bit above the eyes. Narrowing its black eyes, it bared its teeth slightly and growled.

    A purple snake, with a yellow stripe over the start of its neck and a yellow underside slithered out of the second ball. On several points of its body, there were black rings that showed where its skin had been removed. At the tip of its tail there was a rattle, and the snake’s eyes stared at its surroundings. It shook the rattle in a threatening manner.

    Katie’s body stiffened and she started trembling all over. She loathed snakes to the point where she would seize up if she saw one. “No…” was all she could breathe out.

    *****

    Flashback

    She had been ten when the incident occurred. Katie and her brother, Timmy, had been playing outside on the lawn when an Ekans appeared without warning, shaking its rattle threateningly. Timmy, stupidly enough, kept poking the Ekans; this action had pushed the snake to its limits and it lunged forward, biting him with its fangs. She had screamed for help, but her parents had gone out to do shopping and the babysitter was asleep.

    By the time she raised the babysitter, Katie knew in her heart that her brother wouldn’t make it to hospital in time… and she was correct. While the babysitter tried to resuscitate him, he died right there on the lawn. She was absolutely devastated by the loss of her brother.


    End flashback

    *****

    Josephine and Rachel seemed confident that they could defeat their opponents, although Josephine inadvertently caused an argument.

    “I’ll take the Meowth,” she said, about to send Riley out to battle.

    “Why should you get the Meowth? That means I get Ekans. I want the Meowth!” Rachel retorted.

    “I get the Meowth because it’s cuter than the Ekans,” Josephine replied.

    “Ekans are ugly,” Rachel answered.

    By this time, a sweat-drop had appeared on Meowth’s head and Ekans shook its rattle warningly.

    Hearing the warning rattle, Josephine looked away and took a deep breath. She then exhaled, and admitted defeat. “Fine, you get the Meowth. Happy now?”

    “Yes,” Rachel smiled.

    “Okay,” Josephine said. “Let’s get started. Riley, you’re against the Ekans. Get ready!”

    “Same with you, Flora, only your opponent is the Meowth,” Rachel added.

    The Meowth, who had been sitting on all fours, stood up and waited for its battle orders. The Ekans, however, still lay wrapped in a coil; it didn’t need any ‘orders’, as the humans called them, because it battled under its own steam.

    “Meowth! Use Scratch!” James ordered.

    The cat raced towards Bulbasaur, with its paws outstretched and claws able to be seen. Just when it seemed that Meowth would collide head-on into Bulbasaur, the feline jumped over the green lizard-like creature and clawed at Flora madly. Instinctively, the female Bulbasaur extracted the two vines from underneath her bulb and hurled them at the cat. Meowth was caught off-guard by the speed of Bulbasaur’s attack and could only watch as the vines dropped down on it.

    Ekans hissed evilly, as he tightened his grip on Riley, who was turning a nasty shade of purple.

    “Don’t give up, Riley! Use Thunder Fang!” Josephine commanded. The female Shinx struggled momentarily to get a better position, and then sank her teeth into the snake’s scaly body, sending an electrical pulse down the nerves. Ekans recoiled at the shock and loosened his grip slightly. Riley jumped away quickly and stood watching the snake, as her sides heaved and she coughed up some blood. Ekans made an attempt to come back and squeeze her again, but, in self defence, her azure fur started sparking madly.

    It was impossible for snakes to comprehend fear, but Josephine believed that, just for a fleeting moment, she saw fear in Ekans’ eyes.

    Using this to her advantage, she yelled her command. “Riley, keep your fur sparking like that and hit Ekans with Tackle!”

    She watched, smiling, as Riley leapt forward towards Ekans, her fur still sparking madly. The snake tried to slither away, but the female Shinx was already on top of him, walking delicately along the reptile’s body.

    A single hiss was all that escaped Ekans as he fainted, a limp, reptilian heap on the rocky floor. Worried about her partner’s health, Josephine quickly administered a Potion. Grateful, Riley purred and rubbed against her trainer’s leg. Josephine and Riley now watched Rachel and Flora battle Meowth.

    Glancing at Flora, Riley could see that the green lizard-like Pokèmon had taken a bit of damage from Meowth’s various attacks, but the upside was that Meowth was weakening quite quickly.

    Rachel was about to give Flora one final command to finish Meowth off; when she saw something unusual begin to occur. The greenish spotted lizard groaned, as she felt the large, green bulb on her back begin to glow, and the pain that came from it was increasing with every passing moment. The transformation wasn’t unwanted, it was just… the feelings were too strong for her to deal with them properly.

    CRACK!!!

    With that sound, the bulb cracked open, and a red flower was finally free from its confines. The crack also made a wave of energy flow over her body, changing her colour and some of her appearance. The body was mostly blue now, and the head had a fierce expression on it, along with the inside of her ears being black.

    Rachel checked her Pokèdex and was shocked to discover that this was Flora’s first evolution, from a Bulbasaur to an Ivysaur.

    James was also surprised, as was his exhausted Meowth, but James quickly hid his surprise by ordering an attack. “Meowth, Fury Swipes – one last time!”

    At first, Meowth didn’t respond, but when he did stand up, the cat was so badly injured that he was swaying on his paws. James saw that the situation was hopeless, and as he sighed deeply, he recalled Meowth and Ekans, attached the Pokèballs to his Pokèbelt, and handed two hundred Pokèdollars each to Josephine and Rachel.

    *****

    As the three trainers travelled through the rest of Mt. Moon, the Pokèmon lagged slightly because they were having a private talk.

    Without warning, Spearow started cawing raucously, letting his companions know that something was wrong.

    A man dressed entirely in black, with white boots and gloves and a red ‘R’ on his shirt stood in front of the three teenagers. Beside him, gagged and still conscious, was Paul.

    “Mmph!” Paul shouted, shaking his head at the three girls.

    “Shut up!” The Team Rocket grunt yelled and lashed out at the boy with his whip. When the whip struck his shoulder, Paul winced.

    The Pokèmon ran to their trainers sides and prepared for battle. Hearing a voice that seemed far away, Sandy went and sat in front of Josephine, knowing that without doubt that this was his battle.

    “Well, if that’s how you want to play… Go, Koffing!” It seemed the same poisonous purple Pokèmon from earlier in her journey was back to haunt her.

    “Tackle him, Koffing!” the grunt ordered.

    “Tackle him right back, Sandy!”

    Both Pokèmon went towards each other, colliding with one another and sending each one back to where they had been.

    “Koffing, use Smog!” the grunt commanded.

    Koffing let out a poisonous purple haze, blinding Josephine and Sandshrew.

    “Now! While they can’t see, tackle the Sandshrew again!”

    Koffing went at Sandy and tackled him hard. This made Sandy mad that he’d been hit while unable to see, so he decided to get back at it.

    <Down you go!> Sandy yelled, right before he unleashed a mass of Scratch attacks on Koffing, who hit the ground with a thunk; his eyes had swirls in them, showing that he was unconscious.

    “No! I can’t believe we lost!” The grunt shouted, recalling his Pokèmon.

    “I swear I’ll get my revenge!” With that, he took off.

    “You were amazing, Sandy,” Josephine said, walking over to the shrew Pokèmon.

    <Thank you,> Sandy replied.

    A command was issued by Rachel to Flora to cut the rope that had gagged Paul. “Okay Flora! Use Razor Leaf!”

    A barrage of dark green leaves flew through the air and severed the rope almost instantly.

    Paul shakily stood up and breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks for saving me, you three.”

    “Not a problem,” Katie answered.

    Paul looked warily at the newcomer, and then turned to Josephine, a questioning look on his face.

    “That’s Katie Emerson from Newbark Town. She helped me save Rachel in the Viridian Forest,” Josephine explained.

    Paul’s blue eyes wandered back to Katie and quickly looked her over. Noticing the backpack and Pokèbelt, he gestured at Josephine and, after getting her attention, mouthed at her. “Is she travelling with us?”

    Josephine nodded and, in response, Paul rolled his eyes. Great, he thought. Not a fourth trainer.

    “Well, if there’s one Rocket here, there’s bound to be more,” Rachel said, looking around, in case they were ambushed. “We’d better stay on our guard.”

    The four teenagers – three from Kanto and one from Johto – continued on their journey through Mt. Moon, still alert. They thought they saw something, but it was only a Zubat.

    I wonder what they want with this stone, Katie thought as she pulled the Moon Stone out of her pocket. What could be so special about it?

    As soon as she took out the stone, three grunts appeared, surrounding the teenagers. They were taken by surprise, but quickly released their Pokèmon, who formed a protective barrier around their trainers, facing the Team Rocket members.

    “Guys, it looks like we’ve found them,” one of the grunts said, while the other two started to laugh. “You there, the girl with the Growlithe, hand over that Moon Stone.”

    Katie stood her ground. “Why do you creeps want this stone so badly?”

    They all laughed. “Kid, that thing evolves certain Pokèmon, but it’s only found here, so it can fetch top dollar if we could sell it.”

    Just then, the three grunts let out all of the Pokèmon. “So be good and give us what we want.”

    “I doubt it!” Katie shouted and, in unison, the three trainers commanded their Pokèmon.

    “Everyone, give them and their Pokèmon what they deserve!”

    All of the Pokèmon took on two of the Rocket’s Pokèmon each with such force, that they drove them back to their masters on each of their first strikes.

    “You won’t get another lucky shot there!” The Pokèmon began to close in on the teenagers. “Get the Moon Stone!”

    Even though they were severely outnumbered, the teens’ Pokèmon stood their ground.

    A grunt’s Sandshrew struck out at Rachel’s Pidgey with Scratch. Mercury groaned, before her body was covered in a bright light. Energy flowed from the world around her, and she began to mutate… turning into a different creature. The body became larger, the feathered crest became red and grew longer, and the tail was now red and yellow. The wingspan also increased, and the look in her eyes was quite fierce. The energy then flowed away, as she took off into the air, now a Pidgeotto.

    While that was going on, an Ekans had wrapped its scaly body around Paul’s Squirtle and had bitten the turtle’s arm. After the attack had landed, the Squirtle took a few deep breaths, letting the growing energy flow into his body. As he glowed, a few changes occurred; small, furry ears shaped similarly to his tail began growing, the tail became larger, and the body itself grew as well. The light dimmed down, and they could see the shell and skin were much shinier than before, fangs were visible in his mouth and a fierce smile was on his oval face.

    Pretending to have been attacked, Wartortle retreated into his shell for a few seconds, before reappearing moments later, a black bandana wrapped around his head.

    Paul’s second Pokèmon was also under attack. The small, purple Nidoran groaned, after getting hit by the attack. Upon landing, he gave a loud squeal before stomping the ground. The amount of anger and fury he felt at his inability to win gave him the energy needed for his own transformation. He body glowed brightly and transformed; the purple ears became thicker, the spikes and horn on his head becoming longer, the legs becoming stronger and other imposing features. The light show exploded as the Nidorino jumped, energy flowing into the air, before he took an offensive position, snarling at his enemy with a furious glare.

    Rachel and Paul shouted commands to their newly evolved Pokèmon.

    “Mercury! Quick Attack!”

    The Normal and Flying type bird flew through the air, straight at Sandshrew. She used her beak to land a hard blow on the shrew’s scaly chest.

    “Shrew…” The Pokèmon gasped weakly as it fainted.

    “Wartortle, Nidorino – Water Gun and Horn Attack!”

    Water shot out of Wartortle’s mouth straight at the Koffing and Ekans. They fainted while trying to escape the attack.

    Nidorino’s eyes blazed angrily as he charged at the bipedal, tapir-shaped Pokèmon, who had a lazy face and appearance. The bottom half of its body, apart from its toes, was black and the rest of it was golden coloured.

    Eventually, all of the Rocket’s Pokèmon were defeated. With all of their Pokèmon beaten, the Team Rocket grunts weren’t angry that these teenagers had defeated them… on the contrary; they seemed to be quite scared.

    “What should we do?” one of them asked worriedly.

    There was a commotion until one of them yelled, “HOLD ON!”

    The other two stared at the one who had disrupted the bickering. “We just have to explain that we couldn’t find them and that they escaped.”

    Josephine, Paul, Rachel and Katie waited, expecting to hear a human voice respond. They were shocked to hear a Pokèmon reply to the grunt’s statement.

    <Then how do you intend to explain your defeated Pokèmon?> The Pokèmon’s voice was scornful. A tall, haughty feline stalked up behind the grunts, looking at the pathetic humans with very deep and rather creepy red eyes. Its black fur was full of yellow ring marks, even down its chin and the stomach. The paws were black, with white nails, and the long tail was striped with yellow and black. Its legs were obviously strong enough to run and pounce with ease, and the ears and whiskers were rather long-ish for its size. On its forehead, a round, crimson gem shone brightly, rather oddly.

    “Not Arkbull…” A grunt muttered.

    <Silence human! You will not speak in my presence!> the cat snapped, turning his attention to the offending human.

    Paul took out his Pokèdex and aimed it at the Pokèmon.

    “Arkbull, the cheetah Pokèmon – a Pokèmon of the Normal and Dark types. Further information unavailable, Pokèdex upgrade required.”

    “Bugger it,” he cursed.

    Josephine motioned to Rachel and Katie, while grabbing Paul by the shirt and whispering to him. “We’re going, and keep quiet. We don’t need to attract Arkbull’s attention.”

    *****

    After leaving Mt. Moon behind them, the four teenagers were walking along Route Four when Josephine stopped and let out Magepup. Knowing that although Fern had only participated in two battles – one of which she had narrowly won and the other she had lost – her heart wasn’t into fighting, and she would do better if she was released back into the wild.

    “I’m sorry Fern, but it’s for the best,” Josephine said, attempting to keep calm.

    The young pup whimpered and looked down sadly.

    “Hey,” Josephine began, trying to cheer Fern up. “It’s okay. Believe me.”

    “No Josephine,” Rachel interrupted. “It’s not okay. Fern’s very low levelled, whereas the rest of our Pokèmon are much higher in levels than she is. Keep her until we can find a Pokèmon Adoption Centre or something like that.”

    Josephine sighed. “Okay, but only until then.” She recalled Fern to her Pokèball and hurried to catch up to the others.

    After walking for about ten minutes, Rachel flung her arms out, stopping Josephine, Paul and Katie in their tracks. “Ha!” she shouted.

    She saw a small orange Pokèmon with an unusually large jaw. In fact, its head was nearly double the size of the rest of its body. It snapped its mouth open and shut rapidly, revealing a set of orange bear-trap like teeth with every chomp. Its tiny black eyes looked intently at the blonde haired girl.

    “It’s a Trapinch! I’m going to catch it!” Rachel declared, and then looked embarrassed. “Uh… Katie, can I use your Spearow?”

    “Sure,” Katie replied, handing Rachel Spearow’s Pokèball.

    “Spearow, Peck!” Rachel threw the red and white sphere and the bird shot out of it in a flash of light.

    Spearow did a sharp dive, his beak shining white. The small Ground type Pokèmon tried to avoid the move, but its opponent was faster; in moments, the sharp beak had collided with its forehead, pushing the Trapinch onto the ground, smashing hard.

    Moving quickly, Rachel plucked a Pokèball off her Pokèbelt and threw it at Trapinch. The ball opened at the middle; a red light came from it, turned Trapinch into energy and drew him back into the red and white orb, finally closing with a small snapping noise. It wriggled once, then twice… and the familiar ping sound was heard.

    In the middle of her celebrations, Rachel noticed that Josephine was engaged in a battle with a tiny, green coloured humanoid-like Pokèmon. Three spikes emanated from the top of its head. Two rosebuds were on the ends of its arms; one being blue and the other was red. As it waved both of these appendages around, it was looking rather weak from the damage it had sustained from Riley’s repeated Tackle attacks, so Josephine seized her chance.

    She grabbed a Pokèball from her Pokèbelt and threw it, waiting for the familiar capture sound.

    PING!!

    She screamed in happiness, and proudly picked up the sphere.

    Rachel then realized that she hadn’t collected Trapinch’s Pokèball from the ground, so she went and picked it up, attaching it to her Pokèbelt.

    And at the same time, Katie was involved in a battle with an Abra. A small, yellow Pokèmon sat rather blandly on the ground. The head was shaped like a fox’s, but the eyes were closed, giving it the impression of sleep. The torso, shoulders, hands and feet looked like they were armour, with the aforementioned torso and shoulders being brown. A long, thick tail came from underneath it, a brown ring formed close to the tip.

    Growlithe moved quickly, his mouth full of fiery embers. The small Psychic type Pokèmon tried to use its psychic powers to avoid the move, but its opponent was faster; in moments, the white hot balls of fire had collided with its forehead, pushing the Abra onto the ground, smashing hard.

    Moving quickly, Katie plucked a Pokèball off her Pokèbelt and threw it at Abra. The ball opened at the middle; a red light came from it, turned Abra into energy and drew him back into the red and white orb, finally closing with a small snapping noise. It wriggled once, then twice… and the familiar ping sound was heard. Instinctively, she picked up the Pokèball and attached it to her Pokèbelt.

    “Return, Spearow!” Rachel returned Spearow to his Pokèball and threw the sphere back to Katie, who skilfully caught it with one hand.

    *****

    Having left the grunts at Mt. Moon in the hands of a capable Team Rocket Admin, Arkbull snickered, as his tail swished, and he took a couple of steps forward. The closer he approached the fallen Ninetales. The gem on his forehead began glowing darkly, and every step he took just made him lick his lips, expectant.

    The Ninetales snarled, barking in anger at his approach. She tried to recede, but her wounds were too painful to allow her this movement. Even so, she was too proud to give in to her fears, and did not allow herself to show more weakness. Even as he approached her, she managed to insult him, calling him a traitor.

    After the response, he snarled in defiance. With a deafening roar, he pounced, trying to guarantee that there would be no escape, while the black energy flew towards the Ninetales, in a spastic beam shape.

    *****

    The four teenagers run the last ten metres to Cerulean City’s entrance. Little do Josephine and Riley know that their biggest ever challenge is coming…

    *****

    About half an hour later, Kevin came across his Ninetales.

    “No, this isn’t happening,” he moaned, upon seeing his Pokèmon fatally injured. “Wyldfyre, how did this happen?”

    The fox’s eyes flicked open, glazed over; Kevin could see her creamy furred chest rising and falling irregularly as she struggled to breathe. She looked at him, one of pure tranquillity and peace, and spoke with difficulty.

    <… Idris…>

    “Idris? The Persian who disrespected me so much? He’ll pay for this!” Kevin’s expression changed from shock to anger.

    <No… don’t. He’s far stronger now… could kill you…>

    “You mean he’s evolved? How?” Kevin asked.

    <Don’t… know…> the female Ninetales replied, fighting off the inevitable a little longer.

    “Wyldfyre, please. Let me help you, let me take you to a Pokèmon…” Kevin began, but was cut off by a low, choked growl.

    <It’s too late, master. Let me… go now…>

    The Ninetales closed her eyes; her irregular breathing slowed down and then it stopped.

    Kevin bowed his head and closed his eyes, saddened by the death of his Pokèmon. Feeling the anger rise up like a maddened serpent, he raised his head suddenly and yelled at the sky.

    “Idris, I swear you WILL pay for this! Come hell or high water, you will die as painfully as Wyldfyre did!”

  17. #17
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    but in fact she just wanted to get the battle over and done with and return to her Pokèball.
    so bright it lit the entire first floor.
    The Pokèmon ran to their trainers' sides and prepared for battle.
    knowing that without a doubt that this was his battle.
    “No! I can’t believe we lost!” the grunt shouted, recalling his Pokèmon.
    "Great," he thought. "Not a fourth trainer."
    Thoughts should also be set aside in italics. Alternatively, you could use italics only and no quotes.

    "I wonder what they want with this stone," Katie thought as she pulled the Moon Stone out of her pocket. "What could be so special about it?"
    See above.

    Fern’s very low leveled,
    giving it the impression of being asleep.
    who skillfully caught it with one hand.
    He approached the fallen Ninetales, drawing closer to it. The gem on his forehead began glowing darkly, and every step he took just made him lick his lips expectantly.
    Little did Josephine and Riley know that their biggest challenge yet was coming…
    She turned to him, with a look of pure tranquillity and peace, and spoke with difficulty.
    I couldn't help noticing that you had THREE Pokemon evolve in this single chapter- especially after telling me the following in my fic:
    Quote Originally Posted by Saphira_Thorn View Post
    Although, I was a bit concerned that Meowth evolved so soon after Lisa obtained her.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saphira_Thorn View Post
    Since you've asked for my help, I will help you. It is true that Meowth has fought a lot of battles, but there is no way for her to have reached level 28 in fifteen chapters (or sixteen as the case may be), unless her level wasn't at level 5 at the Lab.
    Point is, you have three Pokemon evolving in one chapter after telling me that I evolved one of mine too early.

    Also, with the sheer number of battles this chapter, none were really detailed all that well and felt rushed. I learned that mistake from my earlier chapters.

    Your descriptions are continuing to improve, but it felt like you took a step backwards with respect to battle descriptions. That was likely due to having too many battles, though.

    This was a decent chapter, but it felt rushed and wasn't as good as your last three IMO.

  18. #18
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    Okay, I admit that I don't review much *coughatallcough* anymore, but really, how could I resist this?

    Admittedly, this is only a review of the first two chapters and the prologue, but hopefully I’ll get on the other chapters later, yes?

    Firstly, before I get into the details, I do appreciate that you're using canon characters. As a die-hard canon Elite/gym leader fan, I often see too many people saying they hate the canon charries (oh poor, poor, underused gym leaders!) and too few fics with them actually in there.

    As for decent fics with them in there.... well, it's a short list.

    One for which, I'm very much afraid, you don't qualify.

    That was the main bone of contention between this fic and me; if you're going to use canon characters.... for the love of God, please do it right. Poor publicity is the reason they're so disliked.

    If you absolutely have to write a fic about some trainers or other Saving Teh World™, having the Elites give them the mission is not, repeat NOT, the way to go about it. Why? Well, apart from being a total mutilation of Lance's character in particular, it makes no sense logically.

    The Elites are elite for a reason. They didn't get there by sitting on their duffs and handing off important work to other people—let alone inexperienced teenaged trainers. While Lorelei's character is known for being somewhat indifferent (although when something world-threatening is happening I can't see her going 'meh' and walking away, since a world-class disaster would threaten her beloved Sevii Islands and we know she’s passionate about protecting them) Lance is very proactive. There's no way in hell he'd just stand aside and let someone else deal with the problem, especially not inexperienced, teenaged trainers (in fact, in the anime, he’s about the only adult character who consistently tells Ash and Co to bugger off and let him deal with it).

    So… no. Big flaw in logic, there, which I would suggest changing. Like, now. ‘Cause it’s kinda cliché and Sue-ish as well.

    The best alternative I can think of to the ‘chosen one’ sort of mission is that they get wrapped up in the events totally by accident. I wouldn’t recommend leaving them to do everything, though, especially since you’ve already introduced the Elites as at least knowing about what’s going on, so they’re not about to step back and not do anything about it.

    And since we’re already on the subject, I’d just like to go into the characters themselves a bit, ‘cause I’m not quite done with Lance and Lorelei just yet.

    Truth be told you made them kinda dumb, and I guess you’d have to in order to rationalise the fact they’re sweeping the responsibility of a world-class disaster off onto four pubescent untrained kids for absolutely no reason. You’ve got them winning a battle against Giovanni—and then walking away?! What the?! They just beat the crap out of Gio with one pokémon each and they say they have to return for back-up?! They ask the leader of Team Rocket, a human slimeball, to release Zapdos and then when he refuses (surprise surprise) they go ‘yup, done all we can; let’s bugger off to the Pokémon Centre to meet with some random kids now shall we?’ Who are these people, and what did you do with the real Lance and Lorelei?

    If Giovanni is ‘destined’ to be taken care of by the kids, what the heck was the point in going there in the first place? And with only two of them? Raiding the Rocket headquarters sounds like a multi-Elite operation to me, just to make sure everyone gets gotten.

    As a semi sidenote, how did Lance and Lorelei know that Giovanni had Zapdos? I grant you that Lance has a habit of 'knowing' things—re: G/S/C games, for that—but that just marks how much you’ve dumbed his character down. If the Elites knew that Giovanni was the leader of Team Rocket, why isn't he locked up behind lots and lots of bars being guarded by lots and lots of guards?

    So that scene in general is kinda… well, it shouldn’t be there. It’s a scene more suited to the end of a story, not the beginning, ‘cause it’s a big confrontation, and those usually happen at the end.

    One other thing, before I move on: you’ve got Lorelei acting like a childish brat.

    “We need to talk to you about an important issue,” Lorelei began. “Lance, I’ll let you do all the hard work.”
    Okay, she’s an Elite, and she’s just passing everything off like that? And not only that, but saying so in those words? Isn’t Lance meant to be the leader here? She’s not acting very respectful towards him, for starters. For the rest of it, you’ll have to wait for later, ‘cause it’s related to her interaction with your OCs and I’d prefer to get into it there.

    The other character I wanted to mention in particular, and this is related to another… well, not a plothole, but it is important.

    Gardenia. I admit to only a passing familiarity with Sinnoh and everything therein involved (because I’m still in a state of semi-denial over its existence) so I don’t know as much about their Elites as I do the others, but… well, honestly, what the hell’s she doing there? Kanto already has a grass-type gym leader. There’s no reason for Erika to be shutting down the gym—heck, in the games she spends half her time snoozing, what does that tell you about how stressful her lifestyle is? Plus, what about Gardenia’s responsibilities in Sinnoh? Her family? Why would she want to uproot herself (no pun intended) and move to a new region just to take over a gym when she already has one?

    It seems like you’ve just thrown her in because you want to include Sinnoh stuff in your story—supported by the fact that your main character has a shinx and there hasn’t been nearly as much talk of Johto or Hoenn as Sinnoh. This is a Kanto story; Sinnoh stuff has no business being there (although the presence of Sinnoh pokémon does have some flexibility to it, I’m all for interregional trading). If you want to write a story about Sinnoh, why don’t you base it in Sinnoh?

    Plus, the way you introduce her is very… well, ‘no’. You create a couple of Rocket grunts for the sole purpose of getting pwned by a gym leader as an introduction, after which the gym leader flits off to no-place after having been there for no reason at all. It doesn’t contribute to the plot at all, so why is it there?

    Which, I suppose, would bring me to the other characters… so let’s start with the prologue and work our way down.

    There’s Garrett and Mewtwo, to begin with, which I believe is an issue DarkPersian has already brought up. I know you’ve said they’ve met before, but Mewtwo isn’t very friendly towards humans, so why is Garrett so calm about meeting him, even for the second (or third) time? Why would Mewtwo choose this man in particular to spout off about his plans to? Plus, how did Garrett know about Zapdos’ disappearance?

    If you want the reader to know that Mewtwo is planning something, a monologue in the Cerulean Cave is probably the best way to go—and if you want to introduce Garrett, you could do so in the same way, in a different location, with no link between the two (although you could work it so Garrett reflects on a, quote, ‘mysterious purple cat-pokémon’, unquote, which would establish that he’s seen Mewtwo before). That way you could also foreshadow how he manages to get ahold of his information (I’m guessing he’s a ninja of some kind, because of that mask?).

    Giovanni… well, he’s the villain, and he appears for all of three paragraphs in the prologue, so there’s not much that can be said about him just yet. Although he is kind of two-dimensional so far, taking into account his cameo in chapter 1, with the whole ‘taking over the world/I will never surrender (even though I’ve just lost, I can’t surrender now because then there would be no plot and I can’t be beaten by people it makes sense to be beaten by)’. Uhm… yes. So far, what you see==what you get, but an interesting villain often has motives which aren’t outright stated and/or are contrary to their apparent personality. And they have quirks.

    Side note: why does Giovanni have an arcanine? I believe he’s a ground-type gym leader.

    …another semi-side note: in the first line of the prologue you mention a Rocket Admin called Ross. And then never mention him again. Nothing about his thoughts on what his boss has just done. Nothing about what he looks like or what he’s doing there. So why did you mention him at all?

    Okay, on to your main characters… well, the two of them that I’ve met, at any rate. I don’t count the male OC because we get all of five lines about him, in a very out-of-place way and with no justification for his abrupt appearance.

    So, starting with Josephine. She is, to put it bluntly, as flat as a paper cut-out after being run over by a steamroller. You say that she’s obnoxious but don’t show us how. She’s briefly shocked by what she see on TV, but then—despite the fact that she herself said it was bad—forgets all about it. Stereotypically late for her starter—and then not only does Oak come to her, but she gets a rare pokémon from another region (which isn’t even one of that region’s starters!). She instantly bonds with her pokémon without us being able to see any of it. She has been ‘chosen’ (*twitch*) by Lance (*twitch*) to go on a mission to rescue a legendary. Her father is Giovanni. She gets randomly attacked by a Rocket something like an hour out of Pallet Town. She gets randomly given a rare pokémon by a complete stranger, after having already caught a pokémon earlier in the same day. And all that’s just in the first chapter.

    So let’s see how we can improve. You’ve said she’s obnoxious, okay. Definition of ‘obnoxious’ by thefreedictionary.com: ‘Very annoying or objectionable; offensive or odious’.

    So, give her a few annoying traits. Maybe she talks too much and won’t shut up. Maybe she gushes over famous people as hormonal teenage girls do. Maybe she’s a backseat-battler and tries to tell everyone how they should battle and train.

    Also, she needs a reaction to the things which are happening to her, especially the revelation about her father. That should be a ‘gaspOMGNOWAY’ moment which affects Josephine’s entire identity, motivations and emotions throughout the rest of the story, and yet, after that paragraph the revelation is completely forgotten. She should be wondering how this affects her; wondering whether his being evil somehow means she’s going to turn out to be the same. She should be angsting over the fact that her father is doing something so destructive, feeling rage for the fact. Maybe feeling torn, because she grew up without a father, and now she knows who it is she feels guilty for wanting him around, if she did want him around. Perhaps uncertain, knowing that if she’s supposed to rescue Zapdos she’s eventually have to meet him—wondering what he’s like, hopeful that maybe he had a reason for it, that it’s all been a mistake. Perhaps throughout the story her intentions are to be as completely different to him as it’s possible to be.

    This revelation is not something that should be thrown out in a matter of three paragraphs and then forgotten; it’s going to have long-reaching effects on Josephine’s character.

    As for the smaller things… she gets told that she’s supposed to find and rescue a legendary and her first concern is that they don’t know where the thing is, rather than the fact that she’s only just become a trainer, the fact that it’s a legendary, and the fact that it’s the leader of the Elite Four who decided to give her the mission. She gets attacked by a Rocket and she acts like it happens to her everyday. A stranger tries to give her a pokémon and she doesn’t find anything suspicious in that. Two members of the Elite Four come up to her and she’s just like, ‘hi’ and doesn’t find anything particularly weird or awe-worthy about the fact they’re talking to her, a girl who’s been a trainer for all of a day. In fact, when Gardenia appears Josephine’s more in awe of her than she is of Lance and Lorelei—and Gardenia’s only a gym leader! They could kick her behind, so why is she more worthy of respect?

    A kid being told they’re responsible for a rescue mission would be awed, frightened, disbelieving, wondering ‘why the hell did they choose me!?’. Getting confronted by a member of an infamous evil organisation they’re going to be frightened, especially if the only battle they’ve been in is against a low-level sandshrew. Depending on the personality, getting offered a free pokémon they’d either be suspicious or naïvely grateful, rather than just taking it in stride as Josephine does—almost like it’s her right. If approached by two celebrities, the average kid would probably be like ‘OMG NOWAY!!’ and, depending on how much of a fan they are, ask for an autograph, a lot of questions, and probably for some battling advice.

    Keep in mind that Josephine is just a teenager and a beginner trainer, so everything’s going to be exciting and shiny and new.

    Rachel we haven’t known for as long (well, by the end of the second chapter) and she’s not really around as much, so there’s only so much I can say about her. She and Josephine are friends by the time they wake up, even though all they say to each other is ‘hi’ before going to bed—gotta work on that. You’ve tried to portray her as impatient—which is good—but considering the circumstances she just comes across as ‘Teh World Shall Bow to Mah Whims’—which is bad.

    Which brings me to my next point and includes both Josephine and Rachel… and will explain why the circumstance of her impatience is bad.

    It’s actually some advice that I received for my OC from a concrit reviewer, and it was a total revelation for me, so I hope it’ll do the same for you.

    This reviewer pointed out that it’s not just the character’s personality which makes that character well-rounded—it’s also how the other characters react to them. At this point in time, the entire atmosphere of your fic is that the world revolves around Josephine (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Rachel).

    The most obvious indication of that is with Lance and Lorelei. First they bail out on a battle with Giovanni (which they won, darnit!!) specifically to meet the girls. Then, the interaction between the girls and the Elites is… mmm, what’s a word I can use?

    …well, it doesn’t reflect Lance and Lorelei’s status as members of the Elite Four. Remember when I pointed out that Lorelei was acting like a childish brat? Yup, it comes up here. Her acting like that is a symptom of the world revolving around Josephine and Rachel—because they have to be inconvenienced somehow. Never mind that, as a respected trainer and celebrity, ordinary trainers—let alone beginners—would be awestruck to have her eat breakfast with them.

    He couldn’t do anything about their annoyed expressions, but they would just have to put up with him talking.
    Uhm… leader of the Elite Four, Johto Champion, Dragon Master, ring any bells? ‘Cause, yeah, if he came up to me while I was eating breakfast, sat down and started talking to me I would so be annoyed. Right after I’d managed to reattach my jaw and change out of my drool-soaked clothes.

    And then, even though he specifically chose them (for whatever reason) to be the ones to rescue Zapdos… all he talks about is a new gym leader?! What the?! What’ve you done to make poor Lance all a-whirl, his priorities have gotten all mixed up! In both the anime and the games he’s portrayed as some kind of enforcement officer, and yet he chooses not to give out necessary information? Assuming that they’ve already heard about Zapdos?

    …but then, we’re forgetting that an in-character Lance would tell the girls to bugger off and let him deal with it…

    And last but not least, the kicker: Rachel walking out. One minute you’ve got her sounding interested. The next, she’s gone. That would be the height of rudeness to any adult with important information, let alone two—count ‘em, two—members of the Elite Four. You’re portraying them—a pair of highly trained, celebrity League members—as inconveniencing Rachel—a teenaged girl who’s on her second day of being a trainer and probably couldn’t defeat Brock, let alone Giovanni, let alone Lance. As if she’s got better things to be doing (like wandering through a forest catching pokémon) than them (like investigating the disappearance of a legendary and do all that paperwork to have Giovanni arrested. And then going to arrest him. Oh, wait, I forgot—they already did that! And apparently decided that Rachel was more important than making sure they actually caught him!).

    Then we’ve got the other, minor symptoms—such as Oak coming to Josephine to give her a starter, never mind that it’s her responsibility to go to him. You’ve got a random stranger giving her a pokémon—why not keep it for himself? You’ve got Gardenia (who shouldn’t even be there) appearing out of nowhere just to help Josephine out.

    ‘Cause it’s just all about her. Them.

    But, it can be fixed!

    Think of it as a model of the solar system. Used to be that everyone thought the solar system revolved around the Earth. Now we know it revolves around the sun. So whatcha gotta do is displace this notion of the universe revolving around your planet—your planet named Josephine and/or Rachel—and start thinking in terms of the universe revolving around the sun—also known as the Real World (or as close an approximate as you can get considering this is a pokémon fic).

    Oak is a professor who’s probably handed out hundreds of starter pokémon, so why would he worry about chasing up on a random late trainer? It must’ve happened before—if he knew they were coming, he’d probably wait; his lab is probably open all day for that eventuality. Kevin just found a pokémon, so why wouldn’t he decide to keep it for himself—and even if he wasn’t inclined to keep it, it would probably be safer to take to a Pokémon Centre than hand it off to a random passing kid. In Viridian, you’ve got a pair of Elite trainers appearing in the Pokémon Centre… don’t tell me there wouldn’t be hype. There’d have to be whispering and gossiping trainers at the very least, likely also with several reporters lurking around. The Centre wouldn’t be empty, it’d be full of trainers wanting tips and wanting to see Lance and Lorelei. Celebrities have no privacy, so how is it that no one seems to care that they’re around?

    Think of it as a little like cause and effect. Cause: Lance and Lorelei are famous and they’re at the Viridian Pokémon Centre. Effect: people are going to notice.

    Cause: Gardenia is in Kanto because she’s taking over the Celadon gym. Effect: she’s going to be busy setting up the gym.

    Let’s face it, Josephine (and/or Rachel) is just an ordinary trainer who’s started out on a path well-travelled, and in a world of such heated competition it’s going to take a lot before she gets noticed. So long as you remember that there are things going on in the background which have nothing to do with her—because the world turned before she was born and so shall continue after—you’ll find it easier to make sure that interactions aren’t ridiculously skewed.

    The pokémon characters are a little harder to peg, because there isn’t anything in the way of characterisation for anyone besides Fern and her parents. Riley is present but isn’t much more than a plot device, and Sandy is mentioned but isn’t even given a description beyond when Josephine first battled it.

    It’s good that you’ve gone into some detail about the impact the death of her parents has had on Fern, but there are still a couple of things to bring up about her character.

    Fern remained silent as she thought, looking somewhat regretful that she hadn’t told Riley or Sandy she was leaving for a little while.
    This line, for instance. It implies that some sort of friendship has developed between the pokémon, but we haven’t seen any interaction between them at all—unless you want to count Riley and Sandy’s battle. Plus, you haven’t given us any motivation for Fern’s decision to leave. Her parents died of old age, so it’s not like she can go out looking for revenge. If she had any other family she would’ve told Lex and they wouldn’t have given her to Josephine. So some elaboration on her motivations would equal some good insight into her character.

    Plus, she only just lost her parents and within a day she’s over their deaths. True, she did get to meet with their spirits, but emotion just doesn’t work that way, especially with children (or cubs, as the case may be, since you’ve established that pokèmon feel the same emotions that humans do). Acceptance doesn’t come that easily; if Fern was really that close to her parents then their deaths would tinge her characterisation for much of the story.

    And also:

    and she still didn’t have enough courage to talk to her trainer, Josephine, but she desperately hoped that that would change.
    Well, if she wants that to change then she should change it! :P Josephine’s not going to make the first move, that’s up to Fern. But it seems a little… mmm, over the top… for her to be thinking things like this when she’s known Josephine for less than a day. They shouldn’t have had time to bond that well yet.

    Okay now. Take a deep breath, hold it, let it go. That was just the characters. Now we’re getting into plot inconsistencies and/or things to watch out for.

    And once again, we’re starting with the prologue.

    It is the key to disturbing the balance of power between the three birds, the other two being Articuno and Moltres. With the balance of power disrupted, the world will be easier to conquer.
    Okay… why? Why is Zapdos the key? I thought the birds formed a balance, which suggests that you could remove any one of them and still disrupt things. Plus, why would the world be easier to conquer if the balance was disrupted? There’s an obvious anime influence there, but the anime’s established that fooling around with the balance is a fast-track way to destruction, and it wouldn’t do Giovanni much good if the world exploded while he was trying to take it over. Even if it didn’t come to that, disruption==chaos, which could distract the Elites from his case, but it means that he’d have to deal with the chaos as well.

    So you might want to figure out how to explain that properly.

    Then there’s that issue I already mentioned of Mewtwo revealing all his plans to a random human… but I won’t get into that, since I’ve already mentioned it. The next issue I’ve brought up a couple of times in relation to specific people, but it really needs to be generalised.

    How come everyone knows about Zapdos? He’s a legendary, rarely seen, I doubt anyone knows exactly where he roosts—and it’s not like he’d be there all the time anyway. And yet the whole world knows about his disappearance.

    If handled correctly, it does make some sense for the Elites to at least be aware that there’s something up with Zapdos. For myself, since there are some areas which the games have established as too dangerous for the ordinary trainer to go to—such as Silver Mountain and the Cerulean Cave—I generally consider it a part of the Elites’ duties to monitor the pokémon populations in those areas (to make sure that some uber-strong tyrannitar doesn’t come down and terrorise the towns at the base of the mountain, for instance). You could use a similar premise to explain their knowledge of Zapdos’ disappearance (just be careful how you handle it, because Zapdos is a legendary and extra-difficult to keep track of).

    But they’d be the only ones—barring Giovanni, of course—I can think of for it to make sense to know about Zapdos at all. So there’s something you should probably keep in mind, and brings us to the next point.

    Fiona knew it was now or never. She sat down on the maroon couch and beckoned for her daughter to sit with her as well. Once she had sat down, Fiona explained where she believed Zapdos was and who had committed the crime of capturing it. When she had finished explaining, Josephine looked even more shocked than before.

    “You… were married to that jerk? You’re saying my father captured Zapdos?!”

    “We divorced when you were two years old, but yes, Giovanni is your father.”
    The way this is written makes it seem like common knowledge that Giovanni is the leader of Team Rocket—especially since it’s all said in front of Professor Oak as well. But as I believe I’ve said before, if people know about it, then how come he’s not locked up? And how come Fiona isn’t under Witness Protection, since she obviously knows about Giovanni’s activities? Let’s face it, in canon—all of them—Giovanni spends a lot of time trying to keep his identity from leaking out, so if even one person knew (whom he couldn’t control) he’s not just going to let them waltz out of his grasp.

    There’s also the fact that Fiona knew instantly it was Giovanni who did it—it’s not like he’s the only person around trying to kidnap the legendaries (*cough*LawrenceIII*cough*) so how did she know it was him specifically? And why isn’t Oak surprised by any of this?

    I’d recommend not having Giovanni as Josephine’s father at all (it screams Sue), but if you truly must then the most I’d say you could fit in without it being over the top is Fiona being worried about Josephine meeting up with Team Rocket while she’s travelling, without ever saying why she’s worried about that in particular. Foreshadowing is a good plot device.

    I believe I’ve already brought up the massive plothole of Lance and Lorelei attacking Giovanni, and then the secondary plothole of them leaving after beating him, so I’ll skip over it—just wanted to remind you.

    I believe someone already mentioned that the battle with Sandshrew was too easy, so I’ll skip that too, for brevity’s sake (*cough*brevity, yeahsurewhatever*cough*). And the appearance of the random Rocket grunt… seriously, what’s with the appearance of that random Rocket grunt? It doesn’t help the plot, so all it does is make Josephine seem more Sue-ish. Might want to rethink that bit.

    Uhm… random pokémon-giving stranger, check… treatment of the Elites, check… hmmm, I see you’ve introduced Rachel’s pokémon—sort of. You’ve described them, anyway, but since they don’t do anything whatsoever it may be better to introduce them another time in another way, rather than choke up the flow of the story.

    Otherwise, I seem to have dealt with a lot of these already, because so many relate to character portrayal. Although, I do want to go into depth with the scene with Fern and her parents, but I wasn’t sure whether that would be better to do here or in terms of style/flow… so I’ll just do it here.

    Aside from the fact that the whole ‘dead loved ones appearing in front of the bereaved to give them renewed hope to live’ thing is kind of lame unless done really well, this scene was way over the top.

    The biggest contributor to that is the issue about the living not being allowed to touch the dead. You make a big deal about it being a bad thing, and then nothing happens when Fern does. It’s like you wanted more reason for angst, and then either wanted to show that Fern was special in some way by not being affected by their touch, or just wanted the meeting to end happily and threw out the rules. So you might want to check that and either have Fern taking damage and being affected by it (and having the angst of not being able to enjoy touching her parents without pain), or having the total angst of not being able to touch her parents at all.

    Linked to that is the way that the mother totally overreacted (what was with that, anyway?). Who cares how long the females have been alphas, really? If they really have led the pack for so long, she shouldn’t have to justify her actions to the male. Also, the question about being a human-trained pokémon was really random—this is an angsty moment of goodbye, who cares what it feels like to be a trainer’s pokémon? Now, them being worried about the trainer treating Fern well, I could understand, but if they’ve been watching then they should already have decided that for themselves.

    In a scene like this you want to focus on the emotion, so you should cut out all irrelevant information. You want to keep it to a simple formula: 1. Fern’s reaction to seeing her parents and their reaction to seeing her; 2. effects that her parents’ presence is going to have, if any; 3. Fern’s reaction upon having to leave her parents. Or them leave her, whichever.

    And I think I’ve mentioned that it’s a little unlikely that Fern would get over the whole death thing so easily, so… mmm, the meeting with the Elites… check… Gardenia’s appearance… check.

    All checked; still with me? Now we’re into style and flow. This is going to be a little more generalised than the rest, so although I intend to run from the prologue down I’m not going to go into a lot of detail—this review’s already long enough.

    The first thing is, some of the places where you cut your scenes are just strange. When you switch from Fiona to Lance and Lorelei, for example, it feels abrupt because it’s in the middle of a conversation. Then, you have a scene switch from Lance and Lorelei… to Lance and Lorelei, which feels like you just couldn’t be bothered writing the beginning of the battle, so you added a scene switch. And again with Lance and Lorelei, you’ve got a scene switch in the middle of their conversation with the girls, which again just makes it seem like you couldn’t be bothered writing the actual conversation. Chapters should be able to flow logically from one scene to the next, so you should either be leaving a scene on an ending note or enable it to lead into the next.

    Let’s take the conversation scene change for an example. I figured that you took the topic of Giovanni to be sufficient cause to switch to the battle between Giovanni and Lance and Lorelei, which could work. Could. Let’s see how it could.

    “We divorced when you were two years old, but yes, Giovanni is your father.” Fiona swallowed through a dry mouth, her body feeling drained and hollow in the wake of revealing the secret so long kept to herself. The idea of the evil that… that man inflicted on pokémon and people alike everyday, the fact that she had once been associated with him—it made her sick to her stomach.

    At the same moment, standing in front of the Viridian Gym and eyeing the ostentatious statues flanking the massive front doors, a certain redheaded dragon trainer could very easily relate to her feeling.
    Here, I’ve maintained the topic of Giovanni, and used the potential similarities in emotion between Fiona and Lance to link the two scenes together. He’s the leader of the Kanto Elites, so as a gym leader Giovanni would be under his jurisdiction, and yet he’s also the leader of the pokémon equivalent of the mafia, which the gym leaders are supposed to be fighting against. Something like that has got to spur some feeling of betrayal… except if he already knew about it and did nothing because Josephine does, after all, need an Ebil Villain during her journey and God forbid that Giovanni be arrested by some who actually has the authority to arrest him.

    In short: a line of asterisks does not necessarily equal a scene break. If you can link the scenes such as I did there, or leave a scene at a logical ending point, then you’ll be able to improve on the chapter’s flow.

    One last scene to mention: the scene of the Random Flashbacking Boy. Now, the timing itself could work, it’s just you don’t give us enough information about the boy and why he’s important. The more important something is, the more time should be spent on it. You should elaborate on the scene, especially about what caused the flashback. They don’t just happen randomly; something has to set them off.

    …and as a side note, please, don’t tag a flashback ‘flashback’ and ‘end flashback’. A flashback is a dynamic moment in time which has a cause and an effect and should flow just like thoughts and emotions do, not be marked as a scene unto themselves.

    The other thing which I wanted to bring up is that you use a lot of simple sentences—which in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that you use too many of them, all in a row, and sometimes as a result, your word choice is a little strange and things could be worded better.

    Take this paragraph, for instance:

    “Our main story this morning concerns an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Zapdos, the legendary bird of Thunder,” the reporter stated professionally as he stared at the cameras. He wore a prim tan suit that crinkled at just the slightest movement. This was evident from his thin elbows resting tiredly on the silver desk and slightly twitching. His sleek, brown hair covered his dull blue eyes as he looked down at his paper before continuing on.
    You use four short sentences in order to describe the reporter, when he could be described in one or two; plus, because of the way the sentences are divided up, your word choice is kind of odd and makes the entire paragraph seem really choppy and disjointed. Something like this would probably be better:

    “Our main story this morning concerns an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of Zapdos, the legendary bird of Thunder,” the reporter stated professionally, staring at the cameras with his elbows resting on the silver desk. His prim tan suit crinkled as he shifted position to look briefly down at his paper, his sleek brown hair falling over dull blue eyes.
    And even then, it goes into detail that really isn’t necessary considering he’s just a throwaway character.

    On the other hand, sometimes you go in the opposite direction, such as when Professor Oak appears in the house, with an emphasis on ‘appears’. There’s no description of him coming in or anything; I had to reread that bit because I was wondering if Josephine had left the house without me noticing or something. It wouldn’t take much to write in a description of the sound of the front door closing or some such thing.

    So sometimes you over-describe things which aren’t really important, and other times you skip over actions which join one paragraph to another. You should be able to keep the two balanced; describe what’s important, and use the occasional (not too many, mind) adjective to fill in the gaps.

    I’ve noticed that you also have a habit of halting the story in order to describe characters and pokémon as soon as they appear, which has a tendency to interrupt the flow. If you give them minimal description on entrance, and then combine description with action, it should remove most of the problem.

    For example:

    A couple of seconds later, Josephine heard the baying of a group of canine Pokèmon. Before she could even wonder about Team Rocket, the Pokèmon appeared, flanking a motorbike police officer.

    Dressed in a suit which showed off various shades of blue, the woman sergeant dismounted her vehicle and whistled sharply to the canine Pokèmon. Black as the blackest night, with curved white horns where its ears would have been, Houndoom was quite the mysterious Pokèmon. White strips resembling ribs ran across its body and its pointed tail was swaying rapidly. It opened its orange muzzle to show a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. Its four thin legs gave the hound a rather athletic build.
    In these paragraphs you give us a list of houndoom’s characteristics (as well as telling us that it’s mysterious without telling us why). So, let’s see how we could improve on it:

    A couple of seconds later Josephine heard the approaching sound of canine baying, and before she could even wonder about Team Rocket a pack of black-furred pokémon came bounding up the trail, flanking a blue-uniformed policewoman on a motorcycle. Sunlight flashed off the long horns curving wickedly back from their slim heads, gleaming over the bony strips of armour arcing over their backs, and their arrow-tipped tails lashed behind them as they ran.

    The officer screeched to a halt in front of Josephine, kicking up a cloud of dust.
    Since the houndoom aren’t really that important, you wouldn’t need to go into more detail about things like the colour of their muzzles. The sentences are long, but flow a little better because there aren’t as many of them and don’t come across as short and stilted.

    …as a yet another side note, try to avoid cliché phrases such as ‘black as the blackest night’. ‘Pitch-black’ would suffice for the same effect—actually, it’s probably even blacker than the blackest night, since night is usually lit by starlight, phosphorescent plants, glowing eyes, and city lights.

    Another specific example of this Stop-Start syndrome is when Rachel first enters and you describe both of her pokémon, but they don’t do anything. It’s not really necessary for them to be there and it interrupts the flow of the scene, so you could easily introduce them in another way—such as in a battle. Battles are usually good ways to show off a trainer’s pokémon.

    And… I think that’s it on the style/flow front. There are quite a few other minor things which I could point out (such as the ‘show don’t tell’ speech and a few hiccups with sentence structure) but this review’s already pretty long as it is, so I don’t think I’ll go there just yet.

    So to finish… your grammar and spelling is pretty good, but you really need to work on your characterisation and—to respectively lesser degrees—your plot and chapter flow. I hope I’ve managed to get you thinking, because there’s lots of room for improvement.

    I do wish you luck on this story, and you could probably expect that I’ll pop up again if the Elites keep making appearances

  19. #19
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    Saphira_Thorn: If you know what is good for you, read purple_drake review. Read it over at least three times. I know that you asked for your fic to be closed, but I know you're just going to write another one similar to this. And if you do, then you should learn from your past mstakes. If you don't read over your reviews, you will not improve, so read and consider what she has said. She obviously took a LOT of time to write it, so it would both be polite to her and a help to you to read it. Trust me; purple_drake knows what she's talking about.

    Closing this on the author's request. Hoping that the next fic will be better. Cheers, and good luck.

    ~Psychic

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