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Thread: Violence (R)

  1. #1

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    (forgive the crappy title, it's a theme challenge fic for 30_kisses on LJ. Has mild Steelshipping but not enough to put it in the shippy fics section. Also uses three minor Rockets that I adore writing about but who don't get the respect they deserve. Oh yes, and it's pretty sadistic, so be warned. Although oddly there's only one act of violence in it.)



    "He's got to be around here somewhere," Buson reasoned as they maneuvered around the rocks leading up the mountain trail. "He couldn't have gone far, not if what they said is true."

    "We'll find him." Bashou was resolute.

    The report had come to them about twenty minutes prior--the Iron Mask Marauder had turned traitor. He had amassed a fair number of followers, as was discovered when a meeting of his cadre was invaded by the Team. In the ensuing battle, he had been injured, but managed to escape by jet pack. And, as the report concluded, he had run out of fuel on Mount Silver and had to land. And that was where they were stationed. Legends of Moltres on the mountain were set aside to hunt down a traitor.

    After another half hour of searching, they discovered a loose pokéball that had rolled against a rock left a trail in the gravel, leading up to a flat outcropping and the smell of fuel. The discarded jet pack was off to the side, covered in dust. And slumped against a rock, seemingly in great pain, was the Marauder. His left leg was splayed out to the side, the angle suggesting that it was badly broken.

    Both agents sucked in a breath at the sight, although the traitor didn't seem to notice them at first, affording them the chance to approach. Bashou knelt to pick up a handgun that had dropped in the crash--the Marauder usually prefered to fight hand-to-hand, he must have known that he would be pursued--and the movement alerted the man to their presence.

    "...so you're who they sent," he managed, the corners of his mouth tightening in a wince as he shifted himself to face them.

    "He's not making a move to attack," Buson muttered to his partner. "All his pokémon are too far for him to reach."

    Bashou nodded, taking a step towards the injured man and pointing the gun at him. "Surrender and come with us or I'll be forced to kill you."

    The Marauder smiled weakly, seeming to relax somewhat. "Is that so? I know for a fact that neither of you can kill me."

    The agent looked down for a second, away from Buson. His grip on the gun tightened.

    Buson started to approach him. "Bashou, we--"

    And then Bashou fired, not at the traitor, but at his partner, striking him in the chest. "I'm sorry Buson," he said grimly, "but he's right. I can't turn against my leader."

    "...what the hell did you just do?" the Marauder asked, far quieter than he tried for, as Buson fell to the ground, eyes wide.

    "Ba...Bashou...?" the fallen agent choked.

    Bashou knelt down to him, laying the gun to the side. "I'm sorry," he repeated blankly, "but I can't let anyone get in the way. Not even you."

    Buson raised a hand to his chest, but there was no need, the blood was everywhere. "You shot me...you..." He had been stunned, his senses dulled momentarily, but the gravity of the situation hit him all at once. "You...killed me..."

    "I had to," Bashou muttered, taking his partner's bloody hand. "I--"

    The Marauder interjected, forcing his voice to take a normal tone. "I can't believe you fucking did that. You were both under me!"

    Bashou whipped his head up. "Sir, WHAT?"

    "It's true...aww man, I can't believe you never told each other!"

    "Buson, is..." Bashou dropped his gaze back down and rested his other hand on Buson's cheek. "We were really...on the same side?"

    Buson pushed a faint smile onto his face. "We...could have ruled the world, you and me...we could have been kings..." His eyes unfixed and his breathing ceased against Bashou's thumb, and it took Bashou a few moments to realize that his partner was dead.

    "Bu--no...no!" he stammered. "You can't die, not like this! You...how could you not tell--come on!" He slapped Buson's face, soft at first and then far harder, with a trembling hand. "You CAN'T! NO!" His icy facade was melting, and his eyes welling with tears for the first time since before he had joined the Team years before, and he gripped the soaked uniform fabric, smearing his hands with his partner's blood. "Sir, how could you let this happen?" he sobbed, covering his face with his hands without caring about the mess.

    The Marauder sighed deeply. "Yeah, when...when I said I knew you guys couldn't kill me, I thought that's when you'd..." He paused to suck in a breath. "...drop your 'good little Rocket' acts and help me out."

    "Help...yes, yes that's right..." Bashou stumbled over the words as he unhooked the pokéballs on Buson's bandolier. "This is his Skarmory," he said, releasing the elegant metal bird. It looked around expecting to be called into battle, but met with the sight of its deceased trainer, lowered its head and let out a cry. It knew better than to question the situation, and trusted Bashou, turning to him for instruction. "You're going to be going with your new master," Bashou told it, and it understood. "It's fast, sir, it can get you out of here."

    Slowly, the Marauder rose to his feet, bracing against the rock behind him. Bashou rushed over to assist him across the uneven ground. "You're a good agent," the masked officer managed. "I'm glad to have you on my side. Both of you."

    "Thank you," Bashou whispered, and fell silent as he helped his leader onto Skarmory's back. Once he was sure he was secure, he held out the other Buson's other pokéball. "This is his Muk, sir. And..." there was one more ball left "...this is my Steelix. I'm not going with you, sir."

    The Marauder nodded. "I figured you weren't."

    "Will you be all right, sir?"

    After a steadying breath, the Marauder looked off over the forest below. "Yeah. I know of a healing lake that should take care of my leg, and I've got other agents around that I can reach." He flashed a winning smile, something that was once capable of making the lower ranks swoon in admiration. "I'll be fine. You take care of yourself."

    "Yes sir. Good luck." Bashou saluted, holding it as the Skarmory took to the skies and spirited its hunted passenger away across the horizon. Once the joined figure was no longer in sight, he shook his head and returned to Buson's empty body. "I'm sorry," he whispered, brushing a kiss across the pale lips. Tears he never would have shed to a living soul drained down his face and he made no move to stop them. In a moment it wouldn't matter any more. "Goodbye, partner," Bashou said as he picked up the discarded gun and pressed the tip to his forehead.
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  2. #2
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    It was pretty good. The only thing that I can say you might want to do is capitalize things like Pokemon, Pokeballs, Pokemon Names, and that stuff they are technically proper nouns when you think about it.
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  3. #3

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    I donno, to me it's like "animal"--you don't capitalize that. Although I *did* capitalize species names.

    Although I'm glad that's your only quibble. Haha.
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  4. #4
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    it was dramatic. i like that in the story, and i like the amount of emotions and conflicts that arised in this short chapter . i find it unforturnate that you did not sped a lot of time on description though i just canot see any of the characters in my minds eye.... as well as yo started the two characters names with B and ended them both with N.... some readers (me especially) find that confusing and soon lose track of who is who. other than that, the story was briliant and i cannot wait to be reading more

  5. #5

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    "Buson" is the only name that ends in an N in the fic. And he and Bashou are canon characters so I couldn't well change their names (unless I were to go with their English names, but I have...objections to that. Objections I don't have to dub names usually).

    Anyway, they're the two Rocket agents from Legend of Thunder. Bashou is the smaller one with the hair that looks like a silver Zigzagoon, and Buson is the buff guy with the sunglasses. And Iron Mask Marauder is the villian from the 4th movie.

    Although if it helps, you're not the first person to hear my fics and think I made up these characters.
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  6. #6
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    I guess that you could think of Pokemon that way. I capitalize Pokemon in my stories because I think of it as a proper name but then again I guess it's prefrence too.
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  7. #7

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    I suppose...I always use the é when I do fics (even though I don't always in casual writing).
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  8. #8
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    A very dark setting, sadistic and tragic. Very nice, despite being a bit short. Fics with under-rated characters can go unseen, which is kinda sad.



    "I had to," Bashou muttered, taking his partner's bloody hand. "I--"

    The Marauder interjected, forcing his voice to take a normal tone. "I can't believe you ****ing did that. You were both under me!"

    Bashou whipped his head up. "Sir, WHAT?"

    "It's true...aww man, I can't believe you never told each other!"

    "Buson, is..." Bashou dropped his gaze back down and rested his other hand on Buson's cheek. "We were really...on the same side?"

    Buson pushed a faint smile onto his face. "We...could have ruled the world, you and me...we could have been kings..." His eyes unfixed and his breathing ceased against Bashou's thumb, and it took Bashou a few moments to realize that his partner was dead.
    "Bu--no...no!" he stammered. "You can't die, not like this! You...how could you not tell--come on!" He slapped Buson's face, soft at first and then far harder, with a trembling hand. "You CAN'T! NO!" His icy facade was melting, and his eyes welling with tears for the first time since before he had joined the Team years before, and he gripped the soaked uniform fabric, smearing his hands with his partner's blood. "Sir, how could you let this happen?" he sobbed, covering his face with his hands without caring about the mess.
    This part of the fic was my favorite. I love the emotions set here, it feels like a scene in battle royale. The ruling the world reference is quite insane, but makes a rather tragic touch on what could have been.

    "Yes sir. Good luck." Bashou saluted, holding it as the Skarmory took to the skies and spirited its hunted passenger away across the horizon. Once the joined figure was no longer in sight, he shook his head and returned to Buson's empty body. "I'm sorry," he whispered, brushing a kiss across the pale lips. Tears he never would have shed to a living soul drained down his face and he made no move to stop them. In a moment it wouldn't matter any more. "Goodbye, partner," Bashou said as he picked up the discarded gun and pressed the tip to his forehead.
    That's quite a nice way to end a tragic fic. Sounds likr Bashou is about to kill himself to join Bunson, but dosen't.

    Now, I'm gonna review the other two fics pronto.


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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by C.Gholy View Post
    A very dark setting, sadistic and tragic. Very nice, despite being a bit short. Fics with under-rated characters can go unseen, which is kinda sad.
    It really is.
    ...yeah, I just realized that fits all of what you just said.


    This part of the fic was my favorite. I love the emotions set here, it feels like a scene in battle royale. The ruling the world reference is quite insane, but makes a rather tragic touch on what could have been.
    Well, the Rockets are out to rule the world, and IMM wanted to take over the Team, so ruling the world was exactly what Buson believed would happen.


    That's quite a nice way to end a tragic fic. Sounds likr Bashou is about to kill himself to join Bunson, but dosen't.

    Now, I'm gonna review the other two fics pronto.
    Actually that's what happens. The fic ends right before he does it.

    Although if you want to think something stops him from pulling the trigger, or if the gun doesn't go off, or anything else, feel free!

    And yay more reviews!
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  10. #10
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    I give you permission to beat me half to death with a tiki torch; there is no reason this was not done sooner, I’m sorry. It seems I only work well with deadlines if I’m getting marked on them. -_-;;

    Okay, first up: I did like the POW!ness of this fic. You asked if it was predictable, but I can tell you I certainly wasn’t expecting the biggest twist. It had a lot of potential, and it really made me jump, but there are some aspects of it that I’m not sure worked as well as they could have.

    The characters were mostly well-realised, I thought; I liked Vicious in particular, because he’s just lost, he’s badly injured, he’s tired—but he’s still confident and still knows he can get up and continue on. It was just that combination of weary confidence, I liked it. I also liked a lot of his dialogue; it was often a good reflection of his character, I thought. ‘… What the hell did you just do?’ had to be one of my favourite lines, just because of the ‘duh’ value while still being completely appropriate and not at all dumb.

    Buson was okay—don’t have much to say about him—but I thought Bashou was … over-the-top, I suppose would be a good term for it. It seemed a bit too much like a typical, ‘hard-arse with iron heart ends up unintentionally falling in love’, which I actually like because I like seeing the ways a hard-arse could or would react to something they’re so unfamiliar with; except that after Buson dies Bashou’s reaction is … I hesitate to use the words ‘lame’ or ‘cliché’, but …. I know even hardened fighters like Bashou or Buson would have feelings, but the fact that it all comes spilling out in such a stereotypical ‘no you can’t leave me’ scene just struck me as meh.

    Part of that is probably because I also found it hard to feel anything during the story, the shock of the mistake notwithstanding. It was shocking, but I just couldn’t get the feel of the tragedy. From about Buson’s shooting onwards, for me, Vicious pretty much carried the story; once he left I already knew which path Bashou was going to take and although I thought it was appropriate, I still couldn’t really get into it or empathise with him.

    I think part of the problem was that the emotional changes—while appropriately turbulent—were just so abrupt that there was no time to really take any of it in before the story had continued. One point where it was particularly noticeable was after Bashou had collapsed sobbing, only to turn around and respond coherently to Vicious and give him all the pokémon; there wasn’t much of a bridge between him breaking down and his gathering himself again. The other point was the skarmory’s appearance and characterisation in general; in one sentence it was grieving, in the next it had completely turned around to help Vicious like a good little pokémon. It just felt like there was so much to show emotionally which was skipped past, with the upshot that it felt rushed and I couldn’t feel for the characters.

    There’s also this part:

    And then Bashou fired, not at the traitor, but at his partner, striking him in the chest. "I'm sorry Buson," he said grimly, "but he's right. I can't turn against my leader."

    "...what the hell did you just do?" the Marauder asked, far quieter than he tried for, as Buson fell to the ground, eyes wide.
    It just felt like there should be more of a pause of some kind in-between Bashou shooting Buson and the Marauder’s line, like a few moments of shock or something. The ellipses on their own just weren’t strong enough to carry the pause on their own.

    Moving on: I’m still a bit iffy about the idea that neither of them knew the other was on Vicious’ side. I’m kind of on the fence on that one; considering they are both highly trained agents who understand that secrecy is paramount, I can understand that they’d keep it secret from one another. However, considering they are such close partners I’m surprised that neither noticed anything out of the ordinary at the least. In fact, you’d almost expect that Vicious would approach them together, rather than individually. There’s also the fact that you say Vicious’ people do apparently meet with one another—and the implication is that it is at least semi-regular—so I’m finding it a bit of a stretch that they didn’t come across each other at all in those meetings, or in some kind of communiqué within the group.

    As a minor possible plot hole, the gun which belonged to Vicious obviously works because Bashou fired it, but it’s exceptionally stupid of Vicious (particularly considering he’s such an experienced agent) to have a working gun and deliberately throw it away, especially considering he can’t even stand. I just … yeah. I’m not sure that, under the circumstances and not being sure who would come for him, that Vicious would throw away a working weapon, no matter how much he prefers close combat. In addition to that, if Vicious prefers hand-to-hand combat so much that he’d throw away a perfectly good weapon, then why does he have the gun in the first place?

    Something else that may not be a plot-hole but which I noted anyway is what happened to Vicious’s pokémon. I’m guessing that either he can’t get them out of their pokéballs and/or they were all injured in his fight to escape? It’d be nice if we could get confirmation, but those facts would be a heck of a hard thing to get across, considering the perspective you’re using; I just thought I’d mention it in case it inspires something.

    On a language note, you could maybe use a bit more description (the line that jumps to mind is when Buson falls to the ground) but you seem to have a minimalist style anyway and I really only notice the lack of description after having gone over the fic a number of times. That said, it might help a little with your portrayal of emotions if you put a bit more time into bridging between characters’ actions with description (like Bashou’s being anguished to his helping Vicious). Otherwise, it’s a fairly minor issue.

    Some individual things:

    In the ensuing battle, he had been injured, but managed to escape by jet pack.
    Just thought it might flow better as ‘He had been injured in the ensuring battle, but managed to escape by jet pack.’


    And, as the report concluded, he had run out of fuel on Mount Silver and had to land. And that was where they were stationed.
    Again, just thought the sentence could be a bit better as ‘The report had concluded that he had run out of fuel and had to land on Mount Silver.’ Particularly because you’re referencing the location in the sentence immediately after, the location should probably be the last thing mentioned in the sentence.


    After another half hour of searching, they discovered a loose pokéball that had rolled against a rock left a trail in the gravel, leading up to a flat outcropping and the smell of fuel.
    Just thought this was a bit poorly worded; the part about the pokéball rolling against a rock and leaving a trail is confusing (I had to reread it to get your meaning), so I’d suggest changing it to, ‘After another half-hour of searching, they discovered a trail in the gravel, left by a loose pokéball which had rolled against a rock’ (and then it would probably be a good idea to separate the part about where it led into another sentence on its own). There was also the idea that the smell of fuel is such a static thing that they need to be led to it, but the distance between the pokéball and Vicious doesn’t seem so great that I can’t imagine they wouldn’t notice the smell first.


    And slumped against a rock, seemingly in great pain, was the Marauder. His left leg was splayed out to the side, the angle suggesting that it was badly broken.
    This line was a little meh. You said the Marauder seemed to be in great pain; I’m sure anyone looking at him would be able to tell whether he was or not, so why does he only seem to be? It just seems unnecessarily indirect.


    and he gripped the soaked uniform fabric, smearing his hands with his partner's blood. "Sir, how could you let this happen?" he sobbed, covering his face with his hands without caring about the mess.
    Thought it was a bit odd that you’ve only just said he’s gripping Buson’s shirt, but then he’s covering his face; there wasn’t much time between the actions, or didn’t seem to be a reason for the first one.


    It knew better than to question the situation, and trusted Bashou, turning to him for instruction.
    Don’t think you need the comma before the ‘and’, it makes the sentence seem choppier than it needs to be. Also the bit about trusting Bashou was a bit … why is it in there? Why don’t you just say that it turned to him for instructions, considering that the fact that it’s not questioning the situation already implies that it trusts Bashou enough not to make a scene?


    Once the joined figure was no longer in sight, he shook his head and returned to Buson's empty body.
    ‘The joined figure’ struck me as a very strange turn of phrase. I know what you meant, but it just seems odd because it implies there’s more than one figure, but you’ve said there is only one. Also, the ‘empty body’ phrase is kind of strange too. What’s wrong with ‘dead body’ or ‘corpse’?


    And that’s it. Sorry—again—that it took so long; just one more to go now. Hope you have/are having a good holidays!

  11. #11

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    Goodness, a long review!

    Hmm, some key points.

    -IMM didn't discard the gun, it got away from him (along with the pokeball) when he crashed. As for why he never gets the pokeball that he dropped back, neither of the agents picked it up and later Bashou was in no condition to think of it.

    -As for Bashou breaking down, yeah, I was wondering about the in-characterness of it. But given that it's *such* a massive violation of his will--not only did he kill his partner, but finding it was for no reason--even someone as stoic as him may break down. Although admittedly such a thing may have been better suited to the canonically more expressive Buson.

    -When Bashou gave IMM the pokemon, it wasn't so much "collecting himself" as it was being as coherent as he could through near-delerium. He's forcing himself to talk, and he's getting quieter as he goes on.

    -How neither of them knew, given that they're officers of rank, they couldn't be seen by just anybody on that side, so probably didn't attend meetings with lower ranked agents, and would probably have limited contact with anyone except Vicious. That's how I saw it anyway, and Vicious isn't stupid, so he's not going to blab the identity of anyone on his side.

    -"Seemingly" was because Vicious could, for all anyone knows, be putting on an act. We don't find out he's actually *in* great pain for a few more lines.

    -"Joined figure" *is* two figures, since it's Vicious riding Skarmory.


    Overall yeah, this fic needs a redo since I wrote the last bit to meet a deadline. However, I'm glad you liked my Vicious. Someone's got to write for him (at least my other movie baddie fave Jirarudan actually gets fics by PEOPLE OTHER THAN ME), so I may as well be good at it.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack Gabbiani View Post
    -IMM didn't discard the gun, it got away from him (along with the pokeball) when he crashed. As for why he never gets the pokeball that he dropped back, neither of the agents picked it up and later Bashou was in no condition to think of it.
    Ah, okay. I'm not sure why I thought he'd discarded it willingly; it might have been the comment that he preferred to fight hand-to-hand which sparked that idea. >.< And admittedly I haven't seen the movie in a while, but I suppose I just assumed he had more than one pokemon, so I wondered a bit about the others. *nodnod* Okay then, that clears that up.


    -As for Bashou breaking down, yeah, I was wondering about the in-characterness of it. But given that it's *such* a massive violation of his will--not only did he kill his partner, but finding it was for no reason--even someone as stoic as him may break down. Although admittedly such a thing may have been better suited to the canonically more expressive Buson.
    I do think that Bashou breaking down is a good thing, it's just the way he broke down I had an issue with. A character like Bashou I'd imagine would be more disposed towards a complete emotional shut-down and numbness, as opposed to sudden explosive emotion. The cracking of his 'composure' would probably come a little later, as he's pulling the trigger--by then it would be a little late for explosive tears (although I can see him crying silent, unstoppable tears).

    But, that's just my take on it. ^^;


    -When Bashou gave IMM the pokemon, it wasn't so much "collecting himself" as it was being as coherent as he could through near-delerium. He's forcing himself to talk, and he's getting quieter as he goes on.
    But either way he has to force himself to respond, which requires at least a slight shift of emotional state, and it just doesn't seem like there's much of a bridge between them.


    -How neither of them knew, given that they're officers of rank, they couldn't be seen by just anybody on that side, so probably didn't attend meetings with lower ranked agents, and would probably have limited contact with anyone except Vicious. That's how I saw it anyway, and Vicious isn't stupid, so he's not going to blab the identity of anyone on his side.
    Ah, but that's specifying the meetings are for low-ranked agents only, which you didn't. :P

    It seems silly for Vicious to have expected them to blab to each other about their loyalties without having given them any clues that they could blab to each other. Of anyone, he would know that they're both on his side, and he would know they would work well together, and he would probably want to use their teamwork to his advantage, so why wouldn't he at least drop a clue to one or both of them? If they're both on his side, why would he want to be careful about holding back from revealing the other's identity to either of them?


    -"Seemingly" was because Vicious could, for all anyone knows, be putting on an act. We don't find out he's actually *in* great pain for a few more lines.
    Well, you did say that his leg was at an odd angle--unless Vicious is double-jointed or something, I'd say it's a pretty obvious indication that his leg is broken and he is, therefore, in pain.


    -"Joined figure" *is* two figures, since it's Vicious riding Skarmory.
    Yeah, I got that--but if it is two figures then the word 'figure' should be pluralised to indicated it is actually two figures which have been joined; otherwise it's just an odd turn of phrase.


    Overall yeah, this fic needs a redo since I wrote the last bit to meet a deadline. However, I'm glad you liked my Vicious. Someone's got to write for him (at least my other movie baddie fave Jirarudan actually gets fics by PEOPLE OTHER THAN ME), so I may as well be good at it.
    Ah, rewriting ... I don't know whether to call it a bane or a joy. XD

    You're welcome. ^^ I should make more of an effort to put TR characters in my fics ... I did actually plan for Bashou and Buson to be in my chaptered one, but their appearance just wouldn't work so I had to settle for referencing them instead. D:

    But, good luck on the rewrite/other fics.

  13. #13
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    Well, I most certainly was not expecting those twists. Even with you having mentioned SteelShipping, I was so into it that I had totally forgotten the introduction and was still genuinely surprised, and yet not-so-surprised due to it fitting perfectly. Even though there's not a mass of information of these three characters in-canon, the character-driven narrative flowed pretty well and I thought everyone was acting according to what has been presented of them. Also love the idea of IMM building up a full-on league of followers, as well as the reference to the healing lake. The “good little Rockets” line is also a favorite, heh.

    The main flaws that jumped out at me have already been pointed out:
    -The similarities of the names, although that's completely unavoidable if you're going to use the original ones due to their dub names being sucky.
    -Skarmory's suddenness of quickly changing from mourning to receiving instructions. Although at the same time I liked the principle, as it seemed like kind of way a Rocket Pokémon would react: business-like and seemingly unemotional outside of initial shock. Still, could have been fleshed out a bit more.
    -Now I liked the two agents being unaware of the other’s true allegiance, but the Marauder commenting on his surprise at this was bit… iffy. As if he’s saying “Oh, I can’t believe you didn’t risk blowing your cover and were completely loyal to me.”

    But yes, definitely enjoyable. I’ll keep my eyes open for the re-write.

  14. #14

    Default

    Dammit, now I *have* to rewrite this. I've never...actually done that before.

    Why does everyone comment on the names? No one says that about the special itself (maybe because their names are hardly ever said in dialogue?), or moreover about the real people they're named after...
    The world's greatest collector as drawn by Yoru Ryu
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