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Thread: Heart of Seven Stones (PG-13/T)

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    Cool Heart of Seven Stones (PG-13/T)

    Well, here's my second chaptered fic I advertised in the Author's Profiles thread! To keep my writing skills sharp, I'm following my mentor and colleague's advice and testing my skills in a new kind of journeyfic.

    Without further ado, shall we begin...

    Rated PG-13/T for violent scenes and alll the other stuff that warrants this rating...

    HEART OF SEVEN STONES


    Chapter List:

    ARC ONE: Viridian Roots Arc

    Chapter 1: Viridian Roots (this post)
    Chapter 2: Soon
    Chapter 3: Out the Starter Gate
    Chapter 4: My Knight in Shaggy Armour
    Chapter 5: Heating Things Up
    Chapter 6: Wotta Lot I Knot

    Will be updated at the conclusion of ARC ONE...

    The knot which binds all kin as one,
    Beyond the floes off which light shone,
    A quest for fortunes laid in ruins,
    An outcast's boon, his last resort,
    Along the blue and verdant paths,
    Deep in the heart of seven stones
    My hero's time is born.


    - Air Dragon

    Viridian Roots


    The morning sun shone brightly over the green crests of Viridian Forest early on the seventeenth of May, PA 2034. A flock of Pidgey which had eaten their morning fill of Worm Pokémon took flight and soared past a window of a modest, two storey home behind which a desk stood.

    Next to the desk, which was scrupulously neat with a silvery study lamp on it, was a single bed which housed a living, breathing mound of covers that heaved in tandem with slow, rhythmical grunts.

    Suddenly, a high pitched, beeping sound began to resound through the room, causing the sleeping figure to groan softly and shift slightly towards the alarm clock which read 7:00 A.M. Slamming the clock with his palm and stifling the cacophony it made, the boy raised himself on one elbow and rubbed his gummed up eyes open with the back of his other hand.

    Groping for the desk, he found a pair of square, horn-rimmed glasses and pushed them up his freckly nose. Opening his blue eyes slowly, the boy rose to a kneeling position on his bed, his hand now scratching the back of his bright-red haired head.

    His eyes free from the sleep that gummed them together, the boy slipped out of bed and into the adjoining bathroom, stretching as he did so.

    A half hour and many poorly whistled tunes later, the door opened once more and the boy stepped out, accompanied with a cloud of low-hanging steam. Pausing only to watch the sun continue its ascent over the trees which lay to the east, the gangly youth stepped towards his wardrobe, pulling out the outfit he’d chosen to wear for his last full day home.

    “Morning, Mom,” he said about ten minutes later as he jogged to a stop after taking the stairs at a brisk trot. “Hey, Karin... hey, Matt!” he added, addressing the twin children seated at the table dressed in the uniforms he recognised as being of his old school, Viridian Pokémon Academy.

    “Good morning, Aydan,” the young woman greeted in reply as she looked up from the stove at her oldest son, her red and blonde-streaked hair falling elegantly into her vibrantly vivid greed irises. “Your father left a note for you on the table...”

    “Hey, Aydee-nii,” the little girl piped up as Aydan sat at the table and picked up the note, pushing his glasses further up his freckly nose. “Walk us to school?”

    “Will ya, Aydee-nii?” the boy added imploringly.

    Both looked at their brother with their green eyes (no doubt inherited from their mother) full of begging. “Please?” they added in unison with a slightly stern look from their mother.

    Aydan looked as though he was debating the matter, and then grinned, saying, “Sure, why not?”

    “Yay!” they cried jubilantly as they slurped down their cereal noisily. Aydan took the moment to glance down the note his father had left him:

    Aydan,

    I’m sorry we couldn’t eat breakfast together, but Malandra came by to tell me that my challenger arrived early... and that another one showed up. I swear to Celebi that these wannabes just don’t know when to quit...

    Anyways, how would you like to hang out a bit with your old man before your cousin Topaz gets here this afternoon? Anytime after four at the gym sounds good?

    Bring the twins with you if and when you do come around, okay?

    See you around four then.

    Dad.


    Aydan threw back his head and let out a tiny groan. He’d almost forgotten that his cousin Topaz was going to come along for the ride to Knot Island the next day... Brash and brutally honest, Topaz had an extremely competitive streak and would often want to hold the most ludicrous contests on the face of the earth every time she came over to visit... even though Aydan, as the exact opposite, would want nothing to do with her competitions...

    “What’s wrong, Aydee-nii?” Katie and Matt enquired together.

    “Nothing,” Aydan reassured his eight-year old siblings tiredly. “Shall we go, then?”

    “Oh, and Aydan? Could you please pick up the groceries from Mr. Nickels?” His mother called as Aydan rose to go, straightening his bright red tee shirt as he did so.

    “Sure, Mom,” Aydan called back as he slipped into a pair of lightweight sandals. “Well,” he added, as his siblings came into the hall, their satchels slung over their shoulders. “We’re off!”

    “Have a good day, Karin. You too, Matt,” their mother said to the twins as they stepped outside to the brightening morning.

    Viridian City was always bustling with activity and today was no exception; everywhere the siblings looked as they made their way along the broad dirt roads was alive with activity. Other children of varying ages yet wearing the same attire as Karin and Matt (white-collared short sleeve shirts with a pair of dark green shorts in the case of the boys or skirt in the case of some of the girls) were kissing their mothers goodbye as they also made their way to the Academy.

    “Say, Aydee,” Karin asked, her dark brown pigtails blowing in the breeze as they walked on.

    “What is it, Karin?”

    “When you become Champion, will you come visit us?”

    Aydan looked down into his sister’s green eyes and said reassuringly, “Of course I will... but that may take a few years...”

    “Why?” Matt piped up curiously. “You aren’t afraid of cousin Topaz, are you?”

    Letting off a nervous chuckle, Aydan smiled wryly and said, “A bit, but she’s not the issue. I don’t really plan to be the champion yet... at least not for a year or so...”

    “Why?” Both twins asked in unison.

    “I have my reasons, OK?” Aydan said quietly, and as both twins shook their heads as one, he let the topic drop.

    “You’re mean,” Matt said sulkily, and Karin nodded vigorously.

    “Well, I’ll tell you in due course,” Aydan said cryptically.

    “And then you’ll be Champion, right?” Karin asked.

    “Yeah,” Aydan said a little distractedly as the school came into view. “Then I’ll try to be champion.”

    “But you’ll visit, right?” Karin said with a little whining voice.

    “Yes, Karin. Then I’ll visit. Well, here we are,” Aydan said looking up at the large three-storey brick house that was Viridian Academy. “I’ll be back around three to pick you guys up.”

    “OK!” The twins said in unison as they dashed through the gates to look for classmates and friends.

    Aydan’s smile dropped a little as he watched them go. Not wanting to be questioned by any of his old teachers, he turned silently and walked back into town to perform his mother’s errand.

    ***

    “So! Tomorrow’s the big day, hunh?” A large, beefy black man wearing a grocer’s apron and slacks said genially as he browsed the shelves behind him, looking for the right parcel.

    “Sure is, Mr. Nickels,” Aydan said cheerfully leaning on the counter as he watched the senior citizen at work. “Have you heard from Kenan, sir?”

    Oliver Nickels smiled ruefully and said, “I’m afraid not, young Aydan. But I’m not that worried. Kenan’s disability is nothing in the light of his ability.”

    “That’s true,” Aydan said with a smile, remembering his closest male friend from their days in the Academy.

    “He was rather upset when he had to leave without you last year, though he understands it was due to no fault of your own. Kenan certainly is an understanding kid, best grandchild I could ever ask for,” Mr. Nickels said in a reminiscent tone of voice.

    “You have more?” Aydan asked with interest. “I know Kenan has brothers, but...”

    “One granddaughter but not directly from my side,” Mr Nickels said calmly, picking canned yams from the shelf and placing them in a green jute bag. “Another on the way.”

    “Wow,” Aydan smiled then asked, “From your younger son?” as Mr. Nickels nodded.

    “Honestly, Arla could learn a lesson from Tyrone Jamal,” he said a little resentfully, but smiled brightly as he went on to hand over the now grocery-filled bag, “But that’s enough of this old man’s neighing for one day. You have a big day tomorrow, and you shouldn’t spend it worrying about an old fart like me.”

    Aydan laughed, although reluctantly and said, “If you say so. Well, thank you for the groceries, Mr. Nickels. I’ll see you soon...”

    “Bring the Cup to Viridian, Aydan!” Mr. Nickels called as Aydan left, prompting a wince from the gangly teen.

    Walking home with his head bowed slightly, Aydan began thinking: Everybody expects so much of me... Karin, Matt, Mr Nickels... with my dad, too, most likely at the head of the cheering squad, he added with as his gut slipped down a few notches. He hadn’t discussed his true purpose to visit the Sevii Islands with anybody, and he wondered what they’d think of him if they found out he had little interest in the league for the immediate future.

    Pausing by the grand exterior of the Viridian Gym, Aydan looked up and exhaled heavily. If there were anybody he didn’t want to keep in the dark about his intentions, it was his parents. He stared at the Gym’s bold sign which hung above the door and said ‘OFF-SEASON GYM OWNERSHIP CHALLENGES END TODAY’ and a slight breeze ruffled his hair. Exhaling softly, he turned and began walking for home slowly, resolving to let them know before he left tomorrow.

    After a twenty minute walk, his home came into sight. He supposed he’d start with his mother; she’d be instrumental in cushioning the blow for his father when he would be informed. As he unlocked and opened the screen door that lead to the kitchen and kicked off his trainers, he felt a sudden prickling sensation above his eyebrow that made it twitch, a sure sign of being watched.

    Aydan groaned as he scratched his itchy eyebrow, attributing the sensation to the Butterfree he felt trying to escape his belly at the prospect of coming clean. Taking a step forward, he called out, “Hey, Mom? I’m ba-Aargh!” He yelled as he was tackled to the floor from behind and placed in a very painful leg lock and a spunky voice yelled, “Got you, Aydan! C’mon, say ‘Uncle’! Say ‘Uncle’!”

    “OK, OK... Uncle, uncle!” Aydan yelled in pain as the leg lock increased in pain and suddenly receded as his assailant let up the pressure and proferred a slender hand to help him up.

    “Ha! You should have heard yourself, Aydan! You cried like a little girl!” His attacker roared with laughter as Aydan quietly bent down to retrieve the groceries that had gone flying during the attack.

    Once more in control of his heart rate and straightening up again, Aydan merely stared and said in a surprised voice, “Hey, Topaz. When did you get here? And how did you get in?”

    “I’m fine, thanks for asking,” Topaz said sarcastically, brushing her short reddish blonde hair out of her bright brown eyes. “Your mom let me in just as she was going out about five minutes ago. I guess you think you could have gotten me if I’d come later?”

    “Not really,” Aydan said calmly, as he put the groceries away. Turning around he asked, “Why are you here so early, anyways?”

    “My mum was driving me nuts,” Topaz replied. Raising her voice to an annoying squeak, she said ”Have you packed your toothbrush, Topaz? And your jumper? And your moisturizer?” She pouted as she placed her hands on her slender waist that was left bare around the belly by her purple zip-up jacket which stopped about two inches shy of her navel, and added, “Honestly, you’d think I was going to Glam Camp rather than Pokémon training... and all that guff about my outfit being inappropriate... what’s wrong with my outfit anyways?”

    Aydan cocked an eyebrow as he gave his cousin a looking over. Her outfit, which from her Alice band to her trainers and long sweat pants, followed the same colour scheme as her jacket (purple with pink highlights) showed off her slim yet curvy figure characteristic of a junior high cheerleader a year or two older than Aydan and herself.

    Seeking to avoid another violent and less playful tackle form his more aggressive cousin, Aydan opened his mouth to say, “Nothing,” but was saved the necessity by the return of his mother, who walked in with a neighbour; a dumpy woman with a cheery face and rusty brown curls, obviously to resume a healthy gossip session with mugs of steaming coffee.

    “Ah, Aydan! You’re looking well... and this beautiful girl can’t possibly be your cousin Topaz?” the woman said with a theatrical gasp as she saw Topaz glower with praise at the compliment.

    “Hi, Mrs. Finkle,” Aydan and Topaz said in unison, although the boy said it with less enthusiasm.

    “How‘s Mr. Nickels, Aydan?” His mother asked as she put the coffee pot on and fetched mugs from the kitchen cabinet.

    “Fine,” Aydan said a little glumly. The early arrival of Topaz and the presence of Mrs. Finkle had put quite a damper on the thirteen-year-old’s confessionary plans.

    Scowling on the inside, Aydan made to lace up his shoes again, a movement his mother noticed as she asked, “Oh, are you going out, Aydan?”

    “Sort of, Mom,” Aydan said noncommittally as he stood up straight and pushed his glasses on straight. “I was thinking of walking around for a bit before going to pick up Karin and Matt and seeing Dad...”

    “You’re going to the Gym?! I’ll come too!” Topaz said brightly.

    “Perfect! You two get going while Mrs Finkle and I prepare dinner!” Aydan’s mother said cheerfully.

    Aydan groaned inside. This was not what he needed...

    ***

    Topaz and Aydan strolled around the town, Topaz filling Aydan in on an exaggerated version of her final year at Olville Pokémon Academy in Corei and her mother’s grievances with her fashion sense, thankfully leaving Aydan the sole responsibility of looking interested as he racked his brain for ideas as to when he could tell his parents about his true purpose for journeying to the Sevii Islands the next day.

    “Aydan!”

    “What is it?” Aydan said with a start, Topaz’s yell knocking out of his ponderous reverie.

    “It’s almost three already,” Topaz said with a suspicious look on her face. “Shouldn’t you be picking up Karin and Matt right about now?”

    Stunned Aydan looked down at his watch and saw that it was indeed quarter to...

    Topaz then glared at her cousin and asked his bluntly, “Hey, were you listening to a word I said to you all this time?”

    Pretending that he saw the question as offensive rather than unsettling, he said in what he hoped Topaz would see as an affronted voice, “Of course I was! What kinda question was that?”

    “Whaaateverrr,” Topaz said, still glancing suspiciously at Aydan as they made their way to the front gates of the school, arriving just as the last bell of the day rang out with deep, loud booms.

    Topaz and Aydan moved forwards with the other parents present to pick up their wards to meet the surging wave of children in the school yard. They had only begun to scour the crowd of children before spotting Karin and Matt, standing by the jungle gym, waving their brother over.

    “Aydee-nii!” they chirped in unison, before they spotted Topaz and said apprehensively, “Hey, Cousin Topaz...”

    “Hey, squirts!” Topaz said cheerfully. “Still wetting the bed?”

    Glowing scarlet as a couple of children nearby overheard her and began snickering at the twins, they yelled in unison, “Stop it!”

    “C’mon guys,” Aydan said in his lazy, laid-back voice, glaring at the laughing children as his siblings threw sharp glares at Topaz, who looked like she had done nothing beyond teasing her cousins. “Let’s go...”

    As they left the playground, the children’s jeers still rang in the mortified twins’ ears. “Ignore them,” Aydan advised them quietly as they walked towards the northeastern section of town. “They’ve got all summer to forget...”

    “What’s their deal anyways?” Topaz said, still ignorant of her lack of tact. “I’ll bet they wet the bed, too...”

    Karin and Matt were too sulky to see the humour in anything Topaz had to say then as they walked on in huffy silence.

    “What’s with them?” Topaz asked Aydan, who shook his head and rolled his blue eyes to the heavens as they arrived outside the Gym once again, from which loud cheers issues despite the doors’ double glazing being thickened to keep the cold out during the winter months.

    The quartet of children made their way past the pimply ticket vendor, who thanks to their affiliation with the Gym Leader were granted free access, and stepped into the stands that ran along both the long sides of the rectangular arena, a dirt-brown clay court separating the two long rows of seats.

    White chalk lines surrounding and crisscrossing the court outlined the playing area of the gym, a battle reaching its climax in the centre. Chants of both trainers mingled in the air as Viridianians and other people from all over Kanto who’d assembled to watch the current Hoenn League Champion, Leonard Raskill, return his fallen Salamence – a dragon with four stout white clawed legs holding up a broad body from which broad red wings sprouted – with a displeased expression on his face.

    On the Leader’s side of the field stood a tall, dark haired man whose facial hair was trimmed into a neat, full beard and moustache; his blue eyes, which Aydan had inherited, glittered as he grinned proudly towards his last Pokémon, a large coral blue Pokémon that crouched low to the ground on its splayed, chunky digits, its large semi-circular tail and cranial rills a darker hue of blue rippling slightly in the heating atmosphere as its copper eyes focused on what the scarlet-clad trainer opposite him had up his sleeve as a last resort.

    “One more, Tidal,” the Swampert’s trainer said with pep, sweat causing his dark green fleece pullover to become uncomfortable. The Water type acknowledged this with a smile curving his broad, ovoid face.

    “Not yet!” the enraged teen said angrily, ugly red blotches betraying his emotions. “You haven’t won yet, old-timer! Go, Breloom!”

    A large bipedal Pokémon replied to its master’s summons by letting out a feral growl as it materialized in center field, its short red fists clenched as it glared at the Swampert with beady black eyes from beneath its wide-brimmed ‘hat’, the spores on the tip of his long, tan tail rattling softly as it swung its tail from side to side.

    “Tch, Grass type,” the Leader said without interest. “Tidal, let’s rock.”

    Tidal consented by raising his broad palms above his head and slamming them forcefully on the ground, creating a miniature tremor that rocked the gym to its very foundations. Leonard struggled to stay on his feet as his Breloom leapt into the air as soon as it saw the Swampart raise its hands. The Swampert looked up in some surprise at the falling Breloom, who on Leonard’s orders, began to charge up a beam of whitish yellow light in his hands.

    “That’s Solarbeam!” Topaz yelled unnecessarily as Karin and Matt yelled, “Daddee, Tidal... look out!”

    Hearing their voices yet not turning around, the leader smiled and gave tidal his next command, “Tidal, Substitute!”

    A shimmering beam of light was loosed upon the amphibious Pokémon upon the Solarbeam’s completion, striking a dummy the Swampert had left in his wake as it leapt backwards, avoiding the Grass Pokémon’s assault.

    “Now, Ice Punch!”

    Leonard, frantic now, shouted back, “Breloom, use Mach Punch to defend!”

    The Swampert raced across the gymnasium floor towards his falling opponent, his fist glowing whitish blue as Breloom flashed across the gym floor fist-first, colliding with the powerful attack. While this manoeuvre kept the Mushroom Pokémon in the game, it came with a price, which Leonard noticed with a vehement expletive.

    The gym leader smirked as Leonard blanched at the sight of his Pokémon twisting in midair, clutching its wrist and bellowing in pain. Breloom may have met Swampert’s punch speed for speed, may have had half a type advantage, but the raw power with which the Mud Fish Pokémon had laid into the Breloom was enough to send the slighter Pokémon for a loop. Flailing helplessly in midair, the Breloom landed on its back in excruciating pain, the Swampert gripping his wrist and muttering darkly.

    “OK, Tidal... time to use High Tide!” The Gym Leader commanded swiftly as the Breloom struggled to overcome the wracking pains his now useless right hand was putting him through.

    “Breloom! On your feet, now!” Leonard commanded remorselessly.

    The Water type nodded once and raised his palm in the air, once more glowing whitish blue. Slamming his palm down hard on the ground. A flurry of snow spread out in a straight line before the Swampert and from it, with a violent rumbling, a wave of freezing cold water burst out, together with an inordinate amout of mud and dirt. The wave rose high over the Breloom’s head, who’d finally struggled to his feet and through tightly squinting eyes stared as Tidal leapt into the flow of water and used it to catapult himself into the air. Tidal seemed to fly above the wave as it began to descend, deluging it in a wave of shockingly cold water. The Breloom shivered from head to toe, as it struggled to stay conscious after the onslaught of attacks that were far from over.

    Leonard’s eyes widened as he saw the Swampert had imbued both hands with icy energy this time and falling swiftly due to his weight made a beeline straight for the Breloom. “Breloom! Above you, use Solarbeam!”

    Too little, too late, the more seasoned trainer thought grimly as Breloom blindly prepared a Solarbeam. Halfway through its preparation, the Swampert landed heavily on the Breloom’s wide-topped head, piledriving both fists into the Grass type pugilist’s head with sickening force.

    The audience winced emphatically as the Breloom hit the now-muddy floor and lay there, twitching feebly, yet clearly in no shape to resume battle. The referee stepped up to the fallen Breloom and after a customary five-count, raised his red flag towards the older, wiser man and his Pokémon, signalling the winner of the match... and the gym leader for the next three years.

    Aydan, Katie, Matt and Topaz cheered with the Viridian faction of the supporters as the man smiled, raised a hand modestly and returned his jubilant Mud Fish Pokémon and made his way to the fluently-cursing Leonard Raskill.

    “Your Pokémon fought well,” the man said gently. “But you expect too much of them. It’s true that they won the Hoenn League through sheer determination to impress, but more is required of you, their trainer. You need to chill for a while, and rethink what you’ve been doing wrong on your own.”

    Leonard gave no sign that he had even heard a single word of advice as the man exhaled heavily and, scratching the back of his head, thought quietly, you have the power, you need the cool.

    “Dad! You were excellent!” Matt and Karin said in unison as they leapt upon their father and hugged him tightly.

    Smiling at the twins, he turned his attention to his first child and his niece, the latter giving him a cool look as if to say, ‘How lame.’

    Chuckling wearily, he turned towards the exit and waving away the media, who were fighting through the throng to interview him, beckoned to Aydan and Topaz to follow as he carried his younger children in his arms home.

    ***

    The evening was filled with laughter and celebration as Aydan and his family sat down to a sumptuous dinner and toasted to his father securing the position of gym leader for another tenure (the children toasting with fizzy Pecha berry juice, much to Topaz’s indignation.)

    Thus it was several hours after the battle that the last guest (Mr. Nickels) took their leave after many hearty congratulations that Aydan’s father called a halt to the verbal replays constructed by Topaz for the others entertainment and insisted that they all turned in for the night.

    Aydan yawned loudly as Topaz was shown the way to the guest room by Aydan’s mother, who had muttered slyly to her husband that her congratulatory gift was ‘due when the excitement died down.’ Blushing faintly, Aydan’s father scooped up Karin whilst Aydan helped lift Matt onto his back and followed him into the twins’ room, where they changed them for bed.

    Aydan watched his dad for a long while, wondering if he could spoil his father’s euphoria with the news of his true intentions for the next few months. He was deciding how to break the ice, when his father said softly, “Penny for your thoughts, son?”

    Aydan looked into his father’s serious and presently exhausted features and murmured kindly, “Nah... they’re worth a lot more than that, Dad. Congratulations.”

    And without a further word, Aydan, turned and walked across the hallway into his room, where he closed the door on his thoughtful father, who wore a slightly mournful look on his face that his son was hiding something.

    In his room, Aydan walked over to his bed where his rucksack had been packed by his mother whilst he and Topaz had been out. Reaching into the bottom of his neatly packed desk drawer, he pulled out a false bottom and withdrew a sandalwood box, which he sat on the edge of his bed to open. Pulling out a piece of paper, he stared at its content for a long while afterwards, only stuffing the paper and it’s box into the backpack and drawing the drawstring around the mouth firmly shut, slipped between the sheets of his bed and staring out of his window at the moon, wondering if the whole world was watching it too and thinking of others as he slipped silently into a night filled with dreams of the future, not knowing how difficult the future of his dreams was going to be hard to attain.

    Elsewhere in the darkness-shrouded city, a man in a red tracksuit kicked the wall furiously, enraged that he had lost. That he, Leonard Raskill, Hoenn’s League Champion, had been cheated out of his dreams by fate, that cruel mistress, once more.

    A voice spoke to him from the shadows in a carrying hiss, interrupting his dark thoughts almost as abruptly as though the voice had shouted.

    Leonard Raskill...

    “Who’s there?”

    ...do you seek power?

    “Who’s there?” Leonard repeated loudly, his fist clenched on a pokéball, ready to unleash its contents upon whoever was moving in the shadows behind him.

    Do you seek to let the world acknowledge your potential?” The voice went on, ignoring his questions.

    Lowering the pokéball slightly, yet remaining on edge, Leonard decided to humour the mystery man (for his voice had a deep bass quality to it) and spoke back, “What do you propose?”

    Follow me, Leonard Raskill. Follow me into the fold of the powerful, of the hunted, of the future rulers of the world,” the voice whispered, fading into the blackness that encompassed it.

    “Wait! How will I find you?” Leonard said sharply take a bold (and foolhardy) step into the shadows.

    You already have, Leonard Raskill,” the voice said smugly as Leonard began to scream as something stole over him dragging him into the darkness. “Welcome into the fold... of D.

    ***

    How's that? Hopefully this won't dull, my writing skills any. I'm going for shorter chapters in this fic, not to mention a shorter story...

    I apologise for all the vague plot holes (not), but they will be filled when the time comes...

    Any guesses to unrevealed personalities? Please keep them in the spoiler tags, thanks.

    Well, that's it for this post... L@er!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 1st January 2009 at 3:19 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Tisk tisk AD. I spotted mistakes.

    Topaz replied. Raising her voice to an annoying squeak, she said” Have you packed your toothbrush
    The quotation mark in the middle should be before Have, not after said.

    and that another one showed up.
    I think it should be 'and that other one showed up'

    Despite these small mistakes, I enjoyed the plotting that went on. Here's what I picked up and speculate:

        Spoiler:- Speculation:


    Spoilerness over.

    The battle was really fun to read, I must say. Swampert handing out some pwn.

    also

    I apologise for all the vague plot holes (not), but they will be filled wen the time comes...
    you missed the 'h' in when. ruined your after-chapter speech I think.
    Last edited by Diddy; 2nd September 2008 at 9:05 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Hmmm... a new fic by AD huh? Awesome to the max.

    Few mistakes:

    elegantly into her vibrantly vivid greed irises.
    Should be green right?

    Anytime after four at the gym sounds good?
    Should that be "sound good?" or "sounds good" no question mark?

    annoying squeak, she said ”Have you packed your toothbrush, Topaz?
    After the said, I think a comma must be employed.

    and less playful tackle form his more aggressive cousin
    I think that's supposed to be from.

    Aydan said with a start, Topaz’s yell knocking out of his ponderous reverie.
    Should it be: "Topaz's yell knocking him out of his ponderous
    reverie"

    Stunned Aydan looked down at his watch and saw that it was indeed quarter to...
    Comma missing after stunned I think...

    Topaz then glared at her cousin and asked his bluntly
    asked him bluntly

    Gym once again, from which loud cheers issues despite the
    Issued.

    the leader smiled and gave tidal his next command
    Just a quick capitalise of Tidal.

    Apart from those spelling things, all good so far. I like the ideas and characters so far (Aydan is kinda laid back and Topaz kinda annoyingly funny in a way), but all throughout, I couldn't help but wonder if Aydan's mother or Topaz's parents have any relation to Haley (The whole reddish-blond hair thing, I think Haley has the same... hmmm...).

    Oh well, all good so far. Swampert vs Breloom was a good one. I pretty much think Diddy's speculation is kind of correct, although I think that     Spoiler:- More Speculation:
    Nice ending, cliffhanger much? Haha, good read.

    Keep it up.
    Last edited by Matt Silver; 3rd September 2008 at 8:33 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Smile That many errors?!

    Dammmnn...

    Well, Sir Digby, you my kind sir are wrong, right, right, wrong and sorta wrong, though i won't say where yet.

    And FIRST REVIEW!

    Matt Silver... hmmm, indeed. Who are the cousins' parents? And is my usage of reddish bonde hair any indication that there's arelation or do i just fancy reddish blonde chicks?

    Only time will tell...

    Again, damn on those errors. Just when I thought i was being careful...

    OH, well. You live and learn.

    Gotta go, but i"ll keep you posted if you'd like.

    thanks for your time and reviews. Hope to see more of you and others here!

    L@er!
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
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  5. #5
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    The main thing that ruffled my feathers slightly was the 'random' japanese suffix for brothers- but it's not really because you used it, just remember several people trying to write 'japanese' style stories, and it's like, he used what?, they attacked what?, what evolved into what?

    Anyways.

    While the Swampert and the Breloom battle was good, even if my fav pokemon lost, it felt like Swampert was a tad power played; if I read it right, Swampert used Substitute twice, and while Breloom took damage from blocking the ice punch; Swampert didn't, and for a bulky pokemon you sure have it quiet agile. Don't get me wrong, you did a very good job of describing the battle and the attacks, it almost made me think I was watching a decent transcript of one of the old pokemon episodes. But I would watch out with the Sub attack again, it does take users HP away; and in erf, layman terms, or whatever the word is, that would decrease the pokemon's stamina/endurance a bit.

    The ending to the chapter felt a little, cliche, but allows a quick glimpse into Leonard's personality. He's stupid.

    You run away from disembodied voices in the shadows.

    Really doesn't anyone watch horror movies anymore? There's always a chainsaw murdering psycho nut-job ready to chase you down and make you fish food!

    Overall; it was a decent trainer story, I didn't see any real flaws, outside of what I nitpicked, and the characters felt real enough for it to be a real story, granted with pokemon, and while it felt a tad rushed at the end overall it was a good work on your part.

    It's not really my cup of tea story wise/trainer fic wise/journey fic wise, but I would give it about 3/half stars, maybe 4, for the originality in it, the fact you actually put some thought into the battle, and description, and the fact the characters interacted and had such flair.

  6. #6
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    You asked, and here I am!

    Description: Nice! I expecially liked how you described Aydan waking up.

    Characters: I love how Aydan and his family interact. Was the Aydan-nii thing inspired by having his siblings call him "onii-chan" (Japanese for "big brother")? My only complaint is that we don't know much about the Champion--what makes him tick. (or you put it there and I overlooked it)

    Plot: The twist at the end has me intrigued--will Aydan have to fight the Champion?

    Rating:

    Very interesting and semi heartwarming first episode!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Air Dragon View Post
    Groping for the desk, he found a pair of square, horn-rimmed glasses and pushed them up his freckly nose.
    You're sooooo dirty! LOL!

    A half hour and many poorly whistled tunes later
    xD

    “Hey, Aydee-nii,” the little girl piped up as Aydan sat at the table and picked up the note, pushing his glasses further up his freckly nose. “Walk us to school?”

    “Will ya, Aydee-nii?” the boy added imploringly.

    Both looked at their brother with their green eyes (no doubt inherited from their mother) full of begging. “Please?” they added in unison with a slightly stern look from their mother.
    Am I dreaming? Even as a little kid, I wanted to go to school by myself... :|

    “What’s wrong, Aydee-nii?” Katie and Matt enquired together.
    inquired

    “You’re mean,” Matt said sulkily, and Karin nodded vigorously.

    “Well, I’ll tell you in due course,” Aydan said cryptically.
    Saywut? In due course? Who the hell talks like that? xD Nevertheless, to little kids...

    “OK!” The twins said in unison as they dashed through the gates to look for classmates and friends.
    the

    “So! Tomorrow’s the big day, hunh?” A large, beefy black man wearing a grocer’s apron and slacks said genially as he browsed the shelves behind him, looking for the right parcel.
    small "a"

    Walking home with his head bowed slightly, Aydan began thinking: Everybody expects so much of me... Karin, Matt, Mr Nickels... with my dad, too, most likely at the head of the cheering squad, he added with as his gut slipped down a few notches. He hadn’t discussed his true purpose to visit the Sevii Islands with anybody, and he wondered what they’d think of him if they found out he had little interest in the league for the immediate future.
    DUN DUN DUN DUNNNN!

    Taking a step forward, he called out, “Hey, Mom? I’m ba-Aargh!” He yelled as he was tackled to the floor from behind and placed in a very painful leg lock and a spunky voice yelled, “Got you, Aydan! C’mon, say ‘Uncle’! Say ‘Uncle’!”

    “OK, OK... Uncle, uncle!” Aydan yelled in pain as the leg lock increased in pain and suddenly receded as his assailant let up the pressure and proferred a slender hand to help him up.

    “Ha! You should have heard yourself, Aydan! You cried like a little girl!” His attacker roared with laughter as Aydan quietly bent down to retrieve the groceries that had gone flying during the attack.
    PWNED.

    “Honestly, you’d think I was going to Glam Camp rather than Pokémon training... and all that guff about my outfit being inappropriate... what’s wrong with my outfit anyways?”

    Aydan cocked an eyebrow as he gave his cousin a looking over. Her outfit, which from her Alice band to her trainers and long sweat pants, followed the same colour scheme as her jacket (purple with pink highlights) showed off her slim yet curvy figure characteristic of a junior high cheerleader a year or two older than Aydan and herself.
    Plz, no incest.

    “How‘s Mr. Nickels, Aydan?” His mother asked as she put the coffee pot on and fetched mugs from the kitchen cabinet.
    his
    “Aydee-nii!” they chirped in unison, before they spotted Topaz and said apprehensively, “Hey, Cousin Topaz...”

    “Hey, squirts!” Topaz said cheerfully. “Still wetting the bed?”

    Glowing scarlet as a couple of children nearby overheard her and began snickering at the twins, they yelled in unison, “Stop it!”
    ***** move, Topaz...***** move...
    [/QUOTE]

    I'm quite liking Topaz's personality, rash, out-going, crazy, yes, a perfect Divy in the making (Y) Descriptions were great, the epic battle between Leonard Raskill's Breloom and S--uh, Aydan's father's Swampert was cool.

    As for errors/blips, etc, you made a few grammatical errors (you capitalized Champion and didn't at some points). Also, I must agree with Yami Ryu, the ending was quite cliche, but I'm quite interested in this "D".

    All in all, great start, can't wait till you update...

    Good Luck

    Divinity_123

  8. #8
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    I'm loving this. Topaz is cool and I love the dynamics between her and Aydan. Love the way you're spinnig this tale. Good luck!

    Banner Credit to Flame Mistress

  9. #9
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    Unhappy Yeah...

    well, chapter two was supposed to be in this post but...

    my pen drive got fried.

    Yup, that's right. FRIED.

    Thus the chapter will be later than planned.

    Be of stout heart, it WILL be done.

    So say I.

    OK, now to the appreciation posts:

    @Yami Ryu: Thanks a bunch for the review. Yeah, it does happen fairly often once you stop to think about it... and yeah, I know all about Substitute, despite it not being my favourite attack to use in the game. Tidal only used it once, and on the issue of Tidal's speed... its trainer has had him for years and they have had many matches together...

    @FlamingRuby: Only four? Man, and TCQ had a Raichu...

    Dayum, AD... you are...SLIPPIN'...

    LOL, don't sweat it. And as for the logically inept Leonard Raskill... only time will tell what he's thinking, or if Aydan will have that match with him or not... :P

    @Divinity_123:

    Quote:Taking a step forward, he called out, “Hey, Mom? I’m ba-Aargh!” He yelled as he was tackled to the floor from behind and placed in a very painful leg lock and a spunky voice yelled, “Got you, Aydan! C’mon, say ‘Uncle’! Say ‘Uncle’!”

    “OK, OK... Uncle, uncle!” Aydan yelled in pain as the leg lock increased in pain and suddenly receded as his assailant let up the pressure and proferred a slender hand to help him up.

    “Ha! You should have heard yourself, Aydan! You cried like a little girl!” His attacker roared with laughter as Aydan quietly bent down to retrieve the groceries that had gone flying during the attack.

    PWNED.
    Too true... ^__^;

    @Jason-Kun: Glad to have you aboard! Hope you enjoy the fic!

    Well, as I'm going to work on TCQ next... I'll be back to this in a few days. I once again apologise for any inconvenience my pen drive has caused...

    L@er!
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  10. #10
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    Bear in mind that my review is based on my first impressions of your first chapter, so if you want me to review a later chapter, just ask.

  11. #11
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    Whoa, I thought I reviwed this...

    Anyways, firstly, sorry I haven't read the lates of TCQ, I will. Soon.

    Secondly, I liked this. I liked how he is feeling pressurd to try and become the Champion, when he doesn't really want to.

    I love Aydan and Topaz'a interaction. So awesome.
    Current Black Team: Rivka (Stoutland), Elmo (Musharna), Scarlett (Whimsicott), Gabriel (Carracosta), Reese (Klang), Sean (Mienfoo); all are at level 47. Currently in Victory Road.

  12. #12
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    Talking Chapter 2! At last!

    FlamigRuby: Got it, mon capitan. So there's hope of an upgrade...

    Araleon: Thanks for the review buddy! Their relationship is modeled after two of anime's most popular eternal rivals...i even stole a classic line from one of them somewhere in this chapter.

    So... the chapter...

    I'd like to take a paragraph here to apologize for the extreme lateness of this chapter. I had the worst aches and pains imaginable and my internet connection and pc monitor have phailed like no one's business (that's why i haven't been on messenger for over a week).

    So now it's done, i'd like to present, Chapter Two of Heart of Seven Stones!

    Soon

    “So I was saying to this stupid girl, I was,” a portly man was telling his colleague outside a Kin Island delicatessen, dressed like one who wouldn’t have looked out of place among the upper crust society of the island. “’Of course the ticket is for one!’ and she was all,” here the man attempted to mimic a nervous young woman’s reply in a mousy squeak rather than a false stiletto “‘Oh, please pardon my ignorance, Mr. von Stepplin, sir!’ Naturally I fired the little klutz. Started whining about her son and his journey to be a trainer starting today... Bull,” the man said, his mean eyes surveying a golden pocket watch as his companion let out a large horsey laugh.

    “So you plan to get some good business on Knot Island, sir?” von Stepplin’s accomplice said with the air of the perfectly trainer ‘yes-man’.

    “Only if the old codger doesn’t get difficult,” von Stepplin said wiping his wide brow with a checked handkerchief. Turning back to his taller companion, he said, “Knot Island’s not the place for an old timer like him... should move to Quest Island with the rest of his ancient race.” Placing it back in his inside pocket, the man looked down suddenly and saw a grubby little girl tugging at his trouser leg.

    Looking up expectantly and smiling a radiant smile that shone through her thin, grimy face, she asked politely, “Please, sir. Can I get some money for food?”

    The man glared at her with such savagery that the girl took a half step back as a boy of medium height dressed in a navy blue parka and a green sling over backpack walked up the port side street, his hands deep in his pocket, his messy brown hair blown about by the salty breeze. As a couple rose to leave their table and a barely touched pastrami on rye with the works on the table, the boy covertly slipped the barely eaten sandwich from the table and wrapping it more securely, stowed it away into his pocket.

    “Beat it, brat,” the man said coldly and aiming a vicious kick at the poor child, sent the orphan into the boy who’d stumbled slightly and caught her gently around the shoulders.

    Looking up into the man’s cold blue eyes with soulful ones of his own so dark they could have had no irises, the boy glared back challengingly. Roderick von Stepplin gave a haughty harrumph and walked away, fastening his jacket more securely.

    Looking at his retreating back, the boy looked down at the sniffling girl and was forcefully reminded of himself at the young girl’s age, which looked no older than eight.

    Reaching slowly into his pocket, he brought out the sandwich he’d just obtained and breaking off the part that hadn’t been bitten into and pushed it into the girl’s dirty hands. Walking off before she knew where the meal had come from, the boy slipped around the corner and watched her beam at the knowledge that she had food finally. Clutching it to her chest like an irreplaceable treasure, she skipped off towards the industrial area of the island, where all the inhabitants knew orphans, drunken bums and homeless people of all walks of destitution (mostly caused by people like von Stepplin) lived.

    Looking down his parka he noticed the pokéball that hung from the thread around his neck was empty. Hissing frantically, he called, “Shere? Shere, where are you?”

    <Right here, Master,> a cool voice replied from the shadows, a definite sneer placed on the third word.

    The boy swung around and with a look of relief saw a golden yellow feline slink out of the shadows towards him. Three feet seven inches of elegance looked back at his out of startling plum coloured eyes. Its large purple ears and odd ruff of the same lavender hue gave it the appearance of a crossed house cat and lion. A small tassel of pink fur completed the Prim Pokémon’s odd yet alluring appearance.

    “Shere, where have you been?” the boy asked sternly. “If you’ve been thieving again, you’re going home!”

    <I’ve only stolen where necessary, and from those who deserve to be robbed,> the Delcatty replied coolly. <Like that von Stepplin man.>

    “Shere, what did you take?” the boy asked sternly.

    <Nothing of consequence,> Shere said cuttingly. <Besides, I’d say I did the inhabitants of Floe, Chrono, Fortune and Quest Islands a favour.>

    What did you take?!

    <Only his Rainbow Pa- hey! Don’t you dare shred that!> the feline protested as the boy swiped the ticket from his mother’s Delcatty and stared at it for several long minutes. <Do you know how expensive they are?>

    Closing his eyes in exasperation, the boy looked long and hard at ‘his Pokémon’ and said firmly, “this is the last time this happens, d’you hear me?”

    <Who do you think you are? Your mother?> Shere said lazily, staring up at him cockily. <You know you’re too inexperienced to order me yet, Kurtis... so where’s my dinner?>

    Shere was suddenly bathed in a red light and vanished back into her red and white capture orb.

    “You’ll get it later,” Kurtis said angrily. Glancing back at the ticket and then towards the slum towards which the girl had run off to, he closed his eyes apologetically and whispered, “Forgive me, Mom...”

    And tucking the Rainbow Pass into his inner parka pocket, he ran off towards the harbour where a large catamaran/cruise ship had just docked as the bellowing clouds began to unleash liquid fury upon the island’s inhabitants.

    ***

    Aydan’s family woke up with mixed feelings the following day. Parting company with those with whom you’ve grown up and around, it’s always hard to say ‘See you later,” let alone express farewells. But whether you’re excited at the prospect of being on your own for the first time in your life or dreading the moment when you no longer have anyone to help you out of trouble and have to grow up without for a while, you find sleep usually elusive.

    Topaz had spent the morning of their departure for Pallet Town and Knot Island unable to sleep and was subsequently up early. However, the morning light had filled the guest room as she studied herself in the full length mirror that stood near the door, having put the final touches to her appearance.

    As she zipped her purple and pink collared jacket over her purple tank top, a generous amount of well-toned navel was easily discernable above the purple with pink-trim sweat pants she had worn the day before. She then placed one slender hand behind her head and the other on her hip and assumed several artistic poses in the mirror, seeing if she passed inspection from various angles, nodding to herself contentedly after each twirl.

    “Right,” Topaz said finally, grabbing her one-strap backpack and slinging it over her head as she made for the door. Giving the modest accommodations one last sweeping look, she bounded into the hall exclaiming, “Watch out, Sevii... your newest champion is ready... to... GO!” she yelled, rapping loudly on a door halfway down the landing. “C’mon, lazy Aydee! Race ya!”

    And with that, she leapt down the stairs to the kitchen, ready to face the most important day of her life.

    Meanwhile, if Topaz could see through walls and doors, she’d have known Aydan was the one of the only two members of the household who had been ready before even she was. He had been sitting on the bed for what seemed like hours, staring at a picture that seemed to depict three school children. Tracing his finger gently over the child on the left, he murmured softly, “Soon... we’ll meet again soon...”

    After a heavy exhale, he rose up off the bed slowly and began to slowly pack his things away.

    ***

    Aydan stepped into the kitchen ten minutes later wearing a plain sunshine yellow t-shirt with black sleeve tips and collar over knee length blue denim shorts. His mop of red hair gleamed in the morning sunlight as he joined his mother and twin siblings at the breakfast table.

    “Good morning, all,” he said calmly, pulling up his chair noisily and sliding some eggs and bacon onto the plate in front of him.

    “Morning, Aydee,” the twins said glumly, not looking up from their cereal bowls as they spooned in mouthful after mouthful of Lucky Pika Cereal.

    Aydan noticed the glum tone of his siblings’ greeting and said spritely, “You two still aren’t on about yesterday, are you? Lighten up, OK?”

    When the twins did nothing of the sort, Aydan leaned in closer and said conspiratorially, “Listen... whether I become Champion or not this year, I’ll definitely be around for Christmas. But only if you guys relax, OK?”

    Matt and Karin looked up and nodded happily, all traces of their pouty mood gone.

    “Where are Dad and Topaz?” Aydan asked his mother, who had returned his greeting with a bright smile and continued to load laundry into the washer.

    Straightening up, she touched her chin thoughtfully before answering, “They’ve already eaten. Your father’s at the Gym, giving last minute instructions to his junior trainers. Topaz should be outside warming up.”

    Aydan swallowed a mouthful of egg and said unsurely, “’Warming up’? As if Topaz of all people ever needs to warm up...”

    ***

    Topaz picked up the pace as she jogged up the High Street, where the Gym was situated. Spotting two figures outside the building and recognizing one of them caused her to raise a hand and wave energetically. Trotting towards them, she called out, “Hey! Hey, Uncle! Good morning!”

    The man looked up and watched his niece approaching with a grin on his scrubby face. Turning to the youth with whom he had been conversing, he simply said, “and watch what you feed him, OK? I should be back by the day after tomorrow, so you take charge of the new recruits until then.”

    The young woman who wore a bright red tracksuit with white trim shook her green dyed hair out of her face and said, “Got it, Chief. See you then.”

    Topaz had joined the duo as he said, “See you then, Malandra.”

    Malandra’s brown eyes fell upon the spritely teen who had joined them and asked, “Not one of yours, is she, Chief?”

    “Nope, she’s my brother’s kid,” the Gym Leader said cheerfully, turning to join in Topaz’s jog. “Well, got to go... lots to do.”

    “Have a safe trip!” Malandra called as she waved them off on their way.

    “So who was that, Uncle?” Topaz asked as they made their way through the awakening township towards home.

    “My second in command,” the man replied shortly. “She’s mostly in charge in my absence... but she’s not permitted to carry out the role of Gym Leader yet. But now that we’re in the off-season break, it’s safe to leave the Gym in her care.”

    “Heh... so Aunty Nat isn’t worried about you two being close?” Topaz said slyly.

    Her uncle chuckled benignly as they took the corner at a moderate speed. “Your Aunt doesn’t worry about that sort of stuff with me. We’ve had our trust issues sorted out years ago. Besides,” he puffed as the house came into view. “I met Malandra years ago... she was my first protégée about eighteen years ago... back when we had the Trainer Mentor program in Johto and Kanto...”

    “You were a mentor?”

    “Yeas ago,” the older jogger said, his voice steeped in nostalgia. “Why do you ask? Do you want a mentor?”

    “No way, José! I’m gonna prove to my parents that I can handle myself on a journey!” Topaz exclaimed indignantly as they stepped into the bright, yet cooler interior of the kitchen.

    “You know, I’m sure your parents think you can handle yourself,” Aydan’s father said after giving his wife a peck on the cheek and ruffling his children’s hair fondly.

    And with a pointed glance at his wife, he settled down to a quick bite before they set off.

    ***

    After his father had eaten, showered and changed into a light green and brown camo shirt and blue black trousers, Aydan and Topaz stood on the front steps of the house, ready to leave with Matt and Karin sitting on the front porch seat watching their older brother and cousin talk to each other.

    “Bet you I’ll get the League title before you, Aydee,” Topaz said with a smirk.

    “Yeah... I’m sure you will,” Aydan agreed without much commitment.

    “You may want to make me your rival, and all,” Topaz went on boastfully. “But don’t expect any mercy from moi just because we're family... I intend to go all the way, and nothing you do will slow me down!”

    Aydan, who had been looking vacantly into the sky turned to his cousin and asked in a light, amicable tone, “Hunh? Did you say something?”

    “Aargh... I hate it when you reply with such cool, hip responses!” Topaz screamed comically, clutching at her hair in exasperation at her cousin’s lack of enthusiasm.

    Karin and Matt burst out laughing for a moment before Aydan’s parents came out.

    “Yo, uncle! Can we go now?” the impatient Topaz exclaimed. “My Fire starter’s waiting for me!”

    “Are you sure Topaz isn’t your daughter, hun?” Aydan’s mother asked in a tone of mock suspicion, and not the healthy kind.

    Pretty sure, sweetie,” his father said with a smile, planting a kiss on her cheek as he took a backpack full of food and drinks from her hands. “Karin, Matt? I’ll be away for a couple of days. So listen to your mother while I’m gone, OK?”

    “OK, Daddy!” Both twins said in unison, their cheerfulness bolstered by their brother’s promise of a Christmas visit.

    “See you, Mom! You two, Karin, Matt!” Aydan said as they turned away.

    “God luck, Aydan!” his mother said proudly. “You’re the son of a champ, and no matter what, you’ll be a champ to me!”

    “Thanks, Mom,” Aydan said, touched by her words.

    “Thanks for the hospitality, Aunty Nat,” Topaz said energetically. “And stay outta trouble, squirts!”

    “See you, Cousin Topaz! See you Aydee-nii!” the twins called in unison as the trio set off down the road to Pallet Town... and their new adventures.

    ***

    The midday sun beat down upon the travelling trio as they strolled down Route 1, the short, hilly path that led to Pallet Town and the home of the number one authority on Pokémon, Professor Samuel Oak.

    “Yo, Uncle! How much farther?” Topaz asked impatiently.

    “Well, we made good time these past three hours,” Aydan’s father said wiping his sweaty brow with the back of his hand. “At the rate we’re going, we’ll reach Pallet Town within the hour. Hey, Aydan,” he said, turning back to his panting son who lagged behind by a few feet and had an exhausted look on his face. “Are you sure you’re OK?”

    Placing his palms on his knees and taking a few deep breaths, Aydan smiled and said, “I’m just fine, Dad. Don’t worry.”

    Aydan’s father frowned slightly but decided to take his son’s word for it. Calling ahead to the hyperactive girl who had gone several yards ahead, he said, “Topaz! We’re stopping for a break! Hey, Topaz! Wait up!”

    Aydan finally crested the hill his father stood on waiting for him and saw that Topaz in her excitement to being so close to their first destination was already half a mile ahead of either male.

    Aydan’s father’s eyes reduced to pinpricks as he laughed heartily and said, “Well, we’ll catch up soon enough. How does taking five sound?

    Aydan smiled in relief and the two men moved towards the shade of a large beech tree on the side of the road.

    Slumping lazing amongst the roots, Aydan let out a long sigh and taking a water bottle from his father’s hand said, “Thanks, Dad.”

    “Are you sure you’re up to a journey?” his father asked, taking a swig of water from another water bottle and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “You did just recover from that bout of Mahogany Flu last month... you don’t have to prove anything to anybody, you know.”

    Aydan’s blue eyes stared at his father as a refreshing breeze ruffled the older man’s dark hair. Aydan struggled to find words to tell his father about his designs for his journey when suddenly a loud voice bellowed from the side of the road, “Hey, you! In the yellow shirt! You a trainer?”

    Both Aydan and his old man turned to stare at a young girl who looked roughly a year and a half younger than Aydan himself. Her blonde hair shone like pure gold in the noon sun, which also glinted off her purple tinted shades.

    Aydan’s father stood up and said apologetically, “Sorry, but my son’s just starting out himself...”

    The girl’s lightly mascara face showed disapproval as she place one hand on the hips of her red full length jeans, the wind tugging gently at her black fishnet shawl, which she wore over a bright blue tee shirt.

    “Then how about you, gramps?” she asked arrogantly, tossing her hair behind her ear as she stuck out her hip, on which Aydan noted a solitary pokéball attached to a large black belt. “You think you’re good enough to take me?”

    Aydan’s father grinned and shook his head in humorous disbelief. Turning back to his son, he said gently, “Well, I was wondering when I should start training this new capture of mine... how does a one on one sound to you?”

    “Cheers, Gramps,” the girl said cheekily, taking her place on one side of the road while Aydan’s dad took his a few feet away. “The name’s Corrie Mackie. How about you, gramps?”

    “Let’s go with Gramps for a while,” Aydan’s father said calmly. “The name certainly appeals to you. Besides, I have the feeling you’ll find out who I am soon enough.”

    Aydan let out a little groan and shook his head in exasperation at his father’s antics as he released a pokéball from the top of his belt. Praying that it wasn’t Tidal’s, Aydan sat up to watch the match.

    “OK, Gramps,” Corrie said spritely, enlarging and throwing down her first and only pokéball “Let’s begin, shall we? Go, Venus!”

    Venus shot out of the red and white orb as a flash of white light and hit the field where the light accumulated and took the shape of a small, squat Pokémon. As the light died down, Venus’s vibrant green skin was revealed to have dark polygonal spots splashed across its forehead and legs which ended in stubby white claws. Its sharp red eyes beheld the veteran trainer and growled slightly as it rose from its squatting position into a low crouch. The final identifying factor of Venus’s species was the dark green bulb that dominated its back above its little pointed ears.

    “So, a Bulbasaur! Just starting off are we?” Aydan’s father said cheerfully.

    “That’s right, Gramps!” Corrie said proudly. “Venus and I have already beaten both the other starting trainers from Pallet and three Rattata today! Let’s see what you have!”

    “OK, but go easy, OK?” Aydan’s father laughed at his private joke. “Let’s go, Slink!”

    Venus’s opponent took the field with a lilting trill of a voice. It stood roughly a foot tall and seemed to be all tail. Slink had a dark brown furry body with a brown and black striped club tail. A creamy white circle of fur stood out on his belly and bright button black eyes stood out on its small face. Two short yet floppy ears stood out on the crown of his head and twitched as Venus’s growling borne on the wind reached him. Slink dropped to all fours and tittered nervously.

    “Let the match begin! Venus, use your Tackle attack!” Corrie commanded cheerfully.

    “Slink, Defense Curl,” ‘Gramps’ said calmly.

    Venus growled once more and trotted towards Slink, who let out a frightened squeak and rolled itself into what seemed to be a striped ball of fur. Venus lowered her head and slammed it into the stationary Slink, who let loose a muffled squeak and went careening through the air for a couple of feet before slamming into the ground and bouncing a few times before uncurling again.

    “Got you!” Corrie cheered, pumping her fist and Venus growled again, a red spot blossoming on her forehead where she had hit the Sentret. Slink clutched his tail and let loose a little growl of his own.

    “OK, Slink,” Aydan’s father said calmly. “Our turn to attack. Use Quick Attack.”

    Slink nodded and took off running at a speed that left Corrie and Venus wrong footed half a second too long: Slink slammed into Venus and sent her skidding back a few feet, another angry red bruise on her cheek joining the first one.

    Slink, however was less lucky. His being lighter than Venus resulted in the attack’s recoil being severely dealt to the slighter Normal type, causing it to fly back a few more feet than Venus, crashing into a dust stirring roll and visibly shaken from meeting a heavier, sturdier opponent at full tilt.

    “So, you have some skills,” Corrie said calmly, “but you were careless. Venus, let’s thank Gramps and his Sentret for the meal.”

    Venus chuckled and Slink squealed in pain as a few beads of yellowish light flew from the Normal type’s fur and into the Bulbasaur’s bulb which had opened up to receive the energy it had sapped from Slink.

    “Oh, ho! Leech Seed, was it?” Aydan’s father said thoughtfully as Aydan clenched his fists in worry. Sure enough, under the Sentret’s dark brown fur, soft green tendrils had begun to spread across the Sentret’s fur, sapping his strength and replenishing his opponent’s. “Must have happened when Slink attacked physically.”

    “Now, Venus... use Vine Whip!” Corrie marshalled her Pokémon.

    The Seed Pokémon growled and centred herself as two slender yet supple vines seemed to slip out from under her bulb and shoot towards the panting Sentret, who glanced back towards his new trainer for orders.

    “OK, Slink... I know this is sudden, but I need you to grab those vines before they hit you!” Aydan’s father said commandingly.

    The Scout Pokémon nodded and snagged both vines in his little forepaws and held on tight, despite the pain both paws experienced; almost as though they had been flayed with whips.

    “Hang tough, Venus! We’re almost there,” Corrie coached her Pokémon confidently as more beads of light seeped from the Sentret’s body into the Bulbasaur’s, leaving the Grass Pokémon looking as good as new and the Sentret looking slightly faint.

    “Now, Slink! Use the move we practiced the other day!” Aydan’s father said quickly.

    Slink nodded determinedly as Corrie gloated, “It’s nearly dead on its feet! Venus, pull it in and use Tackle!”

    “That’s one of the oldest tricks in the book!” Aydan’s father said loudly as Venus began to reel the huffing and puffing Sentret closer as it bowed its squat head, ready to end the battle.

    Aydan closed his bespectacled eyes, unwilling to watch the beating continue. A low yet surprised sounding cry form Bulbasaur caused him to open them again.

    Corrie was wondering aloud what was happening as Venus looked troubled, Aydan didn’t need to look far to see why: Slink’s little paws were glowing with an icy blue hue and the vines that bound the Sentret and Bulbasaur together were encased in solid ice.

    “Now, Slink,” the older trainer said quietly. “Time to wrap this up!”

    The Sentret squeaked its assent once and in next to no time the ice began to creep all over Venus’ body, starting from the bulb. Half a second later, the large bulb was completely encased in rapidly spreading ice.

    “No, Venus can’t absorb energy anymore this way! Return!” Corrie cried out in an anguished voice, recalling the Bulbasaur in a flash of red light and saving the Grass/Poison type from sever frostbite.

    “Hey, Gramps! That was a sneaky move, using Ice Punch like that,” Corrie pouted as Slink was also returned to his pokéball by the victorious trainer. “You kept the move hidden until it was convenient for you!”

    Actually, it was Blizzard. And you did the same with Venus’ Leech Seed,” Aydan’s father reminded her gently. “Remember?”

    Corrie suddenly stopped pouting and grinned. “Yeah, guess you’re right, Gramps...”

    “You know, I’m not that old,” Aydan’s father said with a sweat drop. “And you’re not that shabby either, Corrie. You showed good judgement when you had to call Venus back. Not any trainer would return a Pokémon when it’s in trouble at the cost of a slim chance at victory... and I’ve faced a lot of trainers. You’ve got character, and your Bulbasaur’s got spunk. Keep working hard, and you’ll reach Master level in no time!”

    “Thanks, mister,” Corrie said a little dully. “But you still won, fair and square.”

    “Don’t write yourself off, Corrie,” Aydan’s father said kindly as Aydan got up and walked towards them. Placing a hand on the young girl’s shoulder, he went on wisely, “You put up a heck of a fight there. All I’ll advise you to do next time is not to maintain extended contact with a Pokémon that may have a large number of unknown variables around him. It’d also be wise never to get too far ahead of yourself in a battle, as anything can happen. OK?”

    “OK, I’ll remember that for next time, mister!” Corrie said enthusiastically as Aydan reached the duo.

    Handing his former opponent a pink fluid-filled spray bottle, Aydan’s dad said, “For your Bulbasaur’s frostbite. We’ll meet again, I’m pretty sure of it!”

    “Thanks for the Heal and advice, mister!” Corrie said happily, turning to run down the road towards Viridian City happily. “Later!”

    Aydan watched her go for a few seconds and turned to his dad and said, “She wasn’t that tough, was she? Why didn’t you tell her who you were?”

    “Not really,” the older man said, exhaling proudly as he slung his pack over his shoulder. “But she was very good for a beginner... quite the fighter. And she wouldn’t have given it her all if she knew she was fighting the toughest gym leader in Kanto, would she?”

    “No, I guess not,” Aydan said thoughtfully, looking slightly worriedly.

    “What’s wrong?” his father inquired as he caught Aydan’s sigh.

    “Nothing, Dad,” Aydan said quickly. ”We’d better hurry or Topaz’ll probably harass Professor Oak to death.”

    “True,” the older man said ponderously, wondering what was bothering his oldest son.

    ***

    Topaz had shifted her position on the large ‘Welcome to Pallet Town’ for what seemed like the ninetieth time when Aydan and his dad finally crested the last hill at whose base Pallet Town stood.

    “Finally!” Topaz said impatiently, marching back up the hill in a huff and grabbing her uncle and cousin by the arm and dragging them both into town painfully. “I’ve been waiting forever! D’you know how boring sleepy towns like this are? Let’s get out licenses and leave already!”

    “That’s our Topaz,” Aydan’s father said wearily. “Always straight to the point.”

    Aydan just rolled his blue eyes, but lightened up considerably as they arrived at the Oak Observatory, a white washed cylindrical building that rose several tens of metres into the bright blue sky and home not only to the renowned Professor Oak, but the Pokémon of many an accomplished Pallet Town trainer.

    His father took one look at the alabaster monument and chuckled, “Oh, Professor Yew, you old rip-off...”

    Topaz ran up the innumerable steps to the front door and knocked on the door with considerable force. The others had joined her on the top of the steps when the door opened revealing a seedy old man who grumbled, “For the last time, Donphan! Stop banging on the... oh, hello!”

    The man got a flustered look on his lined face and laughed embarrassedly, his hand rubbing the back of his snowy white haired neck. The week old stubble of his chin and the droopy bagshot eyes gave the impression of a man who’d lived on too much tofu and noodles and not enough sleep. “Well, don’t just stand out there, come in, come in! I have been expecting you!”

    The trio gave each other mystified looks before Aydan’s father (for the first time since they had set off) took the lead and entered the cluttered ‘house’ first.

    Books littered every single surface, from the bookshelves to the tables and seating furniture. Lacy, crocheted drapes blocked the late Spring sunshine and the scenery the Oak Corral (as it was famously known) from the sight of the room’s occupants. The walls, with their sickly green paint, seemed to belong in a low budget hospital, not an aged celebrity’s home, in Topaz’s opinion as she looked around the room where Professor Oak had shown them seats as he went to retrieve the objects of their interest.

    Aydan slouched back in the easy chair and looked around interestedly. True, the professor’s sense of fashion was off by a few decades, and the junk lying everywhere suggested Professor Oak required care, but to Aydan, it just showed that a great mind lived here. One, apparently, too engrossed in his work to clean up once in a while.

    Aydan’s father had just put down the videophone receiver and turned to face the portable transporter Oak had had installed in his sitting room when the professor came back from the ‘lab’ carrying a broad grin on his equally broad face.

    Reaching for the inside pocket of his white knee-length lab coat which hung over a green V-neck sweater and maroon red slacks, he pulled out two thin white rectangles of plastic and handed them to each teenager and said happily, “There you go! Two official League trainer ID cards... done in record time, I might add...”

    “Don’t brag. It just sounds weird coming from you,” Topaz muttered under her breath, glancing askance at the old man as she turned the card over in her hands.

    The professor then reached into the pocket of his red slacks and pulled out what looked like two bright red, rectangular gadgets with rounded sides and proclaimed, “and these, lady and gents, is the Pokédex Mark X2! Complete with ecological information and vital stat readers compatible with over seven hundred species of Pokémon known to man!”

    “Great, great,” Topaz said grumpily as she took hers brusquely from the professor’s hand with a touch of contempt. “Now can we get to choose starters? Cuz I’ve wanted...”

    A loud ding interrupted her speech and Aydan’s father pulled a red and white pokéball from the transporter and answered the three quizzical looks that addressed his recent action by saying simply, “Looks like our ride’s here. Thanks a load, Professor.”

    “You will stay for dinner, won’t you?” Professor Oak asked cheerfully. “I could get some tofu really quickly. Maybe one of my haiku to while away the wait?”

    “Not if you want Topaz to wreck the house, Professor,” Aydan said quietly, watching his cousin’s left eyebrow twitch irritatedly.

    “But of course,” the aged Pokémon expert said returning the look of understanding as he saw Topaz flex her fingers dangerously. “Well, I’ll see you off, shall I?”

    Beckoning to the two youths who had already risen to their feet, Aydan’s father addressed Topaz when he said, “Professor Celio will be giving you your starters on Knot Island tomorrow, and if you’d stop complaining,” he said, raising his voice to block out the girl’s groans, “you’d just follow me quietly.”

    “But the Seagallop ferry leaves from Vermillion City Port!” Topaz whined as they walked out the door, Aydan pausing to thank the professor for his gifts and running down the steps to join the arguing duo as they made their way to Pallet Point, the Cliffside that faced Cinnabar Island and the East Sea. “It’ll take us weeks to get... there...”

    Topaz had faltered in speech and Aydan, who had finally caught up, saw what had struck his cousin for the first time in his living memory, totally speechless. His father had flicked a pokéball off the stony, moss-covered ridge towards the sea where it split open and the largest volume of white light hit the still waves and expanded for several feet before the light finally died down, revealing what looked like the world’s largest blue and white Aquafloat... with fins.

    “So that’s what you meant by ‘Our ride is here’, hunh?” the young male trainer said knowingly.

    His father simply smiled and leapt off the cliff onto the Wailord’s back and called, “All aboard the SS Whambo!”

    <Next stop, Knot Island,> the Whale Pokémon bellowed in an incredibly deep bass voice that seemed to shake up the waves themselves as Topaz and Aydan hopped onto his back as well. With a loud expulsion of water from its spout, Whambo pulled away from the cliffs and out to sea.

    ***

    This is the captain of the Hi-Speed Seagallop 6 service, for the Kin Island-Knot Island Express. We have reached your destination. The local time now is nine oh four p.m. Thank you for sailing with us. We hope to see you on our later voyages.

    A thirteen year old boy was among the crowd of passengers disembarking, trying to act as inconspicuously as possible yet ruining the effect by keeping his hood up. As it was drizzling lightly as opposed to the torrential downpour that the vessel had set sail into, people thankfully didn’t pay the boy’s odd behaviour much mind.

    Kurtis Rakore had arrived at Knot Island and as eager as he was to reach the Pokémon Net Communication Center and Professor Celio Walker’s laboratory, he knew he must be considerate of the professor’s privacy given the hour of his arrival. Not to give his growling stomach and aching back any incentive to further yearning, Kurtis turned towards the One Island Park and after walking for a few minutes found a secluded park bench that sat by a solitary lamp post.

    Dumping his backpack on the bench he slumped next to it despite the considerable wetness of the wooden planks that made up the seating portion. Looking upwards into the weeping darkness with his dark black eyes, several droplets of rain splashed upon his face as he blearily looked around. He was hungry, cold and wet. But it would only be temporary, he thought as sleep began to overpower him.

    Soon, he’d be a trainer.

    Soon, he would be able to afford the life of luxury he’d lost when they became alone.

    Soon, he’d be able to share what he owned... repay those he owed with the blessings they had blessed him with when he had next to nothing to live on.

    Soon...

    Soon...


    The blackness around him became complete as the last word that formed on his thin lips was uttered. “Soon.”

    ***

    So there's chapter two! The battle was something I threw in for length and to throw bright minds guessers off the track.
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
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    Butt-ugly Banner by Me
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  13. #13
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    Awesome. I like this fic, AD.

    Good chapter, which set o starters are they going to choose from?

    Also, are they based on Ash and Gary? Or someone else...

    Sorry for the bad review, but I'm tired today.

    Aydan is a unique character. And, Mahogany Flu? Hmm... SO many questions... They'll have to wait for the next chapter though.


    EDIT: First post!
    Current Black Team: Rivka (Stoutland), Elmo (Musharna), Scarlett (Whimsicott), Gabriel (Carracosta), Reese (Klang), Sean (Mienfoo); all are at level 47. Currently in Victory Road.

  14. #14
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    OK... so one review.

    it's ok. I can deal. We're just getting started, anywho.

    Thanks for reviewing Araleon. I'll tell you what. For being so patient, i'm pulling out the stops and working all day on the next chapter.

    Oh, and the relationship between the cousins is based on Kakashi (Aydan) and Gai (Topaz) from Naruto.

    Well, i got work to do.

    L@er!
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
    HEART OF SEVEN STONES IS ON INDEFINITE HIATUS (REAPED) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
    Butt-ugly Banner by Me
    (Still waiting on the excellent Saffire Persian for another awesome TCQ banner!)

  15. #15
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    So this is what I've been hearing about...
    Wait, Topaz can't wait for fire starter? Sure she isn't your...
    2+2=ANSWER!
    Wait, then... I'm officially confused. (Why did you have to use confuse ray?)
    Interesting other character...
    Oh, what the heck, I'm just going to say this is... You know what I'm about to say, right?
    It is... EPIC!


    See Ya Later!


    PS: You like hot-tempered girls, don't you? First Haylie, now Topaz...
    "Open your mouth too wide, and your ears close."

    Do you wish you could do things like in the anime?
    Do you wish you could dodge behind a rock to avoid an attack?
    Do you wish that you could use the arena to stop your opponents cold?
    If you answered yes to any of those questions, the Pokemon Anime Style Battling League could be for you!

  16. #16
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    Unhappy HoSS Chapter 3... at last

    @Kindindra:

    So this is what I've been hearing about...
    Yep...

    Wait, Topaz can't wait for fire starter? Sure she isn't your...
    2+2=ANSWER!
    Whoa, cool your jets, hotshot!

    Wait, then... I'm officially confused. (Why did you have to use confuse ray?)
    Because I'm evil. ^_^

    Interesting other character...
    You mean Aydan? Thanks...

    Oh, what the heck, I'm just going to say this is... You know what I'm about to say, right?
    It is... EPIC!
    There was nothing wrong? *decides not to push the topic further*

    PS: You like hot-tempered girls, don't you? First Haylie, now Topaz...
    Maybe... subconsciously... they're certainly more fun to write out, than obedient, omniperfect Mary Sues... unless it's in a parody...

    Thanks for the review/reply. I wonder where Matt Silver went?

    So... there has to be a valid reason why i wasn't able to get this up about a month ago, right?

    *exhales* let's just chalk this off to laziness. Pardon is craved on any apparent skimping in quality, but i'm tired and had to type something before work drove me utterly insane... and belive me, work needs a driving license...

    So here we go... another renamed-on-the-fly chapter... HoSS chapter 3.

    Out the Starter Gate

    “Come on, Aydan!”

    “Yeah, hurry up, Aydan!”

    Aydan ran as fast as his nine-year old body could go, panting half with exhaustion, half from laughing joyfully as he pursued the figures who called out to him from across the sunny field filled with flowers of all sorts. Combee buzzed lazily trough the air as the clouds drifted in an animatedly lazy manner across the cerulean sky.

    One of his targets seemed to have short hair that kept close to its scalp whilst the others long hair danced in the refreshing breeze as they laughed and pranced away from the boy, who was doing everything in his power to keep up.

    What seemed odd after a few minutes of their game was that it mattered not how fast Aydan ran, or for how long. He ran, and ran, yet his prey got no closer. Aydan chased them up a hill where a small forest stood, and the fugitives stopped to watch him struggle up after them.

    Aydan pushed harder, every muscle in his body aching for rest, screaming in protest, but he was so close. Just a few more feet... a few more feet...

    The taller silhouette glanced back at him and said, “Sorry, but I really have to go,” and promptly walked into the forest which suddenly looked cold and forbidding.

    Aydan reached out; called desperately. Begged him to come back and play, but things seemed to change very rapidly and oddly: for one thing, Aydan had aged three years in three minutes. For another, no matter how much he screamed, absolutely no sound came out.

    The other shadow seemed to look at the Combee in fear and Aydan, turning back to look as well, could see why: before his eyes, they began to grow larger; ebony white cones three feet long extended from their bodies, the friendly black eyes becoming crimson, jelly-like blobs as they transformed from peaceful Combee into enraged Beedrill.

    The bee Pok&#233;mon swarmed the shadow quickly, and everything started going wrong; the sky had turned the violent colour of blood and the grass beneath his feet resembled charred firewood as they carried the screaming figure into the same woods the first had vanished into.

    Aydan screamed and tried to catch her, save her, when a flock of Zubat came screaming out of the trees forcing the now teenaged Aydan back.

    Aydan stumbled and fell backwards. Yet his back never made contact with the pitch-black grass. In an unbelievable fashion, Aydan slipped through the grass as though it was now a doorway; a hole under his feet.

    As Aydan fell, a cold began to sweep over him. It felt like he was sinking, falling slightly into icy waters. The world around him had gone cold as the chill began to spread to his innards, seemingly alive, clawing at every inch, every organ it could reach.

    Aydan...

    Aydan...


    He began to hear cries for help, calls to him, but he wasn’t sure if it was delirium brought on by the cold or real. He tried to struggle, but it felt like his clothes were weighing him down. Panicking, he had begun to hyperventilate, his world growing dim...

    Aydan...


    “Aydan...”

    “Aydan...”

    Someone seemed to be shaking his shoulder gently yet firmly, the sound of his name growing louder and more incessant in his ears.

    “Aydan!”

    Aydan’s eyes flew open, ad salty air hit his nose and face like a whip. Exhaling heavily whilst propping himself on his elbows, Aydan put a hand to his forehead and wiped away, a small pool of sweat residing in his clammy palm. Turning sideways, he looked into the concerned eyes of his father, their shape and hue a perfect replica of his, which began to droop and look away in slight humiliation and dread... had he said something embarrassing aloud as he dreamt?

    “Are you alright, son?” His father asked him in a quiet, concerned voice. “Anything you want to talk about?”

    Readjusting his glasses and looking to the dawning horizon, he could just see the outline of Knot Island in the distance, growing steadily larger as Whambo the Wailord pressed on, releasing an occasional jet of water from his blowhole.

    It had been a dream... a horrifyingly vivid one, Aydan thought as he reflected on the visions his troubled subconscious had brought him. He recognized the voices from his dream, and suddenly shivered involuntarily; the morning was chilly.

    He glanced towards his cousin Topaz who slept feverishly a few feet away, obviously excited at the prospect of starting her journey. She had been covered with a bright yellow blanket similar to his own, although his had slipped off him in his sleep.

    “Aydan?” His father asked again. “Are you alright?”

    Mastering his feelings of shame and weakness, Aydan nodded and lying down with his back purposely to his father, he said softly, “Yeah, Dad. I’m OK...”

    Not altogether convinced, the Viridian City Gym Leader, did not push the topic, but rolled over onto his side, confident that if there was a problem, his son would let him know.

    ***

    The clear glass doors of the Pok&#233;mon Net Center slid open with a hissing sound as a boy in a blue hoodie traipsed across the yellow and white tiled floor, leaving puddles of water dripping in his wake as he made his way to the front desk, where a nurse with roseate coloured hair cut short sat in front of a computer, analysing physiological data of the patients on admission to the Net Center, which doubles as the Knot Island Pok&#233;mon Center.

    “Good morning, sir,” the matron said cordially, smiling sweetly as a large, egg-shaped Pok&#233;mon came waddling out from a side room scowling slightly as it lugged a mop and bucket across the yellow and white floor. “May we heal your Pok&#233;mon?”

    Fingering Shere’s shrunken pok&#233;ball in between his fingers, Kurtis said, “No, thank you. Is Professor Celio awake?”

    “Oh, so you’re a new trainer! My apologies,” the woman said apologetically, rising to her feet and proffering her slender hand, which Kurtis took and shook. “It’s just that from your attire, I figured you we’re out in the rain. Pok&#233;mon Centers do offer free accommodation to travelling trainers and are opened twenty four hours a day...”

    “Wait a moment, um... miss...?” Kurtis said uncertainly.

    “Jocelyn,” the nurse replied promptly.

    “Right. Did you say free accommodation twenty four hours a day?” Kurtis said in slight disbelief.

    “That’s correct.”

    Kurtis swore and slapped himself hard.

    “You are free to use the facilities, such as the showers...” Jocelyn went on helpfully.

    The doors to the Pok&#233;mon Center opened once more and a party of three entered, looking like they were in rather high spirits. The most cheerful was a girl whose short carrot-coloured hair was held back by a purple Alice band.

    “So then I said... hey, Nurse Joy,” Topaz said, interrupting her story to address the matron.

    “Actually, my name is Jocelyn,” the matron corrected kindly.

    “Yeah, OK,” Topaz said dismissively. “Where’s the professor?”

    “Probably in the room over there that has ‘PROFESSOR CELIO’S OFFICE: NO UNAUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ALLOWED WITHOUT PERMISSION’ on it in big, bold letters... stupid,” Kurtis said, jerking his head over towards the door in question.

    “Wait... did you call me stupid?” Topaz demanded. “Just who are you anyways, kid?”

    “Kurtis.”

    “Kurtis who?”

    “I don’t need to answer.”

    “...” Aydan thought bemusedly, watching the other two youths go at it.

    “Well, whatever. If you’ll excuse me,” Topaz said in a self-important voice, marching towards the door. “I have a fire Pok&#233;mon to receive!”

    Kurtis’s sable eyes, which had up to this point been closed in annoyance, opened wide and started off after her, muttering, “The hell you do...”

    ***

    A thin, weedy man with bobbed hair of a light green shade stared at a laptop flat-screen that stood next to an intricate device early the next morning. A steaming mug of cocoa stood next to him as he watched figures and bars change before his very tired eyes.

    Although it wasn’t the world’s youngest professor’s first year as a resident Pok&#233;mon specialist, he wanted everything to run smoothly as the starters entrusted into his care by older and more experienced colleagues would be meeting their new trainers for the first time.

    The Sevii Islands had no resident grass, fire or water type Pok&#233;mon that would make exceptionally great starters unlike the other landmasses like Kanto or Johto. As such, Professor Celio had taken delivery of the leftover starters from the various landmasses over the last four years and handing them out to new trainers who felt up to the harshest of leagues.

    A door opened behind the professor softly so the engrossed man wasn’t aware of his company until a pair of dainty hands wrapped themselves around his chest and held him tight, a simple yet delicate ring on the new arrival’s left hand.

    “Cel, honey,” the voice murmured groggily. “It’s six in the morning; you’ve been up for hours...”

    Turning back to give his wife a tired smile, Celio replied apologetically, “Sorry, dear. It’s that time of year again. Just running some last minute checks before the trainers arrive...”

    “Well,” Celio’s wife replied slyly, turning the man’s gaze away from one of the pok&#233;balls hooked to the machine to her coffee brown eyes. “They won’t be here for an hour or so. How about I... keep you busy?”

    “Hmm,” Celio pretended to think the offer over for a minute, yet mirroring the petite woman’s mischievous smile. “I think I can spare a few minutes...”

    As the lovebirds leaned in closer, a loud knocking noise rang out through the room followed by Topaz, who’s eyes bugged out of her head. Aydan’s father was right behind her calling out to her to stop and turned a slight shade of pink as he caught a glimpse of the professor and his wife less than an inch apart.

    “Ehehe... sorry about that,” he said in a winning voice, grabbing his niece by the ear and dragging her out painfully. “She’s had one too many sugar cubes this morning.”

    And with a sincerely apologetic look at the couple and with Topaz bellowing in pain, he closed the door gently behind them, leaving a nervous and stony silence.

    Exhaling helplessly, Celio turned to his wife and said sadly, “Rain check?”

    Celio’s wife didn’t respond, she only glared at the door behind which Topaz’s groans could still be heard. Stalking off, she muttered darkly, “I. Hate. This. Time. Of. Year!”

    Celio chuckled nervously, faintly annoyed himself at the intrusion and turning back to the door, he proceeded towards it, ready to let the trainers in.

    ***

    Ten minutes later, three teenagers expressing different degrees of excitement stood before the professor’s desk, Aydan’s father standing of to the side watching the scene with mild interest, this not being the first start for novice trainers he had seen in his life.

    “So let’s see... you must be Aydan,” Celio said, reading the name off a clipboard as he gave another sad glance at the pok&#233;ball that had captured his attention somewhat earlier.

    “Yes, sir,” Aydan replied slightly nervously, finding himself standing slightly more stiffly as he was addressed.

    “Relax, son,” his father chuckled. “You’re not in military camp, you know.”

    “That would obviously make you Kurtis,” Professor Celio said to the youth on Topaz’s right, whose hands were stuffed in his pockets.

    “Yeah,” Kurtis replied nonchalantly, casting the professor a cool glance.

    Man, what a jerk, Topaz thought angrily. No respect at all...

    “And that would make this lovely lady Topaz.” The professor finished wearily, placing his clipboard down after the machine beside him chimed a few times, letting those present know it was done.

    “You know it!” Topaz said brightly, staring at the machine. “Are those our Pok&#233;mon in there? Which ones are they? Can I pick first?”

    “Well, before we get to the main reason we’re here today,” Professor Celio said calmly, reaching for three shiny flat pieces of equipment on the desk to his right and handing one to each youth, “you should know that in absentia of original starters, I’ll be issuing you with starters from other continents...”

    Topaz turned over her new metallic silver Pok&#233;dex with little interest as Aydan thanked the professor for his forest green version of the same device. Kurtis took his coral blue one without a word but in a grateful manner and began to test out its capabilities, which included a touch screen and camera amongst others, scanning the three pok&#233;balls sitting in the now dormant machine.

    “Torchic, hunh?” he muttered with interest, as the professor explained the terrain of the islands and how the ferry services worked. “That would do nicely...”

    “So... now,” Celio said brightly. “Who’ll be going first?”

    Topaz and Kurtis stepped forward in unison, noticing each other’s actions out the corner of their eye.

    “Back off, Kurtz,” Topaz said angrily. “Didn’t your father teach you ‘Ladies first’?”

    “I don’t see any around,” Kurtis replied nonchalantly, before adding coldly, “And not that it’s any of your business, but my dad never taught me a thing.”

    Missing his meaning, Topaz spluttered angrily, “What was that supposed to mean?”

    “Topaz, please calm down!” Aydan’s dad said quellingly, stealing a glance at his son, who had not moved and now looked faintly embarrassed at his cousin’s behaviour.

    “Now, now, Kurtis, Topaz,” Professor Celio said calmly. “All the starters available are fine Pok&#233;mon... it shouldn’t matter which you choo...”

    “Yeah, it does!” Topaz said angrily. “All the trainers in my family know that fire types rule the school!”

    Aydan looked at his father and asked in some surprise, “Do they? You never told me that, Dad.”

    His father smiled ruefully as his niece continued to list every unreasonable reason under the sun as to why she should be allowed to pick first. “Let’s just say my journeys as a trainer and mentor taught me that power can be channelled through any type, son.”

    “I spent years studying fire types, learning their strengths and weaknesses! No way am I giving it up to a no-nothing like Kurtz here!”

    Oh, boy, Aydan’s father thought drily. Why does this scene seem so familiar?

    “Topaz, his name’s Kurtis,” Aydan corrected quietly, keen to stay out of the argument.

    “I don’t really care,” Topaz said angrily. “I know you don’t care whatever starter you get, but I still do! And Kurtz is not having it!”

    “Why don’t you listen to your cousin and stop being a brat, Topaz?” Kurtis asked quietly.

    “ENOUGH!” Aydan’s dad said loudly, silencing Topaz instantly. “If you can not settle this calmly, I’ll tell the professor to not give you one!”

    "You're not my dad!" Topaz yelled rebelliously.

    "For once, she got something right," Kurtis agreed, nodding at Topaz as he folded his arms stubbornly.

    "No," the veteran trainer said calmly, looking each of the squabbling youths in the eye steadily, "but as one of the strongest gym leaders in the world, you'll be surprised at how much influence I can have on your future."

    Topaz and Kurtis faltered in mid-counterargument and fell in unison to reasoned argument and dictatorship.

    “Fine,” Topaz said sullenly. Raising her fist in a challenging manner, she announced, “I’ll battle him for it!”

    Aydan, his dad and Professor Celio gaped as Kurtis looked her over calmly, sizing her up. After a minute or so, he said with a shrug and a faint chuckle, “I don’t see why not, Topaz.”

    Turning to the professor, he added, “Is it OK to use the other starters to battle, Professor Celio?”

    “N-now just wait a minute, you two!” Celio said indignantly. “Is that what you call settling it peacefully? Plus you just can’t decide such things on your own!”

    Clapping a hand on the flabbergasted professor’s shoulder, Aydan’s father said calmly, “You might just as well let them, Celio. Topaz’ll never shut up otherwise.”

    Exhaling heavily, Celio nodded and extracting two pok&#233;balls from the machine placed them on the desk beside him and said calmly, “Very well. Topaz, Kurtis, please choose a Pok&#233;mon.”

    Topaz snatched one up quickly and throwing it down said confidently, “OK, let’s do this... whoever you are!”

    A flash of white light erupted in the middle of the room and died down revealing a small blue Pok&#233;mon that stood on two stubby legs that poked out from what looked like a turtle shell. Its bright brown eyes glinted as it crouched slightly, its small palms on its indistinct knees, its swirly tail wagging slightly.

    <Alright! It’s go time!> the Tiny Turtle Pok&#233;mon said triumphantly, stretching backwards, his hands on his sides.

    “Yeah, whatever, Turtle,” Topaz said dismissively. “Let’s just get this battle won so I can get my fire starter...”

    The Squirtle looked crushed.

    <Wha- but, didn’t you choose me?> it asked in shock as a small, lime green quadruped materialized at Kurtis’s command. It dragged its dainty white-tipped feet lazily as tossed its large deep green leaf which grew out of the crown of its head out of its red eyes, a small green necklace of sorts ringing its neck.

    “Look, buddy. Let’s not get... attached, a'ight?” Topaz said impatiently, realising her mistake in Pok&#233;mon choice for the battle. “Just do your best and win, OK, Turtle?”

    Aydan’s father looked from one side of the large office to the other checking to see if they were ready to begin. Aydan stood off to the side next to Professor Celio, wondering if Topaz could really pull off this battle, it being her first to his knowledge.

    “Ready? Begin!” Aydan father said, bringing his hands down to signal the battle’s start.

    “OK, Turtle! Water Gun!” Topaz said swiftly, pointing at the Chikorita for emphasis.

    “Chikorita, Tackle!” Kurtis countered quickly.

    The Tiny Turtle seemed so hurt by Topaz’s attitude that it failed to react in time. The Leaf Pok&#233;mon however, took off running, its head lowered.

    Idiot! The Squirtle’s too young! It can’t use Water attacks yet! Aydan thought helplessly.

    Two feet away, the Chikorita hopped to the side and barrelled into the Squirtle’s elbow and with a resounding crack and many an emphatic wince. The Squirtle went flying, clutching its arm painfully. As it hit the floor hard, Topaz groaned, “Come on, Turtle! Stand up! Fight it!”

    Its uninjured limbs shook heavily as it pushed itself to its feet and looked over its shoulder at the Chikorita, who stared back, a smug smile plastered across its face.

    <Why should I even consider fighting?> The Squirtle thought angrily as the Chikorita charged again with its head lowered in another Tackle attack. <She doesn’t even want me! She only wants me to win her a stupid fire type!>

    And with another loud smack, the Tiny Turtle was sent skidding on its belly with a loud, pained cry; courtesy of another Tackle attack to his tail. The Chikorita leapt back lightly, dancing from foot to foot, ready to attack again.

    “Topaz! It can’t use Water Gun, don’t you know that?!” Aydan shouted. “Look what you’re doing to the little guy!”

    “Shut up, Aydan!” Topaz yelled back. “Leave the battling to me!”

    “So its tail is a weak spot, is it?” Kurtis said calmly. Raising his voice, he ordered, “Chikorita, let’s move in and finish this battle! Tackle!”

    “Turtle, stand up!” Topaz screeched.

    The Squirtle rose shakily to its feet and turned to face the attacking Chikorita.

    “Atta boy, Turtle!” Topaz cheered. “Stand your ground!” Mentally she added, Turtle’s shell should afford some defence, and give that head butting Chikorita a headache to remember!

    “Chikorita, jump.”

    Aydan and Celio gasped as the watched the Chikorita leap clean over the gasping Squirtle’s head and landing as heavily as possible on its tail, which the Tiny Turtle dragged behind him in pain.

    The Squirtle cried out again and turned sluggishly to face the nimble dinosaur, which mirrored its opponent’s movements, swinging her broad leaf as heavily as it could; leaving an angry red mark against the water type’s pale blue face as it went spinning floppily, crashing on its back.

    “Turtle!” Topaz screamed. “Get up! Fight back already!”

    The Squirtle didn’t get up. It had clearly lost its will to fight for a trainer who had clearly had no intention of taking it for her own.

    As Topaz’s uncle announced Kurtis the winner, the Chikorita marched over to the fallen water Pok&#233;mon and placed a foot upon its belly in triumph, somehow winning the match without getting a single scratch.

    Celio and Aydan moved as one towards the fallen Squirtle as Kurtis returned the Chikorita to its pok&#233;ball silently in a flash of red light. Walking towards the table, he placed the Chikorita’s pok&#233;ball on it gently and retrieved the last pok&#233;ball from the machine and nodding to his rival moved towards the door, saying, “I’ll be taking my leave now, Professor... Aydan.”

    “Wait a minute,” Aydan’s father said suddenly, stopping the young man in his tracks. “I really find you hard to get, son. Why are you so fixated on the Torchic? Surely you were impressed by the Chikorita?”

    Kurtis turned back slowly, weighing his words carefully before he spoke them.

    “I always wanted the challenge of raising a Pok&#233;mon whose potential isn’t known to me. Besides,” Kurtis said, with a respectful nod at the Chikorita’s pok&#233;ball, “the Leaf Pok&#233;mon there would make for a fine opponent, whoever chooses it. Well, I must be off. Nice to meet you.”

    “One more question,” Aydan’s father said as he studied the brown haired trainer calmly. “What’s your full name?”

    “Kurtis Rakore,” Kurtis said calmly. “Why do you ask?”

    “I always take note of potential talent,” Aydan’s father said calmly, his blue eyes twinkling excitedly. “Gym Leader quirk, I guess...”

    Kurtis shrugged and smiling slightly, turned and left a stunned Topaz and a concerned Aydan in his wake.

    Turning to Topaz, who had her head bowed, Aydan’s father placed a kindly hand upon her shoulder and said gently, “There’re two things you need to know, Topaz... one, you can’t win every battle, least of all the way you went about it. And two,” he said putting up two fingers, “No Pok&#233;mon should be underestimated or disregarded. I’m sure you’ll want to keep the...”

    “Shut up.” Topaz said icily, causing her uncle to stop short and her cousin to look up in shock. “I don’t want anything to do with that failure of a water type. Mom apparently lied all along... I always knew she wasn’t much of a battler. If I’m gonna be Champion,” she said coldly, tossing aside the Squirtle’s pok&#233;ball in repulsion and grabbing the Chikorita’s. “I’ll need a winner beside me. And nothing you... or anybody else can say will change that!”

    And ignoring her uncle’s call, Topaz ran out of the office, angry tears in her eyes.

    “Topaz!” Aydan called, cradling the Squirtle in his arms, looking upset.

    “Let her go,” his father said heavily, scratching the back of his neck whilst being forcefully reminded of a trainer who once had the same disposition to fire types. “She needs to be alone for a while...”

    Aydan nodded softly and turned to Professor Celio, who looked dumbstruck at Topaz’s reaction.

    “Um... professor,” the boy began slowly. “Is it OK if I choose my starter now?”

    Celio gave a little start and turned to stare at Aydan. Clearly the teen’s inability to make his presence felt had convinced the resident researcher of his absence.

    “Well, naturally,” the thin man said with a little cough. “Unfortunately, all that’s left is the Squirtle you hold in your arms, so I’m really not sure how much of a choice you’d have in the...”

    “It’s OK, Professor,” Aydan smiled as he looked down at the resting Tiny Turtle Pok&#233;mon. “I’d always wanted one anyway!“

    Leaving Professor Celio to scratch his head in a totally bemused way, Aydan turned and left with his father hot on his heels, the latter of which nodded in farewell to the stunned professor with a faint smile.

    Back in the spacious lobby, Aydan’s father turned to his son and said, “Well, son. Guess you’re on your own now. Just remember to do your best.”

    “Uh, Dad,” Aydan said nervously. “About the League...”

    “Hmm?” His father murmured with a politely curious tone and facial expression, which successfully hid his burning curiousity.

    “Are you sure it’s OK to put so much trust in me?” Aydan asked evasively. “Just say, hypothetically, that I... I dunno, wanted to be a breeder... or something. What then?”

    His father stared at his son’s bowed head for a full minute before unsticking his throat and saying softly, “Aydan?” His son looked up, worry in his eyes; eyes that resembled his father’s in every way. “You’re my son. Whatever you choose to do, I don’t care.”

    “Not that I really wanted to be a breeder,” Aydan said quickly. “It’s just... the League isn’t so important to me right now. There’s stuff... stuff I need to look into. To clear up, before I can be at pea-“

    Aydan never finished his sentence as his father drew him into a firm yet gentle hug.

    “Then I’d best leave you to it. Just keep an eye on your crazy cousin for me, will you?”

    Ruffling his red hair and with a last proud smile, Aydan’s father turned and left the Pok&#233;mon Center, pulling out a red and white orb and tossing it lightly, releasing a heavy-set, powerful blue lizard with red wings and markings above its mean, focused eyes.

    Aydan watched him go worriedly. Even then, after all that... he still couldn’t tell him.

    But going by his dream... he had to make sure. He didn’t care who thought him a coward, or a weakling...

    Aydan had priorities. And any laurels were number two.

    ***

    And that about wraps this chapter up. Sorry about length, but I think i explained i'd be as to the point as possible until it was impossible to do so. This is my 'easier reading' fic.

    Well, cue the execution...

    L@er!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 1st December 2008 at 5:37 AM.
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
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  17. #17
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    Ok, new chapter. I like it, it did seem a bit short, but that's compared to your TCQ chapters.

    Kurtis got Torchic? Mk, whatever, the thing I'm worried about is Squritle and Chikorita. I'm glad Aydan got the Squirtle, but, how are Chikorita and Topaz gonna react to each other? And if Aydan and Topaz journey together, Squirtle and Topaz... Well, she wasn't that bad, but Squirtle's reaction was heartfelt.

    A dream? Breeder? Coordinator? Ranger? What could it be...

    All in all, good chapter. One more question, are they journeying in Sevii or Kanto?
    Current Black Team: Rivka (Stoutland), Elmo (Musharna), Scarlett (Whimsicott), Gabriel (Carracosta), Reese (Klang), Sean (Mienfoo); all are at level 47. Currently in Victory Road.

  18. #18
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    Nice story! Great concept and I noticed no spelling or grammar mistakes! I love your characters and keep up the good work!
    nothing lasts forever, but this is getting good now.
    ~I've claimed Turtwig~

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Cool Greetings from Ghana!

    Before I go any further, I'd like to wish the world west of the the Meridian a...

    JOYOUS, HAPPY, CHEERFUL, SUCCESSFUL, TRIUMPHANT NEW YEAR!!!


    So we enter 2009, and what better way to start the new year than with a fresh chapter of the Heart of Seven Stones!

    Now, before I drop the story on ya, let me appreciate my reviewers TurtwigFan1 and Araleon, and give the evil eye to the closet readers. I know you're out there...

    Thanks for loving this ficcie! I'm working ona review for yours so sit tight!

    Oh, and Araleon? The journey, as you'll find out is a Sevii Islands journey.

    OK, so moving on, Chapteur le 4th... start!

    My Knight in Shaggy Armor


    Last time, on Heart of Seven Stones:

    His father stared at his son’s bowed head for a full minute before unsticking his throat and saying softly, “Aydan?” His son looked up, worry in his eyes; eyes that resembled his father’s in every way. “You’re my son. Whatever you choose to do, I don’t care.”

    “Not that I really wanted to be a breeder,” Aydan said quickly. “It’s just... the League isn’t so important to me right now. There’s stuff... stuff I need to look into. To clear up, before I can be at pea-“

    Aydan never finished his sentence as his father drew him into a firm yet gentle hug.

    “Then I’d best leave you to it. Just keep an eye on your crazy cousin for me, will you?”

    Ruffling his hair and with a last proud smile, Aydan’s father turned and left the Pokémon Center, pulling out a red and white orb and tossing it lightly, releasing a heavy-set, powerful blue lizard with red wings and markings above its mean, focused eyes.

    Aydan watched him go worriedly. Even then, after all that... he still couldn’t tell him.

    But going by his dream... he had to make sure. He didn’t care who thought him a coward, or a weakling...

    Aydan had priorities. And any laurels were number two.


    “So... that’s your dad, hunh?”

    Aydan spun around and saw Kurtis Rakore standing a few feet away, now that the Salamence was out of sight, was sizing Aydan up shrewdly with his dark eyes.

    “Yup,” Aydan said calmly, his bespectacled eyes returning Kurtis’s gaze with a look of sincere curiousity.

    Kurtis looked a little unsettled by the cool teen before him. “Are you really related to that hotheaded girl, err...” he said, his face screwed up in slight concentration, struggling for her name.

    Smiling slightly, Aydan replied, “Who, Topaz? Yea, she’s my cousin.”

    “No way... and you’re dad’s a gym leader?”

    “Viridian City’s,” the redhead said with a nod. “Any reason for the questions?”

    “Well,” Kurtis said slowly, measuring his words before uttering them. “Your cousin’s a pretty common entity. The type who thinks she deserves the title of Pokémon Master because it’s their destiny. You, however,” Kurtis said calmly, locking eyes with the other boy trainer. “You seem to have other priorities. Not to mention the fact that you’re a lot less combative than your dad and your cousin. Just what are you after in the Sevii Islands anyway?”

    “I’d rather not say just yet,” Aydan said calmly. Closing his eyes to reflect on the dream he’d had earlier that day, he in turn said to Kurtis, “You told my dad that you wanted to raise Torchic as its abilities were unknown to you. I didn’t quite believe it. Blaziken are known to have more raw speed and attack power that Blastoise or Meganium, so you obviously wanted it for its power.”

    Kurtis had no reply; he just kept gazing at Aydan, stunned at his deductive prowess.

    “So that raises two questions,” Aydan went on calmly, searching Kurtis’s pale face with calm intent.

    “Two questions?” Kurtis asked slowly.

    “Yes,” Aydan went on calmly. “What would motivate you to want a Blaziken so badly? And why bother receiving a new Pokémon when you already have on in the pokéball on your necklace?”

    Kurtis could not hide his shock at this pronouncement. Aydan had seen through him completely.

    “I’ve got a question for you, mate,” Kurtis said levelly, his eyes cool and forbidding. “What’s your full name?”

    “Aydan Cain MacMann,” the other boy replied.

    “Well, Aydan MacMann, the answer’s simple. I have to be champion,” he blurted out abruptly. “And not for the glory, either. I don’t care that you saw through the fact that I was hiding Shere from the professor all along, but if you plan to stand in my way with that wimpy Squirtle, not that you had a choice, or have a chance,” he added matter-of-factly. “I would know, I fought it.... then I won’t hesitate to bring you or your drama queen of a cousin down.”

    “We must agree to disagree there,” Aydan said in a measured voice, not once losing composure. “My Squirtle is not wimpy, and even if I had the choice, I’d still choose him over the others anyway.”

    Kurtis stared for a second or two at Aydan before marching off with an easily audible chuckle, “Hmph! Whatever lets you sleep at night.”

    ***

    The Squirtle in question was presently recuperating in the Pokémon Center’s recovery ward, mulling over the battle and his increasing resentment to human children. It wasn’t the first time beginning trainers had not chosen the Tiny Turtle Pokémon, all because they’d rather start with a more agile, cooler Pokémon. When he first arrived at the Pokémon Net Center, he had been chosen above a Treecko and a Cyndaquil. The next year it was two out of a pair of triplet Chimchar and a Mongle.

    He was sick of it, he thought as he was wheeled out of the ward on a stretcher by the resident Pokémon matron Jocelyn. He hated the Pokémon who had gotten picked over him.

    He hated the concept of being placed last, always the last to be picked.

    He hated the loneliness of growing strong alone, with no one to recognise his potential, praise his efforts.

    All his life, he’d wanted to make somebody proud. Prove to himself beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had what it took. The chance had come. And what did he do with it?

    Choose not to fight. Lose on purpose, just to teach some stupid no-name kid a lesson.

    <Real smooth, Shell-head,> he chided himself, feeling worse by the minute.

    As the doors on either side of the corridor breezed past slowly, he thought back to how his life had been. How it felt to be the last one to be considered everywhere he went and was sent. How much he loathed it.

    This case was no different, was it? Was he truly, truly in the wrong? What would have happened if he had won?

    The head case girl would have dumped him for the stupid neurotic Torchic and left him hanging.

    He’d had it; enough was enough. He was on the verge of swearing never to obey a human again as he was wheeled out into the reception area of the Pokémon Net Center when Aydan’s voice floated over to his inconspicuous ears: “My Squirtle is not wimpy, and even if I had the choice, I’d still choose him over the others anyway.”

    The Tiny Turtle Pokémon’ eyes widened in shock as he watched the saffron-clad youth stare down the one in blue who had won the battle earlier. He watched the other boy leave and walk out the glass doors and the other boy move towards the vending machine to purchase some provisions.

    “Aydan? You Pokémon’s all recovered!” Jocelyn called out across the lobby.

    “Be right there!” Aydan called back, sauntering over to officially meet his new Pokémon for the first time.

    Drawing up to the stretcher bed on which the Squirtle sat, he said brightly, “Hey, buddy! How’re you feeling?”

    <F-fine,> the Squirtle replied quietly, too touched to make full blown conversation.

    “Great! I’m Aydan, by the way. I guess I’ll need to give you a nickname... so, uh, why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself?” Aydan asked politely, squatting before the Squirtle.

    <What do you want me to say?> The Water Pokémon replied cautiously, not at all eager to tell his trainer about his life up to the present. <And why are you asking me?>

    Aydan scratched the back of his carrot-topped head before answering, “It’s something my dad does whenever he catches a new Pokémon. According to him, it helps with the bonding process.”

    <Oh,> the Squitrle said in a satisfied voice, his insides doing the conga. <Finally a human who wants to bond with me!> He thought triumphantly. <Well, I’m male...>

    “Yeah, I can sorta see that,” Aydan said with a laugh. “What are your aspirations?”

    <To be the coolest Wartortle ever,> The Tiny Turtle said in a tone that suggested that it was obvious. <No disrespect or anything, but I’d like to keep as trim and athletic as possible; and look awesome too! And Blastoise... well, it ain’t happening.>

    “Has anyone said we’re a perfect match?” Aydan said, smiling widely.

    <Why’d you say that?> The Squirtle asked, feeling cautious all of a sudden at the awkward statement.

    “Just the fact that Wartortle are my favourite Pokémon,” Aydan said quickly, seeking to gloss over the sticky moment caused by his awkward pronouncement. “Plus, with my immediate plans, a Wartortle’s sense of hearing’s exactly what I need!”

    <Oh,> The Squirtle grinned suddenly. <Is that it? Well, best you take a step back...>

    “Hunh? Why?” Aydan asked nonplussed as the Squirtle took a couple of steps back himself. “Why are you moving away? And what’s with the look of concentration?”

    Aydan’s starter had indeed taken upon his face a look of intense thought as he flexed his stubby arms and clenched his fists closed. Gritting his teeth, the Squirtle let out a low growl and began to glow...

    Aydan had heard of quick changes, but he wasn’t expecting something like this on his first day. The Pokémon had grown a foot and what looked like wings seemed to sprout from its head like ears. Its tail grew as well and its arms and legs grew thicker, stronger...

    The blinding light died down a minute later to reveal a taller, slightly beefier turtle standing in place of where the Squirtle stood a minute before. His winglike ears and fluffy tail were cotton white and wriggled and rippled slightly as it opened its purple eyes. Grinning toothily and revealing a short yet sharp fang, the new Pokémon said with a flourish, <Ta-daah! Whaddya think?>

    Aydan simply gaped in shock as the Wartortle worked the kinks out of his shoulder and cricked his neck. Looking at his befuddled trainer, the Turtle Pokémon readopted his tone of obviousness and said, <Oh, come on. You can’t think I’d stay a Squirtle after three years of self-training? Frankly, my Squirtle stage was getting a little cramped. You try living in a shell two sizes too small for you.>

    “Holy... since... but... how?” Aydan could all but gibber.

    <Oh, and calm down. I can hear your heart a mile off, let alone three paces away. And boy; is it loud right now...>

    ***

    <So why are we going to Treasure Beach again?> Cirrus the Wartortle said curiously, the breeze blowing through his short auditory ‘wings’.

    “I told you,” Aydan said, manning the outboard motor of the small motorboat that skipped across the blue waves of the cove. “I need to meet a friend of mine who moved here a few years ago...”

    <Boy or girl?> Cirrus said abruptly.

    “What?”

    <Your friend?> Cirrus said seriously. <Is it a boy or a girl?>

    “I-I’m not saying... “ Aydan said evasively.

    The Wartortle’s eyes lit up with glee as he began to chant, <Aydan’s got a girlfriend, Aydan’s gotta guurrrl-friiiend...>

    “Do not!” Aydan replied hotly, his freckled cheeks reddening madly.

    <Do too!> Cirrus chirped happily.

    “Do not!”

    <You so do too!>

    “I... do...not!”

    <What’s with the blush then?> Cirrus queried with an evil smirk in place.

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    <Liar.>

    The boat had just then reached the shore of Treasure Beach with a soft thump and Aydan hopped out and began to pull the boat in away from the sea’s high tide range. Cirrus looked around at the sparse yet bushy clumps of grass scattered amongst the sands and was about to hop out and help Aydan when his ears twitched.

    <Aydan... I don’t think we’re alone...> The Wartortle said edgily.

    “What’s that supposed to mean?” Aydan grunted as he anchored the moored boat to a nearby shelf of rock. “Pokémon live here... and Lily’s at the villa on the cliff side...” he added, motioning towards a stately whitewashed, two-storey house set several feet up the rocky cliff that faced the ocean cove.

    <I know... but the Pokémon here would usually beef with us by now,> Cirrus said in his edgy tone. <This one’s just watching us...>

    “Where is it then?” Aydan asked walking closer to Cirrus.

    <Can’t say. I’m no bloodhound, OK?> Cirrus said snippily. <All I know is that it’s in that general direction...>

    “Well, all I’ll say is if we leave it alone; it’ll probably leave us alone,” Aydan said dismissively, turning towards the footpath that led to the beach home. “Come on... time’s a wasting.”

    <You’re no fun,> Cirrus moaned, giving the grass a last sweeping look before hurrying after his trainer. <Why don’t I just go out there and whup whatever it is’ butt?>

    “Why would you want to do that?” Aydan asked in mild exasperation.

    <Because I can,> the Wartortle replied wittily.

    Behind the duo a small, mass of black watched them go up the hill silently, its blood red eyes fixed on their backs as it shivered and whined in the chilly sea air...

    ***

    After a short walk up the craggy rock face (someone had hewn a handy flight of steps along the slope) Aydan and Cirrus stood before the villa, which looked a lot more simplistic up close. Its red roof and single pane square windows were open, obviously to allow the breeze to flow into the house.

    Adjoined to the right side of the house was a small lighthouse tower with an identical colour scheme that rose another five feet above the roof of the main building and would give anybody the perfect view of the whole Knot Island and the neighbouring Mount Ember.

    <Doesn’t look like anybody’s home, mate,> Cirrus said, glancing around the slightly unkempt front lawn and picket fence, the latter of which in need of a good coat of paint. <Or has been for a while,> he added with a mutter as Aydan walked towards the front door, which was painted a shade of cerise identical to his hair and ran a finger along it.

    Rubbing the dust and grit that had parted company with the mahogany barrier which swung open with a creak at his touch, Aydan’s eyes narrowed. Calling to his starter Pokémon, he announced, “C’mon Cirrus, let’s check this out!”

    The Wartortle, which had been looking down on the beach struggling to find the one who was watching them so closely when they had arrived, turned away and crossed the lawn towards the yellow clad trainer.

    Together, boy and Pokémon stepped over the threshold into an odd yet eerily tranquil scene. The walls, which seemed to be covered in light white wallpaper patterned with birds, stood bare in some places, the wall paper seemingly torn from the walls. A thin layer of dust lay atop all the surfaces and Aydan spotted a solitary Spinarak web strung from the rail of the stairwell that spiralled up and out of sight to the floor above.

    <Yeeesh! What did these people pay their maid?> The Wartortle chuckled as he peered around a dusty vase into the desolate kitchen.

    “They didn’t have a maid, Cirrus,” Aydan said more to himself to his Pokémon. Beckoning him over, Aydan took a few steps towards and began to climb the stairs, the darker that usual floorboards creaking dismally as the Wartortle hopped up after him.

    Three rooms led off the landing to their left and two to the right as they reached the second storey of the house. The upper story was gloomy and dark and the window that allowed light to reach the corridor from outside was coated with grime.

    <Are people meant to be living here or something?> Cirrus said placing his hands upon where his waist would be. <Such slobs...> he added with the ghost of a grin.

    “This doesn’t make sense,” Aydan murmured grimly, looking around. “Lily was always a bit of a neat-freak...”

    <Mebbe you shoulda called first,> Cirrus suggested.

    “No,” Aydan said with such conviction, he surprised even himself. “Something’s definitely wrong here.” And without further ado, opened the door of the room nearest to him on the right and walked in to a room that looked decidedly different from the rest of the house’s usual decor.

    <Did we walk into a hospital or something?> Cirrus asked loudly walking into the room and began bouncing on the bed’s viridian bed sheets, kicking up a dust storm.

    Ignoring the Wartortle’s coughing and wheezing, Aydan picked his way through the neat orderly room with its leaf green walls and bed towards the desk, where a green alarm clock stood atop the mahogany table top. The blinds had been drawn against the window and little light had followed them in.

    Only one thing stood out of place in the strikingly green room and as Aydan moved towards the desk, he saw it: the keys to the desk drawer were in the lock, and it was open.

    Too many inconsistencies had been spotted in his friend’s behaviour for this to go unnoticed by the boy and seizing the drawer’s handle, pulled it open to reveal what looked like a sandy yellow pocket journal inside. Aydan reached in and pulled it out, studying the small book. It looked new.

    Glancing at the tag which was attached to the red ribbon tied around it, Aydan was just able to pick out the words, ‘To, Aydan’ or it scrawled in a neat lettering that was so familiar to him. Aydan turned it over in his hands and attempted to read out the words stamped on the back.

    Failing due to the dim light, Aydan pocketed the book and turning to Cirrus asked, “I dunno if it’s just me, but have you smelt anything rotten since we came into the house?”

    <It’s you,> Cirrus said wittily, bouncing off the bed and landing heavily on the floor right beside Aydan.

    Just at that moment, with a horrifying crack, the floor gave way beneath the duo’s feet and sent them tumbling through to the floor below, amidst a falling rain of rotting lumber, cracked plaster and screams that were silenced by the falling deluge of debris.

    The last thing Aydan saw before passing out were flashes of the awful dream he’d had that morning with an equally frightening epilogue: the shadows that had engulfed him as he fell, that awful, ebony chilling hole began to encase him in blood red ice which crept up his extremities, holding him fast in the terrifying darkness.

    Paralyzing him to the very bone as his ice seemed to solidify, voices began to scream, jeer and heckle him; voices telling him he’d lost her, and that they were coming for him...

    ***

    Aydan heard the snuffling whine.

    He didn’t move.

    He felt the hot breath on his cheek.

    He didn’t move.

    Aydan felt the cold, slippery tongue lash out over his face and glasses coating them in a flood of drool.

    Aydan moved. Quickly.

    Sitting up on his blue denim shorts, he nearly bowled a small, canine quadruped over as he blinked in the bright sunlight. Looking around, he found himself sitting on the lawn in front of the villa.

    A loud protest reached his ears as Cirrus struggled to his feet, pushing the small black wolf cub away as it did its best to either resuscitate the then unconscious Turtle Pokémon or drown him in slobber. Aydan placed a palm to his forehead and winced, feeling the beginnings of a brilliant bruise blossoming beneath his scalp.

    What had happened in the villa hit him in a flash and gratitude gushed up at him as the thought of what must have happened next hit him.

    <It was YOU!> Cirrus yelled, startling the puppy further as he pointed an accusatory finger at the doglike Pokémon, whose red eyes widened in fright as it dived behind Aydan, trembling like a leaf in the wind. <You were the one spying on us when we arrived!>

    Aydan turned back to look at the Pokémon more closely, taking in its coarse grey hair, and jet black paws and face. Its tail, which was incredibly long and bushy, was presently tucked between its legs in fright.

    <I’m sorry!> The Poochyena squeaked out in fright. It sounded really young, and really sincere. <I wasn’t spying, I promise!>

    “It’s OK,” Aydan said calmly, shooting his indignant Wartortle a quelling look as he opened his mouth to vehemently disagree. Turning to the frightened wolf cub, Aydan spoke in a gentler tone, “Hi, I’m Aydan...”

    <...and I’m disgusted!> Cirrus said acidly. <What’re you trying to do? Smother us?>

    “Ignore Cirrus,” Aydan said firmly. “He gets a little cranky every now and then. What are you doing around here anyway? I thought Poochyena weren’t native to Treasure Beach?”

    The Poochyena’s usually stuck-up ears drooped a little as he said sadly, <My trainer left me here the other day. I really tried hard. I did, honest!>

    <OK, you tried really hard to what?> Cirrus asked, much more calmly as he had managed to get rid off most of the saliva.

    <To learn something my trainer called Shadow Ball,> the forlorn Pokémon said sadly. <He brought me to the beach and said he had no use for a worthless mutt. He... he...>

    “He?” Aydan prompted gently.

    <...he called me a bad boy!> the pooch ended with a wailing howl and buried its snout and eyes under his paws.

    Exchanging a weirded out look with Cirrus, Aydan knelt next to the sobbing puppy and said kindly, “Well, I don’t think you’re a bad boy at all... after all, you did save Cirrus and me from in there. How would you know when we needed help the most if you were a bad boy?”

    The Poochyena sniffled loudly as Aydan patted him on the head.

    Cirrus walked up to the cowed Bite Pokémon and said in a evasive mumble, <Look, Pups... all I wanna say to you is... you were pretty cool back there. It took guts to go into a building like that and save total strangers. You’re all right by my book.>

    Sniffing loudly the Poochyena looked up, wagging his tail furiously and barked happily, <Thank you, Mr. Cirrus!>

    <Just call me Cirrus,> Cirrus said wearily.

    <OK, Mr. Cirrus!>

    “Dunno who’d want to throw such a tough, sweet guy like you away though,” Aydan said in a troubled tone as Cirrus face palmed himself hard. “You must be pretty strong to pull us both out from in there, considering what could have fallen on us... hey, boy,” he said aloud to the Poochyena. “We need someone like you on the team. Do you want to come with us?”

    <Oh, may I? Yes, please!> The Poochyena barked happily, bounding around in a frenzy of joy.

    “You will need a nickname though,” Aydan thought carefully for a few moments as the Poochyena bounded around simply too high on happy, chanting, <I’m gonna get a na-ame! I’m gonna get a na-ame!>

    “It’ll have to be something bold, noble, mysterious... not to mention cool,” Aydan mused to himself as Cirrus talked the impressionable Poochyena into standing still long enough to hear his name.

    Wondering what was taking Aydan so long with this thing, he was about to ask before Aydan looked up, saying, “How does ‘Knight’ sound?”

    <Retarded,> Cirrus quipped. <Cirrus Jr. sounds so cooler...>

    “Not you, Cirrus. The Poochyena!”

    <Oh,> the Wartortle said without enthusiasm. <It’s OK, I guess...>

    Cirrus...”

    <That’s a nice nickname,> Knight the Poochyena barked happily. <Who’s it for?>

    <Oh, boy,> Cirrus said with much eye rolling as they made their way back to the boat. <The wheel is turning, but the Rattata is dead...>

    “Oh, hush, Cirrus,” Aydan chided cheerfully, as he untied the boat and pushed into the water, Knight huddled up n the middle, too afraid to get too close to the edge, and Cirrus leaning on the prow of the small motorboat. “Poochyena are renowned for their sense of smell and keen teamwork when it comes to tracking...”

    On their way back to the main island, Aydan reached into his pocket and drew out the pocket diary which was meant to be a gift for him, heaven knew how long ago. His face fell slightly and his mind was filled with worry.

    ...and it seems I’ll need all the help I can get, Aydan finished in a thought out worry.

    ***

    After four full hours of sulking, Topaz was still in an arguably sour mood. She had not as of yet even spoken to her Chikorita, and was wondering which of the Legendaries had such a sick, twisted sense of humor to punish her this way.

    More to get her mind off her loss and defeat than anything else, she had hitched a ride with a jolly looking fisherman, and five minute later had set foot on Kindle Road.

    Topaz breathed in the deep air and exhaled heavily. The thrill of unknown possibility and adventure always seemed to perk her up considerably. Kindle Road was long and harrowing, and the looming Mount Ember in the distance offered more challenge that she could ever hope for. With fresh heart, Topaz began a spritely march towards the grassy patches...

    ...when a fireball leapt out of the grass, straight for her.

    ***

    Oh, noez, not da cliched cliff hanger! What will happen to Topaz next?
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
    HEART OF SEVEN STONES IS ON INDEFINITE HIATUS (REAPED) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
    Butt-ugly Banner by Me
    (Still waiting on the excellent Saffire Persian for another awesome TCQ banner!)

  20. #20
    Join Date
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    Why are you asking...?
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    Sorry I haven't come in a while...
    WHOH! Starter instant evolution! That was a surprise.

    Oh, and nice how you sneaked in that mention of Corei you sneaked in when you talked about a Mogle. Oh, and that Pochena is halarios! Topaz lost... I agree with that gym leader guy, that looked REALLY familiar... (You just increased my suspision level... Level 3!)



    See Ya Later!
    "Open your mouth too wide, and your ears close."

    Do you wish you could do things like in the anime?
    Do you wish you could dodge behind a rock to avoid an attack?
    Do you wish that you could use the arena to stop your opponents cold?
    If you answered yes to any of those questions, the Pokemon Anime Style Battling League could be for you!

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Singapore
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    The Poochyena puppy is so cute!!!

    ... And this sounds evil, but I really want Topaz to get fried. I love Fire types and all, but she irritates me beyond belief. Had I met her, I think I would have skipped the Pokemon battle and just strangled her myself.
    I sometimes use "uber" Pokémon. I sometimes calculate stat values. I never use cheating devices. I sometimes try to breed my way to perfection (and maybe fail), and I care about natures to an extent. But I like my Pokémon the way they are, and treat them like individuals instead of brainless drones. If you use this philosophy, copy & paste this into your signature.
    (Adapted from Tyranitar's philosophy.)

    Claims:
    David Tennant
    Viggo Mortensen

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

    Black 2 ID/FC: Cassie 3311 2386 7094

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

    ALLONS-Y!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Behind you...
    Posts
    1,292

    Unhappy Hey. Got some bad news...

    This fic's going away for a long time. It needs re-polishing and more attention. And given my plans for the fic and it's future, it's not getting the attention it deserves, neither from the reviewing population or myself.

    HoSS will be back, God willing, but for now, when is the question that will be in play regarding it's fate.

    Thanks to ALL this fic's fanbase:

    Jason-Kun, Diddy, Yami Ryu, FlamingRuby, Matt Silver, LadyMiir, Divinity_123, Araleon, TurtwigFan1 and Kindrindra

    for the time and effort you put into reading, reviewing and enjoying this fic.

    It shall return, as a phoenix from the flames, born anew and stronger than ever. But for the present, we may need to say farewell to Aydan, Knight, Cirrus, Topaz, Kurtis and their Pokemon.

    L@er (for now).
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
    HEART OF SEVEN STONES IS ON INDEFINITE HIATUS (REAPED) UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
    Butt-ugly Banner by Me
    (Still waiting on the excellent Saffire Persian for another awesome TCQ banner!)

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