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Thread: Max's Hoenn Journey

  1. #476
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    Harry, I'll be totally honest with you, I've tried reading the chapters since July 31st, but seeing as I've not been here since July 31st, It was hard to get back into the story-line. I'll give all the chapters my famous ratings sometime later. The first one looked good from what I saw.
    JJ

  2. #477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambassador_JJ View Post
    Harry, I'll be totally honest with you, I've tried reading the chapters since July 31st, but seeing as I've not been here since July 31st, It was hard to get back into the story-line. I'll give all the chapters my famous ratings sometime later. The first one looked good from what I saw.
    Nice to see you again JJ! No worries about the chapters, I just hope that they're sufficient enough!

    On that note, however, I'd just like to say that the next chapter is basically finished, just needed to do editing and then it'll be posted, but unfortunately this is likely to be the last chapter for a couple of months, probably until the beginning of Summer because I've really been piled with hoards of College work which is getting the best of me. I'll still continue to write but I doubt I'll be posting before May(ish) time. Sorry about that guys, but I hope that the next chapter (set for release this week) will be enough for you to hold onto till then.

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

  3. #478
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    Alright, this is a very QUICK post, just to remind everyone that I DO still exist, and to give a quick rating of the chapters I've missed.

    Rating:
    I would rate these chapters as... Absolutely great! No numbers until I actually read it all, sorry. But from the skimming I've done, chapter length looks good, content looks better and best of all: Your characters are dynamic!

    I hope to be giving one of my *famous* ratings for all the chapters I've missed to you in one BIG post within the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks for writing!
    JJ

  4. #479
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambassador_JJ View Post
    Alright, this is a very QUICK post, just to remind everyone that I DO still exist, and to give a quick rating of the chapters I've missed.

    Rating:
    I would rate these chapters as... Absolutely great! No numbers until I actually read it all, sorry. But from the skimming I've done, chapter length looks good, content looks better and best of all: Your characters are dynamic!

    I hope to be giving one of my *famous* ratings for all the chapters I've missed to you in one BIG post within the next couple of weeks.

    Thanks for writing!
    Thanks for coming and popping in again! Lovely to have you back! Thanks for all your kind words and I look forward to your review.

    Now onto the chapter:

    It has been a while...................... a long long while................ but it's here!!! yay! I must apologise profusely for this late release and also must say thank you for being understanding and for allowing me the time. Unfortunately it will be the last in a few months, but hopefully the wait will be ok with a lot of stuff packed in this chapter... hopefully not overloading it however. I'm just glad to finally be getting Chapter 30 out. It feels like a long time coming, and withat that it's also great to be saying that we are *drum roll please* 1/4 of the way through the story. Yes that's right. We're nearly there.... ish..... but on a serious note, you guys have been dedicated, probably more so that I have, and I must thank you for being accepting and taking the time out to review and read. Thank you all!!!!
    Chapter 30: The Music Style

    The camera angle panned across the Rustboro shoreline, with the great expanse of water acting as a backdrop to the fine arts of a civilised world. However, the unnatural constructions were left in wreckage and rubble now, reduced to the ground after the horrendous terrors that had choked the city. The images being recorded showed the devastation left behind by Team Sukai. Their depictions were heart wrenching and caused lumps to emerge in the backs of people’s throats, but it was obvious that these pictures had to be broadcast for all those willing to see. People had to know the extent of damage caused and it was their right to find out just what the region of Hoenn was now up against; no-one was going to be able to conceal the sickening horrors.

    “And… as you can see by the images on the screen, Rustboro has been left in total chaos and mess, reduced to mere pieces of concrete in some places… Look, here we have a number of citizens braving the streets in clear up operations, and there appears to be the Rustboro Gym leader and her Pokémon, along with a Kanto Gym leader by the looks of things. These images truly capture what occurred here and show the strong willingness and the camaraderie of the citizens that were caught up in these terrorist attacks.”

    Sat comfortably in the warmth of the Dewnord Town PokéCentre, the young group of trainers listened to every horrific description that news reporter Kathryn King was reeling of her tongue, as if it was a machine filled with endless sentences of doom and gloom. More pictures continued to flash up on the screen and more words continued to echo out of the speaker system. The more Max saw, the further he reduced himself into the bean bag, slinking into its warm hug. If only he had stayed. That phrase continued to play backwards and forwards across his mind, as if it was some haunting slide show set to trigger some deep emotional cascade. Either way, it was doing that exact thing!

    “We’ve had the chance to interview some people about the events over this past week including the plane hijackings that seemed to mark the beginning of Team Sukai’s operations here in Rustboro.”

    Max had had enough. It was all too much to keep absorbing. No matter what they said nothing was going to change what had happened, nothing at all. It wouldn’t change the damage to the city, the terror instilled in people and Pokémon alike, nor would it add any satisfaction to all the people kidnapped by these people purely for their malicious experiments. Throughout his short journey thus far, Max had seen too much horror strike the region like a constant barrage of tactics set to destroy the community of Hoenn. It was unspeakable what they had done, tried to do and were doing, and now the news channels were milking it as if it was some celebratory event. He knew that it wasn’t their intention or even so, but with everything he had experienced it oddly felt good to place his blame somewhere.

    He turned towards Harriet, expressing his grief through the solemn look assembled on his face. Their moments of struggles had been jointly shared, and this left a mutual understanding and respect which Max could always feed off for support and help. Right now, as more reels of images scrolled across the screen, all he wanted was to rest in some comforting joy.

    “What powerful words… It leaves me speechless! But one thing we can all safely reassure ourselves with is the knowledge that Team Sukai have officially gone. There appears to be no real reason for their departure but we are informed that the investigation into the team’s operations has been amped up and we are exporting a report from the local Officer Jenny very soon. We also here that communications are slowly being restored and should be up and running within a few hours time. We’ll bring you more as and when it comes.”

    A wave of relief crossed over Max at the news. His previous down heartened attitude had quickly been replaced with an overwhelming sense of joy.

    “Yes,” he cried, leaping up from his seat, “That means we’ll be able to speak to Roxanne and Brock in no time!”

    *****

    The small lights gently flickered in the background of the circular room, hanging on the sides of the musky wooden walls. The electronic monitors were all actively churning out information on the screen. One of these devices was receiving input from a young man who was rapidly typing away at a keyboard, punching in numbers and figures from a sheet of scribbled down notes. His generally greenish coloured hair was littered with bark shavings and mossy foliage yet this hadn’t even risen to his attention because his work had gripped his entire concentration.

    “Cassidy,” he said, still lingering his eyes over the pencil marks, “I think we’re just about ready with our report data and findings. It’s time to patch us through to headquarters for our debrief and further assignments.”

    The young woman shuffled over to a view screen that was equipped with sound systems and cameras, turning every single system on with one simple push of a button. As the sequencing page appeared on the screen she hesitantly began to input the duos codes ready to connect them into the Rocket’s communication mainframe. With every tap of the screen her nerves continued to build.

    “Butch,” she hesitantly spoke, “What are we going to say?” she asked, fiddling with a few more buttons.

    “I… I don’t know… but we’ll think of something! Don’t worry…”

    He slid over next to Cassidy, gently patting her on the shoulder. They both looked at each other and nodded in unison. Their attention then rested on a shiny spherical object that lay in front of them, sitting at a slanted angle on a metallic plate.

    “If we send it, we both know what its future would be!”

    Butch reached over to the PokeBall and picked it up from the plate, reducing it to a smaller size by lightly pressing the central circular button. Effortlessly, he then placed it in his back pocket before turning his head to look at Cassidy.

    “Well the answer is; we don’t send it!”

    “Easy for you to say, your weren’t the one given this assignment as the First. My head’s on the line if we don’t deliver!”

    “We’ll think of something, trust me! We will benefit from having it so much more than any other Rocket agent will, so that’s valid reason enough for us not to worry about our decision!” Butch sternly spoke, portraying only an emotionless look at his partner to settle her down. He then immediately proceeded to lean over to the monitor and enter the contact key for Giovanni’s office. He hoped that his confident sounding pep talk would be enough to lift his optimism as well; now there was no turning back.

    Expanding lines began to trace across the screen as the connection was made. The multicoloured pixels then merged into one great image before splitting to reveal the calm and collected features of a young woman, dressed head to toe in a scarlet coloured robe. She finished jotting something down with her elaborately decorated pen and bunched the papers together in a neat pile before placing them back into a drawer. Until this point she had yet made eye contact with the camera or acknowledged the presence of Butch and Cassidy, but she finally looked away from the set of drawers attached to her desk and stared directly at the duo. Her fixation felt rather cold.

    “Yes, what news do you bring for Giovanni?” she monotonously stated.

    “We’re here to inform him of our operations in Hoenn and to deliver an update on the Team Sukai situation, Sir!” Cassidy briskly responded.

    “I expect that you also have news on the Pokémon acquirement as well?”

    “It’s only for Giovanni’s ears, Sir,” Butch interrupted.

    “Very well, as you wish… but don’t grovel to me for better missions other than the refurbishing of the storage rooms you’re bound to be assigned when he demotes you for not delivering the goods on time!”

    Butch and Cassidy didn’t respond. They stayed motionless with a complexion of respect etched into their faces. The woman stared back at them for only a few mere more seconds before she sighed and, seemingly with little excitement, hit a large button on the edge of her computer monitor. On Butch and Cassidy’s end, the screen abruptly blackened before returning with colour and the outline of a shadowy figure.

    “What news do you bring?” the voice whispered.

    “We have news on the Team Sukai operation, Sir; by the time we had mobilised agents and landed they…”

    “Yes I know, they had gone, what else is new?” the figure sighed, interrupting Butch with his comments as he lent forward into the light, “The spy agents from Section 3 that you mobilised in the organisation have already given me the update I need: the reasoning’s behind Team Sukai abandoning Rustboro, what they’re looking for, what their goals are! I know it all!”

    “Sorry Sir, we weren’t aware…”

    “No, no you weren’t…” He paused momentarily, leaning back into his tall black chair, “And if you want to stay in the loop you’ll deliver the required Pokémon I asked for!”

    “About that Sir,” Butch said, ushering Cassidy to stay quiet with the subtle flapping of his hand, “Unfortunately our run in with Team Sukai was less profitable than we had hoped!”

    “What? What are you talking about?” he rather aggressively asked, slamming his hands against his desk and thrusting his body in to assert his power, “I heard nothing about any engagement with Team Sukai! They left as you arrived!”

    “Ah. Well it seems someone has neglected to inform you that Cassidy and I took our own transport to Rustboro and arrived before the boarding parties. As we landed we were ambushed and attacked by some unknown mem…”

    “No!” Giovanni shouted, whisking his arm across his desk, knocking a load of files and objects all over the floor, , “I had heard reports about the Heads of Team Sukai as they’re called within the organisation, but none of our agents had even caught a glimpse of them. I assumed they were just a rumour started by the leader to hold his troops awe, but never did I expect to actually find them. Everything pointed to their existence being a bunch of lies!” He finished his statement and folded his arms, turning his back to the camera, “Very well,” he reluctantly sighed, “I guess we’re going to have to alter our plans then, anyway, proceed with your explanation!”

    “Well unfortunately the PokeBall ended up in their hands Sir, there was nothing we could do about it.”

    “It appears not, but it’s to be expected if you had to face the likes of the Heads. Very well, as much as I hate to hear that, the Pokémon was expendable, we can get another one. I’ll assign the mission to some of our agents in Johto; they can catch a native specimen for us. In the meantime, continue to gather all the data you can on Sukai.”

    “Yes Sir!”

    “Good!” Giovanni responded, now gently sitting back down into his chair, “And one last thing as thanks for your information. Team Sukai are looking for a particular object, a pendant to be exact, purple and oval shaped. They believed it to be in Rustboro but obviously it appears their calculations were wrong, so we’ve now got an opportunity to find it first! If you happen to hear anything about it contact me right away, for the time being send agents out to look for this pendant, get them searching for amulets too, you never know what it may have been labelled as!” He swivelled his chair around to gaze at a metallic segment of his wall that displayed a gigantic collection of data all merged together, “I’ll get new assignments to you within the hour!”

    Giovanni then slammed his fist against a touch screen inbuilt in his desk. Communications were cut short before Butch or Cassidy could say another word that may have potentially knocked another nail into their demotion caskets. They inhaled quickly and let out a long gasp of relief.

    “I don’t know how Butch, but you did it! You created a believably bogus story and he bought it!”

    Cassidy clasped her hands together in relief, leaning back on her knees as she let the calmness wash over her. The duo fell into silence with the room’s atmosphere changing accordingly. Small grins appeared on their faces.

    *****

    Max slammed his fist against the PokéCom monitor that was displaying only wavy black and white lines on the screen. In the top right corner, a small flashing box kept repeating the same words ‘No Connection’. Frustration continued to build inside the young trainer, the recurrent sign irritating him every single time it popped up on the screen. Harriet and Jimmy stood behind him, watching his shoulders shake at the frequent annoyance that was rattling his core. Harriet stepped forward and gently placed her hands on his torso, trying to guide him away from the machine.

    “Come on now Max, there’s no point in frustrating yourself. What’s that going to get you?”

    “But…” He simply sighed in disappointment, lowering his head and allowing his body to just flow and follow Harriet’s direction. They reached a row of lowered chairs fitted with padding to add comfort when someone slotted into the seat. Harriet placed Max down in one and sat on his left side while Jimmy sat on the other, his soft, caring face peering at Max.

    “Hey mate,” Jimmy spoke, “Look, we’ll hear more when the news reports are released. We heard Kathryn King earlier and she say’s things are greatly improving, so there’s no need to feel hopeless right now!”

    “I know, Jimmy, but I guess I just thought that I’d be able to speak to them by now,” he quietly said, staring at his twiddling thumbs on his lap. He then turned and looked at his two friends, thanking them with a graceful smile, “Don’t worry about me, I suppose I’m not that relaxed at the moment.”

    As if on cue, they all laughed in reflection of Max’s comments, particularly Max who appeared to find his own words rather infectiously humorous. Harriet looked at him; she was filled with an odd joy. If she could’ve awarded anyone with the ‘most obvious statement in the world’ trophy, then it certainly would’ve been Max for his last statement.

    Breaking the laughter, Max continued, “I’m probably not the best person to be around in this mood! Why don’t you two go off and do something? I’ll stay here and try and relax!”

    Jimmy’s face expressed a caring attitude, mustering a slight smile to show his understanding. He then looked up at Harriet and their eyes met. His one single look expressed an entire conversation which Harriet reflected with a plain nod. Jimmy then turned back to Max and smiled, withdrawing from his pocket three small, rectangular pieces of paper.

    “Well Max, you may not feel like you’re good company but Harriet and I have thought ahead. We wanted to do something to cheer you up and yesterday we heard about a Pokémon Concert that’s in town. Because of Harriet’s win yesterday in the Contest, she was able to get three tickets for us and we thought that it’d be a nice thing for us to do together and pass the time with! And it’s likely that when we get back we’ll have more news on the communication issue and maybe more reports from Officer Jenny. So, what do you say?”

    Jimmy handed his friend the three tickets for him to inspect. Max picked one of the slips up and began reading the small blurb that was printed across the multicoloured background with numerous shapes and swirls almost randomly thrown together on top. His face began to also display a sense of joy; his lips curling at both ends.

    “Thanks you guys. I… I don’t know what to say!”

    “Just say yes,” Jimmy joked.

    “All we want is to go have some fun with you Max,” Harriet interjected, placing her arm around the adolescent trainer, “And this will be a good place for us all to relax and let our hair down, so come on, go upstairs and get ready and we’ll meet you down here in ten minutes.”

    Max gave the pair one last warming smile, nodding in his satisfaction at their expression of love and kindness. He flung his arms round Harriet in a tight grip, squeezing her with his appreciation. Then, without hesitating or wasting any time at all, he bolted from his seat and scurried through a hallway that branched from the eastern side of the main foyer lacking even one glance back. He zipped left almost immediately as if about to collide with a wall, but instead he disappeared from sight and his footsteps were the echoing remains of his excitement. Harriet slightly chuckled, pondering the intricacies of Max’s personality; how he could bounce from one extreme to the next! At least this would take his mind off the Rustboro predicament for a few hours, she thought, and thus give her a break for her own worrying too.

    *****

    The noise of the crowds carried into the heights of the stands, rising with the tiers of cramped people eagerly awaiting the performance. For the young group it felt exactly the same as when the contest was in action, the same hall, same stage and same noise levels! The whole arena was packed out and the excitement had become contagious.

    The lights in the open room had been dimmed to an incredibly low level, and the blacked out windows retained the darkness. Only small silhouettes were visible on the dried stage and to Max it seemed as if they were aimlessly walking about without a perpetual purpose.

    “So, when’s this meant to start,” he asked Jimmy, turning his attention away from the shuffling below.

    “It said that it would start on the hour, but that was five minutes ago. I guess they’re just running late though; they’ll be on soon!”

    “I hope so,” Harriet responded, “‘cos I’m getting hungry and I want those lovely hot dogs you get at events like these! Where are those vendors?”

    Harriet’s wale’s caused a number of spectators around them to turn and stare, but the group just laughed it off. Luckily for Harriet, the stadium presently was darkened so no-one could see her reddened face, deepening in colour with her embarrassment. She shrugged off the attention and returned her gaze to the dimly lit stage.

    The speakers gently crackled as a voice system was connected into the output, “And now ladies and gentlemen,” a mysterious voice spoke, “Please put your hands together for tonight’s first band, ‘The Fire Fighters’ here to perform their set of water music!”

    The lights all around the arena abruptly brightened; their spotlights centring on one point. The illuminated beams strung across the hall onto one direct point, beginning to spiral in unison around the pivotal section. The dancing glows were alluring, and the crowds fell susceptive to this. Their eyes focused on the patterns leaving five shadowed figures to slip between the curtains hung over the arena archways.

    A loud screech echoed off the metallic lined walls causing the beam spotlights to immediately brighten the entire room. As they did so, a plethora of large bubbles became unveiled that were almost touching the low lies of the crowd. The outer skin of each was clearly vibrating.

    “Listen. Can you hear that?” Max asked, leaning in close to Harriet, “That’s coming from the bubbles!”

    Harriet squinted, initially confused until she also came to the same conclusion. The bubbles harmonic resonance was creating a subtle undertone that was gently changing in pitch according to their respective heights. The higher they rose, the higher the tone, and the Pokémon seemed very capable of producing the large ripples of water at the exact height.

    “You’re so right Max! Wow, that’s wicked. I wonder what else they can do.”

    They were eagerly anticipating more to come, noticing a Squirtle and Psyduck veer towards the centre of the arena floor. The two Pokémon began charging at one another before they opened their gaping mouths letting torrents of water burst forth. The second the two streams impacted, the duo were held in their spot, unable to move any further forward due to the resistance created by the Water Guns. The continual impact, however, began to add a rather heavy thump into the previous quiet waves of sound as ripples of larger gulps soared out of both Pokémon’s mouths. The piece of music was now slowly forming layer by layer.

    “This is absolutely amazing!” Jimmy said, boasting a huge grin on his face, “How they do it I don’t know! They have to get everything perfect and correctly placed to produce the noises.”

    “Practice makes perfect,” Harriet added.

    “Yes, well… Still, it’s very impressive and I can only imagine what else we’re about to see!”

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re able to create sounds similar to musical instruments we have,” Max said, “I wonder whether this stuff sells on the music market?”

    Harriet jovially smirked at Max for his response, giving him a slight tap on the back as a sort of big up to his statement. She then turned back around to see a Mudkip encased within one of the floating bubbles. Out of its mouth, small streams of water spurted against the barrier and on each impact a synthetic sound was created resembling the usual sounds of a Keyboard. Depending on its position, again, changed the key.

    Harriet chuckled to herself, “This is honestly so inspiring! There’s so much we can learn from this, so many Contest moves I can do! We so have to try it!”

    “Well I’d certainly be up for it, considering I need some new ideas for my appeals.”

    “Alrighty then, tomorrow morning, let’s set it! Take as much inspiration as you need from this Jimmy as we’re going full out tomorrow morning!” Harriet eagerly said, turning to Max, “Can you judge it for us?”

    “In actual fact I was thinking something far from it. You both need practice in double battles for contests right, well how about I hitch up on one of your teams and give it a go myself. I’m sure I can take a lot from this as well for my own battles!”

    “Sounds like a plan.”

    *****

    The dawn light had only been shining for a mere few minutes before a hub of life began to erupt inside the group’s bedroom. A bubble of noise was faintly noticeable through the thick plastered walls that separated each bedroom. The bathroom was whirring a cocktail of sounds too, a loud dryer that was whizzing away over Harriet’s damp hair, a trickle of water still dripping from the recently used tap, and a shower that was warming up ready for Max to use. Each young person was raring to go!

    Harriet marched out of the bathroom and signalled over to Max with a nod of her head, causing her slightly curled hair to gently bob.

    “It’s all ready for you to use Max.”

    “Cheers Harriet,” he said while collecting his towel and shampoo from his bed, “See you guys in a few minutes!”

    Harriet smiled back and returned to her own collection of things, sorting each item out in rank of relevance and need. She tucked her bath products in a neat side pocket of her bag and zipped all its contents up. Turning around, she clasped two PokeBalls in her palm and clamped it shut before looking over at Jimmy with a generous grin on her face. The excitement pumped round her body.

    “I’m so excited to give all this a go in a real battle!” she said.

    “And you’re not the only one! After all our practice yesterday afternoon I’m so hyped, it’s going to be such a good learning curve for our appeals and also our battles. The way Max is using it can also be incorporated as a defence into our own battles and damage the opponent’s points. This has real potential to be a winning combo!”

    Jimmy hoped off his bed and headed towards the large mirror hung over a dresser in the PokéCentre room. He nonchalantly began fine tuning his hair while Harriet continued.

    “You’re so right! There’s so much that we can take away from this, no matter the outcome.”

    “Uh-huh!”

    “So now all we have to do is wait…”

    Harriet let her words trail off as the bathroom door spat open and a rather drenched Max wandered through while rubbing the towel through his hair. He looked at Harriet and grinned, throwing the towel away and grabbing his usual t-shirt from a heap on the floor. He pulled it over his head and gave his hair one quick run through with his fingers.

    “Well I’m all ready to roll now! Breakfast can wait, I’m eager for our battle!” Max said.

    “Alright then, let’s get this started!”

    *****

    The line of trees scattered the horizon in front of them, popping up in pockets of concentrated heaps along the water, relative to the locations of small and isolated islands. Harriet had, clasped in her hands, two PokéBalls that glistened in the rising sun light. Her eyes twinkled in awe as she gazed out across the ocean’s surface; and the numerous little islands, some surrounded by larger, populated land masses, captured her attention as she could see a great quantity of Pokémon skimming between them. Her desire to catch another Pokémon was becoming more and more intoxicating.

    “Harriet, snap out of it. We’re ready now!”

    Harriet spun round, rather bewildered by Max’s sudden yell. Her thoughts rushed together and the cogs of her mind actively rotated once again.

    “Oh, sorry about that, but isn’t it just wonderful?” She gestured behind her at the rolling waves of the sea and the beautiful reflection of the dancing light skating across the surface, “This, I guess, is what we miss when we’re in such a rush… But anyway,” she snapped back to and forced an intensive glare at Max, “I’m ready!”

    “Alright then, how about I join your team then and we hitch up against Jimmy? Sound good?”

    “Certainly! I’m up for it if Jimmy is!

    “Count me in!” He eagerly said, clasping his hands together in excitement, “Well I’m going to get the ball rolling then and call out my two!”

    He flung his bag down against the ground and rummaged through the top compartment for only a few seconds before he withdrew two small circular objects.

    “Ok then, Geodude and Beedrill come on out!”

    The two balls spun through the air towards Max and Harriet, who by definition had now chosen their marker point for the battle. They seemed eager and ready, just waiting for the amalgamation of white energy to meld together and form the two opposing creatures.

    A rugged rock bodied Pokémon appeared only moments before a buzzing striped Pokémon; the pair were effortlessly floating in mid air.

    “Well then, you’ve seen my two so it’s now up to you to choose!”

    “Ok!” Max turned to Harriet and gave her a convincing wink, “I’ll choose first I think, Budew let’s go!”

    “I’m not far behind you, Chikorita go!”

    The two balls almost instantaneously burst open releasing the spiral of energy. Soon the two Pokémon stood side by side facing up the opposition. A big glimmer of hope flashed across their faces, likewise on their trainer’s as well. They had a definite type advantage when it came to Geodude, and both Max and Harriet, and, Chikorita and Budew knew they were capable of formulating some way to tackle Beedrill.

    “Alright Jimmy, you can go first and get the ball rolling!” Max shouted with pure anticipation.

    “Ok then, let’s start things off with a bang! We’re going to jump right in there guys. Geodude begin with Rock Throw but withhold your power and just let it grow inside you, the same goes for you Beedrill, store up your Poison Jab, let’s see what this can do!”

    His two Pokémon responded effectively, gathering energy inside their respective bodies and creating an inviting glow. Max was impressed with the marvel that these two were forming, it was impressive to see an expansion of energy, and yet niggling away in his mind was its purpose, its strategic value within a battle. Could it hold? Would it be suitable? Only time would tell.

    “Alright, Budew, let’s jump in on the act, we’re used to this sort of thing with Water Sport so try it again but this time hold it a little longer, we’ll see whether that makes any difference at all!”

    Harriet listened to her friends call their own commands, interested to see the effects from the Pokémon’s work, but now it was her turn and she didn’t want to lag behind in the battle. Somehow she had to turn what could be a wave of havoc into something beautiful and alluring that would aid her own points in a Contest battle. This would be a tricky feat.

    “Chikorita, let’s do the same thing, but try out your Leech Seed!”

    Jimmy’s stance slowly began to change as he saw both grass types begin to enact upon their commands. He nervously clicked his fingers as a way to try and help him collate his thoughts for his next move.

    His agitations weren’t a surprise at all, however. He had feared that the two would bring out their grass types and he felt it was a just worry. He had seen what ferocious power a charged grass move could do before, and with something untested such as Leech Seed, in the process of being formed, about to be unleashed, he feared for his Pokémon.

    “We’ve not got time to waste guys. So… Beedrill unleash your Poison Jab now on Chikorita!”

    His Beedrill tensed her entire body and raised her bubbling stingers, which were resonating with such a high density mauve colour, above her head. She was just about ready to unleash it when Jimmy quickly interjected another few words.

    “Actually Beedrill, let’s try and make it a far distant move. Draw your stingers together and then try and expel the energy instead of using it as a physical attack. See if it works!”

    She nodded her head and murmured a few sounds. Then, without hesitation, she clanged her two stingers together ready to cause a rippling stream of something or other. However, to her uttermost surprise, she was sent soaring backwards and crashed into the tender outstretched arms of her trainer, knocking him to the ground. She collapsed on top of him too, looking slightly dazed from the recoil.

    Jimmy looked at his Pokémon lovingly and softly giggled.

    “I guess we’ll have to work on that one then, but nice try! Are you up for getting back out there?”

    She vigorously nodded her head again and muttered her name in a repetitive cycle.

    “Ok then, let’s just deliver your normal Poison Jab this time. We have plenty of time to perfect this new type of battling! Meanwhile, Geodude I still want you to give it a shot, so you ready bud?”

    Geodude softly grunted in response and targeted his eyes upon his confident target. She was ready to take anything he had to throw at her.

    “Well we’re not going to hesitate ourselves. Max you ready?”

    “Sure am!”

    “Ok, well Chikorita…”

    “… And Budew…”

    “Go!” they both cried in unison.

    Geodude had already raised both his hands in the air when the command was cried, and his whole body shimmered with a magical clean warmness. Unfortunately, the two grass types were quick and both their attacks leapt across the crispy morning grass. A torrent of water swept across the uncut tops of the foliage, while a rather odd looking Chikorita had extended a giant hollow sphere at Geodude.

    The water struck first and toppled Geodude before he was bombarded by the large object that appeared to do nothing except evaporate on impact. He was, however, still slightly taken aback by the attack and hesitantly rose off the ground. He shook his body all over to shake some of the water off him while he tried to stop his head from spinning. It had been an odd mixture but seemed to have some lasting effects.

    “Oh no, my word that was weird! Geodude mate, are you ok?”

    Jimmy gave his Pokémon an empathetic look as his Pokémon’s eyes were still rolling around a bit from the sheer shock.

    Meanwhile, Beedrill, who was momentarily in awe at her opponent’s great show of power, had begun her charge towards Chikorita, causing Harriet to brew panic inside. Her mind had been elsewhere watching the onslaught on Geodude and Chikorita was now defenceless.

    “No! Chikorita!”

    “Don’t worry! Budew, jump in and help by trying the same thing again, but this time store your grass energy that you use for Synthesis and Bullet Seed.”

    Budew’s small stomach began to glow green as she concentrated the energy in one area. Chikorita glanced over at her team mate as she tried to way up dodging options; she would have to time this right.

    Beedrill, though, was too quick for either of them to counter and landed a critical impact to Chikorita’s front, sending her toppling backwards along the ground. She rolled to a halt where she sprawled her body out on the dusty ground, deeply sighing. She quickly wagged her head and leapt up on all paws.

    “Good one Chikorita, way to hang in there!” Harriet cried.

    Her Pokémon smiled back and trotted back out to Budew, who had by now nearly collected enough energy to give the attack a go, admittedly though, it had been slightly slower than her water energy attack due to her lack of practice.

    “Well Budew you might as well go for it. Launch the energy!”

    Budew leapt into the air and pushed all the muscles in her body at once, forcing the energy to slip outside of her body in one giant sphere. It shimmered brightly for a few seconds where a few strands of purple and orange shot through it, before the energy blew up mid jump and hurtled the small grass Pokémon straight into the ground.

    Max seemed horrified and let out a high yelp, terrified that his thought had backfired.

    “Budew, no! Are you ok?”

    She popped her head back up again and coiled her two head appendages together again. She mustered a weak smile and clambered to her feet again, eyeing up Beedrill with great respect.

    “Well guys, isn’t this heated” Jimmy said, ushering his two Pokémon to his side, “What a lot of hit and misses we’ve had… Although I must say impressive work from Budew there learning Energy Ball like that!”

    “What?” Max asked, puzzled by Jimmy’s hypothesis.

    “Well yea, that’s what it looked like to me, isn’t that right Budew?” Jimmy said, motioning to the small bud Pokémon. She turned to face her trainer and happily nodded in agreement, excited by her new move. She gave a small little cry and then turned to face Geodude and Beedrill yet again.

    “Wow Max, that’s just wonderful! Congratulations Budew,” Harriet said, “But this battle isn’t over yet, and I’m here to win it with this new style, so let’s get back into it! Chikor…”

    Harriet abruptly stopped mid sentence as her eyes fixed upon Geodude. Both Max and Jimmy too swivelled their attention onto the rock type as he became encased in a fascinating white energy. His body then began to expand at all corners, most notably were the two protruding features that began to grow from the bottom of his spherical shape.

    Within a few seconds the light passed and burst from the Pokémon’s skin, leaving a different looking Pokémon standing in Geodude’s place.

    “Well… you were talking action packed, Jimmy, and it looks like there’s another segment added in: a nice little evolution!”

    Jimmy energetically smiled and bent down next to Graveler, embracing him tightly.

    “Congratulations there Graveler, I suppose that couldn’t have come at a better time really?” Jimmy joked, “Nice to have you evolve. Pleased for you!”

    Harriet seemed rather fidgety now and tightened her right fist. She turned to Max who seemed very eager to meet the new arrival and then opened her mouth.

    “I’m very pleased for you Jimmy,” she said, “but we’ve still got a battle here, so if you wouldn’t mind?”

    “No, not at all,” he delightfully said, standing back up and patting his Graveler one last time,” I think I’d just like to try out a new move now anyway! So Graveler, use Earthquake!”

    Graveler began to bounce up and down causing the ground underneath everyone to start violently shaking. A few cracks began to form in the grass, leaving the muddy interior vaguely visible, when suddenly a bright and painful flash of light appeared in the centre of the arena, filling up the entire area that surrounded them, including illuminating the PokéCentre. The stain on their retinas began to subside and they all looked towards where the light had originated. In that place sat a small white bodied Pokémon with a drooping head; its eyes peering from underneath a green helmet that rested on its head as if integrated as part of the Pokémon’s overall physiology.

    It looked up at Max and their eyes met.
    Last edited by harryheart; 4th April 2012 at 10:56 AM.

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

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    Can totally not see what's going to happen with this last line.

    Anyway, nice chapter! Well worth the wait.

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    Nice chapter and don't worry about the long wait. I've done that too with fics. You get real busy and time just gets away from you sometimes, that happens. Anyway, glad to have another chapter. I like how we get more Team Rocket insight and I am anxious to see as the story progresses more about Team Sukai. Nice to see Max and Co. relax and not have to worry about being attacked or killed for once. Also, they seem to have gotten new contest and battle experience out of everything! Good deal! Keep it up!

    New Chapter: Chapter 4- Unova

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    Exclamation Acoustics lesson from JJ

    Quote Originally Posted by harryheart View Post
    Harriet squinted, initially confused until she also came to the same conclusion. The bubbles harmonic resonance was creating a subtle undertone that was gently changing in pitch according to their respective heights. The higher they rose, the higher the tone, and the Pokémon seemed very capable of producing the large ripples of water at the exact height.

    “You’re so right Max! Wow, that’s wicked. I wonder what else they can do.”

    They were eagerly anticipating more to come, noticing a Squirtle and Psyduck veer towards the centre of the arena floor. The two Pokémon began charging at one another before they opened their gaping mouths letting torrents of water burst forth. The second the two streams impacted, the duo were held in their spot, unable to move any further forward due to the resistance created by the Water Guns. The continual impact, however, began to add a rather heavy thump into the previous quiet waves of sound as ripples of larger gulps soared out of both Pokémon’s mouths. The piece of music was now slowly forming layer by layer.

    “This is absolutely amazing!” Jimmy said, boasting a huge grin on his face, “How they do it I don’t know! They have to get everything perfect and correctly placed to produce the noises.”

    “Practice makes perfect,” Harriet added.

    “Yes, well… Still, it’s very impressive and I can only imagine what else we’re about to see!”

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re able to create sounds similar to musical instruments we have,” Max said, “I wonder whether this stuff sells on the music market?”

    Harriet jovially smirked at Max for his response, giving him a slight tap on the back as a sort of big up to his statement. She then turned back around to see a Mudkip encased within one of the floating bubbles. Out of its mouth, small streams of water spurted against the barrier and on each impact a synthetic sound was created resembling the usual sounds of a Keyboard. Depending on its position, again, changed the key.
    Before I rate... I have found myself beginning to read the latest chapter before the others I've missed! This concept here is.... Brilliant.
    This, my friend, is how a lot of Symphonic music actually comes together at the beginning.
    However, your idea of key changes has... confused me. You must first under acoustics and resonance of the notes to look at this the way I do. Technically, the acoustics of a room shouldn't change a pitch. It might change the tonality of it or even the pitch's velocity(volume), but not the pitch itself. If you want that explained a bit more, PM me. It's not the easiest concept to grasp, I assure.

    That being said, I do believe you made it sound very believable, and it shan't count against the Chapter's overall rating. Good job.

    EDIT: Other than the key change... ALL of the quote is, in theory, possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chosen_one386 View Post
    Can totally not see what's going to happen with this last line.

    Anyway, nice chapter! Well worth the wait.
    Haha, thanks for that. Yea, it was one of those plot twists that I decided was almost impossible to make unobvious (ish) and that the best thing to do would be to tell it straight. Hopefully the next chapter continues along that line and also isn't a let down when it comes to any interactions between the two.

    Quote Originally Posted by ESPNfanatic35 View Post
    Nice chapter and don't worry about the long wait. I've done that too with fics. You get real busy and time just gets away from you sometimes, that happens. Anyway, glad to have another chapter. I like how we get more Team Rocket insight and I am anxious to see as the story progresses more about Team Sukai. Nice to see Max and Co. relax and not have to worry about being attacked or killed for once. Also, they seem to have gotten new contest and battle experience out of everything! Good deal! Keep it up!
    Cheers ESPN! I was glad to finally get it out and it means that being able to give myself some time now to solely concentrate on work will be a fresh breather as such and I can come back with a (hopefully) stronger writing style and stronger flow. Saying that I'll keep writing but I won't feel pressured to do so.

    Glad you liked the Team Rocket bits there, I absoloutely love writing their characters now and I really feel they are more than they were at the start. In some respects I feel they're partially some of my most developed characters in contrast with some others we have. Team Sukai also have some big things in wait and I can't wait for them to get into full flow, not that they aren't already. I hope that they can live up to what they're being set up to!!!

    And I'm enjoying this slight break from having Max and the others in the firing line for a little, I hope it wasn't getting too cliché either, but my plan is to have the interactions with Team Sukai and Team Rocket seem normal and not forced, and actually seem plausible, or as much as they can be. I'm also excited to keep developing their contest and battling skills through expereince so that's a great encouragement there that you can see that all! Means I'm doing something right lol!

    Thanks for the review!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambassador_JJ View Post
    Before I rate... I have found myself beginning to read the latest chapter before the others I've missed! This concept here is.... Brilliant.
    This, my friend, is how a lot of Symphonic music actually comes together at the beginning.
    However, your idea of key changes has... confused me. You must first under acoustics and resonance of the notes to look at this the way I do. Technically, the acoustics of a room shouldn't change a pitch. It might change the tonality of it or even the pitch's velocity(volume), but not the pitch itself. If you want that explained a bit more, PM me. It's not the easiest concept to grasp, I assure.

    That being said, I do believe you made it sound very believable, and it shan't count against the Chapter's overall rating. Good job.

    EDIT: Other than the key change... ALL of the quote is, in theory, possible.
    Thank you for the nice comments there and also the helpful tips. I did wonder how something like that could change, and unfortuantely instead of research I let my imagination do the talking. But thanks for pointing out how it actually happens and how my theory wouldn't work. I can work on making things more plausible for future chapters lol.

    Hopefully the developments on said technique won't be too unplausible either as I'm going to try and steer away from necesarily the music aspects, although for Contests they will be popping up, and look into the process a little like the end of the chapter here and how they can use those techniques to improve battling or Contest appeals. Music will still play a part though... so I may be looking to you for a little technical guidance there! lol

    Thanks for your review as well. I always love to hear from you guys! Thanks!

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

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    Thumbs up RE: JJ's Famous Ratings!

    Quote Originally Posted by harryheart View Post
    Thank you for the nice comments there and also the helpful tips. I did wonder how something like that could change, and unfortunately instead of research I let my imagination do the talking. But thanks for pointing out how it actually happens and how my theory wouldn't work. I can work on making things more plausible for future chapters lol.

    Hopefully the developments on said technique won't be too unplausible either as I'm going to try and steer away from necessarily the music aspects, although for Contests they will be popping up, and look into the process a little like the end of the chapter here and how they can use those techniques to improve battling or Contest appeals. Music will still play a part though... so I may be looking to you for a little technical guidance there! lol

    As always thanks for writing, my friend. Please, feel free to ask me ANYthing, at ANY time. If it is within my abilities and knowledge, I will answer your musical questions. and I assure you, you won't find many questions on things like this that I can't at least give an educated guess on.

    SPOILER ALERT BELOW(Only read if you've already read 30!):

    NOW, on to the ratings of the chapters I've missed.
    I'm going to be honest, I said I could read 'em all in one weekend... I was wrong! I'm a bit busy for that. BUT, I did read the last chapter and do lots of skimming of the others..

    So, I will rate the last chapter numerically for sure now.

    Review:
    This Jimmy kid... I don't know him well enough yet, but he seems a bit cultured, which is in no way a bad thing. Max and Harriet certainly don't seem happy about what's happened in Rustburo, and it shows in Harriet's shortness with Jimmy in the practice battle, and Max's temper at the beginning of the chapter. Very good dynamics with that. I really hope Brock and Roxanne are alright!
    There was one part, where Max came off a bit needier than I think he needed to be, BUT, it's a close call, and won't affect scoring. (The part where Harriet and Jimmy show Max the tickets. He seems a bit needy there. BUT, get someone else's thoughts on that before you even consider any kind of changing.)
    Oh, and the Concert? Again, I'd like to touch on the brilliance there. Be proud of that part for impressing me as a musician. I felt the music through the writing. Not like I'm looking at a piece of sheet music and playing a tune in my head feel, but I felt the emotion one should get while performing. It was simply stunning to get that feeling from WORDS! Reminds me of the first time I had a solo in a song... One of the most powerful feelings ever. Thank you for that.
    Oh and Geodude at the end... and the earthquake move revealing a Pokemon... So exciting! That is a GREAT way to end a chapter, if you want us to keep coming back for more.

    Alright, now look, I could continue with praise for this chapter, but I'll stop there. Just know, you REALLY earned what this chapter is about to get on the ratings!
    Ratings:
    Now, for the rating's portion of the show.... *Cue drum roll!* I award Chapter 30, The Music Style, of "Max's Hoenn Journey", with:

        Spoiler:- Chapter 30's Rating...:


        Spoiler:- Explaination behind the rating. Look at the rating first, I'd suggest:
    Last edited by Ambassador_JJ; 18th April 2012 at 4:28 AM. Reason: Typo... Somehow...?
    JJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambassador_JJ View Post
    As always thanks for writing, my friend. Please, feel free to ask me ANYthing, at ANY time. If it is within my abilities and knowledge, I will answer your musical questions. and I assure you, you won't find many questions on things like this that I can't at least give an educated guess on.

    WARNING: DO NOT READ THE FOLLOWING UNLESS YOU ARE AWARE IT CONTAINS bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

    NOW, on to the ratings of the chapters I've missed.
    I'm going to be honest, I said I could read 'em all in one weekend... I was wrong! I'm a bit busy for that. BUT, I did read the last chapter and do lots of skimming of the others..

    So, I will rate the last chapter numerically for sure now.

    Review:
    This Jimmy kid... I don't know him well enough yet, but he seems a bit cultured, which is in no way a bad thing. Max and Harriet certainly don't seem happy about what's happened in Rustburo, and it shows in Harriet's shortness with Jimmy in the practice battle, and Max's temper at the beginning of the chapter. Very good dynamics with that. I really hope Brock and Roxanne are alright!
    There was one part, where Max came off a bit needier than I think he needed to be, BUT, it's a close call, and won't affect scoring. (The part where Harriet and Jimmy show Max the tickets. He seems a bit needy there. BUT, get someone else's thoughts on that before you even consider any kind of changing.)
    Oh, and the Concert? Again, I'd like to touch on the brilliance there. Be proud of that part for impressing me as a musician. I felt the music through the writing. Not like I'm looking at a piece of sheet music and playing a tune in my head feel, but I felt the emotion one should get while performing. It was simply stunning to get that feeling from WORDS! Reminds me of the first time I had a solo in a song... One of the most powerful feelings ever. Thank you for that.
    Oh and Geodude at the end... and the earthquake move revealing a Pokemon... So exciting! That is a GREAT way to end a chapter, if you want us to keep coming back for more.

    Alright, now look, I could continue with praise for this chapter, but I'll stop there. Just know, you REALLY earned what this chapter is about to get on the ratings!
    Ratings:
    Now, for the rating's portion of the show.... *Cue drum roll!* I award Chapter 30, The Music Style, of "Max's Hoenn Journey", with:

        Spoiler:- Chapter 30's Rating...:


        Spoiler:- Explaination behind the rating. Look at the rating first, I'd suggest:
    Thank you very much for my review! I most certainly will turn to you for a few little advicey bits here and there! Thanks for offering.

    I'm really glad you liked the chapter, and that it flowed easily and made sense without having to read the recent few chapters. That actually gives me quite a boost because I feel that I can actually write something which is compelling and intriguing yet good enough to be able to stand relatively alone. That really does instill me with hope about my writing, thanks. I'm also really pleased that you were able to feel emotions from the perfomance, that also helps me exceptionally to know that I can portray what I may be feeling or seeing in my head into words and then subsequently to the readers keeping that same tone, I hope that you guys get to see more of that in the future!

    Thank you very much for the compliments and few little tips there! Really excited about the future of this story now, and in general, my writing, so I'm eager for more good chapters like this!

    Thanks everyone!

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

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    Looks interesting, I'll read it when i have more time.

    Though I expected that Max would pick Treecko as his starter; in the anime at least, he clearly stated, and not only once, that he wants a treecko when he starts his own journey.
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    Oh yeah; when gen 6 came out, I was disappointed too, but then it started to revive my faith in the future of pokemon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lovepika View Post
    Looks interesting, I'll read it when i have more time.

    Though I expected that Max would pick Treecko as his starter; in the anime at least, he clearly stated, and not only once, that he wants a treecko when he starts his own journey.
    Thank you very much for popping on by! Hope you like what you read, and I hope that the first few chapters aren't too much of a drag but the writing does improve... (I hope)

    And yes that's very true, and I'm afraid I didn't really deal with that! Sorry! I decided to leave that one, as I didn't think that Treeko was a good choice in my long scheme of things, however I knew that I didn't want to just throw it all out of the air so I created the new sort of scene that we see and created this love he has for Mudkip as well as I thought that in the space of time that passed it could be plausible. But in the scheme of things, no I'm afraid I didn't really touch on that point. Hopefully it doesn't detract from your reading though.

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
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    Quote Originally Posted by harryheart View Post
    Thank you very much for popping on by! Hope you like what you read, and I hope that the first few chapters aren't too much of a drag but the writing does improve... (I hope)

    And yes that's very true, and I'm afraid I didn't really deal with that! Sorry! I decided to leave that one, as I didn't think that Treeko was a good choice in my long scheme of things, however I knew that I didn't want to just throw it all out of the air so I created the new sort of scene that we see and created this love he has for Mudkip as well as I thought that in the space of time that passed it could be plausible. But in the scheme of things, no I'm afraid I didn't really touch on that point. Hopefully it doesn't detract from your reading though.
    As far as Treecko goes, maybe have Max meet up with some(one) of the old gang... and have them bring that up! would be an interesting read, as to Max's explanation, as well as a good way to tie that point up.
    JJ

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambassador_JJ View Post
    As far as Treecko goes, maybe have Max meet up with some(one) of the old gang... and have them bring that up! would be an interesting read, as to Max's explanation, as well as a good way to tie that point up.
    Thanks for the useful tip! I've tried an incorporation into the storyline and we'll see how it goes.

    And as an update guys, I've been writing still and have got a few chapters ready now just about to undergo editing processes. So I should have the first chapter up for you guys in the next few weeks!! Thanks for the long waiting.

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
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    Man I've been gone so long I've forgotten to keep up with this great stuff as usual

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessie_James View Post
    Man I've been gone so long I've forgotten to keep up with this great stuff as usual
    Just goes to show how messed up my laptop is when it only notifies me about this post today!

    I've been thinking a lot about this and have gone back to revamp the chapter that's awaiting posting and hopefully it'll be up in the next week!!! Fingers crossed. I've had to change the story line and the way things panned out as I really wasn't happy with the way I structured and penned it... and it really did deserve better which is hopefully what I've done.

    More soon!!! If not a chapter in the next few days definitely an update with the progress.

    P.S Another issue has been laptop trouble but I don't count that as a valid excuse, nor work...

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
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    Default Chapter 31

    Well it most certainly has been a while, but here is chapter 31, where I'm hoping the chapter lives up to the wait and also expectations of the characters. Max has undergone a lot in this chapter, I can't think of a more character centred chapter really. I'm hoping I've done it justice too as this is very pivotal to Max's history and where he's going, and his reactions are hopefully realistic.

    This is the start of a new phase in the story where Max and Harriet are hopefully heading into new directions and growing into more mature and well rounded people!

    But I'll wait and see what you have to say about that:

    This chapter links back to an episode in Hoenn, but it doesn't rely on the fact that everyone will have seen it and hopefully it is still enjoyable nevertheless.

    As per usual:

    Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 3

    Chapter 31: Don’t Forget Me

    Max was suddenly and overwhelmingly filled with an inundation of emotions. His eyes became fixated on the small creature sat only mere metres away and they began to fill with a brewing liquid that spilled down his cheeks. It was joyous emotion though, and he was thrilled to look upon the Pokémon.

    Jimmy could see something different in Max; he knew that this one moment had suddenly changed everything. A deepening silence replaced the hard thumping sounds of a raging battle, and though he knew nothing about the importance of what he witnessed, that didn’t seem to matter.

    Both Budew and Chikorita were also amazed at the sudden appearance of the new Pokémon, which had also appeared to dampen the effects of Graveler’s Earthquake. They merely became weak little tremors, which the two felt relief about. But presently, it was the last thing to cross anyone’s mind. Graveler on the other hand had already become distracted and began to concentrate on kicking a few pebbles about the ground.

    Max continued to gaze out towards the white skinned Pokémon, his eyes expressing complete and utter awe. It had been so long!

    “So…” Max’s voice nervously shook as he fumbled his hands through his hair in an awkward fashion. It was obvious that he had no idea what to do or say. “This… I… I’ve never stopped thinking about this moment… And after all this time… It’s really happened!”

    His words seemed to filter through everything like sharp razor blades that cut right into the Pokémon’s heart. It had been a number of years since their last meeting, and now here they stood; this was how they were brought back together and neither of them cared for formalities. The Pokémon too began to tremble in the eyes

    Max began to rub his arms and allowed a guilty expression to creep onto his face. He paused; totally unsure about what he even wanted to say let alone how to say it. The creature didn’t seem to mind though, and he eagerly looked towards Max with a deep, sentimental welcoming love.

    Suddenly, Max thrust himself out into the field and charged towards the Pokémon with outstretched arms. Both Harriet and Jimmy were almost bowled off their feet by this abrupt alteration in Max’s actions. It seemed rather unprecedented, but that’s what they loved about Max, the fact that he was full of new and unexpected things.

    Max scooped the young physic type up in his arms, kneeling down to the ground and snuggling his head against its pure white body. He was a delicate little creature, light and seemingly fragile, yet there was so much energy coursing through his body, radiating so much heat through his skin. Max lovingly pressed his face deeper into the warmth allowing more joy and happiness to well up inside, which in turn seemed to increase the warmth that the creature emitted.

    “Ralts, I’ve missed you bud!”

    The two just sat there in each other’s embrace as if time itself had stopped. Hours felt as if they flew by, and years, especially the years apart. They seemed to merge together forming a brief, fleeting second. It was as if eternity had suddenly begun.

    Ralts then slowly edged his head away from Max’s shoulder, his eyes still sparkling with so many different emotions. Max lifted his head up too and allowed their gazes to match.

    After a few more moments of ‘eternity’, Max bowed his head a little in a reflective state, readying a question in his mind.

    “How… Ralts, how did you find me?”

    His friends looked on with astonishment abound in their faces. It was obvious that the two had a deep connection that went way back, and also obvious that Max held a great deal of grief about it. So in turn, they could see where the question came from. But it still stumped them, even the Pokémon. Max had never usually been on to explore his emotions, and although they could see the turmoil of feelings cascading in his eyes, as well as Ralts’, it seemed unusual for him to act upon them.

    Max continued to keep his eyes squarely centred on Ralts’ loving complexion, unsure what its subtle complexities were saying. He didn’t want to repeat himself, no, that would be too unbearable to reproach, but even so, he had to know. He felt he needed to ask again, to somehow rephrase the question, but as he did Ralts raised both his hands and planted them on either side of Max’s temple. There was suddenly a flash of light, and then it all became clear!

    It was like a rollercoaster of colours, swirls and vivid flashes of images. Everything seemed to fly by at great speeds, yet Max could picture it all so clearly and he understood the story that it began to depict. Indeed, it was apparent; Ralts had been a true friend. He had kept to his promise and his end of friendship.

    Max could see the trail that led up this point, the journey that Ralts had taken. The loneliness, the twists and turns, the ups and downs, he felt the pains of them so deeply in his heart. But through all that he also knew, and could sense all the love possible in it, that Ralts still missed him and wanted to partner up no matter how far the distance or how long the wait.

    Finally, as the outpouring of emotions began to disperse, Max glimpsed the last leg of the journey that spanned from a seemingly coincidental event; Rustboro. Ralts had seen the new displays scattered across Hoenn. He had seen the aftermath of the rampage, and the works of Roxanne and Brock. A familiar face had appeared. And in the background of those images had been another, Max, tireless helping too, unaware of the media coverage around him. Too concerned on the benefit of others, on being a servant hearted helping hand. All that had given Ralts enough clues to detect and a path to follow, a road that lead him towards Max. Ironically, something so terrible had reared a tremendous blessing. There was reunion.

    The vivid images then stopped. Absolute blackness shunned its way into Max’s sight and he recoiled backwards but with such eloquent grace. Ralts appeared to be guiding him; letting him down gently after such an explosion of high emotions with the simple recline of his hand.

    Harriet and Jimmy, along with all the four Pokémon rushed over to Max’s side. Chikorita and Budew nudged the sides of Max while Harriet and Jimmy stooped down and comforted him, allowing Ralts to shuffle onto his lap. Jimmy beckoned his two Pokemon over too who had thus far kept their distance, and they hovered next to him; Beedrill slowly descending to the ground.

    A jolt seemed to strike through his body and he bolted upright, a gigantic grin spread across his face and ablaze in his eyes.

    “Wow!” he simply remarked.

    He was ecstatic; full of life again all within the space of a few seconds. Somehow his need for rest, a longing for not only emotion and physical rest but also inner rest had just been imparted in him. It was a gift that up till now hadn’t found the time or capabilities to be accepted.

    Max looked down at his old friend with such overwhelming joy. He took Ralts into his arms and hugged him so tightly. After a few moments he gently released his grip and clambered to his feet.

    “Thank you, Max gracefully said, “Thank you so much. I’m so sorry that I hadn’t found you sooner, but I’m so glad we’re finally together again here and now.”

    Max then turned his head to gaze down at his other companion that was still so full of surprise and bewilderment that she didn’t know what faces to pull. He smiled at her and beckoned Budew forward with his open arms.

    “Sorry for all the confusion Buddy, but I’d like to formally introduce you to Ralts, one of my old friends from the last time I travelled through Hoenn.”

    The Pokémon took a few steps forward, as did Ralts, and they began their introductions. Still with the same smile on his face, Max turned and in silence nodded at both Harriet and Jimmy, his signal to say everything was ok. He then reached to the other two PokéBalls on his belt and unclipped them, feeling their smooth and cool surface on his palm. With one simple push of the white circular buttons on the front, the PokéBalls enlarged in Max’s hand and he instantly chucked them in the air.

    “Murkrow and Charmander, come and join us. I have someone for you to meet!”

    The two Pokémon shot out of their PokéBalls with utter speed that it almost made Budew jump as each one simultaneously appeared on either side of her. Ralts also turned around with surprise, but more so because he was intrigued to meet Max’s new friends.

    He walked on over to them and greeted them with a giant smile and a warm cry. Murkrow cautiously rotated its head, half closing one eye to, and tucked its wing over the front of its body. Charmander on the other hand grabbed Ralts by the hand and vigorously acknowledged its arrival.

    “See,” Max said to Ralts, still crouching beside him, “Here I have my starter, Charmander, another friend, Budew and my first capture, Murkrow.”

    Max ushered Murkrow to join in the pleasantries but he still sat there with a cautious appeal in his eyes. His head was cocked back a little and his eyes were fixed on Ralts as he continued to scan the little Pokémon. With a nervous expression in his body he hopped towards Max and the others and hesitantly approached the side of Ralts who lifted a hand in reassurance. Murkrow then responded by lifting its wing and clasping it against Ralts’ hand, and suddenly all his muscles seemed to relax.

    “Ralts, wow! Are you passing on your emotions again like you did with me?” Max asked.

    Ralts looked up with a soft look and nodded.

    “That’s absolutely amazing,” Jimmy remarked, bending down to Ralts and placing his hand gently on the Pokémon’s shoulder, “May you show me something too?”

    Ralts placed both his hands on Jimmy’s face, one on each cheek. Jimmy relaxed his face and shut his eyes as he began to allow the feelings of Ralts to wash over him. There were beautiful rays of colour soaring past his mind’s eye, pinks and reds and yellows, all warm colours. They physically felt like they were giving off an aura of love and warmth, something that warmed even the deepest parts of his being.

    He opened his eyes and gazed down on Ralts, but with different eyes and a different look that he had done so before. Even though Jimmy hadn’t appeared nervous, tense or anxious, he now seemed as if he had been completely released from any binding ties of worry. It was as if that moment had just changed him with a peaceful atmosphere.

    “Thank you Ralts,” Jimmy remarked, “Thank you!”

    “You’re certainly an exceptional Pokémon Ralts,” Harriet stated, bending down to the small psychic type herself, “I’d certainly love to battle you!”

    “What!” Max said.

    “Yea actually,” Jimmy jumped in, “That’s not a bad idea. You and Ralts obviously go back quite far, so you could easily pair up with him, and I’d certainly love to have a double battle on Ralts’ team.”

    “See, it’d be great for all of us Max! I can practice battling a wild Pokémon too so that the next time I encounter a water type I’ll be ready to catch it!”

    “Well... I’m not sure about that guys, I mean, Ralts and I haven’t exactly battled with each other before!”

    “Wait, that doesn’t matter right now,” Jimmy said, now turning to Harriet with a very perplexed face glaring at her, “What does is your ridiculous idea that battling a psychic type will help you in any way when facing a water type. It’s not that simple!”

    “Yes it is! It was the case when I caught Burmy! I had only battled Johto Pokémon and it still helped me capture a Sinnoh Pokémon!”

    “You so have this totally backwards Harriet!”

    “Well whatever! Just as long as I can capture a water type then I’ll be fine. They have such amazing moves that I won’t be able to lose my next contests because they have amazing appeal yet awesome strength!”

    “I can’t believe you think it’s all that easy! Just because they appear eloquent doesn’t mean they start out that way. You’ve got to have the talent and skill to be able to perfect contest style moves in a battle anyway... And maybe this double battle will be a great place for you to develop that!”

    “What? You don’t think I can already do that?”

    Max stood up, still looking uneasy about the challenge that had been proposed earlier on, but this little spat had gone on long enough and it was his turn to chime in.

    “Harriet, I’m afraid Jimmy has a point. Look at your last few contest battles, you sorta did struggle with the contest elements to them. Admittedly you did win, but it’s a contest, and so, maybe if we did battle this will be great practice for all of us!”

    Harriet reeled back a little bit. The words cut deep, but she knew them to be true. In fact, Max and Jimmy hadn’t been alone in their thinking, she too shared their same concerns but had feared to vocalise them.

    “Alright then, but Max, I’ll do it only if you battle with Ralts. He looks like such a tough opponent and I know it’s what I need to... well you know!”

    Max looked down to Ralts and then back up to his best friend, knowing too well that she was right. He needed to battle with Ralts; in fact he needed to do a lot more than just battle with him.

    Ralts could sense the unease in his friend, knowing full well that he feared to confront the issue that was currently straining his thoughts. Yes Ralts was powerful, and that terrified Max. To be in control as such a novice trainer of a Pokémon who had so much more experience than him frightened his core to bits.

    The small Pokémon leapt up onto Max’s shoulders and peered round the corner of his face into the boy’s eyes. They made contact and Max had to quickly flick his head away. He picked Ralts up and placed him down next to his other friends, looking at the four of them standing together.

    Jimmy bent on down to Max’s three Pokémon, giving Charmander a little pat on his head, stroking Murkrow’s soft feathers and also giving Budew a little tickle under the tips of her buds. He looked over at Ralts, and then back to the other three. It was so obvious that Ralts fitted into the group; in fact they appeared to almost expect him to be there now with the way they flocked around him.

    Jimmy could see it, and he knew Max could too. And the long drawn out silence was such a dead giveaway to the how Max was feeling about the whole situation.

    Jimmy looked back up towards Max with the largest calming smile he could muster. Max again had to shy away from another gaze.

    “Max, it’s alright you know,” Jimmy said as he stood up and wrapped his arm around Max’s shoulder with a tight squeeze, “You’ll learn just how best to work with Ralts... and anyway you’ve both already shown how deep your bond together is and that at the end of the day is the most crucial part of any relationship. No trainer and Pokémon relationship ever works unless they form a trust that comes from a friendship.”

    “Jimmy...”

    This time Max stared straight into the eyes of his friend, denoting the fear and apprehension emanating from his thoughts through the power of his eyes. This time, Max wasn’t afraid to confront it.

    “I don’t know. Ralts is a brilliant Pokémon and a great friend, but I don’t know if I’m the one to help him grow, or even if I’d be able to learn or the others. What if we just get completely stomped and lost... What if I become lost?”

    “Max, it’s understandable you feel this way. You have so much history, so many emotional tugs that it’s ok to be feeling this way. Don’t be bea...”

    The whole while Ralts and his new fellow friends had been watching the conversation, all of them growing worried for their human friend. Ralts glanced over at Max’s backpack that was propped up against a few large rocks, along with another two of different designs and colours. Max’s bag was partially undone and Ralts could see a red glint shimmering from one of the pockets. With a loud crackle and a blinding flash Ralts disappeared. Everyone snapped their heads around and placed their attentions towards Ralts last position, where the noise had originated from.

    Max noticed a crinkling and rustling from his back and quickly scooped down next to it, pulling back the two pieces of fabric separated by a metal zip and noticing the prominent white and green colours of a spherical head. Max was very puzzled.

    “Ralts, what on earth are you doing?”

    Ralts made a few remarks and thrust his clasped hands towards Max’s face. Concealed in his grasp was a small round ball; one half red, and one half white. Right in that moment, Max’s faced dropped and terror bounded into the muscles on his face.

    “No! What if we’re not... what if it’s not right?” Max stuttered.

    It was too late though, as quickly as Max spoke Ralts moved faster. He squeezed the centre of the PokéBall and it instantly enlarged in between his two paws. Within seconds, Ralts tapped the circular button in the middle and it sprang open, soaring a little into the air and sucking his energy into the small capsule. Everybody’s faces were left with astonishment and anticipation, and Max in particular was stunned to silence.

    The PokéBall closed up and sealed shut with a blue tint evaporating from the metal around the brim. It shuddered and shook for a few seconds until the round centre popped with another blue sparkle and the PokéBall simply remained still. Ralts had just been caught...

    Max remained motionless, unable to comprehend what had just happened, or even what he should now do. Harriet looked over to Jimmy, expressing her concern with her uneasy stare. They both nodded and walked on over to Max, placing a hand on his back in support.

    “Max... Congratulations. Whether you feel comfortable with it or not, Ralts just chose you, and he is your friend. It may not be ideal, and may well be terrifying, but can I assure you that after seeing you battle I know you can handle yourself, your other three partners, and now your new capture too. You have it in yourself mate, and I think that actually what may be best would be to use Ralts in a battle with me against Harriet. What do you say?”

    Max turned to face his friends, and glanced over to his other three pals that had been unusually but respectfully quiet throughout the capture. He nodded at Jimmy, grabbed the PokéBall and ran over to Charmander and the others.

    Stooping down, he beckoned the three to clamber onto him. Murkrow perched on Max’s left shoulder, while Charmander leapt onto the other, and Budew rested neatly into a cradle Max created with his elbow joint and his torso.

    Turning back around, he motioned to Harriet and Jimmy, “Well guys, if I’m going to battle with you, I’m not going to do it alone. I have my friends with me, and we’re all going to support each other in this, so let’s get this started...”

    Max looked back down at the PokéBall, running his fingers across the smooth surface. He looked out over the grass and tossed it into the area.

    “Well then, Ralts, I choose you!”

    Jimmy gave a brimming smile and let out a chuckle, “Alright then Max, let’s get going, Wingull, come on out and join us!”

    The two balls burst open and released the remarkable flow of white energy that quickly jumbled together to form the two creatures. They stood in unison on the field, with Wingull stretching its wings out and releasing a piercing cry.

    “Ha yea! We’re so ready for this!” Jimmy eagerly shouted, “Bring on your two Harriet!”

    “Well alright then, I’m so going to prove to you just how much I want to grow and just how much I want another capture! Don’t go easy on us, as we definitely won’t on you!”

    “You’ve got nothing to fear, we won’t be losing our first battle together!”

    “Bring it! Mothim and Chikorita, let’s show them what we can do!”

    Chikorita came running into the battle area from the side, where she had been patiently waiting with the bags next to Beedrill and Graveler. Her legs carried her with tremendous force, while above her came another flash of light. A dancing energy flew through the air, centring together and dissipating with a twinkle. In its place was Chikorita’s partner and friend, Mothim.

    “ Let’s not give them a chance to counter, Chikorita launch in with a Razor Leaf, and Mothim use Hidden Power!”

    The two Pokémon leapt straight into action as they launched their attacks towards Ralts and Wingull. The moves soared fast towards their targets, but even so neither Pokémon feared what was about to come. There was a gentle glint in their eyes as if they knew what was about to come next.

    “Wingull fly up high!”

    “And Ralts, Teleport!”

    Harriet gasped. She had completely forgotten that both Pokémon were agile enough to escape and had ample speed and technique to dodge. She looked up at the attacks she had just commanded as she watched them reach the supposed target area, only to keep going and collide with a mantle of bushes behind both her opposing trainers. She had commanded two attacks without even considering a contest style arrangement, and that would’ve cost her points in an actual contest battle.

    “Harriet, you can do better than that. Well you missed an opportunity there, and we’re not going to let you get another one! Wingull, launch into a Wing Attack...”

    “And Ralts...”

    Max paused, he had been so caught up in the concept and hype of the battle that he had completely forgotten to check what moves Ralts knew. The only reason he had chosen Teleport was the simple fact that Ralts had already shown his command of such a move.

    “It’s alright Max, quickly check your Pokédex to see what attacks Ralts can use, I’ll cover your back in the meantime,” Jimmy quickly said as he realised the predicament his partner was in as well. How could either of them have forgotten such a basic thing?

    Wingull’s wings began to throb with a white energy that flowed through its feathers. It circled Ralts to gain some momentum before speeding towards its targets.

    “Well I guess that gives us a quick window for now, target all your attacks on Ralts now guys; we can’t let this opportunity go! Repeat your previous moves but this time aim them in a foray of movement around the area Ralts is in, that way we have to hit one of them!”

    “Darn it!” Jimmy cried, “You really are thinking now, good on you! But hopefully that’s not enough, Wingull keep going and get to them before they have any chance of...”

    Harriet’s two Pokémon had reacted fast enough, however, and had already begun to bombard Ralts with the multitude of colourful beams that shot from Mothim’s wings, along with fast spinning leaves that twirled in a circular fashion towards the psychic type. Jimmy now looked very worried.

    “Max?”

    There was a moment’s silence as everyone partially turned their attention towards Max. He seemed vacant and pale, but very suddenly that began to change. Max’s face began to glow a vibrant red as he ecstatically began to bob on the spot. He then unexpectedly punched the air before turning to Jimmy!

    “Right, got it... Ralts, use Double Team to evade!”

    The Pokémon’s body began to rapidly vibrate as its cells became dramatically charged with movement. In the next moment it was as if he was splitting in two, and then four, and then suddenly eight. Multiple copies began appearing around the battlefield, confusing even the likes of Wingull who had now stopped its attack to watch his partner’s spectacular abilities.

    “Good one Max!” Harriet yelled, “But not good enough. Chikorita, fire your vines towards each copy until you hit your target, and Mothim take care of Wingull with Bug Bite!”

    *****

    Their footsteps echoed amongst the trees as the two people breathlessly pattered their way through the woods; their boots rasping against the crisp, hard ground with force. The duo seemed immaculately clean for people that had spent their previous few weeks living in the forest’s groans and moans.

    They continued to whistle their way through the foliage until they saw a brim of light enter through a few cracks from the branches. They halted in their movement, gazing towards the bright sunlight as they rapidly inhaled and exhaled. Their faces pulsated with a red liquid and their bodies crept with the trickle of sweat.

    The young male adult looked at his companion.

    “It’s time. We’re nearly there, and then we can see just how this new addition handles himself.”

    “Are you sure the reports were correct, Butch? Are we going to find them here?”

    “Our data appears sound...”

    The duo’s ears pricked up as a fierce whistling sound propelled towards them. A loud crash sounded and the light suddenly faded under a cloud of dusty haze.

    “I think they’re already here!”

    The Rocket’s leapt back into action as they sped towards the clearing, bursting through the forest brim and flying into view. Yet, what they saw was most definitely not what they had been expecting.

    “What?” exclaimed Cassidy, “Where’s Team Sukai?”

    Butch glared out into the opening, staring at the figures of three humans and a number of Pokémon.

    “No... It can’t be! Cassidy, look, it’s those annoying kids again.”

    She peered into the distance, seeing the image of an engaged battle brewing. Her heart dropped and the tension left her body, but in its place emerged devious thoughts.

    “Butch, you know what we should do! Let’s pay ‘em back for all the hassle that they’ve caused us. They’re nothing against the power we now have!”

    Butch met Cassidy’s cunning look with a sly smile of his own. It was perfect, and that way they would have something else to suck up to Giovanni with. A bunch of Pokémon would likely put a smile on his face.

    “Alright, but let’s not waste the surprise to begin with. Hitmontop, come out and have some fun!”

    “You’re right, this is going to be great, Granbull, you too!”

    The two Pokémon emerged from their PokéBalls with sly looks on their faces too. It was as if the emotions and feelings of their trainers travelled into the Pokémon from the skin through to the balls. They were ready to flex their battling muscles too after some time without fighting the slightest Pokémon, not even measly wild Pokémon as training practice.

    Granbull punched its right hand with its left first, rocking it too and fro in its powerful grasp. Hitmontop looked on up to its companion and eagerly smiled; awaiting its commands seemed like an intense ordeal. Both were ready to get back into action.

    “Right, Hitmontop jump into your Rapid Spin!”

    “And Granbull, use Headbutt!”

    The two Pokémon immediately burst forth, Granbull charging ahead on its powerful leg muscles, and Hitmontop spinning across the grass on its head, churning up a load of grass and mud with it. All the while, the three trainers were completely oblivious to what was occurring.


    *****


    Chikorita’s vines spliced through every silhouette of Ralts, cutting and chopping them to bits as they made their way ever so closer to the target. Mothim too had got the better of Wingull’s speed closing in on the water type with its gnashing jaws.

    “Wingull, use your Hydro Pump on the ground and get above Mothim, then knock it to the ground with Wing Attack!”

    “And Ralts, grab Chikorita’s vines with Psychic and send her flying back!”

    “Chikorita, withdraw your vines quickly, and Mothim watch your back and counter with Protect!”

    Just as they called their commands, they all heard a loud growling noise growing closer. All the Pokémon continued to follow their orders, but Max, Jimmy and Harriet turned their attention to the forest line about a few hundred metres away from them.

    “What’s that?” Harriet yelled.

    “I’ve got no clue, but I’m not waiting to find out! Wingull, use Hydro Pump against the oncoming Pokémon! And Graveler and Beedrill, I need your help too, use Rock Throw and Pin Missile!”

    “Hmm, alright then, Chikorita, Razor Leaf and Mothim, Hidden Power too, let’s stop them in their tracks!”

    “Wait a second,” Max suddenly shrieked, “Is that Team Rocket standing over there?”

    Jimmy and Harriet continued to allow their Pokémon to proceed as commanded, but turned their gaze over to the plush green foliage that shrouded the dense forest. It seemed Max was spot on. Dressed head to toe in complete black were two very astute people, watching the oncoming Pokémon with a keen eye. Their fists were clenched with a PokéBall in each, ready to introduce reinforcements as and when necessary.

    “What are they doing here?” Harriet commented; concern and fear blazing in her eyes, “Well whatever, I’m not letting them get any closer! Chikorita and Mothim, keep it up!”

    Butch turned to Cassidy, prompting her to release another Pokémon alongside him.

    “Cloyster come and join us and target the three humans with your Water Gun!”

    “And Tentacruel, use Hydro Pump!”

    The Pokémon instantly burst forth from their PokéBalls, almost with no time lapse between beginning their attack and leaving the white energy. Cloyster eerily opened its shell and the water came pouring out.

    The initial run of Water Gun intercepted the barrage of attacks that headed towards Granbull and Hitmontop quelling them on impact. In the same instance, Wingull, Beedrill and Mothim were knocked out of the air, along with Murkrow whom Max had just sent up to join in with the fighting. His Shadow Ball’s faded as he plummeted to the earth.

    Chikorita began to grow restless and attempted to launch another whirl of Razor Leaf towards the Pokémon. Her body was gripped with fear as her adrenaline coursed throughout every fibre within her. But to her dismay she watched on as her attack was crushed by the follow up Hydro Pump, which continued on and impacted the three youngsters. All the Pokémon were left with horrified looks.

    Harriet attempted to duck beneath the torrent of water, but was caught off guard and toppled over, flung into the air by the sheer force of the swirling water. As she flew backwards, she saw Jimmy thrown to the ground as the water took his legs out and he flopped against the soggy terrain. Finally, as the water struck Max, it sent him flying to one side, his head tilting down and allowing a chain to come flying off, while his remaining Pokémon were caught up in the stream and flung towards Jimmy.

    Max looked up and noticed his pendant lying on the ground, a few metres away from where he had crashed into the dirt. His hand quickly massaged his neck as he tried to feel the tickle of the cold chain against his hand out of habit, but it wasn’t there.

    Butch and Cassidy watched with glee as they saw the trainers lose their balance, and the Pokémon become even more fearful. But the most cheering thing of all was seeing the purple glint that lay on the ground, which had been ripped from Max’s neck in an instance, and now delicately awaited its retrieval.

    Ralts watched the entire proceedings, worried for everyone’s safety. His mind flicked back to his initial encounter with another similar group of people when he first met Max. The thoughts raced through his mind as he geared himself up for dealing with this issue.

    He peered out from underneath his cap, and his eyes began to glow a powerful sky blue. The colour grew more and more intense and suddenly waves of energy radiated from his body.

    Granbull and Hitmontop were instantly stopped in their tracks, their bodies concealed by a powerful blue force that surrounded them. They couldn’t move an inch, and terror shocked them to the core.

    The large Pokémon let out a terrifying cry, full of fear, pain and worry, alerting its trainer to a serious problem.

    “Butch, what do we do?”

    “It’s time Cassidy, get ready...”

    “Alright, Tentacruel return, I don’t need you getting in the way!”

    “The same with you, Cloyster,” Butch cried.

    Chikorita, Mothim, Wingull, Beedril, Graveler and Murkrow received a boosted thrill from the sudden turn of events, releasing another barrage of attacks at the Pokémon buying time for their trainers to clamber to their feet.

    The Razor Leaf, Hidden Power, Pin Missile, Rock Throw, Hydro Pump and Shadow Balls finally collided with their targets, and Ralts released his grip on the two Pokémon with a gentle push too. Granbull and Hitmontop flew back a fair distance and collided with Butch who had just finished placing Cloyster away in his pocket. Cassidy just managed to escape the pile up as she replaced one PokéBall with another.

    “It’s not over,” she shouted, finally clutching the other capsule tightly in her grasp, “We’re not going to let you win this time!”

    Jimmy glanced over at Max who was still busy trying to brush large clumps of soggy mud from his clothes. He quickly gave him a nudge in the arm to prompt him to react.

    “You have to do something, mate. Ralts has already shown how capable he is, now command another attack and send them away. We won’t stand a chance if they pit more Pokémon against us!”

    Max was terrified at the prospect of controlling that much power, he knew that Ralts concealed a great deal of psychic energy but using it was a different matter. The fact he was terrified of even being the trainer of a Pokémon like that freaked him out, and this was another step too many. However, he had to disregard all his senses and thoughts, and rather use instinct instead of mind. It was time to finally merge in trust with Ralts by doing this one thing, and truly begin their journey together.

    “Ralts, brilliant work my friend and thank you all for giving us time to get back up! Now let’s finish them up and knock them back one last time. Use Psychic on all four of them and send them far, far away!”

    Ralts began to levitate off the ground, his two legs flowing like a silky dress over the trampled grass. His eyes continued to glow as they let forth a powerful ripple of energy that shot across the field like a gigantic gust of wind moving everything and anything in its path. The grass bent completely against the ground and the air separated with force, and then it collided.

    Team Rocket were lifted off their feet with a giant blow, as if someone had taken a swing at them with a humungous bat. Their bodies coiled over their torsos as the blast propelled them away, pushing against the one spot on their bodies. With a blink of the eyes, they were gone.

    Harriet erupted with overbearing joy, dancing about as she welcomed her Pokémon into her arms. Jimmy did the same as he sped over towards Wingull and embraced his Pokémon with a deep and intimate hug. He looked over at Beedrill and Graveler who had slumped down next to his backpack, almost faint from the exhaustion the battle brought.

    “You guys were amazing,” Jimmy remarked, “Take a nice long rest.”

    He held the two PokéBalls out, watching the red beams impact the creatures and suck them back into their cocoons.

    Max looked around at the remaining four Pokémon; his friends and partners for life. They had just worked as a team to save one another, and successfully used their instinct and capabilities to protect everyone else. With a precarious grin, he bent down to scoop Charmander and Budew up, both of whom had taken a large beating from the giant force of the Hydro Pump. He squeezed his face against their bodies and held them close. He was so relieved for their safety.

    “Never again, I won’t let it happen again. I’m so sorry you even got hurt!”

    Both of them shuffled up his arms and onto his shoulders with loving smiles that brought warmth to Max’s soul. He smiled back and then ran on over to Murkrow and Ralts who were busy celebrating themselves. He picked both of them up as well and held them close to his heart.

    “Thank you guys, you were so amazing and showed just how great you two are!” he said while ruffling Murkrow’s head, “You were brilliant and knew exactly what to do and when, without me having to even tell you anything. You really do know how to handle yourself. And Ralts, my word... you are powerful, more so than I ever imagined.”

    He paused and smiled individually at each of his companions.

    “Look at us all,” he finally said, “We are a team... and that’s what counts! So Ralts, welcome to our family!”

    By now, Harriet and Jimmy had rejoined Max, standing side by side with their friend. They looked down at their own companions with the same love in their complexions that Max had in his words.

    “Well Max... that was simply amazing! What better way to introduce Ralts to us than that, eh?”

    Jimmy chuckled to himself as he shot Ralts a large thank you smile, nodding his affection towards the small creature.

    “You truly are powerful my friend,” he continued, “And I look forward to many future battles with you!”

    “The same goes for me, Max. I can’t wait to see more of what Ralts can do, but more importantly I must say, it’s great to have him with us. You two were brilliant in our little battle, and then against Team Rocket...”

    Harriet paused and she pondered her next words carefully.

    “And I guess I should also add that I completely understand where you and Jimmy were coming from earlier, and if you guys don’t mind I’d love it if you can help me more often to perfect my skills! Our battle was so educating and I really got to see where I could begin to improve and think in an appeal mindset, and I just want to keep learning!”

    “Sounds good to me,” Max responded, still gleaming with excitement about everything, “I think it’ll be great for all of us! And I must admit it gives us all some great practice in the long run. If we begin to learn how to counter moves and techniques we’re not used to then I think this’ll really prepare us for our eventual gym battles and contest battles.”

    “I have to agree,” Jimmy added, “It’ll be great to fully flesh our own styles, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to keep to my end of the bargain until our next contest Harriet...”

    “What?”

    “Well, you see, I’m actually heading to Fortree city now, to go and challenge Winnona for my next badge, but trust me when I say; I look forward to facing you in our next contest together.”

    “Well if you must,” Harriet cheekily said; tutting a little as she shook her head, “But rest assured, the next time we see each other again, I’m going to be so much stronger and I’m not going to let you get the best of me. And you can also guarantee that firstly, my Pokémon will be so much more powerful and skilled too, and secondly that there’ll be a surprise Pokémon waiting to battle you!”

    “Well I like the sound of that!”

    Jimmy clasped Harriet’s hand and rigorously shook it before doing the same with Max, who very cautiously responded as he tried not to lose the grasp on his Pokémon.

    “And the same goes for you too buddy. I look forward to our next battle, and seeing just how much stronger you all get, and just who else may have tagged along with you as well!”

    With those words, Jimmy shuffled over to collect his backpack, launching it over his shoulders while Wingull positioned itself neatly in the crevasse between the fabric and Jimmy’s hoody. He readjusted his clothes and patted himself down, knocking some of the dried mud off his thick yellow garment. He twisted around and gave one last wave.

    “Until next time!”
    Last edited by harryheart; 27th January 2013 at 1:40 PM.

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

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