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Thread: The Ash Ketchum Chronicles

  1. #1
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    Default The Ash Ketchum Chronicles

    *reprinted from Bulbagarden*

    Basically, The Ash Ketchum Chronicles collects three different stories from different points before Pokemon GK, a fic I will be posting soon.

    Chapter 1: The Dating Game!



    Pallet Town. The quaint little town was quiet as always. Not a lot happened in Pallet Town, but it was well-known as the home of the Oak Corral, the workplace of the revered Pokemon Professor Samuel Oak. This was the home of Ash Ketchum, a sixteen-year-old Pokemon Trainer with big dreams: to become the greatest Pokemon Master the world would ever know. After several months of traveling in the far-away Biru region, he had returned home to Pallet Town to rest. His constant companion, the Pikachu he had received from Professor Oak six years ago sat on his shoulder. As he approached his house, Ash was flush with confidence. His mother and friends didn't know that he was arriving home today. His arrival would be a surprise.

    He creaked open the door to his home. Upstairs, he could hear his mother working, no doubt on new clothes for him. He tiptoed up the staircase and snuck into his mother's sewing room. His hunch had been right- his mother, Delia, was hard at work on a black jacket. Not making a sound, Ash crept behind Delia and tapped her on the shoulder. She jumped and accidentally pricked her finger on her needle. Sticking her finger in her mouth, she spun around with an angry look on her face which quickly disappeared when she saw who she was looking at.

    "Ash!" she exclaimed. Ash held out his arms and she hugged him, squeezing him tightly. She let go of him in order to see him better. "You've been gone for so long," she said quietly. "I've got to tell your friends!"

    "Yeah, sure," said Ash, although his attention was elsewhere. For at that moment, a young woman was running toward the Ketchum house.

    The girl had long, flowing black hair, neatly straightened. She wore a black dress, which ended in a short pink skirt. a red scarf was tied around her neck. Ash recognized her immediately as his old friend Dawn.

    He heard a knock at the door, which he guessed meant that Dawn had arrived. Ash nodded at his mother and went downstairs to answer the door.

    The door opened and immediately Dawn hugged Ash. "Whoa there," laughed Ash, "I assume you're happy to see me?" Dawn looked up and smiled. "You don't know the half of it!" she proclaimed. She let go of Ash and stared at him. "My mother and I moved here three weeks ago," she explained. "I've been waiting for you ever since!" Ash was flattered that Dawn had waited so long. It had been months since he had last seen her; she had grown very beautiful since then. Just then, he noticed that Dawn was blushing.

    "What is it?" he questioned. Dawn gulped and started avoiding loking directly at Ash. "Um, well..." she began. "Would you... that is, if you're not doing anything later..." She took a deep breath. "Would you consider going on a date with me?" Ash was taken aback. He didn't know what to say, so he just scratched his neck and stammered, "Um... okay. Yeah. Yeah, sure Dawn, I'll go out with you."

    Dawn squealed. "Thank you!" she said, hugging Ash again. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to ask you that!" Ash's face felt red: now he was the one who was blushing.

    ****

    Later, Ash was with all of the friends he had made over the years:Professor Oak, his grandson Gary, Misty, Brock, Tracey Sketchit, May, Max, Drew, Dawn, Barry, and others. They were all congratulating him on his standing in the Biru League: he had been in the top four. He felt someone tap him on his shoulder. He turned around to find Misty, the first person who had ever traveled with him, facing him, biting her lip nervously.

    "Hi," she said simply. "Uh... hi," Ash replied. Misty twiddled her thumbs. "So..." she stammered, "Um... if you're not doing anything later, would- would you like to go get some dinner? With me, I mean." Ash gulped. "Sorry," he said apologetically, "But I... I already agreed to go out with Dawn. Maybe some other time?" Misty sighed. "That's okay," she said sadly. "Have fun on your date." she suddenly ran off. "Misty!" said Ash, startled. "Misty, wait! Come back!" But it was too late.

    ****

    Misty slid herself down against a wall near the cottage she was renting for her stay in Pallet Town. Tears streamed down from her eyes as she sniffled pitifully. So this is it, she thought. Ash isn't available anymore. That **** Dawn got to him first! Misty felt bad for herself. She didn't really think that of Dawn. She was just upset that after six years of working up the nerve to ask Ash out, he already had plans with Dawn.

    This isn't fair, she thought miserably. I saw Ash first, that means I should get first dibs! She wiped the tears from her eyes. It's only one date, she thought, a little more cheerfully. Maybe I can ask him out tomorrow. She got back up and headed for her cottage, ready for a nice long nap.

    ****

    "Sir?" asked the grunt as he stepped into Giovanni's office. The grunt was a member of Team Rocket, a criminal organization with hundreds of branches and outposts spanning the globe. The head of Team Rocket was Giovanni, and the grunt was here to recieve instructions on Team Rocket's latest plan.

    "Sir, I'm here for my instructions." Giovanni glanced over at the grunt and twitched a nostril. "For our plan to succeed," he began, "We need money. Here are your instructions." The grunt listened carefully, and when Giovanni was finished, he left the office to assemble his very own platoon of fellow grunts. His mission was simple: rob as many banks and businesses as possible.

    His target was some backwater town he'd barely heard of. A town called Pallet.

    ****

    Dawn was busy. She simply had to pick out the perfect outfit for her date with Ash Ketchum. She couldn't decide on a dress. Though it took nearly an hour, she eventually narrowed it down to two dresses. One was a simple blue dress, with rhinestones adorning the sleeves. The other was more formal, a bright green gown with a sash running around the waist. A flower pattern ran along either side. She eventually decided upon the blue dress, if only for its simplicity. She heard a knock at the door, and quickly dressed. After getting the dress on, applying some makeup and accessories, she rushed downstairs and opened the door.

    It was Ash all right, but he was wearing what he always wore: a jacket covering a T-shirt, gloves, sneakers, and a baseball cap. Next to him, Dawn looked quite silly in her dress. She swallowed her embarrassment, though. A date with Ash was not an opportunity to be passed up. She extended her hand, which Ash awkwardly took. They got into a car belonging to Ash's mother (Ash had apparently gotten his driver's license in Biru), and set off for their date: dinner at Mr. Mime's, one of the fanciest eateries in Pallet Town.

    ****

    Their date went rather smoothly. They had ample conversational material, seeing as they both had a lot of catching up to do, and their meal was satisfying, though Ash's decidedly unusual eating habits, which mainly consisted of stuffing as much food into his mouth as quickly as possible, put something of a damper on things.

    As the dinner drew to a close, Dawn began laughing.

    "What's wrong?" asked Ash.

    "You idiot," she chuckled. "This is where you're supposed to kiss me!"

    This made Ash slightly uncomfortable. "Oh," he said. He had never kissed a girl; he didn't know how. So he just imitated the movies: he slowly moved his head towards Dawn's as she did the same simultaneously, closing his eyes as he did so. Their lips were brushing up against each other, a crash came from outside. Ash pulled away immediately.

    "What was that?" he asked in an urgent tone.

    "I don't know," replied Dawn, though in her head she added, But it'd better have a good reason for interrupting my kiss!

    Ash glanced outside. Several people in black uniforms stood in a mob-like group. They each had a red letter emblazoned on their chests: an R. Ash gasped.

    "Team Rocket," he said breathlessly. "Team Rocket is here."


    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    That's chapter one. Tell me what you think!

  2. #2
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    Shipping fics go in the shipping section for the most part....


    Misty slid herself down against a wall near the cottage she was renting for her stay in Pallet Town. Tears streamed down from her eyes as she sniffled pitifully. So this is it, she thought. Ash isn't available anymore. That **** Dawn got to him first! Misty felt bad for herself. She didn't really think that of Dawn. She was just upset that after six years of working up the nerve to ask Ash out, he already had plans with Dawn.

    This isn't fair, she thought miserably. I saw Ash first, that means I should get first dibs! She wiped the tears from her eyes. It's only one date, she thought, a little more cheerfully. Maybe I can ask him out tomorrow. She got back up and headed for her cottage, ready for a nice long nap.
    This doesn't sound like Misty at all. Maybe when she first met Ash, but now? No, I'm sure she'd go toe to toe to get Ash if she really desires him. Here you don't have her sounding like any Misty I've read of, and instead have her sounding like some spurned Ex who has nothing better to do but mope around her house and lay on the denial so thick as it's evident you want this to be AshxDawn for the most part as otherwise Ash wouldn't be with Dawn atm. So why even bother?

    If it's for the added drama or emotional value, don't. Two seconds into Misty's mind to see raging hormones isn't how you garner any drama or emotion for the most part. All it is is one quick, and far to quick, snippet into a very distorted and distraught character's mind.


    He creaked open the door to his home. Upstairs, he could hear his mother working, no doubt on new clothes for him. He tiptoed up the staircase and snuck into his mother's sewing room. His hunch had been right- his mother, Delia, was hard at work on a black jacket. Not making a sound, Ash crept behind Delia and tapped her on the shoulder. She jumped and accidentally pricked her finger on her needle. Sticking her finger in her mouth, she spun around with an angry look on her face which quickly disappeared when she saw who she was looking at.
    Delia getting angry? And what no Mr Mime/Mimey helping her out.. strange.

    The other thing is, why would anyone sneak up on someone sewing? Especially your mother?

    And shouldn't Delia be more surprised-afraid than surprised-angry at the fact someone snuck into her house, avoided Mimey, and got to her...?



    "Yeah, sure," said Ash, although his attention was elsewhere. For at that moment, a young woman was running toward the Ketchum house.

    The girl had long, flowing black hair, neatly straightened. She wore a black dress, which ended in a short pink skirt. a red scarf was tied around her neck. Ash recognized her immediately as his old friend Dawn.

    He heard a knock at the door, which he guessed meant that Dawn had arrived. Ash nodded at his mother and went downstairs to answer the door.
    yes because Ash can see through walls. Or his manhood gives him the ability to sense the location of any girl he's traveled with in a 30 mile radius.

    Then, why would he nod to his mother before leaving to answer the door? There's no verbal exchange of any sort between the two. She doesn't say oh Ash please go answer the door because my finger which you made me prick is still bleeding, my beloved son.

    This whole scene is really just a bad setup to introduce the random arival of Dawn.

    "What is it?" he questioned. Dawn gulped and started avoiding loking directly at Ash. "Um, well..." she began. "Would you... that is, if you're not doing anything later..." She took a deep breath. "Would you consider going on a date with me?" Ash was taken aback. He didn't know what to say, so he just scratched his neck and stammered, "Um... okay. Yeah. Yeah, sure Dawn, I'll go out with you."

    Dawn squealed. "Thank you!" she said, hugging Ash again. "You have no idea how long I've wanted to ask you that!" Ash's face felt red: now he was the one who was blushing.
    Does NOT sound like the Dawn from the anime, and I doubt she's really interested in Ash or atleast interested enough to ask him to go out with him. Or even be the one to broach the subject. Tbh she seems more focused on contests and her pokemon than possibly getting it on in any way shape or form, or even dating, Ash Ketchum.


    You then avoid any real depth or emotion to this scene or any building for anything as right after Ash Ketchum accepts Dawn's proposal to go steady- or atleast date. I mean hanging out would have been fine but no it has to be a date.

    At anyrate you imediately leap from this to THE NEXT SCENE.

    Later, Ash was with all of the friends he had made over the years:Professor Oak, his grandson Gary, Misty, Brock, Tracey Sketchit, May, Max, Drew, Dawn, Barry, and others. They were all congratulating him on his standing in the Biru League: he had been in the top four. He felt someone tap him on his shoulder. He turned around to find Misty, the first person who had ever traveled with him, facing him, biting her lip nervously.
    .. Biru.. league?

    And at anyrate once again you show that this is a shipping fic where all you are going to focus on is like four characters because the rest aren't described. They're just listed off in name. Ash doesn't interact with them. There's no real partying, no socializing, just cold hard lines of you telling us what was going on and who was there and that everyone dropped everything they were doing just to come to Ash's special event just to be emotionless, descriptionless cut outs.

    Why?

    Because we need Ash and Misty drama now!

    Overall this feels like some bad, bad shoujo manga for romance or some bad soap opera drama directed at teenagers. There's no real setting or description outside of what you realize is the bare bones of what is needed to string the story along.

    You rush from scene to scene, leaving out any chances for emotional development or insight, causing the characters to further show the fact that they're twisted and hollow shells of themselves just for a Shipping Fic. This is further proven when you randomly name off people and characters but only have Ash interact, for two seconds with Misty. You then skip about scenes so much that by the ending we've gone through what could have made a good chapter if paced and set up right, in only a matter of well, seconds.

    If you do want to improve, go read Advice for Aspiring Authors/AFAA, and put a bit more thought and time into the next chapter. Write out the full scenes, don't go skipping just because oh this moment ended because Dawn or Misty or Ash left.

    If you don't want to improve upon the emotional development/interaction/description/etc of what I've said you need to work out on, then just request a mod to move this to shipping fics where standards aren't as high.

  3. #3
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    dont but them down i love this fic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yami Ryu View Post
    Shipping fics go in the shipping section for the most part....




    This doesn't sound like Misty at all. Maybe when she first met Ash, but now? No, I'm sure she'd go toe to toe to get Ash if she really desires him. Here you don't have her sounding like any Misty I've read of, and instead have her sounding like some spurned Ex who has nothing better to do but mope around her house and lay on the denial so thick as it's evident you want this to be AshxDawn for the most part as otherwise Ash wouldn't be with Dawn atm. So why even bother?

    If it's for the added drama or emotional value, don't. Two seconds into Misty's mind to see raging hormones isn't how you garner any drama or emotion for the most part. All it is is one quick, and far to quick, snippet into a very distorted and distraught character's mind.




    Delia getting angry? And what no Mr Mime/Mimey helping her out.. strange.

    The other thing is, why would anyone sneak up on someone sewing? Especially your mother?

    And shouldn't Delia be more surprised-afraid than surprised-angry at the fact someone snuck into her house, avoided Mimey, and got to her...?





    yes because Ash can see through walls. Or his manhood gives him the ability to sense the location of any girl he's traveled with in a 30 mile radius.

    Then, why would he nod to his mother before leaving to answer the door? There's no verbal exchange of any sort between the two. She doesn't say oh Ash please go answer the door because my finger which you made me prick is still bleeding, my beloved son.

    This whole scene is really just a bad setup to introduce the random arival of Dawn.



    Does NOT sound like the Dawn from the anime, and I doubt she's really interested in Ash or atleast interested enough to ask him to go out with him. Or even be the one to broach the subject. Tbh she seems more focused on contests and her pokemon than possibly getting it on in any way shape or form, or even dating, Ash Ketchum.


    You then avoid any real depth or emotion to this scene or any building for anything as right after Ash Ketchum accepts Dawn's proposal to go steady- or atleast date. I mean hanging out would have been fine but no it has to be a date.

    At anyrate you imediately leap from this to THE NEXT SCENE.



    .. Biru.. league?

    And at anyrate once again you show that this is a shipping fic where all you are going to focus on is like four characters because the rest aren't described. They're just listed off in name. Ash doesn't interact with them. There's no real partying, no socializing, just cold hard lines of you telling us what was going on and who was there and that everyone dropped everything they were doing just to come to Ash's special event just to be emotionless, descriptionless cut outs.

    Why?

    Because we need Ash and Misty drama now!

    Overall this feels like some bad, bad shoujo manga for romance or some bad soap opera drama directed at teenagers. There's no real setting or description outside of what you realize is the bare bones of what is needed to string the story along.

    You rush from scene to scene, leaving out any chances for emotional development or insight, causing the characters to further show the fact that they're twisted and hollow shells of themselves just for a Shipping Fic. This is further proven when you randomly name off people and characters but only have Ash interact, for two seconds with Misty. You then skip about scenes so much that by the ending we've gone through what could have made a good chapter if paced and set up right, in only a matter of well, seconds.

    If you do want to improve, go read Advice for Aspiring Authors/AFAA, and put a bit more thought and time into the next chapter. Write out the full scenes, don't go skipping just because oh this moment ended because Dawn or Misty or Ash left.

    If you don't want to improve upon the emotional development/interaction/description/etc of what I've said you need to work out on, then just request a mod to move this to shipping fics where standards aren't as high.
    Ouch.

    This isn't a Shipping fic at all. Relationships aren't a big priority. I'm sorry if the first chapter threw you off, it becomes more action-oriented soon.

    I am actually a PokeShipper, I just wanted some variety for a bit.

    In this fic, Ash and the others are teenagers; it takes place 6 years after his original journey.

    I'm sorry you don't like it. Can't please everyone.

  5. #5
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    Disclaimer: I give this review with the little love I have in my heart

    *reprinted from Bulbagarden*
    This IS YOUR story right? Just wondering


    It really wasn't good. Your scenes didn't grab me at all...I mean you pretty much filled up 1 or 2 pages of ms word with a load of donkey crud.

    The door opened and immediately Dawn hugged Ash. "Whoa there," laughed Ash, "I assume you're happy to see me?" Dawn looked up and smiled. "You don't know the half of it!" she proclaimed. She let go of Ash and stared at him. "My mother and I moved here three weeks ago," she explained. "I've been waiting for you ever since!" Ash was flattered that Dawn had waited so long. It had been months since he had last seen her; she had grown very beautiful since then. Just then, he noticed that Dawn was blushing.
    First of all, this is very basic and I'm dumb for even telling you this. When a new person talks, space the sentences.


    The door opened and immediately Dawn hugged Ash.

    "Whoa there," laughed Ash,

    "I assume you're happy to see me?" Dawn looked up and smiled. "You don't know the half of it!" she proclaimed. She let go of Ash and stared at him. "My mother and I moved here three weeks ago," she explained. "I've been waiting for you ever since!" Ash was flattered that Dawn had waited so long. It had been months since he had last seen her; she had grown very beautiful since then. Just then, he noticed that Dawn was blushing.

    ~~

    Look over your damned work please. Your grammar needs a TON of work, because even though, I'm pitiful at grammar, I saw a ton of nooby mistakes.

    Btw, those were the worst romance scenes in the history of romance scenes. I don't know why but they made me giggle a little. You got to make em romantic.

    Ash and Dawn hugged. They talked about how they missed eachother. They decide to go on a date. End scene.

    Goivanni is talking. End scene.

    Misty asks Ash out. He says no. End scene

    Misty gets ****** cause shes a loner and can't get a date when shes been traveling with ash for over 2 years. End scene

    Ash and Dawn are on their date. Team Rocket comes. End scene.

    Btw, your cliffhanger there at the end was a fail. Ash saw team rocket 2579 times and is breathless? How bout Team Rocket has a Tyranitar with a sawed off shotgun. Then I'd be breathless.

    Btw, like Yami Ryu said. Your chapter is like a bouncy ball. It goes from one place to another. Instead of the scenes above it would be better like,

    Ash came home. Ash talks to Dawn. Ash gets a date with Dawn. Ash remeets his friends. Misty asks him out. Ash turns her down. She runs off ******. End Scene.

    Goivanni talks. End Scene.

    Dawn and Ash are leaving the house for their date. They get there. Eat. Team rocket comes.

    the...freaking...end...


    Work on your, Romance, Emotion, Cliffhangers, Suspense, Description, How to start a Scene, and lastly Grammar.

    Do all that and you will be fine.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Ouch.

    This isn't a Shipping fic at all. Relationships aren't a big priority. I'm sorry if the first chapter threw you off, it becomes more action-oriented soon.

    I am actually a PokeShipper, I just wanted some variety for a bit.

    In this fic, Ash and the others are teenagers; it takes place 6 years after his original journey.

    I'm sorry you don't like it. Can't please everyone.
    I take it you read absolutely nothing at all from my review? Outside of what little you responded to or tried to defend? I am not here to be pleased. I am trying to point out WHAT YOU WROTE BADLY AND WHAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON. Your first chapter is basically as Aura Master put it, a confusing, bouncy ball of lack luster interaction, character development and plot. I don't really give a damn if you claim this isn't also a shipping fic but when you have people interact you need to focus on more than just three characters when said three characters be part of the most 'famous ash shipping ships ever'. You need to work on description and detailing. Of emotional depth and description. Of showing us the damn story instead of rushing it out and trying to jam condensed information through our eyeballs and into our brains.

    Your characters are warped or atleast OOC, even for 6 years into the future. And with that much time and change I would have expected them to act a bit more maturely, or possibly, imaturely, given how some young adults act. But no you have them fumbling around or fuming or acting like, well like something from a shipping fic or as I said a bad Shoujo manga.

    Because you hastily skipped any and all points to actually show you are working on this as more than a romance/shipping fic, aka the depth, the pacing, actually setting up scenes and etc, your chapter falls flat on its face.

    And honestly, I am not waiting with baited breath to see the action scenes you mention when honestly, you kept tripping and fumbling even a simple party, an exchange between friends. Ash socializing with his mother and randomly having emo Misty and plotting Giovanni strewn about :/

  7. #7
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    In this fic, Ash and the others are teenagers; it takes place 6 years after his original journey.
    Then shouldn't his voice be deeper? Maybe him having facial hair.


    Example

    "Yeah, sure," replied Ash with a real gruff, deep voice. Misty was taken aback at Ash's tone. She hadn't seen him in about three years and his voice had gotten a lot deeper. Lost in his own world, Ash didn't notice her expression and weird look as his attention was elsewhere.
    Try not to soak in my example sentences too much since I'm not the best writer. But I got a pretty good reference of it

    I'm sorry you don't like it. Can't please everyone.
    Were not trying to like it. Were trying to HELP you so people will like it. Thats the point of crits.


    Now, I hate anime fics because the characters are already made along with their Pokemon. But, I really have to say. I don't think Ash would ever date any of his friends he travels with. It just seems REALLY out of their character and out of place in my mind. It really bothers me to read over it.

    Make sure you read Yami's review. Cause people tend to ignore hers when that's the best crit your going to get.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    Their date went rather smoothly. They had ample conversational material, seeing as they both had a lot of catching up to do, and their meal was satisfying, though Ash's decidedly unusual eating habits, which mainly consisted of stuffing as much food into his mouth as quickly as possible, put something of a damper on things.

    As the dinner drew to a close, Dawn began laughing.

    "What's wrong?" asked Ash.

    "You idiot," she chuckled. "This is where you're supposed to kiss me!"

    This made Ash slightly uncomfortable. "Oh," he said. He had never kissed a girl; he didn't know how. So he just imitated the movies: he slowly moved his head towards Dawn's as she did the same simultaneously, closing his eyes as he did so. Their lips were brushing up against each other, a crash came from outside. Ash pulled away immediately.

    "What was that?" he asked in an urgent tone.

    "I don't know," replied Dawn, though in her head she added, But it'd better have a good reason for interrupting my kiss!

    Ash glanced outside. Several people in black uniforms stood in a mob-like group. They each had a red letter emblazoned on their chests: an R. Ash gasped.

    "Team Rocket," he said breathlessly. "Team Rocket is here."
    ...As others have said before, this is a really, really bad cliffhanger. After six or seven years dealing with them (according to your fic, you'd think he would beat them in two minutes. Team Rocket can't really pull much of a threat, actually, in the anime, so why would he be speechless over their presence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
    In this fic, Ash and the others are teenagers; it takes place 6 years after his original journey.
    Okay, so why is everyone wearing the same clothes they wore six years ago? Shouldn't they dress their age, and act their own age as well? (I'm actually surprised that Ash is mature enough to start dating in this fic, I'd thought it would never happen) You didn't also describe most of the characters' physical appearance, except Dawn's. Maybe Ash grew a tad bit of facial hair, or Delia has some gray hair and wrinkles.

    The grammar isn't too hot either. Also, please stop quickly changing the scene quickly. The meeting between the Rocket Grunt and Giovanni is okay, but could of been used somewhere else in the chapter. However, the "Biru League" scene (Biru League? Huh?) and the scene with Misty crying needs to be taken out. Those two are just... kinda unnecessary. Next time, check over your work before you submit it, please? This has the potential to be a good fanfic- it really does- but not with bad grammar and crappy romance scenes.

    My two cents. Do what you like with them.


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    This was pretty good. I'm surprised that Ash would ask Dawn on a date. What place did Ash get in the Biru League?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Shiny Pikachu 1 View Post
    This was pretty good. I'm surprised that Ash would ask Dawn on a date. What place did Ash get in the Biru League?
    He was in the top four.

    OH BOY GUIZ I JUST REMEMBERED I HAD THIS THREAD HERE.

    NEW CHAPTER TIME FO' RIZZLE



    Chapter Two: Memento Mori


    Ash cursed under his breath. He had left Pikachu at home, on the very night he needed that electric rat most. He had brought his backpack, though, so he dug around until he found two Poke Balls. They're not much, Ash admitted to himself, But they'll have to do. He glanced over at Dawn. "

    Stay here," he said. "I'll get rid of these creeps." Just as the words left his mouth, the group of Team Rocket grunts that had previously been outside charged in. The one who appeared to be their leader stepped forward, holding a large burlap sack that already appeared to contain something, as the bottom bulged. The head grunt had a scowl on his face and a scar that ran from above his eye to the bottom of his chin. A scraggly bunch of stubble adorned the chin, which, combined with the scar, made him look like an escaped convict. Given that he was a member of Team Rocket, that was a distinct possibility.

    "All right," said the man in a bored tone of voice, "Fill up the sack with cash, yadda yadda, don't call the police if you know what's good for you, et cetera, et cetera." The man at the front desk looked scared stiff as he opened up the cash register in order to give the grunt what he wanted. Grabbing the Poke Balls from his backpack, Ash stood up. "Don't do it," he said. Though his tone made him seem brave, inside he was scared to death. What the hell am I doing this for? he questioned. Why can't I just let these grunts get away? Just as quick as this voice fed its negativity to Ash, another, more positive voice, countered. Because, it said, It's the right thing to do. And you must always do what's right, even if it's frightening.

    The head grunt chuckled. "Aw, the widdle hewo is gonna stop us, is that it?" he asked in a mocking, babyish voice. This infuriated Ash. "Take this!" he cried as he threw the Poke Balls. Bursting from them were two of his oldest Pokemon: Charizard and Muk. Charizard did not touch the ground; instead, it hovered in the air, kept aloft by its wings. Muk landed on the ground in a messy heap, making a sickening slurping sound as it did so. The head grunt laughed at this.

    "Well, well, well," he said, feigning awe. "What scary Pokemon- I wonder how mine would fare?" He motioned to his troops, who backed up, giving him room. He plucked two Poke Balls from his belt and twirled them on his fingers. "Your Pokemon are impressive," he admitted, "But they don't stand a ghost of a chance against the Ghost-types of Nero Julian, Rocket grunt commander!" He threw the Poke Balls, revealing a Haunter and a Dusknoir, both very powerful Pokemon. Ash popped his knuckles. He pointed at Dusknoir.

    "Charizard, take out Dusknoir with Shadow Claw! Muck, use Dark Pulse on Haunter!" His Pokemon complied, and Nero's Pokemon were quickly defeated. This shocked the Rocket grunt. "But... how?" he asked, bewildered.

    "Who the hell are you?" Ash grinned.

    "The name's Ash Satoshi Ketchum!" he proclaimed proudly. "And I'm gonna be the world's greatest Pokemon Master!" Nero sneered.

    "I don't care if we couldn't pull of this heist," he said, his voice dripping with overconfidence. "We've still got more than the amount of dough the Boss wanted!" Ash grimaced. He knew full well who "the Boss" was: Giovanni, the evil head of Team Rocket. Ash had faced the villain some years ago. He couldn't help but wonder what Giovanni had planned now. But as he was engulfed in thought, the Rocket grunts made their getaway, stealing away silently into the night.

    ****

    "I am very disappointed in you, Nero," said Giovanni softly as he stroked the Persian that sat by him, purring. Nero gulped. "Foiled by a mere child," Giovanni sighed, shaking his head slowly.

    "B-but this kid... he... he was like a pro!" interrupted Nero, his voice cracking from fear. Giovanni slammed his fist into his desk.

    "I don't care how good he was!" the Boss of Team Rocket shouted. "I'm starting to think whether promoting you to Executive is a good idea after all!" Nero gasped.

    "I- I'm sorry, sir! So very, very sorry!" the grunt said quickly, shaking his clasped hands at Giovanni. "It won't happen again, I swear!" Giovanni was silent for a moment, then chuckled.

    "Very well," he permitted. "You may have one more chance. But if this happens again, I'll make you wish you'd never been born." Nero bowed to his Boss.

    "Thank you, sir," he said. "Thank you so very much." As Nero left Giovanni's office, he was fuming. That punk kid! he screamed in his head. He'd better hope we don't run into each other again, 'cause if we do... oh, he'll get what's coming to him! Nero stopped in his tracks, having gained a malicious idea. I'll find him, he thought, a crooked smile forming on his face, And then I'll kill him!

    ****

    "Ah, young love," Jessie cooed, watching Ash and Dawn drive home from the Meowth-shaped hot air balloon that served as the base of the Team Rocket group that consisted of herself, a violet-haired young man of her age named James, and a Meowth that had taught itself human speech.

    "I remember when we were like that, Jess," said James, placing his arm around her shoulder. Jessie smiled at him. Just then, a gagging noise came from behind them. They turned to find Meowth making disgusted faces and noises at them.

    "Get a room already, will ya?" the small catlike Pokemon commented sarcastically.

    "Why you little-!" Jessie screeched, reaching her arms out to strangle Meowth. James managed to hold her back, trying to calm her down.

    "Remember what the nice doctor told you, Jessie!" he said in a strained voice. "Take ten deep breaths and find your calm spot! Find your calm spot!" he continued to restrain her until her anger was gone. One by one, Team Rocket fell asleep, their airborne home drifting aimlessly in the night sky.

    ****

    "Sorry about tonight," Ash apologized to Dawn after he had let her out at her house. Dawn smiled and planted a kiss on his cheek.

    "It's all right," she said calmly. "Maybe we could try again sometime next week?" Ash bit his lip.

    "Oh, uh... yeah! Sure!" he replied. "Good night, Dawn!" he added as he sped towards his house. "Good night, Ash," she quietly called back.

    When Ash entered his house, he found an annoyed Delia waiting for him. "Where have you been?" she questioned. "It's 10:30. I specifically asked you to be back by 10 o' clock sharp!" Ash knew he was in trouble.

    "I'm sorry, Mom," he replied truthfully. "There was a robbery, and that kind of made me late." Delia's eyes widened.

    "A robbery?" she asked, flabbergasted. "By who?" Ash shifted uncomfortably.

    "T-Team Rocket," he answered. "But no one was hurt! I mean, not me or Dawn, or anybody," he quickly added, seeing Delia put a hand to her mouth. Delia hugged him.

    "I'm just glad you're safe," she said. "Now you get some rest. You, me and Misty are going to visit Brock in Pewter City tomorrow." Ash nodded and headed upstairs, all too eager to get to sleep.

    ****

    Misty was euphoric. She and Ash were sharing a passionate kiss on the beach. They were honeymooning, having just gotten married two days before. Misty broke away from Ash to look at his handsome face. She had dreamed of this for years, and now it had happened- she and Ash were forever united as husband and wife. "I love you," she told the man in front of you. He opened his mouth to reply, but not a word came out. Instead, a loud ringing came from his lips. It continued until Misty screamed from the pain the high-pitched ringing was causing her.

    And then she woke up.

    Her alarm clock was ringing as loud as possible, and someone was knocking at the door of her cottage. She switched the clock off and went to open the door. It was Ash and his mother. Upon seeing Ash, she felt naked, even though she was fully dressed. Then she remembered- they were visiting Brock that day. She quickly ducked back into her cabin to arrange her hair into a side ponytail, slung a bag across her shoulder, and started off with Ash and Delia, all the while wishing that the dream she had been enjoying just minutes earlier would someday become a reality.

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