snig gering is a British English way of snickering.
Last edited by Ash_Junior; 6th December 2009 at 10:40 AM.
I like Pikachu, he definitely seems to take charge when the situation requires it. Your character development is continuing nicely. Sn-igger should be a word, I agree. Anyway, I don't see anything that is wrong with this chapter structurally, and I think the story speaks for itself. Nice job.
Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:
Rick and Combusken crept towards the end of the passageway in what might have been a comical fashion… had the situation not been so serious. They spoke in lowest whispers, fully conscious of the ‘Rockets’ nearby (though these were talking so loudly that they probably wouldn’t have noticed anything below a shout).
“It would be safest to double back and wait for the others, but…”
“Yeah… I wouldn’t feel right letting them get away with what they’re trying, either. But we’re outnumbered.”
“I’m not doubting you,” Rick muttered. “I’m just saying, if I have to go up against a couple of adults trying to kill me… well, I’m not really liking that idea too much.”
“You didn’t think all battles were nice and civilized, did you? Granted, most are. But do you really think a bunch of criminals would just sit there and watch a fair match between Pokémon? Play by the rules? That makes no sense.”
“Yeah… Oh, well. I’ll figure it out. We can’t just sit here and do nothing.”
Combusken nodded. The two of them looked at each other for a long moment, then turned the corner.
The scene that met them was as almost-but-not-quite comical as their approach.
The first thing that caught the eye was two almost identical men in black; both were large, hulking, and rather ugly. In all honesty, they most closely resembled a pair of gorillas. Both of them were chasing, with arms outstretched, a much smaller man, who fiddled with a pair of glasses as he darted to and fro, slipping every so often on the smooth rock of the cave floor. The Rockets seemed completely unable to catch up to him.
Rick, though, was a lot more interested in the final person in the vicinity—a girl who was evidently the source of the commanding, feminine voice. She was dressed the same way the other Rockets were, but infinitely better to look at—tall, with a veritable curtain of hair the color of fire. It was obscuring her face now as she bent down to examine two objects, presumably the fossils the victim had mentioned earlier.
Perhaps the stress of the situation was amplifying hormones, or something like that… but he suddenly found himself ceasing to worry about a potential fight, or thinking about it at all. Instead, his distracted mind conjured a half-dozen scenarios featuring her and him, each one less likely but more enjoyable than the last, until he was glad that nobody but he could see the mental images. Thirty or forty seconds passed quite agreeably.
Then Combusken punched him.
“Ouch! What the—hey!” It didn’t take him long to figure out the source of the blow that jarred him out of his wishful thinking, causing him to add a few choice curses. “What was that for?”
“I wasn’t daydreaming, I was—oh hell, forget it….”
The girl straightened quickly and whirled to face them at Rick’s exclamation. Her face was young, as appealing as the rest of her, but her eyes were cold, and her expression forbidding.
“Er… Hi there.”
She lifted an eyebrow. “Is there something you want?”
Yes, said Rick’s brain. “Not really,” said his mouth. “Just for you to leave that poor guy alone, and return what you’ve stolen.”
Her mouth spread slowly into a smirk best described as ‘predatory’. “And who is going to make us do that? You… little boy?”
“What? You’re hardly any older than I am!” he snapped, annoyed for a couple of reasons. “And yeah, me.”
She nodded slowly, then snapped her fingers imperiously. The two other Rockets turned instantly to look at her.
“Have your Pokémon defeat that… thing,” she said, pointing a gloved finger disdainfully at Combusken. “And subdue the boy while you’re at it.
“Uh… it looks kind of strong.”
“Oh, for Arceus’ sake!”
The girl pulled a Pokéball from the belt at her waist and sent out something Rick recognized easily—a Houndour. The dog Pokémon were among the most popular in any region, overrepresented by a large amount among non-battlers who liked them as pets. That wasn’t to say they weren’t also dangerous in a fight, as he well knew.
The two men, meanwhile, mustered a Sandshrew, two Ekans, and a Grimer. This accomplished, they both cracked their knuckles, the ominous sound echoing in the cave, and began ambling slowly towards Rick.
The girl smirked again, and folded her arms. “We’ll teach you what happens when you play at being a hero… boy.”
The route Will and Treecko had taken had been entirely uneventful; they’d encountered nothing more than the occasional Zubat. Without obstacles, and happening to have chosen the quickest dead end of the bunch, they’d made it back to the starting-point very quickly.
After that, it was a matter of picking which way to go next. Will pretended to do it at random, but he knew he was really motivated by which of his friends he actually wanted to encounter. Ash was out by default, and he wasn’t feeling too pleased with Brock for getting all of them lost. That left his choice pretty clear.
As it turned out, his petty decision had actually been quite lucky. Not much time had elapsed before he picked up on some loud noises ahead. Treecko titled its head for a moment, then jumped and sped down the corridor; Will blinked and hurried in his wake (catching up was out of the question).
By the time he spotted Rick’s ball of string jammed into the wall, what his Pokémon had noticed was obvious: there was a fight breaking out up ahead. Both he and Treecko rushed around the corner, and were instantly enveloped in the melee.
A five-to-one battle is something that you generally want to avoid… if you’re the one, at least. Combusken may have been in tighter spots before, but for the life of him, he couldn’t remember.
Not that he showed them he was worried, of course. That was the most basic rule. He hopped from foot to foot with apparent calm… waiting for the enemies to attack.
Which, despite their numerical superiority, they seemed oddly reluctant to do.
“You’re going down, buddy,” sneered the Grimer, clenching a sludgy fist threateningly.
“Yessss,” hissed one of the Ekans. “We will desssstroy you if you ressssisssst ussss.”
“… We’re taking him down anyway,” the Sandshrew pointed out. “That’s what we’ve been ordered to do…”
“Ssstop ruining my sssspeech!”
“I didn’t mean to. I was just saying.”
“Yessss, well, you really have no concept of dramaticssss…”
“That’s not what your mom said.”
“WHAT DID YOU SSSSAY!?”
The Ekans coiled. The Sandshrew scraped its claws. They looked on the verge of attacking each other instead of Combusken when the Houndour, who’d been silent up to this point, growled at them.
“Stop that, you idiots,” she said. “You’re as useless as your masters… do we have to do everything ourselves?”
With that, she leaped forward and bulled into Combusken, knocking him over before he could react; opening her mouth, she sought to bite his throat. Instead, she got the arm he raised in reflexive defense. Growling in mingled pain and anger, he kneed her in the belly, sprang to his feet, and delivered a kick that send her tumbling backwards.
Grimer was oozing towards him. Combusken ran at him, drew back the uninjured arm, and punched. To his dismay, his fist simply sank into the wet ooze, and Grimer seemed completely unaffected. When he tried to yank his arm back, he found it caught firm.
“Heh, heh, heh,” the Pokémon chortled. “You won’t be able to hurt me with that sort of attack!”
A hissing noise from behind. The Fire-type glanced over his shoulder—and threw himself flat. The Ekans who hadn’t spoken flew through the air, passing straight through where Combusken had been a moment earlier… and collided with Grimer’s eyes. Both of the Rockets’ Pokémon let out cries of pain as Combusken pulled himself free and leaped back.
The Ekans who seemed sensitive about his mother was hanging back a little. He paid for his reluctance when he was grabbed by the tail and hoisted into the air. Combusken slammed him against the floor a couple of times to stop it from wriggling, and then swung it around his head in several rapid circles. Houndour, attempting to spring at him again, got whipped by the snake Pokémon for her trouble; he tossed the Ekans at her feet, and was quite satisfied to see her trip and stumble over it.
There was a sudden pain in his back. In doing so well against four of his opponents, Combusken had left himself open to the Sandshrew who’d been circling around behind. The Ground-type took full advantage, slashing several times, sending him stumbling forward. The various wounds were getting to him, and he struggled to stand as he turned to face the latest foe.
Out of nowhere, Treecko sprang. The small Grass Pokémon threw himself onto Sandshrew’s back, wrapping arms and legs to cling firmly. Safe from counter-attack from the enemy, who couldn’t reach back far enough to dislodge him, Treecko began an Absorb attack, glowing bright green as he sucked up Sandshrew’s energy. With a type advantage, there was only one logical conclusion; the Rocket’s Pokémon fainted dead away. As he did, Treecko somersaulted free, landing nimbly on his feet.
Combusken blinked. “When did you get here?”
“Just now… You’re welcome, by the way.” The other Pokémon smirked.
The Fire-type ignored him, stepping forward. Treecko glanced over his shoulder and flinched; Houndour was in mind-leap, mouth wide open—heading straight for him. She caught a solid uppercut, instead, crashing to the ground (for good, finally).
It was Combusken’s turn to smirk, wearily. “You’re welcome.”
Rick darted aside as one of the Rockets aimed a punch at him. He ran away, as quickly as he could. There were times for bravery, but facing two people who taken together weighed about four times as much as he did was not one of those times.
He shouted frantically at the criminals’ intended victim as he approached.
“Hey, don’t just lie there! Figure out what you can do to help!”
The man didn’t seem to hear him, at first. Another shout caused him to start, and begin blinking rapidly.
“Er… I don’t think I can—oh, hang on, I have that Pokémon I got as a birthday gift!”
He reached into his pocket and proudly produced a single Pokéball, and started to wave it in what he thought was a threatening gesture. In Rick’s opinion, the guy obviously had no clue how to send out whatever was inside. He doubled back, barely avoiding a Rocket’s outstretched arms, and snatched it from the man’s hand.
“Let’s see what we’ve got!” Rick grunted as he hurled the ball at the closest Rocket.
He didn’t know the Pokémon that came out; it had an odd appearance, with a massive head and enormous jaws, which seemed barely supported by its tiny body and stubbly legs. It had materialized right on the Rocket’s arm, though, and simply needed to twist its head to bite down at the closest available flesh. Hard.
“YEOUCH!” screamed the man. Rick felt an abstract sympathy; the bite was sure to hurt—but then again, he hadn’t asked the guy to attack him. The other Rocket was staring at his partner’s predicament, which left him quite an easy target for a rock, snatched from the cave’s floor and thrown.
“Two down, one to go,” the Trainer muttered.
The girl was looking at him with narrowed eyes, but the frown at her mouth kept twitching. He couldn’t tell if she was annoyed or amused.
“Well, they were pathetic,” was all she said.
“Sort of, yeah,” he agreed.
“I’m not, I’ll have you know.”
There was a somewhat awkward pause. She was clearly expecting him to attack her, but Rick didn’t want to. Perhaps it was chivalry; perhaps it was a more basic emotion…
“… You’re not even going to try, are you,” she said eventually. It wasn’t really a question.
“I… don’t think so.”
“Even though I would’ve seen you beaten helpless and robbed. I would have done it myself, if it came down to that.”
“… I know it doesn’t make sense,” he said, rubbing the back of his head. “But there you have it…”
The girl spoke so softly it was almost a whisper. “Mercy…” She stared at him for a long moment. Something in her cold, imperious manner seemed to give, and she turned away so that Rick couldn’t see her face.
The two male Rockets stumbled to her side; one was holding his arm, and the other had a hand to his forehead. Both of them looked confused, unable to believe what had just happened to them.
“Boss… what do we do?”
She glanced back up, and the momentary weakness appeared to have passed; her eyes were hard. “We should finish the job.”
“But our Pokémon—“
“I don’t care! Return them, and we’ll—“
At that moment, something massive out of the passageway, scattering dust and tiny bits of stone in all directions. Rick, used to the sight of Onix, nevertheless understood how the sight of the giant rock snake could be slightly intimidating. He waved to Brock; the former Gym Leader looked slightly green, but managed to stand up nonetheless.
Onix lowered its head slightly and swished its tail, just once. It struck the wall of the cave with enough force to leave a significant crack.
The girl licked her lips.
“New plan… We leave.”
All three turned on their heels and fled the scene, without as much as a backwards glance.
“That was good timing… both of you,” Rick said.
The three of them were sitting just outside the exit of Mt. Moon, blinking as their eyes still adjusted to the sunlight, which seemed harsh and sudden after how long they’d gone without.
Not that they minded.
Brock just shrugged, but Will shook his head and responded. “It was lucky, is what it was. I can’t believe you tried to take all of them on by yourself.”
Rick waved a hand. “What else could we do? It worked out all right. Better than all right, really…”
He glanced over at the jawed Pokémon—Trapinch, it was called---with interest. He hadn’t been expecting to catch anything in the cave, but hadn’t argued when the man he’d saved had gratefully presented him with this one. The Trapinch had helped him greatly back there, and it had potential…
Will, meanwhile, had confused both of them by asking for one of the two fossils the guy had found. When they asked him why, he’d only shrugged and said it might come in handy.
Brock had flopped down on the grass, arms folded behind his head. He let out a contented sigh. “Ah… this is a relief.”
The other two nodded. Rick said, “I’m not sad to be out of there, let me tell you. And if I never go through it again, it’ll be too soon.”
“Rock Tunnel coming up eventually,” Will commented, which caused twin groans of anticipation.
Everyone was silent for a while afterwards.
Eventually, Brock said, “I feel like we’ve forgotten something.”
“Where’s the string?”
“What do you mean you can’t find it!?”
Ash stared in dismay at the latest dead end. The blank stone of the cave was entirely unsympathetic.
He lifted his voice. “Guys… Hey, guys! Can you hear me? Can anyone hear me? Hey, guys…”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 3:44 AM.
Another great chapter! The battle was well written and the end was hilarious!
Can't wait for more!
FUTURE POKÉMON BLACK SCRAMBLE CHALLENGE TEAM
Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:
Cerulean City was a little bigger than Pewter—not by much, but enough to impress those in the group who weren’t used to any town of respectable size, period.
“Wow! This is huge!” exclaimed Ash. Exhibit number one.
The obvious response came to Rick’s mind within a couple of seconds, but he passed on the chance to say it, since it felt a bit childish. Instead, he just shook his head.
“Not really. Not compared to some of the real cities out there.”
“Whatever it is, it’s head and shoulders above a cave,” Will muttered, just loud enough for everyone but Ash to hear him. There were smirks all around; they’d had to wait several hours for the boy to manage to figure the way out of the cave, which had delayed their arrival here by a day.
“And there’s a Gym!” the object of their amusement continued, oblivious as usual. “I’m gonna challenge it!”
“Good idea,” said Rick, and asked, “What do you know about this one, Brock? I’ve not heard of… him?”
“Her,” came the correction. “I know a little. Average battler, from what I’ve heard—uses Water-type Pokémon exclusively.”
“… Well, that’s no good.”
“Nope,” Brock agreed. “At least, not for you or I, as both of yours and both of mine would be destroyed by Water attacks.”
“Hrm... much as I hate to say it, I don’t think I’m strong enough to get over that, yet,” Rick allowed. “The other two are all right, though…”
“I’m not ready quite yet,” said Will suddenly. “There’s something I want to have happen first. Why don’t we check out some of the other places in town and challenge her another day?”
Ash didn’t like the idea, but everyone else did, and he seemed incapable of doing anything alone. A quick asking around revealed that, next to the Gym, the most popular destination for travelers was the Nugget Bridge to the north of town. There was talk of a recent ‘Trainer challenge’ that had been set up there, which got Ash out of his slump.
Curiously, it seemed that several people in Cerulean had misplaced their Pokémon recently, most of them after challenging or visiting the bridge. They all seemed to take it in stride, certain that their companions would return home eventually.
“Maybe there’s some sort of… party thing going on,” said one resident. “You know, they’re getting back to the wild for a little bit, and all that.”
None of them seemed to ascribe the phenomenon to more sinister causes, but Rick and Will exchanged loaded glances.
As they approached the bridge, they saw the contest being advertised on a virtual army of posters and flyers scattered everywhere—on the sides of houses, taped to trees, even just lying on the ground.
“No such thing as too much advertising, apparently,” Will observed with an air of sagacity.
They’d just come close enough to make out the wording of the final sign, driven into the ground at the foot of the actual bridge, when a dejected-looking man slumped towards them, body language screaming that he’d failed in his challenge.
“Hey, there,” said Rick quickly. “Is the thing up there tough?”
The man lifted his head somewhat, and nodded. “You bet it is, son. Have to face five Trainers in a row without a break!”
The sentence was delivered with such a dramatic tone of voice that the silence which followed was quite a sharp contrast.
“… You’re not impressed.”
“I’ve done worse.”
“What kind of Pokémon are they using, anyway?”
“Oh, they were tough!” exclaimed the man. “There were Pidgey! And Rattata! And Nidoran! And one guy even had a Mankey!”
“… Well… It was difficult!” said the man, defensively. “All I had was Diglett, and he doesn’t even know how to dig yet, which makes him a bit vulnerable, as you’d imagine…”
“Where’s your Pokémon now?” Rick interjected.
“Diglett? Why, he’s… Gadzooks, my Pokéball! It’s gone! I must’ve dropped it or something…”
“Or something,” Will agreed, while beckoning the rest of the group to step aside with him. The overly dramatic man wandered off, muttering to himself.
“Something’s up with this bridge,” Brock said at once.
“Huh?” asked Ash. “How d’you figure that?”
The other three looked at each other, and rolled their eyes. Rick said, “Because everyone who’s visited or challenged it—as far as we know—has discovered they’re missing a Pokémon right afterwards. You can’t tell me that’s a coincidence.”
“You know…” said Will, slowly. “This might be related to what happened to us in the cave… I mean, we don’t know much about this Team Rocket, but I doubt those people were their only operatives.”
“And there are always people who are just thieves,” Brock added. “Sad, but true enough.”
“I’m guessing the ‘challenge’ is just to ensure that the Trainer is distracted. I’m not sure how… whoever they are… manage to steal the Pokémon, but I’m sure they are.”
“If only there was someone whose Pokémon we didn’t necessarily care that much about here to challenge it for us. We could watch…”
“Oh—hang on! Look over there!”
Most of the time, people weren’t happy to see Gary Oak. That was how he preferred it, since he typically wasn’t glad to see them, either.
So when the bunch of losers from Pallet Town and the equally loser-y former Pewter Gym Leader all waved at him, he got suspicious. He was more suspicious when the group walked over to him, and actually looked… like they didn’t mind seeing him there.
“Long time no see,” said Rick. Gary gritted his teeth; he didn’t like being reminded of his first (and, so far, only) loss.
“So uh… what’s up, los—guys?” he asked after a few more polite nothings.
They all looked at each other. Ash said, “Well… we were thinking about challenging that Nugget Bridge everyone’s talking about. See it? That thing, right over there!”
“But we hear it’s really tough,” added Will, face absolutely blank. “I’m not sure if any of us are up for it.”
Gary could tell when he was being manipulated, but being able to recognize it and being immune to it were two different things entirely. Besides, there didn’t seem to be anything sinister about the implied request. So…
“What a bunch of pansies!” he exclaimed, smirking. “Waitin’ for the real talent to show up an’ show you how it’s done, huh? Well, you just sit back an’ watch, ‘cause I’m gonna take down this ‘tough’ challenge ‘fore you all realize what’s happening!”
All reservations shredded, Gary rushed towards the bridge. He could do this. He’d prove he was better than everyone!
“That was ridiculously easy,” Rick commented.
“And convenient,” said Will. “Now let’s wait and see what happens.”
As Gary reached the foot of the bridge, a young, dark-haired man in an expensive-looking suit came over to shake his hand.
“Good day, my good sir! Have you come to challenge the Nugget Bridge?”
“Why yes, I have, indeed, come here for such purposes.” The boy smirked as he mocked the formal tone of the question.
The man’s smile didn’t waver. “Very well, you’ll be facing our five Trainers, one after another, without a break. Also, you are limited to just one Pokémon… so choose wisely. You’ll be leaving the rest here for safekeeping.”
Just one? Maybe this is harder than I’d have thought…
Gary examined the line of Pokéballs on his belt, muttering to himself. “Do I want to go with Totodile…? Nah. Abra’s out and Spearow’s not strong enough… I’ll go with Nidorino.”
He didn’t notice the way the man’s eyes followed him as he set his belt down, too intent upon the fights to come.
“C’mon, Nidorino? What’s up first? Hah, a Mankey? You can eat him for breakfast! Use your Horn Attack…”
“Let’s move,” Rick ordered, motioning the others to circle in from different directions. From the moment the guy who ran the bridge separated Gary from his Pokémon—they hadn’t been close enough to hear what had been said—it was obvious what was going to happen next.
The thief did not disappoint. After watching Gary trounce the first two Trainers of the challenge, he bent ever so casually, just happening to put a hand onto the discarded belt. He appeared to yawn as he straightened, detaching all three Pokéballs in an extension of the same motion.
The man smirked, confident that he’d pulled it off.
A few seconds later, doubled over and gasping for breath, he was re-examining his assumptions.
“Ken!” His assailant was a Pokémon that he didn’t recognize, but that seemed to have quite a painful kick.
“He means, ‘Are you sure you want to do that?’” supplied a voice form behind, helpfully.
The thief whirled, only to see another Pokémon standing there. His eyes darted left and right, but escape routes were blocked by a Pikachu and Geodude, respectively. Four people, all of them boys or barely older, were watching his predicament.
The man licked his lips.
“Erm… seems like we have a misunderstanding, my friends,” he said shakily. “These Pokémon belong to me.”
“Except we saw the guy on the bridge right now put them there,” interrupted one of them.
“Uh… ah, right. I must’ve gotten them mixed up with mine, heh, heh…” He dropped all three Pokéballs and glanced about nervously. “Sorry about that. Can you let me go?”
“Afraid not,” said the talkative guy. “Seeing as you’re obviously the one who’s been stealing all of those people’s Pokémon. I think the police would want to know about that, wouldn’t they?”
“That’s a… unfounded accusation! Completely and utterly false! I demand to see any evidence…”
While he was talking, the man reached slowly into his pocket, fingers closing around his own Pokéball. Without warning, he threw it at the Pikachu, yelling, “Carvanha, Bite!”
Ash jumped back as the fierce-looking fish Pokémon’s razor-sharp teeth clashed together, mere inches from his arm. Pikachu scrambled back, apparently wanting to avoid them as well. The Carvanha had time for a single triumphant noise before Brock’s Geodude reached out, grabbed it by the tail, and slammed it repeatedly into the ground, until it went limp.
The thief blinked.
“Enough funny business,” Rick said. “You’re coming in with us, whether you want to or not.”
The man, apparently, had other ideas. As they approached him, he suddenly threw an elbow into Ash’s gut, and shoved the boy to the ground. Returning the fainted Carvanha to its Pokéball, he turned to face the remaining three, a smirk spreading across his face.
“Guess again, kid! You won’t find anyone from Team Rocket who’s willing to give the game up that easily!”
He turned to run, calling over his shoulder: “Name’s Archie—don’t forget it! You haven’t seen the last of me!”
Then he was gone, leaping over a low bush as he vanished from sight.
“Hey, I just destroyed that thing! Told you I'm the best!” announced Gary into the sudden silence, swaggering back to where he’d left his Pokéballs. “Hey… where’d that guy go?”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 3:46 AM.
Hmm...so Archie appears but as a Team Rocket member? I wonder how this will turn out.
Anyways, great chapter SN! As far as I can tell, there was no spelling or grammar mistakes. It was pretty funny too and I loved how they used Gary to bust the Team Rocket deal.
By the way, is Brock challenging the gyms too? It was implied that he was, but I'm not sure if that was the intention.
Can't wait for the next one.
FUTURE POKÉMON BLACK SCRAMBLE CHALLENGE TEAM
The north side of the Nugget Bridge was almost like a different world. On the south side, the road was paved and straight, almost offensive in its newness. Here, though, they were confronted with a rough affair, made mostly of gravel. Its attempt to imitate a line was best described as ‘utter failure’.
Gary was quick to illuminate the path’s numerous faults; he included several not many would spend time noticing. After loudly proclaiming his intention not to follow (“Not that I would’ve, anyway… bunch o’ losers”) he finally re-crossed the bridge and was soon out of sight.
“… I still don’t see why we’re not going to the police,” Ash said after a few minutes’ walking. “I mean, they could catch that guy, right?”
Will sighed, displaying an unusual irritation. “Don’t you know anything? Did you even listen in school? Or were you just putting in your mandatory eight years before you headed back to Aunt Delia’s basement.”
“Never mind,” the older cousin continued. “I know you didn’t, since I was there to see you goofing off constantly…
“The police in Kanto don’t really have much authority. In fact, they’ve no jurisdiction over anything but crimes that take place within the town they’re stationed at. So even if we reported what was going on at the bridge to them, all they could do was arrest that Rocket if he came into Cerulean itself… which nobody would be idiotic enough to do…”
“I don’t get it,” Ash said. “Do they just let criminals get away?”
“No, you dolt,” Will replied. “Kanto also has an Army to protect the populace. Supposedly against foreign enemies, but in reality, it’s just used for matters of law and order out in the wilds. Subduing especially dangerous wild Pokémon, blocking off hazardous roadways, things like that… and, yes, catching the odd thief who they stumble across.”
“I still don’t get it,” Ash repeated stubbornly. “Why’s it set up that way? Wouldn’t it make more sense just to let the police do all of it?”
“Because of the World War. Obviously.”
“Arceus,” Will grumbled. “I didn’t sign up to be a history teacher. Go ask someone else—it was only the most important world event ever.”
Neither Rick nor Brock was forthcoming on the subject, and he eventually dropped it.
It grew steadily warmer as the day crawled on. Summer had been creeping up on Kanto, for the most part slowly, but this was one of the days where the full nature of the season was truly felt.
“It’s hot,” Ash whined.
“Thanks for pointing out the obvious,” Rick muttered. “Arceus knows we couldn’t figure it out ourselves.”
Nobody else responded aloud, but the boy wasn’t daunted. “Why are we still out here, anyway? Bet you it’s nice and cool inside the Gym back in town…”
“Because,” said Will, “The guy who lives at the cottage back here supposedly has a rare Pokémon. We’re supposed to be getting data on Pokémon, especially rare ones.”
“Do you even remember what the Professor asked us to do? The reason he gave you that Pikachu to begin with?”
“Um… Of course I do!” said Ash defensively. “Hey, it’s not like you’ve been making a huge effort, either!”
“What do you think I’m doing right now?” his cousin countered. “We’re going to see this person, aren’t we? So just stop complaining and walk, we’ll get there faster that way.”
Two more hours passed before the cottage the locals had described came into view ahead. By this point, the sun was almost overheard, and the temperature best described as ‘sweltering’. The shade presented by the cottage’s roof was a relief out of all proportion to how little there really was.
“We’re here!” Ash exclaimed. “Finally. Let’s go see the rare Pokémon!”
He made as if to pull the door open.
“Hang on!” Rick said, grabbing his arm. “What are you, crazy? You don’t just go bursting into people’s houses without even knocking first, sheesh…”
With that, he rapped on the door, and was rewarded by an exclamation from within the little house—loud enough to be heard out of the open window. Shortly thereafter, it was followed by an enormous crash and a muted curse. It took a minute or two for the door to open.
The cottage’s owner was a man with short-cropped red hair and skin so pale that it looked as if he’d never actually stepped outside before. He blinked several times, either due to the harsh nature of the unaccustomed sunlight, or at the sight of visitors on his doorstep.
“Er… can I help you?”
“Good afternoon, sir,” said Will, speaking quickly so as to cut off any unwanted exclamations from Ash. “We were just in Cerulean, and heard everyone talking about you… thought we’d come and see…”
The man’s eyes narrowed, a scowl spreading across his face. “… Oh. So you’ve come to laugh at me, is that it?”
“Yes, we—wait, what?”
“Oh, don’t pretend like you haven’t heard! ‘That Bill, he’s completely obsessed with Pokémon. It’s unhealthy.’”
“’Bill? Oh, you mean that nerd who never leaves his house? The guy who’s always working on crazy gadgets?’”
“'You know what Bill reminds me of? A vampire! Because he’s all pale and scares small children!'”
“We didn’t hear any of that!” Rick finally interrupted—it seemed like, left to his own devices, the guy never would’ve stopped. “We just wanted to come and see a rare Pokémon you’re supposed to have!”
“… You did? Not to insult me?” Bill squinted at the four of them, as if unable to grasp this concept.
“Yes,” he said firmly. “That’s why we’re here.”
For a long moment, there was awkward silence. Rick couldn’t blame the man for being embarrassed, since he’d just insulted himself several times in front of a group of strangers who hadn’t known the stories.
“Um… well… why don’t you guys come in?” Bill finally asked.
The inside of the cottage was completely at odds with its quaint, neat exterior. It was an odd mixture of incredible technology—computers of various sizes lining each wall—and incredible mess, with what seemed to be a year’s worth of used clothing and snack wrappers strewn about the floor. Playing in one such pile of junk was the Pokémon they’d been hearing about—small, with a good deal of rather dirty fur.
“That’s my Eevee,” said Bill, pointing. “They’re very rare, and researchers are very interested in them because their DNA is fundamentally unstable, when you compare it to other Pokémon. Professor Oak wrote a paper theorizing that it’s because Eevee can evolve in so many ways—more than we currently realize, even.”
“You know the old man?” Ash asked, in surprise.
“What we mean to say,” Will quickly interrupted, “Is that we’re from Pallet Town. The Professor actually gave my cousin and me a couple of these.”
He produced the Pokédex from a back pocket and held it out for inspection.
“Oh, wow! This is… I’d heard he completed it, but I’ve never actually seen it before… Very cool.”
Bill handed the device back, and added, “You can observe Eevee for a while and get some data on it, if you’d like.”
The two cousins thanked him and went over to the Pokémon, who’d halted and was tilting its head curiously in their direction. Brock followed; his interest in the rare thing was apparent. That only left Rick standing there.
“You’re not going too…?”
He shook his head slightly. “I don’t have one.”
Bill smirked faintly. “But I can see you have Pokémon… so I’m going to take a wild guess and say it’s battling that really interests you.”
Rick ginned back, and nodded. “Got that right.”
“Well, then—let me show you something I’ve been working on.”
He led his visitor towards a descending staircase, and passed a pale hand over a switch. Lights flooded the room below; the two of them walked slowly, until its contents came into view.
Another computer, much larger than all the rest, dominated at least a quarter of the space. A veritable web of cables and wires bristled from its surface, each and every strand attached to other objects, scattered about the room in a seemingly random pattern—containers of all shapes and sizes, from a simple cardboard box to one with an almost robotic sheen.
“What the heck is that?”
Bill grinned. “That is what’s going to revolutionize battling as we know it, is what it is.”
Rick squinted dubiously at the contraption. “I don’t follow.”
“Well, it’s like this. You know how Pokéballs can shrink to an incredibly small size, yet are still able to contain something as big as an Onix or Snorlax inside? Not only that, but give each Pokémon a personalized, ideal environment?”
“That’s what I’m trying to do, but with a computer,” he explained. “In other words, giving Trainers the ability to store as many Pokémon as they want inside a PC, so they don’t have to carry all of them. That way, they can own as many as they want, but only have to hold on to two or six or however many the battle they’re anticipating requires.
“Also, say there’s a tournament of some kind, but a Trainer has to travel a great distance to get there. What I’m hoping can happen is that the program will be able to link remotely to any computer that searches for it. So our hypothetical friend could fly over on a bird Pokémon and simply withdraw his fighting team upon his arrival, instead of before.”
Rick had heard countless stories of contests that were so difficult to reach, participants would have to sacrifice two or three spots on their roster just to get over obstacles in the terrain. There wasn’t anything they could do about it, because officials would bar anyone who had more than six Pokémon with them from entering.
But with what Bill was proposing… nobody would have to worry about that anymore.
“How long until this starts working?”
The inventor scratched his head. “Hmm, well… this here is just a prototype. And I haven’t exactly gotten it working yet. I’ve been testing with inanimate objects, and… the transfers aren’t really going as planned.”
He grimaced. “Meaning they either don’t make it to the PC at all, or they arrive there in tiny pieces.”
Rick nodded. “… Not exactly what you want to have happen to your Pokémon.”
Bill looked out of sorts for a moment, but brightened almost at once. “Just a design flaw, I’m sure. Or a loose wire somewhere. Don’t worry, I’ll figure it out, eventually…
“Computers are where the future’s at. I’ll become a household name, some day, and rich, too! That’ll show ‘em—show ‘em all!”
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 3:47 AM.
I really like your story so far. It seems to work on characterization, which is refreshing compared to many of the stories run by plot alone here.
When you mention that the Pokemon work doesn't have a government, it reminded me of a great story I'd been reading before. It was called Pokemon 0(zero), and while it wasn't on this site, it had a fantastic plot and great characters.
is the link to the story.
Back to your story; I found it really corny that all the characters were named similar to Ash. I have to honestly wonder why Norman would name his kid 'Cinder'. Also, R/S/E's main character didn't have white hair; it was just a hat, if I recall. You could see his sideburns, which were a more natural colour.
When you dumped the info about the government(and the war) on us, it seemed far too blunt. Maybe if you seperated it in between them walking along the way to Bill's, or had Ash being less of a butt monkey, it would have felt more natural. As it is, it felt like one of those lectures you see in the middle of an action movie, where they describe the whole plot right there.
I also thought that, if you had put the war about 50 years ahead in time, you could say that Lt. Surge was actually a soldier in the war. I remember him talking about his role in it in R/B/Y, where his Raichu used it's Thunder Wave on his opponents in war. It would've made an interesting backstory, in my opinion.
But anyway, your story is going great. I like how you keep a constant watch on each of their teams, with the pokemon at the bottom. It keeps me from having to read back every time they use a pokemon for the first time in a while.
Awesome: Having gotten to 1,000 views. That just seems like a milestone.
More awesome: My first review with criticism! Woot! (No, I'm not being sarcastic).
- I'm trying to remember if I mentioned, in the first post, when I first started to write this story... upshot is it was several years ago, my writing wasn't great and my originality was worse. It was pretty much just like all the "Guy wakes up, goes to Lab, gets starter" stories that we see. It doesn't read like that anymore (I hope) but I did retain the names of the two OCs.
... And come to think of it, they're really bad. (Better than naming them a color, in my younger self's defense?) Before the next chapter, I think I'll look into actual names, and give both of them one. I mean, all questions of originality aside, how similar the current names are sometimes confuses me.
- White hats are just as silly as white hair, IMO.
- I can definately see your point about the info-dump. As that's pretty much exactly what it was; I came up with the idea, dumped it, and posted it. Your point with Lt. Surge is making me /facepalm not only because it's so good (what other 'war' would he be talking about in his Gym dialouge?), but making the War more recent would help the storyline immensely, too. Going to be editing that post as well before the next part, too.
- Ash is a monkey. Did I mention hating him yet?
- Once I found out we could do the little icons, I had the idea of constantly updating the teams using them. I'm not sure if it'll still work when we have 24 little sprites in the signature, but we'll see.
Anyway--thanks for the review! It's given me new ideas and improvements to make. I'll check out that link while I'm thinking about it.
I almost got bored reading this yesterday, as it took me hours, but now that I'm finished I want to read more :x
I think I'm confused as to how you have them record data in the Pokedex. Do they observe it and write then info themselves? Or is it like in the games/anime, where the information is just found?
I might not be sure, but did anyone actually pull out a Pokedex when they saw the Rocket's pokemon? In your world, is every Pokemon known, or are there just certain Pokemon that are unknown, like Trapinch was?
Speaking of, when you mentioned Trapinch in the story, I at first thought it was a Mawile :P
This is a really good, fan fic. It grabs the reader's attention, like every fan fic should
Last edited by AbsolKnight66; 23rd December 2009 at 5:33 PM.
Credit to the amazing Gladeshadow!
Platinum FC: 3696-1394-7486
A little note to depressed ppl:
I know how you feel. I've been through it before.
I'm still dealing with it right now, too.
There are friends out there, who want to help. I know I have some. Someone loves you, even though you have no idea where, or who it is.
So, just make sure to never give up. Fall down 7 times get up 8.
I wish you luck, because in the end, I know happiness will come to you, and me.
So right when I need to make massive edits, I keep getting an error message every time I try and edit one of my posts. Best of all, I already changed Coal to Will and Cinder to Rick in a couple before the error kicked in. So now their names randomly alter. >.<
Might have to make the changes, delete the old posts and re-post, at this rate.
Nobody whipped out a Pokedex during the fight because they were too busy fighting.
Known/unknown Pokemon are really all relative, with exceptions for really rare ones (like legendaries). Somebody from Kanto probably wouldn't have seen a Wurmple, but in Hoenn they're a dime a dozen. It depends on whether the 'narrator' of the particular post has seen it or not, yet.
Trapinch is way cooler than Mawile.
@Absol: Thanks! That's what I want to hear.
EDIT: It's definately just one post (number 7 in here). Whenever I try to edit it, or paste its text into another post, I get the error. I feel like this is a known issue, but I'm not sure what the connection is.
Anyway, all the other ones have had their names changed. The info-dump post has been deleted, and most of its information is gone; it'll be appearing again later.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 24th December 2009 at 3:51 AM.
Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:
“That Eevee was really stuck-up,” Geodude pronounced.
“What did you expect?” asked Trapinch. The newest addition to the group had a sarcastic streak as wide as his jaws, and didn’t hesitate to use it. “A selfless and caring individual? When he’s doted on by that pale guy with nothing else to do all day? Get real!”
“Only Pokémon are pretty spoiled,” Brock’s partner allowed.
“I thought he was nice!” Magikarp protested, flopping about for emphasis.
“Shut up,” snapped Treecko, before anyone else could reply. “You haven’t earned an opinion.”
He could tell what was happening. His partner’s other Pokémon had never been friendly, but lately the gecko-like creature been merciless, laying into him at any opportunity. Magikarp couldn’t scare him off, or even argue, since he agreed with most of the insults thrown at him. His only relief was when Combusken happened to be in earshot and took Treecko to task, but the Fire-type was over talking to his partner.
“Shut up,” interrupted his supposed friend. “You’re so weak and pathetic; it hurts me to even look at you.”
Magikarp flopped faster in agitation. He looked around, half-hoping for rescue, but Geodude had floated away, whistling.
“I can’t believe I’m supposed to fight alongside you!” Treecko fumed. “What was Will thinking? Something as worthless as you should’ve been cast aside at the earliest chance, instead of staying, dragging us down. Every fight he’s sent you out, you’ve done terribly, and I had to come clean up the mess!”
“I’m s-sorry… I’ll try harder…”
“Who cares? Even when you try, you can’t do anything but splash around. That’s no good to me, and more importantly…”
He turned to go, twisting his head. “… You’re no use to your partner, either. Will only keeps you around out of pity.”
Treecko stalked off, leaving Magikarp feeling miserable and helpless.
“Combusken won’t leave me alone, lately,” said Rick quietly.
He’d pulled Will aside as the group made their way back to Cerulean City, walking a little slower in order to have a private conversation. Ash’s attempts to be included were firmly ignored.
“He’s worrying that you’re letting your Magikarp get bullied,” he continued. “Doesn’t think it’s good to give Treecko a free reign.”
Will smirked slowly. “Who said I had?”
“And I agree, ‘cause I don’t—wait, what?”
“I haven’t given Treecko carte blanche… not at all,” the younger Trainer repeated, slowly. “In fact, he’s acting under very specific instructions—from me.”
Rick seemed taken aback for a moment, and then frowned, the fingers of one hand curling into an unconscious fist. “So you admit to letting one of your Pokémon be abused? Call me crazy, but that sounds like a jerk move to me. The kind of thing I don’t stand for.”
Will sniffed. “Kindly restrain yourself. Trust me; I know exactly what I’m going. I’ll thank you not to interfere with my training methods.”
He squared his shoulders and quickened his pace until he was walking far ahead of Rick, in a manner reminiscent of his own Treecko.
It was dusk by the time they reached the city, and the streets were nearly deserted. By Rick’s watch, though, the Gym was going to be open another half-hour, and Will insisted on going to challenge it right away.
As they approached, they were able to make out a familiar sight—a dejected Trainer, shoulders slumped, walking out of the double doors, with a battered-looking Pokémon at his side. It stood on its hind legs, a tiny flame flickering on its tail; by its light they could make out, dimly, the face of a young man, framed by untidy dark hair, with mouth set into a grimace.
That was all par for the course when challenges were involved. But what happened next was more unusual.
“You stupid, weak… idiot!”
Abruptly, the man drew back his leg and kicked his Pokémon viciously in the stomach. It whined and tried to scurry away, but he followed, hurling verbal abuse and aiming more kicks.
“I guess I didn’t teach you your lesson well enough the last time, huh? You need a reminder of the consequences when you fail me?”
Rick stopped dead, staring at the scene, lips drawing back from his teeth. He took a slow step forward. Someone tried to grab his shoulder, but he shrugged them off. A voice—Brock’s, maybe?—was telling him to calm down, reconsider, but it seemed to come from very far away.
Then there was only the look of surprise on the man’s face, moments before a fist crashed into it. It didn’t feel quite real, as if he was watching someone else take his body and use it to dish out proper justice. He agreed with what was happening, but couldn’t control it, only watching with approval at the series of harsh blows.
He was still swinging when the others finally caught up. Brock wasted no time arguing, simply clamping an arm around his neck and hauling him backwards with strength surprising for one who typically used none of it.
Rick snarled, struggling. “I’ll kill him! I swear to Arceus, I’ll kill him!”
“You have to stop! The law—“
“Damn the law! I won’t—I can’t—“
The man stared up, eyes wide in shock, a small trickle running down his face. Rick’s vision seemed to blur, and new features sprouted up: wrinkles, a small moustache, a smell…
… A smell of alcohol, heavy in every breath. The feel of the rain down his back—so cold, so symbolic of his helplessness—
Not this time. Not this time…
He threw an elbow into Brock’s stomach, tore free, raised a fist again—
Rick blinked, then twisted so suddenly that he almost overbalanced. Instead of punching the lapsed Trainer, he’d been about to strike the poor Pokémon. Inexplicably, it had thrown itself in front of the man, spreading arms and legs wide, in an effort to…
Protect him… it’s actually protecting him?
If anything, the man he’d been hitting seemed almost more surprised. “I… what? Charmander?”
“How… why? This doesn’t make sense…”
“Oh, get out of the way, Rick!”
It was Will, who pushed him back impatiently when he didn’t move back fast enough. The younger Trainer approached the Charmander slowly, making soothing noises when it tried to flinch away.
“It’s all right… it’s all right… you were trying to protect your master, weren’t you? That’s very good… very natural…”
The Pokémon tilted its head, and nodded several times, seeming relieved.
“… But you don’t have to do it all the time. Not when your master is cruel and mean to you. If that happens, don’t you think it would be best to leave him? Maybe go back to the wild with all of your friends.”
Will couldn’t have known what the Pokémon was asking, but made a stab at it anyway. “Of course you’re allowed! And we’ll make sure he doesn’t come after you.”
Charmander nodded again, happily, and started to scurry away. Its former Trainer made to get up, but he was cut off by a glare; even though the boy before him was young, he seemed to have almost an aura of menace in that moment.
“What’s your name?” Will asked softly.
“Then listen up, Damien.” In his mouth, the man’s name dripped contempt in every syllable. “If you go after that Charmander—so much as lay a hand on him again—I’ll find out about it. And if that happens… I’ll make sure my friend’s threat comes true.”
He bent and jabbed a finger in Damien’s face. “Got it?”
“Er… yes. That is, of course! I’ll never get near my—um—that Charmander again!” the man babbled.
“Good. Now get out of my sight.”
Will turned away. Damien went.
“Welcome to the Cerulean Gym!” proclaimed the aide next to the door.
Unlike the one in Pewter, this building related very blatantly to its Leader’s theme. Apart from rather rickety-looking wooden platforms, pools of water covered every surface. And splashing about inside the water was…
Brock’s eyes bugged comically, mouth dropping to hang wide open as he stared at the swimsuit-clad females giggling and splashing each other. He didn’t respond to Ash’s prodding.
“Hey, what’s gotten into you? They’re only girls. Girls are gross!”
Rick and Will just looked at each other.
“… Let’s go.”
Again unlike Pewter’s, the Gym had no second floor. Instead, the two navigated along the flimsy partitions until they reached a much larger and more solid platform towards the very back. A final pool of water, roughly equal size, stretched before them. By the opposite wall stood the Leader, a young woman with rather vibrant orange hair.
“My name’s Misty,” she said, in businesslike fashion. “Which one of you is challenging me?”
“That’d be me,” said Will, stepping forward slightly.
“Right. As you can see, the arena is equal parts water and dry land. I don’t want anyone saying I’m taking unfair advantage. In fact, I even let challengers pick the type of battle.”
“Double battle, please,” he answered smoothly. Rick looked sidelong in some surprise. Sending two Pokémon out at once in a fight was an accepted form, sure enough, but why on earth would someone with only one decent Pokémon cripple himself that way?
Is he getting complacent because of his type advantage? That would be a mistake.
Will noticed his gaze, and smirked over at him, mouthing, “I told you, I know what I’m doing…”
“Very well!” Misty proclaimed. “Let the challenge begin!”
“Staryu! Starmie! Show him what we’ve got!”
“C’mon, Treecko and… Magikarp!”
Will caught only a glimpse of Misty’s Pokémon—vague star-like shapes—before they dove underneath the water. No surprises there. His own Pokémon hung about the platform, and waited—that, or flopped vaguely in what might have been a direction.
“Haha, you’re helpless!” the Leader taunted. “Yours can’t land an attack on mine, while I can strike on a whim! Swift, both of you—aim for the one that isn’t pathetic!”
“You know what to do, Treecko!”
To the observers, it must’ve seemed as if the Grass-type hadn’t heard him. He didn’t even try to dodge the stream of little stars launched by his briefly surfaced foes.
“Swift is unavoidable!” Misty crowed. “Maybe that thing is smart just to take the hit! All right… another attack!”
“What are you doing?” came someone’s startled cry as Treecko, again, did little more than cross his tiny arms to brace himself against the impact. It shook its head afterwards, wobbling a little.
“The hell are you doing, Will? You’re not even ordering a counter-attack! You’re going to lose if you just sit there!”
That was Rick, and that was also the Trainer’s cue. He turned abruptly to Magikarp and lifted his voice.
“Hear that, ‘karp? While you’re just sitting there, we’re losing the fight. Treecko can’t do this on his own!”
“Staryu! Starmie! Swift!”
“Will, are you insane!?”
“… Just flopping around, still? Going to let him down, are you? Going to let me down, huh? Your partner?”
“Another splash? How sad. Maybe Treecko was right about you. I didn’t want to believe him, but given your performance…”
“Do something! “
“What’ll it be, Magikarp? Want this loss on your conscience? Because—“
Noise. Noise and confusion.
Magikarp splashed towards the water frantically. Errant stars flew above his head, and to either side, but none were aimed at him—only at Treecko. Nobody ever thought he was a threat.
They were losing. He could hear it, and saw his team member being struck again and again. They were losing badly, and it was… his fault?
Yes… Will’s voice. His partner’s voice, blaming this on him. His partner, who had always believed in his potential, was being let down, hard, at the worst moment.
Maybe I am too weak to fight…
No! That wasn’t true. He knew it wasn’t true. He could do this!
Magikarp flopped faster, hardly noticing as the motions became more natural, easier… no longer an effort.
I WILL do this. I’ll show Treecko, and my partner. I’ll show them all!
He reached the water, and dove—not an awkward slipping, but a graceful, powerful dive. It took several seconds for all of him to reach the bottom, which was surprising, but he did not dwell on it.
There—the impertinent Pokémon who dared to make a fool of him! He threw himself through the water towards the nearer one, coiling now, propelling himself faster and faster. He smashed straight into the Staryu, almost crushing it, throwing it against the opposite wall, where it collapsed.
One left. He coiled again, and drove upwards, closing fierce jaws around the Starmie. They broke the surface of the water, flying high, higher; then back underwater again, causing a fountain of spray on the impact. He shook it like a rag doll, and discarded it with a contemptuous flick of his head.
He climbed up once again, and cast narrowed eyes about the Gym. All eyes were on him, now; Treecko’s mouth open slightly in astonishment, his master grinning. He could feel the strength coursing through him; the crowd’s amazement only seemed to feed it.
He opened his mouth and roared.
Last edited by Super_Nerd; 28th December 2009 at 5:14 PM.
Another great chapter!
Gyarados was spelt wrong at the very end. There should be an 'a' between the 'y' and 'r'.
Also, this is a minor suggestion, but I would change Will's name again, just in case you decide to introduce the Elite Four trainer of the same name. But this is just a suggestion.
Anyways, keep up the good work! It keeps on getting better and better.
FUTURE POKÉMON BLACK SCRAMBLE CHALLENGE TEAM
Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:
The fireball flew past, mere inches from his face.
Treecko threw himself into a forward somersault, without a moment to spare. He could feel the heat from the second near-miss down his back as he rolled behind a convenient rock. Flames flew around its edges as the Grass-type straightened up and wiped sweat from his brow.
They were losing to a couple Vulpix. That wasn’t his fault, because he couldn’t do much of anything against fire. But this was a double battle, and…
“You feel like helping yet?” he bellowed.
Gyarados yawned leisurely, displaying several sharp-looking fangs.
Treecko flinched as a small piece of the boulder cracked away, due to the heat it was being subjected to.
“Why not!? We’re losing here!”
“No. You’re losing. I’m not fighting.”
“What kind of logic is that?” The Grass-type backed slowly away from the rock, which was rapidly becoming more of a hazard than a shield. “We’re on the same team!”
Gyarados twitched slightly in the equivalent of a shrug. “Doesn’t matter to me.”
“If I lose, we lose!”
“Maybe you should be less weak.” The Water-type smirked.
Treecko ducked as another shard of stone whistled past. Then he let out a colorful curse as he noticed one of the Vulpix had edged around and was currently standing right beside him.
The ember caught him on the back, and burned there painfully. He threw himself flat and rolled from side to side, trying to smother the flame.
“You look like you’re having trouble,” Gyarados commented.
There were a few pained mutters in response.
“You might want to move, or it’s going to drop another one on you.”
“Thanks for the advice,” Treecko snarled, jumping to his feet and sprinting in a zigzag pattern. “I couldn’t have figured that out myself.”
Even he only had so much energy, though, and the burn wasn’t helping matters. After a couple of minutes, he was down on one knee, waiting for the end as the two Vulpix slowly approached.
“… You know, you could always just ask nicely,” said Gyarados, floating up beside him.
“All right. Help me.”
“I said nicely.”
Treecko groaned. “Help me, please?”
The Water-type gave a fierce grin. “All right. I’ve always been a sucker for damsels in distress.”
As his erstwhile teammate spluttered indignantly, Gyarados threw himself at the foe. One Vulpix barely had time to squeak in fear before fangs closed about it. The other tried to charge, only to be knocked senseless by a powerful scything tail.
The whole thing had taken about five seconds.
Gyarados looked at Treecko, still bent double, and laughed. “Who’s weak and pathetic now?”
Will watched with amusement as the defeated Fire-type Trainer slunk away. Ever since he’d started insisting on double battles, he hadn’t lost. Each one played out in roughly the same fashion: Gyarados sat and watched as Treecko was outmatched and overwhelmed, then swept in to finish off all their opponents in the last minute.
He has an attitude... then again, what else could I have expected?
Will knew that Magikarp hadn’t evolved naturally. Given how universally despised they were by Trainers, he concluded that, in the wild, such changes occurred rarely. He was no professor, but he theorized that most felt no need, because the few Gyarados were so powerful they dissuaded predators anyway.
So he’d had to adjust the circumstances a little. Psychological pressures, carefully applied by Treecko, put enormous mental suggestion into place—a desire to change the status quo of inferiority. The only way to truly do that would be to evolve.
And then—the moment of crisis: a battle where Treecko appeared to be overwhelmed; where victory was impossible as long as Magikarp remained a Magikarp. The evolution to Gyarados seemed to have surprised many of the audience, but Will had been almost certain it would take place.
The ends justify the means…
That was what he’d been telling himself. But he was smart enough to realize what a loaded statement that was, and how little it would take to twist it beyond recognition.
Maybe Rick has a point, he thought, rather grudgingly.
He didn’t like conceding to anyone, especially when it involved placing rash emotion over cold logic. But then… reason was tricky. Without a moral compass somewhere, its conclusions weren’t always... right.
While he was busy calculating, his feet, almost of their own accord, took him to the top of the hill where his friend had sat to watch the battle.
Rick glanced up briefly, and nodded once. “Hey.”
Will opened his mouth to say what he’d just concluded, but the words didn’t come. Instead, he just asked, “What’d you think of that battle?”
“I think Gyarados is powerful. But the interesting thing is how he sat there and watched Treecko take hits and suffer physical pain before he decided to help him out.”
“… Think that’s a problem, then?” he asked, knowing it was.
Rick nodded again. “You caused a weak Pokémon to evolve, yes. But the way you did it weakened his trust in you and his companion. He doesn’t care what happens in a battle, as long as his pride is intact. It’s working now, but horrible for you in the long run. What happens if he lets Treecko fall, only to discover he’s not twice as strong as anything else anymore—that he really does need help? It’s going to happen; he evolved so early he risks getting really complacent.”
The older Trainer paused, and then shrugged. “Basically, if your Pokémon isn’t fighting for the same reason you are, it will eventually come back to bite you. I know that much.”
There was a slightly awkward silence.
“You’re right. I’ve known you’re right,” Will said eventually. “I pretty much forced Magikarp to evolve for my own gain. I wanted him to… and it helped in the short term… but I did compromise his trust. Sometimes I forget… how important that sort of thing is.”
He looked back up. “I’ve got time to fix it, though. To get it back.”
“You do. Some people don’t realize until it’s far too late. Others… they know, and they don’t care.”
There was something odd in his voice… less pronounced as it had been when he’d attacked Damien, but present all the same. It encouraged Will to ask, “You really hate it when that happens, don’t you?”
“There’s a story there.” This was not a question.
Rick shrugged, then rose to his feet and looked away.
“Maybe. But… not something I want to share.”
He turned to walk away. “Let’s get going. I’m sick of Cerulean.”
“I want my Pokémon back,” Ash whined.
“It’s not yours. You gave him to me.”
“I didn’t know it was any good!”
Will shrugged. “It wasn’t. You couldn’t see its potential, though… which isn’t my problem.”
The argument, pointless though it was, continued past the Cerulean city limits and for a couple minutes down the road, at which point Brock paused, glanced around, and wondered aloud where Rick had gone.
“…. I don’t remember him being with us, come to think of it. Nor Combusken.”
“Maybe he got lost!”
“How is that even possible? There’s a road. With signs.”
Several more minutes passed in fruitless searching. Will elected to double back the way they’d come, as it seemed, to him, quite unlikely that the fourth member of their group had actually mistaken the way; far more likely that he hadn’t been with them at all.
His assumptions proved correct when he met Rick coming down the road. He wasn’t alone—nor was it just him and the starter Pokémon he customarily kept out of its ball, as they all did.
“Char!” the fire lizard confirmed joyfully, throwing itself to hug Will’s legs. Behind him, Treecko leveled a fierce glare, which was ignored.
“Look what I found wandering around outside of town,” Rick said. “You ask me, it was looking for you.”
“Me? Why would… you’re the one who punched out his Trainer.”
“Yeah, well… it wasn’t me who showed him how to be free, was it?”
“But… this is… Charmander, are you sure you don’t want to just go back to the wild? That’s all I intended. Really.”
The Pokémon let go of him, but shook its head violently. It reached a claw to tap at one of the Pokéballs on his belt… then nodded.
“Seems like you left quite an impression,” said Rick matter-of-factly. His gaze was saying don’t screw up on this one.
Will nodded, looking back unflinchingly.
I won’t. Not again.
I really like the development shown in the last two chapters. There's just one thing now, that annoys me; Pokemon talking to their trainers.
Of course, this is just a writing style, and while you do it well, it rubs me wrong because I've seen it done badly so often.
The names confused me at first, because I had forgotten that you changed them. Will is Coal, and Rick is Norman's kid, right?
And, of course, just to be picky, I will point out that, after you use three elipses in a row, theredoesn't needto be a space.
The fic is... interesting so to say. I've read only about half the chapters so far- your grammar is fine but the chapters, while frequently updated, are rather short IMO.
And I've noticed that you keep changing the character's names from time to time. And you fic's universe is kinda jumbled IMO- game rules, anime setting, OCs + the canon characters, starter Pokemon defying the regional trio...
But if you look at it as a comedy fic, it's rather nice. I like your Ash. Naive and overexcited and silly... ah, the nostalgia.
Crossroads of Infinity
Some say each of us is the hero of his or her own tale. Some experience this more vividly than others, some desire it more than anything else and sometimes, just sometimes, these tales clash and intertwine when one least expects them to.