Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 56

Thread: Pokémon: Legends

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

        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.”

    “Nope.”

    “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!”

    Another pause.

    “… 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.”

    “Oh…”

    “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 4:46 AM.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cape Breton, Canada
    Posts
    211

    Default

    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


  3. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    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.”

    “Hey!”

    “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.”

    “… Huh?”

    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.”

    “… Data?”

    “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.’

    “We didn’t—“

    ’Bill? Oh, you mean that nerd who never leaves his house? The guy who’s always working on crazy gadgets?’

    “Honestly—“

    '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.”

    “… Oh.”

    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?”

    “Yeah…”

    “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.”

    “I see…”

    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.”

    “Meaning…?”

    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.”

    “Nah…”

    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 4:47 AM.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Quars
    Posts
    191

    Default

    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.

    Pokemon 0

    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.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    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).

    Quote Originally Posted by IJuggler View Post
    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'.
    • 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.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Quars
    Posts
    191

    Default

    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

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    The Sky Pillar
    Posts
    153

    Default

    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 6:33 PM.

    Credit to the amazing Gladeshadow!


    IGN: Aaron
    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.

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by IJuggler View Post
    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?
    In this particular Poke-verse, the Pokedex doesn't know anything except what you've already told it. Even when it's 'finished' there's still going to be more to add to it as more observations are made. If it was the other way--you could really just round up a dozen-odd people from the different regions and almost finish a Pokedex in an hour or two. Then Professors Oak, Elm, & etc. would be out of their jobs...

    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 4:51 AM.

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

        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.”

    “But… but…”

    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—“

    “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.

    As usual.

    ______________


    “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.

    “You can’t!“

    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—

    Char!”

    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.”

    “… Char?”

    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.

    “Damien…”

    “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…

    “Girls!”

    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?”

    “Swift, again!”

    Will!”

    “Another splash? How sad. Maybe Treecko was right about you. I didn’t want to believe him, but given your performance…”

    “Finish this!”

    “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.

    “GYARADOS!”
    Last edited by Super_Nerd; 28th December 2009 at 6:14 PM.

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cape Breton, Canada
    Posts
    211

    Default

    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


  11. #36

    Default

    Nice evolution!!! :P
    MICHAEL: 1976-8969-1555

    . (If you join, say that bluedolphin359 referred you)
    Quote Originally Posted by Buraddo_Aipom View Post
    Lindsey is the only main character who is female. It's four guys and only one person in the group doesn't have (insert male genitals here)

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

        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.

    “Not really.”

    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.

    “Listen, you—“

    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.

    “… Hey.”

    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?”

    “… Yes.”

    “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.”

    “But… but…”

    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.

    “… Charmander?”

    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.

  13. #38

    Default

    Yay, Charmander is back . I knew that evolution thing would have some consequences, but I like the way that Will seems to be improving. Good chapter.
    MICHAEL: 1976-8969-1555

    . (If you join, say that bluedolphin359 referred you)
    Quote Originally Posted by Buraddo_Aipom View Post
    Lindsey is the only main character who is female. It's four guys and only one person in the group doesn't have (insert male genitals here)

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Quars
    Posts
    191

    Default

    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.

  15. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Fancy villa on Alderaan
    Posts
    191

    Default

    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.

  16. #41
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    @IJuggler: I never knew that, about the ellipses. It looks wrong to me not to have a space...

    @Aladar: Most of that is intentional. Sticking to just one thing would bore me, whereas this mix is... hopefully... interesting? And shorter updates are my preference because I'd rather do it frequently, rather than write long ones and let this thing idle.

    And I know the names are confusing. >.< I still haven't been able to edit the one post on the first page, so Rick is randomly not Rick for that one update. People who were already reading might be thrown off, but I hope (once I figure out how to change that one) new readers are okay.

  17. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    The room they took him to was dark—completely so; it lacked not just artificial but also natural light, as it had no windows. It was entirely empty, save for a single wooden chair in the center, and a long screen set in opposite wall. They locked the door behind them as they left.

    It wasn’t particularly warm, but Archie could feel the sweat beneath his collar. He’d heard stories about one-on-one time with the Boss. None of them were good. The Boss didn’t single people out to heap praise.

    He had little doubt as to why this session had been ‘requested’, given the fiasco in Cerulean… and Mt. Moon. Even though he’d only been involved in the former, both operations were technically under his command, and therefore… were his responsibility.

    Archie mumbled a curse and wiped at his forehead. He knew that he’d screwed it up. He just wanted the Boss to yell at him and get it over with. But the man seemed to take a sadistic pleasure in watching as those he’d called in squirmed, unable to stand the anticipation—

    Archie!”

    He jumped, almost knocking over the chair he hadn’t bothered to sit in. The shout had come from the enormous speaker set just below the screen in front of him, which even now flickered to life. It showed an image of… the back of a chair.

    The Boss was well-known for never showing his face. In fact, only a trusted few of the organization had ever seen or heard him in person. This didn’t include any of the men and women doing the grunt work; that way, if captured, they wouldn’t know enough to implicate him.

    Archie smoothed back his hair. Even if he couldn’t see the Boss, he was almost certain there was more than one camera on him.

    “I’m here, sir.”

    “Oh good.” Even with static, this sounded sarcastic. “I’ve been dying to find out how the hell you propose to explain what happened in that latest operation of yours.”

    Archie licked his lips. Here we go.

    “Well, sir, you see—“

    “I’m just waiting to understand how in the name of Arceus and all that’s holy you all were taken down by a bunch of kids.”

    “That’s not quite—“

    “Because, you know, this is a criminal organization. As in, we commit crimes and are generally not something people want to mess with. Though you, apparently, have other ideas?”

    “Sir, if you’d just—“

    “Are you telling me what to do? I’m the one who gives the orders! That’s why you’re here!”

    “I know sir, but—“

    “But what? Are you saying you don’t have any explanation?”

    Sir!” Archie finally shouted. “I’m getting to that, if you would let me get a word in edgeways!”

    This time, there was no immediate comeback. He winced and wondered how badly the Boss would punish him for interrupting, even if it was justified.

    “… Very well,” was the eventual reply. It sounded less angry than the previous ones, which emboldened him slightly.

    “With respect, sir, I may have been technically responsible for what happened in Mt. Moon, but I wasn’t even there. I can’t control the fact that the operatives couldn’t win their battle.”

    “Were they seriously stupid enough to leave the outcome of everything to a Pokémon duel? Why didn’t they simply overpower them once they’d lost?”

    Good question, Archie thought. Aloud, he said, “One of the intruders had an Onix. It’s very difficult to physically fight something that’s so capable of crushing you… or so they say.”

    The Boss grunted, but didn’t say anything else.

    “As for the Nugget Bridge… all I can say is that the scheme was working perfectly, for some time. You can’t deny that we acquired quite a few Pokémon for a one-man operation.”

    “Which shall certainly be put to good use in our other plans, yes… still, you were unable to maintain it for more than a couple of weeks.”

    “It’s not an excuse… but I wasn’t expecting a trap,” Archie said slowly. He knew he was on the thinnest ice here. “Once I was discovered, I was facing four-on-one odds. The best course of action was to get away and salvage what I could.”

    “Hrmph…”

    There was another ominous silence.

    “… Very well. You’ve been useful in the past, and I’m willing to overlook your mistakes in this incident,” the Boss finally said. “It would be better, at any rate, to focus on moving forward. We need to know if these pests will continue to prove troublesome, and you are one of the few who’s encountered them.”

    Archie let out a silent breath. It was going better than he’d hoped; of course, none of that was due to charity on the part of his employer. He was expecting information.

    “Of course, sir.”

    “We’ve matched your descriptions with reports from our undercover agents in Cerulean, and as such, determined who these people are. I’ll be bringing what we’ve compiled up on the screen in a moment…”

    There was a rapid tapping of keys over the loudspeaker. Abruptly, the image of the back of the Boss’ chair vanished. In its place was a large photo—a young man with a deep tan and messy black hair—together with a dizzying amount of biographical data displayed in neat columns.

    Age: 20
    Place of birth: Pewter City, Kanto
    Known Pokémon: Geodude, Onix
    ...


    “We’ve got the most information on this one—name’s Brock. He was Leader of the Pewter City Gym until recently. His father was quite the renowned battler, though from what we’ve seen, this kid just doesn’t live up to it.”

    Archie shrugged. “He was the one with the Onix, from what I’m told. He doesn’t have to be any good to get in the way, using something like that.”

    “… Maybe. In any event, apart from that, he’s unlikely to be a threat. According to the sources, he’s not formally battled once since he left his Gym. He doesn’t look like the type who much cares about becoming more powerful. I think we can safely write him off.”

    Fighting isn’t the only way to get Pokémon stronger, Archie thought. But it was pointless arguing with the Boss under any circumstances, let alone about something as trivial as that.

    The screen flickered. Brock’s picture was replaced by another—blonde, paler, slightly younger—and the columns of biography shrunk slightly.

    Age: 17
    Place of birth: Petalburg City, Hoenn
    Known Pokémon: Combusken


    “Next, this Rick. We’ve all heard of his father, of course—Norman, the famous Trainer. Just young enough to avoid having done time in the War—part of the new generation that’s supposedly running things now, if you listen to the columnists.” From the man’s tone, he didn’t.

    That’s right; he must have fought in it. He’s certainly old enough… That explains a lot, Archie thought.

    “He caused a bit of a stir in Pewter—first Trainer to defeat the Gym Leader, and all of that—and milked it. Especially friendly with local girls. Sounds like he’s the type who thinks with something other than his brain, if you catch my drift.”

    “I wouldn’t know about that,” said Archie slowly, “but from what my team reported, he’s inherited his father’s skills. He took them all on almost single-handedly, with just a single Pokémon, and still won.”

    “One to watch, then,” the Boss mused. “At least his particular… vulnerabilities… have been well-documented. We’ll keep that in mind.”

    The image changed again; the first thing that became apparent was how much shorter this person was. This time, the accompanying information seemed rather scant.

    Age: 15
    Place of birth: Pallet Town, Kanto
    Known Pokémon: Pikachu, Pidgeotto


    “We don’t know much about this one. His name’s Ash Ketchum—“

    “Seriously?” Archie interjected. “Is that some sort of alias?”

    The Boss laughed slightly. “No, as far as we can tell it’s the real thing. I don’t know who thought it’d be funny to saddle a kid with something like that, but there we go. Sounds like he’s lived his entire life in Pallet Town, which is notable only for that old Professor who set up shop there. So does the mother. We’re not sure who the father is.”

    “I can’t add much. He seems to like his Pikachu, but that was about all I noticed.”

    “That weak little thing? Moron,” the Boss pronounced. “I very much doubt he’s capable of much on his own.”

    The picture on the screen shifted for a final time; the last member of the group appeared to be, what with the rather grainy quality, nothing more than a slightly bigger version of the Ash kid. The biography, meanwhile, had all but disappeared.

    Age: 16
    Place of birth: Pallet Town, Kanto (?)
    Known Pokémon: Treecko, Gyarados


    “We really don’t know anything about this last boy, Will. We’re not even sure if he was born in Pallet; there’s no record in the Viridian hospital. We just know he spent his childhood there, and was close to Ash.”

    “They look like they could be related,” Archie thought aloud. “As for him… I’m not sure. He showed up to help Rick with his battle, but the operatives didn’t notice much of what he was doing. It certainly wasn’t as splashy an entrance as riding an Onix in.”

    “Unfortunate,” the Boss commented. “I don’t like unknowns… But, right now, it seems like these kids just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They don’t appear to know anything about our organization, or to have contacted the authorities. We’ll have our undercover agents keep a watch in each town, but I’m not expecting a repeat of this incident.”

    “Sir, I’m not sure if that’s right. They might not have learned anything damning, but they do know about us. I think it would be best to send a couple people and make them have a little accident. Better yet, use our spies—they can do it quietly.”

    “You might. But I don’t.” The voice over the speaker sounded slightly annoyed. “As I’ve told you before, stuff like that is too much of a risk. Those people are more in the know than most of my operatives. When they get caught—yes, I said when—and they talk, it’ll have more consequences than it’s worth. No… leave the kids alone. And count yourself lucky that this really wasn’t serious.”

    Archie frowned, unconvinced, but knew better than to protest.

    “… Yes, Boss.”

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

        Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:




    Norman cracked his knuckles.

    In five minutes he’d fight the biggest battle of his career, but strangely, he wasn’t nervous in the slightest. Or perhaps that was to be expected—unlike many past fights, this time he knew exactly what he was getting into.

    Harrison (more commonly known as ‘the old guy’) had been Gym Leader of Petalburg City for years and years before the War, and had kept clinging to his title for the twenty years that followed it. As luck would have it, Norman had settled there with Caroline, and spent enough time in and around the Gym to have become something of an expert. Harrison was quite set in his ways, and the next battle in which he did something unpredictable would be the first.

    The Gym Leader, it was rumored, was looking to retire. Of course, such rumors had been spreading for the last decade or so, but Norman knew the old man, and could tell almost by sight alone that, this time, there was something to the whispering. Harrison was tired. Doing the same thing day after day had finally broken through even to someone as routine-driven as he.

    Nothing was ‘allowed’ or ‘forbidden’ when it came to Leaders, but there were unwritten rules just as strong as the traditions that led to their creation. Resigning out of the blue was simply ‘not done’. You had to be defeated by a challenger who was willing to take the post.

    Norman knew that Harrison knew that he wanted his job. He also knew the old man wouldn’t take it easy on him—knew and respected it.

    From the noise of the crowd outside, he didn’t have any longer to sit there and reflect. It was time. He slowly mounted the stairs leading towards the top deck of the S.S. Anne.

    _________________


    “Rick! Hey, Rick!”

    “I know about it, just shut up about it already,” Rick grumbled, half to himself.

    Ash’s victory over a Trainer’s Butterfree had given him a Pidgeotto—the first time one of his Pokémon had evolved. Since then, as was his habit, he’d been chattering nonstop, telling everyone they happened to meet as well as repeating the newsflash to the rest of the group, several times over, even though they’d all been there to see it happen.

    Resolving not to budge from the large sofa in the lobby of the Vermillion Pokémon Center, Rick tried to block out Ash’s continuing attempts to get his attention. A sharp poke to his back forced him to pay attention, though, as Brock’s voice came from just above him.

    “It’s not the Pidgeotto thing. It’s something on the T.V. you ought to see.”

    “Oh. Well, in that case, give me a second.”

    Slightly longer than a second later, Rick sat up, stretched, and wandered over towards the Center’s single large T.V. To his surprise, it seemed that everyone currently in the building, including nurses, was gathered around.

    I’m guessing it’s not another political ad…

    His presumption—not exactly a stretch; nothing would more surely guarantee a change of channel or mute button than the latest dueling between the two parties—was confirmed by the noises currently coming out of the speaker system.

    “… Yes, you heard it right, ladies and gentlemen! This is Jim, live on the S.S. Anne, bringing you an official challenge of the Petalburg City Gym Leader. The challenger: Norman, celebrity Trainer from Hoenn! He’s been out of the action for several months, but he’s not starting small with his re-entrance to the battling scene! Has he bitten off more than he can chew? Stay tuned!”

    Everyone groaned as the show cut to a commercial—none other than one of the dreaded ads, from Ed Neilson’s campaign. A babble of voices drowned out whatever the candidate was saying, as excited speculation broke forth among the crowd.

    “Looks like it’ll be really exciting!” Ash cried. “I mean, I’ve never seen your dad battle! Or any of the Gym Leaders from Hoenn!”

    “He’s okay,” Rick allowed, smirking. “Not quite as good as me, but okay.”

    The only person who didn’t join in was Will, who had shouldered his way closer to the T.V. and was regarding the ad intently. Rick regarded him incredulously for a long moment before asking the obvious question.

    “… Why are you trying to watch that? I mean… nobody cares about politics. We all know who’s going to win.”

    “That attitude is exactly why I’m paying such close attention to this race.”

    Before he could clarify—if he even intended to, which was uncertain—the commercial spot ended, and the voice of the announcer returned, cutting through the chatter.

    “We’re back! And the two Trainers have taken their positions in the arena. The crowd, as I’m sure you can hear from home, is going wild with anticipation. They’re expecting a great match, and so am I.

    “We see Harrison sending out his Zangoose—no surprises there. The contestants have agreed to a one-on-one fight, and it’s only natural he’d pick his favorite. And by that logic… yes, it seems Norman will be using his Vigoroth. A clash of two very strong and experienced Pokémon is about to begin!”

    ____________


    Here we go…

    Norman studied his opponent through narrowed eyes. The entire match depended on whether the assumption he’d made at the outset would prove correct or not…

    “Zangoose, Swords Dance!” Harrison cried.

    He tried to hide a grin. Perfect.

    On the field, the brown-and-white Pokémon bared its teeth, shook its fur, and extended multiple sharp-looking claws from its paws. Shifting its weight from foot to foot, it scraped them together, slowly at first, then faster, the motions causing the claws to sharpen further still—and grow.

    “Vigoroth… sit tight!”

    There were a few boos from the crowd. The announcer said slowly, in a very confused tone, “… And to counter Zangoose’s setup, Norman has ordered his Pokémon to do… absolutely nothing.”

    Harrison lifted a thick, white eyebrow, the wrinkles in his face becoming more pronounced as he looked across the arena.

    “What are you playing at, kid? You know what Swords Dance means…”

    “A move used by Pokémon with claws and blades that exponentially increases the attack power of those appendages,” Norman recited, as if from a textbook. “Yes, I know.”

    “You still gonna just sit there? Your funeral. Zangoose—Crush Claw!”

    With a growl of assent, the Pokémon dropped onto all fours and dashed towards the ape that still stood in place. In a single smooth motion, it leapt onto its hind legs and reared back to strike.

    “Endure!” Norman bellowed.

    Harrison, and much of the crowd, gasped. The announcer cried, “The challenger’s strategy revealed—Endure allows a Pokémon to weather any hit, no matter how powerful!”

    Vigoroth crossed his arms, bracing itself against the claws that came tearing down. A faint golden aura signified the move at work; he stumbled back slightly, obviously hurt, but still standing.

    “A clever ploy—but it fails if used in succession! Zangoose—get ready!”

    “I have no intention of using it more than once,” said Norman with a grin. “Vigoroth, Reversal!”

    “Sheer genius!” the announcer proclaimed. “Reversal—a physical attack that gains power depending on how much damage its user has taken! With the amount inflicted by that powered-up Crush Claw—“

    Vigoroth completed the sentiment behind the sentence, springing forward with arm drawn back to strike. This time, the slight glow around he limbs was red in color; he landed a solid blow on the Zangoose that knocked it over with such force that it tumbled and rolled several times before coming to rest a few yards away, facedown and still.

    “I can’t quite believe what I just saw! A powerful combination attack has won the match for the challenger—a swift but brutal finish! This is Jim, taking you back to the desk…”

    Norman saw his Pokémon grinning happily, flashing it a thumb’s-up. His eyes, however, went quickly to Harrison’s face. The old Gym Leader’s look of shock transformed slowly into resigned appreciation. He beckoned to Norman, and the younger man crossed the arena to stand before him.

    “That was… simple. Effective, but simple. I should’ve seen it coming. It’s things like this that make me think it’s time to retire…”

    “That’s your prerogative. I think you’ve still got another five years or so in you.”

    “Oh, don’t flatter me,” Harrison snorted. “We both know I’ve just been looking for a chance to quit this whole silly business. You beat me fair and square. What do you say? If you want to be Leader, you’ve earned it.”

    Norman waved at the camera trained on the pair, putting an arm about the old man in a gesture of genuine affection.

    “… I’d like that very much. Thank you.”

    _____________


    The S.S. Anne was the most famous luxury cruise ship in Kanto—and the entire world, for that matter. It was private property, of course, owned by perhaps the richest man in the region: business tycoon Scott Bosworth.

    His father had made an inordinate profit running factories during the War, but the son hadn’t been content with merely inheriting a fortune; he’d invested most of it, instead, and chosen well. Start-up companies were a dime a dozen once the fighting had ceased—but only a few would come to anything. Scott’s knack for backing the winners paid off, time and time again.

    He was either savvy, or lucky—and many maintained that he was too much of both of these, unnaturally and unfairly so. He was even taken to court over it, though the case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. The government was not about to step in, either—not when Bosworth-funded industries were providing employment for the majority of the population.

    The ship was his latest venture, an idea that originally came to him after hearing a friend complain about the rough seas between Kanto and Johto. He’d realized that leisurely travel by ocean simply wasn’t available to the vast majority of citizens. At the time, there was also no market for it. Had he been an employee, Scott wouldn’t have been able to pitch the idea. As his own master, though… he’d gone ahead and created demand with a clever and calculated advertising campaign.

    Five years ago, the S.S. Anne had been the only cruise ship in existence. Today it was one of two or three dozen, constantly upgrading to continue to be the best of the lot. Scott’s love of Pokémon battles meant that he almost always offered free trips to famous Trainers, and hosted tournaments among the passengers. The ship was now famous for this as well…

    ____________


    … All this and more Rick learned, thanks to viewing a semi-mandatory introduction video, and reading between the lines. It was boring, but he consoled himself by thinking that the other three were surely, at this very moment, being subjected to the same thing.

    As the movie rambled on about Bosworth Investments, he let his eyelids droop and leaned back in the (admittedly comfortable) armchair in the corner of his small room. Sitting through this was a small price to pay for a free berth on the ship—even if they had no intention of making the voyage, they couldn’t have afforded one if it hadn’t been for Norman.

    He’d been famous before, but now that he’d beaten the old Gym Leader from Hoenn on this very ship, in a widely televised battle, he was drawing enormous crowds. Scott Bosworth, arriving personally shortly before Rick and the rest of the group, had made it known that he was to be denied nothing. Which apparently included four free tickets for his son and his son's friends.

    Rick was half-asleep by the time the video finally ended. Yawning hugely, he rose and stretched.

    New Petalburg Gym Leader, huh, Dad? Good… we’ll fight again, one of these days, and I’ll prove to both of us my victory wasn’t just a fluke…

    “Though right now I suppose I’d better go and congratulate him,” he added aloud. Smirking faintly, he closed the door behind him as he left.
    Last edited by Super_Nerd; 28th January 2010 at 3:22 AM.

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Quars
    Posts
    191

    Default

    Nice update. It gave a good timeline, which is one of the few things that I felt to be missing from this story so far.

    There were two errors, but I only remember the second one;

    He’d had been famous before, but now that he’d beaten the old Gym Leader from Hoenn on this very ship, in a widely televised battle, he was drawing such enormous crowds that Scott Bosworth, arriving personally shortly before Rick and the rest of the group, had made it known that he was to be denied nothing.
    I also noticed that it's a run-on sentence, now that I've quoted it.

    The political part made sense, as well as Will attempting to watch it; I could see him being a politician later on (he's the most manipulative of the four, at least), and that could be some decent forshadowing for it.

    Overall, can't wait for the next chapter. Keep up the good work

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    By the time Rick reached the top deck of the ship, he had to struggle through an entire crowd of people just to spot Norman, and what seemed like two or three more before he was even in earshot.

    “Your battle was so intense!”

    “Hey mister, would you sign my arm?”

    “Excuse me, sir! This is Jim—with PBN—you know, I was just announcing the match. I was wondering if you’d sit for a few questions, shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes—“

    Norman resembled a drowning man, with people surging about him, shouting, and trying all manner of ingenious methods to gain his attention. Rick had to elbow several of them to finally reach his father’s side.

    “Dad… let’s get out of here. You’ll be stampeded in a minute.”

    Saying as much proved to be a mistake a moment later, when the crowd’s multiple attentions shifted to include the both of them.

    “Did he just say…?”

    “Norman’s kid?”

    “Your son!” cried Jim, practically frothing at the mouth. “Can you give the viewers a statement? Did you teach him everything you know? Which one of you is better? D’you think it’d be possible for us to see a fight between you two? Oh… what’s his name?”

    “… Good idea,” Norman muttered. “We’ll go back to my cabin…”

    ____________


    Half an hour later, father and son were safely away from fans, reporters, and other such annoyances, barricaded in Norman’s room. As prisons went, there were certainly worse venues; first-class cabins on the S.S. Anne were about the size of a small house, with every conceivable entertainment device, incredibly comfortable furniture, and a live camera fixed on the corridor outside so that guests could be identified before they’d even knocked.

    Rick rummaged in the full-sized refrigerator set in one corner, emerging with a can of soda.

    “Sheesh… you get this for free? How obsessed is that Scott guy with Trainers?”

    “Pretty obsessed,” Norman agreed. “Battles draw crowds, which means more people on the ship; I get the business angle. But I feel like he’s genuinely a fan. I bet he’d do the same thing even if it meant a net loss.”

    “If any more people got on this ship, it’d sink,” Rick declared. “I hear he’s got some more famous people who aren’t Trainers.”

    “That’s right. A couple of well-known Pokémon researchers—one based in Johto, and Professor Birch—set up that Lab near Petalburg a little before we left, remember? Oak got an invite, too, but he declined.”

    “I can almost see why…”

    Before he could add more, there was a sharp burst of static from the big T.V. against the opposite wall. The screen flickered, presenting them with a large but completely empty room. The walls were wood-paneled, and a single Pokéball was engraved upon the one that faced the camera.

    Norman frowned. “I thought I turned that off…”

    There was a sudden commotion through the speakers—the noise of a door slamming together with muffled curses. Abruptly, the room wasn’t empty any longer; a tall, slender man stumbled into the camera view. Even though there wasn’t much light, he was wearing sunglasses, and his hair was a shade of green so vibrant that dye-makers the world over would have killed to have somebody so famous showcasing their work.

    For the man who was currently waving his arms back and forth in a comical attempt to not fall over could not be anyone other than Scott Bosworth. There was nobody else with green hair that anyone paid serious attention to, at least this side of a circus.

    “Right!” the famous icon cried as he finally righted his balance. “Sorry to disturb whatever you’re doing, but I’ve got an important message for you. ‘You’ means every guest in one of the first-class cabins, by the way; pretty much just the people I specially invited here.”

    “That explains the thing with the T.V… he probably controls all of them remotely,” Norman guessed.

    “I’m sure you’ve all heard by now the outcome of the battle that took place here a little while ago—or I’d hope you don’t have your heads in the sand, at least. Mr. Harrison was the main attraction of the ship while it was docked, and it’s going to set off soon now that he’s been defeated—Hoenn-bound, since we’ve got a new Gym Leader needed to get to his post. But before that happens, I had a little idea, you see.

    “Most people who set up battles and tournaments—myself included—pay a lot of attention to veteran Trainers. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for rookies to jump in and get the necessary experience. There’s a kind of selective membrane around the whole show.

    “I’m hoping to start changing this, and it begins today. I want to invite novice battlers—I know for a fact there are several of you on board, since I did look over the guest list before I sent it—to come up to the top deck and humor me with a little tournament. It’ll be quick—double battles until we’re left with two. It won’t take much time, promise.

    “I’ll see you there,” Scott concluded, before moving towards the camera. The T.V. screen went blank again.

    ______________


    Rick was surprised, and more that a little impressed, that the top deck was completely cleared by the time he reached it. He’d have thought a group of people that size was beyond even the ship’s owner, but now it was like they’d never been up here. Only the arena and bleachers along its sides remained, both empty.

    He wasn’t surprise to be joined by Will and Ash in quick succession, the latter already talking excitedly about how badly he was going to beat them.

    “Know where Brock went?”

    Will rolled his eyes. “I left him trying to seduce one of the waitresses in the dining hall.”

    “Was he getting anywhere?”

    “What do you think?”

    “No. Like usual, then,” Rick smirked.

    “… and then Pikachu’ll Thundershock it, and…“ Ash’s ramblings broke off abruptly as he started glaring silently at the person who’d just come up the stairs, and was currently sneering in his direction.

    “Here for the tournament… loser?” smirked Gary.

    “I’m here to win!”

    “Not when you’re gonna have to face me, you’re not!”

    “Shut up! Why are you here, anyway?”

    “Because I’m such an awesome Trainer. Duh.”

    “Because you’re Professor Oak’s grandson, more like,” Rick muttered, so that only Will could hear. A smirk acknowledged the bit of truth.

    Ash wasn’t quite so imaginative. “You are not!”

    “Am too.”

    “Are not!”

    “Am too!”

    Rick shook his head against the sounds of bickering and glanced towards the stairs once more. Ascending them was a young man, probably about Brock’s age. Tall and broad, he wore expensive-looking clothes, but his hair, a dirty blonde, was styled in ‘just rolled out of bed and hasn’t bothered to comb’ fashion. He glanced once in Rick’s direction before slouching over to the rail, looking down with slight interest into the harbor below.

    “… Are not!”

    “I so am. Wimp.”

    Hey!”

    There was a muffled thump, and a loud curse. It sounded as if the back-and-forth had devolved into a fistfight. Rick heaved an exhausted sigh and moved several yards away, out of any conceivable range. He watched the stairs again.

    The next person to come onto the deck was, once again, both male and a little older than him. This one’s hair was jet black, set in unrealistic spikes that screamed ‘hair gel’. His clothes, roughly the same shade, were unremarkable, save for the fact that he was wearing a cape, billowing impressively (albeit somewhat ludicrously) behind him as he walked. Moving to stand alone, he sized up the competition; his expression showed clearly that he wasn’t all that impressed.

    Ash was yelling something about kicking being unfair. Rick sighed and cast a wary look in the direction of the ‘fight’. As he suspected, he’d seen better efforts from schoolboys; both Gary and his opponent seemed to be trying to avoid actual physical contact as much as possible, trash-talking all the while.

    “…Not gonna come after me, huh? Chicken…”

    “I’m not a chicken! You’re chicken.”

    “Your mom’s a chicken.”

    “Take it back!”

    “Um,” said a faint voice from behind, “What are they doing?”

    Rick glanced over his shoulder. A genuine grin spread across his face and he turned, extending a hand to the short, slight boy who was currently blinking in his direction.

    “Wally! Haven’t seen you since Dad and I moved. I’d heard Professor Elm was aboard, but I didn’t think that you’d be.”

    “Yes, well, mom and dad finally got over their paranoia enough to let me leave Petalburg for once,” Wally said. He took the offered hand briefly, hardly gripping at all, before letting go quickly. “Uncle had to promise he’d keep a close eye on me all the time.”

    “They’re no fun,” Rick pronounced.

    “Oh, I don’t know. I can’t really blame them, can I? With my… well, I gave them enough scares when I was little.” The boy sniffed, wiping his nose on the arm of his sweater.

    “… Let me guess: they told you to wear that and not take it off.”

    “Oh, er… Yes. How’d you know?”

    “Because it’s about sixty degrees out here.”

    “Oh. Yes. It is, isn’t it?” Wally pressed a bony hand to his forehead, as if suddenly aware of how overdressed he was. In a subject-change sort of voice, he asked again, “What are they doing?”

    Rick didn’t even look at Gary and Ash. “Seeing which one of them is the biggest sissy. Here for the tournament, then? Been training Ralts?”

    “Um… well… mom and dad haven’t really let me. Since I usually got overexcited. To be honest, I don’t think they’d have been happy with me doing this, but Uncle’s busy with the other guests…”

    “You’ll be fine.”

    “How do you—“

    “I just know,” said Rick, with customary confidence. Except he didn’t know what he was talking about. But Wally didn’t need to hear that.

    _____________


    Will glared in Ash’s direction. To be fair, the withering gaze included Gary, but Oak’s grandson was not the boy’s concern. Here was someone everyone knew he was associated with making a complete *** of himself in front of total strangers, soon to include one of the most important men in Kanto.

    To take his mind off his unenviable position, Will observed the other, not-childish people assembling on the top deck. There was Rick, conversing with a sickly-looking kid about Ash’s age. There were two strangers, both somewhat odd in appearance, but older; he figured they’d be quite proficient. And…

    A red-haired girl had just arrived, and, after a glaring even more frostily than he had at the squabbling boys, had gone to stand alone. Will tilted his head slightly, continuing to watch her. Her treatment of the immaturity had rather impressed him. Maybe…

    And suddenly Rick was beside him, and everything was ruined. It only took his friend, far more experienced in the ways of staring at girls, a moment to identify what he’d he was up to.

    “… Well she’s sort of cute. That rich guy said double battles, right? Hope I’m paired up with her.”

    Will glared at him. Actually… he felt like doing much more than glaring. Various painful things, in shockingly graphic detail, flashed through his mind. He blinked and shook his head slightly.

    What…?

    He’d never felt quite that urge for senseless violence before. There didn’t seem to be any logical reason behind it.

    Well. Think. You know what Rick does and/or tries to do with girls he’s called ‘sort of cute’ before.

    Granted. But why did he care?

    ….

    He couldn’t think why. There didn’t seem to be any sensible reason. It was disorienting.

    It was a relief when a whistle interrupted everything, and it was announced that the tournament was soon to begin.

  21. #46
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

        Spoiler:- OOC stuff...:



    With great fanfare, Scott Bosworth himself emerged onto the top deck. In his case, it was literal--he'd actually brought two of his employees, apparently just to blow trumpets in annoying fashion. Though they had little to no musical talent, the pair did succeed in drawing everyone's attention to their eccentric host. Behind Scott, the crowd of reporters from earlier fanned out, heading for the bleachers, cameras clicking away.

    The tycoon strode regally across the deck, trumpeters in tow. Even Ash and Gary stopped pretending to fight and turned to stare after him. Scott seemed very aware of everyone's attention; they could see him stand straighter as he walked, as if buoyed by it. Upon reaching the far side, he produced a microphone from... somewhere... and rapped it sharply against the railing. The resulting screech of feedback from speakers lined all along the deck made everyone wince.

    "Sorry about that," Scott muttered, then cleared his throat. "But... Welcome, to the first-ever S.S.Anne Youth Tournament! I have personally scoured today's field and selected the kids I consider to be rising stars. People to keep an eye on..."

    "Or the people who happened to randomly be on your ship when you had the idea," Rick muttered to Will, who snickered.

    "... Trainers who will, dare I say, go on to be some of the finest in Kanto, or even--the world!"

    Up in the bleachers, Jim from PBN was shouting into a cellphone. "What do you mean you don't have time to air it? Make time! I want to see this footage on my T.V. tonight! ... I don't care that it's totally unexpected, this is going to be gold! It's Scott Bosworth, for Arceus' sake!"

    Wally gulped, glancing around at the seven other contestants. "I didn't know this would be such a big deal," he confided to Rick. "I'm not so sure if I want to..."

    "There's no backing out now!" Scott yelled. As he spoke, a section of the deck slid back, and a massive screen slowly emerged, like some hibernating creature. The screen was on the opposite side of the deck from the audience, and as it flickered into life, everyone could clearly see an oversized tournament bracket already set up.

    "Prototype for the Communication Department's latest T.V.," he explained briefly. "Buy it when it comes out. You'll love it. Anyway! As you can clearly see, I've already used a computer system to randomly pair up our eight young Trainers. Please step forward when you hear your names, etc, etc. Right!"

    Rick glanced around. Everyone was craning their necks to get a look at the screen.

    "Team number one... Steven, son of the CEO and founder of Hoenn's Devon Corp., Mr. Stone! Fantastic company, almost as good as mine, haha... ahem... and, Lance, a member of the elite Order of Dragon Users in Johto! Wearing the ceremonial battling cape already, I see..."

    The young man who'd been slouching at the rail started forward, as did the cape-wearer, who wore an expression of some relief that plainly stated, "you don't look as weak as the others."

    "Team number two... Rick, son of Norman, who just today became the newest Gym Leader of the Hoenn region... and Wally, nephew of famed Pokemon researcher, Professor Elm of Johto!"

    Wally looked immensely relieved, as well, but clearly for different reasons. As they walked, Rick glanced towards him and grinned. "Just do what I say... we've got this thing in the bag."

    "Team number three... Will from Pallet Town, undertaking research on behalf of Professor Oak... and May, daughter of Professor Birch of Hoenn, also a well-known figure!"

    Will had felt a surge of hope after Rick had been denied his first choice of partners... now it was realized; here he was, with the one person he'd wanted! Time to say something fantastically interesting so that she'd notice him.

    "Uh... hi," he managed weakly. Wait, what was that? Idiot!

    Rick glanced over at his friend's pitiful attempts at engaging the girl in conversation, and smirked... but it turned to full-blown laughter as he realized who the remaing pair would have to be. They were coming to that conclusion at about the same time, given the look of utter horror on each's face.

    "Annnd team number four... Ash Ketchum, also working for Professor Oak, and Oak's grandson, Gary!"

    "I can't battle on HIS side!" yelled Ash.

    "I can't battle with such a wimp!" yelled Gary.

    "Wimp!? Who are you calling wimp! YOU'RE the wimp!"

    "Your mom's a wimp!"

    "You're disqualified if you don't take your places on the line," warned Scott, and with much grumbling and evil looks, the pair did just that.

    "Very good," said the tycoon, grinning happily. "Let the tournament begin! The first battle... Steven and Lance versus Rick and Wally!"

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

        Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:



    Rick mumbled a curse, under his breath. He knew he was going into any match handicapped... Wally was a nice kid, but definitely didn’t have much experience. So he’d been hoping to be lined up against Ash and Gary, who wouldn’t understand teamwork if they were looking at it in the dictionary... but no such luck.

    Maybe it was showing on his face... the guy in the cape was smirking at him. Rick shot back a glare, drawing himself up a bit. He wouldn’t go down without giving it his best try, at least.

    “They look really tough,” Wally fretted, picking at a nonexistent loose thread on his sweater.

    “We’ll be fine. You’ve battled before, right?”

    “Um... does a wild Ledyba count?”

    “... Just uh, do exactly what I say.”

    _______________


    Lance chuckled derisively as he scanned the opposing team. The kid in the sweater looked like a gentle breeze would knock him over... it couldn’t be more obvious that he was a rookie. As for the taller one, the son of the Gym Leader... he was acting cool, but there’d been that instant of doubt.

    “We’ve got this in the bag,” he predicted confidently.

    His partner just yawned, pushing ineffectually at his hair. “Sure, whatever you say.”

    “Hey, look alive, there! We can’t afford to get complacent!”

    Steven smirked faintly. “You were, just a moment ago. Make up your mind, already.”

    “... Oh, whatever. Let’s just do this.”

    _________________


    “Each Trainer will select just one Pokémon, and use it throughout the entire tournament,” Scott announced. “Once you’ve done that, we’ll kick off this first match.”

    “Not a tough choice,” Rick muttered, beckoning Combusken forward. Hopefully, the power of an evolved Pokémon would compensate for...

    “How do you send them out, again?” Wally asked, examining his Pokéball like it was written in a foreign language.

    ... well, THAT.

    “My Dratini should be able to handle anything they throw at us,” Lance proclaimed.

    “Uh-huh,” Steven agreed. “Well, I’ll just back you up, then...”

    Scott, meanwhile, had caused the deck to undergo yet another change. A series of tiny lights, previously unnoticed, flickered into multicolored life; taken together, they formed a long rectangular arena space, centered between the T.V. screen and the bleachers.

    “... I don’t even want to know how much all this cost,” Will muttered to May. To his gratification, she seemed to find it amusing.

    “Try to keep the action within these lines, if you please,” the tycoon was saying. “Though I would suggest that our on-deck contestants keep well back... for their own safety. Right, everyone ready? In that case... begin!”

    _________________


    Rick whistled as he glanced across at the opposing team’s Pokémon. The guy with the cape had sent out some snake-like thing, but the other’s... a massive bird, except entirely metallic, with very sharp-looking feathers. By contrast... he was decidedly underwhelmed by Ralts’ physical appearance. The tiny blue creature looked about as frail as its owner, and far more... feminine.

    “Isn’t he great?” Wally beamed.

    “Wait, that’s a MALE!?”

    “Yep! ... why?”

    “... Nothing. Tell him nice, uh, hair. So... what kind of moves does it have?”

    “Um... let me think...”

    “We should probably come up with a plan,” Steven drawled, glancing at his partner.

    Lance shook his head. “No, look, those two clowns are still trying to figure out what to do! Now’s our chance to take advantage of their hesitation! Dratini--attack!” he bellowed, cape fluttering magnificently as he stuck a dramatic arm out.

    “You keep thinking,” Rick ordered, then looked at Combusken and nodded once.

    The Dratini slithered forward, with surprising speed, but was still hampered by the fact that it had no legs... Combusken had no such problem, rushing to meet the opponent’s assault. Before Lance could issue a command, the Fire-type had already delivered a powerful kick that stopped his foe in its tracks.

    “Um... Ralts... what was that one move you used, again?” Wally asked, scratching his head.

    “Dratini! Use... no, don’t get picked up off the ground! Wait--no, don’t let him tie you in a knot! No, no...” Lance looked pleadingly at his partner. “We’re gonna lose if you don’t do anything!”

    “Oh, do you want my help now?” Steven smirked. “We need a plan, do we?” As he spoke, he waved lazily at his Pokemon, which seemed to understand, taking flight (rather effortlessly, considering the fact that its weight would make such a task difficult).

    “Yes! ... I guess I underestimated them,” his partner confessed.

    “Well, now you know. Skarmory! Steel Wing!”

    “Wally, look out!” Rick cried, following the bird Pokémon’s path with his eyes. “Tell Ralts to attack, or dodge, or... something!”

    “Um, I think it was Confusion! Use that!”

    Ralts waved its tiny arms vaugely, the barest hint of something purple flashing in its eyes. Whatever attack it was attempting to use, however, didn’t materialize. Skarmory dived, clipping the Psychic-type with an outstretched wing. Given the speed of its descent, the impact was powerful enough to knock Ralts completely over, for all the world like a bowling ball striking a pin.

    “Uh... sorry!” Wally called. His Pokémon didn’t stir.

    Combusken, meanwhile, had left Dratini immobile and limp. He didn’t need Rick’s hurried shout to realize what had happened to Ralts--or that Skarmory in the air once more, heading for him. He blasted several Embers into the air, attempting to predict the Steel-type’s pattern, but Skarmory was too quick and too random in his pattern.

    “Steel Wing!” Steven barked.

    His Pokémon dove again, seeking to repeat its maneuver. At the last possible moment, Combusken threw himself into a roll, the attack passing mere inches above his top feathers. By the time he landed on his feet once more, Skarmory was beyond the reach of his fists.

    Steven looked over at Rick, smirked, and lifted his voice. “... Shall we dance?”

    Dive after dive met with the same result; neither Pokemon showed signs of slowing; the Fire-type could never manage to hit his opponent with an Ember. As the seconds became a minute, perhaps two, the crowd started to grow restless.

    “Booooring! I want to see some action!” Gary yelled.

    Steven seemed immune to peer pressure, beckoning for his Pokémon to fly near, and lowering his voice to speak to it quietly. Before Combusken could fire launch another Ember, Skarmory took flight again. Once more, he circled near and dove; once more, the Fire-type rolled; but this time, the bird Pokémon did not correct itself, continuing in free-fall. Its Trainer’s intentions became clear when the full weight of the Steel-type collided forcefully into he back of Combusken’s head. Nothing would have been able to get back up after such a blow.

    Scott waited about ten seconds, just to be sure of it, before yelling into the microphone. “Annnd... we have a winner! Lance and Steven will be advancing to the next round!”

    “Aww... we lost.” Wally scuffed the deck with his shoe. “... I’m sorry. It was all my fault.”

    Rick started to protest, but the words caught in his mouth; he’d never been good at holding back criticism when he felt it was deserved. “They were good. That Steven guy was good, at least. He outsmarted me, easily.”

    “But we’d have had a better chance if I wasn’t so terrible,” the younger boy said quietly. “You don’t have to dance around it. Just... just know, that the next time, I’ll be stronger.” He lifted his chin, a look of determination in his eyes.

    “... I believe it.”

    Lance recalled his Dratini and tossed it towards one of the trumpeters, who’d set down his instrument and rigged up a healing machine, instead. Steven followed suit more leisurely; then, while his partner rushed towards the cameras to strike a pose, he meandered towards the rail again.

    Rick glanced once in the direction of his friends, unable, for the moment, to face Ash’s look of bewilderment or Will’s attempts at sympathy. Instead, he strode along the deck until he stood beside the Trainer who’d beaten him.

    “Good match,” he said, almost aggressively.

    “Thanks.” Steven turned to look at him, lifting an eyebrow slowly. “I didn’t peg you as a good loser. Thought you’d be more like Lance over there.” He nodded towards the cameras.

    “... I guess I usually am,” Rick confessed. “I like to think I’m honest enough to recognize when someone deserves my admiration, though... you were great.”

    “... Thanks,” the older boy repeated. A rare grin slowly spread across his face. “Funny, huh? He’s the one who should be thanking me--but isn’t.”

    “Yeah, well. Your Skarmory was impressive.”

    “I know,” said Steven. “Know why? He can’t evolve. His maximum potential is less than that of, say, your Combusken, but right now, he’s more comfortable with what power he has... your Pokémon is still trying to figure out its own abilities. But unless I’m very wrong, by the time we meet again, you’ll have become much more of a threat...”
    Last edited by Super_Nerd; 21st July 2010 at 2:58 AM.

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    “It’s time for the next round!” Scott announced. “Ash and Gary versus Will and May! The winner of this match will face our current leaders in the final.”

    “We’re going to win this match,” Will murmured as the contestants took their places.

    She looked bemused. “How can you know that? You don’t know anything about how good I am.”

    “You could be the worst Trainer in the world,” he said with a smirk, “And we’d still come out on top, without having to lift a finger. Just look over there...”

    She couldn’t fail to notice what he meant. Ash and Gary were already in heated argument... something about which one of them should stand where. The broader point was the sense of dislike and disunity that seemed to hover between them.

    “Their Pok&#233;mon aren’t any better,” Will explained. “When this battle starts, I’ll have Treecko concentrate on turning them against each other. Whatever you’re using, they should be easy pickings...”

    “Begin!” yelled Scott.

    ___________________


    “C’mon, Pikachu! Show them you’re the best!”

    “Pfft, w’ever. Croconaw, you know you’re WAY better than that dweeb’s rat!”

    “He’s not a rat! He’s Pikachu!”

    “... looks like a rat to me. ‘Bout as strong as one, too.”

    “Why you--”

    “... I see what you meant,” May said, glancing to her partner. “I didn’t think it’d quite so... blatant, though.” Her Pok&#233;mon, a squat blue Mudkip, titled its head in confusion. Croconaw and Pikachu were glaring at each other, not making any move to attack.

    “I’m always right about these things,” said Will with utter lack of modesty. “Treecko, you know what to do! May... have yours just circle around, if you don’t mind; we’ll give it an opening.”

    “Her. But that’s fine with me.”

    Treecko nodded once, sprinting forward. Before Croconaw and Pikachu even realized what was happening, he’d leapt onto the Water-type’s back, beginning his favored Absorb attack.

    Gary, in the midst of insulting someone’s mother, started and glanced over. “Huh!? Wait, what? Hey, get that thing off you, moron!”

    “Pikachu, now’s your time to shine!” Ash cried. “Use Thundershock!”

    “Wait, you idiot...!”

    But it was far too late. Croconaw’s wild swiping hadn’t succeeded in dislodging him, but as soon as he saw the Electric-type charging up its attack, he leapt off, somersaulting and landing neatly on his feet. The Thundershock struck Gary’s Pok&#233;mon forcefully. Combined with the super-effective Absorb, it left Croconaw so weak it could barely stand. Treecko finished the job with a well-timed dash.

    “Look what you did! Moron!” Gary glared at his partner.

    “Pikachu’s good enough to take them /both/ down, no worries!” Ash actually seemed to believe himself. “Charge up another Thundershock!”

    “That’s ineffective on Grass-types, you dunce!”

    “Whatever! Pikachu’s so strong, it won’t even matter!”

    Treecko didn’t make himself easy to hit, resistance or not, making good use of his speed to dodge the electricity again and again--keeping both Ash and his Pok&#233;mon so intent on trying to strike him that Mudkip went completely unnoticed. This proved to be a fatal mistake. Biding its time carefully, the Water-type waited until Pikachu’s form was free of electricity, then pounced, landing a solid tackle. With his attack pattern broken, he was no match for a combined physical assault from Treecko and Mudkip... and soon fainted.

    “The winners of this match--Will and May!” announced Scott. “Now we know who will take the field for our final match... which will take place just as soon as we’ve given the triumphant Pok&#233;mon a quick checkup...!”

    __________________


    Brock was mildly depressed. He’d been chatting up one of the waitresses, and it had been going really well... but when he asked her if she’d want to “take a walk” back to his cabin, she turned him down.

    “I’m afraid I’ll be late for the tournament final,” she explained. “I’ve already missed the first two matches!”

    “... Tournament? What tournament?”

    She giggled. “Why, Mr. Scott’s youth trainer tournament! He issued special invitations to every rising star on the ship!”

    “... I didn’t get one...”

    The girl nodded. “Yeah, well. Who are you, anyway?”

    Brock felt a vein pulsing near his temple. “Only the former Gym Leader of Pewter City! Sure I don’t like battling, but how can anyone have a tournament and not invite a former Gym Leader!?”

    “Well, hmm. You look pretty weak. I can see why someone would forget to invite you...”

    “B-but... okay, that’s enough! I’m going to this Scott guy right now, and I’m gonna demand he let me into this tournament!”

    In a righteous fury, Brock stomped up flights of stairs until he emerged, still fuming, onto the top deck... just in time to see Steven’s Skarmory striking Will’s Treecko so forcefully that, had the former Gym Leader not hit the deck, he’d have been struck in the face.

    “... and we have our champion team!” boomed some guy with green hair and sunglasses. “Steven and Lance are triumphant!”

    Wait... these guys... they beat Ash, Gary, Will, and even Rick?

    Brock swallowed, and muttered, “... on second thought, I’m gonna sit this one out. Wouldn’t want to embarrass myself. You know. Worse than I usually do.”

    _________________


    “There’s just one more thing we need to do today,” said Scott, once a final round of pictures had been taken (eagerly by one member of the winning team, reluctantly by the other). “I designed this tournament to take place in double battles mostly for the sake of saving time. But really, what glory is there in a shared championship?”

    “None!” yelled Ash.

    “That was a rhetorical question,” muttered Will, rubbing his forehead.

    “... a what now?”

    “None!” Scott answered himself, obliviously. “None at all. So we’re going to have one last battle, between the two best Trainers here today. Steven and Lance... take your places!”

    ___________________


    “All right! I was really hoping it’d come to this!” Lance cried. “Now we’ll see who’s the strongest!”

    Steven yawned. “Mmm... why does it matter so much? Didn’t we win by working as a team? Isn’t that something to be proud of!’

    “It’s not enough! I have to know which one of us is better!’

    His former partner didn’t respond, but flicked a hand in vague direction to Skarmory. The Steel-type took to the air once more, out of reach, circling for what, by now, was its familiar diving attack.

    “I thought you’d try that!” Lance said, smirking. “But I used our battles not just to scope out our opponents, but also you! You’re complacent and predictable... Steel Wing won’t work on me! Dratini--Twister!”

    Rick watched in astonishment as the snake-like Pok&#233;mon--which he hadn’t seen do anything too impressive in his own match--twisted its body, over and over again. At first, it appeared to be doing virtually nothing; but a curious green flame flickered at its mouth, and soon--all over its body.

    “Dratini is a Dragon-type!” its owner was crowing. “The most legendary, most powerful kind of Pok&#233;mon in this world! I’m from the Order... a mere Trainer has no chance against me!”

    He jabbed his finger into the air. Dratini uncoiled. The green fire burst into the air, took the form of a whirlwind, materializing in the middle of the arena with such force that wind whippd at the spectators, and that Scott had to clutch his sunglasses to keep them on his face.

    Only one person didn’t seem entirely awed... Steven.

    “Man, you really have something to prove. Are all those in the Dragon Order this insecure, or is it just you?”

    Lance ground his teeth. “You’re one to talk! Look, you’ve yet to give an order--and the Twister is about to blow your Skarmory out of the sky!”

    “I doubt that,” Steven said, yawning. “You see, like all those who insist that they’re using the “strongest type” you’ve forgotten one of the basic rules of battling: there isn’t one. That all Pok&#233;mon are weaker against some and stronger against others. You’re right that Dragons are rare, and few types resist their attacks well, but there’s one that does: Steel.”

    The crowd seemed entranced, which was odd for them. Usually they’d be yelling at him to attack already, but his calm explanation held their attention for whatever reason.

    “I could let that Twister hit Skarmory; it wouldn’t do much. But I’m not even going to do that. Because you’re wrong on another point: that I’m just using the same strategy I’ve been this whole time. Your Dratini’s attack was so flashy that nobody’s been paying him any attention, but he hasn’t just been sitting there. He’s been using Agility, sharply increasing his speed. Look!”

    Everyone obeyed, just in time to see that the bulky Steel-type had, indeed, become much faster without them even noticing. The Twister looked like a Slowpoke in comparison as Skarmory spread his wings and flew himself through the air--and downwards. Dratini didn’t even have time to look up before talons seized him in an iron grip, and the Pok&#233;mon bore it upwards.

    “The last thing you’ve forgotten,” said Steven casually, “is the rule of a double-edged sword. Dragon attacks are, overwhelmingly, most effective on other Dragons.”

    He waved his arm, and Skarmory dropped his prey into the raging Twister. The Dragon-type gave a kind of squeal before its own mystical fire buffeted it to and fro. By the time he hit the ground again, he was unconscious.

    “Steven wins!” Scott yelled into his microphone. “A master’s store of knowledge sets him apart in this duel!”

    Rick’s eyes went, not to the winner, but to Lance. The Dragon-user had clearly been caught completely off-guard by the ease with which he’d been defeated. Red with humiliation, he returned his Pok&#233;mon and, ignoring Steven’s outstretched hand, stormed across the deck and down the stairs.

    “What are you smirking at?” Will asked him a moment later.

    “Nothing. Just... that’s one smart Trainer,” he answered, nodding towards the victor. “I’m gonna look forward to battling him again. Finally... someone I’m not sure if I can win against.”
    Last edited by Super_Nerd; 27th July 2010 at 10:33 PM.

  24. #49
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

    Scott, as it turned out, was just as obsessed with Trainers as Rick had guessed he’d be.

    Every one of the eight participants in the tournament, with one exception was subjected to what seemed to be an endless series of pictures with the tycoon himself, as a group and individually; they were given only the brief explanation that “the dining hall could use some better decoration.” The exception was Lance; not even the security detail had been able to find him after he’d fled the scene of his defeat.

    Next, they were dragged over to the studio Scott had used to make his initial annoucement of the contest, told they’d shortly be interviewed by the PBN, and left alone, at least for few minutes. To pass the time, they were able to listen to Brock’s indignant attempts to argue with the guards outside the door, who were firmly refusing to let him in.

    “Sheesh, this Scott guy is really in to publicity,” Rick complained.

    He sat in a corner seat, next to Will, who, oddly enough, seemed the most talkative person in the room. Steven was dozing, Ash and Gary were glaring silently at each other; Wally and May were exchanging anecdotes about their professor relatives. Rick had expected his friend to interrupt that, but either he was trying to be subtle or didn’t see Elm’s nephew as any kind of threat.

    Which is probably a fair assumption.

    “He does.”

    “I guess he really wants Pokémon fans to visit the ship and buy his company’s stuff.”

    “That’s true...” Will trailed off, looking thoughtful.

    “... What?”

    “I think there’s more to it,” the boy said slowly. “I don’t know how much attention you pay to politics...”

    Rick rolled his eyes. “Like everyone else. Very little.”

    Will smirked faintly. “Naturally. Anyway, the election is coming up in just a month, and it’s going to be... interesting, this time.”

    Dim memories of the school days he’d often slept through tugged at his memory. “It’s what... the sixth ‘modern’ one? And all the ones up ‘til now were just blowouts.”

    “That’s right. The Libertarians have had free reign since the formation of the current government. I’m sure you can guess why... everyone can. But that’s changing, now. Look at the elections to the House two years ago.”

    “You look at ‘em... nobody bothered to vote, because it doesn’t matter.”

    “Well, not nobody. But near enough--five percent. But something very interesting happened in those elections; the Federalists gained a few seats. Oh, not enough to matter--the Libs still have a super-majority--but it’s never happened before now. I don’t know if it’s a flash in the pan or a trend... but the presidential one, coming up, might tell us.”

    Rick scratched his neck. “You think the Fed guy has a chance?”

    Will nodded slowly. “I do. The Libertarian Party has gotten complacent. They’ve interpreted what happened two years ago as a defeat for their rivals, not a threat to their monopoly. And, this year, they’ve made the ultimate mistake.”

    “... Which is?”

    “They’re running a non-Trainer as their candidate.”

    “Er... why’s that such a bad move?”

    Before Will could answer, the door burst open. Without warning, Scott and a PBN crew flooded into the studio. Before the contestants realized what was happening, they’d been carted off into individual waiting rooms, to be dragged before the camera and Jim, the reporter, one by one.

    ________________


    Luckily for Rick’s sanity throughout the endeavor, his room was equipped with a T.V. streaming the footage from each interview.

    “How do you feel about putting on such a terrible preformance?” was the first question thrown at Ash.

    His answer, in a tone of choking indignation: “It wasn’t my fault! That dumb Gary wouldn’t get his Pokémon out of the way!”

    Gary’s response to the same: “You can see what happened; his Pikachu attacked my poor Crocanaw. You ask me, I think he just couldn’t handle the idea of me winning the tournament.”

    “Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps the most dysfunctional team in tournament history,” Jim explained after both parties had left. “A prime example of what not to do.”

    Rick’s turn came next; he squared his shoulders and emerged to field questions ranging from what Wally had been like back in Hoenn, to his opinion on the latest Boswroth Industries product he’d never heard of. There was only one that remained with him afterwards.

    “What’s your goal for your future career?”

    He sat straighter, unconsciously, facing the camera directly. “To beat everyone who’s strong--Gym Leaders, and Trainers like Steven--until I’m the best there is.”

    Then he was back in his room, half-dozing through Wally and Will’s sessions; he knew them well enough to predict what they’d say, no matter the question. May’s was little better; she sounded pretty boring, helping her father with all his research and... whatever. He wasn’t quite sure what had attracted his friend to her so much; he just knew she wasn’t his type.

    But he opened his eyes and leaned forward when Jim announced the final interview “due to our inability to get in touch with Mr. Lance.”

    Steven slouched as he sat, the collar of his shirt undone. It evidently wasn’t the first time he’d been subjected to media attention; there was no trace of nervousness or over-excitement in his expression, as there had been on almost all the other faces before his. And...

    “I’ll answer the ones you’re about to ask,” he stated, before Jim had a chance to so much as open his mouth. “I’m Steven Stone. Yes, Stone as in the CEO of Devon Corporation--his son, rather. No, I’m not that close with my dad. Yes, he was always too busy to pay me much attention. Yes, I got in to battling because I had no desire to work for the company; yeah, it’s what he wanted me to do; yeah, he gave me my first Pokémon, and he supports me--in the sense that he wants to cash in on his son in ads for Devon. No... I won’t be doing one of those, anytime soon. Now, if you’ve got anything halfway original to ask, I’ll answer that.”

    “Uh...” was all the reporter could manage.

    Back in his room, Rick laughed aloud.

    _____________


    The interviews turned out to be worth it--at least in Rick’s not-so-humble opinion--for one reason: Scott threw an enormous party afterwards. Anyone and everyone was invited--quite literally; the S.S. Anne, at least for a few hours, was open to every passerby who wanted to climb aboard. The staff, used to dealing with the cream of society, were not pleased... though they brightened considerably when the tycoon made it known they’d be receiving triple their normal wages for the duration.

    And parties meant two things: lots to drink, and lots of girls. This was the Rick in its natural habitat. Granted, he’d have done better if he’d actually been the tournament winner--but was content enough picking up those females who broke against the ice of Steven’s silence and came back on the prowl. Many trips to darkened corners of the deck ensued.

    In-between, he amused himself watching Brock and Gary trying and failing to do the same thing... and wondered where Will was. He really needed to give that kid some advice. Leaving May alone at a party full of guys... bad move, bad move.

    “I see you’re temporarily not dragging some poor girl out of the crowd,” someone said near his ear. Rick jumped slightly, turning to see Steven, standing behind him with a smirk.

    “Oh... have I been that obvious?”

    “Yes, and we both know it. Advertising what you’re doing so interested parties can seek you out. Don’t worry, they’re seeing it.”

    “Only thanks to you,” Rick grinned. “They wouldn’t look twice at me if you were putting yourself out there. But I’m fine with second on the list.”

    “... Are you?”

    Something in Steven’s expression made Rick pause, lifting an eyebrow. “... What?”

    “Oh, nothing. I wanted to learn something about you. I’ve learned it.”

    The Steel-user walked away, leaving one particularly mystified boy in his wake.

    ________________


    Will leaned on the rail, unconsciously mirroring the tournament’s champion. Behind him, the party went on. Once in a while, he turned to look in disgust at Rick’s antics. He didn’t want to admit that most of the feeling was aimed at himself... for not having the courage to so much as talk to May.

    It was on once such occasion that his roving gaze happened to light on someone else, a few yards down the deck, at a different part of the rail. He stood very still, unable to believe who he was seeing... and the next thing he knew, he was at the man’s side.

    “Sir...?”

    The man turned to look at him. Under the shade of an old-fashioned hat’s brim, Will saw a famous face... an knew he hadn’t been mistaken.

    “May I help you?” said the Federalist candidate for president, George Carini.

    The boy was struck dumb for a long moment. Eventually he recovered enough to croak, “Sorry to bother you, Mr. Carini... I just saw you and...”

    The man smiled warmly, placing a hand on Will’s shoulder. “Call me George, please. And there’s no need to apologize. I’m a politician, you know. We feast off the autographs and the pausing for pictures with little old ladies.”

    The voice was everything it had been in the ads--friendly in a way that made you want to confess your deepest secrets to this man you’d never met before. It was charisma, to an extent that was rarely seen or rivaled, even in government.

    “Don’t you have better things to do than show up at some party on a cruise ship?” was all Will could come up with next.

    Carini grinned. It was an infectious expression; he made it feel as if there was some grand joke only the two of them were in on. “In truth, yes, but one needs a break from the campaign trail once in a while. I heard about this, same as anyone, and thought I’d drop by. Left my bodyguards outside--they’re not happy, but I’m perfectly safe, with my friends here.” He patted the Pokéballs at his belt.

    “You don’t need to campaign, Mr. Car--George,” said the boy with sudden assurance. “You’re going to win the election, all the same.”

    The politician lifted an eyebrow, chuckling. “I’ve got scores of pollsters and analysts working for me, and none of them feel confident enough to tell me that. You’ll have to explain how you’re so sure...”

    “It’s got nothing to do with issues or anti-establishment feeling or any of the things they’d actually look at,” Will answered slowly. “But it’s really very simple. You’re a trainer; Neilson’s not. Nobody cares about politics--no offense--but it’s true. What people care about, here, is Pokémon. You’ve got this in the bag; he can’t fight on your terms. Don’t run ads about the issues; people don’t care about the issues. Just vauge statements about improving thinks... only make sure there’s one of your Pokémon in every shot that counts. Make people feel that, hey, George is just like you and me... I can vote for a guy like that, I’d have him over for a beer, any day.”

    Carini brought his hands together in a single, sharp clap, smiling broadly. “How old are you, kid? And--oh, that’s rude of me--what’s your name?”

    “Will... and, sixteen.”

    “You’ve just seen what nobody in government or politics has even thought of. My hat’s off to you.” Apparently he met it literally, sweeping the object from his head briefly. Will had time to glimpse the pale baldness beneath before it was replaced.

    “Say...” Carini spoke slowly, as if still considering what he was saying. “Do you want a job on my staff, Will?”

    The boy started. “Huh? You don’t mean...”

    “Oh, I’m completely serious. The election’s very soon, you know. We can always use an extra hand around the offices. The work’s not glamarous, but if I win, I can secure jobs in government for my supporters... you’re too young for anything too important, but there’s no restriction or age limit on my team of advisors. You’re a smart boy. I could use your opinion.”

    Will stood still and silent, for a very long time. It was difficult to realize what he was feeling, until he suddenly stumbled across it: This is what I want. He’d agreed to Oak’s request for a combination of reasons, all good ones, but the research wasn’t his passion... not the way this would be.

    And because he wanted more than anything in the world to accept, he knew what his answer would have to be.

    “... I’m sorry, Mr. Carini,” he said, voice stiffly formal. “I can’t accept. Not yet.”

    The politician seemed taken aback. “... What do you mean?”

    “I promised Professor Oak,” Will explained, “that I’d do something for him. Oh, I don’t mean that I don’t know he’d release me of any burden if I only asked--but you see, it’s my cousin. Ash. I agreed to it mostly to keep an eye on him, and I don’t think he’s ready to go it alone. At least for now... that’s why I say, not yet. I want to say yes, very badly, but now’s not the time... not until I feel as if I’m not abandoning my.... friends.”

    Carini lifted an eyebrow, disbelief briefly flashing into his expression, though he soon smiled once more. “I understand entirely. The offer will remain open indefinately; whenever you want to have a hand in changing Kanto for the better, come and find me.”

    “Thank you, sir. I’d wish you good luck... but when you win, it won’t have been luck.”

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Kanto
    Posts
    71

    Default

        Spoiler:- OOC stuff!:


    “What do you mean, you’re skipping the Gym?” Ash’s face looked as if someone had just informed him that his mother had died.

    Rick, far less concerned, scratched his chin. “Part of being an amazing battler is knowing when you shouldn’t even try. Lt. Surge is so far out of any of our leagues right now, it’s not funny. His Raichu’s a final stage; it’s much stronger than anything we have, outside of Gyarados... and he’s not doing much besides rolling over and dying, with his typing. I’d rather move on and come back when I’ve had a chance to do some more training.”

    The younger boy set his jaw. “I can’t believe you’d all just give up. I don’t care how good you all think that guy is... nobody thought I could win at the Pewter Gym, did they!?”

    “That’s because you didn’t, actually,” Will said, but his cousin was in no mood to hear him.

    “We have to at least try, “ Ash insisted. “And if you’re all afraid, fine! I’m gonna go in there and battle him! What’s the worst that could happen?”

    ______________


    The Gym assistant, a distinguished-looking elderly man, did double-take upon seeing the four walk inside. His expression went from shock to worry in the space of a few moments, and he rushed over, speaking in a low voice.

    “Get out of here! Don’t you know what you’re playing with, walking in here?”

    “Sure I do!” said Ash, several hundred decibels louder. “I’m gonna challenge--”

    “Shut up, for Arceus’ sake!” the old man hissed, so fervently that the boy actually did, for once. “Where do you think you are?”

    The entire... feel of this place was all wrong. Rick leaned forward, interested, whispering a question. “It looks like a Gym, to me. What’s with all this...?”

    The old man drew back, sounding incredulous. “What, haven’t you noticed anything odd about this place, yet?”

    “Besides you--” started Brock, but he was interrupted by Will, who lifted a finger. “I knew it,” he said slowly. “Or, I thought something weird was going on... usually, there’s a lot of talk about Gyms, but people here don’t seem to bring it up, ever.” He looked at the assistant. “Why is that?”

    But he never got an answer. At that moment, a back door burst open, pushed with such force that it slammed into the opposite wall. An enormous man stomped into the room, dressed in faded camouflage pants and an undershirt. Sunglasses hid his eyes, making the true nature of the grin across his face difficult to decipher.

    “I heard someone wants to challenge me!” he boomed, his voice just as loud as they’d expected it’d be.

    “Yeah, I sure do!” cried Ash, ignoring the look of horror on the old man’s face. He followed blithely in Surge’s wake as the Gym Leader beckoned him towards the other room, into what was presumably the arena. Brock followed swiftly, with the air of a protective mother.

    Rick and Will exchanged glances, then looked to the assistant.

    “What’s going to...?”

    He cut them off, shaking his head mournfully and walking towards the open door as well. “.... You’ll see. But you won’t be able to say I didn’t warn your friend.”

    ________________


    “You’re a fool to come here, kid,” Lt. Surge called, surveying the arena below them from his platform on the far side. “I’m more powerful than anything you can imagine. You should follow the example of those other wimpy Trainers, and just not try!”

    Ash gritted his teeth. “I’m not a wimp! Me and Pikachu can take down anyone!”

    The Gym Leader threw back his head and laughed. It wasn’t a pleasant sound, harsh and challenging more than amused. “You think so, huh? That’s rich... just rich. Throw down, kid... let’s see what you’re made of!”

    “You’ve got this, Pikachu,” the boy whispered, as his Pokémon scampered into the arena. He didn’t like the way Surge was eyeing him... like he was merely prey.

    “Bring it down--Raichu!”

    Ash gasped as the Leader’s Pokéball opened to reveal something that looked an awfully lot like his Pikachu, only bigger... way bigger. Surge’s Raichu was also a deeper shade than most, and scars could be seen all along its body.

    Rick and Will, in the stands, exchanged glances yet again. None of this was looking good.

    “That’s right!” Surge crowed. “Raichu is the evolved form of Pikachu! You think you can beat me with a weaker version of my own Pokémon? Not gonna happen!”

    “I can still try!” Ash protested, but the Leader didn’t intend to give him a chance, bellowing, “Thunder!” His Raichu crouched for a moment, electricity building up in its body, to the point that the boy could feel the hairs on his arm standing on end.

    Pikachu gulped and started to back away.

    “Don’t Electric-types resist their own attacks?” Will muttered.

    “With this much of a power gap, I don’t think it’ll matter,” Rick replied quietly. “Poor little guy...”

    Surge’s Pokémon abruptly stood, and all the power it’d been accumulating burst from it, almost too fast for the humans’ eyes to follow. Several bolts of lightning arced into the sky, then began to rain down upon the unfortunate Pikachu. He did his best to dodge, but the attack was moving so swiftly that this was practically impossible. Many of the bolts scored direct hits, leaving the small Pokémon reeling, barely able to keep its footing.

    “Mega Punch!” the Leader yelled.

    Raichu sprang forward, and before its opponent had even regained his balance, jabbed sharply between its eyes with one fist. Pikachu let out a tiny squeal and toppled over, not moving.

    “That took about thirty seconds,” Rick said, making to stand. “I wonder--”

    “Wait!” Will cried, catching at his arm. “Look!”

    Raichu hadn’t let up. Even though its foe was in no state to hit back, it didn’t stop pummeling him with a flurry of punches and kicks. Ash gasped, utterly dumbfounded.

    “Hey, you won already! Stop it! You’re hurting Pikachu!”

    Surge ignored him completely, jabbing a finger towards the one-sided brawl... and laughing again. This time, there was no doubt of it; the sound was utterly joyless. In light of what was happening, this was fairly scary. He made no move to control his Pokémon.

    Brock set his teeth, hurling a Pokéball out into the arena. His Onix burst forth, scything tail catching the Raichu a heavy blow that knocked it back. “Call Pikachu back, Ash!” the former Leader yelled. “This guy’s crazy. We’re getting outta here.”

    The elderly assistant, meanwhile, had frowned deeply, then started rushing up the stairs towards Surge. As soon as he got close enough, he took the man by the shoulders and started shaking him, yelling hoarsely, “Let up, sir! Please!”

    “Unhand me, Simmons!” Surge barked. “I fight my own way!”

    His assistant hung on grimly. “It’s just a match, sir...”

    The Gym Leader stiffened at that, and stood very still for a long moment. Then, with the barest movement of his arm, he brushed the older man aside; slowly, he reached for the Pokéball at his belt and returned his Raichu, still dazed from Onix’s attack.

    Everyone was looking at him as he spoke, eyes still hidden by the sunglasses, voice sounding very tired. “It’s not a game, this. Raichu saved my life in the War... we’ll never forget it, either of us, or what we learned there. Never let up. Never stop fighting until your enemy’s finished. They call it battling for a reason. Until you learn it, don’t let me see you in here again.”

    Surge turned his back on them all, and walked out.

    __________________


    “... I don’t understand...”

    Ash sat with his head in his hands, on the steps outside the Vermilion Pokémon Center. The nurses inside had told him it might be several hours before Pikachu was fully healed, but nothing his friends said could convince him to give up his vigil.

    “What kind of match was that?” the boy asked, lip trembling.

    “He told us, back there,” Rick pointed out. “He doesn’t believe in holding back, I guess. Well, this explains why the town’s ashamed to talk about it... no other Gym Leaders get quite so carried away, from what I’ve heard.”

    “... but why?”

    “He told us that, too,” Will muttered. “The war...”

    Ash looked to his cousin in confusion. “What war? They didn’t teach us anything ‘bout it in school... I think. Maybe I skipped that day.”

    “No... there wouldn’t have been a day for it. There’s actually a law... it can’t be part of any curriculum... and most parents don’t go out of their way to bring it up, either.”

    “Norman did,” said Rick slowly. “He was just young enough to avoid being caught in all of it... thank Arceus... but... well, I had an uncle, once, before I was born.”

    “My dad wasn’t so lucky,” Brock commented, but didn’t volunteer any further information.

    “It’s wrong of them to cover it up,” Will stated firmly, “even if they had good intentions. A fresh start was a noble ideal... but without knowledge of the past, how can we avoid repeating it in the future? And it’s government policy to not recognize the war, so they can’t very well spend anything on veterans, even though...”

    The boy cut himself off, standing abruptly. “Now I know why Surge acts the way he does. I have to go find someone...” He glanced over his shoulder to Ash, offering a rare grin. “Don’t win that badge before I’m back, mind...”

    “... Win?” the younger cousin asked in surprise, as Will walked away without a further word of explanation. “Pikachu and I have no chance against that...”

    “Nonsense,” Rick said. He didn’t know what his friend was getting up to, but he knew what he could do to help. “Once they’re done with Pikachu, you and I are going to train so hard, taking down his Raichu will be a piece of cake, all right?”

    As Ash perked up, he stepped over to Brock and muttered, “As for you... see if that assistant, Simmons, is willing to talk any. He might be able to give us some clue as to what’s up with his boss.”

    Lifting his voice, he added, “Don’t worry... we’ll take Surge down a notch, together!”

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •