I don't really feel up to a longer review (sorry), but I'll make a few points before sitting back and waiting for the 300-Post-Surprise.
I haven’t run the deadline with papers churned out in their entirety the night before they’re due what are you talking about?
No pressure!"You don't know, do you?" Steven asked. "So if you faced the ixodida alone at this point, they would be guaranteed a victory in whatever it is they're planning. If the empress herself is so keen on finding you, then that could mean one of two things. First, it could mean that you're strategically vital to the ixodida, and if that's the case, then your capture would mean that losing you would put humanity in jeopardy. Second, it could mean that you're a threat to the ixodida, and if that's the case, then your death would mean humanity would lose a powerful weapon."
Didn’t notice until I was commenting, but there’s an extra space between “the” and “creature”.Another screeching growl tore out of the behemoth as it turned on its side. Its arms began to glow a bright, angry red while the rest of it spun like a wheel towards its target. The distance between the two closed rapidly, far too quickly for Bill to realize the creature was heading straight for him, and in no time at all, it slammed into his back and tore him off his feet.
I must say I’m not entirely clear on just how/why Bill managed to use Meteor Mash here. I mean, I guess he’s mad enough to punch, but it still seems a bit abrupt that he would use this particular move rather than trying something else. The later moves make more sense as by that point he’s fully agreed to train and is on some level consciously focusing on upgrading and combining his moves into new ones, but here it seems almost too fast a jump. Maybe this could be cleared up a bit?The behemoth moved, gliding inches above the sand to hover beside its master. Bill took this as a sign that something was about to happen, and as such, he shifted his feet and held up his arms in a fighting stance. However, an attack never came. Steven simply placed a hand on his pokémon's side and kept his blue-gray eyes on it.
"You're making this harder than it has to be," Steven said. "It's no wonder Lanette's gotten frustrated."
At the sound of her name, Bill dropped his guard ever so slightly. His expression faltered, and his eyes shifted away from his opponents and back to them in seconds.
"Lanette is a fascinating young woman," Steven continued. "I knew about her already, of course, what with her being responsible for our storage system, but I never knew how strong or incredible she can be until she felt comfortable to confide in me." He stopped briefly. "Oh. And Tate has been eavesdropping on your sister's thoughts since he met her. I hope you realize that."
Abruptly, Steven heard a drawn-out battle scream from his companion. Shifting his gaze, he saw the steel-type ixodida dive at him with a fist raised and glowing gold. Metagross quickly lifted an arm, clipping Bill neatly in the stomach before he could so much as graze the champion's face. Steven continued to stand perfectly still as he watched the ixodida get winded from the clip and end up on his back on the sand. Bill kept his fist raised above him for a few seconds as the golden light that enveloped his arm fizzled away in tiny sparks and stars. Then, it dropped to his side as he curled up and gasped for breath like a fish.
"Apparently," Steven said as he quirked an eyebrow, "you're the kind of person who learns best when he lets his emotions become a factor. But congratulations on learning Meteor Mash. Now all we need to do is teach you how to use it when you're not experiencing overwhelming rage, and we can move on to the next one."
Bill grumbled into the sandy bank in response.
I do, however, like the way you describe learning moves as refining aspects of similar moves.
This is certainly a new side of Veronica. Interestingly, it doesn’t seem out of her established character – just a side she probably hasn’t been able to express in quite some time. The transition might need to be slowed down a bit (as Butler suggested), but I just had to comment that despite what we’ve seen from her, I can still see her acting like this as well."I don't doubt our ability to handle the ixodida, one way or another," Lanette replied.
"Really? Then you are worried about the champions!" Veronica elbowed Lanette in the ribs. "C'mon! Spill it! Oh gods, tell me you're into one of them!"
"Don't be absurd," Lanette responded, a little too quickly.
"You do! Oh my gods, this is beautiful! C'mon! You can tell me! Which one is it? Wallace? No, far too flamboyant for you. It's Steven, isn't it? The strong stoic type? I can see the two of—"
Poor Thom – no respect, always amusing."And Thom?"
"He's an idiot who follows us everywhere. What about him?"
Unlike Tracey, who was mentioned and then appeared again just as I was beginning to think “hey, we haven’t heard from Tracey in a while” I honestly had forgotten about Domino until just this moment. This isn’t to say that I was confused by her appearance – I remembered as soon as I saw her name – but her reappearance was genuinely a surprise.When the screams died down, Domino lifted her head. Her gloved hand clutched Professor Nettle's PDA tightly, and for a long time, the only sound she heard was the quiet beeping of its tracking program. Taking a deep breath, she continued down the path and fixed her eyes on the screen of the device once more.
Not exactly your traditional 80s montage.Bill shook his head and kept his eyes to the ground. "Steven, this isn't working. I just don't think I'm ready for that move."
Steven sighed. "Fine. Metagross, kill him."
That got Bill's attention, and right away, he snapped his head towards the champion. "What?!"
Just her personality, or a hint at her backstory?"Yes, sir." He raised the radio to his mouth. "Director, there's one other thing."
"What could possibly make this better?"
"There's a camp of human survivors on Route 119, not far from the calculated point of congregation."
"A camp of how many?"
"Eight or nine. They've been traveling our way for days now. Probably heading to Lilycove. There's a kid with them too. A young one."
Stark gave him one other hard look. Then, without warning, she snatched the radio from his hand and switched it on.
As much as Bill needs this training, he’s got a point about the timing. Just how used to training-while-the-enemy-is-bearing-down is Steven?Glancing upwards, Bill eyed Skarmory's position as he stood. "Look, Steven, we don't have much time. I've learned two moves already, and I can sense that the ixodida are almost here. We need to come up with a strategy."
"We?" Steven chuckled. "I'm fine on my own, thank you. I have five good pokémon left. I've defeated trainers far more competent than you with exactly that number."
Instantly, the expression on Bill's face shifted. He turned his head away from Steven slightly and gave the champion a sideways glance. "Steven, I just don't think this is the right time—"
But apparently you care enough to know that the ridiculous half exists."Let's make a few things clear. First, I don't care about my reputation because half of it is ridiculous.
You know, I just realized something. Most of the stories I’ve seen with someone possessed by something have the regular or goofy guy (i.e. Bill) possessed by a badass or a troll (i.e Adam). Or a nerd possessed by a kind of dorky demon in Ghostbusters. I haven’t seen very many where a cool (probably worried about their reputation) character is possessed by a clown."My gods. I'm an idiot," he mumbled.
Well, yes, but you may take comfort in the fact that you have yet to embarrass us completely.
"I was wondering why you were so quiet," Bill muttered under his breath. "Entertained?"
The next rogue?
All the more reason for the Caravan to keep whatever it took and see what Team Rocket’s up to! When there’s time, of course. Unless Lanette’s idea of a good time to snoop is the same as Steven’s idea about a good time to train.Domino chuckled and took a step back. "Oh! Right! Small world, isn't it? You're not going to do anything to harmless little me, right? I'm just here because that little cutie pie on your shoulder took something of mine."
I like the bit of Adam’s smug personality evident in this quote – and maybe a bit of exasperation as well.Pandora lifted her head. "I am and always will be. My loyalty to Her Majesty is limitless, and it is my pleasure to serve her through my wisdom and abilities."
Long-winded as ever. I know this creature. Bill, you must tell her to deliver a message to her empress.
This is why you read the fine print before signing the agreement, Bill!I do not doubt that, Adam responded. Bill, repeat after me. Ready?
He nodded slowly. "I am."
To the empress, I give you a warning.
Lifting his chin, Bill announced, "To the empress, I give you a warning."
For it is true that my partner was a member of the Gray Rebellion.
"For it is true that my partner was a member of the Gray Rebellion."
And against the Violet Throne…
"And against the Violet Throne…"
Presided over by the daughter of the dual suns…
"Presided over by the daughter of the dual suns…"
Just as we have on our home moon…
"Just as we have on our home moon…"
We do indeed declare war.
"We do indeed declare war." He paused for a beat to think about what he had just said. When it finally sank in, he snapped a glance to the side. "Wait, what?!"
This line somehow sums up almost the whole fic. I’m starting to wonder if Bill will be able to have a single decision that he has full information about before choosing a response. Of course, knowing this story, it’d probably be a choice between “horrific fate A” and “horrific fate B” . . .Steven swiveled his head towards his companion. "Bill, what are you doing?!"
"I don't know!" Bill hissed in response.
Ash Ketchum in alien-land? *tries to imagine this*BUT ASH ISN'T IN THIS FIC, SO WHO CARES ABOUT HIM?
(Well, you will in the next book, but that's beside the point.)
Well, my response ended up longer than I thought it would, so here you go!