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Thread: Power (PG-15)

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    Hi there. I have come from another Pokemon community in search of critique and praise alike, in order to better myself as a writer. I hope you enjoy this story. If non-action fanfiction isn't quite your cup of tea, I suggest that you not read this story.

    Also, if you are planning to comment on the story, I suggest you comment by chapter. There's a lot to read.


    This fanfiction is dedicated to no one. Through my words, I present the crux of my beliefs and ideas and leave them open to anyone who wishes to be enlightened.

    Table of Contents
    Note: Not all chapters displayed are posted.

    Chapter 1 - Ideologies of a Demagogue
    Chapter 2 - I Learn How to Write
    Chapter 3 - Disastrous News and the Invisible Monster
    Chapter 4 - I Listen to a Story
    Chapter 5 - How Objectivity Pertains to Legendary Creatures
    Chapter 6 - I Escape the City
    Chapter 7 - First Mission: Introduction to Life
    Chapter 8 - I Make a Friend
    Chapter 9 - The Ideology of a Flagrant Consumerist
    Chapter 10 - I Do Not Like This World
    Chapter 11 - Second Mission : The Town of Innocence and Disease

    Prologue

    Helo.

    This my firs time writng.

    I m going to writ about th things that th big man says. I m going to do this so that I can rember everything that he tels me.

    The big man say that I m being branewashd. He say that I m a mindles human with no personality and no emoton. He say that this is not good. I do not understand what he is teling me. I do not understand what good means.

    The big man say that I can sav the world. He say that the world is in danger. He say it is filed with coruption, opression, war, and death. He say that I will becom a hero and I will save th world if I let him teach me things. I do not understand th big man. He can not seem to explain to me what th words corruption, opression, war, and death mean. He also can not explain to me what hero means.

    Th big man say that I m being treated in a bad way. He say that I m a human, but I m a slave. He say that I m a beast and a brute. He say that I hav been twisted into the shap of a hideous monster.

    I do not know what monster is.

    Chapter 1 - Ideologies of a Demagogue

    Her demeanor was menacing. Possessing a grim face marked with icy gray eyes, horridly pale skin, and vicious chapped lips, the morose looking girl stood at the front desk of the county library. The way she tilted her eyebrows would make any commoner’s spine tingle. The young fled from her, the old shunned her. The casual adventurer would try to avoid her, and the nobles would sneer at her. There was something in her eyes, something in her face, which told everyone that she did not want company, and she did not need company.

    There were only two things that made the seventeen year old girl somewhat bearable: Her figure and her hair. Seemingly out of place, her smooth, straight, silky brown hair rolled down her shoulders and stopped just shy of her slim waist. Her hair shone whenever she was under a light, which was common, since she worked in the library every day. She wore a leather black trench coat and black leather gloves, along with black leather boots. Her boots weren’t high-heels. She didn’t wear makeup. She seldom smiled.

    A chubby young boy named Robert, roughly eleven years old, skipped through the library doors. Eager to research on his new biology project, but still fairly new to the library, Robert headed straight for the front office. As he neared the front office, though, he began to wind down, and by the time he reached the girl’s desk, the joyful boy’s face had turned into a gloomy one.

    The girl sighed, rolling her eyes. “What do you need this time? Do you plan on checking out the whole shelf of biology books?”

    “Uh-” The stout, freckled, and red haired figure hesitated at first, remembering the last time he visited; Robert had checked out twelve chemistry books because he couldn’t decide which ones to read first. The pump boy’s glasses drooped, but he quickly pushed them back up with a stubby finger. He sniffed. “As a matter of fact, I do plan on checking out some biology books today. Can you please show me to the section on creatures-”

    “Hold on a second.” The girl quickly typed some numbers onto her keyboard and scanned the screen. Her apathetic tone pierced Robert’s skin. “You still have fines. Three of the chemistry books that you checked out were turned in a week after they were due. You owe us 150 leptons.”

    Robert replied, crestfallen. “Um… well, I don’t really have any money at the moment… I totally forgot about that one time...” The distressed boy trailed off and looked into the girl’s eyes, hoping for some mercy. He began to plead. “Please, I need those biology books as soon as possible so that I can start on my research project for school. It’s about creatures - I’m studying the habitats of the creatures near the Ghost Town-”

    What?” The girl suddenly looked up from the computer screen and swiftly glared at the boy with rage and contempt. “You honestly think you can study creatures that you cannot even see with those pathetic little eyes of yours?” she uttered in a menacing tone. After a pause, she curtly pointed towards the doors the Robert came from. “Get out. The library closes in fifteen minutes, and the library is also closed all day tomorrow. Sorry kid, but you can’t get your books. Now hurry; get out. What, do you think I’m joking?”

    By now, a couple of readers had looked up and few people were gathering at the front desk. But in a few seconds, the distraught Robert had already run out the double doors, blubbering and muttering something about never coming back. The girl, her face now somewhat colored with anger, swiftly swiveled her head, encountering numerous awkward glances and stares from several of the people there. The girl shoved out her temporary feelings of embarrassment and fury and began to get ready to close for the night.

    Her name was Sophia.

    The name meant wisdom.

    The world was nearing a tipping point. It had been nearly two centuries since the destruction of human civilization. The destruction, caused by a foolish creature tamer and his legendary creature, left little for the survivors of the apocalypse to work with. Despite this, governments formed, rules were established, and technological innovation flourished. Sadly though, a new worldwide trend of "Metropolis" centers had started plaguing the world. These centers, headed by the "Officials", used mechanized, emotionless humans to build up and protect the Metropolis. These Metropolis centers praised the idea of manipulating legendary creatures for the sake of the development of the human species. A minority group, which included Sophia, was worried that this may bring about a second Armageddon. The librarian dedicated herself to learning about the histories of the past, as well as keeping up with the current events around her, in order to help prevent the capture of these sacred creatures.

    “Knowledge is power,” she uttered, as she always did while exiting the library. The pale Sophia turned around to face the double doors and locked them up, when two hands suddenly grabbed her shoulders. She nearly jumped, but she managed to bottle up her surprise.

    “Knowledge may be power, but power corrupts.” The two firm hands turned her around so that Sophia stared at a rugged but nicely dressed man.

    Sophia knowingly glanced at him, shrugging off his hands. “Let me guess. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely?” She rolled her eyes.

    “Nope, not quite,” the man replied, chuckling. “There’s no such thing as absolute corruption.” The man’s jet black eyes flashed along with his black hair and his shining white teeth. He rubbed his hands together. “Whoo, its pretty cold out here. I figured an overcoat would keep me warm, but I’m still freezing!”

    Sophia dodged his comment, looking away and staring out into the street, which was lined with metal rails. It was nighttime in the large, urban city. A damp, dreary, and cloudy night hung over the gray skyscrapers, enveloping the city. Old style light posts illuminated the daft haze that surrounded its streets. Pedestrians and beggars, most in coats, with downcast faces, lined the sidewalks, a distant mumble in the pale girl’s ears. A few cars, their metal wheels attached to the icy rails, presented themselves out on the road at this time of the night, their presence sparse as the cheeriness of the dull urban sect. Sirens could be heard in the distance. A night club across the street was booming some kind of hip-hop music, music that was likely as vulgar as the people who were moving to its rhythm.

    “Hey, Sophie? You there?”

    Sophia quickly turned her head around again. “Ah, sorry. I just spaced out, that’s all,” she murmured sheepishly as the two teenagers began to head home.

    The man’s name was Eugene. Sophia had been in the same class with him ever since she had moved in a year ago. Eugene was quite the character. He had come from a long line of prominent creature-tamers. He owned a few hundred creatures and always kept a few with him, under his belt. But Eugene wasn't just fortunate. He was also a walking encyclopedia, which was what primarily drew Sophia’s interest when they met. Over time, the two became close friends. Eugene would occasionally do something really nice for her, like offer an umbrella on a stormy night, or donate a book to her vast collection of documentaries and novels. Admiring his intellectuality and kindness, Sophia began to have fleeting moments of attraction towards him. It was silently established that they had somewhat of an innocent affection for each other. Despite this, there was still tension. A deep scar ran between them on many particular issues, none of which either were too comfortable talking about.

    “So…” Eugene began. “How’s your uh… ghost thing doing?”

    “You mean Nightmare?” Sophia half-mumbled, half-inquired.

    “Uh, yeah… Gee, you give your creatures really weird nicknames.”

    The pale girl gave Eugene a peculiar look. “Come on, Eugene, does he really creep you out that much?” Sophia pulled a shining, glossy orb out of her pocket. The cold steel was painted red and white, with some of the white paint chipped off.

    Eugene flinched. “Uh, kind of. I mean, I know a lot about that cursed species and its sinister past. It’s not a pretty creature. Not only does it require special visual lenses to see, but it also freaks the hell out of me every time I do see it with those visual aids!”

    “Oh…” Sophia’s hair reflected the luminosity of a street light as the two passed by its faint glow. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

    Eugene quickly changed the topic. “Well, I hope that your part-time job at the library wasn’t too frustrating today…” Eugene received an upsetting glance from Sophia. “Um, well…” There was an awkward silence, followed by another question. “Did you almost get yourself fired again?”

    Sophia gave Eugene one of her menacing stares. “Please, Eugene. It’s not like this happens every day-”

    “Yeah, it happens almost every week. Come on, Sophia. Are you sure that job is right for you?”

    “It’s the only job I can get,” Sophia lied. She looked out into the street again. “Barely anyone else is willing to let me work for them. They all say that I’m too ‘sour’.”

    “Well hey; at least you’re not bitter. I’d rather have a lemon than a grapefruit for a f-”

    “You’re not helping.”

    More silence. There was a small crowd of people congesting the sidewalk up ahead.

    Eugene finally spoke. “Have you been wondering why I’m dressed up right now?”

    Making her way past a busy portion in the sidewalk, Sophia shook her head. Struggling to catch up, Eugene began to explain. “Well, okay. I’ll tell you anyways. So apparently, I’m going to be meeting with an Officer of the Metropolis tonight at midnight, sharp.”

    After she passed through the crowd, Sophia met Eugene’s excited eyes with her incredulous ones.

    “You’re kidding.” At first, the pale girl leered at the nicely dressed man, but then she turned away. “Eugene, I seriously don’t think we should be talking about this anymore if you’re going to continue to-”

    Eugene, still fervent with excitement, exclaimed, “No, no! Sophia, you don’t get it! This is perfect! I might get a once in a lifetime internship to their organization! Imagine that… and who knows? I might even recommend you-"

    “What? No!” Sophia turned back, her face ablaze. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely! You’re willing to participate in the most inhumane act this society has ever done! Do you know how cruel the Officers treat the people who live in the Metropolis?! You’re damning yourself, Eugene! You’ll be damning yourself if you even consider a job like that!”

    Eugene talked in a soothing voice. “Sophie, the Officers treat them with respect. Not like the world we live in today-”

    “Are you kidding me?” Sophia was shouting hysterically now, tears evident in her gray eyes. “They treat those people like robots! They have breeding grounds - yes, they freaking breed humans - and they have those damned computers that tell them every damned day what their damned task is and what their damned life is all about! They are never taught to love, or to feel joyful, or to-”

    “Or to what? Feel pain? Feel depressed?!” He menacingly stepped towards Sophia. Eugene’s mood swiftly changed, his voice increasing in volume and his eyebrows narrowing with every word. “Knowledge has corrupted you, Sophie.” The tone of his voice was filled with bitterness, spitefulness, and condescendence. “Look at you. You’re miserable all the time. You’re cynical. You think humans should all go to hell. You think society is terrible. You’re the depressed one, not them.” Eugene took a step back. “Don’t you understand? This Metropolis works - people across the world are increasingly agreeing that our society should be governed under such terms!

    “Look at the world around you. You all strive for knowledge. You all strive to live better lives. You all strive. That’s what makes people like you depressed. You’re never satisfied with yourself. You focus so much on climbing the mountain, to the point where you don’t even care about what’s on the other side anymore. And then you turn on everyone else and say they’re selfish? Look at you! All you care about are goals, goals, and goals! You want higher standards of living? Then I suggest leveling off that mountain and replacing it with something I like to call social well-being. In a true state of social well-being, we base our lives around working with each other, rather than striving for frivolous material gains.

    “That is what this world needs. We need to denounce our lonely struggle in the name of teamwork! We need to denounce our fervent ambition in the name of community! And we most definitely need to denounce our endless and futile questioning in the name of the people! To hell with progress! To hell with ambition! To hell with knowledge! To hell with pain!”

    By now, the demagogue had drawn a crowd far larger than the crowd Sophia had attracted in the library. The crowd consisted of people in trench coats, suits, and rags. There were ordinary looking pedestrians, fierce looking businessmen, downtrodden beggars, and even some intoxicated looking party goers. But Sophia wasn’t focused on that. Her vision was blurred; her cheeks hot with rage and shame, and her fists were clenched, full of regret, as well a little bit of doubt. By now, many people were clapping and cheering and chanting.

    "To hell with progress! To hell with ambition! To hell with knowledge! To hell with pain!”

    Eugene was madly laughing the whole time. The crowd started getting rough as the shoving, yelling, and confusion ensued. After taking in the whole scene, Sophia turned around and broke through the mob, pushing her way through, tears smeared on the arm of her trench coat. She ducked her head as she made her way back home, avoiding all people at all costs. But she was already used to avoiding all people. What was harder to avoid was Eugene’s words.

    "To hell with progress! To hell with ambition! To hell with knowledge! To hell with pain!”

    “No,” she spoke aloud to herself, “I’ll never accept that utopian mindset.” For a moment she smirked. “It’s…ridiculous!” Her smirk faded quickly, though, and she stopped and slowly gazed down at her feet. Eugene had a point. Sophia wasn’t exactly the happiest girl alive. She was never content with anything. Her life was dedicated to becoming an intelligent, open minded individual. Her life was miserable.

    What if Eugene was right?

    It started to rain.

    Sophia’s frosty gray eyes softened. Eugene had meant at least something to her. What was left was a gap in her heart, or rather, her brain. Gloomily walking towards her apartment, Sophia silently scolded herself- she should have seen this coming. She silently vowed to herself that she would never experience such attractive impulses for a guy like that again.

    After all, it wasn’t like any other guys would want to approach a girl with a nasty demeanor like hers.
    Last edited by LampShade; 4th March 2010 at 3:53 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hello - firstly welcome to the forums - don't get brainwashed by the green and you'll be fine. ;P

    An interesting beginning, this - a different take on the Pokemon world, certainly. The prologue was a nice way to begin - I'm already curious about this apparent brainwashing of the writer and others, and who this old man may be as well. (And whether he can actually be a hero). It's an odd but interesting concept that he doesn't know the meanings of those words and yet can write decently enough, although I suppose more light on that may be shed given the next chapter's title.

    As for the chapter, I also enjoyed that - Sophie was portrayed well, I thought, and your description is pretty nice at times too. The way Eugene suddenly seemed to change character when he began trying to spread his views was intriguing too, and well written I thought. I do feel it seems a bit odd for this character (am assuming Eugene = Eusine as he is asaik more usually referred to as) to suddenly state 'To hell with knowledge', although this may be more testament to this Metropolis' influence as well - nonetheless he does strike me as an odd choice of character for this role - can't say I've ever viewed him as one to forgo knowledge for such a thing, but that may be just my own view on him as a character from the games alone. (And if there's more of him to see, it's too early to judge anyhow).

    I also liked the focus on the line 'Absolute power corrupts absolutely' or variations of it - it was a nice touch I thought, and the repetition of sentence structure (like in the prologue, and the chapter in earlier moments for instance in describing Sophie) and especially of the chanting 'To hell...' was a good way to show even further the state of this world as well - enjoyable to read. You're writing style seems somewhat different to many, but it's rather good, IMO.

    Some suggestions mostly here:
    Her apathetic tone pierced the Robert’s skin.
    I assume referring to Robert as 'the Robert' was intentional (it happened a few times) but it did feel a bit odd to me - 'the boy' or just 'Robert' would have been better personally as it implies more that Robert is just a fancy robot rather than a boy who studies far too much... just something small I noticed.
    But Eugene wasn't simply fortune.
    IMO it'd be better worded as 'But Eugene wasn't simply rich.' or '..wasn't all money and no brains' or something other than this - 'fortune' just sounds odd in this context, I feel.
    Eugene quickly changed the topic. “Well, I hope that your library part-time wasn’t too frustrating today…”
    Wording here also sounds a bit odd - maybe '...your part-time job in the library wasn't too...' would be a better choice of words.
    “No, no! Sophia, you don’t get it! This is perfect! I might get a once in a lifetime internship to their organization! Imagine that… and who knows? I might even recommend you-
    Super minor - the quotation mark at the end there is around the wrong way. Told you it was minor. ;P
    By now, the demagogue had attracted a crowd far larger than the crowd Sophia had attracted in the library.
    'had attracted' twice in the one sentence seemed a weaker usage of repetition - in this case I'd suggest replacing/rewording one of them ('drawn' over one of them, for instance?)
    The crowd started getting rough, and the yelling, tumult, and confusion ensued.
    '...and the yelling, etc' sounds somewhat odd here - maybe replacing 'and the' with 'as' would work better here.

    Overall a good beginning, I feel - I look forward to reading more.

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  3. #3
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    This was a very interesting start to what has potential to be something rather awesome. I like how it seems to be intending to provoke some thoughts among the readers, and that is done in a quite good fashion. You write in a manner that's easy to read, and you know how to make a character seem like a human, and not just a... character. Got a real good vibe from this, so I'll follow this ;-)

    Some minor picks.

    Her apathetic tone pierced the Robert’s skin
    Unless Robert is a separate species, there shouldn't be a "the" in there, IMO.

    “What?” The girl suddenly looked up from the computer screen and swiftly glared at the boy with contempt. “You honestly think you can study creatures that you cannot even see with those pathetic little eyes of yours!?” she uttered in a menacing voice.
    This part seemed a bit awkward. When you describe her actions like that before letting her talk, it's better to use the speech description before the speech itself, so that just before her line you'd put something like "in a menacing voice, she uttered, "..."" Might just be a personal preference to me though ;p

    As the two passed finally broke free of the crowd, Sophia met Eugene’s excited eyes with her incredulous ones.
    Redundant word.
    There is no higher purpose in life. Humans never had, and never will have, a reason for living. God merely created us because he wanted to allow someone to experience the beauty of living.

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    I'm getting a serious Galactic vibe from this. Is that intentional?
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    Thanks for all the revisions and suggestions you guys made. Bobandbill, I didn't intentionally do most of what you were suggesting I change - I merely have too many ways of saying one sentence, so I often get them mixed up. Oddly enough, I've gone through this chapter over three times, and I haven't picked up on any of the mistakes you guys have pointed out. I'll get to editing it in less than an hour! I'll post up chapter two after another person has posted. That is, unless I'm allowed to double post after a comment like this...

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    Chapter 2 - I Learn How to Write

    Th big man says that people and cities have something called a name. I do not think I have a name. I do not think that th city that I live in has a name. I m not sure if I believe th big man.

    Th big man says that I can stop myself from being branewashd. Th big man thinks that he can help me. He says that he will help me get a personality. I m trying to get a personality. Th big man tells me that a personality is what I need to truly live. He tells me that I need one to be happy. He tells me that I can feel so much more than I can feel now. Love, Hate, Pleasure, Pain. He tells me that he will try to give me a personality.

    I m not allowed to write. If They catch me writing, I will be punished and I will not be able to see th big man anymore. Th big man says that I will not get caught writing. I m not sure if I believe him.

    My duty is to watch eggs. I have to watch them in a warm room. Sometimes, th eggs break and thre is a strange, dark figure that appears from them. That is when They come. They tell me that I have done a good job, and They take away th creature. I do not know how many eggs I have watched. I have lost count. I have heard Them say that they use th creatures for protecting th city. They have said that th creatures have protected us for years. I do not know what this years is.

    Th big man says that he knows what years are. He says that you can’t see a year. He says that it is a unit of time. He is confusing. I do not know what he means by time.

    Th big man says that he will take me away from this place as soon as he can. I do not understand. I can not leave this place. It is imposible. That is what They said to me. It is imposible to leave this place. It is imposible to leave. I do not believe th big man.

    Th big man tells me many things. He tells me that I m trapped in a very bad place. I do not understand these words. I ask him what very bad is. He can not explain it to me. He says that once I get a personality, I will be able to understand what bad is. He says that I m being controlled. I do not understand this, either. He says that I m ignorant and that I need to be brought into th light. Th light that I know of is th very bright circle in th sky that I m not supposed to look at.

    I m also not supposed to look at Their eyes. If They catch me looking at their eyes, I will be punished. I have never been punished before. They say that once I m punished, I will not be able to watch th eggs anymore. They say that I will not exist. I do not want that. I want to watch over th eggs. Thre is something that keeps telling me to watch th eggs. I do not want to stop existing. I want to watch th eggs.

    We worship th great bird. I go with them when they tell me to. If I do not go with them, I will be punished. Th great bird is in a cage. They say that th bird is meant to be in th cage. But th big man said th bird is not happy. Th bird always hits th cage with its large, silver wings. It is very big. Th big man asks me if I’m scared, but I do not know what scared is.

    We learn how to read, but not how to write. That is why I m having trouble with my writing. My writing is also hard to read. Th big man says that I will get better at writing. He says that I need to write things down so I remember them. He says that I forget easily. I do not know what forget is.

    Th big man teachs me many things. He says that I m special.

    I do not know what special means.
    Last edited by LampShade; 2nd January 2010 at 3:21 AM.

  7. #7
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    Hmm, quite interesting, but you mustn't forget that the minimum chapter length is afaik two pages in Word. By that convention this is a short a half a page or so ;P

    But I'm intrigued by this story, and frankly, I want to know just what in the blazes is going on!
    There is no higher purpose in life. Humans never had, and never will have, a reason for living. God merely created us because he wanted to allow someone to experience the beauty of living.

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    Chapter 3 - Disastrous News and the Invisible Monster

    Sophia’s house was quite a dreary place. There was a single, fragile bulb that hung over her quaint kitchen. Her kitchen consisted of a dull looking refrigerator, a dusty microwave, and a rusty faucet that smelled awful every time the cold water knob was turned. Sometimes, the faint light of the bulb would go out and the lackluster librarian would go on for days without getting it replaced.

    The apartment also consisted of one bedroom, a miniature bathroom with a shower, and a living room, which was where her computer was. Computers were standard all over the world. Manufacturers decided to stop making television sets and start capitalizing on computer-marketing. The shift was made back when civilization was in early reconstruction.

    As she pressed the power button to her monitor, Sophia plopped back in her chair and tried to recall every vivid detail that was inscribed in the ancient books, before the legendary bird creature had turned the world into ashes.

    In the past, natural selection had favored more colorful creatures. Rodents that inhabited streets, deserts, and grassy prairies were of various vibrant hues. Some of the more graceful birds flaunted their beautifully colored feathers, ranging from bright pink tail feathers to sky blue wing feathers.

    But when the skies turned black and the cities were all that was left, most of the wildlife that creatures had once called home was gone. Most surviving creatures of the apocalypse were creatures that sought shelter in dusty and dull urban sects. Natural selection abruptly shifted. Almost every creature now exhibited a grayish tinge. Camouflage was how most creatures survived, and the ones who didn’t use camouflage were rarely spotted. Creatures were often seen with a gray fur coat, or a gray hide, or a gray shell. Colors of purple and yellow and blue turned to brown, gray, and black. The life many surviving humans once knew, according to the ancient books, was empty without such vivid creatures.

    Sophia continued to think about the ancient books as she subconsciously reached for her belt and clutched the cold, steel capsule. She felt around for the circular button. Once her index finger was on top of it, the librarian yanked the orb from its holster, pressed the button, and threw it. The sphere flew out of her hand and quietly bounced onto her carpet. Suddenly, it exploded into bright green neon colors as the red hemisphere of the orb flipped open. The neon glow gradually faded, and the round container automatically clamped shut.

    Sophia braced herself.

    Without warning, the ball shot from the ground to her hand, ramming into her leather glove and making a clunking noise. Luckily, her reinforced leather gloves prevented her from wincing in pain.

    In the past, she thought grudgingly to herself, creature-tamers didn’t have to deal with icy, painful, metal, and worst of all, magnetic orbs.

    A strange aura gradually enveloped her. Sophia felt a tingling sensation through her body. There was nothing to see, but she knew that the creature was there.

    “Hello, Nightmare. I haven’t summoned you all day. I’m sorry, today was really busy for me.” Sophia’s voice was soft and somewhat content. This was how she always acted around her creatures, especially Nightmare.

    There was a faint, jumbled whisper in the air. Sophia smiled and closed her eyes. When she did, the floating creature’s figure was visible in front of her, in the blackness of her eyelids. It was of a solid, dark purple shape. The shape resembled that of a suspended head with sharp edges. The creature brandished sharp appendages that resembled claws, which hovered near its looming head. Its eyes glowed brightly, a stunning mixture of pink and red. The creature’s glow radiated from its sickle-like claws. Another feature that stood out was its sharp, pointed grin, which was illuminated by that same pinkish-red aura.

    The pale-faced librarian spoke in a wispy, reminiscing voice, her eyes still closed. “It’s amazing how so many people can be frightened of you, but I know that you’re not like that. I know you’re a softhearted creature. That’s why General Kyros assigned me to you.” Her smile grew wider. “But I remember being frightened of you when I first met you. I even remember the time I nicknamed you Nightmare. I guess the name kind of stuck…”

    The creature whispered some more. Sophia nodded. “I believe that some day, the powers that rule over all of us will be overthrown and diversified, so that there will be a group out there that may accept you for your appearance.” More whispering. Sophia slightly frowned this time. “Are you sure you’re fine like this? Doesn’t it hurt you to see people frightened by you? Isn’t that why you continue to be invisible?” More whispering. Sophia remained silent for a moment. She then opened her eyes. The creature’s shape was no longer there.

    “I…think I understand. If you were as popular and well-known as the ancient creatures today, you would likely be captured by someone seeking to capitalize on your fame.”

    Sophia blinked, and then turned towards her monitor, still smiling. She double clicked an icon on her desktop. In seconds, the latest news appeared on the screen.

    “Legendary creature captured,” the girl repeated to herself under her breath. Her face fell. “Fifteen killed by electric shock. Barbed wings and pointed beak damage infrastructure of three buildings. Creature now secured.”

    Anger and fear slowly entered Sophia’s heart. After a momentary pause, the pale-faced girl slammed her leather gloved hand on the computer desk. She held herself back from crying out in anguish and agony.

    “It was one thing to be insulted by a crazy maniac that you have a crush on, but…” Sophia caught her own silly words, quickly glancing apologetically at the invisible aura beside her. After a brief moment of hesitation, she continued. “But… seriously? They had captured three of those five freaking birds, but they had to go for four? Are they out of their mind?! There are eight legendary creatures in the United Terrains total. Half of them are detained. This is not right. This is not-”

    Sophia continued to read the report. The only sound that kept pumping into her ears was her own heart, which was beating faster than her eyes were reading.

    “The National Government of the Eastern Terrain (NGET) has established safeguards on all premises in the National Creature Detainment Centre (NCDC). Advocates argue that the electricity generated by the aggressive bird-like creature could very well power our nation for a thousand years. Research is being done on a power grid that can sustain such power. Some skeptics claim that this may be a political misstep on the behalf of the NGET.”

    Sophia skimmed down the article, and then quickly breathed a sigh of relief as she continued to read:

    “In other related stories, the calm, giant beast of the water that was initially captured the Western Terrain has recently escaped. Witnesses claim to have seen the creature ‘elegantly’ dashing away from its detainment centre. Further investigation by the National Government of the Western Terrain (NGWT) on the escape and whereabouts of the blue and white four legged creature are under way. An unfortunate result of this getaway is a short-term famine in the upper Western Terrain, where farmers are dependent on irrigation canals that used to be supplied by the water beast’s powers…”

    Sophia slowly inhaled, and then exhaled. It was relieving to know that one of the legendary creatures escaped. Still, Sophia knew that the ferocity of the Desumo Flax had to be contained. Now that the NGET had control of the vicious creature, the stakes were much higher.

    The pale girl turned to the invisible aura. Her voice was riddled with sadness.

    “Well, I guess I’ll let you roam around the city for tonight,” Sophia murmured. She then faintly smiled. “Just don’t make too many children wet their beds, alright?”

    The girl she felt the mysterious, dark aura slowly leave the apartment.

    With mixed feelings, Sophia briskly turned off her monitor and quickly pulled out what looked like a black ear bud. She plugged it in her ear, and spoke clearly and concisely.

    “Call Ivan.”

    There was a pause, followed by a drawn out tone, which signaled that Ivan hadn’t picked up yet. After three more of the long, drawn out tones, a deep, powerful voice replied.

    “Miss Kora?”

    “Ivan. We’ll need you to get that kid out of there as soon as possible.”

    “Hey, give me a break, will ya? I’m trying my best.” The voice sounded amused. Sophia frowned.

    “Ivan, don’t be a pissoff. Look, they captured the Desumo Flax. We can’t lose any more time.”

    There was a few seconds of silence. Then, the deep voice responded in a somber tone, “Look, Miss Kora. I only take orders from people who are higher up from me. I’ll get him out of this place by tomorrow, okay? We can meet at the base tomorrow night…”

    “Do you think he’s really fit enough to join the organization?”

    “You sound worried." Sophia's abrupt question didn't seem to faze Ivan. "Don’t you believe General Kyros? He said that this guy’s the real deal. And look at you; you were able to join this group at such a young age. Doesn't he have the same rights as you?"

    Sophia rolled her eyes. "Ivan, all I do is gather information from people visiting the library. The importance of my job pales in comparison to the job of protecting creatures that are capable of destroying the world."

    "But, Sophie, we’re going to be saved! Kyros said that he's the one. He has a gift, a talent that has been suppressed inside his body for so long. Just watch. The Governments will be overthrown. There may even come a day when you actually smile-”

    “Ivan. You’re being a pissoff again.”

    “Oh. Sorry.”

    “But seriously, is the boy even capable of living up to the Renegades’ major goals?”

    “He isn’t a boy. He’s almost nineteen years old, according to the records. It’s his mind that’s young. Now pay attention. The major objectives of the Renegades are to prevent the manipulation of legendary creatures and to protect these ancient creatures from the hands of humans. Trust me, Sophie- this guy is a natural saboteur. I can see it in his eyes. He may not be a juggernaut yet, but I can assure you that he will be able to play a crucial role in undermining the plans of the National Governments.”

    “Both the East and West Terrains?”

    “Yes. East and West.”

    Feeling somewhat relieved, yet still somewhat skeptical, Sophia tried to take in everything she had just learned. Her mind struggled to grasp the miracle that was right before her eyes. The conflicted girl replied in a strained voice, “Alright, Ivan. I’ll see you later.”

    “You sound stressed, Miss Kora. You know, you should get some sleep. That would do you some good. Who knows, you might even stop calling me a 'pissoff'." There was a light chuckle on the other line. "Well, good night.”

    Ear bud now out of ear, Sophia stood up and began pacing. Was it possible? How could a boy - no, a kid - help the cause of the Renegades? She had been a member of the underground organization for ten months and she hadn’t been of much help at all. The Renegades consisted of only a few hundred people, all across the Eastern Terrain; her duty was that of a lookout. Any rumors or local reports of happenings regarding the legendary creatures or the utopian cities were to be reported back to the base. The base, otherwise known as the headquarters, was located just outside of the big city. It was located farther to the east, near the Ghost Town. That was where she received her first creature, Nightmare.

    Sophia grinned, remembering the freaked out look on Eugene’s face when he first saw Nightmare.

    Then, suddenly feeling self-conscious, the gray-eyed girl felt her long, brown hair. It was still damp from the rain. Her thoughts and feelings for Eugene brought back the story of the ice bird and the conversation with Ivan and the doubts she had of the new boy that would join the Renegades. Sadness overwhelmed Sophia once again, threatening to consume the entirety of her mind. Lowering her head as she struggled to keep herself from crying out, the dejected and disheartened girl of seventeen made her way to the miniature bathroom with the shower.
    Last edited by LampShade; 2nd January 2010 at 4:03 AM.

  9. #9
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    Bobandbill, I didn't intentionally do most of what you were suggesting I change - I merely have too many ways of saying one sentence, so I often get them mixed up.
    Hmm, fair enough - just that a few things I saw there I thought might have been done intentionally - I've seem some writers do it but I wasn't sure.

    As for the fanfic rules on chapter length - well I can't decide as that's for the fanfic mods to decide, really. I suppose it's more there though to encourage people to bump up things quality-wise instead of writing a paragraph or two in the quick-reply box primarily, and this fic I feel is fine quality-wise with the shorter chapters anyways.But I'd advise to PM one of the fanfic mods here about it first (Dragonfree, Zephyr Flare and Psychic). Mind you if you do post chapters together - keep them in separate posts (more than one chapter per post bar the prologue/chapter one is against the rules...) and it may be better to inter-space them by a few days, IMO. Gives more of a chance to build a reader base than posting a chapter a day from what I've seen even if they are short.

    Anyways! The chapters. Again enjoyable - the first new one was simple but interesting. More in the way of repetition there in the writing by the egg-watcher - nice slow inclusion of new facts here, and I like this portrayal of him too, with his lack of comprehension and whatnot. The following chapter with Sophie was neat too - again you delve into her character nicely, and the fact she still has feelings for Eugene was shown decently as well, I thought. The plot is moving steadily - I like the incorporation of the legendary Pokemon now - the idea of using them for power is a neat one I haven't seen for a while, and the constant reminders of the state of the world and society are done smoothly as well - not constantly in one's face but always there regardless, heh. And Haunter (I presume) was set nicely as well, I thought; although some description came off a touch listy, it was pretty good overall. I don't recall see much of those about, but I like what you've done with it so far. =)

    I'll note that Sophie's thoughts of disbelief on how this newly mentioned boy somewhat hypocritical given her age as well - maybe some mention of this or alternatively more emphasis on her disbelief she would have a 'major' influence would work better - wouldn't need much additions, I feel. Just a thought that came up. Also the fact that the one writing has learnt to read somewhat but not write before, and yet makes no mistakes is a bit...odd, to me, although maybe he has it proof-read by the big man? But if not it seems odd though, is all - somewhat unlikely at best, given what sorts of typos and mistakes we all make even if used to writing for many years. >_<

    Onto quoting stuff - because quoting stuff I found at this late hour is fun. =P
    I can not leave this place.
    'cannot' over 'can not', methinks.
    I watch to watch the eggs.
    I want to watch the eggs, I presume.
    “Legendary creature captured,” The girl repeated to herself under her breath.
    Since this should be one sentence in itself (part after the dialogue is dependant and all), small 't' for 'The' there.
    “Hey, give me a break, will ya? I’m trying my best.” The voice sounded amused. But Sophia was far from amused.
    Amused, amused... a touch much there, and sounds repetitive here. I'd suggest replacing one of them, and maybe showing us more on how Sophie is not amused (e.g. '...sounded amused. Sophie frowned however, as she spoke again.' or something like that as a rough example).
    The major objectives of the Renegades are to prevent the manipulation of legendary creatures and to protect these ancient creatures from the hands of humans.
    Insert that 'the' there, I suggest.
    Remembering Nightmare, Sophia subconsciously reached for her belt and clutched the cold, steel orb. She felt around for the circular button. Once her index finger was on top of it, the librarian yanked the orb from its holster, pressed the circular button button, and threw it. The orb flew out of her hand and quietly bounced onto her carpet. The spherical object exploded into bright green neon colors as the red hemisphere of the orb flipped open. The neon glow gradually faded, and the orb automatically clamped shut.

    (...)

    In the past, she thought grudgingly to herself, creature-tamers didn’t have to deal with icy, painful, metal, and worst of all, magnetic orbs.
    As this may point out, it seems 'orbs' was all too often used in that part. Granted, there's not many alternatives to a Poke Ball but it's a bit much there. (Maybe sphere, capsule, round container, etc as alternatives to some?). Mix it up some more. Also note the two 'button's there as well - kill off one. The last three sentences of the first paragraphs as well read a little oddly, with the similar sentence beginnings...
    The orb flew out of her hand and quietly bounced onto her carpet.
    The spherical object exploded into bright green neon colors as the red hemisphere of the orb flipped open.
    The neon glow gradually faded, and the orb automatically clamped shut.
    All three starts with 'The...' and with three in a row it's a bit repetitive in itself. Mix it up a bit more, I suggest.
    It’s sharp, pointed grin held the same pinkish red color, as well.
    Its (rather than It's which would read 'it is'), and 'pinkish-red' I suggest as well.
    There was a faint, jumbled whisper in the air. Sophia smiled and closed her eyes. When she did, the floating creature’s figure was visible in front of her, in the blackness of her eyelids. It was of a solid, dark purple shape. The shape resembled that of a suspended head with sharp edges. The creature also had sharp appendages that resembled like claws, which hovered near its looming head. Its eyes were glowing brightly, a stunning mixture of pink and red. The glow also radiated from its sickle-like claws. Its sharp, pointed grin held the same pinkish red color, as well.

    The pale faced librarian spoke in a wispy, reminiscing voice, her eyes still closed. “It’s amazing how so many people can be frightened of you, but I know that you’re not like that.
    Again with similar sentence-starting words, like The and It/Its/It's - along with rather similarly-lengthed sentences it reads more like a detailed list, this part. Mix it up some more, and chance the way sentences start more often. I also thought this was a bit listy just in itself (It had this, looked like this, that feature was this, that was this, etc) - mixing some of those with actions by the Haunter would liven it up some, IMO.

    Also, suggest a hyphen in-between pale and faced - i.e. pale-faced.

    “I…think I understand. If you were at popular and well-known as the ancient creatures today, you would likely be captured by someone seeking to capitalize on your fame.”
    'as' over 'at', and I'd suggest inserting that 'on' as well there - otherwise it reads a touch oddly.

    The mistakes there are pretty simple overall though, and fixed easily enough. I don't see anything story-wise that irks at me too much really, the characters are intriguing, and it is fun to read, this. Keep them coming! (Only maybe as I suggested, a touch slower - up to you though).
    Last edited by bobandbill; 28th December 2009 at 3:56 PM.

    A parody of the Pokemon Colosseum game, full of pastries and Miror B.
    Completed. Four times winner of Best Comedy/Funniest Fic.

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    Alright, I'll slow down. I'm making the changes you suggested.

    Other comments on my fanfiction have compelled me to add two things:

    I have added a paragraph, just before Sophia leaves the library. It's meant to reveal some of the plot and give a little more reason for the reader to read this story. Please tell me if it's a bit too superfluous or anything like that.

    I have deliberately placed spelling mistakes in the prologue and in chapter 2. Fear not, in chapter 4, the mistakes will be sparse, and by chapter 6, they'll be almost completely gone.

    EDIT: Oddly enough, I can't save any changes to chapter 3... Hmm.
    Last edited by LampShade; 28th December 2009 at 5:42 PM.

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    EDIT: Oddly enough, I can't save any changes to chapter 3... Hmm.
    Ah, must be the database glitching up. Forums have a problem with a few words which at times can trigger MySQL queries or the such for some reason - words like select, delete, create, update... via control + F I see two instances of 'selection'. To edit it, just put something in the middle to break up the word, like making a letter in italics like so. That'll bypass the problem.

    Also that new paragraph seems fine although the chapter was fne without it as well, IMO, but it's good IMO.

    A parody of the Pokemon Colosseum game, full of pastries and Miror B.
    Completed. Four times winner of Best Comedy/Funniest Fic.

    The BBS Forums! Join in!
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    Tied to this Pokemon Magazine! Looking for contributors - check it out!
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    Current article: Fashion Focus: Team Magma and Team Aqua! What's the verdict on the new outfits?
    Avatar by minty-fivestar on DA, with edited background/cropping. Fic banner by cieux.

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    Alright I managed to edit the post. I'm constantly editing all parts of the story, so I'll make sure to post important changes I have made. Also, I'm going to wait for some more comments before I post the next chapter.
    Last edited by LampShade; 29th December 2009 at 7:50 PM.

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    I do like this post-apocalyptic style. There isn't much I can really say here, you obviously know what you're doing grammar-wise and the description is good. Maybe you told more than showed in some instances. With the first-person character, I notice you say he "doesn't know what () means" often. It does have an effect, but perhaps mix it up a bit. The characters are interesting and have depth to them. I guess all that's left to say is I'll be waiting for the next chapter ^^
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    Chapter 4 - I Listen to a Story

    The big man says I have a problem. I do not know what he means by problem. He says that my sensry memory gets clouded every day and that it is disrupting my learning. He does not sound happy when he says this. I have come to know what he sounds like when he is happy. The big man says that if I write more, I will not have many sensry memory problems.

    When he looked over my writing, he asked me why I captalized Them. I told him that it was because I always saw it captalized whenever They would give us books. The big man says that these books are corupt. I do not think I understand what this means.

    My personality is getting better. The big man says so. He says that I am using more style in my voice and in my writing. He says that some day I will be an amazing speaker.

    The big man told me a long story. He wrote it down for me word for word, and then told me to copy down what he wrote. He told me that it would help me write better. This is what he wrote down:

    “You see, back then, they didn’t have cities like this. There were no Metropolis centers, no mindless workers, and no crazy rituals to birds trapped in cages. No, that’s not how it was back then. Back then, everyone had a personality. Back then, creatures were raised by people because people cared. Before the ‘Master of All Orbs’ was manufactured, creature-tamers would nurture and care for their creatures because they loved them.

    But soon enough, a byproduct of technology had emerged. After years and years of seething aspiration and murderous drive, a terrorist organization had created a legendary ball that could hold captive any creature that the user wished. The most powerful and dimension-changing creatures could now be captured with the press of a button and the flick of a wrist.

    Before the prototype became a standard means of mass production, though, a world-renown and moreover notorious creature tamer overthrew the entirety of the terrorist organization. Despite his bravery, the teenage boy - or so the story goes - foolishly acquired this ‘Master of All Orbs’ and used it on a legendary creature. This particular creature was crucial to the survival of the entire ecosystem. This creature brought sacred volcanic ash to the mountains in the south. This creature illuminated rainbows in the west. This creature brought up forest life in the north and the east. But most of all, this creature was evidently capable of destroying the entire planet.

    No one is entirely sure of what happened next, or why it happened. All we know is that the creature went into a berserk state and burned everything in its sight, including the renowned hero.

    There were few survivors of the legendary creature’s wrath. These survivors are the people that made the civilizations we see today. We live in a post-apocalyptic world.

    But unfortunately, the world isn’t rebuilding itself exactly the way it was before. Drastic new experiments and power-hungry radicals have set up experimentation plants all across the region, so that people like you may work in their desensitized world. Fortunately, these are restricted to a certain extent, and are not allowed to used certain cities for their experiments. Nevertheless, there are unfortunate victims of this plague, including you. They’re using you. And you can’t allow that. You need to live. You need to take in the fresh air of freedom.”

    The big man spoke a lot. I was not entirely sure I agreed with him. This was my home. I did not need his fredom, or the new life that he wants me to have. I want to stay here and watch the eggs. That is what I am made for. He says one day I will change my mind, but I do not believe him.

    The big man always tries to explain what the word special means. He compared it to people. He asked me if I have seen the other people in the city. I said yes, at least when I go out for rituals. He asked me if they all looked different. I said yes. He told me that I am like that. I am different from them. I understand this, but I still do not understand what special means. The big man says that I am a different kind of different. He says that I am different in ways that people can not observe at first. He says that it is something inside of me. He pointed to my chest, but I do not understand what he means by this.

    The big man asked me what I do in my room. I told him that it was where I did all my work. He asked me where I slept. I told him that I did not understand what he meant by slept.

    I told him that I watch the eggs until they turn into the dark creatures. If an egg breaks and fluid spills out, They come in and they give me a mop. I am supposed to clean the fluid when They give me the mop.

    The big man asked me why I do not go outside of my room. I told him that I am not supposed to go outside.

    The big man says that I should not tell Them that he is here. I tell him that I can not say anything to Them. He told me that he was releved and glad that I did not tell anyone. He said that he would be in big troubl if anyone knew that he was inside of the metropolis center.

    There was one last thing that the big man said to me. He said that this was the most important issue because we could all dye if nothing is to be done. He said that the people who control me are doing something very bad. The people who control me have other great birds, similar to the one that we worship. The big man said that if they continue to tamper with the power of the legendary creetures that we worship, the creetures might go on a rampage. He said that history may repeat itself again, but the result may not be the same. He said that we may all dye this time. He thinks that if one legendary creeture nearly destroyed the planet, several legendary creetures would annihilate it.

    The big man said that we would leave soon. I do not understand what soon means, but he said that he will teach me what time is soon. He said that when I leave this place, I will need a name. He said that he will give me the name Constantine. He explained that it was from the name Constantinos, which means constant, unwavering, and stedfast.

    My name does not sound like any of the words I know. The big man said that I probably thought it was a weird name. He told me to write my name down, so that I knew how to spell it correctly. I asked him what constant, unwavering, and stedfast meant. He said that I will learn what it means someday.
    Last edited by LampShade; 2nd January 2010 at 6:27 PM.

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    Turns out I found a little bit of time to review this after all. This is my last offical review before I close up shop for a while.

    I find the wording of this a bit... dry. It's not very flushed out, and it seems like the narrator is choking on sawdust, to be quite frank. The "big man" as he is refered to, seems to be much better at speaking. This doesn't mean that the narrator needs to be talking desultorily and practically rambling. He's speaking in short, clipped sentences, and not using any discriptive words. You as a writer need to use discription and bring the words to life. Also, since this is in past tense, the narrator is speaking from a future time, meaning that you don't need to word things like he's a child. Use adult discription, and ditch the intentional errors.

    As for the length, it's very short. It shouldn't take any less than five minutes to read a passage, chapter, or whatever. Usually writing at least five to seven pages on MS Word will suffice for this length. I've seen worse, but I've also seen better, and I know you can do better than this.

    In your defense, I'll point out that you haven't really made any unintentional grammar or spelling errors this time around, so you've improved in that regard. It also looks like the plot is starting to fall into place, so that's good.

    Finally, my rating:

    It needs improvement, not to mention some more development and length; but you've piqued my interest, which is an important ability for a writer. I hope to see this improve in future.

    Eon Master Out~
    .:I reach out my hand and find you there:.


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    Eon master - Actually, he *is* talking in the present tense, mostly, and the past is used when he thinks back to things before the story as it is now, such as when the big man told him about stuff. But he mostly does things in the now, if you pay attention to it. The exception is when it's third-person with Sophia, then it's constantly the past.

    Anyway! I really love this right now, with the setting starting to unfold properly. It's something new and fresh, and you write it quite well. You personalize the characters quite well, and this is unfolding rather nicely. I like that
    There is no higher purpose in life. Humans never had, and never will have, a reason for living. God merely created us because he wanted to allow someone to experience the beauty of living.

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    Ooo, heavy philosophical story. At least you warned readers right off. Not that I mind it; it just requires a different mindset to get into and study. It was heavy handed at points (Sophia’s sections primarily, especially Chapter 1) and sometimes more of a straight philosophy discussion than a philosophical story. The former is tough to get through and is better suited for, say, a classroom where the book is picked apart over a period of several weeks. Meanwhile, the latter is more easily accessible and often better at getting the message across. I’m thinking stories like The Little Prince, Brave New World, and The Giver. Good reads, great messages.

    I do applaud you for choosing to use these ideas in fanfiction. However, you’re being too clearly in favor of one side of the individual vs society debate. Anyone with a favoring of ‘society first’ is being demonized too quickly (Them, Eugene, the apparently drunken crowd in Chapter 1) while anyone favoring ‘individual first’ is classified as a rebel hero. That has a bit too much of a propaganda/sermon feel for me to feel fully comfortable with the story. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve read it recently, but Eugene’s argument for the Metropolis system makes me think of The Giver. And in that book, you don’t fully realize that the individual vs society debate is there until midway through the story. It also paints a really nice picture of a society-based government to fool you at first too.

    The characters look fine, although Sophia didn’t hook me immediately. Constantine may have been taken a bit too far. I’ll take that into a bit more detail in a bit.

    Closer inspection…

    Prologue: The intentional misspellings are passable. I first thought they should have been more phonetically based, but then saw later that he knows how to read. The quotations around unfamiliar words were cheesy, though. Unless he’s seen this kind of punctuation usage before, I’m not sure why they would be there. I think it’d work alright without them.


    Chapter 1: My initial thoughts to the first section were “ Geez, who would hire this girl as a librarian?” Also, it’s said that her ‘figure and hair’ are what makes her bearable. So because she’s pretty, people can deal with a sour personality? I personally think that pretty people with sour personalities are worse to be around than general sour personalities.

    Describing Robert as flamboyant is odd. What makes him flamboyant rather than just a regular nerd (which is how he appears in his brief appearance)? Even a small detail demonstrating that flamboyance would be better than just stating it with no evidence.

    Sophia’s harsh reactions to Robert make me really doubt her position as librarian and scout. If a rebel group was going to send somebody out to gather intelligence, I think they’d go for someone easy to get along with, or a wallflower who can blend in. Who’s going to tell her possibly useful information with that attitude of hers?

    The apparently random man who grabbed Sophia on her way out was really creepy, what with that jet black hair and shiny white teeth. And his talk how absolute corruption does not exist. I kinda hope creepy shiny teeth man shows up again. He looks like a promising villain, even in a few paragraphs.

    The paragraph talking about the meaning of Sophia’s name is much better illustrated by the paragraph with the description of the dreary city. You can’t feel it in the former, but you can definitely feel it in the latter. Especially the bit about the night club.

    The line ‘Sophia’s hair lit up…’ is weird. It makes me think of that Cher ‘Believe’ video with her fiber optic hairdo.

    Um, the part where Sophia talks about how inhumanly the Officers treat humans in the Metropolis made me wonder for a bit what exactly she and the others were. Most people don’t say, “Look at that group of humans.” They say, “Look at that group of people.” That’s a little much even for an elitist.

    “That is what this world needs. We need to denounce progress in the name of teamwork! We need to denounce ambition in the name of community! And we most definitely need to denounce knowledge in the name of the people! To hell with progress! To hell with ambition! To hell with knowledge! To hell with pain!” --- see, that really makes this story clearly one-sided when it appears this early. All the key words in this section (progress, teamwork, ambition, community, knowledge, people) appear equal in connotation. Perhaps ambition is not quite equal in terms of being good, but it’s not all that bad. Something more tempting would be ‘lonely struggle in the name of teamwork’, ‘depressing isolation in the name of community’, and ‘endless and futile questioning in the name of certainty for the people’. The previous paragraphs were good in terms of sounding desirable.

    And then the result of Eugene’s grandstanding makes me think that the crowd was partially made up of the drunk people from the night club. The combination of them clapping, getting rough, yelling, tumult (which is a bit out of place), and confusion does not sound like a standard crowd of people on a city street encountering an arguing couple.


    Chapter 2: My only comment is that being taught to read but not write is odd. Maybe I’m too used to dystopia settings where there’s loads and loads of paperwork to reinforce routines and hierarchy. But it’s good and demonstrates how narrow of a perspective he has. His life is all about watching eggs. I do wonder why he trusts the big man, though, if there’s something beyond writing that Constantine was given initially to earn his trust. At this point, it seems like a neutral relationship, a ‘this is someone who comes around my office from time to time’ thing.


    Chapter 3: While your description on less colorful creatures coming about because of the graying of the world is what a lot of people would agree with, there is a fault in the reasoning. See, there are a lot of creatures, like peacocks, brightly colored birds, and bold insects, that purposely go against camouflage to survive. The males, anyhow. This is done as a sign of ‘I’m so strong that I don’t need no stinking camouflage’ to predators and rivals. Or like the Monarch butterfly (and its mimics), it is more ‘I taste bad and my color is your only warning!’ So even after an apocalypse, I think there’d still be a number of brightly colored Pokemon.

    During Sophia’s soliloquy, I wondered why she didn’t let Nightmare out (she let him out later, after all). A lot of people talk to their pets when no one else is around. And given that the Haunter seems quite intelligent, it would seem natural for her to use him as a kind of sounding board.

    Why is Sophia in charge of gathering information when the things she’s looking for (info on the legendary creatures) are on standard internet news sites? Is there some reason why the rebels can’t access the internet, but have a (hopefully) secure telecommunications system? And what’s Glacies Flax? It’s hard to worry about the capturing of something when you don’t know what it is. The italics make me think it’s a ship.

    I started to warm up to Sophia when she was talking to Nightmare. She seemed more like a character I could follow then. Overly abrasive characters just don’t appeal to me.


    Chapter 4: It’d be a neat touch if Constantine made a note that he was copying the story the big man wrote, to improve his own writing. Or if he wrote his name over and over again, like preschoolers do, to get used to the idea that it’s his name.

    So the traditional Pokemon Trainer hero went and captured Ho-oh, who got ticked off for some reason and decided to destroy the world… that struck me as funny. I know, it’s supposed to be terrible. Still made me laugh.

    The picture I’m getting of him is that he stays all day in a hatchery, watching over Pokemon eggs. The only time he leaves is when he goes to rituals. Does he have a home or is it truly a constant job? And what exactly is he watching for? Is he making sure the climate stays constant? Is he checking for unfertilized or bad eggs? Does he just make sure nobody steals one? What’s his daily routine like? I would think that would be a good writing exercise for the big man to assign to him, documenting his daily routine. And perhaps give us an insight into why Constantine has not reported the big man’s visits to Them.


    So those are my thoughts. The fact that I was interested enough to dissect everything that much is a compliment, by the way. Excellent work. If anything, I'd try to make it more of a story than it is at this point. You can't make people think about deeper things if they give up reading early on.
    Pokedex OS- Still trying to capture every single Pokemon out there in words: 648/718 Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh complete!

    Fluer Noir- A story of a black flower, a shameful history, and magic.

  18. #18
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    Alright, I finished editing what I could. As for the occasional plot flaw and sawdust... Well, I guess I'll just have to eventually explain the fore and deal with the latter.
    Last edited by LampShade; 2nd January 2010 at 4:21 AM.

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    So, here's my review as well...

    I've read all the chapters, apparantly after you have made the edits you were recommended to do. I won't delve into grammar because it seems you know you're stuff, excluding the occasional mistake or two we all make sometimes.

    Now, the setting of this story is quite interesting. The backstory in the latest chapter was good but still there are a few logical questions left. Why are people divided? Why are there still some who live in cities, dull as they are, but as free as you can be under the kind of government that rules? Why the rest are literally bred in those camps or whatever and brainwashed to do chores and the like? What makes them different? Maybe you should enlighten us some more on this topic.

    I like how you have included the Legendary birds in this story- the latin names are how are they called now, right? By your usage of Eastern and Western Terrain, I guess that the governemnt controls just Kanto and Johto. The number of Legendaries you've mentioned hints this as well. Oh, I noticed one controversary in the news repot- if the societ is so grey, dull and whatnot, why would the news of all things, describe the escape of a creature the government obviously considers unequal and uses it, as "elegant"?

    I still can't decide whether I like Sophia as a character or not. She does have a range of emotions and her interactions with her Haunter (?) are interesting but... I don't know, she just doesn't "click". But that purely my opinion and it would probably change after a Sophia-centric chap or two more. And as Ysavvryl pointed out, why would the Renegades place her as their spy? Surely a more sociable person would be more suited to gather info. And Sophia's appearance is kinda controversial- in one sentence you describe her skin as horridly pale, eyes cold and all that and in the next sentence you describe her very long silky brown hair. Which shines under light. And the others tolerate her just because of her "figure and hair". And it seems she rarely is self-conscious. Mary Sue, much?

    Oh, and here's my two cents concerning the society vs individual theme Ysavvryl mentioned in his review- I haven't read many stories with themes and setting as yours, but I've read some very good ones, whose plot could relate to yours. You could try looking from a different angle- the individual in your story is frowned upon by society, he's forced to drow in the crowd, some of the people are literally brainwashed into mindless drones, Legendaries are captured and used etc etc. But what if the government isn't truly evil- Ho-Oh destroyed the land so there are no natural resources- using the power of the Legedaries is the only way to survive. To provide food and water and electricity for the people, they have to use the Pokemon. The drones can't be justified easy but maybe there's a reason for that too- they could be the remnants of the old criminal Teams or just convicts, whose families and decendants are brainwashed from birth. And from what I've read so far, this government doesn't put into the camps or whatever they are, people just for voicing their opinion. Sophia did it in the middle of the crowd and no enforcer materialised from nowhere to subdue her. And the "drones" know no better life- they are happy in their own sick way because they have never known a different kind of life. If the Renegades manage to "free" them- then what? They are like infants who don't know what to do. They don't know the outside world. How would they cope, how would they build a personality out of nowhere. And if the Renegades overthrow the government, from where would they find resources- they'd be forced to use the Pokemon as well.

    Make it all shades of grey, point out that there's no right or wrong, just difficult decisions to be made. It really captivates the reader, trust me.
    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.

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    I'll be sure to address some of the issues you presented. Sophia being a Mary Sue has never really occurred to me, and it still hasn't. I always considered Mary Sues to be extremely self-conscious, actually. I completely understand what you mean in terms of thematic elements, but don't forget about what I said in my author's note. I'm going to provoke the theme of subjectivity many times throughout the story. Soon enough, you'll see the character of the main guy character unfold, and you'll see how he reacts to such issues fairly clearly.

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    First off, I'll want to say that I tend to be a harsh reviewer. In no way am I actually personally insulting you, but if my review comes off that way, I apologize in advance.

    Second, I have a bad habit of only skimming other people's reviews before I go into the fic so as not to let it influence my opinions on what the author's writing, so if I accidentally point out something someone else has mentioned (and you answered it), feel free to ignore that part.

    That said, I will say that if you have to underline your allegory before the fic actually begins, it's a bit of a turn-off for me. Now, I've seen this happen a couple of times, and let me just give you a bit of background to the reviewer for your own understanding as to where I'm coming from. I'm actually a senior English major in a rather pretentious prestigious college, so I've spent most of my adult life so far (as well as sanity) analyzing literature. (I would get into how long I've been working with fanfiction on a not-so-serious-business level, but I honestly lost track of how long it's been. To give you an idea, Fanfiction.net still allowed RPF.) Some of it actually was pretty deep, and the author really didn't say up front, "My story is about X." The writer simply puts their thoughts down on paper and forms a story around them with little care as to whether or not it'll be interpreted correctly. (Alternatively, if they do care about that, they usually let the readers interpret it themselves before flipping on the critics like prima donnas.) Mainly, the point is that the priority is on the story – the shape of the allegory – before the definition of what it's saying, if that makes sense.

    Simply put, I've seen a lot of kids come up and say, "I've made a story, and it's deep." In response, I just smile and nod and say, "Okay, yeah, that's nice." Because, really, if you want to create a poignant story, you just will without trying to be pretentious. The more "intellectual" you are about it, the less seriously a critic will probably take you because you're forcing your work to be high-brow.

    That and it's a case of telling instead of showing. You know how some people will tell you that it's better to show, for example, a character being sweet to everyone they meet instead of just stopping at saying they're sweet? It's the same concept with your themes. It's a lot more effective to use subtlety instead of coming right out and saying, "I'm writing a story, and it has a political theme. I'm being deep, right?" Well, I'd hate to be blunt about it, but you're actually beating the reader over the head with it. If you want to be deep, the trick is to avoid being deep. Zen, yes, but it just means that depth =/= pretentiousness. It doesn't mean the theme is right there in the open. It means that the story takes center stage, and the theme is in the back of the writer's mind so that the reader dives into the story and skirts along, under the impression that they're just reading a good story instead of a story with meaning.

    All of that is pretty much in response to the history. Yes, I know you said it's possible to skip over that part, but I just wanted to make it bluntly clear that starting off with a political and philosophical question actually doesn't impress me. If anything, it makes me look at your fic with a cynical quirk of the eyebrow because it makes you sound like you're trying to be more intellectual than you might actually be. Whether or not this is true is a different matter, but trust me, if you were an intellectual, you probably wouldn't be exploring the concept of the naďve masses through Pokémon fanfiction. (If you'd like to know what the actual intellectuals of my college explore in their spare time, it's the many colorful uses of the drumsticks that come with Rock Band. You heard me.)

    He say that I m a "mindles" human with no "personality" and no "emoton".
    What makes the quoted part weird is that while you've been spelling a lot of things phonetically to establish the fact that the narrator is just barely literate (as in, I know he can read, but even then, there's so many errors here that… actually, I'll get to that in a moment), you have him spell "personality" correctly and "emoton" with a T. Nitpick, yes, but it also says you're going back and forth about how much the kid knows. It also says you might only be partially in his mindset because emotion is a really fun and easy word to mutilate if you don't actually know how it's spelled. "tion," after all, is not at all pronounced the way it's spelled.

    In other words, you delve partly into the mind of the narrator, but you don't seem to be going all the way. Instead of stopping just short of making him barely literate, actually make him barely literate. Milk how depressing his state of intelligence is. This is your opportunity to open with an extremely dark note to highlight whatever preaching you'll be doing later on and to show her growth from the dark, murky mess of psychological rape to a figure who's in better shape to save the world or at least have intelligent opinions of his own.

    Yes, I'm actually encouraging you to forget all the rules of grammar. This is written from the perspective of someone who has the mindset of a child. You're allowed to fudge punctuation and capitalization and the spelling of simple words where appropriate to reflect this point.

    Now, as for the explanation. You have him being able to read, but you say he can't write. This in itself is a bit odd because it seems as if he possesses little general knowledge. He doesn't know, for example, how to spell "less" and what the word "good" means (both basic concepts), but you have him be able to spell "personality" completely correctly and "emotion" with a T. It's like you haven't entirely decided what level his intelligence is at or how profound his illiteracy is because you're going back and forth between whether or not he knows how to use language.

    the morose looking girl
    Nitpick: If you have a phrase acting as one adjective, you actually hyphenate it. Morose-looking.

    The young fled from her, the old shunned her.
    Oddly enough, this is actually a comma splice. Note that if you replace the comma with a period, you end up with two full sentences. It can actually be remedied very easily just by putting the word "and" just after the comma and turning the sentence into a compound.

    the seventeen year old girl
    Same thing (concerning hyphens) here. Seventeen-year-old, not seventeen year old.

    somewhat bearable: Her figure and her hair.
    It's not necessary to capitalize the word "her." It's the middle of a sentence, and you're using the colon to start off a list.

    I'm also inclined to question how her hair made her bearable. Maybe her figure to the male and gay persuasions, but unless you actually had a hair fetish (or unless the hair was at all unusual), it's not really something that would make you want to forgive a person for, for lack of a better way to put it, being a *****. I'd say you'll probably want to integrate her physical description a bit better.

    eager to research on
    While it's technically not grammatically incorrect, you see this phrase a lot less often than the phrase "to do research on." It's just a note that you could try playing around with the word "do" to see if it sounds better with or without it.

    The stout, freckled, and red haired figure hesitated at first, remembering the time he checked out twelve chemistry books because he couldn’t decide which ones to read first. His glasses drooped, and he quickly pushed them back up with a stubby finger. The plump boy sniffed.
    I would actually suggest placing this in its own paragraph because you wander away from the subject of the boy speaking and go into the background behind the girl's comment – i.e., a different topic.

    It’s about creatures - I’m studying the habitats of the creatures near the Ghost Town-”
    These should also probably be separate. Note that replacing the hyphen with a period produces two complete sentences, meaning the hyphen actually causes this whole thing to become a run-on.

    Not only were most of her decisions self centered; she also viewed life cynically and resentfully.
    First, you'll want to replace the semicolon with a comma and the word "but." It's just that "not only" is a phrase that's always coupled with "but also." It's like saying "either" without actually putting down "or." The semicolon really can't function as a replacement for it in that case.

    Second, "self-centered" is always hyphenated. The reason why is because it is one word. As in, "self" is a prefix, not an adjective.

    These Metropolis centers praised the idea of manipulating legendary creatures for the sake of the development of the human species.
    Unless all knowledge of Pokémon had been annihilated in the catastrophe that happened two centuries ago, you can just call them "Pokémon." Otherwise, this reads a lot like an original fic because, really, you could replace Pokémon with any sort of creature and have it still make sense. It's like the actual concept of the canon really doesn't matter here.

    The librarian dedicated herself to learning about the histories of the past, as well as keeping up with the current events around her, in order to help prevent the capture of these sacred creatures.
    You actually don't need the commas here. Moreover, you'll want to replace "as well as" with "and." The reason why is because she's keeping up with current events in order to help prevent the capture of legendaries. That is, it's not a parenthetical. It's an addition.

    The pale Sophia turned around to face the double doors and locked them up,
    Because the last instance of a verb in this phrase was an infinitive, you'll actually want to have "lock" in its infinitive form as well. (As in, "to face the double doors and lock them up.") This is just for consistency.

    “Whoo, its pretty cold out here.
    It's. There's actually a very simple rule of thumb you can use to tell the difference: no pronoun has an apostrophe in it unless it's a contraction. So, "its" is actually a possessive pronoun; "it's" is the contraction for "it is." Because the former wouldn't make sense in this sentence, you'll want the latter.

    the daft haze
    I would be careful about your descriptions. For example, "daft" means "stupid," "insane," "foolish," or some variation thereof. I'm not quite sure what you were trying to convey here, but I can safely say that a haze can be none of those things, even if it was personified.

    Pedestrians and beggars, most in coats, with downcast faces, lined the sidewalks, a distant mumble in the pale girl’s ears.
    Another good tip would be to read what you write aloud. If it doesn't entirely seem right to you, chances are, it probably isn't. As it stands, this one is a bit awkward because (and I say this because it'll help make my thoughts clearer, not because I'm making fun of you) it feels like you stuck a sentence in a blender and hit "puree." There's clauses all over the place, and the reader has to connect the dots to figure out what you mean.

    Basically, you show us pedestrians and beggars in coats. Then, you show downcast faces, but the placement of the clause actually implies that the coats have said faces. After that, you show us sidewalks, but again, the placement of the clause could mean you're referring to the pedestrians, the coats, or the faces. (By this time, you really have one too many dependent clauses hanging out in the middle of nowhere anyway.) Finally, you finish the sentence up by mentioning a distant mumble, but it feels like it's not attached to anything because of the jumble from what it's modifying to where it actually is. In other words, yeah, sentence puree.

    One way you could probably write it (although I encourage you to play with it beyond this) could be, "Pedestrians and beggars with downcast faces lined the sidewalks, but they were only a distant mumble in the pale girl's ears." Granted, you lose the part about coats, but considering it's cold, the reader could always just infer that most of them have one anyway. Alternatively, you could try splitting all of that information into multiple sentences.

    Also, as a side note, it's actually not necessary to keep reminding us that she's pale.

    A few cars … presented themselves out on the road at this time of the night,
    Be careful. Sometimes, the more flowery your wording, the less sense your prose ends up being. For example, "presented themselves out on the road" makes the car sound like they're extremely flamboyant drag queens who burst through a building's door and started parading down the street. Or, well, maybe they're not drag queens, but it's just a very flamboyant way of describing it. Cars don't really present themselves as if they've magically appeared in a flash of color and sparkles. However, cars can pull out onto the road. They can also drive down the road or roll along the road. Just not "present."

    like offer an umbrella on a stormy night, or donate a book to her vast collection of documentaries and novels.
    Again, the comma really doesn't serve a purpose here. All it's actually doing to this phrase is separating something that shouldn't be separated.

    “Well, I hope that your part-time job at the library wasn’t too frustrating today…”
    This seems a bit forced. Unless Eugene was actually really pushing a hint, the two of them already know she works a part-time job at the library. So, it ends up sounding as if you're using Eugene to tell the audience something that's very basic for the characters.

    You think humans should all go to hell.
    …Didn't she just flip a random crap about how the government treats humans poorly?

    “That is what this world needs. We need to denounce progress in the name of teamwork! We need to denounce ambition in the name of community! And we most definitely need to denounce knowledge in the name of the people! To hell with progress! To hell with ambition! To hell with knowledge! To hell with pain!”

    By now, the demagogue had drawn a crowd far larger than the crowd Sophia had attracted in the library. But Sophia wasn’t focused on that. Her vision was blurred; her cheeks hot with rage and shame, and her fists were clenched, full of regret as well a little bit of doubt. By now, many people were clapping and cheering and chanting.

    "To hell with progress! To hell with ambition! To hell with knowledge! To hell with pain!”

    Eugene was madly laughing the whole time. The crowd started getting rough as the yelling, tumult, and confusion ensued. After taking in the whole scene, Sophia turned around and broke through the mob, shoving her way through, tears smeared on the arm of her trench coat. She ducked her head as she made her way back home, avoiding all people at all costs. But she was already used to avoiding all people. What was harder to avoid was Eugene’s words.

    "To hell with progress! To hell with ambition! To hell with knowledge! To hell with pain!”

    “No,” she spoke aloud to herself, “I’ll never accept that utopian mindset.” For a moment she smirked. “It’s…ridiculous!” Her smirk faded quickly, though, and she stopped and slowly gazed down at her feet.
    Okay, honestly, this is what I was talking about concerning that long rant. You're trying to write a dystopia novel, possibly a la 1984. The problem, however, lies in the fact that you're laying it on a bit thick. I mean, right here, you're illustrating mental sheep chanting about the annihilation of reason for the sake of docility. As in, trading their brains for happiness, probably decided by someone else. Thus, you bluntly present the issues that you've mentioned in the author's note. Power is evil. People are sheep. Freedom is good. What makes an individual? Probably a few other things too, but that's the heart of the matter, right?

    Unfortunately, in treating your subject like this, you don't make it seem terrifying or thought-provoking. I'm not inclined to really meditate on your issues. I'm more inclined to laugh because it's all pretty comical. People who aren't even involved join in for no apparent reason. Eugene randomly goes from being a nice guy to a ridiculous, laughing caricature of himself as if he was the embodiment of fear in some cartoon. (My mind immediately jumped to a scene in The Simpsons where a younger Bart gets a clown-shaped bed but ends up terrified of it because he thinks it's going to eat him.)

    Like I said, when working with something that's deep, you need to really be careful about handling it. You can't make your issues too obvious, and you can't let your characters or your narration do all the talking. For books like 1984 and Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (or even the film Brazil), yes, you'd think the political commentary was on the surface, but what actually made them powerful was the fact that the writing built a world and centered the issues around the actions of the characters. For example, We features probably the most oppressive government you could possibly imagine, with everyone named by number, watched by constant surveillance, and eventually taken into the government and suffocated if they stepped out of line. It wasn't even possible to have children without government approval. You'd think that the issues beat the reader over the head, but they really didn't because the issues took a back seat to the main character's encounters with a rebel organization, the other side of the city wall, and so on and so forth. In other words, while the issues were there, what made the story powerful was the fact that it was a story first and a soapbox second. D (the main character) subtly conveyed the themes Zamyatin was trying to get across by taking the reader through his efforts to help his mate keep her baby and to aid the rebel organization through a plan that ultimately failed. (The same idea of story before soapbox is also present in 1984, which follows Winston's observations of Oceania and the drama of his life. It's the drama that actually highlights the problems of the society, not Winston or other characters themselves.)

    To make the contrast a bit clearer, here's what we have here. So far, while we've met a near illiterate (although you don't seem entirely clear about how literate that character is) and while you've mentioned the fact that humans are kept almost like slaves, the idea that this is a dystopia is presented through explicit statements by the characters. We're not actually shown what makes this oppressive. We haven't even actually seen action from the government. There's no real drama here, so it feels like I'm watching a PETA ad about how we need to stop having pets because that's animal slavery. That's nice and all, but it's not terribly poignant.

    Yes, it's occurred to me that this might be the point: that Sophia lives an average life because for beings like her, it's a pretty normal society. Yet, it clearly isn't because Eugene's been affected by propaganda… propaganda we have yet to actually see. Moreover, groups of complete strangers have randomly joined in with the chant, so unless this is the middle of Cabaret with everyone randomly joining in the Nazi song, there's probably some significant differences between a freedom-loving society like many modern, real-life countries and the society in which Sophia lives.

    Also, yes, I know it's just the first chapter and that you've probably built it later, but I just can't help but feel like you really could portray your message a bit better than through chanting right off the bat. At least do some world-building first to give us an idea of why Sophia would flip about how imperfect it is.

    it wasn’t like any other guys
    "Guys" should actually be singular here. The reason why is because of the word "any." You pair it with singular nouns instead of plural because you're usually referring to a random single specimen. Hence, any guy, any girl, what have you.

    Quote Originally Posted by LampShade View Post
    Th big man says that people and cities have something called a "nme".
    See, this is why I feel like you haven't entirely settled on what level of literacy your character possesses. He's able to add an O in "people" (which isn't pronounced), but he left out the A in "name" (which is).

    I do not know what this “years” is.

    Th big man says that he knows what “years” are.
    Also, you have the character refer to "years" with both a singular and plural verb. I feel like you'll want to use one or the other for the sake of consistency, considering this character has a tendency to repeat other mistakes anyway.

    Th big man tells me many things. He tells me that I m trapped in a “very bad” place. I do not understand these words. I ask him what “very bad” is. He can not explain it to me. He says that once I get a personality, I will be able to understand what bad is. He says that I m being “controlled”. I do not understand this, either. He says that I m ignorant and that I need to be “brought into th light”. Th light that I know of is th very bright circle in th sky that I m not supposed to look at.
    To be honest, I'm going back and forth about the parts that are told in first person. On the one hand, you have a potentially dramatic story here, and therefore, it's actually a lot more interesting than Sophia's. These parts are the ones that resemble 1984 and We the most, after all.

    On the other hand, you also tend to lay things on a bit thick when the rebel/human rights zealot does things like say the writer is ignorant and that he's being controlled. This is already evident just from the descriptions he gives the reader. Saying it again just beats the reader over the head with the idea that this government is oppressive. (Again, it's better to show us the suffering the writer is going through by having him say, "I'm not allowed to go outside" and "They make me do this and tell me I'm a good boy" than it is to have someone else come and say, "You know you're being brainwashed, right?" It's just more effective because we can imagine what his limitations are, and we can sympathize for him if he shows us his boundaries.)

    I will say, though, that, yes, I do feel like these are the best parts of your story. You play with species roles (i.e., humanity and the position of dominance are mutually exclusive concepts), and if you can just convince yourself to paint a portrait of ignorance and avoid laying your theme down too thickly, we can actually feel sorry for the narrator. If you can get us to do that, you'll convey your thoughts a bit better than you could by explicitly stating them with Eugene.

    We worship th great bird. I go with them when they tell me to. If I do not go with them, I will be punished. Th great bird is in a cage. They say that th bird is meant to be in th cage. But th big man said th bird is not “happy”. Th bird always hits th cage with its large, silver wings. It is very big. Th big man asks me if I’m scared, but I do not know what “scared” is.
    This actually seems out-of-place. While I understand that the narrator possesses a childlike mind (meaning, they'd probably run along a stream of consciousness), considering he was talking about his job and a conversation with his "friend" in the paragraph just before this one, this paragraph seems like it was tacked on as an afterthought in an effort to fully illustrate all corners of the prisoner's life while at the same time emphasizing once again how oppressive "They" actually are. In other words, it's like you're a train that's jumped from one track to another without warning.



    Okay, so, I've reached the end of the second chapter, and here's what I think of what you've got so far.

    First off, don't get me wrong. I like a well-built dystopia (no pun intended). As you can tell above, I could rattle off at least two books and one film centered around them, and that's not even really the extent of my favorites list. Moreover, I do like the first-person parts because, as I've said above, they're the ones where I feel closest to sympathizing for your character.

    Of course, the concept itself is interesting. Here, you've got humans being used as slaves, so it's at least partially addressing the idea of human inferiority. Species roles, like I said. Humans are servant animals, not necessarily the dominant race. Likewise, you've the so-called superior beings actually being controlled by something higher through heavy propaganda. Otherwise, their society looks somewhat ordinary to the point where I almost get Pleasantville vibes. (As in, it reminds me of McCarthy-era 50's, only taken to a creepy degree.)

    Finally on the positive side of things, you do have a potential to be an effective writer in the descriptions department. Granted, some of them were actually a little off (like the hair thing), but you have the words to do it. The trick is to actually figure out how to present things so that they don't feel like they're being brought up just to be brought up. Moreover, when you talk about images once, you'll have to learn that it's okay to only do it once. (For example, it wasn't necessary to tell the reader that Sophia was pale almost every single time you talked about her without using her name.)

    That brings us to the negative bits. First off, you have potential. I definitely see that. I just feel like you've got some ways to go and that, at times, your prose went all over the place just because you wanted to cover a point but couldn't fit it in properly. (For example, the part about the bird. Also, the part about Sophia's hair.) If you find yourself throwing in points just for the sake of actually covering them, that's about the time you probably should step back and look at your writing to find another place to put it. When you write, you need to have your story flow from one point to another without too many jumps all over the place. As in, if you're talking about one subject but want to get to another point, you need to find a way to get one subject to segue into the next smoothly. It's like a puzzle, right? Pieces should fit together to form a neat picture, and if a piece is jammed into a hole it doesn't fit, it shows in the end result.

    Speaking of which (oh, segues), subtlety when you talk about your themes. Don't just bring them up and lay them out in the open. Have your characters actually live your themes, rather than just talk about them, and if they do live your themes, don't overdo it by having a character point out "you're so ignorant" or what have you. I've gone on about this enough, but if you still want to talk about it, feel free to respond. Otherwise, I'd feel like I'm beating you over the head with this point.

    Finally on the nitpicking front, there were a few grammatical errors in the third-person pieces that I've isolated in the above commentary. My advice would be just to Google comma rules if I wasn't really all that clear. (Same thing, for that matter, with dash, hyphen, and semicolon rules.) It's a complicated subject, but it's easier to understand if you have examples. If you need a nudge towards a guide I particularly recommend, try OWL at Purdue.

    Other than that, there's only one final note that I want to address. Personally, I feel like this could be better as an original fic. I can see where there's hints of Pokémon in here, sure, but other than that, it feels like you could replace the Pokémon references with mythological creatures (or even aliens) and a monster tamer class and still have the fic make sense. Even when you come the closest to explicitly mentioning Pokémon, it could just as easily be replaced with some bird from mythology (Ziz, for example) or even, if you changed its color, a real-life bird. (A bald eagle, for example, if you want to write a commentary about the US.) It's just that I feel like Pokémon isn't a vital component to this story compared to just the dystopia factor, and that would probably be made more powerful if you didn't try to stuff Pokémon into the equation. (Trust me. I tried to do the same thing once. Write a political dark fic where Pokémon were unceremoniously shoved into the picture, I mean. At first, I thought Pokémon was an important part of it too, but then, I realized I was focusing a lot on the politics of the fic over the actual Pokémon part of it. In the end, I ended up turning it into an original fic because the end result of the Pokémon version of it was a mess. Yes, in part because of that.)

    Long story short, you have the potential to write a great fic because you have an interesting concept. You just need to figure out how to execute it better.

    Good luck with future chapters.

    REBOOT: Chapter fourteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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  22. #22
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    Awesome review. Thank you so much. Unfortunately, work is piling up. I'll still be able to post up chapters, but I'll slow down even more, since I won't be writing as often. I have chapter 8 ready, but it looks like reworking what I have so far will be my main goal.

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    Hey guys, I'm incredibly sorry for the lack of plot embellishment for the next two chapters, but I haven't worked on them in months. These were the documents I have had for a while now, so I apologize for lack of style, transition, etc.


    Chapter 5 - How Objectivity Pertains to Legendary Creatures



    Spending more than an hour inside the Renegade’s Headquarters was often irritating for Sophia. Despite the shining steel walls and the clean passageways and the large rooms with sophisticated technology, a particular issue always got to her head: air conditioning.



    Sophia fanned herself with her gloved hand, annoyed by the length of time she was spending in the waiting room. General Kyros’ office was one of the few rooms with air conditioning, and the dispirited girl was desperate for a cool breeze on her face. The Renegades were adequately funded, so it wasn’t a matter of installing air conditioning in the building. Rather, whenever a full-scale ventilation system was implemented, the generator would run out of energy in minutes. The underground headquarters was simply too huge to cool down. As a temporary solution, there were multiple “vent rooms” throughout the Headquarters for fellow Renegade members to take in a breath of fresh air.



    Despite the enormity of the building, there were only a hundred or so members who constantly worked in its premises. The waiting room next to the office of General Kyros was empty except for the pale faced librarian. Other Renegade buildings scattered across the region were incredibly small; on average, one would maintain roughly ten Renegade members.



    Even though the Renegades were a relatively undersized organization, they were part of a much larger Sabotage group. This macro-alliance consisted of organizations, including the Renegades, which sought to overthrow the governments of the East and West Terrains.



    As Sophia pondered over these thoughts, the tough steel door leading to the General’s office opened up. A woman in her twenties with fair skin and blonde hair stepped out. She wore a somewhat revealing black dress, along with high heels and makeup.

    The woman gave a dazzling smile to Sophia as she walked on by. Sophia, a bland looking girl compared to the women, glanced back sourly as she stood up to enter the room. The woman always smiled at Sophia, almost as if the woman was taunting her. Sophia grimaced. She had known the woman since she was a child. The two lived in separate cities now, but they would always see each other, because they were both Renegades. In fact, the woman was the reason why Sophia joined the Renegades in the first place. Still, Sophia always felt tension around the woman. There were many unresolved things between the two, and Sophia wanted to have nothing more to do with her.

    As the pale librarian entered the office, her already depressed face grew worse. Kyros, a stern, middle-aged man with gray hair and broad shoulders, stoically sat in his luxurious chair.

    “Miss Kora.” The General’s gruff voice compelled Sophia to stiffen her back and look at him sharply in the eyes.

    “Yes, General?”

    “There is no need to tell me about the capture of the Desumo Flax, or the Unda Canis, or the current state of Ivan’s missions.”

    Sophia silently nodded, then slowly murmured “Yes, sir.” Kyros often frightened her. It wasn’t just his solid and apathetic conduct. Another quality of Kyros that disturbed her was his eminent omnipresence. It was rare that Sophia had to report something to Kyros that he did not already know. More often than not, it was Kyros that was informing Sophia of other happenings that Sophia did not quite catch. The intelligence of the librarian paled in comparison to that of the great General.

    “Ivan also mentioned to me that the boy is causing him some trouble,” Kyros stated. “This is expected. According to previous records of the Metropolis, this boy was quite a tough cookie. He was hard to subdue as a baby, and his mind is currently under severe handicaps. The boy is a natural thinker. He also seems to naturally oppose people. Ivan says there’s barely anything that the two agree on. The boy constantly questions him, constantly finds flaws in Ivan’s thinking, and constantly seeks more knowledge. This boy is incredible.”

    Surprised, Sophia replied, “Well, it’s not common for you to as enthusiastic as this. I suppose this is a big deal.”

    Kyros nodded. “Yes, this is a big deal. As each day goes by, the National Government gains power from the legendary creatures. With every tick of the clock, these creatures get increasingly upset. We do not have much time until one of these creatures wreaks havoc upon the Terrains.”

    “So how to you plan on using this boy?”

    “Simple,” Kyros replied. “Intelligence reports of the recent runaway legendary creature - the Unda Canis - are traced to the segregated City of Intellectuals. I have talked with a diplomat in the area, and I have convinced him to show us their city. The objective is to find the runaway creature. We have one report that suggests that the secretive local government of the City has the legendary creature captive. I am sending you and the boy to the City to find out where they may be holding the legendary creature.”

    Sophia’s eyes widened, surprised at the General’s decision to send her. Her mouth was moving, but no sound came out. Finally, Sophia blinked and suppressed her shock. “Me? Why?”

    Kyros nodded towards the door. “I was actually planning on Miss Cynthia to travel with the boy, but she said that she had to make some important appointments. So I decided to send you.”

    “But…” It was still hard for Sophia to speak. She had never been sent on a mission before, and she had no idea why she was being sent now. There was nothing special about her. The only useful thing she could do to help the Renegades was serve as a lookout.

    “I know what you must be thinking,” Kyros answered, as if he was reading the pale faced girl’s mind. “In order to understand why I chose you, you must realize the secularity of the City. The City’s diplomat stated that they prefer that we send a young woman to accompany the ambassador. They promised not to abuse the woman in any way, but they claimed to enjoy a woman’s presence and are more willing to share with us the many aspects of their town if we were to bring a woman with the boy.”

    “So the boy is the diplomat?”

    “Yes. And you will be the woman.”

    Sophia hesitated for a moment, unsure of how to take Kyros’ explanation. She then spoke quietly, somewhat embarrassed of what she had to say, “I’m not that pretty…”

    Kyros eyed Sophia skeptically. He then nodded. “It’s natural for girls to feel like that. Don’t worry; I’m sure they’ll admire the way you look. The residents of the detached City are of a very worldly nature, and they praise a man’s dominance and a woman’s physical features above all else.” A smile creased on his lips. “The boy has a very dominant mind, and you have a very attractive figure. I’m sure you two will acquire all the information you need.”

    Sophia stepped back, blushing. She muttered to herself sheepishly, feeling her flushed face with her gloved hand. It was rare for her to be called attractive. Eugene would sometimes call her cute, or pretty, but never attractive. Something about the word made her feel strange. It was a good feeling, but it was almost scary.

    Kyros seemed to sense Sophia’s humiliation. His voice rang louder than before, resounding with the assertion of a commander. “Miss Kora. You will report to the Departure Room in five hours. That is when Ivan and the boy will arrive. You will leave immediately upon the boy’s arrival. You are to travel straight to the City of Intellectuals. Seven day’s worth of provisions is required. Once in the City, you two will go to the House of the Enlightened. An ambassador will meet you there and show you around the city. Call me if you need any help. Otherwise, I will leave the rest up to you.”

    The still somewhat flustered girl nodded. Her chapped lips weren’t moving.

    “Is there something wrong?” Kyros asked.

    Sophia began to speak, but hesitated. She understood what she was supposed to do, but there were other unresolved conflicts that she wanted to share. Unfortunately, the gifted librarian didn’t know what to say. Finally, she mumbled, “Is there such a thing as… absolute corruption?

    The General’s interest was piqued. “Why do you ask?”

    “Well, I have a friend. He says that there’s no such thing as absolute corruption, and…”

    The General interrupted Sophia. “Do you believe in absolutes?”

    Somewhat confused, Sophia uttered, “Well, I mean…”

    “Is there such a thing as absolute truth?”

    A chord was struck in Sophia’s brain. Of course there wasn’t such a thing as absolute truth. Sophia knew barely anyone who believed in an invariable reality. After all, someone may perceive something as totally different from someone else. Sophia spoke confidently. “No. There’s no such thing as absolute truth. For instance, one culture may consider sacrificial rituals bad, while another culture may consider them good.”

    Despite her awkward analogy, Sophia remained strong. Moral relativism was the philosophy of the new world. It was clear that different people see things in different ways.

    “Are you sure?”

    Sophia hesitated.

    Kyros leaned further back into his chair. “You say that there are no absolutes. But is that not an absolute in itself?” The General’s voice was powerful and moving. “You see, Sophia, this new civilization is plagued with the idea that we see all things differently; that killing may be just or unjust, that suicide may be corrupt or righteous, that Metropolis Centers may be cruel or dignified. This world praises the idea of being open minded. This world believes that subjectivity is omnipresent. This world believes that one may perceive a cube with no corners, or a fire with no light, or a voice with no sound. How ridiculous! An experienced philosopher would know that such an idea would be infinitely regressive; that, without a firm foundation to hold such beliefs, the idea of subjectivity has no basis of which to make its own claims! To argue against objectivity is to establish that a truth exists; to argue against a fixed world is to establish that a fixed truth exists; to argue against moral absolutes is to establish that a moral absolute exists!

    “For instance, relativists may argue that a ‘legendary’ creature to one person may not be a ‘legendary’ creature to another. This is true, but it only further reveals that an absolute exists: ‘legendary’ creatures are perceived differently. I will agree that subjectivity exists in many things we perceive, but there will always be absolutes.

    “To answer your question: Yes, there is such a thing as absolute corruption, for there is always an absolute in everything. By definition and connotation, corruption is bad; it is undesirable to its victims. No one can deny that. Therefore, corruption is absolutely bad. And therefore, all corruption that is pure corruption is absolute corruption.

    Sophia cocked her head to one side, trying to understand the logic behind Kyros’ words. “So all corruption is absolutely undesirable to its victims… right?” she asked.

    “Correct. You should tell your friend sometime that absolute corruption exists, and that anyone is capable of being absolutely corrupt. That’s what’s happening to our nation as we speak; there are people with absolute power…”

    “And that absolute power corrupts absolutely,” Sophia finished.

    Kyros smiled. “Why yes, it does. Now, enough of this chatter. I believe I have said the word ‘absolute’ far too many times in one conversation. I will be seeing you when you return. Good luck, Sophia. Your reports of the legendary creature will be vital to our operations.”

    Five hours, Sophia thought to herself as she left the General’s room. It was five hours until she would meet the boy and embark on her first mission. The pale girl’s face showed her profound anxiety. It was then that she remembered her part-time job and school. She would probably be gone for a week or so, which would interfere with her mid-term studies, but that didn’t matter. She was still astounded by the fact that she was about to partake in a mission that could very well make a difference in the world.

    Sophia swiftly walked down the steel hallways, a slight skip to her step and a small hint of a smile on her face.

  24. #24
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    Chapter 6 - I Escape the City

    I’m getting out of here soon, according to the big man.

    Recently, the big man has been teaching me what time is. For instance, he said that it’s been two months since he has come to see me. This is my third written record. He told me that it’s been two weeks since I wrote my first record, and it’s been one week since I’ve written my second one.

    The big man said that once we get out of here, I can call him by his name. I want to know his name, but he won’t tell me. He said that I might acidentally say his name while we leave this place. If that happens, someone might hear his name and I would be punished.

    I have learned many things over the past week. The big man has been teaching me a lot because he said I need to know as much as possible before I go out into the real world. He said that days pass by whenever the sun goes up and then down. He said that the sun is the light I am not supposed to look at. He also said that weeks are when the sun goes up and down seven times. Years are when the sun goes up and down over three hundred times. I can’t remember the exact number at the moment, but I know that it is around three hundred and fifty times.

    He told me how to use apostrophes and pronouns in my writing. He says it makes my writing look more personal. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what personal means. He keeps telling me that I will know when I leave this place. But I want to know now.

    I have been feeling that a lot lately. I feel the need to know more. Ever since he taught me about time, I have felt a drive inside of me. I feel like I need to do things quicker now. I feel like I have to know more, and faster. I always feel like I want to talk to the big man more so I can learn more.

    I do not feel the need to watch eggs as much anymore. The voice in my head that tells me to keep watching the eggs is fading. It is being replaced with everything the big man is teaching me.

    The big man is also teaching me about creatures. He says that they are living, like us. He says we can tame them. He says that we can control them. But he says it’s different from oppression, because the creature enjoys being controled.

    I feel strange when he says this. Something is not right. I think it is because he always says it is bad for me to be controled, yet he says it is good to control these creatures. I do not understand this.

    I am beginning to wonder if I really want to know so much. I think I am feeling what the big man calls happy, but I also feel sad a lot of times. I am a little scared, too. I have never experienced this before. This is all new. I am not sure I want this.

    But what mainly keeps me from going back to my ignorance is the fact that the big man keeps calling me special. He said that it’s a good thing to be the kind of special that I am. He says that I can save the world and that I will save the world.

    That’s another thing that the big man taught me. He taught me how to use italics. He said that when a writer slants his words, it means that he wants to put emphasis on the word. I am slowly beginning to understand what he means by emphasis.

    The big man says that we are leaving soon. He said in less than one day, to be exact. He said that we will leave when the sun is gone and it is dark. I am still feeling scared, but I am also excited to see what is out there.

    The big man said excited is a good word. But he also said that I will be a hero and that the word hero is a good word. And one time he said that a hero has a lot of power. And another time he said that power is corrupt. And another time, he mentioned that corrupt is a bad word. I do not understand. Will I be a bad person or a good person?

    The big man also told me what a contradiction is. He said that a contradiction is when two oposite ideas are placed against each other. I am not sure if I completely understand what the word means, but I told him what I thought after hearing the big man speak about what a contradiction is.

    I told him that if a contradiction is when two oposite ideas are placed against each other, and the big man says two things that go against each other, one thing can be said about the big man.

    The big man is a contradiction.

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