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Thread: Roots // PG-13

  1. #26
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    What a great story, nothing like I suspected. I thought Rowan was going to be some goody two-shoes kid who loved pokemon. Insted he could care less about them.

    And the situation between him and his mom... very exciting. I wonder if he's going to run away? Maybe to his friend's house? I also wonder what happened in the past that caused their relationship to be hanging by a thread. What happened to his family? Where's his dad and brothers?

    And the turtwig and stunky... I was half expecting the turtwig to have experiments tried on because of it's color. I feel bad for the poor stunky...

    Very good! I can't wait for the next chapter.
    ^^This is about the time when you should be reading my post^^

  2. #27
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    Another great chapter, with more meaningless harm to that poor Stunky . Oh well, I'm sure Mr. Stunky'll be grand. More on the Space Race and some shmad tension between Micko and his mum. Looking forward for more, add me to the PM list if you can.
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  3. #28
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    Piekid 11: Thanks, and I appreciate your comment!

    Horizon: Most of the answers will come in the next chapter. As for the family issues, that'll be more spaced out.

    Paddypower: All right, PM list updated.

    Thanks for the reviews everyone! See you next chapter.


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 39 is up!

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  4. #29
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    I almost forgot, can you add me to the PM list?
    ^^This is about the time when you should be reading my post^^

  5. #30
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    Lol, I joined just so I could comment on this fic.

    You've portrayed rowan in a very different manner. Yes, you have the troublesome kid, but he really seems more than that. Maybe stemming from those unknown family issues...? His treatment of Pokemon also struck me. Much like Horizon said, I assumed he'd be the nerdy kid who absolutely adored Pokemon and the like, but he really couldn't care less. Perhaps another family issue? Meh, prolly way off.

    As far as grammar goes, I think I saw Stunky spelt "Sunky" somewhere, but I don't have the initative to go find it >.< Everything seemsneat and easy on the eyes, and the description okay.

    Anyways, a great read, and I can't wait for more. If you be so kind as to place me on your Pm list, I would love it ^_^
    Poliwhirl is an awesome pokemon. So there. Think aout that long and hard. That's what she said.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isosceles View Post
    Lol, I joined just so I could comment on this fic.

    You've portrayed rowan in a very different manner. Yes, you have the troublesome kid, but he really seems more than that. Maybe stemming from those unknown family issues...? His treatment of Pokemon also struck me. Much like Horizon said, I assumed he'd be the nerdy kid who absolutely adored Pokemon and the like, but he really couldn't care less. Perhaps another family issue? Meh, prolly way off.

    As far as grammar goes, I think I saw Stunky spelt "Sunky" somewhere, but I don't have the initative to go find it >.< Everything seemsneat and easy on the eyes, and the description okay.

    Anyways, a great read, and I can't wait for more. If you be so kind as to place me on your Pm list, I would love it ^_^
    If that's the case then, welcome to the forums

    Oh, and the typo was here:
    With the rest of its length in hand, Michael pushed open his window and threw it out. The rope unraveled noisily, extending all the way to the ground. He then went over to his closet and took out the Sunky's...
    Thanks for pointing it out! I've been trying to fix it, but it won't let me edit my post... oh well, I'll keep trying.

    I'm glad you liked my fic! PM List updated. (Oh, and Horizon, I placed you on the PM list as well. I just didn't have time to tell you so.)
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 26th July 2010 at 5:38 PM.


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  7. #32
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    Sorry it's taken me so long to review Chapter Three, I've been really busy. >.<

    Anyways, yet again, another wonderful chapter Mrs. Lovett. :P The only mistake I saw was that you accidentally called the Stunky Sunky once, but I see another reviewer already informed you of that.

    It's so weird seeing Michael act so horribly towards Pokemon! I always feel so horrible every time I hear him doing stuff to that poor Stunky... xD I feel so bad for that poor little thing. I can't wait for the day he finally turns over a new leaf lol. For some reason, I just can't get enough of Patricia, too. That poor mom.... D: Blah. I'm rambling. Anyways! I couldn't spot any mistakes and it was a great read, so all in all, excellent job! Can't wait to read Chapter Four.
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  8. #33
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    Original take on an established character--I love how nothing about this is what we expected to see. I like the way you're slowly hinting at why Rowan's so messed up, and I really like Emerson--or, the fact that not ALL professors are kindly and inhumanly cheery.

    As for the shiny, yeah it's garystuish, a little, but I don't mind that. They way he reacts to it is just too funny.

  9. #34
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    Two new reviews!

    Dawn Hero: Thanks! And yes, I've been trying to edit that wretched typo, but I keep getting a 500 Server Error. It's probably the thing with those 'error words', but I'll just have to keep trying.

    And yes, it'll be quite fun to see Professor Tree turn over a new leaf. Haha. Get it? Get it?

    Yeah, I'm rambling too. Thanks for the review!

    Super Nerd: I'm glad you liked it, and I'm really glad you liked Emerson. His behavior is funny to read and even more funny to write.

    Next chapter will give us more insight into Michael's behavior... but I'm gonna work through it to make sure it's at the right pace. It'll be posted on Friday, maybe Thursday evening if I have the time. See you all then!
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 27th July 2010 at 11:42 PM.


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  10. #35
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    Oh gosh, is it Friday already? All right, here's four for you all! This one took me a while, mostly because I had to organize a ton of information and events. After this, the story starts getting interesting

    Enjoy.

    0.4

    The next few days dragged on in silence. Michael was confined to his room, only this time by choice. As the hours went by he lay spread-eagled on his bed, staring up at a dirty ceiling.

    So this is my summer... Michael thought. It's one thing to be suspended... but stuck in my own house? I hate this... I hate my life.

    His gaze frequently went over to the pokéball on his windowsill. He had moved it there so it wouldn't bother him, but now it seemed to glint mockingly in the sunlight.

    Michael welled with loathing. That thing would be better off at the bottom of a lake.

    There were no noises coming from any of the other rooms. Michael had tried to fill the hole by calling his friends, but he found out much too late that Patricia had disconnected the phone. She had done the same for the TV, so he couldn't watch the Space Race either.

    His mother had stopped making dinner altogether so it seemed, as Michael saw from the empty take-out containers that littered the dining table. She did not leave anything for him, so he had to scavenge what he could from the refrigerator. In a way, it relieved him. With Patricia no longer breathing down his neck, he was free to eat all the sweets he wanted. Every night he snuck up to his room with handfuls of gummy worms, lollipops, and snack bars.

    Other than the traces she left behind, Michael never saw his mother around the house. She never came up to his room to reprimand him again or ask him what he was doing. Heck, she didn't even ask him if he was hungry or maybe even bored of being shut up all day. Patricia had just... vanished.

    Days passed. The sun came and went. His garbage can was on the brink of overflow, and his clothes were starting to smell.

    Out of sheer boredom he began searching through his shelves, which to his surprise, were filled with things he didn't need. There were a lot. Michael found three empty packs of gum and a math workbook from the first grade that had been collecting dust all these years. He tossed them into the corner. Most of the shelf space was taken up by action figures, ones that he hadn't played with in years. He left those alone, since they could at least serve as decorations. His piggy bank, due to his frequent spending, contained only five dollars.

    The next day, Michael moved on to his drawers. He had never bothered with organization, no matter how many times Patricia told him to. Instead, he rolled up his shirts and pants into balls and threw them in, sometimes leaving the edges sticking out.

    He found some of Richard's old shirts buried in the depths, since this had once been his room. Michael folded them carefully, then placed them into the bottom drawer. The only things he did toss aside were an old jacket, a pair of pants that didn't fit him, and a single red sock.

    By the end of the third day, Michael had managed to turn his room into a semi-orderly place, one that even his mother might have been proud of. On top of that, he had done it without being aware of it. He found this rather funny, since it would take a good few bucks from his father to bribe him into cleaning.

    But there was still one more place to clean - the closet.

    As he looked at it now, Michael felt a tinge of reluctance. He went over to it anyway and opened the doors, ignoring the Stunky's squeals of protest. His eyes ran over eleven years' worth of junk that was piled inside. Books, papers, bags, toys - all were piled up in an unrecognizable lump.

    Slowly, Michael reached inside and pulled out a random object. It turned out to be an old notebook. He flipped through it, seeing large, pointless sentences that were written by a shaky kindergartener's hand. Stupid. He threw it aside.

    The next object he pulled out was an empty tissue box. Why haven't I thrown this out yet? He tossed this as well.

    Michael reached into the pile again, this time gripping something thick and heavy. It took a considerable amount of pulling to free, and Michael had to stand up to wriggle it out. It was an old family album.

    When did I ever have this? Michael wondered, staring at the patterned cover. He looked at the inside cover. The blank line had been filled by the phrase 'RICHARD ROWAN'. This had been his brother's.

    After a pause, Michael turned the page.


    The first photograph was black-and-white, of a fat baby wrapped in blankets. He couldn't tell who it was, but by its worn edges, it was most likely Brian. He had been born first. There were a few lines of writing beneath it:


    "September 26th, 1946. Our son, Brian Rowan, one year old!!!" It was Patricia's handwriting.


    The second photograph was of his parents - Patricia and Andrew. Their faces were pressed together against a grassy background, and they wore toothy grins.


    The caption read: "A day at the park!"


    Michael chuckled, placing the album on his lap. He saw several more pictures of Brian on his later birthdays, then Richard's pictures, and finally his. Michael's eyes lingered on a particular one that was too long to be placed vertically.

    It showed him at about eight years old, on a swing, his head ducked down and staring at the sand. Behind him was a beautiful sunset, and a few more trees. He could remember the day with sudden clarity - he had been mad for some reason, and someone had taken the picture anyway. There was no caption.

    The next one was a full family shot - him, Richard, Brian, and his parents. Looking at their faces all bunched up together, it suddenly occurred to Michael how different they looked. He, Richard, and his father all had similar noses and cheekbones. Though the color was slightly faded, he could see that their hair held the same shade of black. Patricia and Brian, on the other hand, had caramel-colored hair and longer chins. They were different from the rest, and not just by their appearance.

    For one thing, Brian had never shared any hobbies or interests with his brothers. When Michael went to play basketball outside with Richard, Brian never went along. There were only photos of Michael and Richard by the basketball pole, running in a meadow, or cheering at school events. These captions were always done by Richard's black pen.

    Photos of Brian depicted him at honor roll assemblies, standing beside a science project or holding an award. Patricia was nearly always present, smiling next to her star student of a son. None of these photos ever contained Michael, Richard, or his father in the background.

    The next series of photos, and Michael took a deep breath before proceeding, were of a period in his life where everything seemed to change. This was one of the few times in the album where the whole family was gathered in one spot. They stood against a sunny background, a white hospital room. His father's.

    Michael could remember those long weeks perfectly. He and his brothers would take turns staying in the room, watching quietly as the nurses passed by. One particular photo stood out the most. It depicted Michael sitting in a chair on a night shift, his eyelids drooping and his lips chapped. It was the last hospital picture, because the next morning, the news would come. And there were no pictures for that day.

    The next face of the page was instead filled with frantic handwriting. Richard had written a letter to their father.




    "Way to go, dad. Ever since you left, I've been stuck with an idiotic older brother and a mom who couldn't care less... Dad, it hasn't been the same without you. I don't know about them, but Michael and I miss you more than you can imagine. Fuck it, you were the best guy in the world. If you're watching me right now dad, I'm sorry. But I can't take it anymore. My entire life has been hell, and it's all because of mom and Brian. I've been trying to stick around for Michael (he reminds me of you sometimes, you know.) but seriously, I just cant anymore. Mom's trying to make us both like Brian, with the grades and all. So I'm gonna leave. I don't know if its right or wrong in her eyes and honestly I don't care anymore. I just want things to be back to the way they were. Just you, me, and the little guy. I'll miss him too.

    Hope to see you soon,

    Richard"




    Michael felt his heart quicken. There was no date on the letter, but from the content, he approximated it to be sometime after the fight.

    It had happened on an ordinary evening, during the turbulent months following his father's death. With him gone, Patricia was struggling with her work, and Brian was struggling with school. Nevertheless, they were moving forward. But while they did, he and Richard had been stuck in the past. While Andrew had been a father to Brian, he had been Richard's and Michael's best friend. And the loss of a best friend took its toll.

    They had been seated at dinner that evening. Out of the blue, Patricia announced that Brian was accepted at Cobblers Academy, a boarding school in Canalave City. From the way she had said it, Michael knew it was something they should have been very proud of. But all he had done was nod, and Richard did nothing at all.

    Patricia noticed, and questioned Richard.

    "Shouldn't you be happy for your brother?" she had said.

    Michael remembered what Richard replied with to this day. Placing his fork calmly down onto the tablecloth, he said "And when was the last time you were happy for either of us?" Then, he got up and left the table.

    Michael went to bed, hoping that the tension would blow over quickly. But the next morning, Richard's room was empty. No angry note. No farewell. Nothing. Patricia acted like she didn't notice. Michael was allowed to move from his tiny bedroom downstairs into the loft, but under an unspoken condition. He was prohibited from mentioning his brother's name, or bringing up the subject of his 'disappearance'. From now on, he only had one brother. Brian.

    But in the back of his mind, he did question it. He thought it over and over at night, sometimes to the point where he got a headache. Turns out, the answer had been in his closet the entire time. Richard was sick of his home life too. Only he had actually gotten the guts to do something about it.




    Michael slammed the album shut and tossed it back into the closet.

    You never appreciate what you have until it's gone... he repeated the phrase in his mind, staring at the closet for a few more moments.

    His gaze trailed off towards the window again, for the hundredth time that day. It was much dimmer outside now, and the clouds were retreating. Michael's eyes ran over the same trees and the same houses that he had been looking at for his entire life. Soon, he found himself lost in thought.

    He knew Patricia couldn't stay mad at him forever. But when she did forgive him, what would happen next? He'd probably be forced to raise the Turtwig, and most likely let the Stunky go. Patricia would detach him from his best friends, and would involuntarily sign him up for science club once summer was out. A Brian-in-the-making. She'd fill all his college applications before they would even get to him and he'd be shipped off to some school, majoring in something he didn't even care about.

    And then what? Michael couldn't help but think. With her, my life is a void. She wants to control me like a fucking puppet. What if I don't want that? Just because Brian liked it doesn't mean I have to!

    Michael's eyes shifted back towards his desk, then, involuntarily found his backpack. He sat up. It was partially open, with torn notebooks spilling out of the pocket. As he stared at it, Michael felt an idea dawning upon him. It did so in stages, like the gradual ticking of a clock.

    I don't have to follow her orders. I can make my own future. Just like Richard. He felt himself smile.

    Michael crawled over to the backpack and turned it over, emptying its contents onto the carpet. Then he stood and went through his room, refilling it bit by bit. He packed a change of clothes, along with an extra pair of socks in case he got cold. He broke open his piggy bank, emptying the last of his money into an inner pocket. After that, he gathered the last remains of candy from his desk and dropped them in as well. Lastly, he packed a notebook and pencil, figuring he might want to write to his friends.

    With his backpack bulging, Michael rose to his feet and gave his room a final once-over. It was barely empty. The lump of junk still stood in the corner, practically on the verge of collapse. It surprised Michael how little he had packed. Not so very long ago, he would brag to his friends how much his posters meant to him, and how his records were of top-notch quality. And now, he never wanted to see any of it again. What was once his pride and joy was now merely a symbol of his pathetic state.

    Just as he began to turn for the door, a faint squeal cut him off. The Stunky was whining again. Michael dropped the backpack and rushed to open the closet. The pokémon was there as expected, with its tail drooping and its eyes narrowed from the sudden light. Michael stood there for a few moments, just looking down at it.

    "What do you want now, Skanky?" he said. "I'm leaving, you got what you wanted. No more nasty, good-for-nothing hooligan on your back."

    He began to turn away, but the Stunky squealed again.

    "What, what is it?"

    The Stunky was eyeing him intently.

    "You pokémon have given me nothing but trouble." Michael said. "All you do is freaking look at me. You bug me every day and... what? Stop staring at me!"

    He got no response. Michael groaned.

    "Do you want a playmate or something? Here!" He reached over to the windowsill and twisted open the pokéball. He unlatched the Stunky's cage and set the Turtwig beside it. "Your new friend. Happy together? Go play or something." Michael backed away.

    He realized what he had done a second too late.

    The Stunky let out a screech of freedom, and tore across the room towards the door.

    "NO!" Michael exclaimed. "Get back!" He dove after it, but it slipped through his fingers. The puffy tail bounced as it raced down the stairs. Just as he was about to go after it, the Turtwig bounded out the doorway, nearly knocking him over.

    "TURTURTUR!"

    "Get back you cretins!" The Turtwig ignored him. As he watched it hop down the stairs, Michael's hands flew to his head. "Argh! I'm such a fucking ditz!"

    He grabbed the cage and the pokéball and stomped down the stairs, no longer caring if Patricia would hear or see him.

    The Stunky had escaped to the living room. The Turtwig was snapping at its heels, barking madly. They ran all over the furniture, displacing pillows and shaking tables. Michael tried to run after them, but the weight of his backpack dragged him back. His eyes strained to follow the moving dots.

    The Stunky was circling the room's perimeter, its claws already leaving their marks on the delicate upholstery. It ran into the corner, hiding behind a thin metal table.

    On the table stood a vase.

    Michael's heart fluttered. If that thing breaks... I'll kill both of them.

    The Turtwig was slowly advancing on the Stunky, brandishing its leaf threateningly. Instead of going for the kill, however, it just stood there growling. When Michael came to its side, it looked up at him as if to say, "You're welcome."

    It took Michael a few seconds to realize what he was seeing. The Turtwig had cornered the Stunky. It had helped him.

    "Well... cool." Michael said. He unlatched the cage and kneeled down in front of the table. "Here, Stunky Stunky. Into the cage."

    It did not move. Dammit, smart Stunky! Michael gritted his teeth.

    "Come on! Get into the cage!" Michael scooted closer, into the gap between the armchair and the table. Beside him, he felt it give the slightest shudder.

    No no... can't make a sound...

    "Come on, you good-for-nothing buttface..." He placed the cage down and reached for the Stunky with one arm. His fingers inched closer and closer to its body. Just when he grazed its tail, it let out a snarl and shot out of his reach. It ran out of the corner and out of the living room.

    "No, you skag! Argh!" Michael scrambled to his feet, the cage digging painfully into his leg. As he pulled himself up, he felt something give way beside him. He looked over.

    The table had tipped off balance, the vase going along with it. Its fragments had scattered all across the floor, under the furniture and into the carpet. Turtwig began to bark. It turned and immediately ran after the Stunky.

    Michael followed it into the kitchen, already forgetting the mess he had left behind. The Stunky was running in circles in the kitchen, scratching at the refrigerator and walls. The Turtwig ran after it, and in an impressive move, tackled it to the ground.

    Michael acted immediately. He unlatched the cage and placed it over the Stunky before it had time to move. He locked it tightly and held it up to eye level.

    "There. And you're never coming out again, you hear?" He shook the cage, and the Stunky squealed.

    "Tur-tur!" He looked down. The Turtwig was looking up at the cage also, rather proudly. Michael rolled his eyes.

    "Yeah, yeah, you helped, all right? But you're going in too." He lifted the pokéball to the Turtwig and called it back inside.

    He was just about to put it back when he heard a clatter from another room.

    "Michael?" said a voice. "Michael!"

    Patricia had stirred. Her footsteps were slowly growing louder.

    Shit! She's coming! There was no time to put the pokéball away. Michael rushed to the front door, unlocked it, and kicked it open. From somewhere behind him, he heard a gasp. Patricia had probably seen the vase.

    "Michael, where are you? What happened in here?"

    Hope you like living alone! Michael smiled to himself. He closed the door quietly, then hobbled down the driveway as fast as his load would allow.

    He slid into a patch of untamed land near their house, where he sat for a moment, breathing heavily. Through the leaves and branches, he could see the outline of his house. The door remained closed, which meant that Patricia had either not heard him, or didn't care. Either way, she definitely couldn't see him here.

    He waited for a few more minutes, then removed a candy bar from his backpack to settle his growling stomach.

    "Stu stu!" the Stunky squealed.

    "Shut it!" Michael hissed through bites of warm chocolate. The Stunky let out a whine. "I didn't eat dinner. And no, you can't have any. This has to last me for the entire night, maybe even breakfast tomorrow."

    The Stunky sniffed. Michael turned his head to face the street. It went down, down, down, all the way to the beginnings of the city. In that distant strip of land, Jubilife shone with nighttime activity.

    Michael made his way down the street casually, eyeing the rows of houses and trees as he passed them. Most of the lights were on, though there were some that were completely dark. He knew the community's every curve and bump, after countless days running and playing in it. It was the place he loved, but it was also the place he had to get away from.

    His footsteps echoed throughout the street, in tune with the beat of his heart.

    The neighborhood wasn't gated, nor did it have an official name. Its exit was marked by a sign that read 'JUBILIFE CITY - 0.5 MILES'. When Michael reached it, he paused for a few moments. Up ahead, the road was long and winding.

    Am I really doing this? Am I really about to run away? The absurdity of his actions unsettled him. After all, what chance did a thirteen year old stand against the world?

    Michael looked back. Somewhere along the rows houses was his. Patricia had probably seen the unlocked door, and was having a hysterical fit. Or, she might have gone back to her room, too lazy to investigate.

    Either way, he thought, I'm sick of that place. And whatever my future is, I want to build it myself.

    Michael exhaled. His decision was made. He hoisted the backpack onto both shoulders, tightened his grip on the cage, and started forward.

    Both of his brothers had left the house when they could, setting off on their own to start a new life. Now it was his turn.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 9th July 2013 at 12:55 AM.

  11. #36
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    Awww, Michael ran away? D: Poor Patricia... Yet again, another wonderful chapter Mrs. Lovett. There were only two errors I saw when I read through.

    He slid into a patch of untamed land near their house, where sat for a moment, breathing heavily.
    Small, next to nothing mistake. You just forgot the 'he' before the 'where.'

    Somewhere among the rows houses was his.
    Well, I don't know if this is a mistake or not. It's phrased really awkwardly to me. "Somewhere among the row of houses was his" may be a better fix, but that's really all up to you if you want to swap it out or not.

    Hmm. So Patricia like, totally stopped caring for him? D: That's so sad. She's gonna be so depressed when she sees Michael ran away too. The whole photo album with Richard was an excellent addition to the story. I dunno why, but Richard's letter gave me Deja vu for some reason. xD It'll be interesting to see what happens to Michael now that he's on his own with his Stunky and Turtwig.

    Great chapter, Mrs. Lovett. Can't wait for the next one!
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  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn_Hero View Post
    Awww, Michael ran away? D: Poor Patricia... Yet again, another wonderful chapter Mrs. Lovett. There were only two errors I saw when I read through.

    He slid into a patch of untamed land near their house, where sat for a moment, breathing heavily.
    Small, next to nothing mistake. You just forgot the 'he' before the 'where.'

    Somewhere among the rows houses was his.
    Well, I don't know if this is a mistake or not. It's phrased really awkwardly to me. "Somewhere among the row of houses was his" may be a better fix, but that's really all up to you if you want to swap it out or not.
    EDIT: I just understood what you meant. I read your post wrong the first time around. And yeah, that sentnece does seem a bit awkward, so I replaced 'among' with 'along'. Thanks!

    So, I'm glad you liked the chapter. See you next time!
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 31st July 2010 at 1:16 AM.


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  13. #38
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    Yay, new chapter ^_^

    I was surprised at Micheal running away, but it gives the story some different plot branches to choose from, so I like it. The discoloured (I refuse to use the term "shiny") Turtwig helped Michael with the Stunky, so perhaps it will respect Michael. I can't see Michael caring thouggh, but I hope that soon he will open his heart. Turtwig was always my favourite starter from the 4th gen

    Quick question: Why doesn't Michael just release the Stunky? It's been causing him no end of problems, but he hasn't yet even thought of getting it away from him. Will it maybe become a party member?

    Anyways, great chapter, revealed some past information, and advanced the plot along very nicely. Can't wait for next week
    Poliwhirl is an awesome pokemon. So there. Think aout that long and hard. That's what she said.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isosceles View Post
    Quick question: Why doesn't Michael just release the Stunky? It's been causing him no end of problems, but he hasn't yet even thought of getting it away from him. Will it maybe become a party member?
    Michael doesn't release the Stunky because he went through a lot of work to get it and wants to keep it as a prize. I'll explain more of this later, but he wants to keep it with him so he can exact his revenge on it for causing him that many problems. Releasing it would be giving up, in a way.

    As for the Stunky's future, I have something very good in store for it, but I won't reveal that yet.

    Thanks for reviewing, and see you next chapter!


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    Its not to say that both of these chapters weren't good, they were. It's not that the plot wasn't good, as it was. I throughly enjoyed them both, but they were too short. Let's focus on chapter four.

    You depicted the death of Michael's father and the ensuing emotional strife and turmoil it caused. I think you captured that emotion of that disaster perfectly, and for that you should be commended.

    I also like the fact that Michael ran away and kept the Stunky. I just would have preferred that both chapters were longer, that way we would have had some better description of Sinnoh back in the day, and perhaps advance further in Rowan's journey.

    Keep up the good work, but maybe tweak your length and description a bit. I want to see a little more of your Sinnoh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manaphyman View Post
    Its not to say that both of these chapters weren't good, they were. It's not that the plot wasn't good, as it was. I throughly enjoyed them both, but they were too short. Let's focus on chapter four.

    You depicted the death of Michael's father and the ensuing emotional strife and turmoil it caused. I think you captured that emotion of that disaster perfectly, and for that you should be commended.

    I also like the fact that Michael ran away and kept the Stunky. I just would have preferred that both chapters were longer, that way we would have had some better description of Sinnoh back in the day, and perhaps advance further in Rowan's journey.

    Keep up the good work, but maybe tweak your length and description a bit. I want to see a little more of your Sinnoh.
    All right, I understand what you mean. It's just that these two cover a time when Michael is stationary, and all he really sees is his house and the places closest to it. The next chapter will see him in the city, so I'll have more things to work with.

    So, thanks for the honesty, and I'll definitely try to do more in the chapters to come. See you next time!


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    So Micheal ran away... because he wanted to follow in his brother's footsteps. I didn't think Micheal would do something like that, especially for that reason. Nice twist.

    I like how in the rush with the Stunky escaping, caused him to bring his pokemon with him during his run-away. Also how the Turtwig helped him corner the Stunky shows that even though how cruel Micheal acts towards pokemon Turtwig will respect him. Maybe Stunky will too someday?

    As for Patricia... I don't feel bad for her. She should've learn from Richard that she can't force her children to do things in her own interests and neglect theirs. I'm not saying that Micheal should keep hating pokemon, but she shouldn't force him to do things that aren't his interests all the time.

    And there's my opinion so far. If anything it would be nice if you made the chapters longer. But besides that, keep up the good work!
    ^^This is about the time when you should be reading my post^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horizon View Post
    So Micheal ran away... because he wanted to follow in his brother's footsteps. I didn't think Micheal would do something like that, especially for that reason. Nice twist.

    I like how in the rush with the Stunky escaping, caused him to bring his pokemon with him during his run-away. Also how the Turtwig helped him corner the Stunky shows that even though how cruel Micheal acts towards pokemon Turtwig will respect him. Maybe Stunky will too someday?

    As for Patricia... I don't feel bad for her. She should've learn from Richard that she can't force her children to do things in her own interests and neglect theirs. I'm not saying that Micheal should keep hating pokemon, but she shouldn't force him to do things that aren't his interests all the time.

    And there's my opinion so far. If anything it would be nice if you made the chapters longer. But besides that, keep up the good work!
    Funny, because I was just editing chapter five...

    Like I said before, from here on the story will start lengthening. It's just that I had to get past this period in Michael's life where he was waiting to move on to better things. There will be more to show in the upcoming chapters, anyway, so I do hope it'll be better for everyone.

    Originally, Michael's escape went very differently, and then I came up with a better idea. I'm glad I did too :P

    Thanks for the review!


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    PM list plz


    Also, this fic is awesome. I never thought that a story going in depth to Rowan's background could be so entertaining. I wonder what character change he goes through that makes him become a Professor? It would also be a bit interesting if he met some of his older brothers that ran away, like he meets one and they team up, but he finds out that the other one died or something?

    Anyway, keep it up. Looking forward to chapter 5.
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    I saw it coming that Micko would run away, but still, you handled it great. I enjoyed the little delve into his family's past which sort of shows why his mother is so protective of him. I'm curious to see what he'll be doing now, if he hates Pok&#233;mon he can hardly go off on a journey without some brilliant reason can he? But he can't really hang around Jubilife without getting recognised or found by the police soon enough. Your move, Michael.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LudicoloGuy View Post
    PM list plz


    Also, this fic is awesome. I never thought that a story going in depth to Rowan's background could be so entertaining. I wonder what character change he goes through that makes him become a Professor? It would also be a bit interesting if he met some of his older brothers that ran away, like he meets one and they team up, but he finds out that the other one died or something?

    Anyway, keep it up. Looking forward to chapter 5.
    PM list updated. Thanks so much! As for his brothers, it won quite happen that way but don't worry, you'll get to find out what happens to everyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Paddypower View Post
    I saw it coming that Micko would run away, but still, you handled it great. I enjoyed the little delve into his family's past which sort of shows why his mother is so protective of him. I'm curious to see what he'll be doing now, if he hates Pokémon he can hardly go off on a journey without some brilliant reason can he? But he can't really hang around Jubilife without getting recognised or found by the police soon enough. Your move, Michael.
    Yeah he's in a bit of a pickle now, isn't he? Hehe. Don't worry, he'll get what's coming to him... Not saying anything else, though.

    Glad you all enjoyed this, and see you next chapter.


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    All right, this little chapter sees Michael in the big city. I posted it a day early because I won't be on tomorrow.

    This chapter's been through the grinder and back; that's all I have to say. Hope you like it!

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    0.5

    Jubilife City appeared in stages.



    First came the famous ledge, the natural hill that the city stood upon. It raised it above everything else, like a princely estate among cornfields. The road sloped upwards and gradually raised Michael a good few meters from ground level. The buildings here were small and plain, things like family-owned businesses and gas stations. They were all propped up on stilts that supported them against the curve. It made them look oddly misshapen, as if they might fall down at any moment. Few cars lingered here, and the ones that did reflected the washed-out state of everything else. Michael watched as a rusty Oldsmobile passed by, spewing brown exhaust from its tailpipe.

    No show, no go... he thought with a snicker.

    As he continued further up, his surroundings cleaned. Now he saw the billboards warmly welcoming him to the city and urging him to stop by and get a cool haircut. They were all colorful, and the people and pokémon wore white smiles while their hair fanned behind them. The sidewalk widened, making room for hundreds of little stands where street vendors showed their wares beneath blue umbrellas. There was one that made custom T-shirts and another that sold postcards. The items were all horribly overpriced, yet people gathered around in droves to buy them.

    Michael had never been surrounded by so many people in his entire life, even in school. The mass of bodies around him made him feel slightly trapped, and the rush of color and conversation took some getting used to. Most of the crowd was older than him, consisting of grinning high-schoolers going wild on their summer break. They walked in cliques, amid puffs of cigarette smoke and clinking glasses. Across the street, he caught sight of a tall blonde in a miniskirt. Her arm was draped over the shoulder of an older, more muscular guy, but it was safe to look from a distance. She was prettier than most of the girls at his school, who preferred to keep their hair tied and their faces unpainted. Then there were others who did it to such an extent that their faces seemed like porcelain masks. But this girl was the perfect middle boundary. He could detect a bit of eyeshadow and lipstick, but other than that, she was a natural beauty. Michael's gaze lingered on her as the couple walked, slowly and confidently, finally into a pub.

    Nice, he thought. Just ditch Big Nose over there and you'll be swell.

    A few minutes later, Michael saw another girl - a brunette with unbelievably curly hair standing across the street. She was somewhat bigger than the blonde and wore thick-rimmed glasses. He was not the type to judge a girl on the fact that she wore glasses - his previous girlfriend had worn them and looked mighty fine - so at first the brunette seemed all right, until he was able to read the sign she was holding: "Join the National Science League! Donations accepted just inside of this door!" He was instantly reminded of school, and quickened his pace. From then on, he kept his wandering eyes fixed ahead. The cool kids drove cars, anyway.

    As he progressed, the cars became shinier and more exquisite, to the point where he had to stop to admire them. Their colorful paint glimmered in the light, as colorful as candy wrappers. Their spotless bumpers bore names like 'Chevrolet' and 'Pontiac'. He must have looked pretty idiotic, standing there with his mouth agape, but Michael didn't care.

    I'll have one of those someday. The best car there is, and I'll have it.

    He made his pledge while eyeing a red Ford Galaxie. A man sat in the driver's seat, his eyes hidden behind large sunglasses and one arm carelessly dangling out from the side. For a moment, Michael imagined himself in his place. It felt good, even though he knew he might never get that much.

    No one around him seemed to care that he carried a Stunky with him, though on one occasion he thought he heard someone jeer, "Aw, look at the cute little trainer!" Michael couldn't see the face behind the voice, so he kept going, his cheeks stinging. The Stunky, meanwhile, was exploring the city in its own mammalian way. It scurried around, also transfixed by the city's beauty. For a brief moment, Michael wondered what it must feel like to be a pokémon; to leave your home and be surrounded by all these unfamiliar things. From inside the cage, the world must have seemed bigger than life. In that sense, they were alike.

    After a few more minutes of walking, Michael reached the heart of the city. He knew it when he saw the fountain - a magnificent bowl that stood right in the middle of an intersection, shooting out tall plumes of continuous water. The lights around it flashed all sorts of colors, dyeing the water green, blue, red, and everything else imaginable. The bowl was surrounded by a miniature garden that highlighted its curves and color. Daisies and tulips were planted right into the ground, among neatly-trimmed bushes and decorative rocks. Vines reached up to embrace the stone, twisting in elegant patterns. People sat in benches around it, pointing and marveling. No one took pictures, because this was something you had to really see to experience.

    For a moment, Michael watched the rushing water.

    So this is what freedom feels like. When he inhaled, he could taste the water faintly. What would Cory and Brendan say?

    He stood on the sidewalk for a long while, and then he was on the move again, crossing the street and eyeing shop windows. Among the hair salons, candy shops, and drive-in theaters, his eyes found a bookstore. Its door was bright, less worn since not many had used it. The store was called Fran's Books. For some reason or another, he saw himself enter.



    Inside, the store was clean and empty. Once the door closed behind him, the songs of the city vanished, replaced by the buzzing of lamps.

    The only other person there was a female clerk, who sat against a background of bookshelves. A newspaper lay open before her. When she saw him her eyebrows perked in surprise. Her name tag read, simply, 'Fran'.

    "Hello," she said, rather uncertainly. "Sorry, I wasn't expecting anyone tonight. I don't get a lot of customers this time of year."

    "Why not?"

    The woman shrugged. "I don't know. Summer, you know. Everyone's out having fun, going to movies, and I'm the only one sitting inside reading."

    "I like books," Michael said. It was true, actually. When he was younger, he sometimes stole Brian's books to keep himself occupied during school. But for some reason, his interest had dwindled over the years. Stepping into a bookstore was like stepping back into childhood.

    Now the clerk smiled. "Good for you. You know, I've been noticing that people who read are less likely to get into trouble."

    Michael stifled a laugh. Well that can't be true.

    "And they also end up leading better lives," she continued. "These young people... all they care about is self-indulgence. Most of my friends wouldn't take a book into their hands if their lives depended on it. It's a choice you have to make early on, you know. Pay now, play later, or play now and pay later." The clerk laughed pleasantly. "You know, there's a saying that nerds always get the girls when they're twenty and rich. Do you think the same goes for girls?"

    Michael did not know what to say, so he shrugged. "Uh, I guess. I really don't know."

    "Sorry, I'm rambling," the woman said. "I don't see a lot of people on workdays, so my mind tends to run." She leaned back and took the newspaper back into her hands. "So you wanna have a look around?"

    "I guess," Michael said.

    The clerk nodded. Her eyes went to the cage. "But be careful with that Stunky of yours. Some of these books are really old."

    "Okay."

    "Just holler if you need me."

    Michael began to pace absently, reading the titles that surrounded him. Most of the spines were tattered, and their text faded. It suddenly occurred to him that this might be a secondhand shop.

    He felt the Stunky shift around. Michael picked a book off the shelf and turned it over in his hands. It was a history book of some sort, and its cover was worn from years of being passed along. On the back, Michael saw the price tag - five dollars. His eyes bulged.

    "That's a really old book," the cashier said from up front. "It's about ancient pokémon."

    "It's expensive," Michael said, lowering it.

    "Like I said, it's old! And it's a special edition that is rarely reprinted nowadays. I actually got it off a -" Her sentence was cut short by a loud tearing sound. By the time Michael realized what it was, it was too late.

    The bottom corner of the book had dipped into the cage, through a particularly large gap in the bars. The Stunky's jaws were locked firmly on a large chunk of the corner. Already, the pages were soaked with saliva.

    "No, no! Bad Stunky!" Michael tried to yank the book loose, but the Stunky's grip was relentless. The clerk nearly fell out of her chair. She was at Michael's side in seconds.

    "It'll ruin the binding!" she screeched. "Get it off, quick!"

    "I'm trying, I'm trying!" Michael shook the cage violently, bumping it against the shelves and walls. Two books fell noisily to the floor. The harder he tugged, however, the stronger the Stunky's grip was getting.

    "Get it off, get it off!" The woman said again, nearly hysterical. Her fingers reached into the cage and gripped the Stunky's tail.

    "Wait, don't do that!" Michael began, but before he could finish, the jet of green gas had shot out to meet the woman's face. She let out a yelp and leaped backwards, arms flailing. The cloud rose, and Michael cringed at the familiar stink. He backed away from it instinctively, his eyes watering.

    Meanwhile, the woman collided with the newspaper rack. Her cheeks were also wet with tears, and her mouth was hanging open.

    "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!" With one final exertion, Michael pulled the book out of the Stunky's mouth. He held it up to inspect it, but the damage had already been done. The entire bottom half was in ruins, and a page was jutting out awkwardly. There were distinct teeth marks from where the Stunky had been holding on.


    The store was silent for a few moments.


    "Oh no..." the woman said, rising slowly to her feet. A muscle beneath her left eye twitched.

    In his mind, Michael kicked himself. He hadn't been inside the store for a single minute, and already something was going wrong.

    "I'm sorry! It was an accident!" he said quickly. "Here, take your book." He placed it in her shaking hands.

    "This... do you know how much it meant to me? Five entire dollars, wasted..." Her eyes were bloodshot from the chemical reaction made by the musk.

    "It was the Stunky's fault, not mine!" Michael said immediately.

    The clerk cleared her throat and ran her fingers through her hair. "It's okay, I guess it's not your fault. That book was about to fall apart anyway." To his surprise, she began laughing. "Heh! It's sure gonna need some repair."

    She opened her mouth to say something else, but whatever it was didn't come out. Instead, her eyes fell on the cage. Her expression softened a little as she kneeled down beside it.

    "Oh, you poor thing. You're probably hungry. Is that why you bit my book? Huh, little fella?" The woman placed a hand on the cage, and the Stunky shrank back from it. All of a sudden, she seemed to forget that her favorite book was in ruins and that she smelled like vomit.

    "Uh... so, do I have to pay for the book?" Michael said slowly.

    The woman tore her gaze away from the Stunky to look back up at Michael. Her voice was flat, an her eyebrows were arched curiously. "Your pokémon looks awfully hungry, kid."

    "I... well, yeah, I know, but that's not the -"

    The woman rose, until her face was well above his. "That thing is all skin and bones. Are you sure it's okay?"

    Michael nodded. "It's fine."

    "It doesn't look too good. Were you gonna take it to a vet?"

    Michael shook his head. "No, it's fine, really. So do you want me to pay? I mean, I can if you want me to, whatever."

    The woman didn't seem to be listening. She squatted down again, her eyes fixed on the Stunky.

    "Look, I can pay for the book! If you want me to." Michael repeated. The intensity of her gaze was unsettling him.

    "Why are you keeping it in a cage like this? Most people just let their pokémon walk on a leash."

    Michael exhaled. Why did she keep switching the subject? "I don't know. Okay? This is all I have."

    "Where did you get it anyway? Are you a trainer?"

    "It's none of your business! And no, I'm not a trainer!" Michael retorted, his voice rising. "If you don't want me to pay, then I'll go." He began to back away, but she advanced towards him.

    "You know, trainers are the only minors permitted to carry pokémon with them. So if you don't have a trainer card, having that Stunky with you is illegal. Plus, it doesn't appear to be in very good health."

    "It's perfectly fine!"

    The woman shook her head. "You know, if you're not a trainer and you're not with an adult, I can assume that it's not yours and you're abusing it. That poor pokémon is shaking. Look at it! Does that mean anything to you?"

    Michael took a quick peek at the Stunky. Indeed it was shaking, but he always assumed it was from fright, not hunger. Didn't he feed it earlier? What more could it want?

    "I don't care! I mean, just..." Michael groaned, but he couldn't make the words come out.

    The woman's eyes widened. "You don't care?"

    Michael pressed his palm to his forehead. "I can pay for the book," he said. "Then I'll leave, okay? I know I'm not a trainer, but I swear, this is my Stunky. I caught it myself and I put it in the cage because if I don't, it'll run away! Okay?"

    The woman did not answer. Her expression was clouded, and she looked down at Michel as if he were some sort of maniac.

    "No... just get out of my store," she said slowly.

    Michael raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure? Because -"

    "Just get out! You little monster." The woman turned away and headed back for her desk. And then she did something that surprised him. She threw the book into the trash can, letting it fall into the scrap like a worthless piece of paper.

    Michael snorted. "Fine," he murmured. "Buy another one."

    By the time he had left the store and resumed his walk, the Stunky was growing restless. Michael could feel the vibrations it made as it darted back and forth, probably chasing its own tail. He shook the cage a little.

    "Shut up, shut up!" Michael said. "It's all your fault anyway, skanky. You should be happy if I decide to feed you by next week."

    The Stunky made no reply.

    Michael continued down the sidewalk, dodging anyone who got in his way. His mind was churning.

    What a moron... How am I a monster? She was the one who tried to butt into my business. Now she can spend her own money to buy another book. What do I care?

    But for some reason, he did. What the clerk said had displaced something within him. And no matter how he turned the conversation in his mind, he could wring no more meaning out of her words. Her intention had been very clear - you, Michael Rowan, are a monster for starving the Stunky.

    He had been called worse before. So why did this accusation bother him?


    Michael kept replaying the last few minutes in his mind as he walked. He had stopped reading the street signs and directions, resorting to aimless wandering. He drove himself to such extent that the sounds of the city began leaving a strange echo in his ears, and some of the signs became blurry to him. On top of it all, he was feeling a painful rumbling at the pit of his stomach. The candy bar from earlier had done nothing to chase away his appetite.

    I need some real food... Michael licked his lips thoughtfully. Looking around, he saw that there were a few restaurants around him, though they were mostly bars and nightclubs that looked as if they'd offer him a fight before they'd offer him food. He kept walking, until he came across a sign that read 'Joe's Supreme Sandwiches'. Without hesitation, Michael turned and went inside.

    The interior of the store was small, furnished with a few tiny round tables and a row of booths along the walls. The wallpaper was a dingy yellow, and elevator music crackled over the general noise. A display underneath the front counter showed rows of colorful sandwiches, piled with ham, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and countless other things. Michael's stomach rumbled again.

    A man stood behind the counter, assembling a sub with gloved hands. When Michael approached, he looked up and sighed.

    "No pokémon allowed in the restaurant."

    Michael tore his eyes from the display and looked down at the Stunky. It was still a bit shaky from the bookstore, and looked ready to pounce. "Sorry. I can't really get rid of it right now."

    The clerk shrugged. "Whatever. As long as that thing doesn't urinate on my floor. If it does, you're cleaning it up. Understood?"

    Michael nodded.

    "All right. What will you be having?"

    "Can I have the sandwich you're making?"

    The clerk shook his head. "Nope. This one's for me. My manager doesn't give me much time for lunch breaks, that idiot." He ripped off a corner of the sandwich with his teeth and began chewing feverishly. "Don't tell anyone I said that."

    "Okay... how much is a peanut butter and jelly?"

    "Fifty cents."

    Michael nodded and dropped his backpack to the floor. He squatted down and began a very long, very awkward search for his money. The clerk did not complain. He waited for Michael to hand him a bill, then reached into the display to pull out a large sandwich. He slapped it onto a tray and pushed it towards Michael, along with his change.

    "Anything to drink?"

    "Water."

    "All right. Thirty cents."

    Michael handed over a few leftover coins in return for a water bottle, and went to look for an empty table. The café was considerably full for its size, and was abuzz with random chatter. As he looked around the room, his eyes alighted on the blonde girl he had seen before. By a wonderful stroke of luck, she was sitting alone at a booth, absently stirring a cup of tea. Their eyes locked for a moment. Before he pulled away, Michael noticed that hers were a deep amber.

    Well? Go on, you wimp! But for some reason, Michael couldn't bring himself to go up to her. He found an empty booth and slid into the corner so that he and his shame would be well out of sight. He placed the Stunky beneath the table and took a long drink from the water bottle. But just as he was about to lift the sandwich to his mouth, he heard a loud peep from beneath the table, causing several heads to turn.

    Michael quickly looked down, and saw that the Stunky was still pacing. He glared at it for a few moments, and it began to whimper.

    Stupid Stunky. If you want food that badly, here! He tore off a small chunk crust and tossed it into the cage. The Stunky threw itself upon it and dragged it away into a dark corner. He could hear faint chewing, but other than that, it was quiet at last.

    He finished his sandwich without any further interruptions, and left the café with a satisfied stomach. He strolled up the sidewalk at a comfortable pace, looking around at all the buildings. A few squares of the sky were visible, almost black against the glare of light.

    Michael was watching the cars go by when he felt a tap on his shoulder.

    "Excuse me," said a mellow voice. Female. A jolt ran down his spine.

    He turned, and at first he couldn't believe his eyes. The blonde was standing three feet away from him. He could see her features in detail now - thin waist, long nose, pink lips. Freckles. She was definitely older than him, probably by about four years. The oldest girl he had ever flirted with was one grade above him. It had happened when he was in seventh grade, and at the time it had seemed like a tremendous accomplishment, (After all, how many seventh graders had the guts to even approach an eighth grader?) but it was nothing next to this.

    The blonde, meanwhile, was eyeing him carefully. She seemed to be in deep thought.

    "Uh... hello," Michael said after a brief pause. Oh God, do I have crumbs on my mouth? He casually reached up and wiped it with the back of his hands. The girl didn't seem to notice.

    "Do I know you from somewhere?" she said. "I'm sorry, but you look really familiar."

    "Well, I think you might have seen me. I saw you... walk into a pub earlier today."

    Whatever she was about to say she bit back, giggling. "Uh, no. I don't mean that. From a distance, you looked exactly like someone I used to know. What's your name?"

    "Michael."

    Her face lit up for a moment, but then the smile vanished. "No, no, I made a mistake. Sorry about that. For a second, you two looked really similar..."

    "Who's the guy?"

    The girl shook her head dismissively. "Just someone I met in Slateport."

    "Oh, so you're not from here?"

    "No. I live in Hoenn, and I'm visiting my cousin for the summer." She crossed her arms. "But he's more interested in the beer quality than the landmarks. He didn't even give me a map."

    "Do you need directions or anything?" Michael said immediately. "I'm pretty familiar with this place, so..."

    "Oh no, you don't have to do that. I'll only slow you down." Her eyes fell on the cage. "And it looks like you have enough to carry already."

    Michael eyed the cage spitefully. "It's okay, I mean, it's not really that heavy."

    "It's okay. Honestly, I'll be fine. At any rate, I should be getting back to the pub. My cousin's probably wondering where I am." The girl waved. "It was nice meeting you, Michael."

    "Nice meeting you too," he began, but stopped. He hadn't even gotten the girl's name. All he could do was watch as her form grew smaller and smaller, until it finally disappeared behind the crowd.

    Michael swallowed. Well don't I have the best luck in the world. He could almost picture his friends laughing at him for passing up such an opportunity.

    He continued up the sidewalk rather sourly, no longer paying attention to where he was going. Meanwhile, the cage seemed to be getting heavier, as if to prove the blonde's words.

    This thing has cost me my summer, it's cost me my freedom, it's cost me my house, and now it's cost me a chick. Shit, I hate pokémon!

    He crossed a few more streets and rounded a few more corners. By the time he reached a sign identifying East Jubilife, his ankles were throbbing and he had to stop at a bench to rest. He heaved himself and his backpack onto the seat and took several deep breaths.

    By now, the city had lost its magic. The lights were giving him a headache, and each blared horn was a spear against his eardrum. He had probably walked ten miles by now. Looking out, Michael could see nothing but buildings, roads, and cars. The city seemed to go on forever. He would be trapped in here forever, doomed to an eternity of walking, walking, and getting nowhere. He would starve and his carcass would wash away into the gutters, if the Stunky didn't get to it first.

    Michael took his head into his hands. I'm crazy. I've completely wigged out.

    He leaned back into the bench and took a look around. Maybe I can find a hotel or something... I can beg them to let me stay for free... I don't know how, but I'll do it.

    Beside him, the Stunky shifted. Michael turned to look at it. I wonder how much someone would pay for a wild Stunky...

    The pokémon cocked its head, probably not even aware of its own nose. Michael rolled his eyes.

    He could see nothing around him that held the slightest hint of an inn, hotel, or motel of any kind. All he could see were miscellaneous shops, stands, and diners that seemed to serve no purpose other than to take up space.

    He was just about to close his eyes when, in the corner of his eye, he saw something flash. A sign. It was covered in black letters that spelled out something, but he couldn't tell what.

    Michael opened his eyes and turned towards the building. It was tall and square, with a giant satellite dish perched on top. Its centerpiece hung right above an ornate rotating door.


    "WELCOME TO THE CITY OF DREAMS! JUBILIFE TELEVISION STATION IS YOUR NUMBER ONE SOURCE FOR ALL THINGS NEW AND CURRENT! TUNE IN TO CHANNEL 5 EVERY DAY AT 12:00 TO RECEIVE THE LATEST UPDATES ON YOUR FAVORITES... JUKEBOX, THE SPACE RACE, AND MORE!"


    The board shone under the glare of thirteen floodlights, and was decorated by a flashing neon border. Beneath that, crowds were pouring in and out.

    The TV Station! he realized, and his heart fluttered. I can catch up on The Space Race! Yes!

    Without a second to spare, Michael gathered his things and scrambled to his feet. After nearly a week of being cut off from the world, the Jubilife TV Station would be the perfect place to get up to speed.

    "Excuse me, excuse me!" He dodged the passersby and ran up to the intersection, heart pounding with excitement. He took a brief look both ways and ran across the road, eliciting angry beeps from the cars. Still without stopping, he pushed the revolving door and found himself at the center of a thriving lobby.

    The station's floors were of polished marble and from the ceiling hung a large chandelier. In the back was a row of elevators, opening and closing to accommodate streams of traffic. The front desk was made of shiny wood, and curved inwards. Behind it stood not one clerk but three, and they were all jabbering into their phones.

    Michael began walking around the room, looking at the many TV sets that were placed along the walls. They all showed different channels that together created a cloud of noise almost indiscernible. Small clumps of people were gathered around them, watching intently. But the biggest crowd, about twenty people, looked not at a TV but at a small billboard pinned to the wall. As Michael passed it he was able to catch bits of their conversation.


    "... knew this would happen one day..."


    "... Rockets are kicking our asses, that's for sure..."


    Michael stopped short. He couldn't see what they were looking at, and when he moved in closer, his view was blocked by a man's hat.

    "Excuse me." He tapped his shoulder. "I can't see."

    The man turned abruptly, and scowled down at him. "What's there to see?" he said. "Haven't you been watching the news?"

    "Not really," Michael snapped. "That's why I want to see what this is!"

    "Have a good look at it then." The man turned and walked off, mumbling angrily to himself.

    The crowd closed in a little, and Michael was finally able to see the billboard. It was covered with lots of miscellaneous articles, but the one that was pinned to the middle stood out the most. Its heading was bigger than all the others, and its ink shone with pride as it boldly declared:




    ROCKETS REVEAL MORE INFORMATION ON NEW SPACE POKÉMON!

    Earlier last month, Hoenn's Team Rocket launched an expedition to the moon. And on May 22nd, pictures were released of a new pokémon said to reside in space. It was first discovered in flight around the planet. The pokémon as been named 'Deoxys' by the scientists and, since its discovery, has undergone intensive testing. The Sinnoh Inquirer now brings you the updates directly from Team Rocket's laboratories at the Mossdeep Space Center.

    "It's structure is different from anything we've ever seen before," says a spokesperson for Team Rocket. "We don't know a lot about it yet, but if we can find out then it might hold wonders for us."

    Deoxys is equipped with many special adaptations that allow it to survive in the harsh environment of space. Current data has shown that it is capable of living entirely without oxygen, instead getting its energy from outside sources, among them cosmic radiation. Deoxys's unique body structure appears to mimic the mechanics of a spacecraft, enabling it to propel itself and change its course of flight. Where exactly this pokémon originated, and whether indeed space is its primary place of dwelling, are questions that still remain to be answered. More pictures will be released during the course of the next few weeks.


    Underneath the block of text was a black-and-white image of the pokémon. Its body was thin and sleek. One of its arms was missing; instead, two long wires protruded from its shoulder. Its face was round, and two knobs grew on either side of its head.

    "That's it?" Michael said, his hands pressed to the glass.

    "Hey, move it kid! We can't see!" someone said from behind him.

    But Michael was too angry to hear. He had missed one entire week of updates, only to see that Sinnoh was behind.

    "It's just a stupid pokémon!" he said. "It's not that hard to discover; why didn't Team Galactic do it first?"

    "They're lazy, that's why!" said a teenage girl beside him. "I swear if, they make us lose..."

    "This sucks," Michael said. He let his hands slip from the window as he stepped back, dismayed.

    All around him, the people wore similar expressions. One man stepped forward and tore the sign from the window. He spat into his palm and ripped it in half.

    "There." He tossed it into a nearby garbage can and walked away, indifferent.

    "Yeah, what we need is someone who can fulfill their commitments," said the teenager, and walked away as well. The crowd murmured angrily. A few more people broke off, and eventually, Michael did the same.

    Freaking dipsticks... all of them.

    He barely noticed that he was once again outside, and that the ground beneath his feet was steadily sloping downwards. Buildings became less frequent, and once again came the swarm of billboards. This time the wooden mouths turned downwards, and the headings read 'LEAVING SO SOON?'.

    But to Michael, it was all too easy to ignore. His mind was buzzing.

    Team Rocket's a bunch of know-it-alls... Team Galactic sucks. Can't believe I ever rooted for them... Even if Patricia hadn't disconnected the TV, the outcome would still have been the same. Now he realized that his mother had spared him several days of false hope, even if she did so unknowingly. I'm never watching the Space Race again. Team Galactic can go die in a hole. I'll start watching better things. No, I won't watch TV at all. The decision satisfied him, even though he knew that he would never commit to it.

    For the hundredth time that day, Michael's thoughts reached back a few miles to his home and his friends. Cory and Brendan had probably received the news one way or another. How were they taking it? Were they angry too? Probably. Were they being complete sissies and refusing to watch another broadcast? Probably not. They would want to see Team Galactic bounce back, and would become even more vicious in their support. But him... he was different. He was always different.

    Michael's footsteps were hollow and heavy. As the sounds of the city grew smaller and smaller, an iron gate off in the distance grew bigger.

    It just goes to show that you can't depend on people... that's all.

    Behind the gate, Route 203 lay in complete darkness. Michael wondered how comfortable a tree would be. He cringed at the thought, but realized that there was no other choice. Until he found a way to make more money, it would have to do.



    //////



    There was no guard or lock standing at the exit, just a tall, open arch leading up to the wilderness. A fine line where the pavement ended, and the dirt trail began. Michael stepped through uncertainly, letting the lights and sounds fade away into the darkness.

    It took a while for his eyes to adjust. His field of vision was covered in red spots from where the streetlights had been. The sky seemed bigger here, now that it was no longer blocked by skyscrapers. As he walked he stared up too, lost in thought.

    Deoxys is out there somewhere ... and God knows what else.


    Stupid Team Rocket... gonna beat Sinnoh...


    You're a monster, Michael. Monster...


    The trees and shrubs around him came across as shadows, barely tinted with color. Dazed with exhaustion, Michael veered off of the path and collapsed into a soft patch of grass. He dropped the cage next to him, following with his backpack. It was not until he had leaned back against the tree, shutting away the city's fleeting memories and all his disappointments, that Michael was finally able to close his eyes.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 15th December 2013 at 4:45 PM.

  23. #48
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    Good chapter. Seems Michael is on his way to becoming a bit less of a delinquent.
    Can you add me to the pm list?



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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Col. Torterra View Post
    Good chapter. Seems Michael is on his way to becoming a bit less of a delinquent.
    Can you add me to the pm list?
    Hey, thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked the chapter!

    PM List updated.


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  25. #50
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    Sorry for not reviewing for a while. I won’t do a grammar check (I don’t think I saw anything) to save space.

    Chapter 0.3

    Not much happening besides a little development between Michael and Patricia’s bond but that’s alright. I genuinely do feel bad for his mother since (it seems) she’s trying very hard to get through to her son and getting nowhere. I was secretly hoping you’d give her the win in the argument just to put a smile on her face. :P And it hurt to read that the bond Michael had broken “would never mend again.” I have no hope for their shared happiness now. XD

    Poor Stunky. I’m writing this directly after reading Chapter 3 so I still don’t know exactly where he’s going to end up but he seems to be getting a pretty bad deal so far. And plant fertilizer? I thought Rowan would be smarter than that. >:(

    And oh my. I wonder how that poor three years-trapped Pokémon is doing. And nice touch with the Rocket-Galactic Space Race. I enjoyed that.

    Chapter 0.4

    I know I said I wouldn’t do grammar checks but this was bothering me and I figured you’d want to know:

    "Get back, you cretins!"
    I added the comma. Ah, screw it, I found another one. XP

    Michael made his way down the street casually, eyeing the rows of houses and trees as he passed them.
    Another step in Michael’s journey. It could have been a little longer but I like these non-actiony chapters so I won’t complain. I’m going to make my preference for Patricia’s side official now. I got a sick feeling in my stomach when I imagined her realizing that she’s really all alone now and in a way, it’s all her fault (even though Michael did plenty of wrongs too). I’m afraid she’s going to end up a character that I’m told is evil and gets what she deserves but I always sympathize with anyway.

    Really not much to comment on that hasn’t been said already. A good jumping off point, I suppose, but I still wish it would’ve had just a little more.

    Chapter 0.5

    Haha, I’m afraid I didn’t have Funky Town in my library (that is the song, right? I don’t load videos well with dial-up ;_;) but I always listen to the Gaslight Anthem when I read this fic anyway. They’ve got sort of an old-fashioned sound that I thought went well with the setting.

    I’m loving the classic feel you’re giving Jubilife. Michael thinking “swell” was just icing on the cake. :) (Also, “Nice.” seems to be becoming his catch phrase of sorts.)

    I’m a little surprised he didn’t ask Cory and Brendan to come along. I’m assuming they have starter Pokémon (at least one of them does) and they don’t seem like the types to be bound to their homes.

    Michael’s feeling guilty about his Stunky? Haha, go Fran. I also found it kind of funny that as soon as Michael finishes telling the blonde how he knows the area pretty well he realizes he doesn’t know where a hotel is. XD

    The reaction to the Deoxys discovery bothers me a little bit. I mean, this is an alien they’ve found and everyone seems more upset that they were beaten. Plus, those must be some highly intelligent scientists to find out what they did about the creature with the technology (I assume) they had during that time in the Pokémon world.



    Sorry if this sounded like rambling. I was writing my thoughts as I read so it’s probably not totally organized or anything. I’m liking this story more and more so kudos on that. Can’t wait for the next chapter. :)

    EDIT: I put the comma in the wrong place. I know you said you didn't need it but I felt stupid with the comma where it was. XD
    Last edited by Umbreon Ruler; 7th August 2010 at 7:34 PM.
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