Page 5 of 13 FirstFirst 123456789 ... LastLast
Results 101 to 125 of 317

Thread: Roots // PG-13

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    xD Haha, congrats on making the 100th post. I'm glad you liked the chapter. The little pre-bit paragraph was my way of tying the two battles together. After this, I'm going to have them travel to Eterna towards their next battle, and basically try to speed things up as much as I can.

    And speaking of holidays, I'm not sure how it'll affect my chapter schedule just yet. The rest of December will be on-and-off for me, and I'll mostly come on to check up on things, to make sure the fanfiction section isn't on fire or anything. I'll try to keep the writing schedule as normal as I can, but I'll post here if there will be any complications. So for now, expect nothing to change.

    So, thanks for the review. Happy holidays!


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  2. #102
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    50

    Default

    I'm here, I'm here, and what a chapter that was. Two gym battles, you do spoil us. It's nice to finally see how you handle big battles (very well), and great to see Henry get a bit of good luck. I can't wait to see where this will go, especially with the Pokémons' personalities. So good luck with writing, merry Chrimbo and other pleasantries.
    It appears I cannot think of a good signature.

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Think of it as an early holiday gift from me to you. xD I can't say I'll be doing this often (putting two battles in a chapter at once), but circumstances called for it this time. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    See you next time.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 11th December 2010 at 7:24 PM.


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  4. #104
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Somewhere in Jhoto .........
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Chapter 3

    Okay so on one hand you make me absolutely hate Michael and on the other I sympathise with him. You are really good at writing. I still hate what Michael and his friends are doing to that Stunky, I can't believe how barbaric they are! But it looks like Stunky has a bright future ahead of it considering Professor Rowan has a Skuntank, what I don't get though is why doesn't it fight back! Go Stunky Go! But I can't wait to catch up now!

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Somewhere in Jhoto .........
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Chapter 4 - Can I get added on the PM list?

    I just wrote a nice long response and the forums stupidly timed out, so I'm going to put it in brief, sorry. The writing has improved from chapter to chapter, range of vocab etc. grammar. Also like how it flows and you're on the edge of your seat reading it, and you can really connect with the characters thanks to your writing. Plot is developing every chapter with what seems every sentence. There's always something going on and I love that about it, I also feel that Michael is developing himself masses, becoming more independent as the last chapter clearly pointed out. And I was glad there was no Stunky abuse in this chapter! GO STUNKY! He needs a break from time to time I guess, and I can't wait to see how Rowan manages to make it trust and befriend him. All in all great efforts, can't wait to catch up!

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    That's okay, I don't mind short replies. I'm glad you're finding everything all right, and I'll add you to the PM list. The next chapter is going to be where things really start picking up, so look out for that. It's still in the works (I took a break over the holidays, but I'm getting started up again) and should be up soon after January 9th. But there's always school, so I'm not entirely sure how that will go.

    Thank you for the review, harryheart, and happy New Year to everyone!


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  7. #107
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Hey there, Mrs. Lovett's up and running again. I'm not going to say much this time around; these past few weeks have just been really stressful and I'm still trying to get back into the groove. I hope the writing is still up to par. xP

    I've been brooding over this chapter for a while, but I think I've finally gotten it to where I want it. It's not too long, but it's pretty important. From here on out, the story takes a turn into a bigger development. You should have a pretty good idea about what is is when you're done with the chapter.



    1.1

    The sleepy town of Eterna was one of those places that never reached their prime.

    It belonged to a rare class of towns that had been a part of Old Sinnoh, the inner ring surrounding the Coronet mountains that had been there since the continent’s formation. Eterna was one of the few that had withstood the test of time, and managed the miraculous growth from tiny village to self-supporting community. It carved its own roads and cleared away the woods to make room for buildings. Fertile soil allowed for continuous agriculture, and natural resources provided a modest supply for fuel and construction. Eterna was nestled in between two of Sinnoh’s most famous landmarks—the mountains loomed in the east and the famous Eterna Forest lurked in the west—but the town had nothing to show but graying asphalt and creaky doors. Trees that might have been standing since the beginning of time sagged over the streets, reaching for the sun with ancient, withered branches. The sky was colored the tired blue of a wasted day, and occasionally bore fat clouds that crept by with a senior’s pace.

    The town had changed little in the past fifty years, as had the people. While the rest of the world was caught up in the forward march of technology, Eterna lagged in the dust, picking up bits and pieces left behind by the party. Every so often the townsfolk would be introduced to a new piece of gadgetry, which in fact had long been in use in other areas, and would be completely blown away by the ‘discovery’. Telephones were still considered an innovation that few were rich enough to obtain. Television consisted of a few boxes stacked together at the town market, and it was something to behold for the newspaper-reading residents. Cars were practically nonexistent; the only ones that passed through belonged to travelers, and those didn’t stay long. Looking from the outside, a tourist from Jubilife would see a primitive agricultural community, the kind that preceded the Industrial Revolution and looked too fragile to exist.

    Indeed, being four years behind of everyone else would have frustrated any young adult, and for that reason, most of the populace consisted of either retirees, or families with little children. A vibrant, youthful face was a rare sight, and usually meant only a brief visitor who would be gone by the end of the week.

    Bertha was the exception. Eterna had been home to her since she was a little girl, and just like a nasty weed coming out of the ground to choke a flower bud, it had grown on her.

    Not so long ago, she had been the sweet little girl on Chestnut Road, the daughter of the best pie-baker in town, the one who was always playing with friends on the hill. Her childhood had been typical of that of an Eterna kid—swimming, biking, running, and all other outdoor excursions with sleep and food in between. She barely noticed how she had made the jump from five to twenty-five, how those long braids she used to wear had unraveled, and how her parents had suddenly become small and wrinkly. The town had a lulling effect on her; it seemed to wash away all sense of time. One day, she was wiggling her first loose tooth in front of a mirror, and the next day she was strolling about with a bra and manicured nails, looking to buy some coffee before she started her morning shift.

    By that time, Bertha had grown so attached to the town that she refused to move away. While her friends moved on to bigger and better things, Bertha remained behind, willingly lost in her illusion of childhood. The home she selected stood within walking distance of a vast meadow, a vacant lot that formed the last bit of space between them and the forest. She had faint memories of skipping through it as a child, and still knew a few oldies who went bravely by it every morning, the routine having burned itself so deeply into their minds that it was nigh impossible to break away from. She planted a garden there, did some home renovations, and lived happily for a few years. She never looked back on her decision or thought about how different everything could have been, because as far as she was concerned, there was no world outside Eterna. Bertha had grown up walking the same streets, watering the same plants, and she reckoned that that was all she’d ever see.

    Boy, had she been wrong.

    On December 3rd, 1961 (she remembered the date exactly because she had been keeping track for months now), the lot was purchased by a company by the name of Team Galactic Enterprises. Bertha had gotten enough pleasure out of the meadow over the years to miss it when half of it got cut off by an electric fence, and when plans were made for the construction of a factory in its place.

    After all those years of seclusion, Eterna’s first taste of modernization was like a slap in the face. Fliers were spread around the city, detailing Team Galactic’s purpose and their promise to the residents. The papers had been posted on lampposts, public bulletin boards, and mailed straight to houses. They still came about thrice a month, right onto Bertha’s doorstep in little stacks with multiple copies, lest she lose the ones from last time and suddenly forget what the hell was going on.

    Bertha had heard of the Space Race, though it never seemed like something to worry about. She’d often catch glimpses of the news reports in diners, shop windows, and other places where TV boxes were so cunningly hidden. She’d see the same two anchormen every time, their crooked noses bent down over their papers while they droned on about some new innovation they found under a moon rock earlier that month. She didn’t see the big deal, and being a quiet, self-centered town that it was, Eterna didn’t either.

    Supposedly, the factory would be making tiny bits of machinery—master computers, they were called—that would help the spacecraft's navigation system. Each copy of the flier had a simple diagram of the device, along with a list of its many promised benefits. The letters closed with an enthusiastic statement saying that Team Galactic was looking forward to be their new partners and neighbors for many years to come.

    After six months, six painful months of plugged ears and foggy mornings, construction was completed. One morning Bertha and many others went out to stand in the meadow and saw the completed building in all its glory—glimmering tubes, towering smokestacks, and spinning turbines dominating the horizon. From the outside, it looked like a torture camp. Surrounded by all that quiet nature, it was like a metal spike sticking out from a pile of dirt; both intimidating and entirely out of place. It was close enough to her home for her to hear the constant dumm-de-de-drumm of moving parts rise up from the silence, and feel the rumble beneath her feet when she walked by. It felt almost like an earthquake.

    From the day she had first seen it, Bertha knew one thing, and she kept it in the back of her mind until it refused to be silenced: She didn't care what they were making. The factory could be designing weapons of mass destruction for all she cared. It didn’t matter which, because one day she'd reach the end of her string.




    //////




    After the battle, it had taken Michael and Henry less than two hours to pack their things, grab a quick lunch at the hotel café, check out, and be back on the sprawling streets of Oreburgh City, pushing along on their way.

    In one of the shop windows, several TV boxes of different sizes were stacked on top of one another, all showing the same channel. An anchorman’s words sifted through the streets and into the hot summer air.

    “Good morning Sinnoh, this is Teddy Ray live with your local weather on Channel Five. It is currently eighty degrees in Oreburgh City, sunny skies all around, with a fifteen percent chance of rain later in the evening. Looking good on the East side where, apparently, a new car dealership has opened...”

    Michael and Henry kept to the sidewalks mostly, though they stopped at a little convenience store to pick up a map of Route 205. Michael held it in his hands, and Henry walked as fast as he could beside him, looking on over his shoulder.

    “Route 205’s our only way out of this place, I think. It goes two ways—one to Cycling Road and the other to this nature path.”

    Henry tapped his chin. “Ooh. Let’s go for the nature path.”

    “It sounds like it’ll take ten times longer. I don’t want to spend three hours in a forest with Combees and God-knows-what crawling up my legs.”

    Henry sighed. “But we don’t even have bicycles. Cycle Road only lets bikers on.”

    “Shouldn’t they have rentals?” Michael said.

    “I don’t think they do.”

    Michael let out a groan. “Forget it. Cheapskates.” He rolled up the map and held it in his fist. “Fine, we’ll take the nature trail. But no stopping to smell the roses or anything, okay? We have to get to Eterna to book our next battles.”

    Henry nodded. “Got it.”

    They maneuvered their way through the rest of the city. Michael was already somewhat familiar with the roads, and some of the shops that lined them. They were able to walk quickly, since neither of them had that much to carry. The only extra luggage was the Stunky’s cage, but the pokémon too was becoming less of a burden now that it was being fed a steady diet with Henry’s pokémon food. When they passed by other pedestrians, Michael saw that it did not snap at the bars or growl, which he guessed was a good sign.

    A few miles from the city, Route 207 split into two parts. The first, the trail which eventually came to be known as Cycling Road, was private property owned by a local business, and formed a bridge across a deep basin of land. The path was smooth and straight, but too brittle to accommodate the weight of cars. Due to popular tradition, but largely the business’s thirst for money, only bicycles were allowed.

    Michael and Henry took the southern detour along the basin, following a thin strip of road that ran through it like a river. The valley was an enormous crater-like formation dotted with an odd mix of regular trees and evergreens, though as far as Michael could tell, they were more concentrated near the mountains. The path he was traveling was more dirt than anything, with the occasional tree here and there.

    According to the map they were in the middle of a tangle of paths, each one breaking off from another to form a network much like the cross-section of a tree. They were traveling up the main road, Route 207, which ran a straight line right to the city. Cycling Road traced an arc overhead, its wired fences gleaming. Occasionally, Michael heard the elated shout of a cyclist shooting down the slope.

    “I wish I had a bike,” Henry mumbled, looking up at the road with longing eyes. “It would make things so much easier, don’t you think?”

    “Focus,” Michael said. “When we get the Championship, you can hire someone to drive you around. Even better than a bike.”

    “Hmph.” Henry fell silent. As they walked he continued to stare up at the bikers, as if they were the luckiest people in the world.




    //////




    About an hour later, the two boys emerged from the route and passed through the city’s southern entrance.

    The first thing Michael Rowan noticed about Eterna was the emptiness of the place, the feeling of dullness and slowness that was far too different from Oreburgh’s environment. He could see no other kids his age, or anybody that even vaguely looked like a trainer.

    The first street he encountered was Flint Avenue, marked by an old wooden sign. The buildings here were all small and gray, their roofs hanging limp with the burden of uncounted years. The trees moved lazily, their shadows spilling across the empty, quiet street whose only passengers stood smack in the middle, squinting with confusion.

    “Are you sure this is the right place?” Henry said.

    “There’s only one Eterna, as far as I know.” Michael looked at the map again, and began to trace their route with his finger. “Yep. This is it. Eterna City.” He looked up, and still couldn’t believe it. Apparently, all the League excitement that infested Orebrugh like a virus dwindled here, and he couldn’t decide what to make of it. Either the Gym here was so boring that all the trainers had moved on after their first battle, or it was so hard that they had all gone home.

    “I wonder what type of Gym they have here." Henry craned his neck in search of the building.

    “Assuming there is one at all,” Michael said. “This place is like a ghost town.”

    Henry smiled. “Yeah, ‘cause it’s been around for an eterna-ty!” He began to giggle.

    Michael continued to stare at the map. It didn’t offer a detailed outline of the city—only a tiny white dot in the middle of a pattern of large green squares. He rolled up the paper and sighed.

    “Guess we’ll have to do this the old-fashioned way. Come on. We’ll follow the streets and do the best we can.”

    They cut a twisting path through the city, heeding a random series of signs and crossing streets. The town looked much the same in every direction—drab, simple, and undeveloped. He could tell it was one of those small towns, the ones that didn’t seem to understand the meaning of modern times and hadn’t made repairs in over twenty years. The asphalt was gray and cracked, and in some places the roots of trees broke clean through to make little ripples in the sidewalk.

    The jagged lines of houses began to set in as they went deeper. Where the city’s entrance had been something like an empty railroad terminal, now Michael saw large slices of green lawn trimmed with mechanical precision. Some gardens were more lavish than others, filled with mini statues and colorful flowers, and Michael thought he could sense the traces of neighbor rivalry behind their perfect petals.

    They kept walking, sticking to the sidewalk and looking around. The silence was almost deafening. Michael’s neck grew sore from being pivoted back and forth, and his eyes grew tired of seeing nothing but blue roofs, gray houses, and trees. Henry had the other side covered, but by the looks of it he hadn’t spotted anything either.

    “I don’t think we’re going to find anything here,” Henry said. “This just looks like a huge neighborhood.”

    Michael tilted his head up and squinted, trying to see all the way to the horizon. Their street went on for what seemed like forever, intersecting with other perpendicular roads with houses of their own. Further down, the road vanished entirely, and there was a bare splotch of land right in the middle of everything. Here the people flocked, small clumps of them walking in and out of large barn-like buildings with paper bags in hand. Michael guessed it to be some sort of marketplace.

    “The Gym could be there,” he said. “Let’s go.”

    They came closer. A giant banner propped up on wooden stilts greeted them with a handpainted ‘WELCOME’, and beyond that was a scene that resembled a circus. A generous amount noise returned to Michael’s ears as he entered. It was like no other marketplace Michael had ever seen before—nuts and vegetables were piled in wooden chests, resting on tables beneath canvas tents. Meat was sold in booths, sometimes right out in the open. Michael passed several headless Grumpig bodies hanging from the ceiling like ornaments. Through it all, Michael diligently searched the crowd, hoping to find anyone who looked like a trainer, but saw nothing. In fact, no one even seemed to have pokéballs with them at all, nor gloves, hats, or anything else that signified the League. It was just a crowd of regular people living regular lives.

    “Hello boys!” said a man behind a booth. “Want to buy some Nomel berries? They’re in season.” He tapped a box filled with tiny yellow berries.

    “Uh, no thanks,” Michael said.

    The man seemed genuinely surprised. “What? You know, the whole point of coming here in the summertime is to get the fresh harvest.”

    Michael didn’t say anything, but walked on. Indeed, it did seem like there was some sort of special occasion going on. Every person seemed to be buying something, and some were carrying whole baskets filled with produce. There wasn’t a metal shopping cart in sight. But the one thing that surprised Michael the most was how familiar the people acted. It seemed like one giant party; everyone was laughing and joking together like they had been friends for their entire lives.

    When he finally had enough, Michael stopped right in the middle of it all and dropped his arms to his sides. “What the hell?” he exclaimed. “Oreburgh was crawling with trainers! Crawling with them! What kind of Gym town is this?”

    “Maybe it’s a test,” Henry said. “They’re trying to see how committed we are to the League. They probably hid the Gym on purpose to frustrate us and see if we’d give up.”

    “Well it’s a stupid test,” Michael said. But the more he thought about it, the more logical it seemed. By hiding the Gym, the leader would be able to filter out all the whiners, the ones who weren’t serious about their goals and gave up on a whim. Those types of trainers were bound to fail from the start, and the leader wouldn’t have to worry about wasting his time on people who didn’t care anyway.

    Two can play at that game, Michael affirmed. “Lets go, Henry. Whoever this leader is, we’ll shove his plan right back into his face.”

    “Right.” Henry nodded.

    They left the market and went back into the town, turning onto a new road.

    “This time, keep an eye out for anything and everything,” Michael said. “The Gym’s probably hidden where we least expect it to be.”

    “What if we passed it already?” Henry said. “I don’t want to go back all that way!”

    “For now, we’ll keep going. If we don’t find it, then we’ll go back.”

    “Fine. But this cage is getting really heavy. Can you hold it for a while? My arm hurts.” Henry held up the Stunky’s cage. In the full heat of day, the Stunky had fallen asleep. Michael took the cage and looked down at it with a snort.

    “You’re mighty lucky, aren’t you? You get to sleep and be lazy while we carry you around everywhere.” He lifted the cage up to eye level. “It’s getting pretty fat too,” he observed. “It’ll have to start exercising.”

    Henry giggled.

    “What? I’m serious. We’ll get it a leash and it’ll walk on its own. It’s about time too.”

    They were nearing a road named Meadow’s Road. Michael stopped at the sign and scanned the houses in front of them. The development was beginning to thin somewhat, and nature was slowly tightening its hold. Houses were more widely-spaced, and grass grew from cracks in the pavement. To the west, the land sloped upwards in a giant hill, but that was all he could see.

    As he walked, Michael couldn’t help but notice that the houses here were larger and somewhat grander. Some had two, even three, floors. There were still no garages, but each house had a separate, smaller structure attached to it that resembled a large shed.

    “I don’t think this is working,” Henry said. “Each house just looks like a house.”

    “That’s the point.”

    “No, I really think we should go back. The Gym wouldn’t be this far in. Remember Oreburgh?”

    “So? If you haven’t noticed, this town isn’t exactly a copy of Oreburgh’s layout. Just keep going. We don’t have that far anyway. Just up to the hill.”

    “But I’m tired!” Henry sighed. “I’m sick of walking like this! We’ve been walking nonstop from Oreburgh!”

    “What, you think I’m not tired? I’m the one carrying the cage right now, and I’m not complaining!”

    Henry stopped in his tracks and sat down on the asphalt, crossing his legs. “I’m taking a break. You can go if you want to. Tell me if you find anything.”

    “Yeah sure, I’ll tell them how I found the Gym all by myself and this annoying whiner kid wanted to go home.”

    Henry’s face reddened. “I never said that! I just want to take a break! Sheesh!”

    Michael began to laugh, unable to help himself. Henry closed his eyes and lay down on the pavement. A second later, his eyes were open and he was back on his feet.

    "Whoa! Do you feel that?" he said.

    “Feel what?” Michael turned.

    Henry sat down again, this time placing both palms onto the ground. “That... rumble.”

    Michael perked an eyebrow. “What rumble? I don’t hear anything.”

    “No, sit down! You have to sit down to feel it. It’s right beneath the ground. Sort of like a train.”

    Michael sat down and placed the cage beside him. At first he felt only warm cement, but sure enough, he began to feel a distant churning rise up from somewhere beneath it.


    Dumm de-de drumm de-de drumm...


    Michael shook his head. “That’s impossible. Trains don’t go that far underground.”

    “Is it an earthquake?”

    “No, it can’t be that either.”

    Henry looked at him for a moment, then rose to his feet. He walked forward a few meters, then stopped, and sat down again. “It’s louder now! It gets louder the farther you go!”

    Michael got up and sat down at Henry’s spot. Sure enough, the sound had grown louder. “That’s really weird.” He got up and walked some more. They passed three more houses without any change, but after the fourth, the sound could be heard right above ground.

    Henry looked around. “Where’s that sound coming from?”

    “I don’t know.”

    “So weird,” Henry said. “It’s kind of scary too, don’t you think?”

    “Whatever, let’s keep going. Hopefully it’ll pass.”

    They kept walking, though neither of them could resist a sideways glance here and there. In a few minutes, they had reached the end of Meadow’s Road. The street was cut off by the soil, and from there on rolled untamed nature. The sound had increased twofold, and Michael could almost feel the rumbling beneath his feet. Henry stopped and placed his hands on his knees.

    “I really think we should ask someone, Michael. I really don’t think the Gym will mind if we’re resourceful.” Henry looked around, then pointed. “Let’s try them.”

    Michael turned immediately to the spot. Henry was pointing to one of the last houses on the block, and this one stood noticeably separate from the others. A black Chevrolet Impala was parked beside the curb, and on the porch, two figures stood together. One, a woman, was holding open the door and looking down beneath the tiny roof. The second was a man in a suit and tie. He was looking up at her and shouting something angry and inaudible.

    “Uh, they look kinda busy,” Michael said. Nevertheless, he crept closer. Michael could begin to sense the heat of an argument in the couple’s tone, and hear what was being said.

    “... For the last time, I assure you, nothing harmful is being returned to the environment!” the man was urging, almost pleading.

    The woman who was scowling down at him was visibly younger. Her blonde hair spilled down her shoulders in lovely curls and she had the round, supple cheeks of a flower-child. But at the same time, her eyes trapped an unspeakable anger that made the man shrink.

    “Don’t give me that crap!” she said. “All you fancy managers come here and tell me the same goddamn thing every time, yet nothing gets done!”

    “I tell you, it’s impossible! We inspect the premises daily!”

    “Well it’s time to inspect again!” the woman spat. “Those gases are killing my plants.”

    The man paused to take a deep breath. “If you want to file a complaint, I can give you the address of the supervisor—”

    “I’m already filing a complaint! To you! Now you can go tell your supervisor that he can either check the shit he’s dumping into the ground, or go move his factory somewhere else!”

    The man gasped, as if that had been an insult. “The factory produces materials for spacecraft! It’s vital to the Space Program, it cannot be moved!”

    “Listen: I am giving him exactly two weeks to reply with a plan of action. After that, I promise you, I will kick you out of here and send your bare behinds to another town. Understand?”

    “The Space Program is the beating heart of the country! You are disrupting innovation, simple girl! Without our aid, your town would be broke!”

    “Have I made myself clear?” the woman repeated. “Or should I just go to the director right now and tell him what a lovely job you’re doing at customer service? I’m sure he’d love to hear how you called the people of your host town simple.”

    The man drew back. He scrunched his nose and lowered his fists primly to his sides. “This is an outrage! You can be certain that I’ll be calling the director, Miss Herrida, but it’ll not be for the reason you think!” He slammed his hat onto his head, leaving the top crushed and askew. “Good day!”

    The man hobbled off down the road, lost in a string of angry mumbling. He barely noticed as he brushed past Michael and Henry on his way to the Impala. The car tipped a little under the man’s weight and drove off, coughing up a trail of brown gas. Michael watched it go for a moment, then turned back just in time to see the woman close the door.

    “Wait!” Henry called. He ran the remaining distance to the house and began to pound on the door, Michael stepping up after him. “We want to talk to you!”

    The door opened a second later, throwing Henry back. The heat had not quite faded from the woman’s cheeks and she looked ready to shout again, but when she made eye contact with the boys, her face softened and her grip slackened on the doorknob. “Oh. Hello. What is it, boys?”

    “Do you know where the Gym is?” Michael asked. “We came from Oreburgh’s Gym to get the second badge. You know, for the League.”

    Michael was half-anticipating more confusion, but instead the woman’s face slackened and she slumped against the doorframe. “Oh.” It came out like uh. “You’re trainers, then. Right. Sorry I’m all over the place today. I’m just so damn tired. Come in.” She stepped back and beckoned for them to enter. Her house was sunny and spacious, though there wasn’t much to fill it. Her living room was furnished with only two armchairs and a coffee table in between. The woman went ahead of them, taking off her shoes by the doormat and replacing them with slippers.

    “My name’s Bertha,” she said. “Sorry you had to see that little conversation earlier. I promise, I don’t yell that much.” She smiled, showing a softer side. “I’m the leader of Gym number two. It must have taken you quite a while to get here. I can see it in your faces.”

    Michael braced himself for the accusation. Beside him, Henry nodded. “We looked all over for it.”

    “I’m not surprised. Not everyone can find it the first time. I’m not calling you stupid, don’t get me wrong, because the camouflage is pretty good. We don’t have the money to build a real facility, so I use my house for the time being.”

    Henry looked over to Michael and shrugged. Michael nearly laughed at the coincidence.

    “Come on, I’ll show you the basement,” Bertha said. “That’s where I conduct the battles.”

    She led them through a hallway, down a short flight of stairs and into a wide, musty room that looked like a garage. She turned on the lights, revealing an expanse of wood floor, brown walls, and tiny windows that closely resembled the Oreburgh Gym. This room, however, was much smaller and simpler. The boundary line was handpainted, and a water cooler in the corner added a touch of home. A wooden bench ran across the walls to seat a small audience.

    “It doesn’t get any better than this, boys,” Bertha. “No professional paint, no welcome signs, just a roof and a floor to battle on. But it’s where the magic happens.”

    She didn’t wait for them to agree, but went to sit behind an office desk that had been shoved into the corner. The room was half-office too, and there were several file cabinets and framed photos hanging from the walls. Michael and Henry took the two vacant seats in front of her.

    "Okay, let’s cut to the chase." Bertha picked up a pencil and opened a journal. "Since you're here, I can assume you've beaten Byron?"

    Both boys took out their badges, Michael from his backpack and Henry from his badge case. Bertha nodded. "And Byron checked your records, I.D.s, everything?"

    “Yes,” Michael said at once. Bertha nodded again.

    “All rightie, now I’ll sign you up for your battle dates. Who wants to go first?”

    Michael and Henry exchanged glances.

    “I guess I will,” Michael said. “My name is Michael Rowan.”

    “Okay. Let’s see...” Bertha flipped a page and put her pencil down onto a square. “The next day I have open is tomorrow, at eight o'clock."

    "Morning?!"

    "No," she chuckled. "At night. I'm busy all during the day, and evening battles tend to be more interesting. If you don’t mind, of course, because I can always put you in for the morning after, but then your friend won’t be able to battle for another three days, which means you’ll be stuck in here even longer." Bertha looked at him. “It’s up to you.”

    “Okay,” Michael said. “I guess I’ll take tomorrow.”

    Bertha nodded. She jotted something down onto the square and looked up at Henry. “So, you’ll take the morning after? Nine o’clock?”

    “Sure,” Henry said.

    “Mhmm.” Bertha took another note. “By the way boys, if you’re not sure about the battle dates, tell me now. I’ve had kids come in here changing at the last minute, and just plain skipping matches. It’s a pain, and it sure as hell isn’t going to improve their chances of winning.”

    “No, we’re sure.” Michael said.

    “Good. Then it’s all settled. Thanks kids, you have no idea how easier this is on me. The only other thing I’ll have to ask you is if you’ve made any arrangements for lodging.”

    “Lodging? You mean this place has a hotel?” Henry said.

    “Nope. That’s why I asked. The mayor’s either too lazy or too broke to build one, which is why most of the trainers we get don’t want to stick around.”

    Michael lowered his head to his shoes, realizing the problem. He turned to Henry. “Shoot. What are we going to do?”

    Bertha answered for him. “Stay here, what else? I have a couple of guestrooms, and I clean them once or twice a week. It’ll do for the time being.”

    “Wow, are you sure?” Henry said.

    “Yeah. I run a house, a Gym, why not a hotel too?” Bertha chuckled. “Just don’t expect any special treatment. I tell it to everyone who stays here—in the morning I feed you, and at night I kick your butt in battle and send you packing for home. No mercy.”

    Michael and Henry exchanged glances. Bertha rose from her chair and went around to the door. “Come on, I’ll show you upstairs. You can bring the little guy up too. I don’t mind.” She nodded to the Stunky in the cage.

    Bertha led them out of the basement, and through another hallway that went deeper into the house. She unlocked two doors that stood side-by-side, revealing almost-identical rooms. Henry went left and Michael went right, though the differences weren’t great. Both had full-size beds, white walls, plain curtains, and nightstands—the median of comfort. The only thing that spoiled it all was the noise, which Michael had suddenly become aware of again. Dum-de-de-drumm, it went, over and over like an annoying song.

    Bertha leaned against the wall and rubbed her temples. “Oh, that noise... it’s like taking a hammer and pounding my head with it... Sorry, again. You boys came on a bad day. Bad bad bad.”

    “Where’s the sound coming from?” Michael said.

    “The factory,” she mumbled. “The goddamn factory over the hill.”

    “Is that what you were arguing with that man about?” Henry said.

    “Yeah.” Bertha opened her mouth into a greedy yawn. “They’re a bunch of irresponsible assholes, pardon the language. Ever since that factory got built they’ve been dumping all these chemicals into the water as waste. I have a garden in what’s left of the meadow over there.” She pointed out the window, towards the expanse of green grass outside. “I grow my own vegetables instead of buying imports from the market. But lately, all my plants have been dying. Every time I walk up the hill to water them, I see all these flakes in the grass. They’re in the soil, in the water, everywhere. Sometimes, at night, I can see this big cloud of something right around the factory. It’s like fog, but it stinks. Once it left me coughing for days.”

    Henry stuck out his tongue. “Yuck, that’s disgusting! Someone should really do something about it.”

    “What, you think I’m not trying?” she blurted, slapping the wall. Henry drew back from her sudden anger. “I’ve been trying to talk to their director for months now, but all I get are loons like him!” She jerked her thumb back in the direction of the front door. “They don’t know what the hell they’re doing.”

    “What’s the factory supposed to be making?” Michael said.

    “Some computer thing that powers Galactic's spacecraft. I don’t know why that should involve using chemicals, but apparently it does.”

    So they’re employed by Team Galactic?” His face lit up.

    “No, they are Team Galactic.” Bertha smiled sourly. “I know, surprising, isn’t it? Behind all those flashy TV programs is hardcore industry, kids. There’s no getting away from it. They look for the smallest, most looked-over spots in the region to put up their buildings and they snatch them up like hotcakes.”

    Henry shook his head in fervent protest. “But how can this town be overlooked? It’s a Gym town!” he said. “They’d never put up a factory in Oreburgh, so why here?”

    Bertha shrugged. “The Space Program isn’t connected to the League. Now, the League is somewhat decent; it wants to bring people to the historic places of Sinnoh and try to get everyone to travel and cooperate a little more. But the Space Program sees everything through one lens. They’re only interested in what’s beyond our planet, not what’s already living on it.” Her expression took a wry turn, and she crossed her arms. “So far, the Gym’s been running pretty smoothly. I get kids coming in, I battle them, and they either move on or stay until they win. And I like it. I get to meet a lot of different people and help them take the next step in their life. You know, it makes me happy. But lately...” She looked over to the window again, at the base of the hill that was visible from here, and her words trailed off. As if in response to them, the factory’s rumbling grew slightly louder. “Lately, it’s just been a burden. That’s all I can say. Galactic is taking advantage of us, and I want to get them out.”

    “How are you gonna do it?” Michael spoke, and his tone surprised him. It was daring, almost taunting, as if some inner part of him had risen up to defend his long-loved idol. To his relief, Bertha didn’t react to it.

    “Petition, if I want to do it the ethical way. If not... well, that’s too much for you kids to know. I thought you wanted a battle, not an interrogation.” Bertha turned away, and by her expression Michael knew she would say no more on the matter. “I’ll make dinner later today. Pasta on Wednesdays. You both good?”

    Michael and Henry nodded.

    Bertha smiled. “Great. In the meantime, you can roam around if you’d like. Go outside, or whatever kids do these days.”

    “Okay,” Michael said.

    “It was nice meeting you,” Henry added.

    Michael was about to turn for the door, when a sudden thought made him stop. He wheeled back around to face Bertha. "Hey, what type of Gym are you?"

    She looked up. "Pardon?"

    "I mean, what's your favorite type to use?"

    Bertha looked at him curiously. "Well... I guess it would be grass. They help me with my gardening, and I'm around them so frequently that I started using them for battles too."

    Michael nodded, hoping his inner smile didn’t show. "Thanks."

    "You're welcome." Bertha nodded and walked off. When he and Henry were alone, Michael let his backpack slide to the floor.

    “Leave your things here. Let’s go outside.”


    When Michael got to the front porch, he took a moment to stand there, hands in pockets, looking out at the slow-arching hill. The sun was beginning to dip into late afternoon. The bare grass shivered like living hair, daisies nodding their heads in the wind’s direction. Henry joined his side momentarily. They stood in silence for a while, then Michael spoke. “Well, that went better than I expected. We have our battles. And the Gym is grass.”

    Henry nodded. “So we need a Fire type? You know, because forest fires burn down trees.”

    “I guess so. I can’t think of anything else off the top of my head, so we’ll go for fire.”

    “What about pokéballs? Do you think this place sells them?”

    “If the local market craze is Nomel berries? I doubt it.”

    “But it can’t hurt to look around, right? We should go visit the market tomorrow.”

    “No,” Michael said. “My schedule’s tight enough as is. I have to be ready for a battle by tomorrow evening. At least you get an extra night of sleep. If we’re going to make a capture, we’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way. By hand.”

    Henry crinkled his nose. “Getting that Machop was just plain hard. And in the end, we still needed a pokéball. How are we gonna get by without one?”

    Michael smiled. “Did I ever tell you the story of how I got my Stunky?”

    “No, why?”

    “Well, it’s more of a demonstration. Three boys, armed with nothing but a net and their bare hands. I guess we can still get by with two, but you’ll have to be on your toes.”

    Henry smiled. “Cool.”

    “Let’s go. We’ll take a quick look around to see what this place has, then we’ll go back to get some equipment.” Michael stepped down from the porch. “Let’s start at the meadow. There are bound to be pokémon there.” He took several steps into the road when he realized Henry wasn’t following. Michael looked back, and saw that the boy was still standing on the porch, looking down at him uneasily.

    “What?”

    “The factory.” Henry pointed. “Didn’t she say there was a factory by the meadow?”

    Michael shrugged. “So?”

    Henry’s gaze fell. “I don’t know... We shouldn’t go near it. What if someone catches us?”

    “We won’t go into the boundary, stupid. There must be a fence around it if it’s in a public place, right? We’ll just look around the area by the fence, see if there are any pokémon worth looking at, then leave. No one gets in trouble for that.”

    Henry maintained silence, and Michael was about to go over and drag the boy down himself, but at the last minute he jumped down. The two boys crossed the street and ascended the hill.

    The grass on the hill was pale and soft; clearly it had been spared of the relentless daily treading that normally thinned city grass. The slope was uneven, steep in some places and flat in others. By the time he and Henry scaled it, his feet were slipping in their shoes and the hems of his jeans were soiled with dirt. The noise had also changed. It was no longer a single rumbling in Michael’s ears, but a pattern of swishes and crashes that were actually quite separated.

    The fence he had anticipated stood about sixty meters away, and it was the tall electric kind. The green space leading up to it was utterly barren, like Professor Emerson’s giant bald head sticking out from the ground. Even the grass had thinned.

    They crept closer, and Michael saw that a large notice was attached to the metal wiring:




    WARNING!
    HAZARDOUS WORK AREA!

    NO ACCESS PERMITTED
    TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED
    AND ARE SUBJECT TO FINING
    PROPERTY LICENSE: TEAM GALACTIC ENTERPRISES

    ♦ ♦ ♦



    Beyond that was a giant gray building, its color nearly matching with the crisscross wiring of the fence. By the looks of the curve, the hill should have gone up some more, but the point had been chopped off and flattened by a large slice of white asphalt that stretched all the way to the horizon. The building was in the middle of it, surrounded by a second, smaller fence. The factory had four giant smokestacks, all spewing out tiny amounts of the same white stuff into the sky. It had no windows and no other visible openings, and the noises seemed to be coming from somewhere within. Michael’s eyes swept over the cold lines of its silhouette, then he felt a sharp jolt in his arm.

    “Come on let’s go, I don’t want to get in trouble!” Henry’s voice was small against the rumble.

    “We’re not gonna get in trouble. See? We’re just looking.”

    This wasn’t enough for Henry. He shook his head and began to back away. “We’re not supposed to be here. I’m leaving.”

    Michael rolled his eyes. “Fine. Baby.” He turned to follow him, but as he did, he saw something shift in the background. Michael jumped back towards the spot, and his eyes met a distant patch of trees. Something within their shadows had moved briefly, but whatever it was, it had vanished.

    Henry stopped mid-step and looked at Michael. “What is it?”

    “I think someone was there in the trees.”

    “It’s probably just a pokémon. Now hurry up, I want to get out of here.” Henry beckoned. Michael’s eyes lingered on the spot, then he ran to join him.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 4th January 2012 at 5:19 PM.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Lostlorn Forest
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Ahh, late review is late.

    I really liked this chapter, it was a really nice introduction to Eterna City. I'm actually kind of glad Floroma Town was skipped, it would have taken forever and for some reason Michael and flowers don't mix too well in my mind. XD

    So I'm guessing the turn into bigger plot development is Team Galactic? I'm assuming that this isn't the same 'We blow up lakes and make new worlds' Team Galactic that's in the games, right? I'm really looking forward to seeing how Team Galactic contributes to the plot if they're an actual company and not some organization that a kid can take down in a Pokemon battle.

    And that was a nice PoV switch at the beginning. I wasn't expecting Bertha to be the gym leader, but suprises are what makes fics enjoyable! :D

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Not at all. I've been on-and-off myself, sitewise, and better late than never, right?

    And yes, the Gym sequence in this fic is different than the games, though the major cities (like Hearthome and Canalave) will still have Gyms. I've chosen the order very carefully, and I promise you that every single location will be purposeful. No Gym town that Michael and Henry visit will be there just for the purpose of the battle. I will keep the many subplots I've planned as intertwined as possible.

    As for Team Galactic, I think I mentioned earlier that they wouldn't quite play the world domination-seeking role that they did in the games. Honestly, I think that having them be more grounded (so to speak) is more interesting. The plot turn is actually the whole Space Race in general, but of course it will involve a lot of Team Galactic later on.

    So thanks for the review! Chapter 12 is in the works...

    See you next chapter.


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  10. #110
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    México
    Posts
    110

    Default

    I've just caught up to the latest chapeter.

    I love the way you do dialogue. It's almost like you don't have to write "she/he said", the dialogue itself helps one distiguish between the characters speaking.

    I'm wondering if this Bertha is the same as the in-game elite four Bertha. If so, why does she switch type preferences (in-game Bertha uses mainly ground types).

    A small error, both protagonist recieved diffrent amounts of money from Byron (Micheal $10, Henry $15), while they said and agreed it was the same amount.

    I'm looking forward to next chapter.
    Embrace

    A breeder joyously hatches a riolu for a client. To the dismay of the hatchling, the client never returns to claim him. Faced with an abandoned pokémon, the breeder vows to find the riolu's trainer and family.
    (Better banner coming soon.)
    Current - Chapter 1: The Client.

    Coming up - Re-writing Chapter 2

        Spoiler:- 4th Gen Eggmove (Any Nature/Gender):

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    The Bertha in this fic is, of course, younger, and prefers Grass-types due to her hometown and the nature of her personality. I've written her character in regards to her type decision in the games, but only slightly. Simply put, the reason she switches types later in life is because her preferences changed.

    And I'm surprised I didn't notice that mistake... It was a part of a small edit I made in the final draft, but I guess I didn't change everything. I'll fix that. Thanks! And thanks for the review!


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  12. #112
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Somewhere in Jhoto .........
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Chapter 5

    Quite an interesting chapter. I loved Michael's interactions with everyone, and how the woman really managed to get to him by calling him a monster. I also loved the whole routines he did, such as eating ect. and how lost he seems, lonely and cut off from the world, blaming others, whereas it was him that took the action to leave. This really helped develop the character, and I'm also feeling much more sympathetic for Skunky. Poor thing, why doesn't someone take it away from him? But meh... oh well looking forward to how those two grow!

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

  13. #113
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Thanks harryheart, I'm glad you liked the chapter. And yes, being lost was kind of the point of it. It's when Michael sets off on his own, but doesn't know where he's going yet. The bit with the woman I especially liked, since it's sort of the kind of comment Michael would normally brush off, only this time in particular it gets to him.

    And don't worry, it'll get better for Stunky in the long run. The Stunky abuse goes down a little in the next few chapters (going from chapter five), and his role will increase later on in the story. I don't ever, ever waste a character. The more abuse it gets means the better it will be in the end xD


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  14. #114
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    50

    Default

    I've kind of been on hiatus for going to Serebii these days, but I missed Roots, so I came back for it! Bertha is the Eterna leader? With every one of these updates, you're turning the Sinnoh we all know upside down, but that just makes it more interesting. I like the idea of Eterna just being a little farmy markety not really industrialisedy town. Shame that Galactic gets to ruin the countryside, while an official gym has to be a simple basement. I do hope Stunky starts to get a bit of fun. Maybe become a real part of the team. Looking forward to everything, a late happy Chinese New Year.
    It appears I cannot think of a good signature.

  15. #115
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Writing about Sinnoh in a different age involves a lot of planning, and breaking some rules too xP. I'm glad you liked how Eterna turned out. Since it was already kind of a drab, slow-moving town in the games, I decided to take its history in a similar direction. The contrast between the town and the factory is important too.

    Thanks for stopping by, Paddypower! See you next time.


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  16. #116
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Somewhere in Jhoto .........
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Chapter 6

    Indeed I'm glad I've found some time to do a little catching up! It was well worth the wait. I love what you did here in terms of the plot, adding in the things from the game such as paying money, the PokeCentre machines and actually making it plausible and a good idea. I'm also liking Henry, an addition I feel will do Michael and Henry a good lot of good, and hopefully make Henry feel confident and grow and make Michael more soft and caring (especially in the case of Stunky!)

    The writing was like always exceptionally good, and I'm sure that the rest of the chapters will be at this steady constant pace of improvement and all round wholeness. Same goes with grammar here (in actual fact I don't think I've spotted a single mistake bar you perhaps missing out a word in a certain section)

    So yes! Everything is fun, entertaining, interesting and enjoyable whilst maintaining a very good standard!

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

  17. #117
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Hey harryheart! I'm glad you liked the little things I took from the games. They actually have a lot of cool things going on--you just have to find the right way to explain them to make them feasible in a story.

    And I'm curious... what word did I miss? I'll have to take a look. Thanks for the review!

    And for those of you who've been so patiently waiting for Chapter Twelve, it is currently in the works. Expect it up sometime next week. See you then!


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  18. #118
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Somewhere in Jhoto .........
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Lovett View Post
    And I'm curious... what word did I miss? I'll have to take a look. Thanks for the review!
    I know it was a connective but that's all I can remember and scanning over it I can't see it. But I'll give it a better looking over soon (I hope if I have time) I should have noted it when I was reading. My bad.

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

  19. #119
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Somewhere in Jhoto .........
    Posts
    981

    Default

    Chapter 7

    I'm slowly yet surely catching up, and I'm epically excited for this fic as well. I'm loving the concept and how the development just flows like the rest of your story. Nothing seems out of the ordinary here so well done, spelling, grammar, and plot all flows nicely into one another creating a nice read.

    I loved how we got to see Byron here, always nice to see those sorts of characters, and I thought it especially interesting to see the history of him, his Pokemon, his Gym etc. I'm also especially intrigued (staying with the history concept) with the Pokedex here. Lovely idea, and lovely way of functioning this early model! I completely loved it, and I have a feeling I know who this may be (another tree man?) lol.

    Anyway all brilliant as ever. I look forward to reading more

    Most Recent Chapter - Chapter 31: Don't Forget Me - Posted 26/01/13
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar

    I will pursue You, I will pursue Your presence

  20. #120
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Hey guys, it's been a while. I've been working in the background on a bunch of chapters for this fic, so rest assured, as I have many more to share with you. I decided it was finally time to stop stalling and get posting again.

    A little note about this one:

    First of all, this chapter is short, and somewhat uneventful. I couldn't write it any other way - to do anything more would be to just stuff it with unnecessary details.

    But the good news is, I've compensated by finishing Chapter 13 (it's completely done) and I will be posting it in a few days so you won't have to wait too long after reading this one. Chapter 13 will be of regular length, and it has a lot more going on than this one does. Twelve is by no means unimportant, though, so I'd still read it carefully if I were you.


    1.2

    By eight o’clock, the sun was beginning to set over Route 205. Trees were slimmed by their own shadows and the sun was slowly closing its eye, spilling bands of red and purple across the sky.

    The route itself was a small meadow divided by a brook. It wasn’t as large as the meadow over the hill (even with the factory taking up an entire half, it had been huge), but plant life was abundant here, and it thickened as the water trailed west towards the forest.

    When Michael got there, the route was aglow with afternoon light. It had a generous amount of trees and bushes, and lots of shady spots that revealed glimpses of a forest within. In the daytime, trainers would no doubt have gathered to practice in such an abundant spot, but for now the route was quiet. The only other person there was a fisherman casting his line from the narrow bridge. A bucket stood by his side, filled with tiny, gleaming masses.

    "All right. Let's drop everything here. No one's gonna take it." Michael set his backpack into the dirt, and Henry did the same.

    When Michael straightened, he gave the route another once-over. "Okay, this is definitely a good spot. Pokémon hide in really out-of-the-way places—the kind where no one would think to look. So, we’re going to have to spend more than a few minutes if we want to find out. It can get pretty dry, but be patient. Got it?”

    Henry nodded.

    Michael stared at the trees for a moment. “Good. Now what we really need now is a net...”

    “But what about using our bare hands?” Henry cut in. “Isn’t that how you got the Stunky?”

    “Yeah, but hands are only good for catching. Once you catch a pokémon you have to find a way to keep it, and it’s not like we can carry it back to Bertha’s place.”

    “But we don’t have a net. Where are we gonna get one?” Henry said.

    Michael smiled. “I was thinking we could get one off of that guy.” He pointed to the fisherman. "Let’s ask.”

    The fisherman was so caught up in his task that he barely noticed their approach. His boots were soaked up to the heels with water, and the edges of his vest were frayed and weathered. Up close, Michael could examine his bounty: Piles of dead Goldeen, Barboach, and Horsea were all lumped together in the bucket, giving off a slightly rotten smell. Behind him was a large mass of netting, unused.

    "Hey, can you lend us that net really quick?" Michael called out, and the man jumped. The pole slipped from his hands and splashed into the water.

    “Damn!” The man spat, and bent to pick it up. The empty hook was slightly stained with blood, but whatever it had held was gone. The man swore again, and turned his sweaty face to Michael. “You’ve just lost me my dinner, kid. What do you want?”

    "We were just wondering if you would let us use that net." Michael pointed.

    The man rubbed his eyes with his free hand. "Sorry, kid. I've been waiting all afternoon to reel in the big one, and I still haven’t gotten anything. I run a shop you know, and if I can’t sell I can’t buy.” He took a fresh chunk of bait from a second bucket, attached it to the hook, and cast the line again.

    "Just the extra one,” Michael said. “We’ll only take it for a minute or two, then give it back.”

    "Please?" Henry added, with a sugary smile on top.

    Before the man could respond, something tugged at the pole. He quickly rose to his feet, twisting the crank with a growing smile. "Here it comes, here it comes..."

    With a final grunt, he pulled, and the force of it nearly pushed him to the other side of the bridge. Something splashed, and out from the water came a giant lump of seaweed. Michael began to laugh. When the fisherman saw his prize, his sun-baked face reddened further.

    "Shit!" he snarled. He dropped the pole and pressed his hands to his face. "Half an hour wasted, and it turns out to be grass...”

    "So can we have your net?" Michael asked again.

    "Fine, fine, fine! Just leave me alone!" The man lifted the net from the ground and thrust it into Michael’s hands. He paced around for a few moments, then sat back down, his legs hanging over the side. As Michael walked away, the man began to mumble to himself.

    "Well, that was weird," Henry said. "At least we have our net. So what do we do now?"

    "Follow my lead. And be really quiet too. Pokémon scare easy." Michael approached a bush, bent down beside it, and gave it a quick shake. Some leaves fell out, but he could hear no other noise.

    Michael moved on to the next bush and shook it. Still nothing. He closed his eyes and listened, for his science teacher once told him that your hearing worked better when your sight was cut off. (Michael had tried the trick several times, but never really saw a difference.) All around him he could hear screeches and rustles, each sound twinkling in his mind. But when he opened his eyes, all he saw was stillness.

    Several minutes passed. Michael continued to stare up at the trees, lost in the intricate patterns of their branches. He could have easily slipped into a daydream, until Henry’s voice jarred him awake.

    "How long does this usually take?" the boy whispered.

    "Sssh! Longer if you keep talking!"

    Henry fell silent. A minute later, Michael felt a tap on his shoulder.

    "How long did it take for you to find your Stunky?"

    "Ugh. A while, okay? We had to skip the entire third period to get it."

    "Skip classes?" Henry gasped.

    "Yes. Skip classes. It's not as mind-blowing as it seems."

    "But why would you do that?"

    "It doesn't matter, just shut up!”

    “But—”

    “Look, do you want to win the Gym or not?"

    "Yes!"

    "Then shut up!"

    Michael blinked and turned around, once more scanning the area. He did three full circles, but all he saw were the same trees, bushes, and rocks.

    "I don't get it," he said after a while. "Where are all the pokémon?"

    "Hey, look!" Henry said.

    Michael jumped. "Where? What? What is it?" He lifted the net, ready to swipe at any moment.

    "Right over there!" Henry pointed to a tall hedge. It was covered with bright pink blooms that swayed oddly with the wind. Instead of moving in one direction, as the laws of nature dictated, each flower opened and closed its petals freely, as if to kiss the air. Michael moved closer, narrowing his eyes enough to see the tiny peeking faces behind the petals.

    "Are those... pokémon?" Henry said, creeping closer. The flowers had tiny black eyes and mouths that, at the first glance, looked to be no more than spots. Each face was unique, and some had different colors than others.

    “They're Cherrim,” Michael said.

    "Neat!” Henry said. He lifted a finger and gently brushed one of the delicate petals. Instantly, the bloom snapped shut, displaying a blue outer shell. A smile spread across his lips.

    "Ha! That was so cool!" He poked a second, and laughed as it did the same thing. "Why do they do that?"

    Michael sighed. "Focus, Henry. We have to find a fire type." He pulled Henry away from the bush, and they went deeper into the meadow, following the course of the brook. Michael kept his eyes open, and stopped when they alighted on a large tree that stood on the other side. It was some sort of willow tree, with thin, stringy leaves and roots that bulged out of the ground.

    "You see that tree over there?" Michael pointed.

    "Yeah."

    "I bet that's where all the pokémon are. Let's go look."

    They carefully crossed the brook, stepping on stones whose heads were above the waterline. The trees here were more tightly-packed, and their branches seemed to weave together into a single canopy that sheltered them from the light.

    "Okay. You come in from the left, and I'll come in from the right. This way, we'll corner whatever's hiding there, and it'll be our advantage. Got it?"

    "Right." Henry began to tiptoe towards the tree, scrunching his face as he pretended to concentrate. Michael sighed. This kid had a lot to learn.

    Up close, the tree looked to be about twenty feet tall. Its trunk was enormous, so that if a person hugged it their fingers wouldn’t come close to touching. Michael crept beneath its canopy, keeping his net at his side. Beneath the shade of the branches, the grass was cool and thick.

    Henry approached, and Michael pressed his back against the trunk, using his peripherals as much as he could. From somewhere nearby, he could hear the crinkle of leaves. Lots of them. His heart began to pound.

    They remained still for a few minutes. The sounds came and went with alternating loudness, but when Michael looked up, he could only see shadows.

    Out of nowhere, Henry let out a gasp.

    "Look!"

    Michael reacted instantly. He looked up, fleetingly able to see a small dark figure leap down from a branch. With trained coordination, he swung the net over his head and let it fall to the ground, trapping the pokémon within.

    "You got it!" Henry grinned.

    The net rocked and jumped as the pokémon struggled against its new prison. Michael approached it, panting. Through the netting, he could see the outline of a tiny body, wings, and beak.

    "What the hell? It's just a Starly!"

    "What do you mean? That's good." Henry watched as the bird continued to screech and beat its wings.

    "Starlies are flying types, dur hur. That won't help us in the Gym at all."

    Henry's face fell. "Well... if a hurricane made a plant fall down, wouldn't that kill it?"

    "If I ripped it out of the ground myself, that would kill it too. Don't overthink." Michael grasped the tip of the net and lifted it a little.

    "Wait, wait, you're just gonna let it go?"

    "Yeah."

    "But why?"

    Michael looked over to Henry, who was biting his lip. "Because it's of no use. It won't help us at all."

    "I still say we should keep it. It could come in handy."

    "No," he said again. "I'm not keeping it."

    "Fine, then I will." Henry kneeled down beside the Starly. "I'll carry it around and stuff so you won't have to. I have a spare pokéball."

    Michael sighed, resigned. "Whatever." He handed the net to Henry, who carefully sealed its opening. The Starly continued to fidget.

    Michael went back over to the tree and sat down against it. "Snack?" He held up a candy bar.

    Henry looked at it for a moment. "Uh..."

    "Come on. They give you energy."

    "Well... okay. One time can't hurt, right?"

    Michael tossed a bar over to Henry, then took one for himself. He sat under the tree for a while, watching the clouds in between bites of milk chocolate and caramel. When he reached back into his snack pocket, Michael was alarmed to discover that his supply was running out. He had only three Taffy chews left, some bubble gum, and a Hershey bar. At the rate he was going, all the candy he had brought from home would be gone in three days. And for some reason, it made him feel strangely lonely.

    He sat there, one arm resting on his bent knee, while Henry munched on the bar beside him.

    “This is really good! If it were healthy, I’d eat it all day!” Henry wiped his face with the heel of his hand and stuffed the empty wrapper into his pocket. He had wolfed down the bar in less than a minute. “All right! I’m ready to go. So are we gonna go looking again? There might be a fire type around here somewhere. I bet they’re just hiding.” He clapped his hands and stumbled backwards, looking up at the tree’s canopy.

    Michael looked at him, then back up at nothing. “Yeah.” But he didn’t move. Henry slung his tote bag over his shoulder and began to walk off, and a few moments later, Michael went to join him.

    They followed the river back to their starting point. The fisherman was getting ready to leave. His toolkit was closed, and the buckets were arranged in a row, all filled to the brim. When he saw the boys, he snapped his fingers.

    “Great! Just in time. I’ll take that back now.” He reached for the net, but Michael hesitated.

    “We still need it. Sorry, we’re trying to catch a pokémon and it’s taking longer than usual.”

    The man raised an eyebrow. “Well I’d love to help, but that happens to be my good net, and I need it for tomorrow’s session.”

    “You fish every day?” Michael said. “Don’t you ever take a break? You know, for your life?”

    “Didn’t I tell you I have a shop to run? When you’re in the business, fishing is your life, whether you like it or not. And Eterna’s not a bad spot, mind you. Sure it’s no Pastoria, but the forest’s got all kinds of weird things cropping up all the time. Here.” He heaved a bucket from the ground. “Just now, while you two were gone, I caught this...”

    He reached into the bucket with his bare hand, pushing aside the bodies with sick, slimy noises. The man took one out and held it in front of Michael’s face.

    “Look at it! Look! Have you ever seen anything like this before?”

    The pokémon that dangled from his fingers was a pale blue. Its eyes were glazed and its long, narrow snout hung limp like a noodle. It was a Horsea, but unlike any other Michael had seen. This one was bigger, fatter, and there was a slightly different shape to its head and fins. Even its scales seemed different from the tiny, round dots he had seen in the school aquarium.

    “What is that?” Henry marveled. He reached out to touch it, but the fisherman yanked it back.

    “Nah-ah. No fingers.”

    “It looks like a Horsea,” Michael said.

    “Yes, but it’s not! It’s a new pokémon, I’m telling ya!” He grinned. “Yep, wait ‘till everyone hears. I’ve discovered a new pokémon species, and it’ll only be sold in my shop. I’ll be rich!”

    “But how can you prove it’s a new species? It might just be a Horsea whose growth spurt went out of wack.”

    The man lifted a finger. “Ah, but it’s not a Horsea. How do I know? Look.” He brought the body close again, and spread the flesh near its neck to reveal an incision in the skin. “The meat is white. Horsea meat is pink. Always pink. Ask any expert on seafood and he’ll tell you that.” He placed the pokémon back into the bucket. “Well, I’m off boys. And seriously, I need the net.”

    After a brief pause, Michael handed it to him. The man smiled. “Sorry. Better luck next time, eh?” He started off, but after a few steps he looked back. “Oh, and if you’re having trouble, I’d get one of those pokéballs. I heard they’re pretty reliable.”

    “Thanks for the tip,” Michael said through his teeth.

    “So long! Off to make millions.” The man laughed again, and strode off towards town.

    When he was gone, Henry puffed out his cheeks and let out a sigh. “Great. Now we have nothing to hunt with.”

    “We’re screwed,” Michael said simply. “We have absolutely no plan, no pokémon, and no time.”

    “We could always use our bare hands,” Henry suggested.

    “Yeah, that’ll take even longer. Let’s just go home.”

    “Home?”

    “Bertha’s house. Whatever.” Michael started back the way they came. Henry fell into step behind him, and they were silent.



    //////



    When they got back to Bertha’s house, they were awaited with a lit kitchen and a full dinner table. Bertha was sitting at the end, and looked up as the boys entered. She cringed a little when they dropped their backpacks against the wall, but nevertheless her smile remained.

    “You might want to wash your hands first,” she said. “And close it, before you let the flies in.”

    She was talking to Michael, who had gaped at the sight of three perfect bowls of pasta, topped with a circle of marinara and adorned with tall glasses of juice. Besides the main course, there was also a salad, and three hot rolls in a basket. A basket. He and Henry slowly rounded the table. Even with the food so close he could taste it, Michael still couldn’t believe it.

    “Is this all for us?” His eyes rested on each dish one by one, delving into a world of color.

    “Who else?” Bertha laughed. “And if you were going to say me, then you better watch it, skinny.”

    Michael pulled back a chair to sit, but Henry pulled him back. “Not yet, we have to wash our hands first.”

    Michael grumbled, but stepped away.

    “You can use that one over there.” Bertha pointed to the kitchen sink. The boys washed their hands, then took their seats.

    Henry immediately dove in. He spun threads of pasta on his fork, slathered them with marinara, then shoved them into his mouth, pausing every so often for a gulp of juice. Michael watched Bertha eat as well; she and Henry took turns with the salad, weighing each spoonful before placing it on their plates, then bit by bit working through the piles until they disappeared.

    Hands tore at the bread, forks clattered, and the mounds of food grew smaller and smaller. All the while, Michael sat with his head slightly lowered, staring at the spot of red sauce on his spaghetti till the color burned in his eyes.

    “Bertha, you’re a really good cook!” Henry began after a swallow. “You make salads just like my mom. Only you know what she does?”

    “What?” Bertha said. She was twisting another clump of noodles around her fork.

    “She adds some spices right before she tosses. That gives it a lot of flavor. She uses different spices for different types of salads. Even egg salad, once. I thought it would taste really weird, but it actually tasted amazing!”

    “Well that’s interesting. I’ll have to try that. Was your mom a cook or something?”

    Henry shook his head. “No, we had a cook. He did basically everything, but my mom always made the salads no matter what. They were her specialty.”

    Bertha smiled. “All my mother did was cook. She usually stuck with desserts, though. Those were her territory. What she was really good at was baking pies.”

    “Really?”

    “Yep. Apple, cherry, blueberry, anything you can think of. She even invented her own sometimes, mixing flavors like mango and raspberry. We had a little bake shop that my friends and I helped out with in the summer. She wrote down all her recipes in a little cookbook and gave it to me for my birthday one year.”

    Henry looked up, his eyes gleaming. “Do you still bake pies?”

    Bertha tilted her head to the side. “Hmm... why?”

    “Well...”

    “You want one?”

    Henry began to laugh. “Yeah. Sorry, all the talk about dessert made me want some.”

    “I haven’t baked in a while, though I suppose I could start again. Here. I’ll make you a deal—if you win the battle, I’ll bake you a pie. If you don’t, I won’t. Or better yet, I’ll bake one and eat it myself.”

    “Hey!”

    They both laughed. After a while, they stopped, then turned to Michael. He hadn’t touched his food.

    “What’s the matter?” Bertha said. “You sick?”

    “Are you going to eat your bread?” Henry’s fingers jumped to the rim of the basket.

    To both, Michael shook his head. “No. I’m fine.”

    Henry pulled the bread to his plate and began to nibble on it. Halfway, he stopped and put it down, his face betraying the tiniest bit of guilt.

    “Are you sure?” Bertha continued to look at him. “If you’re not hungry, you can leave. I won’t mind.”

    Michael shook his head. In fact, he was hungry, and with such a lavish meal within arm’s reach, he felt the pang like never before. He had never seen such a table, not even at home, where his own mother was the cook and often messed things up, in more ways than one.

    Several years before, (he had no idea why this memory was springing forward now, but it was too late to stop it) he had been sitting at dinner with his mother. Richard had vanished, Brian was off to school, and it was just the two of them, slurping noodles and watching the clock tick.

    “So how was school?” Patricia had asked.

    Michael had replied with the usual, that ancient, time-tested phrase that was more or less guaranteed to get an annoying subject off your back. “Fine.”

    In reality, the day had been less to his liking. He had gotten a D on a test (he did somewhat care about his grades, regardless of what everyone else thought) and the paper was sitting in his backpack, awaiting a parent signature he’d probably ask Brendan to forge later the next day. Their new science teacher, the replacement for the one who had retired, was almost abusively strict and ran her classroom like a military camp.

    And Michael Rowan was one of her favorite students.

    He had passed her first assignment with flying colors, and the other competitors for ‘top of the class’ included Lola Brown and Carl Rogers—soon to be the class nerds.

    Michael knew he wasn’t stupid, but it made him angry that he should automatically be lumped into a category he didn’t want to be in. He had gone to the Jubilife School for Young Children since kindergarten, as had his brothers in their own times, and the Rowan family had a mixed reputation. Brian was, of course, the brain. Richard was the ne’er-do-well. And he? Michael was both... and neither.

    During their dinners together, Michael and his mother rarely talked. (To the contrary of what Patricia would later say in a certain interview with a teacher.) Their relationship was strictly grounded upon survival—if there was food and TV, they could get along peacefully, minimal contact creating minimal friction, so they could slip past each other’s lives without disturbance.

    So to sum it all up, and to close another long loop of thought which Michael’s mind created intermittently and without warning throughout his life, he was stuck. He now sat at another dinner table, in another house and with other company, but for some reason the sight brought him all the way back, to the empty years when his life had been a waste.

    It had been a long time since he had sat with his family at dinner. A long, long time.
    Last edited by Mrs. Lovett; 4th July 2011 at 1:16 AM.

  21. #121
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Route 124
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    Hey, its been a while! I'm glad to see that Roots is back up. I was getting worried that you would discontinue it because I was really enjoying reading your work. When Michael said Starly was a flying type and that it wouldn't help out against grass types, I thought he was being sarcastic. But he is just starting out on an adventure, so that would make sense. I sense that something important is going to happen with Henry and Starly though. But, good to see that Roots is still going. I'll be back in a few days when you post the next chapter.

    Alpha Sapphire --> Arceus is the Alpha pokemon --> Arceus is a generation 4 pokemon --> Sinnoh confirmed!!

    (Yeah, get used to it now, because this is what you're going to have to put up with for the next 5-7 years)

  22. #122
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    I was getting worried that people would be getting worried that I'd be discontinuing this... which is why I put that line in my sig about Roots not being dead. Well, it doesn't matter now anyways, right? Twelve's been done for a while now, but I wanted to get some more work done on the story before I posted it, so that there wouldn't be any more of these horrible gaps in between chapters.

    And yeah, I can understand why you'd think Michael would be kidding when he said that the Starly wouldn't help at all... but the truth is, he was dead serious. :/ I know. This underlines how un-knowledgeable he (and most people overall) are about the full mechanics of pokemon typing. He'll get a somewhat rude awakening later on, though, so don't worry.

    Thanks for stopping by!


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  23. #123
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Blackthorn City, Johto
    Posts
    378

    Default

    The route itself was a small meadow with a brook running through it. The meadow wasn’t as large as the one over the hill (even with the factory taking up an entire half, it had been huge), but plant life was abundant here, and it thickened as the water trailed west towards the forest.
    Small nitpick, but those two meadows are somewhat awkwardly close - for me, anyways. Try describing it a tad rather than using the same word; "The route itself was a small meadow with a brook running through it. The grassy expanse wasn't as large as..." Well, you get the idea. c:

    Michael called out, and the man jumped.
    This felt more like an awkward anecdote. Try to make his jumping more subtle if you can help it. "Michael called out, making the man turn and drop his pole in mild surprise." (Bad example, but do you get what I'm saying? ^^;; )

    “She adds some spices right before she tosses. That gives it a lot of flavor. She uses different spices for different types of salads. Even egg salad, once. I thought it would taste really weird, but it actually tasted amazing!”

    “Well that’s interesting. I’ll have to try that. Was your mom a cook or something?”
    Fixed. ^^ You forgot the 'r.'

    I'm really sorry for not dropping in to review more (if you even remember when I used to xD) ; during the school year I was so busy that I could hardly ever read someone else's work, let alone write my own on top of it. :S I've been keeping up with this story, though, and I just wanted to let you know you're doing an absolutely fantastic job. Everything's coming along quite nicely, and I'm excited to read chapter 13 once you have it up. (:
    ~Facebook~ | ~Tumblr~ | ~Twitter~
    [IMG]http://i41.*******.com/54xhxk.jpg[/IMG]
    (Credit for the banner goes to myself. Click it to see my fan fic; comments & reviews appreciated!)

  24. #124
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    C:\Programs\mrslovett.exe
    Posts
    473

    Default

    Not at all! Don't worry, the same thing happened to me when school was in full swing. It sucks knowing that you want to write, but knowing also that you have 1000 things to finish before you can even start. Staying off the job for too long kills my motivation somewhat, so I try to at least read my stories to see where I am.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn_Hero View Post
    Small nitpick, but those two meadows are somewhat awkwardly close - for me, anyways. Try describing it a tad rather than using the same word; "The route itself was a small meadow with a brook running through it. The grassy expanse wasn't as large as..." Well, you get the idea. c:
    Yeah, I see what you're saying, but I didn't want to stuff it with too much description as to 'how' the meadow in the route was, exactly.

    The only correction I see is this:

    The route itself was a small meadow with a brook running through it. It wasn’t as large as the meadow over the hill (even with the factory taking up an entire half, it had been huge), but plant life was abundant here, and it thickened as the water trailed west towards the forest.
    I'm starting to like the latter one, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn_Hero View Post
    This felt more like an awkward anecdote. Try to make his jumping more subtle if you can help it. "Michael called out, making the man turn and drop his pole in mild surprise." (Bad example, but do you get what I'm saying? ^^;; )
    In that paragraph, I was going for a sudden sort of 'jump'. Like 'she screamed, and he jumped'. I get what you're trying to say, though. I was trying to slacken on the description in this chapter, to make things more straightforward.

    I can't believe I missed the 'you' thing, though. I specifically remember reading that once sentence before I posted this, so it's a wonder it slipped past my eyes. Haha.

    So, thanks for stopping by. I understand if you can't review all the time, but I'm really glad you're reading!


    The story of Professor Rowan - Chapter 42 is up!

    Other Works:
    Cave GuardianCheaterContestsMaids
    Author's ProfileFanFiction Profile



  25. #125
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    46

    Default

    I wont pretend I know anything about writing and give you suggestions, but I'd like to keep reading. Can you add me to the PM list?
    Last edited by PokemonAndDBZ; 7th July 2011 at 8:19 AM.


    Pearl Friend Code : 2923 6670 8822
    Black Friend Code: 0132 1095 6742
    banner by PikaPal_Lyra

    HELP ME UNLOCK THESE?

    http://runetrack.com/profile.php?user=xm+g+m+tx

    http://runetrack.com/profile.php?user=bass+flshlng

Page 5 of 13 FirstFirst 123456789 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

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