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Thread: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal

  1. #101
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    Awnsers...
    A blessing or a curse?
    Does a heavy truth of sorrow weigh you down or pick you up?
    I feel they trap you, but in the loop of despair, breaking out gives you drive...
    I GOT IT! He is the hero reincarnate! It would fit...
    PM me the awsner, yes or no. Can't get spoilers to work.
    Last edited by Rotomknight; 16th January 2013 at 10:36 PM.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotomknight View Post
    Awnsers...
    A blessing or a curse?
    Does a heavy truth of sorrow weigh you down or pick you up?
    I feel they trap you, but in the loop of despair, breaking out gives you drive...
    I GOT IT! He is the hero reincarnate! It would fit...
    PM me the awsner, yes or no. Can't get spoilers to work.
    Sorry. If I say anything other than "I can't give you an answer right now," I'll be tempted to spoil more.

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  3. #103
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    I follow the Kirlia across the transparent glass floor. I’m intrigued, curious, and a little frightened. What am I going to find out about myself? Palkia said I was some kind of spacial distortion...

    She stops after about fifty feet, and reaches into thin air. She turns and nods to me.

    Well, then. Shall we?

    I nod, and she clasps her hand around the air in front of it, and motions like she’s opening a door. To my surprise, the space in front of her appears to swing open, and reveals an area previously unseen. She motions for me to follow her, and enters.

    Confused, I enter the door, and am immediately stunned at the room I’ve entered. It’s a circle about fifteen feet in diameter, with purple walls. However, that’s the only unremarkable thing about it- I can’t see the ceiling. The building appears to be a massive tower, and we’re on the ground floor. The ceiling soars into the heavens.

    After I get over the size of it, I notice something else- every few inches is a bit of colored string that stretches across the room. They appear to be moving somehow, and it takes me a moment to realize how- it seems like each one is being pulled to somewhere on the left side of the room. Occasionally, two strings will touch, sometimes moving away from each other again, but just as often appearing to twist together. Sometimes a string will meet its end, but it appears to levitate in place as it continues to move.

    “Hey. Have a seat.”

    It takes me a moment to realize that the Kirlia is talking to me. I nod after a moment, and then looks towards the center of the room. A pair of chairs is set up a few feet from one another.

    I sit down, and the Kirlia does the same.

    “Now, you must have a lot of questions. How could you not? But let me steal your thunder, and answer your first question- I have a lot of names.”

    I raise an eyebrow. “My first question was who you were, not what you were called.”

    “Heath, please. This is important. Now, you’ve heard me referred to as The Entity, but that’s only because you’ve been talking to Melchior, who doesn’t believe in what I represent, but lacks imagination.”

    She leans forward. “I’ve been called Luck. Chance. Some more poetic have called me Destiny, or Fate. The academically-minded may call me Probability. Bottom line, though, it all boils down to me.”

    A lot of questions immediately jump to mind, but the only one that I can put to words is, “Why are you a Kirlia?”

    She pauses a moment, and chuckles. “Well, it’s partly because the job isn’t permanent. Nobody Arceus trusts- including legendaries- is born with their power. They have to earn it. Once we’re selected, our natural lifespan is increased, and we hold the job until we die. I just happened to be a Kirlia. The other reason is because I was never much of a battler- if you fought me right now, you’d win. I never evolved past the Kirlia stage.”

    Huh.

    “Anyway, we’re not here to discuss me. The problem here is you.”

    I pause a minute before asking, “Who am I? What am I? Why am I here?”

    “Well, the first one is up to you to decide. As for the second, you’re... Hmmm, how do I put this in a way that you’ll understand? Well... Imagine space existing as a sheet of paper with ants crawling all over it. You’re what happens if a bit of the paper is torn off from the middle, roughly the size and shape of an ant. But while you resemble an ant, you’re the wrong material, you lack the proper dimensions of one, one side of you is the other side of the paper, and you’ve left I gigantic hole where you were created. Does that make sense?”

    “No. Not in the slightest.”

    She sighs, and continues. “Bottom line is, you’re a bit of space, torn out of reality and twisted into the shape of a Totodile. However, while anyone without the ability to see spacial distortions sees you as a Totodile, those who can see your true nature recognize what you are.”

    “Palkia said I was dangerous.”

    “You are. Thanks to a flaw in your design, the size of the distortion around you is increasing. In two days, your mass would have buckled under its size, neutronized, and kick-started a black hole.”

    I pause a moment to take it all in, before realizing something.

    “Wait, ‘would have?’”

    “Yes. I spoke with Arceus, and the pair of us made a bargain. The end result is that I now know how to slow the expansion, and extend your lifespan. It’s only a short period of time, though. In the end, Palkia will have to...”

    She fidgets a little, before finishing.

    “...put you down. I’m sorry, Heath.”

    I let this sink in. “You mean... I’m going to...”

    “Yes. You are going to have to die in order to maintain the balance of the world.”

    I’m stunned. I can’t think of any response. I’m not sure I can think at all. I seem to have lost that ability. I start to speak, but immediately shut my mouth again. There has to be some kind of response.

    She reaches out, and holds my hand. “I’m not going to try and tell you to relax. This isn’t something I’m telling you lightly. I tried to find another solution. I badgered Palkia and Arceus about it, but it wasn’t until ten minutes ago that Arceus even surrendered details about how to temporarily save you.”

    I can’t respond at all now- my throat has closed up. This isn’t fair. I haven’t done anything, and I have to die?

    “Heath... You can cry if you need to.”

    I have no idea what happens over the next minute or so. However, when I’m next aware of my actions, I’m sobbing out, “W-why? Why am I-I- why do I exist in the-the first place?”

    She nods, and takes a deep breath before answering.

    “Well... You see... I was behind your creation.”

    I’m too upset to be surprised by this.

    “The story starts about six hundred years ago, with the Temporal Tower incident. Prior to those events, I looked ahead... You see those threads above us? Each one is the life of a single living creature. When left to their own devices, each thread would go about its natural course, and have very little variation in the long run. It’s my job to shake it up. I can see both the past, present, and future of any thread I desire, and can change it in any way I like. Say, your hand slips, and you end up cutting your hand while preparing food. If it’s a routine hospital visit with no long-lasting effects, it was probably normal. However, if a longer-lasting effect, such as the loss of control of the hand, or meeting your future spouse at the hospital, I was likely involved in it.

    “Anyway, Temporal Tower. I looked ahead, and saw that nothing could be changed anymore. What’s worse, none of the threads ended. Only the stopping of time could fix time, as well as make all living beings deathless. Before knowing what I was up against, I set a ball rolling. A young boy experiences an accident, and ends up in a hospital. One thing leads to another, and he eventually becomes friends with a Grovyle. As this occurred, I kept an eye on any being with the capability to destabilize time. Just as the tower collapsed, I discovered Darkrai. I moved the boy’s string so that the two would eventually cross paths as Grovyle met with Celebi to travel to the past.”

    She pauses, and nods.

    “That’s how the Hero got his start. Now, Arceus is more concerned with humans in general than he is with other Pokémon, so that leaves me in charge of most Pokémon. Pokémon are tougher to spur to heroism than humans are- Natures providing the biggest hurdle- so, I usually end up setting up a series of events where a human becomes a Pokémon. That’s what happened to Ginji. That’s what happened to the Slayer of the Glacial Body. And, under more ideal circumstances, that’s what would have happened with you.”

    “S-so what happened to me?”

    “Well... Back to Darkrai and Temporal Tower for a minu-”

    “I need to kn-know.”

    “I’m trying to explain. Please settle down. This will all make sense in due time. Now, you’ve been reading that awful history book that tells basically nothing about the hero, right? How would you like to know more about him?”

    After a moment, I nod, and the Kirlia- Chance, I suppose- moves over to one of the walls. She reaches her hand into it, and fishes out a firey, red thread.

    “All threads are eventually engulfed by time. I alone can pull out old ones for examination.”

    She holds one end out to me, and nods toward it. I take the end, and an image swims to the surface of my mind- the same one of the hero and the partner fighting Darkrai that I saw when I was attacked by that shadowy thing.

    “Well after the incident, the hero and partner-”

    “Did they have names?”

    “Yes, they did. Now, after the incident, the pair of them eventually discovered Darkrai through the efforts of Cresselia and yours truly. They tracked him to Dark Crater, and defeated him in battle. Then, Darkrai attempted to enter a time tunnel. Palkia showed up, and blasted the tunnel while Darkrai was traveling through it. At the time, it was believed that Darkrai would lose his memory, and be allowed to have a second chance at life. However, by that point, Darkrai’s aura had already blackened. Nobody could tell this, but you can’t just wipe that away. So, while Darkrai’s body emerged on the other end of the tunnel, his mind was trapped inside.”

    The image shifts to an image of a portal shattering.

    “For a split second, anyway. The second that the tunnel shattered, his mind was broken as well, shattering all over time and space. The pieces that survived mostly faded, are fading, or will fade away without a body to contain them. However, those that landed in Mystery Dungeons knew how to craft bodies from the aether. You’ve already encountered one- the Shard of Darkrai that tried to devour you yesterday.”

    I try to piece this all together as the image fades away. “So... You made me to fight Darkrai duplicates?”

    She shakes her head. “I made you to fight a single Darkrai duplicate. However, I’m getting to that. Now, around five years after the hero’s death, Palkia began to fight them. He recruited great explorers to track them down, and formed the Spacial Order. The Order’s all but dead now- Melchior is the sole remaining member. Even so, Palkia became quite good at tracking down and destroying these Darkrai Shards, so I didn’t draft any new heroes for some time. However, a year ago, something impossible happened. A Shard materialized in this very room.”

    She points up at the ceiling. “If those strands up there were solid, he could have killed at least a third of the life on Earth. He fell through, and fought his way out. I tried to direct Melchior to him, but Melchior never found him. I would have crossed their paths, but spacial distortions don’t have threads, so I was powerless over him. He laid low for a year, and I eventually assumed Palkia had found him. Then, three months ago, Zekrom vanished.”

    I raise an eyebrow, and I see her concentrate. An image of a titanic, black dragon fills my head. I raise an eyebrow. “You’re the reason I had those flashes of knowledge?”

    “It’s as Palkia said- Destiny acted on your behalf. This is also why you believed that you were human- I slipped that thought into your head.”

    “Why?”

    “Well... I never intended to reveal to you what you were. My plan was to duplicate the success I had with the other heroes by allowing you to believe that you were different in some way. Under these circumstances, you would eventually stumble into adventure, and afterwards, live out your life normally.”

    She pauses a moment, and asks, “...Do you want me to stop doing it?”

    “...Please, please stop doing it.”

    She simply nods, not even asking why. I think she knows that it’s just another reminder I’m not what I should be.

    “Anyway, Zekrom guards the Dubh Tower. You remember- the tower that sheds a veil of darkness around it? Kim mentioned it that night in Sylvan when you saw Geal Tower in the distance. This meant that Darkrai was going to try something there. Now, I need years to anticipate when something like the sun going out will happen, most of that finding a good candidate. I had nine months. I had two choices- manufacture a soul, and pray nothing went wrong; or let the sun go out.”

    “How’s the sun going out?”

    “Located in the center of Dubh Tower is a single point of divine light. Geal Tower has a similar point of absolute blackness. If either of these is extinguished, the other tower will fall, and either darkness or light will rule. Now, Darkrai hasn’t figured out how to extinguish the light yet, but the threads tell me that in six months’ time, he will have managed, and the world will die, frozen in eternal darkness.”

    She sighs. “With Palkia’s aid, I constructed a body for the artificial soul, and placed it in a Mystery Dungeon. I didn’t tell either Palkia or Arceus that your soul was artificial- that’s a taboo practice. I had to negotiate with Arceus to even learn the basics. I manufactured a hero to finish the job that the first one didn’t. And you were perfect until that Darkrai Shard from last night got close to you. You began to destabilize then, and Palkia put out an order for your destruction. When Melchior refused to go after you, Palkia went to collect you himself. While he was gone, I spoke with Arceus, admitting my crime. Now... I can extend your life for six months. No more than that. And no matter what happens, I can only hold this position for another fifty years. I was promised another eight hundred, but that’s the problem with this job- if you do anything that may have even the slightest chance to force Arceus to restart creation, you’re given just enough time to perform one final, major, earth-shattering event before you’re led off to die.”

    She realizes that she’s just claimed six months and fifty years were exaclty the same thing, and attempts to change the subject.

    “So... What will it be, Heath? Do you want the six months? If you do, you are expected to spend them helping us to fight Darkrai. If not, well, just talk to Palkia.”

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  4. #104
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    The song Again by Yui seems to fit Heath...
    Great song from FMA Brotherhood, please look up the translation or just click this link: http://fma.wikia.com/wiki/Again
    Wow.. just depressing.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  5. #105
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    Well Heath, you better take them up on the offer, it gives you more chances to find a way to be a real boy, no point in ending your life early.

    Anyway, that was quite the information drop, it seems like a little too much for either the protagonist or the reader to take in all at once, however, since I am familiar with the happenings of the older Mystery Dungeon games and that little 6 book story staring Shinji in the Nintendo Power magazines, I already know about those past events and thus, it's easier to comprehend.

    I wonder as to how these Darkrai shards will effect the world, it's already blackened the skies for several days, what else could they possible do. Looking forward to another chapter, keep it up.


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

  6. #106
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    Chance’s Note: Under normal circumstances, I would not redact Heath’s thoughts. However, in this situation alone, which pertains to the modification of an artificial soul, I am bound to remove this section. The next half of a page is blank for this reason.

    Chance opens the door of the building, and nods. “Well, that’s that. You now have an additional six months. I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to persuade Arceus to lengthen your life further.”

    I barely react.

    “You’re probably wondering why I can’t do this more than once.”

    “No. I’m not.”

    She stops talking a split second after starting, but regains her composure. “Er, okay... Heath... No, never mind. Um, if there’s anything I can do to help you...”

    “Never do anything like this ever again.”

    She nods slowly. “Yes. Probably for the best.”

    “And when your successor takes your place, make sure they know that they’re not allowed to, either. Nobody should have to go through this.”

    She nods again. “I’ll find a way to make sure of it. And if you ever need anything, the door here can open to anywhere. If you want to talk, we can anytime.”

    “What’s the problem with talking to me via telepathy?”

    “The Hall of Origin and my tower are considered separate planes of reality from yours. Messages sent from one to the other arrive garbled. I’ve been doing this long enough that I can understand the code, but you wouldn’t be able to. Understand?”

    I nod, not especially caring. “Can I please go home?”

    She motions towards the door, and I see the Hall of Origin appear to waver in place before being replaced by a familiar looking square- Quest Plaza.

    “Remember- anytime you need someone to talk to...”

    I nod, and exit the building. I turn around to see the door close behind me, leaving no indication that it had ever been there. I turn back towards the square, and begin to slowly walk back to Kim’s house. It’s sometime after midnight- I suppose time flows differently in Chance’s tower.

    Eventually, I find my way home, and open the door. Kim’s asleep, but wakes up when the door closes.

    “Julius, I haven- Oh. Oh, Heath! You’re back!”

    She picks herself up, and rushes over. “Are you okay? Harmed in any way? What happened?”

    “Kim, I... I really don’t want to talk about it.”

    She backs off almost immediately. “Heath. Um, about two hours after you were taken, Palkia came back. He said something about you being some kind of spacial anomaly- that you were dangerous somehow. I’m not going to ask if it’s true, but be careful the next time you’re in town.”

    I lie down, not responding. I need to sleep this one out.

    ***

    November 25th

    I wake up to the sound of frantic knocking, I hear Julius’s voice muffled by the wood.

    “Kim! Kim! Raichu says that he saw Heath heading this way last night! Is he in there?”

    I look around, and see that Kim appears to be out. I open the door, and Julius nearly hits me in the face. He pulls his hand back a split second before impact, and looks at me in surprise.

    “Oh. I guess you’re okay, then. What happened? Palkia said...”

    He trails off as he studies my face. “Bad topic?”

    I nod, and he sighs. “I’m sorry, Heath.”

    I shrug. “So, something else about me that was hidden. Are you angry?”

    “Should I be?”

    “I could have been keeping it a secret the entire time.”

    “Your tone, face, and body language say otherwise. You didn’t know. I can’t hold you responsible. If you want to talk about it...”

    I don’t respond.

    “Ah. Okay. Well, I’ll be around town...”

    He leaves, and I’m alone with my thoughts. Come to think of it, heading into town for a while might be a passable distraction...

    I head back into town and wait in line at the bank. If I’m going to hang around here, I may as well have some cash on hand.

    I get to the front of the line, and am about to ask Jaroda to empty my account when I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn around, and am surprised to see Zoroark, the green Kecleon, and Raichu.

    They don’t say anything at first, and Zoroark looks pretty nervous, shifting his weight from time to time, and grinning nervously.

    The green Kecleon speaks first. “My apologies, Heath, but the three of us have to cut our services to you.”

    Zoroark nods. “We’re very sorry, but it’s very bad for business. While some are sympathetic, far more are scared of... what you are. It’s nothing personal- were it up to us, we’d keep our services open. But...”

    I look over at Raichu. “Why are you here? I’ve never been to your shop. I think I’ve only spoken to you the once.”

    He looks like he’s about to suffer a small panic attack when Jaroda leans down next to me, and fixes them with a look.

    “You look nervous, Raichu. Worried that he’ll destabilize if you talk to him?”

    Raichu looks even more terrified than before. “I... I... We don’t... know how much of what he’s told us is true, I only heard about the human thing a week ago- what if he knew this entire time?”

    Jaroda shrugs, and turns to

    The next paragraph is completely illegible.

    turns away again.

    “Based on even Zoroark’s pallor, the lot of you were affected by my fear aura, even though you weren’t my target. If I had asked Heath his deepest, darkest secret, he’d have told me. He didn’t know. Now, the lot of you, get out of my sight.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen three Pokémon move so fast.

    Jaroda looks down at me. “Sorry about that. I overreacted.”

    I’m confused. “What... Are you defending me because you want something?”

    He looks genuinely hurt. “No. It’s... Hmmm... Melanie would kill me, but... Wait inside my house. I’ll finish with the people in line, and then I’ll explain.”

    Not knowing exactly what I should do, I climb behind the counter, and enter the door.

    Jaroda’s house is very simple on the inside. I had always expected it to look a lot nicer, but he simply has a bed, a chair (presumably for guests,) and a number of cupboards. The one other thing that I notice is that this place in incredibly warm- almost to the point where I’m uncomfortable.

    I wait in the chair for a while, before Jaroda re-enters.

    “Comfortable?”

    “No. Not really.”

    “Sorry. If I could do something about the heat, I would- this place was build with a tropical climate in mind- much like where I grew up, actually.”

    I’m not sure how to react. He’s being incredibly nice, and doesn’t seem to want something in return. Curiously, I ask, “What did you want to talk about?”

    Jaroda heads over to one of the cupboards, and pulls out a bottle.

    “Spinda’s, Imported, about fifty years old. Grass Gummi, as I recall. This will take a while- would you like a drink?”

    I really don’t know, but I find myself nodding. He pours some into a wineglass, and hands it to me.

    “Heath, what I’m about to tell you is something I’d rather not get out. This is a very nice town when they’re not out for your blood, and I’d rather not lose that. Before you say anything-”

    He gives me a look as I open my mouth. “Before you say anything, I’m just as aware as you are of what that can be like. What has Melanie told you about the Light Brigade?”

    I think for a minute, before I remember. “That was the rescue team that you, Madame Lucario, and Melchior had years ago, right?”

    “Yes. Melchior named it after a page from a human book that he happened to find on our first outing. He thought the name sounded heroic.”

    He realizes that he’s started to ramble. “Ah, sorry. Well, Melanie never mentions our fourth member, probably for good reason. His name was Richard, and he was a Minccino. He and I never got along- each of us jockeyed for the arrogant genius position on the team, I suppose. His area of expertise was survival tactics, and mine was battle tactics.”

    He sighs before pouring himself a drink from a different bottle.

    “The team was quite successful for several years, and we were actually going to open it up as a guild after one last mission. The mission in question brought us far to the South. Now, I don’t know how much geography Kim’s bothered to teach you, but the entire southern quarter of this continent is a desert. There are a limited number of settlements, and they’re very far away from each other. So, upon the delivery of a small number of outlaws to the local magistrate, we set off home.”

    He pauses before taking a long drink.

    “Our supplies should have lasted a week- roughly the time it would take to get from the Southern tip of the continent to one about halfway back home. However, they dried up on day five. Richard was in charge of moderating food and water. We knew that we had a chance of surviving to the next town if we just kept moving. Then, the unthinkable happened- we arrived in town three days after a bandit attack.”

    “Is there a point-”

    He looks over at me. “I can throw you out, if you’d like.”

    I’m silent, and he nods. “This is relevant, let me assure you.”

    “The survivors barely had the resources to support themselves, let alone send us along with food and water. So, the four of us headed off into the desert, praying that we’d make it home before one of us died. Around night four, I snapped. Richard had been in charge of rationing out food and water. He should have kept better track of it. Somehow, after jumping to increasingly wrong conclusions, I decided that he had done it on purpose. I-”

    He stops, and I notice now that his eyes are wide, and he shudders when next he speaks.

    “I... The law is very, very vague as to the differences between murder and predation. In general, if you know the victim, it’s considered murder. I had a temporary insanity defense built, but it didn’t matter. The only people that were convinced were the jury. Everyone else... Everyone I knew, loved, or even had only met in passing was now convinced I was a powder keg, ready to attack them at the slightest provocation. I left after being stripped of my name, and I’m convinced Melanie followed me out here because she secretly... No, she absolutely suspects that I would do it again if I had the chance. It destroyed everyone involved.”

    He appears to try and shrug it off, but doesn’t look like he’s succeeded. He shivers a bit, and avoids making eye contact.

    “Well, anyway, that’s why I defended you out there. I made a choice, and I paid for it. You did nothing to deserve this, and it’s exactly the same as what happened to me.”

    He’s silent for a while, but eventually looks me dead in the eye.

    “Heath- I know only one facet of what you’re going through. However, let me tell you this- you should find someone to talk to. Someone you trust. Talking to me about it is a bad idea, but Kim and Melanie are trustworthy. Julius, I don’t know as well, but he could be an option as well.”

    I nod, and leave. He’s right. I need someone to talk to about this. I could go to Chance, but I’d rather not call her back right away. Kim and Julius could be anywhere, so I could go see Madame Lucario about it...

    I turn a corner, and bump into someone. I pick myself up from the fall, and note that I’ve just bumped into the other Kecleon- the purple one. He dusts himself off, and picks up a small burlap sack that’s on the ground next to him.

    “Ah, Heath. My brother mentioned that you were around here. I’ve got some very important news for you-”

    “He told me. I’m not allowed to shop with you guys anymore.”

    The Kecleon smiles, and shrugs.

    “My brother and I agree on a good many things. However, I believe that since most of my clientele is already used to being in dangerous situations, the sight of you buying things from my table wouldn’t damage my business too badly.”

    “What if it does?”

    “Then my only client is a rarity in the universe- that’s good enough for me.”

    He reaches into his bag, and pulls out an apple.

    “This one’s free, but any more will cost you a bit more than normal. Is that acceptable?”

    I think this is some of the only good news I’ve heard all day.

    “Yeah. Yes, thank you.”

    He bows, and turns to go back to his stall. “Oh, yes- avoid the Dojo and the Link Shop. Zoroark’s not too upset, but there are a large number of explorers there that I heard saying that they would attack you on sight. And Raichu, well... He was a paranoid nutcase already.”

    I nod, and head over to Madame Lucario’s tent. As I push the curtains open, I notice Kim sitting next to Madame Lucario’s crystal ball. She nods as I enter.

    “Heath? Have a seat.”

    I look around, and notice Madame Lucario heading over from one of the bookshelves, and Julius sorting adventure requests.

    I take a seat, and Madame Lucario nods.

    “Right, Heath. My guess is that you have a lot to talk about. Why not start at the beginning?”

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  7. #107
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    Hmmm...
    Guess that's who I would pick.
    Why would he heave those particular set of talents?
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotomknight View Post
    Hmmm...
    Guess that's who I would pick.
    Why would he heave those particular set of talents?
    What do you mean, "particular set of talents?"

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  9. #109
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    swordsmanship and flute playing
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotomknight View Post
    swordsmanship and flute playing
    It's because Chance sent him the knowledge. This is explained in Entry 21, where we see her transmit an image of Zekrom to Heath. And as for how she knows, she controls the destiny of absolutely everyone on the planet, so it's reasonable to assume that she's seen a few lessons of each.

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  11. #111
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    “...And that’s what happened.”

    I bow my head, wondering what they could possibly be thinking. Julius indicated earlier that he didn’t blame me for what happened, but I don’t know if any of them are frightened, sympathetic, indifferent...

    I feel Kim’s hand on my shoulder, and I turn in surprise. She’s standing next to me, and doesn’t look scared at all.

    “Heath... I can’t imagine what that must have been like.”

    I’m silent for a while, and she continues after a moment.

    “Don’t think for a minute that this changes anything. This isn’t something that you can control. I’m not scared of you just because of this.”

    “...If Chance messed up any part of the procedure, you’d be one of the first...”

    “Chance was taught this technique by Arceus. Do you think he’d take the chance that she would fail?”

    I’m silent again for a while, and Julius speaks up.

    “Look, Heath. Frankly, you’re still the exact same as before. This changes very little in the long run. This turn of events gives you more time- isn’t that a good thing?”

    I can’t think of a response. I’m not sure if he’s clueless or tactless. He doesn’t offer a follow-up, so I turn to Madame Lucario. She seems lost in thought. She rises after a moment, and looks down at me.

    “Tell me, Heath. How many have denied you service at their businesses by now?”

    “...Three. Zoroark, the green Kecleon, and Raichu. The purple one said that he’d keep serving me, but in retrospect, I think he was again thinking more about what I am...”

    Madame Lucario nods. “That’s what I thought. Tell me, do you think they’re the only ones who will?”

    “Huh?”

    “Heath, I watched this happen to... a friend of mine some time ago, and-”

    “Jaroda, right?”

    She looks somewhat surprised, but nods. “Er... Yes. Did he tell you...”

    “About his crime? Yes.”

    “...I’m sorry.”

    She takes a deep breath after a moment, and continues.

    “I watched this happen to Jaroda after what happened, and before too long, only Melchior and I would get within fifteen feet of him. The only thing that stopped....”

    She trails off, and continues. “He left town. I followed him about a month later, leaving my past fame behind me. In the years since then, he’s managed to get along fine. He doesn’t do himself any favors with the fear aura, but it’s infinitely better than what happened in our hometown.”

    She pauses a minute.

    “It may be a good idea for you to bail, Heath. Because before long, there’s a chance that you may have exactly five people in this town on your side, and five can’t stop a mob. On the other hand, starting from the beginning in another place may make these six months easier.”

    She looks over to me. “Whatever you decide to do, you have my support. However, please don’t immediately agree or disagree without thinking very carefully about your options. What worked for Jaroda might work for you, but I can’t guarantee that.”

    Run away from my problem, or possibly deal with the entire town against me. I’ve been given an impossible choice.

    She seems to notice my indecision, and continues. “Remember, you don’t need to decide now, and like I said, you shouldn’t. Think about it for a few days.”

    I nod, and Madame Lucario sits down again. “...Is there anything else anyone can think of to say?”

    She looks at me particularly hard, but I shake my head. She shrugs, and speaks one more time.

    “If you ever need to talk... Well, the three of us will listen. And if Jaroda felt like talking to you, he might as well...”

    “No. He told me not to.”

    Madame Lucario frowns. “Oh. Did he?”

    She doesn’t say anything else, but strides out of the tent. Kim looks over towards me, and looks like she’s about to speak when Julius cuts across her.

    “You know, this solo adventurer thing isn’t working out. I could always use some help. Heath, are you busy?”

    He doesn’t wait for an answer, but strides over next to me. “What do you think- Team JUMP sound like a good name?”

    I don’t know how to react. This is coming completely out of nowhere. I guess he’s decided he can trust me? In spite of not really knowing if I want to, I feel myself nod, and Julius beams at me.

    “Excellent! The two of us can start in a couple of days.”

    Kim shoots Julius a glare. “Three of us. I was the only one of us with any viable combat skills. Heath isn’t as good of a combatant as you or I, and I’m not going to let him get hurt.”

    Julius rolls his eyes at the second part, but shrugs afterward.

    “Sure. The team’s back together!”

    I’m still not sure how I should react, but Julius seems on top of the world. I’m about to ask him if he thinks it’s a good idea when Madame Lucario re-enters the tent.

    “He’ll talk to you anytime you want.”

    “Sure. Wonderful.”

    Julius looks over towards me. “...You don’t seem particularly enthusiastic.”

    Madame Lucario looks confused. “Should he be?”

    “Well, I just re-formed Team JUMP. The roster’s the same as before.”

    Madame Lucario doesn’t respond, but nods over to me. She wants me to respond?

    “...Julius, I... I’m not sure how to explain this...”

    He sits down across from me. “Take as many tries as you like.”

    “...This... Don’t take this the wrong way, but... it seems like this is only being done out of sympathy. I’d feel a lot better about it if I knew you were planning it beforehand...”

    Julius sighs, and places his hand on my shoulder. “I should have guessed that the timing would be awful. Truth be told, I decided that I trusted you sometime in the hours after the sun reappeared. There just wasn’t an opportunity to tell you about it before.”

    He seems genuine.

    “That’s not all, Julius. I’ve been... I’ve felt... I can’t put it into words... Like, too upset to care about anything, even what I’m upset about. Do you understand?”

    He shakes his head. “No. I’ve never felt anything like that. Then again, I can imagine. And no matter the reason, I don’t want any friend of mine feeling that way. I plan on helping you through this, and if that means timing my announcements in the worst way possible, well, that’s what I’ll have to do.”

    He pauses a second, as if waiting for a chuckle. When none is forthcoming, he continues awkwardly.

    “Er, yeah... So! Heath... Please join the rescue team. You could to try and go on adventures again, or burn off stress, or even just use it as a distraction. You’ve been trying for months to make me act like a civilized Pokémon. Here’s where they pay off.”

    I don’t react for a moment, and he sighs. “Is there anything else that I can try and fix?”

    “What you said earlier... About nothing changing...”

    “What about it?”

    “What doesn’t this change? Everything I thought that I knew about myself was a lie. In six months, either I die, or I die and take the world with me. I have no past and no future. If it wasn’t for my agreement with Chance, I’m not sure I’d worry about the present.”

    There’s silence after this last remark. Julius looks over at Kim, then at Madmae Lucario, and then looks at me.

    “Who are you?”

    The question appears to come out of nowhere. I tilt my head, surprised and a bit confused.

    “What?”

    “Three simple words. Who. Are. You?”

    “I’m Heath, Julius. You know that.”

    “A name is a word used to refer to something. Who does the name Heath refer to?”

    I pause a moment, not entirely sure what he means by this. “...I’m an abomination in the form of a Toto-”

    “I said who. Not what. And don’t call yourself that.”

    “I... I have no idea where you’re going with this.”

    “Heath. You’re someone who showed up here two months ago with no memories. You live with Kim, and you play flute. You’re curious, and that makes for some good conversation. You make friends easily- even Jaroda’s warmed to you quite a bit. You don’t take any kind of bad news well.”

    He nods, and smiles. “Tell me- what about the person named Heath does any of this change? You’ve got six months- let’s make them worthwhile. Let’s make you care about the present.”

    He doesn’t say anything else, but simply sits down, and starts flipping through the old history book.

    Kim speaks up next. “He’s right, you know. What you are doesn’t matter. I didn’t befriend a Totodile-shaped anomaly. I befriended you, Heath. What you are doesn’t matter. Who you are is the important thing.”

    I’m silent for a few seconds, and realize that they have a point. A very good one, actually.

    I stand, and look over to Madame Lucario. “May I please step outside for a moment?”

    She nods, and I motion for Kim and Julius to follow me. I lead them outside, and, for the first time since before the sun came back, I smile.

    “Thank you. Both of you. I...”

    I feel myself tear up a little.

    “...I... just... Thank you so very much.”

    The next thing I know, I’m hugging the both of them.

    Julius struggles away after a moment. “Jeez, a little warning before the next time you feel like doing that.”

    Kim, on the other hand, stays long enough to tell me, “Glad you’re feeling better.” She then pulls away, and we stand awkwardly for a moment.

    Kim breaks the silence. “It’s almost dinner. Do we stay here, or do we head home for now?”

    “I’d rather eat at home.”

    Julius shrugs. “Personally, I don’t care one way or another. Do you two mind if I follow you home?”

    Kim nods. “Come on, then.”

    The three of us meander back towards her house, and eventually arrive. Kim breaks off from the conversation after a minute, noticing something about the house.

    “Is... Is that window broken?”

    She charges over towards the front door, barely turning the knob on her way in. Julius and I follow shortly behind her. As we enter the door, we see her picking something up off of the ground.

    “It’s... a brick with a note attached.”

    She unties the string, and opens up the envelope.

    “Kangaskhan Storage regrets to inform you that you will no longer be allowed to utilize its services until such a time as the resident known as Heath is no longer residing at this location...”

    She trails off, not sure how to react to this. Julius takes the note after a minute.

    “Don’t worry. It says that while Heath’s box has been emptied and liquidated, yours is intact, Kim.”

    “...Madame Lucario wasn’t joking, was she?”

    I step in. “It’s not like I lost much. Just nine Blast seeds, nine sleep seeds, two Silver Spikes, and a bag. I keep my flute in the house, so...”

    “This isn’t about property. They could have told us that they didn’t want you here in person, or by letter, or turning you down at the counter. Yet they chose to put a brick through one of my windows?”

    I don’t have a response. I realize that she has a point. She turns to me.

    “Heath. The three of us are going to have to bail.”

    “The three of-”

    “You’re not getting rid of me, and Julius invited you back into the rescue team business on bent knee. The both of us are escorting you out of town.”

    She doesn’t seem like she can be convinced otherwise.

    “We leave in two days. Tomorrow, we’ll spend the morning picking a destination, and the afternoon picking up any supplies we can. Is that understood?”

    I’m a little less than sure, but after I see Julius nodding, I can’t think of anything that could convince the both of them to stay.

    “...Okay. Fine. I guess we have no other choice.”

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  12. #112
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    YAY! THe traditional mystery dungeon fugitive part.
    I hope Heath destroys the darkrai shards and gets to be stabilized.
    And maybe he'll visit the hero of time.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  13. #113
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    November 26th

    I awaken to the sounds of Kim and Julius arguing.

    “I just don’t see the point of heading into the mountains. There’s maybe one or two towns that way, and we’ll freeze if we take a wrong turn.”

    Kim sighs, and I hear her point towards a section of a map. “Over here is Star Peak. There’s no shortage of jobs for a rescue team, and there’s a town at the base. Getting lost will be difficult if we follow the roads. Besides, where would you have us go?”

    I stand up just as Julius points towards a spot on the opposite side of the map.

    “Over here is Crainn. I’ve got an uncle in that area. If we can’t get lodging, I’m sure he won’t mind us staying.”

    I step over to the table, and get a good look at the map. The pair of them only seem to notice me now, and each of them nods towards me before resuming their argument.

    The continent in front of me seems to be divided into two parts- three large regions comprised of varying topographies. Then, the bottom third is a gigantic desert. I note that Crainn, which Julius mentioned, appears to be a massive forest to the West, while Star Peak is in the middle of a mountain range labeled Sléibhte to the East. Quest Plaza, located in a section labeled Ceangal, sits to the North. Sylvan and Nexus are both marked as well, and they’re very close to it. Sylvan was a day’s journey from here, so, in either case, it would take at least a week to travel in either direction.

    “Julius, that uncle of yours would want to know why you were away from home. How do you plan on explaining Heath?”

    “I could always say that I got tired of the lack of jobs, packed my team up, and headed West.”

    “He could then ask why it was you went all the way out there instead of moving to Nexus. It’s better if no one knows who we are.”

    I’m about to offer my opinion when I feel a sort of tug near the back of my thoughts.

    They’ve been like that for an hour. Personally, I’d prefer you head to Star Peak, but that’s just me.

    I’m caught off guard by this, and I spin around, looking for the speaker. It takes a moment for me to recognize the telepathy, and Chance’s voice. Julius gives me a strange look, and Kim steps over next to me.

    “Something wrong?”

    “Chance is speaking to me telepathically.”

    Kim doesn’t seem to know how to react, and I’m not much better. Julius, however, looks me dead in the eye.

    “Let me talk to her.”

    “I don’t know if I ca-”

    Tell him that I’m working on your problem, but Arceus is tough to convince. ...Oh, and Dialga and I have started looking into a little something that may help my successors keep from doing this.

    I relay the information to Julius, and he nods.

    “Did she say what the two of them were working on?”

    No. I still don’t know how possible something like this would be, so I don’t want to get your hopes up.

    Julius sighs, and shrugs. “Okay. Any particular reason she’s contacting you?”

    “She’s cast her vote for Star Peak.”

    Kim raises an eyebrow. “I know that I’d be turning down someone who was interested in a more sensible option, but since when does she get a vote?”

    “I’m sorry?”

    “We’re talking about someone reckless enough to screw your body up, let you out, and then drop an emotional bomb on you. She had better have a good reason for trying to sway our decision.”

    There’s a possibility that a Darkrai Shard may have materialized in the area.

    I do a double-take. “What?”

    Kim and Julius look confused. Julius is the first to speak. “Is something up?”

    “There may be a Shard there.”

    Kim chuckles sarcastically. “How about no? If anything, that’s a sign that we should be heading in the opposite direction. What’s stopping Melchior or Palkia from dealing with it?”

    Palkia’s refusing to get involved with this particular matter, and Melchior’s in the South, hunting an additional one. My reason for suggesting this to Heath is that it will help him learn how to properly fight these things for when we find the important one.

    “How is it any different from fighting any other battle?”

    It’s less of a battle in the normal sense, and more of a clash of wills. When fighting, the two distortions become little more than entities of willpower. The greater devours the lesser, and Heath needs to know how to fight that kind of battle.

    Privately, I think to her, That’s not what happened the first time...

    Because I stepped in, and took the wheel for you. Battles of strength I’m useless in, but battles of the mind are my specialty.

    Kim groans “...What evidence does she have that there’s a Shard in the area?”

    None that conclusively proves it. However, the threads for that area seem to be cut considerably shorter than they should be, and there’s no explanation. Normally, I would be able to locate a murderer’s thread, but remember that distortions like Heath or the Shards lack threads...

    Kim sighs. “...Julius, what do you think?”

    “She makes a point. Funny thing is, Kim, she actually managed to swap our opinions around.”

    “Okay, so two for Star Peak, one against. Heath, if you tie this, we can ask Madame Lucario for guidance.”

    I think for a while, and weigh my options. While Chance’s option would prepare me for what lay ahead, it was the more dangerous...

    “...I think that Star Peak is our best option.”

    Kim nods, and rolls up the map. “Fine. Let’s head into town, then. Julius, you’ll hit up the Kecleons, and get all the food and winter gear you can. I don’t want you passing out. Heath, you head to Madame Lucario’s, and tell her your decision. I’ll withdraw our savings from Jaroda’s. We’ll all meet back here before we head out, okay?”

    Julius and I nod, and the three of us head back into town for what may be the last time. It’s much the same as it always is, minus some of the hostile stares in my direction.

    The three of us fan out, and I follow the back road to Madame Lucario’s. Two lefts, a right, and then one final left. I’ve come this way with Kim many times before, but I think this is one of the only times aside from my first I’ve actually paid attention to which way I was heading. Usually, I just focused on following Kim.

    I push my way into the tent, and see Madame Lucario, seated at her table. She has a client today- the first one I’ve seen. She and Ampharos have their eyes locked, and she’s got his arms in a tight grip. They hold this pose for about a minute, and then Ampharos leans back.

    “About 9:30, do you think?”

    Madame Lucario nods, and he checks a piece of paper.

    “That means that my client is...”

    He turns in his chair, and nearly knocks it over.

    “Heath! Oh, hello. How’ve you... Never mind, stupid question. Um, what can you tell me about this paper I found in my mailbox an hour ago?”

    He hands it to me, and I look it over.

    “Wanted: One bodyguard to protect a traveler. The traveler will arrive in the tent of Madame Lucario at 9:30 AM. Reward available upon arrival at destination. Rank A Mission, Reward: ?.”

    I flip the page over, and see a hastily-scribbled note on the back. “Traveler, if you’re reading this, my boss has proven difficult. He refuses to provide information on the topic we discussed.”

    Chance, is this your handwriting?

    Well, you can hardly expect me to have guessed that Julius would have asked me the question to that answer...

    “I know who sent it, and that’s about it. What were you thinking about doing with it?”

    Ampharos shrugs. “I didn’t know. Since it didn’t say who the client was, I didn’t plan anything. However, this way, we could finally get that mission in. Are you okay with it?”

    I think for a minute. “Well... Can you provide your own bag and equipment?”

    “I have a bag at home, and could probably spring for a few Orbs or seeds...”

    “We’re heading up a mountain. Do you have any winter gear?”

    “Yes. I used to travel a lot, and they came in handy.”

    I think a bit more, and then nod. “Okay, then. You get your adventure.”

    Ampharos rises, and dashes over, grabbing my hand before shaking it roughly. “You won’t regret this. I’ll run home and get my supplies now.”

    He dashes out the door, leaving Madame Lucario and I alone. She rises, and walks over to me.

    “You’re leaving then?”

    “Kim insisted.”

    “Oh. Well, best of luck to you. Try not to...”

    She trails off for a moment, and then abruptly sits down. “Keep out of as much trouble as you can. Kim, Julius, and Ampharos can all fight far better than you can- stay out of combat whenever necessary.”

    I nod.

    “And... If you can... Please... If it looks like Kim may be in over her head, get her out of there. Send her home. I’d rather not lose her.”

    “I doubt she’d lis-”

    “I know it’s selfish, but please do what you can.”

    I hear a clinking from outside, and Ampharos pokes his head back in, a bag slung over his shoulder. “Heath? I’m ready to go.”

    I nod my head towards Madame Lucario, and exit the tent. For some reason, I get the sense that this may be the last time I leave here.

    Ampharos nods, and we begin to head back to Kim’s house. He begins to talk right as we exit town.

    “Arceus, so many cold stares... Anyway, I ran into Julius when getting my stuff. He seemed enthusiastic about the trip.”

    I nod, and then a question pops into my head. “Ampharos? What do you think of me? About what I am?”

    He shrugs. “Not sure, really. But I think that if you meant any harm, you would have done it by now...”

    He doesn’t say much more on the matter, but changes the subject. “So, where exactly are you- sorry, we- headed?”

    “Star Peak. What exactly do you know about what happened two nights ago?”

    “Nothing beyond what Palkia said, and I heard it from a less-than-reliable source. Why not fill me in?”

    “Well, after the dragon trio stormed the town, Palkia grabbed me, and whisked me off into a portal...”

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  14. #114
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    Ampharos and I arrive back at Kim’s house shortly. Julius nods to the pair of us, and Kim tilts her head to the side.

    “We’re bringing Ampharos along?”

    Julius explains. “Not exactly. Apparently, he received an anonymous job request that makes him Heath’s bodyguard for the trip. Not sure who-”

    “It was Chance.”

    “Oh, of course it was. Anyway, not sure why she thinks we’re not enough.”

    Kim rolls her eyes. “Julius, think about it. How many missions have we been on as a group, and how many have ended with Heath in the hospital?”

    “...Oh. Right.”

    I actually chuckle a little bit as Julius picks up a bag. “Okay, so it’s about one week to our destination accounting for stops for eating and sleeping. We could run it in three days if we didn’t stop, but that’s not the best idea, given out lack of familiarity with the area.”

    Ampharos raises a hand. “I can take care of navigating. What else do we need to worry about?”

    Kim shrugs. “We’ll need a battler- that can be me- and someone to monitor our food supply.”

    Julius nods. “Do you have a problem with me taking that one, Heath?”

    I shake my head. “Go ahead. What should I do?”

    “Well, how about practicing Water Oath whenever we’re at a resting point? Kim’s a good fighter, but she can’t deal with every Pokémon we come across. That, and you probably ought to talk to Chance every so often. She may be a useful source of information.”

    Kim rolls her eyes at this last part, and picks up her own bag.

    “Right. Shall we get started?”

    The rest of us nod, and we begin moving.

    ***

    It’s around two hours before we have to sit down and set up camp. We spend about a half-hour finding stones and wood for a fire pit before Kim sets up a campfire.

    I sit back, and try and focus on using Water Oath. I’ve had some success with it- I can now get a single droplet to fly six inches into the air. It’s nowhere near ready to use in combat, but it’s better than it was.

    After a while, I try to get in touch with Chance.

    Hey. Can we talk?

    She sounds hurried in her response.

    Not now. Talking to Arceus. I’ll get in contact with you tonight while you dream.

    She doesn’t offer much more than that, so I look over at the others. Kim is busy discussing our route with Ampharos, and Julius is eating an apple. I sit down next to Ampharos, and look over his shoulder at the map. I take note of our starting point and our destination before looking up at Ampharos.

    “Where are we right now?”

    He points at a spot less than a quarter-inch away from where we started.

    “Traveling on foot isn’t the fastest way there, but it’s the least roundabout. Our other option would be to take a ferry from Nexus, wait three days on the back of a Lapras, and spend one day trekking through the mountains. Problem is, the fare’s pretty high, and I’m sure none of us has 1000 Poké to blow on this trip.”

    I nod, and take another look at the map. “How long until we enter Sléibhte?”

    “Two days.”

    Kim cuts in. “At that point, someone native to the province will record us passing through. If nothing’s changed in about three years, they’ll ask why we’re traveling through. We’re saying it’s for health reasons- is that clear?”

    I nod. “I take it you’ve crossed a border or two?”

    “Like I said awhile back, I did a lot of traveling before arriving in Quest Plaza. I’m originally from Gaineamh, but I wasn’t a fan of the whole desert thing.”

    “How old were you?”

    “I must have been about six.”

    I’m initially surprised by this, but then I remember that Pokémon age faster than the number I’ve been given for humans.

    She notices the look on my face, and shrugs. “Well, even for a Pokémon, it’s still pretty young. Still, you find the right group to travel with, desert travel isn’t a problem. Most of the group settled down in Crainn, but I moved on to Ceangal. The entire region’s one gigantic forest, so most of them were pretty nervous around a fire-type. My original destination was Nexus, but then I stopped at this place called Quest Plaza...”

    Julius cuts in. “Is that why you’re good at fighting? Living in the desert?”

    “No, that’s because I’m just naturally good at it. I got a lot of mileage out of it in my early years, but it’s never been one of my core interests.”

    We’re all silent for a while. Ampharos eventually rolls the map up, and announces that he’s going to sleep. The rest of us nod, and eventually follow suit.

    When I start to dream, I find myself standing beside a large pond. The water is still and glasslike, and I can see stars reflected in it. When I look up, however, I can’t see any above me. There’s a dense forest in all directions, and it looks like I could get lost if I tried to leave.

    A second later, Chance appears to fade into existence by the side of the pond. She turns to face me, and smiles.

    “Heath. How are you?”

    “Coping. I had a few questions about what the road ahead was like.”

    “Well, you’re unlikely to run into any trouble from actual Pokémon. The environment is your biggest hurdle.”

    “I understand. Is there anything in particular we should know?”

    “That you as a group need to know? Not really. That you personally need to know? Yes. You need some understanding of what kind of battle you’re going to be fighting. For that purpose, I’ve set time aside each night for us to practice.”

    “Practice?”

    “This is a dream. It’s very similar to the conditions of a two-distortion battle. The only difference is that you don’t die if you lose.”

    I slowly nod. “Okay, so the point is that I don’t lose the battle after a few minutes. How exactly does this work?”

    “Well, first off, the Shard would have started attacking you about two minutes ago, so it’s probably best to start with how to defend yourself. First thing’s first- you can use moves in here quite proficiently. The move strength is relative to the size of the distortion that you cause. Try hitting me with a Water Oath.”

    I place my hand on the ground, and focus on trying to locate groundwater. Somehow, this place seems to have accounted for that, and I find some in a matter of seconds. I bring it surging out of the ground, and Chance is struck by it. She barely reacts.

    After the attack finishes, she appears to be considering something. She’s lost in thought for a moment, and then nods.

    “Okay, so the attack is still weaker than it should be. That’s no fault of yours- it’s mostly due to that thing I did to extend your life. If that weren’t in place, it could probably level a building. But then again, if you ever reach that point, it’d probably be a second or two before the apocalypse.”

    “Is it possible for me to strengthen it?”

    “No, but it will strengthen on its own over time. You can also use other moves, but you have to learn how first.”

    “Will this affect my proficiency with moves in the real world?”

    “It can teach you the concepts, but not much else. Similarly, learning moves in the real world makes them useable here, but won’t increase their power.”

    I nod. “Out of curiosity- do I actually have any moves of my own?”

    “Yes, actually. I just didn’t get around to putting the information on how to use them into your head. When you started, you had Aqua Tail, Aqua Jet, Screech, and Scratch.”

    “Those all seem very high above my level.”

    “They are. But then again, you were a bit of a rush job, and the situation didn’t give me time to wait for you to level up. Now, Water Oath took over one of those move slots, and I don’t know which one.”

    “Do we have to test each one individually?”

    “Yes, but not tonight. Tonight was just a way for me to introduce you to this program of ours. I’ll let you dream normally now, unless there’s something else you’d like before I go?”

    I’m about to shake my head, when an idea enters my head. Without thinking, I hear myself blurting out, “I want to see what I really look like.

    Chance seems confused. “What you really...?”

    Her eyes widen a little, and she shakes her head. “No. I can’t show you a spacial distortion. That’s not something that you should be seeing.”

    “Why not?”

    “Heath, I’ve seen these things form in midair, and it disturbs even me. You’re not getting a look at that.”

    She crosses her arms. “That’s all there is to say on the matter.”

    I feel like I could try and argue, but there’s something about the way she’s acting that unnerves me. Perhaps it may be safer just to back off.

    I slowly nod, and she seems to ease up.

    “Anyway, is there anything reasonable you want?”

    “Not that I can think of, no.”

    She closes her eyes, and appears to leave the way she came. A few seconds later, the area changes, and I’m in a perfectly ordinary dream...

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  15. #115
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    Sep 2010
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    November 27th

    Ampharos nudges me awake. My dreams were utterly unremarkable after Chance left, so I simply fill them in on our apparent safety.

    Our journey for the day starts us out moving across a vast, golden plain. Over time, the landscape changes, gradually becoming less and less flat as time goes on. By the end of the evening, I’m starting to notice more varied terrain. The ground has become slightly hilly, and there’s far less grass than before. We’re probably nearing the base of the mountains.

    Ampharos has his map out, and Julius and Kim are busy fighting over the best way to cook dinner. Deciding I’d rather not get involved, I sit over next to Ampharos.

    “So, where are we now?”

    He motions toward a spot three inches away from Quest Plaza. “We started moving at the beginning of the day, so we’ve covered more ground. I’m thinking we ought to start climbing the mountains near one of the more forested areas- that way, we can get used to moving up steep slopes. We’ll have some traction under our feet, and if someone falls, the trees can help slow their descent.”

    He chuckles a bit at the last part, and points at a spot along the border. “This is where they’ll have someone log our entry. Illegal immigration’s been a bit of an issue for the past ten years or so, so the person in charge may come across as a bit intimidating. Just a warning.”

    I’m silent for a while before deciding casual conversation’s probably a much better idea than silence.

    “You’re quite good at finding your way around.”

    “Well, I was good at geography and agriculture. You don’t get to travel in the case of the latter.”

    “Agriculture?”

    “Yeah. You wouldn’t guess by looking, but there are actually a number of farms surrounding Quest Plaza. The majority don’t farm anything that’s directly edible as food, but there are a few underground mushroom farms.”

    “What else would they be farming?”

    “There are a number of species of plant that don’t have much nutritional value by themselves, but can be used as herbal remedies. I’m from a family that owns one of the mushroom farms, and I’m not a fan of it.”

    “I see. I don’t think I’d be able to get used to working underground, either.”

    “It’s actually thanks to that resentment that I was out of the house when you guys showed up. A friend of mine, Octillery, asked if I could grab him something from Dense Marsh. A week later, you guys showed up and helped me out.”

    I notice that he skips the part where he was tortured by a Carnivine.

    “How’s that related to the resentment?”

    “Octillery’s trouble. He’s loyal to those he considers friends, but he’s got a reputation built on accidentally hurting those around him. So, about three years ago, I decided that since my overly-concerned parents thought it’d be a bad idea to hang around with him, he was someone I could befriend.

    “Are you still friends?”

    “It’s not his fault what happened happened. He’s agreed to avoid sending me into any more Mystery Dungeons, though.”

    I get the sense that I could offend him if I try to suggest that he may want to rethink his choice of friends, and rewind the conversation a bit.

    “So, Geography. Was that something you learned along the side?”

    “No, actually. I spent a good amount of time recovering in the hospital with a good number of the magazines from the waiting room. You know how there’s always a stack of academic magazines that no one actually reads? Turns out that they occasionally have something worth reading. In this case, it turned out to be the tourism reports.”

    “I see. And that’s where you started?”

    “I think you underestimate how thorough these things are.”

    I nod, and then remember something else. “But then again, you’ve got a good sense of direction. Remember that bit in the sort-of Mystery Dungeon?”

    He looks puzzled. “I just did what anyone with any common sense would do. You don’t make maps in your mind when you’re in an unfamiliar place?”

    “No. I don’t think anyone does.”

    “Huh.”

    He’s silent for a while. I don’t think he realized that he was actually really good at this. I’m about to try and talk to him again when Kim nudges me.

    “Hey. We’ve agreed on dinner. Do you want Rawsts or Orans?”

    “Er- Rawsts, please.”

    The rest of the evening passes without incident, and I find myself almost anticipating Chance’s nightly visit. I find myself in the same dream location as the previous night.

    I’m completely unprepared when Chance appears behind me, and taps me on the shoulder.

    “First hit.”

    I spin around. “Chance! Don’t do that!”

    She shakes her head. “Remember, it’s only when you’re here that you can’t be killed. The first hit in a fight can mean life or death, and you just surrendered it to your opponent.”

    “Sorry. I’ll work on that in the future.”

    She sighs, and shrugs. “Just see if you can remember that tomorrow.”

    She stands across from me, and braces herself. “Okay, so we know that Water Oath works just fine in here. However, there are three more moves that you have, and there are four options. Shall we get started finding out what you still have?”

    I nod, and she hops backward. “Very well. Why don’t we start off with something simple? Scratch is your lowest-leveled move, and as such it will be the easiest to learn.”

    I hold my hand out, and stare at the claws for a moment. “Zoroark tried to provoke me into attacking with them. It didn’t do anything.”

    “Zoroark was using a method that works on ordinary Pokémon. Furthermore, it works best on very young Pokémon. Frankly, I’m amazed he was able to tutor Water Oath to you at all. Still, it may end up being our best option. I want you to try and will your claws to extend.”

    I stare at my hand, focusing on it. Extend.

    Nothing. “Far easier said than done...”

    Chance approaches me again, and leans down over my shoulder. “I never said it would be easy. I’m trying to explain the color red to a blind man. But let me see if I can get you to understand...”

    She begins to pace back and forth. “This isn’t usually my area... I’ve never physically attacked someone before... Well, why don’t we come back to this one later? You might not have as many issues with Aqua Jet or Aqua Tail. Those, you can at least say you’ve learned the fundamentals for.”

    “Which should we do first?”

    “Why don’t we see about Aqua Jet? Believe it or not, it’s almost the exact same attack as Water Oath. The big difference is that instead of groundwater, you use a combination of water vapor and some of the water from your skin.”

    I raise my eyebrows. “Wouldn’t that dehydrate me after a while?”

    “Only if you get really careless. If you use the attack right, it re-moisturizes the skin, and keeps you hydrated.”

    I nod. “So, I start with trying to move the water in the air around me?”

    “Not exactly. First, you need to shift its state to liquid. After that, you need to accelerate it underneath your feet, and maintain a thick barrier in front of your head. You also need to face in the direction you want to move. Otherwise, you’ll fly around at random, and that only connects with the target once in a million.”

    I do my best to keep track of this information, and nod after a few seconds. “Okay. I think I’ve got it. Do you want me to target you, or is there an alternate target you had in mind?”

    “I think it may be a good idea to verify that you can do it first. Pick any target you like.”

    I begin to look around, and settle on one of the trees. I begin to focus, picking out the denser areas of hydrogen in the area, and focusing them around my feet. When I feel a layer of water beneath my feet, I begin to focus on creating a barrier around my head.

    When I’m certain that I’ve got at least a few inches around my skull, I start trying to use the water to push myself upwards. I start out fairly evenly, but start to notice a gradual shift in my balance. Attempting to compensate for my sudden lean to the right, I focus more power to the left. I’m abruptly tossed to the side, and just barely miss a nearby tree.

    Chance is by my side in a moment. “That was decent. Let me give you some advice, though- don’t try and increase power on one side. Just tilt your head a bit in the direction you’d like to lean. It’s like riding a bicycle- you go in the direction you’re facing more often than not.”

    I nod after a moment, and try again. It takes four tries, but I eventually manage to stay in the air for about a minute. I slowly de-power the attack, and Chance nods.

    “Right. Why don’t you try moving with it? Try and hit one of the trees. If you’re going the attack right, you’ll bounce off of it without hurting yourself. Same time, though, if you put too much cushioning on it, you’ll break off the attack, lose most of your momentum, and hit the tree anyway. It won’t cause any real problems for you, but you will perceive pain, and we’ll have to try again.”

    I nod, and make another attempt at the attack, looking over towards one of the trees. The water springs around me readily this time, and I launch myself at the tree. The attack is a lot faster than I thought it would be, and I reflexively twist my head away. As I do, I feel myself twist away, and rocket towards the ground. The second I hit, I feel myself being thrown backwards, and tossed into the air. For a few seconds, I’m in midair with no sense of balance. I find it about a second or two after I crash into the ground, and Chance is by my side again.

    “Okay, so we need to work on focusing on the target. It probably wouldn’t hurt to work on your dismount, either. We’ll work on this a while- we have the whole night, and you don’t need to know all your moves at one time.”

    I slowly pick myself up, noting a pain on the back of my head before nodding. “Yeah... Probably best to perfect this one before I hurt myself doing something else.”

    Chance seems to be confused for a minute. “Okay... Sarcasm or a joke?”

    “That was a joke.”

    She chuckles awkwardly. “Sorry about that. I don’t think I’ve heard either one from you, and the only other Pokémon I’ve spoken with in the past few hundred years have been legendaries, and they use them less often than you do.”

    “What are they like, exactly?”

    “Well, Dialga’s new to the job, so I don’t know her very well. Palkia’s had the job for three hundred years, and he takes it a bit too seriously. Giratina’s an odd case- when new Giratinas are chosen, it’s not something you hear about without digging for the details. Often, the only way to know that the Giratina you’re addressing is a new one is when they suddenly don’t know about private anecdotes. What’s worse is that they all seem to have the same voice, and I never know when we have a new one.”

    “And Arceus?”

    “A mystery. The only time he talks to any of us is either in times of emergency, or to warn us when we’re reaching our last hundred years or so. It’s become tradition to start our magnum opus at that point.”

    “Your what?”

    “At the end of an agent of Arceus’s life, they often try and perform a major act related to what they represent. For example, the last Dialga performed his early- he restored a number of Pokémon from a deleted timeline.”

    “Would those happen to be the Grovyle, Dusknoir, and Celebi from the Temporal Tower incident?”

    “The very same. It ended up cutting about five hundred years off of his life, but it ended up being a wise move. To this day, that continent is protected by a large number of rescue teams that can claim to be part of one of their bloodlines. It’s unlikely that the continent will see any kind of real danger for many years.”

    I nod slowly. “What did your predecessor do?”

    “As a rule, we don’t try and find out what our predecessors did. There’s no penalty if we find out by accident, but the idea is to leave your mark on history in some way. If we knew what our predecessor had done, we may be tempted to derive our work from theirs.”

    “Do you know what you have planned?”

    She’s silent for a good long while, and eventually speaks again. Her voice sounds... strange, almost a monotone. “So, Aqua Jet, then?”

    I think I may have offended her. I nervously nod. “Um... Yeah. Let’s do that.”

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  16. #116
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Somewhere in America
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    257

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    November 28th

    As I wake up, I realize that I’m feeling a bit fatigued. I’m not sure why, but maybe it has something to do with Chance’s mood? Throughout the last part of the session, she seemed detached. I’m sure my question last night offended her on some level, but she refused to elaborate after the first mention of her magnum opus. I didn’t want to push her after that, so I didn’t keep the conversation going.

    The rest of the group is already prepared to leave when I wake up, so the lot of us begin moving practically immediately. The hills that we began in eventually become steeper and steeper, eventually becoming difficult to climb.

    It’s around midday when we’re stopped by a Houndoom. She steps out from behind a tree, and reaches into a bag on her side. She produces a number of forms, and passes them to us.

    “Right. Visitors from Ceangal?”

    Kim steps forward. “These three are. I’m from Gaineamh, but have lived in Ceangal for more than two years.”

    The Houndoom nods. "Understood. Just remember to check the box for that. What brings you to Sléibhte?”

    Kim nods over towards me. “Health reasons.”

    The Houndoom sighs. “More political refugees?”

    Kim tilts her head to the side. “Pardon?”

    “Gaineamh’s been having some real issues lately, and a good number of political refugees have been flocking both to here and to Crainn. Unusual that so many Ceangal residents are coming through with you...”

    “...I actually did mean health reasons. I hadn’t heard anything about political problems.”

    The Houndoom shrugs. “Oh. Well, enjoy our desolate mountains, then...”

    On that bizarre note, our group passes over the border, and into the mountains.

    It’s another five hours before we stop to rest. Our stop is on the side of a road that looks like it’s been beaten onto the side of a small mountain. Because of the relatively low elevation, the area we’re in is still heavily forested.

    I take a seat next to Ampharos again, and look over his shoulder. “So-”

    Before I can finish the question, he motions towards a spot on the map. “We’re right here- a bit less than halfway.”

    I nod, and chuckle a bit. “I’m getting a bit predictable, huh?”

    He smiles, and nods. “It’s a long journey; we’ll get there eventually.”

    Kim sits down next to him, and strikes up a conversation. Taking note of this, I stand up, and head over to where Julius is standing, roasting a Pecha Berry. He nods as I sit down.

    “Heath.”

    “Hey, Julius. What’s up?”

    He shrugs a little, pulling the berry out of the fire. “Well, my legs are a bit tired. That’s really all I know of right now...”

    The pair of us sit silently for a while, and I begin to wonder about conversation topics I could pursue. I’ve got some of Kim and Ampharos’s backstories, but I know little about Julius’s. I could try to start that conversation, but the other two just sort of happened. I don’t know how I’d start it...

    You know what? I want to know this, so I may as well be direct with him.

    “Hey, Julius? I’m curious about your life before Team JUMP. Would you like to talk to me about it?”

    He shrugs. “Not much to tell, really. My father lived in Quest Plaza for years. I think he grew up in Crainn, but moved at some point- he never talked much about it. He used to run a restaurant close to Raichu’s, but it was closed after he failed to turn a profit during the first year. That was actually part of the reason I wanted to do the whole rescue team thing- we needed money for so long, I didn’t forget it even after we managed to re-stabilize. I vowed to never end up like that again.”

    “Did your mother have a job?”

    “Who knows? I never met her. She left hours after I hatched. Even today, he won’t talk about her at all. He refuses to even mention her name.”

    I nod slowly, choosing to backpedal a bit. “Okay, then. You’re financially secure now, right?”

    “Oh, yeah, for about two years now. Thing is, I wasn’t confident in my abilities until a few months ago. By then, I’d done a lot of research on previous rescue teams and solo explorers. They basically ended up being my idols, and for a while, my motivation was to surpass them.”

    “It isn’t now?”

    He shakes his head. “I’ve realized that even if I never surpass them, I can still have fun exploring new places. Sure, it’ll be dangerous, but the new experiences each new day brings... Well, that’s a good two-thirds of the reward.”

    “The rest is loot?”

    He chuckles a bit at that. “Yeah. The rest is loot.”

    I’m about to start cooking my dinner when a thought strikes me. “Oh, yeah. I do have one more question- when you found out that I had hidden my supposed humanity-”

    He clears his throat loudly, and I sigh. “Julius, I’m not human. I never was. I’ve had four days to accept that reality.”

    “But have you?”

    His question catches me off guard. “What do you mean?”

    “You’ve recovered very quickly- that’s clear. But part of me worries about how much you’ve actually laid down and accepted this. You’re not depressed anymore on the surface, but have you noticed any feelings of resentment, or anger?”

    I’m about to respond, but Julius silences me with a look. “Think carefully before answering, Heath.”

    I close my mouth, and begin to wonder about his question. How do I feel about my condition? I mean, I’ve kind of accepted this whole scenario, right? I haven’t complained about it since Julius shook my out of my depression. Have I wanted to? Not that I’ve noticed...

    I shake my head after a few minutes. “I haven’t really thought much about it. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure that I’m okay with the whole thing.”

    “You’re not really thinking about it. You’re okay with the end part?”

    I begin to think again, but I can’t really wrap my head around it. Six months, and that’s it... How do I feel about that?

    I think Julius notices... whatever emotion I’m feeling, and shrugs. “It’s not important right now. Anyway, you had a question?”

    “Yeah. Why did you react so strongly to the lie?”

    “Since I was young, I’ve detested the idea that someone wouldn’t trust me with information. I mean, do I strike you as untrustworthy?”

    I shake my head, and he smiles. “Exactly! You remember how I mentioned my father avoiding the topic of my mother? That used to frustrate me a lot when I was younger. I remember getting in a number of fights with him over it. It solved absolutely nothing, but I desperately wanted to know...”

    I nod. “Okay. I think I understand. One final question- we are okay, right? About the lie.”

    He looks confused. “Of course! Why wouldn’t we be?”

    “I just wanted to be 100% sure. Thank you for confirming.”

    He nods, and hands me a small bag. “Pecha berries tonight. Hope you like them.”

    ***

    It’s some time before Chance’s dream starts, and I’m actually worried about what her mood’s going to be like. I mean, I touched a nerve last night. I don’t know if she’s still going to be upset about it.

    My fears are alleviated when she appears, looking a bit cheerful. “Heath! Good evening!”

    I nod. “Same to you. Are you okay?”

    “Better than last night. Sorry, Heath, but that can be a touchy subject, even when Arceus talks to you about it. I didn’t mean to come across as surly.”

    I nod, and she steps over next to me. “So, I was thinking we’d try Aqua Tail tonight-”

    “Actually, I wanted to try something different tonight. I’d like information about the Shards. Like, what happened to the one in Quest Plaza?”

    She looks very uncomfortable. “...Are you quite sure you want to know?”

    I think for a minute, and then nod. “Better that I know and be upset than be unaware and unprepared.”

    She nods. “That’s a good mindset. As for what happened... Well... You kind of... Sort of... Ate him.”

    I’m perplexed by her response. “Pardon?”

    “When two distortions clash, the loser is absorbed into the winner. You had me piloting your body in a clash of wills with a much lesser Shard. For all intents and purposes, it was devoured.”

    “You can’t be serious.”

    “You remember that feeling of satisfaction when you woke up? Like you could take on the world? That’s the end result of devouring another distortion- an energy spike, and the healing of any injuries you may have had before the fight.”

    I’m actually feeling more than a little sick at this point. She seems to notice, and leans down next to me.

    “I know it doesn’t help, but this is one of only two ways to safely destroy a distortion. The other way is death via Spacial Rend. Any other method leaves a body behind, and the body isn’t any less dangerous than it was when it was alive. In fact, it could be considered even more dangerous, considering that it’s often buried or ignored.”

    She’s right. It doesn’t help at all. I’m trying to figure out what my next question will be when something jumps to my lips unbidden.

    “Show me what my distortion body looks like.”

    She looks horrified. “Do you honestly think that’s going to help anything? If anything, you’ll end up far worse.”

    “I don’t care. Show me.”

    “Heath, I-”

    I find myself shouting. “I need to know! Show me!”

    As I finish shouting, something clicks in the back of my head. Is this the resentment and anger Julius was asking about? Have I just done a very good job of repressing it?

    Chance is taken aback by my outburst, but eventually shrugs. “Look in the pool. Please, please don’t... When you’ve had enough, tell me.”

    With that response, she stands back. I approach the pool.

    Kim’s Note: This is probably the strangest part of the book, purely due to the fact that I can see the text here, but I can’t read it. I can stare directly at it, but I can’t read the words in front of me. They’re written in a language I’ve spoken since birth, but I cannot comprehend them. I don’t know why, but I do know that this paragraph fills me with a kind of nameless dread I’ve never experienced anywhere else.

    I find myself sobbing, and screaming at the top of my lungs. “Please, please, take it away!”

    Chance waves her hand, and the image dissipates. I’m doubled over, looking at my normal reflection, breathing heavily. I’m physically exhausted from the experience, and there’s still a lingering terror lurking around the edge of my mind.

    She leans next to me. “Hey. Are you okay?”

    I hear myself answer, “No. Not at all.”

    The pair of us are silent for a good long while, and she sits down behind me. She offers her hand, but I shake my head. She nods, and finally breaks the silence.

    “I’m sorry.”

    That’s all she says.

    _____________________________________

    Author's Note: The original version of this chapter was released with the genders of the main cast swapped as an April Fool's Day prank. It would be redundant to post it here, so here's a link to the prank version: http://pokenutter.deviantart.com/art...okenutter&qo=0
    Last edited by pokenutter; 2nd April 2013 at 5:40 AM. Reason: Post- April Fool's Day Corrections

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
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    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  17. #117
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    Kim’s Note: The next thirty some-odd pages are blank. This is not an error, nor is it the end of the book. The story starts up again about a month and a half later. I eventually asked Chance about it, and she claimed that she didn’t want us to see what was going on in Heath’s head on the basis that it would depress us.

    However, this leaves a gigantic hole in Heath’s story, and one that should not be skipped. For this reason, I have decided to track Julius and Ampharos down on a day they’re not busy, and have them help me with this section.

    ***

    It’s been a while, but I finally managed to get the three of us together on a day that none of us are busy. We’ll pass the book back and forth, and do our best to triangulate our accounts.

    J: Right, so the fourth day of the journey. I remember that Heath was incredibly quiet that day. In fact, I don’t know if he said a word. I remember thinking that it was odd, but not being too worried about it. I mean, he didn’t talk much on the road, so there wasn’t a lot of concern from me because of that. It was his behavior at dinner that surprised me, though.

    A: That’s not to say that he wasn’t acting oddly on the journey, though. On days prior, he’d stick to the front of the group. Along the way on that day, he stayed in the back. I think the closest he got to the center of the group during that leg of the journey was twenty feet.

    Anyway, during dinner, he didn’t eat a thing. He’d been eating light on the journey, but didn’t touch dinner. So, Kim tried talking to him.

    K: When I tried talking to him, he didn’t respond. His eyes flicked towards me when I approached, but after that, he did his best to avoid looking at me. I had no idea what was going on, so I tried pushing him. Not my smartest move- he ended up leaving the campfire and just going to bed.

    We talked about it for a while, and eventually decided that it was something Chance had said to him.

    J: I remember that you had some interesting ideas about what you were going to do to her if you ever found her. Anyway, the rest of us finished our dinners with no issue, and prepared for bed. However, we heard Heath talking to himself. A few words were audible if we listened hard enough, but I don’t think most of them made any sense to us at the time.

    A: Kim was actually concerned enough to approach him at this point, and I remember that he immediately stopped talking when he heard her voice.

    K: His silence didn’t last long- he broke down a few seconds later, saying something about monsters. I didn’t know how to react, so I just sort of hugged him for a while, hoping that he’d calm down and explain what was wrong. I ended up waiting a good long while until he was too tired out to continue.

    I then tried asking him what was going on. He spent the next half an hour trying to choke out what had happened the night before.

    A: I recall that he explained that Chance had shown him his true form, and he did try to describe it to us, but the words seemed stuck in his throat. The few adjectives he managed to get out were deeply unsettling, but I don’t remember any of them.

    J: It’s not just you- I remember that I tried to come up with a mental image of it about five minutes later, and had mysteriously forgotten what I’d been told.

    A: So, once he had managed to explain to us what had happened, he looked Kim dead in the face, and asked her to go home.

    K: I was puzzled by this- as far as the official team was concerned, I was the best fighter. This was like asking your best athlete to go home during an important game. I asked him about it, and he mentioned that Madame Lucario had requested that I be sent home if the journey became too dangerous.

    Of course, I shot him down immediately. It was not only my job to see him to Star Peak, it was a desire of mine. My reaction seemed to agitate him, and he began begging me to leave him alone- he was convinced that he was a danger to us.

    A: I also recall that he told Julius and I to leave him once we arrived. Of course, Julius insisted on staying with him. I was a bit worried about my own safety, though, so I didn’t say anything.

    Both of their refusals to leave him seemed to push him close to a breaking point, though, and he ended up shouting for Chance to come and help him. Now, I read through this book a number of times, and never has Chance arrived so quickly.

    The side of the mountain seemed to open up, and she came barreling out of the doorway. I recall that Julius just happened to be in her way, and she was incredibly brusque with him.

    J: Yeah, she seemed more than a little short with all of us. At the time, I was willing to write it off as being worried about Heath, but later interaction with her went very similarly.

    K: She proceeded to try and comfort Heath, but he seemed numb to it- I got the sense that he’d already heard everything she was telling him before, and it hadn’t helped the first time. First he tried asking about- well, asking is a very polite way to put it. But basically, his first inquiry was about Arceus, and if he was willing to help yet. Chance seemed incredibly sheepish, but informed him that there had been no progress, and Arceus had in fact become very short with her whenever she touched the subject.

    Next he tried asking if there was any way to get the memories out of his head, but she took about five minutes to tell him no.

    A: Her reasoning was actually pretty sound. To remove memories is to remove part of the experiences that make a person who they are, and thus are a form of murder. She wouldn’t do it even if she could.

    K: It was around this point that he reached the peak of his hysterics, and part of me dreads what may have happened next if Ampharos hadn’t seized the initiative.

    J: That’s a rather nice way of saying “knocked him senseless with a Thunderpunch.”

    K: Needless to say, it shocked the lot of us, Chance most of all. She demanded to know what had happened, and why Ampharos had just knocked her chosen hero unconscious. Ampharos simply replied that he was worried about what his friend might do.

    A: The alternative was running the risk that he’d ask for Palkia, and that was something I wasn’t going to let him do.

    J: So, Chance picked him up, fixed Ampharos with a glare I haven’t seen matched since, and told us to follow her. She led us into her tower, told us to sit around a table, and set Heath down on top of it. She then nodded, and told us to play out our roles. None of us understood what she meant, but we all agreed.

    And suddenly, we weren’t in the tower anymore.

    K: One minute we were there, and the next, we were all kinds of places. None of them were remotely good places to be. I, for example, ended up on a road somewhere. I don’t know where- all I know was that the sun was out, and it had been several days since it had been lit.

    J: Ampharos has requested that he not have to write his down, but I know exactly where he was- in the swamp again, with the Carnivine. I know because I was in the same place.

    K: This went on for several minutes. As I understand it, each of us was pulled out again before any of us could be seriously injured or killed, but we all ended up in the same place- in a field of snow, nowhere near where we’d been before. We weren’t alone, either- there was a presence there, one I had never felt before. The air was ice-cold, but this presence put that to shame- I didn’t even notice the temperature next to this.

    A: It was a few seconds later that Julius was skewered from behind.

    J: I blacked out a few seconds before this, and woke up floating next to Heath and Chance. I don’t think Heath could see me, but Chance looked my way briefly before talking to Heath.

    Their discussion was an odd one that I only caught snippets of- I was busy watching Kim and Ampharos fight a shadowy Darkrai.

    K: I don’t know why, but Chance had us fight an imaginary Shard. Perhaps it was to show Heath that we’d be unable to fight it without his help, because even after Ampharos took it down, it seemed to explode. Time appeared to freeze then, and Ampharos appeared next to Julius.

    J: I notice you omit the part where it took you out as well. The next thing we knew, Heath jumped a little, and seemed to notice us. Chance gave us a look, and motioned towards Heath. I remember her next words very clearly.

    Chance: Heath is going to be unconscious for the next few days. Hurry along to Star Peak in the meantime. When you get there, set him up with the best therapist you can find. When you arrive, you’ll find that his appointments have all been paid for in advance.

    K: Julius, I don’t think that’s your handwriting...

    A: ...Maybe Chance has a psychic link with this thing? Anyway, given what Heath told us when he woke up-

    The “P” at the end of “up” finishes in a scrawl, as though the book was taken while Ampharos was still writing.

    J: Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. We still need to catalogue what happened next.

    K: Chance escorted us out of her tower, and gave Heath one last look as we left. She then told us that we’d be allowed to each have a copy before closing the door. I remember that the question stayed with me for a week- a copy of what?

    A: We didn’t stop after that- not for sleep, to eat, nothing. We reached Star Peak as dusk fell the next day. We took Heath to a hospital, and followed Chance’s instructions. Heath woke up four days later, and asked for us. He apologized for what had happened. He didn’t seem as unhinged as he was before, but he seemed... Well, subdued, somehow. What had happened with Chance was still bothering him, but he wasn’t as disturbed as he had been on top of the mountain.

    K: He did eventually tell us a few things, though- about what had happened when he was unconscious. Chance had gone about showing him what would have happened to us if he hadn’t shown up- now there’s a disturbing thought.

    J: He didn’t explain the Shard fight, but I think Kim was right about that. Anyway, after we were sent to bring him here, Chance spent some time trying to appear directly to Arceus on his behalf. She brought him along, and I think the idea was to let him see the person he was screwing over.

    From what I heard, it didn’t go well. Arceus flatout demanded that Heath be removed from his presence, and that Heath was no different from any other anomaly.

    A: Chance brought him back, and spent some time with Dialga, who confirmed the possibility of Chance’s plan to prevent a repetition of Heath’s misfortune. The idea was a book containing the thoughts of the victim, one that would act as a deterrent for future luck gods from trying this sort of thing out. Five copies of the book would exist- one for Chance, one for Arceus, and one for each of us.

    K: The next few weeks, Heath spent recovering. His therapist was apparently very helpful, and also apparently paid very well to keep quiet about Heath’s condition. Once he was considered safe for himself and others, we set Team JUMP up again, and his mental health seemed to be improving every day.

    J: Then Chance showed up with information on where we could find the Shard that brought us out here in the first place...

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  18. #118
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    January 8th

    I wake up the same way I have for the past few weeks- in a pile of blankets on the floor. The house Kim managed to rent while we were out here was somewhat large, but also incredibly drafty.

    I look over towards the pair of them. They’re both still asleep in bed- Julius has a similar number of blankets as I do, but Kim’s managing to remain comfortable with a single sheet. Her tail hangs out of the side of her bed, a safe distance away from the blanket on top of her.

    Untangling myself from the mass of fluff I managed to practically cocoon myself in the previous night, I rise to my feet, curious as to the weather. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m really that interested in whether it’s “snowing” or “fresh snow” outside, but it’s important to know if any of us plan on leaving.

    I’m startled on my way to the window by a loud clanking sound from behind me. I spin around in surprise, and breathe a sigh of relief as Ampharos dashes into the room after a kettle. He picks it up, and gives Kim and Julius a look to make sure they’re still asleep. Kim’s dead to the world, but Julius twitches a bit, and wakes up.

    Ampharos gives him an apologetic smile, and whispers, “Sorry! I thought tea would be a good way to start the morning, but the kettle was on its side, held in place by one of the pans...”

    Julius shrugs, and seems to drop off again immediately. Ampharos turns to me, and motions towards the kettle. “Tea?”

    I shake my head, and he turns back to the kitchen. “Alright, no problem. Talk?”

    I follow him into the other room. “Sure. What about?”

    He places the kettle over a small fire pit. “Well, I figured I’d check up on you. You’ve made quite a bit of progress in the past month, but you don’t really talk about it.”

    I sigh. “I’m alright, Ampharos. What else is there to talk about?”

    “Well, I don’t know what goes on in your therapy sessions, so I don’t know how well you’re actually doing. I just know you’re no longer depressed. Have you discussed Arceus’s rejection? Chance’s mistake? What exactly goes on in there?”

    I sigh again. “Look, Ampharos- if you’re curious about these things, you don’t have to beat about the bush. Arceus’s rejection was tough, but I think I’ll be fine. Chance’s mistake was just that- a mistake. I assume even luck gods make those sometimes.”

    I think I know what his next question is going to be, and Julius enters the room before he can ask what I think about what happens when all of this finishes.

    He rubs his eyes, and staggers over to the edge of the fire pit. “Far too cold... Don’t know what Chance was thinking...”

    “She couldn’t control which way this one went, Julius. Remember, distortions like the Shards and I don’t have threads. I’m sure that if she really wanted to, she could have sent the Shard off to Gaineamh. Point is, we have to deal with this until she points us in its direction.”

    As Julius begins muttering under his breath about how he had wanted to go to Crainn, I feel a tug at the back of my mind.

    You know, I think I’m close to figuring this out. I just have to...

    She cuts off, and I’m silent for a moment before trying to get her attention. Chance? Are you-

    I found it! Other side of the mountain, and about three miles across a plateau of ice. A family of Sentret were just murdered, but there’s no murderer! This means-


    She seems to notice my discomfort. Oh, for Arceus’s sake, Heath, people die all the time. Murder’s not even the least pleasant way. But this is important- you can stop this before it happens again. If you get moving now, you guys can get there by the end of the day.

    I turn to Julius and Ampharos, who are busy discussing the state of Rescue Team business. “Guys? Chance just told me that she found the Shard.”

    Julius lightens up. “Really? Alright, then! We can take care of it, and then we can blow this popsicle stand.”

    Ampharos raises an eyebrow. “She found it just as we were talking about it? Hmmm... Either she’s just insanely lucky, or she wasn’t taking this seriously, and only really looked when we brought it up.”

    I note that he doesn’t touch on the fact that this puts her reliability in doubt. Julius either doesn’t notice, or doesn’t care. “Where are we looking at, and how soon can we leave?”

    “I guess we can leave as soon as Kim is mobile. And I can lead you guys there- Chance’s instructions seemed fairly simple to follow, and if her lessons were accurate, it’ll try to track me down. At that point, well... Let’s just hope I can fight it.”

    The pair of them nod, and the three of us wait for Kim to wake up.

    ***

    The four of us begin to move around the mountain. Julius asks questions the entire way, mostly about Chance’s lessons. A good number of them are easy to answer, but on one occasion, he asks about my true form. I manage to shoot him down, but not after stammering out a half-hearted attempt at description.

    It’s around noon that we reach the other side. This just so happens to be when the wind picks up, and we end up in a snowstorm some fifteen minutes later. The wind is biting, and we only manage to keep moving thanks to the warmth provided by Kim’s tail. Our group needs to stop no less than four times, and we’re all worn out by the time we arrive at the place Chance mentioned.

    I look around, trying to spot our target. Kim leans over towards me.

    “Heath... I have a feeling that what we’re looking for isn’t here.”

    I relay her reaction to Chance.

    I see... That’s unfortunate...

    Julius shivers, and begins shouting at the sky. “Are you KIDDING me? We slogged all the way out here on a wild Ducklett chase?”

    Kim grabs Julius’s shoulder. “Calm down, Julius. Perhaps the feeling of malice we got when we encountered the false one wasn’t really accurate. Chance mentioned murders- look for corpses.”

    I’m about to nod when I hear Chance shoot the idea down. If you’re killed by a distortion, you don’t leave a body. I’m sorry. I thought I had found it...

    I explain this to the group, and Kim sighs. “Fine... I guess we head back to the house until Chance really finds this thing, or at least thinks she does.”

    With that, she storms off in the direction she came. The lot of us follow her back, eager to get back to the slightly-warmer house.

    ***

    January 9th

    The lot of us wake up later than normal. We eventually congregate in the kitchen, and Kim produces a number of letters.

    “Alright, so we’re a bit behind on answering these, given our wild Ducklett chase yesterday. Why don’t we take care of a bunch in one trip today? It’ll make up for missed cash, plus it will mean that these people aren’t disappointed.”

    Julius reaches for the stack of letters, and grabs one out of the middle. “Hmmm... ‘My daughter vanished in Frosty Caverns. Reward of 1,000 Poké for her safe return. Sincerely, Sableye.’ Frosty Caverns sound good to anyone?”

    Ampharos and I nod. Kim sorts through the stack, and pulls out three other job requests. “Alright, we’ve also got two item requests, and one escort mission.”

    After Julius gives her a look, she sighs, and shuffles the escort mission back into the stack. “Two item requests, then. Total rewards are 2000 Poké. Is that acceptable?”

    We all nod, and Kim heads over to the door. “Right. Follow me!”

    Our group exits the village, and follow a series of signposts that lead to Frosty Caverns. As we file in, Julius shouts a warning back to me. “Heath, just remember to focus on where you are. We don’t want to lose you in there. Again. For the fifth straight mission in a row.”

    I nod, and we enter the caves.

    As is typical for a Mystery Dungeon, the temperature soon warms slightly- enough so that no snow flies in after us, but still cold enough that there’s a layer of frost on absolutely everything that hasn’t moved in the last few minutes.

    Julius shouts back to the group. “Right, we’re looking for a Sitrus Berry, a Frustration TM, and a young Sableye. If you see any of those, don’t hesitate to let us know.”

    The three of us nod, and begin looking around as the corridor widens into a room about 20 feet on a side. We spread out, Kim and I peering down the two other exits to the room. I hear Ampharos shout, and Kim breathes a Fireball at a Swinub that was attempting to sneak up from behind us.

    I almost forgot that Mystery Dungeons don’t have a clearly defined entrance. One of us should have paid more attention. Julius steps over to me, and nods down the corridor I’m looking down. “Kim’s saying that her corridor looks like a dead end. We’re taking this one.”

    I nod after a moment, and take the rear. As I move forward, keeping an eye out behind me, I feel Chance tug at the back of my mind. I sigh, and start the conversation.

    After yesterday, this had better be good, Chance.

    She sounds somewhat offended as she replies. Yesterday was a complete fluke. I’m usually very good at-

    She breaks off, and her tone changes. There’s no time for that! Point is, I was wrong- the Shard was on that plain last night. It committed two more murders moving across it- almost as though it was deliberately leading me to itself. Now, just a moment ago, there was a killerless murder on Basement 5.

    She takes a moment before clarifying what I thought she meant. It’s in there with you. It’s a fair distance away from you, but I think it knows you’re there.

    I think for a moment. We don’t know that for sure. Perhaps we can get the drop on it?

    Heath... Look, when dealing with these things, the only way to ensure that you’re not dead in two seconds is to assume that it’s lying in wait for you. And in this case... Well, Darkrai is and always was a schemer. Combine that with the fact that distortions can usually sense each other-

    What? You never mentioned that! Why can’t I sense him?


    Her reply is sheepish. Well... I kind of dampened that sense on you. While I have full faith in you, I didn’t want to risk you becoming addicted to the feeling that comes after devouring a distortion. If that happened, your body would eventually become unstable enough that you may end up neutronizing even as Palkia attempted to destroy you.

    I sigh, and Kim seems to notice. “What’s wrong, Heath?”

    I think back to Chance. Should I tell them?

    What kind of a question is that? Of course you tell them!


    I fill them in on this turn of events, and the lot of them appear indecisive. Julius approaches me. “Look, Heath... Is she sure? I mean, yesterday was a bust, and she didn’t say anything about it beforehand...”

    I double over as Chance starts shouting in my head. Look, you- if you don’t take this seriously, you’re all dead! Not just you four- everyone! Be it from the shard that eats Heath destabilizing, or the endless cold that would follow soon after! So I suggest you stay on your guard!

    She’s silent after that. Julius reaches down, and helps me to my feet. “I guess that means she’s quite sure, then?”

    I pause before answering. “...Yeah...”

    Ampharos leans down next to me. “Hey. Are you alright?”

    “...I don’t know. During her outburst, she didn’t choose her words well at all, and now she’s dead silent. I’m not sure if she’s angry at you or feeling guilty.”

    Kim sighs. “Let’s just hope that her eventual replacement takes their job a lot more seriously. Anyway, we’ve lost our best source of information, we’re trapped in a rearranging maze with a killer timespace glitch, and we still need to try and find what our clients sent us in for.”

    We’re all silent for a moment, and then Julius raises the obvious question. “So, do we fight it? Or do we run?”

    I shake my head. “Chance sent us here for me to fight this thing. I’d hardly be doing my job if I didn’t at least try to fight it.”

    Kim raises an eyebrow. “Is there any harm in waiting until you’re a better fighter? As it is, you can barely fight off something you have a type advantage over.”

    “The Shards are different. I’m still at less than full power, but I’m leaps and bounds ahead of where I am against ordinary opponents. Just keep me uninjured until we get down to the fifth basement.”

    Kim looks over at Julius and Ampharos. “What do the two of you think?”

    Ampharos shrugs. “If it’s what you feel is best, Heath...”

    Julius nods. “We might as well. I mean, eventually, you’re going to have to fight the one at Dubh Tower- you may as well take this one on now.”

    Kim sighs, looking quite irritated. “I guess I’m outvoted. Again.”

    The three of them cluster around me, and we begin to march further into the caves.

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  19. #119
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    Finally caught up.

    I said this to you in person before, but it is infinitely better to read on a 3DS and as such, just got sucked in.

    There are few mispellings where go is spelled aa to, or the word to is omitted entirely, but it's not immersion breaking.

    Arceus seems to be a stubborn pokemon, who pee'd on his cornflakes?

    I certainly hope that Heath can actually fight this shard, he should be able to, considering his training, but we'll see.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to another chapter.


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

  20. #120
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    Alright, so it's been a while since I had any real activity here. My hope is to change this sometime in the very near future, but in the meantime, I figure I can still update with something a tad unorthodox. I've wanted to test this for a while (and you who follow me on my blog/Youtube have seen something similar to this with one of my older stories, the Hidden Projects saga. Somehow, I only just noticed Knightfall do one of these for Overthrown, so I figured, why not?

    This is the MD Journal Retrospective- sort of a making-of filler chapter that'll be released periodically during slow periods. My hope is to have seven of these written- one for each arc. Normally, it'd be more fitting to put these at the end of the story, but I figure, what the hell, we're in the penultimate arc right now. If I don't hot too many slow patches, these won't catch up to the main story.

    So, I suppose a good place to start would be the origins of the story. This isn't the first Pokémon Mystery Dungeon story that I've written, but it's the closest thing to an orthodox one that I've done. The previous one was a story of virtual reality crossing our own as three humans become characters from the Explorers games as a result of sabotaged pre-release DSis. This series lasted well under a year, and never reached anything resembling a conclusion- partly due to a dearth of inspiration, but also due to one of the series' odd gimmicks- namely, that the date that each chapter occurred on was the date that it would be released. The idea at the time was that it would allow the story to feel more real by commenting on current events, but it ended up being nothing more than a stressor that resulted in a lot of pressure to release chapters before they had really been proofread (or in some cases, finished.)

    So, that idea flopped. However, the desire to write a Pokémon Mystery Dungeon story remained, and several years later, I found myself pondering what I would have done during the Fugitive arc of PMD Rescue Team- namely, demand a trial. I'll go more into the trial idea when I touch on the Revelations arc, but the idea of going on trial for something that I wasn't in control of stuck, and I filed it away for another time.

    Fast forward about two or three months to the conclusion of Summer 2010. I didn't have a lot going on at the time- just a list of TF stories that I accepted requests for that I never finished, a screenplay-esque prototypical version of Blue Snow that tied into the Hidden Projects universe (that never got a second chapter,) and Hidden Projects Draft #7 (or #9. I'm certain that it wasn't 8, though.) None of these projects went anywhere, and both of the Pokémon projects fizzled after their first chapters. So, even though I had all this work, there was nothing I was enthusiastic about doing.

    During a long car ride, I began freewriting, and came up with the first chapter of MD Journal. I had nothing in mind, but it seemed to get positive reception on Serebii (less so on deviantART, but the fanfiction section of dA is either too small, or, like me, nervous about leaving comments.) The second chapter was written day after the first was posted, and ideas began to form in my head about a slice-of-life Mystery Dungeon story that would start off with mostly incidental plots, but would slowly build to something earth-shattering. I didn't know what yet, but I was less worried about planning for MD Journal- after all, Blue Snow had its first arc planned out, and Hidden Projects has its first eleven myth arcs planned, and those weren't as much fun to write. Incidentally, this went out the window very quickly, and I'm now planning for MD Journal 3.

    Heath had basically no personality at this point beyond "hugely analytical," and didn't even have a name until the very end of this chapter. I've had people ask me why I went for a name like "Heath." There's no reason, it just sounded right in my head. I think that Heath probably changed the least over the expository arcs, and I'm not sure if I would have changed that if I'd noticed.

    Meanwhile, Kim was originally envisioned as a bit of a ditz. I mean, in her debut chapter, she cheerfully asks a random stranger to toss her a rope after she spends an hour traipsing around a mystery dungeon that she fell into. Meanwhile, in her second chapter, she rigs a complicated pulley system together to try and draw Heath to her with bait, but ends up pulling him up into the air. This was a side of the character that was phased out over time once she became the exposition barrel, until we end up with Matriarchal Kim as of the Six Nights Arc. It's a shame- I could have done a lot more with her in terms of fun character development. As of right now, my official explanation is that it's an example of Heath being an unreliable narrator- he grows used to Kim being matriarchal, so that's what ends up being exhibited the most in the writing of the journal. The best I can do for people who aren't satisfied with that explanation... Well, I'll just tell you guys to wait for MD Journal 2.

    So, Chapter 2 existed to introduce these two characters. At the time I wrote it, I was a gigantic advocate of Hero X Partner ships, and wanted to tell that sort of story. However, as time went on, the two began to grow in a very different direction. As of the most recent chapters, I think a romance between the two would seem awkward at best, and laced with Freudian subtext at worst. However, what's important here is that they've been introduced to each other, and the hero/partner dynamic typical of Mystery Dungeon games was established- only to be broken into small pieces several chapters later by the arrival of a certain Axew.

    In the meantime, though, there's still Chapter 3. Before this chapter, I'd tried to repeat the old Mystery Dungeon fic's gimmick of releasing the chapters on the dates that they occur, creating a genuine journal. However, Chapter 2's ending did not mark a satisfying ending to a day, as I was incredibly lazy and inexperienced back then. When Chapter 3 released, the gimmick was discarded, and hopefully killed forever. Chapter 3 was also when I began to wonder about the direction in which the story was moving. Up until this point, I'd been freewriting, but I wanted to start dropping foreshadowing. Unfortunately, I had few story ideas, and the only foreshadowing we got was the worst fortune telling ever put to page.

    Still, the main attraction here was the introduction of the setting, and I'm sure I did a decent job of that. Quest Plaza and its residents were on full display here, although most of them wouldn't really become prominent until later. We meet the Kecleons (who end up having a surprisingly large role in the story, despite being nothing more than salesmen,) Jaroda/Serperior (Jarperior? Seroda?) Zoroark, Raichu, and a passing mention of Kangaskhan. The last of these never appears in the story, but if you'd like a personality description, she'd have been a shrinking violet-type character.

    Madame Lucario's also significant here, being the first member of the Light Brigade that Heath encounters (and if you want to know why I chose that name, Rule of Cool,) but more importantly, she's a grandmother figure, and a source of unusual knowledge that should have gotten far more use than she was given.

    And as far as the abrupt ending? I really didn't know how to end the story, so I came up with the idea of Kim's Notes on the spot. Kind of a slapdash approach to storytelling, but it wasn't until later that I really took this story seriously.

    And speaking of making things up on the spot, hello Julius! Julius is and always has been a weird character. He was not planned, and came into being when I realized that Kim had no motivation to create a Rescue Team, and Heath wouldn't know what they were. He was initially envisioned as a one-off character who would cameo on occasion later- the real third member of Team Jump was going to have been Ampharos. Early visions of Julius had him much younger as well- about half of Kim's age (converted into human years, roughly seven and a half versus Kim's fifteen.) However, I wasn't sure how well I could write the character as a child, so his age bounced around a lot, until he ended up stuck at around twelve or thirteen by the time the next chapter was published.

    Another thing that happened in this chapter was the sun going out for the first time. When I was writing this chapter, I still wasn't sure what I wanted as far as plot. I then started thinking about Patch's Tale, a planned spin-off of proto-Blue Snow that followed Patch the Pichu, a mouthy parody of a Mystery Dungeon protagonist (Chapter Nine, Blue Snow fans. Chapter Nine.) Patch's Tale was very hypothetical at that point, and one of its plots involved the sun going out. With Blue Snow's future in doubt, I decided that it may be a good idea to simply move the plot to the story I was actually writing.

    The original cause was Darkrai's ghost possessing Reshiram, by the way. Think about that for a second.

    Of course, that idea lasted roughly ten minutes before being shot down, and replaced with the Darkrai Shard subplot, which went through many, MANY iterations before reaching its canon form, which we'll discuss in the Revelations Arc section.

    So, with that, Chapter 5 came around, and the plot began to move. Heath teaching himself to play Oracion on the spot was an expansion of the previous scenes of Heath learning small bits of information, such as Kim's species in Chapter 1, how to actually play the flute in Chapter 3, and Julius's species in Chapter 4. Around this time, I began to toss around the idea that maybe Heath was being given answers by someone else, rather than recalling them- an idea that ended up sticking by the time Chapter 6 was finished.

    And bonus- this chapter gave me an opportunity to kick off Kim and Julius's odd relationship. In the original plan for this chapter, Kim was going to get rid of Julius, but find that she enjoyed this Rescue Team business. However, there was little to no in-character justification for this behavior, so Julius ended up sticking around.

    Oh, and I encourage you to call Death of the Author on this one if you disagree, but I ship Kim and Julius.

    The dungeon itself was probably the easiest part to figure out- basically, I didn't want Heath to come out of this one as easily as most PMD protagonists do. It struck me as a bit odd and possibly a little contrived that the first places the protagonist always ends up are mind-bogglingly simple, and I wanted to change it up, as well as deconstruct the Mystery Dungeon concept in general. I mean, these are places where hardened criminals hang out- you'd think that they'd be dangerous enough that someone not entirely used to their body would end up rofl-stompled within seconds of entering.

    Ampharos also makes his debut here. Would you believe that he actually ended up switching genders during planning? Would it surprise you that he wasn't the only one? As for the other two... We'll get to them later.

    To call Ampharos's characterization in this chapter an anomaly would win you multiple Understatement of the Year awards. We could chalk it up to Heath being an unreliable narrator again, we can chalk it up to Ampharos recovering remarkably quickly from days of physical torture involving acid, we could chalk it up to him taking a long time to break with an absolutely pathetic, shrieky panic mode, or like me, you can chalk it up to me not knowing who I was writing yet. Heath actually lampshades this in Chapter 6, mentioning that Ampharos's personality has done a 180 since the last time they spoke.

    Still, Ampharos is now quasi-involved in the plot, and as the story goes on, he'll make one appearance per arc until actually joining the team.

    And that brings the Quest Plaza arc to an end. If I go for a while without posting anything again, we'll take an in-depth look at the Exposure Arc, and the many faces of Jarperior.

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  21. #121
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    It’s a very, very long time before anyone says anything. We’ve been wandering down here for several hours, trying to find the Shard, but none of us have been successful. I’ve tried to contact Chance to double-check that the Shard resembles the one I saw in Quest Plaza, but she’s remained completely silent.

    Ampharos eventually breaks the silence. “So, Heath- please explain to me again what the Shard you saw looked like?”

    I nod. “It was like a shadow that stood independent of a body. Vaguely humanoid, but completely pitch-black. But remember that-”

    “Right, but I just wanted to double-check that, and not blunder headfirst into it.”

    I nod slowly, and Julius shrugs. “Right. If we see anything like that, we’ll let you know.”

    I’m about to try and move the conversation in a different direction when I feel an unusual chill down my spine. The others seem to feel it, too- Kim and Ampharos are instantly on guard, and Julius lets out a shiver.

    “H-Heath? There was a feeling like this when Chance had us fight an imaginary one...”

    I spin around, trying to catch sight of it. No such luck, and the lot of us begin moving very carefully into the dungeon.

    We eventually arrive at a natural rock bridge over a deep chasm. I hear Kim sigh.

    “Well, it’s either stick around and maybe get attacked, or cross a bridge that looks like it could easily collapse.”

    Before any of us can chime in with our thoughts, we hear a loud shrieking sound, and we all spin around. Behind us is a mass of shadows- the Shard.

    It moves as though it’s opening its mouth, and I hear it speak. Its voice is quiet, almost like a whisper. However, that whisper carries the weight of a shout, and it’s enough to freeze the lot of us in our tracks.

    “I figured that might get your attention.”

    It’s a few seconds before any of us moves. Julius is the first to take off, doing his best to run across the bridge. Kim and I follow next, with Ampharos taking the rear. I’m not looking behind me as I run, but I can’t hear him following. I don’t know if that means that he’s just watching, or if he simply moves silently.

    We reach the other side of the bridge, and Ampharos turns his head around to look. It’s another moment before he slows to a stop, and turns completely around. “...Guys. He hasn’t moved.”

    The three of us turn and look. Ampharos is right- the Shard stands perfectly still on the other end of the bridge. After a moment of silence, it speaks again. In spite of the distance, its voice hasn’t decreased in volume. “I don’t need to chase you just yet. Until you get to the later areas, I can pursue you at my leisure. Even if you get away from me this time, I know what your scent is, hero. I can follow you anywhere I like.”

    My breath catches in my throat. It knows what I am.

    I don’t know what to do. Do I endanger the group, and run with them? Do I instruct them to run, and stay behind to fight it? Do I ask them to join me?

    Kim interrupts my train of thought by tapping my shoulder. “Heath. Let’s move.”

    I numbly nod, and follow her. As I turn my back, I hear its voice again. “I’m not sure why you’re bothering. There’s really no point in doing anything but staying to fight. That’s the inevitable outcome- no sense in running from it.”

    The four of us retreat a small way back into the cavern, and Julius begins guarding the path behind us while Ampharos guards the way ahead. Kim and I lean against a wall, and she sighs.
    “Well, that wasn’t what I expected. Just let me know if you want to fight it. If you don’t, we can always leave.”

    I shake my head. “I have to do this. If I don’t, Chance saw-”

    “Chance isn’t exactly the most reliable person on the planet. If she’s sure she saw some kind of genocide out here, that’s what she saw, and your being out here may end up having no effect at all on it. For all we know, that thing will kill you if you fight it. If that happens, what does Chance do then? She can’t make another one of you, and she won’t pull a random human into this.”

    I search for Chance’s presence in the back of my head, but I can’t sense her. I don’t know if she knows what happened, but she really should be told.

    After a second of trying to reach her to no avail, I shrug. “I still have to try. You, Julius, and Ampharos are still out here-”

    “And the shard is only interested in you for now. If we’re gone by the time this supposed genocide begins, we won’t come to any harm. Now, knowing that it’s really only your life on the line for now, do you still think it’s a good idea to try this?”

    I’m about to nod when she shakes her head. “You know what? I know how you’re going to answer, so I’m making the choice for you.”

    She pulls out her rescue team badge, and holds it out. “The three of us will finish the jobs for today. You go back to the house, and wait a while. After today finishes, we’ll pick you up, and get off of this mountain.”

    I shake my head. “No. I’m staying here to-”

    She sighs, and the badge flashes. “I just said that I’m making the choice for-”

    Her voice cuts out as a second later, I find myself back at the house.

    ***

    It’s a few hours before I hear any kind of sounds from outside. The door clatters open, and Ampharos charges in. “Heath! Grab anything you need to get down the mountain, and get moving as fast as you can!”

    I raise an eyebrow, already moving. “What’s wrong?”

    “That Shard we ran into didn’t take kindly to being denied you. Julius is unconscious, Kim’s carrying him back, and we’ve got about twenty minutes to an hour before the Shard follows us back here. Now, get moving!”

    In five minutes, I’m prepared to go. The pair of us exit the house, where Kim is waiting, holding Julius unconscious on her back. She nods as we exit, and the three of us begin fleeing the scene.

    A half-hour later, we’re on the road, taking turns carrying Julius down the mountain. It’s a slippery climb down, as it seems to have snowed heavily since we left this morning. I almost lose my footing two or three times, and Ampharos nearly falls of the side of the mountain on one occasion.

    After a few hours of running, we reach a more or less level stretch of ground. I recognize it as the exact same place where I suffered my nervous breakdown on the way out here.

    Kim places Julius on the ground, and motions for Ampharos to come over with his bag. He heads over, and places a tan seed in Julius’s mouth. There’s a blue flash, and Julius stirs.

    He slowly struggles to his feet. “...Where is it?”

    Ampharos helps him up. “We’re not 100% sure. We ran out this way- turns out that we’re all remarkably fast runners when our lives depend on it. Basically, we’re taking a breather right now, and getting you back on your feet.”

    Kim nods, and turns towards me. “Look, Heath, I know Chance sent you out here to kill this thing, but you can’t fight it. We’ll lure it to the base of the mountain, get some passers by to help us out, and get rid of them while you absorb it.”

    I can’t believe what I’m hearing. “Kim, we can’t do that! Who’s to say that-”

    Kim cuts me off. “I don’t want to hear it, Heath! We can barely fight this thing, so there’s no way we’re letting you of all people fight it!”

    I bristle. “You know that I’m stronger in close proximity to-”

    “I don’t care! We’re not letting you fight it, especially not alone!”

    I stride over towards her, and look her dead in the eye. “This. Is. My. Job. This is the whole reason I was created. You know that, don’t you? Since I’ve found that out, you’ve done nothing but try and get in the way! Why?”

    She barely flinches as she answers, looking me dead in the eye. “It’s because I don’t want you to die.”

    ...This wasn’t the answer I was expecting. I don’t think I was expecting one at all. I pause a moment before answering. “Thanks for your concern, but it’s going to happen. Word of Arceus, remember? God himself has forbidden me from living past my second deadline.”

    She maintains her stare. “That doesn’t mean that you get to charge off to your death early. I don’t want you to be killed before your time.”

    I ready a retort, but she jumps in when I don’t respond imediately. “And don’t give me that ‘my job’ ********. You’ve been nothing but moody since you found off, not to mention the two separate mental breakdowns.”

    I try to speak again, but she continues, somewhat louder now. “You shouldn’t be out here fighting things none of us completely understand! We should be back in Quest Plaza, surrounded by people we know and trust, not stuck on the side of this mountain, running for our lives from a piece of one of history’s worst monsters! I mean, tell me that you think you should be punished for all of Chance’s mistakes!”

    I try to retort, actually a bit frightened. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Kim like this. “S-She just-”

    She begins to advance on me. “Just what? Created a person with an apocalyptic time bomb built into them, and didn’t bother to try and fix the problem, or even contact them about it? Heath, you should have your whole life in front of you! Instead, you’ve got a little bit more than four months left because some bumblingly incompetent demi-god made a mistake! There’s no way you’re okay with that!”

    “Kim, please just-”

    She’s shouting now. “Calm down? Why? I’m watching one of my close friends willingly traipse off to his death because some woefully inept chessmaster he’d never met before a few months ago snapped her fingers! Would you just take that if it were Julius? Or me?”

    I think I actually feel some tears welling up in my eyes. “Kim, I...”

    Julius steps up next to Kim, and grabs her hand. “Kim, you’re starting to scare me, too...”

    Kim looks offended for a moment, but then takes a good hard look at my face. She takes a few deep breaths, and begins speaking slowly.

    “Heath, please think about it this way. You’re a danger to the three of us. Meanwhile, the worst you’ve done to Chance is relay a message. Call her. See if she answers.”

    I take a moment before searching for Chance. I get no response of any kind.

    Kim nods, and the next thing I know, she’s hugging me. I’m caught off guard, and almost end up toppling backwards. She backs off after a second, giving me time to regain my balance.

    “Now, tell me- who do you think is your friend here?”

    I’m silent for a good long while, digesting this. After a few minutes, I nod. “Alright, but we’re not involving anyone unless we’re 100% certain that they could defend themselves against the Shard.”

    Kim lets out a sigh of relief, and smiles. “Right. That works. Now, I’ll take point. Ampharos, can you take the rear?”

    Ampharos nods, and Julius beams towards me. “I’ll stick by you, then. So, shall we get moving? I’d rather not fight that thing again just yet...”

    Almost as if on cue, a loud rumbling sound comes from up the mountain. I turn to look, and am rooted in place as a wall of ice and snow comes barreling towards us, missing Ampharos by less than two feet.

    “Run!”

    I don’t even know who shouted, but it’s enough to get us moving before the next small avalanche lands where we were standing seconds before. I catch a flash of black farther up the mountain, and begin moving faster.

    It’s not long before we reach the bottom. We tear our way through the trees at the bottom until we reach a reasonably clear area.

    The lot of us collapse in a heap, panting. I’m exhausted, and I can tell just looking at the others that they’re no better off. If the Shard followed us down here...

    A deathly cold begins to crawl down my spine as a swooshing sound fills our ears. The Shard dashes out of the trees, and slows to a halt.

    The others can barely move. If they try to fight, they’re dead. If I run, they’re either hostages, or they’re dead.

    My mind blanks on solutions as the Shard begins to advance.

    ...There’s only one thing that has a chance of getting them out alive...

    I stand, and turn to Kim. “...I’m sorry.”

    She looks at the Shard, evaluates the situation, and hangs her head. “...Please, Heath. Win.”

    I slowly nod. “I’ll do what I can. Just please... Don’t watch.”

    She nods, and the three of them look away. I turn to face the Shard.

    Its voice sounds as though it’s right next to me. “Oh, good. I was beginning to think you’d never stop running. Shall we?”

    I shake my head. “One condition. If I lose, you let my friends go.”

    It scoffs, and my blood chills. “Why should I accept any deal you offer? You’re bartering for their survival, so you won’t leave them if I say no. Furthermore, if you’re dead, you won’t be around to stop me from killing those that kept my prey from me.”

    WIthout waiting for a reply, it begins advancing.

    No going back now. I take a deep breath, and approach.

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
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    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  22. #122
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    The first arc of MD Journal was something that I ended up having an immense amount of fun writing. That hadn’t happened in a while- very few of my stories meet the five-chapter mark, so having a story do that practically blew my mind. Given that the story seemed to be going so well, I began trying to take the story more seriously, planning arcs in advance individually, with very, very vague plot summaries for the first four and then final arcs (The Exodus and Shard arcs weren’t planned for a very long time.) When this arc started, I finally had a pretty good idea of the direction that I wanted the story to head.

    The first thing about Chapter 6 that needs to be mentioned is Jaroda. Interesting history behind that one- proto-Jaroda was always an old friend of Madame Lucario. Thing was, in the original draft, she was less “terrifying retired badass,” and more “friend that Madame Lucario meets twice a week for tea.” And no, that’s not pronoun trouble up there- Jaroda became a male character in Chapter 6 (I was lucky that no gendered pronouns had been used before in reference to him.)

    And what a revision we got. I don’t know about any of you guys, but Jaroda’s one of my favorite characters. I know that it’s a bad idea for the author to have favorite characters from his own story, but...

    It was around this time that I decided I wanted a magnificent bastard-type character. I had two options- repurpose a character that already existed, or use Melchior. While the latter could have been done, I personally like the idea of a sharp contrast to Palkia’ knight templar attitude in his appearance. So, Jaroda not only became male, he also became an anti-hero in this chapter.

    The final thing that changed in regards to Jaroda is his discovery of Heath’s identity. Originally, proto-Jaroda was to have discovered it accidentally in the middle of a conversation with Madame Lucario. What would have followed would have been chatty gossip proto-Jaroda telling everyone in Quest Plaza what Heath was, and that was how Heath’s cover would be blown.

    I found this to no longer be in character after the revisions. What was decided then was to give Jaroda some means of extracting information against the will of the other party. I considered telepathy, but threw that out the door practically immediately in favor of something that seemed a lot more snakelike- a sort of hypnotic aura that would terrify the other person into giving or telling you whatever you wanted. I ended up having a lot of fun with this ability down the road, so I’m glad I got to use it.

    Believe it or not, Jaroda’s tragic past didn’t actually require much thought. It struck me from out of the blue, seemed to fit the character, and gave a genuinely good reason for why he wasn’t allowed to leave Quest Plaza.

    Now that I’ve got all of that out of my system, the rest of the early arc ended up writing itself. Now that Gossipy Proto-Jaroda was out of the picture, I needed a character who would spread Heath’s identity around. Here, I remembered that Julius didn’t know, and given his ego, it was entirely possible that he’d spread it out of spite when he found out. The remainder of Chapter 6 gave him a few more opportunities to show off his pride, so I was certain that there would be at least a bit of buildup to his eventual reaction to Heath’s condition.

    Also, Ampharos. I’ve discussed his odd development in the previous chapter, but it was around this point that I began considering replacing him with Julius entirely. His line about perhaps going on an adventure with Team JUMP was supposed to be a throwaway thing, perhaps occurring entirely offscreen. Eventually, though, I decided that I liked him enough to eventually add him to the main team roster.

    Chapter 7 was one of those awkward transition chapters that pretty much stopped after this arc. Three very important things happen in this chapter- first is the setup of Julius’s freakout. The second is Kim’s transition from quirky to full-time exposition barrel. Final is the introduction of Volt Peak. See, funnily enough, I initially had Melchior figuring out what Heath was (or what he appeared to be,) but I wasn’t sure if the arc would be long enough without some padding.

    Hey, remember when these arcs had substance?

    Anyway, Volt Peak was probably one of the better on-the-spot decisions I’ve made. I usually end up being dissatisfied with a lot of the mystery dungeons I write, but I think I nailed it here. I could have done better with description, yes, but I managed to progress the story through what amounted to filler. Well, I say filler- Volt Peak is going to be a significant thing in MDJ2.

    Chapter 8, in all honesty, probably could have been merged with Chapter 9, but this was back when I was writing three-page chapters. Lady Christine was another on-the-spot decision that worked out in the end. She’s also probably the only character in MDJ who will never be seen in person again, given that I don’t honestly know what to do with her between now and MDJ2.

    Just a side note, by the way- Heath’s swordplay in this chapter was a shout-out to Patch... who still didn’t exist at the time of writing. I really need to work on that.

    And speaking of Lady Christine, the battle with her is one of my favorite sequences in the story so far. My only real issue is that I think I could have concluded it better- a few people ended up confused afterwards, believing that Team JUMP had lost the fight. Oh, and as for those curious about the name Team JUMP- I was having issues coming up with team names, so I opened the question up to deviantART. One of the best answers was Team JUMP, submitted by r3stl3ss-orange. So, that’s the story of the name. When Kim said that it seemed like the best option out of what she had to work with, she really meant it.

    While I certainly don’t have a use for Lady Christine now, she did provide an important part of the story- revealing Heath’s supposed humanity to Julius. With that, his freakout commenced, right as they made it to Sylvan. I actually employed a somewhat different technique here regarding the writing of Julius’s dialogue from here until the middle of the Six Nights arc. Specifically, he has none; Heath is focusing less on the words and more on the intent, so we only get to experience what he’s paying attention to.

    And the inevitable side note- the Grovyle, Meowth, and Chimchar who work the Sylvan Elevator are the protagonists of that first Mystery Dungeon fic I did. MDJ is far from the last place they’ll cameo, so keep an eye out for them in future fanfics.

    Chapters 11 and 12 probably could have been merged as well. Much of 11 is setting up 12, and Melchior’s proper appearance could probably have held more weight if they chapters were merged. However, the rest of the chapter went pretty smoothly, right up until the end. It sort of comes across as rushed last-minute exposition, but it references a few important things- for example, the first mention of Chance, the first direct foreshadowing that Heath isn’t what he appears to be, and Julius’s spreading of Heath’s secret.

    And so, we move into the Six Nights arc, and complications arise in my schedule.

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  23. #123
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    A whirlwind of color assaults my vision. Hues of teal, yellow, and pink batter my retinas, and a sound like glass scraping against stone pierces my eardrums. A feeling like my skin is breaking apart envelops me, and then...

    I'm...

    I'm alone in a field of gray. That's it, right?

    No, I'm not sure. I don't even really feel like I'm here, so how can I be alone in this location?

    I try and shake my head, surprised that I haven't given myself a headache trying to figure this out by now. I'm even more surprised when nothing happens at all- no sense of movement, no feeling of shaking my head, no feeling of a head at all...

    Am I just a soul right now?

    I'm aware of a presence behind me. I'm unable to turn to check, but I know it's the Darkrai Shard. It speaks, its voice coming from everywhere and nowhere at once.

    "Is it really taking you this long to give yourself form?"

    I'm aware of a strange sensation that I think might be pain. I'm not 100% sure, but I know I don't like it.

    Give myself form? Chance and I never covered this.

    After another blast of the maybe-pain, I think to myself. Chance and I always sparred in dreams, where I seem to have a body by default. Maybe I just need to create one here?

    I begin envisioning my body, and the world around me erupts into being. I'm surrounded on all sides by a white light.

    I try to turn my head, and get a spear like object through my hand for my troubles. I try and pull my hand back, and the object retracts.

    The Shard stands behind me, already preparing another attack. I scramble backwards, clutching my hand to my chest. It’s definitely pain that I’m feeling. So, there’s that.

    I begin zig-zagging away- it seems to have the ability to stretch his body and strike with pointed appendages. If I can just keep my movements somewhat difficult to follow, it’ll have a harder time hitting me.

    As I move, I begin taking notes on our arena. It’s essentially a blank, white void- nothing in the way of terrain or boundaries. Wonderful. This isn’t ending until one of us is dead.

    I begin looking over my body. For the most part, it looks the same as it does outside. There are a few differences, mostly in the shade of my skin. I can’t exactly look to see right now, but my feet feel like they’re missing the scars.

    So, if alterations like this are possible, I wonder what else I can do? Could I fight like the Shard?

    I begin focusing on my hand, trying to get it to stretch. I begin to notice a slight distortion before my opponent finally finds his mark.

    The Shard’s fingers pierce my shoulder, holding me in place. I struggle in place as it approaches, retracting its finger as it does.

    “That was easy. I can’t believe you’re what amounts to a hero these days. Then again, I suppose this is what happens when the materials aren’t genuine...”

    Something about its remark stings, and I begin to search for any water under the ground. I’m very surprised when the second I think about it, a tremendous geyser erupts underneath the Shard.

    It’s blown backward by the force of the blast and lands a good twenty feet away. It slowly picks itself up and faces me once it’s on its feet.

    “Impressive. You’re fairly close to collapse, aren’t you?”

    I have no idea why, but I find myself answering it. “That’s none of your concern.”

    It chuckles a bit to itself. “I’m right on the mark. Let me guess- they’re going to let you live if you kill a bunch of us. Am I right?”

    I’m silent for a moment, and it tilts its head to the side. “No? Really? Then what’s the point?”

    “What do you mean?”

    It shrugs. “Think about this for a minute. I haven’t done anything to you. None of us have. Yet you’ve signed onto an extermination campaign that you don’t benefit from. What’s the point of it? In the end, we don’t stop coming. We never will. In the end, you still die, and nothing is accomplished.”

    I shake my head. “No, you don’t understand. I’m supposed to be stopping a Shard that’s going to shut down the sun-

    It sighs. “You’re not getting it, kid. You can talk about how you’re going to save the world, but in the end, you’re taking one of us down. Well, if you’re lucky enough to live through this encounter. We literally exist in every moment of time and space. Those lucky enough to wind up with bodies will continue to come up with inventive ways to end the world, or pull it under our control, or do something earth-shaking. You take one of us down and then die. Who’s to say that the world doesn’t end the day after because your luck goddess missed one of us? In the end, what have you accomplished?”

    I look for an answer, trying to find out a way in which its argument is flawed. After a moment, I shake my head. I can worry more about this later, right?

    And yet, in spite of that, I hear myself ask, “What would you do in my shoes, then?”

    It chuckles a bit. “I don’t know. Die, maybe. Or live as you please. When it comes right down to it, you’ve got three choices. Die, and save yourself the trouble of worrying about your friends. Live as you please, and take the world with you. End our threat permanently. Or, you know, keep fighting a hopeless battle that you will never benefit from. Of course, the latter two are only options if you survive this fight. If I kill you, hey- I might count as a hero. Wouldn’t you say?”

    Before I can try to retort, it’s moving again. It zig-zags closer, like it’s about to try and hit me directly. I raise my arms to defend myself and notice a sort of glint around the claws. Is that...

    He’s almost right in front of me. Abandoning all logic for a split second, I dash forward, swinging my claw out in front of me. The Shard is surprised as my claws extend and knock it to the side.

    It trips and falls but is on its feet in a second. It hop-skips backward a few steps, and begins attacking with its fingers again. I roll to the side, desperate to avoid the strikes.

    Well, I’ve figured out Scratch, but it didn’t do me as much good as I thought it would. Hmmm... On that topic, is the Shard right? Is this all pointless?

    I block an incoming thrust with one of my claws and the Shard begins to approach me slowly.

    ...There’s no way I can make any kind of difference. In the grand scheme of things, my actions are insignificant. It’s absolutely correct.

    I dodge to the left and begin to surround my head and feet with water.

    So, why am I fighting? Because it’s the right thing to do? How can I be certain that right and wrong even factor into this? The way the Shard talks, it’s like he’s some kind of force of nature...

    I speed towards it, and am knocked out of the air as it swings its arm to the side.

    I can’t fight the wind or the tides. Just as they will exist regardless of my efforts, so will the Shards. What do I do?

    The Shard approaches me slowly, lifting its hand up into the air as its fingers extend to about a foot long.

    Should I just surrender here? No. I don’t want to die, and Kim, Julius, and Ampharos don’t want me to either. The three of them...

    I try and dodge, but not fast enough. Its fingers rake down my arm, leaving long, deep red gashes down the side. I’m lucky that wasn’t my front, or I’d be dead.

    Ever since this whole ordeal started, they’ve been there to help me out, haven’t they? Kim herself mentioned the personal danger she was in, but she didn’t care. She was willing to put herself on the line for me...

    I focus the water around my tail and roll to the side. A wave explodes out of nowhere, engulfing the Shard and blasting it backwards again.

    Maybe it’s time that I gave something back to them.

    The Shard slowly picks itself up again. I notice that the edges around it seem... fuzzy, somehow. Like he’s been spray painted into existence. He teeters unsteadily for a moment before looking my way.

    “...You... Haven’t given up yet, I see. I’m disappointed.”

    I shake my head. “No. My friends are waiting for me outside.”

    It sighs. “Fine, whatever. Bear this in mind, though- you’re sweeping a dirt road. In the end, you affect nothing.”

    I nod. “I know. You want to guess what else I know?”

    Before he can react, I focus on the ground underneath him and hit him with another Water Oath.

    He lands on the ground and rolls to the side. I approach him slowly, and look down at him.

    “I don’t care.”

    He looks at me a moment and chuckles. “Keep telling yourself that.”

    I raise my arm and swing my claws down.

    In an instant, a bellowing, screeching sound assaults my ears, and the world around me splinters into a billion pieces. For a moment, I’m surrounded by pitch blackness. Then, suddenly, I’m back in the forest. Kim, Julius, and Ampharos are nowhere to be seen.

    The first thing I do is check my arm. There’s no sign of the wound from earlier- in fact, I feel better than I’ve felt in a while. Absurdly good, in fact. Like I’m bathed in warmth, even on the side of this snowy mountain.

    Near where the rest of the team were earlier are a series of footprints leading away from the site. I begin to follow them and feel a tug at the back of my mind.

    Chance, now is really not the time.

    She doesn’t try to contact me again. I nod to myself and notice a fiery glow off in the distance. I begin to approach and notice Ampharos standing by it.

    The second he sees me, he dashes over, and grabs me. “Heath! Are you okay?”

    “Fine, Ampharos! Well, I’m alive, anyway. Would you please let go of me?”

    After a moment or two, he lets go, and stands back. “Sorry about moving. Thing is, you and that Shard made a lot of noise, and, well...”

    I tilt my head to the side. “Noise?”

    He nods. “Think of the worst snarling imaginable. Now, couple in a few shrieks, moans, and one or two instances of what sounded like backwards speech. None of us could take it, so we moved a bit.”

    After a moment, I nod. “Understandable. Sorry, Ampharos. Where are Kim and Julius?”

    “A small way down the road. Kim noted that one way or another, when the fight finished, none of us had any reason to stay on the mountain. We’ll catch up to them- they’ve only got a few minutes on us.”

    I nod, and the two of us dash down the mountain. We manage to catch up to them quickly, but before I can call out to them, I feel Chance’s presence again.

    I just said-

    Heath, it’s important. This can’t wait.


    I sigh. What? Are you going to try and make me feel better after the fight?

    She pauses a second. ...No, but I might have to in the fu... No, no, on topic now! Heath, we’ve found him. We know where our Shard is.

    Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Journal- 29 chapters and counting!
    Most Recent Chapter- Several weeks after they arrive at Star Peak, Chance alerts Team Jump to a Darkrai Shard in the area.

    Interested in a blog that reviews the Pokémon products of the past and present? Have a look at http://tompokenutter.wordpress.com/ !
    http://askredemption.tumblr.com/
    Ask the cast of Redemption anything you like!


  24. #124
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    If they know where the shard is? Who they fight? Unless it is THE shard they have been looking for.

    As for Heath, I wonder what could be done to give him a purpose when the deed is done or what could be done to save his existence.

    Sorry I haven't responded to this that often, just know that I'm reading it.


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

  25. #125
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Between Nod and Terrafirma
    Posts
    392

    Default

    If they found the shard they were looking for, then who did they fight?*


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

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