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Thread: System of Variables (Rated: R)

  1. #26
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    This chapter was pretty interesting. Seeing things from Gary's point of view was quite entertaining. While Eli is a straight-forward person, Gary seems easy-going with a touch of snark thrown in. I'm guessing you'll be switching POVs every now and then.

    And then came Ariel Day. About fifty years ago, a rogue trainer had captured the storm spirits of the land –a forbidden and illegal act. He proceeded to crush the local leaders.
    You know that reminds of someone from the anime...Tobias.

    Tangent aside, there was no reason to train anymore. Strength was unneeded, advancement was nearly impossible, and training opportunities were scarce. It was actually kind of depressing, considering that Gramps had been one of the best trainers’ alive back in his day. It supposedly it ran in the blood. Yeah, so nice to know that even my blood is out to ruin my life.
    Wow, so the Pokemon Trainer profession is dying art in your story. It makes me wonder, why training has lost popularity.


    When I read the last few lines of the chapter I thought "I remember reading this before. Wasn't this from his first fic?". I was right. I'm looking forward to how you incorporate the plot from Flames of Dawn into System of Variables.


    Overall this chapter was good. Your grammar and spelling is good, although I'm not a grammar specialist so don't count on me finding errors that aren't glaringly obvious.

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by catzeye View Post
    This chapter was pretty interesting. Seeing things from Gary's point of view was quite entertaining. While Eli is a straight-forward person, Gary seems easy-going with a touch of snark thrown in. I'm guessing you'll be switching POVs every now and then.

    The Prologue (Part Zero) was told from Eli's perspective as he could be considered the main character. After that, the standard chapters will switch between four narrators. Three should be pretty obvious. The fourth would be from Flames, and will make a cameo next chapter. I'm glad to see that I can pull off the switch in POV decently well.

    You know that reminds of someone from the anime...Tobias.

    And every player character of every game. The games do revolve around a kid capturing god-like Pokemon and using them to overthrow the established leader. Think about it.

    Wow, so the Pokemon Trainer profession is dying art in your story. It makes me wonder, why training has lost popularity.

    Because the government doesn't like the prospect that an idiot with a good team can become the new leader of the nation? They just had to shut down the gym system, and the drive isn't there. Without drive, the art dies.

    When I read the last few lines of the chapter I thought "I remember reading this before. Wasn't this from his first fic?". I was right. I'm looking forward to how you incorporate the plot from Flames of Dawn into System of Variables.

    Consider this Flames of Dawn rewritten with a slightly better plot. That, and the Mewtwo incident is just such an epic concept.

    Overall this chapter was good. Your grammar and spelling is good, although I'm not a grammar specialist so don't count on me finding errors that aren't glaringly obvious.

    That's all I aim for.
    Thanks for the review.
    The Flash Drive of Champions: Backgrounds

    There are many reasons to journey in the Pokemon World. It turns out that banishment, Bond Villains, unbeatable rivals and being forced to attend one dance too many are among them.

    File 2.5 is up. Gela literally puts on a show for the world to see while elsewhen her world is shattered beyond repair.

  3. #28
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    I really like it so far!

    I gestured towards my ear, and he gave a silent laugh as he reached over and ripped the headphones out of her ears. Bianca immediately shot her face up, and glared daggers at Gary who just smirked. What was that about?” she demanded.
    Missed a quotation mark.
    Given free reign, we probably would’ve been out there for another hour.
    *Rein
    I now that makes her sound like a horrible person, but it’s not like neither of us had ever stayed later than intended at the lab.
    *Know

    Yeah, so I wasn’t off to a great start. I’d almost killed my first Pokémon on the first night of owning it because of rookie mistake.
    Should be "of a rookie."
    It was actually kind of depressing, considering that Gramps had been one of the best trainers’ alive back in his day. It supposedly it ran in the blood.
    *Trainers (no apostrophe)
    *You used "it" twice.

    So far, it's a good start. As others have mentioned, I liked how you portrayed Gary's personality as less arrogant and more easygoing. (And I love his narration style.) The interactions between the characters and the Pokemon was well-written, and Eli is a pretty likeable character. Keep it up!
    I'm back for good!

    Greetings from the asylum of my insanity.
    Chapter 3 and cooler banner coming eventually. :P I am still working on it despite a very long lack of updates!

    Dex: 128 created! ~ DA and LJ links coming later.

  4. #29
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    Good to see you're back. Grammatical stuff has been fixed. Nice to hear I'm doing well. Gary's narration style is my favorite so far from a writing perspective. Although narrator four might just be a bit more psychot- er, entertaining. Thanks for the review!

    A few housekeeping things. I'm slightly behind in reviewing. I'm way behind on writing. The next chapter is 25% done. I may get it done tomorrow, and I really hope not to go to monthly updates, but it might happen. I'm really sorry and wish I had more time to write, but I have a lot of things to do write now, and writing's fallen to a lower priority than say, my Eagle Scout Project and homework. What I have of the next chapter I like though, so it should be good when it comes out.

    EDIT: ...argh. Annoying technical difficulties. I accidentally deleted all of the chapter I had thus far, which will set me back a bit. I'm sorry, but I very highly doubt I'll get it up in the next two weeks.
    Last edited by Rediamond; 21st August 2011 at 10:54 PM.
    The Flash Drive of Champions: Backgrounds

    There are many reasons to journey in the Pokemon World. It turns out that banishment, Bond Villains, unbeatable rivals and being forced to attend one dance too many are among them.

    File 2.5 is up. Gela literally puts on a show for the world to see while elsewhen her world is shattered beyond repair.

  5. #30
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    Sorry about the late chapter. I will try as hard as possible to get one up next week to at least get out two chapters in a four week span. Also, this is my longest chapter yet to compensate, and one of my favorites so far. Even if the narration style mildly irritates me to write and read. Oh well, thanks for waiting and reviews are appreciated. (I'll get caught up to replying to reviews as soon as possible.) Oh yeah, expect some swearing in Bianca chapters. Nothing too bad though.

    Chapter Three: Falling

    She wishes she could fly sometimes. Just soar away to an entirely different house, in a different city, and settle down to live a new life. Now is one of those times. Her father had gotten on her again, told her she needed to be doing more for him. She told him that she had the right to live her life however she wanted to. He said no. It ended like all the other times, she agreed to do a little bit more, but not nearly as much as he wanted. She knew that one day she would be completely sucked into the entire mess, with less way out than the prey of a Diglett. That's why she wants to fly. To go over those sands she imagines engulfing her future and strike the creature in the center. Of course, the surface part of a Diglett is nothing compared to what lies below. She knows that too, and she wonders if she would even take the chance to strike at the Diglett if she was a Pidgey and could do it. She concludes she wouldn't, and she is indeed happier with him. Or at least, not unhappy enough to break away.

    But sometimes, she still wishes she had the option, even if it would never be taken.

    As she packs up for her next class, she realises that she's fallen a step further into the trap. She's good at slowing down her fall. Know she wants to know how to Fly.


    A strong wind was blowing across Viridian City, whipping my grey scarf into my face as I walked. And contrary to what Gary has likely told you, I am not obsessed with dull colors due to some lack of personality. I just think they look nice. They don’t draw undue attention, or lead to any meaningless debates on fashion. Breath is limited. Anything limited should be conserved. That and I do not lack a personality thank you very much. I just have no reason to show it to that prick. Or anyone who wouldn’t take it seriously for that matter. And I’ve found out that very few people are willing to take things seriously.

    And this is not one of Gary’s tangents. That was needed information to resolve any possible misconceptions you may have that would cloud your ability to understand the story. If I’m going to spend my breath telling it, I might as well make sure that it is heard properly. If I have made things clear, the actual story can resume.

    While the last day had been calm, today a fierce wind blew through the city. It wasn’t uncommon for Viridian. In fact, intense winds were a frequent occurrence. I’d just forgotten how annoying they were. Even if it was a summer day, it felt like it could’ve been winter due to wind chill. Or at least late autumn. Possibly October. You should get the point by now.

    The streets were slightly less crowded than I remembered. That or the people just looked smaller from my larger height. Both were possible. I was able to make my way through the streets of the West Side of town without much difficulty and at a very nice pace. I’m not as obsessed with speed as Eli, but my time in the city was limited. Ergo, it needed to be conserved. Especially the time I had alone.

    Gary and Eli were off at the Pokémart picking up the package. After that they were going to the gym. Personally, I viewed the gym as my brother’s domain. I had no business there. My business was all on the west side of the city. As it had always been.

    While I walked, I mentally debated with myself as to whether or not to visit a certain location. It was a fair distance out of the way, but not horribly so. That and it almost seemed necessary if I was in Viridian. After all, it was, at some level, the reason I had even come on the stupid errand. It was probably fairly high on the Professor’s list of reasons as well. Why else would he send a group of kids over to retrieve his mail when he had several perfectly competent aides with cars? It could’ve been what he said about getting us out of town, but there were better ways to go about doing that. It was almost certainly something else.

    I stopped walking at an intersection. My official destination was straight ahead, but the other one was to the North. I glanced briefly between the two of them, and walked towards the North. The road was much quieter going in that direction. Only residential areas could be reached by heading north, so most of the traffic heading to the bases and Cathedral disappeared. There were still noises, cars roaring in the background, children crying, shouting from street venders, it was just increasingly quieter as it faded into the background. Even then, it still probably would’ve put Eli off edge. He hadn’t left Pallet yet. Viridian wasn’t big, but it still dwarfed the town. I wondered if he even knew normal traffic procedures. I shrugged and moved on to other thoughts. He had Gary with him. One of his few redeeming qualities was that he knew about the world, and was surprisingly not obsessively arrogant about it.

    Putting it out of my mind, I looked around the street. Viridian City was a blend of memories and new frontier. In some areas the same shops and buildings still presided over the street. Most of them were slightly deteriorated but remained open after several years. Equally many familiar stores were closed, either replaced or a pair of dark windows with a sign hung over the door. I tried to recognize someone for a little while but gave up pretty quickly. It was a big city, and it had been years since I had last been here. Instead I kept on walking, periodically pausing at a location from the past, and mentally kicking myself back into motion. Like it or not, this wasn’t just another walk back to my house. Things had changed.

    After roughly forty minutes of walking, I found myself outside of the first residential district. The south side of Viridian was mostly made up of businesses, monuments, and military fortifications. A few political areas existed there as well, Viridian being the auxiliary capitol of the continent and all. There just weren’t that many and they weren’t that important. All of the important decisions were made to the Northwest or in the army buildings. This left the northern area of the town for residential use. When the Kanto government built the city for their capitol, they planned it out methodically. A series of lines ran across the north of the town. These lines were made up of apartment complexes that housed the citizenry. The buildings closer to the city, starting with district one, were made up of bigger buildings that housed almost a thousand people each. Each subsequent district housed a smaller number of wealthier people, until the twelfth district was made up entirely of individual families living in mansions at the edge of the forest. Most of them were government officials. Some were businessmen. And then there were a few others who were officially businessmen or government officials. I was going to see one of those people.

    --SoV—

    I kept staring up at the house in front of me. I knew that a security guard was probably going to get suspicious soon, but I couldn’t leave. It was the largest of the mansion bordering the forest, five stories high and equally enormous in every other way. A number of white stone pillars supported the grey and white structure, making it look like some sort of a classical monument. Ancient, powerful, and proud. The headquarters of an empire. Many would never come close to realizing how accurate that was. Mr. Kyo was the owner of the mansion, as well as various laboratories around the region, as well as the Celadon Game Corner and the Kanto Electric Plant. Between all of this, he was quite wealthy. The mansion in Viridian was just the center of his economic empire. This was the public perception. There was quite a bit of private information as well, but very few living individuals knew about all of that.

    I glanced through more of the house’s features. My eyes dwelled on a balcony a few floors up for a minute or so. I had almost fallen from that balcony once when I was playing with a friend. A wild Pokémon had caught me as I fell, and my dad let me play with it for years after that. My mom didn’t like him so much. When we moved to Pallet, he had to stay behind. It was probably pretty old by now, maybe even dead. I wasn’t exactly sure what to think of that. It would probably take some reflection before I made up my mind on the subject. Could I really accept it as dead? Had I already done so?

    I noticed a guard moving in my direction out of the corner of my eye. I sighed, and took off in the other direction, cursing my stupidity under my breath. Being recognized was the last thing I needed, and I had known that from the beginning. It was my fault for standing there so long. It was stupid to go there in the first place, with no real reason to do so. But some idiotic part of me that I was normally quite good at keeping caged had taken control. Once again, this could have been prevented, and it was all my damn fault.

    “Hey, lady!” The guard shouted out, running somewhere behind me to keep up, but at a much slower pace. “Will you slow down for a second?” Yup. They definitely recognized me. This was bad. I glanced back over my shoulder. The guard was panting, barely keeping within a few hundred feet when my head start was factored in. “The Master’s son wished to convey something to you!”

    I almost stopped. I hadn’t seen Mr. Kyo’s son in ages. But I kept running until I was almost out of breath, and well into the residential districts. I looked back then, hands on my knees as I tried to catch my breath from the multi-mile run. The guard was nowhere in sight. He had probably given up miles ago. Once again, I’d been an idiot. I swore at my own stupidity, and glanced down at my watch. I promptly swore again. I had about twenty minutes to reach the restaurant we had agreed to meet at. It happened to be about five miles away. I took a few deep breaths, and ran off again, keeping pace with a string of mental cussing.

    --SoV—

    “Are you sure you’re ready for this?” I glanced across the battling court at Eli took his stance.

    “Of course,” he replied. He was trying to look confident, but it was fairly easy to deduce that he was very nervous. He naturally knew that I was the superior battler, and would likely win.

    Gary nodded on the sidelines. “Alright, Bianca, because of the coin flip you send out the first Pokémon.” As if I needed to know that.

    I quickly thought things over. I had three Pokémon, as did Eli. Two of ours were the same species. Since we knew each other’s teams, I wanted to scout for tactics. In this case, it was best to sacrifice the weaker Pokémon first for the good of the team. And my most recent acquisition needed training. “Sting, come on out!” I said forcefully as I threw a Pokéball into the air. A stream of light flowed to the ground, and condensed into a small insect about the size of my foot. It was wormlike, with a brown segmented body and a horn on top of his head. Weedle weren’t known for combat, but they had a surprising amount of uses in certain sectors. I was hoping to use some of those skills in the fight.

    Eli looked slightly puzzled at my choice. He knew that I was aware of his Pidgey, and yet I had sent out a Weedle anyways. I’m sure he suspected some sort of a trap. Regardless, he shrugged it off, and through his Pokéball into the air. “Jet, let’s do this!” His male Pidgey appeared in the air, fluttering a few feet above the court. It was only about the size of my fist. The first round would be a battle of tiny Pokémon.

    I kept a straight face and looked at the field. He had one logical option, and that would be hard to beat. But if he should ever use anything but brute force, the match was mine. “Gust,” he called out. How unexpected. The Pidgey began to beat his wings particularly hard, creating a miniature windstorm that raged towards my bug type.

    “Tether yourself to the ground,” I called over the wind. Right before the volley hit, Sting shot a clump of sticky thread at the floor of the court. As the winds picked up, the little insect was lifted into the air and blown around furiously, but the string held. He never flew into any objects, which kept him somewhat healthy.

    Most people don’t pick up on such subtle things, but very few Pokémon have a straight out “weakness” to another type. Every one of these was explained in one way or another. The first and most common was simply anatomy. Fire types, for instance, didn’t like having their inner flame put out. Water was very painful to them if it got into contact with their flame. This often ended in an immediate KO unless the Pokémon was quite experienced. The other was far less common. Certain species had become abnormally good at hunting prey of a certain type, and their skills could be put to use in a battle. This was true of birds and bugs. Bug types didn’t hate the winds. Bird Pokémon were simply good at targeting vital areas with their close range attacks. For all practical purposes, a normal gust attack wasn’t any more dangerous than a neutral hit. Not that Eli would understand that.

    “Dang. Really expected it to do more,” Eli muttered to himself as Sting fell back to the ground. I just smirked. Just as expected “Alright, let’s hit him up close.”

    I flinched a little. Either he actually knew what he was doing, or he just randomly hit on it, but this was going to hurt. “Grapple on. Hurry!” I shouted out quickly. I wasn’t sure Sting would react in time, or even get the command at all. It was still better than the alternative.

    The Pidgey flew downwards, and slammed into Sting, blasting him back a few feet. I put my hand over Sting’s ball. If he didn’t have a shot I might as well end it here. Suddenly a pulse of white shot up from the ground, connecting with the flying-type’s belly and causing him to cry out in shock. As he fluttered just a little higher, Sting was lifted off the ground. The rest of the round would be fought in the skies. Right in a bird’s element.

    Eli stared up at the engagement above the court for a few seconds, watching in awe and confusion as Pidgey desperately flapped around, trying to maneuver safely and simultaneously trying to deal with the stowaway hanging from his belly. As Sting fought to climb, Eli finally lowered his head across the battlefield to look at me. “I have no idea where this is going, but I trust you have a plan?” I smiled slightly. If only he knew. “Shake him off Jet. Do a barrel roll!”

    Gary cracked a smile on the sidelines. I have no idea why. Regardless, my attention was elsewhere. Pidgey was turning around desperately to no avail. Sting was latched directly onto the bird now, positioned to strike. This was going to be fun. I crossed my arms and continued to watch the struggle with a look of apathy. “Poison Sting,” I called out nonchalantly. There weren’t many things that could get Eli irritated. An opponent beating him, and not seeming to care was one of them. I assumed that would apply to battles too.

    My calm combined with Eli’s rather dark situation was not helping his composure. “Quick Attack, Tackle, do something!” he cried out in agitation. Of course, I doubt the Pidgey heard it. It’s kind of hard to hear over an extremely loud avian shriek. I glanced back up, a smile playing on my lips again. Perfect. The Pidgey was breathing heavily, barely staying aloft. It was obvious he was in pain, and a lot of it. I almost felt bad. Of course, it’s not like I hadn’t seen far worse.

    Eli stared up at his battered Pidgey. “Since when can a Weedle do that?” he asked me, not taking his eyes off of his Pokémon as it tried to peck at the bug just out of his beak’s range.

    I shrugged. “An old friend taught me some tricks. What more is there to say?” I glanced back at Eli, briefly making eye contact. “Again.”

    The second sting didn’t have nearly the same effect as the first, but it was irrelevant. The poison was already in the bird’s blood. It would be over soon enough. As Sting withdrew his stinger, I noticed something. Eli hadn’t said anything in the entire time it took to complete the attack. I’d noticed in his battle with Gary he was fairly analytical, but that was pushing it. At long last he looked back down to give his orders. “Tackle the ground.”

    “Get off. Now.” I called out as his Pidgey began to dive bomb towards the ground. He had hesitated briefly when given the orders that would cause him pain, and that had given enough opening for Sting to blast a jet of string towards a light post before the bird slammed into the ground with full force. It didn’t look good, to say the least.

    “Come on Jet, you can do this!” Eli pleaded. Unfortunately, he couldn’t. The Pidgey shuddered once more before collapsing on the ground, the poison momentarily overcoming him.

    We both stared down at the Pidgey for a moment as Weedle dropped back onto the court. Eventually, Eli withdrew him in a flash of red. “I never knew a Weedle’s venom was that powerful,” he murmured to himself.

    “Normally it isn’t,” I affirmed. He glanced up at me, clearly wanting more explanation. “I can’t tell you everything, can I? Let’s just say that a friend taught me. He closed his eyes and nodded slowly.

    “Alright,” he reopened his eyes, new intensity shining in them. “Let’s do this, Hive!” In a flash of light, his Weedle appeared in front of mine, the two bugs glaring at each other. I tapped my foot on the court thinking of options. Either by luck or skill, he had sent out the Pokémon I couldn’t take down easily. That and he had ensured a long battle. “Let’s go for a poison sting!” he called out. Maybe he was trying to imitate my last move. Or he simply didn’t have any better options.

    I sighed. “Bug Bite,” I called out wearily. “Wake me up in about sixty exchanges,” I told Eli across the court.

    It didn’t quite get to sixty. At around Bug Bite/Poison Sting thirty I stopped caring. “Sting, come back. You’ve done enough, and I have things to do.” Gary turned towards me as the beam of red emerged from my Weedle’s Pokéball.

    “You know that-“

    “Disqualifies him? Yeah, I know,” I replied. “Ace, let’s destroy him.” With a small battle cry, my female Pidgey appeared over the field, clearly intent on showing her younger brother how to kill a Weedle. Speaking of which, Hive was shaking pretty intensely. If he knew he was able to, he probably would have withdrawn himself back into his Pokéball. I shook my head as Eli gave some sort of a pep talk. This was going to be one fast round.

    “Quick Attack!” I called out with a bit more enthusiasm than usual. Check.

    Eli smirked, apparently grateful I’d just taught him how to counter it. “String shot when he gets close,” he called out boldly, probably to convince his Pokémon that, yes, he did want him to go into the air with a flying type. The training simulator denying crazy requests given without much force was surprisingly realistic.

    “Veer to the right,” I casually ordered. Ace continued to rush forwards, but lunged off to the side, causing Hive’s hastily prepared attack to go wide. “Fly back into the air.”

    Pidgey hovered a few feet above the ground in front of me, awaiting her next orders as she gave Hive the glare that only a predator could give. I smiled. I was quite lucky that I got the bird with hunting instincts. I just had to avoid having her and Sting fight together. I gave Eli my own arrogant smirk, arms crossed and head cocked in a way that simply screamed ‘beat that.’

    Eli gave a wry smile in return. “I don’t know when you got time to train your Pokémon like that, but I’m quite impressed. Maybe you could teach me some time?” I smiled a little. “But I’m not giving up yet, String Shot his wings.”

    “Her,” I calmly retorted. “She’s female,” Eli shrugged, which just ticked off Ace more. As Weedle finally prepared his String Shot, he was quite a bit slower than mine, I gave the only words that seemed right. “Get ‘em girl. Gust.” Check. As the silky fiber flew through the air, Ace beat her wings furiously, giving off a hunting cry as the string flew back, ensnaring a terrified Weedle. “Quick Attack,” I called out, voice imbued with the rush of victory. Ace gave one last predatory shriek, jaws wide open as she closed in on a particularly vulnerable segment.

    Checkmate.

    Eli withdrew his Weedle back into his ball, and reached down for his third ball as I rubbed Ace’s head. “And that’s how you beat a Weedle,” I called out at him.

    “Remind me not to irritate you unless you’ve got half your team unconscious,” he replied. “Marine, finish the bird.” His Squirtle appeared at his side, a battle-ready look on his face. I flicked my head from Ace to the water type and she flew back over the court.

    Gary glanced out at the two competitors. “Alright, are you guys ready?”

    “What about this doesn’t seem ready?” I wanted to glare at him, but I really couldn’t. Dominating a competition of any kind was too much fun.

    He shrugged. “Begin.”

    “Bubble, quick!” Eli shouted as his turtle began to spit out a slew of slow moving bubbles. Ace glanced at them all nervously, unsure of what to against all of the objects that entered her airspace.

    “Gust,” I ordered reassuringly. With that she got her confidence back and beat her wings again, popping or redirecting most of the bubbles when they hit the winds. “Trust me, Eli. If it didn’t work against Gary, it won’t work against me.”

    Eli nodded his head, “Well, it was worth a try. Let’s try to collide with him head on.”

    I shifted uneasily on my feet. Wasn’t I the only one who could give orders without shouting out the name of my attack for the world to hear? Squirtle ran slowly across the battlefield on two legs, awkwardly waddling towards Ace. I shook my head, “Just dodge it.” Ace flew up in the air, and Squirtle broke into a malicious smile. Something bad was coming.

    Sqirtle jumped into the air, withdrawing into his shell to make him more aerodynamic and spin higher. The attack hit Ace directly. I bit my lip as she blasted back by the much larger turtle, eventually stabilizing herself before she hit the ground. I’d forgotten how much more time Eli had training his Squirtle than his other Pokémon. For some reason I’d expected another easy fight. “Fly higher.” I said, trying to maintain composure and come up with a better plan.

    Eli grinned over at my side of the field, a boastful look on his face. Once again, not good. “Same strategy, but let’s boost it a little!” he ordered. Normally he wasn’t one for grandeur. Apparently winning a fight brings that out in everyone.

    “Dodge it,” I called out preemptively. I didn’t want to wait for the hit. And apparently I didn’t call it a moment too late, as a second later Squirtle shot into the sky, bubbles being launched from his shell as he propelled himself higher into the air. Ace barely ducked to the side. Even then she still got bubbles into her face and a slight scratch from the water type. “Tackle him while he’s in the air,” I had my composure back, and a plan to boot. This could be fun.

    Ace slammed into the turtle as he plummeted, speeding up his descent and driving him into the ground hard. At the last moment, my Pidgey pulled back up, leaving a battered Squirtle beneath her. “She’s a her. She doesn’t like it when you call her a him,” I was giving Eli my best condescending smirk, which was quite impressive.

    Eli laughed, and looked intently at his Squirtle as he pulled himself back up, slowly and painfully. “It’s not over yet.”

    How tough can that thing be? My smirk turned into a frown. This was going to be more difficult than I expected.

    “Marine, same tactic!” Damn it. How much longer can he keep this up? Ace was too close to dodge, which left me with almost no options. Ace stared into the onrushing turtle, beating herself up higher with every flap of her wings. It wasn’t going to be enough. That’s when it hit me. I couldn’t get Ace higher in the air, but did I really need to? “Gust attack, now!” I shouted quickly. Ace understood almost immediately, and beat her wings faster, but not to fly. The winds slowed Marine’s ascent to a stop, right before he hit Ace. The water type struggled against the gale with blasts of bubbles. But it wasn’t going to work. With one final cry of his name, Squirtle fell back to Earth once more.

    As Marine hit the ground, Ace lowered herself closer to the court floor to keep it up. Squirtle was still in his shell, and was blown back towards the fence, where he continued to spin in the face of the gust attack. Sparks arced as Squirtle continued to grind against the fence. The friction, winds, and bashing against metal obviously wasn’t doing Squirtle any favors, but both Eli and I knew that it would only get worse if he came out.

    “So, can you just surrender now and get it over with?” I asked Eli, trying to keep my tone from showing my satisfaction at putting him in checkmate. To my surprise he just shook his head.

    “Not a chance. Marine, come out.” To Eli’s credit, his Squirtle had a lot of trust in him. A lot. The Squirtle slowly poked a limb out of his shell, only to cry out in pain as it was bashed against the fence hard. “Come on, keep trying!” The Pokémon continued to get his flesh pinched and slammed between the metal and his shell. This was followed by a splatter of a watery liquid and a cry of pain. This went on for about a minute, both Eli and I staring at Squirtle and waiting for something to happen as the pool of liquid grew.

    “Stop,” I breathed out. Ace looked at me questioningly, trying to figure out if she’d heard me correctly. “I said stop,” I told her with a bit more force, eyes still locked onto the pool on the ground. Reluctantly, Ace stopped flapping her wings and landed on the ground. As Marine pulled himself off the ground, I turned back to Eli. “Shall we con-“

    “Rapid Tackle!” Eli shouted.

    “Dod-“ I didn’t finish before the attack was completed. Squirtle burst forth, spinning back in his shell and causing pale blood to spiral over the immediate area. At the last moment before collision, he jumped out. The water type slammed into Ace with a spinning tackle, taking her out for the count. I withdrew her quickly. “Lava, go!” In a flash of light, my Charmander appeared at my side, claws raised. I smiled faintly. However good Ace and Sting were, they were nothing compared to the one Pokémon I had been training for years. This would barely be a fight.

    “Alright, let’s take him out fast. Bubble!” Eli shouted out. Hadn’t he figured out that the move never worked for him?

    “Ember all of them,” I stated. Lava nodded and lashed out his tail towards Squirtle’s swarm of bubbles. Some of them instantly popped when exposed to the attack. Others popped when bubbles near them popped. A few made it close to Lava, and he simply tore them apart with his claws. Only one or two hit, and they weren’t going to be nearly enough to take Lava out of the fight.

    I faked a yawn. “Are we done yet?”

    ---SoV---

    The cathedral was a very impressive sight in the evening. A huge, black building stretched into the skyline. It illuminated the square around it with lights shining through massive red stained glass windows, giving a red hue to the plaza. I lost my breath as I looked up at the massive archway leading into the building. I’d almost forgotten how impressive this place was. I glanced over at Eli and Gary, both of whom were staring up at the building, mouths hanging open. I turned to Gary. “You’ve really never seen the cathedral at night?” He just shook his head, continuing to stare up at it. I laughed inside my head. If I’d had a camera, I definitely would have taken a picture of him staring dumbly at the structure.

    “It’s more impressive inside if you two ever get around to closing your mouths.” I ran off towards the entrance. They could follow when they wanted to.

    I feel as if I might need to give some background here, although I expect Gary will do it at some point during one of his tangents. Viridian was the headquarters of the League in Kanto. When the league had moved in, they decided to build a cathedral to the deity associated with Pokémon training. Fairly fitting for a league city. At least, as fitting as a church in that particular city could be.

    Mew might have been better. Not many people would’ve understood though. So, Palkia it was.

    The inside of the cathedral was the most spectacular sight in the city. Considering the luxury of some of the general’s and executive’s homes, that’s saying a lot. Red stained glass windows provided most of the light. As the sun went down, some was supplemented by torches in red spheres of glass. The largest of these was the gem on the gigantic relief of the Lord of Space above the alter. Along the walls, huge murals depicted the myths associated with Palkia.

    The church was relatively crowded in the evening. Some of the people there were worshippers of Palkia who were offering up the prayers. There were a few tourists in the crowd, as well as a few new trainers who wanted to ask for Palkia’s benevolence in their training career. Most were locals, worshippers of Arceus or Mew, who simply used the cathedral as a place to worship their deity, and meet up with others.

    With all of these groups together, it was packed in the main room. That makes it even more surprising that I noticed heart all. She couldn’t have been more than eight, and was noticeably shorter than those around her. Her eyes, hair, and clothing were either red, or light enough to be shaded pink due to the stained glass. Looking at the shade the light made her skin appear, probably the latter. She didn’t seem to have any parents with her, which was already strange. But what was stranger was that she was staring right at me.

    I glanced to the side to make sure that Sting wasn’t still on my shoulder. Not many people would take it well if I walked into the most sacred site to Palkia in the Indigo League with a bug riding along on my shoulder. He would probably get crushed in the crowds anyways. I breathed a sigh of relief when I confirmed she wasn’t staring at my Weedle and turned my gaze back to meet hers.

    She was still staring at me. If anything, her gaze had just gotten more intense. It felt really, really weird. It was almost like she was staring right through me and looking at something else. Something inside me. Mrs. Ambrose had done something similar a few times at the lab, but never for so long. Or as intensely. This girl, she had to know I saw her, but she just kept staring anyways. I was torn. Part of me wanted to go up to her and see what was wrong. Part of me wanted to get as far away from this girl as possible. Something just didn’t seem right. She resolved the matter.

    The girl raised her hand in front of her slowly, and curled it towards her, motioning for me to come. I almost didn’t have a choice. My body started moving through the crowd before I could even think, and I would’ve done the same after thought anyways. Something was wrong. And I wanted to know what.

    The girl slipped out of a door onto the outside balcony before I could catch up. When I got to the opening, I paused momentarily. Then I walked through. And fell right into history.

    ”Come on Silver, just come on out already. I give up!” A small girl in blue clothing walked out onto a balcony high above the ground below. Nearby, a small boy with dark hair and mischievous grin locked on his face crouched behind a vase, well hidden from the girl. His grin tightened, and he burst out from behind the vase.

    “Boo!” he screamed out, causing the girl to whirl around and instinctively step back in shock.

    One step too far.

    “Aaaaaahhhhh!” She tripped on a toy car the boy had been playing with earlier and slid back, slamming into the balcony railing. Unfortunately, she was just a bit too small. Small enough that the cracks in the railing could let her slip through if she hit it just right. She hit it. Just right.

    Falling.

    She was falling now, screaming her last scream for years after the event. She would always deny it, but she felt like she had to remain composure. Had to remain some of the dignity that was almost all lost in the fall. Oh, there were other reasons to be sure. The events of the following years didn’t help her any. Maybe it had nothing to do with the first fall. Maybe it’s just a part of growing up. Whatever the reason for the subsequent absence of screeching, the scream during the fall was the loudest of her life.

    The reason? There wasn’t hope. Some part of her mind may have tried to reason that daddy would save her, but daddy wasn’t there. Silver and Janine were both above her. No one was in the yard. It was time to give up, and simply scream her objections to fate for another fifty feet. Or forty-five.

    Right before the impact, a feral beast jumped up. He was young, still fairly small for a member of his already small species. His teeth were bared, and he was yelling something in his strange language of battle cries. Yeah, it could get worse. She should have just been thankful for a full fifty feet.

    But then something completely defying the laws of nature occurred. The Mankey, a member of the most vicious species in the Pokémon world, caught her, breaking her fall. She opened her eyes, still screaming as her mind tried to process what was going on. People were running out into the yard now. The Mankey put her down, and jumped in between the people and the girl, teeth bared. What was all of this? The girl couldn’t piece it together before she finally went unconscious from shock.


    He was older now. This time I still screamed after he picked me up in his arms, now more silver than tan, and dragged me onto a rather large ledge. He backed off, giving me a few minutes to compile my thoughts. I had fallen. It was impossible. That doorway had just led to another room. How had I ended up out here. Where was out here? I glanced back up at the building above me, taking some comfort in the sight of the stained glass. At least I hadn’t gone too far. After I caught my breath, I laughed quietly, causing the Mankey to stir uneasily. “How are you doing, Reaver?” I breathed out between small intervals of quiet laughter. I hugged my first Pokémon friend tightly, laughing louder now, not really caring if anyone else heard. Or why he was even here for that matter. It was just beyond caring about at the moment.

    After a minute or so of that, Reaver pushed me away and held out his hand again. I noticed two things tied to it by a small string I hadn’t seen before. A Pokéball and a note. After glancing up at his eyes to make sure he was doing what I thought he was doing, I gently reached out and untied the knot.
    Last edited by Rediamond; 3rd December 2011 at 2:02 AM.
    The Flash Drive of Champions: Backgrounds

    There are many reasons to journey in the Pokemon World. It turns out that banishment, Bond Villains, unbeatable rivals and being forced to attend one dance too many are among them.

    File 2.5 is up. Gela literally puts on a show for the world to see while elsewhen her world is shattered beyond repair.

  6. #31
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    Yay another chapter!

    So this time we have the chapter coming from Ms. Bianca's point of view. From what I read she seems to think that having dignity is essential for her. The way she talked was also more formal than Gary's and Eli's. Bianca is a dignified, smart, and she doesn't take much crap off of anyone. Her back story with Reaver the Mankey was quite unexpected. When you said she was saved by a Pokemon, I was racking my brains over what Pokemon could have possibly saved her, so seeing that it was a Mankey of all things pleasantly surprised me. Now I'm wondering if Bianca is going to place Reaver

    The battle itself, was very nice. It seems they took the extra precaution of making sure they don't accidentally kill each other's Pokemon. It shows they have a sensibility that most kids their age may not have. I expected Eli to put up more of a fight than he did but I guess he still has a ways to go. The battle was cut short before we found out who actually won, but I guess it was obvious that Eli pretty much got his butt handed to him.

    Viridian city as a whole seems to be a place that will have a LOT to do with the main plot of this series. I'm guessing a lot of major events will be taking place there, since all those officials live there.

    I didn't find anything grammatical errors although I did find one spelling error.

    That makes it even more surprising that I noticed heart all.
    That should be "her at all".

    Other than that everything was good.

  7. #32
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    Very nice.
    I really like the new chapter, love the switching POV's not many authors can pull that off but you seem to have no problem doing it. Just one question why Palkia? That reaally seems random and i really cant figure out what it has to do with battling. guess Bianca used to be someone of high class in the past?

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by catzeye View Post
    Yay another chapter!

    So this time we have the chapter coming from Ms. Bianca's point of view. From what I read she seems to think that having dignity is essential for her. The way she talked was also more formal than Gary's and Eli's. Bianca is a dignified, smart, and she doesn't take much crap off of anyone. Her back story with Reaver the Mankey was quite unexpected. When you said she was saved by a Pokemon, I was racking my brains over what Pokemon could have possibly saved her, so seeing that it was a Mankey of all things pleasantly surprised me. Now I'm wondering if Bianca is going to place Reaver

    The battle itself, was very nice. It seems they took the extra precaution of making sure they don't accidentally kill each other's Pokemon. It shows they have a sensibility that most kids their age may not have. I expected Eli to put up more of a fight than he did but I guess he still has a ways to go. The battle was cut short before we found out who actually won, but I guess it was obvious that Eli pretty much got his butt handed to him.

    Viridian city as a whole seems to be a place that will have a LOT to do with the main plot of this series. I'm guessing a lot of major events will be taking place there, since all those officials live there.

    I didn't find anything grammatical errors although I did find one spelling error.


    That should be "her at all".

    Other than that everything was good.
    Thanks for the review! You pretty much hit Bianca's public personality spot-on. Reaver will be staying in the story until he dies/I find a better fighting type in the Nuzlocke run. And being saved by the most violent Pokemon in existance? Any better irony out there? And not killing Pokemon and sensibility... that came from almost killing a Pokemon. I'm glad to hear I did the battle well enough, as I really dislike writing them, and Bianca's narration style really doesn't allow for as much action as possible. Heck, only the fourth narrator can convey battles very effectively. And that's because she's a psycho. And I tried writing Charmander vs Squirtle, but I hated the results, so I decided to just stop before the chapter exceeded twelve pages. Yes, Eli went down spectacularly. He's good. Bianca is very, very good compared to most kids her age. And most trainers in general for that matter.

    Viridian City will not be physically dominant except for the early and late parts of the fic. However, you would be correct in assuming that it's residents and what it stands for make it fairly significant. Grammar error will be fixed.

    Rambling aside, onto the next review before I say too much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sepser
    Very nice.
    I really like the new chapter, love the switching POV's not many authors can pull that off but you seem to have no problem doing it. Just one question why Palkia? That reaally seems random and i really cant figure out what it has to do with battling. guess Bianca used to be someone of high class in the past?
    Also good to see I'm doing well with POV. That, and battling, are two things I really haven't done particularly well or often (or at all) before the fic, and I'm glad to see that it's working. And Palkia? First off, she's probably more powerful than Dialgia *glares at Silver* and most legendaries in general. As for an actual reason, it has to do a lot with Pokeballs and the ancient myths of the region. I'll partially explain it next chapter and finish, true to Bianca's word, when Gary gets to go on one of his tangents. Thanks for the review, and see you next week. Now time to go and write a borderline-psychotic character... this will be fun.
    The Flash Drive of Champions: Backgrounds

    There are many reasons to journey in the Pokemon World. It turns out that banishment, Bond Villains, unbeatable rivals and being forced to attend one dance too many are among them.

    File 2.5 is up. Gela literally puts on a show for the world to see while elsewhen her world is shattered beyond repair.

  9. #34
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    As promised, here's your Labor Day update. I am doing my Eagle Project next weekend, so expect the next update in two weeks. This is the shortest chapter so far in Part One at a mere 4.5k words, but it is probably my favorite and the chapter where Flames and System converge and the last "buildup" chapter before the main action begins. With that out of the way, this chapter is PG-13/R borderline for violence and references to the religion of the story.


    1.4 Survivor
    Janine

    Months had passed since a man and a woman had argued in a hospital to the south. In Viridian, a new child was being born. Three men sat in a waiting room outside, and waited for the news. One of them was filled with ambition, and a sense of power in what he might soon have in his possession. The others pretended to either be indifferent, or share their leaders passion, but held their own opinions. One of them was plotting, trying to figure out how he could use the child. He had already been punished for a previous failure, and was looking for ways to earn back his trust. This child might be the perfect way to do so.

    The third was panicking, his mind racing beneath a perfectly calm expression. The scientists had already given their predictions, and they weren't good. What that man had done, and he had finally admitted he had consented to, was an abomination of nature that would almost certainly kill whatever tried to bring it into the world. That poor victim just happened to be his wife. He constantly alternated between being mad at himself for not telling her no, mad at her for agreeing, or mad at him for ordering the project in the first place. He was increasingly realising they were all wrong. He knew that they wouldn't be able to have children any other way with his injury, and had consented when the possibility to have a child that would change humanity arose. It even had a blend of their DNA, so it would be fairly close to them actually having a real child. He may have even pressured her into saying yes, but knew she would've probably said yes anyways. She was a risk taker -an idealist and a risktaker. One of the worst possible combinations. She probably hadn't even paid much attention when the scientists predicted her death.

    But that man- he was insane. His ambition had threatened all of humanity, and continued to threaten to tear apart the region. Why Lance didn't hurry up and kill the man was beyond him.

    When the doctor's walked in, and told him the news, Lance didn't care, Giovanni was fairly indifferent if mildly sympathetic. And his mask broke for the only time since childhood.

    He was Koga.

    She was a newborn girl predicted to change the world.

    His wife, her mother, was dead. The victim of a suicide, assisted suicide, and murder at once.


    I hate meetings. Actually, I don’t mind them so much at all if I’m in it, as at least I’m gaining valuable information. It’s annoying when it seems that everyone else who has any importance at all is in the meeting. Even then, I wouldn’t mind it as Father would tell me what I needed to know anyways, and if not I didn’t need to know about it. What I really hated was that work still needed to be done, and sitting around a conference table means that those people weren’t doing their obligations. This normally meant that I had to take over for the day. Sometimes, like when I needed to watch Pokémon or monitor some sort of a research project, it wasn’t all that bad. Actually, maybe I don’t hate meetings at all. But I am positively certain that I hate rookie training.

    New recruits normally fall into one of three categories. They are either overly eager and try to hard at everything but are still completely inept, totally disregard any instructions given and try to be the hotshot who already deserves a promotion, or they start out well enough but are too weak to continue training for long before they complain. Category one I can deal with, as they are at least willing to learn and they treat any instructor they have as some sort of a god. Category three can normally be pressured back into working in silence by a glare, unsheathing my knife, or sending out Golbat. I absolutely cannot stand category two. Most of them will show some respect to an older figure such as my father, and Valence has the patience and personality to deal with them. Me? Most hotshots don’t think their pride can handle listening to a small fourteen year-old girl. That’s where the problems begin.

    The class was surprisingly far in today with no incident. It was just a simple physical exercise consisting of a fairly long obstacle course with areas in the middle for strength or flexibility building activities. A few recruits had already finished the course, and were running the obligatory cool down laps. That probably meant that class was about three hours in or so. I didn’t think anyone had died yet, but I hadn’t really been paying attention. I was still fairly tired from staying out way too late last night. I’d even broken curfew, but Father had already left when I woke up in the morning. I was not looking forwards to receiving my punishment.

    That or he would view rookie training supervision as enough.

    Two more recruits stepped out of the course and I jumped down from my elevated platform to speak with them, landing on my feet as always. “Five laps,” I called out to them.

    “Can’t we get a break?” one of them whined. Type three.

    “In a real battle, there is no break until the enemy has been defeated or you are dead. I do not believe you wish to be in the second group, so I suggest you keep moving,” I responded.

    “Oh, come on. We’ve been doing these exercises for a week now. Besides, it’s not like we’re ever going to use anything but our Pokémon anyways. What the hell is the point of all this?” The second recruit asked. Type two. Arceus, this was going to be annoying.

    “The point is a commander in Team Rocket told you to do it,” I snapped, and immediately regretted it. Valence always said that being diplomatic would go a long way in cases like these, and I had been making an honest effort to be more diplomatic. But my patience under minimal sleep is very, very low.

    The recruit raised his eyebrow, “Wait, you’re a commander? What kind of sorry state is this place-“ One well placed kick between the legs sent him to the ground. I smiled mentally. Male recruits were so much easier to deal with than their female counterparts. As he struggled back up, I glanced around at the others who were running laps. I waved my hand dismissively and firmly ordered them to continue. I turned back to see the second recruit rising from the ground and the first staring at me in fear. “Will I be having any more troubles with you?”

    The second one grunted. “I’ll remember to respect the commanders. But seriously, why are we doing this again?”

    I glared at him for a moment, and he shied away from me. “Even if you’re Pokémon are stronger than mine, which I very highly doubt, you still run the risk of all of them getting killed or fainted in a battle with multiple enemies. In most situations such as these, you don’t have the time to load and aim your gun before the enemy that defeated your last Pokémon can kill you. And carrying a loaded gun is not the brightest idea, before you ask. Therefore, you must be able to physically overpower and outlast your aggressor. Do you have any more questions?” he shook his head, apparently satisfied with my explanation. “Then go and run ten laps.”

    The first recruit opened his mouth comically wide in shock. “B-But you said five!”

    “Yes, but questioning the orders of a commander warrants another five laps.”

    “Oh come on, I doubt that you could even do this course and the laps.” The first recruit muttered under his breath. He probably didn’t expect I could hear it.

    “As a matter of fact, I could do this course faster than you when I was eight. And I was blindfolded. Therefore, I highly recommend that you start running now.” Well, so much for trying diplomacy earlier.

    He shook his head, “I somehow doubt that. Let’s say this. We have a fight, no Pokémon involved. If I win, I can leave. If I lose,”

    “I will give you the proper punishment for insubordination,” I finished.

    “Fine, let’s do this,” he shouted out. There was a small crowd of people behind him who had finished the course who were staring at the scene with a mix of confusion, hope, and fear. A quick glance showed that the recruits who were running had all stopped to watch the scene. I turned back just in time to watch a punch sail towards my face.

    I quickly ducked down, letting it barely come over me before I jumped back up to his side, and kicked him hard. He recoiled and stepped back a few feet while he recovered his balance. I didn’t let him. One final roundhouse kick to the head sent him slamming into the ground barely conscious. That’s when I pulled out my knife. The entire fight had taken maybe ten seconds as a maximum.

    “Come on, the knife’s not fair,” the recruit groaned.

    “If life isn’t fair, than fairness is banned in warfare,” I hissed out, pressing the blade closer to his neck as he looked at it, apparently uncaring. I doubt he believed that I would actually use it.

    “Yeah, yeah, can you just get off of me?”

    I glanced at him quizzically, “What did you say?”

    “I said can you get off of me already,” he growled, making some sort of an attempt to push me off.

    “I might consider it if you requested it properly,” I told him. Now I was just trying to be annoying. I really hate class two recruits.

    “Oh for the love of Arceus, can you just get the,” he didn’t finish. His eyes got wide, and he started coughing, some sort of a question on his lips. For the first time today, and the last as well, he actually looked scared. And then his eyes rolled back and his head hit the ground. I made a mental note to get someone out here to clean up the blood as I stepped off of him.

    I glanced back around at the recruits, their faces all somewhere between shock and fear. “Get back to running,” I called out. They all followed orders, most of them with a “Yes, commander” attached. I smiled as I wiped off my knife with a cloth. I really loved it when I got an excuse to do that.

    -SoV-

    It should be noted that I was dreading my meeting with Father far more than any training session. I had disregarded his curfew last night, and never provided an explanation why. That, and the explanation I had was very weak compared to what would normally be required to defy his orders. He also wouldn’t take to the dead recruit very well, but I doubt that was big enough to make him seriously angry. Actually, that might lighten his mood a bit. He would probably be proud that I had taken the correct approach to getting others respect, and dealing with those who refused to give it. At least I’d done something right recently.

    I glanced up at the large old house ahead of me. It was one of the oldest buildings in the valley, being a small outpost for assassins hired by the league for centuries. When Father was in Viridian to meet with the other high level executives in Team Rocket, I stayed here with him. Being the heir to the ninja clan at Fuchsia, he had access to quite a few safe houses such as these around the continent. I often stayed in these during assignments outside of Fuchsia, and they’d grown on me. Most of them were just about the same; large, empty houses that appeared to have been abandoned for centuries. To be fair, some of them honestly had been. The city governments often tried to bulldoze them to either improve the scenery or make room for something else. Rumors of spirits inside of the homes was often enough to spark the opposition from the public needed to stop the project. If not, I was often asked to help. After I was done, paranoia was high enough that no one ever got close to destroying Father’s property.

    I thought for just another moment before walking into the house. Father had told me he would be there by noon, and I did not want to keep him waiting after disregarding his curfew the previous night. I shivered a little as I entered. I really disliked the cold and my ninja outfit didn’t do much to keep me warm. This house in particular always managed to be freezing, even in the summer. Father really should’ve gotten someone to fix the place up a while ago to negate the many cracks that winds blew through. He always cited the need to keep the home private and secret, and he could not have workmen learning our secrets. I never questioned him aloud, but I did wonder why he couldn’t just let the workmen fix the house, and then dispose of them. It would solve the problem quite nicely.

    At the end of the hall, Father was waiting in the living room reading through some papers. Father was dressed as usual in black ninja clothing with a small red cape. He glanced up when I entered and I bowed. He motioned for me to rise, and I sat down across from him in a red wooden chair. He put the stack of papers down and looked me over, trying to read any emotion I might be conveying. “You’ve gotten better at remaining neutral,” he said at last. “I almost have to blindly guess to tell what you’re feeling. I can only tell that you’re nervous, would you tell me why?” He was quite good at reading into people.

    I steeled my resolve, and answered him, “I was out past curfew last night Father.”

    He raised an eyebrow, “And why does this make you nervous?”

    I opened my eyes wider in shock. Why didn’t he get it? “I broke a rule set by you without even asking in advance Father. That is forbidden and I deserve to be punished.”

    Father stared at me intently for a few minutes, and then nodded. “That is true. Would you tell me why you were out past curfew?”

    I tensed up for a moment. I doubted he would accept my answer. “I was visiting a friend.”

    Koga frowned. “Would you tell me why you needed to visit them at night?”

    “I didn’t know if they would be here for more than one night, father.”

    Father looked perplexed, but slowly asked, “Would you tell me which friend were visiting?”

    I breathed in and shut my eyes, trying to get up the resolve to tell him. “Bianca Aethus.”

    If he was puzzled earlier, he was genuinely surprised by this. “Missus Aethus? What was she doing back in Viridian?” he retained his composure, but it was easy to tell that he had been rocked a little.

    “She was on an assignment from Professor Oak and was needed in Viridian.”

    “She knows Professor Oak?” he asked. Something about that in particular seemed to throw him off balance.

    “Yes, Father. She recently got her trainer’s license and is now working for the Professor as an aide.” I glanced up at him, as he stared off into the distance, lost in thought. “Is something wrong father?”

    He continued staring off for a moment, and then answered slowly, “Yes. Would you tell me,” his eyes refocused down on me, “why you didn’t tell me of this earlier?” he almost seemed angry. This wasn’t good.

    “Father, I was only informed of this last night. I saw her walking out of the Cathedral, so I trailed her back to the Pokémon Center to talk to her.”

    He nodded slowly. He understood, but he was still angry about something. “Would you tell me why you risked sneaking into a Pokémon Center to talk to her?” he asked evenly, but it was pretty easy to see the question was quite a bit more accusatory than the tone would suggest.

    “Father, you know that I of all people could pull off such a task rather easily. It was no challenge at all to go undetected.”

    His expression softened a little as he calmed down. “And you are sure that no one but Missus Ambrose saw you?”

    I hesitated for a moment. There was that one boy who might have seen me. Of course I’d been below detection at the time, but he had been looking right at me, almost like he could see me. “Yes,” I lied.

    Father nodded. Whether or not he noticed my hesitation he believed me. After all, I had never lied to him before this about anything. But for some reason, I felt like I almost couldn’t tell him about the run in. It would be embarrassing if he knew someone might have seen me. We sat in silence for several minutes. “Father,” I began. He glanced up and, motioned for me to continue. “There was another reason I was late last night. One of the two with Bianca, he was a bit strange.”

    “How so?” Father asked.

    “Well, he had a scar that matched mine almost exactly for one. And there seemed to be some sort of an aura around him. I couldn’t identify it exactly, but it was strange. Almost like the power emitted from a moon stone.”

    Father leaned back into his chair, a smile playing on his lips. “Well, it seems like yet another one of the Dawn projects has appeared. This could warrant investigation.” His mind seemed to be racing, and he stood upright before looking down at me and sitting down into his chair. “My apologies, I forgot to tell you something.” I leaned forwards eagerly.

    “Is it about the meeting?” I asked. He nodded.

    “Yes, I’m sorry that you could not attend but someone had to watch the rookies. As for the meeting itself,” he inhaled and looked up at the ceiling. “Team Rocket is going to war.”

    My eyes widened, “War? But, why? And with who?” I asked quickly before Father cut me off.

    “All in due time, Janine. All in due time. As for your questions, yes, war. Lance himself approached Master Kyo with an offer to help him with some military operations to prevent a rebellion planned by a certain Samuel Oak. In two days, Rocket forces will storm Pallet Town and other resistance strongholds in an attempt to prevent the rebellion from occurring and disrupting order in the region. However your news complicates things.” I waited for him to continue.

    “You can probably understand that there are certain,” he paused, “pressures to capture Missus Aethus alive rather than dead. That will possibly prevent us from burning the entire city to the ground before we have confirmation she is out of there. It also means that she has likely been corrupted by the Professor. Her father will not be happy about that. And the Operation Dawn survivor also has his uses.” He rose and began to walk towards another room. “I must discuss these matters with Master Kyo. Please wait here.”

    A few minutes passed as I sat in the chair, waiting for Father to finish his phone call. I grew bored rather quickly, and really wanted to fall asleep. Of course, Father would be most displeased if I actually did fall asleep on him while he was expecting me to remain alert, so I forced myself to stay awake. If I had to stay awake, part of me really wanted to send out my Stantler so I could pet him, but Father disliked Pokémon out of their Pokeballs in the house, his Crobat being the only exception.

    At long last, Father reentered the room and sat down. “It appears as if you have an assignment.” I shifted nervously in my seat. Those varied widely, but most of them were fairly time consuming and dangerous. “Master Kyo has requested that you trail the boy and Missus Aethus, keeping them safe until such time as they can be captured by Team Rocket. You are also to avoid detection yourself. Is this clear?” I nodded. “Good, you will begin tomorrow. The first stage of your assignment is to ensure that they do not die during the attack on Pallet Town.” He rose again. “I have a meeting with Master Kyo now. You may pack your bags and prepare to leave today or tomorrow morning. Leave me a message if you are leaving today.” And with that, he walked out of the door, shutting it softly.

    -SoV-

    I quickly packed up my backpack, the process taking no more than five minutes after years of assignments with little to no notice. At least I had almost a full day to prepare for this one, even if I had no intentions of using it all. I had nothing better to do, so I might as well start early and scout out the town and areas between Pallet and Viridian that could be used for camps or hiding areas, or even points where Rocket agents could meet up with me and finish the mission. When I was finally done packing, my cell phone hummed quietly. My head instinctively shot up and I jumped back a little before I realized what the noise had been. Father had made me get one for assignments a while ago, but I still disliked using it. I picked it up, and noted that Silver had sent a text message to me to meet him at the Cathedral in an hour. I shrugged, and placed the phone into the back of my backpack before leaving to write a note to Father.

    -SoV-

    The Cathedral was possibly my second favorite place in the entire Kanto region. It emitted a feel of sacredness and power that was virtually unmatched. Palkia wasn’t necessarily my favorite deity, but it was very high up there. Actually, only Darkrai and Arceus surpassed it, and Darkrai pretty much only because of his role as the legendary founder of the ninjas. I viewed Arceus as the chief deity like pretty much everyone else in Kanto. Ho-oh was a Johto thing, and I wasn’t quite sure what to think about Mew. It was kind of complicated, and I didn’t like to dwell on it long.

    Palkia was the alleged founder and protector of trainers and trained Pokémon. By teaching humanity how to distort space to capture and transport Pokémon it had opened the way for Pokémon training. That was kind of a big deal for Team Rocket to the point where it was considered an immediate death penalty for anyone who disturbed a priest of Palkia. Of course, immediate death penalty was the punishment for pretty much everything. Including messing with a tired commander, apparently. I smiled; those rookies were never going to mess with any authority figure again.

    I glanced down at the familiar layout of the cathedral floor beneath me from the balcony I usually stood on. I looked past the doorway that I’d seen Bianca run out of last night, eyes briefly lingering there. None of what happened last night made any sense. Bianca just randomly took off towards a doorway, and the next moment was screaming as she fell from a ledge behind the balcony I was standing on. I was used to some pretty strange things, but that probably topped the list. At least Silver had the foresight to keep Reaver around to watch for her.

    I was brought out of my thoughts by footsteps to the right. They were purposefully quiet, and were almost drowned out by the background noise. They were faint in an unnatural way. He, and I was pretty sure it was a male by the sound of the footsteps, was trying to sneak up on me. I reached for my dagger, only to grab cloth and remember that I never went into the cathedral armed. I whirled around, prepared for a fistfight if need be, to face a young boy in a silver jacket about a foot shorter than me. His hair was died red and moderately long. I had no idea how a man as protective and formal as Master Kyo would allow his son to die his hair such an unnatural shade of red, and I never really would figure it out. “Silver,” I stated evenly, standing up into a more casual stance.

    He laughed quietly, almost as if I’d said some sort of a joke. He laughed a lot at that time in such a strange foil to the rest of his family. “I really can’t sneak up on you can I?”

    I shook my head, “It’s possible, but stealth isn’t your thing, is it?”

    He laughed again. “No, it really isn’t.” His face became more serious. “You’re off to see Bianca, aren’t you.”

    I was always amazed by how quickly he could go from light-hearted to very direct. “Someone’s got to make sure she doesn’t die,” I responded.

    He smiled a little, “I don’t think she would need the help. She was always such a great strategist and tried to learn so much about battling. She has Reaver with her too, so she shouldn’t really be in any danger.”

    I shook my head. “I don’t know. There’s going to be a lot of chaos, and there will be a lot of grunts in the city. It could actually be dangerous for her,” I noted Silver’s expression and added on, “at least, the fires could be dangerous.”

    His expression fell a little, “They’re really going to burn the city, aren’t they?” He sounded so dejected. He was honestly the only person I knew of who had grown up in the League or Rocket world and had not realized the need for violence to maintain order.

    “I don’t know, actually. It’s probable, but it will really be up to the Champion, or Father, or your father, or whoever’s in charge of the mission. Besides, it’s not like that many people live there anyways,” I tried to be encouraging, but his expression became even more downcast if anything.

    “Do you think she’ll fight us?”

    “Who?” I asked.

    “Bianca.” A heavy silence formed between Silver and I. I really didn’t know. She was an aide to Professor Oak, and she had lived in Pallet Town for almost as long as she had lived in Viridian. Whichever side she picked, she was going to be against friends and family. It was actually kind of depressing.

    “I don’t think so,” I lied. Two lies in one day was my new record. That wasn’t one I was proud of. “She really didn’t want to leave Viridian in the first place, and she still remembers us quite well. Under different circumstances, she would almost certainly be here with us.”

    He nodded and I felt really bad. I wasn’t confident at all in my answer, but I’d managed to convince Silver of it completely. That was one of his problems: he trusted his friends way too much. “I heard there’s another Dawn survivor in the town.”

    I nodded, and glanced down at the floor. I still wasn’t quite able to wrap my mind around that. As far as anyone was aware, there was a problem in Operation Dawn that killed pretty much everyone involved. There had only been two known exceptions before yesterday, although a few people suspected that Samuel Oak had managed to keep someone else alive after the events that had claimed a championship, an island, and several dozen lives.

    “Yes, there is.”

    “And how do you feel about that?” he asked.

    I turned away and stared up at the massive stained glass windows depicting the various myths involving Palkia. The sun was lowering, and the angle of sunlight hit the windows perfectly, lighting all of them up with a bright pink light and making the cathedral glow a shade of pink.

    I stared in awe at the magnificence of the legendary Pokémon depicted before me, and took it as a sign to stop lying.

    “I don’t know. I barely know anything about what’s coming next.”

    “Do you know where you’re starting at,” Silver asked casually as he stared along with me at the stained glass.

    “I think I know. A few things are falling into place,” I admitted.

    He nodded, a smile coming onto his face as it was illuminated by the light. “That’s the hard part. Now you’ve just got to figure everything out.” He laughed again, and began to walk down the stairs towards the main floor of the building.

    I slung my backpack over one shoulder, and started to follow him as I tried to figure out what he’d said.

    He watched as she was asleep, still trying to figure out what to think about his daughter. She was a murderer in an even more direct sense than he was, or even Oak was. She had killed her mother, just by being created. She wasn't natural, not his daughter. If anything, she belonged to that man. And yet, the look on her face as she slept reminded him of his wife, and he'd never been able to draw himself to harm her, or himself. She was something new, something that might be able to change the world. He knew that Giovanni would try to abuse her, and that Oak might even attempt to manipulate her.

    She had the misfortune of being born into the most dysfunctional political system in the world, targetted by all sides from the start. He knew all this, but for one moment he didn't care.

    He didn't care if Lance, Oak, and Giovanni came at her at once. He honestly didn't even care if a million D6's came for her with them. She would be safe. As he stared into her face, so much like the one it had murdered, he dropped his knife.

    He almost cried for the second time.
    Last edited by Rediamond; 3rd December 2011 at 2:20 AM.
    The Flash Drive of Champions: Backgrounds

    There are many reasons to journey in the Pokemon World. It turns out that banishment, Bond Villains, unbeatable rivals and being forced to attend one dance too many are among them.

    File 2.5 is up. Gela literally puts on a show for the world to see while elsewhen her world is shattered beyond repair.

  10. #35
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    Driftveil City, Unova
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    Yay! Time for another review.

    I remember reading a bit about Janine in Flames of Dawn. I'm glad to see that she made a comeback. I think I also remember reading about the whole Dawn Survivors thing in your first story as well.

    Now onto Janine's character. Poor girl, only 14 years old and already knee-deep in the affairs of Team Rocket. Doing all sorts of missions from such a young age would take a toll on one's mental health. I see why you said she's a little off her rocker. You did a good job at showing how rookie training is undesirable. I can't wait to see more of her past with Silver and Bianca.

    Speaking of Silver, I find it interesting that you didn't go with the usual characterization of him. A lot of people make him out to be an arrogant quite violent jerkass. However in this story he seems less inclined to violence. I love alternate character interpretations so I'm interested to see how you take his character.

    It seems Bianca has more to do with the plot than I thought. It'll be interesting to see which side she picks and how she copes with fighting people she knows on the opposite side.

    Things are slowly falling into place. The rebellion is right around the corner. I can't wait to see how it unfolds and more importantly, what started this whole mess in the first place.

    Overall, good chapter as always. I'm really enjoying the whole switching point of view thing you have going on.

  11. #36
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    Jan 2011
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    USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by catzeye View Post
    Yay! Time for another review.

    I remember reading a bit about Janine in Flames of Dawn. I'm glad to see that she made a comeback. I think I also remember reading about the whole Dawn Survivors thing in your first story as well.
    Yeah, a lot of this is just the events of Flames greatly expanded upon.
    Now onto Janine's character. Poor girl, only 14 years old and already knee-deep in the affairs of Team Rocket. Doing all sorts of missions from such a young age would take a toll on one's mental health. I see why you said she's a little off her rocker. You did a good job at showing how rookie training is undesirable. I can't wait to see more of her past with Silver and Bianca.
    She is far more mentally unstable than anything she's showed thus far. And yeah, Team Rocket assignments suck. And the entire rookie training thing is pretty much my feelings on training new scouts in my boy scout troop, just with my fantasy ending *stabbitystabbity* to the situation.
    Speaking of Silver, I find it interesting that you didn't go with the usual characterization of him. A lot of people make him out to be an arrogant quite violent jerkass. However in this story he seems less inclined to violence. I love alternate character interpretations so I'm interested to see how you take his character.
    Oh, Silver's still got three years to change. Just give him some time. He'll get there.
    It seems Bianca has more to do with the plot than I thought. It'll be interesting to see which side she picks and how she copes with fighting people she knows on the opposite side.
    Yeah, her life sucks. And for literally coming into existance as I wrote part zero, she's picked up quite a lot of plot significance.
    Things are slowly falling into place. The rebellion is right around the corner. I can't wait to see how it unfolds and more importantly, what started this whole mess in the first place.
    As am I
    Overall, good chapter as always. I'm really enjoying the whole switching point of view thing you have going on.
    POV is the single biggest thing I was worried about going into this fic. Glad to see it's working.
    Thanks for the review. I should have Avarice up... whenever I get free time again. Unfortunately, that's not very often anymore... I promise it will get up as soon as I get the chance to reread the last part.
    The Flash Drive of Champions: Backgrounds

    There are many reasons to journey in the Pokemon World. It turns out that banishment, Bond Villains, unbeatable rivals and being forced to attend one dance too many are among them.

    File 2.5 is up. Gela literally puts on a show for the world to see while elsewhen her world is shattered beyond repair.

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