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Thread: For Whom The Bell Tolls

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    Default For Whom The Bell Tolls

    Welcome.

    This is something I've been writing and keeping to myself for over a year now, something that I once tried to stop thinking about, but it was persistent. This has undergone so many personal revisions that it hardly resembles what it used to be, but at it's heart, it is what it is.

    A story about a journey. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Without further ado, I present to you...

    For Whom The Bell Tolls
    Chapter 0



    Images flashed violently across her mind as she bolted awake.

    The clothes she wore were simply tattered rags. The flesh visible through the shirt was ghostly white, and the girl was sweating profusely, staining the cloth upon her body.

    When she had managed to move the dark brown hair lying limp over her eyes, she was truly able to gauge her surroundings. Sat alone upon grass, she could see only trees and the morning sun. Standing up in the forest clearing, she shook her head and, barely hanging onto her ripped shirt, walked into the forest. She knew her way home, though a wild animal attack had taught to her keep her distance from the forest, the knowledge just made her walk that little bit faster.

    The girl had to wonder how had she managed to get to the middle of the forest without knowing it; she had never been known to sleepwalk. Although the dream did involve the forest. The girl grimaced and slapped a palm to her forehead as if to knock the dream into focus, but the more she thought about it, the more it evaded her grasp, like water escaping from a cupped hand.

    The girl continued to walk, eventually leaving the forest and reaching a small village of stone houses, looking for all the world like a beggar from the street. The locals gave her a wide berth as she walked down the cobbled road, reproachful eyes cast at her from every direction, she would turn to look through a window, only for the curtain to get shut promptly.

    The girl reached a familiar stone wall and looked into the window. The occupant didn't flee after being caught staring, instead they opened the window and shouted for the girl to get inside quickly. She was opening the gate when the door was flung open by a female figure whose hair was an identical shade of brown to the girl, now walking up to the house. Concerned, she rushed over to the young girl and draped an arm around her shoulder, guiding her inside.

    “I saw your empty bed and feared the worst, what happened to you, and why are your clothes torn? Oh it doesn't matter now, lets get you inside, your father has prepared breakfast.”

    Oddly the girl didn't seem hungry. “It doesn't matter Mum, I'm not hungry. Can I just go upstairs and get a change of clothes? These are ruined,” she indicated the rips and tears in her night clothes.

    The girl's mother looked rather suspicious and grabbed her daughter's hand, “How can you not be hungry? Look at you, you're basically skin and bone and you're so pale. I think you're ill, no one can healthily lose the amount of weight you have that quickly.”

    The girl felt a new anger rising in her that she had never felt before, like a great beast rearing its ugly head, “No mother, I'm fine.” She snapped, “I just look like skin and bone compared to you, have you ever heard of a diet!” The girl broke free from her mother's grip and for the tiniest moment, the girl's mother could swear she saw a glimmer of blue amongst the usual deep brown of her daughter's eyes. “I said, I'm going upstairs to get a change of clothes.”

    And as the girl stormed off upstairs, she left her mother stunned in the hall.

    “Is everything all right dear?” Came the question from her husband in the kitchen.


    --


    The girl slammed the door to her room and jumped onto her bed, face pressed into the pillow.

    The girl didn't know why she was so angry, her mother hadn't done anything wrong. She got up and walked to her dresser, opening a small blue velvet laced box she had been given years ago. Inside was a necklace that had her name, 'Zaniah', written in fancy text across a silvery full moon, it was a present from her grandmother and she cherished it, but kept it always in the box unless she really needed to look at it. It always acted as a great sense of comfort to her.

    Zaniah reached out and grabbed the silver chain but recoiled her hand almost as soon as she had touched it. The chain seemed to radiate an intense heat that burned her skin, the chain and pendant both fell on to the dresser, both looking fairly innocuous. She rushed to the bathroom to run her hand under the tap, which left it feeling quite numb. 'At least the pain is gone' she thought. She tried to push it out of her mind, but as soon as she entered her room again, her eye was dragged straight towards the necklace that lay haphazardly on her dresser.

    She distracted herself by studying her clothes in the full length mirror on the back of her bedroom door. Her favourite white night shirt had several large rips across the torso and the left shoulder had been torn completely off leaving the shirt hanging precariously on her other shoulder, her three quarter length pants weren't so bad but had one large tear running the length of the right leg. She also noticed several very long but thin cuts that seemed to co-ordinate with the rips in her clothes. 'Thorns?' Zaniah asked herself, it seemed the most likely explanation, she did wake up in a forest after all.

    Zaniah removed her shirt and realised what her mother was talking about, her ribs were easily visible, each bone could be seen and from the bottom of her ribs was a very noticeable inwards curve on both sides which awkwardly curved back out to her pelvis which jutted out horribly. Looking quite scared, she found a pair of what were her tightest pants and found that she could slip them on without much trouble, leaving some room at the ankle where the material flapped around. The effect was made worse by the fact that she was rather tall for a fifteen year old, the overall look was that of an extremely malnourished teenager.

    Zaniah was confused though, she hadn't changed what she ate in the past month and she hadn't felt any different than she had a month ago, although she was falling asleep earlier and waking later than she usually did. She put on a simple black t-shirt and went downstairs to get some breakfast, no matter how full she felt, she was going to eat as much as she could, she knew no earthly way how she could have lost so much weight, but she was determined to put it back on.

    Creeping downstairs, she slowly popped her head around the door of the kitchen, where her mother and father were currently eating. Feeling apprehensive, she approached the table and cleared her throat, her mother didn't look up, but her father looked over the top of his glasses and asked “What is it you want, dear?”

    Zaniah directed her response to her mother,“I'm sorry for shouting at you earlier mum, you were right and I had no reason to be angry at you, but I felt really strange and I couldn't stop what I was saying before I said it.” for a majority of the apology, Zaniah looked at the floor shuffling her feet. She felt relieved to get it out into the air at the very least and felt brave enough to ask a follow up question, “Is it okay if I have some breakfast?”

    Her mother was sat silent for a few seconds and seemed to be chewing a piece of bacon, when she finally looked up to the pale face of her daughter, she smiled, “Of course you can have some breakfast, I made your father save you some.”

    Zaniah smiled and sat down to the left of her mother and grabbed the last of the bacon and some toast and ate like she hadn't done so in a few days.

    “I thought you weren't hungry” asked her mother suspiciously, raising an eyebrow.

    “Once I got upstairs I realised I was quite hungry, so I finished dressing and came back down.”

    Zaniah's mother raised her eyebrow again, that was an obvious cover-up, but she let it slide, “Oh, your grandmother sent you a package, I left it on the table in the living room. Once you've finished eating you should open it.”

    Zaniah looked confused, it wasn't her birthday for another three months, so why would she be sent a package? She took the final bite from her bacon sandwich and got up from the table and walked into the living room where she saw a brown package wrapped in string, there was a note attached, 'I know you'll find this useful. Grandma'

    She looked at the package for a few seconds with a quizzical stare, 'What would I find useful?' she thought. Slowly untying the string then unfolding the brown wrapping paper, she found a shoe box, but the box was considerably lighter than a box with shoes in it should be. Zaniah opened the lid and was met by a pokéball, enclosed with lots of tissue paper and a note, which read:

    Dearest Zaniah,

    Make sure your parents don't read this note.

    Inside this pokéball is a pokémon from a distant land, with the recent developments you may or may not be aware of, this little pokémon can help. Her species is called 'Chingling' and hails from the continent of Sinnoh. This particular Chingling was bred from a pokémon of mine, which is important, I would like you to visit me in Ecruteak, we have things to discuss...
    -Grandma


    “What has she sent you?” came a voice.

    Zaniah jumped and spun round, sliding the note into her back pocket as she did, her mother was standing in the doorway. “Oh, it's just a... a pokéball, I don't know why she'd send it to me though.”

    “That mother of mine, you know, she was always trying to get me into pokémon training, but I told her, 'It's my life mother and you can't tell me what to do.' She kept trying though, but now it seems she has turned her attention to you. So what do you think?” Zaniah's mother had a reminiscent look about her as she said this.

    “Think about what?” asked Zaniah.

    “About pokémon training of course, you're fifteen, you've finished your education and you don't seem to have any other plans. It would be good for you to get out the house and get some exercise, get some muscles on your bones.”

    Zaniah had to think, it did seem nice and a lot of her friends had started, some earlier than others. It had always seemed that she would be the last one to go, but now she had a pokémon for herself, “I'll have to think about it,” she replied, mulling it over in her head.

    “Well you should at least see what pokémon she sent you, you can let it out in the back garden and say hello.”





    Zaniah held the pokéball in her hand, staring at it as if to open the ball using only the power of her mind.

    That was until her mother said, “Just throw it.”

    Zaniah looked up and smiled hesitantly, “Sorry mum, okay then.”

    She threw the pokéball at the garden fence, it wasn't the most terrific throw ever, but something must have triggered a release mechanism. Perhaps it was the sudden increase in movement or maybe because it sensed some kind of throwing action on Zaniah's part, but in mid flight, the ball split in two horizontally across the middle, red on the top half and white on the bottom. The resultant red flash of energy caused Zaniah to block her vision with her arms, when she loooked over however, she now saw a yellow sphere sitting next to the red and white one she had just thrown.

    This new sphere had a face, a face which looked up at the girl with mixed fear and confusion. The girl crept over to the newly released pokémon and got a better look at it, along with a face, it also had stumpy arms and legs and a ribbon like extension coming from its head, coloured red and white in a swirling pattern around the 'ribbon', much like a candy cane.

    The pokémon looked up at the girl approaching cautiously and muttered the tiniest of squeaks, unfortunately, the girl heard this squeak and bent down even further saying words like 'cute' and 'frightened' that meant nothing to the small yellow pokémon, who recoiled slightly from the advancing girl. The girl then reached out a hand to touch the little yellow pokémon, who promptly curled into a defensive foetal position, when it felt the hand touch its skin it shuddered slightly but quickly calmed as it began to enjoy the feeling of the girls thin fingers tracing over its head. The small, yellow chingling opened its eyes and stared into the happy smiling face of the girl stroking it, something that looks this happy couldn't pose a threat, it rationalised, and began to smile much like the girl.

    “You know, I didn't think that this pokémon malarkey would be any use but this little guy is really cute. I suppose a little time off from my education couldn't be all that bad.” the girl called to her mother, still stroking the chingling, “Just look at it, it's so small and delicate.”

    “It's a bit like you then isn't it, except you aren't that small, you already have something in common.” added her mother.

    But the girl didn't hear her mother, she was busy stroking her pokémon. Her pokémon. It dawned upon her that she owned this pokémon and thus had the responsibility for its upkeep and well being. If she was to care for it, then she would need to know about it, an idea suddenly struck the girl.

    “I need to go to the library,” she said suddenly, turning to look at her mother. “Mum, I need to go to Violet Town and get a book on how to look after my pokémon.”

    “Well make sure you're back in time for tea, I thought we could have a special dinner in celebration of your plans,” the girl's mother replied. “And you should take your pokémon with you, think of it as a practice run for when you actually go.”

    “That's a good idea, and I'm sure she'll be glad of some company instead of being cramped in that small pokéball by herself.”

    “How do you know it's a girl?” her mother asked.

    “Oh.” The girl had been caught in a predicament, she couldn't tell her mother about the note as her grandmother specifically stated not to show her mother or father, and she wouldn't do that unless it was absolutely necessary. “I suppose I just do. Well, I should probably get dressed if I need to get to Violet and back before tea.”

    Zaniah picked the chingling up and ran inside, giving her mother a big smile as she passed her.

    Her mother didn't return a genuine smile, her daughter was hiding something and she intended to find out what it was. For now however, she was content to play a waiting game.



    ==

    If you're reading this then I assume you read the prologue, I hope you enjoyed it and will continue to see if the rest of the story is any good.

    Just a quick note, yes the title was inspired in part by the Hemingway novel, which I openly admit to only knowing about because of the Metallica song. I enjoyed both of them and they in turn gave me tiny bits of inspiration to write this entire thing, hence the title.

    If you're interested, I will make special notes in my Livejournal, which you can find linked in my signature, I'll probably talk about what I thought during the creation of the specific chapter, any easter eggs or random notes I can think of etcetera. I also want to start a little side segment called "Ask the Cast" in which you can ask whatever you like to one the characters and I'll try to answer it in character as best as I can, this is obviously limited to actually receiving questions, but I'll be glad for a chance to stretch my imagination.
    Last edited by Diddy; 5th September 2011 at 2:32 AM.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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        Spoiler:- Grammar/structure errors:


    While the premise holds promise, the execution was, unfortunately, really shaky. Some of it was tough to read because you tend to commit comma splices/run-on sentences quite a bit, which makes it a bit harder to tell when one idea ends and a new one forms. You don't have any homophone/typo problems, at least none that I caught, so there's that, but the comma splice issue is something you really need to work on. Read over your work (I even suggest reading it out loud. Like really out loud, not in a muttered, fast pace) a little more thoroughly and slowly and hopefully you can catch where you're committing this error. Funny enough, you tend to omit commas where you actually need them. The language itself is a bit wonky in sections (I can't get over "sat alone upon grass" for some reason. That just ... sticks out for me o_O) though you're pretty precise for the most part. You tend to shove similes in weird places with some of them not being that analogous to the actual situation.

    I don't really get your characterization either; people are going to extremes of emotions and then reverting back to their normal state with no one flinching at the strange reaction. The mother, for example ... I'm not sure if you want her to be warm or cold or warm but suspicious; she's just a crazy mix of everything. I guess I can get Zaniah (you did develop an eerie, strange, mysterious aura around her), but the way she just jumped back into "normalcy" without a second reflection on her morning is just ... what? The dialogue/interaction between characters is kind of flat. The only time there seemed to be life between characters was with Zaniah and the chingling because the chingling seemed to have a set personality/reaction and Zaniah didn't randomly flip it the bird and then go back to cuddling it (though admittedly that imagery is funny). Actions cause reactions; you can't have some blow-up scene between the mother and daughter and then kind of ignore it the scene following, which was, timewise, only a few minutes apart.

    You did set up the mysterious vibe nicely, and the whole "forgetting the dialogue/interaction in the first scene" kind of works to your advantage there as it returns us back to normalcy and almost made me forget Zaniah's whole ordeal earlier (though I'm not sure if that's what you were going for nor if that's a good or bad thing). There is definitely something intriguing about her and what she went through. Plus yay chingling.

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    There's a niggling feeling in the back of my mind which tells me I might just need someone to beta my awful, awful use of commas. Honestly, I never properly got how to use commas (I must have fallen asleep during that lesson) I just seem to have some kind of mental block against it.

        Spoiler:- Long response to Breezy:
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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    x3 Did-ster! *noogies* I read this a while ago, just didn't have the time to review - I really enjoyed this~! x3 You've set up an interesting plot, it has my curiosity piqued. x3

    A few quick, minor things:

    When she had managed to move the dark brown hair lying limp over her eyes, she then truly got to gauge her surroundings.
    The 'then truly got to' sounds a little awkward? How about 'was then able to truly gauge' or just 'she was able to gauge' to make it a little less wordy?

    She knew her way home, though after she was attacked by a wild animal in this very forest, she tended to stay away from it.
    Although the dream she had did involve the forest.
    'She'd had did' seems to fit better.

    I know what you mean here, but as the original subject was her home, the final sentence's use of 'it' sounds as if it is saying that she wanted to avoid home, not the forest.

    Apart from those little points, the story really did catch me - I'm currently imagining a werewolf-esque twist, but that's because I'm a sucker for the supernatural. x3 I'll keep an eye out for this. <3


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    YAY new Fiction!

    Images flashed violently across her mind as she sat bolt awake.
    "sat bolt awake" is a new phrase to me. Bolted awake, yes. I'm no expert, but it stuck out to me.

    truly got to gauge her surroundings.
    rolls off the tongue wrong for me. "Was able to" gauge maybe?
    EDITKatie caught ot ahead of me.
    holding onto her shirt which was barely hanging on,
    that whcih sticks out, maybe some more detail to smooth over?

    She knew her way home, though after she was attacked by a wild animal in this very forest, she tended to stay away from it.
    Ah. You wanted "it" to refer to the forest, yes? In my interpretation, it tries to refer to "home", as in "trying to avoid the home". This is because the aside abnout being attacked in the forest is that, and aside to the main part of the sentance.

    The girl grimaced and slapped a palm to her forehead as if to knock the dream into focus, but the more she thought about it, the more it evaded her grasp, like water escaping from a cupped hand.
    Love it, the story and the metaphor. and I can well relate to evasive dreams.

    ust a quick note, yes the title was inspired in part by the Hemingway novel, which I openly admit to only knowing about because of the Metallica song. I enjoyed both of them and they in turn gave me tiny bits of inspiration to write this entire thing, hence the title.
    Which convienetly, is also the basis for a PKMN episode "For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll, which also took place in Ecruteak, which is where I fuigured this started. I wasn't THAT far off, anyway.

    From the reviews:
    From what I've always understood, giving someone a wide berth is just keeping out of their way for whatever reason. It might just be an idiosyncratic thing though.
    I've heard that too. Couldn't site a source, but it's right.

    Although the dream she had did involve the forest.
    'She'd had did' seems to fit better.
    I dsagree. She'd had is a double past tense, She did had. Again, just my take though.
    Last edited by Glover; 5th September 2011 at 1:22 AM.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

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    Yay! New mistakes to fix!

    I've been editing old stuff a lot lately and it seems I'm still not very good at it, I'll get around to fixing those as soon as I can. Retroactively editing is going to be a fairly big priority for this fic, I'd like it to be in tip-top shape.

    Oh yeah, I suppose I got some reviews as well, gotta respond to those.

    @katiekitten

    Incidentally, you post number is 13373739 which makes 'leeteteg' I don't know what that means though...

    x3 Did-ster! *noogies* I read this a while ago, just didn't have the time to review - I really enjoyed this~! x3 You've set up an interesting plot, it has my curiosity piqued. x3
    *rubs head* ow D:

    It really has been a while, last thing I remember from you was the pretty epic banner making contest in... that secret place *shifty eyes*... I still have the banner you did in my photobucket folder :P

    Careful, curiosity killed the katiekitten *shot*

    That first line suffered an awful lot of editing, there was originally a short section before the start and the first line was in reaction that short section, so when I deleted the first section I had to reword the first line. I was never quite happy with it.

    Apart from those little points, the story really did catch me - I'm currently imagining a werewolf-esque twist, but that's because I'm a sucker for the supernatural. x3 I'll keep an eye out for this. <3
    I assume you read the LJ post I did regarding this? If not, then I'll direct you towards it now (seeing as you just added me, took a bit of detective work to find out who this evil bunny king was though xD) You'll see exactly why you have a werewolf-esque leaning.

    @Glover

    Epic name by the way. Simple, but effective.

    YAY new Fiction!
    It's not new to me, considering I started writing it almost two years ago xD

    "sat bolt awake" is a new phrase to me. Bolted awake, yes. I'm no expert, but it stuck out to me.
    That's a good point, I'll change it.

    Which convienetly, is also the basis for a PKMN episode "For Ho-Oh the Bells Toll, which also took place in Ecruteak, which is where I fuigured this started. I wasn't THAT far off, anyway.
    I'd argue that it's predominately a pun, considering the majority of the dub anime titles. It was probably just lucky that the pun fit so well, kinda like my fic :P

    I dsagree. She'd had is a double past tense, She did had. Again, just my take though.
    I think katie meant "The dream she had had did involve the forest"

    Argh, my mouth cannot say that and my brain is failing to understand it. Getting edited.


    Now, Firstly thanks of course to Breezy, katie and Glover for the reviews and pointing out mistakes (always invaluable)

    but secondly, and most importantly, the next chapter will be up on tuesday which goes along with my schedule. This isn't going to be a one a week deal (I'm far too slow a writer to consider that) but I do have a fair wodge of fic written so what I have will be released on a schedule, past that it'll be based on how fast I can write.

    The first few chapters I decided to release weekly because I'm not leaving people waiting for too long but it's still a reasonable gap between chapters. After a while, I'll push it back to every two weeks so I have a buffer between what I have already written and what is being written.

    Of course, look on my LJ for some random (director's commentary style) crap about the chapter a few hours or so after the chapter has been put out. Don't read it before because there may be spoilers, I'll work on a 'you've already read it' attitude, because... to be honest, who watches a film for the first time with director's commentary on?
    Last edited by Diddy; 5th September 2011 at 2:35 AM.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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    Hmm, this looks interesting. It's Johto-centric, by the looks of it, so naturally I would be drawn to it. This girl, Zaniah, has just been introduced, but already we can tell there is something going on in her head. What that is, though, I haven't an inkling. Also, that's a rather unique name, "Zaniah". I suppose it has an important meaning, though I have never heard of it before. Hmm...

    I'm going to wait for another chapter or two before I make a complete judgment on this story. The prologue is a nice set-up, but I feel there is something missing. I can't tell what it is, though, so it should come around for me within the next couple of chapters. So I'll keep an eye on it until I decide whether to be on the PM list or not. I don't doubt your writing and story-telling abilities, you are skilled in it, but unlike your other pieces of work, this has a rather slow build-up. Thus, I am going to stick around for as long as I have mentioned and wait to see what it is that'll snag my interest.

    Well, yeah, the title caught my interest, but that's something else entirely. You can say I'm waiting to see if I can catch what the plot is about, what would make this different from a journey story.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diddy View Post
    Yay! New mistakes to fix!

    @Glover

    Epic name by the way. Simple, but effective.
    Thanks. I have Dad to thank for that, it was his suggestion for a player name for Colosseum, back before I knew anything about this "Wes" guy. Said it was in the family, but I don;t know whom, or from what decade. Dad was weird.

    It's not new to me, considering I started writing it almost two years ago xD
    Valid, but I figure if I say "Used" or "Pre-owned" fiction, I'd get smacked. So "New (to me)".

    Also, as things get going, you'll find I won't go much into grammar and spelling errors, since I suck at those things and often miss them myself. So hopefully you won't get much of Reviews out of me, cause you won't need the! :P
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

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    @Kutie Pie

    It's Johto-centric, by the looks of it, so naturally I would be drawn to it. This girl, Zaniah, has just been introduced, but already we can tell there is something going on in her head. What that is, though, I haven't an inkling. Also, that's a rather unique name, "Zaniah". I suppose it has an important meaning, though I have never heard of it before. Hmm...
    Yup, it's Johto-centric, the next chapter will make it clear where this is set.

    Also, to answer the second question, a direct quote from my LJ...

    You may be thinking, if you read it, what the hell kinda name is Zaniah? To be completely fair, I don't know, it one of those occasions where a name attached itself to a character and it stuck so much that I couldn't imagine naming her something else, it must be something because why would my brain think to name her Zaniah, but to this day I'm unsure where it came from.

    Sorry if that kinda ruins the meaningful edge, (Zaniah, I found out, is a star in the Virgo constellation and I'm a Virgo is that counts) but I only found that out after I already named her.

    I'm going to wait for another chapter or two before I make a complete judgment on this story. The prologue is a nice set-up, but I feel there is something missing. I can't tell what it is, though, so it should come around for me within the next couple of chapters. So I'll keep an eye on it until I decide whether to be on the PM list or not. I don't doubt your writing and story-telling abilities, you are skilled in it, but unlike your other pieces of work, this has a rather slow build-up. Thus, I am going to stick around for as long as I have mentioned and wait to see what it is that'll snag my interest.
    That's a completely fair and sensible way of looking at it. I hope to ensnare you with later chapters... Chapter 13 part 2 is pretty epic though, just saying :P

    Slow build up is a pretty big theme in this thing, plot points get stretched out over a fairly long period (Or maybe that's just my view whilst writing them), as I said to Breezy though I don't intend to let any of them drop.

    @Glover

    Also, as things get going, you'll find I won't go much into grammar and spelling errors, since I suck at those things and often miss them myself. So hopefully you won't get much of Reviews out of me, cause you won't need the! :P
    You're always welcome to point them out if you spot them though, I'm sure there will be some. Even if you just post to say that you read the chapter and haven't died or something will be fine for me xD


    I'll just continue editing Chapter 1, this one actually has a lame chapter title!
    Skogsrĺ

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    This chapter is brought to you by Caffiene - Because sleep is for the weak!

    Just a heads up on some important Headcanon (because I'm not about to scream it in the chapter) This fic is set somewhere in the past, not too far, but far enough that it's different. I like to put the time around 40-50 years pre-HG/SS, which is when I decided the pokéball was invented.

    Berries resemble and act like their real life counterparts Oran = Orange, Leppa = Apple etcetera.

    Also a Headcanon note about pokéballs (which will be expanded upon in my LJ afterwards) I take a mixed view from the anime and my own ideas. Pokéballs exist, having just been invented, but they are quite expensive and only top trainers/fairly rich people can afford to use them. They are better than traditional apricorns (except the effect balls in various situations) I include non-effect apricorns which are just like pokéballs in the games, flat catch rate and quite weak.

    It's not terribly important, but it's hardly something I can just easily say in the fic without breaking the flow.

    This chapter isn't too eventful, but it does set things up for future chapters, read carefully and try to guess what they are, because you'll need something to do other than point out my glaring errors!

    Without further stalling


    Knowledge Is Power
    Chapter 1

    The girl had found that almost all of her clothes barely fit. She could only wear her previous 'tightest' clothes which at least made her look normal.

    Zaniah had a few pairs of tight pants at least, but only a handful of shirts that would make her look presentable. When she got into town, she would need to buy more clothes and perhaps some food for her new pokémon when she found out what it ate, which again required a trip into town.

    She turned around and faced the pokémon who was now sitting on her bed. The chingling happily stared at anything and everything in Zaniah's room, it stared at the drawers and it stared at it's reflection in the mirror (which lead to a confusing few moments when the chingling wondered where the other pokémon had come from) and it stared as Zaniah tried and again failed to pick up her necklace. Each new thing it saw brought new information into the mind of the young pokémon, although she never did understand why the human girl would drag a 'brush', as she called it, through her hair.

    Zaniah picked up the chingling, which she found to be fairly light, and walked downstairs. She said goodbye to her mother and father who were having a conversation in the living room, and walked out of the front door, locking it behind her.

    The girl took a deep breath and looked at the people passing the gate of her house, then walked to join them. It was comforting to know that this time, rather than gawk and stare, the people in the street were a lot more friendly, offering greetings and waving. The village Zaniah lived in was tiny and most of the people that lived there were acquainted in some way. The village was known simply as Union and lay close to a system of caves that some people said had underground lakes, but no one from the village had bothered to go that deep so could neither confirm nor deny it.

    Leaving the village gates, the girl looked down into her arms where the small form of the chingling could be seen looking at all nature had to offer. Every now and then it would see something exciting and make a small clanging noises as it tried to get a better look. “That pokémon is called a pidgey,” Zaniah said softly as the small brown and white bird pokémon swooped by, “That one is a rattata,” a purple rat pokémon emerged from the bushes and scurried across their path.


    It was after about ten more minutes of walking that she heard a shout coming from the trees to her left. “Hey you, yeah you with the black t-shirt!”

    Zaniah instinctively looked left and saw a boy around the age of eleven, wearing khaki shorts and a blue t-shirt, staring at her from the forest. “We locked eyes, that means we have to battle. You have pokémon with you, so you must be a trainer, go rattata!” The boy released the rat pokémon, not unlike the one they had seen earlier, from an apricorn. It squeaked loudly at the chingling, baring it's large front teeth in preparation for battle.

    “Excuse me, but you called my attention. If you didn't say anything or had I ignored you, which would have been rude by the way, then I wouldn't have 'locked eyes with you'.” Zaniah turned, walking away from the youth, “And besides, don't we both have to agree to the battle before it can begin?” the girl said matter-of-factly.

    The boy looked confused and scratched the back of his head, “Er... Shut up!” And he ran back into the forest, leaving Zaniah looking rather dumbfounded.

    “Boys and their battling, I'll never understand it. I mean, everyone can enjoy it but its like an obsession with them.” The chingling gave an enthusiastic squeak of agreement and started to fidget in the girls arms.

    “Will you stop messing around, there's nothing to get excited about,” she said reassuringly, but the chingling continued it's escape attempt, making a rather nice ringing noise as it did. The girl didn't have the endurance to outlast the bell pokémon and it broke away from her arms, making a dash for freedom down the road.

    “No, come back!” She yelled, running to try and catch up, but the chingling was surprisingly quick. The girl chased the small yellow pokémon, feeling somewhat grateful that the ringing sound made it easy to follow.

    Zaniah stood atop a hill gasping for breath when she saw her chingling enter the nearby ruins, which had been quite a tourist attraction at one time. Although, with the recent invention of the pokéball, people have been looking towards the future instead of researching the past. It now lay quite untouched, but that didn't mean it was uninhabited.

    Glad for the downhill descent, Zaniah pulled herself together and ran towards the ruins to find that someone had fixed a painted sign to the perimeter wall. It read, 'The Ruins of Ralph'.

    “Please don't tell me,” she said exasperatedly.

    The girl walked furtively into the ruins and had her ears pricked to sense any ringing that might be her escaped pokémon. 'What would grandma say if she knew I'd lost the pokémon she gave me.'

    And then she heard it, a faint tinkling noise coming from round the corner. “Thank the gods,” she exclaimed, but upon rounding the corner, she saw that the chingling was not alone. Bearing down on it was a large blue brute, clearly four or five times its size, a thick ridged fin running down its back and along its big, flat tail. “Quag!” it shouted menacingly.

    The chingling looked beyond itself in terror, but when the beast got close, the bell pokémon released an ear splitting cry causing immense pain to anyone who happened to be in the area, including Zaniah. She dropped to her knees clutching her ears, it felt as if her head were being cleaved in two.

    The beast seemed to be stunned, it had a glazed look upon its face and wasn't moving except for the odd twitch. The sonic attack ceased and Zaniah got back to her feet rather shakily, she at least felt better than the quagsire. She noticed the chingling sat against a wall, shaking like a leaf. Slowly, Zaniah walked over and began speaking in a calm, soothing voice, “That was quite impressive. I don't think I've heard anything so loud, in fact, my head is still ringing.” Zaniah picked the cowering pokémon up, gave it a quick hug and started to stroke its head softly, “Just try and make sure you don't get me with it next time.”

    “Come on little one, I've got one thing to check before we leave-” this started a tirade of squeaks on the chingling's part. “No more quagsire will hurt you whilst I'm around and we won't be around for long, I promise.” The Chingling was having none of it, she still gave furtive glances to her periphery just in case.

    Zaniah didn't know where she was going and had resorted to shouting the name Ralph, to no avail. It wasn't until she spotted a flickering light coming from one of the caves that she had any idea of where to go. She entered the cave slowly, hugging the chingling close to her chest.

    By the light of the fire, it looked more like a stone temple than a cave, and there were odd shaped markings on the wall. Then she heard whistling, she turned around to see a tall human figure with a pot of paint in one hand and a brush in the other.

    “Ralph! What are you doing!?” Zaniah shouted.

    The person, apparently named Ralph, dropped the brush and kicked over the pot of paint. “Aw, look what ya made me do.”

    The figure had straightened it's back and proceeded to walk over to the girl and her pokémon. “And what might you be doing here? Kids aint interested in history no more.” Ralph was a middle aged man wearing dirty overalls and white shirt stained with many different colours of paint, but Zaniah was used to seeing him in a business suit, seeing as he served on the local council. He was also a family friend and allowed Zaniah to call him by his first name, rather than Mr. Bonneham.

    “I was looking for this pokémon,” she nodded her head to the chingling in her arms. “I've seen your sign outside by the way, the ruins of Ralph? And why are you painting in here?”

    “All right, all right. I was hoping to get some more tourists flowing into the area, and the ruins were here ready to be exploited, So I decided to give them a snappy name and make up some phony legend about the pokémon that live here. You know, the ones that looks like letters. So I'm painting some of them on the wall to make it seem that they're all mysterious and such. Clever huh.” The man gave a smug grin, looking pleased with himself.

    “So you're desecrating ruins for a bit of money from tourists? Do you know how crazy and possibly illegal that is? People have already studied this area and they didn't find anything-”

    “That's the beauty of it,” Ralph interrupted, “They may have looked at the area, but they haven't looked at the ruins of Ralph, scientists searching for years trying to find a secret that doesn't exist, we'll be rich.” And if human eyeballs had the capacity to transform into money symbols, then his would have certainly done so, because that's all his mind was on at the moment.

    “Not that I agree with anything you're doing, but I have somewhere to go, so I'll just leave you to it.” Zaniah mumbled 'idiot' under her breath. She turned to leave, but when she got the entrance to the cave, she heard Ralph say “I didn't paint this one.” She was about to go back but thought better of it. She thought that everyone already knew about the stories around the ruins, but then again, Ralph had never been the sharpest tool in the shed.

    She was about to turn left and continue her walk to Violet town, but had an idea. She found the sign Ralph had put up, got a handkerchief from out of her pocket and smeared the 'R' in Ralph from it. “There we go, sounds a lot better now. Don't you agree Chingling?” This earned an appreciative squeak from the bell pokémon.


    --


    Finally, after much walking and being sidetracked, Violet Town could be seen through the trees. The brick houses were compacted into sparse rows around a large grassy area in the centre of town, where the important buildings like the town hall and the local city gym were. More importantly however, it was where the library was.

    The south entrance to the town was surrounded by berry bushes, and it was here that Chingling started to wriggle and squeak again. “What is it this time? I'm not going to let you run off again.” The bell pokémon didn't relent however, reaching its stubby arms out to try and grab something. “Oh, I think I know what's going on, you're hungry aren't you? And it looks like you want some berries. Well, that's one mystery solved, you like berries.”

    The girl walked to the bush and plucked a few of the bluk berries, handing one to the pokémon in her arms. Opening its mouth, it ate the berry in only a few bites. “You were hungry weren't you. Well, you can have one more but that's it for now.” The small yellow pokémon ate the berry at the same high speed she ate the other one, oddly it looked like she wanted another one.

    “How big is your appetite? One of those berries was almost the same size as you! Wait until I've finished in the library, then I'll give you one more.”

    'I sound like my mother,' she thought, horrifyingly.


    It was a sunny day and many people were gathered in the centre of town, eating picnics on the grass, throwing Frisbee and playing with their pokémon. There was an almighty cheer from the gym to the girl's left, maybe the challenger had won, but the residents of Violet Town would probably want to cheer their town representative.

    Zaniah had never shown any interest in doing the gym challenge, she thought that it was for people who lived for battling, much like the boy she saw earlier. He was probably looking to get some battle experience for his pokémon in preparation for it, but even she knew that rattata were weak and not worth training as battlers.

    What she didn't know however, were the capabilities of the chingling she had in her arms. That was the entire reason why she was going to the library, the large important looking building attached to the Violet Museum.

    The inside of the museum was marvellously decorated, the floor appeared to be made entirely of marble and various banners exclaiming new exhibits hung from the roof. Even from the entrance, she could already see the preserved remains of an ancient pokémon and some artefacts from different archaeological dig sites around the continent. All of them in thick glass cases to make sure nobody touched them.

    The room she was looking for was on the far right, through a windowed door that had a poster with a list of rules on it.

    1. No running in the library
    2. No eating in the library
    3. No drinking in the library
    4. No loud talking in the library
    5. No loose pokémon in the library

    All of them accompanied by a little picture explaining the rule.

    “Sorry Chingling, but you'll have to go in your pokéball for a while. I'm not allowed to take you into the library,” the girl whispered. The chingling bowed its head and allowed the red beam to transport it into the ball.

    With chingling's pokéball safely stowed in her pocket, helped by the revolutionary shrink function they have, Zaniah pushed the door and entered. The girl looked to her left and saw the middle aged librarian spring to life as if she had been rudely awoken, a piece of paper sticking oddly to her left cheek.

    “Oh deary me, a visitor.” she said, whilst rapidly clearing her desk of paper and moving her light brown hair out of her eyes. She straightened her knitted cardigan and turned to talk to Zaniah. “I'm Librarian Mary, it's nice to see someone... I mean, its nice to see a young face in the library. May I be of any help.”

    “Actually yes. I need to find a book that will tell me about my pokémon, a chingling my Grandmother sent me,” Zaniah replied, courteously.

    Librarian Mary scratched her chin then said “What you need is 'The Big Book of Pokémon' by Victor van de Merwe. It has compiled data from all known pokémon, it will be on the second row from the bottom on the first 'Reference Books' aisle.” She pointed at one of the many ten foot high wooden bookcases, full to the brim with books, “It should be over there.”

    “Oh, thanks.” the girl replied, walking slowly to the aisle that the librarian pointed out. The brass plaque placed upon the side of the bookcase said 'Reference Books 389 – 468' once she had the aisle, she knelt down to be on level with the second to bottom shelf and looked across for the name van de Merwe. Zaniah found it on a very thick book with an emerald green spine, she pulled it out and carried it over to a nearby table, setting it down with a thud.

    The cover depicted a vast plain with the words 'The Big Book of Pokémon' emblazoned on the top. Zaniah skipped the first few pages of publishing information and found the contents page. Using her finger to help scan down the countless names of all known pokémon, she finally rested upon chingling and opened at the corresponding page.

    It started with a large sketch of a chingling on a rocky mountain clearing and underneath detailed lots of information like its eating habits, it's usual habitats and its average height and weight. It was really detailed stuff, mentioning moves and abilities it usually displays. “So she really does like berries, it's almost all she eats. At least I know I don't have to buy her any special food.”

    At this point, Librarian Mary had sidled her way over to the table Zaniah was seated at, “Are you taking the book out or just researching?”

    “No its all right, I only needed it to check up on my pokémon, what it eats and stuff like that. I can leave now, thank you.” The girl got up, moved the book back to it rightful place and exited the library.

    “Please come back!” Librarian Mary shouted, breaking one of her own rules, “I'm ever so lonely,” she said quietly, looking at her feet.


    --


    Zaniah found the pokéball in her pocket and released the chingling once more. She walked out of the museum foyer whilst talking about random facts she had read in the book. The chingling didn't seem to mind, but looked up at the girl expectantly.

    “Oh yes, you can have another berry, I suppose you've earned it.” The chingling squeaked happily as it accepted the bluk berry.

    Zaniah wandered onto the grassy area outside of the museum and looked at the clock tower attached to the top of the city hall. “Just past noon, I have plenty of time. Well Chingling, I really need to find you a name, I can't just keep calling you chingling forever, can I?” She laughed to herself before speaking again, “Perhaps I'll think of something whilst I shop for some new clothes.”

    The girl, who had a relatively good knowledge of the town due to her frequent visits, headed west to the area of Violet town that housed all the best shops. And by best, she meant cheap and decent. Not everyone would think of going to the 'Clothes Hangar' for all your best buys, and they'd be partially right. It's basically a warehouse full of clothes rail after clothes rail, but sometimes, a real gem turns up and it would still retain the cheap price of everything else in the store.

    The pickings were slim, but she managed it. She had picked out a few casual shirts, some formal looking shirts and a few short dresses that would be good for when it got warmer. She also found two hooded jackets, one plain black and comfy, the other dark blue and waterproof. She also bought a pair of comfortable, chingling approved, hi-top sneakers.

    With the chingling looking out of one of her bags, she was all set to go home. However, the southern exit to Violet Town was almost blocked by a large wagon with two fiery-maned rapidash grazing nearby.

    'How do the pokémon not set it on fire?' the girl thought.

    She dismissed the thought and took a closer look at the wagon. It seemed to be a travelling market stall of sorts judging by the sign, 'Antomar's Apothecary', the gentleman running the stall was shouting about his amazing deals, energy boosting products and herbal remedies. Sat absent mindedly on the side of the wagon was a black haired girl who looked around Zaniah's age, passing out products for people who had purchased them. As Zaniah walked past, she could hear the gentleman, wearing a long brown coat, shouting to sell his wares.

    “A cold got you? One of my fiery pepping products will perk you up in no time at all! Andreas Antomar, the man whose remedies you can trust!” He didn't seem overly charismatic, but he was obviously charismatic enough because there were quite a few people lining to buy some of his products.

    Zaniah stared at the girl as she passed, and the girl stared back. Zaniah looked away instantly and walked that bit faster on her way home.


    ==


    “Mum, I'm home!” Zaniah shouted, locking the door back up and putting her bags on the floor. She checked the clock on the wall, it was two o'clock. She shouted 'Mum' again, and this time got a response.

    “We're in the kitchen!” Her mother shouted.

    Casually intrigued, Zaniah walked into the kitchen to find her parents sat eating lunch.

    “We decided to wait for you to come home and then we could all have lunch together. Sit down, we're having pasta.”

    The girl sat and ate with her family, telling them all about her trip between mouthfuls. About the ruins, she neglected to tell the part in which she lost chingling, about what she found out in the library and about the strange wagon selling its remedies.

    “That Ralph, I've told him many times to just give up on tourists, there's nothing here except the pokémon centre that would interest outsiders, and they're mostly just trainers passing through. He doesn't seem to give up though, I'll give him that.” Her mother laughed and continued eating.

    Her father spoke up afterwards, “So, have you put any thought into when you want to leave?”

    “I thought it would be best if I got to it as soon as possible, perhaps tomorrow or the day after, give myself some time to get everything I need and then set off.”

    Her mother choked on the bit of pasta in her mouth and coughed to clear it. “Right away? I suppose you could always take that old tent.”

    “A tent would be too big to carry, and I don't want to be putting up a tent every night just to go to sleep. Regular camping equipment will do, I can buy any necessities like pokémon stuff when I get out there.” The girl ate the final mouthful of her pasta and put the plate into the sink.

    “You seem to have this all figured out,” her father said.

    “I had a lot of time to think on the way back from the library, now I need to put the things I bought into a bag. Nothing too heavy or too bulky, but something big enough to hold the essentials,” she replied knowingly.

    “I have an old rucksack I used when I went rock-climbing. You could have that.”

    “Perfect.” The girl said with a smile.

    Which made her mother smile. She always liked it when these things resolved themselves without her having to do anything.


    ==

    Of course, mistake fixes are welcome.

    Just a reminder, this chapter wasn't entirely useless, one of the characters in this chapter has a fairly big role. Check out my LJ (Link in my signature) if you enjoy reading Headcanon, which isn't many people, but at least I offered.

    Don't worry, the chapter titles get considerably less lame as we go further through the fic :P
    Last edited by Diddy; 8th September 2011 at 8:10 PM.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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    This chapter is brought to you by Caffiene - Because sleep is for the weak!
    Hurray Caffiene!

    She turned around and faced the pokémon who was now sitting on her bed. The chingling happily stared at anything and everything in Zaniah's room, it stared at the drawers and it stared at it's reflection in the mirror (which lead to a confusing few moments when the chingling wondered where the other pokémon had come from) and it stared as Zaniah tried and again failed to pick up her necklace. Each new thing it saw brought new information into the mind of the young pokémon, although she never did understand why the human girl dragged a 'brush', as she called it, through her hair.
    I love his interaction. That being said,

    why the human girl dragged a 'brush', as she called it,
    Is Dragged one of those cases where it sounds horrible, but is right? I'd suggest "would drag" myself, considering that Zaniah has and will do it again, but I'm not a Grammar teacher.

    It was after about ten more minutes of walking that she heard a shout coming from the trees to her left. “Hey you, yeah you with the black t-shirt!”

    Zaniah instinctively looked left and saw a boy around the age of eleven, wearing khaki shorts and a blue t-shirt, staring at her from the forest. “We locked eyes, that means we have to battle. You have pokémon with you, so you must be a trainer, go rattata!” The boy released the rat pokémon, not unlike the one they had seen earlier, from an apricorn. It squeaked loudly at the chingling, baring it's large front teeth in preparation for battle.

    “Excuse me, but you called my attention. If you didn't say anything or had I ignored you, which would have been rude by the way, then I wouldn't have 'locked eyes with you'.” Zaniah turned, walking away from the youth, “And besides, don't we both have to agree to the battle before it can begin?” the girl said matter-of-factly.

    The boy looked confused and scratched the back of his head, “Er... Shut up!” And he ran back into the forest, leaving Zaniah looking rather dumbfounded.

    “Boys and their battling, I'll never understand it. I mean, everyone can enjoy it but its like an obsession with them.” The chingling gave an enthusiastic squeak of agreement and started to fidget in the girls arms.
    Love that.

    'The Ruins of Ralph'.
    Ralph? I believe it should still be Alph, as the faded R would have already been recorded in history and been attached to the tourist signs. (And technically, Alph is a hint at "alphabet", referring to the Unown) Btu still funny, and considering the supply of whacky names in the PKMN world, Ralph would be normal, er strange, er strange because it is so normal, or something like that.

    She was about to turn left and continue her walk to Violet town, but had an idea. She found the sign Ralph had put up, got a handkerchief from out of her pocket and smeared the 'R' in Ralph from it. “There we go, sounds a lot better now. Don't you agree Chingling?” This earned an appreciative squeak from the bell pokémon.
    nevr mind, this'll teach me for reviewing as I go. PHHT!

    “We thought we would have a late dinner, so we decided to wait for you to come home and then we could all have lunch together. Sit down, we're having pasta.”
    you bounce between two meals here.

    “A tent would be too big to carry, and I don't want to be putting up a tent every night just to go to sleep. Regular camping equipment will do, I can buy any necessities like pokémon stuff when I get out there.” The girl ate the final mouthful of her pasta and put the plate into the sink.

    “You seem to have this all figured out,” her father said.

    “I had a lot of time to think on the way back from the library, now I need to put the things I bought into a bag. Nothing too heavy or too bulky, but something big enough to hold the essentials,” she replied knowingly.

    “I have an old rucksack I used when I went rock-climbing. You could have that.”

    “Perfect.” The girl said with a smile.

    Which made her mother smile. She always liked it when these things resolved themselves without her having to do anything.
    That's just the motivation I needed for a chapter of mine. Thanks!

    PS I'm not a LiveJournal user, but I'll read it.
    Last edited by Glover; 6th September 2011 at 10:28 PM.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

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    @Glover

    Is Dragged one of those cases where it sounds horrible, but is right? I'd suggest "would drag" myself, considering that Zaniah has and will do it again, but I'm not a Grammar teacher.
    It's my interpretation thart 'dragged' is correct in the context, but 'would drag' works perfectly well also, it might actually work a little better, so I might switch it around.

    Love that.
    Ha, yeah. I remember writing that section, I wanted to poke fun at those early game trainers that are there purely to explain the "rules" of battling. In Johto, I believe they are the few battles (and one NPC) after Youngster Joey but before Bug Catcher Wade (I only remember their names because you can put them in the PokéGear xD) They'd spout lines like "We locked eyes, that means we have to battle" regardless of whether you were walking in a different direction. There was also "You have pokémon with you, that means you must be a trainer!" So I turned them into that kid.

    Ralph? I believe it should still be Alph, as the faded R would have already been recorded in history and been attached to the tourist signs. (And technically, Alph is a hint at "alphabet", referring to the Unown) Btu still funny, and considering the supply of whacky names in the PKMN world, Ralph would be normal, er strange, er strange because it is so normal, or something like that.
    To be completely honest, I only made the 'Alph/Alphabet' link after Bulbapedia pointed it out to me when I was researching the place the other day, during edits xD

    I wanted to make my own little interpretation of the place, but I didn't blatantly want to usurp canon.

    nevr mind, this'll teach me for reviewing as I go. PHHT!
    :P I never actually looked at it this way, what reviewers would think of the whole Ralph thing, it's actually quite funny.

    you bounce between two meals here.
    Argh, I can see what you mean. I intended for her mother to say that they decided to move dinner back a few hours (i.e to around 7-8 o'clock) because they were having a late lunch (at 2 o'clock) I'll go make it more obvious.

    That's just the motivation I needed for a chapter of mine. Thanks!

    PS I'm not a LiveJournal user, but I'll read it.
    The tent thing? Yeah, I had to question the validity of putting up a tent when you were only staying for a few hours max. Besides, My characters don't tend to sleep outside very often, they usually just keep going until they find a pokémon centre. They don't sleep outside unless it's absolutely definite they have to.

    I don't set any of my posts on there to friends only anyway (or at least I haven't yet) so you can just click on the link and browse, reading previous posts will show you how I almost missed my deadline posting the fic.

    Thanks for the review.

    *flies away, presumably to edit*
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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    <3! *goes to read the head canon*

    :3 I really enjoyed this, m'dear! It's all developing nicely~~ I also loved the trainer scene, it was all too true - as well as the bit with the Ruins of Ralph, haha. Classical ploy to draw more tourists in. That being said, I did catch the comment of 'huh, I didn't paint that' from Ralph - did Zaniah walk out in the nick of time? x3 I'll be interested in seeing how that all plays out~

    I'd like to think, as well, that her being effected by screech is another werewolf thread, but that's just because I <3 shapeshifters. x333

    I'm guessing we'll be seeing the girl from the wagon again? x3 I quite liked that moment, it seemed significant - I'm intrigued to see how it all plays out. x3

    Only a couple of grammar things:

    She turned to leave, but when she got the entrance to the cave, she heard Ralph say “I didn't paint this one,” she was about to go back but thought better of it.
    Comma splice, I believe - you are connecting two complete sentences with a comma, which you can't do. It's easy enough to fix, just split the 'she was about to go back' phrase into it's own sentence, or replace the comma with a semi colon, the sentences are related enough. Semicolons are finicky things, though. xD

    Zaniah found the pokéball in her pocket and released the chingling once more, she walked out of the museum foyer whilst talking about random facts she had read in the book.
    Another comma splice, the two sentences are independent. They aren't quite related enough for a semi colon, though, so I'd either split them or slip in an 'and' or a 'then' or the like. x3

    Zaniah stared at the girl as she passed, and the girl stared back, Zaniah looked away instantly and walked that bit faster on her way home.
    Another one, the final bit. I'd just split the two sentences entirely, the snappier sentences make it a bit tenser. x3

    But yeah, I really enjoyed this, Diddy! Great job :3


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    @katiekitten

    <3! *goes to read the head canon*
    I had always intended to give some quick overviews about the writing process when I posted the fic, there were so many random things and revisions that I'm reminded of when I read back over them that I felt that it would be something extra that the readers can look at.

    I'd like to think, as well, that her being effected by screech is another werewolf thread, but that's just because I <3 shapeshifters. x333
    Each time it hops, it makes a ringing sound. It deafens foes by emitting high-frequency cries. - The Pearl pokédex entry, I was partially inspired for that scene by this.

    But now that I think about it, I might have inspired myself. As a side note, I wrote the entry on Chingling/Chimecho in the Pokémon Encyclopedia in the Author's Café and I put in there that Chingling have a defense mechanism where they unleash a wall of sound to stun predators. Which might have been inspired by this scene... argh, all so convoluted... in short, it's semi canon.

    surreptitiously steals 'effected by sonic attacks' plot point ¬¬

    I'm guessing we'll be seeing the girl from the wagon again? x3 I quite liked that moment, it seemed significant - I'm intrigued to see how it all plays out. x3
    *places pistol on wall*

    Oh hi, Chekhov!

    You'll see who I was talking about soon enough... or maybe later :P

    I believe - you are connecting two complete sentences with a comma, which you can't do. It's easy enough to fix, just split the 'she was about to go back' phrase into it's own sentence, or replace the comma with a semi colon, the sentences are related enough. Semicolons are finicky things, though. xD
    Damn it, I was checking explicitly for those... *plans visit to the optometrist* I might need my eyes checking xD

    thanks again!
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  15. #15
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    I'm honestly running out of intros for these first few chapters. This is why I wanted to post them a week apart, they're so closely linked that if I just went all out and stuck two or more weeks between them it would've just made everything worse off in the long run.

    Just don't get used to this one a week thing.

    This chapter is coincidentally the longest one up to now.


    Back In Violet
    Chapter 2

    A few days had passed since the lunch in which Zaniah had found a decent bag to store her stuff. Since then however, more and more things had come to her mind.

    'What if I fall down a hole and need to be pulled out? I think I need a rope.'

    'What if I'm trapped for days on end in which I can't find a place to eat? I think I need to carry food with me at all times.'


    Her mother told her that she was being paranoid. She had never heard of any trainer getting trapped for days on end or falling down any holes big enough to need rope to get out. “I asked Ralph to draw up a list of what a trainer needs, he used to be one after all. I suppose you could add a few more things to the list, because of developments in technology. I hear these new pokéballs are almost twice as likely to capture pokémon than the traditional apricorns, although they are very expensive.”

    “Sorry mum, but this a big thing, I want to make sure I'm safe as well as having fun.” The girl replied.

    “Most kids your age are in too much of a rush that they don't care whether they're safe or not.” Her mother stated.

    “Yeah, well most kids haven't been attacked by a wild animal.” Zaniah replied, rubbing her elbow.

    “You're always using that as an excuse, you must know that I don't accept it any more.”

    “No, I really mean it this time. I only used it before as a reason not to do gym. This time I'll be traipsing around forests and sleeping outside when I can't get inside. It's all very exciting, don't get me wrong, but there is an element of foreboding about it.”

    “Foreboding! Do you know what you're saying girl? There is nothing that will hurt you, you will have pokémon by your side at all times, isn't that enough to convince you? Countless people have done what you're about to do, and if there was a risky element of danger about it, then it wouldn't be as popular as it is.” the girls mother ranted at her.

    “I suppose your right. I'll stop goofing around and get my head straight.”

    And from this conversation the girl had a better idea of what she should and shouldn't bring with her.

    The bag her father gave to her, a Varlatek bag, is apparently a big name in climbing. It was spacious and had various side pockets to store the many things the girl had wanted to bring. It was dark out by time she had finished packing, she delayed setting off until morning, her mother flat out refused to let her go in the darkness of night. Zaniah, tired from carrying and lifting all day, crawled into bed and whispered good night to the chingling's pokéball on her night stand and drifted almost instantaneously into sleep.


    --


    The girl got up and surveyed her room, her bag was gone, and so were her personal effects.

    Thinking this odd, she checked downstairs to see if they had been moved, not in the living room or the dining room. She set her hand on a doorknob and turned it, pushing at the same time. Standing in her kitchen were Ralph, dressed in his usual dark blue suit and her Grandmother in a bright red cardigan with matching pants.

    Zaniah proceeded to ask where her parents were and why her things had been moved. The two adults turned to the source of the question and stared with a great sense of confusion. “Who are you, girl? Why exactly are you dressed so lightly in my house?” Ralph asked.

    Zaniah looked down and she was wearing only a long shirt and her undergarments, she distinctly remembered going to sleep in some pants. Not to mention that Ralph certainly didn't own her house.

    “What do you mean Ralph? It's me, Zaniah.” her dark brown eyes flashed quickly across to her grandmother, who was staring at her with a great curiosity, but just sipped her tea. Her gaze returned to Ralph and she continued “I saw you a few days ago in the ruins.”

    Ralph seemed quite nonplussed, “There are no ruins around these parts, girl. I think I would know if there were, being the mayor.”

    The girl stopped and thought, 'Why were these two acting so weird? Why were they pretending as if they didn't know me?' and before she could ponder more questions she blurted out, “You're not the mayor, I know that for a fact that nobody would elect you.”

    This remark caused Ralph to recoil in shock and her grandmother to finally say something. “How dare you speak to Mayor Bonneham like that. Your insolence must be punished!” The little old lady screamed in anger and seemed to be growing hair all over her skin. Thick, coarse grey hairs covered the whole of her body her teeth sharpened until her canines had reached four inches in length and shone like silver. She now closely resembled the great beast that had attacked her all those years ago, albeit wrapped in a bright red cardigan.

    “Get out of my house, you cretin, you vermin. I won't hesitate in stripping the flesh from your bones.” she snarled.

    “O-okay, I'm sorry, I'll just leave then.” The girl backed away keeping her eyes on the beast. She looked at Ralph, now sipping tea, he didn't seem shocked at all. The beast that was her grandmother bared down upon her, Zaniah kept walking until she bumped her back on the door, she grabbed the door handle and slipped out quickly.

    She took a step and fell. Wind rushing from below her, she reached her hands down to stop her shirt from flapping. She couldn't find her shirt, she looked down and noticed she was wearing a bright blue jumpsuit. She screamed as she saw her house floating aimlessly in the air above her as she fell.

    Zaniah took a chance, she was already wearing a jumpsuit, why not a parachute? She reached a hand to her back and felt a large squishy rucksack. Issuing a huge sigh of relief she found the cord and pulled.

    The wind caught in the parachutes folds and slowed her descent to earth. She finally felt safe, gliding down strapped into a parachute. It allowed her to ponder what had been happening today, but before she could think a single sentence she was nearing the ground. Her destination appeared to be a small camp-site judging by the wooden huts and large fire in the centre.

    When she finally landed, she was surrounded by women. Some in business suits, some dressed casually and some only in underwear.

    “Welcome, girl, to our humble village. You will find yourself most welcome here, your every need will be taken care of, you need only ask.” A large woman in a tribal headdress said.

    Zaniah found herself wanting to stay with the women but fought her mind to make some sense of the situation. But before her mind could think her mouth had said “Sure, I'll stay,” and smiled.

    She stepped over a wooden log, but tripped and fell to the floor face first, she put her hands up to stop herself, awaiting the impact she...

    Awoke violently and instantly.


    The bed she was lay in had sweat stains all over it and the duvet was crumpled on the floor next to her bed, presumably kicked off in the night. Her first thought was 'Mummy!' but she suppressed it, 'I'm fifteen damn it.' She tried to remember the dream she had and recalled the majority of it, not knowing what it meant in the slightest.

    Zaniah looked over to the clock on her bedside table, it was six am. “I might as well get ready then,” she sighed.

    Hauling her self out of bed, she stumbled to the bathroom and jumped into the shower. Lather, rinse, repeat, until she had finished.

    Wrapping herself in a fluffy white dressing gown, she got back into her room and stared at herself in the mirror. She ran a brush through her hair and got to thinking about where she should go when she leaves. 'They say Violet is the best option for newbies, anywhere else would be too much of a hike just for my first gym badge.' She settled the issue and got her mind back to brushing her hair.

    She stood up and suddenly had a brainwave, 'I can't go around Johto with my hair looking like crap,' and the brush went into the bag.

    Zaniah's eyes looked over to where the chingling was, still encased in her pokéball, 'I suppose she could use some fresh air, Hopefully her sleep was less eventful than mine.' With the now familiar flash of red light, the small yellow pokémon appeared on the girl's messy bed.

    “Today's the day.” She said, staring at the chingling. When she realised that she still hadn't thought of a name, she sighed. “You really need a name, any suggestions?” It was annoying really, how hard was it to think of a name?

    The pokémon made a motion that could be a shrug. Regardless, it didn't have any ideas, even if it did, it had no way of communicating them to her.

    The girl, annoyed that her pokémon had an inability to talk, continued with the hurried collection of last minute items and making herself look good. The little pokémon wondered why she was going through so much trouble, maybe it was the way of human females, to present a clean and presentable self in order to attract attention from the males.

    The girl went about her business, occasionally stopping, looking at the chingling directly and sighing.

    She had obviously not thought of a good name for the little pokémon sat on her bed, watching her every move. The chingling, not knowing anything since she was unveiled into the strange green land filled with the tall beings known as humans, didn't have a name of her own. She hoped that the human caring for her came up with an idea quickly, being called by species was a rather degrading thing, even for a creature as young as the chingling.

    Zaniah, on the other hand, was too busy wondering if she had used the right conditioner on her hair or whether she had packed those pants she liked. She was blissfully unaware of the affairs and inner desires of the chingling.

    The clock on her bedside table now read seven forty six am and a loud shout of “Zaniah!” was heard. The girl froze, looking at her pokémon on the bed, “I suppose I should go downstairs.”

    When she entered the kitchen she was assaulted by a barrage of delicious smells. Plates of bacon, eggs, sausages and everything you'd need to get the day started were sat waiting to be eaten. Although she knew it was a heart attack waiting to happen, she dived in, piling her plate high.

    “Well someone has certainly got their appetite back, you're looking a lot better lately.” Zaniah's mother, who was seated opposite her at the table, stated.

    “I realised that if I want to do well on this 'journey' of mine, I need to keep my strength up, which means eating. Oh, that reminds me, I should nip outside and pick a few berries for my pokémon.”

    “Still haven't thought of a name then?” asked her mother, raising an eyebrow.

    “It's a hard decision. I don't think you named me the first thing that came into your head after I was born, or did you?”

    This remark made her mother laugh. “No, no, you have a point, we went through a whole list of names before we got the perfect one for you. Take your time, the right name will present itself before long.” And with that, silence fell between the two until the breakfast had been finished.

    Zaniah drained the last of her oran juice and wiped her mouth. “Thanks mum. I should get the rest of my things done and then I can leave.” Her voice showed a very obvious note of excitement as she finished the sentence.

    “Don't think I'm rushing you out the door, you've got all the time in the world.”

    “I know, I just want to get this thing started then I can worry about other stuff later.” She rushed off upstairs, leaving her mother in the kitchen.

    Zaniah's mother stood up from her seat and looked at the overflowing, messy table and sighed. “Trust her to leave me with the washing up.”

    --

    The bag was full and her room was unusually tidy. 'It's really about to happen' she thought.

    A little while ago she was just a girl who thought the whole 'pokémon training' thing was for people who were obsessed with forcing creatures to fight, but her recent experiences had taught her otherwise, it was more than that. A lot more. It was about a person and their pokémon, bonding, forming a friendship, and you look after your friends.

    She would take this journey as an opportunity to make friends, form bonds and make the world an overall smaller place. If she achieves but one of these goals, then she can safely say that whatever the outcome in the gym challenge, she would have succeeded in what she set out to do.

    Smiling slightly at her realisation she looked over to the bed on which her chingling had decided to take a nap. She wouldn't be sleeping there for a very long time. Then she cast her gaze to the desk where she had sat and stared at her reflection in the mirror for all those years, the blue velvet box was still there. Opening it carefully, she grabbed not the chain, but the piece hanging from it, this didn't hurt her when she touched it, but felt pleasantly cool in her hand. She put a cloth over her hand and detached the necklace. She began to think what she could do with it when she had an idea.

    She rushed downstairs and headed into the kitchen, “Excellent, are you here to help me do the dishes?” her mother asked hopefully.

    “No sorry, do you know where we keep the string?” Zaniah inquired.

    “Bottom drawer, over there. Why?” Her mother was quite confused.

    “Nothing major, just needed some, thanks.” She rushed back upstairs again, leaving her mother to complete the cleaning for the second time that day.

    “Ooh, I swear, if this wasn't a special occasion, I'd ground her so much she'd end up being excavated in Sinnoh.”


    The girl however, had thread the string through the small metal hole on top of the pendant and tied it at the top. She placed it around her neck and admired it in her mirror, 'perfect' she thought.

    Finding a box in one of the bags she had carried her shopping in, she pulled out the pair of hi-top sneakers and put them on. “I never would have guessed shoes like this would be so comfy,” she said aloud, which caused the chingling the wake from its nap.

    “Finally up are you? Had a nice sleep? It's good for some isn't it, I on the other hand have been rushing around like a mad woman trying to get everything sorted.” The chingling gave a slight movement to sit up, which didn't go unnoticed by the girl. “No, don't get up, I'll do everything.”

    The small yellow pokémon gave a confused sounding 'ching' and stared at the girl.

    The girl however, who had taken to rummaging in her bag and listing off items in her head, was trying not to think about anything over than getting everything packed and leaving the house. She had wasted enough time messing around and delaying herself to not leave now.

    “Clothes... Blankets... Toothbrush... Hairbrush” She made to zip up the bag when she noticed the logo on the bag “Varlatek” she said out loud, “Varla...” Zaniah grabbed the small pokémon and picked her up holding her at eye level, “I may have a name for you. Now, if you don't like it you can protest and I'll think of something else, if you do like it, then it's all good.” She smiled and took a deep breath in anticipation, “I would like to call you... Varla.” The pokémon had a rather vacant expression on its face, like it had its mind elsewhere.

    The girl stared and put down the pokémon on her bed. “Oh, I knew it, it's an awful name. I knew I couldn't think of something good. I fail at names.”

    The chingling's stomach let out a oddly loud rumble. She smiled and hopped over to the girl, giving her as much hug as her small arms could.

    Zaniah snapped back to reality and stared at the pokémon hugging her leg. “Wait, you like the name? Really?” The girl felt oddly emotional at the opinion of the small pokémon burying its head against her. “Okay then, Varla, I have everything packed. We should be going.”

    The girl picked up her pokémon and gave her a little squeeze of affection. Zaniah made a few last minute checks before pulling on her hooded jacket, when she knew she was ready she grabbed her bag and slung it over her shoulder. Taking some time to get used to its weight, she took one last fleeting look at her bedroom and shut the door.

    “It'll be a long time before we'll see that again,” the girl said as she descended the stairs to the waiting form of her mother.

    “Finally! I thought you'd never leave.” Her mother stood there, hands on hips, scowling. Zaniah looked shocked and was about to protest when her mother burst into laughter. “I had you going for a while there, didn't I? Come on, lighten up Zaniah, it's called a joke.”

    “I didn't want to leave the house knowing the last words my mother spoke to me were 'I thought you'd never leave.' It would put a damper on the whole trip I think.” The girl said haughtily, she walked down the last few steps and went to open the door.

    “Did you really think I'd let you leave without giving you a big hug?” Zaniah's mother flung her arms around her teenage daughter and stayed that way for at least thirty seconds, when she finished, she wiped away a tear “I can't believe your finally leaving, I knew this day would come when you said you'd go, but it's still kinda sad.”

    Zaniah simply smiled and told her mother that she would be fine. The girl walked to the door and opened it, walking slowly down the garden path.

    “Have fun out there, and be safe. And I mean, safe.”

    The girl turned around, “Mum!” Zaniah looked shocked and appalled, “I think I'll be too busy adventuring and training pokémon to be worrying about anything else much, thank you.”

    Her mother looked suspiciously innocent “What? I didn't mean anything by it.”

    “Oh really? Anyway, I should leave, I'll write when I can.” The girl left home knowing that she wouldn't return for a long period of time. She wasn't one for sappy goodbyes so left through the gate and walked her way to the entrance of the village of Union, only stopping and looking back once to give a wave of farewell.


    ==


    On her travel back to Violet Town, Zaniah had walked past the ruins where she met Ralph and chuckled slightly to herself, whereas Varla the chingling buried her head in the girls arms.

    The two passed various trainers battling their pokémon, one of which starred a geodude pitted against a pidgey. Even Zaniah, a relative newbie to pokémon battling, knew the pidgey stood no chance, tackle after tackle glancing off the rock types hard outer coating. The rock pokémon launched one Rock Throw attack and the pidgey was out for the count. Smiling smugly, the trainer with the geodude went to collect his winnings from the loser, who Zaniah noticed had run away whilst the winning trainer had been show boating to the audience.

    The girl laughed and kept on walking. But the battle had left her thinking whether she should start battling with Varla or leave it for a while, she is rather young. But isn't it best to start them young? Many thoughts like these wound themselves through Zaniah's mind and by time she had reached a steady conclusion, she had arrived in Violet Town.

    The conclusion was so, she would return to the library. As her mother always says 'When in doubt, consult a book.'

    She followed the familiar paths through Violet Town, passing the central grassy area with it's many occupants and the gym stadium which, Zaniah noticed, now had a large wooden market stall outside bearing the legend 'Antomar's Apothecary'. She ignored this she walked on, finding the museum as easily as she did last time she visited.

    When she entered, the interior had changed somewhat. Instead of preserved pokémon remains, there now stood various jugs and urns on their own marble plinths and the banners had been removed. Zaniah walked to the side door, noticing the 'rules' sheet, she returned Varla to her ball and pushed the door open.

    Hearing the door opening for a second time awoke Librarian Mary. She again had paper stuck to her face, “Hello and welcome to... oh hello again, I didn't expect you to come back, no one ever comes back.”

    Zaniah gave a cheerful hello, whilst wondering whether the Librarian gets out much, “I have another question. I want to know the pros and cons of training pokémon in relation to how old they are.”

    Mary thought for a moment, scratching her chin, before replying “I would suggest a book called 'Back to Basics: The Science of Training' by the one and only Terence Poplar, it'll tell you everything you want to know about training pokémon.”

    “Okay, but what was the author's name, Terence something?”

    “Are you being serious, girl? Terence Poplar, the worlds foremost expert on Pokémon Physiology, not ringing any bells? No... Have you been living under a rock?”

    “I grew up in Union. We don't get much information about 'the outside world' as it were, but he does sound like he knows his stuff.”

    Mary gave a snort of derision, “Knows his stuff? I heard Professor Poplar has an IQ in the one eighties.”

    “Okay sorry, I never knew you loved him that much-”

    The librarian made a noise somewhere between a laugh and a growl, “I don't love him... I just respect his work.”

    Getting impatient, Zaniah decided to just ask where the book was.

    “I have a copy right here.” Reaching under her desk, Mary grabbed a thick book and gave it to Zaniah “Be careful with that.”

    “Obsessed much?” the girl said under her breath. Finding a table, which wasn't that hard considering the general emptiness of the library, she sat and opened the book. Scanning her eyes along the contents section, she found it amazing one person could write so much about pokémon training. She found the correct section (Newly Hatched Pokémon: To Train or not to Train?) and began reading...


    The usual 'rule' for newly hatched pokémon is to train them early. This helps them understand the role they will play in their future, this will also hand them an advantage as the early training will have considerably strengthened your pokémon when time comes for proper battles.

    However, and it should be noted that this book is for those wishing to train pokémon so therefore the option of not training is voided, there is leading research which states that pokémon raised at an early age stand better chances of developing conditions like Arthritis, Heart Problems and Muscle Degeneration when older. It should also be noted that new born pokémon are a lot more fragile than those of at least six months old and can sustain heavy injuries during battles which can seriously cripple the pokémon, or worse, even kill it.



    Zaniah couldn't take any more.

    She couldn't imagine someone forcing a newly hatched pokémon to fight, just so they would have an edge later on. You could just wait and not risk hurting the poor things later in life, then you're both happy. Forcing a pokémon to fight if it doesn't want to, or doesn't know better, is just as worse as hurting it yourself. It was really a sad fact that this kind of behaviour can't be cracked down on. Not to mention a well respected Professor advocating it? What is the world coming to?

    Standing back up again, Zaniah gave the book back to Mary. “You can have your book back!” she said scornfully, storming away. “I'm not coming back here again!”

    Mary sat in complete shock. One, because she had just been shouted at by a fifteen year old for no apparent reason, and two, she had just lost one of her only patrons.

    Alone again in the big empty room, with only books as her companions, Mary opened a drawer and took out a bottle of pills, taking two she lay her head down on her desk and drifted off into sleep.

    --

    Feeling angry and dejected, Zaniah sat down on the grassy area outside the museum and released the chingling who, upon release into the high energy environment, became very agitated.

    “I need to ask you a question Varla,” she said seriously. The chingling stopped looking around at the various people and pokémon and looked straight into her deep brown eyes, listening intently.

    “I was reading a book earlier... about pokémon training, and I was just wondering whether you're up to it at all. I can understand if you don't want to, because this book detailed all sorts of things that could happen if you're pushed too hard. It made me really angry, and I shouted at the librarian who didn't really deserve to be shouted at, then...”

    Varla interrupted the girl's rant with a single loud squeak, looked her in the eyes then hugged her.

    Zaniah, agreeably quite stunned at the onslaught of hugging, laughed “I think I'll take that as a yes. I just wanted to check is all.” She picked up the bell pokémon and hugged her back.

    “If we're going to be successful at this battling stuff, we might as well check out how the local gym does it, sound good to you?”



    * * *

    This chapter marks our first dream sequence!

    We'll see a lot more of those and it's up to you whether you want to see any significance in them, they can get pretty wacky at times.

    Once again, read, review and all that good stuff.
    Last edited by Diddy; 13th September 2011 at 8:33 PM.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  16. #16
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    Lemme guess how this fic ends:

    Chingling, after evolving, somehow becomes spited by the actions of human beings and kills everyone with Perish Song.

  17. #17
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    That is one of the many possible endings I've been alluding to all this time xD

    Okay, terribly sorry about being late... There was some important stuff that needed my full attention I was totally not playing Gears of War 3 all day

    *cough*

    So anyway, this chapter is slightly different from the others in terms of style. I wanted to write with a slightly comedic tone so most of the stuff you see (especially in the middle) was written purely for comedic effect. I never said I was funny, but I'm trying xP


    Your Gym Isn't Straight!
    Chapter 3


    The gym stadium, which was very close to the grassy area Zaniah was previously sat, took little time to reach.

    There appeared to be only one entrance to the monolithic building, which takes up the majority of the Violet skyline (the other being the Sprout Tower). When Zaniah found that the wall nearest to her had no entrance, she sighed and took the walk around the base of the building. After only a few metres however, she noticed a large gathering of people chatting animatedly.

    “Did you see the size of that tower? I strained my neck just looking at the top-”

    “And that school! I don't think I've seen a more impressive school in all my years. Why back in my day-”

    “Don't forget this gym. She hasn't told us about it and it already seems impressive-”

    Seeing an opportunity to learn something about the gym and perhaps some local history, Zaniah joined the group at the back and listened in on what a tour guide was saying. The blonde, ever smiling tour guide dressed in her royal blue suit, was quieting people down at the front of the group when she finally shouted “Quiet!”

    “Thank you for listening” she continued in a sickeningly sweet voice, “Over to our left is the unmissable Violet Town Gym Stadium, famous for it's unwavering choice of using flying type pokémon over all others. The leader, self-proclaimed style icon of Violet, Butch Mariana has been training flying types since childhood due to his father's influence. Butch's father, the recently resigned Violet Gym leader, Percy 'Patches' Mariana, was a thorn in the side of many beginning trainers hoping to become champions or even gym leaders themselves. But enough about Butch and his father, the gym itself has come up in recent town council meetings due to the apparent subsidence occurring on the east side, just over there-” At this point she gestured to a very visible crack in the floor at the base of the gym, where the building seemed to be sinking into the earth. “-some have argued that the subsidence may be a clever ploy from Butch himself to give land based Pokémon a disadvantage where his birds would be unaffected. Whereas others have blamed the sudden increase in gym equipment being brought in that is aggravating some loose soil under the gym. An inquiry is under way to find out the problem. Now if you'll follow me.”

    The group continued round the base of the gym, some people even taking pictures of the crack in the floor, until they stopped again on the north side.

    “Now as you can see, the bricks the gym is made of were imported straight from the Vermilion clay mines in Kanto and the steel framework was imported directly from Sinnoh. This plaque-” she pointed to a small rectangular slab of rock which was slightly weather worn. “-was laid when the gym was first completed fifty years ago. The architect Thomas Gladson is directly commended along with the town motto 'May all your dreams take flight', the mayor thought due to the nature of the gym, it was necessary for the time. That concludes this section of the tour, we're having a thirty minute break then setting off for the next location, the recently discovered 'Ruins of Alph' if you'd like to have some dinner, there are various restaurants nearby and some concession stands inside the gym itself, along with benches for resting on. Meet me back here in half an hour.”

    Zaniah sighed, 'people are actually believing the crap about the ruins? What is the world coming to?' Figuring there was nothing else she could do, she took off for the entrance to the gym. A brisk walk around the base and the large metal doors of the Violet gym loomed before her. She knocked, with an echoing clang! But nothing happened. Varla squeaked, jumped from her arms and pushed the door open, with great difficulty. The first thing she heard was up beat, high energy music and the sound of metal hitting metal. Looking awkwardly through the doors, she saw someone sat at a desk reading a fashion magazine which obscured their face from view. Zaniah took a few steps forward towards the desk.

    “Excuse me? I'd like to watch a gym battle if that's all right” she asked tentatively.

    The person behind the desk, who Zaniah believed to be some kind of secretary or assistant, put the magazine to reveal an extremely tanned and... moustached figure. Upon seeing the girl, he immediately 'humphed' in what seemed like jealousy.

    “I envy you girl, how do you stay so slim? What's your secret? Is it intense dieting, diet pills-” then he lowered his voice -”or is it surgery?”

    Zaniah was beyond stunned, it took her a while to regain her senses and reply to the man. “No... No, I don't er, diet or anything. I actually just woke up like this one day.”

    The guy looked overly shocked and seemed to flail his arms, “Shut up! You are so lucky! I eat anything with the tiniest bit of fat and I end up looking like a wailord, seriously. Then it takes me days in the gym and some other 'vigorous exercises', if you catch my drift, to work it all off.” He giggled, actually giggled and gave Zaniah a wink. “If you want to watch a battle it's off to your left up the first set of stairs, if you want to 'pump some iron' then you go right to our in built gym. You get it? Johto's first gym and gym!” He announced the last part with a look of smug glee on his face.

    “Gym and Gym? Sounds good, I heard someone say it was the amount of gym equipment that's causing that crack in the floor outside, if you look carefully, you can see that the gym isn't straight.”

    “That's not the half of it!” he said, winking again. A beeping sound rang from the guy's pocket and he giggled again. 'This guy is weird,' thought Zaniah, and she was quite sure Varla did to.

    “Break time!” he sang, he took off his red jacket with the Violet gym logo on, revealing a tight white vest. “I'm going to use 'the facilities' maybe inspect the piping in the gym.” he winked again. “If you need anything, just ask for Pablo!” he turned and headed right, but not before Zaniah shouted after him.

    “Who's Pablo?”

    “Why I am, dear.” and he continued on, grabbing a towel from the wall, whistling merrily as he went, leaving Zaniah at the desk scratching her head in confusion.


    Finding the stairs without great difficulty and then finding a seat, with great difficulty, she finally sat and viewed the enormous stadium. It seemed even more impressive from the inside, the seating was arranged in a huge semi-circle around the massive orange clay floor of the battling area. Upon the clay was a white outlined rectangle, which Zaniah presumed indicated some kind of boundary for the battle to take place in, the rectangle was split down the middle which separated the two sides and finally at each end was a small metal booth in which the trainers stood.

    As the challenger stepped out, a great roar rang out around the stadium, sending chills up and down Zaniah's spine. The atmosphere was electric and Zaniah felt a surge of energy rush through her body, she felt as though she could run a marathon. The feeling only grew as the gym leader Butch stepped out, the roar grew louder and the scene became wilder.

    From a side door the referee, dressed in a black & white striped jersey and black pants, emerged and signalled for the crowd to quiet down.

    “Introducing, Cassandra Antomar from our very own Violet Town!” He waited for the cheers to wear away. “And she will be facing, the one, the only, the self-proclaimed style king of Violet town, Butch Mariana!” Again, he waited for the cheers to die down. “This will be a two on two battle, championship rules.-” he raised two flags; one red, one green and held them in the air for seconds, which for the crowd felt like minutes. “-Let battle commence!”


    --


    Zaniah had never been so exhilarated. The thrill of watching the battle was more than she had ever felt, but there was still a niggling feeling in the back of her mind which worried about the pokémon that were hurt during the battle. She wondered whether she could go into battle and each time risk the safety of her pokémon. Sure it was fun for her to watch other people compete, but would Varla feel the same way out there being battered each time?

    It was questions like these that Zaniah pondered on her way down the stairs from the seating area and back into the main foyer. An unnaturally high pitched scream coming from the gym however, interrupted her train of thought.

    Zaniah ran over to see what was going on. A crowd had started to gather but she pushed her way through to see the cause of the scream, 'someone must have been hurt or something' thought the girl, but she had to make sure first. Turning a corner; the girl saw several hulking figures, each sporting multicoloured wrestling singlets, stood on one piece of equipment as a spinarak circled them menacingly, a sinister glare in it's eyes.

    At least, that's what the gym patrons saw.

    All Zaniah saw was a cuddly bug pokémon who had gotten lost, wandered into the gym and become confused by the screaming.

    “Who made all that noise?” Zaniah asked curiously. A trembling hand arose from amidst the pack of muscular torsos.

    “It was me, Pablo. I'm sorry, but spinarak scare the crap out of me. And hey, I'm not complaining up here.” Pablo giggled in that way he did and so did a few of the men gathered around him. “It's like being the jam in a muscular doughnut.”

    From somewhere, a deep voice entered the conversation. “You can be the jam in my doughnut any time you want, Pablo.” Everyone turned around, shocked by what the voice had just said. None other than gym leader Butch Mariana stood in a doorway, balled hands on his hips, smiling cockily. The whole room watched as, in slow motion, he flicked his flowing blonde locks around his head in a way only people in shampoo adverts can and showed his pearly whites, which seemed to flash bright as a light bounced off their enamel surface.

    Showing immense bravery in the face of the adversity, Butch picked up the little spider, earning a gasp from the watching crowd and merely contorted his face to show deep thought, whilst still looking devilishly stylish. “Haven't I seen you before?” He asked in his deep rumbling tones, which seemed to reverberate around the tiled gym walls.

    “Yeah.-” Another voice entered the mix, this one female and slightly melancholic. A girl emerged from the crowd in a black and purple knee length dress, her hair was black but showed streams of white where the bright gym lights hit their shiny surface, the girl's heavily made-up eyes looked directly into Butch's gleaming baby-blues. “He's mine” she said in an all too unnecessary dramatic whisper. Pulling a black and yellow apricorn from her bag she recalled the small spider.

    Pablo and his muscular companions sighed a sigh of relief and climbed down from the weight lifting apparatus. Pablo immediately ran to Butch and gave the gym leader a tight hug, “You really are worth it, Butch,” he said whilst stroking the leaders magnificently trimmed beard. Butch Mariana merely gave an immense laugh that even the heartiest of hikers would have been impressed with. Some have even argued the six pack helps.

    Whilst this public show of man love went on and as the crowd stared awe inspired at the tremendously rugged but devilishly stylish Butch, Zaniah had started up a conversation with the girl who owned the spinarak, “I loved your battle. It was the most fun I've ever had, I especially liked when you used your spinarak's web to gunk up the pidgey's wings.”

    “Yeah, my main tactic was to stop his pokémon from flying, so I taught all my pokémon moves which could help. It's not only electricity that can clip a bird's wings you know. Oddly, Butch seemed to really enjoy that move, he told me it reminded him of Pablo for some reason.”

    “Guy's sure are strange around here. Anyway, what are you going to do now you've got your Zephyr Badge?”

    “I'm going to go to Azalea Town, get the second gym badge and continue my journey to get to the league championships. Are you here to get the Violet gym badge as well?”

    “That was my original plan, but after watching your battle, I don't think I have the heart to go out there each time and risk the health of my pokémon. I suppose deep down I'm just a big softy.”

    Speaking of big softies, Pablo was now crying into Butch's rippling shoulder, amongst the sobs, a few words could be heard “Feared for my life... Evil... Crazy spider... I don't think I can be alone tonight.”

    The girl turned back to Zaniah after witnessing the secretary’s breakdown, laughing “You probably aren't as soft as him. I've seen manlier togepi.”

    Zaniah laughed. “Good battler, funny. Do you have any other hidden talents?”

    “I think you'll find I'm full of secrets. I'm Cassandra by the way, have I seen you before, I'm sure I remember your face.”

    “You're the girl who was working on that mobile stall weren't you? I think you looked at me when I was going home, I got a bit embarrassed actually.” Zaniah laughed nervously, wondering why she had just pointed that out.

    “That's right. As you were talking to me all I could think was, 'where have I seen that face before?' where do you live anyway?”

    “Down in Union, I only came up here to get my gym badge, but I seem to have changed my mind a bit. Maybe I should just give up and go home.”

    Cassandra narrowed her eyes, “Now that's no way to think. You don't have to collect badges to enjoy an adventure, it's all about growing closer to your pokémon and making friends, that's what my Dad always told me when I was growing up.”

    “He sounds like a smart guy.”

    “Yeah he's great, if only he'd let me go on this thing a bit earlier.” Cassandra looked slightly crest-fallen, “I hate seeing kids younger than me having lots of pokémon. Now that I think of it, I need to go through Union Cave to get to Azalea, how about you show me the way?”

    “You mean you and me travel together? Well sure, I'd really like that, I'm sure Varla would as well.” The chingling in the girls arms smiled.

    The two girls shook hands, exiting the crowd gathered around the gym leader and the crying Pablo.

    Butch loosened the grip his muscular arms had around Pablo, instead he grabbed him by the shoulders and looked deep into his eyes. “Pablo, I've just thought about the perfect name for a child, how do you like Falkner?”

    “Pablo dried his eyes, but found them filling with more tears, this time they were tears of happiness. “I love it Butch! Although we're far too attractive for children right now, maybe in a decade or so when were all old and ugly, a baby might make us feel young again.”

    Butch smiled one of his perfectly white smiles, “Your right, we'll wait... I love you Pablo.”

    The two embraced in a kiss whilst the crowd still watched on, captivated by the gym leader's personal life. They gave various 'Awww' noises at appropriate times and also garnered more than a few scornful glances from the muscular men in the multicoloured singlets.

    One of the men ran out of the crowd, tears in his eyes shouting “Damn you Butch and your devilish style!”


    --


    Back outside, the two girls continued their conversation whist heading towards the gates of the town.

    “So this must be Varla. I've never seen a pokémon like this before, where did you get him?” Cassandra asked, sounding interested.

    Zaniah thought for a while, thinking back to the letter she had received from her Grandmother. “Varla's a girl actually, my Grandmother gave her to me as a present. I think she went a bit overboard to be honest, look what she sent her in.-” Zaniah pulled out Varla's pokéball from her pocket and held it up for Cassandra.

    “Wow, I didn't think I'd see any beginning trainers with any of those, aren't pokéballs supposed to be really expensive?” She continued to stare at the ball with a gleam in her eyes.

    “Yeah, that's why it's mostly gym leaders and top trainers that have them. They say they also have much better chances of capturing pokémon than traditional apricorns.”

    “Your Grandmother must really love you-” she said with a laugh “I don't think anyone in my family would be able to afford one of these. Can I, you know... hold it? Just for a while.”

    Zaniah looked strangely at her new friend for a while, she was thinking if all trainers were this gung-ho about 'the latest equipment' but she supposed there was no harm in it. “Yeah, why not?”

    Cassandra caught the ball as Zaniah threw it to her and allowed for the change in weight, apricorns are known for being oddly heavy for their size, but found it wasn't as heavy as she expected, “This is really light!”

    “Look what else it can do.” interjected Zaniah, she reached over and pressed the button in the centre of the red and white ball, it immediately shrunk in size to that of a ping-pong ball rather than that of a ripe oran.

    Needless to say, Cassandra was shocked. “How can it do that!? That is really useful. Oh I'm sorry, I got all worked up about the pokéball I didn't let you tell me about Varla.”

    Zaniah laughed, “Don't worry. As I was saying, My Grandmother sent me her in the pokéball. I don't really know why, it isn't my birthday for a few months. I went to the garden to see what she'd sent me, and out came Varla, she was a bit timid at first, but she warmed to me. I didn't recognise her at first either, I went to the library and read a book which had her in. Her species name is 'chingling' and she's the psychic type, my Grandmother also said she was newly hatched so that's also why I don't want to battle her. She also said that the chingling species is native to Sinnoh, so I don't think you'll see many round these parts.”

    Cassandra looked intrigued. “A rare pokémon?-”

    “Not necessarily, just she is in this region, apparently they're fairly abundant in the mountainous regions of Sinnoh.”

    “-Okay, so not necessarily rare, but you have to admit, she's still very interesting.”

    The chingling in Zaniah's arms gave a cheery squeak of approval, as if saying 'I like her, she says nice things.'

    The two girls and the chingling walked south from Violet and continued chatting (the intermittent squeaks of the bell pokémon notwithstanding) until they witnessed three children, no older than ten, throwing stones at someone's house. The two girls turned to each other looking slightly shocked. Cassandra ran over to the kids shouting “Stop doing that” as she went.

    Upon hearing the shouting, the kids scattered into the forest. Cassandra looked angry as Zaniah ran up behind her out of breath “Can you tell me... before you... run away like that.”

    “Sorry, it's just that I know the guy who lives here. I also know why those kids were throwing stones at his house. Let's go talk to him, see if he's all right.”

    And with a firm determination in her eyes, Cassandra knocked on the front door of the house and waited.


    --

    *Le gasp*

    Is that a cliffhangar? Just who is this guy? Why are children throwing rocks at his house? Did this chapter overdo it on the puns?

    Read, review, all that good stuff.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  18. #18
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    I think I'm having a seizure of childish laughter from all those puns and gay culture references you put in the chapter.
    Last edited by Sgeckledorf Spoongeblorb; 21st September 2011 at 3:28 PM.

  19. #19
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    Okay, Diddy, you reeled me into this story. I can now make a proper judgment because of that. Before that, though, I'm gonna put on my Grammar Nazi hat and... *pause* actually, that'll take forever to point out individual mistakes. So I'll just say that you keep using "your" when you should be using "you're", and sometimes you use "you" in context that would make this seem like a second person point-of-view. It's a big distracting like that. I haven't paid much attention to see how your commas are the past two chapters, so you're off the hook--for now.

    All right, though it was slow from the prologue to the first chapter, it's now starting to pick up. Zaniah is now on her journey to just strengthen the bond of Varla, her Chingling. We may just see the gym leaders, but not necessarily gym leader battles, at least when it comes to her. Cassandra (I don't know why, but I thought she would have that sort of name) is collecting her badges, so we'll at least see gym battles, maybe. And my guess is we'll be seeing Ralph from time to time.

    And I don't know why, but the librarian naming off the book titles reminded me of Harry Potter a lot. And was that a reference to Joey in the first chapter, despite this taking place half a century before Joey?

    That first dream sequence was really... odd. I'm sure you know what you're doing with these dream sequences, so there's bound to be plenty of symbolism in them.

    Now, the ending of this recent chapter... between Pablo and Butch... um... well, Pablo by himself is a bit funny, albeit creepy, and we didn't get enough character development with Butch, which makes sense since Zaniah didn't battle him, so we couldn't see his battling skills. But uh... that was out-of-place, it seems, to me anyway. Now, I don't know how you see the Pokémon world, whether the games have it take place in the future--of our world, at least in another universe, but from the way I see it, that didn't fit. Yeah, I'm being nit-picky about a certain scene that we probably shouldn't take seriously, but it doesn't make sense. And I shouldn't be dwelling on that.

    *scrubs brain*

    Anyhoo, despite all of that, you have ensnared me into the story. Thus, I'd like to be on the PM list, if you have any.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutie Pie View Post
    Anyhoo, despite all of that, you have ensnared me into the story. Thus, I'd like to be on the PM list, if you have any.
    Considering that the internet obviously didn't want me to post a detailed reply to you, I'll condense the points that I made into easily digestible chunks.

    -Welcome to the fishing boat! *bad reel pun*
    -Will fix grammar, thanks for pointing it out.
    -Your assessment of Zaniah was pretty much spot on, at the moment, she doesn't want to battle for fear of hurting her pokémon.
    -Cassandra will battle the gyms.
    -You win a prize if you can guess who I referenced when naming Cassandra
    -Librarian Mary rocks
    -It was a reference to Youngster Joey type characters, the ones that teach you "the rules of trainer battles"
    -Dreams are usually weird, they usually make a little bit of sense in this fic though
    -I had to carefully toe the line with the general feel of that section
    -Homosexuality exists, doesn't make sense to ignore it
    -Butch is like a manlier Chuck Norris
    -I'll see about starting a PM list.

    I'll quickly post this before my internet craps out again.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  21. #21
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    Hey, it's okay you couldn't make the post detailed. Words are powerful in small quantities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diddy View Post
    Welcome to the fishing boat! *bad reel pun*
    That's a weird metaphor XD.

    You win a prize if you can guess who I referenced when naming Cassandra
    Uh... it's from a book xD? I don't know, Cassandra sounds like it was a name for a witch. *cheats looks it up anyway* Greek mythology about a girl granted ability to prophesy by Apollo?

    Librarian Mary rocks
    Then I demand more scenes of her! Do it for all the librarians in the world!

    It was a reference to Youngster Joey type characters, the ones that teach you "the rules of trainer battles"
    Mmm, I don't remember them X3. The only ones I can think of are the schoolkids, unless a Lass was like one?

    Dreams are usually weird, they usually make a little bit of sense in this fic though
    Ah, okay then.

    -I had to carefully toe the line with the general feel of that section. Homosexuality exists, doesn't make sense to ignore it
    I know it does, but it seemed a bit out-of-place to me. It could be because there's no rating for the story, I guess, so it caught me off-guard. *shrugs*

    Butch is like a manlier Chuck Norris
    Lol xD. Most random quote from you, and it's awesome.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  22. #22
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    "You see, the problem with words is that words have power. When a certain amount of knowledge (and therefore power) is pushed together, little rifts in the abstract plane can appear. This naturally causes problems to people who happen to have large collections of antique spell books and can get rather confusing and downright silly." - Terry Pratchett.

    Words apparently have power in large quantities as well xD

    Uh... it's from a book xD? I don't know, Cassandra sounds like it was a name for a witch. *cheats looks it up anyway* Greek mythology about a girl granted ability to prophesy by Apollo?
    You're so damn close... The reference in the book is most likely a reference to the Cassandra from Greek Mythology.

    As for content and ratings, it's obviously not going to be a happy shiny romp around Johto where everyone smiles and vomits rainbows, but it's not exactly a gritty, hyper-realistic dystopia. Stuff will happen and it's not always suitable for younger audiences.

    I suppose I'll start a PM list if anyone wants to be on it. Just ask and ye shall be rewarded.

    This chapter has some backstory and some plot. You know how it is. Longest chapter yet at nearly ten full pages xD

    Home Is Where The Heart Is
    Chapter 4


    “If you're still there when I open the door, I swear I'll call the police!”

    The two girls looked at each other and then back at the door as it swung open. A man appeared dressed in a knitted cardigan and tan slacks, he looked quite young, late twenties at the most. “Oh, it's you Cassandra, sorry about the shout but they've been back with increasing frequency lately. I'm really getting sick of it. Do you know how many times I've had to replace the windows?”

    “Yeah I know, it's stupid. If they took the time to get to know you they'd see your nothing like your father.”

    The man sighed and nodded his head, when he looked up he noticed Zaniah stood slightly to the side, “Who's your friend?”

    Cassandra perked up slightly upon hearing the question, “Oh sorry, this is Zaniah, I met her in the Violet gym. I won by the way-” the man gave a smile. “-she lives down in Union and she's showing me the best way to get to Union Cave.”

    The man held his hand out and Zaniah shook it, “I'm Pat. Pat Bonham. I'm surprised you don't know the name considering you live so close.”

    Zaniah looked at the floor sheepishly as if embarrassed. “We don't have a television or get the newspaper, I don't know much about the world outside Union except from what I've seen in Violet Town the few times I've been there.”

    Pat looked slightly saddened. “I suppose that's all the more reason for you to get out there and explore the world, I see you have a chingling so you're probably a trainer, right? I know Cassandra here has just started her journey and she knows a fair bit about training already, perhaps she could help and mentor you?” Cassandra nodded at this idea, “Anyway, if you'd like, I could put the kettle on and I'll tell you why those kids keep throwing stones at my house.”

    Cassandra immediately took the offer up, but stopped when she noticed Zaniah was having some slight doubts, “Don't worry, he's a really good friend of my dads.” She held her hand out and smiled, “Trust me.”

    Zaniah let go of the breath she didn't know she was holding and grabbed the outstretched hand, being pulled into the small house. When she entered, she didn't expect what she saw. There was only a single large room on the bottom, along the back wall was a row of computers running various things Zaniah didn't understand, there were multiple desks with papers scattered on them and even more filing cabinets which Zaniah could only guess held more papers. She was lead upstairs where she was surprised to find the front room, if it could be called a front room whilst being upstairs.

    It would seem Cassandra was accustomed to coming here as she immediately sat on the black leather couch and pulled up a foot rest. Zaniah, feeling awkward, merely sat on the edge of the seat with her back as straight as a ruler and her hands held on her lap.

    “Will you loosen up, Pat's a great guy, he's like my uncle.”

    “Sugar?” came a shout from the kitchen.

    “Just one please,” answered Cassandra.

    “None for me thank you,” replied Zaniah apprehensively.

    Returning from the kitchen with three mugs in hand, Pat placed them on three coasters set out on the coffee table giving the specific mugs to their respective drinkers. Zaniah got a plain green mug. Cassandra sat drinking from a white mug, her feet tucked close to her body. Pat drank from a mug bearing the slogan 'Pi isn't 3.14. It's delicious!' Zaniah mentally face palmed at the incredibly nerdy mug, as a physical face palm may very well have gotten hot tea all over her face.

    Pat took a big sip from his mug and started his tale. “It was a stormy night... No wait, it was pleasantly breezy. Anyway, the weather is unimportant. The story begins before I was born, when my father was a child. He was a beginning trainer and he had just received his starter pokémon, now usually starter pokémon are docile towards humans, but this was a fair few decades ago and we didn't have the teaching methods we have today. Maybe if we did then...” Pat trailed off for a while and sighed, “...To make a long story short, his starter pokémon was unruly and didn't want to listen to him, during one of his first battles his pokémon decided not to attack the opponent and attack him. I think from that day, he give up his dreams of becoming a top trainer and resigned himself to the daily grind of education and eventual work. He hated pokémon for sure, but he never really openly expressed his distaste for them in public. He eventually met my mother and I was born.”

    Zaniah, took it all in whilst drinking her tea. She was quite sure she knew where this was going, but to make sure, she kept on listening intently.

    “My mother decided we couldn't keep living in the dingy flat we lived in at the time, so my mother and father went house hunting and they found this place just outside of Violet, it was just a village back then, a few houses and Sprout Tower. Whilst I was growing up, I heard my father read from the newspaper that the gym in Cherrygrove was being demolished, he was delighted to be sure, but then then it continued to say they were going to rebuild it in Violet and inject some cash into the area to urbanise it a bit. That meant a Pokémon Centre, a Pokémart, the trainers school and obviously, the massive gym you were successful in defeating Cassandra.-”

    Here the girl smiled, obviously reliving the moment. And to be honest, so was Zaniah.

    “My father was livid, as you'd expect. All of this was going to bring loads of trainers and pokémon right past his yard, when previously it was just the odd one passing through to get to Goldenrod (or Portside as it was called back then) or perhaps a trainer returning home. It was a few more years before I think anything really set him off, he might have been storing all his anger over the years and maybe released it in one big explosion. I was getting around ten years old and was quite the inquisitive little scamp. I'd play out in the forest, watching the wild pokémon, I'd even sometimes talk to the passing trainers and ask them what it was like being a trainer. Dear old dad had always said it was evil and that pokémon were as bad as the trainers. But from the small experiences with wild pokémon and trainers allayed any fears or questions I had about them, from watching them in the wild and studying their habits to listening to the fantastic tales the passing trainers had to tell about their times travelling with their pokémon and how they were invaluable allies. Dad didn't like that, so he sent me away.-”

    Zaniah gasped, “He just sent you away?”

    “Yeah, he got me a boat ticket, drove me to Portside and sent me to live with my Grandparents in Kanto. And I'll tell you for free, catching a two day boat ride alone when your eleven is a pretty traumatising experience.”

    “He made you go by yourself? How awful.” Zaniah looked shocked.

    “Yes, but compared to what he ended up doing, it was pretty nice. Anyway, My grandparents were nice people, they lived in a sleepy village by the name of Pallet. Life was alright, peaceful to be sure. But I found myself consistently straying into the wilder territories to look for pokémon; to be fair, what enjoyment can an eleven year old boy get from a town about a mile square, in which the majority of the land was used for farming and the only houses were sporadically placed along the plains? Out of the ten plus houses that existed, I hadn't seen a single other person around my age. I was desperate for contact with another child, I was even willing to go so far as talk to a girl if she was around my age, my eleven year old self was saying 'I don't care about cooties. Just let me talk to someone!'”

    This comment garnered a laugh from the two girls. “Boys are idiots,” remarked Cassandra.

    “That's about the basis of it yeah. So where was I? Oh right. I yearned for company and one day after a few weeks alone, I found it. A young boy was fishing in the stream, I jumped on the opportunity, I introduced myself and told him that I hadn't seen him around anywhere for the past month. He apparently just got there to stay with his grandparents to wait until his twelfth birthday so he could officially start as a Pokémon trainer. That bummed me out a bit, I find this new friend then I find out he's leaving soon to do something I would have loved to do. I asked his name, Samuel Oak he said.” Pat sighed reminiscently.

    “From that day we were inseparable, we'd play in the fields and scare the murkrow away from the crops, we'd find wild pokémon in the nearby woods and watch silently as they go about their daily business. It was probably the happiest time of my life. The days went and it was nearing Sammy's, that was what I called him, twelfth birthday. I already had mine, but because of my father and most probably Sammy, I stayed to watch him leave for his. I still remember the day before his birthday, he told me 'It's not too late you know, there's a whole world of pokémon out there to see and study, and I can think of no better person to be my research assistant.' He was always into that kinda stuff. But what he told me that day, it made me finally realise. It was my own life and if I wanted to train pokémon, then I would. It doesn't matter if my father had a bad experience the one time, it wouldn't happen to me.”

    Pat stopped and took another breath, he seemed lost in reminiscing for a while, until he shook himself out of it and took another big sip from his mug of tea, draining it completely. He placed the mug back onto the coaster and continued.

    “With the consent of my grandparents, Sammy and me set off for Viridian City, the home of Percival Ashburton, noted Pokémon Professor and licensed to hand out starter pokémon to beginning trainers-”

    “Do you have to receive a pokémon from someone with a license to become a trainer, because I got Varla from my grandmother.” Zaniah interrupted Pat mid sentence, much to the surprise of the man. He smiled however and continued.

    “Not necessarily, but it levels the playing field slightly if all pokémon are obtained from a licensed person who will give equally powerful pokémon, so no one gets a starting advantage. That's why pokémon like chikorita, totodile and cyndaquil are popular starters for license holders to give out, they all have equal strengths and weaknesses against each other and each are equally as powerful. All pokémon given to beginning trainers by family members are usually encouraged to be newly hatched or young pokémon with little or no battling experience, it's all about being fair really, but you can get more variation if you get them from family members, as I can see with you Zaniah.”

    “Oh right, thanks. It helps to know these things.” Zaniah felt slightly embarrassed for asking such a silly question and subsequently sipped her tea and stayed quiet.

    “As I was saying, we received our pokémon and began our epic journey, toppling gym leaders and commanding powerful pokémon of our own. It was easy to see that Sammy was the more skilled trainer, but it didn't stop him pursuing his dreams of becoming a pokémon researcher. I on the other hand decided to go back to Johto to visit my dear old dad, my journey had taken about a year and a half and I had hoped he had simmered down some. I was dead wrong. I came back to the house and found police tape around the fence, I automatically assumed the worst, but it turned out a little different to what I expected. My dad had committed suicide after being cornered by the police and it turned out my mother had died about a month earlier.-”

    Zaniah couldn't help but say something. “Both your parents died?”

    “To be more precise, both my parents were killed. You see, my father killed my mother, he'd apparently been abusing her for years and I was unaware of it, one day he just went too far and she couldn't take it. He stayed in his house for days on end, no one knew anything about what had gone on, I think the loneliness got to him personally and he just cracked one day. There were calls to the police about missing persons, trainers who hadn't made it home when they said they would and hadn't turned up since, whispers about kids going out walking the family pokémon in the morning and not returning, those kinda things. They got to investigating and someone called about a strange smell coming from the old Bonham place. That's how he got cornered, the police knocked his door down and they found him cowering in the kitchen with a handgun held to his own head and before anyone could get close to him, he pulled the trigger. Well that was better than a confession to the police, they searched the house for evidence of the kidnappings when someone noted an odd smell coming from the basement, 'like burnt meat'. They went down and found several bodies, some human, some pokémon all scattered about the floor with obvious signs of fire damage. They found my mother bound to the head board in my parents bedroom, the bed had signs of being slept in so they could only assume he slept next to her body for the month after he killed her. I like to think it shows a slight bit of remorse on his part, others refuse to see any side of him as remorseful because of what else he did. And because my father wasn't around to harass, they went to the next best thing, me.”

    “But why did they do that, you were away on your journey, surely people noticed that.” asked Zaniah.

    “Some people did, but that's the thing. The human individual is smart, the human people are a stupid and dangerous bunch. No matter who the group is made of, they will never listen to reason, arguing with a hundred minds is as useless as a magikarp attacking a dragonite. I couldn't stand the constant teasing and insults people threw at me, so I just left. I packed up my stuff and took a leaf out of Sammy's book, I went to Sinnoh to finish my education and become a man of research. So there I was, a fourteen year old boy with just enough money for his education and no friends to speak of, all alone in Sinnoh. By choice of course, but it was still a crushing experience. Term started and I took classes on Pokémon Breeding, Evolution Theory, and Pokémon Physiology. I was a fairly good student, I carried a B average throughout the classes and made friends with plenty of people, none better than erm... what's his name, I haven't thought about him in a long time, Rowan I think, I can't remember his first name. Anyway, he was in my Evolution Theory class, the best one in there, he aced so many tests they gave him an award at graduation for excellence in the field of Evolution. They say he would do great things in the field. You'd be shocked to find out that Rowan had a correspondence with none other than Samuel Oak, my old travelling buddy, he was shocked to hear that I'll tell you.”

    “So you were almost fated to meet huh?” supplied Zaniah.

    “You could probably say that. We're good friends and we bounce ideas of one another in the letters I send every now and then. I don't have a telephone you see, if anyone from Violet found out my number it'd be non stop calls, more abuse.”

    “Why don't you move away for a while, maybe change your name? It worked for this one guy I knew back in Union, he'd gotten into a little trouble with some unsavoury types, he moved away for about a month and pretended he sold the house, changed his name, grew a beard and moved back. Hasn't been hassled since.” Zaniah stated matter-of-factly as if this was advice she gave everyone.

    Cassandra sat up straight and stared at Zaniah, “You know, that could work. Plus, you'd suit a beard, or at least a goatee.”

    “I don't know, wouldn't it be too much work?” Pat replied tentatively.

    Zaniah told Pat that it would stop all the abuse and perhaps would make him a few more friends, get some interest from the ladies and that he could do his research in peace and quiet. Plus, he won't have to replace any more windows.

    “That is a whole big list of pluses. Maybe I could visit Sammy again, see if he's gotten anywhere with that stupid electronic encyclopaedia of his. In fact, I think your right. I deserve a peaceful and quiet life, I'll start growing that beard right now. I would also need to go to Goldenrod, get the change of name, that's the nearest courthouse right? What should I pack, I might need to throw blankets over the computers and things to make it a bit more believable. I'll also need a For Sale sign.” Pat started rummaging through drawers talking avidly to himself.

    Cassandra stood and dusted her hands, “Well. I think our work here is done, this is the happiest I've seen him in a long time you know.”

    Zaniah laughed and grabbed the three mugs from the table and placed them in the nearby sink, she stared at Cassandra for a while as if mentally asking, 'well what should we do now?'

    Cassandra answered by shouting a goodbye, “Thanks for the tea Pat, we'll leave you to the packing.”

    “Yeah, bye.” added Zaniah hastily.

    --

    The pair, walked downstairs and let themselves out, took the time to scare away a few more kids hoping to throw stones at Pat's house and they were off heading to Union again. During the time listening to Pat's story, the sun had lowered considerably in the sky and it was starting to darken. Cassandra seemed to notice this and asked whether they should break out the camping gear.

    “No need, it'll only take another hour or so walking and we'll be in Union, we have a Pokémon Centre if you need to heal your pokémon and your more than welcome to stay at my house for the night before you're off again.”

    “You not coming with? I thought I'd implied that.” Cassandra asked confusedly.

    Zaniah looked at her companion knowingly, “Yeah, I picked it up, I'm just not sure if I'm up for it any more, I just don't want to risk hurting Varla.”

    “We've had this conversation before. I'm sure I swayed you to my way of thinking, but if it takes me until we get to Union, I'm damn sure I can do it again. I would have thought if anything, Pat's story would have inspired you more.”

    “That depressed me more than it inspired me.”

    Cassandra slapped her forehead, “Didn't you hear about what he said about his journey, about the friends he made and all the fun he had with his pokémon? You sure are a hard nut to crack, but I'll do it.”

    Zaniah gave an involuntary giggle but tried to suppress it.

    “See, you are enjoying yourself. Admit-” she suddenly stopped talking and stared accusingly at Zaniah, who was still trying to suppress her laughter. “Your pulling my leg aren't you?”

    Unable to contain it any longer, Zaniah unleashed a tirade of laughter but stopped as she realised Cassandra was staring menacingly at her. “-Oh crap.” Getting the message, the girl ran before Cassandra could make her move.

    “Get back here!” she shouted, finally realising she'd have to run to catch her.

    “You can't kill what you can't catch.” replied Zaniah, who was already quite the distance away. As a precaution, she had recalled Varla to her pokéball and stored it safely in her pocket.

    Cassandra gave chase and immediately found Zaniah to be pretty slow, 'I knew there was a down side to having legs that thin' she thought. Legs unimpeded by such things as pants or jeans, Cassandra found it easier to catch the girl. When she was almost within arms length, she dived through the air catching Zaniah by the shoulders, forcing her to the floor. Oddly enough, the girl was laughing as Cassandra forced her onto her back, she placed her hands either side of her shoulders preventing the girls escape. Cassandra whole heartedly intended to say something, but all she could do was stare blankly into her brown eyes. Zaniah had noticed, stopped laughing and stared back, finally saying “hello?” shaking her head, Cassandra rolled off Zaniah and sat up on the grass.

    “Sorry about that.” she said quietly.

    “No, don't worry. I've not had a thrill like that in a long time, all that adrenaline rushing through my body, but you caught me pretty quick, I should really exercise more...”

    The speech faded out of Cassandra's mind and all she could hear was the wind racing by her head, blowing her raven hair backwards. Sat up, staring blankly at nothing in particular, all she could do was think. 'Was that really what I thought it was?' She had never felt anything like it, the rush of adrenaline blocking all thought, the warm tingly sensation in her stomach. 'Maybe I'm ill? No that can't be it, I've felt good all day.' Then what? Surely it can't be...

    “...Cassandra. Are you with us?” Zaniah, upon noticing her friend wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to her rant about exercise decided the next best course of action was to wave a hand in front of her face and say her name.

    When Cassandra finally blinked, Zaniah gave a sigh of relief. “That's twice now!”

    “I'm sorry.” was all she could mumble.

    “Will you stop apologising! Everybody spaces out every now and then, but not twice in quick succession. Maybe your ill?” Zaniah placed the back of her hand on Cassandra's forehead, “You do feel slightly hot and your pulse is going a mile a minute. Come on, not that far now, almost home.” Helping the girl up, Zaniah placed her arm around Cassandra's shoulder and they continued walking.

    “You're pretty warm yourself,” mentioned Cassandra, whilst mentally berating herself for saying something so stupid.

    “That must have been because of all the running, I haven't run like that since... a few days ago actually, but past then it's been a long time. It'll be dark soon, so I think we should hurry ourselves up.”

    The two continued, Zaniah aiding Cassandra, who tried to tell the girl she could walk perfectly fine on her own, but Zaniah wasn't having any of it. “No.” she said, “You're ill and you need to conserve your energy, let me carry your bag for you.”

    Cassandra begrudgingly agreed, she did feel light headed. “My bag isn't too heavy, I can carry it on my own.”

    A few more minutes walking and the gates of Union could be seen through the trees. Not expecting to be back here so soon, Zaniah didn't really feel the need to rush home and meet up with the folks again. Which was good because she was sure Cassandra wouldn't be able to run for a while yet. Zaniah still revelled in seeing the brick houses and rustic gardens again.

    When she saw her house, with it's low granite wall and colourful garden, she pointed it out to Cassandra, who now insisted she walk unaided. Pushing the gate open, Zaniah felt a burgeoning urge to skip to the door, but realised doing such a thing would seem childish in front of her new companion, speaking of which, Zaniah looked back and saw Cassandra stood at the gate. “It's alright, my parents won't bite. Trust me.” she held out her hand and waved her over. Cassandra walked over slowly and uneasily, it was always hard meeting other peoples parents, you always got the feeling that they were analysing your every move to see if you were worthy enough to be friends with their children.

    Cassandra felt no different now. 'I bet they hate me.'

    Zaniah knocked three times and waited. A few seconds later, the sound of a lock being opened was heard and a thin, brown-haired, male figure wearing glasses stood in the doorway.

    “Zaniah! I-we didn't expect you home so soon. And you've brought a friend I see.”

    Zaniah's father smiled and she smiled back. “I'm not staying for long, me and my friend were heading for Union Cave... this is Cassandra by the way... when it started to get dark, so I thought we could stop in and have a roof over our heads for the night.”

    Zaniah's father gave a hearty laugh, “There's always room for you and a friend at our place. You're just in time too, dinner's almost ready. I'll just go tell Alma she'll be serving for four.”

    Cassandra found the opportunity to speak up before he left, “Thank you for letting me stay Mr. Grayson.”

    “Don't worry about it and call me Hugh, Mr. Grayson is what they call me at work.” he said with a chuckle.

    As he strode away into the kitchen at the other end of the hall, Zaniah motioned for Cassandra to follow her upstairs. “You can put your things in my room and then we can clean ourselves up before we go for dinner. I'm afraid falling over got us both rather dirty.” Cassandra nodded absent-mindedly.

    “Okay then.” she replied meekly. What was worse than meeting someone else's parents? Using their bathroom, you're just too used to your own and the differences are kind of scary in a weird OCD kinda way.

    “Give me your bag and I'll take it to my room. You can go first in the bathroom, it's just through that door there.” Zaniah pointed to a brown door just to her left.

    “Is it alright if I just get a few clothes out of the bag, it's just these have got a bit of dirt on the front.” Cassandra asked.

    “Yeah sure, I should get changed as well.” Zaniah looked down at the shirt she was wearing and pointed out various stains that had accumulated over that day. Cassandra pulled out some dark clothing and gave the bag back, Zaniah then turned and went through the door at the end of the corridor.

    Cassandra entered the bathroom. 'I suppose it's not all that bad' she thought; it was relatively the same, perhaps the style was slightly different, but everything was in the same place. Calmed, Cassandra continued cleaning her self up, washing her hands and face and changing her clothes. She checked her self in the mirror to see if she was 'up to scratch.' She now wore a long, deep purple dress and a thin black shirt that covered her shoulders and upper arms. Her hair was still fairly messy looking, but it lay straighter than it usually would. Pleased with what she saw, Cassandra turned to leave but heard a knock at the door.

    “You alright in there?” Zaniah's voice came from the other side of the door, laced slightly with concern.

    Cassandra, instead of replying straight away, opened the door and simply said, “I'm fine. Your turn is it?”

    Zaniah stood agape in the doorway. “Wow, you look fantastic” she said after regaining her bearings. “You do know that it's only my house, right? You're not meeting the Queen.”

    Cassandra smiled, trying not to blush, “Yeah I know, I just wanted to look impressive so your parents will know you're not traipsing around Johto with an untrustworthy sort.”

    Zaniah smiled back and put a hand on Cassandra's shoulder “If there's anything I've learnt over the past few hours of knowing you... It feels longer than that... anyway, if there's anything I've learnt, it's that I could trust you. And nothing my parents say could change that. Besides, I'm a teenager, I'd just rebel anyway.” Zaniah and Cassandra shared a laugh but Zaniah continued, “And yes, I do need the bathroom, so if you'd like to move out of the way, I'd be most appreciative.”

    “I'll just go put these in my bag shall I? Last room on the corridor, right?”

    “Yeah, you go do that, and I'll... you know, wash.” Zaniah slammed the door closed and Cassandra headed to the last room on the hallway, Zaniah's room.

    Cassandra didn't really feel right being in Zaniah's room alone, even though she was invited. She saw her bag at the other side of the bed perched up against the wall, treading slowly and making sure not to touch anything or disturb the feel of the room, she stepped over to her bag and placed her dirty clothes in the top. Standing, Cassandra took a look around the room, the dark blue duvet and pillowcase set, the clean mahogany desk with a big golden framed mirror above it, the wooden dresser she was stood next to and the thick carpeted floor on which she was stood in only a thin pair of black socks.

    Just as she was inspecting the poster of a band she'd never heard of, the door flew open and Cassandra jumped. Heart beating a mile a minute, she spun to see who opened the door but gasped as Zaniah was stood there wearing only a towel around her body, barely covering her lower half. “Oh Gods, I forgot you were in here!” She half shouted, turning scarlet.

    Cassandra, a very similar colour to Zaniah, blocked her eyes and ran out of the room. “I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm not looking.” She left the room and heard the door slam behind her. Cassandra breathed a sigh of relief and calmed herself down, 'it was a mistake, nothing was meant by it, just calm yourself and get ready for dinner.'


    --


    The four people currently situated in the small house were all sat around the dinner table, one on each side of the square table. In front of each person was a meal of home made cheese & tamato pizza, which each of the occupants were just about to eat.

    Cassandra, not wanting to offend anyone, waited for someone else to take a bite before she did. Spying Zaniah having a taste and making a appreciative noise, she picked up a slice and tore off a small piece. 'Very nice' she thought, and so she took another bite and another, until she had finished eating. By this point everyone had either finished or had almost finished, Cassandra stood and went to put her plate in the sink but found herself being stopped by Zaniah's mother.

    “No deary, you're a guest in this house and you'll do no such thing as washing up. I'll do that.” she said it in a caring way that seemed to imply 'I like things done my way' she sat down and watched as Zaniah's mother took all the plates from the table and put them in the sink. “I suppose you'll be wanting an early night so you can be on your way quicker?” Zaniah's mother asked from her place by the sink.

    “Oh yes, I think we will. I've heard it's quite the trek through Union Cave and we'll need all the energy we can get.” Zaniah replied.

    “It's also quite the journey from the exit to Azalea on the other side after you get through.” added Cassandra matter-of-factly.

    Alma took a look at Cassandra for a short period of time before speaking, “I've been meaning to ask Cassandra, why are you taking this so late? I understand that Zaniah wanted to finish up her education before doing anything. Is your case any similar?”

    Cassandra, taken aback by being asked a question didn't say anything for a while, “Not really. My dad needed help with work and couldn't afford to take on any help a few years back, now that he knows he can handle the finances and hire someone to help him, he said I was allowed to go off and journey if I wanted to. I went to the gym in Violet because I knew all the training I'd done in my spare time would help me beat the leader easily. That's where I met Zaniah, we were heading in the same direction so I tagged along, we hit it off so she offered to stay here so we had a decent roof over out heads for the night.” The three other people in the room sat (or stood, in Alma's case) and listened to the tale Cassandra was telling. “That's about it really.” she added quietly. “My dad calls himself a 'travelling merchant'. He travels around the place trading with the locals, making profits by buying from overstocked shops and selling to understocked ones. He's fairly good at catching a bargain so he usually gets a fair bit each time he does it.”

    “Oh right.” replied Alma, thankfully glad no one caught the sarcasm and lack of interest in her voice. “You two should probably get sorted out for sleep, make sure you have all your things ready before you leave in the morning.”

    Zaniah yawned, “Yeah, your right, it's been a long day. I feel pretty tired already, come on Cassandra, I'll show you where you're sleeping.”

    The pair excused themselves and made their way back upstairs. At first Cassandra thought they were going to Zaniah's room but she stopped at a door just before it, “This is the guest room, we usually use it if relatives come round, but you should be fine, it has a bed and a few basic things. I'll just go grab your bag, you get comfortable.”

    Just as Zaniah said, it looked pretty basic and seemed to be used mainly as storage, judging by the few cardboard boxes around the back wall. She sat on the bed and felt the cream duvet cover, quite soft and the mattress was quite springy. 'I should get a good night's sleep on this,' she thought. Just then, Zaniah appeared at the door and threw the bag to Cassandra.

    “Good night.” She said simply, then disappeared again.

    Cassandra undressed silently and pulled out some bed clothes from her bag, donning them, she climbed into the bed and fell asleep almost instantly. It had been a long day.


    ==

    Holy crap! Zaniah's parents have names!?

    Cassandra being the focal point of the narrative!?

    Random Mr. Pokémon backstory!?

    What is the world coming to? Cookies for anyone awesome enough to comment! Extra cookies for pointing out mistakes :P
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  23. #23
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Don't get too excited... even though I highly doubt anyone would anyway.

    So, after some deliberation, I've come to a conclusion, I'm cancelling this fic. But this isn't a double post for the sake of double posting for the sake of telling people I'm cancelling the fic. No. I actually have nineteen and a half chapters of this fic written.

    More to prove to myself that they existed than anything else, I'll post them... when I have the time to obviously, I still have a lot of writing to do, just not this. They aren't going to be edited beyond what they are right now and I'm not going to put any effort into editting them afterwards.

    This project, for me, lasted for about two years with various hiatuses... hiati?... Anyway, I feel I owe it to the fic to post what I have, so do with it what you will.


    Chapter Five – Plumbing The Depths

    Cassandra was awoken by the sound of the door opening.

    The curtains were pulled to, smothering the room in a dark blanket. She couldn't see who had entered the room, but she could see a slim shape moving slowly towards the bed. Cassandra brought a hand to her eyes in a vain attempt to improve her night vision, “Whozair?” was all she managed to say.

    The figure merely shushed her, “Don't worry, it's all right. I know.”

    “Know what?” Cassandra asked whilst sitting up, slightly more awake.

    “About you and about me. But it's alright, I thought about it and I decided there's nothing I want more.” the voice seemed to be slightly nervous at first.

    “I'm sorry, but you're going to have to fill me in on what's happening.” replied Cassandra, feeling very much awake.

    A hand then found it's way to her shoulder, pushing her down onto the bed, “Oh believe me, I'll be 'filling you in' all right.” The voice became more powerful, more commanding, Cassandra tried to push them away but found her her will fading, her resolve melting in a pool of molten passion.

    “Let's get going shall we?”


    “Oi, wake up. We need to get going.”

    Cassandra opened her eyes to see Zaniah, fully dressed and standing over her bed. “We need to get going.” she repeated, and as if to make her point more clear, she shoved her watch face at Cassandra, the time showing half seven in the morning.

    Cassandra lifted herself from the bed and stretched out her arms in a yawn. “Oh, I'm sorry. I'm not used to waking up this early and I had the weirdest dream.”

    “Oh do tell.” Zaniah asked cheerfully.

    “Er... No, it was boring really, not much happened.”

    “Then how was it weird?”

    “I don't usually remember them, so I guess you can say that's weird.”

    “You know what? You're weird. Get dressed, my mum has breakfast on the table.” Zaniah left the room, leaving Cassandra time to reflect on what she had been dreaming about. Making a note to discuss it with herself at a later date, she rolled out of bed and got ready.


    --


    Downstairs and already at the table were the three members of the Greyson family. Father Hugh wearing a thin white t-shirt and jogging bottoms, Mother Alma wearing a faded pink dressing gown and Daughter Zaniah wearing full outdoors gear and her bag.

    After ten minutes, Cassandra stumbled through the kitchen door also in full outdoors gear, but found it hard to stifle a yawn. “Morning.” she said to the people around the table. Zaniah and her father responded cordially whereas Alma simply looked up in acknowledgement.

    Cassandra, feeling slightly uneasy, changed the subject quickly, “So, er... When are we set to leave.”

    Zaniah looked up from her plate, “Just after breakfast. Come on, eat something, you'll need to keep your strength up for the hike,” she answered.

    Sitting down besides Zaniah, Cassandra picked up a knife and fork and started to eat the egg and sausage on her plate. The four sat at the table, slowly worked their way through the meal and after everyone had finished, Zaniah's mother piled up the plates and began to wash them in the sink. As she stood there, Hugh, Zaniah's father, stood and left the kitchen and the two teenagers stayed sat and talked quietly for a few minutes.

    Alma stood still washing the dishes, but was also eavesdropping on the teens. A disapproving look on her face said that she didn't entirely like what they were discussing.


    --


    About an hour later and another goodbye from Zaniah, the two girls were off once again.

    “So it's just up here?”

    “Yeah, the entrance is carved into the rock face, some people from around town made a kind of path through the trees so people could find it easier. But nature, ever persistent as it is, keeps creeping back up along the path every now and then.”

    “So we just follow the path?”

    “Yeah.”

    “Why didn't you just say that?”

    “Oh shut up, I'm trying to broaden your horizons with some local history.”

    “My horizons are plenty broad, let's just get into the cave and find our way to Azalea. This forest is already giving me the creeps.”

    “And going into a dark cave will help?”

    “I happen to find darkness soothing. There's something about sensory deprivation that helps make me relax.”

    “If you say so...”

    And so, the two teenagers were fighting their way through the dense forest along a path that had all but nearly been recaptured by Nature.

    “I thought you said that this place was kept clear?” asked Cassandra whilst simultaneously grabbing a vine out of her hair.

    “Ever since they built the road from Violet to Azalea, not many people travel down this road any more, except pokémon trainers and the likes who want to see Nature rather than urban development.” replied Zaniah, with the air of a tour guide showing people round a museum.

    “I suppose that makes sense. Are we close yet?

    “We're actually here, but... I don't see the entrance.” Zaniah stood, hands on hips, with a look of confusion plastered on her face.

    The pair had entered a small clearing where they could clearly see rock wall, albeit covered in thick vines, but no cave entrance could be seen.

    “Hey, what's that light?” Cassandra spoke up and pointed to a section of the where where a visible light could be seen flickering between a few of the thicker vines gathered along the wall.

    “Yeah, your right. That might be the entrance, but how will we move the vines? They're much to big to move by hand.”

    “I've got it covered.” said Cassandra with a smirk. From a pocket on her dark pants, she pulled out a green and red apricorn and released it's captor onto the ground in front of them both. What then materialised in front of them was a small green plant with two spiny club-like protrusions on either side of it's body, it's eyes seemed to be staring at nothing in particular and it had a yellow crown shaped plant on top of it's head.

    Cacnea!” it shouted, waving one of it's arms in a salute.

    Zaniah laughed and the newly materialised cacnea gave a scornful glance at her, but turned it's eyes to Cassandra as if waiting for orders.

    “Don't mind her, she's just messing with you. Now I want you to use a Pin Missile attack on the thick vines over the entrance of the cave, think you can do it.”

    The cacnea gave another salute and turned it's attention to the rock face in front of it. The cacnea focused its gaze and each spine on it's body started to glow a bright white; slowly, each spine began to vibrate and suddenly they were flung forwards at a surprising speed. The spines attacked the thick vines, an almost endless flurry of bright white, razor sharp needles that ate away at the vegetation, until a clear opening hewn into the rock could be seen.

    “Wow, that was amazing. Your cacnea is really good.”

    “Yeah, I've had him for quite a while, even before I became a trainer. My dad brought him back for me when he went on a business trip to Hoenn and since then he's been one of my best friends for a long time.”

    “Awesome, does your spinarak have a cool story like that?”

    “No. I saw him in my garden one day, terrorising the begonias. So I caught him.”

    “Oh right. Shall we erm... get going?”

    Cassandra nodded in agreement and they strode through the now clear entrance to Union Cave. At first, they expected to be met by muted light, or maybe total darkness, but they were surprised to walk into a pleasant amount of light flickering of the walls.

    “It looks like someone has a fire going in here.” Cassandra noted, to which Zaniah seemed to agree.

    “It usually is pretty dark in here, so it makes sense. I know I wouldn't like to stumble around a cave in the dark.”

    The pair began walking through a tight cave tunnel, dodging stalagmites and stalactites every now and then. The tunnel widened into one massive open chamber with various side tunnels branching off of it, a small pool of water at the bottom of the chamber glistening in the sunlight flickering through a crack in the ceiling.

    “Wow.” Zaniah said, taking note of the many flaming torches fixed onto the walls. “Those must be causing all this light.”

    “It would seem so.” Cassandra replied apathetically. Without warning, she set off at a jog down a small slope leading the bottom of the cave. Zaniah watched her going down the swirling ramp until she came to a stop at the small pool, she appeared to be kneeling down and inspecting something and Zaniah only found out what when Cassandra shouted “Hey, come check this out.”

    After a short jog and the odd stumble or two, Zaniah had made it down to the bottom and was looking rather confused. “What was that all that about?” she asked.

    “I thought I saw something weird in the water, and I was right. Look, blood.” she pointed to the centre of the glistening pool where a jet of red could be seen amongst the dark blue.

    Zaniah gasped, “What could that be?”

    “Most probably just some fish got killed, and recently to. Blood doesn't tend to stick around on the surface of water.” Cassandra looked deep in the dark pool and couldn't discern if it had a bottom at all. “Hmm” she voiced the sound of musing for no particular reason, but it sounded good. “Let's carry on then.”

    “Wait. That's it? I thought you were going somewhere with that.” Zaniah asked, still confused.

    “That is yet to be seen.” was her only response.

    “Jeez. Cryptic much?”


    --


    The pair had left the pool and got back to where they entered the cave, from there, they walked cautiously around the edge of the chamber until they reached another tunnel swerving away into the mountain. They followed along the thin passageway, glad for the flames lighting their path. Every now and then, Cassandra would make a small noise of appreciation or quiet discontent, Zaniah trekked on in total silence, only looking away from the path when Varla (who had burst unceremoniously out of her pokéball not minutes earlier) made the odd squeak or two.

    It was Zaniah who was first to break the near silence with conversation. “Are we perchance just heading in any direction and hoping to find the exit?” she asked sounding exasperated.

    “Er, I suppose so. Unless you know the way out?”

    “No, I was just asking, but I do think we should turn left here, if my internal compass is anything to be trusted, I do believe that left is the way to Azalea.”

    “All right then Human Compass. Left it is.”

    The pair stopped at the subterranean t-junction formed in the cave, looked right into the distance, then turned left.

    “They should really put signs down here. You know, if trainers are coming down here often, it makes sense that you'd make it so they don't get lost and starve down here. That happened you know. A young lad got lost in the mountains, broke his leg and couldn't make it back to civilisation, his pokémon, not sensing anything wrong, stayed to themselves in their apricorns and only realised what happened when the guy that found him released them. Sad stuff, but it really highlights the problems that today's modern trainer faces.”

    Zaniah looked over at Cassandra when she finished speaking and found the girl giving her an odd stare.

    “Seriously. You actually made death and suffering boring? You could be a news reporter.” Cassandra gave a flippant shrug and carried on in silence.

    “Well. Excuse me for trying to brighten our trip with conversation. I'll not try in the future.” Zaniah folded her arms and looked away at the bland uninteresting rock face.

    Finally.

    Zaniah flashed back to Cassandra. “What did you say?” she asked indignantly.

    Cassandra, affronted, merely stared back with a look of shock. “What? I was being silent, I think you're hearing things.”

    “Don't you lie to me. I heard you say 'finally'”

    “Well, I didn't hear myself say anything. Unless I went temporarily deaf and suddenly lost control of what my mind decides to say. You choose the more probable option.”

    I found it at last.

    Zaniah stopped in her tracks. “Well you definitely didn't say that.”

    “Now what might that be and just what have they found? You up for a little snooping?” asked Cassandra with a small grin.

    “You know what, I think I am.”

    Silently making their way along the tunnel, the pair finally emerged in another, smaller chamber and immediately darted behind a large cluster of rocks, they were somewhat shadowed in this corner and so they could observe without much intrusion from any unwanted visitors.

    Namely the uniformed visitors chipping away at a huge section of rock wall.

    This appeared to be a small scale operation, there were about seven workers excavating the wall it seemed and only about three others that looked like the 'leaders' as it were. They were the ones barking the orders and the ones in slightly flashier coats.

    Cassandra and Zaniah looked on, minds racing, thinking up explanations for what these people could be doing. They then both sat, backs against the rocks, and turned to face each other.

    Zaniah spoke first, “It could be completely legitimate. Those three looked pretty official, the ones with white coats on.”

    “Legitimate my dodgy left kidney. There's something really weird about these guys, I reckon they're up to no good.”

    “Oh really, you think that or you want that?”

    “Oh shut up. You know it'd be cool if they really were up to no good and we sorted them all out.”

    “With what!? We're two teenagers, none of which look strong enough to throw a half decent punch, who also have three pokémon between them, let's not forget Varla is only a baby and despite you having one badge, I really don't think your cacnea and spinarak could take on ten people. That doesn't sound very 'cool' to me.”

    “You're over analysing it. I know, lets just walk through nonchalantly and if they act really weird and try and make us go, then we know something is up, if not, then you're right.”

    “Sounds good to me, but what if-”

    “Oi, that's over analysis. Lets go.”



    Standing up slowly, the two teenagers edged towards the entrance and tried to look as casual as possible.

    “So then I walked into the kitchen, and he wasn't wearing any pants!” the two girls laughed, then stopped as they pretended to notice the activity going on.

    “Hey what are those two doing here?”

    Everyone looked up and in the teenagers direction, several workers ran over to where they were standing and stood in their way.

    “This area is for strict research only. No pedestrians allowed.” one said, hands on his hard hat.

    “Move, move. Out of my way.”

    A tall dark-haired head could been seen bobbing behind the gathered workers, eventually pushing it's way to the front revealing a fierce looking woman in her mid thirties. “Get back to work, we have a deadline.” The gathered workers grumbled and turned back to the wall and continued excavating. “And why might you two be stumbling around a restricted area. The path clearly indicates you turn right.”

    Zaniah, as she found herself a lot lately, looked confused “We didn't see a sign.”

    “Some internal compass you got there.” mentioned Cassandra in a hushed whisper.

    “I don't care. You need to leave now, we are conducting vital research and you are wasting my time. If you'd like to go back from where you came and stick to the path next time.” The research leader turned away and fell into a discussion with the other two in the fancy coats.

    Cassandra gave an appreciative whistle. “Yep. Definitely something going on.”

    They did as they were told and turned and headed for the cave mouth from which they entered, but before they did, Zaniah pointed to a generator on the floor, with cables leading to a high powered floodlight. “Have you ever seen that logo before?” she said, pointing to a black hexagon with small white writing on the inside of it pasted onto the side of the generator.

    “Are you serious? That thing's on almost every pokémon utility item out there. Look I'll show you.” Cassandra felt around in her bag and pulled out a small green spray bottle, turned it over and pointed below the ingredient list to the same black hexagon as on the generator. “See.”

    “Then why are a Pharmaceutical company funding some kind of excavation in a cave that not many people go into.”

    “So the plot thickens. The game is afoot dear Greyson, it appears we have a mystery to solve.”

    “Stop talking like that.”


    --


    Now heading down the right hand path, the two teenagers had begun a discussion about what exactly those people could have been doing in Union Cave.

    “It might be legitimate, she could just be stressed out from having to work underground for who knows how long. And the whole 'finding' thing might just be something she was looking for. For her research.”

    “And the backing from the Pharmaceutical giant?” asked Cassandra, cynical to the last.

    “Perhaps they want to find some kind of rare compound which can aid in helping all the poor hurt pokémon out there.” answered Zaniah, not even believing herself.

    Cassandra stared at Zaniah, “Seriously?”

    “You never know.”

    “Shouldn't we just work on finding our way out. Then we can worry about tackling a multi-billion dollar corporation.”

    “Yeah you're probably right. Didn't that woman say the path was clearly marked?”

    Cassandra thought for a moment. “I don't remember any 'clear markings' on the walls or anything when we walked by.”

    “Someone might have took it down and the research people might not have noticed.”

    “You're a real 'glass-half-full' kinda person you know.” noted Cassandra.

    “You say that like it's a bad thing.”

    “It's not necessarily a bad thing. Just that it's not the most helpful attitude to have when your a pokémon trainer. With the whole surviving outside thing and the taking care of yourself, you can't trust everyone you meet on the street, and especially those you meet in the woods.”

    “What about caves? We should turn right.”

    Cassandra stopped and studied the naturally formed junction. “And how did you come to that conclusion?”

    Zaniah knelt on the floor and pointed at a bunch of fungi growing from a crack in the rock. “If you look closely, these mushrooms form an arrow. An arrow that points right.”

    Cassandra looked at her with a raised eyebrow for a few seconds. “Makes sense to me. Right we go.”

    After a few minutes of walking however, the pair seemed to regret the logic which led them here. “Is the cave supposed to be getting colder, damper and darker?” asked Cassandra.

    “Oh be quiet, you saw the fungus patch.”

    “That's probably a coincid-”

    “No disputing the fungus patch!” Zaniah shouted pointedly.

    “Sorry, just pointing something out.” Cassandra mumbled in reply.

    The two novice trainers walked in silence after that. And perhaps if they had been talking, they might not have heard the low melancholy whine of pain coming from further down the passageway. Zaniah was the first to notice the noise and after several failed attempts to alert Cassandra to it, she gave up and ran towards the groaning. After all, if there was someone or something hurt down there, she wouldn't want to keep them from getting aid.

    “Oi, where you going?” shouted Cassandra into the darkness.

    --

    You know how I said dreams mean a lot in this fic. Welp... read what you will into that one at start, you're probably right.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Aww... well, anyway, thanks for posting what you have, and not just leaving us hanging to dry. Will 19.5 have a semi-conclusion or an epilougue of what was to come? Or will it just be flapping in the breeze?
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  25. #25
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    One of my friends on here was posting a journey fic before he cancelled it and he was nice enough to put up a fairly detailed account of what he had planned for the fic. I know how much it helped for me, so I had planned to do something similar.

    So after I've posted it all, I'll try and give people as much detail as I can about where I wanted to go with it.
    Skogsrĺ

    Gardenia never liked the Old Chateau, but what if the Old Chateau liked her?

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