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    Default Chronicles of Unova (PG-15)



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        Spoiler:- Chapter List:


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        Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


    Chronicles of Unova

    Prologue
    Updated Version

    “Heatran, use Magma Storm!”

    The roar of the crowd could be heard from miles away. Shouts and cheers rang throughout the city as the battle fiercely raged on. The hypnotizing aroma of popcorn and other confections drifted lazily through the air from vendors scattered in the stands. Small children cheered out of their minds for the trainers, while their parents beside them subtly suppressed smiles of their own. The gigantic stadium held more than 50,000 people, drawn from all across the region to witness the Unova Region Pokémon League Championship battle. After several days of harsh fighting and elimination, victory was within the grasp of two talented trainers. Down on the field, at the epicenter of this cacophony of noise, tension and excitement stood two lone trainers, and two fearsome beasts. This was the pinnacle of the match; the next few attacks would decide it all.

    “Lugia, quick, get out of the way!” shouted one of the trainers desperately. There was fear in his eyes, his voice quivered, and he knew he was losing. He hadn’t made it to the final battle of the League Championships by faltering at the end of his matches though; alongside his fear was determination and the will to survive and win. He knew he had to think fast; if Magma Storm hit, it would be all over.

    The Heatran lowered its head, took in a deep breath, then unleashed a torrent of fire and slag at the enormous beast opposite it with everything it had. Molten lava dripped from its mouth as the wave of heat launched forth. It braced itself against the ground and had to dig in with every one of the four hooked claws that lined each foot to keep itself from being pushed back. The enemy’s Lugia took action and started to dodge, quickly ascending into the sky; it was a desperate, losing gambit however. Higher and higher it soared, trying to simply put as much distance between itself and the vortex of flames as it could. Half a mile into the air it went, then three-quarters, then a mile, but the fire dogged it all the way. Finally, the Lugia managed to breach the clouds; it stopped for a moment, thinking perhaps that it was safe. It held position, beating its massive wings and calmly looking around at the sea of white below it for any sign of the streams. It heard nothing, saw nothing, and felt nothing; surely the Heatran couldn’t still control and aim its attack with so much distance between them, and certainly not if the cloud cover obscured its visi-

    GAAAAW!!

    The three swirling streams of fire burst through the clouds directly underneath the Lugia’s position. Before it could react, they sailed up past the beast’s head and ensnared it in a veritable cage of lava. The Lugia screamed deafeningly in surprise as the three streams linked and began dragging it back down to earth; it could barely even fight to try and break free against the maelstrom.

    As it fell, the lava charred and burned its majestic, legendary down and wings. The Lugia continued to shriek in shock and pain as it hurdled towards the ground; it was being dragged right towards a patch of Stealth Rock that had been set up earlier in the match. As it drew within just feet of the jagged spikes, the Heatran reared its head and quickly chomped its fangs together, terminated the stream. The Lugia smashed into the patch of Stealth Rock, being impaled and taking considerable damage. The real concern however was the continuing Magma Storm; the Diving Pokémon was still immobilized and confined to the small area within the storm, all the while taking a slow creep of residual damage from the heat of its prison.

    The roar of the crowd in response to these actions was deafening. It was as if a solid wall of sound flowed from the stadium and struck every point in and around it. Seeing its opponent trapped, the Heatran sneered and bent forward on its front knees to strike again. The Heatran’s trainer had his opponent on the ropes; victory was nearly assured now and the people in the stands knew it. A new challenger to the Elite Four was about to be named, and he had a very good shot of making it all the way.

    Oh no, what do I do?!” the rival trainer thought desperately; his flailing, grossly non-specific command of “get out of the way” had, not surprisingly, failed to keep his Lugia safe from the trapping attack. Scanning his mind for a solution, he ran through all the attacking moves it knew. “Let’s see… Extrasensory? No, not effective against a Steel-type. Roost? It can’t reach the ground to do that. Calm Mind? I don’t see how that would work… Aeroblast? What good would that… wait, no, that’s it!” he thought. “Lugia, use Aeroblast!”

    The Lugia hesitated for a moment, trying to guess what its trainer had in mind. In a sudden moment of clarity however, the Diving Pokémon understood its trainer’s cunning plan and let loose the blast. It shot out a vortex of air from its gaping mouth, doing little damage to the Heatran but blasting a hole in the Magma Storm through which it could escape. The Lugia bolted out from its prison and flew up high, spreading its wings and roaring with defiance; the very sun itself was partially eclipsed by its imposing figure. The crowd screamed again at the brilliance and ingenuity the trainer had shown. It was a stunning comeback and proved the fight was not lost yet. The suave, daring and most handsome trainer of the Lugia grinned and prepared to–

    “Wait, what?! You can’t do that, you cheater!”

    * * *

    “…yeah huh I can.” the boy said calmly after a pause, awakening from his vivid tirade.

    “No you can’t, dude, that’s bull crap! You can’t just ‘break’ Magma Storm with a stupid Aeroblast! You just don’t want to admit I out-strategied you again!” shouted his friend.

    The first boy lowered his stance. He smiled condescendingly and stared at his friend from over the rims of his glasses. “Out-strategied my ass. If we’re going to play pretend and imagine our League Championship battle, why can’t I imagine it spectacularly and make great plays?” he quipped back.

    “God, Cheren, that’s your answer to everything, isn’t it? ‘Aeroblast it away, Lugia!’” the second boy said in a mocking, flustered tone. “I cover the field in Smokescreen; you clear it with Aeroblast. I poison you with Toxic; you Aeroblast it out of your system. I bury you under a damn Rock Slide; you Aeroblast the rocks away. You just never want to admit you’ve lost, and you can’t come up with any other strategies!” he continued. Cheren laughed at his friend’s vigor and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

    “David, why can’t you just accept that Aeroblast is sweet and you can’t beat my Lugia? I’m just a more superior trainer than you, and you need to just accept that.” Cheren replied; from the corner of the room, someone else spoke up.

    “Guys, come on! Don’t get into another one of your little pissing matches; I was really into that one!” shouted a young girl beside them, seated on the bed. “You both were so vivid, I was gripping the edge of my seat!” she continued

    “Blame David, Bianca, because apparently some people haven’t learned to respect Aeroblast’s authority.” Cheren sneered, folding his arms and turning his back on David. He smiled wryly though and gazed condescendingly at the boy from the side of his vision.

    “Man, forget this, Cheren, you don’t want to play fair. You want to know how it ends, Bianca? Lugia’s Aeroblast fails, it stays trapped in the Magma Storm, Heatran and I go out for smoothies while it takes residual damage, and then we come back later and sit on it to KO it. Cheren loses, I win, the end.” David spat in disgust.

    The three friends were seated around Cheren’s small bedroom, loudly and excitedly discussing the battle. This was a game they played fairly often; imagining a great battle between one of them and some mythic foe, and playing it out in their minds. Sometimes it was each other, sometimes it was a legendary, sometimes it was just a random trainer they had come across on their journeys, but the battles were always spectacular and epic, certain to please and entertain them for hours at a time. Their names were David, Cheren and Bianca, and they lived in the small-town city of Nuvema Town, situated in the southeast of the Unova region. They were each thirteen years of age, and they had been best friends all their life.

    Cheren was an odd boy; he was calm and calculating on the outside, but a regular, rambunctious, somewhat immature kid on the inside. He was medium height with a wiry form and jet black hair. He liked to act like he was cool and in charge, but as the previous exchanged had illustrated, he had his stubborn and immature streaks. He was perhaps not terribly well adjusted; at thirteen years old, he lived the phrase “act your age.”

    Bianca was a sweet, innocent young girl; she had a somewhat plump figure, short blonde hair, big blue eyes and a giant toothy smile. When she lit up and smiled, which was a fairly frequent occurrence, her friends would often joke that she looked like a Pachirisu, which just made her laugh even more. She was very beautiful for her age and she was actually already starting to fill out in many respects; her friends were oblivious to these facts however and thought of her no differently than they thought of themselves. In their naivety and youthful understanding of the world, Bianca to them was just “one of the guys.” She thought of herself no differently than she did of them either, but she was perhaps more aware of the differences than they were, given that she was the outsider in that regard.

    David was the last member of the group and its de facto leader. Despite how the previous exchange might have made him seem, most of the time he was by far the most mature; he was very adult-like for his age, his mind and his spirit far exceeding his body in years. He was stoic and tall with dark brown hair sitting upon his head in a loose mop. He struck an imposing figure, built like an Ursaring or a Beartic. At that age, he towered over his friends, which often helped make his statements and requests that much more persuasive. Despite this, Cheren knew just how to push his buttons, and knew just when to act defiant to screw with his older friend; for instance, calling out Aeroblast when things weren’t going his way.

    “Aww, that’s no fun, David. I wanted a REAL ending!” Bianca pouted. “That battle was so spectacular and vivid; I want to see it in real life. Do you think that’ll ever happen?” she continued.

    “Do I think I’ll ever be battling Cheren’s Lugia, a legendary Pokémon from Johto, with a Heatran, another legendary Pokémon from Sinnoh, in the Unova Region Pokémon League Championships in front of 50,000 people?” David asked sarcastically, settling back down against the side of the bed. “No, probably not.” he continued with a laugh. “But will we be real trainers some day and have real Pokémon battles? Yeah, totally. Those battles will probably be even more spectacular than these pretend ones even, because goddamn Cheren… won’t be able to cheat or use Aeroblast.” he appended, looking over at Cheren from across the room as he singled him out. Cheren grinned again and turned up his nose, folding his arms and closing his eyes smugly.

    “Aeroblast is so legit, I’ll go out to Johto someday and catch a Lugia, just so I can use that move.” Cheren quipped back, now just trying to provoke his friend; David sighed

    “Okay, that tears it.” David groaned. He stood up quickly, grabbed the pillow that was behind his back, and proceeded to beat Cheren with it unmercifully in one fluid motion.

    “Ack! Bianca! Help me!” Cheren squealed.

    “Getting a girl to save you from a pillow?” Bianca cooed mockingly. “Ooooh Cheren, I’m positively swooning!”

    The three of them all laughed. That night, as sleep washed over them, they each dreamt of their future adventures as real Pokémon Trainers. It would be an epic journey, and it would bring them at times closer, and at other times farther, than they had ever dreamed possible. It would be one filled with grand battles, budding and eventually maturing love, and fulfillment of a dark and ancient prophecy that would see the reawakening of the two most destructive forces the region, if not the world, had ever seen. It was still five years off though and they were yet just children; sleep came to them, and so did they dream…
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 3rd August 2012 at 9:09 AM.

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    Hm... This seems pretty promising! I'm excited to see what you do with the story.

    Not much to say yet, didn't see any mistakes, and the characters seem pretty realistic. I await the next chapter patiently. (Ewww... That sounded so formal, but I can't think of any other way to say it.)

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    This is the original version of Chapter 1. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


        Spoiler:- Original Version:
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 6:52 AM.

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    This is the original version of Chapter 3. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version, Part 1
    Updated Version, Part 2


        Spoiler:- Original Version:
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 6:55 AM.

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    This is the original version of Chapter 4. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


        Spoiler:- Original Version:
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 6:57 AM.

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    I've started reading through this story lately and I have to say, I am not disappointed. People tend to look down on journey fics, but this story is a clear exception to that stereotype. The detail you put in your writing is incredible and the writing quality itself flows so well and is just downright amazing. I haven't gotten very far in the story yet, but here are some specific comments on the chapter I'm on now:

    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosBlizzard View Post
    There it was again: that subtle difference in how she was behaving. “You boys,” insinuating she wasn’t one herself. Not that she was, but she had never gone out of her way to act so feminine before. Was it something about starting the Pokémon journey that was making her this way? Or something different about him? David couldn’t keep forcing the thought out of his mind when it came up so often. The one thing that was changing however was his reception of it. The more and more he allowed himself to think of Bianca as a girl, the more and more he appreciated and welcomed it.
    Dynamic characters are amazing. People tend to have their characters follow the same strict personality because that seems most natural and logical, but then the characters turn out to be just completely flat. I'm glad that Bianca is dynamic, and I certainly hope that other characters will change in future chapters as well.

    A while later, after breakfast had been eaten and showers had been taken, the group of adventurers left the Pokémon Center and headed out for Route 2
    One thing I'd like to point out is that in formal writing (or at least semi-formal in this case), small numbers like two should be written out rather than using the numeral form. It's just more formal and more accepted.

    “Too bad! 2 out of 3, Bianca! Last one there’s a rotten Exeggute!” shouted Cheren as he took off running.
    I love Cheren's personality so far and I hope you continue expanding on it.

    Bianca regained her breath and straightened out her vest and skirt. David stopped and let her catch up, then the pair kept walking together at a normal pace.

    “Mission accomplished.” David thought to himself proudly.
    It's certainly nice to see a plot element like David and Bianca's relationship alongside the Unova league plot. My only suggestion is to make sure that the relationship doesn't dominate the story, otherwise this'll turn into a shipping fic. Keep your separate elements perfectly balanced; romance is good, but you'll need some action and adventure to balance it out.

    “Munna and Musharna are Pokémon very heavily associated with dreams. They are able to visualize and even enter the dreams of people and Pokémon as they are happening. My current research goal is to understand the science of how they actually manage that.” she said. “Munna have the ability to visualize the dreams of anyone they are near, but its evolved form Musharna can create a special ‘Dream Mist’ that allows one to actually enter the dreams themselves. Think of it like a portal that you can step in and out through to enter the dream world.” she continued.
    Don't overuse your italics. They should be used sparingly to put emphasis on important words in a sentence or to stress inflections in a character's speech. If they're used too often, their effect becomes somewhat diluted.

    Looking up from his plate, a bit of sauce dribbling down his chin, Cheren replied “Nah, that sounds lame. You two can handle it.”

    “Cheren! Don’t be rude!” Bianca shouted at her friend.

    Cheren shrugged and said, “Striaton City has a world famous Pokémon Trainers’ School that Professor Juniper used to teach at. I’m going to go study there. Eevee is plenty strong, I just need to hone my own technique. I’ll meet you guys at the Pokémon Center later tonight.”
    Let me reiterate that I'm loving Cheren's personality.

    “I don’t know. Remember our objective, we need to find a Munna.” David replied.
    Try not to use broken grammar, even if you're trying to simulate the pauses in regular English speech. The bolded sentence is two independent clauses joined together without a coordinating conjunction or a semicolon, and that's called a run-on sentence.

    Hey, did you hear that?” someone in the next room said. “Yeah, come on!” said a second voice.
    You seem to be doing this a lot. Don't put more than one speaker in the same paragraph when using quotes. That's just an accepted rule.

    “David! I’m s-s-s-scared!” Bianca whispered in his ear. They were hunched over in the corner, hidden behind the machine. She was knelt right behind him, holding onto him for dear life, her cheek almost touching his. He could hear her breath and could feel her heartbeat. “Well, at least one good thing came of all this...” he thought to himself.
    See above. It probably would have been fine if you used italics to express David's thought, but I'm not an authority on the matter.

    “Bianca, go! Get the police! I’ll keep these two here. Hurry!” David shouted. “That will not be necessary…” said a voice from the other room.
    See above. I'm not going to point out any more of these, so just be aware.

    David was taken aback at this comment, and a moment later heard Paula say “Yes, it is safe to come out now.” The man standing before him faded from sight, dissolving into thin air before David’s very eyes. As he vanished, the Munna floating behind Bianca came out from behind her protector, and a fully grown Musharna came into view from the other room.
    Probably would have been more effective for your description here if you described the shock that David experienced upon seeing a man dissolve into thin air before his very eyes. At least, I would be a little freaked out if I saw that.

    The pair looked at each other, considering the proposition. A moment later, the Musharna uttered a few strange sounds and nodded its head. David heard Paula’s voice in his head say “They said they would be delighted, master. Job well done, if I do say so myself.”
    I really like Paula as a character too. You're really good at making likeable characters.

    She took the machine from Fennel and activated it. It whirred to life and began to hum. Bianca called Pachirisu out of her Pokéball, and had it step up to the machine. Pachirisu began to interface with it, and in a moment of clarity, Pachirisu had learned Hidden Power!
    The description here is especially loose. Most players expect TM's to look like colored discs, so if you're going to deviate upon this, then it would probably be best if you elaborate more on the workings of this machine. First of all, why did Pachirisu suddenly come up to use the machine as if it instinctively knew how it worked? And "interface" is a pretty general verb, so a more precise action would have likely shed some light on the workings of this weird machine with little description. What exactly is this "moment of clarity" and how does Pachirisu learn the move in the first place? Try to add more description where it's needed most.

    All in all, this is a pretty amazing story and certainly stands out from the rest. I hope you continue to do amazing work on it and I'll be sure to catch up soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post


    One thing I'd like to point out is that in formal writing (or at least semi-formal in this case), small numbers like two should be written out rather than using the numeral form. It's just more formal and more accepted.


    In this case, I disagree. Most Highways and REoutes around me are spelled with a number an dnot the word, and Route 2 would fall under that. Tehexcaptions beig Tenth Street,but Instarste 5 or I-5 is alsways Insterstate 5, not I-Five.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    In this case, I disagree. Most Highways and REoutes around me are spelled with a number an dnot the word, and Route 2 would fall under that. Tehexcaptions beig Tenth Street,but Instarste 5 or I-5 is alsways Insterstate 5, not I-Five.
    You're probably right. Since the routes in Unova are the actual names of the area, it's probably best to leave them as numerals. But in other instances when using quantities, it's always best to spell out numbers unless they're redonkulously long (I forget the rule)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post
    I've started reading through this story lately and I have to say, I am not disappointed. People tend to look down on journey fics, but this story is a clear exception to that stereotype. The detail you put in your writing is incredible and the writing quality itself flows so well and is just downright amazing. I haven't gotten very far in the story yet, but here are some specific comments on the chapter I'm on now:
    Thank you for the support. Always nice to get detailed critiques like this; that's one reason I've come to appreciate NACHOE's comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post
    One thing I'd like to point out is that in formal writing (or at least semi-formal in this case), small numbers like two should be written out rather than using the numeral form. It's just more formal and more accepted.
    As Glover pointed out, in the games themselves, they have always been referred to as "Route 1," "Route 2," "Route 30" etc... I don't use actual numbers very often though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post
    It's certainly nice to see a plot element like David and Bianca's relationship alongside the Unova league plot. My only suggestion is to make sure that the relationship doesn't dominate the story, otherwise this'll turn into a shipping fic. Keep your separate elements perfectly balanced; romance is good, but you'll need some action and adventure to balance it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post
    Don't overuse your italics. They should be used sparingly to put emphasis on important words in a sentence or to stress inflections in a character's speech. If they're used too often, their effect becomes somewhat diluted.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post
    You seem to be doing this a lot. Don't put more than one speaker in the same paragraph when using quotes. That's just an accepted rule.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post
    See above. I'm not going to point out any more of these, so just be aware.
    I hope I don't sound rude or scare you off from reading more, but please remember that based on the things you've been quoting, you are about two or three chapters into a story which currently sits at nineteen. I hardly even remember the things you're quoting they're so old; rest assured that I have gotten significantly better at writing in the ~17 chapters that have elapsed since that time. Many of the things you identified are valid, but have gone by the wayside along with my inexperience. Things really start to pick up around the Castelia City chapter in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gelatino95 View Post
    I really like Paula as a character too. You're really good at making likeable characters.
    Lol. You ain't seen nothing yet in regards to Paula.

    As I said, thanks for your support and readership. Critiques like this are always very appreciated. Just know that I've improved significantly since the start of the story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosBlizzard View Post
    I hope I don't sound rude or scare you off from reading more, but please remember that based on the things you've been quoting, you are about two or three chapters into a story which currently sits at nineteen. I hardly even remember the things you're quoting they're so old; rest assured that I have gotten significantly better at writing in the ~17 chapters that have elapsed since that time. Many of the things you identified are valid, but have gone by the wayside along with my inexperience. Things really start to pick up around the Castelia City chapter in my opinion.
    Yeah, I'm mostly just a stickler for things like that. I shouldn't really have been pointing out trivial mistakes specific to the chapter since the chapter was really old. Anyways, I sort of forgot about this story ever since I made that review, so I'll start reading a bit more now that I have a whole weekend to do it.

    Edit: LOVE the Chuck Berry reference in chapter 5.

    Edit: And a Beatles reference in the same chapter? This is too good. (it actually took me a while to catch that one)
    Last edited by Gelatino95; 26th November 2011 at 6:17 AM.

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    This is the original version of Chapter 5. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


        Spoiler:- Original Version:
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 6:58 AM.

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    This is the original version of Chapter 6, Part 1. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version, Part 1
    Updated Version, Part 2


        Spoiler:- Original Version:
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 7:00 AM.

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    This is the original version of Chapter 6, Part 2. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version, Part 1
    Updated Version, Part 2


        Spoiler:- Original Version:
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 7:01 AM.

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        Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 9: I've Just Seen a Face
    Part 1 of 2

    David’s eyes fluttered open. He had been sound asleep in a warm, soft, comfortable bed in the Nimbasa City Pokémon Center. He and Bianca had arrived in the city during the late afternoon of the previous day. They had seen a little bit of the town, but had just made a beeline for the Pokémon Center to recuperate themselves and their Pokémon after their adventure in Relic Castle. The long night’s sleep left him feeling refreshed and ready to explore the city; he was also feeling prepared for his Gym battle against the Nimbasa City Gym leader, Elesa. He stretched and rose from his bed to meet Bianca in the lobby.

    “Excuse me, miss, did the girl I came in here with last night come down yet?” he asked the nurse behind the counter when he walked down.

    “Yes sir, she went into the dining room a few minutes ago.” the young woman replied, pointing down the hall behind her. He thanked her and walked to where she had pointed.

    David walked into the large dining hall and saw that it was packed with trainers, passing through the metropolis on their various journeys. There was a buffet against the far wall with all sorts of various pastries, deli meats and drinks spread across it; there were muffins and pastries, hot and cold cereals, coffees and juices, eggs and bacon, and of course a large assortment of Pokémon food. David walked over and filled up a plate, being sure to get an extra large helping of the Pokémon food for Munchlax. He turned back to the room, looking for a place to sit.

    “David! Hey! Over here!” he heard Bianca shout. He turned to where the noise had come from and saw her seated at a table with Pachirisu and Zubat. He smiled and walked over.

    “Hey David, I saved you a seat.” she said as he walked up. David set his tray down on the table and let Munchlax out of his Pokéball. He pulled out a seat and helped his Pokémon into it. The little Pokémon scrambled to get to the food, grabbing the overflowing bowl and beginning to devour its contents ravenously. Bianca giggled as David sat down.

    “How’d you sleep?” David asked.

    “Great! Much better than in the Desert Resort at least.” she replied. “You?”

    “Pretty good.” David said, taking a sip from his drink. He looked over at his Pokémon as the little tike finished devouring his food. He had gotten an enormous bowl of food for him but he was already finishing it.

    “Munchlax, you’re going to eat us out of house and home…” David said under his breath. Bianca giggled at the comment, covering he mouth; David grinning, continuing his train of thought. “How’d you ever survive in the wild? That’s got to have been more than what you could find on a daily basis out in Pinwheel Forest.”

    Munchlax had lifted the bowl and was licking it clean, trying to get every last crumb from it. Upon realizing his trainer was talking to him, he dropped the bowl, resting it on his head. The oversized bowl sat on top of Munchlax’s head, covering his eyes. He turned towards David and asked audibly “Munch?

    Bianca laughed heartily at the ridiculousness of the little tike. David smiled, glad to see her happy. He gently lifted the bowl off Munchlax’s head, tilting it back so he could see. Munchlax had a blank, confused look on his face, unsure what was so funny about his new hat. David tapped his nose and lowered the bowl, letting Munchlax be. Munchlax turned back around, obliviously leaving his impromptu cap alone as he contemplated what could be so funny about it. David looked back at Bianca as she laughed, admiring her smile.

    “So we’re in Nimbasa City, Bianca; anything you want to see while we’re here?” David asked.

    “Oh definitely! We should check out the sports stadiums, the Battle Subway, the amusement part, of course the Gym… ooh! And the Pokémon Musical for sure! They’re performing a stage rendition of ‘Help!’ tonight!” Bianca replied.

    “Sounds like we’ll have plenty to do until Cheren comes back.” David replied. “It’ll be a lot of fun- Munchlax! No!” David shouted.

    Pachirisu and Zubat had left a little bit of food in their bowls that they hadn’t finished yet, and Munchlax had been slowly reaching over to steal it from them. He had managed to procure a kibble from Pachirisu’s bowl and had it right in front of his mouth by the time David had noticed. Munchlax looked up at his scolding trainer, then back down to the morsel of food, weighing his options carefully, and then quickly ate it. Munchlax smiled a big grin, happily enjoying his stolen treat.

    “Munchlax, you little glutton, don’t steal food from other Pokémon! That’s a bad boy, no!” David said, leaning over his Pokémon. Munchlax was completely oblivious to his trainer’s yelling, proud of himself for his success. He had managed to get the food from the bowl to his mouth, the objective had gotten from point A to point B, so it was a win in his book; the details and logistics of the operation were of no real significance to him. David sighed, but Bianca just laughed again.

    “Pachirisu, Zubat, are you two done?” she asked them sweetly. Zubat ate a few last bites and then indicated that he was done; Pachirisu pushed her bowl forward and shook her head immediately, putting a hand to her stomach. Bianca took the two bowls and poured them into Munchlax’s ex-hat with a wink. An enormous grin slowly spread across Munchlax’s face and his eyes lit up as he dug in. David smiled at Bianca and thanked her. He stood up and helped her out of her chair, and the group returned to their rooms to get dressed.

    * * *

    A short while later, the pair left the Pokémon Center with their Pokémon in tow. Munchlax was following behind David, looking around anxiously for his next meal; Pachirisu sat on Bianca’s right shoulder and Zubat on her left. The pair walked to the sidewalk and David began to speak.

    “Well Bianca, we’ve got the whole day ahead of us. Where do you want to go first?” David asked.

    “Let’s go catch the baseball game at the Big Stadium!” Bianca said excitedly. “Does that sound like fun, guys?” she asked her Pokémon. The two squealed and screeched in agreement and they set off.

    It was a short walk to the stadium from the downtown Pokémon Center. The massive arena was covered in huge panels of lights, all changing and morphing into different colors. They displayed the logos and short promos for the two teams who were playing that day. Yellow and black stripes flashed across the panels and a massive bolt of lightning struck down the middle of the screen. An Electivire leapt down from above the panel and flexed its muscles, static bristling down its fur. “The Fighting Electivire” was displayed below it, concluding the team’s promo. It was replaced a moment later by a blue and red checkerboard pattern, scaling down the screen diagonally. A Druddigon stomped onto the field from off-screen and roared, slashing at the air in front of it. Its slashes tore away a part of the field behind it, revealing the logo of the opposing team, “The Dynamic Druddigon.” The lights from the screens lit up the surrounding city block and covered the huge stadium from top to bottom. The group walked up to the gate and bought tickets.

    “Okay, D79, here’re our seats, Bianca.” David said as they reached their row. They shuffled down the narrow path and sat down; Munchlax sat on the far left, then David, then Bianca, and then Zubat and Pachirisu shared a seat on the end. They had a clear view of the diamond, just off center field.

    “So who’re you rooting for, Bianca?” David asked.

    “I grew up a Druddigon’s fan; that’s why I wanted to see this game. The Electivire never win anyway.” she replied, giggling to herself. David had never followed baseball in the first place, but she was happy, so he was happy. The players took the field and the umpire called for the game to begin. The first few innings passed uneventfully, and at the bottom of the 5th it was tied up at 2-2.

    Peanuts! Cotton Candy! Soft Drinks!” a man was yelling from the stairs near their seats. He was carrying a huge tray of assorted foodstuffs and drinks, and was dressed in white and blue stripes with a large, colorful hat.

    “Do you want anything, Bianca?” David asked.

    “Ooh, I haven’t had cotton candy in years! That would be nice.” she replied.

    “I assume you’ll have anything I give you, huh Munchlax?” David asked sarcastically. Munchlax looked up at his trainer, his paws in front of his mouth, salivating and grinning with anticipation. David smiled and looked at the man.

    “Hey! Over here!” he shouted. The man noticed him and walked over.

    “I’ll have two cotton candies and a bag of peanuts.” David said. The man took the items off his tray and handed them to Bianca. David paid him and he went back to his work. Bianca handed one cotton candy and the peanuts to David and kept one for herself, sharing it with Pachirisu and Zubat. They took little bits of the airy sugar and ate them happily; the pink candy matched Zubat’s wings. Bianca took a bite herself and grinned a huge grin. David smiled to see her happy.

    “Here you go, Munchlax. These are called ‘peanuts.’ Please pace your-” David started to say, but he was cut off. Munchlax grabbed the bag, tore it open, and dumped the entirety of its contents into his mouth. It took him a few seconds to chew them at least, but he quickly had devoured the bag with a happy, satisfied look on his face. “-self… great…” David finished.

    Bianca giggled at Munchlax and continued taking small bites from her cotton candy. It melted on her tongue as she took each bite, melting away back into sugar. She smiled again and spoke up.

    “I haven’t had this stuff since I was a little girl. I had forgotten how good it is.” she said. “Thank you for getting it for me.”

    “You’re very welcome, Bianca. Glad you’re happy.” David replied. He was still holding his own cotton candy, but with a slack grip. Munchlax was eyeing it cautiously, waiting for his chance to strike.

    Down on the field, the 6th inning was starting and the Druddigon were up to bat. The batter stepped up to the plate and readied himself; he lifted his foot and tapped the dirt from his cleats with his bat, then did the same to the other foot. He stared down range at the Electivire’s pitcher, gripping his bat with determination.

    The pitcher lowered the brim of his cap and slit his eyes, looking at the catcher intently. He gripped the ball tightly, took in a deep breath and rose to his throwing position. He brought the ball behind his head, tightened his arm and launched it at the batter. The batter took a powerful swing but missed the ball. “Strike one!” the umpire called.

    The batter shook his head and sloughed off the disappointment. He’d get the next one, he thought to himself. The pitcher went through his wind-up again and let the ball fly. It flew so fast it looked as if a Magmortar had launched it. The ball looked high, it occurred to the batter, and he knew he couldn’t hit it. He let the ball glide in, not taking the swing. “Strike two!” the umpire called.

    “What?! That was a ball!” The batter said in shock.

    “Steee-rike two!” the umpire repeated. The batter shook his head in disgust and turned back to the pitcher, ready for the last throw. He grit his teeth in determination, seething with power and strength; he would hit the last one.

    The pitcher smirked. He spat on the ground and rubbed it into the dirt. The batter ignored his taunts and prepared himself for the swing. The pitcher went through his overly dramatic wind-up and launched the ball; it flew through the air straight and true like a missile toward its target. The batter shut his eyes, exhaled, and then swung with all his might. He heard the “crack!” of the ball hitting his bat and he bolted, running as fast as he could to first base. The crowd roared as the ball sailed through the air. The pitcher watched it fly over him, putting a hand to his hat to adjust the brim. It flew and flew, showing no signs of slowing down. It sailed into the crowd: a home-run.

    Back in the stands, David had let his grip on his cotton candy go slack as he watched the impressive hit in amazement. It drooped in front of Munchlax’s face, teasing him with its sugary goodness. Munchlax knew this was his chance and leapt up to take a bite from it. He opened his mouth wide, leaping into the air, but tasted something of an entirely different variety than the sweet treat he was expecting. The ball dropped and landed gracefully right into Munchlax’s mouth. He fell onto the ground in surprise, holding up the drool covered ball with a confused look on his face. The crowd roared for Munchlax’s amazing catch, David and Bianca yelling just as loudly for the confused little tike. He offered the ball to David in exchange for the cotton candy and happily sat back down with his new prize, enjoying his treat. The Druddigon had scored and were up 3-2, a victory now in sight. David wiped Munchlax’s spit off the ball and handed it to Bianca.

    “For you, milady.” he said with a smirk.

    “Oh wow, you mean it?!” she said excitedly. He held the ball out for her to take, still grinning to himself over their luck. She took it and hugged her friend, laughing audibly. The batter was just rounding home plate at this point and tipped his hat toward the distant pair. They went on to win the game, soundly defeating the Electivire; Bianca’s team had won!

    * * *

    “That was a lot of fun, Bianca; thanks for suggesting it. What’s next on your itinerary?” David asked as they left the stadium. Many fans were piling out of the large building and into the streets. It was still early afternoon, so they had plenty of time to see more.

    “We should go to the Battle Subway next. It’s designed to give Pokémon trainers competitively minded opponents to spar against; we can team up for the Multi Battle line!” Bianca replied.

    “That sounds great.” David said. They ambled through the brightly colored city to the subway station and walked down the dark, windy steps. A large, neon sign hung from the ceiling in the circular foyer; it read in bright, flashing letters “Welcome to Gear Station.” A giant clock hung below it, showing off the time in all the various regions. Rows of subway platforms spanned around the perimeter of the circular station, extending to the far corners of Unova; if viewed from above, they would look like the spokes on a gear, hence the name of the station. They walked through the crowds to the platform they wanted: The Multi Battle line. David bought their tickets and they waited for the car to arrive.

    “All aboard!” a man yelled over the roar of the crowd. The high-speed tram pulled up and the doors slid open audibly. The crowds shuffled onto the various cars, David and Bianca getting onto the farthest one in the back.

    “So how does this work, Bianca? How do we find opponents?” David asked.

    “We start in the back car, and with each win, we advance to the next one. Our opponents will be waiting for us each time we move to a new car. They say something special happens if you reach the front car!” she replied. The pair entered the first car and readied themselves.

    “Howdy, kids! How’re you two doing?” a young man asked them as they stepped in. The doors closed behind them and the train began to move. Next to him was a young woman, dressed in similar clothing. They both were dressed humbly and wore large backpacks.

    “We’re great! Are you our opponents?” Bianca asked excitedly.

    “Looks like it! I’m Melissa and this is my husband Mike; we’re newly-weds!” the woman replied.

    “This trip is our honeymoon.” Mike continued.

    “Aww, how sweet! Well, I’m Bianca and this is David. Are you two ready?” Bianca asked.

    The pair drew their Pokéballs and released them emphatically. A Cottonee sprang from Melissa’s Pokéball and a Timburr came from Mike’s. The Pokémon struck fighting positions, ready to battle.

    “You bet!” Mike replied.

    David and Bianca shot each other a determined look and drew their Pokémon. David released Munchlax and Bianca let out Pachirisu; the pair high-fived each other as they came out, striking a fighting pose, electricity bristling through Pachirisu’s tail. They looked much more prepared than their opponents; the battle began, each side launching their first strikes.

    “Timburr, use Wake-Up Slap!” Mike said with a grin. The little fighter leapt into the air towards Pachirisu, drawing its hearty log to strike with.

    “Pachirisu, Bide!” Bianca shouted back. Pachirisu curled itself up into a ball and bristled as the strike hit it. It began to glow faintly in a bright red as it endured the hit. Timburr kept up the attack unrelentingly.

    Across the room, David had begun his first attack. “Munchlax, use Fire Punch!” he shouted. Munchlax’s fists burst into flames and he leapt to strike the Cottonee. Munchlax was very slow however and Cottonee was much faster, jumping out of the way with ease. Cottonee dodged nimbly as Munchlax launched punch after punch. Cottonee had flawless footing, but Munchlax kept pushing it back farther and farther.

    “Cottonee, use Leech Seed!” Melissa shouted confidently. Cottonee took a large jump back and launched its spore toward Munchlax. The Prankster’s attack hit Munchlax squarely in the forehead, the vines spreading across his whole body, stopping his attack cold. Munchlax struggled to stand under the pressure of the sapping plant, trying valiantly to fight back.

    Timburr was continuing to wail on Pachirisu, striking over and over with his stout log. Pachirisu was holding fast, but clearly was in pain; the red energy that was glowing all over her body was shining quite brightly now. Timburr stepped back for one final strike, but Pachirisu saw her opportunity and struck back. She uncurled herself and launched the red energy towards the opposing Timburr. The wave of power flooded over her opponent, knocking it to the ground in defeat.

    Cottonee was very proud of itself over tricking Munchlax, laughing and hopping proudly. It drew in close to Munchlax, laughing in his face. Munchlax struggled to rise under the pressure of the Leech Seed, glaring at his enemy angrily. It tried to punch at Cottonee but couldn’t reach. Cottonee got careless and tripped over itself in its joy; Munchlax saw his opportunity and grabbed the little puff ball with its flaming fist. He flung it into the wall, searing its leaves with its intense fire. Cottonee fell to the ground in a slump. David and Bianca had won!

    The newly-weds returned their Pokémon and grinned in congratulations. They walked over to the pair and shook their hands happily.

    “Good job, you guys; you make a great pair.” Melissa said as she shook Bianca’s hand. “Yeah, great job.” Mike continued, shaking David’s. David and Bianca shot each other a look and smiled. They returned their Pokémon, wished the newly-weds well and continued into the adjacent car for their next battle.

    * * *

    “Pachirisu, Spark” Bianca shouted. Her Pokémon charged up its electricity and launched itself at the opposing Zorua. Its illusion had broken and it was disoriented from exhaustion. It took the attack head-on and slumped to the ground in defeat. David and Bianca returned their Pokémon and thanked their opponents.

    “That was six wins in a row, Bianca. We’re on fire!” David said, high-fiving his friend.

    “Yeah, we’re doing great! One more battle and the line is over.” she replied.

    The pair stepped through the final door and into the front car. There were no more opponents for them to battle, simply a pair of men driving the train. They didn’t turn to acknowledge the young trainers as they walked in, focusing on their task at hand.

    “Um… excuse me, sirs… are we-” Bianca started to ask, but they stopped her short. They flipped a switch on the control panel and turned to face her. They were dressed elegantly in matching suits, one black and one white. They wore large grins, almost ominous looking. The one in black spoke up.

    “Hello kids, my name is Ingo and this is my brother Emmet. We are the conductors of this rail line and we will be your final opponents. You have done well to make it here; a 6-win streak, as I understand. To win against us though, you must have a truly strong bond with your Pokémon and your Pokémon must have excellent coordination with each other; if you do win, however, you will be rewarded handsomely. Are you ready, Emmet?” the man said.

    “Certainly! Definitely! Absolutely, brother!” the man in the white suit said. “I shall battle with all of my strength!” he continued.

    “You’ll have to excuse him, kids. English is not his first language. Are you two prepared?” Ingo asked.

    David and Bianca looked at each other with determination and nodded, releasing Munchlax and Pachirisu. Ingo and Emmet released their Pokémon, sending out a powerful looking Klang and Dwebble respectively. The four Pokémon readied themselves with gleams in their eyes and the battle began.

    “Pachirisu, use Spark!” Bianca shouted. Pachirisu launched itself toward the Klang, bristling with electricity and energy. The blow seemed to glance off the Klang though, its thick steel body allowing it to take the hit with very little damage. It glared back at Pachirisu cunningly, now ready to strike back.

    Across the room, Munchlax was sparing with Emmet’s Dwebble. It was launching Fire Punch after Fire Punch, wailing on the little hermit crab powerfully. Its Bug side was weak to the Fire type move, but its Rock side was resistant to it, so the hits were doing a moderate amount of damage. Its thick, rocky shell was helping it take the brunt of the strikes though, so Munchlax was having a hard time pushing it back or gaining any ground. Seeing an opening, Emmet called for it to use X-Scissor, taking a strong swipe at Munchlax’s legs with its pincers. Munchlax toppled to the ground, inadvertently crushing the Dwebble with an accidental Body Slam in the process. The pair struggled to rise from the dual attacks.

    “Klang, Gear Grind!” Ingo shouted to his Pokémon. It began to spin very quickly, filling the air with a harsh screeching noise. It flew at Pachirisu, just nicking it. Pachirisu yelped in pain as the spinning gears stung it, but managed to speed away in time to avoid the full force of the attack. Bianca called for her Pokémon to use Hidden Power, but the freezing winds worked even worse than Spark had; Klang seemed to be an unstoppable wall that Pachirisu just couldn’t wear down.

    Seeing his partner’s plight, an idea came to David on how to end the battle quickly and decisively; he whispered it to Bianca, a smile slowly spreading across her face. Munchlax was the first to rise and managed to knock Dwebble back quickly; it landed on its shell, flailing to try and right itself.

    “Munchlax, throw Pachirisu into the air!” David shouted. The two Pokémon looked at each other in confusion, but followed their trainer’s commands. Pachirisu ran quickly over to Munchlax, who picked the ele-squirrel Pokémon up and threw her high into the air.

    “Now use Earthquake!” David continued. Munchlax understood the plan in a moment of realization and stomped powerfully and quickly on the ground. The shockwave struck both of the opposing Pokémon, but Pachirisu managed to avoid it thanks to their quick timing and coordination. Klang, being a Steel type, was weak to the Ground type attack and went down instantly; Dwebble had sustained enough damage from earlier in the match and couldn’t steady itself to defend against the strike, going down too. Pachirisu flipped in the air and landed gracefully in front of Munchlax. The two stood proudly before their defeated opponents, victorious over the brothers.

    “Excellent work, kids! That is the kind of coordination we love to see!” Ingo shouted. Emmet continued, “Marvelous! Stupendous! I love to see the trainers and the Pokémon who attack like that to arrive at the station of victory! Very most good!” David and Bianca grinned at his broken speech, but were ecstatic over their victory; very few passengers of the Battle Subway managed to make it that far, let alone win.

    The train was pulling back into the station at this point and the doors slid open. David and Bianca returned their proud Pokémon to their Pokéballs and walked up to the brothers to shake their hands.

    “As promised, you will be rewarded for your victory against us. We would like to present you with this TM; it contains Charge Beam, a very useful move indeed. We hope you will use this item to continue to excel and get stronger.” Ingo said as he congratulated them. He handed the small machine to Bianca with a smile. The pair stepped off the train and heard Emmet shout “Have the safety and please to be riding again!” from behind them. Bianca smirked at his remarks as the train began to pull away.

    “I bet Pachirisu could benefit from a Special Electric attack like that. You should teach it to her.” David commented. Bianca fired up the TM and gave it to her Pokémon.

    “Pachirisu, would you like to learn Charge Beam?” Bianca asked the ele-squirrel. Pachirisu bristled with electricity and grinned determinedly. It shut its eyes, let the machine do its work, and in a moment of clarity, Pachirisu learned Charge Beam. The group left the station and went outside to test out the new move.

    “Pachirisu, use Charge Beam!” Bianca said excitedly. Pachirisu bristled with electricity as it powered up the move, just like it did when using Spark, but instead of launching the electrified tackle at an opponent, it shot the blast of stored power in a thin, crackling beam. It struck the sidewalk and left a sizable scorch mark where it had hit.

    “Wow! That’s super!” Bianca said excitedly. Their trip to Gear Station had proven to be quite useful indeed.

    * * *

    The sun was just beginning to get low in the late afternoon sky as they walked down the street from Gear Station. David asked what Bianca’s next destination was and she spoke up in reply.

    “We should go to the amusement park next. The lights on all the rides should be coming on soon; it’ll look really pretty I bet.” Bianca answered. “Rondez-View Ferris Wheel is a famous tourist attraction of the city. They say it looks its best in the evening when it’s all lit up.” she continued.

    It was a short walk east from the subway station to the large fairground. A lush park was set aside in a corner of the city, full of rides and attractions. Children played and screamed with their parents in tow, and older couples were walking about and enjoying the atmosphere. The centerpiece of the park was the massive Ferris wheel in the back of the fairground; the sun was starting to set behind it, making the metal gleam in the evening light. Lights were woven into the support beams of the wheel, waiting for the sun to set to come on.

    “Oh wow, it’s so pretty! I didn’t realize it would be so big either; I bet if you went to the top you could see the whole city.” Bianca commented. They were passing by a large building with flashing lights adorning it as she said this, and they heard a woman’s voice speak from inside of it as they passed.

    “You can.” the woman said. She took a pause and then continued, “It’s the highest point in the city.”

    David and Bianca turned to see who was speaking to them and saw a woman leaning against the doorway of the building with her arms folded. She was tall and thin, and wore expensive looking clothing. She had short, tomboyish blonde hair with two long cords extending from her headband. She wore a disinterested look on her face but was still smiling cordially. Her clothing was fashionable, albeit slightly revealing, but she still had a classy air about her. She pushed herself off of the doorway with her shoulder and began walking slowly towards them, taking long, deliberate strides. She stopped when she had reached them and put her hands on her hips with an attitude. David began to speak up in response.

    “Really? It’s taller than the sports stadiums even?” he asked. The woman nodded. Her eyes had been closed when she spoke and walked over, but as she finished nodding her response, she opened them and shot David a cold, commanding look. She was staring directly into his eyes with a stern, confident gaze, practically dripping with a holier-than-thou attitude. David was taken aback by the confident young woman’s attitude and stare.

    “What’s your name, handsome?” the woman asked him aloofly. David was unnerved by her comment but she didn’t see his response as she had turned now to Bianca. “And who’s your plain Jane friend?” she continued.

    “I’m David and this is Bianca.” David replied. The woman had barely spoken five sentences to them and she was already in complete command of the situation. David tried meagerly to go on the offensive and asked her the same question. “How about you?” he stammered.

    The woman smiled to herself and brought her hand to her face, flicking her wrist. “My name is Elesa. I am the Gym Leader of Nimbasa City. However, you probably recognize me as-” she began to respond, but Bianca cut her off.

    “As a famous super model! I knew I recognized your face! You’re Elesa! The Elesa!” she said excitedly. Bianca had been silent during the entire short exchange, but she spoke up now, completely confident in front of the intimidating woman; David was surprised her aloof air wasn’t affecting Bianca like it was him. She continued, “I knew you were a model, but I didn’t realize you were the Gym Leader too!”

    Elesa was caught off guard to have been cut off, but she smiled and quickly regained her composure. “Always nice to meet a fan…” she continued. She put her hands back on her hips and lowered her head, still smiling smugly.

    “You’re really the Gym Leader? I didn’t envision you being so…” David started to say in surprised, but he struggled to find the word.

    “Feminine?” Elesa spoke up. She was really getting under his skin now, but that actually was a pretty good word for what he was thinking of. He mumbled something under his breath embarrassedly and Elesa laughed.

    “It’s alright, honey, I get that all the time.” she replied. “Pokémon battles are essentially just brute fighting on a high level of technical proficiency, and such fighting is typically viewed as a masculine activity in our society. The dresses and the make-up and the career… it is typically viewed as feminine in just the same way. Combining the two does seem a tad unorthodox until this frail body beats you.” she continued, chuckling to herself again.

    David’s uneasiness was starting to abate, but she was still intimidating. She had an air of confidence about her that was unmistakable. After a moment of silence, Bianca spoke up again.

    “You use Electric types, right?” she asked. Elesa nodded and replied.

    “This city is filled with lights and attractions and entertainment, and all of it runs on electricity. I embody that spirit in the way I battle.” she responded. “Why do you ask though, deary?” she continued.

    “David and I are Pokémon trainers. We’ve come here to challenge the Gym Leader, so I guess that means you!” Bianca said excitedly.

    “Challengers, huh? Guess you know my big secret now.” Elesa said with a wink. “When you’re ready to make your challenge, you know where to find me.”

    “Where’s that?” Bianca asked. Elesa pointed up and behind her to the building she had come out of, indicating it was her Gym. David and Bianca looked up at the shining, fanciful building in surprise, not expecting the colorful structure in the middle of the amusement park to be a Gym. Elesa anticipated their surprise and spoke up.

    “Nothing in the city draws more power than this amusement park. It seemed like a natural place to put the Gym. Besides… the rides appeal to the kid in me.” she said with a smirk. David was quickly becoming more and more impressed and confused by the young woman, all at the same time.

    “How about tomorrow morning? Will that work for you, Elesa?” Bianca asked. Elesa nodded her head and smiled her confident smile again. Bianca thought for a minute, and then continued, “Hey! I’ve got an idea! Elesa, what would you say to a double battle with David and I? We just spent a long time at the Battle Subway on the Multi Battle line; David and I make great battling partners, so how about we combine our challenges and do a Multi Battle with you?”

    David looked at Bianca in shock, and even Elesa seemed a little taken aback by the request. David was worried Elesa would shoot her idea down instantly, but instead, she actually considered it for a moment. She looked up, putting a hand to her chin. She still wore her grin, but now it was a grin of intrigue and surprise rather than of condescension.

    “That’s actually… a really interesting idea…” Elesa said, still deep in thought. She snapped her fingers and continued, “I really like that idea actually. That sounds like a lot of fun!” David was surprised by her positive response, but he was actually pretty interested in the proposition himself. They had done really well at the Battle Subway, and it would be a way of spending more time with Bianca. Bianca giggled to herself over her success, clapping her hands in front of her.

    “So what’s the deal, are you two, like… together or something?” Elesa asked. A confused look spread across David’s face, but he quickly realized what she meant and shook his head “no” worriedly. Bianca was still confused, not understanding the connection.

    “‘Together?’ What does that mean?” she asked. Elesa chuckled to herself over David’s nervousness and Bianca’s naivety, waiving her hand dismissively.

    “Oh… never mind, love; I’ll see you two in the morning.” Elesa said. She flicked her wrist dismissively to wave good-bye and strutted back into her Gym. Bianca turned to David in confusion, but David dismissed the impending question out of fear. The two continued walking deeper into the amusement park as the sun continued to set behind them.

    * * *

    David and Bianca had gone on a couple of rides and were enjoying the large amusement park, but as dusk began to settle in, the massive Ferris wheel beckoned to them. They walked over to it, staring up at its majesty.

    “This really is a giant Ferris wheel, Bianca. Elesa probably wasn’t kidding about being able to see the whole city from on top of it.” David said, mystified at the giant structure in front of him.

    “Do you have the time, David?” Bianca asked.

    “It’s, uh… 7:50” he replied. “10 more minutes until they light it up.”

    “Let’s hurry and get tickets! Maybe they’ll turn the lights on while we’re on it!” Bianca replied. The pair bought their tickets and went inside. An empty cart was coming back around and the wheel slowed for them to get on. The carts sat two people a piece, designed for couples or for parents and children; David and Bianca had their car all to themselves. They entered it, heard the door latch shut behind them, and the wheel began to turn.

    Ooh!” Bianca squealed in excitement as the car began to rise. “This is so exciting! Look out at the city, David!”

    The sprawling evening city spread out before them, a million little lights glowing across the landscape. The city glowed in every color of the rainbow, stretching on as far as the eye could see. Compared to the likes of Castelia or some of the bigger cities of other regions, it was actually fairly small in terms of square mileage; but there was so much packed into the town that it was every bit as magnificent as those bigger ones. In the distance, they could see the Big Stadium, Gear Station, the Pokémon Musical hall, the Pokémon Center, and hundreds of other brightly shining buildings competing with the setting sun for the title of brightest light in the sky. The sun shone brightly for one last hoorah before it winked out and set behind the mountains in front of them. They had been slowly ascending through their arc and were coming to the top of the wheel’s path. Bianca began to speak in a hushed voice.

    “Wow…” she said in reverence. “This is such a great view…”

    The car had a steel bottom and a glass top, with the bottom painted red to look like an upside-down Pokéball. The bench seats on either side of the cart had enough room to comfortably seat one person each; Bianca’s seat was facing away from the city, so she had to turn around uncomfortably to look out. She spoke up again, “Do you mind if I come sit over by you so I’m not twisting my neck?”

    Before David could even process a reply, she had stood up and walked over to his side of the car. She tried to scrunch in next to him, but the bench was just a bit too narrow for them both to fit on it. Instead, she decided to sit on his lap, looking out at the city and holding onto his neck to steady herself. Bianca seemed to think nothing of it, captivated by the city lights, but to David it was every bit as awkward and nerve-wracking as it was uncomfortable in the tiny car. He could feel himself tighten up slightly and his pulse quicken as she drew so near.

    “This is way better; I can see really easily now.” Bianca said obliviously. David murmured something under his breath, but she didn’t seem to hear. She was seated gracefully on his left thigh, bracing herself against his neck with her right arm. She was blissfully unaware of how nervous her new cushion was; David tried his hardest to not think about how close she was, but it was an uphill battle.

    As they reached the zenith of the arc, the wheel abruptly jerked to a stop. The car shook for a moment and David inadvertently put a hand on Bianca’s leg and the other around her waist to steady her. The car stabilized itself in short time, but he didn’t bother to move his hands.

    “Why did we stop? Is there something wrong with the motor?” Bianca asked, a slight tone of concern creeping into her voice.

    “I don’t know. I guess we’ll have to wait and-” David began to say, but he was cut off. The whole Ferris wheel lit up in an instant, flooding the entire park in color. The lights that were intertwined with not only the railings and support beams, but also all of the cars, gleamed brightly in the night sky, twinkling in every color imaginable. It was a beautiful spectacle to behold, and they were inside of it all as it had been turned on. The pair gasped, looking around at the stunning new lights.

    “Oh David! It’s beautiful!” Bianca said in shock. She looked around with an enormous grin on her face at all the new color. The wheel had turned into one giant neon sign in the blink of an eye. The lights flooded the inside of their car too, casting shadows and dancing across their bodies. David couldn’t help but look up at Bianca’s smiling face as the light played across it.

    “…it’s not the only thing.” David murmured under his breath. He froze immediately, realizing he had inadvertently said that out loud. He felt his heart rate quicken as soon as the realization struck him and tried to stare straight ahead.

    “What did you say?” Bianca asked.

    “Nothing.” David replied quickly, but Bianca had heard.

    “Did… did you say ‘that’s not the only thing?’” she continued.

    David looked at his shoes uncomfortably; funny… one was looser than the other. Bianca placed her free, left hand over the one he was still resting on her leg; he had forgotten he was still cradling her like that. He looked up at her, a thin smile spread across her lips. The colorful lights of the Ferris wheel danced across her face and shone in her golden blonde hair. She had a blissful and knowing look in her eye.

    “Bianca… I…” David stammered. He couldn’t pull his eyes away from her gaze and he felt her hand clasp around his as they sat together. The lights were flooding the car in beautiful, twinkling colors and shadows, heightening the atmosphere. David tried to finish his thought but Bianca stopped him.

    “Shh…” she whispered sweetly. “Thank you.” She released his hand and placed hers around his shoulder. She embraced him gingerly, cupping his head under her chin. The pair sat together, cradling each other in the beautiful car, looking out at the nighttime city. David was still nervous and worried, but to be honest, he couldn’t think of a better setting.

    “…you know… don’t you?” David whispered.

    “Shh…” Bianca said again. She squeezed a little tighter for a second and continued to enjoy the moment. The wheel began to turn again a moment later and they road it down in each other’s arms, not questioning the act and simply enjoying it.

    * * *

    [Continued Below]

  15. #15
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    Warning: This review is actually pretty long (20+ pages in Word) because I was reading through as I was reviewing and wound up writing page-long rants. Unfortunately, there's a lot of stuff that I don't think should be cut out, so it's all behind a spoiler tag for your convenience. I will say, though, that it's scathing for reasons I'll explain in detail within the review.

    The short of it, though? I felt the beginning was mediocre and got massively disappointed by that. I proceed to explain why getting beginnings down is important, and it's the entire reason why I'm afraid I don't feel like reading beyond the Castelia chapters.

    Sorry. :/

        Spoiler:- You'd think I'd have something better to do. And I do. But still.:


    And as if it's completely appropriate, I actually have to split this into two posts.
    Last edited by JX Valentine; 29th November 2011 at 6:09 AM.

    REBOOT: Chapter fifteen now available. | Original: Chapter thirty-one now available.

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  16. #16
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    Well, this has been up for a while, so I guess I'll give it a look.

    *deep breath* Here we go...

    Quote Originally Posted by Prologue
    I'll be honest. I know that Cheren and Bianca are, at least nominally, the same characters as they are in the games in your story. Still, though, recoloring them like this doesn't sit well with me, and the fact that your OC is a recolored version of Hilbert even more so. If he was meant to represent the character you played as, simply making him normal Hilbert with the name David would have made more sense, I think.

    “Heatran, use Magma Storm!”

    The roar of the crowd could be heard from miles away. Shouts and cheers rang throughout the city as the battle fiercely raged on. The hypnotizing aroma of popcorn and other confections drifted lazily through the air from vendors scattered in the stands. Small children cheered out of their minds for the trainers, while their parents beside them subtly suppressed smiles of their own. The gigantic stadium held more than 50,000 people, drawn from all across the region to witness the Unova Region Pokémon League Championship battle. After several days of harsh fighting and elimination, victory was within the grasp of two talented trainers. Down on the field, at the epicenter of this cacophony of noise, tension and excitement stood two lone trainers, and two fearsome beasts. This was the pinnacle of the match; the next few attacks would decide it all.

    “Lugia, quick, get out of the way!” shouted one of the trainers desperately. There was fear in his eyes, his voice quivered, and he knew he was losing. He hadn’t made it to the final battle of the League Championships by faltering at the end of his matches though; alongside his fear was determination and the will to survive and win. He knew he had to think fast; if Magma Storm hit, it would be all over.

    The Heatran lowered its head, took in a deep breath, then unleashed a torrent of fire and slag at the enormous beast opposite it with everything it had. Molten lava dripped from its mouth as the wave of heat launched forth. It braced itself against the ground and had to dig in with every one of the four hooked claws that lined each foot to keep itself from being pushed back. The enemy’s Lugia took action and started to dodge, quickly ascending into the sky; it was a desperate, losing gambit however. Higher and higher it soared, trying to simply put as much distance between itself and the vortex of flames as it could. Half a mile into the air it went, then three-quarters, then a mile, but the fire dogged it all the way. Finally, the Lugia managed to breach the clouds; it stopped for a moment, thinking perhaps that it was safe. It held position, beating its massive wings and calmly looking around at the sea of white below it for any sign of the streams. It heard nothing, saw nothing, and felt nothing; surely the Heatran couldn’t still control and aim its attack with so much distance between them, and certainly not if the cloud cover obscured its visi-

    “GAAAAW!!”

    The three swirling streams of fire burst through the clouds directly underneath the Lugia’s position. Before it could react, they sailed up past the beast’s head and ensnared it in a veritable cage of lava. The Lugia screamed deafeningly in surprise as the three streams linked and began dragging it back down to earth; it could barely even fight to try and break free against the maelstrom.

    As it fell, the lava charred and burned its majestic, legendary down and wings. The Lugia continued to shriek in shock and pain as it hurdled towards the ground; it was being dragged right towards a patch of Stealth Rock that had been set up earlier in the match. As it drew within just feet of the jagged spikes, the Heatran reared its head and quickly chomped its fangs together, terminated the stream. The Lugia smashed into the patch of Stealth Rock, being impaled and taking considerable damage. The real concern however was the continuing Magma Storm; the Diving Pokémon was still immobilized and confined to the small area within the storm, all the while taking a slow creep of residual damage from the heat of its prison.
    I'm not going to call Purple Alert here, because there are some pretty good descriptions within it (such as the description of the stadium), but did you really need five paragraphs for a single exchange of attacks? Seems a little excessive.

    The roar of the crowd in response to these actions was deafening. It was as if a solid wall of sound flowed from the stadium and struck every point in and around it. Seeing its opponent trapped, the Heatran sneered and bent forward on its front knees to strike again. The Heatran’s trainer had his opponent on the ropes; victory was nearly assured now and the people in the stands knew it. A new challenger to the Elite Four was about to be named, and he had a very good shot of making it all the way.
    This on the other hand is pretty good.

    “Wait, what?! You can’t do that, you cheater!”

    * * *

    “…yeah huh I can.” the boy said calmly after a pause, awakening from his vivid tirade.

    “No you can’t, dude, that’s bull crap! You can’t just ‘break’ Magma Storm with a stupid Aeroblast! You just don’t want to admit I out-strategied you again!” shouted his friend.

    The first boy lowered his stance. He smiled condescendingly and stared at his friend from over the rims of his glasses. “Out-strategied my ***. If we’re going to play pretend and imagine our League Championship battle, why can’t I imagine it spectacularly and make great plays?” he quipped back.

    “God, Cheren, that’s your answer to everything, isn’t it? ‘Aeroblast it away, Lugia!’” the second boy said in a mocking, flustered tone. “I cover the field in Smokescreen; you clear it with Aeroblast. I poison you with Toxic; you Aeroblast it out of your system. I bury you under a damn Rock Slide; you Aeroblast the rocks away. You just never want to admit you’ve lost, and you can’t come up with any other strategies!” he continued. Cheren laughed at his friend’s vigor and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

    “David, why can’t you just accept that Aeroblast is sweet and you can’t beat my Lugia? I’m just a more superior trainer than you, and you need to just accept that.” Cheren replied; from the corner of the room, someone else spoke up.
    These are 13-year-olds, right? Their bickering is really uncharacteristic for that age. They sound like eight-year-olds at most.

    Cheren was an odd boy; he was calm and calculating on the outside, but a regular, rambunctious, somewhat immature kid on the inside. He was medium height with a wiry form and jet black hair. He liked to act like he was cool and in charge, but as the previous exchanged had illustrated, he had his stubborn and immature streaks. He was perhaps not terribly well adjusted; at thirteen years old, he lived the phrase “act your age.”

    Bianca was a sweet, innocent young girl; she had a somewhat plump figure, short blonde hair, big blue eyes and a giant toothy smile. When she lit up and smiled, which was a fairly frequent occurrence, her friends would often joke that she looked like a Pachirisu, which just made her laugh even more. She was very beautiful for her age and she was actually already starting to fill out in many respects; her friends were oblivious to these facts however and thought of her no differently than they thought of themselves. In their naivety and youthful understanding of the world, Bianca to them was just “one of the guys.” She thought of herself no differently than she did of them either, but she was perhaps more aware of the differences than they were, given that she was the outsider in that regard.
    I've got two things to pick out here.

    One, the structures of these two paragraphs are too similar, making them feel choppy and abrupt. By itself, Cheren's would have been okay, but you should have varied your sentence structure and word usage for Bianca's.

    Second, Bianca's description makes me feel a little... uncomfortable. The way you're describing her, calling attention to her appearance in such overt detail, just doesn't feel right. I mean, do I really need to know that she's "already starting to fill out in many respects?" Just mention that she has a full figure or something, there really is no need to go this in-depth on the body of a thirteen-year-old girl.

    Also, remarking that she looks like a Pachirisu - a squirrel - is pretty vulgar.

    David was the last member of the group and its de facto leader. Despite how the previous exchange might have made him seem, most of the time he was by far the most mature; he was very adult-like for his age, his mind and his spirit far exceeding his body in years. He was stoic and tall with dark brown hair sitting upon his head in a loose mop. He struck an imposing figure, built like an Ursaring or a Beartic. At that age, he towered over his friends, which often helped make his statements and requests that much more persuasive. Despite this, Cheren knew just how to push his buttons, and knew just when to act defiant to screw with his older friend; for instance, calling out Aeroblast when things weren’t going his way.

    “Aww, that’s no fun, David. I wanted a REAL ending!” Bianca pouted. “That battle was so spectacular and vivid; I want to see it in real life. Do you think that’ll ever happen?” she continued.

    “Do I think I’ll ever be battling Cheren’s Lugia, a legendary Pokémon from Johto, with a Heatran, another legendary Pokémon from Sinnoh, in the Unova Region Pokémon League Championships in front of 50,000 people?” David asked sarcastically, settling back down against the side of the bed. “No, probably not.” he continued with a laugh. “But will we be real trainers some day and have real Pokémon battles? Yeah, totally. Those battles will probably be even more spectacular than these pretend ones even, because goddamn Cheren… won’t be able to cheat or use Aeroblast.” he appended, looking over at Cheren from across the room as he singled him out. Cheren grinned again and turned up his nose, folding his arms and closing his eyes smugly.

    “Aeroblast is so legit, I’ll go out to Johto someday and catch a Lugia, just so I can use that move.” Cheren quipped back, now just trying to provoke his friend; David sighed

    “Okay, that tears it.” David groaned. He stood up quickly, grabbed the pillow that was behind his back, and proceeded to beat Cheren with it unmercifully in one fluid motion.
    I would hope that you're able to turn this character around, because right now, I'm not sure just what it is about him that is supposed to make me like him. Getting the readers to like or at least sympathize with your main character is extremely important, and right now, I just see an angry, brooding teenager who fights with his friend.

    The three of them all laughed. That night, as sleep washed over them, they each dreamt of their future adventures as real Pokémon Trainers. It would be an epic journey, and it would bring them at times closer, and at other times farther, than they had ever dreamed possible. It would be one filled with grand battles, budding and eventually maturing love, and fulfillment of a dark and ancient prophecy that would see the reawakening of the two most destructive forces the region, if not the world, had ever seen. It was still five years off though and they were yet just children; sleep came to them, and so did they dream…
    One, I'm not so sure that telling us so much of what to expect in the rest of the story was a good idea. It takes away a lot of surprise we could get from new developments.

    Two... you just admitted Bianca's a child here. After sexualizing her earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chapter 1

    “Alright, Mom, I’ll be down in just a minute!” David shouted back. He was gathering all the essentials and gear for the start of his Pokémon journey. It had been 5 years since their pretend battle at the League Championships, and he and his friends were now adults. Having turned 18 and finished school, they were now eligible to become real, League sanctioned Pokémon trainers. This was a dream that all children shared, and was a rite of passage that he, Bianca and Cheren would all take together. Children in his world attended a primary and secondary school until age 18 where they learned things like reading, mathematics, history and the sciences. Starting at age 13 however, their regular education was supplemented with classes on Pokémon theory, biology, mythology and battling strategies; these classes were taught by the resident Pokémon professor, and at age 18, when their schooling was complete, it was that professor that would give them their first Pokémon to begin their journeys with. Pokémon journeys lasted as long as the adventurer saw fit. Typically they lasted for only a few years, taking the place of a traditional college experience, and then they would return to civilization in pursuit of a career; some trainers however made battling their career.
    There are some interesting ideas here, but I'm not really feeling yet just why it is the case that the age is 18 instead of 10. It just feels like a completely arbitrary change made for no real reason. I do like the elaboration on their curriculum, though. That's an interesting idea.

    “Eeeeeeeeh! David David David David David EEEEEEH! We’re going to be real Pokémon trainers! This is so exciting!” Bianca squealed as he walked down the stairs to greet them. “We’re going to have real Pokémon and go on adventures and have lots of battles and see lots of places and and and-”

    “Bianca!” Cheren said sharply. “Please, you’re going to give me a goddamn migraine…” he continued, turning away and holding his temple.

    “Oh lighten up, Princess, let her have her moment.” David said back with a smirk. “I’m excited too, just… not as… ‘vocal,’ about it as she is.”

    “David, did you get everything you’re going to need?” David’s mother asked soothingly as she entered the room. “How about you two, need any last minute supplies?” she asked Bianca and Cheren.

    “Yep, I’ve got everything, Mom.” David replied; two mimicked responses came a moment later.
    Okay, they're eighteen now, and Bianca is still acting like this? I get that being absentminded is part of her canonical character, but you're really exaggerating it here, and at the age of eighteen, she should be at least a bit more levelheaded than this.

    I'm still not liking David's attitude toward Cheren. Did something happen in the past between them that caused him to seemingly hate Cheren so much? If I was Cheren, I don't think I'd want to hang out with him.

    Bianca was bouncing up and down in her seat like a child on a sugar rush, her hands clasped on her skirt and grinning a big, toothy grin. She was totally oblivious to her surroundings, only interested in the prospects that lay before her.
    So far, your depiction of Bianca has been really one-dimensional and shallow, and this line really seals it. Isn't there more to her than this?

    “This is so exciting, isn’t it, David?!” she said in an overtly feminine tone. As she said this, she moved suddenly and grasped both of his hands in hers. She brought them up to collarbone level and spoke again in a noticeably softer voice “We’re going to make great trainers, David, I know it! Don’t you think so too?”

    Her voice had taken a significant and noticeable drop in volume, and she almost cooed out the words. David was instantly set ill-at-ease; his eyes opened wide and he leaned back away towards the window awkwardly. In an instant, she had gone from being naively child-like and bubbling to… what was this? Flirtatious almost? His expression went blank and he could feel his face grow warm.
    Romance is a challenging thing to get right. I think one of the most important things about writing a good one is to try and have an organic, well-done introduction to it, but unfortunately this is not one of those. Why has Bianca's personality suddenly changed to abruptly introduce the romance concept between her and David, for one? It's not helped by the way you're describing this, which is overly forceful in shoving us toward the direction you want us to see.

    Anyway, once again, I'm hoping something - the romance subplot in this case - picks up, because it's not off to a good start.

    The door was simple and rustic, but with a grand carving of Arceus etched above it as a tribute to her work in the origins of Pokémon. It opened a moment later; standing in the doorway, a hand on her hip and a grin on her face, was the sleek, attractive young professor, Dr. Aurea Juniper.
    Why is Arceus on her door when in Unova at this time, the region was very isolated? Reshiram, Zekrom and Kyurem would have made more sense.

    And is Juniper a doctor or a professor here?

    “Hahaha, oh alright, dear, you can go first.” she said lightly. “But before you take your Pokémon, I must explain one thing to you all first.” she continued. Bianca was already reaching for the centermost Pokéball; Professor Juniper took a long, graceful stride between her and the desk, surprising her young student with the sudden obstacle. Bianca wore a startled look and looked up at ex-teacher to explain; Professor Juniper folded her arms, resting her back on the edge of the desk, and began her explanation.

    “Normally, as beginning trainers in the Unova region, you would have a Snivy, a Tepig or an Oshawott available to you for your beginning Pokémon. Seeing as there are three of you, assuming no overlap, that would be perfect and you could each choose one for yourselves.” she began. “But I’ve known the three of you all your lives, and practically helped raise you. I’ve been friends with your families for many years and I like to think I know each of you pretty closely.” she continued.

    ...

    “Come, come, Cheren! This is not a time to take things lightly.” the professor half-heartedly scolded. “Today is a day to remember always, so it’s best to behave with some formality. Nerves are one thing…” she said, glancing at Bianca, “…but please show at least a bit of restraint.”

    ...

    “Now then… since I’ve known you all for so long, and since you are some of my favorite pupils, I’ve decided to give you a slightly different opportunity than most beginning trainers have. You all are familiar with the work of Professor Oak in Kanto, correct?” she asked; the three of them all smiled at the mention of his name and nodded in affirmation.

    “Professor Oak? Of course, everyone knows him.” Cheren answered proudly. “He’s the most famous Pokémon researcher of the last hundred years, and his radio show is broadcast all over the world from Goldenrod City.” he continued.

    “Very good, Cheren, you’ve been studying.” the professor praised him. “Well, he has a young aide named Red who he tasked many years ago with completing the Pokédex. He has become somewhat of a Pokémon catching phenom in recent years, and even became the Indigo League Champion a while back. He is truly a remarkable trainer, so I asked Professor Oak a few months ago if he could enlist Red in a little Pokémon catching expedition for me.” the professor said slyly, putting her hand to her cheek. “Instead of the usual Unova region starters, I handpicked three species of Pokémon for you all to take, specifically chosen for you as individuals. Professor Oak’s aide bred them for me and delivered them especially for you.” she continued with a grin.
    Okay, no. I'm not opposed to changing the starters, but it has to be for a good reason - a really good one - even if it's a simple swap of one region's starter set for another.

    This is not a good setup at all. It doesn't even matter what the new starters actually are; they could be Magikarp, Feebas and Kricketot even. This explanation is extremely contrived and pretty engineers a Mary Sue situation, because of how 'special' these characters are being treated.

    “Bianca, as requested, you can go first. Yours is the one on the left.” the professor murmured, stepping out of the way and smiling along with them; the moment had finally come.

    Bianca slowly walked forward with reverence and anticipation, cupping the Pokéball in her hands. It shone in the light and she could see herself reflected in its surface. She extended a slender finger and gently pushed the button on the front to open it and release the Pokémon inside. A bolt of light shot out and materialized on the table in front of her, startling her with the suddenness of it all. She leaned forward, putting her face right next to it in curiosity as it rematerialized, and in a flash, an adorable young Pachirisu appeared and exclaimed its name.

    “Pachi! Pachirisu!”
    You have to be kidding me... leaving the 'girls use cute things' stereotype aside for a minute, you've repeated several times that Bianca looks like a Pachirisu and now you give her one? This is very shallow, not to mention Pachirisu is a Pokemon with low base stats and no evolutionary potential.

    Also, why is Juniper not giving them a choice?

    Calmly and coolly, he walked forward and picked up the Pokéball on the right. He tossed it lazily on the floor to catch the clasping mechanism, throwing it as if he were initiating a battle. The seam opened and a blast of light shot out from inside. The Pokémon popped out and materialized into the form of a spry, healthy young Eevee, its coat a polished, coffee brown in color. The Eevee turned to face its new trainer as its eyes adjusted to the light; with a tilt of the head, he murmured ever-so-softly, “Ee?”
    So you go from giving Bianca a Pokemon that's extremely difficult to use because it looks like her to giving Cheren the very definition of a Mary Sue starter Pokemon, not to mention the one with the most evolutionary potential of all. This is completely unfair to Bianca.

    “Well, it won’t be a Snivy, that’s for sure… what could it be?” David thought to himself. As he walked forward and picked up the ball, thoughts of Pokémon he thought he might like ran through his mind. Could it be a Growlithe? Or an Aron? Maybe if he was really lucky he’d get a Gible. “Man, how sweet would having a Garchomp be?” he thought. Whatever it was, Professor Juniper said she had handpicked it for him, so it seemed logically like he should be able to guess what it was. He opened the ball and released the clasp. From within the seam, a small sphere of light drifted out. The wisp emerged gracefully and floated just in front of his face for a brief moment, almost as if it were sizing him up. It flew around him and then drifted lazily around the room for a moment, inspecting its new surroundings both playfully and curiously. Finally, the wisp settled on the desk to land. The little ball of light pulsated for a moment, and then in a flash, materialized itself as a petite, graceful little Ralts.

    David heard a soft, childlike, feminine voice inside his head speak.

    “Hello! My name is Paula, and I am a Ralts! What is your name, human?”
    A Pokemon given purely based on looks, an Eevee and a Pokemon that can talk for no really logical reason. Maybe you can somehow pull this off, but right now, this is looking bad. Really bad. Why is Paula able to talk? Why does she have a nickname before she even got a trainer?

    These are questions you're going to have to answer.

    “I will be a Gardevoir some day, master! I will be tall and elegant and have a flowing dress, and you can teach me how to be one!” Paula said excitedly in David’s head. David pondered the thought for a minute, staring off into space.
    This is really, really, really creepy. They just met and already Paula is going "MASTER~" for him and talking about how he's going to teach her things.

    David muttered some small token of agreement underneath his breath, but Cheren made no response, so he let the conversation wane. He crawled into his own sleeping bag and curled up, pulling it above his shoulders and turning to face the wall. Bianca and Cheren were silent, save for a few rustling sounds as they adjusted themselves, and with the quiet came an opportunity for his mind to wander. Though he had tried to push it out of his thoughts in lieu of the excitement of getting his starter Pokémon that day, her touch a moment ago had brought memories of the incident in the car earlier to the forefront of his mind. As sleep began to wash over him, the filters on his mind began to deaden and he was brought back to that short interval of time. Why had she done it? What did it mean? Did it even mean anything, or was he just overanalyzing? Most importantly though, why was it so jarring to him? He and Bianca had been wonderful, close, plutonic friends their entire lives. She had touched him before and it hadn’t meant anything then, so why now? There was something different about it this time; there was a certain grace and femininity to her touch. He didn’t want to admit it, but perhaps he was starting to actually acknowledge Bianca as a girl; as something altogether different than he or Cheren were.

    Speak of the devil, as these rationales and considerations mulled about within his brain, he heard her yawn behind him and finally lay down in her bag. He lay still and stared at the wall, listening for her to stop moving, but before that moment came, he felt something that made him shutter. In an unassuming and innocent gesture, his lifelong friend had decided to lay next to him; directly next to him, unfortunately. Bianca laid her hand over top of his shoulder and curled up next to him. She was already out like a light and was doing it only half consciously, but she nevertheless still was. David could feel himself grow warm.

    Turning over on his other side to inspect just what it was she was doing, David saw her peacefully asleep in her bag, an angelic smile spread calmly across her lips. Though everything from the collarbone down was obscured for obvious reasons, he also noticed, much to his guilty pleasure, that she was dressed only in her undergarments beneath the bag. David couldn’t shove it out of his mind any longer; he couldn’t simply keep ignoring it or brushing it off as coincidence. For whatever reason, something about finally becoming Pokémon trainers had changed Bianca; it was as if her own mental inhibitors were turned off by the excitement of it all, but she was acting in a decidedly new and different way than what he had always known. It was all unintentional and perhaps even subconscious to be sure, but there could be no more denying that it was there. Strangest of all however, much as he wanted to act offended and put off, David was not unreceptive to her change.

    A wave of stinging pain washed over his eyes as the clock struck a late hour on the mantle behind them. There were altogether too many difficult and life-changing thoughts trying to compete for dominance in his mind, and his body was reminding him it was time for sleep. Maybe Bianca was acting different, and maybe she wasn’t; perhaps she had always been this way and he had just never noticed. Whatever it was though, there was no sense in worrying about it now. Content to call a spade a spade, David had to acknowledge that, childhood friend or not, there was a beautiful blonde asleep next to him who had at least some valid intention of wanting to be physically close to him. Remembering the adage that had helped him earlier in the day, David laid his own hand over the exposed, pale skin on her shoulder and murmured the lyric to himself for a second time that day.
    You're really not handling the romance subplot well. Every time it gets brought up so far, it feels like it's shoehorned in randomly and forced to the center. What results is an extremely awkward passage, and honestly, I can't buy this romance you're trying to develop between David and Bianca. It's just feeling so forced so far, because David and Bianca have no real chemistry. There's nothing that really makes me believe this relationship is real on any level.

    I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed at all with what I've seen so far. You're changing up a few things from the games, but the characters are just so utterly unlikable that I can't enjoy anything. Cheren is the abused butt monkey of the three for no reason, and seems to only exist to be verbally torn down by David; Bianca is a one-dimensional, flat caricature with some very creepy attention paid to sexualizing her; and David, frankly, is an obnoxious guy who doesn't seem to much appreciate his friends during the time he isn't awkwardly obsessing over Bianca for some reason. Journeyfics require that the characters at their centers be superb because the stories rely on them to deliver new content, and unfortunately, you are not doing well so far with that.

    I'll give it more of a look to be more fair. I'm just very disappointed after the prologue and revised first chapter.
    Last edited by The Great Butler; 10th March 2012 at 9:08 AM.

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  17. #17
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    Okay, let's do some more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chapter 2
    “Paula, use Psychic!”

    The forest was calm, and all was quiet. Not a single Pokémon was out; they were all tucked away, hiding in their homes

    ...

    The wild Bouffalant was staring him down, seething with rage and defiance; it had suffered Will-o-Wisp burns, been thrown about the clearing repeatedly, and hadn’t landed a single blow. It was breathing heavily and knew it was down for the count; unwilling to give up without at least landing some kind of hit though, it took in a large breath of air, snorted menacingly, and kicked up the dirt under its hooves, ready to risk it all on one final attack.

    Opposite it stood the dainty figure of a Gardevoir, the very pinnacle of health, grace and elegance
    I know this isn't what you were going for, but it caught me right away that you first say "not a single Pokemon was out" but then there are a Bouffalant and Gardevoir.

    It took off like a bolt of lightning towards the slim silhouette of the Gardevoir, putting the pain from its burns out of its mind and throwing everything it had into this one final Head Charge attack. The Gardevoir stood perfectly still and focused her mind. The charging bull came closer and closer with a bloodlust in its eyes. It tucked in its head,
    came up to full speed, and launched itself at the enemy.
    I think I mentioned this before, but you have to diversify your sentence structure and language. Beginning sentences with "it" or "the" repeatedly creates unpleasant repetition.

    The whole forest shook. The Bouffalant flew across the clearing, striking another tree and falling to the ground in a slump. The Gardevoir composed herself, lowered her arms, and gracefully walked back to her trainer. Suppressed as it may have been, there was a kind of girlish spring in her step at her success.

    “Excellent work, Paula; just what I’ve come to expect from you.” David said in a very business-like tone; a sheepish grin was creeping along the edges of his mouth however out of pride.

    “Thank you, master. That was more fun for me than I would imagine it looked like however.” she replied with a giggle. David nodded and recalled her to her Pokéball.
    This is still really, really, really creepy. I just can't help but feel a
    really forced subordination fetish when these two interact, I'm sorry.

    “Oh, David… you’re my hero.” Bianca said femininely, emerging from her cover and putting the back of her hand to her forehead. In any other circumstance, such a cliché remark would have made David laugh, but there was a kind of twisted logic to this place; that logic was beginning to subtly fray around the edges however if one watched closely enough…

    “Twas nothing, milady.” he said with a smirk, turning now to face her. She looked down and smiled, then ran into his arms and embraced him. She looked up at her protector, trembling in anticipation, and moved in to give him one… big… long… ki–

    ...

    He looked over at the sleeping angel beside him and sighed again, longing to know what to think of her. He eventually slipped out of his sleeping bag and proceeded to get up.
    Now, given that this scene began in David's dream, what does that tell me about David that he views Bianca in such a way? He is not respecting Bianca as her own person, instead, he is merely whiteknighting her and viewing her only as an object to protect.

    This romance is still very clunky and awkward, too.

    “Wakey-wakey, Princess.” he cooed sarcastically. Cheren slumped over and moaned as his heartbeat returned to normal. As David began to stand back up, Cheren lashed out at his friend’s knee cap, inciting a muffled grunt from David and more laughter from Bianca as he fell over in pain. After a few more shenanigans like such, the three young trainers rose and left the room after Professor Juniper.
    You're using "cooed" too much, one. Two, you're once again making David out to be an unrelenting ******* to Cheren with no explanation, and it's still as unbelievable as it was before.


    “Impressive, Cheren; that’s exactly correct.” she praised. “Since you three didn’t start with the typical Fire-Water-Grass Unova region starters, I have called ahead and arranged the battles for you.” she said. “Bianca, you and Pachirisu will be battling Cilan; he won’t have a type advantage over you, but Pachirisu’s Electric-type attacks will be ineffective against his Grass-types. Cheren, you and Eevee will be battling Cress and his Water-types. Finally, David, you will be battling Chili and his Fire-type Pokémon.” she explained.
    It really should not be up to Juniper to be arranging all these things without consulting the kids.

    “We’ll leave right away, Professor. Thank you for your hospitality.” Cheren said.
    Cheren really is so polite that he doesn't deserve the way David treats him.

    “Hey! You know what we should do to make this even more special?” she asked. “We should all take our first steps onto the route together! We can start our journeys all at the same time!” she continued. Cheren looked at her with an utterly perplexed look on his face, the thought seeming infantile and senseless to him.

    “Oh come on, Cheren, don’t be like that!” she whined, seeing his confused look. Cheren shook his head and looked away.
    The structure here is extremely awkward. I had a hard time telling who was being referred to when, Cheren or Bianca.

    “Pachirisu! Um… use… um…” she stammered, but the Patrat was too quick for her. It leapt from the ground before she was ready, claws drawn, teeth gleaming, and threw itself at Pachirisu.

    “Eeek! Quick, Pachirisu, get out of the way!” Bianca shouted. Pachirisu leapt into the air from where she had been standing and jumped onto a low-hanging tree branch. The Patrat landed squarely where Pachirisu had been a moment earlier and spun around to find its opponent.

    Cheren saw Bianca’s dilemma and shouted down from the embankment where they had been watching; “Bianca! Have her use ‘Spark!’” he cried.

    “Okay!” Bianca shouted back blindly. “Pachirisu, quick, use ‘Spark!’”
    I hope you see that this is implying Bianca is not competent enough to do anything without having a male help her. At least it's not David saving her, I guess.

    Bianca was out in the water, splashing around with Pachirisu in the warm morning sun. David sat next to Cheren, watching Bianca and remembering his dream from the night before. Why did these thoughts keep coming back to him, he wondered; why did everything constant about Bianca suddenly seem to be changing?
    This is so awkward and out of place right now. I apologize for continually repeating this, but you need to learn how to incorporate this romance into the story better than you're doing. I almost can't help but find this a bit voyeuristic with how David is obsessing over Bianca at such random times.

    “Sounds good, Cheren.” he responded. He watched as his friends walked back up the hill to the main road, and then walk out of sight. He took out Paula’s Pokéball and released her from it. The little Ralts popped out and stood on top of a fallen branch on the ground, smiling and looking up at him expectantly.

    “Hello, master!” she exclaimed excitedly with her telepathy. “What are we doing here?” she asked curiously.

    “Cheren and Bianca have gone up ahead. I think we should do a little training before we get to Accumula Town. What do you say?” he replied.

    “Of course, master. How shall we train?” she asked politely.

    “I guess we should find a wild Pokémon to battle and practice some of your attacks.” David responded. He began looking around, curious to try and see where the Patrat from earlier may have come from, but Paula spoke up before he could identify the source.

    “Very well; we should check the tall grass to the north. There is bound to be something we can battle there, master.” she said cheerily. David smiled and picked her up; the pair returned to the road and started heading north.
    Paula's constant reference to David as "master" is what's most horrifying about this. Frankly, I'm beginning to get Heaven's Lost Property vibes from Paula's assessment of herself as David's personal property and deference and submission to him. And yet, they only just met and she viewed herself this way instantly.

    The Pidove turned around to look at him and cooed chidingly when it realized what he had done.
    "Cooed" again...

    Paula giggled as the Doppler Effect modulated the Lillipup’s defeated yelp.
    This reference is far too obscure in context for most readers to get without even a quick explanation, I think.

    “Your Confusion attack is getting really powerful. Did you see that little bugger fly?” David said with a laugh. “You knocked it right on it’s ***! Chili’s not going to stand a chance against us!” he continued proudly.
    You need to use "its," not "it's."

    “Soon I will evolve into a Kirlia, and I will be much stronger then, master. It is all thanks to you!” she replied, equally proud of her new trainer.
    This is horrifying. Paula is not a character; you are depicting her as purely a broken servant to David (whom she just met) while a real character needs development and characteristics of their own. Paula is only defined by being David's servant and nothing more.

    It is here that I will bring up just how Gary Stu-ish it is that David has this Ralts that can magically talk to him and wants to be his slave from the moment of their meeting.

    Paula shook in concentration. David didn’t know what she was doing, but her efforts quickly paid off and manifested themselves. There was a blinding flash, he felt the ground disappear beneath his feet, and he suddenly felt weightless. His hair blew, he drifted through space as if surrounded by water, and felt as though the planet’s gravity and the gravity of everything else around him had suddenly been turned off. The sensation lasted only an instant, but it was all so vivid that he took it all in immediately. Suddenly, the sensation left him and he felt the ground beneath his feet again. He opened his eyes and saw the entrance to Accumula Town before him; in literally an instant, he and Paula had traveled a good quarter of a mile.

    “Ho-oh-ly CRAP! What the Hell was that, Paula?!” he asked in shock. Paula giggled and held her arms up proudly.

    “I used Teleport, master! I got the idea to try it earlier when we were training, but I did not know if it would work or not.” she exclaimed. “I just saw where I wanted to go, focused on it in my mind, and poof, here we are!” she explained. “Are you proud of me, master?” she asked with expectation and joy.

    “Dude, that was AWESOME! Hell yeah I’m proud; that was great!” David replied excitedly. “If we can really dial that in, it could eliminate the need for a Flying-type Pokémon potentially! That is definitely something we should keep practicing; excellent work!” he praised her. Paula blushed faintly and smiled at his overt ovation.
    Again, totally not Stu-ish at all that Paula suddenly mastered Teleport exactly when David needed to catch up with Cheren and Bianca in Accumula Town.

    “I am glad that you approve, master. I am getting stronger and stronger with you.” she replied shyly. David nodded and put her back in her Pokéball; he then began walking towards the city to find his friends.
    I can't say enough how much this makes my skin crawl, to be brutally honest.

    “What? That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. This dude’s just been shouting this crap at people in the park all day? Is he homeless or something?” David asked.
    Nice stereotyping, David.

    The man speaking in the center supported himself with a large, ornate cane, almost resembling a scepter fit for a king. He wore a giant, ornate tunic with a lavish neck piece of gold, shaped like the tower of a castle. His tunic was purple and gold, royal colors, and had a design resembling two large, menacing eyes, staring coldly out into the crowd. He had flowing gray hair that went past his shoulders, but the color and a gently receding hairline betrayed his age. His left eye was stern and cold, a demonic red in color, but he wore an eye patch over his right, adding to the mystique.
    This is good description of Ghetsis, but where did you get that he has gray hair?

    and if the spirit of Arceus moves you to do so, release your Pokémon and join us,
    Again, at this point in time, Arceus should not be as well known in Unova as Reshiram, Zekrom and Kyurem are. This is especially true when you consider Ghetsis's position - there is no reason for him to be speaking about Arceus when Reshiram and Zekrom are his targets.

    and a curious level-1 Menger sponge hung on a chain from his belt loop
    Most average readers are not going to know what a level 1 Menger Sponge is without being told.


    “Yes… there is something remarkable about you, I must say… most remarkable indeed…” N murmured. “Tell me, friend… would you like to have a Pokémon battle?” he asked, a smile spreading across his face.
    Why am I not surprised that N only sees something "special" in David?

    I can’t look like a coward in front of Bianca and Cheren… especially not Bianca
    I seriously almost laughed at how out of place this latest mental declaration of love was. He's about to fight someone who's spouting nonsensical ramble about being raised by Pokemon and the only thing he can think about is looking like a badass in front of his crush?

    “Oh my, how darling!” he shouted. “Your Ralts is named ‘Paula?’ Oh, it looks like I was right about you after all!” he continued.
    This manner of speaking is completely out of character for N. He does not speak like this.

    “Purrloin, use Fake Out!” N shouted. The Purrloin made a quick jab towards Paula, not actually attacking but feigning with its claws perfectly. Paula jumped back in surprise, tripped, and then stumbled and fell over, startled by the Purrloin’s quick motion. As she stood herself back up, the Purrloin took up a fighting pose and prepared to attack in earnest.

    “Paula, use Confusion!” David shouted. The little Ralts steadied herself, focused, and let loose the counter-attack. Just like she had practiced, the blast of telekinetic energy shot forth and flew towards her opponent; much to her and her trainer’s surprise however, the Purrloin appeared utterly and totally unphased. It grinned a devilish grin, then lunged forward at the Ralts, claws drawn and ready to swipe.
    Good going with remembering that Psychic attacks won't work on Purrloin, but you missed another big picture - Paula shouldn't have been able to attack at all because Purrloin had just used Fake Out, which makes its victim flinch immediately.

    “Crap, no! Paula, quick, get out of the way! Use Teleport!” David shouted blindly, but it was to no avail.

    “Purrloin, use Pursuit.” N said calmly. Paula quickly Teleported away, but the Purrloin grabbed a hold of her just before she could make her escape. Paula rematerialized across the clearing, but N’s Purrloin was still doggedly hanging on. The Purrloin raised a paw, its claws glowing with black, malevolent energy, and it took one powerful swipe at the little Ralts. She flew across the clearing, fell to the ground, and slumped over, too tired and defeated to go on. The Purrloin gracefully fell to its feet, licked its paws, sat down and purred; N recalled it to its Pokéball, saying quietly under his breath, “Excellent, Purrloin. Thank you for putting yourself in danger for my sake. I appreciate your contribution.”
    I have to give you credit here, you used Teleport and Pursuit in a creative way that we don't see in the games. It worked quite well.

    Good job getting N's speech patterns back on track, too.

    N recalled it to its Pokéball, saying quietly under his breath, “Excellent, Purrloin. Thank you for putting yourself in danger for my sake. I appreciate your contribution.”

    ...

    “A word to the wise: Psychic-type moves like that will have no effect on Dark-type Pokémon like my Purrloin.” he explained. “Your Pokémon put in a tremendous effort however; you should be very proud.” he continued as he helped David up.
    N is acting awfully casually about Poké Balls for who he is in canon. I also don't know if it's in N's character to so explicitly congratulate someone after a battle.

    “Oh, David… don’t be down on yourself about that.” she said soothingly. “It was just a bad type matchup, but you’ll get the next one. Your little Ralts is really strong, I can tell!” she continued. David looked at her and saw a real sense of conviction in her eyes. She wore a big smile and her eyes gleamed in the light from the fireplace. She was right; Paula wasn’t upset, N wasn’t a jerk about it, and it was technically a bad type matchup. He shouldn’t feel too down about it, and try as he might, he couldn’t even bring himself to be with Bianca’s pretty, innocent face smiling at him.
    Now is absolutely not the time to be pointing out that Bianca has a "pretty, innocent face." That line completely ruined the mood.

    “Turn into what? A bigger dweeb?” she asked as she giggled. Cheren drooped his shoulders and glared at her. His expression practically dripped with sarcasm and contempt.
    That's absolutely out of Bianca's character, even for this version of Bianca.

    As he walked down the hall, he passed by Bianca’s room and noticed that the door was slightly ajar. He took a quick peek inside and saw her sound asleep in her bed. She was resting like an angel, the light from the hall playing across her golden blonde hair, the blankets covering her body, silhouetting it against the light. She looked so peaceful and calm, it made him strangely happy.
    Here's that awkward voyeuristic feeling again.

    As he continued down the hall, he heard a voice inside his head.

    “I believe that you like her romantically, master. Am I correct in this assumption?” the little voice murmured.

    “Paula, is that you?” David thought back.

    “Yes, master. My Psychic power is growing stronger by leaps and bounds.” she responded. “I am mentally aware of my surroundings and can hear your thoughts even from inside my Pokéball now.” she continued proudly. David winced a bit and looked away.
    Please tell me you're joking and this is not what I'm actually reading. The last thing the awkwardly shoehorned Bianca romance subplot needed was Paula and her subservience fetish personality coming in. This is going beyond the uncomfortable; it's almost offensive now.

    “You do like that girl though, correct, master?” Paula asked again. “Ms. Bianca is your friend, but you are attracted to her, no?” she continued. David glanced around furtively and rubbed the back of his head.

    “What, Bianca? Well, we’ve always been best friends, but no, I’m not sexually attracted to her if that’s what you mean.” he lied.

    “Master… I am talking to you in your mind.” Paula responded patronizingly. “You cannot keep secrets like that from me.” she continued with a giggle. David hesitated for a moment, pondering what to say next.

    “Well… you know… she’s alright…” he finally admitted.

    “Hehehe… I like you, master. You will be a good trainer, and you will make that girl happy some day.” Paula said, ribbing her trainer good naturedly.

    “How will I make her ‘happy,’ Paula? What does that even mean?” he asked in confusion. Paula was silent for a moment before she replied.

    “Young as I am, I can see things in your mind, even if you do not yet wish them to come to the surface. Give it time, master; accept the things you know to be true.” she responded cryptically. Then, there was only silence.
    With everything that went on during this day involving training, Team Plasma, N and so on, this is all they can discuss? His bizarre crush on Bianca? It's completely unbelievable.

    I'm going to continue my review in my next post.

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  18. #18
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    Continued from above

    Quote Originally Posted by Chapter 3
    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 3: Dreams of Bianca
    I'll do my best to go into this with an open mind, but right now, I'm admittedly not terribly optimistic.

    “Eevee, Tackle!”

    Cheren’s voice carried down the hall and into David’s room, gently stirring him from his sleep. Reminded of where he was, he turned to the dresser next to the bed and looked at the clock: 7:30am.

    “What the Hell? Is Cheren having a battle this early in the morning?” David pondered. Slowly, he rose from his bed to inspect the commotion.

    Walking into the lobby, he could see his friend outside through the window, a look of determination and grit plastered over his face. Bianca was in the lobby too, sitting in one of the plush lounge chairs with her feet up, watching the battle unfold. David walked up silently and stood behind her, curious now himself as well.

    Following his trainer’s command, Eevee threw himself full force at his adversary, smashing into it with tremendous strength. The foe’s Blitzle tried to dodge, but it had suffered so many Sand-Attacks that it was almost completely blinded. The Pokémon took the hit full force and was knocked to the ground, struggling to find the will or even a means to stand back up. Sand in its eyes, bruised and battered from the numerous Tackles it had taken, flailing just to regain its footing and find its target, the opponent’s Blitzle finally gave up the ghost and lay still, losing the urge to continue the fight. Eevee puffed out his chest proudly and stood up straighter. A smile of satisfaction spread across Cheren’s face and he called out to his Pokémon.

    “Great work, Eevee! Stopped ‘em cold!” he exclaimed. Eevee turned to face his trainer and mewed proudly in response.

    The opposing trainer walked over to his Blitzle, knelt beside it, and laid a hand on its face. Wiping the sand from its eyes, he said to his Pokémon, “Good job, Blitzle. You gave it your best.” He returned the Pokémon to its Pokéball and shook Cheren’s hand. The trainers exchanged a few pleasantries and then walked back into the lobby to heal their tired warriors.
    Not bad, surprisingly enough. I have to give you credit where it's due. This part was pretty good, and you even managed to use "mewed" instead of "cooed" for once.

    “Pachirisu and I already had a bite to eat, but I’ll come sit with you boys if you like.” she mused; the word’s stung David’s ears. There it was again; that subtle difference in how she was behaving. “You boys,” insinuating she wasn’t one herself. Not that she was, David knew that, but she had never gone out of her way to act so feminine before. Was it something about starting the Pokémon journey that was making her this way? Or something different about him? David couldn’t keep forcing the thought out of his mind when it came up so often; for the first time in his life, David was becoming increasingly aware of the differences between Bianca and himself or Cheren. Much as he didn’t necessarily want to admit it though, his receptiveness of the idea was also changing. The more and more he allowed himself to think of Bianca as a girl, and a pretty one at that, the more and more he appreciated and welcomed it.
    No offense, but the way this is worded, this passage reads like something right out of one of those puberty books for boys. Why do we need an entire paragraph dedicated pretty much entirely to David realizing that there are differences between boys and girls?

    “I’ve got a package here for you folks from a ‘Professor Juniper’”
    I'd think the gatekeeper would know who Juniper is.

    “Hey. How’s it going, porky?” he ribbed jokingly. Bianca shot him a piercing glare and a venomous, sarcastic smirk.
    That's a pretty gross remark for a guy to make to a girl, especially the one he's half-stalking.


    “Bianca, I challenge you to a Pokémon battle! Right here, right now! You say you want to do some training, so let’s have at it!” David said commandingly, albeit with a grin. It was said that you could learn the most about a trainer from being in a battle with them and having to adapt to their movements; if he wanted to gauge his feelings for Bianca, this would be the way to do it.
    So he isn't interested in helping Bianca, he's interested in measuring his own feelings? That's awfully selfish.

    “I know we need to practice a bit before our Gym battle too, Paula, but what do you say we go a little easy on her? Let her gain a little confidence.” David thought, trying to broadcast the sentiment to his Ralts.
    I can see why you would say this, but going easy on Bianca and coddling her is only going to make it harder for her when she gets to that Gym.


    “Is it time to lose now, master?” Paula asked him.

    “I think so, but let’s try and make it convincing.” David answered. “Dodge her next attack with Teleport, and then let the hit after that glance you; fake going down from that.” he commanded.

    “As you wish, master. I am happy we are helping your friend grow stronger.” she replied.
    This scene is already strange because he's throwing the battle, but Paula's spoken dialogue is only making this worse.

    “Aww, poor baby. At least you won though; you get to challenge the gym first.” David responded.
    Once again, why is he being so rude to Cheren? Did something happen between them or not?

    The smell of New England chowder was drifting through the air as the restaurant began serving its lunch specials.
    Nitpicking, but if Unova is New York, wouldn't Manhattan clam chowder make more sense?

    “Oh it’s so nice to meet you!” she said excitedly. “Professor Juniper has told me so so so much about you three. I’m so happy you’re finally here!” she continued. Composing herself, she put a hand to her chest and continued.
    Oh no. I'm not liking where this is going if Fennel is acting like this.

    “Oh it’s so nice to meet you!” she said excitedly. “Professor Juniper has told me so so so much about you three. I’m so happy you’re finally here!” she continued. Composing herself, she put a hand to her chest and continued.
    Thank you for reiterating why that is a pretty ridiculous plot point. The starters were completely unjustifiable.

    “It’s more than just ‘cool,’ Bianca. It could be the scientific breakthrough of the century!” Fennel exclaimed excitedly. “In dreams, you control the logic and physics behind all of reality. You could simply materialize anything you wanted into existence. If we could enter a person’s dreams and bring things back out from those dreams into the real world, anything could be possible! We could have time machines and flying cars within the decade!” she continued, her high energy not abating. “Other possibilities exist too. Many Pokémon tend to dream about other Pokémon, typically ones that can’t really exist. Imagine being able to obtain a Pokémon with a different ability than it typically has, or special attacks they can’t normally know! It could be revolutionary for trainers as well.” she concluded.
    This is actually pretty clever. Well done on this count.

    “I’m in too.” David mimed. “If Bianca is going, I’m going.” he thought to himself. He heard Paula giggle very faintly in his head at that remark.

    ...

    David was surprised at his friend’s blunt rudeness, but on the other hand, it meant more alone time with Bianca, and he couldn’t argue with that.
    This is not good, if his sole motivation for anything is impressing Bianca.

    Bianca had a good point, but this place gave David the creeps. He didn’t want to look unmanly in front of her, but he also didn’t want to get wrapped up in something bigger than they were anticipating.
    This is a terrible justification argument for his actions. Being concerned about looking 'manly' in front of someone suggests a degree of narcissism and coupling that on top of everything else David has shown so far does not help his case for likability.

    “David! I’m s-s-s-scared!” Bianca whispered in his ear. They were hunched over in the corner, hidden behind the machine for cover. She was knelt right behind him; he could hear and feel her breath and could practically feel her heartbeat.

    “Well, at least one good thing came of all this…” he thought to himself.
    ...No.

    They're in the middle of a potential crisis and David still can't keep it down about Bianca? His behavior is getting less and less appropriate as we go.

    “Hey yeah! It’s nothing but a couple of no good kiddies.” his partner replied. “What the Hell are you two doing here? Trying to find a nice dark place away from mommy and daddy to go make out?” he continued mockingly. David blushed at the thought, but quickly snapped back.
    There's nothing to say here, because the Grunt's remark was clearly intended to specifically set up David's reaction.

    “Hey, stop that! Don’t hurt it!” she shouted. “Pachirisu, use Quick Attack!” she commanded. Pachirisu leapt into action and kicked the man squarely in the jaw. The shock and pain from the blow loosened his grip and the Munna was able to escape. It flew quickly across the room and hid behind Bianca, trying to stay as much out of sight as possible. David ran across the room, took a flying leap, and smashed into the grunt, delivering a tremendous Superman-esque punch to his face. The grunt flew back and landed square on his ***, dazed and bleeding from the surprise blow.
    While I don't like how David steals Bianca's spotlight, I do like that she got a chance to see some action against the Plasma Grunts.

    “Aww…” Bianca cooed sweetly.
    You're using that word again.

    “Hmm… so it looks like Pachirisu’s Hidden Power is Ice.” David mused. “That’s actually really awesome; Ice is very effective against Grass-types, so you should have no problem beating Cilan now.” he explained.
    To be brutally honest, that's an asspull. She just randomly got a powerup that serves her perfectly in fighting Cilan right when she needed it? It strains credibility.

    “Well, that’s what you get for being a prick to Fennel.” David said back mockingly, stretching in his chair. “She even gave us a TM she was so pleased.” he continued. Cheren turned to face him in surprise at the news.

    “Really? Which one?” he asked.

    “Hidden Power, and you can’t use it. You didn’t come help us, so pppppth!” Bianca answered, sticking her tongue out at him.
    I'm used to David being rude to Cheren all the time, but why is Bianca suddenly being a ***** to him too?

    Okay, I'll be honest here. There are two things that are horribly crippling this story from what I've read so far. Those things are the poorly written and awkwardly shorehorned-in Bianca romance and the subordination fetish fuel that passes as Paula's personality. These two things cause the quality of the story to immediately drop every time they come up.

    However, they expose an even bigger and more serious problem: without them, the story would literally be an 95% identical copy of the BW games except for the protagonists being older and more foul-mouthed.

    On the characters: I'm finding it hard to care about any of them, because they all fulfill very flat stereotypes. David is the stereotypical alpha male jock who supposedly has a softer side, Cheren is the abused sidekick friend, and Bianca exists only to be arm candy for David. It is difficult to care about or sympathize with characters like this, who are rather dull and two-dimensional.

    It's a shame, too. You're clearly trying, but this isn't coming out well at all.

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  19. #19
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    I haven't read all of it yet, but from what I've read, I quite liked it. I thought the battles were wonderfully described and the action had an excellent atmosphere.


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  20. #20
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    This is the original version of Chapter 2. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.

    Updated Version


        Spoiler:- Original Version:
    Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 6:53 AM.

  21. #21
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    This spot has been reserved for the rest of my comments. Just finished chapter 1 after multiple stopping (busy busy busy).

    I will, however, say that after reading the first chapter, the change in the standard plot is refreshing. After so many B/W remakes (using the generic starters and the generic characters) it's nice to see you do something else with the story line.

    So far, I have to say that David's falling for Bianca, especially since he first noticed his feelings for her that day, are progressing very fast.

    At least that's how I feel, because that's how it happened to me. A friend, no romantic interest at all, sparked this... Moment that caused me to re-think things. But we were friends. And I wanted to make VERY SURE that I wasn't just feeling things, that it was real. I think it took me like, 3 weeks to finally admit to myself that I started liking her.

    David began to admit it on the first day, where it could have easily (to add more bulk to the story as well) been spread out over a few chapters, that internal struggle between "I like her, I like her not." It could have added more had it been spaced out. You still can do that, and it is author's preference. I'm just saying I how I feel aloud here. hehe.

    But so far so good, I'm gonna read chapter 2 soon, and then I'll edit this post (unless you post after this, and then I can just post afterwards. ^___^
    Again, originality gets an 'a-ok' from me.

    EDIT 1: Chapter 2 was also pretty good. I like how you let David and Paula train, to imply strength, but in his first battle, he lost soundly. Granted, there was that whole bit about bad typing, but nonetheless, you let(MADE) David lose. Definitely allows some character building, if you play your cards right.

    It's also good how David is actually coming to terms with his feelings towards Bianca, as opposed to just realizing he has feelings for her and then jumping straight into it.

    So chapter 2's also pretty good. I didn't see any spelling mistakes, or grammar problems. The length is also pretty nice; comparing it to food, it's like having just enough food to eat, but still not enough so that you want more.

    EDIT 2: For chapter 3. @___@

    Anyways, I liked it. This story is definitely going to be an interesting read. I like how (so you can cross out my earlier comments) David's trying to take his time trying to figure out his feelings towards Bianca. Whoops, haha. It's actually doing pretty well.

    I guess characterization is what I noticed the most in this chapter. David's definitely got a soft spot for Bianca; his winning streak (0-2 right after losing to Bianca) proves that, since most people don't like losing. It also shows how he's a good guy, especially when you couple that with him getting mad at Cheren for being mean to Bianca. You can attribute that to his feelings towards her though. Bianca's character also is keeping true to the character, with a lot of room for your own twist on her. It's pretty spot on, actually.

    Now, Cheren is where I'm starting to see an inconsistency. Not within your story; that's very consistent, but within canon. Cheren's supposedly this super-intelligent teenage prodigy-ish character, who knows all these things that most kids his age wouldn't know. You have his drive for power down pat, the beginning of the chapter showed that. But he never interjects to show his intelligence. Rather, you focus more on your take of Cheren, turning him more into a teenager (which is fine; he is one), and less as the smart kid. So maybe focus a little more on that. He is your character (within the story, I mean) and what you do with him is your choice. But I'd suggest showcasing his intelligence more often. I could be taking this the wrong way though; maybe I'm just missing the points where he showcases his intelligence. @___@

    And beyond that, you're doing pretty well with the story. Your description's pretty good, grammar and such is good enough that your mistakes aren't completely obvious, and the content is just as good as the rest. Good thing is, I know that you're waiting til tomorrow to post the next chapter, so I'm not going to have to wait long, but as soon as the next chapter's out, I'll have something to say about it (hopefully. I'm surprised I typed so much as a review. This is really the first fic I've ever reviewed so technically. This actually may be my last intelligent review [supposing that it even is intelligent], although let's hope not. @__@)

    Alright, I'll just wait for the next chapter to come out. This is some pretty good stuff.

    EDIT 3: Just had to say, this review looks like it could be a different (although significantly shorter) chapter. haha
    Last edited by jstinftw!; 28th August 2011 at 2:03 PM.

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  22. #22
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    Well this is certainly a story updates very quickly.

    Your story is quite the original take on Unova journey fics. I'm usually a little wary of David, Bianca, and Cheren getting non-traditional starters, but you made it work.

    Like the other reviewer had said, it seems as if you dampened all the intelligence Cheren is supposed to have. I think he would have known beforehand that there were 3 different gym leaders in the Striaton city gym. That's a question I would have expected Bianca or even David to have asked.

    Speaking of David, so far he is my favorite character. He is a strong, yet believable trainer. The fact that he lost to N wasn't just because he had a type disadvantage, but because he hadn't caught another Pokemon that he could have used against a Purrloin. All that time training his Ralts and yet it didn't occur to him catch another Pokemon. I also like his somewhat-obsession with Bianca. It's funny how he's trying to cope with the fact that he is attracted to a girl he's known almost his whole life.

    I'm surprised you didn't bring up Bianca's dad and his whole issue with her going on a Pokemon journey. Is it going to come up or will there be a new plot that takes the place of that one?

    You have good description that doesn't overdo it. I've noticed you pay close attention to when you are describing Bianca. However since this is from David's point of view it makes sense.

    Since it's at the beginning stages, there isn't really much I can truly comment on. However I will be keeping an eye on this story.

  23. #23
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    It'll be a long night. ;u;

    BAGSY-ING THIS POST. My edits will be through in a few hours, if that is allowed? Reading in progress. 8D

    demise: the last remnants of the fallen

    chapter two complete: defective.


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  24. #24
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    This really does have all themakings of a fun story. I'm goign to take a few lessons off your telling of Unova I think, for if/when I throw my characters in.

    I'm going to hold off on reviewing the front three, since they've bene hit pretty accurately, but I do find the choice of starters odd, for the sole reason that Unova is in fact isolated from the rest of the Pokemon world. Yes, you've justified their being there, Paula at least, is going to be a hoot and a half, though Duskull has taken that spot of "memorable Pokemon interaction" but it still feels off to have a Sinnoh, Hoenn and Kanto Pokemon being handed out from a regional specific lab. I'll get over that though.

    Dd I mention Paula being a lot of fun? I think it would serve well, that if you plan to keep Cheren and Bianca together, to start a spotlight on Pachirisu and Eevee as well, Otherwise it's going to turn into the "Humans and Paula", and you'll lose the point of low-number teams. In that light, Going more into the Striaton Gym battles might have been a good place to start. (Says the guy who tries to avoid writing Pokemon battles so he doesn't butcher them)

    Also, I realy worry about your call to do three-mon teams. I'm just not sure that quality-over-quantity will work here, and I wonder if you'll find yourself later wanting to catch a few things that that limit will prevent.

    Chapter 4 notes
    Using the Toast post-battle in the restaurant, a wonderful idea.

    In reading Colette, and this may be that I've never written nor read a lot of french characters, but all the "ze"s running around felt more Russian than French.

    Kirlia sang out a brilliant note, and drifted daintily down to the ground, pirouetting gracefully on her long, slender new legs. She drifted down to the ground gently, and landed softly on the tips of her toes.
    Felt a little redudnant there, like there were two landings. Might it read better as

    Kirlia sang out a brilliant note, and drifted daintily down to the ground, landed softly on the tips of her toes; pirouetting gracefully on her long, slender new legs before taking a fighting stance.

    or am I just full of it?

    If I were David, I'd be learning how to put up a barrier in my mind, right quick.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  25. #25
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    I lost my spot as the first poster. *glares at Glover and Ejunknown*

    Just kidding.

    Anyways, good chapter. The evolution during the gym battle, while predictable, was executed well enough to avoid the cliche. Kudos. haha. And go ahead and use your take on the gym leaders/important characters; it adds a different flavor to each character. There is something about that that I think I should bring to your attention, but let's go with the flattery first. Good, then bad. ^__^

    Battle scenes. One of the hardest things in writing Pokemon fanfiction, and something that even I have put off until now (7 chapters in and not one battle. *shamed*). Yours is pretty good. I can't believe I never mentioned it before, but your style of writing Pokemon battles is decent enough that the only thing you can do with it is to add on. I suggest reading this thread if you want some in-depth suggestions on how to improve. But it's good enough as it is, just thought I'd put that out there.

    Ok, now. As I said earlier, it's good you're putting your own spin to the canon characters. But you should maybe research them a bit, just so you have an idea of what they're like.

    For example, Cilan and the others are Connoisseurs. Basically, they study the relationship between Pokemon and Trainer and judge/determine/examine/observe what goes on between them. Now, it's fine that you add their own personalities to these already established characters. Giving them French backgrounds was pretty smart actually. But throughout the battles, you could have had the trainers do more than just call out commands and observe. This might be because I watched the current anime (it helps actually), but it might have been nice to throw in some personality to the characters.

    For Cilan (and Cress and Chili), you could have kept those traits you gave them, but also added their previous established traits. Cilan, in game, is more shy, and lacks confidence (anime-wise, he's outgoing and a little. odd). But even with this, you could have had him examine and call out his observations between the trainers and their Pokemon. Chili could have kept his fiery personality, but at the same time, you could add his own observations (which would probably be more aggressive than Cilan's obersvations) while Cress's would have been more suave, more eloquent.

    So basically, and this is completely up to you, I suggest you do a liiiiittle bit of research prior to writing, so that you can figure out who each character is, as well as who you want them to be, and find a way to blend them.

    Another thing is the other trainer's Pokemon. As Glover stated earlier, it would be nice if the other two Pokemon had some limelight (although I'm positive that's going to come up fairly soon). But throughout the battle, I didn't feel anything from Eevee and Pachirisu. Eevee, at the moment, is this fighting machine that belongs to Cheren, and Pachirisu is a squirrel that battles for Bianca. So maybe giving a little insight to their personalities would be a good idea. You can do that even in a battle. Is Eevee happy he's battling? Is he scared? Is he clumsy, causing himself to trip, or miss? Is Pachirisu excited about battling, or is she too lazy to battle? Does she like Bianca? All these things can be addressed in a battle. Battles are contests held between four (or 6, or 8) living beings, each with their own individual personalities. There's bound to be more involved than just commanding an attack, watching the attack, and either attacking again, or coutner-attacking. Just another point you might want to look into.

    Also, the whole 3 Pokemon teams. That's not a bad idea, and it goes well with Unova because there was a girl in the game that talked about trainers having only 3 Pokemon so that they can focus on raising them properly. But if you're getting the trio to go up against Team Plasma, you may want to reconsider. While your reasoning behind this is understandable, imagine. These three teenagers are going up against an entire Team. Ghetsis is crazy strong and has a Hydreigon. And 6 Pokemon (assuming you're following canon). N is also strong, and has a full party of 6 as well as Reshiram/Zekrom. Now unless you plan on superpowering 9 Pokemon, it might be a bit difficult to pull off a believable win with just the 9. MIGHT be, not impossible. Again, it is your story, and you are God (for the story). I'm sure you'll come up with some way to make it work.

    Uhhhhhh.... I think that's it. hahaha. Although I wrote a big chunk above about characterization, they're more helpful tips as opposed to "YOU DID THIS WRONG, GO FIX IT." You're writing is fine as it is; if you are to continue writing the way you do now, it wouldn't be a big issue. But as it seems that you want to focus a lot on characterization, addressing these things can help you out a bit.

    Anyways, I'm excited for the next chapter. I'm a bit excited to see what Bianca's going to catch.
    Last edited by jstinftw!; 29th August 2011 at 3:25 PM.

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