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Thread: Chronicles of Unova (PG-15)

  1. #126
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    There was recently a discussion on here about whether or not Paula, being a female Gardevoir, has breasts or not. I am of the opinion that she does, being a Gardevoir and a female of the species, but some of our devoted and appreciated readers out there said that saying she has them is incorrect. Well, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I don?t know if you guys realize this or not, but Chronicles of Unovais not a fictional story; this all totallyhappened and is real. Paula is a real living-breathing creature. As such, I decided to take a picture of her to settle the debate once and for all.Pencil sketchDigitally colored

    Are you kidding me?

    Uh, you just won't drop this. Whatever, your fic, your rules

    Anyway, Grammer is as usual great! Kinda shoulda had Cheren/Bianca get possessed, not David twice. All in all great chapter with a great story!
    My Pokemon

    BlitzBreaker Stryker Micheal Zack Alex Brett :26:







  2. #127
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    I've been reading this story from the beginning and I love it. I really like how you're not afraid to include sexual things, not that i'm a pervert or anything (LOL) but it just makes a story better especially with the gritty horror thing you did with the Litwick, and let's face it, sex jokes are hilarious. Also it seems like you didn't include Bianca much for the first half of the chapter and it stood out because she is usually very talkative. Love the story keep it up!
    I've got the whole world in front of me.

  3. #128
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    I like the use of Dante's Inferno with Litwick, well done. I'm getting DSpiral and Celes's maps crossed up though. Everyone paints Litwick as evil, and well, they are, but that's the forst thing I did in Celestial Tower, was go looking for Litwick and catch one.

    I have to agree with the above, why David twice? He REALLY needs Paula to show him how to put up his own mental barriers, or some Spiritomb is going to just walk up and ladle out his brains like soup. That being said, the possession scenes were well done.

    It's too bad the acceptance Chandelure accepted his defeat. He shoulda called foul on Paula for interfering. oh well.

    Rufflet, Skyla's response to him bring well reads like she's just seen it. I think the goal was for her to be excited for it's personality, but it reads like "Oh, look, a rufflet.... OH! LOOK! A RUFFLET!"

    I think the original Elegym would've been funner with the Litwick, they can either be teasing it (being the stronger type) or terrified fo it. A Rufflet might actuall not have been able to make it high enough, although it makes more sense for Skyla.



    In regards to floor burials, I've toyed with the thought, what about cremations? ALl you need then is a three-foot deep floor with a bunch of vaults in it. A stone tower could easily do that.

        Spoiler:- aside:
    Last edited by Glover; 17th October 2011 at 11:37 PM.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  4. #129
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    Hi everyone, glad you guys liked the last chapter. Kind of mixed responses I suppose, but the criticism is appreciated after a mostly positive response to the last few before it. Just wanted to respond to a few comments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilijix View Post
    Somehow I knew the title would be a song reference... Though pretty much every chapter in this fic has some sort of song reference, lol.
    Chapters 1 and 5 were Chuck Berry references, Chapter 9 was a Beatles reference, and this last one was a Bob Dylan reference. That's four chapters out of sixteen, so one-fourth of all the chapters to date have been song references.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackjack29 View Post
    Are you kidding me? Uh, you just won't drop this. Whatever, your fic, your rules
    <3

    Quote Originally Posted by Quackjack29 View Post
    Anyway, Grammer is as usual great! Kinda shoulda had Cheren/Bianca get possessed, not David twice. All in all great chapter with a great story!
    It was David, then Skyla, then David, with the assumption that Cheren and Bianca may have been hypnotized as well on the sixth, seventh or eighth floors. Cheren or Bianca being hypnotized under the premise of lust or treachery wouldn't have made any sense, but it fit perfectly for David; in the former because of his attraction to Bianca, and in the latter because Paula could snap him out of it in a way that no other Pokemon could for anyone else. Don't forget about Skyla getting hypnotized on the fourth floor however; that was just as legitimate as either of David's encounters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohaii'mzach View Post
    I've been reading this story from the beginning and I love it.
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohaii'mzach View Post
    I really like how you're not afraid to include sexual things, not that i'm a pervert or anything (LOL) but it just makes a story better especially with the gritty horror thing you did with the Litwick, and let's face it, sex jokes are hilarious.
    Thank you for agreeing with me on that. Overt adult humor is something this franchise could stand to gain more of if we ever hope to shake the whole "Pokemon is for little kids" thing.

    * * *

    The next chapter is coming along nicely, but this is midterms week for me, so I've been busy lately. Sad to say, but expect to see possible delays in pushing out future chapters as my semester enters its latter half. This will be a good thing in the long run for two reasons however:

    1. Giving me more time will result in higher quality and more finely-toothed editing.
    2. I don't know if any of you have noticed this, but I have a Christmas chapter planned and in the chapter list for the OP, but our current trajectory of one a week puts it at the last week of November. Slowing the rate down will put it closer to Christmas itself.

    This next chapter should be out this coming Sunday however, as is standard practice. It has actually grown quite a bit since crafting the initial concept; it features a funny little side-plot with Cheren and Umbreon that I think you all will enjoy. Look for it soon. Thanks for reading everyone.

  5. #130
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    Amazing! This is the best story of the Unova I've seen in a long time! Keep up the fab work!



    [IMG]http://i42.*******.com/352kva9.gif[/IMG]

    ★ "This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change." ★
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  6. #131
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    <3
    Hm? Why? (10 Chars)
    My Pokemon

    BlitzBreaker Stryker Micheal Zack Alex Brett :26:







  7. #132
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    NOW!!! I CAN POST!!! NO MORE IPAD!!!!!!!!

    “I know you want her.” it said both definitively and suddenly; its voice had dropped a considerable amount in pitch, no longer sounding like a child. David was taken aback by its comment.

    “I… uh, wh-what?” he stammered, but the Litwick continued to stare at him, unblinking and unmoving. It repeated its statement.

    “I said… I know you want her.” it said again, very clearly this time. David felt strange and wasn’t sure what it meant. He tried to slowly turn away and leave, but he realized that something about the world had changed. He had been inadvertently staring fixatedly at the Litwick’s tiny purple flame and hadn’t noticed that all of the color in the world had drained away. The whole room looked as if it were on a grayscale; the walls, the tombstones, the floor, his friends, all just shades of gray. The only things still in color were himself and the Litwick. Furthermore, his friends stood stock still, unmoving and seemingly unaware of his presence. He tried to wave his hand in front of Cheren’s face to get his attention, but Cheren stood like a statue. David could feel himself break out in a cold sweat.

    “…what… what…” he stammered. “What did you do?!” he said nervously with panic creeping into his voice, but the Litwick refused to move. It continued to stare with its fixed, glowing eyes, smiling away at him contently from atop the tombstone.

    “I just removed a few outside distractions, that’s all.” it stated matter-of-factly. “But that girl there, Bianca… you want her, am I right?” it asked. David was taken aback again by the question.

    “Do I… ‘want her?’” he parroted back, trying to understand the question. The Litwick murmured in the affirmative.

    “Yes, ‘want.’ You find her attractive; you frequently dream of her at night. You cannot hide your secrets from me, friend, I know and accept all.” it responded politely. “You try to fool yourself into believing you are in love with her, but you are only in love with her body. You want her for sex, am I right?” it asked leadingly. David could feel the blood drain from his face as he heard its statement.

    “I… what?!” he shouted angrily. “That’s not true! Bianca and I are a couple! A team! Obviously I think she’s good looking, but we were friends way before I started thinking that!” he responded. The Litwick was unwavering; his flame flickered for a brief moment, but he continued to stand very still.

    “You cannot lie to me, human, I know your secrets.” the Litwick responded. “Do not be mad at me though please, I am not here to judge. There is nothing wrong with your desires, they are a natural part of life.” he explained. “I am not even human, yet I can appreciate her figure. You have impeccable taste, if I might say. What say we… take a little peek under the hood, eh?” he continued. David swallowed nervously and blushed.

    “Take a… do what?!” he stammered. The Litwick laughed.

    “Look around you, human. Time has stopped. You and I are the only things conscious right now. That lovely girl is frozen like a statue, completely unaware of any of this. Who would try and stop you if you just… you know… went over and took a peek? Catch my drift?” it said. David was appalled.

    “Hey now! Just what the Hell are you suggesting?!” he shouted angrily, but the Litwick still seemed unfazed.

    “Let me spell it out for you, human. Walk over to that girl, remove whatever article of clothing strikes your fancy, and do as you please. Take mental photographs, explore her body, do whatever YOU feel like! That’s the beauty of this place; no one would stop you!” it explained. David was disgusted by the idea… but… couldn’t banish it from his mind.

    “Why you little… I would never do something like-” he started to protest, but the Litwick cut him off.

    “Oh hush, human, I can read you like a book; your body and your mind betray you. I know you’re considering it. Just go have a quick feel. Go on… live a little…” it said ominously. David tried with all his heart and mind to protest, but he strangely felt his body act on its own.

    “I… but…” David stammered, but he could feel himself losing the fight. Despite the signals firing off from his brain to stop, he realized he was walking towards his frozen, color-void girlfriend slowly. He saw his arm outstretch and reach for her shirt. He tried to fight it but couldn’t resist.

    “That’s it, human. Give in to your lust. Give in… give in… give… in…” the Litwick started to chant. David felt his hand reach out and he gently brushed his finger tips against the front of her shirt. Despite being frozen in time and unable to move, Bianca’s body still yielded surprisingly easily. His eyes fixated on the lumps in her chest, unable to think of anything more than the breasts which had plagued his mind since their first day as trainers. Though he tried to fight it, the Litwick’s power over him was growing stronger. He struggled to continue the fight, but was forced to admit defeat. Beyond his control, he felt himself begin to reach for the buttons on her vest to undo them. The Litwick continued to chant behind him.

    “Give… in… give… in… give… in… give… in…” it sang ominously. David began to shutter as he lost control. His fingers worked with a mind of their own, undoing the top button, then the next, then the next. Just as hope began to leave him and he began to see skin, he heard a cry ring throughout his ears.

    “Umbreon, Faint Attack!”
    So basically http://pokemon.marriland.com/images/...front_norm.png
    goes to
    http://forum.cheatengine.org/files/trollface_533.jpg
    And than
    http://images.wikia.com/mugen/images/a/a5/Umbreon.jpg
    appears and the the trollface litwick goes
    http://www.soshichan.org/m/src/13129294625.png

    CORRECT?!?!?!?!? JK

    “Paula, please tell me you didn’t see any of that…” David thought to himself.

    “I am sorry, master, but I am pretty much always inside your mind to some degree.” she responded from inside her Pokéball. “Do not worry though, your secret is safe with me.” she continued. David sighed.
    Paula must be doing this:
    http://forum.cheatengine.org/files/trollface_533.jpg


    “Lampent… Repent… Lampent… Repent… Lam- CRACK!”

    Bianca ran up without fear and kicked at the Lampent with all her might. The Lampent flew across the room in shock, having had his concentration broken and accidentally freed Axew from the Fire Spin. Axew shook off the disorientation and tried to get his bearings. Bianca hopped on her left leg, grasping her other foot in pain from the deceptively strong kick. Axew didn’t need a command from his trainer to know what to do; full of anger and spite at being duped, Axew took his opportunity to launch another Earthquake attack. Before the Lampent could regain its senses, the Ground-type attack struck it and dealt a crushing blow. Seeing their leader defeated, the remaining Litwick collected their fallen warriors and ran back up to the next floor in terror; Axew shouted after them triumphantly.
    Bianca is pretty powerful... Unfortuntely, she got banned to ubers due to falcon kick attack being overpowered... look...

    Originally Posted by JabbaTheGriffin
    Bianca: 74 Ban, 0 Do Not Ban, 0 Abstain = 100% Ban
    see! no more Bianca in OU....

    “Especially you, David; I’m so glad you came.” she murmured.
    WHY DID YOU REMIND ME OF THISSSSSSSS?!?!?!?!?!? AAAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA


    http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/7...lasketchbw.jpg

    Thats a really nice sketch BTW
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Harvest View Post
    What was that Regarde. I couldn't hear you with all of that dick in your mouth.
    Quote Originally Posted by D-idara View Post
    Well, actually Blaziken isn't really Uber because some people whined about how they were getting owned by it. I mean, it doesn't stand a chance in the Uber enviroment.

    And Reuniclus...i see everyone using him, could you tell me any actual advantages over Musharna?

  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudkips View Post
    NOW!!! I CAN POST!!! NO MORE IPAD!!!!!!!!



    So basically http://pokemon.marriland.com/images/...front_norm.png
    goes to
    http://forum.cheatengine.org/files/trollface_533.jpg
    And than
    http://images.wikia.com/mugen/images/a/a5/Umbreon.jpg
    appears and the the trollface litwick goes
    http://www.soshichan.org/m/src/13129294625.png

    CORRECT?!?!?!?!? JK


    ENGLIGH MAN! Or, at the very least a cleared form of pig-latin.

    Do what now?
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    ENGLIGH MAN! Or, at the very least a cleared form of pig-latin.

    Do what now?
    I was actually speechless when I read that. I was gonna say nothing. But than my friend spammed troll faces at me. So me do that. Ummmm... The troll face is sad.. End of story...
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Harvest View Post
    What was that Regarde. I couldn't hear you with all of that dick in your mouth.
    Quote Originally Posted by D-idara View Post
    Well, actually Blaziken isn't really Uber because some people whined about how they were getting owned by it. I mean, it doesn't stand a chance in the Uber enviroment.

    And Reuniclus...i see everyone using him, could you tell me any actual advantages over Musharna?

  10. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudkips View Post
    I was actually speechless when I read that. I was gonna say nothing. But than my friend spammed troll faces at me. So me do that. Ummmm... The troll face is sad.. End of story...
    I meant that whole exchange with the pictures. You've seen the shorts where Pikachu's making all these weird random faces trying to tell Ash that Jimmy's fallen down the mineshaft again, and everyone has a look of utter stupidity because all they see is a spastic Pikachu? That's how I felt.
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  11. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victini01 View Post
    Amazing! This is the best story of the Unova I've seen in a long time! Keep up the fab work!
    Thank you. Btw, I would surmise from your title-bar thing you're a girl; can you tell me what the hell Skyla's hair clippy thing would be called? Like I asked any female readers we might have picked up in the last chapter's ACs?

    Quote Originally Posted by mudkips View Post
    Paula is a classy Victorian lady; she's a sly prankster, not a troll.

    That said, the Yao Ming "F**K That" face could fit. Lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    ENGLIGH MAN! Or, at the very least a cleared form of pig-latin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    ENGLIGH MAN!
    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    ENGLIGH
    Oh the irony...

  12. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    I meant that whole exchange with the pictures. You've seen the shorts where Pikachu's making all these weird random faces trying to tell Ash that Jimmy's fallen down the mineshaft again, and everyone has a look of utter stupidity because all they see is a spastic Pikachu? That's how I felt.
    You actually thought that?? Yaaaaaaaayyyy!!!! And lol. When I read that I pictured litwick having a trollface while talking (credit to friends spaaaammm of trollfaces in PM's), than Urmbeon comes and ends troll face's fun.

    @above you ninja'd me!!!!
    Lol, no, Paula is a HUGE troll!!!
    JK!!
    Screw the irony... >:[

    Edit: MUST try to stop drinking so much pop and eating so much candy!!!
    Last edited by mudkips; 23rd October 2011 at 5:40 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Harvest View Post
    What was that Regarde. I couldn't hear you with all of that dick in your mouth.
    Quote Originally Posted by D-idara View Post
    Well, actually Blaziken isn't really Uber because some people whined about how they were getting owned by it. I mean, it doesn't stand a chance in the Uber enviroment.

    And Reuniclus...i see everyone using him, could you tell me any actual advantages over Musharna?

  13. #138
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    Hey! Sorry sorry sorry for the late late review. It's not going to be much of a review either. @__@

    Anyways, very good job with this chapter. I can't find anything to say about it; this is really the most well-thought out story I've read in a long time. And you put chapters out weekly. How do you do it? haha

    Dante's inferno was a very good reference for this chapter. I just. Man.

    And that's really all I can say. I just wanted to show some support. This was a really good chapter; possibly one of my favorites. And I can't wait for the next one! Good luck with your midterms!

    EDIT: Nice drawing. ^__^ And I might come back to edit this to go into more detail, but I'm really pressed for time at the moment. Even girlfriend is upset with how much time I have free.
    Last edited by jstinftw!; 21st October 2011 at 5:08 AM.

    Feel like you need a little more Pokemon in your life? Tune into our show!
    EPISODE 55 - SLOWPOKE HOLIDAY
    Looking for something Pokemon-related to listen to while playing through Pokemon XY? This episode is for you!!
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    Guess who claimed Luxray?!

  14. #139
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    Hey everyone, just a quick update because I've got to get back to work, but I have good news and bad news. Good news is, the chapter, as it currently stands, is 28 pages long, and one of my favorites thus far; I think you guys will really like it, and it is a ton of content. Bad news is, I had to spend almost all day yesterday finishing writing it and now I don't have time to actually post it. I had some school work I needed to do this weekend, and I figured I could get it all done yesterday, but actually finishing the writing process for the chapter ended up taking all day. I have to try and get all my school work done today now, which won't be a problem in terms of getting it all done, but it means I won't have time to edit the chapter or post it. Current ETA is "whenever I have time this coming week." Sorry. It'll be really good when it is up though; thanks for reading.

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    NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO OOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz3F-...eature=related
    Witness the truly awesome power of my claimed Gyarados.

    Gyarados used Epic Awesomeness!
    It's super effective!
    The foe lost OVER 9000% of its health!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Zero View Post
    "I moved my Monopoly piece forward two squares when nobody was looking, but I didn't use an action replay so it's totally okay"

  16. #141
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    Hey everybody, just a quick update. Sorry for the delay, but the chapter will go up TONIGHT! It is fully edited and I will post it tonight when I get home. I got all my work done somewhat early, so I'll have time to do it tonight. Btw, got an A- on my CS midterm. Dont' know about linear algebra, but I felt better about that one than I did the CS one, so hopefully that's an A also.

    Thanks for your patience. Hopefully missing a single week won't have made your interest wane too much.

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    Congrats! Can't wait for the chapter.
    I've got the whole world in front of me.

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        Spoiler:- Author's Notes:


    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 17: The Mistralton City Gym Battle
    Part 1 of 2

    After spending the better part of a week recuperating, training and exploring the city, the day finally came for David, Bianca and Cheren’s sixth Unova region Gym battles. Fog was settling in on the valley, acting like a blank white canvas against the sky for the town to be painted on. A receding hush seemed to fill the small, mountain-nestled town as they walked through the streets to the Gym; the shops were all reopening for the morning and the airport was beginning its morning flights. David and Bianca were as nervous as they always were before a Gym battle, but felt confident in their abilities to win; Pachirisu and Joltik, both being Electric-types, should be able to get clean sweeps against Skyla’s Flying-types, it occurred to them. They walked hand-in-hand at a steady pace, mutual smiles on their lips, but Cheren trailed behind them, bringing up the rear; he had his hand cupped to his chin and appeared deep in thought. Bianca turned over her shoulder and spoke up.

    “Is everything alright, Cheren?” she asked. “What are you thinking about back there?” she continued. Cheren didn’t appear to hear her.

    “He would have to pass the boosts somehow, but… no, that wouldn’t work… the properties of the… but he already evolved, so… hmm…” he muttered to himself. He seemed to be completely engrossed in his thought process and was just following his friends blindly. David smirked upon realizing this and decided to have some fun. He held up his index finger towards Bianca briefly and then stopped walking abruptly. Cheren didn’t realize and walked right into him, jolting him from his daydream suddenly.

    Uht- what?!” he stammered, looking around in bewildered shock. “What happened, why did we stop?” he asked. David laughed at his friend’s surprise as Cheren put two and two together.

    “So Professor Cheren, have you prepared your lecture notes on complexity theory and the IEEE754 standard for your class tonight?” he asked mockingly. Cheren lowered his eyelids and shot David a patronizing look. “What the hell are you thinking about, man?!” David asked through a laugh.

    “I was trying to work out the logistics of a new strategy Umbreon and I came up with during our training in Mistralton Cave.” Cheren replied venomously. “Not that you would understand the concept of ‘strategy,’ mister bludgeon-everything-with-Focus-Blast-and-Fire-Punch…” he continued. David chuckled at his quip.

    “What’s the problem with your strategy?” David asked, continuing to walk again as Cheren caught up.

    “Well, it relies on the use of a certain move that Eevee can learn, but that Umbreon can’t, and my Umbreon evolved before he learned it.” Cheren responded. “We hacked together an impromptu version of it when we had some time to train back in Mistralton Cave, but it doesn’t really work practically.” he continued.

    “What’s the move? Is there a TM for it?” Bianca asked politely, but Cheren shook his head.

    “Not to my knowledge there isn’t.” he responded sadly. “That’s what I was trying to figure out; some way I can teach Umbreon the move without a TM.” he continued. “The move’s actually pretty tailor-made for him. It’s… uh… it’s… wow… no way…” he started to say, but something he saw across the street made him trail off. Cheren began to grin.

    “…what?” David asked. “What do you see?” he continued, but Cheren stood stock still with a dopey grin spreading across his face. He raised his outstretched hand towards a sign on the opposite side of the street to indicate what he saw. The humble sign hung before a large residential home; it read “Move Tutoring Services: Pokémon attacks taught for a modest price.” David instantly understood Cheren’s plan.

    “Wait… you don’t think-” David started to ask in disbelief, but Cheren started looking down the street to cross and interrupted him, shouting over his shoulder as he ran towards the home.

    “Worth a try!” he shouted excitedly. “You guys go on ahead to the Gym; I’ll catch up to you later!” he continued, bounding across the street towards the small shop. David shrugged his shoulders and Bianca giggled softly at Cheren’s stubborn excitement. The young couple rejoined hands and continued on to the Mistralton City Gym.

    The Gym was a large airplane hangar at the northern end of the airport. The massive doors to the building were pulled open, letting in fresh air from the foggy skies outside. The Gym was all one big room with plenty of space between the floor and the ceiling for Skyla’s Flying-types to spread their wings, but the floor itself was multi-leveled and very colorful. A multitude of blocks in bright pastel colors lined the concrete floor, forming an interesting battlefield that would be difficult to navigate for land-locked battlers. The blocks formed a natural sightline towards the back-center of the room where the Gym Leader’s podium was; Skyla stood with her hands on her hips at her podium, waiting for her challengers to arrive. Upon seeing them enter and gawk at the complex layout of her Gym, she waved and called out to them in an echoing voice.

    Heeeeey guuuuuys!” she shouted. Her voice carried throughout the whole room like a shout in a cave. David and Bianca waved back timidly, but before they could respond, Skyla continued to call out to them. “Waaaaatch thiiiiis!” she cried. She took a couple of steps back, moving out of sight, and then took a running leap off of her perch. She fell through the air head-first with her arms outstretched and a calm smile spread across her lips. She landed among some of the blocks a bit lower down, just out of sight, but then reappeared a moment later, soaring through the air at a vastly increased speed. A loud “bang!” like a gunshot sounded just as she reappeared, startling David and Bianca with the noise. She sailed through her parabolic arc for several seconds before landing on a soft gymnastics mat on the ground in front of them. She rolled through a summersault as she landed, leaping to her feet and standing up very straight in front of them, hands raised above her head proudly.

    Ta-da!” she shouted before giggling loudly. David and Bianca were in awe of her acrobatic feat; David spoke up in surprise.

    “Holy crap, Skyla, what was that?!” he stammered. Skyla continued to giggle in a very girly, feminine manner at his question.

    “A cannon…” she replied shyly through a wry grin, twirling a strand of strawberry red hair around her finger and trying to restrain more laughter.

    You just shot yourself out of a real cannon?!” David asked in bewildered shock. “Why?!” he continued. Skyla giggled again.

    “‘Cause it’s fuuuuun…” she replied sweetly. She stifled her laughter as David tried to process her logic; she was actually reminding him a great deal of Bianca at the moment in terms of girlish cuteness. Before he could question her further though, she drew a Pokéball and shot him a confident smirk.

    “We gonna do this thing or what?” she asked excitedly. There was a newfound gleam in her eyes as the thought of battle settled into her mind. David was back in familiar territory now; he drew a Pokéball of his own to meet the challenge and replied.

    What goes up must come down.” he said confidently. He struck a hunched-over fighting pose, trying to look cool after his snappy one-liner, but both Bianca and Skyla doubled over in wild laughter. David stood back up straighter and blushed a little.

    “Oh my God, David, please don’t make any more horrible flying puns.” Skyla said, clutching her sides.

    “David…” Bianca started to say, trying to contain her laughter. “You’re very sweet and romantic, but Skyla’s right; no more crappy puns please.” she continued, hanging her arms off of his shoulders. David blushed and folded his arms.

    “Whatever, screw you guys. I bet Paula thought it was funny…” David pouted. Paula heard his comment though and decided to voice her opinion.

    “Err, actually no, master, I am sorry, but they are right; that was fairly horrid.” she quipped from inside her Pokéball. “Let us leave the clever one-liners to me, shall we? Do I need to remind you about the Nacrene City Gym? ‘Only on Tuesdays,’ and all that?” she continued with a sly chuckle. David frowned.

    “Whatever…” he said, sulking. The girls laughed again as they prepared for the battles.

    * * *

    “This will be a 3-on-3 battle between Skyla, the Mistralton City Gym Leader, and David, the challenger from Nuvema Town!” the judge shouted, raising his hands into the air. “Each trainer will be allowed three Pokémon, and when all three from either side are defeated, a winner will be declared. I will determine when a Pokémon is unable to battle. Are both sides ready?” he continued. David and Skyla both nodded determinedly. “Trainers! Release your opening Pokémon!” he cried.

    “Swoobat, show time!” Skyla shouted. She tossed her opening Pokéball off of the ledge and into the cannon. It dropped like a stone before triggering the firing mechanism and shooting out into the air. Skyla’s Swoobat flew from the ball in midflight, screeching jubilantly for the start of the battle. It circled overhead several times before floating down next to its trainer and staring David down determinedly. It wore a confident grin unbecoming of its goofy appearance. David drew his own starting Pokémon, suddenly feeling much more certain of himself.

    “Go, Joltik!” he commanded. The small bug sprang from the ball and hunched down low to the ground, eyeing Swoobat cautiously and growling in warning. He jittered with pent up energy and could hardly keep still; out of excitement for the impending battle or simply from superfluous electrical charge, David wasn’t sure his reason, but whatever it was, his Electric-type Pokémon should have an easy time against Skyla’s birds. Skyla initiated the battle by calling her first command.

    “Swoobat, Heart Stamp!” Skyla said excitedly, lurching forward dramatically to indicate the target. Swoobat’s heart-shaped nose began to glow bright pink and it swarmed in towards its enemy, wings spread wide. It moved rapidly in a beeline for Joltik, ready to strike head-first. Joltik was unwavering however, simply waiting for a command. David called for him to use Electroweb just as Swoobat drew near; Joltik jumped up into the air and spun around to spit the attack from the gland on his backside. Swoobat was moving much too fast to pull up and took the blow dead-on. The electrically-charged net ensnared the large bat, binding its wings and causing it to drop to the ground. It skidded along the floor as the searing electricity continued to zap through its frail body. By the time it had slowed to a halt, it was already too late; Joltik had taken down his foe with just a single hit.

    “Swoobat is unable to battle. The score is 0-1 to the challenger.” the judge projected, raising his left hand towards David. David grinned and called out to his Pokémon proudly, but Joltik seemed to not hear him, focusing intently on Skyla in anticipation of her second Pokémon. His unwavering focus was admirable and snapped David himself back to attention. Skyla pursed her lips and frowned but recalled her defeated Pokémon in preparation for the second round. She drew her next Pokéball and dropped it into the cannon as well.

    “Unfezant, your turn.” she said as the ball fell. As the cannon launched off her Pokéball, the Unfezant she had used to escape from the Celestial Tower flew out. It was a female of the species, so it was plainly adorned and did not have the large plumage of the males; it was a light brown and gray color like that of a charcoal mark. Despite its plain, unassuming coloration, it landed loudly after a moment of flight and shot Joltik a look that could have melted ice. It radiated with a holier-than-thou aura and seemed unlikely to fall to the same tricks that had defeated its teammate. After ensuring that both trainers were prepared, the judge called for the second round to begin.

    “No reason to mess with a winning strategy…” David mused. “Joltik, another Electroweb!” he commanded. Joltik moved like a lightning bolt and loosed the second net of electricity. Surprisingly, Skyla’s Unfezant moved even faster though and seemed to disappear in a blur.

    Quick Attack!” Skyla squealed as quickly as she could. Her Unfezant flew close to the ground, almost a combination of flying and running, to strike back at Joltik. The crackling, sizzling web of electricity sailed past it as it moved in. She sliced at Joltik with her wings as she passed, but the attack only did glancing damage. Joltik struggled to follow his opponent as she passed.

    “Keep it up, Unfezant! Swarm it!” Skyla commanded. Unfezant continued to take potshots at Joltik, but the tick was taking them in stride. He continued to determinedly launch off Electroweb attacks to take down his foe, but the attack was too slow to catch up to her; every time he took aim and shot, she had already moved from her old position to somewhere else. David recognized this and changed his tactic.

    “Joltik, pick a spot close to you and stagger a Signal Beam at it.” he called for matter-of-factly. Joltik turned to face him for a brief instant, but David simply nodded with determination, certain of his plan. Joltik nodded back with blind trust in his trainer’s strategy and chose a spot in front of him to fire the beam. He began to shoot off the iridescent stream of energy from his fangs at intervals of around half a second straight forward, but he wasn’t even trying to hit Unfezant. His opponent took notice of this fact too and seemed confused at the strategy, but also became overly confident. She continued to zip around Joltik in an uneven pattern, speeding up even faster due to her thinking that he wasn’t even trying anymore. Her haste proved to be deadly however as she accidentally tripped over the staggered Signal Beam like a tripwire. She faltered and skidded to the ground; she was quick to try and right herself, but that slight window of opportunity was all Joltik needed.

    “Quick, Electro-” David started to say, but Joltik was already way ahead of him. He shot off a quick web of the bristling silk and ensnared the temporarily clipped bird. Much like how it had affected Swoobat, Unfezant became restrained by the powerful net and was quickly drained of health. Joltik had taken a bit of damage from the barrage of Quick Attacks, but was mostly unharmed; David had gotten a near-clean sweep against the first two-thirds of Skyla’s team.

    “Unfezant is unable to battle. The score is 0-2 to the challenger.” the judge said, growing wary of Skyla’s ability to counter Joltik. Skyla returned her second defeated bird to its Pokéball, but upon lifting her head in recognition of her Pokémon’s defeat, she seemed to shine with a peculiar grin. David wondered if she perhaps had a trick up her sleeve…

    “Well well, David, that’s quite a Pokémon you’ve got there!” she called out across the battlefield. David smiled at her compliment, but it made him even more wary.

    “Thanks. Good type matchup I guess.” he replied cordially.

    “Yeah, it sure is…” Skyla responded. “Electric types are the bane of Flying-types all around the world.” she continued. She drew her final Pokéball and looked down at it proudly in her gloved palm; her grin was very clear now, stretching all across her face.

    “You know… I’m a Flying-type trainer in a town right next to a cave known for its peculiar electromagnetic properties. I can’t count the number of cocky trainers that have come through here with Electric-types, either from Chargestone Cave or elsewhere in the region, and thought they could sweep me just because they had a type advantage against me on both of my hands. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t have some kind of counter.” she explained. She bent over and politely dropped her final Pokéball into the cannon, waving goodbye to it cutely as it fell. The cannon launched off her final Pokéball, propelling it into the air. Out from the ball popped the spry, cocky form of a Gligar: Skyla’s last stand.

    Gli-gar!” it hissed as it glided through the room. It hovered gently to the ground and stretched its webbed arms menacingly towards David and Joltik. Joltik seemed undeterred, but David quickly recognized the problem.

    “Gligar is Ground/Flying, isn’t it? Electroweb-” he started to say, but Skyla cut him off.

    “-will do nothing! That’s right, sweetie!” she finished for him, laughing and winking cutely at her clever strategy. “I’m a pilot; I’ve flown all around the globe several times. I caught Gligar on one of my trips to Eastern Unova a while back. Let’s see if you’re one of the few who can actually beat my Gligar too!” she continued. The judge checked that both trainers were ready and called for the start of the third round.

    * * *

    As Cheren left his friends and approached the house, he noticed the front door open and an elderly man step out. He was very flush and wrinkled with only a scattered patch of white hair lining the back of his head. He wore a simple brown robe with slippers and used a polished wooden cane to support his cautious steps. He sat down on a bench swing on the front porch, seemingly unaware of Cheren’s approach. Cheren walked up to the man and began to speak.

    “Um… excuse me, sir, are you the Move Tutor?” he asked politely. The man still didn’t seem to notice him though, unhearing of his words. Cheren walked right up in front of the man and waved his hand in front of his face to get his attention.

    Ha-?! Wha-?!” the man stammered as he finally noticed Cheren. “Who the hell is that?! Who are you?! Are you with the city gov’ment, because I already told you bastards that I paid my taxes this year!” he rasped through the voice of a smoker. Cheren eased his stance defensively and shook his head “no” very quickly.

    “What? No no, sir, I’m not with the government. I’ve just come to-” he started to say, but the man cut him off.

    “Well then I don’t want to sign your Gat-dang petition to ban widgets, or whatever the hell it is you damn hippies are on about this year…” the man muttered. Cheren again denied the allegation however.

    “You’ve got it all wrong, I’m not here with a petition, sir, I just want-” he again tried to explain, but the man once again cut him off.

    “Political campaign?” he asked

    “No.” Cheren replied.

    “Cable guy?” he asked.

    “No.” Cheren replied.

    “Social worker?” he asked

    “No.” Cheren replied.

    “… girl scout cookies?” the man asked after a pause, having run out of options.

    What?!” Cheren shouted angrily. “I’m not even a girl!” he continued. The man waved his hand dismissively and leaned back in the swing.

    “Them skinny jeans clinging to your boney-ass, white butt beg to differ…” he quipped. “Now Gat-dang it, son, I don’t have the energy to sit here and play 20 Questions with ya all day. Why don’t you just tell me what it is you want for cryin’ out loud…” he said in a tired voice. Cheren looked at him over his glasses and scowled in disbelief, but replied calmly.

    Like I’ve been trying to say…” Cheren began slowly, “…I’m here for your move tutoring services, because I have a move I want you to teach my Umbreon. Can you do it?” he asked. The man seemed lost in thought for a moment, but then pulled out a small carton of cigarettes and lit one. He took a long, deep puff from it before responding.

    “An Umbreon you say? Yep, I reckon I can do it. Price is one Heart Scale though…” he replied, enjoying the smell of the smoke. Cheren frowned.

    “A Heart Scale? What do you want a Heart Scale for?” he asked in genuine surprise. The man drew another long puff from his cigarette, blowing the smoke on Cheren’s clothes, much to his annoyance.

    “I collect ‘em…” he responded matter-of-factly. “Think they’re purdy…” he continued. Cheren continued to frown.

    “But Heart Scales are completely useless! They have almost no monetary value and have no known useful interaction with any species of Pokémon; they’re just shards of rock in the shape of a heart. I have cash; would you take that?” he asked, but the man was resolute.

    “Son, I am very old, and very simple. I retired more than 15 years ago from a very labor-intensive job. I spend my Golden Years teaching moves to passing trainers’ Pokémon in exchange for Heart Scales; a task, mind you, which required me to memorize the ins and outs of not only every Pokémon attack from Absorb to Zap Cannon, but also learn ‘em well enough to teach ‘em to a Pokémon. The only thing I ask in exchange for this is some peace and quiet in my nice little mountain home, and a pretty little Heart Scale to add to my collection that I can look at and appreciate. My wife of over 50 years died a few years back, my Gat-dang ungrateful daughter never calls me, the only thing of beauty in my life is the little bit of shimmering color from my collection of Heart Scales; now does it sound like such a big deal to you that I ask for a Heart Scale instead of money?” he asked. Cheren sighed but had to admit that he was right.

    “Well… alright, I guess that’s fair…” Cheren muttered. “But I don’t have a Heart Scale.” he continued emphatically. The man took one last puff from his dying cigarette before flicking the butt into an overflowing ash tray sitting next to him on the swing. He leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes for a nap.

    “Well… then you’re up a creek, kid.” he replied, settling in for his slumber. “I’ve been told you can find ‘em out in the foothills on Route 7. I’d go myself, but I’m too old.” he explained. “Go find one and bring it back; do that and I’ll teach your Umbreon whatever move it is you want.” he continued. Cheren watched him for a few seconds, but his thoughts were disturbed after just a brief moment by the man’s sudden snoring. Cheren sighed and walked down from the porch as the man drifted off into sleep; he began heading out for Route 7 in search of a Heart Scale.

    “Of all the dumb luck…” he muttered under his breath as he walked away.

    * * *

    “Gligar, Swords Dance!” Skyla commanded confidently. Gligar raised his arms into the air and hissed, summoning the ghostly blades. David called for Joltik to use Energy Ball to try and counter quickly, but the spinning blades blocked the bundle of Grass-type energy as they swung in place and clanged against one another. Gligar twirled and danced in the center of the circle, growing stronger and preparing to attack in earnest. When the rhythmic chant finally stopped, Skyla immediately called for a quick Aerial Ace attack. Gligar rose up into the air on the swells and flew towards Joltik with his wings outstretched. Joltik tried desperately to leap out of the way as the emboldened scorpion zipped towards him, but Aerial Ace remained true and struck the partially weakened bug fatally. With the boost from Swords Dance under his belt, Gligar’s Aerial Ace proved to be too much and sent Joltik stumbling to the ground in defeat. Between the few Quick Attacks Unfezant had landed and Gligar’s boosted attack, Joltik had just sustained too much.

    “Joltik is unable to battle. The score is 1-2 to the Gym Leader, but the challenger still leads.” the judge stated matter-of-factly. David grit his teeth and recalled Joltik, but remained determined. He did technically still have the lead, and he still had Munchlax, his traditional physical powerhouse, and Paula, his elegant Psychic-type ace, in perfect health. He drew Munchlax’s Pokéball to continue the fight.

    “Well, no sweep today I guess.” Skyla shouted across the room mockingly. David smirked at her condescension.

    Scoreboard!” he shouted back. Before she had a chance to respond, David tossed his next Pokéball onto the field to meet Gligar in battle.

    “Munchlax, you’re up!” he said without fear or hesitation. Munchlax popped from the ball and flexed his muscles in a mock show of strength, but Gligar was unfaltering. He continued to stare his opponent down, never losing the cocky grin his large fangs and tongue contorted his mouth into. Munchlax was much showier about his strength than Gligar was, but Gligar had the victory he was just coming off of against Joltik to back his strength up. The judge verified that the combatants were prepared and then called for the start of the fourth round.

    “Munchlax, Crunch!” David commanded. Munchlax began to run awkwardly towards his foe at a speed unbecoming his prodigious girth, but Gligar had both speed and flight on his side. Skyla called for her Pokémon to take to the skies and dodge; Gligar spread his webbed wings and lifted up on the swells coming in from the outside air. Munchlax looked up helplessly as his opponent flew away, unable to reach him and attack. Gligar stuck his tongue out farther at Munchlax as he escaped, landing on one of the highest blocks. With no other way to reach him except to climb, Munchlax decided to do just that, slowly waddling his way up the tower of blocks. Gligar sat down and watched as his tubby opponent tried to reach him.

    “That’s such a cheap trick, Skyla.” David said angrily. “Come down here and fight me like a man.” he continued. Skyla laughed heartily.

    I’m not a man!” she shouted back through her laughter, running the tips of her gloved fingers over the exposed skin on her midriff and legs to highlight her feminine body. “Gligar, Aerial Ace!” she continued determinedly; Gligar reluctantly sprang from his post to rejoin the battle and flew in towards Munchlax to try and topple him from his slow climb. Munchlax fended him off long enough to reach a point where he could stand, but with the boost from Swords Dance, even the nuisance attack was proving to do some damage. Conversely however, David now recognized that he had elevation on his side.

    “Munchlax, forget about using Crunch; Body Slam, go!” he cried. A cheeky grin spread across Munchlax’s face as the logic behind David’s plan dawned on him. Munchlax waited for a clear shot at Gligar and then took a running leap towards him. Munchlax managed to grab a hold of Gligar in midair, sending the pair rocketing towards the ground due to Munchlax’s heavy weight. Munchlax held on tight to keep Gligar from escaping, pinning him to the ground as they fell. The bound pair crashed to the cement base of the floor harshly, doing a large chunk of damage to Gligar. Skyla’s Pokémon took the attack in stride however, given that Gligar’s species was known for their tremendous ability to sponge physical hits. Additionally, Gligar had Munchlax at close quarters now, in perfect range to launch a finishing blow.

    “Gligar, finish this; Brick Break!” Skyla shouted. Gligar whipped his massive claws at Munchlax’s exposed abdomen as the pair struggled to rise from the colossal Body Slam. The Fighting-type attack, boosted by Swords Dance, did tremendous damage to the Normal-type Munchlax. Between the Aerial Aces he had endured before and a bit of recoil from the unorthodox Body Slam, Munchlax was down for the count after Brick Break.

    “Munchlax is unable to battle. The score is 2-2 to the Gym Leader. The next round will determine the winner.” the judge announced. Suddenly things weren’t looking so good for David.

    “Well well, David, so much for that clean sweep you were going to have.” Skyla shouted mockingly. “First your Electric-type but now your backup too? I had hoped you weren’t going to be one of those trainers the way Cedric and Aurea talked about you.” she continued. She seemed almost genuinely saddened by her comeback in the battle though, as if she wanted for David to be a victorious opponent. David was still technically winning, given that Gligar had at least sustained some damage by now, but victory wasn’t nearly as assured as it had been after Unfezant went down. He drew Paula’s Pokéball to initiate the final round.

    “What do you think, Paula? Got any bright ideas to finish off this Gligar?” he asked as Paula sprang from her Pokéball.

    “While it is against my inbred sense of classical Victorian etiquette to disagree with my master, Mr. Cheren actually had a good point earlier, master. Your ‘strategy’ seems to usually boil down to spamming our strongest attacks. While that is typically a bit of a brute force approach, in this case I believe it is applicable; Ms. Skyla’s Gligar appears to be showing signs of fatigue. We can use this to our advantage if you trust me.” she replied. David grinned as she reinstilled his confidence.

    “Of course I trust you, Paula. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” he asked slyly. Paula turned to face him with a wry, sarcastically confused look on her face.

    “Master, we are communicating telepathically. I am quite literally thinking what you are thinking, and vice versa. How many months have we been doing this now? I had assumed you understood this concept by now.” she said mockingly. David chuckled at her sarcasm as the judge called for the start of the final round.

    “Alright Gligar, one more to go! Earthquake!” Skyla commanded. Gligar glided up on a swell to reach a decent height; he then folded his wings and began falling back down towards the ground, slamming back down to perform the powerful attack. He was breathing heavily and did seem to be growing fatigued however; Paula simply shot him a patronizing look and levitated off of the ground as the tremor passed harmlessly below her. As she hung in the air, letting the attack go by, she slowly raised one of her slender arms ominously and wagged her finger at him, mouthing “tsk tsk tsk” silently. She shut her eyes for a moment as Gligar stared on in disbelief before Teleporting directly behind him; the impromptu jump startled her opponent, unable to react in time. David called for her to use Psychic; the quick jolt of concentrated telekinetic energy struck Gligar before he could defend himself, causing him to fall over on his back in pain. He weathered the attack, still invigorated by his Swords Dance, but defeating two Pokémon before her, even with the boost, was leaving him feeling drained. He took to the skies to try and get away from her, but it was obvious that he was going on the defensive now; the tide of battle was beginning to turn back towards David thanks to Paula’s honed control.

    “Come on, Gligar, you’ve still got this!” Skyla shouted with concern now starting to creep into her voice. “We just need one solid hit; Gardevoir have paper-thin physical Defenses. Go for another Swords Dance, then come in for Aerial Ace!” she continued. Gligar began to summon the spectral swords again as he glided through the Gym on the air currents, but he seemed to recognize the direness of his situation.

    “Paula, finish this before he can attack back; Focus Blast!” David commanded. Paula had a much easier time summoning the red-brown bundle of energy now as a Gardevoir than she had as a Kirlia, but the attack was still feral and difficult to control. Her aim was true, but the spinning, clinking swords managed to deflect the attack and protect Gligar like a suit of armor. This was both bad for Paula because she couldn’t attack until he finished his boosting chant, but also good because it would give her a window of opportunity to strike safely; Paula lowered her arms and prepared for her chance.

    “I get the joke, but are you thinking what I’m thinking for real, Paula?” David asked telepathically. “You know what to do?” he continued

    “I am, master, and I do.” Paula replied calmly, building up her psychic strength in preparation. David nodded, having imparted his command to her, and left the battle in her hands; the fight would be decided after this next attack, and at this point it was up to the Pokémon themselves.

    “Almost there… almost there…” Skyla muttered as Gligar’s second Swords Dance began to come to a conclusion. Gligar spun and twirled on the swells as he finished his boosting attack, now reinvigorated to strike with tremendous strength. As the pattern came to a close, he spread his wings wide, dispersing the ethereal daggers, and seemed to radiate with power; that split second before he moved in to strike with Aerial Ace was just what Paula had been waiting for however. She instantly Teleported behind him, floating in the air right along side him thanks to her levitation abilities, and quickly loosed another jolt of Psychic. Before he could defend himself or launch off his Aerial Ace, the second blast sent him tumbling out of the air towards the ground; Gligar had been faster than Joltik and Munchlax, but Paula’s Teleportation abilities outpaced any kind of measure of “speed” so long as she could react in time. Gligar fell silently from his place in the sky and crashed into the ground below in defeat. Paula grinned and gently fluttered back down to join him, her long gown flowing in the wind. The judge was wary of calling for the end of the match, but after making certain that Gligar was down, he declared David victorious.

    “Gligar is unable to battle. The score is 2-3 to the challenger; David wins!” he exclaimed. David and Bianca shouted excitedly at the hard-won victory, and even Skyla seemed proud. She grinned as she recalled her Pokémon and delivered her defeated team to the judge to be healed for her remaining two battles. As was customary, David ran out onto the field to congratulate Paula, but this was their first large-scale victory since her evolution. David ran towards her and embraced her cheerily as he had done many times when she was a Kirlia, but the action seemed to off-put her a bit in her new form.

    “Erm, a little less forceful please, master; mind the horn, mind the horn.” she mumbled awkwardly. She held him back, but fidgeted to try and adjust to a more comfortable position. David slacked his embrace a bit and looked at her quizzically.

    “I’m sorry, Paula, I’m just proud of you that we won!” he said excitedly. “We did this all the time when you were a Kirlia…” he tried to justify himself, but Paula cut him off abruptly.

    “Well I am not a Kirlia anymore, master, I am a Gardevoir. It is quite literally the difference between a child and an adult.” she said matter-of-factly. David was a bit taken aback by her coldness.

    “Oh… I’m sorry, Paula…” he said sadly. “I’m just proud of you is all… I guess I’ve just gotten used to thinking of you as a Kirlia; as my little buddy…” he continued, trailing off and looking away. He slacked his arms around her sides and shuffled back, a little hurt, but Paula smiled as she realized the unintended affect her words were having on him. She embraced him again suddenly, fitting her horn neatly between his left arm and his side.

    “That is not what I meant, master.” she said calmly. “No matter how much older or how refined I get, I will always be your ‘little buddy.’” she whispered. David smiled at her kind words. “We Gardevoir are ‘the Embrace Pokémon’ after all.” she continued.

    “Well you two, I’ve got to say that I’m impressed.” Skyla commented as she walked up. “Took you a little while to wear us down, but you managed to beat even my Gligar; nice work. You’ve earned yourselves the Jet Badge.” she continued. David’s smile grew larger as he and Paula separated and acknowledged her complimenting words. Skyla turned her attention away from David and towards Bianca in preparation for the second battle.

    “You’re up, love.” she whispered. Bianca nodded determinedly and approached the challenger’s box. David and Paula left the battlefield and joined her as she prepared for her own match.

    * * *

    Cheren breathed heavily as he hiked through the rocky terrain outside of Mistralton City in search of a Heart Scale. The fog was starting to grow thick, obscuring his vision; he climbed to the top of a mild hill at the southern entrance of Route 7 and was able to look out at a good portion of the valley, but the fog kept him from seeing more than a quarter of a mile in any direction. There was a field stretching out past the opposite side of the hill with a small lake next to it, but the wide open expanse seemed like an unlikely place to find the stone he sought. He drew his three Pokéballs and released all of his Pokémon in one fluid motion.

    “Alright guys, I need your help.” he started to explain as they circled around him. “We need to find a Heart Scale; it’s a little white piece of rock in the shape of a heart with some colored bands running along it. We should be able to find one in this area, so I’m told, but the fog is too thick for me to find one on my own. Gus, you go look around the foothills to the west over there; Umbreon, you go down the hill and check the shoreline of that lake; Aerodactyl, you and I are going to see if we can find one from the air. Everybody knows what they’ve got to do, right?” he asked. His Pokémon nodded and exclaimed their respective cries in determined acknowledgement. Gus levitated off quickly towards the foothills and Umbreon ran down the hill to the lake; Aerodactyl knelt down so Cheren could climb on his back and then lifted off on several powerful gusts from his stony wings. The pair took to the skies and began looking for the gleam of a Heart Scale.

    “See anything, Aerodactyl?” Cheren shouted over the sound of the air whipping past their ears. Aerodactyl screeched in the negative however and slowed his pace. Cheren squinted and tried to block out some of the sunlight that was being reflected by the fog; he saw nothing though.

    “The fog is too thick.” he mused. “We probably couldn’t see one even if we were passing right over it.” he continued. Aerodactyl scanned carefully, but even his strong, highly trained eyes couldn’t pierce the fog. Cheren frowned angrily at the elderly man’s extraordinarily specific demand, but his thought process was interrupted by a faint cry from somewhere below them.

    “Hey! Did you hear that, Aerodactyl?” he asked, but he heard the sound again more clearly as he asked his question. “There it is again!” he continued. “It sounds like Umbreon; maybe he found something!” he exclaimed excitedly. Aerodactyl screeched in acknowledgement and lowered his altitude as he prepared to land near the lake. The ground slowly came into view as they shot through the fog. Umbreon was hunched over close to the ground and was growling fiercely at the placid water; his fangs were bared and his fur stood on end. Cheren dismounted Aerodactyl as they landed and ran up to his Pokémon.

    “What do you see, Umbreon? Did you find one, buddy?!” he asked excitedly. Umbreon turned his stern gaze up to Cheren for a moment, but indicated back towards the water as he continued to growl. Cheren didn’t see anything in the water and wasn’t sure what Umbreon was barking at; he leaned in close to the edge of the water’s surface and examined it, but still saw nothing beneath the murky depths. He was startled though as a jet of water shot out from underneath it and hit him with pin-point accuracy in the face.

    Gah!” he exclaimed as he reeled back, trying to clear his eyes. Umbreon took a step closer to the lake and barked loudly in a shrill voice as his trainer was struck. Cheren shook the water off of his face and wiped his glasses as the shock passed, turning back to the lake angrily to determine just what had pranked him. A tiny pink Luvdisc was peeking up over the surface and was smirking to itself.

    Why you little-” Cheren started to say angrily, but he stopped as a shimmer caught his eye. Wedged underneath one of the Luvdisc’s scales was a peculiar, white object. Cheren relaxed his stance and moved towards the water slowly.

    “Hey there, Luvdisc…” he said softly, stretching his arm out towards the playful Pokémon. “Is that a Heart Scale you’ve got there?” he asked disarmingly. The Luvdisc smiled and breached the water a little farther. It looked at him with a gleam in its eye as it evaluated the danger of the situation. Cheren was drawing closer.

    “That was pretty funny when you hit me with that Water Gun just now, huh?” he asked, trying to garner its trust. The Luvdisc giggled and nodded mischievously. Cheren smiled back, though it was forced. “What say you just come over here so I can take that pesky old Heart Scale off of you, huh? How about it, Luvdisc; want to help out a pal?” he continued; the Luvdisc smirked fiendishly. Cheren leaned in close to the surface of the water and tried to reach out towards the little fish, but just as his fingers drew near, the Luvdisc moved back and shot him with another jet of water. The blast startled Cheren and he lost his balance, falling into the lake with a resounding “splash!” The water splashed Umbreon as well, to which he barked shrilly and jumped in after his trainer.

    Goddamn it!” Cheren shouted “Come on, Umbreon, let’s get ‘im!” he continued. The Luvdisc giggled as it began to swim away.

    * * *

    [Continued Below]

  19. #144
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    Chronicles of Unova

    Chapter 17: The Mistralton City Gym Battle
    Part 2 of 2

    “This will be a 3-on-3 battle between Skyla, the Mistralton City Gym Leader, and Bianca, the challenger from Nuvema Town!” the judge shouted for a second time, raising his hands straight up above his head. “Each trainer will be allowed three Pokémon, and when all three from either side are defeated, a winner will be declared. I will determine when a Pokémon is unable to battle. Are both sides ready?” he continued. The two girls both indicated that they were and prepared for their fight. “Trainers! Release your opening Pokémon!” the judge shouted.

    “Pachirisu, go!” Bianca cried. Her starter Pokémon sprang acrobatically from its Pokéball and spun on the tips of one of her feet as she landed. Pachirisu bristled with pent up electricity and was raring to battle. She shot Skyla a commanding glance as she slowed her spin and began charging the necessary power for the impending Electric-type attack she was sure Bianca would call for; Skyla had other plans however.

    “Well, no sense in beating around the bush.” Skyla mused. “The fact that I have Gligar to counter your Electric-types isn’t a surprise anymore since you saw David’s match. Go, Gligar!” she continued. The cannon launched off her Pokéball, revealing her opening choice; Gligar had had ample time to recover from his previous match with the process sped up some thanks to some medicine administered by the judge. Gligar was spry and just as ready to fight as Pachirisu was; the judge confirmed that both sides were ready and called for the start of the match.

    “Gligar, Swords Dan-” Skyla started to say, but Bianca cut her off.

    Pachirisu, Hidden Power!” she screamed fiercely. Pachirisu wasted no time in attacking and let loose the freezing winds. Given that Hidden Power could be any of the sixteen types with the exception of Normal, Skyla had no way of knowing what type Pachirisu’s particular Hidden Power would be unless it struck; unfortunately for her, the fact that it was Ice was the worst possible condition there could be. Skyla preemptively called for her Gligar to dodge the attack out of fear, calling off the command for Swords Dance, but realized the severity of the situation as the winds drew closer and passed.

    “Oh come on! Hidden Power ICE?!” Skyla exclaimed in surprise. “Damnit, no time to Swords Dance now I guess. Gligar, go straight to Earthquake!” she commanded. Being a Ground/Flying type Pokémon, Gligar was weak to Ice-type attacks on both fronts; if Pachirisu managed to nail it with her Hidden Power attack, the Special-based attack would almost surely OHKO her opponent. By the same token however, Pachirisu, being a pure Electric-type, was at an even greater disadvantage against the Ground-type Gligar than David’s Joltik had been; Gligar’s Earthquake would surely OHKO Pachirisu if it landed as well. The trainers were locked in a deadly game of mutual cat-and-mouse; their dodging and timing abilities would surely be on display now.

    “Pachirisu, climb up high to avoid it!” Bianca advised. Pachirisu ran on all fours at a blistering speed towards the stack of blocks closest to her, and while she managed to dodge the Earthquake attack itself, the tremor below her caused some of the looser blocks to shift and fall. As quickly as she had mounted the stack of cubes, she found herself plummeting back down to the ground. Bianca recognized this as an opportunity for both trainers.

    “Pachirisu, use another Hidden Power.” she said quickly. Pachirisu spun in midair as she fell and began to launch off a second gust of the freezing winds, but her opponent wasn’t about to waste his own opportunity either. Pachirisu was falling haphazardly towards the ground; she would land more-or-less safely, but it would be a moment after she landed before she would be in a position to dodge an attack. Skyla fearlessly called for Gligar to launch off a second Earthquake attack; in doing so, he grounded himself too long to dodge the impending Ice-type attack, but he had also loosed an attack he knew Pachirisu couldn’t dodge either. As predicted, Pachirisu stumbled to the ground and took the brunt of the Ground-type attack just seconds later, but in loosing the Earthquake attack, Gligar had sacrificed himself to the full brunt of Hidden Power. Both Pokémon had taken a big hit, and both Pokémon struggled to rise.

    “Come on, Gligar, you’ve got it, you’ve got it!” Skyla tried desperately to encourage her Pokémon as it struggled to stand, but Gligar was out like a light after taking the crushing Ice-type blow. Bianca was doing the same for Pachirisu, but against the brunt of Gligar’s powerful Ground-type attack, she had never stood a chance. The judge decided to intervene, raising both arms and beginning to speak.

    “Both Gligar and Pachirisu are unable to battle; double KO. The score is tied at 1-1.” he projected sternly. The trainers recalled their Pokémon and smiled at their battlers’ tremendous effort.

    “Well Bianca, I’m impressed. Not many trainers manage to beat Gligar with their Electric Pokémon. You’ve already got one thing up on your boyfriend.” Skyla shouted proudly. David glared in mock anger and disbelief, but Bianca giggled and pushed on his shoulder sweetly. The trainers drew their second Pokéballs and released them in unison to begin the second round.

    “Swoobat, you’re up!” Skyla shouted through a smile, revealing her fuzzy bat.

    “Golbat, you too!” Bianca cried. Her shiny Pokémon flew out to meet his Unovan brethren for an aerial battle, his skin shimmering in its deep, mossy green color and his wings an electric pink in hue. Skyla gasped and opened her eyes wide at the sight of Bianca’s beautiful Pokémon.

    “Oh my gosh, you have a shiny Flying-type?!?” she exclaimed in awe. “He’s sooooo pretty!” she continued. “Where did you find him?” she asked. Bianca giggled.

    “Wellspring Cave out on Route 3. I caught him as a Zubat back then and I’ve raised him ever since.” she replied. “I was the first one in the group to actually catch something other than my starter.” she continued.

    “Time to see who the superior bat is…” David mused. The judge seemed impressed by Bianca’s rare Pokémon as well, but cleared his throat as he refocused on the match and called for them to begin; the air-locked Pokémon flew up high and began to swarm around one another.

    “Swoobat, Fly!” Skyla commanded.

    “You too, Golbat; Fly!” Bianca parroted. The two Flying-types flew through the wide open Gym air at breakneck speeds, each trying to out-maneuver one another and land a decisive blow. Golbat was much bigger and stronger, but Swoobat could fly much faster and more nimbly; the two would come in for a pass to swipe at each other with their wings, but just as Golbat would pick up speed and try to lash out, Swoobat would barrel roll under Golbat’s wings and evade. Though the aerial dogfights were impressive to watch, a more decisive means of attacking would need to be found; Skyla was reluctant to give up on watching the two Flying-types perform the pinnacle of aerial combat, but quickly devised a superior plan. The two trainers issued new commands.

    Skyla called for Swoobat to go back to its tried and true Heart Stamp, opting to attack with its psychically-powered nose over its wings; Bianca went for a similar plan, commanding Golbat to use Bite to attack with its gaping mouth and massive fangs instead of his own wings. Similar to the previous round, Heart Stamp, being a Psychic-type attack, would do sizable damage to the Poison-type Golbat, but Bite, being a Dark-type attack, would be just as good of a type matchup against the Psychic-type Swoobat; the ladies found themselves once again locked into their game of mutual cat-and-mouse, except this time the combatants were not as evenly matched at Pachirisu and Gligar had been. Though Swoobat was smaller and faster, Golbat had sheer power and size to his advantage. The two moved into position to attack.

    The opposing Pokémon flew to opposite sides of the hangar and began lining up the shot. The two bats screeched in wild abandon and began flying at top speed towards each other; the collision course would almost necessarily leave only one standing, but it all just came down to timing. They sped like bullets in a beeline for each other, wings outstretched and weapons drawn; Golbat’s gaping mouth was ajar, waiting for his chance to bite down around his opponent’s neck, whereas Swoobat’s nose shone with a bright red glow and left a trail of light in the air as it flew. The pair drew near as the time came to attack. Golbat pushed down with a mighty flap of his wings, straightening himself in the air; he opened his mouth wide and waited for Swoobat to come near. Swoobat was moving too fast to slow down and rocketed straight towards Golbat’s mouth. Either Swoobat would fly straight in and smack the back of Golbat’s throat with his attack, or Golbat would manage to time his Bite perfectly and catch Swoobat before it could strike. Golbat’s focus was unwavering and he managed to pull off the latter scenario, catching Swoobat with his fangs just mere inches from striking distance. Swoobat shrieked in pain as Golbat’s fangs sunk into his fur. Golbat shook him and bit down harder for a moment before spitting his opponent out to the ground below. Swoobat had taken the attack harshly and fell to the ground in defeat. Golbat shrieked jubilantly.

    “Swoobat is unable to battle. The score is 1-2 to the challenger.” the judge projected, raising his left hand towards Bianca. Bianca started to shout in proud excitement, but as she looked up at her triumphant Pokémon, she noticed something about his shine start to change. Golbat spread his wings wide, opened his gaping mouth as far as it would go, and let out a piercing screech. A light began to shine from deep inside of him and his shimmer began to fade; Golbat was evolving.

    * * *

    Soaking wet and frozen to the bone, Cheren scowled as he walked through the town, his arms folded and with a slow gait. He shivered as a chilling autumn breeze blew his damp clothes. His shoes left wet footprints on the sidewalk as he went, squeaking and making a squirting sound with each step. He returned to the Move Tutor’s home and strode up the front steps to the porch; the old man was still fast asleep on his bench swing, snoring loudly. Cheren pulled something out from his pocket and tossed it haphazardly at the man’s lap. The gentle strike of the object stirred the man from his sleep; he flailed his arms in surprise and had a wild look in his eyes.

    Wha-!” he exclaimed. “Who’s there?! Are you from the-” he started to ask, but Cheren cut him off.

    “No, I’m not from the government. I’m not trying to get a petition signed, I’m not a political activist, I’m not the cable guy and I’m not a social worker.” he said tiredly. He stared at the man vacantly in the hopes that he would remember on his own, but the man simply wore a confused stare.

    “… girl scout cook-” he started to mumble after scanning his memory futilely, but Cheren cut him off.

    “Whajit- NO! I’M NOT A GODDAMN GIRL SCOUT!” he shouted, flailing his arms tiredly. “I want you to teach my Umbreon an attack! I’m the kid with the Umbreon! Um-Bre-On! Remember?!” he continued. “I got you your damn Heart Scale…” he muttered as he caught his breath, pointing to the small shard laying on the man’s stomach. The Move Tutor sat up and inspected it as the realization of what Cheren wanted returned to his memory. The man straightened his clothes and sat up in his seat.

    “Oh yeah… huh… would’ja look at that? A Heart Scale…” he mused. “Nice work, kid. Set your Pokémon up here next to me on the swing and I’ll teach it your move…” he continued. Cheren drew Umbreon’s Pokéball with a sigh of relief and released him next to the elderly man. The Move Tutor inspected Cheren’s Pokémon carefully before giving him a quick pet on the head and turning back towards his customer.

    “Alright son, a deal’s a deal. What move is it you want me to teach him?” he asked calmly and lucidly. Cheren nodded with a small grin and explained what he wanted.

    * * *

    The entirety of Golbat’s massive green body was enveloped by the blinding white light. His giant wingspan and large, imposing body began to meld together into a single amorphous bundle of light. After his triumphant victory over Skyla’s Swoobat, he had finally gained enough power, experience and strength to evolve to his final form. As the pulsating rings of blue light that swarmed his body began to wrap around him faster and faster, he began to reform into his new body; two pairs of wings now stretched from his body, the top pair still large and powerful, but the second pair much sleeker than the first. Though he maintained his large size and weight, the entirety of his body actually seemed sleeker now. The pulsating light finally burst as he concluded his change, but much to Bianca’s surprise, the mossy green bat with pink wings she had always known and loved was now a pink bat with lime green wings; his color scheme had completely reversed, with the majority of his body now a fleshy pink color. Bianca beamed at the change and there was a shine in her eyes as her giant pink Pokémon was now much more girly than it had previously been. Her Pokémon reopened its eyes and let out a screech as it spread its four wings. Golbat had now evolved into a Crobat; the Poison/Flying type Pokémon seemed to radiate with a newfound strength and almost dripped with poison. Bianca’s victory was nearly assured now.

    Wooooow!” Skyla cooed, clasping her gloved hands together in front of her. “I thought he was pretty as a Golbat but man! I’ve always loved the way Crobat look, and their shiny form is even cooler!” she continued. Bianca mimicked her sentiment as the two girls temporarily forgot about their continuing battle in lieu of fawning over Crobat’s pretty colors. Skyla reluctantly returned her attention to the battle after a few moments of delighted daydreaming about the shiny Flying-type before her, drawing her final Pokéball to conclude the battle.

    “Go, Unfezant!” she shouted. Her final Pokémon flew from its ball as the cannon shot it into the air, making a last stand against Bianca’s own powerful Flying-type Pokémon; the Unfezant still wore her stern gaze, but seemed wary of Crobat’s newfound power. The judge called for the start of the round and Bianca began to issue her first command, but Paula spoke up from behind her before she could speak.

    “Ms. Bianca, your Crobat wishes to convey a message to you.” she said calmly to both Bianca and David. Bianca stopped mid-command to turn and look at Paula with her lips pursed in confusion. “He says that he has an idea for a new attack and would like to demonstrate it to you.” she continued. Bianca smiled.

    “What’s it called, Paula?” she asked.

    “The move is traditionally known as ‘Cross Poison.’” Paula replied. “You should instruct him as such.” she continued.

    Skyla and Unfezant had taken the opportunity to launch their first attack while Bianca was distracted. Unfezant began to move in very rapidly to fire off a Quick Attack, but Bianca was prepared.

    “Alright Crobat, try it out! Use Cross Poison!” Bianca commanded. Crobat had gained a significant amount of Speed upon evolving and was able to outpace even the speeding Unfezant. His wings seemed to drip and radiate with dark poison; using his lower wings to fly on and keep himself aloft, he took two powerful slashes with his upper wings at Unfezant as she drew within striking range. The twin swipes both countered Unfezant’s own attack and did tremendous damage in the process, inflicting Skyla’s Pokémon with a Poison condition. Unfezant went spinning end over end to the ground as the blow struck, coughing in pain as the poison set in. Crobat screeched proudly at his strength and spun in the air in a twisting pattern thanks to his two new wings. Bianca shouted jubilantly.

    Wha-how, Crobat! Awesome new move!” she cried. Without giving Unfezant a chance to collect herself, Bianca shouted for Crobat to strike again with the same move. He shot like a bright pink bullet along the ground towards his opponent, raking her with the poisonous strike; whereas before he had used his bottom two wings to fly with and his top two wings to attack, he now used his top two wings to speed towards her and the bottom two wings to slice along the ground. Unfezant never stood a chance against the overpowering attack; between the strength of the slashes and the damage from the Poison condition, she was out like a light instantly.

    “Unfezant is unable to battle. The score is 1-3 to the challenger; Bianca wins!” the judge exclaimed. Bianca shouted in joy and leapt into the air to embrace her triumphant Pokémon; much to her surprise, Crobat flew in and grasped her with his top two rippling wings. Using his top two wings to hold her slight form and his bottom two wings to fly, Crobat took her on a high-flying tour of the Gym in celebration. Bianca shrieked both in slight fear and extraordinary delight as she held on tightly to her Pokémon. The air whipped her hair and knocked her hat the long way down to the ground. David caught it for her as he and Skyla approached the center of the battlefield; Crobat and Bianca landed to join them, laughing ecstatically from the excitement of flying. Skyla smiled at Bianca’s reaction to her first flight and folded her arms proudly. Bianca returned her newly evolved Pokémon to his Pokéball and smiled back.

    “Well done, love; I’m oh-for-two today. You both did great.” she said proudly. Bianca was still in high spirits from both her victory and her impromptu flight; she instinctively lurched forward and embraced David in happiness. The young couple had both earned their sixth badges that day; now all that remained was for Cheren to earn his own victory, “but where was he?” they wondered…

    * * *

    “Alright, kid, I’m done; it worked perfectly!” the Move Tutor exclaimed proudly. “Your Pokémon has learned the move completely.” he continued. Cheren rose from his seat on the stoop and walked over to them upon hearing the comment. Umbreon looked up at him from his seat beside the old man and grinned at his trainer with determination; Cheren returned the gesture and picked him up in his arms.

    “You all set, Umbreon?” Cheren asked. Umbreon growled fiercely and bared his fangs at Cheren. Cheren chuckled and continued. “What do you say, pal? You ready to go kick Skyla’s scantily-clad ass and show her your new attack?” he continued; Umbreon nodded his head emphatically in response. Cheren smiled and returned him to his Pokéball.

    “Thanks for your help, mister.” Cheren said over his shoulder as he walked down the front steps.

    “You bet, little Susie! Any time you need someone to buy more Thin Mints from your troop, just give me a ring!” the Move Tutor replied cheerily. Cheren’s expression went blank at the man’s utter forgetfulness. He rolled his eyes and turned away before heading down the road towards the Gym.

    “Well, that took longer than expected…” he muttered to himself. “It couldn’t have been more than half an hour or so- HOLY CRAP!” he continued, looking down at the time on his Xtransceiver. As he realized just how late it had gotten, he fumbled to grab Aerodactyl’s Pokéball off of his holster and released him from it.

    “Come on, Aerodactyl, we’ve got to get to the Gym!” he exclaimed. Aerodactyl shrieked in acknowledgement and knelt down for Cheren to get on his back. The pair took off into the skies, rapidly flying towards the Gym.

    * * *

    Skyla, David and Bianca stood idly around the Gym floor, hands in their pockets and staring off into space. Skyla coughed quietly to break the silence, but they otherwise remained silent. A few seconds later, David began to speak.

    “Okay, enough of this bullshit; where the hell is Cheren?!” he asked angrily. Skyla and Bianca pursed their lips and shrugged in unison. David rolled his eyes and continued to speak. “Our battle was probably around 10 minutes long, right, Skyla? Then you took a while to heal your Pokémon, then you and Bianca battled for probably 5-to-10 minutes, then you had to heal your Pokémon again, and Cheren still isn’t here.” he said to Skyla. “What could he possibly be do-” he started to continue, but Bianca cut him off; she pointed up to the sky outside of the hangar and started to speak.

    “Ooh! Ooh! Look! There he is!” she exclaimed. The faint outline of Cheren and Aerodactyl was just starting to become visible through the fog. They were racing through the air towards the Gym at top speed. Skyla squinted as she shaded her eyes from the bright sunlight, trying to get a clearer look.

    “What kind of Pokémon is he riding?” she asked in confusion. “Is that a… there’s no way…” she continued. David spoke up in reply

    “It’s his Aerodactyl.” he responded. “Why?” he asked. Skyla squealed in delight.

    “Oh my gosh, he has an Aerodactyl?!” she asked excitedly. “Wow, you guys have the coolest Flying-types!” she continued. “First Bianca’s shiny Crobat, now Cheren evidently has an Aerodactyl… what’s next? A freakin’ Lugia?!” she asked. David chuckled, remembering Cheren’s love for the Legendary Pokémon when they were children.

    “For the love of Arceus, don’t mention Lugia in front of Cheren. You’ll never get him to shut up about Aeroblast.” he replied, suppressing a chuckle. Cheren and Aerodactyl were just coming in to land now, waving to the group as Aerodactyl slowed his descent.

    “Hey guys!” he shouted. “Umbreon learned a new move!” he continued. His friends all ran out of the hangar to greet him.

    “What the hell, Cheren, what took you so long?!” David asked. “Did you get stuck in a well or something?” he continued incredulously. Cheren dismounted Aerodactyl and returned him to his Pokéball.

    “Dude, just… don’t ask…” Cheren groaned, remembering his ordeal to obtain the Heart Scale. “You ready to battle, Skyla? I’ve got a new strategy I’ve been working on and I want to try it out on you.” he continued. Skyla grinned and drew a Pokéball.

    “You bet, Cheren; I’ve still got to win one of these things.” she replied mockingly. The four trainers all went back inside and prepared for the battle.

    “This will be a 3-on-3 battle between Skyla, the Mistralton City Gym Leader, and Cheren, the challenger from Nuvema Town.” the judge stated to announce for the final battle of the day. “Each trainer will be allowed three Pokémon, and when all three from either side are defeated, a winner will be declared. I will determine when a Pokémon is unable to battle. Are both sides ready?” he continued. Cheren and Skyla went to their respective trainer boxes and drew their starting Pokéballs. “Trainers! Release your opening Pokémon!” the judge shouted before bowing out.

    “Okay Umbreon, time to test out our new strategy.” Cheren said, releasing his starter Pokémon. Umbreon wore a wry grin that would not abate; he seemed keenly interested in the battle, certain that Cheren’s mysterious new strategy would pay off. Cheren mimicked his Pokémon’s facial expression as they waited for Skyla to release her Pokémon as well. Skyla dropped a Pokéball into the cannon and sent it flying out into the air.

    “Go, Unfezant!” she shouted. Unfezant took up its position opposite Umbreon, standing regally on its long, clawed legs. The judge confirmed that both sides were prepared and called for the start of the round.

    “Alright Umbreon, we’re going to lead off with Wish.” Cheren stated matter-of-factly. Umbreon’s eyes glazed over in a brilliant white light and he took a commanding step forward. He opened his mouth and began to shout a mixture of a growl and a cry; he lowered his head in concentration, but then puffed out his chest as many bundles of light shot out from his body. They disappeared into the ether, waiting for their time to return. With that step set up, Cheren was on his way.

    “Wish, huh? We haven’t seen that move in a long time…” David whispered to Bianca. “I wonder what Cheren is cooking up…” he continued. Skyla shouted from across the room to announce her counter-command.

    “Okay Unfezant, let’s try and take it out before that Wish comes back; Air Slash.” she said. Unfezant spread her wings and began to flap, pushing herself off of the ground. She continued to beat her wings powerfully towards Umbreon, whipping up a small windstorm with each mighty thrust. The blades of air flew out towards Umbreon, but neither Cheren nor Umbreon made any effort to dodge them. Umbreon took the attacks in stride thanks to his absolutely mammoth Special bulk, but he put in no effort to attack back or dodge; this was all part of Cheren’s plan.

    “Good, Umbreon, now use Work Up. Consider that a standing order.” Cheren said calmly. Umbreon arched his back and began growling fearsomely. His short black hair stood on end and the golden rings along his body began to glow. It was the first time since purchasing the TM for the move back in Driftveil City that either David or Bianca had seen him use it; they didn’t have the slightest idea where he was going with his strategy however. Umbreon began shouting and working himself into a frenzy, but still showed no signs of wanting to attack; both his Attack and Special Attack stats were being boosted by the Work Up attack, but he stood like a statue as he continued to get pounded by the Air Slashes. Skyla also seemed confused.

    “I guess just… keep up with Air Slash, Unfezant; we’ll wear him down eventually…” she said, cocking her head. Unfezant cooed shrilly in recognition, uncaring what Cheren was trying to do and redoubled her efforts to attack. Umbreon continued to take the attacks like a brick wall, but he was starting to show slight signs of fatigue. He unwaveringly continued to boost his stats with continual Work Ups, growing increasingly powerful with each use, but he was beginning to falter under the bombardment over time. He eventually had to sit down as his legs began to ache; after nearly a minute of this though, he eventually had to give in to the pain and he collapsed. His Attack and Special Attack stats were as boosted as they could get, but he had made no effort to actually attack Unfezant or try to defend himself; was all the boosting simply in vain? He struggled to raise his head off of the ground, very tired but not quite out. Unfezant ceased her bombardment and landed. She moved in to inspect her opponent.

    “Okay Umbreon, it should be any time now.” Cheren said quietly. “Hold out a little longer…” he continued. Umbreon painstakingly turned his head away from Unfezant and towards his trainer, giving a knowing nod; the effort proved too much however and his neck went limp. He appeared to be out like a light after the endless bombardment, but Skyla knew better than to get too close.

    “I remember what you did to that Litwick at the Celestial Tower last week, Cheren. I’m not an idiot; I know you’re trying to use Faint Attack. Unfezant, be very careful.” she shouted. Unfezant was cautious, but continued to creep closer. Umbreon truly did appear to be down for the count though; even the judge was convinced.

    “Umbreon is unable to-” he started to say, but Cheren cut him off.

    “Wait just a minute now!” he shouted. “Just give it time; Umbreon is not done yet.” he said matter-of-factly. Cheren turned back towards his Pokémon and stared intently. “Come on… come on…” he murmured.

    “Give it up, Cheren, your strategy failed.” David said from behind him. “I don’t know what you were trying to pull, but-” he started to say, but Cheren cut him off.

    “Wait, no! Here it comes!” he exclaimed. The tiny bundles of light from Umbreon’s Wish streamed in through the walls of the hangar and impacted against Umbreon, healing him significantly with every strike. Umbreon slowly began to rise as he felt his strength return to him. Cheren turned towards the judge and began to speak commandingly.

    “You were wrong!” he shouted through a sly grin. “If Umbreon was knocked out, Wish wouldn’t have been able to heal him. Wish can only restore health to a Pokémon that can still battle; it can’t be used to revive a fainted Pokémon.” he continued, smirking venomously. “Have a little more faith in us challengers.” he stated matter-of-factly. Cheren turned back towards his Pokémon before the judge could talk back, watching as the Wish ended. Umbreon was only at around half health now, but he had all of his Work Ups still under his belt and was in a position to use the final part of Cheren’s strategy; the time had come for Umbreon’s new move.

    “Alright Umbreon! Time to show off your new attack!” Cheren exclaimed. “Umbreon… use Baton Pass!” he continued.

    Umbreon took a defiant step forward towards Unfezant and raised his head towards the sky. He began to howl eerily, his eyes staring fixedly at a point on the ceiling. His body began to glow as if he was evolving, but he quickly melted away instead into a tiny wisp of light. The wisp lifted off of the ground and zipped back to Cheren quickly. It flew into Umbreon’s Pokéball and then back out again through Aerodactyl’s; it flew back onto the battlefield, reemerging as the Flying/Rock type Pokémon, but all of the boosts from Umbreon’s multiple Work Up attacks had transferred through the wisp to Aerodactyl. Aerodactyl was always feral and vicious when he battled, but with the boosts from all of Umbreon’s Work Up attacks under his belt, he instantly went into an irreconcilable rampage. He shrieked a piercing, bloodcurdling scream and spread his wings triumphantly; the whole room shook with his uncontrollable power. He looked nearly ready to tear the whole city apart, and since he hadn’t actually been in battle yet, he had all of his health to work with. Skyla choked on her saliva in shock as Cheren’s strategy came to fruition.

    Oh shit, Unfezant, run!” she shouted, but it was too late. Aerodactyl sprang into action, flying faster than any of them had ever seen a Pokémon move before. He slashed at the Unfezant with his clawed wings, sending her flying end over end to the ground. She was more than defeated, completely unable to battle in an instant. The judge appeared shocked and proclaimed Cheren the winner of the first round.

    “Unfezant is unable to battle. The score is 0-1 to the challenger!” he said timidly, looking up at the rampaging dinosaur in terror. Cheren grinned and raised his fist into the air in triumph. He turned around to face David and Bianca, thumbing his nose at them and sticking out his tongue childishly. David and Bianca were in just as much shock as the judge and Skyla were; Cheren’s strategy was unorthodox, but had actually paid off flawlessly.

    “Okay, fuck this.” Skyla said as she recalled her defeated Pokémon. “I’m calling out the big guns; Gligar, you’re the only one with a chance to stop this thing!” she continued with panic creeping into her voice. She didn’t bother with sending him through the cannon, understanding perfectly the severity of her situation. There was almost no chance she would actually win the battle at this point; Cheren had played his strategy to perfection and had been able to set up right under her nose. Gligar sprang from the ball, but appeared just as worried as his trainer was. The judge called for the start of the second round.

    “Aerodactyl, Stealth Rock!” Cheren commanded. Aerodactyl shrieked another feral cry as he summoned the jagged rocks. They sprang up from the ground beneath Gligar like a massive pit of spikes; Gligar floated safely above them, but he was wary of falling into them. Skyla called for him to use Swords Dance to try and boost up to Aerodactyl’s Attack level, but Cheren was going to have none of that. He called for Aerodactyl to use Fly, to which he shot forward before Cheren could even finish with the command. Gligar tried to protect himself behind his wall of ghostly swords, but Aerodactyl’s strength was far and away too much. The swords protected him momentarily, but Aerodactyl managed to push his way through them in his all-out rampage, sending Gligar spiraling to the ground. He narrowly missed the patch of Stealth Rock, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway; Aerodactyl’s tremendous Fly attack had OHKO’d him just like it had Unfezant. The battle was nearly won.

    “Gligar is unable to battle. The score is 0-2 to the challenger.” the judge said, continuing to eye Aerodactyl cautiously. Skyla quickly recalled her Pokémon and drew Swoobat’s ball to finish the fight, but simply sending her Pokémon into battle proved to be dangerous. The field of Stealth Rock started to wiggle as Swoobat was sent out; some of the larger rocks broke free of the ground and flew out to impale Skyla’s Pokémon. As soon as the round had started, Swoobat had already lost a quarter of its health to the incoming Rock-type attack; Aerodactyl would have an easy time cleaning up.

    “Ack! No, Swoobat! Use-” Skyla started to say in fear, but Cheren cut her off.

    Rock Slide, Aerodactyl!” he shouted, issuing his final command for the match. Aerodactyl summoned more rocks like the ones he had used in creating the Stealth Rock, wildly throwing them with incredible strength towards Swoobat. Skyla’s Pokémon narrowly managed to dodge the first few, but one false step was all Cheren needed. One of the boulders struck Swoobat dead on, preventing it from dodging the rest. Aerodactyl made short work of Skyla’s final Pokémon, winning the match for Cheren.

    “Swoobat is unable to battle. The score is 0-3 to the challenger; Cheren wins with a clean sweep!” he exclaimed in shock. Aerodactyl and Cheren both screamed at the news, Cheren out of excitement but Aerodactyl out of borderline insanity. Cheren recalled his Pokémon to its Pokéball momentarily to undo the effects of the Work Ups, re-releasing him so the pair could celebrate properly. He sent out Umbreon as well, for without Umbreon’s sacrifice in setting up the Work Ups, victory may not have been so secured. Skyla recalled her Pokémon and headed down onto the field.

    “Well Cheren, that was my third loss for the day, but the first time since I became a Gym Leader that someone has gotten a clean sweep against my whole team. That was an impressive strategy you came up with.” she said, eyeing Aerodactyl cautiously as she said the final words. David and Bianca mimicked her sentiment, but Cheren chuckled.

    “Haha, thanks.” he said. “It’s known as Baton Passing. Baton Pass has the same effect as just switching Pokémon normally, except it can be used to pass stat boosts, among other things, to the Pokémon you switch for. Umbreon as a species are almost tailor-made to be Baton Passers thanks to their gigantic Defense and Special Defense stats, their wide array of boosting moves, and of course most importantly, access to Baton Pass.” he explained. “I spent all day trying to actually teach Umbreon Baton Pass since I wasn’t able to teach it to him via natural means before he evolved.” he continued. David walked up and put a hand on his friend’s shoulder before speaking up to reply.

    “Skyla’s right, that was an impressive strategy, but damn, dude, don’t pass to Aerodactyl all the time, will’ya?” he asked. “Pass to Gus sometimes. I thought Aerodactyl was going to destroy the whole town he was so worked up.” he continued. Cheren stifled a laugh and shot David a very business-like look before responding.

    “Well David, I would assume that’s why the move is called ‘Work Up,’ now isn’t it?” he responded in jest. The four trainers laughed at Cheren’s joke, savoring their moment of victory. With only two badges left before they could enter the Pokémon League Championships, their victories over Skyla that day marked their sixth Unova region Gym victories.

    * * *

    The group of trainers left the Gym after a bit of recuperation as the afternoon began to give way to the evening. Before heading back to the Pokémon Center, Skyla still had to award the victorious trio their badges. Standing out on the runway under the heavy fog, she opened a case she had brought from inside and took out a small object from inside. She looked at David with a proud smile and began to speak.

    “Well gang, I guess this is where we part ways.” she started to say, pursing her lips sadly. “As the Mistralton City Gym Leader, I’m proud to award you all with the official Jet Badge; you’ve earned it.” she continued. She handed a shimmering, polished badge to David, then one to Bianca, and a third one to Cheren. The group of adventurers looked at each other with smiles on their faces and triumphantly raised their badges into the air in unison. Skyla laughed at their excitement, already missing her new friends before they had even left. In the excitement of the moment, no one noticed the trio of voyeurs who had silently approached; N began to clap slowly.

    “Well done, David; another Gym badge under your belt I see…” he said solemnly. His slow, polite clapping and calm tone startled the group, turning in surprise to see if what they heard would really match what they would see. Low and behold, their ears had not deceived them; N stood with his feet together in a polite stance, his eyes closed and his hands slowly moving back to his sides. Lennon and McCartney flanked him on either side, escorting their king through the potentially dangerous city. David snarled and took a step forward.

    “You’ve got a lot of nerve just showing up around here, N. Come for another ass-kicking?” he asked. N smiled smugly, but Lennon stepped forward to defend his king.

    “Watch your mouth, brat; we’re not here to fight, although I’d sure love to…” Lennon growled. David opened his eyes wide in surprise.

    “Watch my mouth? Who the hell do you think you’re kidding, you poser? I’ve beaten you and McCharmley every single battle we’ve ever had, and the only time I’ve ever lost to N was one day after becoming a trainer.” he replied. McCartney took an angry step forward to join his partner.

    “My name is ‘McCartney,’ twerp. Get it right.” he growled. N pushed his way between both of them with a small smile on his lips and began to speak up disarmingly before David could respond.

    “Now now, Agents, that will be enough. Lennon is correct, David, we are not here to fight. Can’t one friend simply drop in on another friend from time to time with important news?” N asked, but David scoffed.

    We aren’t friends, N! Get it through your thick head!” he exclaimed. “I don’t like you. You tried to poison me in Nimbasa City! You’re trying to destroy the Unova region with Zekrom and expect me to battle you with Reshiram. Does that sound like a friend to you?!” he asked, but N frowned.

    “I wouldn’t know, David; I’ve never had a human friend before…” he murmured. David relaxed his shoulders, put his palm to his forehead and shot N a tired glare.

    “Just tell me what it is you want, N…” he muttered through a strained voice. “I don’t have the energy for your sob story today.” he continued. N bowed his head and took a step forward. Lennon and McCartney tried to follow him, but he waved them aside. N walked unassumingly towards David and stood just a few feet before him before continuing to speak.

    “I have come with important news, David, and I thought you might like to hear it. I know that you think I am insane… naďve… untrustworthy… but acknowledgement of this surely makes me less naďve than you assume, no? I know you think I am crazy and not truly a threat; that I couldn’t possibly ever actually reawaken Zekrom, so you think you can just ignore me.” N started to say. “I only tell you this news because I do truly consider you a friend, not an enemy. If I considered you an enemy, there would be no reason for me to reveal such precious tactical information to you. I say what I am about to say because as a friend, I want you to be as prepared for our final battle with Zekrom and Reshiram as you can be; I want to earn my reward of freeing all the world’s Pokémon, not snatch it from the grasp of an uninformed drone of an opponent. I tell you this out of love, and I ask you sincerely to believe it: I have discovered a tangible way to reawaken Zekrom, and I plan on doing so very soon.” he continued. A chilling breeze blew through the foggy airfield as N finished his statement; no one made a sound.

    “You… you’ve found a- ” David started to say after a long silence, but N cut him off.

    “No, don’t speak; I know you don’t believe me, I can tell by your tone of voice.” he said. “But remember the last thing I told you that you thought wasn’t true? That I am the King of Team Plasma? That ended up being true, didn’t it? Why should this be any different? Acknowledgement of the fact that you think I’m crazy should be proof in-and-of-itself that I’m not. I don’t expect any kind of reaction from you now, but please just hear and understand this information; Zekrom will rise again soon, and I shall be there when he returns to be his friend.” N said, almost drifting off into a daydream during the final sentence. “Only one final effort is all that remains, and then we shall reawaken him in preparation for our final battle together. Steel yourself, David, for my ideals are nearly ready to come to fruition” he continued. Before David could respond, N smiled and bowed his head before stepping back towards his guards. The trio of Plasma operatives left silently, leaving the group of trainers standing in the chilly airfield all alone. Bianca swallowed nervously and grasped at David’s arm, but if he felt her timid touch at all, he didn’t show it. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, N was making a good deal of sense; maybe he really had found a way to resurrect Zekrom…

    As N and his guards strode out of sight, many troubling thoughts swarmed in David’s mind: Was N telling the truth? If so, what would the Legendary Dragon Zekrom under N’s control mean for the Unova region? If he wasn’t, why would N have gone to all the trouble of trying to make him think something he wouldn’t have believed in the first place? What if N really did expect him to battle with Reshiram for the fate of the region and Pokémon trainers worldwide? If he did, how was he supposed to reawaken Reshiram himself? And if he did have to fight, how would that effect his promise to Bianca that he wouldn’t get hurt by all this? What if he died trying to fulfill his other promise he had made in Castelia City to stop Team Plasma at every turn? Were those two promises contradictory? David wanted desperately to turn back time just a couple of minutes, back to when the only thoughts on his mind were how to celebrate his recent victory against Skyla, how he should reward his Pokémon for their hard won battles, and what part of Bianca’s beautiful anatomy he should childishly fantasize about next. Unfalteringly, Paula heard his thoughts from within her Pokéball and spoke up to suggest an answer.

    “These are all valid concerns, master, but obsessing over them is an exercise in futility.” she mused softly. “If Mr. N really has discovered a way to reawaken Zekrom, then we will cross that bridge when we come to it. Munchlax and Joltik, Mr. Cheren and Ms. Bianca, and especially me, master; we will all be there behind you, making sure that you keep both of your promises. Until that happens though, and that assumes it ever even does, worrying yourself sick about it does no good and solves no problem. Only time will truly tell for this problem; in the meantime, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be free to worry about the things that you want to worry about. In answer to the questions you admittedly did not ask me, I would suggest ‘Dinner with your friends and loving Pokémon at the Pokémon Center,’ ‘With a giant bowl of food for Munchlax, with some fabric softener for Joltik, and with the honor of a dance with her master for your intelligent, beautiful and extremely modest Gardevoir,’ and ‘The left ventricle,’ although I am admittedly perhaps not the most adept person to ask for advice about that last one.” she continued. David smiled at her joke and at her reassuring words; he stepped silently away from his friends and walked a few paces out into the airfield. He released his Gardevoir from her Pokéball; she wore a calm smile on her face and stretched her arms out to her sides as the foggy wind blew her dress. David tried decidedly to keep his mind blank so that she couldn’t sense what he was about to do, but he obviously wasn’t very good at hiding it, as she embraced him before he could do the same to her. The two stood peacefully in unassuming silence for what seemed like an eternity.

    “Thank you, Paula…” he whispered. For all his fears and all his concerns, as usual, Paula was always right: Only time would tell…

  20. #145
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    This is a very good chapter- even though all your chapters are more than good, though, I just can't find a decent word to sum it up. I'm not complaining about Gligar because I like the Gligar line as it is. Anyhow, my thoughts:

    “Ha-?! Wha-?!” the man stammered as he finally noticed Cheren. “Who the hell is that?! Who are you?! Are you with the city gov’ment, because I already told you bastards that I paid my taxes this year!” he rasped through the voice of a smoker. Cheren eased his stance defensively and shook his head “no” very quickly.

    “What? No no, sir, I’m not with the government. I’ve just come to-” he started to say, but the man cut him off.

    “Well then I don’t want to sign your Gat-dang petition to ban widgets, or whatever the hell it is you damn hippies are on about this year…” the man muttered. Cheren again denied the allegation however.

    “You’ve got it all wrong, I’m not here with a petition, sir, I just want-” he again tried to explain, but the man once again cut him off.

    “Political campaign?” he asked

    “No.” Cheren replied.

    “Cable guy?” he asked.

    “No.” Cheren replied.

    “Social worker?” he asked

    “No.” Cheren replied.

    “… girl scout cookies?” the man asked after a pause, having run out of options.

    “What?!” Cheren shouted angrily. “I’m not even a girl!” he continued. The man waved his hand dismissively and leaned back in the swing.

    Thank you, now every time I go to that move tutor, I will think of him the way you interpret him.

    “Whatever, screw you guys. I bet Paula thought it was funny…” David pouted. Paula heard his comment though and decided to voice her opinion.

    “Err, actually no, master, I am sorry, but they are right; that was fairly horrid.” she quipped from inside her Pokéball. “Let us leave the clever one-liners to me, shall we? Do I need to remind you about the Nacrene City Gym? ‘Only on Tuesdays,’ and all that?” she continued with a sly chuckle. David frowned.
    Paula's so awesome that she lampshades older moments on a regular basis. She really is the best.

    “I have come with important news, David, and I thought you might like to hear it. I know that you think I am insane… naďve… untrustworthy… but acknowledgement of this surely makes me less naďve than you assume, no? I know you think I am crazy and not truly a threat; that I couldn’t possibly ever actually reawaken Zekrom, so you think you can just ignore me.” N started to say. “I only tell you this news because I do truly consider you a friend, not an enemy. If I considered you an enemy, there would be no reason for me to reveal such precious tactical information to you. I say what I am about to say because as a friend, I want you to be as prepared for our final battle with Zekrom and Reshiram as you can be; I want to earn my reward of freeing all the world’s Pokémon, not snatch it from the grasp of an uninformed drone of an opponent. I tell you this out of love, and I ask you sincerely to believe it: I have discovered a tangible way to reawaken Zekrom, and I plan on doing so very soon.” he continued. A chilling breeze blew through the foggy airfield as N finished his statement; no one made a sound.
    N, you're creeping me out more than usual. I feel like I want to punch him in the face due to his constant mood swings! It seems since he revealed he was with Plasma, everytime he's in here I just read "Bla bla bla bla bla bla love, bla bla bla bla hate bla bla bla legendary bla bla bla bla obscure music reference bla bla italicized words for emphasis bla bla bla bla pause for dramatic effect" ... But that's his character, so don't stop doing so! The more I want to punch him in the face the better a villain he is!

    Well, since Skyla's been given a makeover to ChaosBlizzard level, which wasn't that far because Skyla's Skyla as she is, I'm really hoping to see how you can ChaosBlizzardify Brycen to be a complete awesome, personality-filled character of drama.
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  21. #146
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    Hol. Ly. Crap. the concept of an Aerodactyl on Work Ups is about as bad as one on Speed. Although from my seat as an almost elite-trainer, I'd hesitate on calling it a true sweep. Skyla was right though, a Worked-Up Aerodactyl is pretty much a match-breaker. Although I know how I'd beat him if I ever met Cheren in a battle.

    Anyway, review time.

    YAY! A NEW EVOLUTION MECHANIC! No, I don't plan on letting that die. Why do you ask?

    You know… I’m a Flying-type trainer in a town right next to a cave known for its peculiar electromagnetic properties. I can’t count the number of cocky trainers that have come through here with Electric-types, either from Chargestone Cave or elsewhere in the region, and thought they could sweep me just because they had a type advantage against me on both of my hands.
    You know, I didn't pay attention to that iony, I just caufght a Joltik and raised a Zebstrika and wiped the floor with her.

    It skidded along the floor as the searing electricity continued to zap through its frail body. By the time it had slowed to a halt, it was already too late; Joltik had taken down his foe with just a single hit.
    Only because you mentioed Defense on Umbreon, but I've yet to face a Swoobat that couldn't take a beating in the Game-provided trainers. Dunno why, ifi it's just dumb luck or they have insanely high stats, and it has nothing to do with the poiunt you made later in the story, just commenting.

    I;m at an impasse, on the one hand, It's gtreat seeing how different pokemon cope with the same battles, on the other, seeing Skyla use the same three Pokemon over and over while reading three full battles begins to close on something just outside of monotonous.Don't get me wrong, but they either need some breaking up, or the Gyms need a wider variety, or something.

    “Oh… I’m sorry, Paula…” he said sadly. “I’m just proud of you is all… I guess I’ve just gotten used to thinking of you as a Kirlia; as my little buddy…” he continued, trailing off and looking away. He slacked his arms around her sides and shuffled back, a little hurt, but Paula smiled as she realized the unintended affect her words were having on him. She embraced him again suddenly, fitting her horn neatly between his left arm and his side.
    This is something I've enjoyed im a lot of Pokemon fics I've read, the maturation compared to Humanity, and that Paula has done physically in what, 3 months? what Humanity does in 70 years. On the one hand, that kind of speed may be concerning, but you've done a nice job of maturing her personality through each evolution. be that as it may though, Paula's gone from beig Munchy's sister to an aunt, which can create certtain discrepencies. It may be that Psychic types devolp physically very quickly, but have long lives to work on their minds more, and really learn the world, and th other Pokemon don't notice the physical changes like do, but to a human (or just me) it all seems sudden.

    (And no, in this case, it's not the evolutions themselves I'm referring to as sudden)

    And the "Mind the Horn" comment was a good add-in, that's always been an oddly placed horn, smack in the middle of one's chest. I'd thought when I fuirst saw Gardevioir that it was in fact a bow, wrapped around the dress and off to the side, just as Kirlia's are not unlike a hair piece, but that wasn't to be the case.


    This is just an observence to show I was paying some attention, and nothing more, but I thought the Move Tuto for Unova was a girl, and in Iccirus city, in the same house as the deleter? (possibly a relative)
        Spoiler:- Breeding stuff:

  22. #147
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    Woah, I put the whole chapter as a text file on my Mac, so that I can listen to it while working out. It came out to 1 hour and 41 minutes using Spoken Word. hahah..

    Anyways, I guess I'm reserving this spot so that I can get a review in. A) To force myself to come back and review, B) So that I'm not too far down the page.

    Hahah, sorry!

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  23. #148
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    I swear, I keep getting weird looks reading this story. I love the part with the move tutor asking Cheren a billion questions. My one beef is that Skyla didn't rage at Baton Pass. Anyone would rage at that move.

  24. #149
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    Well, I would edit, but hey. It's a free post. ^__^

    Anyways, I will go back to my traditional way of reviewing, just because I'm kind of lazy and I don't want to start editing the new podcast episode. @__@ And I kind of miss doing this, as I'm sure you miss me writing actual reviews. haha.

    1. I really love the dialogue in this chapter. The beginning with the banter between David, Bianca, and Skyla, the whole thing with Cheren and the move tutor, and the dialogue between David, Lennon/McCartney and N. They were written so nicely, and it all flowed very, very well. It doesn't help that the first two were quite humorous. ^__^
    2. In direct contrast, the Cheren joke kind of made me... wonder. I didn't get the joke, but that's about it. I don't think there's anything actually wrong with it.
    3. ALL of the battle scenes were so cool. Your battles (from the beginning of the story) were just ok, workable, but you've improved writing battles so well that your story has one of the best battle scenes I've ever read.

    And I read a lot of journey fics, and they usually include battles, so that's a compliment. Ego boost? haha.

    Joltik's personality actually came through, as well as Umbreon's determination. If you remember, I used to say that I didn't feel anything from your Pokemon other than Paula. And then I changed that to I'm not sure if it's you or me, but I started to feel something. Well, I revise that. Each Pokemon has a distinct personality. I will say that your weak link is Pachirisu and the now Crobat. Their personalities aren't as distinct as the others, so you might want to work on that. And you need to put Gus out.
    4. In connection to 3, I want to flesh out the battles a little bit. You might have noticed (because I see you on the RMTs quite a bit, and I pop up now and again. And thanks for your insights, they're usually very helpful), but I've been getting more and more into the competitive battling scene. And I really like how you incorporated that into your writing. Most fics just send Pokemon out, make them attack, dodge here, dodge there, be too slow here, and some little characteristic that belongs to the Pokemon, and viola, battle. You, on the other hand, try to work off of the Pokemon's actual stats and incorporate that. I have to applaud you there. Very good insight on your part.
    5. Your portrayal of N, although sometimes a bit iffy, was very nice in this chapter. A very fresh take to N.
    6. Same with Cheren. I really, really like your Cheren; he's got his canon intelligence and mind for battling, but your addition of his quirky, childish side. And it seems to fit him very well, despite his canon self being very serious. You're doing very well with Cheren.
    7. Your inclusion of the Move Tutor and TMs and having to go search for the Heart Scale was very cool. I just have to say that.
    8. Yes, another Gym-induced-evolution. No, not bad. Somewhat cliched, it fit. Someone's got to evolve from a Gym Battle, and Golbat was a good choice. It seemed to fit, in my opinion. I have no qualms with the Gym Battle evo.
    9. I have to agree with Glover on the monotony of the three Pokemon thing. I feel a bit sad that you didn't include her signature Swanna in the battle. Gligar was a good addition, but I really feel odd that she didn't have her signature. It would have been cool to have her have 6 Pokemon, have one set battle David, the other Bianca, and then the mix the two to battle Cheren. But it's your story, it's fine the way you did it. Just, after seeing the same three Pokemon from Bianca's battle, Cheren's battle was only interesting when talking about his Pokemon. Whenever it went back to Skyla, it was kind of blah.
    10. This actually is one of my favorite chapters from the entire story. It's either ranked number 2 or 3, too lazy to really check. It's like, 1 am my time, haha.
    11. When put on my iTouch and set to 'speak,' the chapter comes out at 1 hour and 49 minutes. haha

    Very good chapter this time around. It's hard to believe that you're actually still improving, but you are, and your chapters keep getting better and better. Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see the next chapter!

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  25. #150
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    Thanks for all the positive reviews, guys. I'm going to go start on the next chapter after this I think, but first I want to respond to a few things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilijix View Post
    Paula's so awesome that she lampshades older moments on a regular basis. She really is the best.
    Thanks, and I agree, but "lampshades?" I don't think I know that phrase.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hilijix View Post
    Well, since Skyla's been given a makeover to ChaosBlizzard level, which wasn't that far because Skyla's Skyla as she is, I'm really hoping to see how you can ChaosBlizzardify Brycen to be a complete awesome, personality-filled character of drama.
    *sigh*

    Brycen was probably the biggest wasted opportunity in the entire game. There are so many little nuggets of a super cool backstory for him littering the game, but they're never explored and you have to work to find them. Brycen is going to be a badass, rest assured; I have big plans for him. It'll probably be around Christmas by the time we actually get to Tubeline Bridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    Only because you mentioed Defense on Umbreon, but I've yet to face a Swoobat that couldn't take a beating in the Game-provided trainers. Dunno why, ifi it's just dumb luck or they have insanely high stats, and it has nothing to do with the poiunt you made later in the story, just commenting.
    Swoobat's defensive stats are 67-55-55. That means it takes hits probably around as well as a Sharpedo would. You know, Sharpedo? The definition of a glass cannon? Lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    I;m at an impasse, on the one hand, It's gtreat seeing how different pokemon cope with the same battles, on the other, seeing Skyla use the same three Pokemon over and over while reading three full battles begins to close on something just outside of monotonous.Don't get me wrong, but they either need some breaking up, or the Gyms need a wider variety, or something.
    (This is also in response to when Nachoe said this; I just don't feel like quoting you both)

    I agree %100, which is exactly why we never see more than David's Gym battle typically. At Nacrene, Castelia, Nimbasa and Driftveil we have not directly seen Bianca or Cheren's own Gym battles for exactly this reason. I did it with all three of them at Striaton because they were just starting out, and I did it here because I wanted Bianca's Golbat to evolve against Skyla and to give Cheren a chance to try out Baton Pass on Umbreon. The other Gyms have only been David for just this reason. I don't intend on showing more than just David's battle at Iccirus or Opelucid, though I reserve the right to waffle on that; no plans though.

    tl;dr thank you for taking notice of something I noticed all the way back in Striaton.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    This is something I've enjoyed im a lot of Pokemon fics I've read, the maturation compared to Humanity, and that Paula has done physically in what, 3 months? what Humanity does in 70 years. On the one hand, that kind of speed may be concerning, but you've done a nice job of maturing her personality through each evolution. be that as it may though, Paula's gone from beig Munchy's sister to an aunt, which can create certtain discrepencies. It may be that Psychic types devolp physically very quickly, but have long lives to work on their minds more, and really learn the world, and th other Pokemon don't notice the physical changes like do, but to a human (or just me) it all seems sudden.
    I think of Paula right now as being around 18-24 in terms of maturity compared to a human. That would be up from around 13-16 as a Kirlia. Munchlax on the other hand has pretty much one defining statement: "I'm 12 and what is this?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Glover View Post
    This is just an observence to show I was paying some attention, and nothing more, but I thought the Move Tuto for Unova was a girl, and in Iccirus city, in the same house as the deleter? (possibly a relative)
    The move tutor is a girl, and does live with the move deleter, but they are in Mistralton; it's the house right next to the Pokemon Center. I admittedly kind of combined the two; the tutoring abilities of the girl with the outward personality and appearance of the man.

    Quote Originally Posted by NACHOE! View Post
    Anyways, I will go back to my traditional way of reviewing, just because I'm kind of lazy and I don't want to start editing the new podcast episode. @__@ And I kind of miss doing this, as I'm sure you miss me writing actual reviews. haha.
    While I do appreciate the big review compared to some of your prior ones, you have a special reason to get that episode out this time, mister! XD

    Quote Originally Posted by NACHOE! View Post
    2. In direct contrast, the Cheren joke kind of made me... wonder. I didn't get the joke, but that's about it. I don't think there's anything actually wrong with it.
    I'm not sure what "the Cheren joke" refers to.

    Quote Originally Posted by NACHOE! View Post
    3. ALL of the battle scenes were so cool. Your battles (from the beginning of the story) were just ok, workable, but you've improved writing battles so well that your story has one of the best battle scenes I've ever read.

    And I read a lot of journey fics, and they usually include battles, so that's a compliment. Ego boost? haha.
    Well, that was the original hook of the series, so I'm glad you think those are getting better. I've got most of the Pokemon League itself planned out in my head (as well as most other things), but I'm still curious how I'm going to approach Zekrom and Reshiram battling.

    "The Legendary Dragons flew through the air like... Dragons and um... then Reshiram used Blue Flare but Zekrom dodged and... uh..."

    You know? How do I depict them as being evenly matched? Hence the "only time will tell" comment at the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by NACHOE! View Post
    Joltik's personality actually came through, as well as Umbreon's determination.
    I'm just being fixated, but I was really proud of my joke about the fabric softener. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by NACHOE! View Post
    4. In connection to 3, I want to flesh out the battles a little bit. You might have noticed (because I see you on the RMTs quite a bit, and I pop up now and again. And thanks for your insights, they're usually very helpful), but I've been getting more and more into the competitive battling scene. And I really like how you incorporated that into your writing. Most fics just send Pokemon out, make them attack, dodge here, dodge there, be too slow here, and some little characteristic that belongs to the Pokemon, and viola, battle. You, on the other hand, try to work off of the Pokemon's actual stats and incorporate that. I have to applaud you there. Very good insight on your part.
    Thanks. You're going to really like the first ~7 chapters of Part 2 in that case.

    Quote Originally Posted by NACHOE! View Post
    11. When put on my iTouch and set to 'speak,' the chapter comes out at 1 hour and 49 minutes. haha
    That seems a little slow, but that actually opens up a chance for me to point something interesting out.

    When I write these chapters, it mostly comes as a stream-of-consciousness type thing. I know exactly what I want to say, what I want to have happen, and what the chapter should cover, and I know this for actually most of the remaining chapters in Part 1, along with quite a few in Part 2, but I don't do a whole lot of pre-writing planning. I'll set up a few scattered notes for myself to fill in later with the actual contents of the chapter, but it mostly comes as a stream-of-consciousness type deal. I'll typically skim over a section (those things between the "* * *"s) immediately after writing it and remove any glaring problems ("Actually, I think the food is actually pretty awful actually."), but I mostly just write the chapter without editing it as I go.

    Once the whole thing is written, I've typically skimmed it once all-told, so at that point, I've given it one read-through and of course taken up all the time required to actually write it. I then do three proofs: One where I read normally to make sure the quality and cohesiveness of the ideas is sound and that there are no gaps in the story or logic, a second where I read meticulously and carefully, ignoring the actual contents of what I'm reading in lieu of trying to find grammatical errors, and then a final time on the site. I put italics and hyperlinks and what-not into my master Word document itself rather than adding them in later; as such, I have no idea what the chapter will actually look like with italics or whatever, and of course I have those "[i ]" things scattered through the text, which makes it a little harder to read. I read the chapter one final time on the actual website to make sure I didn't mess any of those up and to make sure it all looks correct. If any of you have seen me as I'm posting a chapter, you'll notice I sit on the thread for a long time, and then post it all at once; I'm doing that final proof before posting it to make sure I didn't forget to close any tags or what-have-you.

    So all told, if you count that skimming as I'm writing it as one read-through, I proof my chapters a total of four times; once for sanity, once for content, once for grammar and once for formatting. tl;dr version, I spend a damn long time reading these things before you all do.

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