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Thread: Within My Own Nightmares

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutie Pie View Post
    Of course there had to be a “your mom” joke |D.
    'Fraid I couldn't resist. Sorry. Gotta make them convincing teenagers, right? Hahah.

    Fufufu, nice. But that's a very silly image. Reminds me of Jurassic Park: Lost World, though... o.o;
    Kinda based it on this image I saw online where a guy's staring at a tiny, shaking blade of grass and when he gets closer a humongous Tyranitar pops out xD (like how it does in Pokemon Black/White). Once you mentioned Jurassic Park, though, that totally made that image more intense in my mind.

    I take it the White Queen you're referring to in the title is the woman from the beginning and ending of the chapter? I feel like we should know her, but I don't want to make guesses just yet ;P. Though I wonder why she would have Darkrai with her... and threatening death... why would he be frightened of her? He gives nightmares, surely he could just put her into some deep sleep. *shrugs* I trust you have something special in mind, just like you mentioned earlier.
    You guess correctly. Though she has a regular name that will be introduced later, for now that's all that really needed to be shown for her cameo. Though she was a fan favorite for... Literally everyone who read the fic before I revamped it, I slightly changed her character to be more insane. I'm somewhat curious how people will take that. Hahah. Rest assured, all will be explained in time. :3

    Entertaining chapter, I like it. Strange Lava and Jungle would turn on each other like that, though. Hmm... *puts on detective hat* The game's apaw--I meant game's afoot! ...yeah, I meant game's apaw. *Great Mouse Detective title music plays*

    I should lay off cartoons for a while.
    Thanks for the review, Kutie Pie! You're the best. Reviews seem rather limited at the time, so it's nice to at least have one person reading what I write. ^^;; Makes it worth continuing on. Hahah.
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  2. #27
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    Alright, guys, here comes Chapter Five. Before I start, though, I just wanted to mention that I also posted a one-shot of mine featuring Nurse Joy called "Prey." I wouldn't normally mention it here, but for any of you that read it along with this chapter, you might just see the fun Easter egg that's planted within both of these. I plan on doing several things like this, so any feedback on that method would be appreciated as well.

    Chapter Five: The Third Rival

    "So this is it, eh?" I asked as we stepped past the large wooden sign decorated with the words 'Welcome to Cherrygrove!'

    "This is it!" Ashley beamed. I looked at the town ahead of us as we marched down the road: It was average-sized, filled with small wooden houses that were crawling with citizens both young and old. The town wasn't huge, but it was rather nice. As we passed into the town boundaries, the scent of lilac, roses and rain wafted through the air. "Don't you just love the smell?" she gushed as we stepped past the first house.

    "Uhh... No," Duncan replied, looking around uninterestedly. "Why're there always so many flowers around here?"

    "It is the city of fragrant flowers," I said with a grin. "Think that might explain it?"

    "Hush, you two, we need to find a Pokemon Center!" Ashley interjected. "In case you haven't forgotten, our Pokemon are still sort of a mess." I sighed, not yet forgetting the embarrassing defeat our Pokemon dished out on each other while fighting those Sentret.

    "Yeah, yeah, I'm sure there's one around here somewhere."

    "Somewhere? It's just around the corner, you guys. Haven't you two ever been to it?" Ashley and I both stared at Duncan. He knew where it was? Noticing our stare, he looked off to the side. "What? My dad took me there a few times when we were walking back from Violet City over the summer. It's no big deal." Shrugging our shoulders, we quickly followed his lead.

    Sure enough, just around the corner was a large, sleek building with a fancy red roof. The red pokeball design located above the door told us all we needed to know. This was definitely a Pokemon Center. "They're so much bigger in real life..." Ashley said, shocked, as we made our way towards its automatic glass doors. "I s'pose it's silly I've never actually seen one 'cept in books, huh?"

    "Sort of, yeah," Duncan said absent-mindedly as we walked into the building.

    If I had been impressed by the outside, the inside completely blew me away. Trainer after trainer made their way across the polished tile floor to all different areas of the center, most navigating to sitting areas surrounding large flat-screen TVs in each corner of the center that blared Pokemon news over the chatter of the people. Computers lined each wall with access to Pokemon storage systems, some trainer sitting in front of them and engaged in video calls with people from all over the world. Directly at the back of the center was a large station with a beautiful, red-headed nurse behind a counter taking people's Pokemon. Several trainers, both young and old, had formed a line to see her. Ashley and I stood there, shocked, as we gazed at every inch of the building and took the sights in. It was so... Impressive.

    Thud!

    A young boy slammed into me, making me lurch forward as he rushed past me towards a computer by the wall. "Watch where you're going, moron! Don't just stand there!" he yelled out, taking a seat in front of a PC and logging onto the network.

    "He's right," Duncan said as he made his way to the line in front of the nurses. "Don't just stand in front of the doors, this place gets a lot of traffic. Get in line." Ashley and I both looked at each other and nodded, following Duncan's example and taking a place in the row of people. The nurse worked diligently, taking Pokemon after Pokemon and healing them quickly on her machine as the line began to shorten.

    "So, Duncan, have you been to a lot of Pokemon Centers?" Ashley asked curiously. She twirled her hair around her finger, gazing over at a handsome young man no older than twenty sitting down by the TVs.

    "Nah, just a few. Seeing as how I'd wanted Pokemon, I thought it was necessary to go to a few before I got my license." He smirked, giving both of us a teasing look. "Guess I was the only one that thought that way, though, wasn't I?"

    I stuck my tongue out at him as the nurse's voice drew his attention. "Hello!" she said cheerily. "Is there anything I can help you with, young man?"

    Duncan turned around to face her, setting his two pokeballs on the counter. "Yeah, could you heal these two Pokemon for me, please?"

    "Not a problem," she replied with a grin. She took his pokeballs and placed them on a machine, a whirring noise rising up from its depths. Moments later a small flash surrounded his pokeballs and she took them off, handing them back to him. "Here you go. Thanks for stopping by, and we hope to see you again!"

    Duncan smiled, stepping off to the side and allowing me to make my way up to the counter. "Er... Hi," I said meekly. I took my two pokeballs off of my belt and placed them on the counter. "I need the same thing he does... I think." The nurse grinned at me, taking them both in her hands and placing them on the machine.

    "You seem sort of nervous," she said kindly. "Don't be. Is this your first time in a Pokemon Center?" I nodded my head, embarrassed, as the woman smiled. "I figured as much. There are so many new trainers that come on the first of each month. My sister, Melinda, is training to be a nurse like me at the moment. Even though she's about your age, we tend to have to recruit her the first day of every month to help handle all the requests. There's just so much traffic from all the new trainers!" She paused, realizing she had gotten off-topic.

    "Well, it's not hard to use a Pokemon Center. They're everywhere! Just come on in and we'll heal your Pokemon to full health. This is great for minor injuries, but if your Pokemon's damage gets too high you might just need to stay the night for extensive treatment." She gave me a warm smile, continuing her speech. "You can also sit back and watch the news, make phone calls, or sign up for a bedroom for the night. Lodging's free," she added with a wink. A flash of light signified my Pokemon's healing being done. She took them off and handed them back to me, a gentle smile on her face. "My name's Nurse Joy, by the way. It was a pleasure to meet you."

    I grinned. "I'm Zach. Thanks for your help, Miss Joy." Duncan snickered as I walked over to him, placing the pokeballs on my belt as Ashley took her turn.

    "You're way too amateur for your own good," he teased. "Didn't your mother teach you anything? But we should really run off and get lunch. I know this great bistro by the ocean. It serves the best burgers I've ever had." Noticing my unsure look, he quickly added, "It's cheap, too!"

    That's all I needed to be sold. Ashley walked over to us, clipping her Chikorita's pokeball onto her belt.

    "Ready to head off to the ocean?" I asked, walking over to the door as Duncan followed. "Duncan says there's a good bistro over there."

    "Sure thing," Ashley replied, following suit. "Let me guess, it's that Snorlax bistro chain, right?"

    "Right."

    Not sure of what exactly that was, I walked out the doors and into the rainy air as Ashley and Duncan followed shortly behind me, my nose tickled by the strong fragrance permeating the town. "I've gotta say, the smell starts to wear on you after a while, doesn't it?" I asked, turning to face Duncan and Ashley as I slowly walked backwards to help them catch up. "It's sort of nice, you know? Now... Where exactly do we go for that Snorlax bistro?"

    Bump. I felt myself run into someone, making me jump forwards and quickly turn to apologize. Before I could say anything, though, my mouth dropped open.

    Zane and Svetlana stood there, the girl eyeing us scornfully as Zane straightened his hoodie out from where I'd nudged against him. "Fancy meeting you here," he said uninterestedly as he walked past us towards the center. Svetlana quickly followed him, flashing a disapproving look our way before disappearing into the bustling, trainer-infested building.

    "'Course we run into them before we go to lunch," Duncan sighed. "Why not? First we take on a champion, then we get swarmed by rabid Sentret, then we bump into them. Is it really possible for this day to get even better?" He began to walk down the road, Ashley and I jogging over to catch up to him.

    "Did you see Svetlana? She looked like she was staring at... at... fashion victims!" Ashley crossed her arms in front of her chest, frowning. "Now I really need lunch. Nothing's better to take your mind off things than food." I couldn't agree more, personally.

    ///////////////////

    After taking a sharp right and walking for what felt like ages on the damp city streets, we could finally begin to hear the sound of the ocean and the crashing of the waves. Up ahead the street stopped abruptly and veered to the left and right, leaving a large cement patio overlooking the ocean directly in front of us. Covering it were chairs and tables with umbrellas set up on each of them, keeping the furniture relatively dry. Rising up on one side of the patio was a small shack, the word's 'Snorlax Bistro' painted above a large window in green with the picture of a large, fat animal drawn at both the beginning and end of the words. As we made our way towards the shack, I gazed at the large menu on a sign nearby.

    Oddish salad, Magikarp-'n'-Chips, Tauros burger, Grumpig-and-eggs... Everything looked so good. "What are you guys getting?" I asked, studying the menu further.

    "Grumpig-and-eggs for me," Duncan said with a grin, his mouth obviously watering at the thought of it.

    "I'll probably have some Pidgey strips with tartar," Ashley said more to herself than anyone else, rubbing her chin thoughtfully. "It's just about all I ever get when I go out, really."

    We all made our way to the window, a bright, energetic young woman with dark blonde hair ready to take our orders. "Welcome to the Snorlax Bistro! How may I help you today?" We all gave her our orders, Duncan and I taking out our wallets and Ashley taking out her purse as we paid for our meals separately. Within minutes each of our orders were finished, my Bacon Tauros Burger smelling especially delicious as we picked up our lunches and drinks before turning to find a dry seat in the rain. The patio was almost completely empty except for one table further down, where two girls about our age were huddled underneath an umbrella. Duncan froze, obviously taking notice of them as well.

    "Guys, maybe we should go somewhere else to eat," he said softly, holding his lunch tray in front of him. "It's... Too cold out here."

    "Oh relax, you baby!" Ashley teased, sitting down at a nearby table as I did the same. We began to tear into our lunches, Duncan cautiously taking a seat as well with his back to the group of girls. He looked over at them yet again before turning to his lunch, taking a bite of eggs.

    What exactly's going on? I stole a glance at the two girls, wondering if we'd known them from trainer school and I'd merely forgotten. They were both talking and laughing over their food, obviously enjoying each other's company as one of them - a tall, thin girl with shoulder-length dark brown hair - took a pokeball off her table and clipped it to her belt. The other, a tall blonde with glasses, dug into her Oddish salad as she gave a high-pitched, awkward laugh. Well, they're nobody I knew. That's for sure.

    "Duncan... Do you know those girls?" I asked, already taking the last bite of my burger before taking a sip of my cola and moving on to my fries. Ashley looked up from her Pidgey strips, taking notice of the girls for the first time.

    "Aww, Duncan, do you like them? That's so cute!" she cooed, a giddy look on her face. "I can go talk to them for you, if you want. Maybe drop a hint that you're interested?"

    "No, I don't want you to talk to them!" His voice raised slightly, a flustered look on his face. "But... Yeah, I do know them." He sighed. "It's a long story..."

    The girls stopped laughing, obviously having heard his voice. "Duncan?!" the brunette asked, finishing her meal and standing up to walk over to us.

    "Dear god, now you guys've done it," he muttered. He turned to face the girl, faking a smile as best he could. "Alysia! What a surprise!"

    "Do you know him...?" the blonde girl asked, staring over at our table curiously. "I don't think I've ever seen him before."

    "I believe I do, Lauren! He went to school with us in Olivine for approximately two years! Don't you remember Duncan Tansy? If I recall correctly, our classmates gave him the moniker 'Tansy the Pansy'."

    Lauren gasped, standing up and walking over to our table with Alysia. "Oh yeah! This is Duncan? Wow, time really does fly!"

    "I was never a pansy," Duncan muttered under his breath.

    "Duncan!" Alysia said with a grin. "We haven't seen you since year two - I assume Violet City provided a far more satisfactory education for you than Olivine? I hear that they're far simpler, course-wise."

    "Oh, yeah... Hey Alysia. It was just great."

    I arched an eyebrow, thinking for a second. "Wait, did you just insult our school?"

    Alysia blinked. "Seven seconds after I stated a fact and you're still questioning my intent? I assume the trainer school was a fool to let this one go."

    Ashley seemed to have had enough of being left in the dark. "So you guys know each other? That was like... four years ago. Are you sure this is the right Duncan?"

    "Of course I know it's the right Duncan!" Alysia scoffed. "I lived next to him for twelve years, right up until he... moved. Lauren here might not have realized it was him, but I'd recognize his angst-ridden voice anywhere. Which reminds me - your farm's doing well, Tansy."

    Duncan's face went bright red at that comment, his fist involuntarily clenching. "Look, you guys, I think I forgot something back at the Pokemon Center. Maybe we should go-"

    "Don't be silly!" Lauren said with a grin. "We haven't talked to you in ages!" She stopped, seeming to finally have noticed Ashley and I for the first time. "Oh, hello there," she said, surprised. "Who are you two?"

    Ashley seemed slightly irritated at being asked her name, though Lauren seemed to be far more amicable than her friend. "I'm Ashley," she said dryly, pointing a finger over in my direction as she finished her Pidgey strips. "And this here is -"

    "Wait!" Alysia squinted at me, rubbing her chin before pulling out a notebook and beginning to scribble furiously. "Blue eyes, dirty blonde hair... Approximately six-foot-two, estimated hometown of New Bark due to associations with Tansy..." She swept her hair out of her eyes as she stared at me curiously. "You're more than likely Zach Oxford."

    It was my turn to blush. "You... Know me?"

    Ashley seemed insulted at the fact she knew me but not her. "You know him?!"

    Lauren gave a gasp as well before letting out a squeal of delight. "Alysia, you're right! It is him!" She gazed at me admiringly, a devilish grin spreading across her face. "I'd recognize that face anywhere after reading all those articles! We're the biggest fans," she explained. "We know all about you!"

    I felt as if my face could have been passed off for a tomato by now. "You... Wait, what?"

    Ashley snickered. "That's creepy," she whispered under her breath. I nudged her underneath the table, shutting her up. She wouldn't have thought that if they were her fans.

    "Er... Thank you, I guess...?"

    Alysia smiled. "So my calculations are correct? Excellent. Now tell me - is the weight of being the son of a champion that lost a war difficult to bear, or is the fact that she supposedly retired only to raise you once your father died the hardest part?"

    Though she seemed not to mean any harm by her questions judging by the genuine curiosity on her face, I could still feel anger shoot through my body as Lauren disrupted my thoughts. "You're just as cute as in the pictures... It must be so amazing to grow up with a champion for a mother!" she said breathlessly.

    Ashley busted out laughing. "You mean you think he's attractive?!" Ashley doubled-over, hitting the table with amusement as her laughs echoed through the air. She nudged me in the ribs, unable to keep a straight face. "Yeah, you're about as hot as an ice-cream cone. You'd better hold on to this one, Zach! A girl this blind is hard to find!"

    I went dark red with embarrassment, watching the display as I felt all my self-esteem disappear. Lauren didn't seem amused by her joke, either. "I absolutely love you!" she continued, pretending she hadn't heard it. "We have a few of your papers from when you were in school! We were so excited that Patricia Oxford's son was in our grade!"

    Patricia Oxford's son. I frowned, looking over at Duncan who was trying his best to slink back into his chair out of sight. So that's why they were my fan... It was all about my mother. Not me. "Yeah, thank you guys a ton. That's really nice of you."

    Figures that this wasn't actually about any of my accomplishments. It was just another attempt to get closer to my celebrity of a mother. I should've known.

    Ashley pulled out her pink pokegear, snickering violently as she began to click away at it. Lauren continued on. "Can, y'know, we have your autograph? Or some pictures with you? This is going in our memorabilia album of your mom's! D'you... Do you think you could let us meet her?"

    "Lauren, do get a hold of yourself," Alysia said impatiently. "I doubt he's interested in doing anything for you."

    I sighed. This was getting a bit ridiculous. I finished my meal, pushing my tray forward as my pokegear began buzzing violently on my belt. A message? "Excuse me for a second," I said absent-mindedly, deciding it would be best to just ignore them a bit. I plucked off my 'gear as Lauren and Alysia began arguing over the ethics of demanding autographs. We needed to find a way to get away from these people, and fast. I finally opened up the device, a text message from Ashley appearing on the screen.

    'These people are freaks. Keeping your school papers...? Did you CATCH that part?'

    I sighed, setting my pokegear down on the table and standing up. "I'm sorry, guys, but we really have to go. We need to get to Violet City before nightfall."

    "Go? Already?" Alysia tilted her head, obviously confused. "Granted, the sun sets around seven pm this time of year and nights are relatively cold, but my estimate is that it's probably no later than one-ten. Factoring in possible bathroom breaks and resting periods, you still have a two-hour timeframe before you'd have to leave."

    Ugh. This girl is smarter than she looks. I glanced over at Duncan, who was staring off at the ocean with a forlorn expression. I couldn't help but wonder what exactly their history was... Something told me neighbors wasn't the half of it.

    "Well, that and we need some tips," Lauren said excitedly. "We have your address in New Bark Town and we're going to try and visit your mom today. Maybe get her autograph and some pictures with her. What are her favorite flowers? We need to make sure we make a good impression!"

    Duncan stood up. "I'm sorry, but we really have to go. Maybe we can talk some other time." He took our three trays in his hands, walking over to the bistro and giving them back to the lady while thanking her for the meal.

    "Figures you'd want to leave so suddenly," Alysia said casually. "I more than likely bring back bad memories for you, don't I? It's honestly not my fault you had to move to that small, unnecessary town you now find yourself living in." My fists clenched as I tried my best to fight back a retort. New Bark is not a small, unnecessary town. The girl was starting to get on my last nerve. I tried to think of a different tactic.

    "We're already running late as it is. We'll just have to cut this short. It was nice meeting you, though!"

    A disappointed, almost horrified look spread across Lauren's face. "But you aren't done telling us about your mom!" she whined.

    A voice cut through the air that made me cringe. "Bragging about your mother, Zach?" Zane arched an eyebrow, walking over to us with Svetlana at his heels. "Figures. You can't go anywhere without bringing her up, can you?" He stopped in front of me, Ashley getting to her feet and scowling at Svetlana as the girl did the same. "It's sad, the way some people cling to their family's fame. Don't you think?"

    "What are you after, Zane?" I said with a frown. "We were just getting ready to leave. Can't you do the same?"

    Lauren backed off, looking at this turn of events curiously. "Wait... Zane? You mean, Zane Logarbo?!"

    Ashley sighed, looking at them as if she were at the end of her rope. "Is there anyone you don't know about, you sniveling fangirl?" She muttered something else under her breath that I was thankful no one else heard.

    Lauren looked hurt from Ashley's question. "Well, Narcissa's talked about him all the time in her interviews. She constantly raves about how great he is!"

    I was getting fed up. "Who the heck is Narcissa?!" Zane smirked, knowing he didn't need to answer the question as Lauren perked up.

    "Who's Narcissa...?!" She looked me up and down, as if inspecting to see if I was even real. "She's our idol, that's who!" She paused. "Right after your mom, that is. She's probably the best Pokemon coordinator in the world! She's won so many contests it's not even funny, and she's even beaten all the gyms in Johto! She's one of the most popular coordinators in the entire region!" I sighed. Of course she is.

    "So you're telling me you're related to some famous celebrity but you constantly ridicule me for my mom? I don't get what your hold up is whenever I mention her, but get over it."

    Duncan finally meandered back over to us, eyeing down Zane, Svetlana, and Alysia cautiously. "The difference is that I don't use it for attention," Zane replied coolly. "You should try it sometime."

    Svetlana snickered. "Zane could've started with a Larvitar from her, but he didn't. He has class and catches his own Pokemon." Her eyes wandered down to the second pokeball on my waist, containing the Pokemon I'd used in my fight against her. "Another thing you should start taking notes on."

    I'd had enough of that. "I caught that on my own, you idiot!"

    Zane smirked. "It doesn't matter anymore. I think it's time we finally had a fair battle. Now that we've had a chance to stock up, why don't we all have a rematch?"

    I paused. Crap. That's not what I was going for. "You mean... Right now?"

    "Of course right now. You, Ashley and Duncan versus Svetlana and I."

    Ashley looked over at me nervously. We both remembered what happened the last time we'd fought together. "That's three versus two. When we win - and we will win - you'll just say it was unfair," she huffed. I could sense the worry in her voice.

    "It doesn't have to be three-on-two," Alysia stated matter-of-factly. "I've been meaning to ask Duncan for a battle in order to test his skills. This appears to be an opportune time." She looked over at Zane and Svetlana. "If you don't mind, I'd be up for joining the fray," Alysia declared, seeming to not care what their answer was. She was prepared to battle regardless. The girl paused for a second, quickly adding, "Besides, I would enjoy beginning my journey with an easy victory." Dear Arceus, that sounded familiar.

    Duncan scowled, clutching his pokeball in his hand. He was never one to pass up a battle in school, but I could tell this was killing him. Just what was up between him and her? "Perfect," Zane replied. "The odds are fair then. Now, unless you have something else to complain about, do you want to start?"

    Ashley muttered something to herself angrily, looking off to the side. "I'll battle if you guys will."

    "Same here," Duncan said bitterly, gazing at Alysia with bloodlust. "We can't do it here, though. Maybe in the street?"

    "Sounds good, Pansy," the girl said with a smile. Everyone began to walk towards the street, leaving me slightly behind. Well, wait. Who said I wanted to?! It didn't matter, though - I was so annoyed by the three of them at this point that I needed to take my anger out on something. Who better than Zane? I ran to catch up with them, Lauren staying behind and taking a seat at our table by our backpacks.

    "I'll stay here and look after your guys' stuff!" Lauren called. "Go get 'em, Zach!" Alysia shot her a dirty look for cheering on the opposing team, making her shut up immediately.

    "Dear god, she's a total creeper," Ashley muttered to me as we made our way towards the damp, desolate street, the rain drizzling down around us. "She deliberately took a seat by your stuff. That's just... awkward." She snickered to herself, nudging me in the ribs again. "She sort of reminds me of that chick from the Stephen King book. You know the one, right?"

    I thought for a second. "The one with the cannibal pedophile clown that could shape shift and was really an alien?"

    "What?! No! What do you read?!" She gave me a horrified, disgusted look before continuing. "The one with the obsessed stalker that found her idol on the side of the road, took him home, and then broke his legs so he couldn't run away from her, of course! It's a classic love story!"

    It was my turn to shoot her a horrified, disgusted look. "What do you read?!"

    Duncan stopped in front of us, turning to face our three opponents as Ashley and I took the cue and did the same. We withdrew our pokeballs, preparing for battle.

    "Don't be too angry when we beat you, Ashypoo," Svetlana teased, a sadistic look crossing her face as she threw her pokeball into the air. "Go, Lilly!" Her tiny green Chikorita appeared in a flash of red light, scowling at us as it took in the scene in front of it.

    "Same goes for you, Svety-kins," Ashley growled. She threw her own pokeball into the air, releasing her Chikorita from its confines and letting it lay eyes on its rival for the first time. The two instantly seemed to resent each other.

    I threw my own pokeball into the air, releasing my Cyndaquil, Lava, as Duncan did the same. As soon as his Totodile burst onto the scene, Alysia immediately frowned. "Out of all the options you had, you just had to choose the weakest starter, right? A typical move of yours." She frowned, throwing her own pokeball onto the battlefield. A red beam of light shot forth, morphing and changing until it transformed into a large, pink cow standing on its hind legs. The top of its head and around its face was black, making it look as if it were wearing a hat as its yellow udders flopped down. The creature punched its hooves together angrily, gazing at our three Pokemon with excitement in its eyes. A Miltank. How did she get a Miltank? The sight of the Pokemon seemed to make Duncan even angrier.

    Zane was last to throw out his Pokemon, letting his Cyndaquil take the field. "Are you ready?" he asked, staring me down. I nodded my head uncertainly, anger beginning to flood through me. "Vulcan, tackle!" the teenage boy shouted.

    Just like that, the entire battlefield burst into action. Each trainer began shooting off commands to their Pokemon, all of our voices mixing together and becoming inaudible. Lava stared nervously at the Miltank in front of, seeming paralyzed with fear, as Totodile charged forward and slammed its claws into the creature's back. Gathering its courage, Cyndaquil charged forward with a squeal and tackled the creature in the belly. The cow roared, shooting back a hoof and nailing Rain in the stomach with it. The alligator flew backwards, skidding along the ground before it got up and charged the creature. Svetlana's Pokemon let loose a razor leaf that caught Totodile in the back of the head right before it hit the Miltank with another claw, making the tiny blue Pokemon topple over onto the ground.

    "Tackle!" Zane shouted through the din, his Cyndaquil taking the cue and tackling Ashley's Chikorita in the side, overpowering it and making it fly towards the patio. Jungle shoved the attacking Cyndaquil off of it, huffing as it charged the fire-type head on and knocked it back onto the ground. Zane scowled, the Chikorita letting loose a Razor leaf at close range and hitting Vulcan square in the chest.

    I heard a bellow come from across the field, Alysia cupping her hands around her mouth and screaming, "Bessie, stomp!" Miltank roared, stomping its hoof down on my Cyndaquil as my Pokemon let out a scream of agony, flaring up the fire on its back and burning the cow's foot. It was the cow's turn to cry out, kicking my Pokemon off to the side as it turned and tackled the advancing Totodile. The tiny creature shot forward with its own tackle, bouncing off the Miltank's stomach and making the cow stagger backwards. The pink monster let out an angry snort as it went to charge yet again.

    This battle had to be one of the most intense affairs I'd ever been a part of. I remembered the qualification exams back in Trainer School where you were required to win a difficult Pokemon match, but the warfare in this triple battle - the exhilaration - was overwhelming. Ashley and Duncan stood side by side with me, their fists pumping and their shouts ringing through the air as their Pokemon obeyed them unquestioningly. On the opposite side of the arena, Zane and Svetlana appeared to already be in perfect harmony with Alysia quickly catching on to their pace. I couldn't think of a better way to get my first victory.

    Lilly tackled Ashley's Chikorita off of Vulcan, making Jungle roll along the ground as the two opposing Pokemon joined forces and hit Chikorita with both their tackles at once. The tiny grass-type yelled out in agony, fighting desperately to get the attacking creatures off of it.

    I could hardly even keep track of my Pokemon anymore. I could barely see my Cyndaquil slamming into Miltank's back through the chaos as Totodile distracted it. "Lava, pull back!" I yelled out, pointing frantically at Ashley's beaten Chikorita. "Help it out! Hurry!" Cyndaquil stopped instantly, shivering uncontrollably as it looked at the two Pokemon. It then gulped, charging forward and slamming into the enemy Cyndaquil's side. Vulcan let out a defensive growl, charging my Pokemon head-on and knocking it backwards.

    That was all the help Jungle needed, it seemed. It shot its head forward, letting loose a razor-like leaf that cut into Svetlana's Chikorita and knocked it away. "Lilly!" Svetlana screeched, stomping her foot angrily. "You'll pay for that, you little witch!" Jungle got up off the ground, running full-speed at Svetlana's Pokemon and tackling it to the ground.

    "I told you that you'd lose! Don't be mad at me!"Ashley sneered, commanding another razor leaf from her Pokemon. Jungle responded instantly, letting loose another razor-sharp leaf into the opposing Pokemon's face. Lilly let out a pained screech, trying frantically to get out from underneath the attacking Grass-type but to no avail. It was almost at its limit. I watched the battle from a distance as Lava and Vulcan continued their tackle match, each one seeming to have the leg up on the other for only a second. Despite the fact Ashley's Chikorita appeared to almost be done for, I also knew that it wasn't long until Svetlana's Pokemon was, too.

    "Just a little more, Chikorita! It's about to faint!"

    Svetlana screamed with fury, slamming her fists together. "Chikorita, it's time to switch up tactics! Poison Powder!"

    The tiny grass-type let out a faint, "Chiko!" in response, shaking the leaf on its head violently from side to side as a toxic purple mist started to fly up from it. Wait... What?! Oh god, no! Before I could even utter a command to try and help save Jungle, the dust made contact with the Pokemon's face. Jungle coughed violently, staggering backwards and letting out a gasp of pain. I glanced over at Ashley, who seemed to have all the color drained permanently from her face.

    "Chikorita!" she screamed, running forward to help it. Before she even got there I could already tell it was too late. The tiny grass-type Pokemon collapsed on the damp asphalt, choking and coughing as the poison took effect. "You idiot!" Ashley huffed, shooting a dirty look at Svetlana. "How did your Chikorita already learn that? You always just have to ruin everything, don't you?!" Ashley gingerly picked up her Pokemon, sliding a hand from its head to its tail in hopes of comfort as she closed her eyes, reaching for its Pokeball. The tiny Pokemon looked up at her and gave off a weak smile.

    Ashley tapped the pokeball to the creature's head, biting her lip as the creature was recalled into it. She almost looked as if she wanted to cry. "I'm trying to think of the right words for a moment like this," Svetlana called out over the battlefield, grinning madly. "What were the ones you used earlier? Oh, that's right - I told you that you'd lose! Don't be mad at me!"

    Ashley tensed, walking back over to us and placing Chikorita's pokeball on her belt. "Duncan! Zach! You're gonna have to finish this without me," she said softly. "I'm sorry, you guys."

    I looked over at Ashley and nodded, yelling out for my Pokemon to tackle the other Cyndaquil as Totodile clawed into the Miltank's back. Zane's Cyndaquil skidded across the road, letting out a defiant cry as it charged back into battle. Despite the fact it was obviously on the verge of collapsing, it wasn't about to give up. Personally, I couldn't tell if that was commendable or worrisome.

    "Zach, if we're going to win this without Ashley, we're going to have to switch targets a bit," Duncan muttered to me, his Totodile getting back-handed by Alysia's Miltank as the girl threw back her head and laughed with delight. "I'll take down the Cyndaquil and you cover my back. Get rid of that Chikorita." I nodded, ordering Lava to perform another tackle as Duncan yelled out for Rain to switch tactics. My Pokemon hit Zane's head-on, both of our creatures staggering backwards as Totodile burst onto the scene, obviously weakened, and sent a claw flying into Vulcan's stomach. The Cyndaquil let out a loud cry as it flew onto its back and Rain got on top of it.

    Miltank let out a roar, charging at us as fast as it could in hopes of tackling one of us out of the way. Dear god, that creature's a monster! "Lava, distract it! One more tackle!" My Pokemon shot forward, bouncing off the cow's belly and landing a few feet away as the pink creature gasped for breath and staggered backwards. Lava couldn't take much more of this...

    "Rain, one more scratch!" Zane scowled at Duncan's command, the blue alligator digging its claws one last time into the fire-type. The creature let out a yell of pain, nearly passed out at this point. "Now to finish it off!" Duncan said with a grin. "Water gun, Totodile!" The creature gave a large grin at the trapped fire-type, a gurgling sound arising from its throat before a burst of water shot out of its mouth and slammed into Vulcan. The creature screeched in agony before falling back, unconscious.

    "Vulcan, come back!" Zane snarled, raising his pokeball and recalling the Pokemon.

    "YEAH!" Duncan cried out, pumping his fist in the air. "You got 'im, Rain!" Through Duncan's cheering I could hear Svetlana's command to her Chikorita, making me turn instantly. A few feet behind Duncan's ecstatic Totodile that was now celebrating its victory was the tiny grass-type, building up a powerful razor-leaf attack. Crap, I should've taken care of that thing!

    "No!" I cried out, turning to my Cyndaquil frantically. "Hurry, tackle it before it finishes its attack!" My creature nodded, turning on the spot to charge the tiny grass-type as Miltank's hoof slammed down onto its back. It let out a screech of pain as Chikorita let loose its attack, the leaf slamming into Duncan's startled Totodile. The blue alligator let out a weakened cry, falling over onto its face as my Cyndaquil passed out. We're both screwed now. "Crap..." I moaned, holding up my pokeball. "Lava, come back!"

    "Rain, come on back, buddy. You did really well!"

    I reached for Sneasel's pokeball, unsure of whether or not it was safe to actually use it just yet. Duncan seemed to have realized just what I was thinking. He shot me an urgent look, reaching for his own pokeball. "Just use the thing, and this time, make sure it listens to you!" he whispered.

    "So it's just Zach's Sneasel left, eh?" Zane chuckled, grabbing a pokeball from his own belt and throwing it into the air. "That's only fair, now that I've had a chance to grab some Pokemon, too. Go, Terra!" The ball burst mid-air, a red beam of light shooting down to the ground and morphing into a tiny blue elephant-like Pokemon with red strips along its nose and ears. The tiny Pokemon clawed at the ground, letting out an eager snort. So Zane caught a Phanpy, eh?

    "Hey, don't count me out just yet," Duncan yelled across the battlefield. "Come on out, Scout!" He threw his pokeball in the air, releasing his new Sentret from its confines. Alysia chuckled, clapping her hands together.

    "A Sentret? Really? Well, technically, I should be surprised at the fact you were able to catch a Pokemon at all, shouldn't I?" Duncan seemed to try and bite his tongue before he yelled something out, but I tried my best to ignore the scene. My eyes wandered down to the pokeball in my hand, the device seeming more threatening than it should to me. Should I really use Sneasel in battle? I shook my head. Well, what the hell. I don't really have a choice, do I? I tapped the button in the middle of the capsule, releasing the tiny black Pokemon from its confines and letting it materialize on the battlefield.

    "Awww, it's so adorable!" Lauren gushed from the sidelines. "Who knew that Zach would already have one of those!"

    "Anyone who's been traveling with him, for one," Ashley muttered, pulling out her camera and snapping a picture of the battle. "It's not that big of a deal."

    "I want one, too! Where'd you get it, Zach?!" Lauren called out. I ignored both of them, watching the tiny Pokemon carefully. It surveyed the area, taking in the three advancing Pokemon curiously. Sentret seemed prepared for battle, picking up a stick nearby and hitting it against a rock menacingly.

    "Duncan, your Pokemon uses a stick?" Alysia called out, laughing under her breath. "Some really will do anything they can to win, won't they?" The Sentret growled, seeming to already be annoyed with the enemies. It shot forward, slamming the stick brutally into Chikorita's side and making it slide across the ground. The tiny grass-type let out a screech of pain, colliding with Zane's Phanpy and almost knocking it over. It crumpled to the ground, unconscious.

    Svetlana looked at her Pokemon, shocked, as she reached for her pokeball. Normally she would've been angry beyond belief, but the fact it happened so quickly seemed to make her more disbelieving than anything else. "L... Lilly, come back...!" she said in astonishment, surprise still on her face as her Chikorita retreated to its pokeball. Ashley snickered, an amused look crossing her face for the first time since her own Chikorita was knocked out of the battle. The Sentret turned to face the Phanpy and Miltank, whacking the stick against its paw as it let out a growl.

    "Perfect, Scout! Now let that Phanpy have - " Devil let out a high-pitched screech, making everyone on the field flinch as it shot forward with lightning-speed, swinging its claws down on Scout and knocking it to the ground. The Sentret let out a gasp of pain as Sneasel descended upon it, raking it with its sharp claws.

    "Devil! Devil, stop!" I screamed, but the creature didn't listen. It gave a final screech of victory, scraping its claws along the side of the Sentret one last time before the tiny brown Pokemon let out a groan of defeat, falling backwards.

    Duncan looked over at me, shocked. "Z-Zach..."

    "I know, Duncan! I'm sorry!" I looked on at my Pokemon desperately, the creature towering over the defeated Sentret with pride. "Devil, that was your teammate!" I yelled out again. My call seemed to fall on deaf ears, however. The tiny black Pokemon didn't seem to care, shooting forward towards Miltank this time as Duncan called back his Pokemon. The Miltank cowered, taking a step backwards as the Sneasel collided with its front. The tiny black Pokemon shot claw after claw into the pink cow, screeching at the top of its lungs.

    Alysia looked on in utter shock and terror. "B-Bessie! Stomp!" Everyone seemed to be surprised at the amazing agility of the Pokemon. The pink cow, on the brink of defeat, swung out a hoof and made contact with Sneasel's head, making the dark-and-ice-type fly backwards. It got up with a hiss only to have Phanpy slam into it, knocking it back down to the ground.

    "Devil!" I yelled out, unsure of what to do. "Come on, you can do it! Get up!" The creature shot up to its feet, already panting as it ran forward and scraped its claws against the Miltank yet again. The cow bellowed, kicking the creature in the stomach as the Sneasel's claws dug into it one last time. Devil flew backwards from the impact, colliding with the Phanpy as Miltank fell over, defeated.

    "Bessie!" Alysia cried out, running over to the defeated Pokemon. "Bessie, are you alright?!" The monstrous normal-type gave out a low moan of defeat as it closed its eyes in pain. "C-come back!" she said urgently, holding up her pokeball and recalling it.

    "Terra, flail!" Zane yelled confidently. Before Sneasel could even stand up the tiny elephant descended upon the tiny monster, lashing out violently with its entire body. The creature's trunk slammed into Sneasel, making it topple over to the ground as the little elephant stomped down on my Pokemon. Sneasel shrieked in pain, shooting a claw up in vain that collided with the blue elephant's side. The creature seemed unphased, however, slamming its head against Devil violently. The black Pokemon let out a cry of agony, falling over defeated.

    I took the scene in front of me in, totally speechless. Did I... Did I just lose...? "Good job, Terra," Zane said with a smirk, recalling the creature back to its pokeball. I looked at my unconscious Sneasel, badly bruised from its devastating beating, but I had no idea what to say. I can't believe this...

    "No...!" Ashley moaned, running her hands through her hair as Svetlana shrieked with joy. "We actually lost that easily...?!"

    Duncan looked on, crushed, as Alysia jumped for joy. "I... I lost. I lost my first trainer battle," he murmured. "We lost our first trainer battle." He turned to face me, anger flashing through his eyes as I recalled my defeated Pokemon. "Zach, you're never using that Pokemon in a team battle again, do you understand? We could've won if it weren't for that thing! You made us lose!"

    My heart sank. "Y-Yeah... I'm sorry. It won't happen again." I guess I should've known better after all, shouldn't have I...?

    Zane, Svetlana, and Alysia walked over to us, wide grins on each of their faces. "Good battle, kids," Svetlana sneered. "That's how it should have ended our first match, Zach. Thanks for making that battle so much easier for us." I looked off to the side, speechless, as Lauren ran over to us.

    "Now then, I think there's the small matter of our prize money..." Zane said casually, holding out his hand. "I'd prefer you not being cheap about it." We all gave a deep sigh, Ashley especially, as we each withdrew a large chunk of money and doled it out to the three victors.

    "There goes my Tiramisu at the Violet City bakery," Ashley muttered, handing over some of her money to the three smiling teens.

    "There's always next time, you guys," Lauren said hopefully as she looked on. I chose to ignore her yet again, embarrassment overpowering me as I handed some of my money to Zane. Dear god, I never thought it would be this humiliating to lose a battle. Not only do they take your dignity, but your money for dinner, too.

    Svetlana checked the amount of cash in her hand, frowning. "You're all pretty cheap, y'know. That or you're poor." She laughed a bit at this as the three of us scowled. "Either way, I think it's time we go... Right, Zane?" The teenage boy smirked, turning away from the scene and walking down the road.

    "Yeah, we need to get to Violet City before the day's over. Maybe next time we battle you three will be able to fight us instead of each other."

    Alysia stared after Zane adoringly, holding her hands over her heart. "I could get used to that boy," she gushed. Realizing we were still there, she twirled around embarrassedly to face us. "Ashley, Zach, I believe this is where I state that it was nice meeting you and thank you for the battle." She paused for a second, turning to face Duncan. "I guess we'll probably end up seeing you later or whatever. So, bye. Thanks for the win and your money. Lauren, let's go!"

    Alysia began to walk after Zane and Svetlana, as if hoping to catch up and chat. Lauren stayed behind for a second, however. "I registered both of us in your pokegears, you guys," she said with a wink. "Keep in touch!"

    She then ran off to catch up with Alysia, yelling something about how they needed to run to New Bark before they went the way Svetlana and Zane were going. I stood there with a confused look on my face. "Wait... When did she do that?!"

    "Probably when we let her sit next to our stuff, genius," Ashley said with a sigh. "That's just fantastic... But I guess it really doesn't matter now, does it? We have to get going if we're going to get to Violet City soon... Maybe with some luck we can find a way to get more money so we don't starve. Come on, you guys."

    Duncan sighed, following her over to the table to get his things as we prepared to head off to the Pokemon Center and heal up. Frowning, I followed their lead. I never thought I'd meet people so blindly obsessed with me thanks to my mother on my journey, let alone have them team up to take me down in a battle. I never thought that I'd let Ashley and Duncan down that much and cost us our money in the process. But most importantly, I never thought I'd lose my first Pokemon battle, let alone in such a pathetic way.

    Ashley and Duncan dragged their feet ahead of me, the walk towards the Center taken in silence. As I stared at the rain falling down between us, there was one thing I did know for certain now.

    I will get stronger, and when I do, Zane's going down.
    Last edited by Dawn_Hero; 15th January 2012 at 11:26 PM.
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  3. #28
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    "I figured as much. There are so many new trainers that come on the first of each month. My sister, Melinda, is training to be a nurse like me at the moment. Even though she's about your age, we tend to have to recruit her the first day of every month to help handle all the requests. There's just so much traffic from all the new trainers!"
    Oh ho ho ho ho! I see what you did there! Nice reference!

    Oddish salad, Magikarp-'n'-Chips, Tauros burger, Grumpig-and-eggs...
    Oh gosh, the puns, the puns XD!

    But there we go, hints that people in the Pokémon world DO eat Pokémon. I like that… *aside glance* …even if it makes my childhood cry.

    Boy, Alysia and Lauren are… eccentric. I can tell they're interesting characters, but they're not people I'm going to be personally liking any time soon, that's for sure. I take it they went to a really rich school. Boy, you sure have it out for snobs.

    "Dear god, she's a total creeper," Ashley muttered to me as we made our way towards the damp, desolate street, the rain drizzling down around us. "She deliberately took a seat by your stuff. That's just... awkward." She snickered to herself, nudging me in the ribs again. "She sort of reminds me of that chick from the Stephen King book. You know the one, right?"

    I thought for a second. "The one with the cannibal pedophile clown that could shape shift and was really an alien?"

    "What?! No! What do you read?!" She gave me a horrified, disgusted look before continuing. "The one with the obsessed stalker that found her idol on the side of the road, took him home, and then broke his legs so he couldn't run away from her, of course! It's a classic love story!"

    It was my turn to shoot her a horrified, disgusted look. "What do you read?!"
    Lol, that was win. Genius point!

    "Hey, don't count me out just yet," Duncan yelled across the battlefield. "Come on out, Scout!" He threw his pokeball in the air, releasing his new Sentret from its confines.
    Is it just me, or is "Scout" the most common name for a Sentret ever? *pushes my Furret out of sight with a foot* But I think it’s awesome he’ll (I think it’s a he) use a stick as a trade-mark weapon. Really unique.

    "Anyone who's been traveling with him, for one," Ashley muttered, pulling out her camera and snapping a picture of the battle. "It's not that big of a deal."
    Just a nitpick of mine, but how can Zach hear her from the sidelines if she mutters :/? Just wondering. I can understand if he sees her taking a picture, just not her audible dialogue.

    Dear god, I never thought it would be this humiliating to lose a battle. Not only do they take your dignity, but your money for dinner, too.
    …d… damn… those are powerful words there. I felt my stomach twist.

    But despite that, that was a really cool battle. I enjoyed it. I personally find it difficult to keep track of a clustered battle such as that, especially with the detail it had, but you pulled it off really well. Guess it’s a specialty of yours. Cherish it well, it’ll come to good use in future chapters, I can sense it.

    And also, you’re making me despise the rivals even more. I really, really want to see the main trio win. They almost did this first time, so I hope they’ll succeed in the future. I’m also hoping Zach will get some control over Devil some time soon, but that may not be for ages. Man, is he so wild. I was almost expecting Zach to scream at him or something.

    Brilliant chapter, looking forward for more. The road is going to just get rockier from now on, I take it. You said chapter six is where everything picks up, so I suspect that’s what happens. I’m excited.

    EDIT: And I just noticed something: YOU'RE A GUY?! *beat* Well, that explains everything, actually...
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
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  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutie Pie View Post
    Oh ho ho ho ho! I see what you did there! Nice reference!
    Glad you caught onto it, m'dear. :3

    Boy, Alysia and Lauren are… eccentric. I can tell they're interesting characters, but they're not people I'm going to be personally liking any time soon, that's for sure. I take it they went to a really rich school. Boy, you sure have it out for snobs.
    You know, I never realized it until you and someone else pointed it out, but I guess I must. xD I was iffy about having so many characters in a chapter - or having them get into such a large fight - but I figured Duncan's rival deserved to finally be introduced. I'm kind of glad that you already don't like her, even though she isn't as outright mean as Svetlana. Guess I may be doing something right but probably not.

    Lol, that was win. Genius point!
    You caught it! xD YAY! Last time I had this up, I called the chapter "Misery" and asked if anyone could guess why... No one had any clue. Lol.

    Is it just me, or is "Scout" the most common name for a Sentret ever? *pushes my Furret out of sight with a foot* But I think it’s awesome he’ll (I think it’s a he) use a stick as a trade-mark weapon. Really unique.
    Glad you like his weapon choice. :P I thought Sentret deserved a little originality since he's so overlooked normally. I had noticed before that your Furret was named Scout... Sorry. xD I've always named mine that in honor of To Kill A Mockingbird. Guess I thought Duncan should continue the tradition... Even if he doesn't really seem the type to enjoy reading such a work. lol.

    And also, you’re making me despise the rivals even more. I really, really want to see the main trio win. They almost did this first time, so I hope they’ll succeed in the future. I’m also hoping Zach will get some control over Devil some time soon, but that may not be for ages. Man, is he so wild. I was almost expecting Zach to scream at him or something.
    I'm rather happy you liked the battle and that you hate the rivals so much. xD This rewrite is doing better than I'd hoped. You can expect way more of the rivals in probably one of my favorite chapters I've ever written (Chapter Seven), but until then, we'll have to wait for the real story to begin. :3 Who knows... Maybe Chapter Seven will change your mind about them. Or not. Hahah. As for the main trio winning... I think they're just about as ready to as you are. :P They won't recover well from such a humiliating defeat, and it's all poor Zach's fault. Hahah.

    Brilliant chapter, looking forward for more. The road is going to just get rockier from now on, I take it. You said chapter six is where everything picks up, so I suspect that’s what happens. I’m excited.
    Yeah, that's basically it. I've got my introductions out of the way, you know what the characters are like... It's time for the plot to really begin. ^^ Chapter six is probably one of my three favorite chapters out of the eleven I've written, and definitely one of the ones most engrained in my memory. I hope it gives the same kind of punch for you as it did for me when writing it. Thanks so much for your continued loyalty with reading & reviewing, Kutie Pie. You're the best!

    EDIT: And I just noticed something: YOU'RE A GUY?! *beat* Well, that explains everything, actually...
    That's the problem with having a dang penis. Always turning you into a guy and whatnot. Er, I mean, yeah, I am. :P Sorry if that surprises you. Though, I'm rather curious what that "explains." xD
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  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dawn_Hero View Post
    You know, I never realized it until you and someone else pointed it out, but I guess I must. xD I was iffy about having so many characters in a chapter - or having them get into such a large fight - but I figured Duncan's rival deserved to finally be introduced. I'm kind of glad that you already don't like her, even though she isn't as outright mean as Svetlana. Guess I may be doing something right but probably not.
    Naw, you were fine with it. As long as you can keep each character in character, and have it flow nicely, you can have as many characters as you want in a chapter. I'm a rather big fan of a colorful cast of characters, so that tends to show in my work. Thankfully, I have not lost track of them (yet), same with some other stories I have read. It takes a good balancing act to keep them in line, and it pays off in the end.

    For the ones who lost control of their many characters tend to fall apart in the story, and it really shows. It's tragic to see, especially if they had a favorite (and I mean favorite) they spent more time and care with.

    You caught it! xD YAY! Last time I had this up, I called the chapter "Misery" and asked if anyone could guess why... No one had any clue. Lol.
    I got to thank Nostalgia Critic for that. I haven't actually read any of his works, though I skimmed through "The Boogeyman", since it frightened my mom enough she made sure our closets were always closed xD. I shouldn't be laughing, though, I've been scared reading pieces of work before that it affected my mindset. (I fear my bedside... afraid a corpse will crawl out from under the bed and reach for me, or at least stare at me at eye-level, while I die of a heart attack...)

    Glad you like his weapon choice. :P I thought Sentret deserved a little originality since he's so overlooked normally. I had noticed before that your Furret was named Scout... Sorry. xD I've always named mine that in honor of To Kill A Mockingbird. Guess I thought Duncan should continue the tradition... Even if he doesn't really seem the type to enjoy reading such a work. lol.
    O__________o Dude... you're scaring me. My Furret is named after her, too... *ominous music plays*

    ...anyway... yeah, Sentret with a stick. It's really cool, and amusing to imagine... *still creeped out by creepy coincidence*

    I'm rather happy you liked the battle and that you hate the rivals so much. xD This rewrite is doing better than I'd hoped. You can expect way more of the rivals in probably one of my favorite chapters I've ever written (Chapter Seven), but until then, we'll have to wait for the real story to begin. :3 Who knows... Maybe Chapter Seven will change your mind about them. Or not. Hahah. As for the main trio winning... I think they're just about as ready to as you are. :P They won't recover well from such a humiliating defeat, and it's all poor Zach's fault. Hahah.
    It's not often I enjoy reading a battle, actually. I tend to find that the battles just drag out, and it gets really clustered up, so it's hard to follow. You just have a talent that loads of us envy. (Yeah, I hate action scenes. They slow me down. *kicks chapter twenty*)

    Well, it'll take a LOT of persuasion and good character development to make me like a character. I might still not like them, but it won't be a quaking hatred for them. Example: a character in a certain anime I've been watching (and manga I'm reading) made me despise her after a certain episode, but when the season came to a close, I did start feeling sorry for her, and especially since it explained everything that happened. She's not my favorite character (at her current age, anyway), but I have more pity for her.

    Yeah, that's basically it. I've got my introductions out of the way, you know what the characters are like... It's time for the plot to really begin. ^^ Chapter six is probably one of my three favorite chapters out of the eleven I've written, and definitely one of the ones most engrained in my memory. I hope it gives the same kind of punch for you as it did for me when writing it.
    Yaaaaaay! I'm excited to read it now! It's always so interesting to see what an author's favorite chapter is. You can tell they put the extra love into it when they mention it beforehand XD.

    That's the problem with having a dang penis. Always turning you into a guy and whatnot. Er, I mean, yeah, I am. :P Sorry if that surprises you. Though, I'm rather curious what that "explains." xD
    Lol, I dunno. I figured you were a girl who just had this love of creepy for some reason. (Maybe it was "Dawn" in your name?) I'm not sure if it was the style, or the stereotypical thought that pretty much all fanfic writers unless their username blatantly gave it away are female. I mistook phoopes for a girl a couple of times XD. And believe it or not, people HAVE referred to me as a guy for some reason. So I have been a victim of gender identity crisis, I know how you feel x3.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutie Pie View Post
    Naw, you were fine with it. As long as you can keep each character in character, and have it flow nicely, you can have as many characters as you want in a chapter. I'm a rather big fan of a colorful cast of characters, so that tends to show in my work. Thankfully, I have not lost track of them (yet), same with some other stories I have read. It takes a good balancing act to keep them in line, and it pays off in the end.
    I'll keep that in mind. There will be plenty of other chapters where I have a decent cast of characters, so hopefully I'll be able to keep their personalities separate. Helps to make sure they have very distinct personalities hahah. I'll need to read your work sometime to see how you balance it out.

    I got to thank Nostalgia Critic for that. I haven't actually read any of his works, though I skimmed through "The Boogeyman", since it frightened my mom enough she made sure our closets were always closed xD. I shouldn't be laughing, though, I've been scared reading pieces of work before that it affected my mindset. (I fear my bedside... afraid a corpse will crawl out from under the bed and reach for me, or at least stare at me at eye-level, while I die of a heart attack...)
    He's one of my favorite authors ever. Mostly 'cause I want to write horror when I grow up, so I sorta need to worship the ground he walks on if that's ever going to come to fruition. Nice to know that other people can get the crap scared out of them by reading stuff, though - sometimes I feel lame when I have to turn a light on after reading a creepypasta. xD


    O__________o Dude... you're scaring me. My Furret is named after her, too... *ominous music plays*
    Cue twilight zone music... o.o Yeah, it's one of my favorite books, so I felt that'd be a good little tribute. That's kinda funny. lol.

    Well, it'll take a LOT of persuasion and good character development to make me like a character. I might still not like them, but it won't be a quaking hatred for them. Example: a character in a certain anime I've been watching (and manga I'm reading) made me despise her after a certain episode, but when the season came to a close, I did start feeling sorry for her, and especially since it explained everything that happened. She's not my favorite character (at her current age, anyway), but I have more pity for her.
    Thanks for the compliment on writing battle chapters, first of all. Secondly, duly noted. I'm the same way. But I do want to make sure these characters are realistic - chapter seven is focused specifically on that. I really can't wait to revamp it and post it. Along with Chapter Six and Chapter Nine, it's one of my favorite chapters. xD I don't know why I like so many chapters in a row.

    Yaaaaaay! I'm excited to read it now! It's always so interesting to see what an author's favorite chapter is. You can tell they put the extra love into it when they mention it beforehand XD.
    Lol. Funny segue from what I'd just mentioned about Chapter Seven and Nine being two of my faves as well. I think over-all Chapter Seven may very well be my favorite 'cause of characterization, but Chapter Six is a reallyyyyy close favorite because of how epic I made it in my mind. xD Hopefully that translates to you and any other potential readers out there knocking on wood when I post it tomorrow. I'm excited to see your reaction.



    Lol, I dunno. I figured you were a girl who just had this love of creepy for some reason. (Maybe it was "Dawn" in your name?) I'm not sure if it was the style, or the stereotypical thought that pretty much all fanfic writers unless their username blatantly gave it away are female. I mistook phoopes for a girl a couple of times XD. And believe it or not, people HAVE referred to me as a guy for some reason. So I have been a victim of gender identity crisis, I know how you feel x3.
    Well, it's not the first time I've been mistaken. I never even thought of how "Dawn" was a chick's name when I made the username, but I've had quite a bit of confusion surrounding my gender ever since. It's all good. For the record, I assumed you were a girl. Lol.
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  7. #32
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    He's one of my favorite authors ever. Mostly 'cause I want to write horror when I grow up, so I sorta need to worship the ground he walks on if that's ever going to come to fruition. Nice to know that other people can get the crap scared out of them by reading stuff, though - sometimes I feel lame when I have to turn a light on after reading a creepypasta. xD
    I see. It doesn't hurt to idolize a favorite author. I try to keep J.K. Rowling in mind when I write, but not in style, since we all develop our own unique styles. Hey, if a creepypasta makes you have a light on, it did its job. We just like being scared, I suppose. A couple of days ago, as much as I really love the manga series I'm reading, the last chapter of one volume caught me off-guard, and I didn't want to fall asleep. (Didn't help my brother "scared" me, and made me scream a little.)

    Cue twilight zone music... o.o Yeah, it's one of my favorite books, so I felt that'd be a good little tribute. That's kinda funny. lol.
    It's not my favorite book of all time, but it's a good read. At the time I caught a Sentret for the first time in my gameplay life, I had been reading that book in school, so the name was more prominent. Since then, I always have to name a female Sentret "Scout".

    Secondly, duly noted. I'm the same way. But I do want to make sure these characters are realistic - chapter seven is focused specifically on that. I really can't wait to revamp it and post it. Along with Chapter Six and Chapter Nine, it's one of my favorite chapters. xD I don't know why I like so many chapters in a row.
    A good goal to shoot for. So far, you're doing well at it, and hopefully it'll stay that way. Lucky, I've been hating my chapters lately for some reason.

    Well, it's not the first time I've been mistaken. I never even thought of how "Dawn" was a chick's name when I made the username, but I've had quite a bit of confusion surrounding my gender ever since. It's all good. For the record, I assumed you were a girl. Lol.
    XD The Internet's so weird. Guess it's because we try to associate a face with the name, and the more "feminine" a name sounds, the face develops that same trait. But then again, since tom-boys are rather wide-spread especially on the Internet, I just tend to imagine everyone's a girl unless specifically stated. I tend to judge how one writes their posts for the most part. *shrugs*

    Of course, it could be because a lot of girl names these days are actually boy names in origin, and that thought has stayed with me this entire time. (Our first boy cat was named Ashley because it is actually a boy's name. Mom loves to point that fact out.)

    *coughs and prepares self for tomorrow*
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
    I survived Pupa.

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    Chapter Six: Queen Takes Rook


    I have to get out of here! I have to run! I need to leave before she finds me!

    The man rushed behind his desk, pulling out his drawers and searching through them desperately in hopes of finding the keys to his personal elevator. He knew it was a matter of time before she came up here and found him. He yelled, anger blinding him as he threw one of the drawers to the ground. "Damn it, where the hell did they go?!" he yelled, using one quick sweep of his arms to clear his desk. Pens and staplers fell to the ground, a picture of the man with his wife and children shattering against the tiled floor. No keys in that mess, either.

    He searched through the last drawer, throwing away the contents of it that no longer mattered to him as he tried to find the means to his freedom.

    Footsteps. She's almost here.

    The man's fingers touched against metal and he let out a cry of delight. The keys! Taking them in his hands, he rushed over to the twin doors next to his chair and jammed the silver device into the key hole. Click! The machinery of the building began to creak and grind as the elevator made its way up to his location, though it was nowhere near as fast as he'd hoped it would be. He had no idea just how or why this was happening, but he did know one thing for a fact. He needed help. Now.

    With sweaty palms the man reached for the microphone on his desk, turning back to the elevator as he clicked the 'broadcast' button at the device's base.

    "This is the Goldenrod Radio Tower! Can anyone hear us? Can anyone help us?! Please, we're under attack!" He could hear the panic in his voice but no longer cared. What did it matter if he showed he was scared? His tough guy facade couldn't save him now. Someone else would have to do that. "Please, we need back-up immediately! I can't hold out much longer!" He held his breath, waiting silently for a reply, but all he heard back was static.

    "I'm afraid we've blocked your signal," a beautiful voice rang out from behind him. The man gasped, whirling around to come face to face with the woman he'd been trying so desperately to escape from all this time. The lady giggled, twirling her light-blonde pigtails around her fingers as she gazed back at the man calmly. He glanced down at the microphone in his hand, wondering if it would be worth trying to call for help again and make an escape. There had to be a way to get out of this situation.

    "Feel free to try again if you'd like," the woman said sweetly, as if reading his mind. "No one heard you the first time you cried for help, they won't hear it the second time either. It's so hard to make people believe the truth these days... Don't you agree?" The woman gave a pleasant smile, making her way over to his desk. She bent down, picking up the shattered frame that held the picture of the man and his wife.

    "You have a pretty family," she whispered, tilting her head and examining the portrait. "I just love families... So sweet and picturesque." Her eyes wandered over to the man pressed against the elevator as she giggled once more. "I'll kill them in front of you, you know."

    The man gulped. "Just what do you want?" he asked, trying his best to feign courage. He could feel the sweat trickling down his brow. His mouth felt dry as cotton. "Please, don't bring them into this!"

    The girl set the picture frame on the table, glancing back up at him with a pout on her face. "I want the feather," she said, this time without any trace of her original sweet tune. "Give it to me and you all won't have to die. Does that sound fair?"

    "And how do I know you won't kill me even if I tell you where it is?"

    The woman smiled. "You have my word."

    The man bit his lip. He didn't trust her word for a minute, but he no longer had a choice in any of this. "F-Fine," he said softly. "It's in the safe on the far wall... The code is six-nine-three." The lady smirked, walking over to the device and punching the numbers in. He knew that the fact he gave in to her was horrible indeed, but he had no choice. It was his family and his life or that damn feather, and he knew which one he valued more at the moment. A small click echoed through the room as the door swung open to reveal a long silvery feather lying across the bottom of the safe.

    "Good boy... You actually told the truth," she said in a rather surreal tone, taking the feather and stroking it lightly with her white-gloved hands. "That's a rare trait these days... Congratulations. You should get out of here."

    Ding!

    The elevator doors slid open, the man giving a cry of delight as he jumped inside and jammed the ground floor button with his finger repeatedly. Within seconds the elevator doors closed, the last thing visible to him being the woman's back as he made his way down the radio tower towards freedom. The girl smirked, smoothing out her black uniform as she held the feather against the red, emboldened 'D' on her chest.

    "I, however, never saw the point in telling the truth," she whispered softly, pulling out a two-way radio.

    "Wrath, my dear, would you be a dear and cut the elevator wires? I'd prefer it if our host doesn't live to see tomorrow."

    ///////////////////

    "We'll get more money!" Duncan yelled indignantly, walking ahead of us as the rain continued to fall. "There'll be plenty of trainers for me to battle and I'll make sure we'll get more, okay?!"

    Ashley pouted, crossing her arms in front of her chest as we continued to trudge through the lightning storm. She'd been complaining for the last twenty minutes about how she'd had to dole out her money, and it seemed that she had finally decided it would be best to just stop talking. "It's no big deal," she huffed. "I can go without dessert for one night."

    "You won't have to," I said, nearing the end of my rope. "I'll pay for it, alright? It's my fault we lost anyways."

    Her expression lightened for a split second at the thought of someone else paying before she sank back into reality. "It's not your fault," she said awkwardly. "It... was your Sneasel's. Don't use that as an excuse just to buy me dessert... though I'll probably end up taking you up on that by the end of the day."

    Duncan glared at us, continuing on. He'd been in a horrible mood ever since the loss, and the fact that the Nurse Joy we'd talked to earlier said she'd expected to see us again since new trainers try to battle people out of their league on their first day didn't help. "Those three aren't out of our league," he'd growled, the anger emanating from him almost palpable. After that we'd left for Route 30, walking in silence before Ashley had begun to complain about the lack of sweets she'd be forced to suffer through tonight. I'd originally suggested turning on the radio to listen to some music, but the stations had broadcasted nothing but static. I wasn't much of a technological whizz, but even I could guess that it was probably harder to get a signal during a decent thunder storm.

    As we continued to walk, a long, awkward silence filled the air between us, occasionally being broken by an explosive sound of thunder. Ashley shivered, pulling her gray windbreaker closer around her as the wind slightly picked up. The weather forecast had said that the storm would be cleared up by tomorrow, but it appeared it would be getting worse before it got better. I tried to think of a way to break the ice between us.

    "Hey, guys, my mom has an old friend who lives up ahead. If you want, we could go and visit him while the rain clears up."

    Ashley perked up a bit at this. "I think the storm's gonna get worse for a little bit anyways. Why not?" She looked over at Duncan nervously, biting her lip. "What do you think, Dunc?"

    He didn't turn around to talk to us. "Yeah, sure. Whatever. Just lead the way, Zach."

    I sighed. I didn't think he'd take losing this harshly. "He actually only lives about a half-mile up the road from here. We should be able to see it in a little bit." He'd always seemed smart... Maybe he could give Duncan some sage advice and snap him out of this.

    "Who is your mom's old friend, anyways?" Ashley asked curiously, walking over closer to me so she could hear my reply over the wind.

    I thought for a second, not sure how to reply. "His name's Edward Thornton. He's a nice guy, really, he just prefers to live away from everyone." Ashley glanced at me, a question in her eyes I knew would come up. "Don't worry, he won't mind us dropping in at all. I used to come over here all the time when I was younger."

    "That's funny," Ashley replied. "I don't think you ever mentioned him."

    "I did, you just didn't realize I was talking about him. Anyways, we're basically here. His house is right up ahead." I pointed off in the distance to a small, cozy cabin nestled among a row of trees. A small dirt pathway wound through the damp grass lining the road we were on, making its way right to the house's front door. The windows were flooded with light, smoke rising from a brick chimney jutting from the roof that showed life was present at the very least.

    "So you're sure he won't mind three wet teenagers showing up on his doorstep and asking to come in?" Duncan asked so quietly I almost couldn't hear him over the wind. Lightning shot overhead yet again, followed closely by a crash of thunder.

    "This storm's picking up and we have nowhere to go. It's worth a shot, isn't it?"

    Ashley nodded, Duncan trudging along silently. I guess that meant he agreed. As we got off the main road and made our way along the dirt pathway, the sky seemed to open up, rain falling down in waves and drenching us to the bone. Hopefully this will be over soon. I glanced at the house again, the trees around it almost hiding it from view. Everything seemed so dark in this stupid storm. The trees themselves even looked ominous. They seemed to be... Be...

    Living.

    My eyes widened. No. That was a dream.

    I stopped for a second, looking at the scene as if I were watching a movie. A cold sweat broke out over my brow as I tried to regain control. The trees... They couldn't be growing darker, could they? A thought raced into my mind that made my entire body go cold.

    Is... Is that creature back? Is that even possible?

    Ashley paused, turning back to face me as they continued walking towards the cottage.

    "What's wrong, Zach?" she asked, shivering uncontrollably. "Hurry up! This storm's about to get really bad, I can feel it!"

    I didn't answer, my attention focused entirely on the trees. That thing is back. I can feel it. It's here. But... But that's impossible. I shook my head, biting my lip nervously. That was just a dream. It was only a dream. That... That thing wasn't real. It doesn't exist.

    "Zach?" Duncan turned around this time, a look in his eyes that told me he had no time for stupid games. "Are you coming or not?"

    Just a dream. It was just a dream. Only a dream. This isn't real. It was just a dream.

    Both of them walked over to me, Ashley shaking my shoulder a bit. "Snap out of it, Zach! What's wrong?!"

    I continued to watch the shadows, now able to see something moving within them. Something was coming. I could feel it.

    Lightning shot overhead and the wind howled as it tried desperately to escape from this oncoming force -

    "ZACH!" Ashley yelled, grabbing my arm and trying to pull me towards the wooden house. "We need to get inside! Hurry!" I couldn't talk anymore. I couldn't move. I continued to stare, but I knew what was going to happen. It had already happened to me before. I stared on helplessly as a small portion of the shadows seemed to be squirming, seemed to be... Alive.

    "Zach!" Duncan yelled out, grabbing me by the other arm and trying to move me forward as I fought. "What's going on with you?! Come on!" It was then that it appeared in the tree line. A single cold, blue eye that felt as if it pierced my soul. I stared back at it, seemingly transfixed, as the creature noticed me for the second time today. Rather than attacking, however, its eye narrowed as it shot towards the cabin and disappeared out of sight behind it.

    Just like that the entire spell was broken. I gasped for air and fell backwards onto the dirt path, rain and sweat trickling down my face. Ashley and Duncan swarmed around me, Ashley checking my head for a fever as Duncan stared at me nervously. I tried to mumble out that I was alright, but before I could, a thought even scarier than the realization the creature was here hit me.

    It's going after Mr. Thornton now. He's going to die.

    Just like that I was on my feet and running as fast as I could towards his house. I wasn't about to let that thing hurt anyone. Not now, not ever. Ashley and Duncan both looked on, flabbergasted, before they followed suit, rushing as fast as they could to catch up to me. I narrowed the distance between the house and myself with amazing speed, jumping over rocks and potholes as I made my way onto his porch. I'll save you, Mr. Thornton, it's alright! That creature won't get you! I promise! Please, don't die!

    I shot the door open, bursting inside as I yelled out at the top of my lungs, "Watch out, Mr. Thornton! You're going to die!"

    Mr. Thornton gazed at me from his elegant armchair, completely startled, as he held a cup of tea to his mouth. To his right sat an elderly man, a drenched white lab coat laying across the back of his chair as he poured a packet of sugar into his own steaming drink. Duncan and Ashley ran up behind me, rushing into the house and looking at me absolutely terrified.

    It was Mr. Thornton who broke the silence. "Zach...? What on Earth is the meaning of this?" The other man, setting down his cup on an end table next to them, looked at the turn of events quite curiously. I couldn't believe what was going on.

    "Mr. Thornton...?" I asked, unsure if this was a dream or not as well as I took a step backwards. "But... But I... You were going to be attacked...! I saw it!"

    A young woman no older than twenty-five walked out from a back room, drying out her blonde hair that appeared to be damp from the rain as she took a seat in front of us. "What was the meaning of all that yelling, professor?" she asked, looking over at us with mild interest.

    It was the other man's turn to speak now. "Here, kids, why don't you close the door and take a seat? I think it'd be best if you calmed yourselves for a bit while this storm dies down."

    I gulped. I guess we really didn't have a choice.

    ///////////////////

    "So wait, you could've sworn you saw a creature in the shadows outside this house so you came rushing in to save us?" Mr. Thornton seemed a tad skeptical of just what had gone on.

    "I... I know how it sounds, but you have to believe me. I'm not crazy... You know that."

    He frowned, stroking his graying beard as he turned to look at my two friends. "And you saw this creature as well?" he asked them.

    "No, sir... This is the first I've heard of it," Ashley said uncomfortably. She'd been skeptical if we'd be allowed to visit the man from the beginning, so this turn of events obviously hadn't made her feel any better about walking into his house unannounced. "I didn't see anything out there at all. Then again, I wasn't looking."

    Mr. Thornton sighed. "And you, young man?"

    Duncan looked over at me, unsure of what to think. "I didn't see a thing," he replied, a worried look in his eyes.

    There was silence in the room as everyone stared at their drinks, apparently wondering how to continue from here without offending me. Great. They all think I'm insane. They're all going to send me to some loony bin and I'm going to rot there for the rest of my life.

    "I'm not crazy!" I burst out. "I swear I'm not! It was out there, I saw it!"

    "We're not doubting you," the other man said quietly, looking over at the young blonde. "It's just hard to believe is all. You said you saw it in your dreams this morning?"

    "I saw it in my dreams and in real life," I said defiantly.

    At least... I hoped I'd actually seen it this morning. It just had to have happened. It couldn't be a dream... Still, though, there was a part of me that wondered if I'd actually seen anything at all each time.

    What if I'm crazy...?

    I snapped out of it, now addressing the elderly man sitting by Mr. Thornton in hopes he'd listen. "It came out from the trees and attacked me this morning before I got my Pokemon. It's real, I promise!"

    "You never mentioned any of that to either of us," Duncan said quietly, his eyes still fixed on me. "If something like that happened, why wouldn't you tell me? Why wouldn't you tell Ashley?" Ashley fidgeted uncomfortably in her armchair, pretending to be admiring a painting hanging over a fireplace nearby that depicted a red sea creature in a large lake.

    "Do you not trust us...?"

    "It's not that at all," I shot back. "It was just... I didn't believe it myself, honestly," I replied. "Besides, after the Sneasel attack on the lab, I had my mind on other things. It just sort of... slipped my mind." I looked over at Mr. Thornton pleadingly. "I swear, I'm telling the truth!"

    "Zach... That's your name, right?" the other elderly man asked. I nodded my head nervously, looking over everyone's faces. The elderly man was the only one who didn't look confused. "Have you ever studied Sinnoh mythology, Zach?" he asked me. His brown eyes seemed to be filled with caring, as if he knew just what was going on with me, yet there was a certain intent dancing through them I wasn't quite sure of.

    "I... I've never looked into Sinnoh mythology at all. The only thing I've ever really paid any attention to from that region is Cynthia." Saying the words brought a slight blush across my face. No one else needed to know about my absolute love for her except myself.

    The man seemed to be slightly taken aback by the words, but he regained his composure quite quickly. Meanwhile, Mr. Thornton and the young blonde looked between the two of us with deep interest, the lady grabbing her own cup of tea and taking a sip. I was jarred from my thoughts by the senior's next question.

    "Tell me, Zach... Do you know about a creature called Darkrai?"

    I shook my head, confused by what he'd said. "I've never heard of a thing like that in my life, sir. What is it?"

    "Exactly what you've described to me," he replied. "It's a dark mythological creature in Sinnoh said to cause horrible nightmares in its victims. It feeds off the dreams of its victims and torments them for days on end. Some particularly dark texts even reference it being one of the few Pokemon in this world with the ability to suck out the souls of the living. Why one would be in this part of the world I've no idea."

    Ashley gasped, a horrified look on her face. "You mean to tell me Zach's getting hunted by some legendary monster?!" she squeaked, terror seeping into her voice. "But... But... It'll come after all of us, then!"

    "I'm saying that's a possibility," the man replied. "It's rather unlikely that it's true, but I've no idea what specifically is going on at all. Needless to say, Zach, I promise you I'll get someone to look into this immediately." The words brought instant relief to my troubled thoughts. So someone doesn't think I'm crazy. Thank god.

    "Professor, are you absolutely certain a creature from Sinnoh mythology could travel all the way to Johto without being noticed?" the blonde asked. Now that the questions were over I finally had time to take notice of her, and I instantly realized how beautiful she really was. Her blue eyes seemed warm and kind, a platinum blond strand of her hair falling into one of them while the rest was pulled back in a long, sleek pony-tail. She noticed my stare and smiled back.

    "Alice, I'm afraid anything is possible in this world. There's no guarantee, but I can assume it would be safe to investigate a bit."

    Alice sighed, brushing the hair from out of her eye. "I suppose you're right, sir, though no one else has reported any unusual activity in the area."

    "That never means there isn't any," Mr. Thornton replied solemnly. He seemed to have accepted the fact I wasn't totally insane, which was a good step. "During my travels in Hoenn I was surprised to see how many truly bizarre things were going on while no reports came flooding in from the townspeople. If you recall the Team Magma and Aqua riots, it was ages until anyone finally admitted what the fiends were doing. Sometimes people are afraid they'll be called insane if they say what they really think is going on."

    "So... That thing. That Darkrai. What does it want with me?" I asked, a shiver running down my spine. "It told me it wanted to deliver a message... Is that something its known for?"

    Mr. Thornton paused, stroking his beard thoughtfully. "Again, we've no idea if it truly is a Darkrai or not... We don't even know if such a thing exists. However, if it truly is one, I've no idea how it could deliver to you a message or anything else. Alas, I'm no expert on Sinnoh mythology."

    "Neither am I, unfortunately," the other man said melancholically. "I'm afraid that area of expertise lies within Cynthia's or Professor Rowan's range. Perhaps I'll call one of them tonight and discuss the details of this." He rose from his chair, walking towards the door and taking a brown coat and hat off of a coat hanger. "I'll go off and have a look in the woods for now, though. It appears the storm is beginning to lighten up - maybe I could find a sign of some paranormal activity in the woods. "

    I bit my lip, trying to hold back from letting him know that thing was dangerous and not to go outside since they'd probably think I was crazier. Alice smiled, seeming to understand what I was thinking. "Don't worry about Professor Oak," she said sweetly. "He's more than capable of handling himself out there. He's quite the trainer indeed." I paid no attention to any words she had spoken after her first sentence. My entire body tensed as Duncan, Ashley and I whirled around to look at the elderly man staggering out into the elements. That was Professor Oak?!

    "Wait!" Ashley cried out. "We've been sitting here with Professor Oak this entire time looking like nut jobs and we didn't even realize it?! Not many people get to meet the lead researcher on all things Pokemon, and when we do we end up looking like total freaks!"

    "Oh man," Duncan said softly, laying back against the loveseat he was sitting on. "This day keeps getting weirder and weirder." I still couldn't tell if he'd believed my story or not, but I did know that all of this had truly gotten his mind off of the battle loss earlier. At least there was some sort of silver lining in this after all, I suppose.

    "Now then, once he gets back I'm afraid we'll more than likely have to leave," Alice said kindly to Mr. Thornton. "We have to catch a ride in Violet City to get to Goldenrod for his radio show tomorrow morning. He can't be late again - there's a prominent Unova archaeologist who's traveled to Johto to speak with him and visit the Ruins of Alph." She got up, making her way to the door and putting on her own coat. "I'll go grab him quickly. We'll make sure to thank you for your contributions to our Hoenn mythology section, Mr. Pokemon." With that, she was out into the rain.

    Ashley's jaw dropped, the blonde letting out a squeal of both horror and shock as Alice stepped outside and closed the door behind her. "Wait! You're... You're the Mr. Pokemon?! Zach, how many celebrities are you introducing us to?! Dear God, you're all going to think we're total lunatics!"

    "Who's Mr. Pokemon...?" Duncan asked, eyeing Mr. Thornton curiously. "I've never heard of him before."

    Ashley sighed. "Well, I suppose he's more prominent in Hoenn anyways, so I'll forgive you for not knowing him, you moron." Duncan frowned as Ashley continued her speech. "He was the major force behind Hoenn mythological studies before he retired, and he was constantly finding new or strange things in this world. He was on the front lines of researching into Pokemon eggs, as well, if I recall correctly." Ashley blushed, as if realizing her inner geek was showing.

    Mr. Thornton chuckled at this turn of events before giving Ashley a kind smile. "I see I've found a fan. That's always wonderful to hear. At my old age, not too many come around anymore." He paused, taking notice of Ashley's new necklace. "That's an interesting piece you have there," he said thoughtfully. "Where exactly did you get that from? I'd met someone with something just like it years ago."

    Ashley looked taken aback by the question, but she pulled out her golden necklace gingerly, letting the blue sapphire at the end lay in her hands as she examined it along with the rest of the room. "My mom gave it to me before I left for my journey today. It's a family heirloom, actually. Grandma used to work on Mt. Pyre with my grandpa, and she's handed it down from generation to generation ever since she'd gotten it there." She looked up at Mr. Thornton. "Is that where you saw it last?"

    The elderly man smiled. "So you're the granddaughter of Amelia Morrone, eh? I should've known. You have the same rambunctious spark in your eye that she did all those years ago. Yes, yes... I saw it on your grandmother."

    The door opened to reveal a dampened Alice and Professor Oak, the latter of which was clutching his hat as though it were about to blow away. "Not a sight of any dark creatures out there," Oak said happily as he walked into the room. "I'm afraid I do have to make my leave, though, so I guess this is good-bye." The man waved at all of us, a grin on his face.

    "It was a pleasure to meet the three of you, and it was wonderful to talk with you again Mr. Pokemon." He turned around to walk out the door before he looked back at me, a more serious expression on his face this time. "And Zach, I'll make sure to call up some colleagues of mine to get to the bottom of that mysterious Darkrai incident. Alice, if you would..."He trailed off as the perky young blonde walked over to us, holding out her hands. "Give me your pokegears for a second, you three," she said with a smile. "I'll register us in them so you can contact us at any time."

    We did as she asked and within seconds three successive beeps told us all we needed to know. The woman looked up at Mr. Pokemon inquisitively before asking, "Would you like me to register you in here as well, sir?" The man nodded and three more beeps signaled her completion. She handed the devices back to us and headed for the door, the two of them waving as they made their way out into the drizzle. "Good-bye! It was nice meeting you all!" she called out cheerily, Oak doing the same. Before we knew it the door had closed behind them and the four of us were left alone.

    "Who is that woman, anyways?" Ashley asked after they were out of sight from the windows. "I've never seen her in interviews with Professor Oak before or anything."

    "Ah, she's a new aide of his," the elderly man said as he sipped his warm tea. "He'd been looking for one for ages, and she was the best of the best at Silph Co. in Kanto. He's been very happy with his choice ever since." Mr. Pokemon chuckled, placing the tea down on the night table. "It obviously doesn't hurt that she's easy on the eyes, either." Duncan laughed for a few seconds, dying down quickly as no one else did the same.

    "Well, we'd better get going, too," I said awkwardly. "We need to get to Violet City before the end of the night."

    "Leaving so soon?" Mr. Thornton asked, obviously surprised. "Why, I haven't seen you in a couple years, Zach! After that panicked episode, I thought it would be nice to lay back and visit with you! How's that mother of yours doing? Is that illness of hers acting up?"

    For a split second I felt as if I could almost feel the resentment wash over me at that question, even though I knew there shouldn't be any. I bit my lip, standing up. "She's been doing fine as ever, but I really have to go." I got up as Ashley and Duncan did the same, both saying their good-byes as well, though Ashley's was far more depressed. "Thanks for letting us stay here while the rain cleared up, but we do have to get going now. We'll see you again soon!"

    "Before you guys go..." I stopped at the doorway, turning back to face Mr. Pokemon as he took a sip of tea. "Be wary, you two. Mysterious things happen before tragic events. Team Rocket may have been defeated by your mother, Zach, but evil comes in many guises and it can never be completely defeated. If there really is a Darkrai, or if it's something else... Watch yourself. This world seems prone to organizations filled with sinister intents, and I'd hate for you to make enemies this early in your travels. Promise me you'll take care of yourselves, you three."

    Duncan and Ashley shared an uneasy look as I gulped. I'd never thought of that before. "We promise," I said softly.

    With that we walked out the door and into the storm while Mr. Pokemon called out behind us, "On a lighter note, call me sometime when you're bored! I look forward to hearing about your many accomplishments!" As we shut the door behind us, we quickly realized how wrong we'd been about the storm almost being over. Dark clouds were slowly rolling in ahead, the visible downpour they were releasing in the distance making the current drizzle look like nothing.

    "Guys... Maybe it'd be best if we started running," Duncan said with a sigh.

    ///////////////////

    We quickly realized it didn't matter how hard we ran. The storm still managed to descend upon us, the rain stinging our faces as explosive rounds of thunder cracked overhead. We continued to sprint, our backpacks held over our heads, towards Violet City but we knew it was no good. We needed to find shelter. Fast.

    "Guys!" Ashley barely managed to cry out over the storm. "Look for some trees or something! We need to wait this out!"

    "You moron!" Duncan yelled back, drenched from head to toe. "Never hide under a tree! They can get hit by lightning!"

    "Well there has to be something we can hide in -" I slipped, falling down into the wet grass mid-sentence as my two friends sped on without me. I cursed under my breath, trying to pick myself up but falling down again. I was a tad too exhausted for my own good.

    "Zach!" Ashley yelled, turning around and running back over to me as Duncan did the same. "Hurry up, we need to go!" I turned to face her as Duncan helped pick me up, readying a thank you before I saw an obvious solution.

    "Over there! Run!" I pointed towards a cave entrance not far away in the side of a mountain, Duncan and Ashley both following my finger and noticing it as well. We dashed madly towards the entrance, flinging ourselves into the darkness as lightning shot above us in the sky.

    "Oh thank god," Duncan panted, leaning against the wall of the cave as I caught my breath. "That storm is vicious."

    Ashley wrung out her hair, making pools of water on the ground around us. "We should get further back in the cave where the rain won't hit us. We can hide out here until the storm goes away."

    After that long talk about Darkrai, I really had no intention of going any further in this creepy cave than I had to. Duncan, however, nodded his head in agreement and I was outvoted.

    "Where are we, anyways?" I asked, gazing at the crumbling rock walls surrounding us. I'd never known of any caves by Violet City.

    "Well, a sign a little ways back said we're on Route 31 at the moment, but I'm not sure precisely what this place is called." We began to walk forward, hardly able to see our hands in front of our faces and praying that we wouldn't run into any walls or trip on any rocks. It had felt like we'd been walking for ages when we could finally hear the faint trickling of a stream, but the light from the entrance of the cave was almost completely out of sight now.

    "Can anyone turn on a light or something in here, please?" Duncan asked nervously. Idiotically, I'd forgotten to pack a flashlight.

    "Uhm, about that..."

    "Zach, I'd told you to be the one to bring a flashlight for the journey!"

    "Well, you could've brought one in your backpack too just in case, you know!"

    Ashley interrupted both of us with an exasperated, "Just use your freaking Cyndaquil!"

    I turned bright red, completely forgetting the fact its fire could do the job, too. Throwing my pokeball in the air,Lava burst onto the scene right behind us, its fire illuminating the area.

    Oh dear god. I jumped backwards, now clearly able to see the large stream we were just about to walk directly into. Ashley let out a yelp, bolting backwards while Duncan looked at the rushing water curiously. "Good thing I asked," he said with a smile.

    "Should we just sit here and set up camp 'till the storm clears?" I inquired, walking over to Duncan and my Cyndaquil as Ashley looked around nervously. "It's creepy in here, but we don't have much choice."

    "Sure, I don't see why not," Duncan said absent-mindedly as he sat down. "It's an adventure, right? Ashley, why not tell us where we are?" The girl sighed in response, dropping her bag and sitting down next to my Cyndaquil as she rummaged around for her book.

    "Here it is," she said happily. "A Traveler's Guide to Johto! Now to just figure out if this cave is even in this book..." Ashley began flipping through the pages as if on a mission. Wherever we are, it's dark... And I swear to god, I keep hearing noises. "Ah! Here it is!" Ashley said delightedly, holding up the book so we could both see. A picture depicted a forlorn cave, the entrance completely pitch black with two trainers running out of it screaming. "It's called the Dark Cave. Pretty imaginative, eh?" she snickered at her own joke, continuing on. "Anyways, there's not much to it. It's just a small network of tunnels that connect to Blackthorn City, but it's a one-way route from Blackthorn to Violet unless you're superman or something. Pokemon tend to be pretty weak on the Violet City side, and there are tons of lost items since it's so dark in here."

    "Think any of the items are worth something?" Duncan asked, prodding a rock with a nearby stick as thunder echoed through the cave. I could've sworn during that flash of light I saw something move behind some rocks far away, but it had to have been a trick of the light.

    "Well, we could always look," she suggested. "Can't hurt, can it? We're already poor."

    I nodded my head in agreement. I hadn't forgotten the fact I'd promised to pay for her dessert, and that meant possibly going without dinner myself. "Guys, just be on the look-out for some dry sticks or something so we can make a fire. If we run into anything else, great."

    We all got up, beginning to scour the area as my Cyndaquil snoozed happily by a pile of rocks, its flames dancing along the walls. I found a rather large pile of rocks and began sifting through them, yet nothing turned up except a disgruntled Geodude that quickly fled the scene. Ashley, who had taken to looking towards the entrance, walked back over to us particularly heavy-hearted. "Not a thing." She sighed. "That's horrible."

    Duncan, who had been scouring the sides of the stream, came back with several branches that he'd found. "Found these, but no items. Sorry guys."

    We all sat back down, cursing our horrible luck and lack of funds as we made a little fire pit and I commanded Lava to light the fire.

    "The weather should be clearing up soon," I said drearily as I held out my hands next to the campfire to warm them. "Maybe we should get going - "

    A figure flashed through the darkness yet again. Small, close to the ground. I knew I saw something that time. I turned to face the direction it ran towards, but before I could utter a word of warning Ashley let out a high-pitched scream. I turned to face her and, right before my eyes, her entire face lit up.

    "Guys! she hissed, pointing at the wall behind me. "Look! Over there!" We followed her gaze and quickly noticed a shiny object embedded into the side of the cave. The light emanating from Cyndaquil and the campfire sparkled along the item's golden surface, but the fact Ashley seemed so excited was what showed me that it was truly valuable indeed. "It's a nugget!" she cried, absolutely delighted. "Do you know how much those are worth?! Five times what we had to pay those drooling morons in Cherrygrove! We're rich!"

    She ran over to it, plucking it from the side of the wall and holding it in her hands preciously as she walked back over to us. "I'm rich! I can go get a hotel room and maybe a spa visit while we're in Violet City, and if I can make it stretch really far I can even get a Hello Skitty backpack - "

    She let out a deafening scream as a figure shot out of the darkness, jumping up and knocking the nugget out of her hands and letting it roll across the floor. Lava squealed and jumped to his feet, his fire unmasking the villain as Duncan and I shot up. A small, brown, bear-like Pokemon stood panting in front of Ashley. "Teddi!" it cried out, swiping at her knee and making her yell in fright again. That thing... I remember reading about it in Trainer School. It's a Teddiursa. As Ashley ran off towards a wall for cover the Teddiursa walked over to the nugget on the floor and picked it up defensively, gazing at all of us with a mixture of fear and anger.

    "Guys, I think we're intruding on its habitat," Ashley said cautiously, huddling against the wall. "We should get out of here. Fast."

    "But what about your food and hotel visit?" Duncan teased, a smile spreading across his face. "I say we get that nugget back by force if we have to. What do you think? Those things are supposed to evolve into a pretty strong Pokemon - it'd be a great addition to my team." He reached for his belt, pulling out a ball and throwing it in the air. "Scout, come on out!"

    His tiny Sentret burst onto the scene, stick in hand, as it eyed down the tiny bear Pokemon maliciously.

    "No!" Ashley hollered, stomping her foot. "That nugget is mine. I saw it, you little thief! I deserve to take it!"

    "Maybe if I win I'll give it to you!" he called back, grinning. "Maybe!"

    Ashley's face went bright red, her fists clenching. "You sniveling, insignificant - !"

    Duncan had had enough fighting with her, though. He clenched his fists, turning towards his Sentret. "Tackle!" he commanded. Scout responded in kind, shooting forward and slamming into the Teddiursa's stomach before the bear could even register what was happening. The creature let out a loud wail, skidding backwards. It looked at the creature that had caused it harm with child-like innocence, tears beginning to well up in the corners of its eyes. As we all watched, the creature began to cry miserably, falling back on the ground and wailing as if it had been mortally wounded.

    We all stared at the scene, dumb founded, as Ashley roared out, "Duncan, you jerk! How could you do that to the poor little Teddiursa?!" Duncan was lost for words as he tried his best to take in the scene.

    "I - I'm sorry! I didn't know! Can we fix it?!"

    The Teddiursa continued to cry, rolling around on the ground as the Sentret walked over to it, nervously squeaking at it as if in hopes of cheering it up. Then, in an instant, the Teddiursa's entire disposition changed. It shot up, sinking its claws into the tiny creature in front of it with a snarl.

    It... It tricked us! It was never actually hurt at all!

    The Sentret let out a scream of agony as the bear tore into it, kicking Scout in the face and making the Sentret fall backwards. The little bear huffed indignantly, puffing up its chest and beginning to walk back over towards Duncan's Pokemon.

    Duncan was slightly taken aback, but quickly regained composure. "Scout, uh - quick attack!" Heeding its trainer's command, the Pokemon ran at the bear with lightning-speed, jumping up half-way through its charge and slamming into the bear's chest. The bear flew backwards, the Sentret still on top of it, and hit a rock with a concussive thud.

    The Teddiursa kicked the Sentret off, rushing in and swiping its claws into Scout over and over again. The Sentret screamed out, curling into a ball and rolling backwards as the bear chased after it. Sentret popped out of its position, smacking the Teddiursa in the face with its tail. "That's right, Scout!" Duncan said with excitement. "Show it who's boss!" The Teddiursa growled, running in for another attack, but Sentret was too quick. It shot forward, slamming head first into Teddiursa and making it tumble backwards. The creature went to get up again, but Sentret jumped up and smacking it in the face with its tail, falling down on the other side of the creature with an arrogant look on its face.

    Realizing its chance, the Teddiursa lunged towards Scout with a paw outstretched, slamming its claws into Sentret's back and knocking it flat on its stomach. The Sentret popped back up, turning around with a growl and grabbing a nearby rock. As Teddiursa charged the creature, Sentret seemed to have had enough. It chucked the rock at Teddiursa's head, making contact right above its right eye. The teddy bear-like creature fell backwards, tears flooding its eyes as it began to wale yet again. This time, however, it was actually crying rather than trying to lead us on. Sentret shot forward again, tackling the bear to the ground and brutalizing it with its tiny claws.

    "ENOUGH!" Ashley yelled, running over to the tiny bear and throwing Sentret off of it. Scout landed a few feet away unharmed, looking at the girl angrily. "Oh, are you okay, Teddy?" Ashley cooed as she picked the Teddiursa up in her arms. The creature looked up at her with tears running down its face, clutching the nugget to its chest defensively as it let out a small, feeble, "Teddi..."

    The girl seemed to dissolve in the little creature's stare, stroking her hand against the little bear's face. Before I could warn about the dangers of petting wild Pokemon, the creature let out a deafening cry and tried its hardest to push Ashley away from it.

    "Oh, it's okay, I won't hurt you, sweetie!" She reached into her bag and pulled out a potion, spraying it on the tiny bear's wound. The creature let out a yelp of pain as the medicine sank in, but the amazed look that quickly spread across its face showed that it had felt the healing effects of the item not a moment later. "See? All better," Ashley said gently. "Now Duncan, you moron, call off your Pokemon!"

    "Sen!" Sentret shot forward again, rushing at the Teddiursa with lightning speed as if to prove its disloyalty to Ashley. It jumped through the air, soaring towards the tiny bear with a tackle and right before it hit -

    "Enough!" Ashley yelled out yet again, holding up a hand and stopping the Sentret midflight. "Leave this poor Pokemon alone!" Sentret hit her hand and fell to the ground. The tiny creature scampered over towards Duncan and hid behind his leg as Ashley gently petted the Teddiursa. The creature smiled, reaching up and licking Ashley's cheek lovingly as its tears slowly began to fade.

    "Ashley, I think that Pokemon might just be falling in love with you," I said teasingly. "It's going to start thinking your its mother."

    "Is that such a bad thing?" she asked, a loving expression on her face. "I could get used to that, y'know." Inspiration struck her. Reaching into her bag, she pulled out a pokeball and held it in front of the creature as it clawed her hand in hopes of getting her to pet it again. "Do you wanna come with me, little fella?" she asked sweetly. The creature seemed to not understand the question, instead moving up and licking her cheek again. She giggled, tapping the pokeball against its forehead. "I'll take that as a yes." A red beam of light shot out, absorbing the little bear and sucking it back in. The light in the middle started to flash as the capturing process began.

    Once...

    Twice...

    Three times...

    Ding!


    Ashley sat there for a second, staring at the pokeball in silence before she finally realized what had just happened. She quickly screamed with delight, jumping up and down as she grabbed the pokeball off the ground. "I caught my first Pokemon!" She looked over at us, as if seeing if we'd caught on to what had just happened as well. "I caught my first Pokemon and it's absolutely adorable!" she gushed. "It's the cutest thing ever!"

    I laughed. "Very nice, very nice!"

    She looked down at the pokeball excitedly. "So, seeing as how it's my first Pokemon, I'll have to give it a special name. I think... I think I'll just nickname it Teddy. It seemed to like it when I called it that. What do you guys think?"

    Duncan sighed, crossing his arms indignantly. "That was supposed to be my Teddiursa."

    "It was destroying your Sentret, and it obviously likes me more." Ashley giggled. "Teddy sounds perfect to me. Congratulations, little guy - you're on the number one up-and-coming Pokemon team to date!" She looked over towards the entrance of the cave, where rays of light had begun filtering in yet again. "I think the storm's finally starting to clear up, though... Do you think we should get going?"

    I smiled. "Now's as good a time as any, don't you think? Violet City's not far away - we'll have to celebrate. Come on, Lava, let's go."

    ///////////////////

    The woman walked over to the man's desk whimsically, seating herself in his chair as she looked out of the large office windows in front of her with fascination. The rain outside drenched the bustling city of Goldenrod, lightning cracking overhead as her operation went without a hitch. Soon everyone would discover the atrocities that had just happened in this radio station, but she no longer cared. She had all she wanted, and by the time anyone got here all traces of her involvement would be wiped clean.

    The sounds of screeching metal and a man's screams as he met his death at the bottom of the elevator shaft made a large, girlish grin spread across her face as she let out a maniacal giggle. She could have let him live, but where would the fun in that have been? The first rule of war, she reminded herself, is that all people deserve to die. Men, women, children... They're all equally deserving to lose their life to the cause.

    It was true. In a war, no one was allowed to live. And now, somewhere, some boy had found her messenger and it was only a matter of time before he would begin to tell others of this newfound information. She knew she had been successful with this operation, but she also knew that she had a more urgent mission to complete in the near future. She had to find this boy and make sure that he, like the people in this radio tower, would be silenced once and for all. As long as she could get to him before he tells anyone what he saw she would be safe. She would make sure that his death would be nearly painless, because she knew without a doubt that's what any good, kind-hearted woman like herself would do in her situation.

    She watched the storm turn to that of a drizzle as she hummed along to the pitter patter of rain against glass. This storm was finally about to break... But, before long, a whole new kind of storm would soon be taking place in this stupid little region. A storm that would cause more devastation than any simple lightning storm could possibly think of. As a woman's screams from floors below met her ears, her hum turned to that of a requiem as a commotion arose and the scream was silenced once and for all.

    Yes, there would be a new storm. And soon, she would make sure the boy who intercepted her message would die before he could ever even see the beginning of it.
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  9. #34
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    "I, however, never saw the point in telling the truth," she whispered softly, pulling out a two-way radio.

    "Wrath, my dear, would you be a dear and cut the elevator wires? I'd prefer it if our host doesn't live to see tomorrow."
    Holy crap, I was listening to creepy music when I read that! AUGH, AUGH, AUGH!

    But it got creepier when we got to Zach seeing Darkrai a second time. The music made it more intense... o_________________________O; And then it continued on as Zach explains what he saw... and the music got quieter and creepier like it was a legend being told that was going to come true...

    A picture depicted a forlorn cave, the entrance completely pitch black with two trainers running out of it screaming.
    LOL

    But that still didn't make this scene less creepy with background music going on.

    The teddy bear-like creature fell backwards, tears flooding its eyes as it began to wale yet again.
    Unless that's how it is spelled where you live, it should be "wail".

    "It's going to start thinking your its mother."
    Wrong “you're”.

    And then the ending got creepy again with the background music. AUGH!

    What a bitch, and we don't even know her name yet. She looks to be a good villain, though. But hooray for Ashley! I forgot Teddiursa can actually be found that early, probably because I only had Silver version.

    Nice work, the mystery was there throughout the chapter. Guess the background music helped or something ^^;. It was fitting since the music tended to play during creepy, mysterious parts in the anime it's from, so it was effective here. Not that the story needed the addition to make its point, but I like testing it out anyway.

    Looking forward to chapter seven, it sounds to be the most exciting one to date.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
    Current Chapter: Chapter Ten - 3/17/14 / Current: Requiem I - 11/17/14 - Chapter 21 progress: 66%
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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutie Pie View Post
    Holy crap, I was listening to creepy music when I read that! AUGH, AUGH, AUGH!

    But it got creepier when we got to Zach seeing Darkrai a second time. The music made it more intense... o_________________________O; And then it continued on as Zach explains what he saw... and the music got quieter and creepier like it was a legend being told that was going to come true...
    Lol! Glad you enjoyed it. xD I had quite a bit of fun with those scenes - they're my favorite kind to make. Dunno what you were listening to, but I'll have to thank it later for adding a bit of scary atmosphere to the scene.

    And then the ending got creepy again with the background music. AUGH!

    What a bitch, and we don't even know her name yet. She looks to be a good villain, though. But hooray for Ashley! I forgot Teddiursa can actually be found that early, probably because I only had Silver version.
    Thanks for the quick fixes. I'll add them in in a few. And lol. I love this villain, I have to admit. She's one of my favorite characters I've made, besides a couple other villains that'll appear later on. x3 As for Teddiursa, I couldn't help myself. I love that little critter more than life itself, and my favorite part of Crystal was always catching that thing after hours of hair-pulling frustration and failure.

    Nice work, the mystery was there throughout the chapter. Guess the background music helped or something ^^;. It was fitting since the music tended to play during creepy, mysterious parts in the anime it's from, so it was effective here. Not that the story needed the addition to make its point, but I like testing it out anyway.

    Looking forward to chapter seven, it sounds to be the most exciting one to date.
    Thanks for reading and reviewing as always, Kutie Pie. You're the best! I hope you enjoy Chapter Seven as much as I'll enjoy finishing it up. It should definitely be a noteworthy read for the fic, if it's pulled off right. :3
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  11. #36
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    Chapter Seven: Bittersweet.
    Part I

    I tightly gripped my mother's hand as we took our first steps into Violet City, the strangers on the streets bustling around us on their way towards unknown goals. She seemed to sense my nervousness - perhaps due to my continuous shaking - and gave my hand a tight squeeze.

    "You don't have to do this, you know," she said softly as we walked down the city streets towards the building looming up in the horizon. "There are other things you can do with your life."

    I gulped. There was a certain sadness that always found its way into her voice whenever this subject came up, and she'd never tell me why. It was almost as if she didn't want me to go through with this. I knew better, though. I knew I had to do this to carry on the family name. In my head I knew I didn't have a choice in the matter whatsoever, even if she refused to see otherwise.

    "I... I want to be a trainer," I said quietly. "It's all I've ever wanted to do, Momma." My mother stopped in the street, kneeling down next to me as she gave me a warm embrace. People all around us were watching as they went about their daily business, no doubt wondering what a celebrity was doing in their part of the world. If only my mother had known she'd chosen my destiny the second she had chosen hers.

    "If you're ever too nervous or scared without me, I'm just a phone call away," she whispered in my ear. "If you ever change your mind, you can always call me. It's never too late. Just remember that."

    I hugged her with all my strength, fighting back my worries and trying my best to be strong. I hated the thought of being all alone in this new school without anyone from home with me. I thought my mom would make me feel better before I left, but I'd never seen her this depressed before. "Momma... Do you not want me to do this?" I asked softly. She tensed, withdrawing from my touch as she gazed into my eyes.

    "I just..." She looked off to the side, biting her lip. "I just wish you'd change your mind is all, Zach." There was a certain guilt in her voice I couldn't quite understand. "Being a trainer... It's a tough life. I'm worried you won't be cut out for it." She looked at me as if she'd just hit me. Her lip quivered as she gave a weak, "I'm sorry."

    My heart sank. Did she really think I might not be able to do this? I'd expected words of encouragement, not something like that. I looked up at her, forcing a smile. It doesn't matter what she thought, I'd still show her that I could be brave. "It's alright, Momma. I know I can do it. I'll be great. I'm going to make you proud... I know I will."

    "That's my boy," she said with a faint smile, squeezing my hand yet again. "Class is about to start... I have to get back to New Bark Town, but call me when the day's over and you've gotten your room. I wanna hear all about your first day, sweetie."

    I nodded, any confidence I'd had about what I'd be able to accomplish drained from my body. As she got up and turned to walk away, I wrapped my arms around her midsection and squeezed with all my might. "Momma... I love you."

    She turned, holding me against her as she stroked my back. "It'll be okay, sweetie. I love you too."

    With that she broke the embrace, walking away into the crowd of unfamiliar faces that made up this city. I gulped, turning to look back at the Trainer School in the distance. I was all alone now. All alone with just that building. Even from this far away it looked so... So...


    "Big!" Ashley said, surprised. "It had always looked so big to me when I was younger! Jeeze... It's only been a few months since we left this school and it already looks smaller, doesn't it? Is that weird?"

    "That's the way time works," Duncan said with a sigh. "Everything shrinks the older you get until finally the only thing left to shrink is you." I nodded my head in agreement, gazing at the building uncertainly. We'd only been in Violet City for an hour before Ashley had suggested we go and visit our old school and we'd all loved the idea at first. Now that I was standing in front of the building, however, there was a certain part of me that wanted anything but to go back inside.

    "Are you sure it's a good idea to come visit this place already?" I asked, taking out my pokegear and checking the time. Seven p.m. "If we're going to challenge the gym, we should probably do it sooner rather than later."

    Ashley flashed me an irritated look, wiping a strand of hair out of her eyes. "The nurses at the Pokemon Center told us Falkner will be there until ten, like always. We have time for this. Besides, you promised me that if we missed the sunset in Cherrygrove I'd at least get to see the lake and visit the school."

    I glanced over at the lake behind the trainer school, realizing the fact that I'd actually agreed to something as stupid as that. Gah... I'm beaten. I shrugged, looking over at Duncan for support in getting to the gym early but he was already walking towards the school.

    "It won't be that bad, Zach," he said with a yawn. "Earl should be happy to see us, and it's not like we have to sit through some boring class or do homework." He paused, a shiver running up his spine. "Although I never did turn in that stats homework... Maybe it'd be best if we avoided Mrs. Etter."

    Ashley laughed, grabbing me by the wrist and dragging me briskly towards the door. "It'll only take a few minutes, Zach. Besides, Earl told all of us to swing by once we got our Pokemon. He should be pretty happy to see us, don't you think?"

    I'd always been fond of the man who ran the academy, but there was always a certain trait of his that made me want to wring his neck the longer I was around him. Despite his quirk, I still enjoyed the principal's company when it was in relatively small doses. After the day I'd been having, though, I didn't know how much of him I could really take. To be honest, all I really wanted to do was sleep.

    "Come on, Ashley, can't we just do this tomorrow morning? I wanna get to the gym..."

    As if only to defy me, she knocked loudly on the door and stood back expectantly with a large smile plastered across her face. "Just relax and have a good time for once in your life. I don't care what you think about all the stuff that happened here, we still had fun."

    Fun... Yeah, I guess that's what you'd call it. I gazed at the brick building, my heart sinking with every second. That was the worst six years of my life. I'll be glad the day I can finally forget everything that happened in there.

    We stood at the door in silence for what felt like years, waiting patiently for someone to answer. Nothing. Duncan rocked back and forth on the balls of his feet, looking around for signs of anyone.

    "Do you think they're all at an assembly or something?"

    "No idea," Ashley said quietly. "Maybe they just didn't hear us -"

    "WELCOME! YES, WELCOME!" a voice boomed as the front doors swung open, a portly, middle-aged man grinning at us from the darkness inside of the academy. "Returning trainers is you?!"

    And there was the reason I was going to kill him: his horrible grammar.

    Ashley smiled, walking into the academy and giving the man a large hug. "Principal Dervish!" she said sweetly. "We missed you!"

    "Oh, Ashley, it is!" the man bellowed as he twirled his large, brown mustache. "Is good to see you! Graduated you did, yes, and hole in our hearts here ever since!"

    Ashley giggled at the praise as Duncan and I made our way into the school. "Oh! Duncan and Zach, yes? Good to see you, it is!" I flinched at his improper sentence structure as I shook his hand, Duncan quickly doing the same. As I gazed around the inside of the academy, I realized not much had changed in my absence. The marble floors were well polished, a bright red, elegant rug draped across the middle of the room with a large staircase leading up to the classrooms on the second floor. This place had always looked so elegant yet antique, just like the rest of Violet City. I shook the observations out of my head, turning to face my old principal.

    "It's great to see you again, principal Dervish," I forced myself to say through gritted teeth, knowing my greeting would bring about more broken English. "We were in the neighborhood and thought we'd all swing by."

    Principal Dervish's eyes widened. "Oh! Traveling as a group you is? Excellent, excellent! Zach, is funny to me. I thought group be different for you when on adventure." I tried my best to comprehend what it was he was saying but I had no clue, so I simply nodded my head and smiled.

    "Yeah, I guess it is pretty funny, isn't it, principal Dervish?" God, I hope that fits well with what he was actually saying. The man laughed heartily, clapping me on the back.

    "Please, call Earl! All of you call Earl! Principal Dervish, my father it is!"

    Duncan grinned. "Earl it is. I have to say, it's kind of nice coming back here now that we don't have to worry about finals or tests. It's way more relaxing than how it normally was here. Don't you think, you guys?"

    "Definitely," Ashley said with a laugh. "I still hate the thought of cramming for that stupid Pharmacology exam. I'll never look at Protein or Iron supplements the same way again." Duncan and Ashley both turned to look at me, a curious look on their faces. "What about you, Zach?"

    "It's... different, yeah," I said meekly. "I almost forgot what it was like to be in this place." My shoes squeaked along the floor as I shifted nervously, avoiding contact with Earl's eyes. Was it wrong to feel like I don't want to be here? That I shouldn't be here? That I just

    don't belong? I shivered, forcing the thoughts out of my head as I pulled out my class schedule. 'Intro to competitive battling at eight a.m. in Room 113. Type counters 101 at nine in Room 247.' I stuffed the list back into my bag, not wanting to read the rest of it until the day was finally over with. Thinking of all I had to learn about this stuff was just... depressing. Walking past the stair case in front of me and through the mobs of students running to their first period, I saw the hall containing my first class of the day. Thank god we'd toured the place a week before school started or I'd have no idea where any of the rooms I had to be in were at.

    I nervously walked down the corridor, taking note of each door I shuffled past. I remembered my room was on the right, but I just wasn't sure where.
    Room 113.. Just keep on the look-out for Room 113... Room 103, Room 105, Room 107... Come on, Zach, find it! You don't want to screw up your first day by not making it to class on time. Just remember that you have an image to uphold -

    Thud!

    I collided into someone, falling backwards and making a group of girls that had been following closely behind me disperse with a squeal. "Gah, sorry!" I muttered, brushing myself off. " I wasn't paying any attention to where I was going and I... Well, yeah..." I looked up at the boy standing in front of me, his bright blue eyes gazing back at me as a friendly smile crossed his face.

    He held out a hand to me. "It's alright," he laughed, pulling me up to my feet. "I actually did the same thing about five minutes ago." He smoothed out his dark blue shirt, now slightly wrinkled from our collision, as he pointed to the sign that said '113' above the nearest door. "Are you in Intro to Competitive Battling, too?"

    "Yeah, actually," I said with a nervous smile. "I've got to admit, though, I'm kind of freaked out... I always hate going to places where I don't know a lot of people."

    The boy grinned, beckoning me to follow him as he turned around. "Well, you know someone in there now. Come sit with me! I wanna introduce you to someone I think you'll like."

    I nodded my head, relieved to have already possibly made a friend. We stepped into the noisy classroom, the teacher at the front sorting through an unorganized mess on top of her desk as the class chattered and threw paper balls at each other. The boy ignored the din, walking through the crowd and easily dodging a spit wad that whizzed past his ear. "Here we go," he said, taking a seat in the middle of an aisle. I quickly slid into a seat next to him, not caring about the chewed up wads of gum stuck underneath the desk top.

    "This," the boy said, poking a girl seated in front of him in the middle of the back as she giggled, "is the person I wanted to introduce you to. She's the one I ran into a few minutes ago. Since it's all our first day, I say we should become friends. School's always easier if you have a lot of friends, right?"

    I nodded thankfully as the girl turned to face me, flashing me a warm smile as she held out her hand to shake. A blush swept across my face as I took her hand in mine. I could already tell she was going to be great. "N-Nice to meet you," I stuttered.

    "Nice to meet you, too," the girl said happily, twirling her hair around her finger. "Now tell me, what're your classes for the day?"

    I reached into my backpack, pulling out the list and handing it to her. She quickly began to scan it, reading my classes silently to herself as the boy peered over her shoulder anxiously.

    "Hey!" he said delightedly, turning to face me before glancing back at my schedule to double-check. "We have four other classes together! This is perfect!"

    "You've got three more with me," the girl said with a grin. "That's great! I was hoping to start the day off with some friends, but I had no idea it would be this easy!"

    She handed the schedule back to me as I gave a sigh of relief.
    I... I already have some friends here? Is it possible this year will actually be... good? The teacher cut me off before I could say anything, asking the class to quiet down before she began her lesson. Instantly the entire class became an uproar as student after student ran around, searching their best for empty seats and new spots by friends they had just made.

    The boy turned to me in the chaos, a warm smile spread across his face as he tried his best to speak loudly enough so that I could hear him. "I have a feeling you and I are going to be best friends," he said while dodging a particularly tall girl that ran down the aisle between us. "We can choose a roommate by the end of the day if we find someone we like. I know it's sort of sudden, but do you wanna bunk together? I'd rather share a room with someone I sort of know."

    I couldn't have been happier by the question.
    Who knew making such great friends was so easy? "Definitely! That sounds great!" As the room finally settled down and the teacher began to introduce herself to the class, I leaned across the aisle and whispered quietly to the two of them, "Y'know, I don't even think we've introduced ourselves. I'm Zach. What's your guys' names?"

    The boy looked at me blankly before realizing I was right. He gave an embarrassed chuckle before leaning over and whispering back to me,

    "Nice to meet you, Zach. My name's Zane, and this here is Svetlana."


    "Academy here, is very good for trainers like you!" Earl said with a grin as he twirled around on the spot. "I tell already that you three will be the best of trainers, yes! Never wrong am I!"

    I sighed, shaking the memories out of my head. "And just how many other trainers have you told that line to, sir?"

    Earl busted out laughing, slapping my back jollily as he walked past me towards the large stair case. "Funny man is you!" he smirked, adjusting his suit. "You do not believe Earl when he says this. Is understandable, I suppose!"

    Ashley laughed, striding across the hall and studying a framed painting hanging above a fireplace. "We just got here about an hour ago, Earl. Today's been pretty fun-filled already." She tried to mimic the way the middle-aged man twirled around as she turned to face us, but she ended up spinning too far and nearly falling over. She quickly regained her balance, pretending the display was what she had intended to do. "Each of us has already caught another Pokemon and those two over there are going to be taking on Falkner soon!"

    "Falkner!" Earl spat, looking as if he had just begun to choke on a surprisingly distasteful piece of food. "You is of the idea that battling Falkner is to be of good for you so soon?!"

    "Well, he is a gym leader," Duncan said, leaning against a wall nearby. "Can you really blame us for wanting to fight him? It's a tradition for trainers to battle a gym on their first day so that they can see how tough battling is."

    Earl paused, taking a moment to consider the question before sighing and stroking his beard yet again. "Suppose not I do. As long as not taking it too hard on yourselves you are I guess is alright. But tradition," he said, eying Duncan down, "is stupid indeed."

    Duncan smiled, pleased with the answer. "Maybe you could give us a few tips to make it easier for us, eh? That way we might actually come out on top." He walked over to me, resting his elbow on my shoulder. "I mean, I should be just fine without 'em, but this guy here," he paused, pointing to me before continuing, "he's gonna need all the help he can get."

    I scowled, brushing his elbow off of me and taking a step away. "I'll be just fine," I mumbled. "No need to worry about that."

    "No, no! Is good, questions you ask! Earl be helping you now, yes? Is what teachers are supposed to do!"

    Ashley walked over to us, leaning in so that Earl couldn't hear her whisper, "you guys can't even go five minutes without talking about battling, can you?"

    "We're guys, what can we say? It's not our fault that you don't get how awesome battling is." Duncan looked as if he were about to add on a particularly rude remark, but Earl quickly interrupted him.

    "This way, yes, this way! I be of the showing you some tips!" Earl beamed, twirling on the spot and walking over behind the staircase. Ashley and Duncan followed him quickly as I dragged behind, taking in the sights of what had been my prison for so many years. I know it's weird to think that it should've changed by now after such a small amount of time, but I mean, come on... Everything's going on just the way it was when we were here. Something has to be different, right...?

    "Yes, yes! Here is chart for three of you!" Earl knocked me out of my thoughts as he tapped his knuckles against a large poster hanging on the wall, each Pokemon type printed across one side vertically and the other horizontally. Making up the middle was a gridded sheet with different symbols in several boxes. "This is chart of types, yes! You remember?"

    "I remember," Ashley said with a groan. "We had to fill it out in about five minutes for my Typing Advantages class."

    "Is good class for the trainers to be of the taking!" Earl chuckled, turning back to face the chart. "Symbols be of the representing different effectiveness against other types! If looking at the flying line are you, able to see that Flying-types like Falkner's gym are weak to the Electric-, Ice-, and

    Rock-types," Zane said with a groan, flopping down on his bed with his Typing book open in his hands. "Who cares about what Rock-types are weak to?"

    "Mrs. Stuart , obviously," Svetlana giggled. "But I get what you're saying. This is like, the fifth worksheet she's passed out about Rock-Type weaknesses. I say it's just 'cause she was a gym trainer for Brock. She probably just wants to tell us what he's weak to so she can seek vengeance through us for him firing her."

    "Well, it's not like Rock-type weaknesses are rocket science!" Zane protested. "Grass and water. Check mate!"

    "You forgot about Fighting-Types," I teased. "That'll probably screw you over in a fight if you send out a Geodude against a Machamp thinking you have a type advantage."

    "And
    you forgot about Ground- and Steel-types," Svetlana laughed. "You wouldn't be much better off sending a Golem out against a Steelix."

    I groaned. "Okay, so maybe it's a good thing she keeps passing out those worksheets. I don't think anyone really knows much about them except for you, Svetlana. Maybe I'll have to nerd out and bring a tape to class to record everything like that one girl in history."

    "Do it and I'll never talk to you again." Svetlana chuckled, closing her book on her lap and laying back on the bed. "That girl's a monster. All she does is ask smart questions and record lectures to make us look badly. Every time I give an answer she just shoots me down by raising her hand and telling me how wrong I am. Either you know it or you don't. Why rub it in people's faces? This stuff, though... It's not that hard, you guys. Don't worry, you'll get it eventually."

    "I doubt it," Zane said dryly. "I swear, I'm going to fail miserably when I'm on my own after graduation. They're going to find me in a ditch somewhere foaming at the mouth and muttering about Rock-types."

    "Well, who says you have to be on your own?" I asked. Svetlana and Zane both looked at me curiously as I closed my book, returning their look with a grin. "You guys said you were from New Bark Town, right? I am too. Now that we're best friends, maybe we could... Y'know... Travel together after school. What do you think?"

    Zane's eyes brightened at the thought and Svetlana shot up instantly. "That's perfect!" she said excitedly. "That'd make traveling so much more fun! Why didn't we think of that sooner?"

    "Yeah," Zane said happily. "I couldn't think of better people to travel with. I really don't wanna face this world alone." He laughed, but there was a sad look in his eyes - one of the few moments his outer shell seemed to show its cracks. "Do you guys promise we'll do this...? I don't want to get my hopes up if it's not going to come true."

    "I promise," Svetlana said as she held out her pinky to the two of us. Zane wrapped his around hers and promised as well, both of them turning to face me.

    I held out my own pinky finger, wrapping it around theirs as I glanced at each of them. "I promise," I said with a smile.


    "Got it," Duncan said as he studied the chart, his loud voice knocking me out of my thoughts. "Did you hear that, Zach? Ice-Types are great against Flying-Types like Falkner's. Your Sneasel might just be a god-send."

    I shook my head, regaining focus of the task at hand. "Y-Yeah, I wouldn't count on that," I muttered. "I don't know if I ever wanna use that beast in a fight again. I think it hates me or something."

    "Oh, don't be like that!" Ashley frowned, placing her hands on her hips. "It's still your Pokemon. It'll eventually learn to trust you. You just have to train it first."

    "Well you try training it and tell me how that goes," I said irritably. This place was getting to me more and more. I just wanted to leave. Why couldn't we have gone to the gym instead? Thinking about having to take on Falkner made me queasy, but it was tradition for anyone wanting to competitively battle to fight a gym leader on their first day so that they could see how difficult the road ahead would be. Thanks, but I already knew. If it weren't for that, I'd probably be cuddling up in a Pokemon Center.

    "Calm down," Duncan said matter-of-factly, "You're going to be fine in that battle. I promise."

    "I know," I muttered. "I'll do freaking great like I did in our last battle. Now can we go?"

    Earl pretended to study the poster hung on the wall so as not to disturb our conversation as Ashley turned to face me accusingly. "What's wrong with you today, Zach? You're acting -"

    "Crazy?" I hissed. Her eyes widened, but she didn't say anything. Duncan looked away. "Yeah, I noticed you guys felt that way at Mr. Thornton's. Don't worry about me," I said with a sigh. "I'm... Just hungry is all, I guess. We haven't had anything to eat for about eight hours now."

    Duncan's eyes brightened. "That's something I can relate to," he said happily. "Now tell me, Earl, are we in time for dinner or are we going to have to go eat somewhere else? We're thinking about challenging the gym later tonight and if we have to stop by a McGrimer's on the way we're going to have to leave here extra early."

    Earl turned to face Duncan, clapping his hands together with such an exaggerated motion that his entire brown suit bounced up and down. "Dinner! Yes, dinner for you three! Earl nearly forgot! This way, this way!" He twirled on the spot with one leg bent in the air, quickly facing a door to our right across the hall and walking towards it with his newfound enthusiasm. "Three mighty trainers, you are! Is good for you to be of the eating now, yes? Make everyone happy!"

    "Heck yes," Duncan said with a grin as we followed the man. "Is this going to cost us anything out of pocket?"

    "No, no! Is absolutely free for you! I insist!" Earl said as he walked into the dining hall, twirling yet again before bowing to us. This room hadn't changed, either; on the far right wall was a buffet of food choices, the rest of the room filled with tables and benches for students to sit themselves on. The room was already bustling with nearly two-hundred kids of all ages, each one holding a large tray piled full of different food choices. If there was one thing this school got right, it was their meals.

    "Now, now! Please, eat to heart's content! Sit wherever feel like and have fun!" The man twirled around yet again to look at us, a delighted look on his face. "After dinner we do the talking, yes? Now then,

    Bon appetite!" Svetlana said delightedly as she took a large bite out of her salad, a quick look of revulsion flashing across her face before she reached for the dressings placed on the middle of our table. "Needs way more ranch," she said with a sigh.

    "Then again, you can never have enough ranch dressing," Zane teased. He took a bite out of his Pidgey leg, glancing over at me curiously before swallowing. "Did you do the homework for Biology, Zach?"

    "I couldn't figure out how they wanted us to map the differences between Torchic and Blaziken," I replied, shoving a handful of fries into my mouth. "Sorry."

    "It's alright," he sighed. "I probably should've asked Mrs. Stuart what she wanted us to do when I saw her in the hall, but I really didn't feel like it."

    "I don't blame you," I laughed. "Seems like everyone here has such a thick accent. I can hardly understand that woman when she talks. At least I'm starting to get used to her, though."

    Before Zane could reply, a boy came up from behind and roughly slapped him in the back in what was supposed to be taken as a friendly way. "Hey, kids," the boy said with a fake smile. "How's it going?"

    "What do you want, Logan?" Zane coughed, the slap seeming to have lodged a piece of meat in his throat. Guess we could talk about homework later.

    "Well, I like to think we're best of friends," the blonde boy chuckled. "And friends help out other friends, don't they? 'Cause you see, this friend didn't get his Type Counters 115 homework done. Think you could spare me your answers?"

    Zane sighed, spitting the piece of meat into a napkin. "I told you before that I'm not going to let you cheat anymore, dude. It took me and Zach two hours last night, do you really think I'm going to just let you copy it all down and get the same grade in five minutes?"

    "Oh, right," the boy said with a smile. "I forgot about your little 'friend' here." My face went bright red. What was that supposed to mean?

    "You know, there are plenty of rumors spreading around school about you, Zach. Maybe even a few that explain why you haven't had a girlfriend."

    "And just what're you trying to say?" My fists clenched around my Tauros burger, yet I was no longer in the mood for food.

    Logan winked. "I'm just saying my fly's down."

    Instinctively my eyes shot down to see if he was telling the truth, only to realize I fell for his trap. The boy busted out laughing as I went bright red.

    "The son of a champion... Gay. Who knew?"

    "I'm not - !"

    "Hey, man, you don't have to explain yourself," Logan held his hands up, as if acting like I was about to move towards him and he'd need to hold me off. "What you and Zane do behind closed doors is your own business. I'm just trying to get some homework done."

    "You can forget about it," Zane said irritably. "You're making fun of my friend and you think I'll
    help you? Get lost, jerk."

    The anger emanating from where Svetlana sat felt almost palpable. "Get over yourself, Logan."

    The answer didn't seem to please the young boy. "What's that supposed to mean?" he said, a fake friendliness dancing through his voice despite his eyes seeming to unveil a much crueler thought process. "Come on, I thought we were
    friends." In one swift movement Logan scooped a hand full of mashed potatoes off of Zane's plate and smeared it across the boy's face, laughing as Zane spluttered and tried to wipe the food off of his cheeks. "How about you tell me the answers now, best friend?"

    "Leave Zane alone!" Svetlana yelled angrily, grabbing a napkin and trying desperately to get the mashed potatoes off of him. "Do you always have to be such a jerk, Logan?!"

    "Shut up, trash," the boy said fiercely. "Go back to the kitchen where you belong. The big boys are talking now."

    I could feel the anger rising inside of me, my fists clenching my burger so tightly it was almost flattened completely. "Don't talk to Svetlana like that!" I growled. "I'm getting sick and tired of your crap. Leave us alone!"

    Zane sat there, unsure of what to do, as he wiped the last bit of mashed potatoes off of his face. "I suggest you shut the hell up, Zach, or else you're going to be getting a helluva lot worse than mashed potatoes on your face," Logan hissed. "I'm getting sick and tired of you guys constantly acting so superior to me. If I don't do that homework I'm failing the class, and if I fail the class my dad isn't going to be very happy with me. If that happens, I can guarantee you guys you'll wish I was only acting this calm!" He bent down and grabbed another handful of mashed potatoes, smearing it all over Zane's face yet again. "Eat up, brat, and maybe then you'll tell me where your homework is!"

    "Leave him alone!" Svetlana pleaded, bending down to her bag and unzipping it before pulling out a white sheet from its depths. "Here's a copy of mine," she said angrily. There was a look on her face I was beginning to get more and more used to lately. Horror. Fear. She looked away as Logan took the piece of paper from her, trying her best to hide the scared look on her face.

    "Heh. Guess you aren't as useless as I thought you were, freak. Good job." Logan smirked, taking Zane's glass of water and taking a sip from it. "I'll make sure to thank you guys later. 'Till then, I suppose." The boy laughed, walking past us and dumping the glass over Svetlana's head. The cold water instantly covered her, making her scream in surprise as an ice cube fell down into her lap.

    Svetlana sat there silently as she began to swab up the water that was continuing to trickle down her, Zane watching her numbly as she began to gently cry. "Sorry, Svety, I... I should've just given it to him," he whispered. "It's my fault. Let's run up and get you some new clothes before fifth period."

    "It's alright," she replied softly. "I'm... I'm fine. This is about the tenth time he's done this to us anyways... I'm used to it by now. I guess I just wasn't expecting him to use water or potatoes." I picked up some napkins and began to help her clean up the mess, guilt barraging my mind. Whether her tears were from anger or embarrassment, I had no clue. I don't know why more and more people in this school had begun to pick on us - all I knew was that I was getting sick of it. Sick of all of it. Something had to change, and soon.

    "It's stupid that a moron like that can get to me," she said weakly, dabbing at her running mascara. "It's stupid that all the morons around here are finally starting to get to me."

    Zane sighed, pushing his plate away from him as he began to help dry off Svetlana as well. "Yeah, I know what you mean, Svety. It's alright, though... Just don't think about it too much. We'll be just fine."

    "No... She's right," I said quietly, exchanging a glance with the two of them. "I'm sick and tired of dealing with all of this. We need to become the top dogs around here and end this once and for all. Maybe it's time we started showing them what bullying
    really is."

    Last edited by Dawn_Hero; 22nd January 2012 at 3:16 PM.
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  12. #37
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    Chapter Seven: Bittersweet.
    Part II.


    <Part I>

    "I can't believe how great this food is!" Ashley said happily, digging into her red Jell-O. "I totally forgot how great the cooks are!"

    "Dunce," Duncan snickered. "It doesn't take a great cook to make Jell-O. Just a great credit card and a trip to the food store."

    "Shut up. I knew that!"

    "Love you too. But I hear the cooks here are partnered up with the Snorlax Bistro Chain," Duncan said absent-mindedly. "No wonder this food is so good." He took a large bite out of his second Tauros Burger today, giving a delighted moan as he began to chew. "It's like heaven on a bun!"

    "Don't enjoy that food too much, Duncan," I chuckled, trying to keep my head in the present as I ate a fry. "We really do need to get going shortly. It's a good fifteen minute walk to the gym and it's already almost eight. We need to be finished by ten and who knows how long our battles will take."

    Ashley sighed. "You just can't relax and enjoy the sights around here, can you?" she asked me, defeat dripping into her voice. "I don't know what's been going on with you today, Zach. You've been acting... strangely. First you sneak out of your house, then you say you meet a Darkrai -"

    "Don't bring that up in public." My voice was firm, almost angry. A shocked expression flashed across her face before it settled down, a newer, softer look taking its place. Ashley's tough exterior was actually cracking.

    "Zach..." The tone of her voice made me cringe. I couldn't tell if it was pity or compassion. "I don't know what's going on with you. I don't even know if I believe you." She hesitated, as if considering what the best way to word her next sentence would be. "I do know one thing, though," she said softly. "We're your friends, Zach, and we'll always be here for you." She took my hand in hers, gripping it tightly. "Whether you like it or not, we're a

    team," Zane said with a smirk. "Who's bright idea was it to team us up for the triple battle competition? We're going to dominate." Svetlana and I both looked at each other and smiled, knowing he was right.

    "They don't stand a chance," Svetlana sneered. "I just aced my advanced Biology test. I know just about everything's critical points by now, and that blonde nerd with the tape recorder is our round one opponent. This is a dream come true."

    "I..." My gaze drifted to the ground, thoughts of me in a battle making me fear the worst. I couldn't imagine anything worse than my two best friends losing a battle because of me... What if I failed them?

    "Zach," Svetlana said reassuringly. "You're going to do great. You're not as bad as you think, you know - we'll train a bit after classes each day and you'll be top of the class in no time."

    My spirits lifted slightly. "You really think so?"

    "I know so," Zane said with a smile. "Besides... Everyone already knows we're the best, but it wouldn't hurt to remind them. A few people here could stand being put in their place."

    The blonde girl in the front of the class interrupted our conversation with the raise of her hand. "Yes?" Mrs. Williams asked, looking at her curiously.

    "Yes," the girl continued on, the voice recorder on her desk turned off for the first time in class the entire quarter. "I was just curious as to who the boy I was paired up with was. I don't think I've seen him in class before."

    "Ugh," Svetlana groaned, a look of utter repulsion spreading across her face. "The girl never shuts up, does she? She always has to make herself look smart."

    I laughed. Ever since the fight with Logan at lunch last year, we'd all decided to take up my advice and we'd never been happier. It took a lot of getting used to, but we were finally getting good at it. People stopped picking on us. They stopped teasing us. They just did whatever we said and how we said it. They actually respected us. We were... liked.

    "Oh, right!" Mrs. Williams had finished checking the Triple Battle list and had realized just who it was the girl was talking about. "Duncan Tansy is actually going to start his first day here tomorrow after transferring from Olivine. Ashley, since you're in his group, would you mind showing him around and such?"

    "That's not a problem at all. Thank you, Mrs. Williams."

    "That's not a problem at all," Svetlana mimicked, a cruel look in her eyes. "God, I hate teacher's pets."

    Zane didn't seem to notice what Svetlana had said. "The guy's from Olivine?" He chuckled. "So we've got a hick coming to our school. This should be fun."

    It felt as if I was the only one genuinely excited about the arrival of this Duncan kid between the three of us. This kid didn't know me, didn't know
    us. He was fresh blood, and fresh blood always tastes the sweetest.

    ///////////////////

    "Quiet down, class, quiet down!" Mrs. Williams called out over the chaos. "We have a special guest here for you." Our teacher beckoned towards a boy who had been awkwardly standing by the door for the last five minutes. He seemed shy. Timid. Fearful.

    I smiled.

    "This is Duncan Tansy," the teacher continued, addressing the class. "He's joining us from our sister school in Olivine. Duncan, is there anything you'd like to say about yourself to the class?"

    The boy scanned the faces in front of him before dropping his gaze to the ground, slightly shaking. "N-no, ma'am, I'm good."

    Mrs. Williams seemed disappointed for a second before wiping the look off of her face. She ushered him to his seat next to that Ashley girl and then walked back up to the front of the class.

    "He's shy," Svetlana said dryly. "I don't like shy."

    Zane snickered. "You don't like anything, Svety."

    "No, he's mine," I said with a grin. "I've been so stressed out with finals coming up that it'd be nice to take it out on some fresh meat."

    Svetlana smirked. "Then go for it, Zachypoo."

    Mrs. Williams cleared her throat, interrupting me before I could reply. As we all gazed up at her, she met our stare with a slightly more serious face. "Now, after meeting Duncan, I'd like to make a... Minor announcement," she said. "Logan Davies has been dropped out of our class for reasons undisclosed."

    Svetlana grinned before whispering to the two of us, "he failed his biology mid-term because I fed him the wrong answers. My guess is his dad finally got a hold of him after figuring out." Zane and I both chuckled under our breaths. Served him right.

    "This, however, does mean that the class is now oddly-numbered. Since Logan was to be in Duncan's group, I'd like to make some minor revisions. Oxford!"

    I snapped my head up, Zane and Svetlana doing the same. Had she heard what we had said? "Uh... Y-yes, ma'am?"

    "You're to be in Tansy and Morrone's group from now on. No 'but's about it."

    All three of our jaws dropped. "What?!" I cried out, slamming my hands on my table. "But...! But...!"

    "I said no 'but's, Oxford," Mrs. Williams said firmly. "Or are you hard of hearing?"

    "But what about
    us?" Zane protested. Why is it we can only have a group of two instead of them? That's not fair!"

    "You two are the highest-scoring in the class. You both should be able to do quite well for yourselves together." Svetlana went to protest as well, but Mrs. Williams raised her hand. "Oxford, please move tables. The rest of the class period will be used to familiarize yourself with your team-mates and form battle strategies for the tournament Saturday."

    I groaned, grabbing my bag and standing up. "This is total crap," Svetlana hissed, staring daggers at Ashley from across the room. "The nerdy snob and that hic can't just steal you from us like that!"

    "They already have," Zane muttered. "Zach... I'm sorry, man. We'll get you back somehow."

    "Don't worry about it." My voice seemed much calmer than I expected it to. In honesty, I hated being away from those two. They were the only ones in this whole school who didn't make me feel worthless. "I get to break the moron in to who runs this school on his first day and I can feed you guys our battle strategies. It's win-win." Zane and Svetlana both went to protest but I interrupted them before they could speak. "I'll meet you guys for lunch and tell you how it went. Just focus on figuring out how to win until then, alright? I'll make sure to figure out a way to sabotage these idiots."

    I waved good-bye and walked over to my new table, Ashley and Duncan both quiet as they stared at me, shifting awkwardly in their seats. This was going to be easy. Too easy.

    I sat down next to Ashley and across the table from Duncan, studying both of them as they stared at the blackboard. "So I guess I'm in your team now," I said with a fake smile. "Are either of you actually good, or am I going to have to pull all of the weight around here?"

    Ashley flashed me an irritated look before pulling out a triple battle introduction book and flipping through it. To my surprise, Duncan was the one that looked up at me and held out his hand. "Hey," he said softly. "I'm, uh, well... I'm Duncan. It's nice to meet you. I don't really know if I'm good at battling or not, but I'll try my best." He gave a nervous smile as his hand shook in the air. I snorted, batting it away.

    "I'm Zach, and I really don't care what your name is, redneck." Duncan looked as if I'd hit him as Ashley busied herself with her book. I never did like her; any time I talked she just ignored me. Everyone else always tripped over themselves doing what Zane, Svetlana or I asked. That's why the three of us were so great - that's why we were supposed to be a team.

    "Oh... Sorry, I guess," Duncan said softly, a dark crimson spreading across his face. "I didn't know -"

    "Of course you didn't know," I said matter-of-factly, rolling my eyes. "No morons like you ever know. Next time you have to apologize I'll -"

    "Next time he has to apologize I'm going to personally hand your butt back to you with your head neatly removed from inside of it," Ashley interrupted with a smile. Duncan and I both froze, turning to face her. The girl glared at me from behind her book with a look of utter contempt as she snapped it shut. "Don't act like you're a big-shot, kid," she continued on, her voice like acid. "I've seen you battle. You suck. You're nothing but a gigantic brat stomping his feet around until he gets his way. You act like you should be respected, but morons like you never realize that the only reason everyone does what you want is because they're sick of hearing you talk."

    I felt as if I'd just been brutally thrown in front of an oncoming train. Sick of hearing me talk...? Not respected...? What the hell is she talking about? "If you're on my team... Fine. I'll live with it," she continued. "But don't mess with Duncan. He's new here and he's twice the guy you'll ever be." Ashley sighed, putting her book in her bag and standing up. "You know... I was mad I was going to have to be in a group with Logan because he was such a jerk. But you... You're way worse than ever having to deal with him."

    My face flushed. "You don't even know what you're talking about," I hissed. "Logan was a complete jerk for no reason. I - we- we're respected. I don't need some nerdy chick who can't go to class without a voice recorder to tell me what she thinks, because frankly I don't care."

    Ashley paused, turning to face me as she threw on her backpack. "I bring a voice recorder to class because I can't remember what the teachers say and my notes suck," she said angrily. "Even then I'm lucky to get a 'C' and pass a class. Don't talk about things you don't know." Her words felt like a slap across the face yet again. Duncan stared on, unsure of what to do, as Ashley left the room.

    "I..." I said weakly. I'd been like this for a year now. People talked to me. They respected me... Didn't they? Was I a 'Logan'? I shook my head, staring up at Duncan. His face was flushed as he stared down at the ground. It finally hit me. I'd been a dick. Just what had he done to deserve that...?

    "I'm sorry," I muttered, standing up from my chair and walking out of the room.

    ///////////////////

    I fidgeted in my seat at Lunch as Zane and Svetlana came over and sat down. "How was the time with the nerds?" Svetlana sneered. "You're going to need a shower after being around their stink."

    "That new kid just sat in his table for half an hour by himself," Zane chuckled. "Good going. He looks about ready to crack already."

    I looked at both of my friends of two years and sighed. What had we become? I remembered when the three of us had stopped a bully from taking a girl's lunch money, when we used to stick up for anything wrong we saw. Then the bullying started to happen to us daily and we just... Stopped caring. We became what we hated. Why...? "You guys," I said softly. "Maybe... Maybe we should give them a break."

    Svetlana tensed. "What do you mean? They're freaks! They deserve what's coming to them!"

    "No they don't!" I yelled. Both of them shrank back as half of the room turned to stare at me. I quickly ducked down a bit and the room began to fill with chatter yet again. "I... I don't think they do," I whispered. "I don't think any of these people do anymore. You guys... Nobody likes us."

    A look of anger and resentment filled their eyes. "We know that, Zach," Zane muttered. "Why do you think we do this? Either we're nice and nobody likes us while we get bullied, or we're jerks and everyone does what we say and we don't get bullied. Those are our options. You were the one that made us realize that... Remember?"

    "You guys... What happened to us?"

    It was Svetlana's turn to jump in this time. "Zach... Snap out of it. They're brain-washing you! I knew we shouldn't have let you go hang out with them. That girl's smart, she probably tricked you somehow -"

    "My dad owns half this school," Zane interjected. "He can talk to Mrs. Williams and get you back on our team. I know he can."

    "Shut up about your dad," I hissed. "You can't just have your parents let you do whatever you want. Besides, he's not that big of a deal. Have him be a champion like my mom and then start bringing him up, alright? Until then, I don't care. Stop using him for attention."

    Something snapped behind Zane's eyes. It looked as if I'd just punched him in the face. "So that's how you feel... I guess your mother's the best then, right? I was wondering when you'd finally bring her up."

    I felt my heart sinking. This was tearing us apart. "You guys..." I whispered. "Please. Come on. We can fix this!"

    "No, we can't," Svetlana muttered. "If you want to be accepted by those two so badly, go to them. I knew I shouldn't have let you be around that Ashley girl. I just... I knew..." I could see the tears in Svetlana's eyes as she gave her best look of repulsion and disgust. This was hurting her more than she'd ever let on. "But... That doesn't matter. We'll always be here for you," she tried to say with her best tone of indifference. "You can come back if things don't work out." Her gaze drifted down to her lunch tray. "Please come back."

    I sighed, getting up from my chair and throwing my backpack over my shoulder. "You guys..." I looked at both of them as they turned their heads away, closing their eyes. "We can change."

    "No, we can't," Svetlana said solemnly. "And you aren't supposed to be able to either... But if you want to be bullied, want to be ridiculed... Then go. Just leave us already."

    My heart was breaking. These were the only friends I'd ever known. Why couldn't we go back to the way things were...? Why did we have to change things?

    Why did I have to lose them?

    I shook my head, turning around and walking off. "Good-bye, you guys," I said softly. To be honest, I knew Ashley and Duncan wouldn't accept me. I wouldn't have anyone. But that Ashley girl had been right. I'd been a jerk. In the end... I'd rather be someone respectable with no friends than a jerk with a ton of them.

    "Zach," Svetlana called out from behind me. I turned around, glancing at the only two friends I'd ever had that I was about to leave behind. "We'll be waiting for you to come back," she said softly. "You'll always have a chance to come back."

    "No offense... But if this is what we've become, Ashley and Duncan are twice the people we'll ever be." With that I turned around and continued to walk. I could tell that my response had hurt her more than anything she had imagined I could do. I knew they'd want nothing to do with me now. I'd burned that bridge. But somehow... I still knew this was what I had to do.


    "I'm sorry, Earl!" Ashley sobbed as she wrapped her arms around the obese man. "We do have to go, though!"

    "Is alright, is alright!" the man said with a sigh, patting her head roughly. "Trainers must be of the adventuring, yes?"

    "Good-bye, Earl," I muttered as I walked towards the door. I couldn't believe I'd daydreamed my way through lunch. It was already eight-thirty and time to go. Duncan and Ashley followed behind me closely, both of them whispering amongst themselves about their favorite parts of coming back here.

    "Can you believe we've been together for four years now?" Ashley giggled as she stood in front of the doors leading out. "It feels like it's been forever now."

    "I still remember the first time we all met," Duncan snickered. "Zach, you were a complete dick. You know that, right?"

    "Yeah, I know," I muttered. "Thank god for Mrs. Williams. If it weren't for me being in your guys' group, I dunno if I'd have ever realized it."

    "The important thing is that you did," Ashley said with a smile. "I remember when you told us that you realized I was right during that triple battle competition and that was why you'd eaten lunch alone on Friday. If only you could have also learned that ground was super-effective against rock-types, too."

    I sighed. "Yeah, yeah. I guess sending out that Golem against the Steelix didn't really do us any favors."

    We all busted out laughing, myself included for once, as we opened the doors of the institute and made our way into the crisp night air. The lamps over the lake behind the institute cast a beautiful glow over the school grounds, lighting our way so that we could make our way back to the quiet streets of Violet City. As we walked into the night, footsteps rang out from head.

    "So you morons figured you needed more schooling before you could amount to anything, right?" a familiar voice called out. Svetlana and Zane emerged from the darkness, the girl's Chikorita nestled in her arms. "Figures. Zane and I already went and got our badges from Falkner. It was a piece of cake." She laughed as she brushed past us, walking towards the institute. "I'm sure you guys will eventually be able to get yours... In a couple of years or something."

    Zane glanced at me, silent as he walked past us and into the building we'd spent so long together in. There was a look in his eyes that I wasn't used to. A look of sorrow. Could it be he was remembering, too...?

    I turned around as Ashley and Duncan moved on, Ashley muttering a cruel insult under her breath directed at the two of them as I gazed at the trainer school through the dark. I couldn't believe how much my life had been based around one place I'd grown to despise so much. Friendships both maintained and lost, battles both won and defeated...

    Ashley stopped walking, glancing back over her shoulder at me. "Zach!" she called out. "Aren't you coming along?"

    I sighed, nodding my head as I turned around and walked towards the street with the two of them. "Yeah," I said softly. Now that I was finally leaving this place for the second time, I knew I wouldn't ever come back. Those memories were best left sealed away for now. Maybe someday, though, I could think back to them fondly. I could remember the times I had here without wincing from the memories.

    And maybe, just maybe, the day that happens is the day that I think back on those memories fondly with the first two friends that I'd ever had.
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  13. #38
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    ...

    ...I'm a little too upset to quote anything from the story that I liked or needed a little touching up (like the classes on the schedule need to be capitalized). You almost broke me in about Svetlana and Zane, but then I see Zach being a douchebag hanging around them. That was... I know it's from the past, but that changes a lot of things. You got me thinking he was going to be a villain protagonist at first. That's... that's harsh.

    I suppose it helped that during the flashback scenes, I made sure to play a certain piece of music for a certain mood. It worked, especially since the chapter title told me what the mood will be like. (Since you're curious as to what kind of music I listen to while reading the story, there you go.)

    Wow, maybe I shouldn't have read it before church, I'm rather depressed now, ^_^;. Though I think maybe that was the intent. I can see why it would be a favorite chapter. It's powerful.

    But that doesn't mean Svetlana and Zane are my favorite characters now... even if Zach came up with the idea...

    In fact, what the hell, hero? Putting ideas into their heads like that, and now they can't let it go? That's freakin' dark. The story title is starting to make sense now. I think I know of one reason why Darkrai is hanging around close-by, even if it's on orders. Dang...

    Well, gotta go make myself happy, then. I want to be in a cheerful mood before church, though now that chapter's going to be on my head for a while. Man, you weren't kidding.
    Winner of Best Pokémon/Pokémon Fic of 2013 in the Shipping Oscars
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  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutie Pie View Post
    ...

    ...I'm a little too upset to quote anything from the story that I liked or needed a little touching up (like the classes on the schedule need to be capitalized). You almost broke me in about Svetlana and Zane, but then I see Zach being a douchebag hanging around them. That was... I know it's from the past, but that changes a lot of things. You got me thinking he was going to be a villain protagonist at first. That's... that's harsh.
    Sorry to have upset you. ^^;; I don't really want any heroes in this story to be cut and paste if this makes sense... I really hate it when a hero is so obviously heroic, 'cause it just doesn't feel realistic to me. I want people to wonder if they're actually the good guy or the bad guy. Zach's sensitive, insecure, and has low self-esteem; that can make for an understanding hero, or a schoolyard bully. This was a chance to show that he's not some perfect guy, but he's tried to change over the years. As for Zane and Svetlana... Well, not all people care if what they're doing hurts people. I'm sorry it depressed you right before church - guess now you know why it's called Bittersweet. ^^;; The fact that you almost thought he was going to be a villain protagonist but now things are changed meant that the effect I'm going for actually went through, at least - is he really an innocent kid, or is he still one of the bullies deep down?

    I suppose it helped that during the flashback scenes, I made sure to play a certain piece of music for a certain mood. It worked, especially since the chapter title told me what the mood will be like. (Since you're curious as to what kind of music I listen to while reading the story, there you go.)
    I watched the music, and I have to say, I liked it. It was soothing background music for the scenes. ^^

    Wow, maybe I shouldn't have read it before church, I'm rather depressed now, ^_^;. Though I think maybe that was the intent. I can see why it would be a favorite chapter. It's powerful.
    Again, sorry. :x I probably should have warned you that it's... Yeah. Ahahah. This is sort of what I want to explore with this fic - boundaries of good and evil. Not all characters are always pure good or evil, you know? They're sort of... mixed. I wanted to show that with all three of them. And, though you might get depressed by it, the scenes present in the chapter will be fleshed out as the story goes on and more will be added through flashbacks. ^^;;

    But that doesn't mean Svetlana and Zane are my favorite characters now... even if Zach came up with the idea...
    Nah, I get that. For me, they became some of my favorite characters - especially Svetlana - because it sort of showed this mental process they went through to defend themselves, but by defending themselves they lost this really close friend. Now they hate him and his two new friends because, somewhere deep down, they always felt like it was themselves Zach was supposed to be traveling with, not Ashley and Duncan. Though it doesn't change the fact they're pompous douchebags, it at least makes them more human to me. I'm sure most people may still not like them, but it made me rather fond of the two rivals. :3

    In fact, what the hell, hero? Putting ideas into their heads like that, and now they can't let it go? That's freakin' dark. The story title is starting to make sense now. I think I know of one reason why Darkrai is hanging around close-by, even if it's on orders. Dang...
    This will indeed be a rather... Dark fic. I enjoy psychology and tainted characters; both will play a really large part in this story as it continues on, because I want to explore a world of Johto where people are still reeling after death and war, and this new organization is coming out of nowhere and creating these terrorist operations. Granted, what happened to Zane and Svetlana was flat-out depressing, but it's really not that much compared to other things that may happen later on. ^^;; Hahah.

    Well, gotta go make myself happy, then. I want to be in a cheerful mood before church, though now that chapter's going to be on my head for a while. Man, you weren't kidding.
    I'm sorry that my newest chapter depressed you so much, but thanks for leaving a review all the same. :P I really appreciate your support. If this is turning out to not be your type of thing, however, I'd also understand. If you're looking for something a bit more light-hearted, I just posted a new fan fic, The Villain, which is more comedy than anything else. ^^;;

    Anyways, I hope you had fun at church and that your week is treating you well. Have a great day and thanks again for the review, Kutie Pie!
    Last edited by Dawn_Hero; 24th January 2012 at 9:22 PM.
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  15. #40
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    No no, don't apologize for upsetting me. That was just how the chapter presented itself, which was how you wanted it. It did its job to bring up mixed feelings in me, that's what stories are supposed to do. I'm not sure if the chapter would make someone else depressed, but different people are affected in various ways. This one just happened to hit me pretty hard about the background of Zach, Zane, and Svetlana. I didn't expect it at all, and thus it left a negative impact on my emotions. Granted, I did get better, but I'm fairly certain that no matter how many times I read this story, that chapter will be the hardest for me--as of right now.

    And I totally understand what you want for the characters. It'll be interesting to see a different type of hero, or at least an anti-hero as you're making it out to be. The further along the story we go, the more I'll be able to make a proper judgment on what type of character Zach and the others are. It's all part of the ride.

    I watched the music, and I have to say, I liked it. It was soothing background music for the scenes. ^^
    I love the sound of a choir, so I figured it would be perfect for a flashback. I have more songs in mind from the same franchise to listen to as I read .

    Again, sorry. :x I probably should have warned you that it's... Yeah. Ahahah. This is sort of what I want to explore with this fic - boundaries of good and evil. Not all characters are always pure good or evil, you know? They're sort of... mixed. I wanted to show that with all three of them. And, though you might get depressed by it, the scenes present in the chapter will be fleshed out as the story goes on and more will be added through flashbacks. ^^;;
    Naw, the absence of a warning is fine. Surprises like that are worth being kept a secret. And I did see you told Jax that this story is an experiment (actually, I think it says so on the first post), and so far, the experiment is a success. *thunderclap*

    Nah, I get that. For me, they became some of my favorite characters - especially Svetlana - because it sort of showed this mental process they went through to defend themselves, but by defending themselves they lost this really close friend. Now they hate him and his two new friends because, somewhere deep down, they always felt like it was themselves Zach was supposed to be traveling with, not Ashley and Duncan. Though it doesn't change the fact they're pompous douchebags, it at least makes them more human to me. I'm sure most people may still not like them, but it made me rather fond of the two rivals. :3
    That makes sense. But again, pitying and liking a character are two different things. Remember when I said there is a character on a certain show that made her more pitiful despite the horrific things she did? She's not my favorite character, but I respect how she had a bigger role than I thought. It's the same here.

    This will indeed be a rather... Dark fic. I enjoy psychology and tainted characters; both will play a really large part in this story as it continues on, because I want to explore a world of Johto where people are still reeling after death and war, and this new organization is coming out of nowhere and creating these terrorist operations. Granted, what happened to Zane and Svetlana was flat-out depressing, but it's really not that much compared to other things that may happen later on. ^^;; Hahah.
    Muah ha ha ha, dark fics like that are my guilty pleasures. I await future installments of it.

    And I'll go take a look at your new story. It almost doesn't look Pokémon-related XD.
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  16. #41
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    Congrats in he fanfic. I haven 't exactly read all of it (I don 't even write my name in vacation, I only type in a PC), but I will. Quickly. I have been reading the comments, and it seems that you are going to have some tributes to some famous authors. Good thing. Maybe, I will post a fanfic anyday before my vacation ends.

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  17. #42
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    Wooh! Two reviews. I feel so special now, even if you didn't actually read my story, Xande. xD

        Spoiler:- Kutie Pie:


        Spoiler:- Pokémon Trainer Xande:


    Thanks for posting, guys. With luck, maybe even more readers will straggle along. :P Hope you all have a great day, and I'll see you in two days for Chapter Eight!
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  18. #43
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    I had no idea you were writing a fan-fic, Dawn_Hero. Good thing I came across this while browsing for a new fic to read.

    You are a very good writer, and I am in awe of your description talents. Lord knows my skills would pale in comparision to yours. D8

    I like Zach. He reminds me a little of myself with the low self-esteem. Although I wonder why Darkrai told his message to him...

    Speaking of, YOU USED DARKRAI!!! 8DDDD He's my favorite legendary. >w< I have to wonder, though, why he's with that crazy chick. O.o

    10/10 Mews for this fan-fic! XD

    Keep it up!

    I have claimed Alucard (Hellsing), Sebastian (Kuroshitsuji), and Laguna Loire (Final Fantasy VIII).
    Hellsing, Street Fighter, The Elder Scrolls, Dangan Ronpa, Bleach, Homestuck, Black Butler, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica fan.
    Sig made by Izagar.
    3DS FC: 3738 0398 8876 Mikan
    Friend Safari: Ground (Wooper, Camerupt, and Palpitoad)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister_SGG View Post
    Actually I'm back b/c I plugged in my amp and playing one note when my grandpa came in and told me to stfu

    So now I'm just sitting here stroking my guitar while naked

  19. #44
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri.
    Posts
    259

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    Ask and you shall receive. Here is my review for all seven chapters, as promised:

    Your journey fic has a very interesting premise. This doesn't focus on one character; there are a total of five people on a journey, all of them with their own motives. That's not even counting the characters of Patricia Oxford, Cynthia of Sinnoh, and the mysterious villainess and her Darkrai. Of course, I'm quite interested in a few characters in particular, and I usually like to make my reviews detailed about characterization, so I'll go with that.

    The first character that caught my eye was the protagonist, Zach Oxford. I believe that you've done a very good job with him as a protagonist; his personality is very much believable, and I could almost relate to him as a person, not just as a character. This is an immature child (I'm assuming he's twelve or thirteen or somewhere around that range; you never really told the readers how old he is) whose range of tolerance is limited. I really hate to use the "mother knows best" line, but Patricia showed a lot of foresight when it came to her kid; at this moment in time, Zach clearly doesn't realize just how difficult being a Pokemon trainer really is, nor does he have the know-how that other experienced trainers would have.

    That's not a slight upon him at all; in fact, it just makes him so much more believable than a character around a similar age who has a ridiculous amount of maturity and can control their Pokemon and defeat skilled trainers with relative ease. It makes Zach seem real to the discerning reader. It's going to be very interesting to see how he reacts when he finds out that Cynthia had a major hand in his father's death.

    This story also mentions that Zach used to be a bully. No, I don't think he is now. I truly think that he knows just how badly he treated other kids, and I think that he truly regrets what he did. That, to me, shows just how much more character he has than Svetlana and Zane.

    Now I should probably move on to them. They have a lot more knowledge of how Pokemon battles work than the trio. A good example would be the first battle against Svetlana when Zach sent out Devil. While she didn't handle it in a mature manner at all, I will say that it was unfair that she had to battle in a two-on-one situation, especially since her Pokemon had less experience than both of his Pokemon.

    In practical battling knowledge, she and Zane have an obvious edge. It's a different story when you talk about social knowledge; the trio have much more of an edge in that department. These two are bullies in every sense of the word; they're far too immature when they're compared to most kids their age, and they have a poor time making friends. That's why I'm shocked that they initiated their first conversation with Zach rather than the other way around. Maybe that's supposed to show how much Zach has matured socially. I don't know.

    When you look at them individually (which is hard to do, seeing how close they are), you notice a certain pack mentality, which is common amongst groups of bullies. When Zach left, Svetlana took up his role as the leader. That leaves Zane as the one on the lowest end of the totem pole. I just wonder if Svetlana treats him as an equal. I also wonder what it will take to get them to mature a bit more, if they ever do.

    As characters, I love these two. As people, I despise them. Overall, I think you really did a good job with them.

    I'm seeing some backstory with Duncan and Ashley, but it's not enough where I can properly judge their characters. I'll be sure to read more, if only to see what happens with them, and I'm sure that their stories will be told sooner rather than later.

    The nameless villainess is disturbingly cruel. It's not what she's doing. It's the manner of how she commits her crimes. Her nature seems rather whimsical and childish; she reminds me of a spoiled little girl who hurts her pets when they don't do tricks when she wants them to. Maybe that's why her Darkrai (Wrath, is it?) complies with her orders without question.

    Still, if I'm concerned about one thing in this story, it's that you're neglecting the personalities of some very important characters. No, it's not the five humans on this journey. It's their Pokemon. I'm only seeing little snippets of their character, and that was mostly during their first appearances (although the little spat with Jungle and Lava was amusing to read). The only Pokemon I've seen that can stand on their own merits throughout the story are Wrath and Devil. The others are rather forgettable, I must admit. I'm not saying that you have to go into major detail in the next few chapters, but I am cautioning you to be careful with how you proceed from here. Crafting believable personalities for important Pokemon as well as people can transform a very good story like this one into something that people will always remember.

    I'm not seeing any real grammatical errors (although the correct spelling of the insult used toward Duncan is "hick", not "hic"). Your writing is fluid and easy to read, which is a definite plus. Overall, I really loved your first seven chapters, and I'll definitely keep my eye out for more.

    Sincerely,

    Mem.
    CURRENT STORY

    A Time for Everything - Kalos has lived peacefully for far too long, following the ideals of the corrupt. It's time to change that... An AU of X/Y.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    389

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    Sorry it took me so long to get to this. :3 Awesome work as usual.

    Ashley yawned. "Well, it's for the best. No wild Pokemon means we can travel more quickly, and if we make it to Violet Cit by tonight we can see all the lights they always have up. Remember those...?" Her voice trailed off as she apparently began reminiscing at the thought of the lamps that were hung around the lake in Violet City. "They're so pretty!" she said dreamily.
    * City

    What's the worst that could happen?
    Oh gosh xD...never say that!!

    "Did you see Svetlana? She looked like she was staring at... at... fashion victims!" Ashley crossed her arms in front of her chest, frowning. "Now I really need lunch. Nothing's better to take your mind off things than food." I couldn't agree more, personally.
    Haha, so true!

    "Dear god, she's a total creeper," Ashley muttered to me as we made our way towards the damp, desolate street, the rain drizzling down around us. "She deliberately took a seat by your stuff. That's just... awkward." She snickered to herself, nudging me in the ribs again. "She sort of reminds me of that chick from the Stephen King book. You know the one, right?"

    I thought for a second. "The one with the cannibal pedophile clown that could shape shift and was really an alien?"

    "What?! No! What do you read?!" She gave me a horrified, disgusted look before continuing. "The one with the obsessed stalker that found her idol on the side of the road, took him home, and then broke his legs so he couldn't run away from her, of course! It's a classic love story!"

    It was my turn to shoot her a horrified, disgusted look. "What do you read?!"
    I loved this.

    Lava stared nervously at the Miltank in front of, seeming paralyzed with fear, as Totodile charged forward and slammed its claws into the creature's back.
    That sounded a bit incomplete - I think you forgot a pronoun there. ^^

    The teddy bear-like creature fell backwards, tears flooding its eyes as it began to wale yet again.
    * Wail

    Anyway, excellent job with this. Love the characters, as well as the scene with Zach's flashback to when he was in trainer school - that was very well done. Excited for the next chapter.
    I'll be online on weekends, mostly, and as often as I can.

    Greetings from the asylum of my insanity.
    Chapter 3: Should be up by December 31st.

    Dex: 128 created! ~ My DeviantART link to be posted here...once I actually post something on my DeviantART. =P

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