Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 51 to 75 of 100

Thread: The Legendarian Chronicles [Revision 11]

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    919

    Default

    I needed a break from writing chapter 8 of Brothers' Bond, so I figured I'd catch up a little more here. This is chapter 3, which I BELIEVE is the last chapter completed so far! So...all caught up! Yay!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    @Septic Scepti1e: Hey, don’t worry! Not knowing the middle is nowhere near as bad as not knowing the end. I’ve had a lot of discussions about this with a writer friend of mine, and we realized that knowing the end is really the single best way to ensure that you’re able to get through a story.
    I'm just going to say I've changed the end to BB in my head about 5 times already. SO THANKS FOR THAT. But I think I'm happy with where it's going now.

    “Ugh, what does it matter?!” Rudy exclaimed. “We’re not gonna get anywhere by just hiding!” Before I could protest, he pulled out a pair of Poké Balls and opened them, allowing both of his Pokémon to appear before us. I wasn’t surprised to see the familiar black firedog taking shape, or her subsequent attempt to tackle me. What caught me off-guard was the small, bright blue turtle now standing next to us—not that I really had time to question what the heck he was doing with a Squirtle.
    Pikachu, Charmander, and Squirtle. I see what you mean about tackling cliches. Where's Bulbasaur going to come in?

    Firestorm looked down and nodded vaguely. So now even he wanted to help in some small way. I wasn’t the only useless one here, but I was the only one who had just given up on being able to do anything. That realization was aggravating.
    Nice touch there. Jade is being the "smart" one because she realizes the pokemon she and Rudy have are no match for the monsters already on the field, but everyone else's willingness to jump into battle makes her feel like a weakling. Will she give in to the pressure of everyone else wanting to battle (which would be a mistake, I imagine)? This is a big decision for her.

    That pretty much sent Tyson over the edge. “What the hell are you even doing here?!” he roared. “I don’t have time to take this crap from you!”
    So wait...does Tyson know Spencer?

    Spencer seemed to realize this at the same time I did. “Backup, backup, definitely time for backup,” he muttered quickly, fumbling with the Poké Balls on his belt. He grabbed the first two he could get his hands on and opened them. His first Pokémon, an Electabuzz, gave a swish of its striped tail the second it appeared and began swinging its heavy arms in a windmill motion, causing sparks to leap off the prongs on its head. Alongside it stood a Pokémon I couldn’t recognize off the top of my head—a gray wolf with long capes of black fur running down its back. Its yellowish eyes held a bit of uncertainty, but it crouched defensively, ready to fight just the same.
    You know what I'm just realizing I appreciate? Even with the Pikachu in play, the kids aren't getting by on youthful vigor and dumb luck, like I imagine would be the case in so many fictions. Without this older, experienced Spencer around to basically battle FOR them, they'd be dead meat.

    “I thought you had six Pokémon,” Rudy said, sounding a bit let down.

    “We’d be starting one crazy party if I let out all six of my guys. I don’t think the plane can handle that many fighters—this battle’s probably dangerous enough as it is.”

    That was right…in fact, it was a good thing we were in such a large plane—any battle at all would have been impossible otherwise.
    This feels a little too much like another read basically designed solely for the reader. I'm willing to suspend disbelief (heck, Typhlosion melted through metal that was attached to Jade's head...that should have burned the hell out of her unless her hands were a dozen yards away from Typhlosion's fire attack), so I don't need to be told this. Just my opinion.

    The Pikachu made one last attempt to jump over the Pokémon and blast them all but failed. It fell to the ground and collapsed off to the side of the plane.
    Well, it's the interior of the plane. That wording makes it seem like it's literally on the side of the airplane. See what I mean? I would say "off to the side of the cargo bay area" (or just cargo bay).

    “So…think it’s gonna help us?” Rudy spoke up all of a sudden.

    I shrugged. It was pretty much all I could think of to reply.
    Drop the "pretty much" there. Just "It was all I could think of as a reply". Sounds better, and conveys the more apt meaning.

    Everything happened so fast—it was hard to process all of it. First lightning, and then an explosion ripping through the back of the plane, sending all of flying back toward the cockpit. Before I could even think about what was going on, Spencer whipped out a Poké Ball to release an icy white seal. Its horn shone with a bright blue light as a wave of water streamed forward from its mouth. The instant the flames burning from the explosion had been doused, the Dewgong fired a glowing beam from its horn that completely sealed the gaping hole with huge, glittering ice crystals.
    *all of US flying back...

    And I'm confused. Pikachu was IN the cockpit, then ran AWAY from it to the back of the plane where, after the brief confrontation with Electabuzz, it blew a hole in the hull of the plane. If I'm right, this shouldn't have sent our heroes TOWARDS the cockpit, they (and everything else not nailed down) should have been flying towards the hole due to the pressure inside the plane rapidly escaping into the open air.

    “Well I knew we’d never get anywhere with him having a gun and all, so with all the insanity that the Pikachu caused, I told Typhlosion to hide and take him down the first chance he got,”

    I couldn’t think of anything to say. I was too shocked by how much the tables had turned in our favor with just that one move.

    “What the hell do you think you’re doing?! Do you have any idea who you’re dealing with?!” Tyson raged, struggling against Typhlosion’s hold.

    “I think we’re dealing with someone I just beat,” Spencer said. “You should probably recall your Pokémon now, it’ll make things easier.”

    Typhlosion flexed his claws threateningly to emphasize the point, letting wave of heat start to shimmer around them. Clenching his teeth, Tyson managed to unclip the Poké Balls from his belt and recall his Pokémon in twin beams of black energy.
    That's pretty good thinking. On Spencer's part, yes, but it was a good creative way to end the battle, too. Very nice.

    Rudy looked to be spending the time debating over training methods for strengthening his Pokémon. Spencer, meanwhile, was having an amusing discussion with his Pokémon, in which I could tell that he didn’t understand them much, yet it didn’t seem to stop him from responding to everything they said as if a split conversation like that were completely normal. I couldn’t help chuckling a bit at it.
    So Spencer the mighty battler isn't that good at communicating, eh? Interesting. Everybody's got weaknesses, I guess.

    “Yeah, okay, that was lame,” he said, putting a hand to his forehead. “Anyways, think he’s planning something?”
    This is the second of third time that's happened this chapter. Someone saying something and following it up with "Yeah, that was lame; sorry". It's like the characters are having a race to be the most awkward. Just be careful in the future about repeating those kinds of things over and over.

    “Actually!” Spencer exclaimed suddenly. “I just remembered I have somewhere very important to be, so y’know I’m just gonna have to take a rain check on the whole battling Rockets to the death thing, so sorry I can’t make it, very urgent, hope you’ll understand, hey guys you’re invited too, let’s go now, Arcanine!”
    Something about this line was very Spider-Man-esque. And I love Spider-Man witticisms and obnoxious one-liners, so I loved this.

    Okay! So I'm all caught up. I agree with your summation: this chapter was REALLY long.


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

    FC: 3823-9867-2750

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Thanks for reviewing (again!) I promise I'll catch up on reading Brothers' Bond soon enough! Once I get internet back, that is. I'm sitting on the lawn of my university right now. :3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Pikachu, Charmander, and Squirtle. I see what you mean about tackling cliches. Where's Bulbasaur going to come in?
    Her finding a Charmader is indeed a cliche, but I wouldn't say Rudy getting a Squirtle is. In my fic, nearly all trainers who go on a journey can apply to receive a starter after they pass the training exam.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    So wait...does Tyson know Spencer?
    Huh, I didn't mean for that line to come off as he knew Spencer, more like a sort on angry outburst at this random kid for being annoying and not even supposed to be there in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    You know what I'm just realizing I appreciate? Even with the Pikachu in play, the kids aren't getting by on youthful vigor and dumb luck, like I imagine would be the case in so many fictions. Without this older, experienced Spencer around to basically battle FOR them, they'd be dead meat.
    Ha ha, yes yes yes, a thousand times yes. That is the trope I play with the most in this fic. And even later in the fic, when the Charizard trainer is teaching kids to fight Team Rocket, I will be putting a lot of effort into keeping the conflicts realistic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    And I'm confused. Pikachu was IN the cockpit, then ran AWAY from it to the back of the plane where, after the brief confrontation with Electabuzz, it blew a hole in the hull of the plane. If I'm right, this shouldn't have sent our heroes TOWARDS the cockpit, they (and everything else not nailed down) should have been flying towards the hole due to the pressure inside the plane rapidly escaping into the open air.
    Your breakdown of the action was correct, and I had totally neglected the effect that the air pressure would have, so I will go ahead and fix that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    This is the second of third time that's happened this chapter. Someone saying something and following it up with "Yeah, that was lame; sorry". It's like the characters are having a race to be the most awkward. Just be careful in the future about repeating those kinds of things over and over.
    Huh, that's funny, I didn't notice any other lines in the chapter having that same feeling. I definitely wasn't intending to repeat a joke.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    Okay! So I'm all caught up. I agree with your summation: this chapter was REALLY long.
    Yes, it was. D: And the next chapter is even worse, gack!


    To everyone: the chapter has been delayed for way longer than I had hoped, and should be up tonight! Sorry for taking so long!

    ~Chibi~


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  3. #53
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    919

    Default

    Fantastic. I figure you might know this already, but add me to any PM lists you have going on.


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

    FC: 3823-9867-2750

  4. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Alrighty, time for a new chapter! Sorry this one took so long, guys. I cannot possibly overstate just how busy my life is right now. I quite literally have zero free time whatsoever—there are always things to be done. x.X; Anyways...the cool thing about this chapter is that every single scene has been not only rewritten, but radically altered from the previous version, so even old readers will have a lot of new stuff to enjoy.



    ~Chapter 4: Ace from the Past~

    I found myself unable to do anything but stare at the ongoing battle, any feeling of hope dying rapidly. Really, the only advantage we had was our defensive position. Spencer’s Electabuzz was keeping most of the Executive’s Pokémon at bay with scattered bolts of lightning shot from its fingertips, but it constantly had to duck back to avoid the ridiculous amount of fire being thrown around by all of the Pokémon. Mightyena’s ash-colored fur was now charred black; by this point, all of its moves were sluggish, and every so often its limbs would tremble from the excessive burns. The Executive’s Rapidash was galloping around the outskirts of the battle, still glowing from its earlier fire boost and clearly trying to get close enough to attack us. The only thing keeping it back was the bursts of water that Dewgong kept sending flying into the air and crashing down on the opposition. Spencer’s Arcanine had clearly been forced to endure the most hits, and yet it still darted around the battlefield, using its Extremespeed technique both to land rapid blows and block its teammates from the relentless flames being thrown around the fray. Even from where I was standing, the waves of heat radiating outward were causing waves of sweat to drip down my face.

    A small bit of movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention, and I looked down to see the experimental Pikachu twitching slightly. I had almost forgotten that I’d brought him with us—now I wasn’t quite sure if it had been a good idea or not. He pulled his limbs underneath his body and attempted to raise himself from the ground, but couldn’t stop trembling from sheer exhaustion.

    “You…you probably should save your strength,” I said tentatively.

    He turned toward me sharply, looking strangely disoriented like he was trying to be angry and lash out at me, but couldn’t figure out how or why. After a few seconds, the experiment looked away to gaze out at the brawl taking place and the scattered bolts and flares flying past us nonstop. The sparks intensified. Small strings of electricity started to course over the rodent’s body, intensifying slowly. But then at once they gave out, and he collapsed again, muttering incomprehensibly to himself.

    I let out a breath that I didn’t know I’d been holding. It was weird—I didn’t want to risk the Pikachu going on a mad rampage, but a part of me knew that he was still our chance at getting out of here.

    I heard the sound of a Poké Ball opening and looked over to see Rudy now giving instructions to his Squirtle. He pointed at the opposition, and his starter nodded determinedly. I wasn’t sure what he planned on doing, but then suddenly the turtle spat out a lopsided ring of water, which flew over the battlefield and splashed into the Executive’s Rapidash, who shook it off, looking annoyed.

    Rudy folded his arms. “Huh, that didn’t look quite right…oh well, let’s try again—Water Pulse!”

    Of course—he’d been teaching his Squirtle all kinds of moves while we were on the plane. I immediately reached into my pocket and pulled out the Fire Blast TM that Rudy had given me, running a finger over the glossy case that enclosed the red disc inside. Any little bit could help turn the tide of the battle in our favor…I had to use it.

    “Firestorm…could you come over here?” I said.

    He turned toward me, looking a bit puzzled. I held out the TM, pausing so I could go over my words carefully.

    “It’s a Technical Machine,” I explained. “Spencer’s Pokémon can’t handle this alone—if we’re gonna get out of this, we need to help too—” I stopped. We? What was I going to do? Nothing—that was just it…heck, I wasn’t even the Charmander’s trainer. I attempted to shake the thought out of my head and continued, “This thing can give you the ability to focus your power into a massive blast of fire. Would you be willing to learn it to help us fight them?” I was trying not to sound too forceful, even though—at this point—we couldn’t afford for him to say no.

    Firestorm nodded almost immediately. I blinked, surprised at how willing he was to fight. Did he realize what kind of dangers this would involve?

    Still confused, I held the device several inches from the lizard’s forehead, flipping a small switch on its side to unlock it and then pressing the largest button. The disc glowed for a few seconds and began spinning—giving off a sort of wave that would react with his energy signature, from what I had once read on TMs. Firestorm froze and looked as though he had been seized by some invisible force. Different parts of his body started to glow faintly at varying intervals. After nearly a minute, the disc slowed; I pulled it away, but he still had a sort of blank stare on his face.

    I stepped back so that he could get into position with a good view of the battle that wouldn’t put him out in the open. The Charmander still looked a bit dazed, though, like he was locked into a trance that he couldn’t pull himself out of.

    “…Firestorm?” I asked slowly, raising an eyebrow. I’d never actually seen a Pokémon’s reaction to a TM, so I had no idea if this was normal. I took one hesitant step towards him.

    And then his gaze sharpened instantly. His eyes shot open with an unexpected ferocity and shimmering waves of heat began to leak from his mouth. At once, he spewed out a column of raging flames, which sent his small figure reeling backwards from the force. With a roar, the blazing stream of fire split off into five branches, twisting off wildly in different directions.

    I stood there in shock, knowing well enough that this wasn’t what was supposed to happen. Firestorm’s eyes went wide, and he jerked his head, trying desperately to control the blaze, though nothing he did seemed to make any difference. Flames kept pouring from his mouth, even though he was clearly trying to force it shut.

    “Did you teach the Charmander Fire Blast?!” Spencer exclaimed, running over to me.

    “Err—yeah?!” I yelled back, now frantic.

    He clapped a hand to his forehead. “Aw, crap…I should’ve warned you—pretty much every trainer tries it at some point… Arcanine, make sure no one on our side gets hit!”

    The firedog barked out a cry and leaped to the front of the lineup, allowing one of the branches of the Fire Blast to hit it directly. The force of the attack made it recoil slightly, but otherwise the Arcanine was unaffected. By this point the other four strings of fire had flown off into the air, dissipating uselessly. Firestorm was finally able to sink to the ground, coughing and sputtering with brightly glowing flares still dripping off his tiny fangs.

    “Using a TM just gives a Pokémon the power to do the move—if it’s one that’s hard to do right, you gotta spend time learning the details of how it works and training your Pokémon to pull it off. That goes double for the uber ones that’re hard to control,” Spencer explained to me, while directing his Pokémon back into battle position.

    I felt like shrinking back into a corner somewhere. What had seemed like the only thing I could do to help had turned out to be completely stupid. I glanced down at the TM case, now noticing the label along the bottom corner that read “Rating: 120 (Highly Advanced).”

    “I…I’m sorry—I didn’t know—” I mumbled.

    “It’s okay,” he cut in, trying to look optimistic. “Arcanine blocked it from hitting the rest of my team. We’re still behind, but I’m not counting us out yet—”

    At that moment, we had to shield our eyes from a blinding flash let loose from what looked like a raging flurry of steam and scarlet energy surging straight through the middle of the fray. The Executive’s Pokémon briefly retreated, giving it the opening it needed to plow straight into the completely unsuspecting form of Spencer’s Arcanine, sending brilliantly orange shock waves digging deep into the firedog’s body. A sickening howl filled the air as the canine’s proud and powerful frame collapsed limply.

    “I…what? What the heck move was that?” I stuttered.

    Spencer was frozen, looking unable to process whatever had just happened as he slowly reached for a Poké Ball to recall his fallen team member. Now visible in the middle of the battlefield, a stout crimson fox stood panting hard, its long ears drooping and steam leaking off its body. Was…was it the one who had just attacked?

    “No. No, no, no, whyyy? That’s not fair… I didn’t even see that she had a Flareon out,” Spencer said, his words strained. He pulled out his Pokédex and pointed it at the fire-type Eeveelution, smacking his forehead upon reading something. “Superpower. Really? It used Superpower? Can I just forfeit now or get a handicap or something??”

    No one said anything. With Arcanine down, the Executive’s Pokémon were now free to throw as much fire around as they wanted. Not even Dewgong’s water was making a dent in them now—the icy white seal cried out in pain as it was constantly bombarded with flames.

    “I’m…I’m out of ideas,” Spencer said. “Any time you two want to reveal that you’ve secretly been ace trainers all along, I’d love to hear it.”

    I looked miserably down at Firestorm. The fire lizard was still panting badly with embers dripping from his mouth. Swift, who was now standing next to him, looked almost embarrassed at being unable to help.

    “I don’t know what to do.” Just saying it made my blood run cold.

    “Stop talking like that, you guys—we can’t lose!” Rudy cried out, but even his voice was starting to break. His Squirtle was out of breath from attempting to pull off the Water Pulse move so many times.

    We all just stared at each other hopelessly with the sounds of fire raging in the background. There was always the possibility of trying to signal a passing trainer, since flying on Pokémon was a popular method of travel. But there was no way Firestorm would be able or willing to use Fire Blast again, and we couldn’t afford to have any of Spencer’s Pokémon leave the fight, even for a moment. Already my brain was trying to grasp at ways that we could convince the Executive to let us go, all of them equally stupid. There had to be some way out of this. There just had to.

    And then suddenly, a high-pitched sound filled our ears as an incredible orange and yellow energy beam surged through the air. The beam honed in on the Rockets’ Pokémon perfectly, striking them in a flash of bright light and sending shock waves running through the earth.

    “H-hyper Beam?” I muttered, my knees shaking from the beam’s not-so-distant impact. I turned my gaze upward, where the attack had originated, and caught sight of a tiny dot in the sky, quickly nearing us.

    “AeeeeeerrRRRRRAAAAAAW!!!!” the dot called out. I could barely make out a gray-scaled form with a long, thick tail trailing behind it. A pair of leathery purple wings beat rapidly, pushing it towards us with incredible speed. Was…was it an Aerodactyl—one of the fastest Pokémon in existence? As it neared, I was able to tell that someone was riding it.

    “Hey, Jade!” the trainer yelled.

    I jerked in surprise. I couldn’t see who it was clearly yet, but I could never, ever forget that voice.

    “It can’t be…” I muttered. I couldn’t help staring upward, lost for words and unable to believe it. When the winged Pokémon got within view, I could finally see a petite teenaged girl riding on its back, light-skinned with a bright and confident face and short, dark brown hair blowing back with the wind.

    It really was her.

    “No way…Ajia?!” I yelled.

    I couldn’t believe it. How could this possibly be happening—and right at this moment?! Still, there was no doubt in my head that the trainer flying toward me was my old friend, even though I hadn’t seen her in so long. Really, the only thing I could do was raise a hand to wave slightly, still in shock. Grinning slightly, she waved to us from atop the gray-scaled pterosaur.

    “Who invited you here?!” Tyson shouted.

    “Shut up, I’m the one handling this,” the Rocket Executive said, looking rather intrigued by the new arrival.

    Her Aerodactyl swooped down to land behind the rocky ledge that we’d been using as cover, easily evading a burst of lightning that the Raichu had sent upward at the last second. After unbuckling herself from the flight harness her Pokémon was wearing, she slid off its back, now standing next to me at about my shoulder in height.

    “What’s wrong Jade, I thought you’d be happier to see me,” she said, laughing and elbowing me lightly in the ribs.

    That broke me out of my trance a little. Still, I felt more than a little overwhelmed as I struggled to find my words. “You…how…how are you here? I haven’t seen you in…over a year, at least. Not since you left to train in Johto.”

    “I wanted to visit Viridian sooner, but I got caught up with things. And…from the looks of things, so did you…” Her voice trailed off as she looked over the bizarre setting, from the mangled jet plane to the crowd of jeeps, the Executive still glowering at us, and the mutant Pikachu lying a few feet from me. The look she gave me next made me suddenly aware of the fact that I was still covered in soot and wearing chains around my hands and feet. “…How did you even get involved in this mess?” she asked, rubbing the back of her head.

    I put a hand to my forehead. “I don’t even know anymore.”

    “Hi guys, I love reunions, and the best way to bond at a reunion is to beat the crap out of the people that want to kill us with awesome top-class Pokémon that you totally have, am-I-right?” Spencer cut in rapidly with an overly hopeful look on his face.

    “That’s why I’m here,” she said simply, putting a hand on his shoulder. “Don’t worry, I’ve got this.” Spencer looked ready to collapse from relief.

    Ajia turned sharply to face the battlefield, already pulling out several Poké Balls and quickly taking in the details of the battle with an expression that had shifted into intense determination. I looked over to see Spencer recalling his battered Dewgong into its ball. Now it was only Electabuzz and Typhlosion left in the fight, the former still desperately using its lightning to keep the opposition from getting to us, and the latter attempting to avoid blows by popping in and out of the ground and striking when it was least expected. The far edge of the hill had an indent cut into it from where the Hyper Beam had struck, but none of the Rocket’s Pokémon had fallen from the attack.

    “She probably had the Raichu probably put up a Light Screen at the last second—at least, I wouldn’t expect anything less from her,” Ajia said to herself, almost in response to my thoughts. She turned to me and added, “My Aerodactyl’s Hyper Beam isn’t the strongest—he’s better at physical moves. It was the best long-distance option I had at the time, though.” She paused slightly, contemplating something. “The Raichu has to go down first…Pichu, you’re up!”

    She threw a Poké Ball forward, and a flash of white light burst forth, instantly taking the form of a small, pale yellow mouse racing into the fray. Memories flooded my mind upon seeing her—I faintly recalled the day that Ajia had received the Pichu from her dad, nearly four years ago.

    “She still hasn’t evolved?” I asked, watching the nimble rodent skillfully ducking under her opponents and letting loose small jolts of electricity at them.

    “She didn’t want to,” Ajia replied, shrugging in a way that seemed to imply that she didn’t mind. “We’ve focused all our training on getting around it.” She was already pulling out two more Poké Balls, letting out a pair of fox Pokémon. The first one, an Espeon, outstretched its lithe frame and gave a flick of its forked tail, focusing its vibrant purple eyes on the battlefield. Alongside it, an Umbreon pawed at the ground in anticipation, its long ears twitching and ring-like markings glowing faintly.

    “Umbreon, use Toxic; Espeon, Calm Mind; Aerodactyl, fly overhead and use Air Slash—be ready to dodge lightning!”

    The dark fox charged forward, squirting out a noxious liquid from its pores and hitting the Arcanine right on target. Umbreon was much too slow to dodge the overwhelming blaze that soon followed, but it merely stood its ground against the firedog, wincing slightly from the intense flames, but looking like it could endure them all day. Overhead, Aerodactyl was ducking and rolling through the air, forcing the Raichu to expend all its energy just trying to land a hit, all while sending blades of air flying from its wingtips, keeping the Rapidash from breaking through the lineup.

    “Alright, good…looks like I was right—this isn’t the worst situation to be in, and with them already being weakened by your friend, we should be able to come out on top without too much difficulty.”

    I stared, chills now running down my spine. Everything that she’d said so far was starting to come together. “Ajia, you’ve…have you fought Rockets before?”

    The question made her pause slightly, but she nodded nonetheless. And from the sound of things, she’d had much worse fights than this. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but the top members of Team Rocket had to be incredibly skilled trainers, travelling all over and honing their skills for years, just like any other ace trainer.

    “Pichu, dodge and use Swift; Espeon, Confusion!” she called out.

    My attention snapped back to the battle at once. Pichu darted past the Executive’s Flareon, easily evading the fire fox’s attempt to bite down with fangs that were glowing like hot iron. The Raichu kept trying to pause and charge up the power needed for one of its massive lightning assaults, but couldn’t seem to get a chance to concentrate with Pichu intermittently sending stars of white energy honing in on the larger rodent’s face. In the meantime, any of the opposing Pokémon trying to land a hit found themselves held in place by blue psychic energy from Espeon. Though it was easy for them to shake off the telekinetic control, the momentary pause in their movements made them easy targets for the blades of wind being thrown around by Aerodactyl, who had its tongue hanging out as it looped through the air, looking to be almost lazily enjoying its role.

    I couldn’t help staring at the scene in awe of how well Ajia’s Pokémon were working together. Even though she hadn’t been giving any commands more than just the attack names, it was like they already knew what sort of strategy she wanted them to employ…like she had already spent the time training them in this sort of melee tactics. Half her team was darting around using small, scattered blows to draw attention and distract. All the while, half of the Rocket’s Pokémon were now covered in a toxic film, gradually dulling their movements the longer they had to struggle against the annoying and indirect tactics. Despite the ridiculously overpowered nature of most of the opponents’ attacks, they just weren’t able to pull anything off.

    A pitiful cry drew my attention to the Executive’s Arcanine. It had just collapsed, the combination of its wounds and exhaustion and poison having finally overwhelmed it. I saw the familiar red beam draw it back into its Poké Ball and out of view.

    “Alright! One down!” Rudy exclaimed.

    I had to admit it was a definite relief. Finally a real sign that it was possible for us to win this. I saw Ajia grin slightly to herself before pressing the attack—her Pokémon had switched into more direct offenses now. Aerodactyl finally got an opening to soar low over the battlefield, slicing through parts of the ledges and sending a Rock Slide cascading down over the opposition. Raichu tried to send more lightning flying at the rock-skinned pterosaur, but Umbreon had taken to fighting it up close, not bothered by the electric mouse’s attacks. Espeon had leaped onto the Rapidash’s back, and though the fire horse desperately tried to buck the violet fox off, the latter continued to hit it with blasts of psychic energy.

    And then I heard the sound of a Poké Ball opening, followed by a vicious howling that caught Ajia’s Pokémon off guard. No…no, it couldn’t be… I edged over to get a better view of the Rockets and—there it was. The Executive’s Arcanine was back in the fight, barking out Flamethrowers and looking completely refreshed. I stared at the sight, unable to believe it.

    And then I noticed that one of the Rockets sitting in the jeep nearest the Executive was holding a sleek, capsule-like device almost like a rounded briefcase. I couldn’t quite make out what it was at this distance, but couldn’t help getting that feeling that it was important.

    I pointed it out to Ajia, who slapped her forehead upon seeing it. “A portable healer. They would have one of those, wouldn’t they? Those cheats.” She clenched her teeth, looking worried for the first time in the fight. “Alrighty then…so they’re going to play that game. My Pokémon haven’t had to expend too much energy so far, but they can’t keep this going forever.”

    “Could…could we try to destroy the healer?” I asked tentatively.

    “Those are combat jeeps—they’ll have shields. We need to figure out a way to retreat. My Aerodactyl should be able to fly while carrying two people, at least.” She motioned to get Spencer’s attention. “Er, sorry, I don’t know your name.”

    “Spencer, at your service,” he replied with a mock bow.

    “Right, then—do you have any Pokémon that could fly while carrying anyone?”

    Spencer’s face fell immediately. “I…er, well, I did. My Pidgeot got taken out at the start of the battle. If I had some way to heal him…” He paused, looking ready to smack himself. I wondered why, but then—then I realized it. We were complete idiots; there had been a massive box of healing supplies in the plane. If we’d only thought to grab some of them—I felt like kicking myself at the realization.

    Ajia raised an eyebrow at the expressions of horror suddenly striking our faces. “Let me guess—things just got worse? Really, guys, this is enough surprises for one day.”

    “It’s not that,” I said, putting a hand over my face. “We left behind a huge crate of potions and such in the plane. If we’d thought to bring ‘em with us, we could have done the same thing the Rockets are doing now. Or better yet, we could have figured out a way to escape.”

    Ajia nodded, her expression tough to make out. She observed the plane’s wreck, now looking thoughtful. “So we just need to figure out a way onto the plane. It’d be too difficult for us to make it on there while they’ve got any Pokémon out.”

    “And guns. Guns are pretty bad too,” Spencer piped up.

    “Don’t worry, I’ve got a plan for that. But as for the Pokémon…since they’ll just get healed any time we take one of them out…” Her eyes lit up at once. “We just have to take them all out at the same time. Then we can storm the plane while they’re being healed and get out of here no problem.”

    Her enthusiasm was rubbing off—I couldn’t help being momentarily excited by the plan, though I found myself filled with doubts almost immediately afterward. “We have to knock them all out at once? How the heck are we supposed to do that?”

    “*I’ve got it.*”

    The sudden voice in Pokéspeech caught me off guard, and I whirled around to see the experimental Pikachu finally pulling himself to his feet, swaying a bit but fixing his eyes on us intensely.

    “…What?” At first it was all I could figure out how to say. It took me several seconds to really register the fact that he was trying to help us. “How…how are you supposed to—you’re out of power, what could you possibly do?”

    I hadn’t meant to say it so bluntly. The rodent’s lightning bolt tail twitched a bit out of anger, and he didn’t dignify my comment with a response. Instead, he called out, “*Pichu, come here!*”

    Ajia’s Pichu twitched her large, diamond-shaped ears upon hearing his exclamation, but otherwise didn’t respond, though she occasionally shot an inquisitive glance at Ajia.

    “Well come on, she’s not gonna abandon the battle just like that—let us know what you’re planning,” Ajia said, looking amused. I tried making a face to let her know to be careful what she said around him on account of his unpredictability, but really had no idea how to communicate it.

    The experiment turned away sharply, his expression fierce, yet somehow twisted, like he didn’t really know how to make any other face. Several seconds passed without anyone saying a word. Finally, he launched into an explanation. He spoke much too quickly for me to make out what he was saying, though Ajia seemed to have no trouble with it. Every so often I caught a phrase like “*can’t hold onto my power*” or “*but it will take all of them out.*”

    Throughout all of this, Ajia had remained silent, though she glanced at the battle frequently, using hand signals to direct her Pokémon’s moves. After the Pikachu had finished relaying his plan, Ajia motioned to her Pichu, who raced over to us.

    The experiment briefly explained something to Pichu, who looked up at her trainer in surprise. Ajia nodded, looking serious. And then the Pikachu put a paw against one of the electrical generators on Pichu’s cheeks, screwing his eyes shut in concentration. Strings of lightning suddenly began surging across his arm, flowing from the smaller mouse into the larger, causing him to recoil in pain. Still, he kept his paw firmly in place, not giving any indication that he wanted to stop, though his breathing was heavy and his limbs trembled occasionally. Sparks leapt off his fur erratically as the electricity surrounded him, causing the hybrid to grit his teeth before slowly and forcefully pulling the energy into himself.

    “Can…someone tell me what is going on here?” I asked, feeling horribly lost.

    “You couldn’t understand him?” Ajia asked, looking genuinely surprised. “Oh, right…you always had trouble with Pokéspeech class.”

    “Er…well, I’m decent at it…maybe not fluent, but I’m way better than I used to be,” I mumbled, feeling my cheeks go a bit red.

    Ajia nodded, realizing I didn’t want to talk about it. “Well, Pichu is channeling her power supply into him. He said he could absorb it—does he have the Lightningrod ability or something?”

    “I…don’t know?” I said, shrugging. What he’d been doing didn’t seem to match with any kind of special ability I’d heard of, and I was pretty sure Lightningrod would have caused him to unconsciously draw all the electricity from the battle.

    Several minutes passed, during which Pichu relayed all of her remaining power supply into the experimental Pikachu. She was forced to pause frequently, as though the strain of keeping a continuous flow of electricity was too much. When it was finally done, Pichu slumped to the ground, exhausted. And then the Pikachu slowly stood to his feet, fur standing on end and eyes filled with a renewed vigor.

    Still, something about his plan just didn’t seem to make any sense. “I don’t get it,” I said to him. “I understand that your power is—I don’t know—more intense from being part Zapdos and all, but…if she’s just giving her power to you…what can you do with it that she can’t?”

    He paused heavily. And then, for the first time I’d seen, he managed to wrench his face into something other than pain or rage: an ironic smile. “*Most Pokémon can’t drain their whole power supply into one move. It’s not natural. Their bodies aren’t designed to handle it. But me? I have a hard time not doing that.*” His words were slow and strained.

    Ajia kneeled to pick up the small, sad form of her unconscious Pichu, pulling out a Poké Ball at the same time. “She normally prefers being outside the ball, but with what we’re going for now…” Her voice trailed off as she recalled her first Pokémon. “So…are we all ready?”

    The Pikachu was the first one to nod, saying, “*Raichu is the only problem. He’ll be able to make electric barriers.*”

    “Alright, so…we pretty much have to screw strategy and just take out that Raichu however possible. Sounds fun. Time for moves that never miss?”

    It took Spencer a second or two to realize that she had addressed that last bit to him. “Oh? Oh, yeah! Typhlosion, Swift! Electabuzz, Shock Wave!” he yelled, pointing straight at the Executive’s Raichu.

    “Umbreon, Faint Attack! Espeon, Swift! Aerodactyl, Aerial Ace!” Ajia commanded.

    The orange rodent tried to make a break for it, but was hilariously unprepared for the ridiculous barrage of attacks now honing in on him, despite his best attempts at evasion. The Rocket Executive jerked backward in surprise, clearly not expecting that kind of battle move, and could only watch as her Raichu was completely overwhelmed by a flood of energy discs, strings of electricity, Umbreon phasing out of shadow right alongside him, and Aerodactyl pulling out of a dive with a rapid upward slice of its wings. The Raichu cried out in pain as he was smacked in between one attack after another, and his trainer had no choice but to recall him.

    “Alright, it’s now or never!” Ajia exclaimed to the Pikachu, recalling her Umbreon and motioning her other two to pull back from the battle. At Spencer’s command, Typhlosion ducked underground again and Electabuzz stumbled back to where we were standing, looking horribly exhausted and sinking to its knees the first chance it could get. Rudy recalled his Squirtle, which made me realize that I’d need to do the same for my Pokémon, even if one of them technically wasn’t mine. It felt a little awkward recalling the Charmander into the ball, but I didn’t have much choice.

    And then it was only the experiment standing between us and the Rocket’s Pokémon. The Executive had already passed her Raichu’s Poké Ball to the grunt with the portable healer, so we only had a small window of opportunity.

    “*Time to end this,*” the Pikachu said. A flash of hate flickered in his eyes.

    And then he raced forward into the fray, an explosion of sparks leaping off of his body. It wouldn’t have even been right to describe it as bolts of lightning; it was as if a flood of electricity was pouring out from every inch of his skin with no way to hold it back. The Rocket’s Pokémon tried to counter it by letting loose a rush of fire, but it was just too much. All of their flames were swept aside by the massive wave of lightning, which struck our opponents’ lineup and completely enveloped them. One by one, all of the Rocket’s Pokémon collapsed to the ground to be recalled into their Poké Balls right afterward.

    But there was no stopping the outpouring of electricity. At this point, I don’t think the Pikachu could have controlled it if he’d wanted to. Massive bolts started shooting out from the hybrid’s body at random, most of them flying into the air, but the others hurtling toward the Rockets. They didn’t even get a chance to move—all of them in or near the closest jeep were sent flying backwards, crying out in pain. I winced slightly—it was strange to see our attackers suddenly rendered so helpless.

    And then, without warning, the flood of lightning lessened. The electrical waves started to thin out, giving way to erratic bursts of sparks before the Pikachu collapsed. The whole thing couldn’t have lasted more than thirty seconds, but it had felt like ages. I couldn’t help tensing up—it was time for us to act.

    “Alright, and that’s our cue!” Ajia said. “Espeon, use Reflect!”

    The psychic fox promptly put up a shimmering barrier of energy surrounding us. Upon seeing it, Spencer recalled Typhlosion and turned to his Electabuzz, “Just a little bit more, buddy—we’re gonna need another electrical barrier.” His Pokémon grunted a bit out of fatigue, but still managed to produce a shining yellow force field.

    “Alright, you two hop on Aerodactyl, the rest of us will follow on foot,” Ajia said to me and Rudy, gesturing to the winged reptile. We didn’t need telling twice—both of us jumped up and got positioned on her Pokémon’s back, holding tight to the straps on its harness.

    “Everyone ready? Let’s move out!”

    Aerodactyl lifted off from the ground, and Spencer and Ajia raced forward beneath us, making their way down the rocky ledges as quickly as possible, the two barrier-producing Pokémon alongside them for protection. Most of the Rocket grunts in the far jeep had run forward to check on their superiors, who had been struck by the tail end of the Pikachu’s assault. Some of them were armed; I gripped Aerodactyl’s side instinctively when I saw them firing at the group on the ground. But Ajia’s plan had worked—the bullets pinged uselessly off the pair of barriers they had used. I let out the breath I had been holding, then immediately had to hold it again as Aerodactyl tucked its wings and swooped forward, soaring straight through the hole at the back of the jet before flaring its wings outward and slowing to a stop in the middle of the cargo bay.

    Feeling shaky, I slid off the reptile’s back alongside Rudy, who looked a bit nauseous and muttered something like, “That would have been so cool if we weren’t running for our lives.”

    Following not far behind us, Ajia and Spencer soon leaped through the hole and into the plane, almost weightlessly, like they’d been levitated up with Espeon’s telekinesis. Ajia paused just quickly enough to recall the psychic-type before racing forward to meet us. I noticed that she was holding the experimental Pikachu under one arm.

    “I grabbed him from the battlefield,” she explained, handing the spiky-furred rodent to me. “I wasn’t sure if you had stolen him from the Rockets or what, but we couldn’t just leave him there.”

    I blinked confusedly, my brain taking several seconds to register the weirdness in what she had just said. I attempted to say something to the degree of, “He’s not really mine,” but Ajia cut off my thoughts by asking, “So where are the healing supplies?”

    “Oh, oh right! They were near the front of the plane last I saw them.”

    She motioned to Spencer to follow her and the two of them dashed off through the maze of boxes and crates, most of them disheveled from the crash landing. I stood there with Rudy, unable to do anything but wait. It had seemed like the portable healer had taken a couple minutes to heal the Arcanine, so we had a least a small window of time on our side. But the Raichu had been knocked out first, so it had a head start on being treated.

    “Found them!” Ajia exclaimed, and I heard Spencer open a Poké Ball to release his Pidgeot immediately. For the next minute or so, the two of them sprayed the massive bird with nearly every medicine they could get their hands on. Slowly, the blackened skin and feathers began to heal as the potions boosted the already astounding regenerative ability characteristic to Pokémon. Spencer poured something into the bird’s beak and it snapped awake in an instant, struggling to stand to its feet. The Pidgeot had a slight tremble to its movements—it was clearly still sore from the lightning bolt, but it was healed.

    “Alright! Time to get out of here and never get captured by Rockets again! Sound good? I thought so—now get over here, Rudy!” Spencer exclaimed

    Not wasting any time, Rudy sprinted over and jumped onto the bird behind Spencer while Ajia ran over to me and the two of us mounted her Aerodactyl. Both Pokémon outstretched their wings, and I barely had a few seconds to prepare myself mentally for the oncoming rush before we were off. Aerodactyl shot forward, soaring straight through the opening at the back of the jet, and nearly throwing me off with its incredible speed. I struggled to lean forward and keep my grip on the reptile’s harness straps while holding the Pikachu underneath my arm.

    And then Aerodactyl suddenly barreled to the left to avoid a streak of lightning that tore past us out of nowhere, rending the air with an earsplitting crack. I barely managed to catch a glimpse of the Raichu beneath us, sparking wildly and looking enraged before we sped out of its range. So they had managed to heal it in time. But then, with a sickening realization, I remembered—Pidgeot hadn’t been fast enough to avoid the electric mouse’s Thunder last time.

    I threw a look over my shoulder to see Spencer and Rudy trailing behind us on the eagle’s back. Time seemed to slow as the Raichu prepared for another attack. There was no way they’d make it.

    And then, without warning, Pidgeot accelerated out of nowhere, speeding forward to catch up with us and narrowly avoiding the Thunderbolt that was sent hurtling straight for them.

    “Hah, yeah! I knew it’d be good to give you a dose of that X Speed in there!” Spencer exclaimed wildly, patting his bird’s neck.

    I couldn’t even see the Rockets anymore, that’s how fast we were zooming away from them. My eyes were wide and my breathing hurried and I could barely believe what had just happened, but none of that mattered because we had made it.





    ~End Chapter 4~
    This chapter was originally much longer, but I decided to cut the second part of it into Ch5 (and then cut part of 5 into 6.) I think it works much better this way. Anyways…the plane arc is done! Yaaaaay. Time to get into the juicy stuff.

    In other news, I recently discovered a script to forum tag all the italics for me, making me feel even sillier about how tedious posting a new chapter used to be for me.

    If you feel like listening to me ramble, I wrote some worldbuilding stuff in the next post.

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 30th June 2012 at 2:30 AM. Reason: reconsidered the chapter splits


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  5. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Okay, you may be wondering what’s up with me double posting here. Truth is, there are a few things in this chapter I wanted to elaborate on (this is the sort of stuff I’d put on a website if I had one. Yes, several readers have at some point or another told me to make one, and I will get around to it eventually once I learn how. I’m incredibly picky and don’t want to half-ass it.)

    WARNING: INCREDIBLY RAMBLY. It’s what I do.

    TM mechanics
    Jade doesn’t really know how TMs work, so it wouldn’t have made sense to go into further detail with just what happened when she taught Firestorm Fire Blast. You might be wondering why he couldn’t control it—was that just because it was so strong a move?

    TMs work by giving off a very specifically designed wave that permanently modifies the cellular energy signature that all Pokémon have (but only if the wave was compatible with said energy signature to begin with.) I won’t go into excessive detail on my convoluted theories in Pokémon biology (the place for that is DeviantArt ) but a Pokémon’s energy signature is as important to their makeup as DNA, and determines how and in what form their energy can be manifested. Using a TM therefore gives them the ability to do the move, but they still will not really have any idea of how to do it.

    There is one thing I really want to emphasize in this new version of LC: the importance of Pokémon training. Trainers don’t just stand there and give commands. I think one thing a lot of us forget, due to the simplified nature of game mechanics, is that Pokémon trainers need to actually train their Pokémon. They need to actually teach them how to perform techniques, how to execute battle strategies, how to go about fighting certain kinds of opponents, how to specialize to bring out their Pokémon’s fullest potential (believe me, EV training will come up.)

    So, pulling off a newly acquired move (either through TM or level up) requires knowledge of how to execute the technique, and drilling the Pokémon on the difference nuances of it. (So yes, the trainer themselves needs to have a lot of knowledge on these things.) Some moves are harder to pull off just for sheer power—Fire Blast would fit into this. Others requires a very complicated series of movements or very acute control over the energies involved—the Pokémon might be able to pull off the move, but just not with the best technique in the world. Even weak moves might be really annoying to perfect, while a strong one might be unusually easy (how hard would it really be to use Thunderbolt? The only difficulty would just be building it up to its maximum potency/efficiency.) Whether or not the Pokémon has STAB on the move could also make it easier or harder.

    Speaking of STAB, there is one thing I’d like to address. We all know that Pokémon naturally tend to be more powerful when using moves in their native element. Well, I see no reason why an exceptionally skilled trainer couldn’t train their Pokémon to use a non-STAB move to its fullest potential as well. It would just take ages of highly specialized training to do this even for one move, and you’d probably be better off spending your time on other things. But my point is, these things are not set in stone just because game mechanics have to be.

    Pokémon are beings of potential. It takes an exceptional trainer to realize this potential, however. Even a Pokémon that has fought many battles in the wild and grown very strong will be nowhere near its true potential. Even a trainer who has skill in the battling arena might not be capable of training their Pokémon to its fullest potential.


    What Chibi Did
    I’m just going to say this now: the Pikachu’s name is Chibi and it feels really weird calling him “the Pikachu” so I’m going to call him Chibi here. His name is introduced in Chapter 6. Yes…he has the same name as me. No, this will never be anything other than completely stupid. (I named myself after a comic character and then I named him after the comic character too, if you’re wondering why this happened.)

    Ajia asked if he had the Lightningrod ability, and in a way, that is sort of true. Notice that Pikachu and Zapdos both have Lightningrod as their hidden ability, so it’s clear that Team Rocket was going for that when they engineered him. It just didn’t totally work out.

    Chibi’s ability works like this: he must actually be hit by an electrical move in order to absorb it—sort of like Volt Absorb. However, this is not subconscious—he has to exert a lot of effort to do so, and it does hurt him. But he uses the power to fill up his own power supply in addition to getting the power boost from Lightningrod, which makes the tradeoff in pain easily worth it.

    I see Pokémon as having a pool of energy that their body has produced, which they can then use to fuel their attacks. Think of it like Power Points, only more global (after all, if you spend all your energy on ten Thunders, why would you have any electricity left in your body to do a Thunderbolt?) Chibi has an unnaturally small power supply, as a side effect of his mutations (his energy signature has the natural intensity of Zapdos, but his body is not sufficiently able to handle this.) So he has to be very careful to conserve his power supply in battle (as does Ajia’s Pichu.) Unfortunately, this is inherently difficult for him since, once he lets go even a little bit of electricity for an attack, his body naturally tries to expel all of it, and it takes a lot of effort to prevent this. What he did in this chapter was deliberately take advantage of this weakness.

    What happened was: Chibi was out of power and absorbed Pichu’s electricity, putting him at a nearly full power capacity, as well as giving him a temporary energy spike (the 1.5x SpAtk boost). He then used all of his power to create basically the equivalent of ten Thunders in one move. And with the side effect of Struggle (so in game terms he lost 250% of his HP and yeah this move sucks.)

    This technique is incredibly painful and will always knock him out, so do not fear that Jade now has an uber Pokémon that can merrily spam ten Thunders at once. In fact, the amount of situations in which this move would even be useful are very limited.

    ~Chibi~

    PS: Oh yeah, and I should probably tell you: ‘Ajia’ is pronounced like a mix between ‘ay-shuh’ and ‘ay-zyuh’. Just think sort of like the continent Asia.
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 7th June 2012 at 11:10 PM.


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  6. #56
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    919

    Default

    I was going to save this for the end, but I don't know that I'll remember to, so I better do it now. Just LOOKING at this chapter makes me feel tired. I am--and this is not a joke--contemplating whether it's worth starting this before lunch because I'm not sure how hungry I'll be by the time it's over. I really just think this chapter is much too long. Will there be anything that could be cut or broken apart? Possibly not, and I accept that. Sometimes the flow just keeps coming, and it's hard to interrupt that. But I would try to avoid going this large in the future. It's quite imposing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    \Mightyena soot-colored fur was now charred black;
    *Mightyena's.

    I had almost forgotten that I’d brought him with us
    This is getting almost overused (like the "lame" comments I noticed last time). Jade had almost the exact same moment with Charmander. I'd think after one time, she'd have learned to keep track of what she's holding onto (or, at least, what is holding onto her).

    I let out a breath that I didn’t know I’d been holding.
    I like that line. It had a physical effect on me, making me catch my own breath.

    Of course—he’d been teaching his Squirtle all kinds of moves while we were on the plane. I immediately reached into my pocket and pulled out the Fire Blast TM that Rudy had given me, running a finger over the glossy case that enclosed the red disc inside. Any little bit could help turn the tide of the battle in our favor…I had to use it.

    “Firestorm…could you come over here?” I said.

    He turned toward me, looking a bit puzzled. I held out the TM, pausing so I could go over my words carefully.

    “It’s a Technical Machine,” I explained. “Spencer’s Pokémon can’t handle this alone—if we’re gonna get out of this, we need to help too—” I stopped. We? What was I going to do? Nothing—that was just it…heck, I wasn’t even the Charmander’s trainer. I attempted to shake the thought out of my head and continued, “This thing can give you the ability to focus your power into a massive blast of fire. Would you be willing to learn it to help us fight them?” I was trying not to sound too forceful, even though—at this point—we couldn’t afford for him to say no.

    Firestorm nodded almost immediately. I blinked, surprised at how willing he was to fight. Did he realize what kind of dangers this would involve?

    Still confused, I held the device several inches from the lizard’s forehead, flipping a small switch on its side to unlock it and then pressing the largest button. The disc glowed for a few seconds and began spinning—giving off a sort of wave that would react with his energy signature, from what I had once read on TMs. Firestorm froze and looked as though he had been seized by some invisible force. Different parts of his body started to glow faintly at varying intervals. After nearly a minute, the disc slowed; I pulled it away, but he still had a sort of blank stare on his face.

    I stepped back so that he could get into position with a good view of the battle that wouldn’t put him out in the open. The Charmander still looked a bit dazed, though, like he was locked into a trance that he couldn’t pull himself out of.

    “…Firestorm?” I asked slowly, raising an eyebrow. I’d never actually seen a Pokémon’s reaction to a TM, so I had no idea if this was normal. I took one hesitant step towards him.

    And then his gaze sharpened instantly. His eyes shot open with an unexpected ferocity and shimmering waves of heat began to leak from his mouth. At once, he spewed out a column of raging flames, which sent his small figure reeling backwards from the force. With a roar, the blazing stream of fire split off into five branches, twisting off wildly in different directions.

    I stood there in shock, knowing well enough that this wasn’t what was supposed to happen. Firestorm’s eyes went wide, and he jerked his head, trying desperately to control the blaze, though nothing he did seemed to make any difference. Flames kept pouring from his mouth, even though he was clearly trying to force it shut.

    “Did you teach the Charmander Fire Blast?!” Spencer exclaimed, running over to me.
    Big quote there, yes. But I wanted to comment on this, and (from my skimming ahead) your apparent use X Speed. It's really original. From a realistic standpoint, it seems odd to me that such things would exist, and I imagine most fic writers kind of just circumvent them. But it's interesting to me that you found a way to stay true to the canon and included these well-established items in your story. It adds an original touch, I think.

    What had seemed like the only thing I could do to help had turned out to be completely stupid.
    In Jade's voice, I can see the use of "stupid" (poor, self-deprecating teenagers), but I still might have said "a mistake". But, yeah, either works. "stupid" just seems really harsh there.

    A pair of leathery purple wings beat rapidly, pushing it towards us with incredible speed. Was…was it an Aerodactyl—one of the fastest Pokémon in existence?
    Isn't Aerodactyl made of rock? Not a leathery hide?

    As it neared, I was able to tell that someone was riding it.

    “Hey, Jade!” the trainer yelled.

    I jerked in surprise. I couldn’t see who it was clearly yet, but I could never, ever forget that voice.

    “It can’t be…” I muttered. I couldn’t help staring upward, lost for words and unable to believe it. When the winged Pokémon got within view, I could finally see a petite teenaged girl riding on its back, light-skinned with a bright and confident face and short, dark brown hair blowing back with the wind.

    It really was her.

    “No way…Ajia?!” I yelled.
    Oop....I really thought that was going to be Lance. (or the guy I think is Lance, anyway).

    “What’s wrong Jade, I thought you’d be happier to see me,” she said, laughing and elbowing me lightly in the ribs.
    I think this is a little excessively pleasant and jokey, given that a terrorist organization is trying to kill them right now.

    My attention snapped back to the battle at once. Pichu darted past the Executive’s Flareon, easily evading the fire fox’s attempt to bite down with fangs that were glowing like hot iron. The Raichu kept trying to pause and charge up the power needed for one of its massive lightning assaults, but couldn’t seem to get a chance to concentrate with Pichu intermittently sending stars of white energy honing in on the larger rodent’s face. In the meantime, any of the opposing Pokémon trying to land a hit found themselves held in place by blue psychic energy from Espeon. Though it was easy for them to shake off the telekinetic control, the momentary pause in their movements made them easy targets for the blades of wind being thrown around by Aerodactyl, who had its tongue hanging out as it looped through the air, looking to be almost lazily enjoying its role.
    This is a very well written chunk. It was a battle involving several different pokemon, but it flowed simply, and it was very easy to follow. Not simple to do, but excellent work on it!

    I pointed it out to Ajia, who slapped her forehead upon seeing it. “A portable healer. They would have one of those, wouldn’t they? Those cheats.” She clenched her teeth, looking worried for the first time in the fight. “Alrighty then…so they’re going to play that game. My Pokémon haven’t had to expend too much energy so far, but they can’t keep this going forever. We’re not going to be able to overpower them—we need to figure out a way to retreat. My Aerodactyl should be able to fly while carrying two people, at least.” She motioned to get Spencer’s attention. “Er, sorry, I don’t know your name.”
    I'm actually surprised they aren't having their pokemon target the healing device. Especially with as fast and sneaky as Pichu, Aerodactyl, and Typhlosion all seem to be.

    “Spencer, at your service,” he replied with a mock bow.
    No last name?

    “And guns. Guns are pretty bad too,” Spencer piped up.
    Spider-Spencer strikes again.

    Sparks leapt off his fur erratically as the electricity surrounded him,
    *leaped. You got it right earlier in the chapter, but you misspelled it here.

    It wouldn’t have even been right to describe it as bolts of lightning; it was as if a flood of electricity was pouring out from every inch of his skin with no way to hold it back.
    Good imagery; I really like the "wouldn't be right to describe it..." bit. Nice narration there, as it gave me a more vivid picture.

    I couldn’t even see the Rockets anymore, that’s how fast we were zooming away from them. My eyes were wide and my breathing hurried and I could barely believe what had just happened, but none of that mattered because we had made it.
    I actually think this would have made a good ending, but it didn't to you. I've got to go get some lunch in me, though, so I'll be back to this later this weekend.
    Last edited by Sid87; 27th May 2012 at 5:43 PM.


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

    FC: 3823-9867-2750

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I was going to save this for the end, but I don't know that I'll remember to, so I better do it now. Just LOOKING at this chapter makes me feel tired. I am--and this is not a joke--contemplating whether it's worth starting this before lunch because I'm not sure how hungry I'll be by the time it's over. I really just think this chapter is much too long. Will there be anything that could be cut or broken apart? Possibly not, and I accept that. Sometimes the flow just keeps coming, and it's hard to interrupt that. But I would try to avoid going this large in the future. It's quite imposing.
    I'm sorry. Dx What happened was: I already have all of the chapters written in one way or another (some just need to be rewritten) and this one used to be MUCH shorter because 90% of the things that happen in it didn't happen last time. I VERY MUCH did consider splitting it, but doing so would disrupt the fact that the book would end on chapter 25 (and for some reason I am stubbornly opposed to not having the same number of chapters for each book.) I tend to think of my story more as a book than a fanfic (not being egotistical, it's just my mindset) and books tend to run much longer than fics. Several of my favorite fics have had chapters run in the 30-page-range. However, I still completely and 100% understand that it can be daunting and off-putting. The main reason I opted not to shuffle the second half of this chapter into the next one is because there is a necessary time split of a few days after these events until the next plot-relevant thing, and then I'd end up with TWO time splits in the next chapter.

    However...I am now realizing that if I did split it, and then cut the second half of chapter 5 into chapter 6, I could have all the chapter splits in decent places for the flow of the story. This had not occurred to me. Do you think I should do this before anyone else reads it? I could just delete the second post. That would be all there is to it. Yeah, yeah, I'm now thoroughly convinced this is a much better way to do it...I'll run and do that now!

    One more bit before I go:
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I'm actually surprised they aren't having their pokemon target the healing device. Especially with as fast and sneaky as Pichu, Aerodactyl, and Typhlosion all seem to be.
    There were about five different ways I considered having them end the conflict, all of them equally viable, and that was one of them. In the end, I decided to go with the one that was the least risky (therefore the one with less failure conditions) but the most rewarding (as in, the most exciting to write and entertaining to read.) Maybe I'll put a slight alteration that the Rocket with the healing device is in the jeep, and they are combat jeeps (so they'd have protective shields like the ones from the Entei conflict.)

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 27th May 2012 at 10:51 PM.


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  8. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    919

    Default

    I didn't mean to seem "complainy" about the length. I was just stating that at a point, reading and breaking apart to comment on a computer monitor kind of becomes an endurance test (for me, at least, anyway, but my attention span is balls). Although if someone expected to me to read a 30-page CHAPTER, I'd find out where they live so that I could drive to their home, sit them down for a nice dinner, and throw my drink in their face. That's just ungodly and irrational.

    Hey it's your story. You do whatever you want and make it as many chapters as you want it to be. I was just stating my opinion, which probably wouldn't even be a majority opinion.

    As for "thinking of it as a book", that's awesome and completely acceptable. It's great that you have that much respect in your story. But I know a lot of good and well-known authors who do chapters of published novels in the 3-8 page realm, so just making shorter chapters doesn't besmirch the credit of your work.


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

    FC: 3823-9867-2750

  9. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I didn't mean to seem "complainy" about the length. I was just stating that at a point, reading and breaking apart to comment on a computer monitor kind of becomes an endurance test (for me, at least, anyway, but my attention span is balls). Although if someone expected to me to read a 30-page CHAPTER, I'd find out where they live so that I could drive to their home, sit them down for a nice dinner, and throw my drink in their face. That's just ungodly and irrational.

    Hey it's your story. You do whatever you want and make it as many chapters as you want it to be. I was just stating my opinion, which probably wouldn't even be a majority opinion.

    As for "thinking of it as a book", that's awesome and completely acceptable. It's great that you have that much respect in your story. But I know a lot of good and well-known authors who do chapters of published novels in the 3-8 page realm, so just making shorter chapters doesn't besmirch the credit of your work.
    Don't worry about it coming off as complaining--I had actually spent some time trying to shorten the chapter, but to no avail, until I came up with this new double-split idea. This results in Chapter 6 becoming quite long as a side effect, (though several pages less than this one was) however it is much better off for it. Long chapter 6 >>> long chapter 4.

    And you're right that it is much easier to read from pages in a book than a computer screen. Each page makes the task more broken up in my mind, and it's easier to backtrack (good lord I backtrack all the time when I read. It's terrible.)

    So yeah, all's well that ends well. At this point, I might as well comment on one more of your previous points:

    This is getting almost overused (like the "lame" comments I noticed last time). Jade had almost the exact same moment with Charmander. I'd think after one time, she'd have learned to keep track of what she's holding onto (or, at least, what is holding onto her).
    You do have a point there, but he's been laying on the ground off to the side in a little pile for the past ten minutes or so, during which Jade has been absolutely transfixed on the massive battle unfolding before her. So I don't think it's too unreasonable she forgot about him. But the wording is a bit repetitive.

    Speaking of which, I finally went and did a search for the word "lame" in the previous chapter. It was used three times. One was Spencer failing to be funny, and admitting so out loud. The other two were Jade trying to say something normal but coming off awkward, and admitting it in her head. So the context is quite different, however, I can see how the word itself might be a bit repetitive after a while.

    ~Chibi~


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  10. #60
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    On a Mars bar. :)
    Posts
    1,583

    Default

    Finally found time to fully catch up. :3 Very nice! The action is well paced, I find myself just falling into it, and the excitement is wonderful~! x3 Not much to add from last time, except that I'm looking forward to the next chapters and will have to force myself to resist reading some of the other meanings. x3

    One simple thing I noticed (wasn't really looking though): too many 'waves' here - perhaps find a different word? But that always seems to slip through, no matter how you many times your proof read. x3

    Even from where I was standing, the waves of heat radiating outward were causing waves of sweat to drip down my face.
    I don't have anything to add on the length front - considering the time constraints I'm currently working under, length can be a bit of an issue, but that normally spans to chapter count rather than word count, I rarely want a story to end/catch up with it. Very nice <3


    Floating over your rocky spine
    The glaciers made you and now you're mine


    Pair: duncan | Lyrics: Great Lake Swimmers

  11. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Thanks very much for reading katiekitten! And for catching that repetitive bit there--every little bit helps! (The funny thing is, that was caused by me editing the second half of that sentence long after writing it. In fact, that is what causes almost all cases of repetitive wording in my fic, since I'm usually very sensitive to it when I'm actually writing things straight through.)


    And just to update everyone, chapter 5 is coming along great and will be up this week. In the meantime, I finished up the artwork for Ajia:
        Spoiler:- Ajia:

    Ajia is such a fun character. I can't wait until people start speculating about her.

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 5th June 2012 at 4:36 AM.


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  12. #62
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Riding on my Crimson Loftwing
    Posts
    1,487

    Default

    You know what? I think I'll join your PM'ing list if you'll allow me to : D I like the way you write and the way you can take constructive criticism, looking forward to your next post : )
    † I am a Christian and proud of it! Copy and paste this if you are too.†


    Credit goes to FairyWitch at Flower Paradise Graphics

    Fanfic Status: Currently postponed-- Kingdom Hearts: Memories' Reflection. Last updated 8/17/13

  13. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    919

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    And just to update everyone, chapter 5 is coming along great and will be up this week. In the meantime, I finished up the artwork for Ajia:
        Spoiler:- Ajia:

    Ajia is such a fun character. I can't wait until people start speculating about her.

    ~Chibi~
    Are you friggin' kidding me with that? That's absurdly good. I kind of hate you now because I can't draw for nothing, and your pics so far have been delightful.


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

    FC: 3823-9867-2750

  14. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    After looking through Bulbapedia’s list of names commonly used to refer to pokédollars, I decided to go with “pyen” as Kanto's monetary unit in LC. I wanted something without the “poke” prefix (too silly), but starting with a p (to reference the canon in-game symbol), but also referencing the Japanese games just having them as yen (which also makes it more obvious that 20,000 pyen, while a decent sum, is nothing extraordinary.)

    And as a bit of a side note, I cut some extraneous bits from chapter 3, including Rudy and Jade discussing his choosing Squirtle as a starter, so if you read it when it first came out, and feel any déjŕ vu, that’s why.



    ~ Chapter 5: Deliberation~

    “All in all, great job today, everyone. I’d say we’ve graduated to top class as far as not-getting-killed-by-Rockets goes,” Spencer said, stretching widely and flopping to the ground.

    We were resting in a small, shaded clearing in the woods some thirty minutes west of the crash side, after Spencer’s Pidgeot had proven too sore to make the full journey back to Viridian—especially with two passengers. Still, none of us protested the chance to stop and catch our breath after the harrowing escape. I hadn’t moved from the spot I’d collapsed onto after sliding down Aerodactyl’s back and feeling utterly numb. It would have been nice just lying there with the wind rustling the leaves on the trees and watching the sky slowly melt into red as the day drew to a close. I still had too many thoughts swirling about my head to appreciate any of it, though.

    I heard the sound of a Poké Ball opening and then suddenly felt a strange tingling near my hands and feet. I looked down to see a blue psychic aura surrounding the shackles that were still clasped around my wrists and ankles, causing them to snap open suddenly. I had stopped noticing that they were there, what with the waves of fear and adrenaline that had been flooding my system all day until now. Now that they were gone, I was suddenly aware of the aching and itching and couldn’t help rubbing my wrists extensively.

    “That’s better, isn’t it?” Ajia said. I noticed Espeon now sitting next to her on Aerodactyl’s back, flicking its forked tail. “So Jade...you’ve really got to tell me how you got mixed up with those Rockets in the first place.” She gave me a bit of a sideways glance—or at least, what looked sideways, given that I was sprawled out on the grass looking up at her. It was hard to tell with everything upside-down.

    I couldn’t help letting out a laugh. “Me? What about you?! How did you even know we were there?”

    “I asked you first,” Ajia replied with a playful smirk.

    Oh come on. That wasn’t fair.

    I sighed, unsure of how much I wanted to say about it. “I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and saw something I shouldn’t have. That’s really all it was.” Okay, so that wasn’t totally the truth. Still, I wasn’t exactly sure if I wanted to bring up my conversation with the Charizard trainer—not because he told me to keep it a secret, but just because I was a bit afraid of the reaction I’d get.

    Ajia raised an eyebrow, looking confused. “They kidnapped you just because you saw them doing something? That seems really weird. You’d think a big organization like them wouldn’t care if some random kid saw them doing something. It’s not like you could exactly do anything with that info.”

    I paused. “Well…it wasn’t just ‘something.’ I saw them trying to catch Entei.”

    This revelation got a noticeable silence out of everyone. I noticed Rudy sit up immediately, looking both alarmed and amazed.

    “You actually saw Entei?” he said after some time.

    I nodded blankly, unsure of what else to do.

    “Entei. As in, Legendary beast, Entei? Makes volcanoes erupt, and all that?” Spencer said incredulously.

    “Has anyone ever captured a Legendary before?” Rudy asked, looking like he was trying to figure something out.

    Almost immediately, Ajia responded, “No. Never.”

    I closed my eyes, now feeling oddly miserable about the conversation. “They succeeded. They actually caught it. There wasn’t really anything I could do.”

    Ajia gave me a weird look, like she found my comment to be completely bizarre. “Well, come on. It’s not like you could have done anything.”

    I couldn’t have done anything. It was the same way with the Rocket situation we had just been in. In both cases I’d been powerless.

    “…What would you have done in that situation?” I found myself asking her, not entirely sure why.

    “What? That’s—what kind of question is that?”

    I sighed. “Never mind. It was stupid, forget it.”

    “Scary organization that tried to kill us now has an ultra-powerful fire-breathing weapon. I hope I’m not the only one bothered by this,” Spencer commented.

    I didn’t really know what to say in response so I just stared back up at the sky. It was almost night—small pinpricks of starlight were starting to shine above us. If we didn’t get back to Viridian soon, I’d have a world of explaining to do. The idea of returning home after all of this was somehow very strange and foreign.

    “Even if you saw them going after Entei, I still don’t get why they cared so much,” Ajia continued to herself, apparently still trying to figure out the missing link in my story. “It just seems weird that they had to kidnap you even if you didn’t know all that much about them.”

    “Can…can we not talk about this anymore?” I asked, looking away. “And in any case…what about you? You never said how found us there.”

    “I saw the Fire Blast from the air. It was pretty hard to miss, actually.”

    I gave her an incredulous stare. “Um. Yeah, right. You just happened to be flying by and see us?”

    Ajia chuckled slightly. “Okay, okay, I already knew you were in trouble. I heard about the situation from a friend. It’s kind of a long story, though.”

    I raised an eyebrow. “We’ve got time. And does this have anything to do with the fact that you’ve fought Rockets before?”

    She considered the question for a bit and then nodded. “I don’t want to end up dragging you into that mess, though.”

    I couldn’t help staring in disbelief. “I’m already involved in this Rocket mess after today, so what’s the difference?”

    “Jade, be glad that nothing that happened today didn’t pull you in too deep,” she said, suddenly looking very serious. I blinked, a bit taken aback by her sudden change in expression. It was still just too weird to think that she had apparently gone through situations like this before.

    Ajia paused, seeing the look on my face. “I’m sorry. It all happened a long time ago.”

    I didn’t say anything. It was kind of obvious she didn’t want to tell me anything anyway, and I couldn’t help feeling annoyed by it, even if there was a good reason behind it.

    “So…what are you going to do now? Were you on a Pokémon journey before this all started?” Ajia asked.

    “Eh…not exactly…I still haven’t got my training license, so—”

    “You don’t? Your parents still don’t want you to train?” Ajia said incredulously. “Sheesh, I know training can be dangerous—I guess today kind of proved that—but the whole point is going through hard times and getting stronger and…” She paused, suddenly looking confused. “Hang on…how did you get a starter Pokémon, then?”

    “He’s, uh…not my starter. I found the Charmander in the woods before I ran into the Rockets.”

    “Which is completely unfair, if you ask me,” Rudy interjected.

    “Yeah, yeah,” I said, rolling my eyes. “You know, I’m still surprised you chose Squirtle as your starter.”

    He clapped a hand to his forehead. “Yeah, about that…I should have known that the League registration place would be out of Charmander, so—hey, don’t give me that look, I didn’t want to wait, okay?” I almost felt like laughing out loud at his impatience. It suddenly made sense that he had been so jealous of my finding a Charmander. Of course, then I couldn’t help feeling annoyed by how eager he was to leave on his journey while I was stuck in Viridian.

    “So, think we’re ready to head off now?” Ajia asked, recalling her Espeon back into its ball. “Back to Viridian now, right?”

    I hesitated. In all honesty, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go home. Something she had said earlier was still stuck in my mind: the point of training Pokémon was to grow stronger. I hadn’t been able to do anything, either to help myself or anyone else, all day. Sure, maybe I was too weak to do anything about Team Rocket’s Legendary catching now, but wasn’t that what the Charizard trainer was aiming for? How could I go home and do nothing after knowing what he had told me about Team Rocket catching Legendaries and seeing proof of it right before me? It was weird, but I couldn’t help feeling that I’d met him for a reason, and that I was supposed to take that opportunity.

    I hadn’t wanted to get involved because I didn’t think I could make a difference. Now I wanted to join because of that. Maybe I was just insane.

    “Hey Ajia, can I talk to you about something for a bit?”

    “Sure?” she said, looking a bit puzzled when I stood up and walked a ways from the clearing. I supposed it was kind of weird that I wanted to talk about it in private, but I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone to begin with, and I’d known Ajia the longest.

    “What is it?” Ajia asked once we were a good distance from the others, who were now looking very confused.

    I took a deep breath before pulling the card out of my pocket and handing it to her. “I want to know what you think of this. I’m honestly considering joining a group against Team Rocket.”

    Something flickered in her eyes when I said that, though I couldn’t quite figure out what. Ajia read the card several times, repeating certain bits out loud to herself as though trying to figure out something hidden there that I hadn’t noticed.

    “It’s very vague…though possibly just to protect the leader from being found out by the Rockets. It doesn’t even say where you’ll be going…I guess you’re supposed to figure that out in Vermillion. Overall, it’s suspicious, though I don’t think it’s a trap.”

    “A trap?” I said blankly. The thought hadn’t really occurred to me.

    She nodded. “There’s always the possibility, but that’d be very unlike the Rockets. What would they gain by going and finding a bunch of kids, deliberately telling them about the organization, and then killing them? No, I think it’s real…though I can’t say I know what the motives behind it are.”

    The motives? What other motives could there be for wanting to stop Team Rocket? Before I could ask, Ajia said, “Who exactly gave this to you? The leader of the team, or someone working for them?”

    “Um, I’m pretty sure he was the leader. Tall guy, late teens…er, I’m not very good at describing people.”

    Ajia paused, looking to be deep in thought. She considered something for several seconds, and then said, “If this is what you want to go for…then I’m in no place to stop you. I guess you want to go to Vermilion now?”

    I hesitated slightly.

    “Yeah. To Vermilion.”

    We walked back to the clearing, my mind filled with an odd sense of relief after making my decision. Spencer and Rudy perked up slightly upon seeing us return.

    “So Jade, mind telling us what your ultra-secret talk was about?” Rudy asked, laughing slightly.

    I didn’t say anything for several seconds. “Rudy, tell my parents I’m leaving on a Pokémon journey.”

    He stared at me, unable to work through what I had just said. “…What? You’re going on a journey? Hey, I told you it was a good idea! But seriously, this is kind of out of nowhere. What changed your mind?”

    I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone. I repeated that excuse in my head, but it wasn’t entirely the reason. This crazy plan of mine was my choice and he didn’t need to be involved. I kind of already knew he’d want to be involved if I told him.

    “I guess you could say that today changed my mind.”

    I glanced around the clearing, then down at the ground where I had placed the limp form of the experimental Pikachu. His back rose and fell lightly with each breath, but there was no sign of him waking up any time soon.

    I didn’t really know what do with him at this point. It seemed cruel to just leave him here where a predator could find him out cold. And even if it had been for his own reasons, he had helped us.

    “Well, we lost his Poké Ball on the plane so I guess I’ll just have to hold him again,” I said, picking up the rodent as gently as possible.

    “Wait a minute…you’re actually gonna keep that thing?” Rudy asked, staring wide-eyed at the Pikachu. His expression was a mixture of incredulous fear and envy. Of course he’d wish that he’d been the one to keep a cool hybrid, even if temporarily.

    “I wouldn’t say it like that. I’m just going to hold onto him until he wakes up, and then explain the situation to him. He’ll probably just leave afterwards.”

    Ajia climbed up onto her Aerodactyl’s back and got herself strapped into its flight harness, prompting the reptile to stand to its feet and stretch its wings. I climbed up behind her, taking care to hold the Pikachu as best as I could while still keeping a firm grip on the Aerodactyl’s straps.

    “Leaving now, huh?” Spencer asked. “Take care! Nice fighting with you…or…alongside you, I guess.”

    It wasn’t like I had done much, but his words still made me smile. “Thanks for everything. I don’t know what I’d have done if you hadn’t shown up.”

    Aerodactyl pushed off from the ground and in an instant, we were off. The air was dusky and cool, and the wind whipped at our faces and through our hair as we flew onward. I lost track of how long we had to fly, but the sky had deepened into pitch black by the time I first caught a glimpse of city lights reflecting off the ocean in the distance. The pterosaur swooped down low over Vermilion City, eventually landing alongside the Pokémon Center. I let myself down from its back slowly, my hands now sore beyond belief from all the flying we’d done today. It was almost difficult just holding the Pikachu now—I had to constantly shift his weight between my arms.

    “Wait here,” Ajia said, dismounting her Pokémon and running inside the large, red-roofed building. Only a few seconds afterward, she returned with a pen and a scrap of notepad paper. She scribbled something onto it and then handed it to me.

    “It’s my PokéGear number—in case you ever find yourself in too much trouble.”

    She climbed onto her Aerodactyl once more and waved lightly to me. “Good luck. I hope things work out for you. I mean it.”

    I waved. “Thanks, Ajia.”

    And with that, they were off, soaring into the night sky and out of sight.

    So now it was time for me to figure out how to handle myself on my own. Though…I suppose I wasn’t on my own—I did have my Pokémon.

    And then it hit me. I had made this decision without even thinking about the fact that I still had a confused Charmander that didn’t even really belong to me. I pulled out Firestorm’s Poké Ball slowly, figuring that I’d have to tell him what had happened eventually, and attempt to apologize for taking him here without his consent. A flash of white light formed into the flame-tailed lizard, who glanced around, looking puzzled.

    “*Are we safe now?*” he asked.

    I nodded. “We’re far from your old home, though. I’m not sure what you want to do, but—”

    He cut me off. “*I don’t get it. Aren’t you my trainer now?*”

    I blinked stupidly at him. If I had been expecting anything, it hadn’t been this. “I guess…well, I never really captured you, but…” I trailed off awkwardly. Did wild Pokémon normally act like this? I had always figured they’d resist going with a human as much as possible. The only reason they went with a human trainer was to get the chance to battle a wide variety of opponents and grow strong—that was the entire reason you had to battle a Pokémon before catching it: to prove yourself. Then again…if he did have a family and a home in that forest, it was likely all gone. There wasn’t much he could go back to.

    “If you’re sure it’s what you want, then fine, you can come with me,” I said, smiling afterwards. Even though it probably wasn’t right to think of it in this light, I couldn’t deny that having a Charmander would be really cool.

    An overwhelming sense of anxiety still hung over my head, but underneath it all, I couldn’t help being excited somehow. Though this hadn’t really been the way I wanted it to happen, I was now a Pokémon Trainer. An illegal one off on a mission to join a secret rebel team, sure…but a trainer nonetheless.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A cool, salty ocean breeze ruffled through my bangs as I strolled down one of Vermillion’s coastal walkways, shopping bags in hand. I had put it off as long as possible, but eventually I’d needed to buy more clothes, no matter how much I hated to go shopping for them. I couldn’t help wishing that I had somehow known to grab some spare outfits when I had left home. Still, I’d had no idea that any of this would happen; I had just planned on riding around town a little while Rudy finished his chores. It seemed almost crazy how something so small had led to all of this.

    Almost absentmindedly, I found myself thumbing through the money in the new wallet I’d bought. It was a good thing TMs were so valuable; I’d held onto to the Fire Blast TM after I made the connection that Series 5 discs were the reusable ones. Pawning it off the second I got to Vermillion had managed to land me 20,000 pyen—I was pretty sure that was far less than it was actually worth, but I was far too desperate to care. I had spent well over half of it within my first two days in Vermillion, but hopefully I wouldn’t need to buy anything more than food for the remainder of my time here.

    I paused just long enough to stuff the bags into my new backpack before continuing down the road alongside the bay, occasionally shooting a glance out over the horizon. I couldn’t help being awed by the endless stretches of sea that surrounded half the city—it was so much more open than the hilly, forested type of setting I was used to seeing around Viridian. Still, rolls of fog were starting to drift in over the ocean, and the day had grown more overcast as it went on. I shivered a bit as an unusually icy chill swept in. Better to head home for the day.

    I felt a slight pang in my chest as I walked past the Pokémon Center and its promise of a roof and a warm bed. Those things were for licensed trainers—without being able to receive the trainer’s discount, I’d have gone broke within a week. I’d had no choice but to settle on…much cheaper arrangements.

    I had just reached the northern edge of the city when I felt the first few raindrops hit my arm. Breaking into a run, I headed toward a small line of trees in the otherwise open fields of Route 6. There, shielded from both wind and the view of most passing trainers, was the tent I had bought the first night I had arrived. Because of all the Pokémon Trainers, camping supplies were fairly cheap and thankfully didn’t require a license to purchase. That was at least one thing that had gone in my favor.

    “I’m back,” I announced upon entering the tent, taking care to close the flap behind me.

    “*Hello,*” Firestorm replied. He was sitting patiently on the non-flammable, waterproof tarp that I’d bought to cover the floor of the tent. Swift was huddled in the corner. That just left…

    “…Where’s Pikachu?” I asked, glancing around apprehensively. Given his intimidating air, it felt extremely weird just calling him “Pikachu”, but I couldn’t think of what else to call him.

    “*He went out to train,*” Firestorm answered. “*Sometimes you can see a Thunderbolt out in the field.*”

    “Just so long as he doesn’t make actual lightning strike,” I said, laughing nervously, though there really probably wasn’t much risk, as the sky was covered in more of a misty haze than storm clouds. I was a bit relieved that he hadn’t decided to take off, but I couldn’t figure out why. Why did I care if a random Pokémon that didn’t even belong to me just decided to up and leave one day? It’s not like he’d said a word to any of us; he hadn’t even agreed or disagreed to my keeping him.

    Firestorm was now sniffing at the shopping bags I had set down. “*What’s that?*” he asked.

    “I already told you guys that I needed to buy clothes,” I replied, sitting down. “And hey, I thought I told you that I wanted you to talk faster than normal to make it harder for me to catch what you’re saying. I want to be sure I can understand you in any situation.”

    “*Again?*” he said, raising an eyebrow. “*If you can understand me well enough, then why do you need—?*” The Charmander said all of this much more quickly, and my brain didn’t really have time to register the second half of what he’d spoken.

    “See, that’s what I’m talking about!” I exclaimed, as though he were somehow able to read my thoughts. He stared at me confusedly.

    “I only got through two semesters of Advanced Pokéspeech, and before that I was completely horrible at it,” I explained. Sure, up until this point, I had been able to understand my Pokémon decently, but I knew that I’d need to make sure I was as fluent as possible, and the only way to do that was to practice.

    “*Huh? That’s weird…why does it take you humans so long to learn it?*”

    “Pfft, we’re not like Pokémon; our brains don’t just ‘pick up’ languages like that.” I snapped my fingers to emphasize the point.

    “*Well alright…then couldn’t you talk with Swift?*” he asked.

    Rubbing the back of my head, I answered, “Er, not really…” Swift had never exactly been one to talk very much. Upon noticing that our conversation involved him, the Pidgey turned away shyly.

    “Now…say something completely random or illogical,” I instructed Firestorm. “You know, so I don’t have context to help me out.”

    The fire lizard rolled his eyes at first, but then spat out a rapid string of words in Pokéspeech: “Char’ charmann‘der charmaan ‘charr.”

    I raised an eyebrow. “That meant: ‘you are…bad at Pokéspeech’? I said illogical.”

    “*That was,*” he said promptly.

    I shook my head, but couldn’t help laughing just the same.

    “*Why don’t you try talking in Pokéspeech?*” Firestorm asked me. “*You humans can make any sounds you want, right?*”

    I shook my head. “That won’t work. I mean, I could try, but there’s no way I could get the more complicated tone changes down. It’s a lot easier for humans to learn how to hear them than to actually make them, and that’s saying something.” I found myself recalling memories of my first semester of Pokéspeech class. Sure, everyone knew that with Pokéspeech, it was the meaning that was important, not the actual words like with human speech—but somehow, it was impossible to fully appreciate just how different the two ways of speaking were until you’d started learning Pokémon language.

    Firestorm took that opportunity to end my practice and resume his investigation of my purchases. It didn’t take him long to grow bored of that and start digging through a bag of pokéchow instead, though.

    A sudden flash of light drew my attention to the outside. I crawled forward and peeked out the tent flap to see scattered bolts of lightning coming from a field north of us, twisting and flailing wildly into the air. When I stood up, I was able to catch a glimpse of the experimental Pikachu darting around the grass as though tangling with an invisible opponent. I had to suspect that he had already knocked out all the willing combatants on the route and scared away all the unwilling ones.

    “Pikachu!” I called out, feeling rather silly. “Hey, Pikachu!”

    He really didn’t give any indication that he had heard me at all. The hybrid simply continued ducking and weaving throughout the grasses in a very precise and streamlined motion, occasionally leaping out and slicing his tail through the air.

    “You know, I heard you when you snuck in the tent last night to steal food. You could have just asked, you know?”

    Not a word. Not even a look. His spiky fur stood on end as he charged forward and body slammed the dead remains of a tree, letting loose a wave of electricity from the impact and scorching the trunk even more than it was before.

    “Seriously, I know I’m not your trainer but could you at least give me a reason you haven’t left yet? I have no idea what to think about you!”

    The rodent’s breathing was starting to grow heavier from the intense training. Sparks were starting to leap off his fur, but every time they did, he would let off a narrow string of lightning straight along the ground. Compared to his previous moves, this was a lot more precise and controlled.

    “You know, in a few weeks, I’m gonna be leaving to join a group fighting the Rockets! Are you going to follow me then, too?”

    His movements faltered. I noticed him jerk very suddenly at those words, as though caught off guard. It was only for a moment, but he definitely paused before leaping back into the tall grass and out of sight. I waited several seconds, but didn’t see any more signs of him training.

    “Ugh, just forget it,” I muttered, climbing back inside the tent and flopping down onto my sleeping bag. I couldn’t help feeling my eyelids start to droop and my muscles go limp, even though it was the middle of the afternoon. I had felt similarly exhausted throughout the past few days as well. Maybe it was stress—I didn’t really know.

    The wind whipped against the tent as I looked out toward the overcast gray sky. Three more weeks in Vermilion…

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    My footsteps were slow and dragging as I walked down the boardwalk for what felt like the hundredth time. The harbor was on the south side of Vermilion, which meant I had pretty much the longest walk possible to get to it from my camping site (which in retrospect was really poor planning on my part, but I had first arrived at the north side of town late at night and hadn’t had much time to go wandering around.)

    I paused to lean against the fence alongside the walkway and pulled out the card I had been given from its spot in my wallet, reading it over for what must have been the thousandth time. It had seemed like a good idea when I’d first made my decision, but as time went on, reality was sort of starting to set in. I had no idea exactly what I was supposed to be doing here, and how was I even supposed to find the guy with the Charizard? For a while I had wondered if I was supposed to board the S.S. Anne, but if that was the case, how was I supposed to afford a ticket? For now, the only thing I could think of was to spend the day wandering the harbor, hoping to run into the trainer again.

    I had just turned to leave when I heard a rushing of air behind me.

    “So…you’ve shown up to find out more,” someone said. The voice was vaguely familiar, and I turned to see a tall figure flying down on an orange dragon. I assumed it was the young man I had met in the forest, although I was caught off guard by the fact that he was wearing a long black cloak and a darkly translucent mask that hid face from view.

    “Err, hey,” I said as the Charizard landed, and the trainer climbed off the fire-type’s back. “What’s with the mask?”

    “That’s right…you saw my face back then…” he said distantly. “I hadn’t originally been planning on picking up any recruits that day, so I didn’t take care to hide my identity. “Everyone else I approached only saw me in these.” After he said that, I expected him to remove the mask, but he didn’t.

    “First of all,” he said, “I need to make sure you’re really willing to do this.”

    “Well…yeah. I mean, after you first told me about it, I wasn’t so sure, but that was because I didn’t think I could do anything, but…” My words trailed off. I realized I wasn’t exactly doing the best job at selling myself.

    He considered me for some time before he next spoke. “I don’t want anyone joining just because it sounds interesting and then deciding to quit after they realize that there’s danger involved. Of course, I’m not gonna throw you guys into the fire until you’ve been trained, but one way or another, this is going to test your resolve.” His voice was harsh. Even though he had probably said this same thing to all of his potential recruits, for some reason I felt like a perfect target for it.

    And yet…I’d already been through danger with Team Rocket, and I still wanted to do this. That had to count for something, right?

    I took a deep breath. “I…I can’t just ignore what happened that day. I want to be able to make a difference.” I hoped he didn’t notice the slight quiver in my voice.

    A few seconds passed. “Alright,” he said, pulling a small folder filled with several sheets of paper out of his coat and handing it to me. I took it and skimmed the top page quickly. No way…this was…

    “This is an S.S. Anne boarding pass?” I said, staring blankly at it.

    “How else would you be allowed on the ship?”

    “Yeah, but…if you’re giving tickets to everyone who’s joining the rebel team, then—” I started before he cut me off.

    “I told those in charge of the ship that I wanted specialty invites for the Pokémon Trainer’s Party on board and then bought a hundred and fifty of them.”

    I gawked at him. “Holy crap, you must be rich.”

    “I wouldn’t be starting something like this if I weren’t prepared. Still, I spent most of my funds on the tickets and renting the stadium we’re gonna use as headquarters.”

    “Which is where…?” I asked, as I’d been wondering it for a long time.

    “Sorry, that’s classified until you get there.”

    I stared. But…couldn’t anyone just check the ship’s records if they really wanted to know? This whole situation was starting to seem kind of strange, but then, there was something else that I had wanted to ask him.

    “You said you were recruiting beginning trainers,” I said. “Why? Why not more experienced ones that would have a better chance when fighting Team Rocket?” I couldn’t help thinking back to the way Ajia had battled.

    “I just preferred having a blank slate to work with. I want to be able to train you guys from the start in the battle style that will be most useful for the missions you’ll be taking. And beginning trainers are able to change their strategy easier than trainers who’ve been battling the same way for years. You need to be able to adapt to whatever opponent you face and I also figure I could help train beginning trainers on how to fight Team Rocket a bit more easily.” That didn’t fully make sense to me—couldn’t a skilled trainer adapt their style just as well? Before I could ask, he said, “By the way, did you get any more Pokémon?”

    “Er…yeah, I kept the Charmander that I found that day, and I also have a Pikachu,” I said. I wasn’t entirely sure if it made sense to include Pikachu, or tell the guy about the hybrid’s nature.

    He nodded. “Your Charmander could be a pretty good fighter once it evolves. Course, I can’t say I’m not partial to Charizard.” He then walked over and climbed onto his flame dragon’s back once more. “Guess I’ll be seeing you with the others.”

    “Yeah, later,” I said, watching him fly off on his Charizard. But before he had flown too far, a random thought struck me. “Hey! What’s your name?”

    He paused to consider the question. “I suppose you guys will need something to call me…” He turned away, and the last thing he said before soaring out of sight was, “Stalker.”

    Stalker…dodgy name for someone who wasn’t totally free of suspicion himself. Still, a part of my mind kept reminding me that when going against Team Rocket, it probably wasn’t best to reveal everything about one’s plans.

    I glanced back over the harbor, my thoughts swimming with both anticipation and anxiety, and the realization that I was now almost definitely bound to this crazy, spur-of-the-moment adventure. I had long since given up my opportunity to return home and put things right from the moment where they had first gone very wrong in the forest that day.

    But that almost didn’t matter anymore. There was no turning back now, and in a weird sort of way, I didn’t mind.





    ~End Chapter 5~
    Aaaaand…cue speculation on Ajia in three…two…one… *Sits expectantly.* What? I love speculation. That’s why I dump foreshadowing into every inch of the fic.

    So yeah, not much happened in this chapter, but hopefully the unresolved questions and character interactions were interesting enough. And we did just get done with three chapters of near non-stop action, so maybe a breather was a good thing. Don’t worry, the plot kicks right back into high gear next chapter.

    More worldbuilding rambles in the next post~ This time about Pokéspeech.

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 8th June 2012 at 6:16 AM.


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  15. #65
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    In the Pokémon anime, many Pokémon’s cries consist of their name spoken repeatedly. There really is no shortage of jokes made about the illogicality of how a single word can make up an entire language. Other things people might like to make fun of are the fact that all Pokémon can understand each other, and the fact that wild Pokémon can understand humans even if they’ve probably only heard small amounts of human speech in passing.

    Instead of just disregarding canon, I like to explain it.

    For starters, all Pokémon species are capable of understanding each other’s speech. This is simultaneously the most interesting concept of Pokéspeech, and the one thing that makes it vastly different from how humans communicate. How can the highly varied Pokémon cries be picked up and understood by other Pokémon? For the same reason that, for the longest time, humans could not understand them: we communicate through making different sounds. Our wide vocal range and the near infinite amount of word combinations means that what a word sounds like indicates its meaning. With Pokémon, this is completely irrelevant: the exact sound made does not matter—it is how it is made. A Pokémon does not notice whether it is hearing “Pipikachu” or “Charcharmander”, it notices far more delicate vocal cues like the length of the syllables, the order, the intonation, pauses and sharpness of the sounds, hand gestures, and much more. In fact, it could even be said that with Pokéspeech, what matters is the meaning behind what is spoken, not the exact sounds.

    This universal system implies that the language centers in a Pokémon’s brain are extremely different from ours, which is supported by many different factors. All Pokéspeech follows a central language system, and while there are definite regional and species-specific variations, the core system may very well be an instinctual one, programmed into all Pokémon’s minds. For another thing, this results in Pokémon being highly adept at picking up new languages, able to clearly understand their trainers in a remarkably short amount of time. Some wild Pokémon have come into contact with enough humans through battling that they already understand a large amount of human language without being trained. Their vocal restrictions simply prevent them from actually conversing with us. And likewise, it is difficult for humans to recreate all of the nuances in a single word of Pokéspeech, while we can be trained to hear them.

    I also have another theory: suppose a Pokémon is bred and raised by humans, with no exposure to other Pokémon. It will face an interesting problem. Being exposed to human language ensures that it does not miss out on the crucial language development stage (an unfortunate situation well-known from humans raised by animals), but finds itself unable to speak its first learned language. At the same time, however, it exhibits an instinctual need to communicate, and will eventually learn how to convey its ideas through cries that are stunningly similar to normal Pokéspeech. (However, its communication capabilities will be noticeably stunted for several years. The Pokémon League now places restrictions on its breeding centers to avoid this problem.)

    Also of note is the fact that in canon, Pokémon are perfectly content to be called by their species name. This seems to imply that they themselves generally refer to individuals of another species just by the species name, and therefore clearly don’t care if humans do so to them. For this reason, it’s probably typical that they don’t ask strangers their name.

    ~Chibi~


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  16. #66
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Posts
    919

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    After looking through Bulbapedia’s list of names commonly used to refer to pokédollars, I decided to go with “pyen” as Kanto's monetary unit in LC. I wanted something without the “poke” prefix (too silly), but starting with a p (to reference the canon in-game symbol), but also referencing the Japanese games just having them as yen (which also makes it more obvious that 20,000 pyen, while a decent sum, is nothing extraordinary.)
    Interesting. Thanks for letting us know! And your description here adds a nice touch of credibility and realism to the story!

    “All in all, great job today, everyone. I’d say we’ve graduated to top class as far as not-getting-killed-by-Rockets goes,” Spencer said, stretching widely and flopping to the ground.
    STILL like this guy.

    She gave me a bit of a sideways glance—or at least, what looked sideways, given that I was sprawled out on the grass looking up at her. It was hard to tell with everything upside-down.
    This made me laugh. Very good detail.

    Almost immediately, Ajia responded, “No. Never.”
    I think you've mentioned this before, but it's still a very good detail. The legends seem especially noteworthy, powerful, and mysterious when one has never ever been caught.

    I didn’t really know what to say in response so I just stared back up at the sky. It was almost night—small pinpricks of starlight were starting to shine above us. If we didn’t get back to Viridian soon, I’d have a world of explaining to do. The idea of returning home after all of this was somehow very strange and foreign.
    Nice touch. Jade IS just a kid, so getting home and not getting into trouble still seems paramount, even when something actually important is going on.

    “Even if you saw them going after Entei, I still don’t get why they cared so much,” Ajia continued to herself, apparently still trying to figure out the missing link in my story. “It just seems weird that they had to kidnap you even if you didn’t know all that much about them.”
    I know you're fishing for speculation on Aija, so I'll give you some: why DOES she care so much about this encounter? Why is it such a big deal to her that a criminal organization did something rash and violent? Hmm.

    I hesitated. In all honesty, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to go home. Something she had said earlier was still stuck in my mind: the point of training Pokémon was to grow stronger. I hadn’t been able to do anything, either to help myself or anyone else, all day. Sure, maybe I was too weak to do anything about Team Rocket’s Legendary catching now, but wasn’t that what the Charizard trainer was aiming for? How could I go home and do nothing after knowing what he had told me about Team Rocket catching Legendaries and seeing proof of it right before me? It was weird, but I couldn’t help feeling that I’d met him for a reason, and that I was supposed to take that opportunity.
    I still think he is fishy. He just HAPPENED to be there, got the sense that Jade wanted to oppose Team Rocket, and then left so that they could chase her down? You ask me, HE'S the guy we should REALLY be questioning.

    She nodded. “There’s always the possibility, but that’d be very unlike the Rockets. What would they gain by going and finding a bunch of kids, deliberately telling them about the organization, and then killing them? No, I think it’s real…though I can’t say I know what the motives behind it are.”
    I don't think so, Aija!

    “I guess you could say that today changed my mind.”

    I glanced around the clearing, then down at the ground where I had placed the limp form of the experimental Pikachu. His back rose and fell lightly with each breath, but there was no sign of him waking up any time soon.
    This seems weird to me; they all just went through this experience together, so why wouldn't she tell Spencer and Rudy? I guess she might not want to see them risk their lives to battle Team Rocket, but still...they already seem like they are on the Rockets' radar. Might as well go in guns blazin'.

    “Leaving now, huh?” Spencer asked. “Take care! Nice fighting with you…or…alongside you, I guess.”
    Nooo! Take my favorite character with you!

    She climbed onto her Aerodactyl once more and waved lightly to me. “Good luck. I hope things work out for you. I mean it.”

    I waved. “Thanks, Ajia.”

    And with that, they were off, soaring into the night sky and out of sight.
    Awww. I liked it better when there was a team. Not that Jade isn't fun, but I dug all the others, too!

    An overwhelming sense of anxiety still hung over my head, but underneath it all, I couldn’t help being excited somehow. Though this hadn’t really been the way I wanted it to happen, I was now a Pokémon Trainer. An illegal one off on a mission to join a secret rebel team, sure…but a trainer nonetheless.
    ...Heh. This got a smile out of me. Nice line of thinking.

    “Just so long as he doesn’t make actual lightning strike,” I said, laughing nervously, though there really probably wasn’t much risk, as the sky was covered in more of a misty haze than storm clouds. I was a bit relieved that he hadn’t decided to take off, but I couldn’t figure out why. Why did I care if a random Pokémon that didn’t even belong to me just decided to up and leave one day? It’s not like he’d said a word to any of us; he hadn’t even agreed or disagreed to my keeping him.
    Does Pikachu have the "I am not as strong as I want to be!" syndrome? It's off training on its own despite being exceedingly powerful already.

    “I already told you guys that I needed to buy clothes,” I replied, sitting down. “And hey, I thought I told you that I wanted you to talk faster than normal to make it harder for me to catch what you’re saying. I want to be sure I can understand you in any situation.”
    Wow. Big ups to Jade for that foresight!

    Rubbing the back of my head, I answered, “Er, not really…” Swift had never exactly been one to talk very much. Upon noticing that our conversation involved him, the Pidgey turned away shyly.
    I was wondering if Swift was still there. I like Swift, but I'm curious as to why it doesn't talk to Jade. Will we get the story here? It certainly seems like we will!

    “*Why don’t you try talking in Pokéspeech?*” Firestorm asked me. “*You humans can make any sounds you want, right?*”
    Why don't you speak English, bossy Charmander!

    -That's as far as I can get for now, but I will try to edit the rest in later! I am enjoying this chapter so far probably more than any of the previous ones. Very well-written, and it gives great detail into Jade. Even if I miss everyone else.





    Time to finish this:

    My footsteps were slow and dragging as I walked down the boardwalk for what felt like the hundredth time. The harbor was on the south side of Vermilion, which meant I had pretty much the longest walk possible to get to it from my camping site (which in retrospect was really poor planning on my part, but I had first arrived at the north side of town late at night and hadn’t had much time to go wandering around.)
    You will GENERALLY hear that you should not use parentheticals in narration, but I personally find them fantastic in first-person narration, because really...that is how people think. I constantly have, I guess you'd call them, sub-thoughts in my head. So I like this.

    IHe considered me for some time before he next spoke. “I don’t want anyone joining just because it sounds interesting and then deciding to quit after they realize that there’s danger involved. Of course, I’m not gonna throw you guys into the fire until you’ve been trained, but one way or another, this is going to test your resolve.” His voice was harsh. Even though he had probably said this same thing to all of his potential recruits, for some reason I felt like a perfect target for it.
    It seems odd that he would say "gonna", and then say "going to" a few moments later. It just seems a bit inconsistent. Is he colloquial, or is he more proper?

    A few seconds passed. “Alright,” he said, pulling a small folder filled with several sheets of paper out of his coat and handing it to me. I took it and skimmed the top page quickly. No way…this was…
    In professional writing, never use "alright". It's acceptable in colloquial writing (like a Facebook status or Serebii private messages or something) or if you are using it in narration to say something artistic about the narrator, but this is just a written text of what he said, and in that case, ALWAYS use "all right". "Alright" is improper.

    I stared. But…couldn’t anyone just check the ship’s records if they really wanted to know? This whole situation was starting to seem kind of strange, but then, there was something else that I had wanted to ask him.

    “You said you were recruiting beginning trainers,” I said. “Why? Why not more experienced ones that would have a better chance when fighting Team Rocket?” I couldn’t help thinking back to the way Ajia had battled.
    Yeah, Jade knows this guy is fishy!

    “He paused to consider the question. “I suppose you guys will need something to call me…” He turned away, and the last thing he said before soaring out of sight was, “Stalker.”

    Stalker…dodgy name for someone who wasn’t totally free of suspicion himself. Still, a part of my mind kept reminding me that when going against Team Rocket, it probably wasn’t best to reveal everything about one’s plans.
    It's funny to me, because I, too, have created a heroic character and gave him the alias "Stalker". It's really about the least noble name someone can adopt except for, say, "The Child Molestor". So I got a laugh out of this.



    -I still REALLY enjoyed this chapter, and as much as I liked the stuff you did with a group of protagonists, your handling of Jade by herself (mostly) here was even better. I thought I'd miss Spencer, Rudy, and Aija (okay, really just Spencer), but I got a better sense of what's going on from just Jade.
    Last edited by Sid87; 8th June 2012 at 3:23 PM.


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

    FC: 3823-9867-2750

  17. #67
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    In the Pokémon anime, many Pokémon’s cries consist of their name spoken repeatedly. There really is no shortage of jokes made about the illogicality of how a single word can make up an entire language. Other things people might like to make fun of are the fact that all Pokémon can understand each other, and the fact that wild Pokémon can understand humans even if they’ve probably only heard small amounts of human speech in passing.

    Instead of just disregarding canon, I like to explain it.

    For starters, all Pokémon species are capable of understanding each other’s speech. This is simultaneously the most interesting concept of Pokéspeech, and the one thing that makes it vastly different from how humans communicate. How can the highly varied Pokémon cries be picked up and understood by other Pokémon? For the same reason that, for the longest time, humans could not understand them: we communicate through making different sounds. Our wide vocal range and the near infinite amount of word combinations means that what a word sounds like indicates its meaning. With Pokémon, this is completely irrelevant: the exact sound made does not matter—it is how it is made. A Pokémon does not notice whether it is hearing “Pipikachu” or “Charcharmander”, it notices far more delicate vocal cues like the length of the syllables, the order, the intonation, pauses and sharpness of the sounds, hand gestures, and much more. In fact, it could even be said that with Pokéspeech, what matters is the meaning behind what is spoken, not the exact sounds.

    This universal system implies that the language centers in a Pokémon’s brain are extremely different from ours, which is supported by many different factors. All Pokéspeech follows a central language system, and while there are definite regional and species-specific variations, the core system may very well be an instinctual one, programmed into all Pokémon’s minds. For another thing, this results in Pokémon being highly adept at picking up new languages, able to clearly understand their trainers in a remarkably short amount of time. Some wild Pokémon have come into contact with enough humans through battling that they already understand a large amount of human language without being trained. Their vocal restrictions simply prevent them from actually conversing with us. And likewise, it is difficult for humans to recreate all of the nuances in a single word of Pokéspeech, while we can be trained to hear them.

    I also have another theory: suppose a Pokémon is bred and raised by humans, with no exposure to other Pokémon. It will face an interesting problem. Being exposed to human language ensures that it does not miss out on the crucial language development stage (an unfortunate situation well-known from humans raised by animals), but finds itself unable to speak its first learned language. At the same time, however, it exhibits an instinctual need to communicate, and will eventually learn how to convey its ideas through cries that are stunningly similar to normal Pokéspeech. (However, its communication capabilities will be noticeably stunted for several years. The Pokémon League now places restrictions on its breeding centers to avoid this problem.)

    Also of note is the fact that in canon, Pokémon are perfectly content to be called by their species name. This seems to imply that they themselves generally refer to individuals of another species just by the species name, and therefore clearly don’t care if humans do so to them. For this reason, it’s probably typical that they don’t ask strangers their name.

    ~Chibi~
    Interesting, I never thought of doing that, probably because I just always found pokespeak to be kind of silly in the anime. In my fic, pokemon communicate through a complex language of growls, grunts, chirps, etc. Kinda like Chewbacca. I portray all pokemon as speaking the same base language, and the variations in the language between species can be viewed sort of as accents or dialects. I actually don't watch the anime much, so I mostly use the cries from the games as guidelines when describing the voice of a specific pokemon.

    I did something similar with the names, though...I said that while a lot of pokemon do actually give names to their young, their personal names are only really used when differing themselves from other members of their own species. At least I think that's what I said...mostly I just needed an excuse for not coming up with a name for the Absol in the story until Chapter 20.
    Last edited by chammy76; 9th June 2012 at 11:55 PM.
    "Love is just a chemical, no matter the origin. We give it meaning by choice."
    -Eleanor Lamb, Bioshock 2

  18. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I know you're fishing for speculation on Aija, so I'll give you some: why DOES she care so much about this encounter? Why is it such a big deal to her that a criminal organization did something rash and violent? Hmm.
    Heh, well at that point it's not so much that she cares, so much as that she clearly knows TR would never really do something like that unless there was some other factor missing from the story (which, naturally, there was.) I had to be extremely careful with how I wrote their conversation to not give too much away though.
    I still think he is fishy. He just HAPPENED to be there, got the sense that Jade wanted to oppose Team Rocket, and then left so that they could chase her down? You ask me, HE'S the guy we should REALLY be questioning.
    Heh. I am going to say this right here and now. Stalker is my favorite character in the entire fic. Some characters are more fun to write, others I have a major soft spot for, but Stalker is my favorite. Also he is without a doubt the character who gets the most speculation from readers.
    This seems weird to me; they all just went through this experience together, so why wouldn't she tell Spencer and Rudy? I guess she might not want to see them risk their lives to battle Team Rocket, but still...they already seem like they are on the Rockets' radar. Might as well go in guns blazin'.
    It's a combination of worrying what will happen if she tells anyone about it besides her most trusted friend, and not wanting to drag her other friends into her self-admitted crazy, dangerous plan.
    Awww. I liked it better when there was a team. Not that Jade isn't fun, but I dug all the others, too!
    Do not fear. This story would be boring if it were just Jade throughout the rest of it.
    In professional writing, never use "alright". It's acceptable in colloquial writing (like a Facebook status or Serebii private messages or something) or if you are using it in narration to say something artistic about the narrator, but this is just a written text of what he said, and in that case, ALWAYS use "all right". "Alright" is improper.
    I am definitely aware that "alright" is an improper word, but have generally been fine with using improper words in spoken dialogue, since it is inherently improper in nature. However! You bring up a valid point and I did some reasearch on the opinions of using improper spellings in dialogue. Turns out the internet is similarly broken on the matter. I've seen people adamantly argue against it, and many insist in favor of it. Given the nature of Stalker's character, I think I can go ahead and change it, although I can't guarantee that I might not forget to keep it out of dialogue coming from Jade, Rudy, Spencer and such in the future.
    It's funny to me, because I, too, have created a heroic character and gave him the alias "Stalker". It's really about the least noble name someone can adopt except for, say, "The Child Molestor". So I got a laugh out of this.
    Haha, yeah I know it's kind of silly for him to have a name like that, but after calling a character by a name for ten years, it's hard for me to think of him by any other name (this despite the fact that it is clearly not his real name.) I did actually come up with an interesting reason as to when and why he chose that name.
    -I still REALLY enjoyed this chapter, and as much as I liked the stuff you did with a group of protagonists, your handling of Jade by herself (mostly) here was even better. I thought I'd miss Spencer, Rudy, and Aija (okay, really just Spencer), but I got a better sense of what's going on from just Jade.
    I'm glad you feel that way. Even though I love the others too, I like to frequently change the cast that Jade primarily interacts with to achieve a certain effect in each arc of the story, and this next chapter required Jade to be alone (well...not quite alone...she does have her Pokemon.)
    Quote Originally Posted by chammy76 View Post
    I did something similar with the names, though...I said that while a lot of pokemon do actually give names to their young, their personal names are only really used when differing themselves from other members of their own species. At least I think that's what I said...mostly I just needed an excuse for not coming up with a name for the Absol in the story until Chapter 20.
    Yeah, I know a couple people have done a system like that, and I was tempted to go with it in this revision, because it makes logical sense and would have fixed a lot of plot holes surrounding some Pokemon characters' names, but I could not in good faith do it because I would just feel like I was blatantly ripping someone off.

    ~Chibi~


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  19. #69
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    On a Mars bar. :)
    Posts
    1,583

    Default

    x3 Not much to say, really - I quite liked how their relief and exhaustion after they escaped managed to interrupt the tension of the 'fic, and how nevertheless after the first few moments of giddy breaths it slotted back into place. It was a nice transition, and manipulates the atmosphere of the 'fic well. x3

    I paused to lean against the fence alongside the walkway and pulled out the card I had been given from its spot in my wallet, reading it over for what must have been the thousandth time. It had seemed like a good idea when I’d first made my decision, but as time went on, reality was sort of starting to set in. I had no idea exactly what I was supposed to be doing here, and how was I even supposed to find the guy with the Charizard? For a while I had wondered if I was supposed to board the S.S. Anne, but if that was the case, how was I supposed to afford a ticket? For now, the only thing I could think of was to spend the day wandering the harbor, hoping to run into the trainer again.
    I glanced back over the harbor, my thoughts swimming with both anticipation and anxiety, and the realization that I was now almost definitely bound to this crazy, spur-of-the-moment adventure. I had long since given up my opportunity to return home and put things right from the moment where they had first gone very wrong in the forest that day.
    I would've enjoyed seeing her truly consider the consequences of going, considering she's been there a while with almost nothing to do, but perhaps you have this reckoning later? Beyond the fact that she doesn't know what she's supposed to do, or how it's all going to work; a thinking through of the fact that she's up and left home with no preparation or warning, when it seems she had three weeks until she needed to be there in any case, surely enough time to nab essentials from home. I can guess reasons for why she wouldn't want to go back, but I can also see the multitude of benefits, and such considerations are unlikely to have skipped her thoughts. The original decision was rash: that I got full well, but after a day, as reality begins to set in, the reality of her actions as well as the situation would begin to settle as well. I look forward to seeing how you handle this as the situation progresses.

    I also look forward to finding out more about why Firestorm was content to join her, the omission of a form of explanation from him and instead leaving us with only the protagonists assumptions was intriguing. It'll be interesting to find out more about his past, and see if there was anything more than 'wrong place wrong time' to his presence in the forest while Entei was being captured. x3

    No grammar/spelling/etcetera issues that I could see, although considering that this is the eleventh revision, it's to be expected that you'd proof read with caution. xD I wasn't scouring every sentence, however, so there is a possibility I just missed them - the errors weren't jarring enough to disturb the flow of the story, at least. I really did enjoy this chapter, the developments with the hybrid pikachu particularly. :3 By the chapter's conclusion I'd managed to fall in to it once more - leaving me having to resist going back to your last revision to catch up on the chapters.

    Your concept of pokespeak it quite interesting - I quite like the notion that its intonation and body language that carries across meaning more than the words themselves. While there would probably be some adjustment needed by a pokemon when it first attempts to understand the language of another species, due to the simple fact that different anatomies result in different vocal chords and body language, it's a neat idea. I don't quite follow your explanation of how this would help them understand human speech better than a human could learn to understand pokespeak, though: wouldn't they face the same difficulty as humans learning pokespeak due to the fact that human speech is, as you've said, fundamentally different from pokespeak as it focuses on the combination of different sounds combined into words and phrases (although intonation and emphasis is important in english to an extent - and is especially in japanese, no?), therefore not following a pokemon's naturally programmed recognition of certain body language and tonal inflections? Why then should pokemon be able to easier distinguish human words (and therefore human speech) when they naturally aren't inclined to do so? Adaption to different variations of tone and different visual cues is vastly different to learning to distinguish words when you haven't had to before.

    I don't know nut'ing about linguistics, though, so I won't pursue that any further. x3
    Last edited by katiekitten; 17th June 2012 at 10:13 PM.


    Floating over your rocky spine
    The glaciers made you and now you're mine


    Pair: duncan | Lyrics: Great Lake Swimmers

  20. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by katiekitten View Post
    I would've enjoyed seeing her truly consider the consequences of going, considering she's been there a while with almost nothing to do, but perhaps you have this reckoning later? Beyond the fact that she doesn't know what she's supposed to do, or how it's all going to work; a thinking through of the fact that she's up and left home with no preparation or warning, when it seems she had three weeks until she needed to be there in any case, surely enough time to nab essentials from home. I can guess reasons for why she wouldn't want to go back, but I can also see the multitude of benefits, and such considerations are unlikely to have skipped her thoughts. The original decision was rash: that I got full well, but after a day, as reality begins to set in, the reality of her actions as well as the situation would begin to settle as well. I look forward to seeing how you handle this as the situation progresses.
    You bring up a good point here. The funny part is that the old version actually addressed this more--it explained that Jade was afraid to go home because she wouldn't be allowed to leave...but only because that entire conversation in the forest boiled down to Jade angsting about not wanting to go home. So I deliberate avoided any mention of it this time around and instead focused on Jade wanting to overcome her helplessness (a major theme in this revision.)

    However, it definitely resulted in my missing out on the potential development those thoughts could have had, and I could definitely address them after the fact.
    Quote Originally Posted by katiekitten View Post
    Your concept of pokespeak it quite interesting - I quite like the notion that its intonation and body language that carries across meaning more than the words themselves. While there would probably be some adjustment needed by a pokemon when it first attempts to understand the language of another species, due to the simple fact that different anatomies result in different vocal chords and body language, it's a neat idea. I don't quite follow your explanation of how this would help them understand human speech better than a human could learn to understand pokespeak, though: wouldn't they face the same difficulty as humans learning pokespeak due to the fact that human speech is, as you've said, fundamentally different from pokespeak as it focuses on the combination of different sounds combined into words and phrases (although intonation and emphasis is important in english to an extent - and is especially in japanese, no?), therefore not following a pokemon's naturally programmed recognition of certain body language and tonal inflections? Why then should pokemon be able to easier distinguish human words (and therefore human speech) when they naturally aren't inclined to do so? Adaption to different variations of tone and different visual cues is vastly different to learning to distinguish words when you haven't had to before.

    I don't know nut'ing about linguistics, though, so I won't pursue that any further. x3
    I'm not a linguist either, so my theories might be...silly. xD;

    My attempt at rationalizing it in my head is that by having a language like Pokespeech, Pokemon's brains are wired to instinctively pick up on the most minute of details in speech. This aptitude is what allows them to understand other Pokemon species as well--the cross-species differences in the core Pokespeech system are so minor for them (relatively speaking) that they can be learned almost instantly. As a result Pokemon's brains need basically no reinforcement to key in on and remember different aspects of languages. Think of it like a hyper-accelerated version of an infant's ability to naturally pick up language, only one that does not wane with age.

    So overall, even though their language is tone-based rather than phonetic, Pokemon are still sensitive to subconsciously picking up on the flow of a language and the meaning behind words, even with phonetic languages.

    And yeah, I'm definitely aware that tones can be important in human languages (Chinese...oh god, Chinese. Pokespeech is kinda like Chinese + morse code + sign language, only on drugs.)

    And I just now realized the fridge brilliance behind the fact that different Pokemon species can understand each other when animals don't need to. Unlike animals, different Pokemon species can reproduce with each other. Retaining a core language base would certainly be helpful.


    Anyways, thanks for the review! These recent chapters got a lot less feedback than the ones previously. :S Seriously people, if you're reading the fic, please let me know what you think of it!

    Anyways, Chapter 6 might have to be delayed a bit. My intent was to post it tomorrow, but the way it's looking right now, I think I'll aim for Sunday. In the meantime, I finished up another character art:
        Spoiler:- Stalker:

    Stalker is my favorite character.

    ~Chibi~


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  21. #71
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Riding on my Crimson Loftwing
    Posts
    1,487

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    Anyways, Chapter 6 might have to be delayed a bit. My intent was to post it tomorrow, but the way it's looking right now, I think I'll aim for Sunday. In the meantime, I finished up another character art:

        Spoiler:- Stalker:

    Stalker is my favorite character.

    ~Chibi~
    Wow, that's amazing! I need to learn how to do that? What do you use?
    But yes, Absolutely fantastic work : D
    † I am a Christian and proud of it! Copy and paste this if you are too.†


    Credit goes to FairyWitch at Flower Paradise Graphics

    Fanfic Status: Currently postponed-- Kingdom Hearts: Memories' Reflection. Last updated 8/17/13

  22. #72
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    irrelevant witticism goes here
    Posts
    48

    Default

    Hola, don't mind me, just an infrequent fic forum lurker dropping in because I was struck by a sudden urge to actually read some more fanfic and maybe do a little commenting on top of it. 'Cause daaaaaaa-aaang, do I need to get around to doing those more often. Sorry in advance if anything's unclear or I'm missing something painfully obvious; I still have to get back into the swing of both fic reading and reviewing. :P

    I'm not going to give a blow-by-blow commentary on everything I've read so far, primarily because much of what I would've mentioned has already been well-covered by others, but I will mention a few overall highlights and a few nitpicks that I've noticed in each chapter so far.

    -My understanding is that you should put a space after an ellipsis as with any other punctuation. It's "Wow, that's... really interesting," not "Wow, that's...really interesting."

    -I noticed in Chapter 3 that you capitalized the word "intimidate" when referring to Arcanine's ability in a certain sentence. This isn't about that "capitalize pokémon terms/don't capitalize them" debate that keeps cropping up, but rather just a bit of awkwardness in context. It's one thing to capitalize the name of the ability when you're strictly referring to it as an ability, as in "Her Arcanine might have Intimidate, but mine’s got Flash Fire!", but it seems artificial if you capitalize it in the other sentence the way you did. It has the effect of drawing extra attention to "Hey! Arcanine is using its ability here!", which is unnecessary since I can infer that from the way Spencer's pokémon quailed a little and that they were ordered to avoid physical attacks. (And because Jade already described the ability in the sentence immediately preceding it, which, I agree with an earlier reader, could also be cut or changed. I still notice that Spencer used the word "intimidate" whether it's capitalized or not, and the order to switch to special attacks is clue enough that it's probably not scary face. Which arcanine can't learn anyway. ) Spencer is describing the act of intimidating someone in that sentence, stating the effect of the ability rather than its name. I can see how the fact that the ability name and the verb applying to its effect are the same word makes it tempting to capitalize, but I'd avoid it so the line flows better. It's mildly jarring to see a verb capitalized in the middle of a sentence.

    ...gawr that was a long explanation for such a simple point I don't even.

    "Jade, be glad that nothing that happened today didn’t pull you in too deep," she said, suddenly looking very serious.
    -You've got a double negative there. It'd read better as "Jade, be very glad that what happened today didn't pull you in too deep," or maybe "Jade, be glad that nothing that happened today pulled you in too deep,".

    -Vermilion City's name only has one "l" in it; in almost every instance in Chapter 5 (I don't recall whether it happened in Chapter 1 or anywhere else), you've spelled it with two. Nothing a quick find-and-replace can't clean up, of course, and a pretty understandable mistake. That one, Fuchsia and Cinnabar tend to trip most people up, myself included. (Let's not ask how many times I had to hit the backspace key while typing "Fuchsia" there, hm?)

    -I have to say, one of the things I've enjoyed most so far about this story is the smaller details you've snuck in here and there. The most prominent example I can think of is what you've done with the TMs—and not just that neat little worldbuilding extra. Little things like "Series 5" being the reusable TMs, or that you used fire blast's base power to represent its "difficulty rating". They seem like insignificant things that are easy to miss, but I just love it when an author gives tiny nods to things like that and I have a little "aha, that's a clever way to incorporate that into the world/translate that from the games/etc." moment. Subtle details can really hold worldbuilding together, and while the cited TM examples likely have no bearing on anything else, it's always appreciated.

    I'm curious about Spencer's remark about "almost no one using TMs" anymore, and I'm not sure if you addressed that in an earlier reply because I started skimming the posts between chapters after a while. :P So if you don't mind potentially explaining it again/pointing me to the explanation, why is that? Even given the effort involved in helping your pokémon master its new attack, wouldn't the convenience of "bam! now you can sort of maybe with practice thunderpunch!" still be considered worthwhile? Is there something most people are using as an alternative now that TMs appear to be dropping in popularity? This isn't a nitpick, I'm just wondering what it would be.

    Mind linking to the extras in your first post index, by the way? It'd be cool to be able to jump to those more easily.

    -Speaking of extras, I do find them interesting, especially the most recent one. Sort of reminds me of Dragonfree's headcanon for pokémon communication in The Quest for the Legends, assuming I'm remembering it correctly. A tonal "language" absolutely does make the most sense, and that's usually how I see it as well. (Granted, I usually don't envision most pokémon as saying their species names in my headcanon, but rather just making animalistic noises as in the games; couple of reasons for that preference that I won't get into now. All the same, it's tone and body language, as well as other things like scent that humans would find much more difficult to pick up, that seem like the most logical way for them to communicate.) I've actually never really given much thought to how pokémon can understand human language so well right off the bat, or at least well enough to know what's expected of them when I say "thunderbolt"—er, well, I've considered that it's odd, but never really devoted any time to devising a satisfactory answer. I don't remember enough of the few linguistics classes I've taken to say that your idea makes perfect logical and biological sense, but eh, when rats are shooting lightning out of their faces anyway, how much of a stretch is it to say that they can pick up language at an accelerated rate? :P

    I do have to wonder about the "calling each other by their species names" bit, though. Certainly they don't mind it when the humans do it, especially because humans usually don't have twenty pikachu on them at once that they'd need to sort out, but lately I've been seeing at least some types/species as not really needing the concept of "name" at all. Within a species group, at least, there are presumably so many other ways for an individual to stand out from the others—again, scent comes to mind immediately, but there'd likely be other things that pokémon could pick out as well—that, sort of like regular animals, they can easily identify one another and would be using their "language" in such a way that human-like direct address isn't even necessary most of the time. It doesn't hurt anything for an individual to have a name, of course, so I don't mind your interpretation at all; I just notice that a lot of authors who delve into pokémon linguistics do seem to consider what or how they'd call one another, but rarely consider (or at least decide on) the additional alternative that other things might be able to stand in just as well. Just an observation, don't mind my rambling.

    -The only major gripe I have overall, aside from a few things others have already addressed and you've acknowledged, is that this first arc is very... "friends ex machina", shall we say? Or, at least, it feels that way. On the one hand, I didn't forget that Swift was sent to find help and so was expecting Jade to receive assistance with the Rockets somehow, nor do I think we've heard the last of why Ajia was conveniently in the area to help them. I also understand that Jade was in a terribly difficult situation, and that there wasn't much she could have done on her own (that I can think of, anyway). On the other, even if I can understand some of the reasoning behind it or that there will be more information soon, so much happens so fast and so many potentially helpful characters are introduced/reintroduced in such a short time that it still gives the feeling of a lot of convenience.

    Spencer in particular, hilarious though he can be, still gives off this feeling—I'd like to think that more will be revealed about what he was doing around Viridian (especially since two of his pokémon hint at his having been to more regions than just Kanto), but as it is he's just a random stranger who happens to be a fairly advanced trainer and happens to have been looking for stolen pokémon in the same area Swift happened to lead Rudy to, and... yeah. Unfortunately, unless this is another case of "there's a good reason for that that will be revealed later!" (and, to be fair, Ajia's evasiveness in Chapter 5 does help hint at that in her case, so you are getting better at handling the issue), I'm not really sure what to suggest. I know it's an old fic that you've been working with for a long time, and I can respect that certain things just can't be changed without totally warping the fic; all I can say is that it does stand out, to me at least, and not knowing whether this is one of those "it just has to be this way" things I wish I could offer an idea that made sense, but I got nothin'. Super-helpful, I know. :/

    ...on the other hand, though, this sudden influx of Friends to the Rescue! does its work without making the two better trainers feel overpowered, and it helps give a good picture of how "useless" Jade is/is feeling in the midst of all these nice people coming to her aid out of nowhere—nice incentive for her to want to get stronger and actually help people on her own. Perhaps most importantly, it has the potential to set Jade up for situations where she really is alone, or at least the only person capable of solving a given problem, and so, after having at least one really lucky break earlier, now has to get over her feelings of uselessness, step up and be awesome in her own right, and I'm sure we'd all love to see that scene. So it's certainly not all bad!

    I feel as though things started a little slowly, but the pace has picked up rapidly and things are getting very interesting very quickly. I wonder what the scyther, rhydon and raticate were hybrids of, and am also wondering if we'll be seeing some new entei hybrids cropping up in the future. The "seven years" in the prologue is also intriguing me, and I'm wondering (though I'm sure you can't answer, spoilers and all that) when Lugia's scene takes place compared to the fourth grade scene that follows it, especially since seven years clearly haven't passed between that second scene and Chapter 1, given that Jade's only aged from nine to fourteen.

    Also, may I take a moment to say that your character art is lovely? As is the stuff you've done for TQftL, though that's another matter entirely.

    I look forward to more, and (and I'm sure you'll take this as good news given you seem a bit embarrassed about the earlier revisions) I don't think I'll be reading the older version. On the one hand it's fun to see how things change between versions of a fic, but I feel like I'd really like to be surprised with this.
    Review requests currently on hold for contest judging + some other stuff. Sorry!

  23. #73
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Oh wow! Thank you for that very long and lovely review!
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixsong View Post
    I can see how the fact that the ability name and the verb applying to its effect are the same word makes it tempting to capitalize, but I'd avoid it so the line flows better. It's mildly jarring to see a verb capitalized in the middle of a sentence.
    Haha, don't worry, I totally get what you mean! And it's funny because capitalizing attack names when used as verbs was always a pet peeve of mine, and then I went and did it with abilities. Derp. xD I'ma fix that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixsong View Post
    I'm curious about Spencer's remark about "almost no one using TMs" anymore, and I'm not sure if you addressed that in an earlier reply because I started skimming the posts between chapters after a while. :P So if you don't mind potentially explaining it again/pointing me to the explanation, why is that?
    Oh, that was actually supposed to mean something entirely different. He pulls out a Series 2 disc and remarks that he thought they were no longer made (Which is true; Team Rocket just happens to have a supply of them.) This is a reference to the fact that many of the GSC era TMs were not remade in subsequent generations. So a Thunderpunch TM would be extremely hard to come by having only been printed for one series before being discontinued. I should probably add that to the TM extra, and I definitely will link to the worldbuilding extras in the first post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixsong View Post
    -Speaking of extras, I do find them interesting, especially the most recent one. Sort of reminds me of Dragonfree's headcanon for pokémon communication in The Quest for the Legends, assuming I'm remembering it correctly.
    My headcanon is pretty much identical to Dragonfree's in way, way too many areas. xD;;; (But hey, we started our fics on the exact same day--nothing surprises me anymore.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixsong View Post
    -The only major gripe I have overall, aside from a few things others have already addressed and you've acknowledged, is that this first arc is very... "friends ex machina", shall we say? Or, at least, it feels that way. On the one hand, I didn't forget that Swift was sent to find help and so was expecting Jade to receive assistance with the Rockets somehow, nor do I think we've heard the last of why Ajia was conveniently in the area to help them. I also understand that Jade was in a terribly difficult situation, and that there wasn't much she could have done on her own (that I can think of, anyway). On the other, even if I can understand some of the reasoning behind it or that there will be more information soon, so much happens so fast and so many potentially helpful characters are introduced/reintroduced in such a short time that it still gives the feeling of a lot of convenience.
    You are absolutely right, and it is one of the biggest weaknesses of the plane arc. Spencer in particular is pretty much the embodiment of that concept, and for several months I actually debated cutting him from those chapters before ultimately deciding that he needed to be there (though I definitely want to add more backstory for him later.) So in the end I decided to just make the best of what I had, and the way I planned to do that is by--
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixsong View Post
    Perhaps most importantly, it has the potential to set Jade up for situations where she really is alone, or at least the only person capable of solving a given problem, and so, after having at least one really lucky break earlier, now has to get over her feelings of uselessness, step up and be awesome in her own right, and I'm sure we'd all love to see that scene. So it's certainly not all bad!
    ...Yep, you see what I'm doing there. Jade pretty much gets no luck for the rest of the fic. In fact, I had a problem with an upcoming chapter where I realized that I situation I had thrown her into was so inconvenient for her in every way as to be unrealistic, and I had to think up justifications to why she couldn't get help.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenixsong View Post
    I look forward to more, and (and I'm sure you'll take this as good news given you seem a bit embarrassed about the earlier revisions) I don't think I'll be reading the older version. On the one hand it's fun to see how things change between versions of a fic, but I feel like I'd really like to be surprised with this.
    Haha, awesome. ^^ I'll try to pick up the pace at the new version so I overtake the old one soon enough! Plenty of surprises are in store!


    So everyone, it is absolutely unacceptable that the chapter has taken this long and I intend to have it up tonight! So hold me to that, and throw pineapples at me if I don't!

    ~Chibi~


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  24. #74
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Elsewhere
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    *Dodges pineapples* Holy crap this chapter took a million years! I grossly underestimated how much new material would be in it—pretty much every inch of this chapter was not in the old version, and most of it ended up taking way longer than I thought it would. The next chapter will most definitely NOT take anywhere near as long to complete.

    And boring chapter title is boring. I’ll come up with a better one later.



    ~ Chapter 6: The Voyage of the S.S. Anne~

    The S.S. Anne was huge. It towered over nearly everything else around it, which was saying something, as I had previously found the cargo ships that frequented Vermilion harbor were the biggest I had ever seen (not that I had ever been to a port town this large before, but still.) I had to crane my neck upwards just to get a look at the uppermost deck and the orange-rimmed smokestacks rising from the top.

    I’d been standing in line for the S.S. Anne for about half an hour, but still found myself staring at the ship. But then again, it was mostly to distract myself from the anxiety of having to stand in such a large bustling crowd. And to make things worse, the experimental Pikachu was standing at my heels with an indifferent sort of expression like he was trying to pretend he wasn’t following me, even though it was obvious he wasn’t here with anyone else.

    I was kind of afraid to question him at this point, as I couldn’t afford anything unpredictable out of him with all these people surrounding us. Honestly, I didn’t even know if someone stepping on his tail would be enough to send him into a violent rage, and it was a valid concern given how frequently people were being shuffled between lines, getting bags checked and Pokémon registered and ID cleared and—oh crap.

    It hit me like a brick to the forehead. I had no ID on me whatsoever. No Pokédex, no passport, no anything. This single realization managed to instantly shove any vague concerns about Pikachu clean out of my head. What would they even do if they encountered someone trying to get on board with no ID? I couldn’t possibly be arrested for that, could I? My eyes immediately flew over to the armed security staff. And then, if it were even possible, my stomach melted into even more of a black hole than before. I was carrying Pokémon inside Poké Balls without a license. That was definitely illegal. But even if I left now, staying in Vermilion would have been entirely pointless. This had really felt like my one chance to get out into the world and do something.

    “Boarding pass?”

    Oh crap, now I was done for. I hadn’t even noticed that I was now first in line. For several seconds I just stared at the woman at the check-in stand, completely unsure of what to do, or if it would even make sense to run away now before they could find out I had Pokémon without a license. The expression of dread covering my face must have looked ridiculous as my legs slowly carried me to the check-in booth without me really telling them to. At this point I didn’t really know what else to do but hand my papers to the woman behind the stand. She paused slightly before looking them over, apparently a bit confused by my behavior.

    “Ah yes, a specialty invite. You’ll be joining that line over there.” She pointed off to the right, at a much smaller line in front of a different entry staircase onto the ship.

    I blinked stupidly, unable to do anything but take my boarding pass back from her and mutter a distracted, “thanks.”

    My footsteps were somewhat shaky as I slowly wandered away from the main registration lines and down the pier towards the separate check-in booth. I glanced down at the boarding papers in my hand, vaguely recalling how Stalker had mentioned that they were specialty invites. Still, with my luck this had probably only delayed the inevitable ID check. I craned my neck to try to get a good look at the people in the front of the line, and if they needed to show ID, but from this angle I couldn’t quite tell.

    The people in this line were almost all my age or younger, which felt extremely odd. What were a bunch of kids like us even doing boarding a cruise ship, as if we were old enough to do things like that. But then…trainers were able to travel the region with only their Pokémon by their side, so I guess it wasn’t that weird.

    That was when it hit me. Most of the kids in this line had to be potential recruits for the rebel team, just like me. It was a strange thought, as I had known all along that there would be others, but this was the first evidence of it.

    After several minutes, I had reached the front of the line. The uniformed man at the check-in booth gave a welcoming smile, and I attempted to look like I wasn’t dreading what would happen next as I set my boarding papers on the table. The attendant scanned one of them into a machine and then typed something for a bit.

    “Are you a Pokémon Trainer?” he asked.

    This was it. The moment of truth.

    “…Yes?” I said tentatively, wincing.

    “I’ll need to have the Pokémon you’re bringing onto the ship recorded here.”

    I paused. I hadn’t been expecting that. “Er, Charmander, Pidgey, and Pikachu.”

    The man typed a bit more, and then a small printer next to the computer spat out a plastic card. He hooked it onto a cord and handed it to me along with an instruction booklet.

    “This is the card key for your room and we request that you wear it at all times during your stay. Welcome to the S.S. Anne.”

    And that was it. That was all it took for me to be admitted onto the ship. My mind was in a sort of stupefied shock as I slowly walked away from the check-in booth and approached the giant metal staircase that led up from the pier and into the ship.

    “They…they didn’t check ID?”

    I didn’t even realize I had said it out loud until the kid behind me in line said, “Yeah, specialty invites aren’t pre-registered or anything, so they don’t do that with ‘em.” I jumped a bit at his voice, as I hadn’t been expecting a reply, and then immediately tried to banish the look of intense guilt from my face as I turned to look at him. He was a small and skinny kid, maybe twelve or thirteen, with straight, dirty-blond hair that fell to his ears and light blue eyes. He gave me a bit of an inscrutable expression, like he was trying to figure something out. “What did you do?”

    I stared blankly. “Huh?”

    “You just have this look like you did something wrong.” He laughed slightly. “What is it? Don’t worry, I won’t tell.”

    Great, just what I needed—some random kid interrogating me. I racked my brain for the best explanation that wouldn’t give anything away.

    “I just…thought they’d do a Poké Ball inspection, and right now I don’t have one for my Pikachu.”

    He waved a hand dismissively. “It’s a Trainer’s Party, they don’t mind if Pokémon are out and about, so long as they’re not too big. Seriously, weren’t you paying attention when they announced all of this?”

    No, I really hadn’t. I had been too busy wondering if my Pikachu was going to kill anyone or not.

    “By the way, I like your Pikachu. He looks cool.”

    I didn’t even bother to point out that he wasn’t actually mine, as my previous statement had sort of made it seem like he was. And really, what else could I say? No, sorry, this isn’t my Pikachu; he’s a violent, raging, half-Legendary genetic experiment that just sort of decided to follow me around.

    The kid raised an eyebrow. “You’re kind of weird, you know that? Either you have a lot bothering you or you just don’t like talking. Try to have fun at the party, m’kay? I’ll see ya later.” Here he lowered his voice to a whisper and said, “Or maybe at the place where we’re all going, yeah?”

    I blinked, unsure of how to respond. At this point we had reached the top of the staircase and were now taking our first step into the S.S. Anne. The kid who had been talking to me gave a light wave before walking off. I waved absentmindedly, still caught off guard by what he’d said. So that confirmed it—there definitely were others here. I mean, obviously the rest of the team would have to be here, but this was the first time I’d encountered any of the others involved in this.

    I took several slow, uncertain steps into the main entry lobby, immediately floored by how massive it was. I had never really had any expectation for what the inside of a cruise ship would be like—it almost seemed like the lobby of a fancy hotel, with bright red carpet and massive circular staircases winding their way up past rows and rows of elaborate wooden banisters. At the far end of the room, several uniformed crew members were standing on a pedestal and directing the passengers around. The room had to be filled with at least a thousand people already, and there were still others entering from the registered passenger entrance to the left. It didn’t seem like we’d be able to leave the room until everyone had finished boarding, so I found the nearest column and leaned against it while waiting.

    After about twenty minutes, a voice finally rang out over the intercom. “Welcome to the S.S. Anne! We all hope you enjoy you have a fun and relaxing stay on our inter-regional cruise, no matter where your destination may be. We will now take a moment to relay the mandatory safety briefing before leaving port.

    “This ship is specially designed to accommodate and entertain Pokémon Trainers, and as such, has a comparatively lax policy regarding Pokémon on the ship. However, there are still rules that must be obeyed at all times. No more than two Pokémon per trainer may be out of their Poké Balls at any given time. Pokémon taller than 6’5” or weighing in excess of 600 lbs. should only be released on the upper deck in the Training Ground and Battlefield C. Please ensure that your Pokémon stay by your side at all times, except in the Training Ground where it is specifically permitted otherwise.”

    Well, that wouldn’t be a problem. I only had three, and they were all small anyway. Making sure that they stayed close to me, on the other hand…I glanced down at my feet where Pikachu should have been standing.

    Except he wasn’t there.

    I widened my eyes instantly. “No. No, no no no, no.” I spun in a circle frantically, filled with a desperate hope that I had somehow missed him, but the electric mouse was nowhere to be seen. And I couldn’t exactly see very far, because I was still surrounded by other passengers, some of whom were now giving me odd looks thanks to my sudden strange behavior.

    The crew was now explaining what passengers were supposed to do in case of emergencies, but as far as I was concerned this was the emergency. What was I supposed to do now?! I was completely surrounded by people with no way out, and my violent, unstable Pikachu was now loose because I was an idiot with no Poké Ball for him. I didn’t even want to think about what they’d do if a trainer’s Pokémon attacked someone on board the ship. It was stupid for me to even bring him with me—what on earth had I been thinking? I tried to remind myself that at this point, it wasn’t so much that I was keeping him as that I was afraid to tell him to leave. That fact didn’t really make me feel any better.

    I found myself bouncing slightly on the balls of my feet, anxious to be dismissed from the briefing. The crew was now going over how to use the personal flotation devices. I didn’t care about that; I had to get out of here.

    I lost track of how much time I was stuck standing there wanting nothing more than to get out of the briefing. Finally, finally, the crew began walking away, and I noticed the crowd beginning to disperse. Yes! Alright, had to find the Pikachu now. Where could he have gone? My fingers were almost a blur as I unfolded the info booklet and skimmed the map of the S.S. Anne, desperately hoping for any kind of clue. The ship’s entry level was the middle deck, on the same level as the restaurants, shops, lounges, and dance room. Just above was the Pokémon Center, small arenas, contest hall, spa and suites. The lower decks held the engine room and all of the basic cabins and none of this was helpful, argh.

    I folded up the booklet and shoved it into my bag before storming off in a hurry, attempting to navigate the still-crowded entry lobby. The closest exits were a series of hallways branching off from the right side of the room and leading towards the front of the ship—that seemed like as good as any place to start.

    The hallway I picked was mostly empty of passengers. Thinking back to the map, I realized that there wasn’t much entertaining in this direction. Maybe that was a good thing? I passed a few crew members, but none of them seemed to mind that I was here. I glanced down each hallway branching off from mine one after the other, most of them leading towards lounges or souvenir shops. I didn’t see him anywhere.

    “Crap…what do I do…” I muttered, turning around in all directions. I was just about to turn around to head back, as it was my only option at this point, but then—

    I caught a glimpse of yellow out of the corner of my eye and spun around immediately. Standing at the edge of a doorway was a Pikachu—a spiky-furred hybrid Pikachu.

    “There you are!” I called out, running towards him and feeling more relief than I had in a long time. He gave a light glance in my direction, but otherwise didn’t seem to care too much about my arrival. My footsteps slowed as I neared him and realized that I’d have to do something about what had happened. I had to admit, if only to myself, that I’d been putting off talking to him. It couldn’t wait. Even if I was really dreading his reaction.

    “We need to talk. Now.” I winced slightly, knowing that he would likely hate being ordered around. Still, something told me this wasn’t a situation where I could afford to seem weak-willed.

    Much to my surprise, he merely raised an eyebrow and turned his back to me. I stood there for several seconds, not really sure whether or not I expected him to do anything else, but he didn’t move. I could only assume that he was actually waiting for me, hard as it was to believe.

    “Alright, so…” I said uncertainly, kneeling beside him. How exactly was I supposed to start this? I still felt uneasy around him, but the lack of any clear reasoning as to why made it difficult to put into words. “…I still don’t trust you. I honestly have no idea what to think of you; I don’t even know why you’ve stayed with me. I’ve seen too many different sides to you, and the violent, raging, suicidal part stands out the most.” He bristled slightly when I said that.

    “There’s no reason why I should assume you won’t go on a mad rampage. And…I can’t really have you with me if I don’t know what I should expect from you,” I finished somewhat awkwardly.

    For the longest time, he didn’t give any sort of indication that he was even going to reply. Nearly a minute passed with only an occasional ear twitch. I couldn’t even see his face since he had his back to me.

    Finally—without looking at me—he said, “*I didn’t give you a reason for staying with you because I hadn’t decided why myself.*” His words were very slow and meticulous. “*It’s not as if I owe you an explanation. So don’t treat me like some demented raging animal or something.*”

    I raised an eyebrow. I guess he did have a point, in a weird sort of way. Why did I deserve an explana—no. I shook my head. No, I had to be firm on this. Even though I was already starting to question why.

    “I won’t treat you like that if you give me a reason why I shouldn’t. If you’re going to be staying with me, then I want a reason.”

    “*You’re not in control of me. So why should my actions concern you?*”

    “If you’re with me, then I’m responsible for you, that’s why. It’s not like I think I’m in control of you. Why on earth would I think that?”

    At that point, he finally turned to face me, giving me a rather inscrutable expression. I couldn’t quite tell what he thought about my words until he said, “*You’re…strange.*” I stared at him blankly. I was just about to come up with some sort of response when he continued, “*Or maybe I just need to learn more about humans. I guess you’re not all the same.*”

    I really had no idea what to say in response to a statement like that.

    “*I still don’t have any reason to give you for not leaving, but…you have my word that what you saw of me on the plane is not what I’m normally like.*”

    Well I had kind of gathered that much from just the past few weeks, though it hadn’t made much sense without knowing more about him. Still, I couldn’t explain why, but it definitely felt like I could trust him more now, at least a little bit.

    “Well…uh, thanks for that…Pikachu,” I told him.

    His eyes twitched slightly when I said that. “*Don’t call me that.*”

    “What, do you want me to call you Number Nine like the Rockets did—”

    “*Anything but that,*” he immediately cut in. “*And I do have a name. I only ever used it with… But that doesn’t matter now… Call me Chibi.*”

    I couldn’t help snickering a bit. Chibi? The name sounded sort of…small and cute. Not really fitting for his personality.

    He glared a bit at my reaction. “*What’s so funny?*”

    “Nothing, nothing,” I said, not wanting to ruin the moment, since I figured it must have taken some amount of trust for him to be willing to tell me his name.

    “*So, you’re going to show me more of the world outside of Team Rocket.*” It was a statement, not a request.

    “I…guess I am?” I said with a bit of uncertainty.

    He nodded. “*Alright then.*”

    I stood to my feet, feeling a sense of relief starting to wash over me. “Well…should we attend the party now? You’d get to battle—and it wouldn’t be for your life or your freedom or anything,” I added with a half-smile.

    His expression didn’t change. But after several seconds he finally said, “*That sounds nice.*”

    I gave a slight smile before motioning to him to follow me. Together we walked down the hallway and back toward the main lobby. We passed several crew members on our way, most of them going about their business, though one of them doing nothing more important than texting.

    And then, without warning, Chibi muttered to me, “*Turn down the next hallway you see.*”

    “What? Why?”

    “*Don’t ask. Just do it,*” he said in a hushed tone, his voice nearly inaudible.

    I stared at him, thoroughly perplexed, but unable to see any harm in listening to him. The Pikachu’s face was frozen in deep concentration, and every so often his eyes would flicker to the side as if he were trying to glance behind himself. Puzzled, I went to look—

    “*Do not look behind us. It’ll seem suspicious.*”

    His words sent chills running down my spine. I still wanted to know what was going on—were we seriously being followed?—but didn’t dare to ask. We were coming up on a hallway to our left. Only a few more feet now.

    We rounded the corner. And now, for the first time, I was distinctly aware of the sound of footsteps behind me. They had been in sync with mine, but were now quickly approaching. I could feel my heart pounding against my chest, and an uncomfortable sort of confused dread snaking through my veins. I glanced down at Chibi, wondering what he had been planning, but then—

    A blast of lightning seemingly from nowhere sent me reeling backward in shock. In less than a second, the spiky-furred rodent had leapt forward at a figure behind us, letting out a surge of electricity and causing the follower to give a horrible sort of garbled cry and slump to the floor almost instantly.

    I didn’t move from where I had fallen to the ground. I could only stare in horror at the now unconscious crewman just five feet away from me.

    “Chibi!? What the—what?! I thought…but you said—you can’t just attack people!”

    “*”He was following us,*” Chibi retorted bluntly, his eyes cold and unapologetic. “*And there was a reason I wandered off when we first got on the ship. I saw someone I recognized.*”

    It took several seconds for the implication of his words to sink in. “But…you were raised by…” My voice trailed off as I looked down at the man’s limp, unconscious form, and I couldn’t help wincing a little. “…Are you sure that he’s—”

    Before I could finish asking, Chibi pulled a small, red and black cell phone from the man’s pocket with the label “R-Com” inscribed on the front. I stared, unable to believe it. Unwilling to believe it.

    They’d found us. The Rockets had found us before we’d even managed to come together as a team. Before we’d even started training to oppose them. Why did this have to happen?

    “He’s a Rocket,” I muttered blankly, still unable to fully comprehend the turn of events. “And he’s dressed like a crew member, too. Are there more Rockets here? Are they posing as crew too?”

    Chibi didn’t respond. He was fiddling with the buttons on the communicator, but the screen was completely dead.

    “*Damn. I fried it,*” he muttered.

    I stared, somehow filled with even more dread than I had already been. “Wait…did he let the others know that we’re here? There are others, right?”

    “*Of course there are others.*” The Pikachu was now staring downward in deep thought, like he was trying to come up with a course of action. “*We can’t stay here. But we have to figure out what they’re planning, and—*”

    “Look there! It is Number Nine!”

    I jumped. Two more men dressed in crew member’s uniforms were now racing straight toward us. I shot a glance at Chibi in a panic, but the hybrid didn’t even flinch. He lunged forward at the two, and—no, no I didn’t want to watch him electrocute them like he had the other. But the sounds of their screams still gripped every inch of me.

    Several seconds passed. Hesitantly, I opened my eyes a crack. One man was slumped to the floor, unconscious, but the other was cowering against the wall, and—what on earth was Chibi doing?!

    “Chibi?! What—?” My words just died.

    “*How many of you are here?! What’s your mission?!*” he demanded of the Rocket. The experiment was standing on the man’s chest, holding a brightly glowing tail right up to his neck. The man was shaking all over, eyes wide and pleading.

    “What do you want from me?!” he yelled. “I’m just a grunt!”

    Chibi hesitated slightly, raising an eyebrow in confusion. After several seconds he suddenly gained a look of realization before he turning to me and calling out, “*Translate for me!*”

    What?”

    “*Come on, we need this information!*” he shouted.

    I stared at him weakly, my brain too muddled by stress to really work out what he meant. It took me several seconds to figure out that the man wasn’t fluent in Pokéspeech.

    I opened my mouth to speak, but the words felt hollow and lifeless. “How many Rockets are here? What are you doing here?”

    The Rocket gave a frantic glance between Chibi and I, but didn’t say anything. Chibi glared before shooting a wave of sparks out of his body, causing the man to jerk backward and shout, “We-we’re a standard-size covert squad! We’re intercepting the rebel gathering.”

    “*How?! When?!*”

    This demand was simple enough for the Rocket to get the meaning. “After the party tonight, we’re supposed to destroy the ship!”

    I jumped suddenly upon hearing hurried footsteps echoing off the walls down the other end of the hallway. “Um, Chibi, I think we need to—”

    “*I hear them,*” he said. He gave one last look at the captive Rocket before slamming the flat side of his tail into the man’s temple and running off.

    I sat there frozen, still too stunned to work through what I was supposed to do. Chibi stopped running and turned back towards me with an exasperated look on his face. “*Come on! It’s only a matter of time before they send more backup than I can handle. We need to find somewhere they won’t find us!*”

    I shook my head, trying clear the haze of panic and just think straight, for the love of crap! Somewhere they couldn’t find us…somewhere they couldn’t—

    “My room!” I exclaimed, jumping to my feet and bursting into a sprint to catch up with Chibi while grabbing the card key hanging from my neck. “It’s room I120!”

    “*Alright!*” he called out. “*I saw the stairs this way!*”

    We continued to race down the hallway, turning a corner leading to the elegant staircases nearest the main event room and bolting down them. I couldn’t hear if any footsteps were after us with all the battle sounds from the Trainer’s Party. Either way, had to keep running. I jumped two or three steps at a time, desperate to catch up with Chibi and constantly throwing frantic glances over my shoulder.

    We reached the right floor and didn’t waste any time sprinting down the hallway lined with cabin rooms. Just a little bit more, and—there it was! I slowed to a stop and held my card against the scanner on the door handle, unlocking the door, throwing it open, and bolting inside with Chibi before slamming it shut behind us.

    I stood there, doubled over and panting hard and trying to work through if we were safe or not. This was insane—we weren’t supposed to be in danger on this ship. How had this even happened?! How did they find us already?!

    My brain was too wracked by frustration and stress to think logically at this point. I threw my backpack on the floor and stumbled toward the bed, now feeling strangely numb all over. I had no idea what to think about all of this, least of all if I should do anything or not. The whole thing was insane, and I really just wanted to pretend I had never found out about it.

    I vaguely became aware of the fact that I’d been staring at Chibi since we got to the room. I tried to convince myself that I had no reason to be afraid of him anymore. We’d sorted things out. And now I couldn’t stop shivering just from being in the same room as him. I needed to say something—anything. For about the millionth time that night, the words wouldn’t come.

    “*I know what you must think of me,*” he said.

    I almost jumped. Chibi gave me an incredulous look, and I immediately tried to rearrange my expression into one that was less freaked out.

    “I…just…that was kind of brutal back there.”

    His expression hardened. “*They were Rockets. I did what I had to. I’ve always done what I had to.*”

    I sighed. He did have a point. I didn’t like it, but it was a point. But then…

    “…Does that count what happened on the plane?”

    I had no idea why I said it. His eyes widened immediately—I expected him to glare at me in rage or something. I was completely unprepared to see him turn away with a tortured look on face, his body quivering slightly.

    “*Don’t bring that up. Again. Ever.*”

    “I…I’m sorry?”

    Chibi continued to face the wall, his expression torn. Slowly, he forced his eyes shut. “*Why did I think he would have wanted…?*” He shook his head sharply. “*Never mind.*”

    He didn’t say anything else after that, so it seemed best to give him a moment. His words still echoed in my mind, however. And I had to admit that until now, I hadn’t realized that opposing Team Rocket and living through the encounter would sometimes mean striking back at them violently. I didn’t have a problem with that fact, and yet it bothered me. I clenched my teeth, feeling kind of stupid—it was the sort of thing I’d have to get past during my time on the rebel team. Ajia had done it. It only made sense that I’d have to as well.

    Ajia…

    “Ajia!” I exclaimed, bolting upright and whipping my wallet out of my pocket to pull out the small, torn piece of paper she’d written her PokéGear number on. In an instant, I had grabbed the phone off the bedside table and punched in all the numbers before realizing that I didn’t have a dial tone.

    Instead, a recorded voice was saying, “We thank you for staying aboard the S.S. Anne. If you would like to place calls during your trip, please visit the call center with your bank card or trainer’s license, and you will receive the bill at the end of your—”

    I slammed the phone back on the receiver and buried my face in pillows. “Great. There goes my only hope.”

    “*Don’t tell me you plan on hiding in here all night,*” Chibi said, leaping up onto the bed. I detected a bit of scorn in his voice.

    “What else am I supposed to do? If I leave, they’ll find me, I’ll be captured, killed, whatever, end of story.”

    He gave me a piercing, unrelenting stare. “*You don’t honestly think that you can just ignore there being Rockets on this ship when it’s filled with potential enemies against their cause? They’re going to destroy the ship. Do you really think you’ll survive the night even if you stay in here?*”

    I shivered slightly at his words, unwilling to look him in the eye. “What am I supposed to do to stop them?”

    “*Anything. Whatever we can.*”

    I raised an eyebrow, both incredulous and hesitant. “Are…you saying you’ll help me?”

    “*If I’m with you, then I’ll be helping you. Simple as that.*”

    I paused, rather taken aback at how straightforward he was being now. “I…wasn’t sure if you’d get angry if I asked for help. You were pretty angry about the idea of me being in control of you.” Thinking about it now, it made sense considering that he was raised by Team Rocket, probably without any free will.

    The Pikachu scoffed. “*It’s only fair. And even though I don’t need a human in order to battle well, it can still be useful having one around.*”

    He didn’t need a human to battle well? What was that supposed to mean? It was just sort of a basic fact that humans were better at strategic thinking. But I guess he wasn’t exactly a normal Pokémon.

    I took a deep breath. “Alright, so we’re going to stop them.”

    Chibi paused slightly, but then nodded.

    We were going to stop them. I repeated it again in my head, but it still felt fake and it was hard to ignore the fact that I just plain really didn’t want to do this. I had agreed to join the rebel team knowing that my life would be in danger, but now that it actually was, I couldn’t handle it.

    Chibi’s words still gripped every inch of me, though. No matter what, I had to do something. If I was killed while trying to stop this (I went numb just thinking about the fact that it was a very real possibility), then it didn’t matter, because if I didn’t do anything, we’d all be doomed. Yes—I kept telling myself that I had no choice. No matter what, I had to do something.

    “So the Trainer’s Party events end at 3am,” I said, having to swallow hard just to be able to talk. “That’s when we’ll make our move.”

    Chibi turned to face me, his expression softening. *Then I suggest you get some sleep.*”





    ~End Chapter 6~
    Blah. I don’t like this chapter. But at least it sets up a lot, and brings Chibi into the spotlight, finally. Oh yeah, have I mentioned his name is stupid? Yeah? Alright, just checking. (I named myself after a comic character and then I named him after the comic character too, if you’re wondering why this happened.)

    Next chapter has cool action finally!

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 12th July 2012 at 11:41 PM.


    Ever wondered what would happen if humans had the power to overthrow the Legendaries? To either use them for their own ends, or eliminate them altogether? One thing is for certain...the balance between human and Legendary is unstable.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8/30/12: CHAPTER 7: “Into the Fire” POSTED!!!
    Chapter 8 progress: 9/12 pages


  25. #75
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Riding on my Crimson Loftwing
    Posts
    1,487

    Default

    I was wondering when you were going to post again XD lol

    Great chapter as always and don't worry about 'boringness'; stories always require character development in order to progress nicely : D
    † I am a Christian and proud of it! Copy and paste this if you are too.†


    Credit goes to FairyWitch at Flower Paradise Graphics

    Fanfic Status: Currently postponed-- Kingdom Hearts: Memories' Reflection. Last updated 8/17/13

Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •