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Thread: The Legendarian Chronicles [Revision 11]

  1. #76
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    This is quite good.
    I sense a desire for chibi to meet up with his old trainer. ( I am not the beta reader for this story, but I can sense theese things.)
    Please put me on the pm list.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  2. #77
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    It's certainly been a while, hasn't it? Well, I'm glad that this is advancing once more.

    I remember this arc with the S.S. Anne being one of my favorites in the older version, and I think this will prove true yet again.
    I noticed that everything read much better then the older version, and I'm glad we got to see Chibi more. I really like his character.

    Well, I hope to be seeing the next chapter soon, good luck with it.

    Knightfall signing off...

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cometstarlight View Post
    Great chapter as always and don't worry about 'boringness'; stories always require character development in order to progress nicely : D
    Glad you feel that way. I was a bit worried because not as much happened in this chapter as I thought would, but I got to show a lot of interactions between Jade and Chibi, which was fun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rotomknight View Post
    Please put me on the pm list.
    Done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    I remember this arc with the S.S. Anne being one of my favorites in the older version, and I think this will prove true yet again.
    I noticed that everything read much better then the older version, and I'm glad we got to see Chibi more. I really like his character.
    Again, I love seeing perspectives from people who read the old version. ^^ Chibi was always a fan favorite, but I realized that he really didn't get half the development he deserved in the old one, which is why I gave him a lot more focus in this one.

    Oh yeah, and Chibi will be the next character art feature.

    Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    ~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


  4. #79
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    Heyo! *waves* I'm here from the review game. I've read both the prologue and chapter 1 and here are my thoughts thus far:

    I think, of all the bits I've read so far, the first part of the prologue with Lugia is the bit that brims with the most style. There are some really lovely descriptions there and the whole thing has a palpable feel of "epic" drama. I will say, however, that there are times where your sentences do feel rather overloaded and wordy. It's a shame, because I think a lot of the bits have a great deal of potential, but when they all get piled together it kinda messes with the flow and makes the prose feel bloated and even verging on pretentious in places. There's a lot of good stuff here, I just feel like there are parts where the descriptions could be parceled out more carefully and trimmed in places. I got this feeling in the first sentences, and it continues throughout the first half of the prologue and in some places in the latter half of chapter 1.

    The crushing depths released their hold as it flew through the water, scattering countless tiny water Pokémon in its wake.
    I particularly like the beginning of this sentence. It really conveys both the pressure of the deep, underwater environment, and the strength of Lugia to break through. I think “tiny water Pokemon” could be made better if it was a more concrete and specific detail. Which tiny water Pokemon?

    It was a strange thought, knowing that the balance of the world soon unravel again.
    I think you’re missing a “would” in here.

    I was heading for a parked car, turn, turn!
    I feel like you need some kind of full-stop between the main sentence and the exclamatory “Turn, turn!” part here.

    I’d never had many friends, but it seemed like for each one that left, I always had someone still here. First Ajia three years ago, then all the aspiring trainers in my year, and then everyone I knew in the year below me.
    I get that all those other aspiring trainers probably aren’t characters, but it would feel less vague and more like a real thought if you put some more names in.

    There are still some places when their standard street operations are well-known, but that just hides the fact that there’s a whole other side to the team that no one knows about.
    Should be “where” instead of “when” I think.

    I honestly found the switch from super-descriptive, heavy-drama third-person omniscient narrator to sparsely described limited first-person narrator very jarring in the prologue. I think perhaps the change was necessitated by the fact that the tone of the first part wouldn't really work in any believable way coming from a fourth-grader, but that doesn't change the fact that it feels very inconsistent and disconnected. Honestly, I would've prefered that you stuck with third-person omniscient the whole way through because I liked that part better and because I feel like it would've given you more opportunities for the reader to view Jade from an outside perspective that we seem to be missing. But I'll get to Jade in a minute.

    I glanced down the other end of the hallway just in time to spot my friend Ajia, a small fifth-grader with dark hair and eyes.
    See, descriptions like that really feel low-key and almost non-existent next to the bits earlier in the prologue.

    I would’ve tried to slip Jade's name in earlier if I were you. Saving Lugia’s name for a bit worked out fine in the previous section because it was easy enough to figure out. But you gotta go for the connection to the new character fast because it’s always harder with OCs to get the audience invested in them.

    I suppose I should stop to talk about characters in general here, because to me, they're the most important part of the story. At this point, one of my main problems is that I really don't know much about Jade or have a great deal of connection to the character. I get her situation, with her parents wanting her to focus on education instead of going on a Pokemon journey, and that's definitely a ripe situation for character development (not to mention the larger Rocket-based plot that seems to be starting). But I don't feel like I have a good grip on who she is as a person yet, and it makes it hard for me to care what happens to her because of that fact. We get a bit about her friends, but in the end it still feels like it's all on the surface. Then again, I am only up throughout chapter one and there will undoubtedly be more development later on--but we've been with her for half of the prologue and all of the first chapter and I still don't feel like I could describe her personality beyond her situation.

    Character leads into relationships, another issue I have. Starr's departure announcement really comes before we've seen these character interact together at all--and by this point we haven't even seen Jade on her own much, or Starr at all. I don't know who they are or what their friendship was like, so their parting does not effect me at all. I suppose I can feel sad, baseline, that someone's losing a friend. That's something we can all relate to. But without a specific connection to the characters and their relationship, I can't feel the true weight of this parting.

    I think you do a better job with Rudy. We see more glints of personality with him, though I think their could've been more. I liked the teasing moment where Jade says he might end up with a Bulbasaur. I'd have loved to see more moments like that.

    I think you've got a lot of neat ideas in this story that will be interesting to see expanded on. The Pokespeech thing is kinda neat, though I feel it would be more realistic if it was chipped down more to identifications of something like animal warning signs--"danger!" or "look!" instead of coming out as full-sentence translations.

    I also like that you've upped the trainer age. 10 is a little ridiculous, I've always thought. Of course, it doesn't help that I'm completely siding with Jade's parents for thinking that education is more important than Pokemon journeys :P

    The resistance army of Pokemon trainers is also interesting. Though I question the recruiter's practice of 1. Giving information that could, vague or not, be used against him and his mission to a young girl who he only just met once and never vetted to make sure she's not a spy. 2. Recruiting young, inexperienced trainers and those that haven't even become trainers yet. It doesn't seem like the makings of a great army.

    I'm glad you ended with some speed and suspense here. There's a lot of exposition to get through in this chapter, and upping the ante at the end, I think, did a lot to make the pacing less ponderous. That kind of ending can really keep a reader wanting to know what happens next.

    This is a rather mixed review, but I think there's a lot of potential here. Not to mention it's clear that you've put a lot of love, blood, sweat, and tears into this piece. The hard work definitely shows. I guess to sum up:

    The thing that makes me most want to read more: the description. Yes, it can be a little overloaded in places and a little inconsistent (I'd guess as a result of working with material written at various times) but when you're on, you're on. There's some great word images here, and I think with some ironing out and fiddling, you'll really have something grand here.

    The thing that makes me not want to read on most: the characters. I just don't feel like I have any investment in them yet. I know it's early, but early is when people make a decision on whether they're going to read on or not. I feel like I need a stronger connection to the characters than I'm getting.

    Take that all for what it's worth as one woman's opinion. I hope somewhere in this I said something helpful, and I wish you all the best of luck as you continuing writing forward and reworking this piece. I really admire you for sticking to this piece and being so determined to polish it until it shines! It makes me feel bad for giving up on some of my own ideas...

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    I think, of all the bits I've read so far, the first part of the prologue with Lugia is the bit that brims with the most style. There are some really lovely descriptions there and the whole thing has a palpable feel of "epic" drama. I will say, however, that there are times where your sentences do feel rather overloaded and wordy. It's a shame, because I think a lot of the bits have a great deal of potential, but when they all get piled together it kinda messes with the flow and makes the prose feel bloated and even verging on pretentious in places. There's a lot of good stuff here, I just feel like there are parts where the descriptions could be parceled out more carefully and trimmed in places. I got this feeling in the first sentences, and it continues throughout the first half of the prologue and in some places in the latter half of chapter 1.
    Description is one of my major weak points, which is why I usually go for a minimalistic style, but my passion for Legendaries usually drives me to attempt more difficult pieces of it. I’ll definitely keep this in mind and try to smooth things out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    I get that all those other aspiring trainers probably aren’t characters, but it would feel less vague and more like a real thought if you put some more names in.
    Hm, I’d worry that it’d feel sort of meaningless since we don’t know who those people are and never will.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    I honestly found the switch from super-descriptive, heavy-drama third-person omniscient narrator to sparsely described limited first-person narrator very jarring in the prologue. I think perhaps the change was necessitated by the fact that the tone of the first part wouldn't really work in any believable way coming from a fourth-grader, but that doesn't change the fact that it feels very inconsistent and disconnected. Honestly, I would've prefered that you stuck with third-person omniscient the whole way through because I liked that part better and because I feel like it would've given you more opportunities for the reader to view Jade from an outside perspective that we seem to be missing. But I'll get to Jade in a minute.
    I like the input here, but there’s no way I could use omniscient throughout the rest of the fic because of just how heavily reliant on introspection it is. I have a massive fascination with introspection, and one the driving forces behind my writing this fic is to explore a character’s reactions to awful and crushing situations.

    I understand that it’s jarring in the prologue, and in the past I tried to glaze it over by using a more descriptive style in the fourth-grade part (to act as a sort of ease into the minimalist first-person later on), but I got grilled on it heavily by reviewers. Then I finally decided that, if I was going to have a discord in style going on there, not to tiptoe around it and just go at it full swing, to emphasize the contrast.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    I suppose I should stop to talk about characters in general here, because to me, they're the most important part of the story. At this point, one of my main problems is that I really don't know much about Jade or have a great deal of connection to the character. I get her situation, with her parents wanting her to focus on education instead of going on a Pokemon journey, and that's definitely a ripe situation for character development (not to mention the larger Rocket-based plot that seems to be starting). But I don't feel like I have a good grip on who she is as a person yet, and it makes it hard for me to care what happens to her because of that fact. We get a bit about her friends, but in the end it still feels like it's all on the surface. Then again, I am only up throughout chapter one and there will undoubtedly be more development later on--but we've been with her for half of the prologue and all of the first chapter and I still don't feel like I could describe her personality beyond her situation.
    Hm, that’s very interesting. Strangely enough, back in the old awful versions of LC, strict reviewers that had plenty of criticism on the plot or realism usually said that the best part was Jade’s characterization (which boggles my mind now since I was really bad at writing her narration in the old days.) However, I can say that this is probably due to her characterization kicking up in the next few chapters at the same rate that the plot does. The first chapter could definitely afford to be stronger in that regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    Character leads into relationships, another issue I have. Starr's departure announcement really comes before we've seen these character interact together at all--and by this point we haven't even seen Jade on her own much, or Starr at all. I don't know who they are or what their friendship was like, so their parting does not effect me at all. I suppose I can feel sad, baseline, that someone's losing a friend. That's something we can all relate to. But without a specific connection to the characters and their relationship, I can't feel the true weight of this parting.
    You bring up some good points here that I’ll try my best to address. I do not know of any way to spend more time showing their relationship because (a.) it’s the Prologue, which takes place several years before the main story and (b.) I feel like spending any more time on past events would bog down the story with things that are not important to the plot. It’s difficult since I only get one Prologue, so unless I were to make a small sort of mini-story between these three that expands on their relationship before the main story, there isn’t much I can do. However, their interactions later in the story assume no prior knowledge about their relationship and focus on developing them from the ground up.

    But on the other hand, I’m realizing that while the purpose of the scene between them was to explore their sentiments about her leaving, I completely neglected the general nature of their relationship. I might know that Starr likes to taunt Jade for her immaturity and impulsiveness, and Jade resents Starr’s condescending nature and abrasiveness, but no one else does. It never even occurred to me to include any of this because I was so focused on the plot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    I think you've got a lot of neat ideas in this story that will be interesting to see expanded on. The Pokespeech thing is kinda neat, though I feel it would be more realistic if it was chipped down more to identifications of something like animal warning signs--"danger!" or "look!" instead of coming out as full-sentence translations.
    More realistic perhaps, but my headcanon centers around Pokémon as sapient, and the story requires Pokémon as fully fledged, conversing characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    The resistance army of Pokemon trainers is also interesting. Though I question the recruiter's practice of 1. Giving information that could, vague or not, be used against him and his mission to a young girl who he only just met once and never vetted to make sure she's not a spy. 2. Recruiting young, inexperienced trainers and those that haven't even become trainers yet. It doesn't seem like the makings of a great army.
    All valid points here. For 1, he had security measures we don’t know about, and 2, he is doing that on purpose for his own reasons (they do get explained later.) He has a lot of hidden agendas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    The thing that makes me most want to read more: the description. Yes, it can be a little overloaded in places and a little inconsistent (I'd guess as a result of working with material written at various times) but when you're on, you're on. There's some great word images here, and I think with some ironing out and fiddling, you'll really have something grand here.

    The thing that makes me not want to read on most: the characters. I just don't feel like I have any investment in them yet. I know it's early, but early is when people make a decision on whether they're going to read on or not. I feel like I need a stronger connection to the characters than I'm getting.
    Overall kind of an unusual outlook since most of my reviewers in the past were of the opposite opinion, but you brought up a lot of things for me to go back and fix up, so thank you kindly for your time and input!

    ~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


  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    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 like this line; it's fun and gives more characterization to the Pikachu. But what exactly is "worse" about it? Seems an awkward phrase there.

    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.
    This story is going to take a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE turn when we find out that Stalker is putting all these young kids on a boat and heading for Penn State University.

    “…Yes?” I said tentatively, wincing.
    This line reads so vividly. I can hear it in my head. I know it's just one word, but the question mark really sells it to me.

    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.
    It seems odd to me that Jade is already calling this collection of people she's never even met a "team". I dunno why. Just kind of struck me, I suppose.

    “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.”
    Nice realistic touch here with the safety announcement. I think it would have been extra vivid if you had added some non-Pokemon related safety details (like flotation devices or what to do in an emergency, etc). But still...nice touch.

    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.
    Okay, that's funny. A lot of the things I mentioned, you do say the crew is covering in the background. So that works. I might still have wanted to "hear" it, but oh well.

    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.*”
    For some reason, the way the previous lines were reading, I really didn't think this would be the hybrid Pikachu. I thought it was just going to be somebody else's, and they'd walk up and say "What are you doing with my Pikachu?" Heh. I think the losing Pikachu bit was resolved too quickly here. I'd like to maybe have seen Jade struggling to find it a bit longer than it took. It'd be a good excuse to show some aspects of the SS Anne, too.

    “*So, you’re going to show me more of the world outside of Team Rocket.*” It was a statement, not a request.
    That last part is a nice touch. It adds to Chibi;s character.

    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—”
    See? I totally don't trust this Stalker guy! Admiral Ackbar says it's a trap!

    “*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.
    You have no idea (unless you do) how hilarious the image of a mean Pikachu standing on someone's chest, grabbing their collar, and holding back a fist is. Not saying that is completely the posture you imagined Chibi in, but it's what I had. Thanks for that.

    His expression hardened. “*They were Rockets. I did what I had to. I’ve always done what I had to.*”
    Awww....sad Chibi. What a depressing line.



    -I don't think this chapter was bad at all. There was some nice development of the relationship between Chibi and Jade. We are still suspicious of Stalker (and really...that name doesn't help!). I just wish we'd seen more of the Anne and had a little more stress from Jade over the temporary loss of Chibi. But that's all right.

    I'm sure we'll be seeing more of that kid Jade met when she got on board. A new teammate in the works?


    Sid87's Gen 6 Igloo Shop!

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  7. #82
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    Hey there, sorry I'm so late to reply! I've been busy with a lot of things lately.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I like this line; it's fun and gives more characterization to the Pikachu. But what exactly is "worse" about it? Seems an awkward phrase there.
    Mm, you're right, I think that happened when I reworded a sentence there, because now it doesn't make much sense. xP
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    It seems odd to me that Jade is already calling this collection of people she's never even met a "team". I dunno why. Just kind of struck me, I suppose.
    Gah, you're right. It's been hard thinking of words to call them before the team actually gets started up.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    For some reason, the way the previous lines were reading, I really didn't think this would be the hybrid Pikachu. I thought it was just going to be somebody else's, and they'd walk up and say "What are you doing with my Pikachu?" Heh. I think the losing Pikachu bit was resolved too quickly here. I'd like to maybe have seen Jade struggling to find it a bit longer than it took. It'd be a good excuse to show some aspects of the SS Anne, too.
    Yeah, you're completely right here. That scene was the last one I wrote, and it really shows that I was trying to rush it to get the chapter done. I'll definitely go back and add more suspense to it later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    See? I totally don't trust this Stalker guy! Admiral Ackbar says it's a trap!
    Stalker: You do realize that I spoke with every single one of the potential rebels one-on-one completely alone before they made their decision, right? If I really wanted to do something horrible to them, why wouldn't I have done it then?
    ~ Don't ask...he made me let him respond to it personally. @_@
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I'm sure we'll be seeing more of that kid Jade met when she got on board. A new teammate in the works?
    It was totally unintentional, too. xD He just showed up there, making me go, "What are you doing here? You weren't supposed to show up for three more chapters." o.O

    ~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


  8. #83
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    Good GRIEF this chapter took ages. (Well, by my new standards. In the old thread this would’ve been pretty quick, but the old thread was dumb. :P) This chapter, like many before it, was one that I went into it thinking I only have to rewrite two pages or so, and then ended up rewriting the whole thing. There was just…so much that needed fixing. And in the process the chapter gained about four pages, as usual.

    It has also had the side effect of making the S.S. Anne arc last much longer than it used to be. But it’s also a lot more suspenseful, and hopefully more interesting as well. Enjoy!



    ~ Chapter 7: Into the Fire~

    A faint beeping noise pricked at my ears. I blinked in the darkness before groaning slightly and rolling over, trying to block out the sound. It wouldn’t go away…why not? And then somewhere in the cloud of sleep, my brain registered that it was, in fact, my alarm. I reached over to hit the button on my watch to turn it off and then sat up, trying my hardest to clear the haze of tiredness and stress from my head, but it didn’t want to leave. And then part of me kept screaming that I was insane. I was insane, I was trying to oppose Team Rocket, and I was going to fail miserably.

    But I’d already made my decision.

    By now I could see a roughly Pikachu-shaped figure in the darkness walking across the covers toward me. I blinked a few times, trying to get a better look at him.

    “*Time to go,*” he said.

    I put a finger to my mouth. “Quiet. We don’t want to wake the others,” I whispered.

    He tilted his head. “*Why not?*”

    I didn’t answer. I turned to look at the floor where Firestorm was curled up on the tarp, which was the only thing I hadn’t sold out of the camping supplies. Swift was perched on the back of a chair with his head resting on his wing, yet somehow it seemed like he might have actually been awake. I couldn’t tell.

    Chibi gave me a sideways glance. “*What good is a trainer without their Pokémon?*”

    “I’ll have you with me. So you’ll kind of be like my Pokémon, for right now anyway.”

    I watched him for a response, but he didn’t give one, so I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my room key before carefully stepping over to the door. I opened it and peeked around the corner—slowly at first, gradually leaning my whole head out after a few seconds. The lights in the cabin hallway were dimmed and there was no one to be seen. Then again…three in the morning, most everyone was probably either asleep or in one of the all-night lounges or bars (and with Trainer’s Party attendants making up the majority of the passengers, that would leave most too young for the latter.)

    I took my first tentative step outside, content with the lack of Rockets within sight, and waited until Chibi had walked out in front before I shut the door behind us. We walked down the hallway in silence—I had the vague feeling of wanting to say something but couldn’t really figure out what.

    “*Interesting that you didn’t tell them what we were doing,*” Chibi said suddenly. His tone was rather deadpan, so I couldn’t quite tell why he said it.

    I didn’t say anything. I just stared at the floor as we walked, hoping the elaborately patterned carpet was a believable enough distraction for me to ignore his statement. I could tell he was still eyeing me, though. It was weird—even without any force from the experiment, there was that one look that unfailingly seemed able to make me give in and answer him.

    “It’s just…”—the more I thought about it, the more stupid I felt—“this is something I have to do. I don’t want to drag them into it pointlessly.”

    “*But if you fail, they’ll die anyway, so it doesn’t make any difference.*”

    I froze, feeling an uncomfortable sort of tightness in my chest. “Yeah. I guess you’re right.” He sure had a knack for jumping right to the unpleasant truth of any situation. After that, Chibi looked away, either satisfied at having gotten to me or content to let the topic die. Not long after that we reached the staircases that led to the other decks, which had the effect of yanking my attention back to what we were out here for in the first place. I had to focus—we were going to stop the Rockets. It was just a matter of how.

    “So…we know they’re going to destroy the ship. What else do we know?”

    The Pikachu paused, looking contemplative. “*Not much. Explosives would be best for it though. Hell, with remote-activated ones, they could even get off the ship and blow it before anyone had any clue what was going on.*”

    I mentally smacked myself. Of course he’d know all about Team Rocket’s standard operations, being created by them and all.

    “*…It’s just a matter of where they’d be.*”

    “Well, we’re on one of the lower decks right now. The engine room isn’t too far away. We could start there. Blowing up the engine room would be the fastest way to sink a ship, right?”

    “*Let’s go, then.*”

    We continued down several flights of stairs until we reached the right deck, and then followed the hallway to the ship’s aft. I’d spent the latter half of the previous day perusing the S.S. Anne info booklet repeatedly, so at this point I knew the ship’s layout by heart. The lights were off in this area—I wasn’t sure if that was because the engine room was unmanned, or because the Rockets had done it. I could feel myself already starting to tense up. I knew I couldn’t afford to get nervous, especially before anything had even happened, but couldn’t help it.

    We were nearing the end of the hallway. Various metal hatches were spaced along the walls, but I knew our goal was at the end. I became vaguely aware of the fact that I was now glancing over my shoulder every ten seconds or so. Of course there was nothing there—why did I keep looking?

    Had to keep my focus—that was the only way I was going to get through this. Focus...

    “*Don’t lose your nerve now.*” I jumped at the sudden noise before realizing that it was Pokéspeech, then glanced quickly along the floor until I saw Chibi at my heels. Only then did my brain really register the fact that I had understood his words to begin with (I guess I really was getting better at Pokéspeech.)

    “I’m trying not to,” I replied, a slight edge to my voice. Still, I had definitely noticed that he’d said it with concern, not scolding.

    A dull roar of machinery was slowly starting to fill my ears, but I was honestly surprised we had gotten this close before being able to hear the engines. A few more steps and we’d reached the end of the hallway. A large, rounded metal door lay in front of us. Time seemed to slow as I reached out to turn the wheel. It didn’t move. No, don’t tell me…we’d be screwed if it was locked. I braced myself and turned it more aggressively, willing it to open. Come on, it had to.

    Finally, after a few metallic creaks, the door swung open, and I couldn’t help letting out my breath. We stepped inside, and I closed it behind us. From a small, blinking light in the corner, I could tell that we were in some kind of changing room filled with goggles, gloves, and other safety gear.

    The door on the opposite end of the room was cracked open. I blinked at it in the darkness, seeing a dull glow coming from the other side.

    “*Careful…*” Chibi said sharply.

    I nodded, walking forward with slow, controlled steps. I pushed the door open as gradually as possible and extended a leg through the doorway.

    The engine room was huge. I mean, I’d known it had to be big, but this was just crazy. A system of metal platforms spanned the area, with massive generators on level with me, and from what I could tell, countless tanks and pumps covering the platform below us. I couldn’t even tell what was overhead. The noise from the engines overwhelmed any other sound that could have been heard, and the air was hot and sticky and uncomfortably thick.

    “Well, nothing we can do but start search—oof!” My foot struck something and then I was falling. I hit the platform hard, sending a jolt of pain through my knees where they’d collided with the metal. Fueled by a burst of panic, I rolled over in a hurry and kicked against the ground to push myself farther back from whatever it was I had tripped over. Except…it was soft. I froze instantly, my blood running cold. I’d tripped over the motionless body of an engineer. And…something told me he wasn’t a disguised Rocket.

    I pushed myself away from him, now breathing hard, which wasn’t very easy in such thick air. Chibi bounded over to me, looking mostly unfazed.

    “*This proves they’ve been here,*” the Pikachu spoke into my ear. I nodded weakly, my mouth still hanging open. I wanted to say something to the degree of, “Is he alive…?” but couldn’t manage the words.

    “*Come on. Don’t go losing yourself already.*” He grabbed my hand and pulled it, willing me to stand. I shook my head roughly, trying to clear my mind. The hybrid’s words kind of stung, and I didn’t want him to think of me as weak. I couldn’t let him.

    I stood to my feet in one swift motion before continuing down the platform, ahead of Chibi. I couldn’t hear anything over the roar of the engines, so I just turned in every direction, looking for anything out of place. Where were they? Had they already left this area? I rounded the corner at the far end of the room and scanned the lower level…and then got my answer.

    From this angle, I could finally see where the dim, ambient light in the room was coming from. Its source was a bright light piercing the darkness on the far end of the bottommost platform. Within it, I could make out several human figures dressed in black, and a four-legged Pokémon standing with them that was generating the light. I motioned to Chibi before carefully maneuvering down the stairs as low and slow as possible. It may have been fairly dark in there, but any sudden movement could be fatal.

    I reached the platform and crept closer along the side of one of the many tanks inhabiting the space. My heart was pounding now, almost painfully. I ignored it and kept going. Step by step I closed the gap between us, keeping out of view until I was finally in position to glance around the corner of the tanks.

    I could finally make out the Pokémon with them—it was a Manectric. The blue and yellow dog was standing firmly alongside a female Rocket, its spiky fur standing on end. Every so often, a string of electricity coursed through the long mane on its head.

    The Rockets were huddled closely in a circle, probably discussing something, though it wasn’t like I could hear a word they were saying. I caught sight of Chibi approaching from behind, and turned towards him.

    “Can you hear what they’re saying?” I asked.

    He scoffed. “*Just because I have better hearing than humans doesn’t change how loud it is in here.*”

    “Well then what do we do?” I hissed, my teeth clenched.

    “*Just look there,*” he said, pointing to one of the Rockets. I suddenly noticed that the man was holding some sort of small, black control device.

    “*I can’t knock them out without the risk of shorting that thing and blowing this place up. So as soon as I get it from him, I want you to take it and run off. See if you can use it to find the explosives.*”

    I stared. “What?”

    Without another word, the Pikachu raced off into the shadows and out of sight.

    “But….what are you doing…” I whispered to no one, still staring at where he had disappeared.

    I sat there for what felt like minutes, not sure what I was supposed to be doing. Time dragged on and all I could do was sit there. It looked like the Rockets were preparing to move out—where was Chibi?

    And then I spotted him. He was…clinging to the metal roof? How was he…? I could see a crackling of electricity across his paws as the Pikachu slowly crawled across it, stopping to position himself above the group of Rockets. Just a few more inches…

    And then the Manectric barked out, “*Look! Up there!*”

    About half of the Rockets glanced upwards at once. With a look of frustration, Chibi dropped to the floor suddenly, shooting out strings of lightning and forcing the Rockets to recoil backwards, colliding with one another. With a wave of sparks, the mutant Pikachu rushed off into the shadows once again.

    “What the hell was that?!” one of them shouted, loud enough to be heard. Most of the Rockets had pulled out guns and were preparing to run after Chibi, but then—

    “I didn’t say weapons at the ready, now did I?” a male voice called out. It wasn’t angry, just decisive—the sort of voice that wasn’t to be argued with. The Rockets immediately obeyed, halting on the spot and turning to face the one who had issued the order. “Looks like Number Nine has graced up with its presence after all. Firearms down. Pokémon at the ready—electric-types for defense and physical attackers for offence. Don’t want to blow the place yet, do we?”

    But before any of the Rockets got a chance to grab a Poké Ball, a yellow blur shot out of nowhere, right into the heart of their lineup. The Manectric snarled and put up a shimmering electrical barrier, but the Pikachu wasn’t aiming to shoot any lightning at them. At the last second he leapt upward, swung his bolt tail, and smacked the control device from the hand holding it. The device hit the ground with a clatter at about the same time as several flashes of light from Poké Balls opening, but Chibi darted forward and grabbed it in his mouth, tossing it away from the group.

    “*Now! Go!*” Chibi cried out just before being hit by a punch from a newly-materialized Nidoqueen.

    I clenched my teeth and sprung forward immediately, pausing just long enough to grab the controls before darting back the opposite direction. I could hear the sound of lightning crashing against a barrier, which faded amidst the constant engine noise the further I got from the conflict. As soon I reached the end of the platform, I ducked behind one of the tanks and sank to my knees immediately. My heart was pounding, but I couldn’t help feeling exhilarated—we’d gotten the controls from them. We now honestly had a shot.

    I took the moment to finally get a good look at how the device functioned. It didn’t actually have any buttons, just a small touch screen that was currently blinking with some technical statistics. I tapped the corner of the screen, hoping it would bring me to some kind of menu, and instead was met with some sort of grid-like layout peppered with small, blinking red dots.

    “Hang on…” I muttered, sliding my fingers along the screen to scroll throughout the grid. “Chibi was right. These are the coordinates for all the bombs they’ve set.” One of them was close by, from the looks of it. I held the device out like a flashlight, using the minimal glow of the screen to scan my surrounding for anything out of the ordinary. And then…sure enough there it was—a small, circular device was stuck to the side of the tank. I reached out a hand to tug at it with my fingertips. It wasn’t hard to detach.

    I held the bomb in my palm delicately, throwing a glance back at the screen to get a better idea of how many of these things there were.

    Too many to count…they were everywhere. I swallowed hard before pocketing it and jumping to my feet. I didn’t have a choice—I had to get them all. Or at least…as many as possible before I was caught. I took off sprinting again, using the control’s grid as my guide and stopping just long enough to pry each bomb from the wall before aiming for the next one. It wasn’t long before I found my lungs burning and legs going numb from exhaustion, and yet I was still unable to think of anything more than finding the next one…and the next one…

    Several times I caught sight of scattered flashes out of the corner of my eye, probably from electric barriers. I knew Chibi couldn’t attack effectively in such a dangerous space where one stray bolt could kill us all. And the Rockets had known that, which was why they were sticking to physical offence. But then, even if he had his electricity, how long could Chibi last through that?

    With one final tug, I pulled off what appeared to be the last bomb placed in the engine room, and by now all of my pockets were stuffed full of bombs. It almost would have been hilarious if I weren’t running for my life. I had to get rid of them somehow…and throwing them overboard seemed like the best bet.

    I threw the door to the engine room open and sprinted back down the corridor that led there. It was like a wave of cool water had washed over me, leaving the hot and stifling environment of the engine room, but my lungs still felt like they were on fire. Couldn’t pay attention to it though, had to keep going. My footsteps echoed off the walls as I flew up the staircases one after the other, finally reaching the closest deck with no walls surrounding the outermost edge. I was met with a blast of wind in the face and what felt like the early onset of a rainstorm. I stumbled over to the edge railing and began the long process of emptying my pockets, made longer by the annoying way my hands wouldn’t stop shaking. After what felt like ages, I had finally thrown the last fistful of bombs into the sea, where they sank to the ocean floor.

    And then I sank to my knees, doubled over and gasping for breath. Couldn’t stop…had to keep going. I glanced at my watch—it had been fifteen minutes since I’d last seen Chibi. I’d heard scattered bursts of electricity as I ran; they were probably outside of the engine room by now, but he was still managing to keep them from following me. I grasped the edge of the desk and pulled myself to my feet—there was no time for me to stop, I hadn’t even started on the cabin hallways.

    Except right then I spotted a man now striding towards me, dressed in the standard white crew shirt. His walk was forceful—not too quickly as if to avoid drawing attention, but with a definite sense of purpose.

    I backed away slowly, feeling a prickle of apprehension in the back of my mind. He couldn’t be…

    The man’s walk quickened. You had to be kidding me. Come on! There was no way the entire crew was Rockets! Heck, I wouldn’t even assume a tenth of them were. Why did I keep meeting all the fake crew members?!

    I immediately took off sprinting in the other direction, back down the staircases and jumping four or five steps at a time. My mind was racing—I had to think of some way to get him off my trail. Chibi was right. I’d been stupid, and now I desperately needed help.

    I cleared one staircase after another before reaching the floor with my cabin. When I reached mine, I pulled out my card key and waved it across the scanner on my door, then burst inside, slamming the door behind me.

    “Firestorm, Swift, wake up!” I immediately shouted while flipping on the light switch. The noise and sudden brightness awakened them both instantly.

    Firestorm jumped up. “*What’s going on?*” His eyes then widened like he had just realized that my bursting into the room meant I had left secretly. “*Where did you go?*”

    “Team Rocket was”—I gasped for breath—“planning to kill everyone, and Chibi seriously needs our help,” I said in a hurry, grabbing my Poké Balls and wallet and sticking them in my pockets.

    “*…What? Is that why you were so quiet last night? Why didn’t you tell us?!*” Firestorm demanded. I’d never heard him speak with that much conviction.

    “I didn’t want to drag you guys into this mess and wind up getting you hurt,” I managed to say as I hastily shoved all of my belongings into my backpack, just in case I didn’t get a chance to get back to the room.

    “*Pokémon are…they’re supposed to project their trainer,*” Firestorm muttered. I ignored him.

    “Come on, we’ve got to go,” I said, throwing open the door and waiting for them to follow me. Firestorm had a weird mix of hurt and dread on his face, but he followed just the same. We stepped out into the hallway, and I threw several hurried glances in both directions. “…Alright…we should be g—” I was cut off by the sound of rapid footsteps to the left. And then I saw him—the man who had been chasing me earlier had just reached the bottom of the staircase leading to this deck. Had to do something. Had to do something.

    And then it hit me. I don’t even remember thinking anything—all I knew was that I was suddenly pointing forward and shouting, “Swift, use Gust!”

    From behind me, the Pidgey’s tiny, feathered form fluttered into view, flapping his wings quicker than seemed possible. In an instant, it was as if all of the air in the hallway was sent rushing forward, throwing my hair into my face and nearly knocking me off balance. I brushed a few strands out of my eyes just in time to see the Rocket struggling against a whirlwind before being thrown off his feet and sent crashing into the wall. The wind ceased, and he slumped to the ground, looking dazed.

    Swift fluttered down to the ground and turned to face us, tilting his head. “*I think that worked out well,*” he said, rather matter-of-factly.

    I gaped. “Not just well...brilliant. Come on, let’s get out of here before he gets up.” I motioned to the two Pokémon to follow me and then took off down the hallway. Firestorm had to struggle to keep up on his short legs.

    “*How come you didn’t have anything for me to do back there?*” the fire lizard said in a small voice.

    “The heck? What, you think I wanted to set him on fire? What could I have had you do?” The Charmander didn’t say anything else.

    I glanced back down at the control device Chibi had stolen, remembering that I still had a number of bombs left to collect in the cabin area. I took a deep breath before resuming my search, stopping briefly to grab each bomb one by one. After a while, it was like I was incapable of thinking about anything else. Just one bomb after the next, filling my pockets with them.

    And then I had to stop and blink when I first felt my pockets full to bursting. It barely felt like I’d spent any time at all gathering them. Either way, time to go back to the upper deck, and hopefully not run into any Rockets for once.

    My pace was slower than normal as I made my way up the stairs, both so my Pokémon could keep up and also because my legs were nearly done transforming into jello. And then my feet had to go and catch on the edge of the steps all the time, because obviously that was what I needed right now. I had to finish this soon, or else I wouldn’t even be able to.

    My movements were on autopilot as I navigated back to the first open deck I could get to, going through the motions of disposing of the bombs yet again. When I was done, I began the descent back to the lower levels of the ship. It had been nearly half an hour since I’d left Chibi in the engine room. Where was he now…and was he still alright?

    I stopped suddenly. Had I just heard that? I had been thinking about him, so it might have been my imagination…but I could’ve sworn I’d heard the pained cry of a Pikachu echoing throughout the deck nearest me. Slowly, I backtracked a couple stair steps and approached the nearest room to find that it was the main lobby that we’d first entered on the S.S. Anne. It was completely dark aside from the limited moonlight shining in through the windows.

    “Chibi! Are you there?!” I shouted, hoping my voice wouldn’t grab any unwanted attention.

    And then I tensed up suddenly. Footsteps. Lots of them. Heading this way.

    “Crap...” I muttered, spinning around to take off in the opposite direction. And then suddenly flames out of nowhere—and right in front of me?! I recoiled backwards just in time to avoid the sudden blaze that had been thrown into my path, feeling the wave of heat rush past me.

    “*Jade!*” Firestorm exclaimed, running forward to stand by my side.

    Shaking slightly, I went to turn around. I was met with a view of the fifteen of so Rockets that had infiltrated the ship, about half of them in crew’s uniforms, and the others dressed in what was probably a Team Rocket standard black mission outfit. In front of them stood the Manectric from earlier, now joined by a Ninetales. And then a crushing pain started to spread through me when I saw what one of the Rockets was holding under her arm: the burned and beaten form of a spiky-furred Pikachu.

    Chibi managed to look up at me and slowly managed the words, “*Out of energy… Can’t…do anything…now…*”

    The lead Rocket chuckled a bit at the look of my face and said, “I suppose I should thank you for returning Number Nine to us. You know, we were rather…upset when you took him. We need him for our experimentation, you see, otherwise we might never figure out how to break those overpowered, undeserving monsters you call Legendaries.” Now that I actually had a full view of him, the lead Rocket was tall and thin, with an angular face and dark circles under his eyes, which gave his face a cold look in contrast to his ironic sort of grin.

    “That said…” he continued, “you have something else that’s ours.”

    I hesitated. “…You’re not getting this back.”

    “*You’ll have to go through us,*” Firestorm said in a broken sort of voice, stepping in front of me.

    I stared at him. “What. No, there’s no way you can take down their Pokémon.”

    Much to my surprise, Swift was the one who replied, “*You’re standing against them. It’s too late to back down. So we have to be brave too.*”

    “*We don’t have a choice,*” Firestorm added with gritted teeth. Where on earth had he gotten that determination from?

    The lead Rocket closed his eyes and chuckled slightly at our inane attempt at resistance. “Still want to play games, huh? Ninetales, attack!” The large, cream-colored fire fox that had stood alongside him rushed forward, its nine graceful tails swirling dramatically as it leaped into the fray.

    “Niiiiiine!” Ninetales yelled as a sort of battle cry before unleashing a wave of flame upon Firestorm. Swift took flight and entered the battle while Firestorm lunged to the side, barely evading the attack. While Ninetales was dealing with Firestorm, Swift had swooped downward at it, ready to peck at its face. The fire fox turned aside and smacked Swift right along the back with its slender paw. The Pidgey let out a cry as he went flying into the wall, lines of blood staining his feathers. He struggled to regain his flight just in time to avoid a spurt of flame, but the heated air prevented him from getting close enough to attack.

    Firestorm tried to take advantage of the enemy’s distraction by breathing out scattered Embers, but the Ninetales didn’t even look fazed by the weak attack; it glowed with a fiery sheen before letting out a pitch-black pulse of energy from its body, striking the fire lizard and knocking him backwards. Swift dove forward out of nowhere, ready to land a hit on Ninetales, but upon hearing its trainer’s order of “Hypnosis!” the fox lunged to the side, its eyes radiating with a scarily bright red aura and its tails swaying rhythmically behind it. Swift caught its gaze and was sent crashing to the floor, fast asleep.

    “I knew this was a bad idea,” I said to myself, the sheer difference in skill level—both between the Ninetales and my Pokémon, and between the Rocket and me—sinking in. I quickly pulled out Swift’s Poké Ball and recalled him. “Firestorm, we have to get out of here!”

    Firestorm shook his head and turned back to Ninetales resolutely.

    “Now here’s a fun move—Ninetales, Fire Spin!” the lead Rocket ordered.

    Firestorm tried to dodge, but to no avail. Ninetales breathed out a narrow stream of flame which twisted around him, trapping him in a swirling inferno.

    “No, Firestorm!” I yelled, panic shooting through me . I pulled out his Poké Ball to recall him, but the flame blocked the beam of red light that shot out of the center of the ball to draw him into it. I could see his silhouette in the assault, curled into a ball as Ninetales added more and more fire to the vortex with repeated Flamethrowers. I knew he could resist fire, but how much of this could he take?

    And then suddenly the rush of flame expanded around the middle, bursting into hundreds of embers that dissipated into the air. I looked closer and saw Firestorm engulfed in a sphere of flame that burned brightly around his body.

    “What the—?!” the Rocket yelled.

    “Of course! Firestorm’s Blaze!” I exclaimed. It was an ability that would only take effect when the Pokémon was injured or in great pain, and tremendously heightened his firepower.

    And then from within the fire, an incredible white light came forth and completely illuminated the immense room. The shielding flame around Firestorm ceased and his body shined with the glow as, before our eyes, he grew over two feet in size and completely changed in shape—his limbs stretched outward, growing more defined from his body and gaining thick, heavy claws; his face stretched into a dragonish snout; a single horn sprouted from his skull; his scales’ coloring deepened into scarlet…

    “He’s…evolved into a Charmeleon…” I whispered in awe. I knew that Pokémon could only reach their next form if they gained enough strength to evolve, but I had never actually seen it happen in person. Firestorm turned back to me, his eyes smaller and more angular now. There was something almost fierce about his expression.

    The Ninetales was slightly stunned from having its attack broken up like that and its trainer had been in wonder at the sudden burst of power Firestorm had gained, but the shock had worn off, and Ninetales was ready to fight again. It crouched defensively and snarled.

    The Rocket looked at the Charmeleon and sighed, shaking his head. “Just don’t know when to give up, do you? How are you supposed to attack us with nothing but a fire Pokémon, even if it’s evolved now? I doubt you’ve taught it how to do anything beyond biting and scratching, and Ninetales can absorb all of its fire attacks.”

    What? It could—what?! Something in the back of my mind told me I should have known this—Ninetales had the Flash Fire ability. What on earth were we supposed to do now?!

    Thoroughly enjoying the look on my face, the Rocket said, “As much fun as it would be to slowly beat the lizard down, I say we cut playtime short,” as he recalled his Ninetales. “It’s never too smart to rely on only your Pokémon to get what you want.” I tensed up slightly. His words had a dangerous air to them, contrasting with his previous smooth attitude.

    He paused and reached into his pocket to pull out a small metal item, hidden by the darkness, but glinting with a silver sheen as it caught the limited light of the moon shining through the windows. “I don’t think running would be such a good idea. In fact, you shouldn’t be thinking about doing anything, really…besides handing over that remote.”

    I froze, unable to do anything but stare mindlessly as he pointed the gun at me. I wanted to do something, anything, but my body felt paralyzed by a surge of terror spreading like ice in my veins. I was trapped. There was no way out of this. If I gave the remote to him, he would probably shoot me anyway, and even if he didn’t, everyone on the ship would still die. I tried to manage some sort of response to the Rocket’s ultimatum, but it was like I couldn’t even figure out how to speak for the longest time.

    “I…my pockets are full of bombs. I’ll activate this. So don’t try anything.” Words were coming out of my mouth, but somehow I wasn’t sure I was the one saying them.

    “Mmm…somehow I don’t believe you.”

    I’ll do it. You’ll just kill all of us anyway if I give it to you. This way everyone else will still make it.”

    The man laughed. “At least they would have if we hadn’t reapplied explosives to the lower decks after you so thoughtlessly ruined all our hard work down there.”

    It was like all of my insides just stopped existing. I tried to keep my reaction off of my face, but I could already tell I was failing at it because of how thoroughly the Rocket was enjoying my expression.

    And then I noticed Chibi motioning to me. He kept shaking his head and jerking it toward the lead Rocket. I stared blankly, confusion now being added to the mess of emotions running through my head. And then somehow it clicked into place. There was a spark in his eyes. He had to have charged up some energy in the past few minutes.

    “Well, what’s it gonna be?” the Rocket said. “You’ve got five seconds.”

    “*Now!!!*” Chibi yelled, discharging all of his power into the nearest Rockets, who slumped to the floor under the attack. Just as I took off running with Firestorm, Chibi wrenched himself free and followed us.

    “Someone tranquilize the damn thing already!” the lead Rocket yelled, all amusement gone from his voice.

    Almost immediately after he said that, I heard the sound of something small and fast whizzing through the air behind me. There was a pained cry of “Pika!” followed by the sound of Chibi dropping to the ground. I threw a hurried glance over my shoulder and saw him collapsed on the ground with a dart sticking out of his left shoulder. Without hesitation, I turned to run back for him, but he yelled, “*Get outta here! They need me brought back alive, but they’ll kill you in a second if you wait around here, now go!!!*”

    I recoiled backwards, staring in disbelief before managing to obey him and run the in the opposite direction. It seemed like my legs were on autopilot, sprinting onward for what seemed like the millionth time that day, making as many turns around corners to make it both harder for the Rockets to find me, and harder to shoot if they did. I had to get away, but…to leave him back there like that…? Repeatedly, I glanced over my shoulder, mostly to see if I was being pursued, but then part of me still kept hoping I’d somehow be able to see if Chibi was alright. How was he planning to get away?

    Suddenly, I heard a high-pitched sound behind me and had only barely turned around before being struck down by a flash of yellow, a jolt of pain filling my body immediately afterward. I rolled over in a panic, unsure what the heck had just happened, and found myself staring face to face with the Rocket’s Manectric. It was glaring down at me with sparks leaping off its fur, probably having just used its electricity to run at super speed before firing a Thundershock attack at me. Firestorm snarled at the thunder dog, but it simply discharged a small string of energy at the remote and raced off before either of us could do anything.

    I held an arm around my stomach as I struggled to stand to my feet, wincing in pain as my insides ached from the electric attack. Seriously, what the heck was any of that even about? And then I jumped slightly upon seeing sparks jump off the remote in my hand. Its screen was jumbled, but I could just make out the words—

    “No…no you gotta be kidding me…” I mumbled weakly. “I spent all that time…this can’t be happening.”

    Automatic Timed Detonation activated.

    The screen started to change and slowly formed into a countdown, starting at five minutes. My mind raced, hoping to think of something, anything to stop the detonation. The engine room was too far away from me; there was no way I could get all of the bombs off the ship in time. I stared hopelessly at the screen, a crushing despair filling every inch of me.

    It was over. The Rockets had won, and the ship was doomed.

    The ship…but if we managed to make it off in time…

    The idea hit me, and once it was in my head it slowly started to spread throughout my entire being like wildfire. Could I even do it? No…whether I could or couldn’t didn’t matter—I had to.

    “Come on Firestorm,” I said hoarsely, once again dashing for the nearest staircase. I couldn’t help noticing that in my current state, the newly-evolved Charmeleon was faster than me now.

    We finally reached the main deck, and then I froze as soon as I caught sight of the rain pouring down in violent sheets outside. Somewhere in the back of my mind this seemed strange, as there hadn’t been any news of a storm like this. Still, it wasn’t the sort of thing I could focus on right now. I hadn’t been on any of the upper parts of the ship yet, but I knew I was aiming for the topmost level.

    Only a few more staircases now. Soon I found myself face to face with the sign for the ship’s bridge, and couldn’t help feeling the slightest glimmer of joy at having made it this far. I grasped the door handle and threw it open, and—

    And then my legs were giving out and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I was falling face first, only just barely able to throw my arms out the keep myself from face planting into the ground.

    “What in the world—?!”

    “Kid, what are you doing here?”

    “Someone radio security, and get a medic while you’re at it.”

    Voices were surrounding me now. I craned my neck upward to get a view at the four crew members standing around me with mixtures of concern and surprise streaking their faces. I couldn’t tell which one was the captain. For all I knew he might not even have been awake at this hour.

    There wasn’t much time left. I had to warn them. “Explosion…in the engine room. We…have to get off the ship. Now.”

    “An explosion in the engine room? Why wouldn’t we have noticed? What were you doing down there?”

    In the background, I could hear a voice saying, “Bridge to engine control, what’s your status?”

    I felt a hand grip my shoulder, not hard enough to hurt, but firm. I couldn’t really do anything but extend a shaking arm that was barely still grasping the control device, hoping that someone would look at it. Less than four minutes now.

    “Captain, I’m not getting any response from the engine control room.”

    A heavy pause filled the room. The man nearest me—apparently the captain, now that I got a good look at his hat and stripes—turned to face someone sitting at a control monitor and said, “Run the fire emergency alarm. Send the engine crew to perform emergency response procedures on any damaged areas.”

    Fire emergency?! They’d all just be heading to their deaths!

    “There’s no time!” I shouted, tears now stinging the corners of my eyes. “There are bombs all over the lower decks—engines, cabins, everything, we have to get out of here!”

    In my blurred vision I could barely make out the captain taking the control device from my hand. The color drained from his face as he stared at it. “Where did you get this? Answer me, now!”

    My head felt hazy and distant. Words didn’t even seem like something I was capable of. “There’s…no…time…”

    Everything hurt. I couldn’t think anymore. But we had to get out…

    The room was silent for several seconds. I had no idea if they were going to listen to me or not until then the captain stood to his feet. And I couldn’t help letting out a long, slow breath when I heard him speak the words, “Sound the signal to abandon ship.”

    “…Captain?”

    “Do it now.”





    ~End Chapter 7~
    The events of this chapter are pretty much identical to the old version. The presentation on the other hand…not so much…

    This arc used to be riddled with all sorts of evidence that I Did Not Do The Research on ships at all. Well…now I’ve done the research, and my Google search history is filled with such odd things as “cruise ship layout,” “where do you board the ship,” “what to do if a ship's lifeboats are faulty,” “where is the engine room on a cruise ship,” “engine room layout,” “ship emergency alarm types,” “are ship engine rooms loud,” “where are the lifeboats on a ship,” and “ticket for a cruise ship looks like.” Also it might seem kind of suspicious that I’ve looked up “if the engine room explodes will a ship sink?” (I’m not a terrorist, I swears.)

    I mean, seriously. Last time they found the Rockets in a random dark hallway leading to a featureless room with the ubiquitous Storage Boxes™ that serve no purpose other than cover (hey, on the cargo jet it at least made sense.)

    So yeah, I am sick and tired of having three million tabs of ship research open, and am not sorry to be nearly done with this arc. xP

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 1st September 2012 at 4:24 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


  9. #84
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    Hi!)From review game

    The opening of the chapter attracted me. I wanted to know what will be on S.S.Anne as it is always interesting. I thought about accident there or some cruel actions of Team Rocket. So I wanted to check it out.

    As for the description, I liked it because your describe actions and feelings very well. It hooked me, so I enjoyed reading them.
    I watched him for a response, but he didn’t give one, so I slipped on my shoes and grabbed my room key before carefully stepping over to the door. I opened it and peeked around the corner—slowly at first, gradually leaning my whole head out after a few seconds. The lights in the cabin hallway were dimmed and there was no one to be seen.
    I froze, feeling an uncomfortable sort of tightness in my chest.
    A dull roar of machinery was slowly starting to fill my ears, but I was honestly surprised we had gotten this close before being able to hear the engines. A few more steps and we’d reached the end of the hallway. A large, rounded metal door lay in front of us. Time seemed to slow as I reached out to turn the wheel. It didn’t move. No, don’t tell me…we’d be screwed if it was locked. I braced myself and turned it more aggressively, willing it to open. Come on, it had to.
    and etc.

    As for the dialogues. Your characters think much about the future, try predicting. And I also was surprised (in a good way) when Pikachu spoke. So, ypur Pokemon are speaking in your fic. That's great.

    I think that you have punctuatuion mistakes.
    I froze, feeling an uncomfortable sort of tightness in my chest. “…Yeah. I guess you’re right.”
    “So…we know they’re going to destroy the ship. …What else do we know?”
    “*…It’s just a matter of where they’d be.*”
    In my opinion, you shouldn't place elipsis in the beginning of the sentence. As for the middle of the sentence, you can just place period and start new sentebce or say that a character makes a pause here.

    This chapter was very exciting in the end, as your main character noticed that the engine room will explode soon. And I want to see the outcome, so I am waiting for the next chapter.
    I think that your writing technique is to make people interested by the descriptions.
    The engine room was huge. I mean, I’d known it had to be big, but this was just crazy. A system of metal platforms spanned the area, with massive generators on level with me, and from what I could tell, countless tanks and pumps covering the platform below us. I couldn’t even tell what was overhead. The noise from the engines overwhelmed any other sound that could have been heard, and the air was hot and sticky and uncomfortably thick.
    The pacing was very good. Not slow and not fast. All things flow exactly like they should.
    Keep up the good job! I liked it!
    Last edited by RealRaymon; 1st September 2012 at 3:35 PM.

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    Good GRIEF this chapter took ages. (Well, by my new standards. In the old thread this would’ve been pretty quick, but the old thread was dumb. :P) This chapter, like many before it, was one that I went into it thinking I only have to rewrite two pages or so, and then ended up rewriting the whole thing. There was just…so much that needed fixing. And in the process the chapter gained about four pages, as usual.

    It has also had the side effect of making the S.S. Anne arc last much longer than it used to be. But it’s also a lot more suspenseful, and hopefully more interesting as well. Enjoy!
    OH, I BETTER ENJOY IT. *angry fist*


    And then part of me kept screaming that I was insane. I was insane, I was trying to oppose Team Rocket, and I was going to fail miserably.
    You know what MIGHT have been nice right here? A realization of what will happen to her if/when she fails. Maybe one her brain only half accepts. Something like "And then I'll be..." And leave it floating like that because her mind doesn't want to think "dead". But that's just what I might have done, and I'm a little creepier.

    I took my first tentative step outside, content with the lack of Rockets within sight, and waited until Chibi had walked out in front before I shut the door behind us. We walked down the hallway in silence—I had the vague feeling of wanting to say something but couldn’t really figure out what.
    I like the last line there. It's a very realistic feeling to have, and not one you see expressed in fiction that often.

    “It’s just…”—the more I thought about it, the more stupid I felt—“this is something I have to do. I don’t want to drag them into it pointlessly.”

    “*But if you fail, they’ll die anyway, so it doesn’t make any difference.*”
    I'm curious if it's more to it than that. I get a vague sense that Jade feels guilty for the whole Fire Blast thing with Charmander from a few chapters ago, and doesn't want to put him through that. And Pidgey is still a childish pokemon, so perhaps she doesn't want to put it at risk. Am I right?

    “*Don’t lose your nerve now.*” I jumped at the sudden noise before realizing that it was Pokéspeech, then glanced quickly along the floor until I saw Chibi at my heels. Only then did my brain really register the fact that I had understood his words to begin with (I guess I really was getting better at Pokéspeech.)
    I was a bit curious about this. I'm assuming that Jade just translates pokespeech; she doesn't hear it in her native language, does she? So she would have, basically, heard "Pika Pi Pika Pi Pi!" and then had to translate its meaning into her language. So the whole not immediately realizing it was pokespeech seems a bit odd to me. But I might be wrong.

    “Well, nothing we can do but start search—oof!” My foot struck something and then I was falling. I hit the platform hard, sending a jolt of pain through my knees where they’d collided with the metal. Fueled by a burst of panic, I rolled over in a hurry and kicked against the ground to push myself farther back from whatever it was I had tripped over. Except…it was soft. I froze instantly, my blood running cold. I’d tripped over the motionless body of an engineer. And…something told me he wasn’t a disguised Rocket.
    Good paragraph all around. The impact of her falling could have been described more (I felt for her, but not in a way that it was SO good that I reached down and felt the pain in my own knees). And the [dead?] body...I was not expecting that. Creepy thing to encounter in the dark, cold, scary room.

    I stood to my feet in one swift motion before continuing down the platform, ahead of Chibi. I couldn’t hear anything over the roar of the engines, so I just turned in every direction, looking for anything out of place. Where were they? Had they already left this area? I rounded the corner at the far end of the room and scanned the lower level…and then got my answer.

    From this angle, I could finally see where the dim, ambient light in the room was coming from. Its source was a bright light piercing the darkness on the far end of the bottommost platform. Within it, I could make out several human figures dressed in black, and a four-legged Pokémon standing with them that was generating the light. I motioned to Chibi before carefully maneuvering down the stairs as low and slow as possible. It may have been fairly dark in there, but any sudden movement could be fatal.
    Nice use of the "roar of the engines" in one paragraph to explain why the Rockets didn't hear her fall earlier (without saying "THE REASON THEY DIDN'T HEAR ME WAS...."). Subtly done and well-handled.

    “*I can’t knock them out without the risk of shorting that thing and blowing this place up. So as soon as I get it from him, I want you to take it and run off. See if you can use it to find the explosives.*”
    That seems a bit convenient, that the [presumed] detonator is also Bomb GPS.

    “Hang on…” I muttered, sliding my fingers along the screen to scroll throughout the grid. “Chibi was right. These are the coordinates for all the bombs they’ve set.” One of them was close by, from the looks of it. I held the device out like a flashlight, using the minimal glow of the screen to scan my surrounding for anything out of the ordinary. And then…sure enough there it was—a small, circular device was stuck to the side of the tank. I reached out a hand to tug at it with my fingertips. It wasn’t hard to detach.
    I guess it's acceptable that Chibi would know that the device doubled as a tool to find the bombs; given his time with Team Rocket, he'd seen their tech, no doubt. It still seems like a weird feature to me to install on a detonator. But I haven't built any such devices in my life, so what do I know?

    I held the bomb in my palm delicately, throwing a glance back at the screen to get a better idea of how many of these things there were.

    Too many to count…they were everywhere. I swallowed hard before pocketing it and jumping to my feet. I didn’t have a choice—I had to get them all. Or at least…as many as possible before I was caught. I took off sprinting again, using the control’s grid as my guide and stopping just long enough to pry each bomb from the wall before aiming for the next one. It wasn’t long before I found my lungs burning and legs going numb from exhaustion, and yet I was still unable to think of anything more than finding the next one…and the next one…
    I get the "fueled by adrenaline" aspect of this, but... HOLDING A BOMB--a bomb that could go off at any second (Jade doesn't know whether the Rockets have other detonators or if this one has some kind of failsafe, or if the bombs are just sensitive)--has to be terrifying. I'd like to have seen some kind of reaction from her regarding that.

    And then I sank to my knees, doubled over and gasping for breath. Couldn’t stop…had to keep going. I glanced at my watch—it had been fifteen minutes since I’d last seen Chibi. I’d heard scattered bursts of electricity as I ran; they were probably outside of the engine room by now, but he was still managing to keep them from following me. I grasped the edge of the desk and pulled myself to my feet—there was no time for me to stop, I hadn’t even started on the cabin hallways.
    Do you mean "deck"? Or did I miss that there was a desk on the edge of the ship? I honestly might have missed such a thing, but I assumed this was supposed to be "deck".

    “Come on, we’ve got to go,” I said, throwing open the door and waiting for them to follow me. Firestorm had a weird mix of hurt and dread on his face, but he followed just the same. We stepped out into the hallway, and I threw several hurried glances in both directions. “…Alright…we should be g—” I was cut off by the sound of rapid footsteps to the left. And then I saw him—the man who had been chasing me earlier had just reached the bottom of the staircase leading to this deck. Had to do something. Had to do something.
    I don't GENERALLY like random italics in stories to convey internal thought or emphasis, but I really dig the conviction and intensity of the last two lines there, so kudos on that.


    -Okay, I think I'm about halfway through the chapter here, and I'm going to finish it up later. I have a job interview and lunch with my wife in a few hours here, and I want to get a bit more sleep before I need to get showered and dressed for that (reading always makes me tired, heh). But I will get back to this, probably this afternoon in about 6 or 7 hours.


    EDIT:

    Quote Originally Posted by Chibi Pika View Post
    “The heck? What, you think I wanted to set him on fire? What could I have had you do?” The Charmander didn’t say anything else.
    Daww. Poor Charmander.

    Much to my surprise, Swift was the one who replied, “*You’re standing against them. It’s too late to back down. So we have to be brave too.*”

    “*We don’t have a choice,*” Firestorm added with gritted teeth. Where on earth had he gotten that determination from?
    I really like Swift. Way to be hardcore, Pidgey!

    The lead Rocket closed his eyes and chuckled slightly at our inane attempt at resistance. “Still want to play games, huh? Ninetales, attack!” The large, cream-colored fire fox that had stood alongside him rushed forward, its nine graceful tails swirling dramatically as it leaped into the fray.
    OBJECTION! Ninetales shouldn't be bad guys.


    I blew through the rest without much commenting because I was just caught up in reading. You did end up giving Jade a realistic fear reaction to the gun, which was nice to see; she was a little too full of adrenaline and bravado up until that point. Not in a bad way, but with how disengaged she seemed from the situation, it was a little hard for me as a reader to feel as emotionally wrapped up in the tense moments.

    I like Swift; I wish I'd gotten to see more of him. I feel more attached to him as Jade's childhood companion than I have to others. And it was nice seeing him man up and put forth an effort to save the day.

    I wonder where everyone else on the ship was during all this? Three A.M. or not, some of the fighting had to be pretty loud.
    Last edited by Sid87; 5th September 2012 at 8:34 PM.


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  11. #86
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    I'm baaack! Sorry for not being here to review the last few chapters thoroughly, but I didn't find that much to pick at anyway.

    So I'm going to pick on chapter 7 instead, which I already read over once.

    It was weird—even without any force from the experiment, there was that one look that unfailingly seemed able to make me give in and answer him.
    It seems a bit weird to call him "the experiment" - when I first read this sentence I thought you meant some kind of an actual physics experiment involving force and was very confused.

    Of course he’d know all about Team Rocket’s standard operations, being created by them and all.
    This doesn't seem to follow. Just because Team Rocket created him doesn't mean they let him in on how they operate - I'd have expected him to be just kept in a ball most of the time, especially since they were aware he was unstable and would hardly bring him along on any important missions. There may be ways he could find out, but it's not at all obvious that he would have.

    Blowing up the engine room would be the fastest way to sink a ship, right?
    Haha, at this sentence I did wonder if you'd gone and looked this up. Your research sounds very colorful. xP

    Only then did my brain really register the fact that I had understood his words to begin with (I guess I really was getting better at Pokéspeech.)
    The period should either be outside the parentheses or there should be another one before the opening parenthesis. Either the entire sentence is within the parentheses or the entire parenthetical statement is within the sentence.

    “*Careful…*” Chibi said sharply.
    I can't quite mentally reconcile that "sharply" with the ellipsis at the end of the actual quote. The ellipsis implies trailing off, which implies tentativity or uncertainty, while him saying it sharply implies just the opposite.

    I hit the platform hard, sending a jolt of pain through my knees where they’d collided with the metal.
    Just her knees? This makes it sound like she landed upright on just her knees, but it would make more sense if she landed on her hands as well (and although bracing yourself with your hands is better than hitting your head, your hands would still probably hurt after a fall like that onto a hard surface).

    I’d tripped over the motionless body of an engineer.
    How does she know he's an engineer? It seems like an oddly specific descriptor.

    The dynamic between Jade and Chibi is very nice here, by the way. For all his jadedness (...no pun intended), he clearly realizes how scared and inexperienced she is and is sympathetic to her, even while he remains focused on their mission and pushing her along. And for all her talk of how it's going to be like he's her Pokémon, it's her that's trying to prove to him she can do this, and following along with his plans, because she's so utterly lost and in way over her head. That was one of the nicest things about the chapter to me - seeing the characters being tangible and important even while a big actionfest is going on.

    “Well then what do we do?” I hissed, my teeth clenched.
    You need a comma after the "Well".

    “But….what are you doing…” I whispered to no one, still staring at where he had disappeared.
    There's an extraneous period there after the first ellipsis.

    “Hang on…” I muttered, sliding my fingers along the screen to scroll throughout the grid. “Chibi was right. These are the coordinates for all the bombs they’ve set.”
    Seems kind of weird for her to be speaking aloud here. People talking to themselves happens a lot more in fiction than in real life, but in a situation where presumably she's trying to hide and not be discovered by any further Rockets, giving her location away by making any unnecessary audible sound at all would seem to be instinctively off-limits.

    I can't really picture the part where she's stuffing all the bombs into her pockets. Unless these bombs are ridiculously small - like, an inch in diameter small - you can't possibly be fitting multitudes of them into a regular pocket, and unless Jade's clothes have a really unusual number of pockets, that doesn't add up to how many you make the bombs seem to be overall by describing them as "too many to count", skipping over when she's collecting them all with a summary, and how it takes ages to unload them even a fistful at a time. And that seems pretty unbelievably small: they have to add up to sinking a cruise ship, and these bombs are not even pure explosive, since they also have to fit in a remote detonation mechanism and presumably a timer, since if the timer were only in the controller, the controller's actual signal to the bombs would say "detonate immediately" and the Rockets would probably have been considerably more reluctant to short it out in the hopes of having it set the bombs off.

    I mean, sure, maybe they're ridiculously tiny sci-fi bombs, or maybe in all your terroristy research you did discover something like this actually exists (in which case I feel silly telling you it can't work). But in that case it still seems counterintuitive enough that I'd have the narration remark upon it - both as a more realistic reaction from Jade, who is hardly a bomb expert (I stared at the tiny object on the wall, my heart beating hard. This was a bomb? It was barely an inch in diameter!), and to get the right picture in your reader's head.

    Also, it would have been nice to see Jade react more specifically to the idea of holding/carrying bombs. When you know that something can explode, you don't want to hold it, let alone stuff it into a pocket where it can't be thrown away at a moment's notice. A regular person would probably be ridiculously on edge picking up bombs at all, and look to any other possibility before starting to put them into pockets, but she's not really reacting to them like they're dangerous objects to her right now, just like they have to be removed.

    I stumbled over to the edge railing and began the long process of emptying my pockets, made longer by the annoying way my hands wouldn’t stop shaking.
    While her hands shaking is a nice detail to show her fear, the fact she calls it annoying seems to undermine it a bit. It's such a casual word to use in a dangerous situation that (at least to me) it seems to suggest the character is actively denying that they're afraid. Jade doesn't feel like a character who would do that - she's a bit detached from it but that's because she's driving herself on despite her fear and refusing to let her mind linger on it, not refusing to admit she's scared at all. In that situation, I think it would be more appropriate to just mention her hands are shaking without describing it as annoying or going specially into why.

    I like how she's shaking and how all that physical exertion affected her, though; too many action heroes don't seem to ever get tired. Also, around this part you have some very nice dynamic vocabulary use going. It brings a lot of energy into the scene.

    The man’s walk quickened. You had to be kidding me.
    Since "You had to be kidding me" is a direct thought and italicized, you shouldn't adjust its tenses to fit the narration any more than you would with dialogue; unless she actually thought, in the past tense, "You had to be kidding me", which doesn't make much sense, that should be in the present.

    “*Pokémon are…they’re supposed to project their trainer,*” Firestorm muttered.
    ...presumably this should be "protect", unless he means they should project the identity of their trainers at all times.

    I'm thinking this is a hint at backstory.

    “*How come you didn’t have anything for me to do back there?*” the fire lizard said in a small voice.

    “The heck? What, you think I wanted to set him on fire? What could I have had you do?” The Charmander didn’t say anything else.
    Yeah, definitely hiting at backstory. Firestorm is really obsessed with being of use to a trainer.

    I was met with a view of the fifteen of so Rockets that had infiltrated the ship
    Should presumably be "fifteen or so".

    The lead Rocket chuckled a bit at the look of my face and said, “I suppose I should thank you for returning Number Nine to us. You know, we were rather…upset when you took him. We need him for our experimentation, you see, otherwise we might never figure out how to break those overpowered, undeserving monsters you call Legendaries.”
    This is rather too monologuey to be believable; why would he be explaining their plans for Chibi to her? We know they're targeting legendaries already anyway, so it doesn't look like this is vital for getting information across to the reader.

    Seeing as the Rocket does have a gun, it seems to me it'd be easier for him to just shoot Swift/Firestorm immediately than to bother with a fair Pokémon battle first, unless you have some headcanon that guns aren't very effective against Pokémon for some reason.

    The shielding flame around Firestorm ceased and his body shined with the glow as, before our eyes, he grew over two feet in size and completely changed in shape
    Shouldn't that be "shone"?

    And then I noticed Chibi motioning to me. He kept shaking his head and jerking it toward the lead Rocket. I stared blankly, confusion now being added to the mess of emotions running through my head. And then somehow it clicked into place. There was a spark in his eyes. He had to have charged up some energy in the past few minutes.
    I don't really buy that he's been shaking his head and jerking it around without the Rocket who's holding him noticing and doing something about it. Additionally, the fact Team Rocket created him, and the lead Rocket here seems very familiar with Chibi's creation and his purpose, would seem to imply that they're aware he can charge up power over time after he's become exhausted, so they shouldn't have just left him conscious and out where he can cause more mischief - it should have been the easiest thing in the world for them to finish the job and knock him out (or tranquilize him, since apparently they have tranquilizer darts at the ready), or catch/recall him in a Pokéball.

    We finally reached the main deck, and then I froze as soon as I caught sight of the rain pouring down in violent sheets outside. Somewhere in the back of my mind this seemed strange, as there hadn’t been any news of a storm like this.
    Hm. You'd hardly be mentioning this like that if it weren't significant. Kyogre?


    Anyway, it was a pretty intense chapter with some lovely character interactions and suspense. I liked the lead Rocket, too, apart from that infodump bit; he's competent, confident and threatening without feeling like a strawman bag of evilness. I wonder where Stalker was in all this.

    Chapter 63: Recovery
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

    Morphic
    (completed, plus silly extras)
    A few scientists get drunk and start fiddling with gene splicing. Ten years later, they're taking care of eight half-Pokémon kids, each freakier than the next, while a religious fanatic plots to murder them all.

    Lengthy fanfiction reviewing guide / A more condensed version
    Read and I will be very happy for a large number of reasons.

  12. #87
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    May I be put on the PM list? This Fic is one of my favorites, the other being Forsaken.

    EDIT:
    It was a strange thought, knowing that the balance of the world soon unravel again. Less than seven years remained. The initiation had begun years ago, but now…now the search would be set into motion. It seemed like such an unusual course of action, but the legendary creature knew that it could not be helped, as it was the only way. Eight humans, eight members of the Order…was it even possible? Lugia gazed down over the mainland, its mind filled with vague feelings. For now, at least, events would have to run their course…

    Forgot to put "would" :P
    Last edited by MotherRussia; 8th September 2012 at 3:44 AM.
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  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealRaymon View Post
    The opening of the chapter attracted me. I wanted to know what will be on S.S.Anne as it is always interesting. I thought about accident there or some cruel actions of Team Rocket. So I wanted to check it out.

    As for the description, I liked it because your describe actions and feelings very well. It hooked me, so I enjoyed reading them.
    I'm glad it was interesting even without reading all the previous chapters. That's what I was hoping for.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    You know what MIGHT have been nice right here? A realization of what will happen to her if/when she fails. Maybe one her brain only half accepts. Something like "And then I'll be..." And leave it floating like that because her mind doesn't want to think "dead". But that's just what I might have done, and I'm a little creepier.
    Ooh...that's a nice sounding idea, I might have to try that when I'm editing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I'm curious if it's more to it than that. I get a vague sense that Jade feels guilty for the whole Fire Blast thing with Charmander from a few chapters ago, and doesn't want to put him through that. And Pidgey is still a childish pokemon, so perhaps she doesn't want to put it at risk. Am I right?
    You’re right that there is more to her not wanting to battle with them than just not wanting them to get hurt. It’s also that she doesn't feel like she should even be allowed to battle with them when she hasn’t trained them, like…at all. One of the basic concepts of Pokémon Training is that the Pokémon gets the chance to grow stronger than it could on its own, and at this point, Jade feels like using them in battle would be doomed to failure because of her own weakness.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I was a bit curious about this. I'm assuming that Jade just translates pokespeech; she doesn't hear it in her native language, does she? So she would have, basically, heard "Pika Pi Pika Pi Pi!" and then had to translate its meaning into her language. So the whole not immediately realizing it was pokespeech seems a bit odd to me. But I might be wrong.
    Okay, the way I see it is: you’re right that Jade doesn’t hear it in English (we don’t have tardis translation mechanics going on here), but at this point she’s not necessarily translating it in her head. She just hears it, and understands it as is (after all, bilingual people don’t have to translate their learned language into their native one, they just kind of…know it. Though I’m not bilingual so I can’t say from experience.) She still finds this surprising due to being pretty bad at Pokéspeech for several years prior to the start of the fic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    That seems a bit convenient, that the [presumed] detonator is also Bomb GPS.
    Haha, yeah. ^^; When I first wrote the chapter years ago, I was like, “Oh, and the detonator has a radar, y’know, so they can keep track of their locations” as if that were clearly the most logical thing in the world, and then eight years later I’m staring at it and thinking to myself, “Well, this is Team Rocket tech, I guess anything’s possible?” I justified the convenience to Jade by the fact that her endeavor still fails. ^^ (Lol…yeah, I just realized…any convenience to my characters has to be balanced out by immediate failure.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I get the "fueled by adrenaline" aspect of this, but... HOLDING A BOMB--a bomb that could go off at any second (Jade doesn't know whether the Rockets have other detonators or if this one has some kind of failsafe, or if the bombs are just sensitive)--has to be terrifying. I'd like to have seen some kind of reaction from her regarding that.
    Frick. I have no idea why that didn’t occur to me. Argh, I go back in and add all sort of reactions from Jade that weren’t in the original, and somehow that eludes me?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I blew through the rest without much commenting because I was just caught up in reading. You did end up giving Jade a realistic fear reaction to the gun, which was nice to see; she was a little too full of adrenaline and bravado up until that point. Not in a bad way, but with how disengaged she seemed from the situation, it was a little hard for me as a reader to feel as emotionally wrapped up in the tense moments.
    I decided that having her disengage herself was the only realistic way for her to even get anything done. And also because I spent the first half of the chapter with her paranoid as all heck, and it just started getting tiring, both to write and to read.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sid87 View Post
    I wonder where everyone else on the ship was during all this? Three A.M. or not, some of the fighting had to be pretty loud.
    I actually did think of that! All the passengers were either on the lower decks (cabins) or on the upper decks (suites, pool, lounge, bar, dance floor, and the only battle area open that late, the Starlight Battlefield). And the only battle that took place outside of the engine room (aside from Chibi’s bit of hide-and-seek with the Rockets while distracting them) was in the main lobby on the middle deck (which wasn’t particularly loud—just some fire attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    I'm baaack! Sorry for not being here to review the last few chapters thoroughly, but I didn't find that much to pick at anyway. So I'm going to pick on chapter 7 instead, which I already read over once.
    No problem, I know that this one had way more patchy logic than the others. Thanks for showing up! ^^
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    This doesn't seem to follow. Just because Team Rocket created him doesn't mean they let him in on how they operate - I'd have expected him to be just kept in a ball most of the time, especially since they were aware he was unstable and would hardly bring him along on any important missions. There may be ways he could find out, but it's not at all obvious that he would have.
    Ooh. I think what happened here is that while I might know everything about the experiments’ backstory, it accidentally colored my characters’ assumptions even though none of that info has come into the story. In any case, you’re right, it’s definitely not obvious.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Haha, at this sentence I did wonder if you'd gone and looked this up. Your research sounds very colorful. xP
    So…many…ship tabs. xP
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    The period should either be outside the parentheses or there should be another one before the opening parenthesis. Either the entire sentence is within the parentheses or the entire parenthetical statement is within the sentence.
    At first I thought that this was one of those British-American grammar differences (because I recall reading that there were two different ways of doing it) but upon looking it up, the latter of your suggestions is correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    How does she know he's an engineer? It seems like an oddly specific descriptor.
    Blargh. I had it as just the generic crewman to start, then decided I had been using that word too often and went with something more specific…although now as I’m typing this, I’m remembering that I decided he was recognizable by his outfit. Rewording for clarity now~!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Seems kind of weird for her to be speaking aloud here. People talking to themselves happens a lot more in fiction than in real life, but in a situation where presumably she's trying to hide and not be discovered by any further Rockets, giving her location away by making any unnecessary audible sound at all would seem to be instinctively off-limits.
    I…ramble to myself far more frequently than I care to admit ^^; (usually involving fic plans, granted.) And I figured it was okay since the room is filled with huge engine noise.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    I can't really picture the part where she's stuffing all the bombs into her pockets. Unless these bombs are ridiculously small - like, an inch in diameter small - you can't possibly be fitting multitudes of them into a regular pocket, and unless Jade's clothes have a really unusual number of pockets, that doesn't add up to how many you make the bombs seem to be overall by describing them as "too many to count", skipping over when she's collecting them all with a summary, and how it takes ages to unload them even a fistful at a time. And that seems pretty unbelievably small: they have to add up to sinking a cruise ship, and these bombs are not even pure explosive, since they also have to fit in a remote detonation mechanism and presumably a timer, since if the timer were only in the controller, the controller's actual signal to the bombs would say "detonate immediately" and the Rockets would probably have been considerably more reluctant to short it out in the hopes of having it set the bombs off.

    I mean, sure, maybe they're ridiculously tiny sci-fi bombs, or maybe in all your terroristy research you did discover something like this actually exists (in which case I feel silly telling you it can't work). But in that case it still seems counterintuitive enough that I'd have the narration remark upon it - both as a more realistic reaction from Jade, who is hardly a bomb expert (I stared at the tiny object on the wall, my heart beating hard. This was a bomb? It was barely an inch in diameter!), and to get the right picture in your reader's head.
    Derp. I’m realizing now that I should have been waaayy more specific. I have all these details in my head that it somehow never occurred to me to put into the narration. Argh. xP

    Mkay, so to get the concrete details set in stone (which I should have done earlier) Jade’s pants have 4 pockets (not counting the back ones) and each pocket would probably hold 3-4 bombs so we’re looking at 12-16 per trip. I definitely exaggerated on the amount, so that’ll have to be fixed. ><; I imagined them being about 3 inches in diameter. Sheesh, I barely even described what it looked like, too. x.X

    And I must admit that I didn’t actually do all that much terroristy research. xD (Mostly just generic ship research.) Though I did look up some stuff on remote detonators.

    And yeah, Sid mentioned the lack of reaction to holding a bomb, so that will definitely happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Since "You had to be kidding me" is a direct thought and italicized, you shouldn't adjust its tenses to fit the narration any more than you would with dialogue; unless she actually thought, in the past tense, "You had to be kidding me", which doesn't make much sense, that should be in the present.
    Oh. Er, that’s actually more a clarity issue, it looks like. The italics weren’t meant to signify direct thoughts (since about 40% of the general narration is direct thoughts anyway, being that it’s in 1st person.) So I’ll get rid of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Yeah, definitely hiting at backstory. Firestorm is really obsessed with being of use to a trainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Seeing as the Rocket does have a gun, it seems to me it'd be easier for him to just shoot Swift/Firestorm immediately than to bother with a fair Pokémon battle first, unless you have some headcanon that guns aren't very effective against Pokémon for some reason.
    I did consider cutting the battle outright and shifting the gun threat scene forward, but then decided that the battle was too important a moment for all of the characters involved. The lead Rocket knew he could win easily, and seemed like the type to take the more entertaining course of action. I know that doesn't change the iffy logic there, but every time I try to cut it, the chapter just seems to suffer for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    I don't really buy that he's been shaking his head and jerking it around without the Rocket who's holding him noticing and doing something about it. Additionally, the fact Team Rocket created him, and the lead Rocket here seems very familiar with Chibi's creation and his purpose, would seem to imply that they're aware he can charge up power over time after he's become exhausted, so they shouldn't have just left him conscious and out where he can cause more mischief - it should have been the easiest thing in the world for them to finish the job and knock him out (or tranquilize him, since apparently they have tranquilizer darts at the ready), or catch/recall him in a Pokéball.
    Okay…okay I know how I’m going to fix this. But first, I do have to say—I completely forgot that the fic has not yet explained that experiments cannot be held in normal Poké Balls—their energy signatures are too irregular. I know that sounds like something I just pulled out of my ass to explain this, but it was actually a plot point since Revision 7. So I’ll have him actually be knocked out when she first sees him, and have her express surprise that they didn’t put him in a Poké Ball. Then he’ll wake up later and motion to Jade much more subtly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Hm. You'd hardly be mentioning this like that if it weren't significant. Kyogre?
    Interesting story behind that. I was going to cut the storm because the purpose it serves in the next chapter isn’t that significant, and the reason I wrote it like that originally (in like, Revision 4) was extremely dumb and cheesy. But then I realized that since that reason no longer applied, there actually was a much better reason for it, which also fit in as foreshadowing for something else. So it stayed. :P
    Quote Originally Posted by MufinskullzFTW View Post
    May I be put on the PM list? This Fic is one of my favorites, the other being Forsaken.
    Sure thing. ^^

    Thanks for the comments, everyone! Chapter 8 is in progress, and most of the scenes were already rewritten last year, they just need to be rearranged slightly (the events of chapter 8, 9, and 10 have been shuffled around a lot.) After that, I just need to write two new conversations and a battle, so I have high hopes that this one won’t take long. Oh, and I’ll have art for Chibi up soon (should have finished it last chapter, since…y’know, he’s left the party as of this one.)

    ~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


  14. #89
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    Holy awesome, Batman!

    After terrible procrastination and the distraction of A Dance of Dragons (fantastic series), I've finally caught up. I'm going to give a broad review of the story, and for future chapters I can get into any nitty-gritty details.

    Can I start by saying you're awesome and so is this story.

    It's been several years since I last read this, and rereading the new revision has brought back all kinds of memories of why I loved this story back in 07-08ish times. Plot, characters, Pokemon, and intrigue are all tied together in solid action and comedic phrasing, leaving me with a stupid smile on my face the entire time I'm reading. For this, I applaude you. Here are some of my favorite things so far:

    The Pokemon. Specifically, Jade's Pokemon. I love how each is different and unique. It's cool to have Swift (that's his name, right?) be all quiet and reserved. Assuming he evolves into a Pidgeot someday, he'll make one BAMF of a bird. Firestorm is equally awesome. His evolution makes sense, considering that he's assumedly had more experience before encountering Jade than the traditional starters provided to new trainers.

    And then there's Chibi. Boy is he even more awesome than I remember. If there was an award for Most Awesome Pikachu, he'd get it. His attitude, his confidence, and his troubled past all fit together into, for me, the most interesting character in the story.

    I'm a fan of all the human characters as well. Spencer's probably my favorite. You've done a nice job using him for comic relief without making it his only quirk. He's a cool trainer, experienced, but not top-notch quite yet. I like that middle ground. Too often it seems (I'm guilty of this as well) trainers are either complete noobs or the baddest mothers in the region. Spencer becomes nice and relatable in that way.

    Ajia and Stalker are both really interesting. Though I feel like they were partially explained in the older revisions, I can't remember and don't feel like going back and looking. Both look to be important characters in the future. I also like how Stalker is only shown with a Charizard. You know he has to have other awesome pokemon, but you don't know what they are and that makes him seem even more like a bada[ss.

    Jade is a strong main character and really seems to work with the story. She's stumbling through these things, and as readers we're equally clueless as to Team Rocket's plans, so we stumble along with her and it creates this connection. Just remember though, being a noob doesn't last forever. I'm sure you're already on top of this, but it will be neat to see her grow into a confident rebel in the later chapters.

    And then there are the small things that are really awesome. The fact that Jade isn't a registered trainer, or that she's constantly fretting about Chibi blowing up a cruise ship. Spencer's hilarious commentaries in the heat of action. It's the little things as much as the big things that make this story awesome.

    I don't really have any criticisms at the moment. Just make sure Jade isn't always stuck being a noob. Well, I guess describe pokemon a little more when they first appear. Like when Chibi gets punched by a Nidoqueen. I don't play the games anymore and it's nice to have the description in the story so I don't have to jog my memory to recall the details of a pokemon's appearance. Think of each pokemon, including those of antagonists, as a human character. Imagine a story which said something like, "Heavy footsteps echoed off the alley's brick walls. I twisted around and saw a man dash by me and tear my purse from my hands. Before I had time to shout, he rounded the corner and was out of sight." Now, imagine it again: "Heavy footsteps echoed off the alley's brick walls. I twisted around and saw a wiry figure, garbed in a tattered brown coat and a faded black baseball cap. Without breaking stride, he tore my purse from my hands. Before I could shout, he rounded the corner and was out of sight." See the difference? Even if the man is a minor minor minor character without a name, the visuals help the reader see it more.

    That's really all I have for you. This story was one of my big inspirations for writing my own fic, and I'm absolutely thrilled that you've brought it back. I wait eagerly for the next installment!

    Jack

  15. #90
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    Is there a pm list for this? If so can I be on it?
    I have:
    Platinum
    Heartgold
    White
    Black
    Rumble Blast
    White 2

    I used to liek mudkipz, then I took an arrow in the knee. However the arrow turned out to be a seaking. It yelled "F*** yeah" so I screamed "FUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!". The seaking's face became that of a troll while mine became forever alone. The situation was super effective.

  16. #91
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    @Pkmn Breeder Jack: Thanks so much for reading LC again! I'm glad to see that you're still enjoying it, even all these years later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pkmn Breeder Jack View Post
    And then there's Chibi. Boy is he even more awesome than I remember. If there was an award for Most Awesome Pikachu, he'd get it. His attitude, his confidence, and his troubled past all fit together into, for me, the most interesting character in the story.
    I'd have to say that so far, aside from Spencer, Chibi is the character that I've put the most effort into giving more personality than last time. Everyone loved him in the old version, so I wanted to get him the character development he deserved this time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pkmn Breeder Jack View Post
    Ajia and Stalker are both really interesting. Though I feel like they were partially explained in the older revisions, I can't remember and don't feel like going back and looking. Both look to be important characters in the future. I also like how Stalker is only shown with a Charizard. You know he has to have other awesome pokemon, but you don't know what they are and that makes him seem even more like a bada[ss.
    Heh, it had been five years, hasn't it? So hopefully those characters get a second chance at holding onto some of their mysteries this time around.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pkmn Breeder Jack View Post
    Jade is a strong main character and really seems to work with the story. She's stumbling through these things, and as readers we're equally clueless as to Team Rocket's plans, so we stumble along with her and it creates this connection. Just remember though, being a noob doesn't last forever. I'm sure you're already on top of this, but it will be neat to see her grow into a confident rebel in the later chapters.
    Jade's development will be really interesting for me to write this time. Because while she's definitely not a character that's intended to ever become uber awesome, there are still a lot of subtle shifts for her character as she becomes more accepting of life-threatening situations, and learns how to keep her cool under pressure.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pkmn Breeder Jack View Post
    I don't really have any criticisms at the moment. Just make sure Jade isn't always stuck being a noob. Well, I guess describe pokemon a little more when they first appear. Like when Chibi gets punched by a Nidoqueen. I don't play the games anymore and it's nice to have the description in the story so I don't have to jog my memory to recall the details of a pokemon's appearance. Think of each pokemon, including those of antagonists, as a human character. Imagine a story which said something like, "Heavy footsteps echoed off the alley's brick walls. I twisted around and saw a man dash by me and tear my purse from my hands. Before I had time to shout, he rounded the corner and was out of sight." Now, imagine it again: "Heavy footsteps echoed off the alley's brick walls. I twisted around and saw a wiry figure, garbed in a tattered brown coat and a faded black baseball cap. Without breaking stride, he tore my purse from my hands. Before I could shout, he rounded the corner and was out of sight." See the difference? Even if the man is a minor minor minor character without a name, the visuals help the reader see it more.
    Ah yeah, I usually tend to sneak small descriptive phrases in for flavor more than anything, but since that was a particularly fast scene with things happening that the main character wasn't focusing on, I opted not to. If a Pokemon is important to a scene though, I'll definitely have the narration help the reader get a clear mental image (without the big silly paragraphs of description that used to plague the old version!_

    Quote Originally Posted by 3D992 View Post
    Is there a pm list for this? If so can I be on it?
    Yup yup--added~!


    Anyways, I've got another piece of character art to throw in here...Chibi! Yeah...it would have made more sense to finish his art before the chapter that focused on him and then removed him from the party...I didn't have time. T_T
        Spoiler:- Chibi:

    Chibi is a really interesting part of LC's history for a bunch of different reasons. He was conceived in Revision 6, the one that started the old thread and first pushed LC into reasonable popularity. But the reason for his existence is sadly not very grand at all. It was as simple as me realizing that my main character having a Pikachu on her team was kind of silly, since Pikachu are so weak. So I decided to make him an uber awesome hybrid Pikachu to make up for this.

    That's it. That's seriously it.

    I'm only just now realizing how shameful that is, since Revision 6 should have been above doing stupid things like that. Throughout its course, I found that Chibi had way more development and backstory than I had anticipated, and he wound up pwning his way into becoming a fan favorite character. Despite his mind-blowingly stupid and immature reason for being in the fic in the first place, my way of handling him back then was surprisingly alright. He was never overpowered, has his fair share of losses and weaknesses, and a lot of psychological trauma. Kind of surprising for your factory standard Overly Cool Fan Character. Not only that, but I am still surprised that I gave the main character an awesome Pokemon, made her rely on him, and then promptly removed him from the party (almost unheard of for noob writers.) But there was still tons of room for improvement, as his personality was all over the place since I was just sort of making things up as I went along, and his relationship with Razors was never fully elaborated on. These are the things I'm most working on in Revision 10.

    Still, he was kind of a turning point in the fic, as my quest to make LC Darker and Edgier resulted in me giving him dark backstory, and ultimately putting more thought into what happened in all of the Pokemon characters' pasts and how those events shaped them.

    Next chapter will have art of a new character. And speaking of next chapter, I really want to get it done this week. I've had a very busy past couple of days, so I should be able to relax a bit and work on LC now.

    ~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


  17. #92
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    CHIBI!!! *pant pant* YOU CAN'T *pant pant* STOP NOW!!! *pant pant* YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING!!!!
    Love the changes you've made to it all. I still remember in the beginning it was all... well, not this... I'M SORRY I LEFT YOU FOR SO LONG!!!! I blame nobody I know posting here anymore...
    I'm pretty sure I remember who ajia really is!!!! mwahahahahahaha!!!! i think... It's been a while...
    Anyway, I guess i'll go with the most recent since I don't feel like going through like 4 chapters? ya, I think that may work.
    This one is definitely better than the last time we were on the SS Anne. Much better in the description and definitely explained everything better. I could actually see where Jade was and all. Though of course not much really happened in this chapter... but you did a very good job with it.
    Anyway, if/when you do more of this, I'll actually be here and looking for it... so message me about it, like you didn't do for chp 6 and 7...
    jirachiman out
    Yes people, I have returned.
    Pearl FC. Arlen 1718-9710-2821
    Eat More Chicken!!! Self-proclaimed, unofficial spokesman for Chick-Fil-A.

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by jirachiman876 View Post
    CHIBI!!! *pant pant* YOU CAN'T *pant pant* STOP NOW!!! *pant pant* YOU HAVE TO KEEP GOING!!!!
    Love the changes you've made to it all. I still remember in the beginning it was all... well, not this... I'M SORRY I LEFT YOU FOR SO LONG!!!! I blame nobody I know posting here anymore...
    Thank you for posting, because I've been meaning to post! ...Hell, I've been meaning to WRITE, but I've been so damned busy lately that--

    No really, I mean I've been BUSY. I don't have a proper job, so I spend anywhere from 60 to 80 hours a week doing online commissions just to get by. So yeah, no matter how much I've wanted to write LC these months, there has quite literally been no time. D: HOWEVER, I just finished a massive pile of 3D models that have kept me occupied every day for the past two week, and I finally have some room to breathe!

    In other words...I'm going to be writing!

    But hey, while I'm here, I might as well mention that it's December 14th, which means LC is now officially ELEVEN YEARS OLD! I should probably be embarrassed of that, but I'm not. 8D

    And by some ridiculous twist of fate, both me and Dragonfree started writing fics on this exact same day eleven years ago. Fics that both involved silly made-up Legendaries, wars involving silly made-up Legendaries, catching silly made-up Legendaries to save the world, and...you know, I'm just going to stop there.

    Have a silly comic. :3



    Anyways, a couple months ago I went and typed up a massive account of LC's history with the intent to post it today, so I'll do just that! Of course, I know you guys just want a new chapter (hell, I just want a new chapter.) But hey, if anyone is extremely bored and/or way more obsessed with this fic than I would have expected, they can have some fun looking back at how terrible the thing used to be. :P

    ~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. #94
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    Some of you might have realized that the fact that I’ve been writing this fic for eleven years means that I started writing it when I was twelve. How much of the fic has stayed the same since then? How much has changed? To answer the first question…about half of the characters’ names and some of their Pokémon teams. To answer the second…EVERYTHING ELSE.

    I am serious. Not a single scene, plot thread, or character trait has remained from the original until now. The main reason is not just because they were terrible in the old one…they just plain didn’t exist. There was no plot. Not even a dumb one related to catching Legendaries (that would come later)…just none. In fact, the main storyline as we know it today didn’t even begin to form until Revision 4, to say nothing of the fact that the Rebellion arc is only a third of the fic, and everything that takes place afterward has been heavily changed in every single Revision. In fact…only one single subplot has remained from the original, because it was the only character arc in the entire fic back then, and I still like it for that reason. It took place in Chapter 13 (the second chapter I ever wrote), and is the rough equivalent of Chapter 22 in the current Revision.

    Aside from that, you really could say that the new version is a completely different fic because it quite literally has nothing in common with the original. But how did this happen? When did the fic start to actually take on some of the qualities is has today? And the biggest question of all: what on earth did the old versions look like?



    The Original
    (Started 12/01)

    This is it. The original. In fact, for many years I thought I didn’t even have a copy of this in existence because it was hand-written and when I typed it up I “improved” it (I would actually argue that Revision 1 is worse, and then Revision 2 just makes my eyes bleed, but more on that later.) But then I did find one copy of it that I had typed and printed out to show my friends. It’s notable for having no plot whatsoever and many of the characters bearing different names.

    But why take my word for it? Read it here!
        Spoiler:- THE ORIGINAL:

    The funny thing is…originally I had no intentions on continuing this. I had no idea what fanfiction was and clearly wasn’t writing this because I had a plot I wanted to tell. I just wanted to write about myself getting a Pokémon, and having done just that, I was good.

    But then I showed it to a friend and she wanted to know what happened next. So I wrote her into the story as the focus of the “Chapter 13” subplot. And…well…then I had to write the rest of the story too, right?

    And thus my life has never been the same.


    Revision 1
    Rewrite 1.0 – (Started 03/02)

    This is the first version I typed up, and pretty much the only thing that actually changes is the fact that most of the prose is rewritten to reflect my changes in writing style. The actual events were mostly the same. The aforementioned “Chapter 13” subplot got expanded throughout the other chapters, but other than that it’s pretty similar.

    Chapter 1 actually didn’t change much. I mostly just added lots of unnecessary references to character subplots that would come up later. I guess that counts for something. Except the first paragraph is just about the worst thing ever.
        Spoiler:- Chapter 1:



    Revision 2
    Rewrite 1.5 – (Started 11/02)

    Here’s where things get weird. This is the first version with plot! You might think that’s a good thing, but…ehhh, it really isn’t. Okay so there was a plotline with Stalker showing up to randomly give Jade and Rudy hints about Team Rocket—it was sort of the precursor to The Rebellion arc, which is kinda cool. But then there was the post-Team Rocket plotline stuff, which involved all of the main characters becoming Legendary-wielding Gym Leaders on an undiscovered island full of Fakemon.

    …It gets worse. This was the Revision where the story got hijacked by ultra-powerful genetically engineered Dark Pokémon, their conflict with the equivalent ultra-powerful ancient Light Pokémon, and then the awakening of the Pokégods and the resulting war. Also there was a three-headed Lugia.

    The first chapter somehow got even worse, if you can believe it. I had been doing a lot of role plays to flesh out the Chapter 13 subplot, and my writing style ended up becoming excessively scripty as a result:
        Spoiler:- Chapter 1:

    As much as I HATE this Revision…I have to give it credit. If it weren’t for Revision 2, I might not still be writing this fic. I most certainly would have gotten bored with Jade’s plotless romp around Kanto eventually, and even though the Dark vs Light plotline was as convoluted as it was stupid, it was a very crucial step forward. It gave me a story to tell. Suddenly I had motivation to write Jade’s journey, because if I didn’t write the journey, then I’d never get to post the good stuff when the Legendary plot finally started up in Chapter 50.

    Yes, fifty. Take that, Dragonfree. >:P

    ~Chibi~
    Last edited by Chibi Pika; 14th December 2012 at 8:43 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


  20. #95
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    Revision 3
    Rewrite 1.7 – (Started 06/03)

    Largely…the fic itself didn’t change much in this Revision. I added a boatload of new plotlines to the later parts of the fic with the Pokégods, but since I never got that far, most of them never got written. But I did come up with a theory regarding the fact that humans and Pokémon originated from separate worlds, which actually became extremely important and ended up being the entire reason I started Revision 11, if you can believe it.

    But the first chapter is notable because it was the first version to eliminate the “get starter at lab” scene, and was an important step forward in my progress towards fleshing out my own personal headcanon in LC rather than relying on old anime clichés.

    See for yourself:
        Spoiler:- Chapter 1:



    Revision 4
    Rewrite 2.0 – (Started 11/03)

    The first chapter of this Revision didn’t change much from the previous one, aside from including a bit of foreshadowing for the human and Legendary alliance plotline that was first created in the last Revision and endures to this day.

    What’s so special about this version then? Well it has a new Rewrite number because the entire fic was rewritten (aside from Chapter 1, since it had just been rewritten in Revision 3.) Why was it all rewritten? Did I just update the writing style, like in Revision 1? Nope! This is the first Revision to contain The Rebellion as we know it today! So naturally the entire plot had to be revamped to accommodate this. Also of note is the fact that this was the first version to completely eliminate all the non-villain Legendary captures (prior to this, all the main characters were running around with Legendaries and it was incredibly stupid.)

    So as you can see, this Revision was extremely important to the development of this fic, and is the first one that doesn’t make me wince in pain, because while it was still written poorly, it at least had a sense of purpose now.

    And yet…I only wrote this one for a measly two months before planning the next Revision. Why? This was the only version to get a threat of closure from an SPPf moderator. I have to admit…it was a very crippling blow, especially after how much work I had put into making this version actually interesting. But I didn’t let it faze me. Their main qualm was the fact that the first chapter was still rather boring and clichéd and horribly scripty. I told myself that if they weren’t happy with how much I’d improved, then I’d improve even more to cheat them out of their criticism!

    …Yeah. >>;;;


    Revision 5
    Rewrite 2.5 – (Started 02/04)

    This one is weird. It never saw the light of day, for one. I never posted it because I had only rewritten one chapter before I had already improved enough to want to rewrite the entire fic. It consisted of a rewritten Chapter 1 and a lot of planned updates to the later chapters. I revised the Team Rocket missions, added new characters (like Spencer), and came up with the initial concept for the various subplots involving double agents in Team Rocket and such.

    But again, all of this was only in my head because I only ever did the first chapter before deciding that the fic needed a tighter opening that better established the characters. In the process, I came up with a much clearer outline for the rest of the Rebellion arc, which would lead us into the Third Rewrite…the one where everything came together at last.

    But even though this one was short-lived and never posted, it is still an undeniably important part of the fic’s history:
        Spoiler:- Chapter 1:


    ~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. #96
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    Revision 6
    Rewrite 3.0 – (Started 03/04)

    The Third Rewrite. In other words, when I started the old thread. This is the first version to really get its bearings as a story, and it’s quite telling that the general train of events closely resembles the current version. I added the Experimental Pokémon and Team Rocket’s Legendary Project, so naturally all of The Rebellion’s actions were completely revamped for this version, and have generally stayed the same.

    Not much else to say, because it’s pretty much just a more primitive incarnation of the current version.
        Spoiler:- Chapter 1:



    Revision 7
    Rewrite 3.1 – (Started 12/04)
    Revision 8
    Rewrite 3.3 – (Started 03/05)
    Revision 9
    Rewrite 3.7 – (Started 01/06)
    Revision 10
    Rewrite 3.9 – (Started 12/06)

    Revisions 7 through 10 mostly just consisted of streamlining the events of the fic to make them more logical overall, improving the writing style, description, and character development, gradually adding a bunch of new character subplots, as well as slowly cutting out all the awful Pokégod-related mess from the later chapters (which never got written because the fic only ever reached the end of the Rebellion arc during Revision 10, and then I got stuck.)

    Revision 7 is notable for actually making the writing style worse for a brief period of time. Revision 8 finally came up with an interesting plotline involving the eventual result of the conflicts within Team Rocket. Revision 9 basically deleted every plot thread from Revision 2 (the silly war between Dark and Light Pokémon, for starters). Revision 10 updated the fic to the 4th Generation, allowing me to use many of the new Legendaries to remove the Pokégods once and for all.

    So why did I stop? Well, for starters, the arc that took place after The Rebellion was boring and I didn’t really know where I wanted it to go. I didn’t have a completely clear idea of how to make the rest of the fic interesting after I had cut out all the old and dumb plotlines from the earlier Revisions. And I was busy with college. That was pretty much all it took.

    But then I got the idea. The idea that made everything suddenly come together in my mind. I finally knew how the plot needed to progress, and what everything was leading up to. But the years I had taken off had disillusioned me. The chapters I had already written had ceased to make any sense whatsoever, and I would need to change far, far too many things if I was going to write the plot to Part 2 of the fic. Not only that, but no one would have any idea what was going on and no new readers would be likely to read the fic ever again.

    So then…


    Revision 11
    Rewrite 4.0 – (Started 04/10)
    Bam. The Fourth Rewrite. I actually started it long before making this thread. It just took me that long to finalize my plans for how the earlier chapters should go. This is where we’re at now. And after all the work it’s taken to get this far…I’m pretty happy with it.

    ~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


  22. #97
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    how much longer until chapter 8?
    I really can't wait!

  23. #98
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    I'm here for that chapter review exchange!

    Anyway, don't have much(or really anything) to say regarding the prologue that would be beneficial for you so Chapter 1.

    For the most part I liked what I saw in Chapter one, while we didn't necessarily get thrown into the thick of things we got our main characters, his raison d'etre, and some intensity. It all worked so well together because you kept restarting and fine-tuning this fic. to your liking. Your flow, description, and grammar was pretty spotless. I'm assuming that trainer with the Charizard was Lance a.k.a the Johto/Kanto Champion himself. I already feel as though there's more of a distinct immediate connection with the reader and your main character because of the choice of narrative you use, though it can be tricky to make use of it, you do so well. Again, my assuming mind is thinking that's because of the restarts you've done with this story. When it comes to your MC's "purpose" it's definitely a bit of a stand-out compared to trainers who usually want to go on a journey compared to someone who simply wants to travel and be with their friends and not get caught in such things like being a pro trainer. Regarding Team Rocket, you expanded on them nicely and it was quite well-done. In particular there influence and just how hidden Giovanni's true goals are. Does seem a bit weird that trainer would hand out cards if he's plotting to take down TR, wouldn't that open the chance to being found out if one of these cards got lost?

    I realized that the odor saturating the air was burning flesh.
    Seems a bit weird, he has a nose for something so unique as burning flesh?

    These woods had been filled with Pokémon, all of them now dead.
    A bit unrealistic, every single Pokemon in such a large area dead? No survivors?


    I stared, unable to believe it. The lizard’s normally glossy orange scales were burnt black, and with each breath its body shuddered, as though it were cold despite the fact that its body was filled with warmth.

    Shaking slightly, I reached a hand towards it. I didn’t know why I was doing it—it was like my arm was moving on its own. So far the Charmander hadn’t reacted to my presence at all. I took a deep breath before awkwardly attempting to pull the blackened scraps of leaf and wood away from it. The lizard’s body jerked suddenly upon having its skin exposed to the air like that, and I pulled my hand back immediately.
    Excellent details and descriptions, those.


    In an instant, a flash of white light burst forth from inside it and began to take the form of a huge dragon, upright and majestic.
    Charizard "majestic" nothing wrong with it, but I think of something like Altaria and Dragonair as majestic. I think of Charizard as more muscular and strong a figure.


    Anyway, I wish I could say more but I didn't catch many other things that I think needed critic or insight from me. Plus it's only Chapter one.

  24. #99
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    Dec 2012
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    Chibi, are you still here? If you are, pleeease update and add me to the PM list!

  25. #100
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    It...it has occurred to me that I should probably post to let people know that I haven't died and I actually am going to start this up again. I never officially stopped, I just got caught up in a very time intensive project that I had to focus on for financial reasons...like paying rent and being able to buy food. Yeah...stuff like that. >>;

    I've recently gotten a lot better at managing my time and my many projects, so this should be seeing the light of day again soon. I'm sorry for letting LC die again. ;-; I just needed to get my life into a more stable position, that's all.

    ~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


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