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Thread: PMD: Sentience

  1. #1
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    Default PMD: Sentience

    Hello, everyone! This is Kukansis, and I'm a very new face to both Serebii and Fan Fiction. This is a story I thought up after a conversation with Knightfall back when I first joined this forum.

    It will have some violent scenes, including some descriptions of blood and wounds, but will for the most part be rather mild.

    So, may I present: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Sentience
    ___________________________

    Prologue: Blaze Town

    “Hey, wake up, Charmander!”

    Charmander slowly opened his eyes to see who had disturbed him. He blinked a couple of times before his vision returned. He turned and saw that it was a Cyndaquil, barely visible by the fires on his back, that had woken him.

    “What’s going on?” he asked groggily as he rose to his feet, propping himself on a nearby rock to avoid falling back over.

    “Infernape’s says he’s got something important to tell us all!” the Cyndaquil exclaimed.

    Charmander rubbed his forehead with his free hand as he sighed. “Infernape? Doesn't that guy always have something ‘important’ to say?”

    A small fire shot out of the rodent’s back. Charmander had knew that it was a sign of either fear or nervousness; he’d been with this Cyndaquil, Robb, for most of his life. Robb responded after the sparking flame dissipated. “Well, yeah... but this time, I think it’s different. Most of the town is coming out to see him.”

    “Haven’t we already dealt with him enough? He’s been spouting nonsense for-”

    “Aw, come on, Charmander!” Robb interrupted as another small blaze lit on his back. “It’s not like you have anything else to do!”

    Charmander shook his head, but it was true. He had nothing else planned. “Alright, fine, I’ll come along... Just give me a minute to wake up, alright?” Charmander finally released his grip on the rock that had been supporting him.

    Robb grinned and nodded. “Sure! Meet you outside, okay?”

    Before Charmander could even muster a response, Robb was off. That kid... He really needs to grow up sometime soon... That, or I need to learn to act my own age. Charmander yawned and stretched out his back. He turned and moved his tail ahead of him, allowing him to see in the near pitch-black darkness of his home, a simple and barren cave made of black volcanic rock. The walls were jagged and rough, the floor was not much better, and the ceiling was completely lost in shadow. He looked over at his sleeping spot: a small smooth section of the rocks. Everything was as he had found it. Alright, nothing’s out of the ordinary. Time to catch up with Robb.

    Charmander started walking off through the darkness of his cave. All that greeted him on his way out were more jagged black rocks, a few of which were high enough to trip him. He had long since learned where they were and knew just when and how to avoid them. Before long, he ran into Robb, still in the cave and moving very slowly, if at all. “Hey, thought you said you’d meet me outside!” Charmander taunted.

    If Robb’s back had not already been ablaze to light his path, it would have flared brightly from embarrassment. He spun around and faced Charmander before responding. “I-I was going to, but your cave is just so hard to navigate, and-”

    Robb stopped when he heard Charmander laughing. “I’m joking with you, Robb, I get it. Though I don’t think you mean ‘navigate’. It is a straight line of a tunnel.”

    “Yeah, but how do you even see where you’re going in here?” Robb asked, frowning. “Everything is the same stupid shade of black.”

    “It’s a learning process.” Charmander chuckled once more. “How did you even reach me down there?”

    “I... don’t know.” Robb admitted as he shrugged.

    “Well, come on, I’ll show you the way back out. Just follow behind me, okay?” With that said, Charmander stepped around and in front of Robb. He walked slowly forward, letting Robb follow behind his flaming tail.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Charmander passed through the exit, entering the bright morning sunlight. The sunlight sent a wave of comfort through him, as well as making his scales shine a bright side of gold. He turned back around and sat down, facing Robb as he came out of the cave. “You could’ve told me it was a nice day. I might’ve come out a little easier.”

    “I didn’t think about it back there.” Robb said as he passed the threshold out of the cave. He took a second to calm himself down and to cool his flaming back. “Besides, you’re coming anyways.”

    “True, true... Though you may want to wipe off your face a little.” Charmander barely suppressed a laugh. Robb was covered in black powder from the cave. “I’m guessing you tripped?”

    “Yeah, yeah... But that’s your fault, since you’re the one living in that dark cave.” Robb joked.

    “Sure makes it a lot easier to sleep. Besides, no reason for me to hang around in Blaze Town all the time.”

    Robb seemed to ignore him as he looked up to the sky. “Oh! We’re going to be late if we don’t start moving down there now!”

    “Like it really matters,” Charmander muttered under his breath before speaking up. “Why is this so important?”

    “I don’t know. Infernape’s getting everyone he can who will listen though. He said it will start just before midday.”

    “It?” Charmander asked. “His meeting or whatever he’s talking about?”

    Robb opened his mouth to respond, but stopped and stared off at something far off and above Charmander.

    Charmander stood and started to turn around. “What are you-”

    Charmander bit his tongue when a large insectoid Pokémon came into his view. It was far away, but Charmander didn’t know who it was and didn’t want to risk being overheard. Its four wings made a loud buzz, even from the distance it was at. As it came closer, Charmander noticed that it was holding another Pokémon, a pink quadrupedal Pokémon. He was surprised when the duo started to land near him.

    He tried to identify them, but he couldn’t. The insect had large red-tipped wings and black spikes running down its back, and as if it wasn’t intimidating enough, its eyes were a menacing shade of red and split into three sections each. It was easily three times larger than Charmander, more than big enough to carry the pink one. The quadruped had large ears and piercing purple eyes, and stood just barely taller than Charmander.

    Charmander eyed them both warily as they made their descent. The bug type stopped a few inches above the ground, almost close enough that the Pokémon it was carrying could touch the ground.

    “Excuse me,” the pink Pokémon said, freeing itself from the bug’s grasp and landing perfectly. “Do you know if anyone’s gone up this mountain today?”

    Charmander started to respond, but Robb ran up beside him and spoke before he could. “That’s a volcano, and nobody’s gone up there in years. The only way up is through a Mystery Dungeon or flying, and there’s nothing-”

    “In years?” the insect responded, interrupting Robb. “That should make our task much easier.” The quadruped turned to it and nodded in response. The sun reflected off the jewel in its head straight into Charmander’s eyes, blinding him momentarily.

    “What are you even doing here, anyways?” Charmander replied cautiously as he rubbed one of his eyes.

    The quadruped chuckled slightly. “It’s nothing kids like you’d need to worry about. Just think of us as... Researchers.” She walked back over to her colossal friend. They worked together to get into their flying position once more, and they flew off before Charmander or Robb could even respond.

    “Kids?” Charmander questioned, despite the duo leaving earshot. “We’re both getting pretty old to still be called kids.”

    Something about this just isn’t right, Charmander complained internally. There’s nothing but lava up there... I know that for a fact. What could they-

    “Charmander! We’re going to miss out on the story!” Robb shouted.

    “Alright, alright! Let’s go! Jeez, Robb, don’t have a heart attack.”

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    They walked into Blaze Town and saw everyone beginning to gather at the town square. “What’s this all about?” Charmander asked aloud to himself.

    “Didn’t you hear?” a Tepig called out from the side before Robb could answer. “Infernape’s called for everyone. Says he’s got some important news.”

    “Is everyone so trusting of him?” Charmander stifled a growl. “Robb, this is seeming more odd by the second.”

    Robb shrugged. “All the more reason to come, right?”

    “True... Whatever it is, we should go see what he wants,” Charmander replied. The Tepig nodded and ran off.

    They walked through the surprisingly barren streets. Blaze Town was normally busy, but today there were only a few Pokémon around. “Guess this is important...” Charmander scratched his head as they walked into the town square, which was bustling with Pokémon. Infernape was already speaking when they finally got within earshot.

    “...That’s why Blaze Town must be evacuated. The mountain will erupt today, and we will not be safe from its wrath.”

    Yep, gone senile. Charmander held in a laugh as someone in the crowd spoke up.

    “How do you know that? There’s no way you could even hope to predict that!”

    Charmander was just close enough to hear the quiet response, “No, not predict...”

    Then the ground began to shake. The tremor increased until it knocked most of the Pokémon off of their feet. A few weaker buildings collapsed, spreading loose bricks across the streets. Only a few seconds after it had started, the shaking stopped.

    Smoke began to billow out from the volcano’s peak. Surprisingly, Infernape was the first to stand back up. Despite his age, he had been the most prepared. Before the shock of the earthquake had worn off, he began shouting at the dazed Pokémon near him. “Don’t just lay there! Get out of here before it gets worse!”

    Charmander watched in stunned silence as the ensuing chaos began. The Pokémon all rushed off, either to their own homes to save their valuables or directly away from the volcano. Some were even scared enough to run over those still getting up. Such fear and panic were new to him, and he didn’t know quite how to react. He was finally woken up from his stupor by a Ponyta’s heavy hoof ramming into his stomach, causing him to wheeze for air. Robb started tugging him backwards just as he recovered his breath. “Come on, Charmander! We have to get out of here!”

    Charmander nodded and got to his feet. “Yeah, we-” Charmander began before his mind caught up. The researchers! He turned back towards the volcano and started heading off. He didn’t make it very far before Robb sprinted ahead of him, cutting him off.

    “What are you doing?! The volcano’s exploding!”

    “Yeah, and there’s two Pokémon probably stuck on top of it that need help.” Charmander moved to pass Robb. Robb’s back seemed to explode, sending forth flames in all directions as he realized what was being planned.

    “What?! You’re insane! You can’t possibly be thinking of-”

    “Going to the summit?” Charmander turned back towards Robb. “Yes, I am, Robb. Someone has to, and everyone else seems to be too busy losing their minds to help.”

    “Help? What could you do to help them? You can’t get up there!”

    That’s where you’re wrong. Charmander barely avoided saying. “Might as well try, right?”

    “But they can fly! Wouldn’t they just-”

    “Robb, you know better than I do that Pokémon can’t fly if their wings get covered in ash. And look at that smoke! There’s no way that bug’s wings are still clean!”

    “Charmander, you can’t-”

    “Succeed?” Charmander interrupted. “Maybe not, Robb. But are you seriously willing to let two Pokémon just burn to death up there?”

    Robb cringed. “No, but... I...”

    Charmander smirked. “Robb, I can hold my own, don’t worry.”

    A surge of Pokémon began to rush past Charmander, as they all finished their business inside the town and began to flee. Robb began to shove against the flow, pushing towards Charmander. “That’s the problem, Charmander! I know you can’t hold your own in there! Hardly anyone in the village can!”

    “Hardly anyone has tried!” Charmander had to shout to overcome the noise of the panicking Pokémon surrounding them.

    Robb was having more trouble getting to Charmander by the second. The Pokémon began to shove each other to get away, and Robb was far enough out to get caught in the crossfire. “You can’t expect to do this alone!”

    “No, but does it look like there’s any other choice?” Charmander staggered as a Combusken rammed its way past him, nearly knocking him over in the process. “They’re certainly not going to help!”

    At that moment, something seemed to change in Robb. His fear seemed to shift to determination in an instant as he realized that Charmander wouldn’t be dissuaded. “Then let me go with you!”

    Charmander’s face blanched as terror struck him. He replied almost instantly. “No, Robb. You’ll evacuate too.”

    “What?” Robb reeled back as Charmander’s command hit him. He took a few hard shoves from the surrounding Pokémon before he regained his senses. “W-why?”

    “You have something to lose, Robb! If you die, how do you think your family would take it? Think about it, I don’t have any such ties! No one will even know I’m gone besides you.”

    “But, Charmander, I don’t want you to die!"

    As if on cue, Robb’s father came up behind him. “There he is!” the Typhlosion shouted as he rushed towards the Cyndaquil. “Come on, Robb! We have to leave NOW!!” Without waiting for Robb’s response, the Typhlosion picked him up and started rushing away. Robb tried to resist for a moment, but it a wasted effort.

    “Stay alive, Charmander!” Robb yelled over the crowd as his parent carried him away.

    “I will!” Charmander shouted back as Robb vanished into the mass of running Pokémon. That was close! I couldn’t risk him getting caught in this mess. But... He turned back around and faced the volcano. Now it’s time for the hard part.


    ___________________________


    Author's notes: I know this chapter may seem a bit cliché. Don't worry, though, I'm working hard to make sure this story is interesting!

    A big thanks to Knightfall and Shadow Lucario 50 for reading over this latest version for me, and thanks to JX Valentine for helping guide this into its current state.

    I'll be writing a lot in the new year, so expect more soon!
    Last edited by Kukansis; 3rd September 2014 at 7:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    Hello there! I noticed you didn't have any reviews, so I thought I would come and share some of my thoughts and see if I can be of any help to you.

    I'll start off with my nitpicky parts:

    Everything was still as he found it.
    I assume you forgot to put an 'as' between 'was' and 'still.'

    If Robb’s back hadn’t already been ablaze to light his path, it would’ve flared brightly.
    This just seems a little weird. I know that you're saying that that Robb's back was already ablaze, but the wording is just strange. Maybe if you add "from indignation/frustration/etc." at the end? Sorry if I didn't explain myself properly.

    Robb opened his mouth to respond, but stopped and stared off at something.
    Again, just seemed a little weird. Staring at something far away? Behind Charmander's back? On the ground? A little specification helps your audience get a clearer picture of whatever you're describing.

    “Kids?” Charmander questioned idly, despite the duo leaving earshot.
    "Idly" doesn't really contrast with the fact that the two other Pokémon were out of earshot, so I'm not sure "despite" would be the proper transition word for use. Removing the comma and using 'as' or 'after' or just inverting the sentence may make more sense.

    Charmander scratched his head as they walked into the town square, which was bustling with people.
    Might want to replace "people" with "Pokémon."

    Robb’s back seemed to explode into a shell of fire as he realized what was being planned.
    I don't know if you would put a "shell of fire." You could say that his flames fanned out into the shape of a shell or something similar.

    “But, Charmander, I don’t want you to die!
    Needs a second pair of quotation marks at the end.

    On another note, I thought it was a bit peculiar that you named the Cyndaquil "Robb" while everyone else just went by the name of their species. It's not a bad thing, I just thought it was oddly curious.

    You could also do with a bit more description; I get that it's a mountain with a bunch of Pokémon, and since people on here are Pokémon fans, we'd be expected to know what they look like. It still seems somewhat bare, though when you described the two stranger Pokémon you used very nice diction. I think that this could turn out rather well; I haven't played Pokemon Mystery Dungeon or read any fics on it, but this seems like it could be quite fun. I look forward to more good things from you, and good luck!
    Last edited by starliteevee; 2nd January 2014 at 7:33 AM.


    My fic, Drowning.
    Cye of the Torrent is my bishie.
    Credit to Sketchie of Coronet Designs

  3. #3
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    Hi there! I've seen you a few times Kukansis (from Knightfall's friendlist). I'm new to Fanfiction (mostly) too, but the first step us always putting up your story.

    Anyways, onto the review!

    Quote Originally Posted by starliteevee
    You could also do with a bit more description;
    Exactly that. The descriptions were a bit on the bland side. And a couple other things that starliteevee mentioned. But I was wondering if the Charmander had a name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kukansis
    I know this chapter may seem a bit cliché.
    Cliché? It doesn't seem that cliché, except for the Heroics scene, where Charmander goes for the bug and quardruped. I think it was actually nice and intresting. Your dialogue feels natural, which is good! Characters give life to stories.

    There's not much I can say other than that and since starliteevee said them already.

    So I'll just say that your story's so far, so good. I hope you keep it up.


    Credit to Astral Shadow

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the review! I honestly didn't expect to receive one so quickly!

    I assume you forgot to put an 'as' between 'was' and 'still.'
    Actually, no, that's the way I meant to write it. Though that is a weird sentence in retrospect, so it's a problem area either way. Thanks for pointing that out!

    Also, this just seems a little weird. I know that you're saying that that Robb's back was already ablaze, but the wording is just strange.
    Yeah, I get how that seems confusing. I'll fix that, too. And don't worry, I understand what you mean.

    Again, just seemed a little weird. Staring at something far away? Behind Charmander's back? On the ground?
    I see what you're saying. I'll fix that here and try to avoid skimping on the description/specification with actions like this later.

    "Idly" doesn't really contrast with the fact that the two other Pokémon were out of earshot, so I'm not sure "despite" would be the proper transition word for use.
    Huh, I didn't even think of that. I'm not sure why I used "despite" in that context.

    I don't know if you would put a "shell of fire." You could say that his flames fanned out into the shape of a shell or something similar.
    Oh, right, otherwise it might be taken literally, and fire doesn't really make shells. Makes sense, and I'll work on that wording.
    I'll fix those other two errors you pointed out as well.

    On another note, I thought it was a bit peculiar that you named the Cyndaquil "Robb" while everyone else just went by the name of their species. It's not a bad thing, I just thought it was oddly curious.
    It does seem odd that only he gets a name. Problem is, he and Charmander were the only characters being truly introduced in this chapter, and Charmander is nameless on purpose. But you're right, it is rather strange to have only one name thrown out there, and I'll see if I can mitigate that problem in future chapters.

    You could also do with a bit more description;
    I did seem to be very light on most of the descriptions, now that I look back over this. I'll work on putting more into my later chapters, and I'll see if I can't work some more into this one.

    I'm glad you liked it, and I'll get to work fixing up what you've pointed out. Thanks again, starliteevee!

    And I didn't see you there at first, TheCharredDragon! Thank you as well!

    I will work on the descriptions, as I said above. I know that's a bit of a weak point for my writing, which can be really bad if I'm not careful.

    And I'm happy to hear you enjoyed it!
    Last edited by Kukansis; 2nd January 2014 at 6:49 AM.

  5. #5
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    Chapter 1: Inside the Volcano

    Charmander had to weave his way upstream through a river of screaming Pokémon to get where he was going, but his course was set. More than a few times he was shoved to the side by larger Pokémon rushing past him, but he continued straight out of the town.

    He had to stop and catch his breath once he escaped the panic. He looked up towards the volcano’s peak, looking at the smoke billowing out. The smokescreen had thickened into a black cloud, streaming out of the volcano and looming overhead. Looks like it’s getting close to erupting... Hope the tunnels haven’t flooded yet.

    Once he got his breathing back under control, he rushed off once again. He didn’t slow down at all once he entered his cave, nearly making him trip as he lost most of his vision to the darkness. His tail was the only source of light, but he had gone through the tunnels enough to know where he needed to go.

    Charmander rushed forward into his room and whipped his flaming tail ahead of him. Everything was still undisturbed.

    Of course. No one’s going to be in an active volcano. Now where was it? Charmander moved around until he found a small crack in the ground a few feet away from where he slept. Charmander smirked as he ran ahead and bent over, preparing to strike. Let’s hope this still works... Here goes nothing!

    He smashed his fist into the cracked rock, causing the ground to shake. He stood back up and readied himself for the fall as the ground began to give way. It crumbled out from beneath him, dropping him right into the newly formed ravine.

    Even before he hit the ground, he heard the rocks above him beginning to reform. The Mystery Dungeon seemed to regenerate the ground every time he shattered it, despite the cave still being outside the dungeon itself. He breathed out a sigh of relief, still focusing on the ground that he was quickly approaching. At least the Dungeon still seems to be working the same. I was worried for a minute that it’d be different because of this eruption.

    His legs slammed into the ground, sending a spike of pain through his whole body. He yelped and fell to his side, but immediately silenced himself. “That will never get any better, will it?” he muttered to himself. “Maybe when I evolve it’ll...” The sounds of nearby skittering insects immediately stopped him.

    That was fast... normally I have a minute or two before these guys start coming!

    He stumbled onto his feet, still sore from the landing. He swished his tail back and forth, trying to find his enemy. At last, he saw his opponent: a steel-plated ant on his left, about to bite down on his moving tail. He barely had time to dodge before the insect’s steel jaws clashed together.

    Yikes! They are way more aggressive today! Must be something to do with them being as scared of the lava as us!

    He shot flames out at the bug and it screeched in pain as the heat surged over it, almost melting the metal covering the unfortunate insect. It rushed at Charmander, but he jumped out of the way as it slammed into the wall. It turned around, but the flame had hurt it too badly and it fell limply to the ground.

    Huh, a weak one, Charmander noted. Normally it takes a few hits to knock one out. Or is this heat messing them up? Why’d these guys even move to a volcano? It makes no sense!

    He heard more approaching, but none of them moved close enough to see. He braced for a sudden impact, but one never came.

    It took him a second, but he started to notice the room getting brighter. The Durants surrounding him slowly became more visible, their silver plating reflecting a strange orange tone. He understood it too well. Not now, volcano, not now! he shouted in his mind. He turned around and saw magma beginning to flow inwards from deeper inside the tunnels, heading right for him. The Durants began to scream and hiss, running in fear towards the other end of the tunnel. Charmander wasted no time following them.

    He ran for only a few moments before the environment took a drastic change. The dull orange light of the magma vanished all at once, only to be replaced by bright light from torches lining the walls, nearly blinding Charmander. The room suddenly shifted into a large square, an extreme change from the small tunnel he had just been running in. Must’ve crossed over into the Dungeon itself... Lucky me.

    After his eyes adjusted to the light of the Dungeon, he looked around for an open passageway. He found one to his left and calmly walked through it. The first room always seems to be empty. Though, the second-

    His train of thought was interrupted by the sight of a Silver Spike flying past his head. “Whoa!” he shouted in surprise, diving deeper into the tunnel to find his opponent. Another spike flew at him, and this one scraped his left arm.

    He rounded the corner and identified his assailant: a Pansear carrying multiple Spikes in his hands. It tossed another one, but Charmander dodged it easily as the Pansear no longer had him in a bottleneck. He rushed ahead and slammed his fist into the Pansear’s chest, throwing it backwards and scattering its collected projectiles. The Pansear fell over, giving Charmander time to rush ahead while it stood back up. He hit it once more, this time on its head. The Pansear wobbled for a few moments before falling face first into the ground.

    When he calmed down, he noticed the pain in his scratched arm. He looked down at it and was happy to see that his arm was fine, minus a small section where the scales had been cut off. I have to be more careful. I don’t have one of those fancy badges to kick me out of here if I fail... And they’re not sending a rescue team into a hidden dungeon in an exploding volcano, either.

    He spun around, searching for anything he could find. The Pansear’s Spikes still lay scattered on the floor, but Charmander didn’t want them anyways. He saw an orb, unidentifiable from the distance he was at, but decided against getting it. Finishing his spin, he realized the stairs to the next floor were right beside him.

    He ran up to the second floor and found himself next to the stairs to the third floor. “Oh, I’m in luck, it seems,” he said to himself. He went up the stairs and found an empty room.

    Three pathways led out of the room; two straight ahead of him and one to his right. A Durant came out of the right path and tried to engage him. Charmander shot a fireball at it before it even exited the tunnel, and it didn’t even have time to move before the flame overwhelmed it, causing it to fall unconscious. “Guess I’m not taking that path, then,” he stated with finality. He headed into the farthest path from the Durant’s and found that both the other exits converged right outside the room. “That simplifies things...”

    He continued down the tunnel until he reached the next room. There were no sounds coming from the next room. The stairs were in the room, but nothing else appeared to be there. A chill ran up his spine as he stared into the empty room. Something's not right here. He looked over his shoulder to see if anything else was behind him. Confirming that nothing was coming after him made him even more uncomfortable. Then whatever is wrong is up ahead... But it's also the only way up. Charmander faced forward again and started walking.

    The moment he stepped in, Pokémon began to jump out from every side, dig out from the ground, and even fall from the ceiling. “Crap, a monster house!” he thought aloud.

    He turned around and began to run, but they were equally fast. I’m not gaining any ground, he realized, so there’s only one way out of this. He ran through a slim section of the tunnel, and turned back towards his enemies. I hope this works! He took in a deep breath, trying to get in as much air as he possibly could. Then, he shot out as much fire as he could towards the incoming Pokémon.

    The amount of flame that he managed to breathe out surprised himself. The exertion sent another shockwave of pain through him, draining the air from his lungs and making him lose his balance. He toppled forwards and barely stopped himself from slamming into the ground. I really should practice these things before I try them. He raised his head to see what damage he had done.

    Three Pokémon, all of them Durants, were knocked out. More Pokémon were coming from behind, though.

    “Why is it... that I only... hit Durants with fire?” he complained between gasps. He got back to his feet. He had just enough time to see something move towards him, and he jumped backwards. A Gravelerock hit the ground perfectly ahead of him, right where he would have been.

    Great, another Pansear. He looked ahead and saw the Pansear, carrying many more Gravelerocks in one arm. It almost seemed like it was being guarded by two Slugma that were approaching Charmander.

    Dodging the Gravelerocks was easy enough, and he had enough time to catch his breath before the Slugma got to him. Guess I’m not practicing this, then.

    He focused all the energy he could into his small claws, and slashed at the two Slugma. His claws connected, but one of the Slugma had come too close. He felt a searing heat rush over his right arm as it rushed through the liquid sking of the Slugma, making him cringe. A pair of Gravelerocks hit him before he could even pull back his arms. One smashed into his flaming tail, sending pain spiking through his entire body. The other slammed into his nose, making him stagger backwards. The Slugmas drooped downwards into puddles on the ground as they lost consciousness.

    Charmander quickly wiped under his nose with his burned arm, expecting to see blood running from his nostrils. He was surprised when he saw his arm was still clean, although an ashy tone on his scales showed the true injury. He woke from his dazed state when another Gravelerock came flying at him. He barely managed to dodge it, ducking just before it could hit him in the forehead.

    “I hate thrown items...” he muttered to himself as he prepared to charge at the Pansear. But before Charmander could approach it, something rammed into his back and knocked him off his feet. He didn’t regain control of himself in time, and he landed sprawled on the ground.

    Don’t tell me, he mentally complained, flipping onto his back to see his aggressor. That was a Durant.

    And he was correct. A large Durant stood in his old position, hissing angrily. Well, at least I know how to deal with them.

    He stayed on his back and breathed in to shoot another fireball. But just before he could exhale, a Gravelerock flew in and hit him in the stomach. It threw off his aim, and he ended up shooting fire at the ceiling.

    “Drat!” he shouted, rolling to the wall of the tunnel to dodge the now incoming Durant. It charged past him with barely an inch between them. Luckily, the Pansear had thrown all of his Gravelerocks, and had begun to charge as well.

    The two wild Pokémon collided behind Charmander and were dazed by the impact. He rushed to his feet and found out that it was a bad idea to do so. His back was more injured than he thought from the steel of the Durant hitting him and he could barely hold himself up.

    More Pokémon were coming from the monster house now. A Rhyhorn became visible behind the Pansear, who was still recovering from the impact. The Durant had recovered and was preparing to charge at Charmander.

    I’ve got one shot at this... He took as deep a breath as he could, and immediately shot it back out as fire. The back injury had taken its toll, though, and he was unable to even breathe out any fire. The Durant rammed into him, once again knocking him off his feet.

    He rolled in mid-air and caught himself on his arms and knees. He tried to push himself back up, but the Durant came running right back, ready to tackle him once more.

    Something stirred in Charmander’s body. The fire that only moments ago he didn’t have the strength to create was now surging through his lungs, forcing itself around his body. He took a quick breath in, but it somehow felt deeper than any of the others he had taken.

    Charmander released the fire that he had built up. A fireball of relatively massive size escaped his mouth and enveloped the Durant and the Pansear behind it. The impact of the fireball threw them into the incoming Rhyhorn. The Durant slammed into the Rhyhorn’s head, knocking out the Durant and nearly throwing the Rhyhorn off its feet. The Pansear flew into the Rhyhorn’s stomach and fell limply to the ground, not even budging the great rock Pokémon.

    “How...” Charmander mumbled, thinking he was going mad. "Did I... just do.. that?” He gasped for air and his arms weakened beneath him. He quickly looked over his enemies, trying to find a way out.

    The Rhyhorn was shaking its head and seemed to be recovering from the collision, while the two others lay unmoving. Charmander continued glancing around, and saw something reflecting off of one of the unconscious Durant's metal plating. “Is that...” he started, but could not finish. Instead, he crawled as quickly as his tired body would allow to it, and happily picked up the tiny object.

    It was a small, unknown seed. Charmander swallowed it down without a second thought. Please be something other than a Vile Seed, he pleaded to himself.

    He found himself suddenly enveloped in some sort of magical energy. Within seconds, the world around him seemed to pause, and he found himself on the stairs behind the monster house’s Pokémon. Time began to flow again, and almost immediately, the Pokémon began to turn around to face his new position, somehow knowing what had happened. “That is so unfair!” he shouted as he scrambled up the stairs.

    He suddenly found it dark once again. He looked around and saw everything was once again in the dull orange glow of the lava. “Wait, is this the peak?” he asked aloud. He looked to his left and saw the quadruped from before, a look of horror barely visible on her face. I made it! I knew I could do it! He smiled and stood up again, straining to keep himself upright.

    Before he could speak, he felt an impact that threw him onto his stomach once more. What in the world-? He couldn’t finish the thought. An extremely loud buzzing overpowered him, and he felt his mind slow. It swiftly combined with the pain in his back, and he knew he couldn’t hold onto consciousness. No, I can’t fail now... he thought, desperately looking for a way out. There was nothing to save him, though, and he blacked out.

    ___________________________

    Author notes: Sorry for the wait! I had intended to get this out earlier...
    Anyway, I tried to put a lot more effort into my descriptions here, and I hope it shows.
    Last edited by Kukansis; 27th January 2014 at 6:43 AM.

  6. #6
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    Well, another chapter. Time to get reviewing.

    Now the descriptions were okay this time but I got a little dizzy after the monster house Durant hit Charmander and I wasn't sure how in the world he stood back up. But it could be just me. Because it might be clearer the next time I read Chapter One.

    Now, I'm not so sure about the pacing though. But since I'm not experienced in that, I won't say anything else. There were no typos that I spotted and nothing wrobg in my eyes in terms of grammer. But I gotta say that there was a little too much dialogue/thoughts. Sure, it gives off a bit more about the character, but would you really talk that much in a life threatening situation? But then again, when you're alone, you get a little crazy.

    That's just my thoughts on it though so don't have to change it.

    Now, what I liked about the chapter. I like it that you actually decided to have Pokémon throw projectiles in a dungeon. I rarely see that. I think this is the first time I read one. I also liked the monster house idea. I was thinking exactly the same thing. They appear out of nowhere in different ways depending of what kind of Pokémon they are.

    And good cliffhanger at the end. Anyways, there's not much else I can really say other than that so, keep up the good work!


    Credit to Astral Shadow

  7. #7
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    Going right in:

    Only his tail gave the cave some shape, but he had gone through the tunnels enough to know where he needed to go.
    The wording here is a bit awkward; I understand what you're saying (that the light of Charmander's tail allowed him to see the interior of the cave), but saying that the "tail gave the cave some shape" seems a bit clunky. Specifiying that "the light from his tail allowed him to see the interior of the cave" or something along those lines would help paint a better picture in your readers' minds.

    Charmander rushed forward into his room and whipped his flaming tail ahead of him. Everything was still undisturbed. Of course. No one’s going to be in an active volcano. Now where was it?
    Begin a new paragraph at "Of course." If I'm not mistaken, thoughts go the same way as speaking; whenever a new person speaks (in this case, Charmander, since he hadn't spoken before), begin a new paragraph.

    At last, he saw his opponent, a steel-plated ant on his left, about to bite down on his moving tail.
    To lower the amount of commas in this sentence (and to make it feel less choppy), you can either split it into two complete sentences or change the second comma into a colon. Technically, it's fine the way it is, but it reads smoother don't use so many commas.

    Why’d these guys even move to a volcano? It makes no sense!
    My thoughts exactly! :P

    He turned around and saw magma beginning to flow inwards from deeper inside the tunnels, and fast.
    You may want to change or remove the "and fast" part at the end. Since the subject was Charmander seeing the magma, "and fast" would apply to his sight. Meaning, that you're saying Charmander quickly saw the magma flowing. I realize you want to put it at the end of the sentence for emphasis; if so, you can say something along the lines of "and it was flowing fast" since repeating a verb also adds emphasis. Or if you're willing to sacrifice the emphasis, you can just put "quickly" or another word like it in front of "beginning."

    His train of thought was interrupted by the sight of a Silver Spike flying past his head. “Whoa!” he shouted in surprise, diving deeper into the tunnel to find his opponent. Another Spike flew at him, and this one scraped his left arm.
    "Silver Spike" and "Spike" don't need to be capitalized (nless they are referring to something special; I've never played the games before, so please excuse my ignorance ^_^. If they're just regular weapons the Pansear is using, then they should be lower-case.

    Three pathways led out of the room; two to the south and one to the east.
    Just curious: if he's underground, how can he tell which direction the paths are leading? By the sound of it, this dungeon is continuously changing, so him knowing the directions the paths lead while being underground seems odd. Unless he has some sort of certain direction-sense, since I guess it would be believable for Pokémon to have that.

    He continued down the tunnel until he reached the next room. There were no sounds coming from the next room. The stairs were in the room, but nothing else appeared to be there. It only took him one step into the room to figure out why it was so empty.
    This part in particular seems bare; mostly because you don't state how Charmander's feeling--or what he's thinking. At the end of the fourth sentence, he figured out why it was empty, which implies that he was curious, but you didn't make any mention of it. How does Charmander feel about the emptiness? Creeped-out? Scared? Worried? Indifferent? You let us see some of Charmander's thoughts, which helps your viewers get a clearer idea of how he's feeling; but otherwise, there isn't really anything. Making even some mention of how Charmander feels about this can add to the atmosphere you're trying to create. If the audience sees that Charmander is getting nervous, that adds to the overall mood and makes us nervous. If our hero worries about something, why shouldn't we?

    “Crap, a monster house!” he thought aloud.
    Now this helps set the mood. Here, he's obviously worried by his exclamation (and it gave me a chuckle :P). You can also removed the "thought aloud" part since you can simply put "shouted" or something similar.

    He fell and barely stopped himself from slamming into the ground.
    Seems a bit contradictory; if he fell, then how did he stop himself from slamming into the ground?

    But he didn’t get out of the battle unscathed. His right arm was burned by the Slugma, and two Gravelerocks had managed to him him in the process. The Pansear relentlessly continued throwing more and more at him.
    This could also use more description; we see Charmander faced with three foes, and you tell us how he managed to overcome the two Slugmas, but otherwise, it's very skimp on the detail. Unless you had mentioned afterwards that the Pansear had hit him twice, we wouldn't have known since you only describe Charmander slashing at the Slugmas with his claws. We also didn't know that Charmander got burnt until this sentence; adding a line about how he could feel the heat from the Slugmas' bodies left his skin burned while he was slashing at them would add more to the actual fight scene, so it at least appears more than "he slashed them with his claws and they went down."

    He stayed on his back and breathed in to shoot another fireball. But just before he could exhale, a Gravelerock flew in and hit him in the stomach. It threw off his aim, and he ended up shooting fire at the ceiling.
    This is better; detailing how the Gravelerock hitting him throws off his aim gives us a good picture.

    He took as deep a breath as he could, and immediately shot it back out as fire. The back injury had taken its toll, though, and he was unable to even breathe out any fire.
    I also really like this; him being unable to breathe fire makes it suspenseful and adds more tension :P


    This isn't bad; you could certainly use more description and emotion, but otherwise, it was quite good. You didn't have any typos or major grammar problems, which I applaud you for as that's something that I can never do XD Adding more detail would help flesh out your characters more; we get glimpses of Charmander's personality, but not too much beyond. Again, I haven't played any PMD games, so forgive me if I said something and turned out to be wrong about it. Not bad, and I know you'll only continue to get better!


    My fic, Drowning.
    Cye of the Torrent is my bishie.
    Credit to Sketchie of Coronet Designs

  8. #8
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    Thank you both again for reviewing! I'm happy to see both of you back here!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCharredDragon
    Now the descriptions were okay this time but I got a little dizzy after the monster house Durant hit Charmander and I wasn't sure how in the world he stood back up.
    I see that I messed up on the directions after that point, so I'll work on fixing that. And I tried to convey that he was hurting, but not exactly injured beyond movement. Perhaps I went overboard on that portion of description though.

    But I gotta say that there was a little too much dialogue/thoughts. Sure, it gives off a bit more about the character, but would you really talk that much in a life threatening situation?
    No, I probably wouldn't. I'll see if I can make it a bit less talky, but I do feel that I needed to give Charmander more definition, as he was still a little underdeveloped at this point. I'll see what's extraneous, though, and I'll try to tone it down.

    Now, what I liked about the chapter. I like it that you actually decided to have Pokémon throw projectiles in a dungeon. I rarely see that. I think this is the first time I read one. I also liked the monster house idea.
    Thanks, those were the two things that generally messed me up in the games, so I kind of tried to carry over that kind of challenge and frustration they give to this section. I'm happy to hear that it was unique as well!

    Quote Originally Posted by starliteevee
    The wording here is a bit awkward; I understand what you're saying (that the light of Charmander's tail allowed him to see the interior of the cave), but saying that the "tail gave the cave some shape" seems a bit clunky.
    Right, I'm forgetting to specify once again. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Begin a new paragraph at "Of course." If I'm not mistaken, thoughts go the same way as speaking; whenever a new person speaks (in this case, Charmander, since he hadn't spoken before), begin a new paragraph.
    That makes a lot of sense. I'll fix that, and I'll remember it in the future.

    To lower the amount of commas in this sentence (and to make it feel less choppy), you can either split it into two complete sentences or change the second comma into a colon.
    Ironically, I received the opposite advice for a scene in the prologue from one of its beta readers. Of course, that was a different situation, so you're probably both right on your respective topics. I'll look into that sentence and see what would fit best there.

    You may want to change or remove the "and fast" part at the end. Since the subject was Charmander seeing the magma, "and fast" would apply to his sight.
    Once again, that makes sense. I'll get that rewritten to apply the adjective to the right subject.

    "Silver Spike" and "Spike" don't need to be capitalized (nless they are referring to something special; I've never played the games before, so please excuse my ignorance ^_^.
    Well, Silver Spike is actually an item in the games, but the second "spike" probably should be de-capitalized. Don't worry, I'm glad you're pointing these out regardless, and I understand that not everyone knows PMD's terminology.

    Edit: I'm not certain how I missed them, but I am fixing those other two errors you pointed out between these two points. Somehow, I skipped over them on my first read-through of your review...

    Now this helps set the mood. Here, he's obviously worried by his exclamation (and it gave me a chuckle :P). You can also removed the "thought aloud" part since you can simply put "shouted" or something similar.
    I'm glad you liked that line! And I'll change that verb to something more fitting.

    Seems a bit contradictory; if he fell, then how did he stop himself from slamming into the ground?
    Hm, that is very confusing, now that I look over it again. I'll reword it to make more sense.

    This could also use more description; we see Charmander faced with three foes, and you tell us how he managed to overcome the two Slugmas, but otherwise, it's very skimp on the detail. Unless you had mentioned afterwards that the Pansear had hit him twice, we wouldn't have known since you only describe Charmander slashing at the Slugmas with his claws.
    Ah, right, that scene was part of my first draft where I had kind of left out a lot of detail... And for some reason I didn't rewrite it, apparently. I'll get to work writing that in a more "show, not tell" way.

    This isn't bad; you could certainly use more description and emotion, but otherwise, it was quite good. You didn't have any typos or major grammar problems, which I applaud you for as that's something that I can never do XD Adding more detail would help flesh out your characters more; we get glimpses of Charmander's personality, but not too much beyond. Again, I haven't played any PMD games, so forgive me if I said something and turned out to be wrong about it. Not bad, and I know you'll only continue to get better!
    I'll work hard on getting more of both into my chapters! And I'm planning on giving my characters a lot more to define them in the future, but I had trouble doing so while Charmander was alone and constantly in danger. Don't worry about not knowing the PMD terms. I'm just happy to get reviews either way.

    Thank you both once again! Chapter two shouldn't be too far off, after I get these previous two chapters patched up.
    Last edited by Kukansis; 27th January 2014 at 5:29 AM.

  9. #9
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    Chapter 2: Awakening

    Wh-what happened? I knew I couldn’t do that correctly... but where did we end up? What is going on?

    What am I?!


    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Charmander immediately sat up. “H-hello?” he managed to stammer out. His eyes were having trouble adjusting; everything appeared to be blurred together into a bright shade of gray. He heard no response, not even any sounds of movement beyond his own.

    Who said that? That certainly wasn’t me! he argued internally to convince himself. Am I just hearing things? Is there some sort of psychic Pokémon...

    Wait, that’s it! That pink Pokémon I was saving. It must be that one! It spoke to my mind! Does that mean...


    Before he could finish his thought, his head began to spin from sitting up too fast. He groaned, laid back down, and began to recollect his thoughts. I didn’t save those two... I got knocked out right at the summit. But that means... Wait, where am I?

    His eyes slowly began to come into focus, and objects began to take shape, but the gray tone did not disappear. It brightened to a reflective, near-blinding shade of white. The light was harsh, and Charmander had to shield his eyes as they slowly fixed themselves.

    “What is this stuff?” he wondered aloud, part of him still hoping for a response from someone. “Why is it so bright here? How did I get away from the volcano?”

    His thoughts were interrupted by a sudden pain in his tail. He jumped and turned around in midair, only to find nothing behind him but more of the white substance. He landed on his feet, and the substance crunched under them.

    “Hey, who just did something to my tail?” he shouted. Once again, he was met with silence. “What is going on...?” He checked his tail in an attempt to diagnose the pain. What he found created more questions than it answered.

    His scales were a dull shade of black. Rubbing at it revealed the golden tone he expected, but suggested something much more sinister. Guess it was a close call if I’m coated in this much ash.

    Suddenly, he realized how cold it was. The very air felt as if it were freezing, and Charmander knew he needed shelter. He looked around and realized he was in a small canyon between two cliffsides. Neither of the pathways out of the canyon seemed to lead anywhere safer, and only showed more of the strange white substance beneath his feet. He continued to look around until he saw a cave in the side of one of the rock walls.

    He ran towards it, but ended up tripping and falling into the white ground. His body smashed down the substance, and it fell on top of him from his sides, threatening to smother him. He easily pushed his way back onto his hands and knees and broke free of the covering. He felt another portion of it slide directly into the flame on his tail. Suddenly, he knew what had hurt him.

    “Ouch!” he screamed involuntarily, jumping up and brushing off his tail. “This stuff is water!” He charged into the cave, careful not to trip again.

    He ran straight through the cave until he could no longer see the light from outside. “That... was not fun,” he growled, checking his tail for any water left on it. He sighed, relieved that his tail was still burning brightly. He dusted all the remaining residue of the substance off of himself, then walked ahead. Now, where am I?

    He proceeded through the cave, unsure of where to head. It was a straight path through the cliffside, and he saw the exit to the other side before long. He was just about to leave, when he heard a small groan come from behind him.

    He jumped at the sudden sound, thinking it might have been an enemy, and nearly shot out a fireball by instinct. When he turned around, though, he saw that it was a small four-legged Grass Pokémon with a large bulb on its back, laying sprawled across the ground. “Finally, something else that’s alive...” he mumbled to himself. He took a deep breath to calm himself. “Hey, are you okay?”

    The Pokémon responded with a very weak cry: “Help... me...” Charmander came closer to see what was wrong, and was surprised to see the bulb was frozen solid. Upon closer inspection, it seemed to Charmander that the ice was actually moving, slowly enveloping the helpless Pokémon.

    “Whoa! That looks bad! I’ll get something to warm you up!” Charmander stated without stopping to think. He rushed out of the cave and found himself tripping again in the substance outside. “Ow! Stupid white water!” he complained.

    He pushed himself up and stopped to think. Okay, so there’s a grass Pokémon literally freezing over there and I need to save him by heating him up... My breath would probably be too much at once... so is there anything around to make a fire with?

    He glanced around, and saw there were many trees nearby. He looked upwards and saw that the sun was quite far away from the center of the sky. Okay, so it’s either early or late, so whatever I’m gonna do, I have to do it fast. Now, do I collect branches or find a way to cut those trees? After a few moments, he decided on collecting branches, as he didn’t know how to safely cut down trees, nor did he think his claws could even break through the bark.

    He ran from tree to tree, gathering any loose wood that had fallen off the trees and slashing at anything low enough for him to reach. The sea of white still assaulted his vision with its brightness, making it harder to even see the fallen branches. Even worse, the trees themselves were coated in the same substance, and more than once he found himself dropping more of it on his tail as he felled another branch. He managed to ignore the pain. After all, he had just been hurt much worse in his climb of the volcano.

    When he thought he had collected enough, he turned back to the cave. Wait a minute... His thoughts caught up with his actions, and the shock of it made him drop the branches he’d collected. How am I even standing?... Am I not hurt? It sure hurt when I was getting hit! He checked his burned arm, and was amazed to see no mark left, despite there being one when he first was burned. He looked around his body for any bruises, still finding nothing. He even tried to turn and look at his back before he realized he couldn’t do so. But how did this...?

    He shook his head. There’s no time for this, he realized, that Pokémon will probably die if I don’t get him melted out of that ice. He picked back up the branches and rushed ahead.

    He barreled his way back into the tunnel, arms still full of wood trimmings. He looked towards the Grass-type and saw that the ice now reaching towards its head. “What kind of ice spreads like that?” Charmander wondered aloud.

    He set down the branches and began to shoot fireballs at the pile. No matter what he did, though, the branches would not seem to ignite. They only steamed slightly as the white substance seemed to melt and drip over them. Oh, of course. The stupid white stuff prevents fires. He sat down and began to dry off the branches, and proceeded to slowly pile them one at a time near the Grass Pokémon’s still body. “Hey, are you still awake?” Charmander asked. The other Pokémon didn’t respond.

    Suddenly, his body seized up, every muscle seeming to tense up involuntarily as a feeling of panic rushed through him. It almost felt as if someone else was controlling him, forcing him into a paralyzed state. Even his breathing stopped as questions streamed into his head. Where am I? How did I get here? Did the town survive? How can I get home? What am I doing? What should I be doing? Is that Pokémon dead? Am I dead?

    Just as suddenly as the fear had overtaken him, it vanished, leaving him confused and gasping for air. He struggled to comprehend what just happened. Okay, I have no idea what is going on... but I’ll figure it out later. I still have a life to save right now.

    He waited for his breathing to return to normal before he turned back to see if the frozen Pokémon had responded. It remained stationary and soundless. That is a good question though... What if he is already dead? He walked over to the freezing Pokémon and began to check him for any signs of life. He tried to see if he still felt warm, before realizing that it was a worthless endeavor. It’s freezing to death; of course it’s not warm! He rolled it over onto its back. He smiled as he saw its chest moving in and out with air.

    He is alive, still... So I’m not just wasting time heating a corpse. Better get back to work. He walked back to his pile of branches, and began to dry and stack them again. He looked back up at the bulb Pokémon, and couldn’t help but sigh to himself. If the first Pokémon I find is already dying, this won’t be a nice place. Just what have I got myself into?

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    The moon had come up by the time he finished lighting the fire. Even with the drying he did, the branches had maintained their moisture well in the cold air, and did not stay burning unless he kept adding more flame to it. Eventually, he got it going well enough that the blaze sustained itself. He decided to step outside and see what the landscape looked like, since the white substance was no longer blinding him.

    A barren field of blue-gray was before him, stretching over the ground with no end in sight. He managed to see a few of his own footprints leading off into a forest, which was also covered in the same frozen water. What is this stuff anyways? I certainly never saw any of it around Blaze Town... And it’s not ice, that’s for sure.

    He looked up at the moon, and was happy to see at least something familiar. It looked no different from the one he always saw, a large white circle drifting slowly across this sky. At least I’m still on the same planet.

    He sat down, tired from all the work he just did, but also ready to try to figure out what was going on. So, let’s see. I’m in this frozen land, saving a Pokémon from near certain death. My scales... he thought, pulling his arm into the light his tail gave off. Have been coated in ash, which means that I was probably inside the explosion of the volcano.

    But I’d be near the volcano if that happened... And I’d be dead: melted, charred, turned to ash... Or at least would have broken something from the impact with the ground. I’m pretty sure I’m alive, though. No, something else has happened, but what is it?


    Charmander sighed and stood back up. It’s too cold to think out here. He turned back around and glanced over at the fire he had created. The Grass Pokémon was slowly thawing; the ice had receded onto its bulb. At least that stuff melts fast. Charmander walked back into the cave and laid down next to his fire. I can manage my thoughts tomorrow. I need to sleep now. He yawned, and found himself utterly exhausted. Must not have been asleep long in that canyon. Hope this fire stays lit while I’m out. He felt himself fading from consciousness, as if his body couldn’t take any more exertion without rest. Good night, whoever you are, grass guy. Don’t die while I’m away! With that last thought, he fell asleep.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    -No, but this can’t be right. If I’m no longer-

    -did I honestly forget how to-

    -no, something’s wrong... This isn’t my-


    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Charmander woke up, startled again by his sub-conscious thoughts. More thoughts that aren’t mine... If that truly is her, she needs to learn when to talk to people. He rubbed at one of his eyes tiredly. Being less cryptic would help, too... I should probably just go back to sleep. Charmander sat up and glanced over at the fire, which had burned off a large amount of Charmander’s collected firewood. But I have to keep that burning, too. He stood up and stretched, getting ready to walk outside, when he noticed a pair of eyes staring at him. It took him a second to realize what it was, but when he moved closer, he noticed it was the freezing Pokémon, still laying on its back. A rush of energy shot through Charmander, eliminating any thoughts of sleep. “You’re awake! That’s great!”

    The Grass Pokémon nodded slowly, obviously disoriented from seeing things upside-down. Charmander realized that he still was thawing: half of its bulb was still frozen solid due to being stuck to the ground. “Think you’re well enough to move on your own?”

    “I can try...” the Pokémon responded with a strange lack of emotion. It struggled to move its legs and tried to roll itself back over. Charmander cringed as he heard the ice on its back slowly cracking under its moving weight.

    “Actually, never mind. Let me help you.” Charmander walked over to his side and rolled him back on to his stomach. “There. Is that better?”

    “Barely... I’d like it if I could move again.”

    Charmander had to hold back a chuckle. “I’m working on that problem. Speaking of which, I’ll be right back. Gotta get more firewood.”

    He rushed out of the cave, feeling overjoyed that the other Pokémon was surviving. It was still nighttime, and he had a harder time navigating through the trees. He had to move deeper in just to find trees that hadn’t already been cut by him. He spent a few minutes gathering, which was much more painful to his tail since he didn’t have adrenaline running through him, but he managed to gather up a sizeable amount of the branches before he was too annoyed with the pain to continue.

    He turned around to carry them back, when he ran face-first into a tree. “Oof! That tree was not there a minute ago...” he mumbled to himself.

    “Just what do you think you are doing with those branches, hmm, Fire-type?” the tree questioned.

    Charmander realized this ‘tree’ was another Pokémon. He looked up at its face, and something told him he should be intimidated by it. It was a foot taller than him and, judging by how much his nose hurt, would not be easy to force his way past. “I’m trying to save someone’s life right now, and I need to make a fire to do it!” he stated in response, trying to move around the treelike Pokémon.

    The tree pushed him back, knocking the branches out of his hands in the process. “You overstep your boundaries. Your very presence here is enough reason to imprison you, and you wish to light fires in the forest?”

    “To save someone’s life, yes!” Charmander shouted back. “Isn’t that-”

    “It’s illegal, regardless of the circumstance. And I’d suppose you’re trying to save the Bulbasaur, correct? You already lit that fire in the cave?”

    Charmander responded with a shrug as he thought through the situation. “You already know, don’t you?”

    “Look, Charmander, I personally saw to it that he’d freeze. He has something that’s... Let’s just say it’s something very dangerous in the wrong hands, and we simply intend to make certain he no longer has it. We were just about to head back in and finish him off before we noticed you running around here.”

    “We?” Charmander asked.

    “You think I’d be foolish enough to go alone on such a mission? There’s plenty of other Snovers around here ready to go in case this plan failed... And ready to attack if you try anything more.”

    Charmander glanced around, but was unable to see anything but more of the real trees in the darkness. He turned back to the Snover as he felt his confidence beginning to waver. “Just what gives you the right to kill others to get what you want?”

    “What gives you the right to invade our homeland and save criminals?” the Snover asked before shaking its head. “Look, either you drop this stupid idea of saving him and get out of here, or we’ll kill you as well.”

    Charmander didn’t know what to think about the situation. The Snover seemed adamant on stopping him, and he wasn’t sure if he could take them all on. He folded his arms as he tried to think up a plan. “Alright, fine. I’ll leave. But can I-”

    “No, now go away.” The Snover turned around and began to walk away, not even waiting for another response. Charmander smirked to himself as a burning sensation moved through his throat and into his mouth. He gave the Snover a few seconds to move away before spitting a fireball straight into its back.

    The flame rushed across the vulnerable Snover, charring the leaves where it contacted. The Snover screamed in pain and stumbled forwards.

    “You’ll pay for that!” it shouted as it spun around, launching shards of ice at Charmander. He responded by firing another ball of flame at the Snover, piercing through the shards and melting them before they could hit. The Snover rolled to the side and the fireball exploded as it hit a tree. Steam shot into the air as the fire dissipated into the cold. The Snover turned back around and began to rush off towards the tunnel.

    Charmander rushed forward to knock him down and stop him, but it pulled out a small black sphere and slammed it into the ground, somehow managing to make it shatter despite the soft substance covering the ground. Charmander leapt back in surprise as a cloud of black smoke enveloped them both. He heard the sounds of the Snover scuttling away as he moved in the opposite direction to escape the smokescreen.

    “What just happened?!” Charmander shouted. After the smoke had cleared, Charmander realized he was alone again. He picked back up his branches and ran back to the tunnel and the recovering bulb-Pokémon. Jeez, this area is crazy... first solid non-ice water, then freezing Pokémon, now ice-flinging paranoid maniacs who carry around smoke bombs? I’d better get back there, and fast!

    When he returned to the cave, what he saw surprised him even further. Three Snover were now surrounding the Bulbasaur, who was struggling futilely as the Snovers worked to refreeze him. Another Snover, the one he had previously burned, was off to the side, trying to put out the campfire Charmander had built.

    “Hey, get out of here!” he shouted, dropping the branches and charging in. He slashed at the burned one, missing by less than an inch. The Snover gave Charmander a strange leer before running out of the cave, despite not being hit. Charmander decided to ignore it and focused on the remaining three. “Leave that Pokémon alone!” he yelled before breathing out another fireball.

    One of the unscathed Snover turned around just in time to have the fireball strike him in the face. It screamed as it lost its balance, falling onto its back. Charmander came running up to slash at it, but it rolled past him and out of the cave, not even bothering to stand up.

    Why aren’t they staying to fight? Charmander worried as he slid to a stop. They can’t be this scared of me...

    “Keep working on him,” one of the remaining Snover commanded, gesturing to the struggling Bulbasaur. “I’ll take care of the Charmander.”

    Charmander prepared to launch another Ember, but the Snover breathed out a cloud of mist, obscuring his vision. He spun around, looking for any sign of the Snover, but the mist was too dense. He heard something behind him, and turned just in time to see and guard his head from the Snover’s incoming arm. His arms weren’t able to stop the blow, and the force of the Snover slammed down against his skull, sending a shockwave of pain through his spine and nearly knocking him to his knees.

    Charmander retorted by shooting another fireball straight ahead of him. The mist almost seemed to absorb it; though the fireball cut a path through the mist, it vanished before it could impact anything. Charmander scanned the room until he found the Snover, for some reason facing away from him. Charmander sprinted forwards towards the Snover, preparing to shoot more fire at a moment’s notice.

    The Snover suddenly spun around, launching a blast of freezing air directly at Charmander. All of his functions slowed; his body was not ready for such a swift temperature change. He felt himself slipping both physically and mentally. He nearly succumbed to the cold, but a crazy idea flew through his mind.

    He began to breathe out fire once more, but this time he aimed for himself. His body reawakened with the new heat from the blaze now engulfing him, and an even crazier idea struck Charmander.

    The Snover had just ceased its attack when Charmander came rushing forwards, still on fire. He slammed into the Snover, causing the flame to burst off in all directions. The Snover flew back from the impact and slammed into the wall of the cave. It took Charmander a second to realize it, but the fire had spread to the Snover’s green arms, and it was now burning. The Snover looked down at his blazing hands and fear overtook his confident visage. It released a shrill cry of fear as it rushed out into the night.

    Charmander turned back to the final Snover, and saw that it was now on its back, unconscious. It took him a second to realize that the Bulbasaur had fought back. “Wait, how did you just...” he began to ask, but he turned and saw that the bulb-Pokémon was asleep again. He shrugged and rolled the Snover around, checking to see what damage had been done. He didn’t understand what he saw: the Snover looked completely uninjured. Charmander stared confusedly at the Snover for a second before realizing what he was doing. No time for thinking about it. Better just get it out of here.

    He had to struggle to even drag the Snover across the ground. He had to frequently stop and rest, and by the time he had pulled the Snover back into the forest, his arms felt like jelly. Guess this is the best I’ve got in me. But it’s nowhere near safe for us...

    He reached down to grab onto the Snover once more, but he felt so weak that he couldn’t pull it any further away. There has to be some way to get rid of him... He moved around to the Snover’s feet and began to push it forwards with his shoulder. He had shoved it a good distance away when he found himself suddenly tripping and slamming into the ground. He stood back up and shook the snow off of himself while he looked ahead.

    He blinked a few times to see if his eyes were tricking him. He reached forwards, and his hand felt nothing but empty air. The Snover had completely disappeared. Charmander ran a claw over his face as he shook his head. Guess that’s it then. Time to just... head back.

    He barely had the energy to run back to the cave. He was relieved to see that the Snovers hadn’t returned. I really need a break from all this insanity. Or at least some real sleep. He put the last branches on the fire, not caring that they weren’t dried yet. The fire hissed as the water fell, causing small puffs of steam to rise up and out of sight. I just hope we don’t get attacked again. I don’t think I can handle another battle.

    He tried to stay awake, but he couldn’t even keep his eyes open. Giving up, he decided to lay down next to the fire. The warmth of the fire was almost overpoweringly comfortable to Charmander; he hadn’t noticed how cold he truly was. As his body began to heat up, he felt himself dozing off. We’ll see what’s going on... Tomorrow.

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Well, this chapter took me a lot longer than I expected it to. Hopefully the time it took is reflected in its quality.

    This chapter may be kind of confusing, as it introduces a lot more than it explains, but don't worry. Chapter 3 will be a lot more clear about why this is all happening. (Or at least as far as Charmander can figure it out.)

    Thanks to Shadow Lucario 50 once more for helping me out with getting rid of the errors in this chapter, as well as the previous ones!
    Last edited by Kukansis; 12th February 2014 at 8:00 AM.

  10. #10
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    Well, Kukansis, another chapter. I'd like to say I'm happy to see it, but first, I want to point some things out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kukansis
    The moon had come up by the time he finished lighting the fire. Even with the drying he did, the branches had maintained their moisture well in the cold air, and did not stay burning unless he kept adding more flame to it. Eventually, he got it going well enough that the blaze sustained himself. He decided to step outside and see what the landscape looked like, since the white substance was no longer blinding him.
    Is it itself or himself? I didn't understand that sentence...

    Quote Originally Posted by Kukansis
    The Snover turned [its/his] back around and began to rush off towards the tunnel.
    There should have been either of those pronouns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kukansis
    Charmander rushed forwards to knock him down and stop him, but it pulled out a small black sphere and slammed it into the ground, somehow managing to make it shatter despite the soft substance covering the ground.
    Stumbled on that sentence. I suggest removing the "s" in the bold word.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kukansis
    he heard something behind him, and turned just in time to see and guard his head from the Snover’s incoming arm.
    Forgot to capitalize.

    Now anyways, I feel you've improved upon the description but I'm still iffy about the constant thoughts. I understand it adds to his character, but it seems a little iffy to me. As for confusion, it wasn't confusing at all. In fact I enjoyed it. Again, good so far and that's all I can really say so...

    CC out!


    Credit to Astral Shadow

  11. #11
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    Hello again, Charred! Glad to see you back here!

    Is it itself or himself? I didn't understand that sentence...
    I have no idea how I let that slip... It should be itself, so I'll fix that.

    There should have been either of those pronouns.
    Hm... That one, I'm not so sure about. I'm stating there that it turned back around, as in it was already turned around before and just turned again. I see what you're going for, though, and if the way I have it really is wrong, I'll certainly change it, but I think it makes sense as it is.

    Stumbled on that sentence. I suggest removing the "s" in the bold word.
    I always seem to default to 'forwards', despite knowing it's wrong in most scenarios... I need to cut that out.

    Forgot to capitalize.
    Well, that's certainly not an error I thought I'd miss... Thanks for pointing it out.

    Now anyways, I feel you've improved upon the description but I'm still iffy about the constant thoughts. I understand it adds to his character, but it seems a little iffy to me.
    I'm glad to hear that I'm still improving. The thoughts should slow down quite a lot, as he's not going to have to talk to himself all the time anymore. Not to say it'll be replaced with a bunch of unnecessary dialogue, but it'll certainly not be quite as prevalent in future chapters.

    Thanks again for reviewing, Charred! I appreciate it!
    Last edited by Kukansis; 12th February 2014 at 8:00 AM.

  12. #12
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    Chapter 3: Identity

    Enough about that, where-

    -but how did this-

    -Are we dead?


    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Charmander woke up slowly, his body not wanting to work again. Those messages just keep getting weirder... He decided to ignore the wild thoughts he had while sleeping, instead focusing on getting up and moving again. Why do I feel so tired? I literally just slept! He sat up and opened his eyes, finding himself outside of the cave with the sun already risen. How did I get out here? Wasn’t I next to the fire?

    He looked around and saw that he was on dead, slightly charred grass. A strange gap in the white substance he had grown to loathe had formed around him. Guess I melted a hole in it... But why am I out here?

    “Alright, so before I ask, thank you...” a voice called out from behind him. He turned around to see the Bulbasaur walking out of the cave. He spoke again while tilting his head slightly. “But, uh, what are you doing? I would think a living fire wouldn’t want to sleep in the snow.”

    Charmander couldn’t help but grin; his efforts had just saved a life, after all. “Must’ve been sleepwalking. Doesn’t matter anyway. How’re you holding up?”

    The Bulbasaur shook itself before responding, sending a few residual shards of ice off his back. “Not feeling perfect, but I can’t complain.” A vine shot out from the Bulbasaur’s back and flew in front of Charmander.

    Charmander grabbed the vine and pulled himself up, barely understanding the Bulbasaur’s gesture. “Thanks. Now I think we have a lot to talk about, but this... might not be the best of places.”

    A quick glance around showed many footprints in the snow. Charmander hadn’t paid enough attention to the Snover to know if the footprints were theirs, but the size of them alone made shivers run up his spine.

    “Yeah, you’re right. Where do you plan on going?”

    “Uh...” Charmander frowned and scratched his head. “To be honest, I have no idea where I am. Mind if I stick with you?”

    Bulbasaur stared at him in disbelief. “How did you even-” He stopped and shook his head. “Never mind. Feel free to stick with me. It’d probably be a lot safer.”

    Safer for you, at least. Charmander thought as he spoke. “Well, let’s get out of here then.”

    The Bulbasaur nodded and moved ahead of him, heading toward the forest he had collected firewood from. Charmander followed closely behind him, still searching the area for any motions or signs of life. He nearly ran into Bulbasaur when they suddenly stopped at the forest’s edge.

    “Oh, by the way, name’s Zeke. How about yourself?”

    “Uh...” Charmander was caught off guard by the sudden question. “To tell you the truth, I don’t have a name. Never got one.”

    “What?” Zeke snickered to himself and shook his head again. “You are just the weirdest Pokémon I’ve ever met. What, did you come from a Mystery Dungeon or something?”

    Charmander had no trouble picking up the mocking tone in Zeke’s voice. “N-no! I just didn’t get named. Is that so hard to believe?”

    “Yes, it is!” Zeke almost growled out as his humor gave way to irritation. “Maybe I’m missing something about you, but around here, everyone has a name. Some are more willing than others to give them out, sure, but everyone at least has one.”

    “I don’t, though!” Charmander replied as a mixture of anger and fear began to show in his voice. “Look, I don’t know where I am, I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t even know if saving you was a good thing! I’m completely lost here and you’re suddenly getting mad at me because I don’t have a name?”

    Zeke muttered something, but Charmander wasn’t close enough to hear what. “Fine, I’ll believe you, but you’ve got some explaining to do once we get somewhere safer.”

    I think we both do. Charmander nearly stated, but he held back and didn’t speak. Zeke stood still ahead, seemingly waiting for a response. After a few seconds had passed with no response from Charmander, he began to walk forwards.

    “Come on, it won’t take too long to get back to town.” Zeke called out, his voice suddenly devoid of the prior frustration. “Hope you’re ready to fight before we get there, though.”

    Charmander once again held his tongue as he began to follow the Bulbasaur into the forest. Man, talk about ungrateful. Is it really that hard to believe someone who just saved your life?

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Charmander had a growing sense that something was wrong. The deeper they went into the forest, the denser the trees to their sides seemed to become, almost making a forced path through them. Tracks of Pokémon became more frequent in the snow surrounding them, and their footprints continually confused Charmander with their shapes or sizes.

    It wasn’t until the trees had nearly formed a complete wall that Charmander got an idea of what was going on. “So, this place...” Charmander started as he glanced around. “It’s a Mystery Dungeon, isn’t it?”

    “No, not really,” Zeke replied dryly. “You should have already come through here, anyways. Why don’t you know this?”

    Does he still think I’m lying? Charmander was about to reply when Zeke suddenly leapt to the side. Zeke rolled sideways into the thick fence of trees, and Charmander barely had enough time to look back up before he realized why Zeke had done that.

    A forceful stream of water slammed him in the chest, tossing him backwards into the snow. The pain almost made him think he was being cut open by the water, and he involuntarily screamed as the sharp, stinging sensation rushed across his entire front half, made even worse by the snow smothering his tail. He grit his teeth as he fought to stand up, barely managing to get his legs under him as the pain began to subside.

    He looked back up at his attacker, only to see Zeke unleashing a barrage of sharp leaves towards it. Several red gashes appeared on the blue Pokémon ahead of him as the leaves sliced into its legs and face. The Pokémon’s finlike tail lashed back and forth, as if it were trying to reflect the leaves back. Zeke relentlessly continued his offense until the other Pokémon gave off a shrill and primal cry.

    As the barrage stopped, Charmander saw their opponent beginning to charge up another blast of water. Before it could unleash its torrent, Zeke rushed ahead to it and slammed headfirst into the Pokémon’s face. Their opponent held its ground for a few seconds after Zeke’s blow, but it began to sway back and forth as it lost consciousness, dropping heavily into the soft snow.

    Charmander clutched onto his sore chest as he tried to process what had happened. “What was that?”

    “A Vaporeon,” Zeke replied as he walked back towards Charmander. “Guess I got lucky there. I expected something that would hurt me more instead.”

    “Yeah, well, it sure did a pretty good job of hurting me,” Charmander replied as he began to try to sweep the water off of himself. “A little warning would’ve been nice.”

    “Yeah, but again, I was expecting an Ice-Type. I’d already moved before I realized it was more dangerous to you than to me.”

    “Sure you did...” Charmander grumbled to himself as he stopped trying to remove the water by hand. He breathed out a small stream of fire onto his chest, evaporating the liquid. The warmth also helped to dull the pain, though it still felt like a fresh cut on his chest. “So, any more surprises like that waiting for us ahead?”

    “Not unless those Snovers catch us again. This place is only ever guarded by one Pokémon.”

    Charmander nearly asked why, but he stopped as he another question took precedence. “Hey... If you were past this point, how’d you ever get past this alone?”

    “I wasn’t alone, that’s how. But we should probably keep moving.” Zeke abruptly turned around and began walking away, beyond the Vaporeon’s unresponsive body.

    “If you weren’t alone, where was-”

    Zeke interrupted, keeping his voice calm as he continued to walk. “Hey, avoiding Snovers, remember?”

    “Right.” Charmander held in another cry of pain as he moved to follow the Bulbasaur. So dodgy about everything. Maybe it was wrong to save him... Or maybe he’s just really untrusting. I guess I’ll see once we get to wherever he’s leading me.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    The walk through the rest of the forest took only a few minutes, but it felt like hours to Charmander as his chest continued to sting, hindering his movements and distracting him from his search for the Snovers. By the time they had reached the edge of the forest, the pain had dulled down to a mild aching sensation.

    Charmander could barely see through the gaps in the trees a white wall extending before them, a large archway straight ahead marking an entrance. Strangely, no one seemed to be guarding the gate. “So this is the town?” Charmander asked as they began to pass through the archway.

    “Yeah, they’re a bit paranoid, so they built a wall around it. You might want to lay low while you’re here.”

    “What, just because I’m a living fire? Am I really that dangerous to- oh.” Charmander stopped as he saw what was in the town. Every building in sight was made of either snow, ice, or a mixture of both. The vast majority Pokémon walking throughout the streets were Ice-Type, and no other Fire-Types were visible. “Guess I am really that dangerous.”

    “It’s a good thing you haven’t evolved yet. They might actually attack you if you were.”

    “Are we really that big of a problem?”

    “No, it has to do with the-” Zeke stopped walking and sighed. “Right, you wouldn’t know about that since you don’t seem to know anything.”

    Charmander ignored the insult and changed the subject. “So, where would we go to, uh...”

    “Interrogate each other?” Zeke joked. “Well, the local Cafe might be a good place. Even though it’s popular, no one will really feel threatened by you being there. Hopefully they won’t focus on you.”

    “Well, lead the way, then.” Charmander waited for Zeke to move, but instead Zeke started laughing. Charmander opened his mouth to ask what was so funny, but Zeke pointed a vine to his right. Charmander turned and saw a building that looked just like any other in the town. “What, is that the Cafe?”

    “That it is. They built it close to the gate in order to attract adventurers of all sorts.” Zeke moved ahead and pulled open the wooden door with one of his vines. “Stick with me in here, Charmander. Unless you want to be assaulted... Or worse.” Zeke walked through and kept a vine outstretched, holding the door open.

    “Pretty sure that we’d be sticking together if we’re ‘interrogating’ each other,” Charmander replied as he passed into the Cafe.

    The inside of the building seemed almost surreal. He was used to the brick and stone that they used in Blaze Town, but the floors and walls were all made of wood that looked as if it were taken straight from the nearby forest. Even more confusing, it was warm inside, despite multiple Ice-types hanging around.

    “C’mon, Charmander, that table’s open.” Zeke ambled his way over to a circular wooden platform barely raised off the ground.

    “I wouldn’t even have realized that was a table.”

    Charmander followed him and sat down on the ground, making certain to keep his tail in the air. He noticed many of the patrons staring at him, but after a few minutes they all went back to their own business. Zeke was looking around and waited until they had all turned away to begin speaking.

    “Alright, so let me just get this out of the way... Do you really not have a name?”

    “I really don’t,” Charmander replied insistently. “I lived alone my whole life, so there never was anyone to name me.”

    “Well, if we’re going to be working together, I’m going to need something to call you.”

    “What? Who said anything about-”

    “Look at the facts here,” Zeke responded, cutting him off. “You don’t have a clue where you are from the sounds of it, not to mention the fact that none of these guys will help you, and I’m not exactly welcome around anymore. Neither of us have much in the way of alternatives.”

    Charmander looked downwards as he thought over Zeke’s words. “I guess you have a point. But what do you want to call me? What’s wrong with just calling me Charmander?”

    “I’d rather be working with an individual, not just another member of a species.” Zeke asserted before a snide smirk suddenly crossed his face. “Besides, you saved a random person’s life on a whim. Someone as daring as you should be brave enough to make a name for himself.”

    Oh, we’re going to play that card against me now, huh? Charmander returned a smirk as an idea began to form in his head. “Alright, do you want a name now, then?”

    “I’d prefer it, yes.”

    “Dare,” Charmander replied.

    “Huh?” Zeke tilted his head.

    “Dare. Just call me Dare.” After repeating it the third time, Charmander began to actually think about it. I actually like the sound of that.

    Zeke chuckled nervously. “That’s not a name. That’s a term people use to make their friends do stupid things.”

    “Hey, you wanted a name, I gave you one. My turn for a question?”

    Zeke glowered as he responded. “Fine, but we’re not dropping that subject. What’s your question?”

    “How did you end up half-frozen in that cave with a pack of Snovers trying to kill you?”

    “That did look strange, didn’t it...?” Zeke continued to frown. “Truth is, I’m an archaeologist. I was part of a group that travelled here, but I decided to wander a bit too far off. I made a discovery they apparently didn’t want me to, so they tried to convince me to give it up. I refused, and they tried to freeze me solid and take it.” Zeke stopped and let out a heavy sigh. “I got desperate enough that I actually pulled it out to give it to them, but for some reason they ran off the moment I did. They just left me there in that cave, slowly freezing to death. That’s about where you came in.”

    Charmander scratched at the side of his head. “What was your discovery?”

    “Aren’t we switching off every question?” Zeke replied deridingly.

    “Right, sorry.” Charmander shivered as a cold wind came blowing through the door behind him, forcing his body once again to realize just how extreme the temperature outside truly was. Zeke started to speak but stopped as the entering Pokémon caught his attention.

    Charmander turned his head to look just as a white blur moved past him. He moved his head back to see the strange Pokémon, a white birdlike biped with strange red and blue rings patterned across its torso. “Thank goodness I found you, Zeke!” the Pokémon blurted out as it ran to his side. “W-we need your help, and-”

    “Whoa, whoa, slow down there, Togetic!” Zeke exclaimed over him while nervously glancing around the room. He stretched out a vine and forced the Togetic to sit down. Zeke once again waited for the Pokémon around them to turn away before continuing. “Calmly now... What is going on?”

    “Well, w-we were just looking around the docks when she-”

    “Who?” Charmander interrupted. “Who else was with you?”

    “Dare, stop.” Zeke’s voice was stern, but Charmander did notice he was being respectful in using the name he’d just been given. “I know what he’s talking about and I’ll explain it to you later. Okay, Togetic, speedy explanation. Please.”

    “R-right, we were on the docks and she noticed a whirlpool off to the side. She saw it was glowing a st-strange green color and decided to explore it. W-we jumped in and it almost literally spat us out into an underw-water cave.”

    Charmander shifted uncomfortably, chills running up his spine at the mention of underwater, but Zeke remained unmoved as the Togetic continued. “L-long story short, that cave is a Mystery Dungeon, and I got knocked out while we were exploring... I ended up unconscious on the dock, but she hasn’t come back yet, and I’m really worried.”

    “No luck getting back to her either, I’m assuming?” Zeke asked once the Togetic had finished. He responded with a slow shake of its head, still quivering anxiously.

    “I couldn’t get anywhere n-near as far alone.” Togetic looked away in shame. “That’s why I need your help.”

    Charmander stood up before speaking. “Guess this conversation’s gonna have to wait, huh?”

    “Yeah...” Zeke reluctantly nodded and walked towards the door. “So, when are we heading there?”

    Togetic’s black eyes seemed to widen. “I-I was hoping we’d go as soon as you were ready.”

    “Well, I’m ready now. Dare?”

    Charmander scratched at his chin and shrugged. “If this doesn’t actually involve me drowning like it sounds, I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.”

    Zeke chuckled at Charmander’s response. “In that case, lead the way, Togetic.”

    Togetic gave a quick and silent nod, walking ahead of Zeke and opening the door. “It’s not far.”

    Zeke went ahead, seemingly unfazed by the situation at hand. Charmander hesitated for a moment while he collected his thoughts. Well, I guess that makes my name official. Might as well just have Dare be my real name from now on... Where did I pull that out of, though? His thoughts shifted to his tail as he thought about their next move. My tail.. How am I supposed to get into an underwater cave when I’m a living fire?

    I hope there’s more to this plan than just jumping in...



    -------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Author's Note: First things first, sorry for the wait!

    Anyways, this chapter was a bit tricky. I worked hard to keep the dialogue down in this chapter to a reasonable amount, although it was hard to do so since there was a lot that needed to be explained.

    Thanks to Shadow Lucario 50 and SableVulpi for helping me out!

  13. #13
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    Well, well, well, good to see a chapter up! And I gotta say, I like how it's going so far! I like the interactions between Zeke amd the newly named Dare, oh and by the ways, nice name! XD Anyways... The description was just right in my opinion amd I suggest you keep it that way as to avoid it getting clunky(?) or well basically over descriptive. And very good job in keeping the thoughts (and dialogue) at a reasonable amount! It's not easy to pull that off. But uh... I think it's just me, but I think I see something contradictory... When that Togetic came, Zeke acted like he knew him (or was it her? I forgot...) but didn't seem to call the Togetic by name, which is contradictory to what he said about preferring to call others by their name. But other than that, you've definitely improved since the prologue and there's nothing I can see (in my unexperienced eye) to criticize about so, again, good job! And I can't wait to see the next chapter!
    Last edited by TheCharredDragon; 17th April 2014 at 11:50 AM.


    Credit to Astral Shadow

  14. #14
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    Thanks for reviewing again, Charred!

    I like the interactions between Zeke amd the newly named Dare, oh and by the ways, nice name! XD Anyways... The description was just right in my opinion amd I suggest you keep it that way as to avoid it getting clunky(?) or well basically over descriptive. And very good job in keeping the thoughts (and dialogue) at a reasonable amount!
    Glad you're liking the communications between them! And thanks about the name, as well. I'll work hard to keep the description at a good level. And if there's one thing I wanted to do with this chapter, it certainly was manage the dialogue, so I'm glad you think it was handled well!

    I think it's just me, but I think I see something contradictory... When that Togetic came, Zeke acted like he knew him (or was it her? I forgot...) but didn't seem to call the Togetic by name, which is contradictory to what he said about preferring to call others by their name.
    It's not just you. My beta readers noticed this as well. Good catch, but the thing is, it is on purpose. I'll explain what I mean later, but for now, just know that there is a good reason behind it.

    But other than that, you've definitely improved since the prologue and there's nothing I can see (in my unexperienced eye) to criticize about so, again, good job! And I can't wait to see the next chapter!
    Well, once more, I'm happy to hear that I'm still improving. Good to hear you enjoyed this chapter, and thank you again!

  15. #15
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    Chapter 4: Recipe for Disaster

    “You’ve got to be kidding me...”

    Dare was laying on top of the pier, stretching out his hand to reach the water. The tips of his claws could only barely tap the surface. He looked out farther into the water, seeing that the whirlpool was only a few mere feet from where his fingers touched. “So we’re supposed to just jump in there? You know my tail isn’t just for show.”

    “Oh, I know that,” Togetic replied bluntly as he seemed to stare off into the distance. “But it’s such a short trip that any reasonably tough Charmander would be uninjured after the swim.”

    “What do you mean ‘reasonably tough’?” Dare asked as he stood back up, shaking the icy water off of his hand.

    “Weaker than you, probably.”

    Togetic’s gaze didn’t shift. He remained staring out to the ocean, as if locked on to some unseen object in the distance.

    “Trust him on this one, Dare,” Zeke interjected. “When he gets into one of these moods, he can analyze most anything in no time.”

    “At least he’s stopped stuttering,” Dare muttered to himself.

    “We’ve wasted enough time discussing this, though.” Togetic turned back to the duo near the water. “Are you both ready?”

    “I am.” Zeke crouched down, getting ready to jump. “Dare?”

    “No, but it’s not like I have a choice here.” Dare crossed his arms. “So you’re sure I’ll be fine?”

    Togetic walked next to Dare and looked towards the water. “Certain, though you may need a minute or two to recover once we get out of the water.”

    “You said uninj-”

    “I meant nothing that would harm your performance after a quick rest.”

    Dare snarled in frustration. Fine, if that’s how he wants to be, let’s test it. Dare smirked as he glanced over at his partners. “Alright, then try to keep up!” Without another moment’s hesitation, he leapt off the dock and into the water.

    His confidence shattered as he passed below the surface. As the cold waters rushed around him, he felt a sharp sting start in his tail and climb up his spine, making him feel almost paralyzed. He struggled to regain control of himself as he felt two shockwaves shoot through the water, agitating his tail even further. The pain got to such a point that he couldn’t feel the rest of his body hurting from the exposure to the icy water.

    He couldn’t see well, but he managed to keep his eyes open while both Zeke and the Togetic passed him and entered the whirlpool. Zeke turned and reached out with a vine towards Dare. He struggled to move his arms, and barely got a grip on the outstretched tendril before Zeke yanked it back. The vine snapped out of Dare’s hands, pulling him forward. It also made him spin wildly in the water, adding to his panicking feelings. I’ve gotta get moving! He continued vainly trying to move his body, only getting small movements out of his arms and legs. His stomach began to churn as his body whirled in the water, uselessly drifting towards where Zeke had pulled him.

    The motions only became worse from there. Dare suddenly found himself being thrust around by the very water surrounding him. He had a strange feeling this was what he wanted to happen, but fear overtook his logic as his tail began to hurt even more. His body locked up once more, and his muscles involuntarily contracted, squeezing him into a crouch and making him spin even faster.

    As if his tail couldn’t hold in the pain, the ache began to spread throughout the remainder of his body. Even his thoughts were overrun by the sensation. His body, which a second earlier couldn’t even move, began to spasm as if pushing for some way out. It only helped him to sink faster into the icy sea he was in. He opened his mouth to scream, but water rushed in, causing his lungs to feel as if they were collapsing while a stabbing pain shot through his insides.

    Dare couldn’t feel anything but the pain when something wrapped around his torso and began to tug him deeper. Sheer terror began to take over him as he couldn’t recognize the object, his vision blurring once more beyond the point of recognizing anything. All he knew was that he was moving down, and fast.

    His body fought against the unknown forces moving him all around, but since he couldn’t control it, to no avail. His limbs, as if having minds of their own, eventually tired and contracted again, once more curling into a ball. Suddenly, the grasping appendage began to pull him faster and in a strange direction; he thought it was up. Terror gave way to hope as he found himself quickly shooting in whatever way he was being pulled. He could only believe that it had to be Zeke getting him out of the water, but to his surprise, whatever had wrapped around him unraveled and flew away. The motion didn’t stop, instead it became faster and almost seemed to be physically shoving him, as if some strange being wanted him out of wherever he was.

    Sound suddenly burst forth throughout the world once again as he found himself thrust out of the water and pushed airborne. The ache only barely diminished as he could breathe again, and this small respite was broken once more when he slammed into the ground face first. As if to add insult to injury, his stomach hit hard as well, causing his lungs to scream in even more pain as he couldn’t breathe in nor let out the water he sucked in.

    He sat helpless for a few seconds before his body began to listen to his commands again. He coughed and gagged on the water as his senses slowly came back to him. He could hear Zeke yelling some sort of obscenity while the Togetic walked toward him.

    He finally managed to expunge the water, coughing out more liquid than he liked to see. Togetic pulled him to his feet as he began to breathe again, struggling to pull the air into his wounded lungs. He felt dizzy as his legs came underneath him, and -only through the aid of the Togetic- managed to stay standing. Zeke fell silent as Dare began to speak. “Sorry guys... I had no idea... That would hurt so much,” he gasped out.

    “Yeah, well, maybe you should think about that next time! Good thing I noticed you were struggling! You might not have made it if I hadn’t pulled you in!” Zeke was still fuming, though he had stopped cursing. “A few more seconds in there and I-”

    “This is not the time, nor the place, to argue about this,” Togetic interjected, his voice suddenly stern. “We made it through, that’s what matters. Give the Charmander a moment to rest, and reprimand him for it when we’re not in a Mystery Dungeon.”

    Charmander tried to respond, but he could do nothing but pant and keep himself standing. Zeke took a deep breath before replying to the Togetic. “You’re right, as always. But if nothing else, don’t scare us like that, Dare!”

    Dare got his breathing under control and turned towards Zeke. “Wasn’t planning... on it...”

    They waited for a few minutes while Dare recovered from the ordeal. He still ached all over, but he got himself moving again and told the others he was ready.

    “I’ll take the lead, then,” Togetic stated, still sounding strangely brave. “I know where Meditite was.”

    He led the party through a huge archway into a cavern that glowed with an odd green light. Paths seemed to branch every which way from the room, stretching into darkness as the light seemed to be absorbed into the tunnels. There were twelve different paths in total they could take, three to each side of the square room. Togetic didn’t even stop to think; he continued ahead into a tunnel opposite where they entered.

    Strangely, once they entered the tunnels, lights began to appear, allowing them to walk forward without stumbling in the dark.

    “Be ready. While that room was clear, I don’t think the rest of this will be so easy.” Togetic moved ahead into another room, this one glowing a dark blue color. Again, twelve tunnels seemed to stretch forth to infinity around them, none of them giving their end destination away. Togetic almost turned completely back around to their right and walked towards a passage only inches away from the one they had just left.

    “You sure you know where we’re going?” Dare asked, feeling as if they were about to go in circles.

    Togetic’s gaze did not shift while he responded. “Yes, this way leads to the next floor.”

    Dare shrugged, despite the fact that neither of his partners were looking. “Just saying, we were just going the opp-”

    He stopped as several ice shards stuck into his back, causing nothing more than a chill to run up his spine. “Enemies behind us!” he shouted as he turned to see just what had hit him. It turned out to be a white and almost fish-like Pokémon.

    “Just a Seel,” Zeke muttered as he readied his leaves. “Let me handle this.”

    Dare scrambled out of the way and stuck to the wall of the tunnel as Zeke unleashed the blade-like leaves. They whistled through the air, slicing deep gashes into the unwitting Seel’s face and skin. It let out a loud cry and began to run away.

    “Should we chase it?” Dare asked, preparing to run after the fleeing Seel.

    “No, leave it. It won’t come back anyways.” Zeke turned as Togetic began walking again, leading the way further into this strange cave.

    Dare shook his head as his gut told him the Seel would be back, probably with friends, but he turned as well and followed them.

    The glow changed colors again as they exited the tunnel, a virbrant red now greeting their eyes.

    “Is the color important, at all?” Dare wondered aloud as his eyes adjusted to the brightness of the new room.

    “From what we found, only indirectly,” Togetic answered. “It seems that it changes if you’ve found the right tunnel, but that’s just a sign of still moving forward. If you enter the wrong one, however, you go back into that green room.”

    “So these are separate rooms, then? We’re not just going into the same room with the color changed?”

    “That’s how it appears. Otherwise, I believe the Seel would be in this room. But who can say with a Mystery Dungeon?”

    “Point taken.”

    Dare looked around, trying to identify any sort of landmark or sign of the right way to go. Just then, something caught his eye, but he didn’t have time to react before things suddenly got much worse.

    A large beam of ice suddenly shot forth from their left side, striking the Togetic right in his wing. A shell of ice quickly formed around him, stopping him mid-step with a leg still in the air. Another beam shot forth, but Zeke managed to roll out of the way. Dare turned towards the beams’ origin and saw a small blue Pokémon with sharp claws charging towards the frozen Togetic. Dare shot out a fireball, but he didn’t take into account the enemy’s movement, and it missed by a huge margin. Zeke tried to ram into their foe, but it dodged him with a quick jump to the side before continuing its mad dash towards the helpless bird. Its claws suddenly took on a blackish hue as it rushed forth, confusing Dare and Zeke alike. Before either of them could attack again, the Pokémon stabbed its claws into the ice, piercing all the way into the poor Togetic’s wing.

    The black that coated the claws seemed to seep into Togetic’s skin, making him pale up as whatever it was flowed through him. Mere moments after this happened, the ice shattered around him and he fell limply to the ground, unconscious. A strange feeling Dare hadn’t known before began to rush through him. A burning sensation that flared brighter than his own fire.

    Vengeance.

    Without even a moment’s hesitation, he lit his scales ablaze once more and charged at the ice-type. It didn’t react in time and the Charmander slammed into it, pinning it to the ground as the flames leapt from him to the other Pokémon. It screamed out in displeasure and struggled against Charmander as the fire began to sear it, leaving huge, black burn marks wherever it contacted. Dare shot out a fireball directly in the Pokémon’s face, causing it to explode and send flames rushing back at his own face. He didn’t care about the fact that he had hit himself; he only cared that the other Pokémon’s claws stopped flailing and it ceased fighting against him while it fainted from the pain.

    Dare stood up and brushed himself off as he looked over his fallen foe. Its face was horribly burned by his final blast, and its skin was a patchwork of burns. Zeke walked beside him and took a sharp breath in when he saw the damage. “Remind me never to piss you off.”

    As if something had whispered it to them both, they turned towards the Togetic and rushed towards his prone form. Before they could even reach him, a sudden, bright yellow light overpowering the natural glow of the cave surrounded him and vanished a mere moment later, taking the Togetic with it.

    “No! He was our ticket out of here!” Zeke cried out, slamming his paws into the craggy ground.

    “What was that?!” Dare shouted, reaching out and clawing at the air where Togetic was just laying.

    “He was carrying a rescue badge, so it kicked in and forced him out of here. He’s probably back on the dock or something. We won’t be so lucky if we faint.”

    “So now not only do we not have a guide, we don’t have a way out?!” Dare grabbed at the sides of his head with both hands. “Why was this a good idea in the first place?!”

    “Dare!” Zeke yelled back. “There’s no time to regret this; we’ve got to get moving or we’ll end up like he did!”

    “Then where do we go? There’s so many paths!”

    “Who cares?! Just follow me!” Zeke ran ahead, taking the tunnel closest to where Togetic had fallen. Dare wasted no time giving chase to the Bulbasaur. A sickening feeling of dread began to seep through him as they rushed through the dimly lit passage. When they exited, they found the glow had shifted back to the green, just as Togetic claimed it would.

    “Wrong path!” Zeke shouted as he rushed forwards to the path directly opposite their entrance. “Let’s hope it put us back where we started!” The duo ran into the next room, and to their great relief found the blue glow of the next room.

    Without missing a step, Zeke and Dare sharply turned backwards and ran through a tunnel right next to the one they exited, the one on their left. They came back into the green room and they both shook their heads. Neither one even slowed down as they rushed into the opposite tunnel. Dare began to feel his already weakened lungs hurting again, but he kept pace with Zeke.

    They turned to the rightside tunnel once they entered the blue room once more, both of them beginning to breathe heavily from the exertion. They burst forth into the red room, passing by the unconscious Pokémon as they went for a random tunnel on the right side of them. They ended up passing through the tunnel farthest away from them, which to both of their surprise led to a room which glowed yellow.

    “Hold on!” Dare called as he began to stumble in his running. “I need... a second...”

    “We don’t have any seconds, Dare! I don’t want to be stuck here, and no one in that town is going to risk their life to save us.”

    “Just let me... catch my breath,” Dare pleaded.

    Zeke took in a few sharp breaths before replying. “Fine, but at least keep walking!”

    “How are we supp... -possed to know where to go?... We don’t have time to check all of... these.” Dare spun around, again looking for any sort of marking or anything out of the ordinary.

    A scream sounded from a tunnel to their left, and they managed to pinpoint it to the one closest to their entry into the room. Dare gave up on catching his breath and ran ahead of Zeke, still stumbling in his attempts to move at full speed. Another stabbing pain rushed through his side, but he ignored it and continued running. He could hear Zeke running behind him, but he didn’t care to turn around and check.

    They entered a room with an white natural-seeming light spread throughout it. In a strange contradiction to what they had seen before, this room had only one way out of it, namely the way they had come in.

    But that isn’t what caught Dare’s eye first. A blue and white Pokémon was being pinned down by a group of strange spherelike Pokémon. “Spheals?” Zeke asked as he made it into the room. “You’re stuck down by Spheals, Meditite?”

    “They’re MUCH heavier than they look!” the Pokémon replied as it struggled vainly to free its limbs. “Shut up and help me!”

    “Nice to see you again, too,” Zeke said sarcastically. “Dare, if you wouldn’t mind?” He gestured with a vine towards the spherical Pokémon.

    “One... second... ran too much.” Dare put his hands on his knees and bent over as he struggled to regain his breath.

    “Now would be nice!” The Meditite yelled.

    “Give me a second!” Dare yelled back as he glared at the pinned Pokémon. He calmed himself and went back to speaking between breaths. “Gotta... breathe before... I can spit fire...”

    “Fire?! Oh, no no no no-” Meditite began to shout out a string of “no”s, but Zeke and Dare both ignored her.

    Almost a minute later, Dare sucked in a deep breath and let loose another fireball, striking the closest Spheal and sending it rolling backwards off of the Meditite. The rest of the Spheals cried panickedly and scrambled away, running to the edges of the room. Meditite stood up and glared at her saviors. “What was that?! Do you think it’s okay to hurt the people you’re sent to rescue? And who’s the Shiny, Bulbasaur?”

    “Would you rather we not rescue you?” Zeke grinned snidely, even as the Meditite’s fist began to glow. “Fine, we could have been a little more careful, but still, it all worked out. This is Dare, by the way.”

    “Dare? What kind of a name is that?!” Meditite turned and stared at Charmander. “How’d a Shiny like him end up here?”

    “Can you drop the Shiny thing? I mean, yeah, he shouldn’t be out here, but he’s a friend.”

    “What do you mean ‘shouldn’t be’-” Dare started.

    “Nothing, Dare.” Zeke turned back to Meditite. “Anyways, are we leaving or what?”

    “Leaving?! When we’re this far in?” Meditite laughed. “Not unless you suddenly got a badge of your own, Bulbasaur. Or that shiny stole it from a dead guy.”

    “Dare! Call me Dare!” the Charmander insisted.

    “Whatever. You guys coming or what? I know the way forward.”

    “Way forward? It’s a boxed in room. The only way forward is back.” Zeke stepped away to head out the tunnel.

    “That’s what I thought too.” Meditite smiled smugly. “But you’d be surprised how much pokémon will ignore you while you’re pinned. One of those floaty ice types showed me the real way out.” She turned and faced the outside wall before rushing towards the rocks, slamming her fist into them with a resounding thudding sound.

    To Dare and Zeke’s surprise, the wall crumbled in front of her, revealing an adjacent room that was filled to the brim with glowing crystals that resembled the color of the lights in the rooms before. Only one path shot out from this room, once more fading into darkness before the end could be found.

    A cool breeze came in from the new room, making Dare realize just how warm this dungeon was for being surrounded with freezing water and snow. Why is it so warm? I should be dying with how much water I had on me.

    His vision suddenly blurred as he felt dizzy. What in the world? Dare took a deep breath and calmed himself, and his vision returned to normal. “Who would’ve passed by you? I don’t think many other people know about this besides us three and Togetic.”

    “You don’t think the people who live here would’ve explored this place? They know it well enough...” Meditite looked over Dare through glaring eyes. “And you’re more than enough reason for them to want to find us. They were probably moving ahead of us for an ambush.”

    “What Pokémon were there?” Zeke asked as he walked ahead of Dare.

    “It was a Glalie, actually,” Meditite replied. Zeke cringed. “That and a Poliwhirl. Why do you ask?”

    “They didn’t have...” Zeke stopped and shook his head. “No, they wouldn’t have him. You would tell me, right?”

    “Wouldn’t have who, Bulbasaur? Your partner?”

    “Yeah. We lost each other a while ago, and I’m still looking for him,” Zeke mumbled something to himself before speaking up again. “Never mind, we need to get moving. Dare, be ready for the Glalie, and watch out for the Poliwhirl.”

    “The what now?” Dare scratched his head. “I’ve never heard of either of those.”

    Zeke and Meditite sighed almost in unison. Zeke turned his head towards Meditite, and she decided to respond first. “Glalie’s a big icy ball, Poliwhirl’s got a swirly stomach. You should be able to figure it out.”

    The duo started walking away from Dare and into the new room. So Zeke has a partner here? I don’t like the sound of that. With how bad off Zeke was, I can only imagine how bad his friend must be right now. That is, if they’re not already dead...

    He started to walk after them when his head began to hurt. He felt himself going limp as his mind slowed to a crawl. The messages that had only appeared in his dreams began to come through now, seeming panicked and aggressive.

    Get out! the voice screamed, as if it was guarding something valuable. This is-

    The voice cut out again and the headache disappeared. Dare stood stunned for a second while his mind recovered from the sudden assault.

    Zeke turned his head and looked back at the confused Charmander. “Hey, you okay, Dare?”

    “I’m f-f...” Dare couldn’t finish the statement.

    The headache returned even worse than before, almost making him feel like he was being drained from his body. The voice came back and started shouting something, but he couldn’t make it out as the pain scrambled whatever message he was being given. He decided to yell back his own message, trying to get his brain freed once more.

    Whoever you are, stop! STOP!

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Author's notes: Apologies for the long wait, AGAIN. I don't have any excuse for my slowness, but I'm working hard to try and not have another multi-month gap in chapters.

    Anyway, it turns out this is my first chapter without any scene breaks. This chapter really had no reason to have any, though; all the scenes flowed into each other, which I think is a good thing.

    Thanks as always to Shadow Lucario 50 and SableVulpi for helping out with this chapter. Couldn't do it nearly as well without them!
    Last edited by Kukansis; 30th June 2014 at 7:49 AM.

  16. #16
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    Chapter 4

    Instead of sleeping like a normal person does at this time of the night, I think I'll drop you a review of your latest chapter. Though it may seem redundant to review a chapter I've already beta-read, well, I just can't help but do so. But anyway, enough of my rambling; onto the review.

    I was pretty impressed with the drowning sequence, I must say. You put quite a bit of detail into it and it was very easy to become immersed in its details, so I give you props for that. And I always have wondered about what underwater dungeons looked like, since they never seem to appear in stories.

    Now, I guess it's time to see who's disturbing Dare's mind and see what happens from there. I wish you luck with your next chapter done soon.

  17. #17
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    Chapter 5: Glalie

    Zeke followed closely behind Meditite as she led the way through the newly-opened cave, a feeling of nostalgia running through him. Just like old times. She always was the leader in our group.

    He took a second to look around, noticing something strange. The scrambled rock walls of the Mystery Dungeon slowly began to give way to a neat and orderly brick. It was not like one a dungeon would create either; it was obviously hand-built. “I get the feeling Glalie isn’t the only one who knows about this.”

    “What possibly gave you that idea?” Meditite answered sarcastically. “The fact we’re in here, or that this is not a natural structure?”

    “Hey, I was just-”

    Zeke stopped arguing as a chill ran up his spine. He quickly turned behind him and found Dare lagging behind, almost lethargically dragging his limbs forward. “Hey, you okay, Dare?”

    Dare stammered out half a response of “I’m fine,” but stopped short and began screaming. He clutched at his forehead and his claws seemed to tear at his own skull, even prying loose a few of his own scales.

    Zeke sprinted to him and stretched out his vines, yanking Dare’s arms away from his head. He felt Dare’s arms try to pull back up again, so he wrapped his vines around them and held them still. Zeke yelled to get Dare’s attention. “Dare! DARE!

    Dare’s eyes seemed to gloss over for a moment before he stopped yelling. “What?” Dare took a second to shift his focus to Zeke. His breathing slowed as he stared at the Bulbasaur. “Oh, right. Sorry, was just...” His voice trailed off as his face twisted into a grimace.

    “Dare, focus! What’s going on?”

    “I’m sorry, just...” Again he stopped mid-sentence. “Never mind.”

    Zeke released his grip and started backing away. “What just happened? You were fine a second ago. Now you’re acting all kinds of strange.”

    “No, I’m fine, really. Just had a bit of a mental battle, I guess you could say.”

    “What does that-”

    “Who cares?!” Meditite said as she stepped between Dare and Zeke. “At least he’s done doing whatever that was. Let’s keep moving.”

    Meditite walked away and Dare idly followed her. Zeke hesitated for a moment as he mused over the situation. I bet she wonders why I split off from them. As if that didn’t just show why.

    Zeke turned and began to walk after Meditite as she led the way through the tunnel, which continued to show more and more signs of the mystery dungeon stopping. More of the crystals continued to be their light, but some seemed almost artificial, as the light they gave off was fragmented and dim. Zeke found himself ramming into Dare as he ignorantly continued walking forward. Dare didn’t seem to even mind, instead focusing on Meditite, who had stopped ahead of them both.

    “Stairs are ahead. You guys ready?”

    Dare held up a claw beside his head. “What for, exactly?”

    Meditite slammed her palm into her face. “Oh, nothing, just probably FIGHTING. Try to pay attention.”

    Dare looked away, embarrassed, as Zeke spoke up. “Hey, he’s probably not thinking straight. He just fought a psychic from the looks of things.”

    “Oh, boo hoo.” Meditite sighed and glanced towards the confused Charmander. “Look, normally I’d be okay with someone being like this after an attack like that, but I’ve gone too far to turn around and leave, and he’s not gonna be the reason we don’t make it through. Either he fights with us, or he can stick back while you and I take those two.”

    Zeke still felt like arguing against her, but knew she was right. Even if he tried to fight her ultimatum, she could simply refuse to teleport them out, leaving them stranded and forced to proceed. They were on her terms.

    “I know.”

    Zeke pushed Dare forward and got him moving again.They walked up the stairs and found themselves in a cave again, but this one was very different. Rather than the crystals which lit their path through the tunnels, holes in the ceiling let light shine through. A cold breeze rushed past the party, showing just how close they were to the surface.

    “Looks like we’re almost out,” Meditite said with a sigh. “I was hoping there’d be more to see in there.”

    “I think you all have seen quite enough!”

    The voice came from behind the party, making Zeke jump as he turned to face a Glalie. Despair rushed through him as he realized, I recognize him.

    The icy monster was a terrible visage of jet black skin contrasted by the hard white ice covering him. The horns jutting out from either side of his head were actively being enveloped with frost as they stared on. What made Zeke recognize him was his face; ice coated all but his mouth and his eyes, which were locked in a permanent glare by the frozen armor.

    “Now, we all know this will not end well for you. So either give yourselves up now, or perish.”

    “What have we done? Is exploring a crime now?” Meditite said as she bent her knees, ready to move at the first sign of battle.

    “No... But I believe the Bulbasaur knows what I’m referring to when I call you all dangerous thieves.”

    “It’s an artifact!” Zeke yelled out, crouching forward and preparing his leaves. “What possible reason could you have to want something so stupid as-”

    “Enough!” A Poliwhirl that was waiting behind the Glalie leapt into the air and punched the roof of the cave directly above the trio. The entire section of rocky ceiling collapsed as the Poliwhirl rebounded back from the blow. The trio was forced to all dive out of the way, each going in a different direction. Zeke rolled to the Glalie’s left as Meditite dove down the stairs. He couldn’t get so much as a glimpse of Dare as the rocks piled up, clogging the staircase and blocking all view beyond them.

    “Flawless, Poliwhirl.” Glalie smirked as he started moving towards Zeke. “Now just make certain that the Charmander doesn’t interfere.”

    The Poliwhirl gave some sort of grunt as he ran around the rock pile to where Zeke guessed Dare had gone. Zeke started to run after him, but a sudden chill ran through his front-left leg as a sharp pain simultaneously overtook it.

    He realized what had happened when he felt blood leak from the damaged leg. A quick glance down at it showed a shard of ice not only stuck in the leg, but piercing through to the other side.

    “Did you honestly think you could run? Have we not had an encounter such as this before?”

    Zeke growled as he turned back towards the Glalie. His wounded leg nearly collapsed as he set it down again and the pain turned to agony. “W-why?”

    “You know exactly what that artifact is for, and I intend to have it. You will not be allowed to use it. Now either hand it over now, or we’ll just see how well your friend handles Poliwhirl.”

    “Why not just kill me?” Zeke mocked, still trying to resist the urge to fall and let his leg rest. “Not able to handle a real fight?”

    “Oh, if you insist.” Glalie’s smile stretched menacingly as icicles began to form around him and sharpen. A sickening feeling of dread coursed through Zeke, but he stood his ground and launched his own counterattack.

    Zeke shot off a stream of his sharpest leaves at the ice-type floating before him. A few small gashes appeared in the frozen skin of the Glalie, but it didn’t even flinch. It launched the icicles it had suspended in midair at Zeke while he tried to dodge away. He managed to leap to the side, but another of the spear-like shards forced its way into his side.

    He lost his breath as he was pierced by the ice. Chills ran down his spine and his chest suddenly grew numb. He couldn’t keep focused in the air and crashed into the ground, landing on his side and driving the spike in his leg even further through his skin. The only thing keeping him from blacking out from the pain was the cold running through his system, dulling the pain wherever it was.

    Zeke tried to take in a breath, but he couldn’t, as his lungs suddenly felt as if they were bursting. His entire chest felt as if it was ablaze, despite the ice that was used against him. He struggled to get to his feet again, but his body wouldn’t listen as it screamed at him for oxygen. With his senses being blocked by the pain he was experiencing, it was a wonder he was able to hear when Glalie spoke again.

    “I had really hoped you would have put up more of a fight.” Glalie moved ahead of him once again, but Zeke’s vision was blurred and he couldn’t see its face. “Goodbye, Bulbasaur.”

    Glalie took in a deep breath of air, and Zeke knew he wasn’t going to be able to dodge the next attack. He closed his eyes and sucked his head back to brace for it, but his wounded body gave out as he did. Before the blow could even strike him, his senses stopped and he fell unconscious.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Meditite slammed her fist into the rocks covering the stairs. “You coward!” she shouted, even though the Glalie probably couldn’t hear her. “Can’t even face me?!”

    The rocks crumbled easily when she hit them, but she was too enraged to think of which ones to hit to loosen the pile. “Fight me! I could take you and that Poliwhirl!”

    Luckily for her, the pile wasn’t very big. Another Rock Smash revealed sunlight pouring in from above, showing her the way out. Rather than waste more time punching rocks, she climbed up, pulling herself onto the boulders that formerly blocked her path. She continued to fume as she worked her way back to the level where the rest were.

    She climbed up just in time to see the Bulbasaur collapsed by Glalie in the center of the room with the Charmander nowhere to be found. The Glalie glanced in her direction and tauntingly grinned. She ran ahead to stop him from whatever he was doing, but the unfazed Glalie took in a deep breath. Meditite had seen enough Ice types fight to know what he was doing: using Frost Breath to freeze the Bulbasaur solid.

    “No! Don’t you dare!” she shouted out as her run became a mad sprint. The Glalie couldn’t have looked more smug as it breathed out.

    But what happened next surprised them both. With no warning, a blue blur shot past Meditite and towards the Glalie. He barely managed to stop his attack and shift out of the way as the Poliwhirl flew past them and into a wall. Meditite tripped over her own feet as she struggled to comprehend what just happened.

    She managed to look up just in time to see the Glalie turn back, just as confused as she was. “This isn’t possible! How did you do that?!” he shouted as he floated towards Meditite.

    Meditite quickly glanced back to see the Charmander, who was standing with his eyes closed and claws clenched. She didn’t turn back to see what Glalie was doing; the sounds reverberating through the cave told her well enough. With no time to stand up, she rolled to the side, feeling the ground rumble as the heavy Glalie shot past her.

    A loud thud sounded behind her, followed by Dare crying out. She scrambled to her feet and turned around. Both worry and relief rushed through her. Dare was on the ground, his flame significantly shrunken and his body unresponsive to the pain that must’ve been flowing through him, but he was alive. Glalie was recovering from his use of Rollout, wobbling back and forth in his dizzy state. Despite this, he still managed to turn towards Meditite.

    “That’s two down. Now for your turn!” He opened his mouth wide and his fangs suddenly froze into sheets of thick ice. He recklessly charged at the Meditite, but just as she prepared to stand her ground at hit him back, something caught her eye behind him.

    Dare’s tail flared up. Glalie was not going to like what was coming next.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Dare’s body ached. His chest was wrapped in searing pain, but the rest of his body only felt sore. It was debilitating, and while it was nothing compared to the torment that swimming was, he knew he’d still feel his chest injury for a while. Then something clicked in his mind. How did I get injured?

    He opened his eyes and looked forward. A huge ball of ice was moving away from him at an alarming rate. His mind churned as he tried to remember what happened. I was yelling at that voice, then... what?

    The more he viewed the ice ball, the more things didn’t make sense. As he reclaimed his mind’s focus from the previous battle, he saw there were large black patches on the side facing him, and especially jarring were two horns of the very same material sprouting from the top of it. That... can’t be natural.

    Suddenly, the ball levitated backwards towards him. It seemed to skid in mid-air as if to slow itself down. Dare still couldn’t figure it out. Then he saw what was making it move, and something clicked.

    It was Meditite, shoving the ball backwards and towards him. Or at least, the legs showing underneath the floating sphere seemed to be hers. Dare finally figured out what was going on. That’s Glalie!

    Dare scrambled to get to his feet as energy rushed through him, numbing the pain he felt and giving him full control of his body once more. Without stopping to think through the situation, he breathed out a stream of fire onto himself, lighting his scales ablaze as he prepared himself to charge. With only a moment’s hesitation, he rushed forward.

    Glalie must have heard it. Dare didn’t know if it was the sound of him kicking up the snow or the fire lighting on his skin, but whatever the reason, Glalie turned around. His huge blue eyes shot wide open as he saw the flaming Charmander rush towards him, but the surprise didn’t last. Glalie twirled like a top and flew to the side, leaving Dare to rush forward. With no time to stop, Dare slammed straight into the unwitting Meditite behind.

    Meditite yelled out in both pain and confusion as the fire licked at her skin, but she was quick to react to the blaze. She shoved Dare off of her and straight into the air as she rolled to the side to both avoid his landing and to smother the flames. Dare put his arms out to brace for impact with the ground, but instead, he found himself spinning as Glalie rammed into him from behind and sent him flying.

    He pulled his arms back to his sides and slammed into the ground on his right side, hard enough for a sickening cracking sound to come from his wrist. The pain he felt in it was nearly unbearable, but even more frightening was how fast he lost control of it. When he rolled back off of it, the hand limply followed the arm. Dare gritted his teeth as he looked around for where Glalie was.

    Tears from the agony blurred his vision before he spotted the giant monster of ice again. Meditite was next to him, preparing to throw a punch, when a blue glow formed in the Glalie’s mouth. Now Meditite’s eyes grew wide as she realized too late what he was doing.

    She tried to rush forward and hit him, but the Glalie unleashed what looked to Dare like a cloud of snow and ice from his mouth. It enveloped Meditite and blocked Dare’s vision of her. When the cloud finally dissipated, Meditite was frozen from the neck down to the ground. Glalie smiled as he turned his attention to Dare once more.

    “Now then, Charmander. Make no mistake, I will kill you all, but unless you want to suffer, tell me what you did to throw Poliwhirl across the room.

    Dare couldn’t have answered if he wanted to; he was still gritting his teeth to keep himself from yelling. He slowly pushed himself up to his feet as the pain in his wrist increased with every movement. Glalie’s smirk almost seemed to be taunting him, as if he realized just how much pain Dare was in.

    “Alright, then...” Glalie flew past him. Dare felt his stomach turn as he spun to see where the Glalie had gone. To his dismay, the bad feeling was right; Glalie was targeting Zeke.

    Meditite also saw what he was doing, and Dare could hear her straining herself in attempt to break her icy prison. Zeke didn’t move at all as Glalie approached, and Dare could only assume he was out cold. Then it’s up to me. I have to stop this!

    Dare sucked in a deep breath, trying his hardest to ignore the agonizing stinging of his wrist. He then tried to shoot off a fireball, but his body was too weak to listen, and only a small puff of smoke came from his lungs.

    No! Why now?! Dare felt his legs grow weak as Glalie’s mouth began to glow once more. He fell to his knees and turned his head away. Zeke!

    “Stop!” a voice shouted from Dare’s side. Dare looked up and, to his surprise, found that the Glalie had listened.

    And then the revelation hit Dare. That voice. It can’t be...

    -------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Author Notes: I still feel I should have been able to post this earlier. Curse you, procrastination!

    Anyways, for being my first chapter that's almost exclusively fighting, I think it went pretty okay. It was kind of tricky, especially having to handle POV character shifts for the first time in this story, but I do like how it turned out. And don't worry, I don't plan on constantly swapping characters from here on out. I'll only be switching when it's necessary or helpful to the story.

    Thanks as always to my beta readers! And my apologies to SableVulpi for never replying to that review. I really did appreciate it, nonetheless.

  18. #18
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    Man oh man, exciting stuff here, but if I wasn't constantly interupted by customers when trying to read it, I might have found some errors, and I do recall that some existed, but back tracking and re-reading certain passages turned up nothing.

    However, like Vulpi, you use a few words repetitively without changing it up. In one paragraph in some chapter, you said "room" four times, even though the focus did not shift to anything else but the room, so variety would be nice there.

    All in all, an enjoyable read, shame I have to wait two months for the next one xD (It's all my fault too, I keep distracting ya)


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

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    Hey, Azurus! Thanks for the review! I'm glad you think it's exciting. I'll try to see if I can find those errors and remove them.

    However, like Vulpi, you use a few words repetitively without changing it up.
    Yeah, I seem to have a problem with that sometimes. I'll try to find and fix that section you pointed out, and I'm working to prevent myself from repeating so much in the future.

    All in all, an enjoyable read, shame I have to wait two months for the next one
    Again, I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I'm trying hard to get more writing in during my free time and shorten that delay! Don't you worry!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kukansis View Post
    Chapter 5: Glalie
    Alright, time to leave my delayed review. So it seems that this chapter was mostly a boss battle, which was pretty interesting to read. The POV switches weren't too numerous thankfully, though I do warn not to switch between POV's too often, as that can be quite exhausting. But otherwise, I don't have much else to say other the fact that I do wonder who's talking to Dare. Hopefully we find out who that Pokemon is in the next chapter.

    Credit to Brutaka for the epic banner and Haychel for the image on such banner.

  21. #21
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    Thank you, Vulpi! Glad to see you reviewing here, again!

    The POV switches weren't too numerous thankfully, though I do warn not to switch between POV's too often, as that can be quite exhausting.
    Yeah, I understand how disorienting swapping POVs can be, for both reader and writer, and I don't plan to have very many of them at all. I'll only be using them when it'll actually help with the narrative.

    But otherwise, I don't have much else to say other the fact that I do wonder who's talking to Dare. Hopefully we find out who that Pokemon is in the next chapter.
    Well, I guess you'll just have to wait and see. I'm sure Dare would like to know who's messing with his head as well.

    Thanks again!

  22. #22
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    Chapter 6: Broken Rescue

    Dare stared onwards, watching the Glalie as he turned away from Zeke’s unconscious form. The malicious smile that had been on his face was replaced with a disappointed frown.

    “You always have to show up just to ruin my fun, don’t you?” Glalie floated away, out of Dare’s vision.

    Still on his knees, Dare felt his energy fade away as adrenaline stopped flowing through him. He fell forwards and slammed his arms against the ground. He regretted slipping towards the ground as an instant pain surged through his right arm. He screamed as he pulled his arm up, rolling onto his opposite side. It took a few seconds for the pain to die down enough to regain focus, and he clenched his teeth to muffle himself.

    Glalie was ahead of him, talking to someone directly behind him. All Dare could see of the other Pokémon was its legs, but given the voice he had heard before, he knew who it was. That same voice spoke again, “Glalie, I asked you to find them, not kill them.”

    “Wouldn’t it be easier if they were dead, though? Why bother keeping them alive?”

    “Because the last thing we need is another reason for more fighting!” The Pokémon began pacing and came out from behind Glalie. “You and I both know what would result.”

    Dare glared at the revealed Snover. It was him! The Snover from before! The first one that attacked me! Why is he here?

    Luckily for Dare, Glalie was wondering that as well. “How did you even discover where we were?”

    “Simple,” Snover replied as he gestured behind. Two more Snovers appeared from a tunnel behind the Glalie and shoved someone into the room, but the new Pokémon ended up behind Glalie. “He told us.” The Pokémon ran further into the room, straight past Dare. He barely had time to recognize Togetic as the bird rushed past in a blur.

    Dare turned his head towards the Togetic and saw him go straight to Meditite’s side. The duo started talking to each other, but Dare couldn't hear their hushed voices. Glalie, now behind his head, made a sound of protest before the lead Snover interrupted him once more.

    “We can discuss this more when we’re not escorting this group. You will incarcerate them until we can send them away.”

    “And if they resist, may I kill them then?” Glalie was still frowning, visibly displeased with the Snover’s commands.

    “Do not test me, Glalie. None of these fools look like they could fight you.”

    “They knocked out Poliwhirl! Is that not a threat?”

    “You know how unskilled Poliwhirl is.” Snover looked over at the unconscious creature behind Zeke. “We will take care of him. You do as you’re told.”

    “...Fine.” Glalie snarled. “And then you can tell me what this is truly about?”

    “Yes. Get moving.”

    Glalie suddenly approached Dare, blocking his vision of the Snovers. “Get up. You’ll be carrying your friend over there.”

    Dare used his good arm to push himself back into a sitting position. He thrust his wounded arm out defiantly to show how little control he had. His wrist twisted agonizingly fast to the side, making him yelp again.

    “Oh, you poor, fragile thing,” Glalie mocked. “Broke something, did I?”

    “Glalie!” Snover shouted, his voice now distant and muffled from behind the giant ball of ice that was blocking Dare’s senses. “Stop fraternizing and get them moving! If you broke one of their bones, get it braced and move on!”

    Glalie ground his teeth into each other, creating a sharp screeching sound. Both Meditite and Togetic shouted in pain, but Dare hardly noticed it with how much his arm hurt.

    “Keep that arm out,” Glalie demanded as he shifted to Charmander’s side. “I can... remedy this issue.” The venomous way Glalie stated ‘remedy’ made Dare cringe, but he didn’t want to argue with someone who could kill him at any given moment.

    Glalie’s mouth began to glow blue again, just as it had before he froze Meditite to the ground. With no further warning, he spun forwards and slammed his horn into Dare’s arm, forcing the wrist back into place. The pain was excruciating, but before Dare could even move in reaction to it, Glalie spun back to face Dare and released a gust of freezing wind.

    The pain was subdued with the cold, but Dare still doubled over and reached for his arm, making his displeasure known with a very loud yell. His claws never reached the scales, though. Instead, he found himself gripping a block of ice. Once he had regained his composure enough to silence himself, he moved his arm in front of his eyes. A thick cage of ice surrounded it, immobilizing the wrist, but also constricting the arm itself.

    Glalie began speaking again as Dare went silent. “Don’t think I just helped you, though. Either you follow me and we get that properly treated, or it’ll freeze and you’ll lose the arm completely. I think that should be a fairly good reason for you all not to give me any trouble.”

    The sounds of ice shattering set Dare on edge. “You can’t do that!” Meditite tone showed she was clearly defiant, despite how badly the entire team had been beaten. “What gives you the right to condemn him?!”

    “What gives me the right? Are you honestly so dense that you can’t understand what is happening?” Glalie floated away from Dare’s side. Dare was still too focused on working with his now frozen arm to look towards him. “He aided a known criminal, that Bulbasaur over there, twice. You both were lucky enough to only be caught once. Your punishments have to be less severe.”

    “Zeke is not a criminal!” Meditite shouted, and a smacking sound came shortly thereafter. At this point, Dare turned his head. A red mark that vaguely looked like a wing was beginning to form on Meditite’s cheek, showing something Dare hadn’t expected. Togetic had hit her. The nervous, over intelligent bird had just struck the very partner he was trying to save.

    Togetic himself seemed shocked for a moment, but he spoke. “We are not able to defeat this Glalie! Either we follow him or the Charmander loses an arm! Think for a second before you make it worse!”

    Glalie’s back was turned to Dare, but he could almost sense another smirk cross the monster’s face as Meditite backed down. “Thank you for being reasonable, Togetic,” he said deridingly. “Now then, you and Meditite will carry ‘Zeke’ since the Charmander is unable to. Understood?”

    Meditite’s face flushed red as Glalie said Zeke’s name, but she held her tongue. Togetic, on the other hand, showed no particular emotion and responded with a simple nod. Dare felt their reactions should have been reversed.

    “Good, then go pick him up. You’ll want to get moving before the Charmander’s nerves begin to die.”

    Dare tried to bring himself to his feet, but found it incredibly difficult with the heavy block of ice weighing down his right side. Meditite must have noticed this, as when she passed him, she grabbed his good arm and yanked him upwards. Dare stumbled slightly, but managed to get his feet underneath him.

    Meditite didn’t even wait for another word before continuing ahead and grabbing Zeke’s forelegs. Togetic was already holding onto Zeke’s hindlegs, and the duo lifted him up. Meditite had no trouble, but Togetic was clearly straining to support the Bulbasaur’s weight.

    “Now, follow me.” Glalie commanded as he floated in the direction the Snovers had gone. “And you’d better move fast.”

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Exiting the cave gave Dare an idea of why it was so easily guarded: it opened to a pathway on the outskirts of the very town they had entered the dungeon from. So it’s a tunnel that leads underneath and into the town. No wonder they were able to find us like that.

    Glalie continued leading the way forwards through the streets. A few of the civilians who were wandering about stopped and stared at the group exiting the dungeon. Some looked straight at Glalie, although when he looked back, they turned away sheepishly. Others looked towards the duo carrying Zeke and murmured amongst themselves, creating wild theories about what had happened.

    But what drew the most attention was Dare. A group of Pokémon that looked like giant snowflakes eyed him warily, ready to attack at any given moment. A colossus that looked like an iceberg on legs looked pityingly at the Charmander’s icy brace. Dare’s eyes shot from face to face, trying to find a friendly face amongst the crowd.

    One Pokémon seemed out of the ordinary. It vanished before Dare could identify it, but he caught sight of its blue insectoid winds before it moved out of sight. A twinge of pain shot through his mind, similar to what had happened in the cave.

    Not now, voice. Whatever you did was enough to wipe my mind of whatever set Glalie off. The last thing we need is another reason for him to kill me. This time, the voice seemed to listen and his headache vanished as abruptly as it had appeared.

    Their trip through the town was uneventful. More Pokémon stared at them as they walked along, but Dare didn’t care. He tried to keep track of where they traveled in the town, in case they were released and could make their way back to the dungeon, but all the buildings looked the same.

    Eventually, Glalie led them to an odd building, one built of steel rather than snow and ice. Charmander recognized the building immediately, despite never seeing such a structure before. He’s taking us to prison? He’s so vicious... How could he possibly be with the guards?

    Once they had entered the prison, a slab of steel slammed down behind them, closing off their entrance and sending a shockwave through the floor. Dare was shaken off of his feet and landed on his knees while Togetic and Meditite gripped tighter onto Zeke, having trouble staying up. Glalie turned around and scowled when he saw the fallen Charmander.

    “And I thought I might need help to defeat you. Poliwhirl wasn’t even necessary.”

    Two near-identical black Pokémon rushed into the room. Dare didn’t get time to identify them as they rushed behind Glalie and began to speak with him. “Which ones should we take?”

    “Take the ones carrying the Bulbasaur,” he replied without turning back to them. “I’ll be behind you with the Charmander.”

    The Pokémon ran back into the open and began to yell commands at Togetic and Meditite. Dare tried to figure out what they were, but he hadn’t seen anything like them before. They had red feathers coming out from the tops of their head and necks, as well as their ears and tails. Sharp white claws took the place of their hands and toes, and they both had malicious grins and red eyes.

    Togetic and Meditite moved forwards as they were commanded, despite their exhaustion from carrying Zeke. Togetic was obviously having trouble keeping his arms up, but Meditite still had energy to spare.

    “Hold on, Charmander,” Glalie growled. The quintet of Pokémon ahead of him rounded a corner and disappeared from view. “Now we can continue.”

    Dare stood back up and walked forward, following the path already taken ahead of him. Once he rounded the same corner, he couldn’t see anyone ahead. Glalie moved past him, muttering something to himself as he led the way further in.

    The path they took continued to turn randomly, and Dare felt like they were crossing over their own path a few times just to confuse him. Eventually, it lead to a cell with thick metal bars covering the face of it. A small section with a handle stuck out in the middle.

    Mere moments after they reached the cave, the pair of feathered Pokémon came in from their left. One of them walked past Dare and opened the door while the other one shoved him inside. A loud clang sounded behind him before he could even turn around.

    A chill ran up his spine again. He couldn’t tell if it was physical or psychological, as the feeling refused to subside. He turned around to see if one of his captors was attacking him, but they were all standing still. He cast a glance down at his frozen arm. “Can we get this fixed? I’d rather not lose my arm.”

    “I’ll handle this, Weavile. Go ahead back to your posts.” Glalie waited while his two allies walked away. Once they had left earshot, he spoke again. “How does that arm feel, Charmander?” His voice sounded strangely earnest, almost showing concern.

    Dare responded with a dismissive shrug, unwilling to give Glalie a voiced answer. Glalie chuckled. “So you aren’t feeling it yet. Don’t worry, it’ll get worse.” The malicious grin Glalie often had returned.

    “What do you mean ‘worse’? Aren’t you supposed-”

    “No, I’m not supposed to do anything. You heard the Snover, I was to brace your wound and continue. That has been done.”

    “But you said I follow you or I lose my arm. I followed, now I keep the arm.”

    “And what makes you think you’re in a position to demand that? Look at your situation for a moment. You are locked in a cage, with no friends in sight, and someone who can clearly kill you on the other side of the bars.”

    “But you’re putting me in prison! You can’t just mistreat your prisoners!”

    Glalie smirked again before turning away. “I believe I can.” With that last comment, he floated out of Dare’s sight.

    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Dare had only been in his cage for a few minutes before he noticed something strange happening. The cold which had secluded itself to his arm began to spread around his body. He felt his tail dim as his body temperature dropped.

    That’s it, I’m going to break this if he won’t. Better to hurt than to lose it. Charmander sucked in a deep breath, but before he could spit out a fireball, the voice from before entered his head and began speaking.

    A cage? But- The voice disappeared again.

    So you’re spying on me? Are you going to be civil this time? Charmander replied, trying to find a way to prepare for another mental assault.

    Dare waited for the voice to respond. It felt as if there was a strange lag between them, despite their argument being in thought. After a few seconds had passed, it spoke to him once more. This time a clear message got through. NO! Stay away from me!

    And with the message delivered, Dare felt a familiar headache suddenly appear. It was as excruciating as the first time the voice had attacked him, but he knew it was coming and struggled to hold control. This is my mind! Stop attacking me!

    The voice became scrambled once more, sending distorted sounds and words into his mind and clogging it up. Strangely enough, a second headache seemed to start at the same point in his head. He didn’t know he could hurt twice in the same place. Why are you doing this? What have I done that makes you so violent?

    His senses were flooded, each individually pouring suffering into his brain. Random colors overtook his vision and blurred into unrecognizable blobs while his nerves began to feel as if they were coated in acid. He could only hear the sound of the voice yelling until another voice entered his head, one that sounded much more calm.

    ”I can help you. I’m going to mute that connection temporarily. Okay?”

    Yes, anything to stop this!
    Dare’s mind shouted desperately. Just make them stop!

    A second more passed before the noise suddenly stopped. As quickly as the feelings had overtaken him and forced him into submission, they had disappeared. Dare found himself breathing heavily and laying on the floor. He reached his good claw up and rubbed his sore forehead. When he pulled the claw back in front of his face, he found there was blood on it. “I guess I hit my head pretty hard there.”

    ”Yeah, but that injury shouldn’t matter. You sure did a good job holding that psychic off,” the new voice answered in his mind, making Dare cringe. ”I’ve never seen one so desperate in their assaults, and I’m glad you held up that well.”

    “Who are you? Where are you?” Dare rocked himself up into a sitting position and looked out of the cage. No one appeared to be around.

    ”Please, be quiet. Just talk to me with your mind. I can’t help you if they spot me. I’ll show myself to you for just a second, but I really need to stay hidden.” There was a blur of motion as an insectoid Pokémon appeared in front of him. A blue stripe ran across its torso, as well as the beginnings and ends of its wings, four of which sprouted from its back and were fluttering at very high speeds.

    The Pokémon vanished in another blur before Dare could see anything else about it. I’m not sure I like another person invading my mind.

    ”I’m sorry, I wish I could speak with you instead, but I can’t risk getting caught. Now, quick question, have you spoken with or been with a Bulbasaur by the name of Zeke?”


    Dare felt an urge to be defiant. No, he’s helped me, so- Er, sorry. I don’t like having my mind read, I can’t keep even momentary urges secret.

    ”Don’t worry, I’ve been reading minds for long enough. I don’t judge Pokémon because of fleeting thoughts. Please answer me, though, have you been with Zeke?”

    Yes, I was working with him and we both got captured. Wait a minute, weren’t you watching us? Didn’t you see this?

    “Oh, you spotted me?”
    The insect paused for a moment. ”That’s... worrisome. But to answer your question: yes, I saw this. But I had to know if Zeke trusted you. I knew the other two with him- have they given you their names yet?”

    No, they haven’t. Were they-
    A stray thought interrupted his question and raised a new one. Zeke’s partner... You were Zeke’s partner, weren’t you? The one he was separated from before meeting me?

    Dare heard a soft buzz come from above him. It almost sounded like a sigh. ”Yes. That accursed squad of Snover separated me from him. Is he okay? He looked pretty badly off when I glanced at you all.”

    I honestly don’t know. I wish I did.


    Dare felt the blood from his forehead trickling down near his eye. He wiped it away with his healthy arm while the bug spoke again. ”I have to go see him, now. I’ll be back to help you in a minute, okay?”

    Don’t worry, I’ll still be here when you get back, frozen arm and all.

    “Right, that... I can help with that, if you’d like. It’ll hurt, though.”

    I could probably thaw it anyways, so don’t-

    “Oh, no no no, you do not want to do that. Getting water into the wound if there’s any broken scales there would only hinder your healing.”

    So what do you suggest?

    “Sorry, no time.”
    He felt some sort of force overtake his body, and it forced him to rush to a wall of the cage. Before he could react and ask what was happening, his arm pulled away from the wall and slammed into it at lightning speed, shattering the icy prison. His arm again fell into a state of pure agony, but he felt it go numb a few moments later. Dare managed to hold in the scream he felt coming to the surface, but he still fell over from the temporary shock.

    Could have warned me about that! Dare complained as he sat back up and rubbed his freed wrist. What did you do to me?

    ”I shut off the nerves in your wrist so you wouldn’t feel it. Sorry, I’ll fix it later, but I’ve wasted enough time. I’ll be back after I speak with Zeke.”

    The headache he still had died down, leaving only the pain of the bleeding cut on his forehead. The blur of the insect flew past his vision, disappearing past the wall on his right. So those headaches are a sign that a Psychic is in my mind. Good to know, but... what do I do now?

    More minutes passed while Dare was left alone. He took a deep breath and rubbed at his wrist again. There’s so much I need to think about. Like how Meditite used Zeke’s name there. She seemed so reluctant to use names before...

    But it doesn’t help to wonder about this kind of stuff. I’ll just have to ask her once I get the chance.
    Dare looked down the hallway he had entered from and saw Glalie floating back inwards. If I get the chance.

    “So, you were intelligent enough to shatter that brace, hm? You seem no worse for the wear from it as well.” Glalie floated right next to the bars. “...Might you be willing to explain yourself now?”

    Dare sat silently and stared at Glalie. At least he doesn’t read my thoughts.

    “You’d find it in your best interest to speak. Giving us the truth may help to lessen your punishments.” Glalie’s eyes shifted down to Dare’s arm. “Blood? Now how did you manage to hurt yourself in there?”

    Dare still didn’t speak, instead releasing a primal growl. You’ll get nothing from me, Glalie. I don’t care if you are somehow with the good guys, you were going to kill us.

    “Fine, continue to be difficult.” Glalie’s indifference was almost more frustrating to Dare than his earlier anger. “I’ll return shortly, and whether you like it or not, you will give me the information I want. Only a matter of time.”

    Glalie turned away and vanished beyond the corner of Dare’s cell, leaving him alone again. What does that mean? He can’t torture me... can he? Or is there some sort of ice-psychic Pokémon around? Or... No, stop it! Being paranoid won’t help anything!

    But still... I wish that bug would hurry. I don’t think I’ll last long against whatever Glalie has planned.


    -------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    Author Notes: Well, this chapter did have a few hiccups during its development, but in the end, it's for the best. The next two or so chapters should be coming much faster.

    So, this was a very dialogue heavy chapter, and I hope it doesn't come across as an infodump or some other such negative thing. I liked writing the chapter, though, and I hope that you enjoyed reading it.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Between Nod and Terrafirma
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    Addressing the authors note, no, it doesn't come across as an info dump, I actually rather enjoyed this session.

    The only part I'm confused about is who shouted "no, stay away" as it seems like charmander did, but he wasn't the main focus there...

    Anyway, looking forward to your next chapter, perhaps you can post it by next week to make up for the wait of the last one?... *Already knows you can.*


    Credit to Brutaka for the amazing banner and user bar. Yeah, having 2 is redundant, but it shows you guys my favorite pokemon, what story I had planned and my position in the WoJ.

    Time, there's never enough of it but it's always there to waste.
    -Azurus

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Everywhere
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    Like I said before, I am glad that you split up the chapter at the point where you have it now. It seems to end on a good note that's a bit of a cliffhanger, but is satisfying enough to the readers. There are many things running through my mind, but I suppose the main question I have in mind is why Mothim was in that prison in the first place. Did he simply see Zeke get dragged there after they got separated and chased after him?

    Either way, this was a satisfying chapter.

    Credit to Brutaka for the epic banner and Haychel for the image on such banner.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    23

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    Thank you both for the reviews! Now on to responses, first to Azurus...

    Addressing the authors note, no, it doesn't come across as an info dump, I actually rather enjoyed this session.
    I'm glad to hear that! Always nice to hear someone enjoys your work.

    The only part I'm confused about is who shouted "no, stay away" as it seems like charmander did, but he wasn't the main focus there...
    That would be the psychic talking, not him. Sorry, I'll edit that to make it more clear.

    Anyway, looking forward to your next chapter, perhaps you can post it by next week to make up for the wait of the last one?... *Already knows you can.*
    I'll make no promises, but yes, the next chapter will be up earlier than usual. And I suppose, since it's literally passing the one week mark today, unfortunately not by then.

    Now for SableVulpi's comments.

    Like I said before, I am glad that you split up the chapter at the point where you have it now. It seems to end on a good note that's a bit of a cliffhanger, but is satisfying enough to the readers.
    Good to hear. I actually didn't want it to end on a cliffhanger, as I feel like I've done that a few too many times recently, but I'm glad it's not interrupting or annoying.

    There are many things running through my mind, but I suppose the main question I have in mind is why Mothim was in that prison in the first place. Did he simply see Zeke get dragged there after they got separated and chased after him?
    Well, actually, he clearly saw Zeke being carried away and followed after them (as Dare noticed him above the crowd for that split second). How he got into the prison unnoticed is a bit harder to explain at the moment, but you'll see fairly soon.

    I'm glad you both enjoyed the chapter, though, and thank you both for the reviews once again!

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