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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Survival Project (PG-13)

    Hello~ Most of you probably don't know me since it's been a very long time since I've posted anything, but that's okay. I'm trying to get back into reading/writing fanfic, so hopefully I'll be able to help others with their writing somehow and get some constructive criticism myself.

    This will be an OT journey fic, with each chapter told from the point of view of a pokémon belonging to the main trainer. The point of view will rotate but will not go in any specific order, and the pokémon will be identified (by nickname) with the chapter name.

    Rated PG-13 for language, violence, and some mature themes.

    Any and all comments are appreciated.

    Nominations

    - February fic of the month 2012 (pokecommunity)
    - March fic of the month 2012 (pokecommunity)
    - Best dark fic (bulbagarden)
    - Senori for best protagonist (bulbagarden)
    - Best journey fic (bulbagarden)
    - Best pokémon chaptered fic (serebii)
    - Most original overall (serebii)
    - Most heartbreaking fic (serebii)
    - Best trainer fic (serebii)
    - Kuiora for best non-human main character (serebii)
    - Senori for best non-human main character (serebii)
    - Sai for best human supporting character (serebii)

    Awards

    - May fic of the month 2012 (pokecommunity)
    - Best writing style (serebii)
    - Best pokémon-centric fic (serebii)
    - Most heartwarming scene (serebii)

    Other

    - PE2K Recommendation

    PM List
    - Sidewinder
    - The Great Butler
    - Dragonicwari
    - Jazz14456
    - Sid87
    - Janovy
    - Crimson Penguin
    - pokerock4

    Index

    1. all or nothing [senori]
    2. suppression [kuiora]
    3. anxiolytic [senori]
    4. frush [atis]
    5. logistics [kuiora]
    6. escalate [atis]
    7. oracle [senori]
    8. belong [kuiora]
    9. suspended [senori]
    10. grounded [ezrem]
    11. stranger [rennio]
    12. influence [atis]
    13. automatic [rennio]
    14. chance [senori]
    15. unfettered [ezrem]
    16. connection [kuiora]
    17. resolute [atis]
    18. crescendo [senori]
    19. ephemeral [rennio]
    20. mentality [ezrem]
    21. cynosure [atis]
    22. epitome [kuiora]
    23. armageddon [senori]
    24. stand my ground [sai] | part one | part two | part three |
    25. phoenix [ezrem]
    26. memory [atis]
    27. scald [senori]
    28. unanimous [kuiora]
    29. finality [rennio]
    30. epilogue [ensemble]



    SURVIVAL PROJECT

    Mind led body
    to the edge of the precipice.
    They stared in desire
    at the naked abyss.
    If you love me, said mind,
    take that step into silence.
    If you love me, said body,
    turn and exist.
    — "Vertigo" by Anne Stevenson

    chapter 1 ; [SENORI]
    all or nothing

    *

    I never saw him coming.

    Perhaps my tail was not yet long enough to help me stand higher and watch for danger. Younger sentret are always vulnerable to such restrictions, but my clan didn't have a concrete idea of age—just loyalty and ability. I wish age was a pronounced concept in the pokémon world, but I don't choose what's important. Who was to say that my tail was going to grow any more? I only knew that I was old enough to be shunned by my clan due to a catastrophe that was out of my control.

    It could have been sleep deprivation. There was no one to switch shifts with, because no one wanted to defy the clan and end up in my position, too. When you're alone, you can kind of doze off without realizing it. But I'd trained for much of my life to do this, to protect. Sleep was never an issue, not even when I failed—once. After standing guard almost all day, every day, nothing as pathetic as that should have interfered.

    Every aspect of my life was opposed by a larger, impenetrable force. Fate was trying to show me how things fall somewhere between completely right and completely wrong. I never questioned this, not until that time, when I thought that I should have felt his presence or smelled him or seen him. He still would have attacked. He still would have taken and given... everything. The situation would have made some sort of sense if I had anticipated something, anything.

    And yet—

    I never saw him coming.

    *

    It's funny, I guess. Humans are supposed to make some kind of mark when walking through a forest. They're supposed to snap twigs, leave footprints and mess with tree branches out of boredom. Even though he did none of this, I should have seen his shadow thanks to the sun rays pouring through the tree canopies. Instead, a simple blur appeared as he ran behind me.

    He was fast, so very fast.

    He swung his one leg out, hit my feet as hard as he could. I lost my balance and fell face first into the ground. As I fell, I was expecting to see claws. Paws. Not flesh caked with dried dirt and blood. He wasn't a fellow pokémon coming to get revenge.

    To say that I was surprised would be an understatement. Not only had he gone undetected, but also I had never seen a human attack a pokémon. I didn't know how to react to this new situation, so I remained where I was, silently hoping against hope that he would walk away. And then it hit me: this human was a threat to my clan. If he was willing to hurt me, then he would be willing to hurt other pokémon. The worst part of it all? My clan didn't know he was there.

    Of course this would happen to me. And of course I was choosing to just... lie there. Though my intentions were true, my security was gone. There was no one to cheer me on from the side, no one to notice my efforts, no one to assist me at times like these. Not anymore.

    What could I do? If I screamed, my clan would ignore me, thinking I was looking for attention. I could have run, but I would have accidentally led the attacker straight to them. Unacceptable. But I couldn't attack, that much was clear. I didn't know how to track him; I couldn't see him move properly; and I didn't believe that pokémon and humans should fight. In that moment, I wanted previous experience with fighting humans, but that seemed to be the same as wanting more attacks on the clan as an excuse to battle. I pushed the thought away.

    Suddenly, I realized that time had passed with me getting lost in my own mind. The human had done nothing else, as he was most likely waiting for me to acknowledge his existence. I lifted my head slowly. Mud clung to my face. Leaves swayed in the wind while the trees watched, as they always did, hushed and calm. Nature was peaceful and easy to deal with, unlike this blatant challenge.

    The stream in front of us was no different. Water moved gently in the only direction it knew. I tend to believe I was imagining this scene, because if it were real, that would mean we were near my clan and I didn't want that. I must have wandered in that general area out of subconscious desperation, but I couldn't be sure. I had to focus on the present moment.

    There were no signs of the human's presence when I looked from the front. Fate had sent trouble my way and didn't want me to see it, apparently.

    I assumed he was still behind me. I stood up, clenched my tiny hands. I pulled my fist back and turned around, intending to use my sucker punch attack to get the upper hand, but I swung at the air and missed. Had he left, I would have been relieved, but disappointed that yet another living creature deemed me as a waste of time.

    My self-pity party ended when, from the corner of my eyes, I saw him kicking at me. I didn't even have enough momentum to quickly escape. He pinned me down, and then he tried to pick me up with his hands in a way that wouldn't let me wiggle free. I made an honest effort for once and bit him. I bit him hard and he didn't yell at me. He stopped trying to pick me up, pressed me deeper into the dirt. Sharp pains flowed throughout my body so effortlessly, yet in deformed rhythms. I sank further and further into the mud, an everlasting reminder of what defeat really is. And I cried. I wailed.

    My cry echoed and echoed and the lull that passed between the two of us broke my heart.

    My clan wasn't coming to rescue me. I certainly wasn't going to rescue myself. Finally, finally, he removed his grip, stepped over me, and turned to face me. Blood seeped down his right hand to his elbows and inevitably onto the grassy floor. His face was tense; his dark eyes showed no feeling. He probably thought I was too slow to break away, and he was being kind by giving me this false reassurance.

    I gave in, but not truly. He could have me, as long as my clan was safe.

    He shouldn't have given out a second chance, but he did. I didn't take it. His fist collided with my stomach. My knees buckled; my vision went askew. The forest bed was my friend once more. How could a human have this much power?

    Before fainting, I swore I heard him sigh and look... disappointed. That was the first emotion I ever saw from him, and I will always remember it. I didn't know what he had envisioned, though. Pokémon can't predict human movements. Not that I was trying. Maybe I hadn't spent enough time with him at this point, but there was nothing else out of the ordinary with this boy. He wasn't wearing shoes, but that could be normal, right? He looked like a new trainer with his unkempt black hair, his plan black t-shirt, and frayed shorts.

    Had he not attacked me, I would have thought he was just like everyone else.

    But his mobility was stunning, quiet and able to shake the reality I had come to know. His thoughts were unreadable, but if I could have heard them, I'm confident when I say they would have been stronger than any punch or kick.

    There was nothing left to ask as I slipped into unconsciousness.

    *

    When I woke up, a dull, soft pressure throbbed on the side of my head. Dizziness initially accompanied the pain, but I focused on the fact that I could no longer feel mud on my face and that I was propped up against a tree. I opened my eyes when the dizziness faded. I had to blink a few times before I could see clearly. The first thing I noticed was my attacker sitting next to me, staring into the distance, supposedly unaware of my awakening. For some reason, he had cleaned my face and put me into a more comfortable position. I didn't know what he was going to do next.

    I relaxed when I came to understand that the rest of the forest was untouched. My clan wasn't sprinting by, panicking while they prepared to flee or die. If they found me in my current predicament, however, they might hate me even more for allowing this menace to run loose.

    I wanted to disappear. Physically, I didn't know if it was possible, since the human had come close to crushing my skull. I was also mentally drained, lacking in motivation, and I was convinced he could readily catch me. I wanted to fix that look of disappointment I saw. I wanted to tell him it wasn't his fault that I didn't defend myself, and that it wasn't his fault I deserved to be battered the way I was. My pokémon speech would be useless, anyway. In the end, all would be done in vain.

    Realizing this, I sighed. The slight motion had interesting consequences.

    Overall, he had seemed all right. Serene, even, and the nice actions he performed gave him points. But I sighed and the noise made him snap his head up and grasp his right wrist, the one stained red. When his knuckles started turning whiter than white, he wrapped his arms around his legs, holding his knees close to his face. His expression tensed, and I should have been scared. Anyone else would have been scared, but all I could think about was how he was ruining the circulation in his hands and, somehow, it was my fault.

    “You're awake,” he said after a few more moments.

    I jumped when he spoke, because I'd never had a human communicate with me. His voice sounded both hollow and childish. The combination seemed impossible, but that was the best way to describe it at the time.

    Now I wanted to reply. If I said what I wanted to say, I would go unheard. What would I have taught the children from my clan to do? I would tell them to play along. Get on his good side, act cheerful, and leave whenever the opportunity presented itself.

    “Stating the obvious, are we?” I said. I grinned, ignoring the pain in my jaw. If I was lucky, I could make him smile or chuckle.

    “Yes, I guess I am.”

    “Look, I—” I cut myself off after calculating his words, deciding they were a direct response to what I had said. This human was odd, more so than I initially thought. Nothing made sense again. “Why... Why do you understand me?” I managed to ask, though he was looking at me, examining me.

    “Am I not supposed to?”

    I paused, then went on to ramble. “You're... not supposed to know what I'm saying, no. New trainers come by here with their starters all the time. They have to read their pokémon's body language and gestures, and the language itself will come in time, I assume, since I've seen older trainers come by, too... I don't get it...”

    “If it helps you, I can pretend to not understand.”

    “If it helps me do what?” I asked, shifting uncomfortably against the tree trunk.

    “Become stronger.”

    Well, that explained why he confronted me earlier. He wanted to test my strength. The outcome: I was weak. That was true, at least, but there was something missing.

    “Why would you need me to get stronger?”

    He wouldn't look at me as he answered, “We're going on a journey. We're going to get the badges here in Johto. They told me to capture the first pokemon I saw, and... that wasn't you, I admit, but you'll have to do.”

    “What are you—”

    “You're my first pokémon, Senori.”

    The human sounded so sure of himself, but I wasn't sure of anything. This would mean leaving my clan. They didn't want me, but they still needed me. All of them. They just didn't know it. If I left and came back to find them maimed, eaten, burned with the rest of the forest... I could never forgive myself if that happened. No, no, no.

    And who was Senori? That wasn't my name, but here it was, directed at me as if I had possessed it since birth. Still. His declaration almost made everything seem okay and real. I chose to start here as I told him, “I'm sorry, but that's not my name. I'm usually called—”

    “I don't care what anyone's called you. Your name is Senori,” he said, his gaze focused on me once more.

    “Fine. It doesn't matter. I'm not going anywhere with you.” My quick temper was going to get me into more trouble if I wasn't careful. Usually, if I acted angry with a member of my clan, the other pokémon would feel guilty and apologize. This boy, he smiled, as if what I said meant nothing. I smiled, too, and continued, “You didn't even catch me in a pokéball. Trainers get their starters in New Bark Town, anyway, which is nearby. I don't know who works with all that, but you can ask around.”

    The human's eyes widened. “But that's not what they told me to do. I just listened. I just tried to listen...” He trailed off, then came up with his own version of an appropriate response. “You're coming with me, and I'll get a pokémon in New Bark Town, too. That way, I'm doing it right for everyone.”

    Why didn't this boy know how to start his own pokémon journey properly? Every kid who passed by talked on and on about their tenth birthday and how they wanted to travel through Johto while making friends with their favorite creatures. They talked about becoming so free, so independent, so strong. I wondered if his parents kept him sheltered, but that seemed silly. He would have learned about it somewhere. If his parents forbade him to go and he went in spite of that, he could have been feigning innocence...

    This was my problem: I thought too much, and I knew next to nothing, though I believed otherwise. I didn't know whether or not I was going to depart from my home for him. I didn't know why I was the one he picked. There's always someone who wants to hold another person's hand until they're ready to let go. That someone, during our first conversation, wasn't me.

    “Okay,” I said. It was wrong of me to say, as his eyes brightened. “I'll go with you to New Bark Town. I'll see what I can do about getting you a real first pokémon in a pokéball. But then I'm out of here. I have family and friends to stay with.”

    This was wrong of me to say, too. His face contorted with fury. “You can't go,” he said firmly, peering down. “You can't do this to me. You can't.”

    “What? There are plenty of sentret on the other side of Cherrygrove, if you really want one. It... can't be me.”

    “It has to be you. There is no one else but you.” He reached into his pocket, causing me to flinch. He pulled out a small object shaped like a cube with smooth, rounded corners. It was mostly white with varying amounts of black dots on each side. I didn't know what the black parts meant, but it seemed harmless. He handed it to me and I took it.

    “What's this for?” I asked, struggling to hold it.

    “It's a standard six-sided die. Roll it.”

    “Excuse me? Roll it?”

    “Yes.”

    “I don't know what you mean.”

    “Roll it. Throw it. Whatever. I can't do it for you or it won't mean anything.” When I thought of rolling, I thought of taking a bath, moving my body around in the water until I was clean... “It's been with me for years. It's survived every obstacle in its way, only to end up in your hands. So roll it.” He pushed my paws toward my chest. The pressure was similar to when he foot was pushed against my head. My bones ached. “There is no one else but you,” he repeated.

    “What happens when I roll it?” I asked, not quite ready to give in. I couldn't get caught up in lies or bad intentions twice in a row. I believe there is good in everyone, but that didn't make me less wary of him.

    “You'll see that I am right.”

    Despite my stubbornness, I couldn't gather the courage needed to keep up the argument. I thrust my paw forward, my fixation on the object never wavering. It rotated in the grass, then determinedly landed on the side with a single black dot on it. I didn't comprehend the results, but the boy reacted joyfully.

    “See? You're number one. There is no one else but you. Even if that pokémon from New Bark Town is supposed to be my first, it won't be.” He grabbed the object with delicacy, though it didn't appear breakable. “I'll keep it in my pocket so you'll always know, Senori. And so everyone else will know. Let's go.”

    Reluctantly I sat. Ever since that terrible incident, I wanted to feel useful and loved. Being called number one fit into those desires. But I wanted to be needed by the family I grew up with, the family that considered me a leader. Torn, the verdict came to me. My family wasn't here, and there wasn't any indication that they would be there in the future. This wasn't their shot at redemption. It had to be mine.

    “Yeah. Let's go. By the way, I don't know your name.” Stay optimistic. Stay happy, believe in fate—for them. “Should I decide it for you?” I surprised myself with sarcasm. I was hesitant toward him and figured I didn't want to leave because, deep down, I didn't want him to wrongly view me as worthwhile.

    “My name? My name is Sai.”

    *

    We walked away from our battlefield and away from my clan. I planned to say my goodbyes as we circled back to Cherrygrove, and by then I would be more firm with my decisions. I turned, as if this was my last chance to see the stream from which we drank and the trees we climbed to get closer to the sky. Sai was blocking my way.

    “I'm going to carry you so it will go faster,” he said, and promptly scooped me into his arms. I didn't complain. I was aching all over, but it did annoy me as he held me with his bloodied hand. I already hated seeing him hurt.

    “So. Why can you understand me already?” I said, refusing to protest against him any further.

    “That doesn't matter. Are we there yet?”

    He was an impatient one. I had to distract him. “It sounds to me like you just don't know.”

    Sai halted mid-step, turning me around to face him, obviously not caring about inducing more wounds. He frowned; his eyes seemed darker than before; I thought he was going to explode. Instead he ordered me to keep leading the way.

    If I was being honest, I had never been inside New Bark Town. I could have very well been leading him down the wrong path. It was unfortunate that he came from the north and had no knowledge of the area, and so I had to rely on fate to take us there.

    “This way,” I said. He listened, as if I were the trainer. “What pokémon are you gonna get, anyway?”

    “I don't know.”

    “Well... There's different types, which have different strengths and weaknesses. Some specialize in attack while others specialize in defense. There's a lot of things to account for.”

    Sai didn't say anything. I shrugged him off, thinking he was daydreaming, like most new trainers do. I didn't know then that he had no clue as to what starters were available. I didn't know that his lack of awareness could go this far.

    “And you're going to help me, right?”

    “Help you do... what, exactly?” I asked. This conversation didn't look too hopeful, when you looked at how the last time we talked about helping each other.

    "You'll tell me about each of them. The pokémon. And then I'm going to watch them and I'll choose from there. The one with the most potential will join us."

    "The most potential for what? Actually, never mind that! You can't just... watch them!" I took a deep breath. "Most trainers go in, knowing who they want, and they take that pokémon along with any other items the person gives them, and that's that. They're so excited about it and they blabber on about it for hours when they pass this forest. It seems like it's all a part of the journey. Why are you making this so complicated? Why are you the only one who doesn't know what to do?" There went my temper again, and I waited for the aftermath.

    But nothing happened. "As long as I get the pokémon, it shouldn't matter, right?" he said. "It's still starting out the correct way."

    "I suppose that's true," I said unsure of whose rules he was intending to follow until the end.

    "And you're going to help me, right?" he said with that same hollow and childish voice, like he was embarrassed to ask for my support.

    I didn't know why he needed my support. I mean, trainers count on their pokémon, but not like this. I wouldn't know why for most of the journey. Once, I thought I accepted his offer because of my penchant for protecting others, or because he'd attack me more if I said no. Later, I would come to know him better, on an intense level that would teach me how perfectly wrong I was.

    He was special, the kind of treasured person you want to keep around.

    "Don't worry. I'm going to take care of you," I told him.

    I undertook this task dubiously, and this uncertainty grew into sincerity and devotion soon enough.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 12th July 2014 at 11:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    680

    Default


    SURVIVAL PROJECT

    chapter 2 ; [KUIORA]
    suppression

    *

    Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved a girl. Then the girl left him and the boy didn't want to love her anymore.

    The two of them had been together for many years, and the girl found perfection in the boy every day. Because of this, she was eternally grateful to have him in her life, and often she wondered what she had done to deserve him. He had done well to earn a life more extravagant and timeless, yet he stayed by her side. The idea of him having regrets haunted her. She dwelled on these thoughts, unable to find a way to ease the chaos in her mind.

    One day, she was luckless, or fortunate, depending on how you view it. She stumbled upon someone who told her about three specific legendary pokémon: the bringers of knowledge, willpower, and emotion. They were born from the same egg, which was created by the god of pokémon. They resided deep in the caves of Sinnoh, safe from harm and disturbance.

    After analyzing the conversation, she knew her destiny, and felt obligated to fulfill her duty.

    “We have them to thank for everything,” she said when she told her husband this. “Every tree, every mountain, every sea, they all conspired for millions and millions of years to get us both here. And I don’t know why they conspired so much, but I want to see them and thank them. I need to let them know their efforts weren't in vain. Won't you come with me?”

    But the boy didn't want to go. He wanted to preserve their privacy, wanted to accept life as it was. There was no point in messing with things that couldn't be changed.

    “You are the most important part of my life. These creatures have given me the ability to love, the desire to live in this terrible world, and the knowledge to know how to survive long enough to make you happy somehow. Do you not think of this? Will you not go with me?” she asked.

    Still, he would not go. He tried to stall her, but failed. She defied him with dismay, explaining where she was going and saying that she would be back as soon as possible.

    She took a ferry to Sinnoh. Several people asked her what was wrong. Why did a pretty lady like her look so sad? Even she didn't know, though she carried with her the comfort of finding answers to questions asked long ago.

    She visited Uxie at Lake Verity and told the fantastical creature what was true in her heart. Uxie didn't respond negatively, and so she deemed her feelings legitimate. When she visited Mesprit at Lake Acuity, it was the same, and she now felt reassured about the boy resisting urges to run from her, if he had any to begin with.

    Lake Valor, Azelf's home, was bare. Even the lake itself was empty when she swam through it, free from her clothes and burdens. She bought a motel room in the nearest town and wanted to return soon, but she heard rumors of a boy upsetting Azelf's resting place and being punished for it. Upon hearing more information, she knew the boy was hers, for he had the same description and temperament. She panicked, asked where to find him, and went to the hospital.

    He was alive, but gone. She screamed. She screamed so loud, and he didn't—couldn't—hold her. The doctors had to soothe her, but they had no explanations or words of wisdom to offer. They dealt with reality, the kind of sick that you can see, not myths and stories. She couldn't decipher the psychic-type's behavior, either, especially after her experiences with its siblings. That, she could deal with. It was vital, this desire to know why the boy came to the lakes despite his protests. What she sought couldn't be found this time around.

    Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved a boy. And when he died by her hands, she couldn't stop loving him.

    *

    Professor Elm told me this tale before I left the lab. He also told me it was a little too heartbreaking and dark for a young totodile like me, but that was the case for every story, it seemed. I insisted that I could take it, and he didn't hold back. The story was sad, yes, but it inspired me to travel the world, as other discoveries awaited me. The professor spoke eagerly of fond memories from his childhood, too. I wanted to create my own memories and make them pure enough to tell anyone who would listen. Needless to say, I couldn't stand being at the lab anymore.

    I didn't value people who were vulnerable, frail, and lacking in tact. Professor Elm was exactly that kind of man. Somehow I believed I was blessed to be with him. He was patient and flexible as well, which was beneficial for me. These characteristics of his led me straight to my destiny. I can't imagine any other professor giving me up the way he did just to ensure my happiness. While he emphasized training for the other starter pokémon, he catered to my religious fantasies, my thirst for learning. Of course, I trained and became an obedient pokemon, too. I only agreed to do this, however, out of fear for meeting a legendary pokémon someday and being weak, clueless and disrespectful. I simply wasn't like the others, who avoided sleep and exhausted themselves more than was necessary. It was all about balance and routine.

    I was never satisfied until the day my trainer came for me.

    “We'll be starting the training for today, okay? I hope you're all refreshed and ready to go,” Professor Elm said. It was just another ordinary day. I watched the group of pokémon from my favorite spot against the split-rail fence. I could see the rest of New Bark Town if I looked through the fence, but it kept us trapped inside. I wondered why it was needed, since Professor Elm trusted us not to escape. It was standard protocol, apparently. Even I wouldn't have escaped if given the chance. I was to wait for whatever the gods had in store for me.

    The chikorita, the cyndaquil and the rest of the totodile gathered in the middle of the backyard. I stood, basking for one last moment in the sun. It was the brightest where I sat, and this was where Professor Elm spent his time with me. He never asked me to move, even if it was difficult for him to concentrate with the light shining in his eyes. I made my way over to the others. The pokémon squealed excitedly, and then the noise died down as Professor Elm cleared his throat.

    As usual, he started by talking about us being a trainer's starter.

    “What can you do to help the trainer grow and learn? You are not necessarily weak, but are just beginning alongside your trainer… I can't teach you much, because it is not up to me,” the professor said, a hint of sadness in his voice. “But I can make things easier. You will all have to battle, as you know. We’ll warm up by starting out with tackle and scratch attacks, which you’ll often use in battle until you learn new attacks.”

    There were three large oak trees in the backyard. They looked as if they could tumble if we struck them too hard. They had been abused repeatedly over the years, and we were about to add to their beaten demeanor. I went to the tree designated for us water-type starters. I started lightly, and with every tackle, I willed my strength to come to me. We took turns bashing, hitting, slamming.

    “I really like training...” one of the totodile stated, “but tackling makes my head hurt!”

    I could relate, but I adjusted to the constant collisions and rough texture of the bark. Another totodile agreed and complained about how tired he was. During the next few turns, the totodile missed the tree entirely. The professor saw this, and instructed them to stop. They pouted and watched in dismay as everyone else continued practicing.

    I sighed. Once again, the totodile had ruined my training. An ache like that came when you didn't pace yourself, but they couldn't grasp that concept. I would have told them what was on my mind, once, but they weren't willing to adapt.

    Eventually, we moved on to our specialized, elemental attacks.

    “A cyndaquil's fire can keep things warm, especially in the winter. Or they can cook food on the road. Chikorita can carry things with their vines, and their evolutions can heal teammates. And totodile can provide water and can scare away predators with their size and jaws. You should all do these things for your future trainer, just as you do them for me. Understood?”

    We nodded.

    The cyndaquil got to work first, and the rest of us followed. They blew fire at each other, since the heat energized them rather than burned them. (When they were babies, they made the grass catch fire, but thankfully, they grew out of that.) The chikorita carried rocks and potted plants, careful to not drop them. The totodile based their success on how soaked an object was when they were finished, but I had passed that stage already. I focused on how long I could keep the jet stream going without taking a breath.

    Just as I thought we were improving, trouble was brewing among the chikorita. One of the younger chikorita didn't want to be carried, but her friends were telling her to quit her whining. Her squeals echoed throughout the backyard and maybe beyond. The professor ordered, in a feeble voice, to knock it off.

    He lightened the mood with food. He brought out trays filled with various kinds of berries and let us choose what he wanted. I took a few of my favorite Cheri berries. We spread apart after emptying the trays, with me going back to my spot near the fence, and with the others speaking randomly to each other with their mouths full.

    I sat in peace, waiting for Professor Elm to show up, as he always during our breaks. Rays of sunlight poured onto my body, and I had to shield my eyes to see where on the ground I put my Cheri berries. I ate them, one by one, savoring the flavor and finding it fascinating how the legendary pokémon made the sun necessary for survival, yet the sun itself never had any reaction toward what happened on the land it provided for. The entire human species, and all pokémon, could be gone tomorrow, and it wouldn't notice or care. It would rise and fall blindly. I vowed that someday I would make the sun care about me.

    When Professor Elm came, he looked strangely comfortable, and he was beaming. He didn't even make a remark about the sun blocking his view.

    “You look awfully happy today,” I pointed out. As soon as I said it, I hoped I didn't sound too rude. I had a tendency to talk without thinking. He often told me I had the biggest ego he had ever seen, but he also told me I was mature for my age. Prone to tantrums and a bit of violence, sure, but certainly not naive. Then again, I hadn't expressed to him all my dreams for the future.

    “Yes,” he replied. “Someone's here for you.”

    I had heard many wild, impossible things, but in that moment, that statement topped them all. “Who would be here for me?”

    “Who else?” He wouldn't stop smiling.

    “A trainer...” I tried to process the situation. There were several totodile a trainer could pick from, and no one wants such a serious child trekking behind them... “How do you know they're here for me?”

    “He said he saw us training through the fence when passing by,” Professor Elm explained. “He was impressed with what he saw from you. The totodile with the improvised, specific routines? That's you.”

    So. I was special in someone's eyes. About time, really. My work had finally paid off, though I vaguely wished I had known he was watching me at the time it was happening.

    “I'm leaving today, then? Now?” I felt as if I hadn't spoken in weeks.

    “If you're ready. If you want me to, I can tell him that you're not ready to be handled, though I'm not a fan of lying...” the professor said, rubbing the back of his head.

    “No! I want to go.”

    “Great. You'll be fine. You want something more than basic necessities, and the rest of the pokémon have yet to realize the same. I've tried to help you to the best of my abilities over the last year, since it's my job, but... a trainer is a whole other story.”

    I looked down, not wanting to seem too antsy like the others usually were. “What are we waiting for?” I returned his smile.

    “You don't want to say goodbye?” Despite his questioning tone, it seemed more like a statement to me.

    “We aren't exactly close.”

    “Don't be too hard on them. We can't all be the same.”

    “I know.” But it didn't change my mind. Being stuck in one place hadn't gotten me far, and I wanted freedom for the others, too. The backyard we spent our days in... The land was only good for holding the pokémon world together. Without designated starters, new ten-year-old trainers wouldn't know where to begin. We were chosen, though not in the way I wanted to be chosen. Everyone here, their separate purposes amount to so much more. Why wasn't this obvious?

    *

    I had never been inside Professor Elm's lab before. I knew what a building was, at least, because there was a shed in the backyard for when it stormed. I was disappointed that the professor never offered to let me see his research before.

    Tall shelves lined the walls, showing off colorful book spines. There were landscape paintings hung by the lone desk in the room; the wooden frames looked out of place against the metal behind them. The floor beneath me was cold and unlike anything my feet had ever felt. Several researchers I barely recognized were bustling about, holding clipboards and pens while watching machines with intense interest.

    My attention drifted to a boy wearing normal clothes rather than white coats and long pants. He had asked for me, but he didn't seem pleased to see me. He was frowning and seemed oblivious to his surroundings. I could get his approval later. For now I looked him over. His hair was dark and crazy, like he had just woken up. His arms were covered in cuts and bruises, which told me he wasn't a beginner. He had experience. Suddenly I was much more intrigued.

    “This is Sai,” Professor Elm said, motioning to the trainer.

    “Sai?” I said. I repeated the name over and over in my head. Since none of us were directly called anything but our species name, we had to rely on differences in voice and body sizes. I had assumed humans were similar, and that 'Professor Elm' was a professional title. By the looks of things, we could be called something distinguishable! I was learning a lot already.

    Professor Elm explained that I was the totodile he had seen through the fence. I heard bits and pieces about attacks I knew and how I could be useful, but it was hard to focus. I knew all of this, and I wanted to get going.

    “Do you have a trainer's card?”

    “I do not.”

    “You do know you need a trainer's card if you want to travel with pokémon, right?” Professor Elm said, his voice quiet as he fumbled with some papers in his hands.

    What was a trainer's card? Why did it matter? Way to potentially ruin things for me, Professor Elm. If Sai would fix this misunderstanding...

    “I... wasn't expecting to see the totodile. I was passing by.” For whatever reasons, his words made me grin.

    “Where are you from?”

    “I'm from Vermilion City,” Sai said, folding his arms.

    “That's a bit far, huh? I can't think of why you're here, then...” Professor Elm said, more to himself than to Sai as he paced back and forth, writing something down.

    “Just visiting the region. Seeing the sights.”

    The professor ignored him. After a few moments, he looked at me. His expression was sad and told me he shouldn't be giving me to a suspicious trainer. I nodded to him. I didn't care who the trainer was. If he was horrible to me, the legendary pokémon would punish him accordingly. If Professor Elm ruined this for me, then—

    “I assume you have a trainer's card from Kanto?”

    “Misplaced, sir. I'm sorry. Left my pokémon at home, where they felt comfortable.”

    “Hmm.” Professor Elm put a finger to his forehead. “Seems fair. I will give you a trainer's card for the Johto region. Come here, Sai.”

    I wanted to tell him he couldn't command me or my trainer, but it seemed ungrateful. Though he wasn't an ideal man in my eyes, he deserved better than spoiled brats.

    Sai went with Professor Elm, then backtracked to me. “Wait here, okay?”

    I did so. It was the first instruction he gave me, and it was also one of the few. As I would soon find out, his directions were, at the surface, self-centered, but still thoughtful.

    *

    When they returned, Sai was holding a small item. I assumed it was his new trainer’s card. In his other hand was a pokéball. We were not put in our pokéballs very often, and so I wondered what it was like to be inside one for an extended period of time. I hoped I never had to find out.

    The professor came to me and knelt down so that we could see each other face-to-face. A mix of emotions ranged across his face, as if he wasn't sure what to feel. Didn't he say goodbye to starters a lot? He should have been used to it. Maybe you never get over some things. This, too, I hoped I never had to find out.

    “Well, this is what you've been waiting for...” He sounded wary, though not as much as he had previously. “Don’t forget anything you’ve learned here, okay? You’re a good pokémon, and I’ll miss you,” he said, petting me on the head. I winced, not knowing what to say. A pang of guilt struck me, but it was too late to turn Sai down. There was nothing to stay for, anyway. The professor would have to go on without me.

    After what seemed like forever, the professor stood up, shook Sai's hand, and wished us the best of luck. Sai thanked him, then turned. I followed Sai as he was practically running out the door. He held the door open for me, but I just had to look at Professor Elm once more. I saw him wave with one arm, the other tucked behind him. I waved back, and left. I was curious to see if I would miss the professor like he would miss me, whatever that meant.

    When I stepped outside, I witnessed brand new scenery. Flowers bloomed everywhere. (There had been flowers in the backyard until the cyndaquil burned them. Professor Elm quit planting them. He had enough to take care of, and it was a waste of time.) There was also a body of water to my left. It stretched on, and I wanted to swim in it. I'd never seen that much water in one place, so I went in that direction. As I did, I observed more buildings, and in those buildings I knew there was more to learn. I'd figure out how to get inside later. I kept going forward, disregarding the sun, the sky, the grass. They were major parts of life, but the rest of the town represented why the legendary pokémon put so much effort into creating them.

    In my haste, I bumped into something. Someone. I staggered backward and saw a pokémon that was taller than me as it stood on its tail. It was a sentret. Sentret sneaked into the professor's backyard to play almost every day. I wasn't hurt—the sentret's brown fur was soft—but I pretended to be.

    “Watch where you're going,” I mumbled.

    “That's a good way to meet each other, I guess,” I heard Sai say as he caught up to me.

    My gaze shifted between the two of them. How did they know each other? This couldn't mean...

    “Sai's been wanting to get you for the last few days, and now you're here,” the sentret said.

    I blinked. “This is your trainer?”

    “He's yours, too.”

    “But—”

    “I'm sorry,” the sentret said. “I was his first pokémon, but he insisted on getting a Johto starter. He wanted the strongest he could find. Watched you for a while. I was impressed as well. Anyway, we can get out of here and—”

    “Why would he need me if already had you?” I was being silly, but the whining was warranted. I originally believed Sai was experienced, which would mean he already had pokémon. To find out otherwise gave me a chance, though, and that chance was stripped away from me in a matter of moments.

    “I wish I knew. Ask him,” the sentret said.

    Sai didn't answer. “We can leave soon,” he said instead. He pulled out an object, seemingly out of thin air, and gave it to me.

    “Did you get this from the professor?” I asked, taking it in my clawed hands. It was warm, and didn't appear to be something a pokémon could use. “Is it mine?”

    “No. It's mine,” Sai said, then glanced at the sentret. He gulped. “I mean, I want you to roll it. Or throw it. Please.”

    Immediately I obeyed. When the deed was done, a white surface with two black dots in the center appeared. I peered at Sai expectantly, and was pleased to see him smile.

    “Okay,” he said. “Your name is Kuiora.”

    “My name?” I didn't see the correlation.

    “Yes.”

    That meant the sentret had a name, too. Mine must have had more significance to make up for the first pokémon misunderstanding.

    “Kuiora, my second pokémon,” Sai said. He was content, at least.

    “Yeah... We established that already.”

    “I just wanted you to know,” he replied, frowning. He put the item in his pocket. “It's official. I made the right choice, so let's go.” He spun around and went in the opposite direction.

    I gazed longingly at the water, but obeyed my trainer. I was born to obey, after all. I didn't know what would happen next, but being his second pokémon didn't mean I was second best. That was what mattered. Impatient as I was, I would earn that position soon enough.

    I followed Sai, not bothering to ask why we weren't exploring the rest of the buildings. I was destined to travel, to become stronger, to attract the eyes of the legendary pokémon. I would do all of this, even if I had to do it on my own. I was nothing if not the sum of the parts I made for myself and for the legends.

    As we left New Bark Town, I thought about the totodile, cyndaquil and chikorita. Had they noticed my absence yet? Something told me they hadn't. They didn't know what they were missing. Until they learned to not only want, but also to yearn, I would fear for them, and for anyone else who blocked my path to victory.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 6th September 2014 at 3:18 AM.

  3. #3
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    This is very nicely written. The grammar is faultless and the idea of using alternating Pokemon narrators is a nice touch. However, I can't help wondering if the Pokemon are meant to be speaking English when they're "talking" to Sai or if you're just translating their Poke-speech. Perhaps you could clarify this.


    A cute exterior hides inner strength ~ Suzy



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    Quote Originally Posted by Clare View Post
    This is very nicely written. The grammar is faultless and the idea of using alternating Pokemon narrators is a nice touch. However, I can't help wondering if the Pokemon are meant to be speaking English when they're "talking" to Sai or if you're just translating their Poke-speech. Perhaps you could clarify this.
    I'm glad you like it so far. Also, I'm just translating the poke-speech. Perhaps I should consider using another symbol to represent their poke speech like some authors do?

  5. #5
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    Like I said, I would get to it and I did. This is a very interesting fic you have here. I haven't seen one done like this before. I usually don't read this type of fic. It's very interesting to get into the mind of a Pokemon and see what they're thinking. I see you're the type of person to not capitalize Pokemon names, moves, or the word Pokemon. Doesn't bug much and it's not a mistake either. Some would argue it, but I don't see the big deal. Moose is only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.

    Or a blur as ran behind me because he was... fast, so very fast.
    I'm sure you forgot he in between as and ran.

    he stopped pinning me down and he stepped over me, turned to face me.
    I'm not sure if you meant this, but the word me is there three times. I don't like using the same word twice in one sentence and you used it three times. Also the last four words seemed kinda awkward.

    The rest was fine as I saw it, but that may be due to it being nearly four in the morning here. I'll come back and give it a proper grammar look over soon. As for general thoughts right now, I like it. It's very well written and you've put a lot of thought into this. One thing I noticed though is the word and appeared a lot in the first chapter. More than necessary it seemed. Also, there was no real description. You never described Sentret or Totodile. So how did Sai know which Totodile he wanted? Was there something different about him? A marking perhaps? On another note, Elm seemed somewhat out of character to me. When I think of Elm I picture a scientist that spends his time cooped up and on his computer compiling his research. That's the type of professor I picture Elm as. I can't see him going out a lot, training the starter Pokemon, and etc. Also, why was Elm favoring that one Totodile? It didn't seem like something a professor would do. I'm going to end this thing because I am going to start making a lot less sense soon. I hope that all got through all right. Keep it up! Keep writing! Don't give up! Shadow Lucario signing off.
    Credit goes to MagicMochi. Check out their shop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder
    While it is very reminiscent of a lot of journey trainer fics, it held my attention. It stands out among a lot of the other fics I've read lately and I'm excited to continue the story.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    Like I said, I would get to it and I did. This is a very interesting fic you have here. I haven't seen one done like this before. I usually don't read this type of fic. It's very interesting to get into the mind of a Pokemon and see what they're thinking. I see you're the type of person to not capitalize Pokemon names, moves, or the word Pokemon. Doesn't bug much and it's not a mistake either. Some would argue it, but I don't see the big deal. Moose is only capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.
    I'm glad you liked it even though it isn't what you usually read. And also thanks for replying so fast!


    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    I'm sure you forgot he in between as and ran.
    I did, oh dear. Thanks for pointing that out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    I'm not sure if you meant this, but the word me is there three times. I don't like using the same word twice in one sentence and you used it three times. Also the last four words seemed kinda awkward.
    It does sound awkward now that I read it again. I'll be sure to watch out for problems like that in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    One thing I noticed though is the word and appeared a lot in the first chapter. More than necessary it seemed.
    I tend to use that word a lot, yeah... I'll try to cut down on it in future chapters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    Also, there was no real description. You never described Sentret or Totodile.
    When writing first person, it seems odd to have the character describe itself physically.

    I could try to add in more description in general, but I don't think that many people would notice AND remember a lot of things regarding their surroundings unless they are particularly observant. I try to portray this in first person. I feel that emotions, certain instances, and peculiar/small details stand out in a person's mind when recalling an event rather than the physical surroundings. An exception is a place like a home, which can usually be remembered pretty easily.

    So how did Sai know which Totodile he wanted?Was there something different about him? A marking perhaps?
    It was said in the first chapter that he was looking for the smartest/strongest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lucario View Post
    When I think of Elm I picture a scientist that spends his time cooped up and on his computer compiling his research. That's the type of professor I picture Elm as. I can't see him going out a lot, training the starter Pokemon, and etc. Also, why was Elm favoring that one Totodile? It didn't seem like something a professor would do.
    To me, if professor Elm wasn't going to train the pokemon or take care of them when he himself is giving him away, then he should be a normal professor/researcher, rather than the person that trainers go to when starting their journey. Also, again, with the first person perspective, it can be assumed that the Totodile didn't know anything regarding Elm besides what happened when they were together/what he was told by Elm. So he could be cooped up and compiling research at other times, but there was no place for it at this point in the fic.

    I also stated that Professor Elm was giving more attention to the Totodile because he felt that it was necessary to help the Totodile grow. The others were content with training; the Totodile narrator was not, and Professor Elm tended to that.

    I hope I cleared some points up. You showed me that I should try to be more clear in what I'm trying to say. Thanks again for reviewing.

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    Wow this was a fun read.

    First thing I usually start with is grammar, but I found no mistakes. It does so much more for your rhythm if you don't have to trip over mispelled words.

    The concept you've come up with is really neat. I like that you're going to rotate between the Pokemon. I've always liked different views on the same story. And from the chapters you've posted, I see that both narrators have distinct personas. Which is extremely important when attempting to get readers to latch on to your characters. I'm at a stalemate as to which narrator that I like the most.

    Senori is extremely well developed. I loved the general shock that was felt when Sai stumbled into his home. His thoughts and feelings were perfectly described. And I only say 'his' because I'm not sure if the Sentret is Male or Female. I looked back over the passage and couldn't find a single thing that told me one way or the other. So if you did and I'm mistaken, I'm sorry. All the talk about his mistakes, the clan, the banishment; really turned him into a flawed character that I could really relate to. The one thing that bothered me was how quickly he decided to go with Sai...I know that he had just beat the hell out of him, and at first he did try and talk his way out of going, but it just felt a tad bit rushed. Maybe a deeper part of Senori told him that he was being called, or maybe he was too frightened to argue further. Either way, the last bit of Chapter 1 happened a little fast for me. I still really enjoyed the Chapter though, and look forward to seeing more from Senori.

    Kuiora is also very well written. For the same reasons as Senori, and for completely different one's. Also not sure about Kuiora's gender, but from the name and from my own thoughts, I'm going to assume Female. Kuiora doesn't seem afraid at all. Not of Sai or Senori, or even really anything for that matter. Elm commented that she had grown more mature much faster than other members of its species so I suppose that has a little something to do with it. She seems to have this inate sense of pupose that I really enjoyed. All my favorite characters in my favorite books have that same quality.

    I don't say this very often, but I could really only find one thing didn't sit very well with me. Sai. I'm not sure if its his stony demeanor, the sudden and unpredictable violence, the Javier Bardem style dice rolling, or just his cryptic speech. He seems like he could be good, or bad, or both. Maybe its becasue I don't know that much about him. He just seemed a bit lazily written, like all the work went solely into the Narrators (Which I know is part of the point). Sai just rubbed me wrong and seemed a bit underdeveloped. I want my opnion to change because I'm really connecting with the other characters, so I look forward to seeing more from him.

    All in all, I really enjoyed what you've posted so far! Add me to any VM or PM list you have because I'll be following with great interest from now on. Great job!

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    The concept you've come up with is really neat. I like that you're going to rotate between the Pokemon. I've always liked different views on the same story. And from the chapters you've posted, I see that both narrators have distinct personas. Which is extremely important when attempting to get readers to latch on to your characters. I'm at a stalemate as to which narrator that I like the most.
    :O I'm glad that each character seemed distinct. Hopefully all the characters will just be just as good. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Senori is extremely well developed. I loved the general shock that was felt when Sai stumbled into his home. His thoughts and feelings were perfectly described. And I only say 'his' because I'm not sure if the Sentret is Male or Female. I looked back over the passage and couldn't find a single thing that told me one way or the other. So if you did and I'm mistaken, I'm sorry. All the talk about his mistakes, the clan, the banishment; really turned him into a flawed character that I could really relate to. The one thing that bothered me was how quickly he decided to go with Sai...I know that he had just beat the hell out of him, and at first he did try and talk his way out of going, but it just felt a tad bit rushed. Maybe a deeper part of Senori told him that he was being called, or maybe he was too frightened to argue further. Either way, the last bit of Chapter 1 happened a little fast for me. I still really enjoyed the Chapter though, and look forward to seeing more from Senori.
    Description seems to be my weak point in writing, so I'm glad you thought the description was good. Also, Senori is a male, since you were curious. I believe that Senori mentioned just helping Sai get his first real starter and then leaving, though perhaps I forgot to include that, or perhaps it still makes the ending feel rushed. Either way, the next chapter is from Senori's point of view, so that this part will be elaborated on further.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Kuiora is also very well written. For the same reasons as Senori, and for completely different one's. Also not sure about Kuiora's gender, but from the name and from my own thoughts, I'm going to assume Female. Kuiora doesn't seem afraid at all. Not of Sai or Senori, or even really anything for that matter. Elm commented that she had grown more mature much faster than other members of its species so I suppose that has a little something to do with it. She seems to have this inate sense of pupose that I really enjoyed. All my favorite characters in my favorite books have that same quality.
    Kuiora is a female, yep yep. And you really seem to have the characters down really well. I kind of felt like I was reading my character notes when reading your review, lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I don't say this very often, but I could really only find one thing didn't sit very well with me. Sai. I'm not sure if its his stony demeanor, the sudden and unpredictable violence, the Javier Bardem style dice rolling, or just his cryptic speech. He seems like he could be good, or bad, or both. Maybe its becasue I don't know that much about him. He just seemed a bit lazily written, like all the work went solely into the Narrators (Which I know is part of the point). Sai just rubbed me wrong and seemed a bit underdeveloped. I want my opnion to change because I'm really connecting with the other characters, so I look forward to seeing more from him.
    I completely understand this. :P He's actually the character I've developed the most when thinking of this fic, but it's really hard to portray in first person, when the fic is at a point where it's mostly describing parts where Sai isn't even present/an important part of the characters' lives yet. So as each character gets more and more chapters, it should be easier to see how he really is. So I hope you stick around to see it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    All in all, I really enjoyed what you've posted so far! Add me to any VM or PM list you have because I'll be following with great interest from now on. Great job!
    Will do. Thanks for taking the time to review!

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    Oh, wow. This is really intriguing.

    Unlike Sidewinder, I think Sai is the standout thing here so far - everything about him is so profoundly bizarre (in an obviously deliberate way, as opposed to a poor-writer-failing-to-write-believable-characters way) that I want to read more just to be able to figure him out. The choice of telling the story through his Pokémon's eyes was a smart one; the fact we can only observe his actions from the outside and out of context creates a driving mystery out of what could possibly be going on in his head, while the fleshing out of the Pokémon allows us to observe directly how fairly ordinary characters react to him.

    You're doing a pretty good job with the first person, too, and I'm with you on that excessive description would be out of place in it. Senori and Kuiora have nicely distinct voices and you convey their different goals and ideas and outlooks through their narration of what's going on. I did think some parts were a little strangely done, though; the "fight" between Sai and Senori seemed confusing, in particular:

    Eventually, I lifted my head up slowly, carefully. The view before me was skewed since mud clung to my face. All I saw were bits and pieces of branches swaying with the wind, bits and pieces of trees just sitting. And watching. Just as they always do. It was all so peaceful and life was so easy for them and they didn't even know it and that would never know and I would always, always know and—

    And maybe, just maybe, there were bits and pieces of a stream in my view. Water moving gently in the only direction it knows, going nowhere at full speed. I might have been imagining it, and I sure hope that I was, because if that were true, that would mean the attacker was very close to my clan and I didn't want that. I didn't want that at all.

    There were no signs of the human's presence. Fate had sent danger my way and didn't want me to see it, apparently.

    I thought that my attacker was still behind me, because it didn't make sense for him to send me sprawling toward the mud only to leave. Finally, I stood up, clenching my tiny hands. I turned around quickly and pulled my fist back, intending to use my sucker punch attack, but no one was there. Briefly, I thought that I had fallen over on my own, and that I was torturing myself by creating visions of a human, believing that it would waste its time on me before realizing its mistake, since no pokémon in the forest would make that mistake ever again.
    His view was "skewed" because mud clung to his face? That doesn't make sense on at least two different levels. Mud that's clinging to his face shouldn't affect his vision - if it was actually in his eyes, it wouldn't be clinging to his face, and then I'd expect him to be trying to blink rapidly to get it out, since that's pretty much the automatic reaction to having something in one's eyes. And even then, if there were mud in his eyes, I could see his vision being blurry, but skewed?

    Moreover, then he goes on to the trees seeming to be in pieces and sitting and watching and how easy their life is, and that combined with the skewing sounds like he's on drugs or being affected by some kind of mind-control (more wild speculation regarding that in a bit). At the very least it sounds nothing whatsoever like what happens when you've got something in your eyes. The whole bit about him not being sure whether the stream is there or not and how if it is then the attacker is closer to the clan than he thought also sounds suspiciously like his brain is going bonkers, since he should still in more or less the same place as he was before Sai attacked him.

    Then after that there's the thing with how he says there's no sign of the human, and even stands up and turns around and still thinks the human isn't there anymore, before suddenly he's attacked from the side again. If he stands up and turns around and is specifically looking for the human, it shouldn't just happen to escape him that the human is still standing there at the side - you'd need to be pretty much purposefully not looking in that direction to miss that. And if the idea here really is that he looked everywhere and still didn't see anything, one would expect him to be more surprised when the human does suddenly reappear.

    This is all stuff that could be intentional or could not, but I can't quite tell, and that fact makes it difficult to parse correctly.

    Also, sometimes I feel you get overly flowery with your language, in a way that's especially jarring because this is first person. Right in that bit I quoted, there's "Water moving gently in the only direction it knows, going nowhere at full speed." It's moving "gently" but also "at full speed"? What does it even mean to say the water is going nowhere? Why would Senori think in metaphorical terms personifying the stream if this is just the stream near where he lives, as a wild Pokémon?

    Other examples from the first chapter include "sharp pains flowed through my body so effortlessly, yet in deformed rhythms", "My cry echoed and echoed and time passed and it was still just the two of us at the end of it all", and "His movements: silent, yet loud enough to shake the earth and throw it off balance. His words: non-existent, yet sharp enough to break the skin." None of them sound like something a person would actually think in internal monologue; they sound like something a writer thinks of when trying to be dramatic. First person should try to stick to believable train-of-thought language and do away with the fancy metaphorical stuff.


        Spoiler:- Speculating:


    Aaaanyway, basically, this is very interesting and I'll be reading it. Just try to watch that metaphorical language and err on the side of clarity when describing weird things that could be confusing.
    Last edited by Dragonfree; 20th March 2012 at 9:06 PM.

    Chapter 64: Hide and Seek
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

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

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

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Unlike Sidewinder, I think Sai is the standout thing here so far - everything about him is so profoundly bizarre (in an obviously deliberate way, as opposed to a poor-writer-failing-to-write-believable-characters way) that I want to read more just to be able to figure him out. The choice of telling the story through his Pokémon's eyes was a smart one; the fact we can only observe his actions from the outside and out of context creates a driving mystery out of what could possibly be going on in his head, while the fleshing out of the Pokémon allows us to observe directly how fairly ordinary characters react to him.
    My main concern about writing Sai from this angle was making him look unbelievably odd and naive, so I was glad to hear this. He is definitely supposed to be a mystery, but I thought it could be fairly easy to take the mystery to an unwanted level on the readers' part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    His view was "skewed" because mud clung to his face? That doesn't make sense on at least two different levels. Mud that's clinging to his face shouldn't affect his vision - if it was actually in his eyes, it wouldn't be clinging to his face, and then I'd expect him to be trying to blink rapidly to get it out, since that's pretty much the automatic reaction to having something in one's eyes. And even then, if there were mud in his eyes, I could see his vision being blurry, but skewed?

    Moreover, then he goes on to the trees seeming to be in pieces and sitting and watching and how easy their life is, and that combined with the skewing sounds like he's on drugs or being affected by some kind of mind-control (more wild speculation regarding that in a bit). At the very least it sounds nothing whatsoever like what happens when you've got something in your eyes. The whole bit about him not being sure whether the stream is there or not and how if it is then the attacker is closer to the clan than he thought also sounds suspiciously like his brain is going bonkers, since he should still in more or less the same place as he was before Sai attacked him.
    "Skewed" was poor word choice on my part. I did want to say that mud was in his eyes but somehow failed to convey that simple point.

    With Senori thinking of the forest and his home and the river instead of focusing on the mud in his eyes or his attacker, I wanted to show that Senori's home is his top priority in life. He puts himself below all others. The mentions of the "imaginary" stream and the trees was supposed to be odd since everything was happening so fast that Senori probably didn't have the time to make sense of his thoughts or properly observe his surroundings.

    Also, it was vaguely mentioned at the beginning that he may not have been getting a lot of sleep, though he wouldn't want to admit to it. I thought that a lack of sleep could have contributed to his odd reactions and thoughts, though now that I think about it, Senori would rather dwell on the idea that it was his fault for not getting enough sleep, so that was also poor character portrayal on my part.

    Then after that there's the thing with how he says there's no sign of the human, and even stands up and turns around and still thinks the human isn't there anymore, before suddenly he's attacked from the side again. If he stands up and turns around and is specifically looking for the human, it shouldn't just happen to escape him that the human is still standing there at the side - you'd need to be pretty much purposefully not looking in that direction to miss that. And if the idea here really is that he looked everywhere and still didn't see anything, one would expect him to be more surprised when the human does suddenly reappear.

    This is all stuff that could be intentional or could not, but I can't quite tell, and that fact makes it difficult to parse correctly.
    I thought it could be assumed here that Sai was moving out of Senori's sight intentionally to prevent Senori from attacking, and that it would be odd to portray this in first person.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    Also, sometimes I feel you get overly flowery with your language, in a way that's especially jarring because this is first person. Right in that bit I quoted, there's "Water moving gently in the only direction it knows, going nowhere at full speed." It's moving "gently" but also "at full speed"? What does it even mean to say the water is going nowhere? Why would Senori think in metaphorical terms personifying the stream if this is just the stream near where he lives, as a wild Pokémon?

    Other examples from the first chapter include "sharp pains flowed through my body so effortlessly, yet in deformed rhythms", "My cry echoed and echoed and time passed and it was still just the two of us at the end of it all", and "His movements: silent, yet loud enough to shake the earth and throw it off balance. His words: non-existent, yet sharp enough to break the skin." None of them sound like something a person would actually think in internal monologue; they sound like something a writer thinks of when trying to be dramatic. First person should try to stick to believable train-of-thought language and do away with the fancy metaphorical stuff.
    Lol, I'd been writing almost nothing but poetry before this, so the switch to poetry back to prose still has me still writing like this sometimes. I'll watch out for it in the future, thanks for pointing it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfree View Post
    I'm assuming Senori's disturbing thing of being convinced everything is his own fault and not Sai's is intentional, what with the utterly strange way that he even thought it was his fault Sai was squeezing his own wrist too hard, and the fact you draw subtle attention to how nonsensical it is with the "Somehow it was [my fault]"). And that's very intriguing - something about Sai appears to be exerting an influence on his mind, which is also presumably the reason he agreed to go with him and trusted him and thought going with him would be a way to be loved. This is what made me think the trippy bit of the fight might be intentional and a part of the mind-control thing - I'm still not sure if it is, but. Currently my best bet is that he is actually a Pokémon-turned-human in some way or another - the fact it even occurred to him to fight a Pokémon in hand-to-hand combat could suggest this, plus that you mentioned he was barefoot, and that while he knows about Pokémon he has only a very vague idea of how trainers work, and that when he was talking about where he was from it sounded suspiciously like he was making it up. So some kind of Psychic Pokémon in human form, possibly legendary, is my best bet at the moment. Of course, I could be really stupidly wrong on this.
    I of course don't really want to spoil anything, but will just say that it was suggested that Senori thinks things are his fault due to what he did to his clan to get banished. He thought that fate brought Sai to him to punish him and then give him a second chance. What he did wasn't really revealed, but that should be taken into consideration, too.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and review. I appreciate long, in-depth comments like this~

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  11. #11
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    SURVIVAL PROJECT

    chapter 3 ; [SENORI]
    anxiolytic

    *

    I would be lying if I said I wasn't grateful for the time away from home. It was a welcome distraction for an unknowing, faithful sentret like me who had been kicked to the curb. My obsessive thoughts gave way to make room for Sai and his individual needs.

    I led him to New Bark Town. Along the way we talked in circles. I learned very little about him; my curiosity flared. It was strange, too, because he never let his eyes leave me, yet he seemed carefree as his arms dangled loosely at his sides. When his expression remained blank throughout the entire trip, my paranoia became pointless.

    We reached the town at nightfall. No one was roaming the town in the dark. I shivered, but I was also disappointed. I wanted to see how someone else interacted with Sai. We would both have to wait to get what we wanted.

    “Everyone's sleeping, I guess,” I said softly, as if I would wake the whole town if I spoke any louder.

    “Where are the pokémon?” he asked. His blue eyes looked brighter, but I might have been imagining things.

    “They're with a human. He raises the pokémon so he can give them to new trainers.” I pointed to a nearby building with an enclosed fence in the back. Beyond the fence was charred grass and some large, old trees, none as tall as the ones in my forest. “He trains them in there. I've seen them when I've come close to the town, but that's always been during the day. We'll have to wait.”

    Sai stared at me. Had I done too much by pointing out the obvios? There was a fine line between treating him as if he were stupid and trying to help him with new concepts.

    “Time to sleep, then. You won't run off, right?”

    “Right...” I replied. No threats, no anger. It was all I could think about, as if I wanted him to punish me. My chance at redemption seemed too unreal.

    Sai sat by a field-like opening near the entrance to New Bark Town. He laid down his head and back on the grass and folded his arms across his chest. He closed his eyes, and after a few moments his breathing was relaxed and even. I went to him, though I kept some distance between us.

    I thought he had fallen asleep already, but he then said, “In the morning, we'll get a pokémon. We'll go through the forest again, and we'll keep going from there.”

    “That's the simplified version of things, yes,” I said under my breath, unsure if he could hear me.

    “What do you mean?”

    “Picking out your first pokémon is a big deal. There's lots of places to explore, too. There's not just one straight path to follow. And when we pass through the forest, I'd like to say goodbye, if possible.” I curled up, wrapping my tail around my body for warmth. I had forgotten what it felt like to be in this position, and to sleep near someone else.

    “Who do you have to say goodbye to?” Sai asked. He didn't appear exhausted, even after our fight.

    “My clan. Anyone in the clan will do. I just think they should know I'm gone.” I felt bitter, but I tried not to let it show.

    “You don't seem too happy about it.” So much for that.

    “I'm not really happy, no. They don't like me anymore.”

    “Then it should be easier to say goodbye.”

    “I'd rather have no one to say goodbye to. It'd be easier.”

    He didn't reply. After a while he stirred, trying various positions to get comfortable. Nothing seemed to work. He groaned, then said, “I always thought it'd be better to have someone. Maybe I was wrong.”

    “And why do you say that?”

    “It means that, at some point, you had someone and cared about them.”

    “You didn't have anyone too say goodbye to?”

    “They were hardly worth it.”

    We stayed silent. Though I wanted more information, I didn't want to press him in case he was purposely avoiding my questions. I would also be betraying my clan if I tried to get closer to him before I officially secluded myself from them. Tomorrow, I would get permission to leave, and I would give Sai someone to care about.

    *

    As it turned out, we didn’t spend just one day in New Bark Town. Sai couldn't decide in a mere few hours what pokémon he wanted. I explained to him that there was a grass-type, a fire-type, and a water-type to choose from. He frowned when I told him I didn't know their strengths and weaknesses, but he brightened after he realized there was a whole batch to look at. I thought it would be a simple task, finding the strongest among then, but it wasn't.

    “There's so many of them,” he said at the end of the day, when the pokémon had gone to rest. “I only got a close look at the grass-types. We'll have to come back tomorrow.”

    He used similar excuses for the next few days. We slept in the same area every night, and after we awoke, we stood by the fence to watch the pokémon as they trained. Sai tried to climb over the fence at first, and I had to yell at him about how it was meant to keep others out for a reason. Then he tried to look inside the backyard through the rails. I told him he was creepy and to get away from the fence entirely. He watched from afar. I shrugged.

    When I was hungry, I searched for berries. I picked them off of bushes, ate them, and brought some to Sai, too, since I hadn't seen him eat anything yet. He scared them down, but never asked for more. Only then did I notice how thin he was. Under his ragged shirt I was sure I could see his bones sticking out.

    I didn't question his behavior. Instead I thought about going into the forest and saying my goodbyes early to save time. I decided against this, however, when I knew I'd get the urge to do it all over again later. I tried to be patient, but it was hard when I had to move on. It was better than wandering the forest by myself, tortured and confused.

    On the third day, I asked, “Have you picked out a pokémon yet?”

    “No. None of them stand out,” he replied. “A fire pokémon would be nice, but I don't need more chaos. The green ones don't seem like fights. I'm almost done with the water-types.”

    “Okay. Well, I'm going to get more food.”

    When I came back, Sai was gone. I assumed he was inside the building, or at least I was hoping he hadn't jumped the fence. I paced back and forth. It seemed like we had been here forever, yet we had accomplished very little. My loyalty kept me from complaining. I wanted to know whose instructions he was trying to properly listening to, but as long as he seemed content, that was enough for me.

    A door creaked open and I looked to see Sai standing outside, holding it open for someone. An aqua-colored creature with red spikes protruding from its back and tail stepped out and ambled away. It was the water-type starter known as totodile.

    The totodile went around aimlessly, entranced by the view. I saw it coming my way. I stood there, amused, until its snout bumped into me. And this sparked an awkward conversation where I had to tell the totodile I was Sai's first pokémon, and that I had no idea why he deemed New Bark Town a necessary part of the journey. It rolled the dice, just as I had, and it—she—was named Kuiora. Her eyes shined and she sighed in relief. I wondered if she understood him any better than I did in that moment.

    We moved on. Memories came flooding back to me as the tree canopies enveloped us once more.

    *

    Sai was, initially, an unwelcome reminder. He made me think of them.

    They blended in with the dark. They were fast. And they were here, intending to make the best of their trip. When they disappeared, they screamed evilly, announcing their success.

    I was the sentry that night. One of them came up to me, crawling and desperate. I couldn't see if there was any blood, but the pokémon was clearly injured. Sympathetic, I let my guard down. As I scrambled over to the pokémon, I saw its torn, navy blue skin. The red feathers jutting out of its back and ears were ripped. Its eyes looked dull, as did the golden jewels on its forehead and chest. It used its white, sharp claws to dig and propel itself forward.

    “Are you okay?” I said. “What happened?”

    “I was in a battle and got separated from my trainer,” the sneasel explained, taking a deep breath in between words. Its voice was high pitched. “Please help me find him. He couldn't have gone far... He must be looking for me, but...”

    I could have gotten the berries needed to heal her, but I didn't want to leave her by herself. I didn't know how deep the wounds were, either. I would have to abandon my post to find her trainer, but I had never left my post before.

    “Why don't you stay with me? I'll keep you safe. If your trainer comes through here, I'll make sure you get back to him. It's not safe to travel at night.”

    The sneasel's reply was pathetic. “My trainer prefers to travel at night. He could be out by sunrise. He could forget about me.”

    I had no reason not to believe her. I couldn't risk letting her get hurt further, and so I went with her, watching for danger as we moved along. I should have woken up another clan member, should have asked them to take over the post. But my stubbornness told me I could do two jobs at once. This shift would just be a bit different from the others. I thought I could overcome the challenge.

    She used me as a crutch. Her wet fur rubbed against mine, but I didn't mind. I could wash the blood off later and show off to the others, telling them I was a hero rather than an idle shift leader. The battle took place near the forest's edge, and so we went there. We traveled in silence, and when we arrived, the sun was rising.

    I set the sneasel down. “Do you see your trainer anywhere?” I asked.

    “No...” Her voice was barely above a whisper.

    I nodded sadly. I surveyed the scene, too, but I knew I wouldn't find anyone. As I looked I told her we could look when daylight came, but no one answered me.

    The sneasel was missing.

    There was no blood.

    *

    You would think that I'd avoid caring for someone else from then on, but I couldn't give it up. The trait is ingrained in me; it is part of my personality. Besides, not everyone is fake. Not everyone wants to cause suffering. In my mind, Sai couldn't act naive (and, as I learned about Kuiora, I didn't believe she could be explosive).

    I was preoccupied by these thoughts as Kuiora mumbled about the forest's vastness. Sai agreed with her and said he'd never seen pokémon be this calm and quiet. Kuiora frowned, downtrodden about the overall tranquility. The pokémon left trainers alone unless provoked, which brought me back to that night. We were nearing the river. I stopped. My voice cracked as I told them to stop, too.

    “What's wrong?” Kuiora said, her paws on her hips.

    “My... clan is near here. I want to say goodbye. Do you remember, Sai?” The boy averted eye contact with me. “I'll be right back. I'll bring some berries for you guys to eat while you wait.”

    They nodded, but didn't understand. Sai had no friends, and what about Kuiora? She didn't find Sai odd; everything was fascinating to her childish self. I would have to change both of them, as soon this lovely yet degrading place was out of my head.

    I brought them all the berries I could find without crossing the river. They would have to pick at the berries and see what kinds they liked. I couldn't remember what kinds I had given Sai yesterday, but I could fix this soon, too.

    I went to the river's shore without telling Sai and Kuiora why I had to go at all. I went across the branches that extended to the other side, smiling as the bark felt unnatural against my feet. As I came to a clearing, I saw baby sentret playing with fallen leaves while the adults went about their daily chores. The latter froze when they saw me, then made an effort to hide their children. They scowled at me and disappeared, masking themselves with foliage.

    I kept my head lifted, refusing to give in to shame. I asked to see Ari, the leader, in the most confident voice I could manage.

    No one acknowledged my request. I heard a squeal from a little sentret asking why I couldn't be a friend. My actions would be retold. Perhaps the story would be exaggerated, but in the end, their innocence would be taken.

    Minutes passed. Luckily, Ari showed himself without me having to do anything else. The river's current was loud, but it was Ari's footsteps that rang in my ears.

    Ari didn't bother to articulate his words nicely. “Why are you here?” he said without emotion, though his furrowed expression told me he thought I was worthless.

    “I'm leaving,” I stated, trying to mimic his lack of passion. He didn't respond. “It was my fault. I know. I'm sorry. I would take it back if I could, and if I show my face again, I ask that you make me regret it.”

    “What you say doesn't matter. And if you don't regret it already, there is no helping you.”

    Suddenly I struggled to breathe. “I am invisible to you and the others. Words are all I have.”

    “Then you have nothing.”

    “...It was my fault.”

    *

    There was only a liar and a sentret foolish enough to trust the liar.

    The sneasel lured me away so that her friends and family could invade my home. Attacking me wouldn't have been satisfactory; battle cries would have alerted my clan and allowed them to prepare.

    I fell into their trap so easily.

    I rushed back to my clan as fast as I could when I lost sight of the insincere sneasel. In my haste I nearly plummeted into the river. I did notice, however, a mix of red and brown swirling in the water.

    I ran and ran, but the danger was already gone. The damage had been done.

    What I had thought was part of my imagination was, in reality, torn bits of sentret fur and blood. Broken, ripped limbs were splattered on the grass; whole bodies were smashed underneath hefty tree branches. From the small amount of sentret left, I could tell some had been taken. I didn't dare think about why. Those wounded or unharmed wept over their loved ones, braving the sights despite their sorrow.

    This was my family. Things were peaceful—

    The babies, they were just learning to walk—

    I should have heard—

    I murmured to myself, as if explaining what happened could reverse the events that had taken place. The sneasel seemed genuinely hurt, but she was playing a game all along, and she played it well. There was a list of steps I could have taken to dissect the situation, but I was consumed by pride. Would someone else have done the same? Had it been me, would I have put a pokémon's clan at stake?

    I was trying to do a good deed—

    Ari crashed into me. I found some solace, seeing him alive, though he was breaking inside and out. He must have been scared; his stony demeanor couldn't have held up in the midst of mass chaos.

    “You didn't warn us about this! You could have said something! Anything! You left with the enemy...” he added, putting emphasis on each syllable. He pounded into me, but I was numb. “They told us you were on their side. Because of you, my love is hurt, the kids were eaten right here—”

    He could have killed me, but his punches weakened as the world spun around us. He left me with pained and strained bones and a body covered in blood that didn't belong to me.

    He snarled, “Get out of here. Just go.”

    I tortured myself by glancing at the gory scene again. I left and didn't try to come back, though I dreamed of them when I slept and pictured them next to me as I ate. I grieved in my own way, though I didn't know who to mourn for. I yearned for the chance to redeem myself, or for a long winded speech to come to me, one that would revive the dead and apologize to them.

    “It should have been me,” I'd say. I'd say I was so, so very sorry. So, so sorry. So sorry. “I can win against many pokémon in a fight. I can overcome most obstacles thrown at me. Over the years, I've learned that I can beat many things, but... life is not one of them.”

    *

    Instead I said, “They were trying to avoid commotion and resistance. If I had heard any of them approaching, you know I would have called out.” It was a feeble attempt, but an attempt nonetheless. If I was going to get kicked out, then it was only after the facts had been revealed and Ari had made a calm, rational decision.

    “Those monsters were not from around here. It shouldn't happen again, not because of that, but because we will have more reliable sentret on duty from now on,” Ari replied, ignoring me completely.

    “Perhaps you should consider relocating—”

    “Don't tell me what I should do! You are not our leader anymore.” He rushed at me, but halted halfway through. He didn't want to relive the only redeeming part of that night, the part where he got to punish the perpetrator.

    There was a pause. “A trainer came by here and attacked me,” I said. I could feel his glare. “I know that you think he is a threat,” I went on. “He is. But he also wants me to be his pokémon. He wants me to… help him.” The affirmation felt right and wrong at the same time. “With your permission, I would like to take him away from the forest and be his pokémon so that he is no longer a threat.”

    “As I said, you are not our leader. You may do what you wish, as long as it doesn’t involve us.” Ari looked around, presumably watching for a human. I couldn't keep mysterious pokémon from raving my friends and family, but I had control over Sai. I would get him out of there.

    “So I can leave.”

    “Leave.”

    “...You don't want me.”

    His temper was rising. “We don’t want you. Take the trainer away from here, and don't come back.”

    That was what I needed to hear; a burden was lifted off of my shoulders. I would have done anything to be accepted as a clan member again, but I couldn't make amends. Time couldn't heal these scars. I gave Ari an apologetic stare, as I still carried regret and grief.

    Ari broke my heart when he banished me. I, too, broke his heart, though indirectly. No one is ever safe. But I survived the attack for a reason. Now I could leave with Sai and start over as best I could.

    I turned and ran.

    *

    I ran, but slowed to a stop as I neared New Bark Town. I observed my surroundings as I stood, knowing I wouldn't have privacy with Sai and Kuiora later on. The grass was fuzzy and made me feel warm, even with the breeze. The river was moving, and the water was so blue I could clean myself in it. I marveled at how many years the trees took to grow. Then I remembered I was betraying them, too. Well. Everything was peaceful, on the outside.

    Did moving on mean reminiscing about the good and the bad?

    I reached Sai and Kuiora as a string of questions found their way into my head. I told them I was ready to go. Speaking seemed easier, somehow. When I met them, I watched my tongue, afraid of bursting and uncovering my secrets. There was nothing to hide at this point. The worst was over.

    “Where are we going?” Sai asked.

    “Yeah, where are we going?” Kuiora chimed in.

    Their looks bore into me. Laughing at the irony of it all, I said, “Cherrygrove City. I don't really know anything about the place except that new trainers don't like going there.”

    “Why not?” He joined me and laughed, though I wasn't sure why.

    “They always want these badges, and you can't get one in Cherrygrove.”

    At this, Sai frowned. “I'm supposed to get those badges. I think we're talking about the same thing, anyway. I don't want to waste time there if that's the case. Not allowed.”

    “Badges?” Kuiora said.

    “We train, battle, and get badges. That's what I was told to do. So that's what we're going to do.” Who told him that?

    “I was training at the lab, so let's get going!” Wasn't she going to ask why he could understand pokémon?

    “Senori will lead the way,” Sai said, looking at me expectantly. And wasn't he wondering if we were going the wrong way?

    They believed in me fully, it seemed.

    “I've never been anywhere else, but I'm sure we can figure it out,” I said, trying to sound confident.

    “Unfortunate, but it's all right. Thanks, Senori.”

    As we always do, we went on. Sai didn't care for Cherrygrove City, as anticipated, but he sure did enjoy Violet City, a place new and refreshing for all of us.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 14th October 2014 at 5:27 PM.

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Arkansas
    Posts
    564

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    Well,

    Sai is so infuriatingly cryptic! It's almost like he read what he was supposed to do with his life, but the book's ink was faded in some places.

    Sai started walking slower and frown a bit. “I’m supposed to get the gym badges. I think that’s what you’re talking about. Well, I don’t want to waste time there, then. Not allowed.”
    Like that part. His appeal has grown to me slightly since the last chapter. I'm not saying that he makes sense to me, but at the same time I feel like that is what makes me want to follow him. The fact that he is so elusive makes him so frustrating. I swear, thinking about him is like trying to catch smoke. I feel like maybe he's relaxing a bit around Senori, like letting him say goodbye to his clan and even going as far to say thanks. Maybe he didn't know how to act at first? Maybe for some reason he feels like he should be on guard? What I'm saying probably isn't making any sense at all, but it just goes to show how confusing this character is for me. Maybe I'm not wired correctly to understand him and see how developed he is. But that is also part of the reason why I want to keep reading about him. To find out, to just, know him. You've really done an excellent job creating this character. Very impressive.

    Grammar and sentence structure were great. Although my eyes are not as trained as some of the veteran reviewers on this forum, I really couldn't find any mistakes. If you keep up the stellar job you've been doing, I may never find any at all.

    Moving on, I thought you did an amazing job telling Senori's story. To me, he feels like someone who committed a somewhat major crime, but only got a major speeding ticket. The regret, sadness, and drama of what happened all felt very real. But at the same time, he lives with it everyday, and I feel like he's almost gotten sick of it. I mean, I know he's not heartless, because he obviously cares, but the way I see it there is only so much guilt and sadness you can deal with until you need to get away and fade yourself away, if that makes any sense. When that kind of emotional strain was put on him, I felt like he stopped himself at a red light, and is waiting for it to turn green. Like he is waiting for someone to tell him to move on and forgive him. Maybe that's why he resigned himself to travel with Sai to walk the inner turmoil off, or maybe that constant turmoil is starting to get the better of him. Those are just my thoughts anyway. I may be completely off base, and to everyone else I may be missing an obvious point, but that's what it said to me.

    On a side note, the part with the baby's made me somewhat emotional, something that I haven't experienced so far when reading Pokemon Fanfiction.

    I know my little review isnt up to the ones you usually give people, but I really couldn't find a single thing wrong with this chapter. It really was wonderfully described and obviously thought out. Great work again, and keep it up.

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Well,

    Sai is so infuriatingly cryptic! It's almost like he read what he was supposed to do with his life, but the book's ink was faded in some places.
    I like that simile. *thumbs up*



    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I swear, thinking about him is like trying to catch smoke. I feel like maybe he's relaxing a bit around Senori, like letting him say goodbye to his clan and even going as far to say thanks. Maybe he didn't know how to act at first? Maybe for some reason he feels like he should be on guard? What I'm saying probably isn't making any sense at all, but it just goes to show how confusing this character is for me. Maybe I'm not wired correctly to understand him and see how developed he is. But that is also part of the reason why I want to keep reading about him. To find out, to just, know him. You've really done an excellent job creating this character. Very impressive.
    Thanks for the compliments. He is pretty difficult, and what you're saying makes sense. The more I write him, the more of a mystery he becomes to me as well. Not sure if that's a good thing or not, but I look forward to fleshing him out more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Moving on, I thought you did an amazing job telling Senori's story. To me, he feels like someone who committed a somewhat major crime, but only got a major speeding ticket. The regret, sadness, and drama of what happened all felt very real. But at the same time, he lives with it everyday, and I feel like he's almost gotten sick of it. I mean, I know he's not heartless, because he obviously cares, but the way I see it there is only so much guilt and sadness you can deal with until you need to get away and fade yourself away, if that makes any sense. When that kind of emotional strain was put on him, I felt like he stopped himself at a red light, and is waiting for it to turn green. Like he is waiting for someone to tell him to move on and forgive him. Maybe that's why he resigned himself to travel with Sai to walk the inner turmoil off, or maybe that constant turmoil is starting to get the better of him. Those are just my thoughts anyway. I may be completely off base, and to everyone else I may be missing an obvious point, but that's what it said to me.
    You mentioned in your last review that you thought Senori deciding to leave with Sai was abnormally quick, so I hope you think the opposite now. You pretty much got the message, though the idea of Senori actually committing a crime is up in the air (at least, for me, it would be). Even though he agreed to go with Sai in the first chapter, he knew that he would have to come back to the forest. He still had something holding him back, and yes, he needed someone to tell him to move on, because he didn't want to deal with the emotion anymore, and he knows that there was nothing else that could be done but to move on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    On a side note, the part with the baby's made me somewhat emotional, something that I haven't experienced so far when reading Pokemon Fanfiction.
    Not sure if this is a good thing or not for you, but yeah. Children seem to have that effect on people. :P

    Thanks for reading and reviewing once again~

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  14. #14
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    You mentioned in your last review that you thought Senori deciding to leave with Sai was abnormally quick, so I hope you think the opposite now. You pretty much got the message, though the idea of Senori actually committing a crime is up in the air (at least, for me, it would be).
    I do think the opposite now lol...What I meant by crime was that for him it was a kind of moral, or emotional crime. Like a crime he committed against himself for letting that happen. If that makes sense.

    Not sure if this is a good thing or not for you, but yeah. Children seem to have that effect on people. :P
    It was a good thing for me. I was just really gripped by the story. Felt sad about what happened to the clan. What they lost, etc. Really nice touch.

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I do think the opposite now lol...What I meant by crime was that for him it was a kind of moral, or emotional crime. Like a crime he committed against himself for letting that happen. If that makes sense.
    Makes sense to me. I kind of thought that you meant the clan should have punished him more or something. I've been a bit sleep deprived lately, so who knows.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    It was a good thing for me. I was just really gripped by the story. Felt sad about what happened to the clan. What they lost, etc. Really nice touch.
    Ah, all right. Well, that's what I was going for, so *thumbs up*. Thanks for commenting and reading as always~

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  16. #16
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    SURVIVAL PROJECT

    chapter 4 ; [ATIS]
    frush

    *

    I saved Mondays and Thursdays for Shannon because she loved the idea of type differences, their weaknesses, their strengths. One day, she said, all of her pokémon would have two types. I saved Tuesdays for Joey. Items fascinated him, man-made or not. Fridays were for Jason, since he got so discouraged when he lost a battle. Every Wednesday varied. Saturdays were for Earl–every other day wore him out. I saved one day of the week for me, and that was just to make sure that I was still alive.

    I tried to remain optimistic. As a pokémon who didn’t care for pokémon training yet was a classroom pet for a pokémon training school, I didn’t need more than one day of the week. There was no need to indulge myself in information that I didn’t care for, and I didn’t like attention anyway. It was better to focus on someone who wanted to be given attention so that they could learn, someone who enjoyed the subject and would make use of it someday.

    It wasn’t that I hated pokémon. I hated peoples’ love for pokémon. It was consuming and overwhelming and encouraged far too much. It seemed to be the only reason for people to wake up in the morning, the only thing that made life worth living. Everything else was forgotten—reading, writing, school for jobs that made food and buildings, school for jobs that helped the sick... There had to be something else to life that not enough people were seeing.

    But there was nothing I could do. The kids couldn’t understand me, Earl seemed just as consumed, and I wouldn’t have known what to do out in the world if I left—because despite all of the time that I had spent in a school, I had learned next to nothing.

    *

    “Why don’t you teach them something that doesn’t have to do specifically with pokémon?” I asked Earl one day. It was a Friday and the kids had just been let out for the day. We were cleaning up and getting ready to go home. I picked up the garbage on the ground while Earl sorted out papers and straightened out the desks that had been moved in result of the children’s excitement when they were told that they could battle. The excitement was always present. I thought that they got louder each week, and that they caused more messes every week when they tried to run and pile out the door all at once. Now, it was quiet, and I wanted to take advantage of it.

    “What you want me to teach them?” Earl asked, not even bothering to look at me. He twirled over to the side of the room to close the windows, as if no one could hear what I was about to say.

    “I don’t know…” I faltered, suddenly embarrassed for asking. I didn’t particularly like attention, and I had just blatantly asked for it when I could have stayed invisible. During the day, it was impossible, since the children’s fascination with pokémon automatically turned into a fascination of me, the only pokémon that was allowed out in the classroom. I simply made an effort to say only what needed to be said, and to never leave the corner in front of the classroom unless I really needed to.

    “Maybe teach them how to light fires…” I continued, trying to get over my embarrassment. This did need to be said, after all, so I couldn’t back down now. I kept hoping that Earl wouldn’t look at me, and I too refused to look at him and distracted myself by picking up more lost paper and pencils on the ground, though they were bitter reminders of why I was bringing this topic up in the first place.

    “Want to teach is a fire? Teach kids fire-types, yes,” Earl replied as he finished closing the windows. I imagined him nodding his head eagerly and intensely. This would have been a good thing if he had understood what I said.

    “No… Fires for their journey. To keep warm.” Perhaps, I thought, trying something else that couldn’t be directly related to pokémon would help. “Teach them how to budget their money. How to choose and save food.”

    “No, no, no. Kids learn to do that on own time,” Earl said earnestly. And that was the end of that.

    What could I say to make him understand? He taught the subject of pokémon all day, and he taught it almost every day. It was ingrained in his mind, probably permanently. He had no desire to teach about the dangers of the world or the possibilities of being something greater. He had told me many times while smiling from ear to ear that this had been his dream since he was a boy, and he was so glad to be here…

    Doesn’t it ever get boring? Don’t you ever wonder what holds the world together outside of this school? I wanted to ask, but didn’t.

    And I was his pokémon. He certainly took care of me. He kept me fed and rested, didn’t make me battle often anymore since I didn’t like the attention, and he boasted about his oh so special hitmontop every chance he got, even if it was in fragmented English. There was no doubt that I was his, but I just couldn’t think the same way.

    *

    On Monday, things went by as they normally did. Water beats fire, grass beats water, and fire beats grass. Electric beats flying, and flying beats grass. “Beats” would be a term used loosely, as factors such as experience and strategy also had a huge effect on the outcome.

    Shannon eventually called me over. As usual, she made some statement that was similar to what was just taught, and I would nod my head or shake my head depending on whether her answer was right or wrong.

    “Ghost can beat psychic, right?” she said, fidgeting in her seat restlessly and looking at me expectantly.

    I nodded and wondered how many questions she would ask me today.

    “And psychic can beat poison.”

    I nodded at the statement and grinned despite myself.

    “Psychic can’t do anything to dark-types, though. I always forget...”

    Another nod.

    “But—oh! Fighting-types can beat dark-types! You could beat a dark-type with no problem, right?” I would have nodded, albeit reluctantly, but she didn’t give me enough time as she added, “Dark-types seem evil. You could beat all the evil in the world, huh? So cool!”

    “I wish,” I said quietly, but all she heard—if she heard me at all—was my name.

    She decided that she was done after that. She jumped out of her seat and moved on to show off her newfound knowledge to her friends, and I went back into my corner. I was already exhausted from the conversation and was ready for the day to be over.

    *

    On Tuesday, the class got a new student.

    He was obviously a bit older than the rest of the kids, and I wondered why he was here. He probably should have been on his journey for at least a few years already. But Earl welcomed him with open arms.

    “This is Sai! Sai is new student,” he said after rushing the boy to the front of the classroom. His eyes were closed and he was smiling broadly while the boy only looked to the ground, not bothering to introduce himself. I felt instantly connected to him just for that. My first impression was that he was clearly the outcast and that he didn’t like attention, either. “He will learn lots, yes? Yes. Take a seat now, boy.” And the boy listened. He took a seat in the back of the room, the only place available.

    I didn’t think that having Sai here would change anything, but it still felt nice to be a little bit closer to someone. I started to wonder about my first impression, however, when he saw me for the first time. He flinched when he saw me, and I couldn’t tell if it was from surprise or from seeing something rather repulsive. But he didn’t look away. His expression was blank as he stayed focused on me. He seemed to struggle when trying to pay attention to both Earl’s lesson and me, even though I wasn’t doing anything but standing in the corner.

    I actually tried leaving the corner to walk in between the desks so I could get out of his sight a few times, but his eyes always seemed to follow me. I even stayed with Jason longer than normal, and tried to stay focused on what he was saying and asking. But Sai was always looking, and I knew it. When you don’t like attention, you always know when someone is looking at you. Someone is always looking at you, no matter how illogical the idea is. The idea consumes your mind. I was used to this since the other kids often recognized my presence, but the anxiety was never this intense with them. Probably because their attention wasn’t constant, and they gave me attention with enthusiasm rather than apathy.

    I wished that he would look away. He was here to learn about pokémon, after all, and I was here to pass time until something… anything… happened.

    Look away from me. Look away. If you don’t like such attention, why am I getting it? I cannot and do not want to help you.

    *

    On Wednesday, I didn’t have anyone to focus on in order to distract myself from Sai. No one seemed to need my help, and there was nothing else for me to do until everyone left. I considered simply leaving the school and hoping no one noticed, but the new boy would definitely have noticed. He was still staring at me. And I still didn’t know what to do about it.

    When all the kids were doing an activity with one partner, Sai didn’t have a partner. He hadn’t talked to anyone and everyone was set in their ways by choosing the same partner every time. Earl, with all his good intentions, told me to go be Sai’s partner. The new student spending time with a pokémon in a pokémon school would be good, after all. I didn’t have the energy to protest, and I didn’t want to risk causing a scene, so I reluctantly went to the boy. Up close, his blue eyes seemed soft and intense at the same time. Still unnerved and holding on to silence, I tried to smile as best as I could.

    Admittedly, I had no idea what the activity was, so I didn’t know what to do next. He must have known the assignment, but all he said was, “You made it possible for me to be here, so thanks.”

    I had no idea what he was talking about. Shifting around uncomfortably, I wanted to say that I just a classroom pet, nothing more. I figured that I should have been grateful he didn’t want to talk about just pokémon, but somehow, I wasn’t. The topic was at least comfortable and familiar, even if I despised it.

    “I’m not supposed to take the time to be here,” Sai explained, and I wondered if he caught on to my confusion. “But since you’re here, it’s okay now.”

    At this point, I was beyond confused. I was nervous and tired and I wanted this boy to go away. We connected on the wrong level, I decided. My first impression didn’t mean anything good for me.

    “Well, you should start the assignment,” I said, trying to say words that would make him stop talking and would make me sound confident at the same time.

    “I’m not interested in the assignment,” Sai said, suddenly frowning. He looked back and forth between the paper on his desk and me, and eventually, he settled on staring at me. I was about to open my mouth again to speak when I realized that he had understood me. I hadn’t pointed to the paper or picked up a pencil or made any sign that I was talking about the assignment. Had I? In my nervousness, I may have missed my actions completely…

    I stared back at him, not so confident anymore. Maybe I never was. Despite Shannon’s words, I couldn’t beat the evil in the world, especially when I could hardly keep my eyes focused on the path in front of me. I always looked down to the ground, and I ignored the present as best as I could. I focused on what I wanted, but never did anything to get what I wanted.

    “You’re so shy…” Sai observed, still looking at me. “You don’t seem to like it here.”

    This seemed familiar. He said a statement, so I nodded. He was right, anyway.

    “Well, you don’t have to worry anymore. I like it here, since I’m learning about pokémon and getting better like I’m supposed to. But I can’t stay here forever. And when I leave this place, I’m taking you with me.”

    *

    On Thursday, I didn’t go to the school. I just told Earl that I didn’t want to go, and he was okay with that. I mentally apologized to Shannon for not being there, but I wasn’t really sorry. I needed a day for myself. All I did was sleep, I was so, so tired.

    *

    On Friday, I was glad that I had taken that day off. Friday was all about battles, and I hadn’t battled in such a long time. Earl made me battle a lot as a Tyrogue, but once I had evolved after battling the students’ pokémon so much, I was considered too experienced. And Earl caught on to the fact that I didn’t like being on the battlefield so that everyone could watch me and judge me.

    I didn’t usually battle, but thanks to Sai, I had to battle on that particular Friday.

    The boy said that he had no pokémon to battle with. I thought that Earl was going to have me battle for him, but he didn’t. Again, he said that I was too experienced, and that I may not listen to a beginner like him.

    I was vastly relieved—until Sai asked if he could borrow me for the weekend so that I could help him catch his first pokémon.

    “Well,” Earl started. No one had ever requested such a thing, and I had no idea how he was going to react. At that moment, that was what scared me most, more than the idea of actually going with him. That quickly changed when Earl said, “Yes, of course! Hitmontop is strong pokémon. He will help catch for you. A good idea it is.”

    And then I was scared of everything.

    I spent the day watching other kids battle. But I could hardly pay attention to them when they asked me questions, and eventually, they just left me alone, which I was eternally grateful for. Hearing kids yell commands at the top of their lungs made me anxious. Having others point out when a pokémon lost or won made me cringe. I didn’t need this, but it was what I was going to get with Sai, who simply also watched and seemed to be faring much better than I was. He was absorbing it all, I was sure. He was learning. About pokémon. He would spend his life going on a journey, I was sure. He was no better than the rest of them.

    *

    My fears were confirmed when Sai took me away from Earl when the school was let out, even though it was soon revealed that he already had two pokémon. He had brought me to the edge of the city only to meet up with his sentret and totodile, two popular, common choices among the kids in the school. They stared at me with interest, especially the totodile, and I was sure that they had never seen a hitmontop before. I silently wished that I was as common as them so that they would look away from me, but then, the idea of me belonging to a trainer—especially a new one—was inevitable. I couldn’t win.

    But I was soon going to be expected to win, I knew...

    Looking directly at me, Sai said, “We’re going to the pokémon gym now. You didn’t battle today, so you should be fine.”

    Despite myself, I immediately said, “I… I thought that you needed me to help you catch a pokémon.”

    “Lying gets you what you want, no? Earl wouldn’t have let me take you if he knew I was going to fight a gym leader for my first battle…”

    There was too many things wrong with that sentence, but it successfully shut me up until we got to the gym. When we got to the entrance of the gym, however, I couldn’t stop talking.

    “I haven’t battled in forever. You don’t want to use me… What about these guys? I’m a fighting-type. This gym uses flying-types. E-Everyone knows that. Didn’t you learn anything when you were in—”

    This time, I shut myself up. To actually deem the information used in class worthwhile was astonishing and unfamiliar to me. I didn’t deserve to get out of this situation so easily, since I hardly was supportive of my real beliefs.

    The sentret answered for Sai, anyway. The boy probably wasn’t listening. That was good. “We were going to train, but Sai saw the school and decided to do that instead. We haven’t battled at all,” the sentret said.

    “Why… don’t you train and battle when you’re stronger, then?” I asked.

    “I can’t waste too much time here. We can do it on the way to the next city. Don’t be difficult,” Sai said sternly, the softness in his eyes gone. So he had been listening. I wished that he hadn’t, and I scolded myself for speaking out to begin with.

    “I won’t do well. I wasn’t meant for this,” I said solemnly.

    “You’ll be fine. Let’s go,” Sai said. He probably had meant to sound reassuring, but it didn’t work. His voice was now impatient and eager and harsh. Nevertheless, I stepped inside the gym after him and his pokémon.

    The first thing I noticed was how big the gym was. The walls extended much higher than that of the school’s, presumably so that the bird pokémon had room to fly without being restricted in any way. Maybe everyone would be so fascinated by the flexibility of the bird pokémon that I wouldn’t be noticed. I could only hope.

    The second thing that I noticed was that there was a small line for those who wanted to battle Falkner, the well known gym leader of this city. We waited in line, mostly in silence. The sentret and the totodile made conversation and they briefly introduced themselves to me, but quickly left me alone when they realized that I didn’t want to talk. I could hardly pay attention, anyway. Maybe sometime later I would apologize, if I ever saw them again. They seemed kind enough, but Sai’s first impression had been wrong, so I was wary.

    It was eventually, finally, our turn to battle. I just wanted to get it over with. Falkner approached Sai and shook his hand. Sai stared at the handshake curiously and oddly, as if he wasn’t used to the greeting.

    “Since I’ve had a lot of battles in a row, this will just be a one-on-one battle,” Falkner said as he turned around impatiently, going to his stand on his side of the arena.

    “Should I… make an appointment next time?” Sai asked, his hand still outstretched. Falkner turned once more and stared at the boy.

    “If you want. It’s hard to battle ten trainers in a row with just a few pokémon,” Falkner explained, his voice softened and his body less tense.

    “Okay, then. I apologize,” Sai said. I stared at him, dumbfounded. Just a moment ago, he had seemed furious with me for trying to disobey him, and now he was acting like the friendliest boy in the world with the gym leader. I tried to dwell on this instead of the fact that I was about to be sent out for battle, but these thoughts also made my head spin.

    I staggered back slightly when Sai bent down to talk to me face-to-face. “Look,” he said, “I’m not going to tell you what to do. You battle how you want to. I… wouldn’t know what to say, and you don’t seem to like being told what to do…”

    This boy made my head spin. Now he was being just as kind to me. But I couldn’t deny that I appreciated his concern and kindness. I simply nodded and walked slowly to the battlefield, sparing him from having to announce the fact that he would be battling with me.

    “A hitmontop, huh? This battle may not last long, then, and that’s a good thing. I’ll send out pidgeotto,” Falkner said, grinning while throwing out a red and white pokéball onto the arena. A bird whose body consisted of various shades of brown appeared. I just looked at the pidgeotto’s features, waiting for the battle to start. The feathers on its head were red, as were the feathers on its tail. I noticed some yellow on its tail as well. It looked a bit tired and dirty, and I really did feel sorry for it. It had probably battled just earlier today, whereas I had been safe for months at this point. I wasn’t so lucky anymore.

    “Challenger usually goes first,” Falkner stated after quite a few moments of silence.

    “He will be battling on his own. He does not wish for me to command him,” Sai said just as sternly.

    “All right, then,” Falkner said, shrugging his shoulders and brushing some of his blue hair out of his eyes. “Pidgeotto, start off with a wing attack!”

    Of course he had to choose a move that required flying. The bird spread its wings and took off into the air, completely and easily annihilating all chances for me to attack it. I had no long range attacks, and this was why fighting-types would forever be considered weak to flying-types.

    The pidgeotto flew high enough to ensure its own safety, and then flew closer to me. Then it started diving downward, its wings spread out and ready to attack me. I just stared at it, waiting for Sai to give me a command. I didn’t want it, but I was used to being told what to do. The fact that he wasn’t going to command me to do anything hit me too late, as the pidgeotto’s wing slammed into the side of my face and sent me flying to the side and colliding with the concrete floor of the gym, near the wall. Before it hit me, I saw how intense and serious the bird was. Why did it have to look at me like that? I was here against my will…

    “Now use quick attack, Pidgeotto,” Falkner said.

    This time, Sai’s lack of participation didn’t have to register. I got out of the way, though the pidgeotto was still very close to hitting me again. It was much faster than me, but this turned out to be a disadvantage as the bird collided with the wall that I had been near. Its tiredness and speed had made it unable to turn out of the way of danger in time. The bird quickly slunk to the ground, but quickly got back up and stood on its two feet.

    “It’s all right, pidgeotto. We’ll avoid speedy attacks from now on. Try to peck at it. Be persistent.”

    The pidgeotto extended its wings once more and flew in my direction again, this time more slowly and carefully. I held up my arms to cover my face, but I realized that I wasn’t going to get anywhere if I kept being so defensive. As the bird flew at me with that same intense look, I made it think that I was going to give in to its attack. When it was close enough, I tried to forget the look—just for a few moments—in order to lift my arms from my face and slam one of them down onto one of the bird’s wings. I had successfully pinned one of the pidgeotto’s wings down, and the other one was safely tucked back into the bird’s body. Taken by surprise, the bird kept trying to peck at me out of anger instead of with confidence, but it couldn’t reach me in the position that it was stuck in.

    “Pidgeotto, try to get out of there!” Falkner said, his calm and smug demeanor gone.

    But it was no use. My arm was stronger than its lone wing. It seemed that the wall had done a lot of damage last time, so I prepared to use my rolling kick attack to send it in that direction once more. As I started to swing one of my legs behind me as far as I could to generate as much power as possible, I quietly said, “I’m sorry,” and hoped that the bird understand. But I wasn’t sure that it would. I couldn’t tell who had more experience, but it was tired, and the type advantage had turned out to be a disadvantage because of it. And since Falkner was the first gym for new trainers, he had obviously been chosen because he was weaker than the rest of the boy’s pokémon. I was sorry for it. But I did what I had to do.

    When I had finished preparing my rolling kick attack, I swung my leg around my body and made direct contact with the pidgeotto’s side. The white spikes on my feet dug into its side and the collision made it fly into the wall, just as I had wanted. This time, however, it didn’t get back up on its feet. It was only as the bird fainted that I realized the battle had been done in almost complete silence aside from Falkner’s commands and my apology.

    “Pidgeotto, return,” Falkner said solemnly. I wished that, if I had to be here, that it was with Earl, so I could be returned to a pokéball, too. I suddenly remembered that I was with Sai again, and I felt a mixture of nervousness and pride.

    I distracted myself by watching Falkner walk over to Sai, who was smiling and had his arm outstretched once more. The gym leader dug into his pocket and took out a small, oddly shaped object, and placed it in Sai’s palm.

    “I wish that I could have fought you at full strength, but the hitmontop still would have been tough,” Falkner said. He obviously didn’t like to lose, as told by his voice when he returned his pokémon, but he sounded glad now. “Next time, though, you should use your own pokémon. Earl must have given you the hitmontop to see how you’d do, am I right?”

    Sai frowned for just a moment, and I wondered if Falkner would do anything about it. But he didn’t. Sai simply nodded, and Falkner added, “It feels a bit weird, then, giving you the badge when you didn’t seem to do much… but the teamwork was still there. Allowing the hitmontop to do what it wanted based on its personality was a good thing. I can tell you’ll be a good, considerate trainer to your own pokémon.”

    Sai smiled again, though not as broadly. With a quiet thank you, Sai turned to leave the gym, clutching the badge in his hand. He looked to the ground as he walked out, just as he had done when being introduced to the class by Earl. I felt connected to him again, but didn’t have much hope for it this time.

    Outside of the gym, the mixture of anxiety and happiness returned. It didn’t help when the sentret was tending to my wounds and when the totodile kept yelling about how strong and awesome I was to have beaten the bird so quickly and with apparent ease. I didn’t want their praise. I had just directly contributed to Sai’s journey. Even if I hadn’t meant to, I still did it. He could be doing something else. I’m sure that the world was in need of something besides pokémon trainers. But I had probably just encouraged him to stay as a trainer by winning him his first badge. I hated myself for it, yet I liked knowing that I still had strength, even if I didn’t know it.

    I knew that I was right about encouraging Sai when he came to me and told me that I had done a good job, and that he had made the right choice when he chose me to be his pokémon. Again, I remembered him telling me that he would be taking me with him on his journey. It seemed like he had said that so long ago, but really, I had been pushing it into the back of my mind, because the idea seemed impossible. I had no idea what was out there. And the idea of facing the unknown was terrifying. But he seemed set on taking me with him, since he then nicknamed me on the spot.

    “Your name is Atis. And Atis, I think you did a good job,” he repeated. The name made it more final. Earl had never given me a name for some reason, and it seemed like a more creative name compared to the kiddy names that the children called their pokémon. There had been many cyndaquil named Blaze, I recalled…

    Sai dug in his pocket and pulled out an object. Dice. I recognized the object from some activity that Earl had done with the kids once, but I wasn’t sure what Sai was going to do with it. It seemed pointless in regards to pokémon training, after all, so surely he couldn’t be interested in it.

    He seemed to have found some use for it, though. He handed it to me, and told me to throw it. I did so since I could see no harm coming from it. It landed on the number three, and I was still just as confused as before.

    “Now you can see it with your own eyes,” Sai said, grinning. “You’re my third pokémon. It’s official.”

    “But I—” I started to say. But what? I belonged to Earl? I was miserable with him, though his intentions were pure. Could Sai be much better when I despised trainers who thought of nothing but pokémon? I could at least learn more about the world... Maybe I could convince Sai of being something else. Focusing on one child had always been easier than a whole classroom full of them, anyway. “What about Earl?” I decided to ask anyway. “What about the school?” Surely, I would have time to decide and think. Or time to push back the thoughts and go crazy when I only have a few minutes to make a decision. And I was right.

    “We’re leaving in a week,” Sai said. “You best be ready.”
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 5th April 2012 at 1:36 AM.

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  17. #17
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    It was better to focus on someone who wanted to be given attention so that they could learn, someone who enjoyed the subject and would make use of it someday.
    That part was extremely well done. It's basically how I fell now training people at work as I slowly lose interest in what I'm doing

    He twirled over to the side of the room to close the windows
    Before I got to that, I had no idea what it was. Then I kept reading, saw the 'twirl'. Kept reading with my theory in mind, just to have you confirm it. Nice!

    I mentally apologized to Shannon for not being there, but I wasn’t really sorry. I needed a day for myself. All I did was sleep, I was so, so tired.
    I really liked that. As I get older, I find that the more you chase your own desires, the more people you disappoint, and you're forced to give these half-assed apologies you dont mean to keep people happy.

    but these thoughts also made my head spin.
    Physically, or mentally? Haha Jk

    “Now use quick attack, pidgeotto,” Falkner said.
    I believe 'Pidgeotto' should be capitalized. At different times in this chapter, it is capitalized, and sometimes its not. Should Probably just stick to one way.

    Atis hmm? Wow, nicely done. He's very well written (Atis is male, correct?) (BTW, him telling Earl that the kids should be taught survival skills and budgeting was a nice touch, very realistic) It was hard for me to connect with him at first because I always want to be noticed. I'm a salesman at work and I have to be noticed by who I'm speaking to, have to command their attention. Besides that, growing up, I've always been somewhat flashy. That's why it was so revealing and involving being able to experience his want to be left alone, his annoyance by the children asking him endless questions, almost trying to will himself into non-existence. I almost felt sorry for him. I mean, his life doesn't seem that hard, besides the things he's halfway forced to do, but even then he makes the choice to do them. I really doubt Earl would force him to do anything he really didn't want to do. But when you were describing his feelings it really made me want to shower him with sympathy. You've met a really good new addition to the group. He's bypassed Senori as my favorite.

    Sai letting him do his own thing in the battle was nice, and as it turns out, it worked. Sai standing there so passively without expression was something I was able to imagine quite easily. And it kinda made me mad. He's just so, well, argh. Still can't get a bead on him. Although, when he flinched when he saw Atis I grinned. I liked that he actually showed he was surprised by Atis. I just want anger, or ecstacy, or depression, or something more. He's just so damn passive all the time. It frustrates me in a really good way haha

    The battle was really well done. I liked that there was an actual line to get to Falkner, and that he and his Pokemon were tired when Sai stepped up. With the amount of Pokemon trainers there probably are, it makes sense that at any given time, he would probably have several challengers. I was really drawn into Atis's battle with Pidgeotto, felt like it even gave him a little confidence that' going to make it easier for him to eventually go with Sai. The battle was well described, realistic, and of appropriate length. I really liked the bit when Pidgeotto came down to Atis with that serious look when he tried to attack him. To have Atis comment on its facial features was nice, because that's a detail that would usually be there that I dont see in almost any other fic.

    Nice job once again. Can't wait for the next one.

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Before I got to that, I had no idea what it was. Then I kept reading, saw the 'twirl'. Kept reading with my theory in mind, just to have you confirm it. Nice!
    Had no idea what what was? I may be a little slow... but at least you liked it, whatever it was!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Physically, or mentally? Haha Jk
    LOL. I forget that Atis is a hitmontop all the time and that he can literally spin... Oops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I believe 'Pidgeotto' should be capitalized. At different times in this chapter, it is capitalized, and sometimes its not. Should Probably just stick to one way.
    You're right, it should be capitalized here. I probably won't stick to one way just because it's the same idea as writing "my mom/Mom" or something to me. It should be capitalized when directly addressed, but not in any other situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Sai letting him do his own thing in the battle was nice, and as it turns out, it worked. Sai standing there so passively without expression was something I was able to imagine quite easily. And it kinda made me mad. He's just so, well, argh. Still can't get a bead on him. Although, when he flinched when he saw Atis I grinned. I liked that he actually showed he was surprised by Atis. I just want anger, or ecstacy, or depression, or something more. He's just so damn passive all the time. It frustrates me in a really good way haha
    I know, I know. I promise there will be an explanation and/or change... someday. ;o

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    The battle was really well done. I liked that there was an actual line to get to Falkner, and that he and his Pokemon were tired when Sai stepped up. With the amount of Pokemon trainers there probably are, it makes sense that at any given time, he would probably have several challengers. I was really drawn into Atis's battle with Pidgeotto, felt like it even gave him a little confidence that' going to make it easier for him to eventually go with Sai. The battle was well described, realistic, and of appropriate length. I really liked the bit when Pidgeotto came down to Atis with that serious look when he tried to attack him. To have Atis comment on its facial features was nice, because that's a detail that would usually be there that I dont see in almost any other fic.
    Thanks, I'm glad you liked that part. I haven't written a battle in years so I wasn't too confident about it. Thanks for reviewing as always!

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  19. #19
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    Had no idea what what was? I may be a little slow... but at least you liked it, whatever it was!
    Ah, I see where that might be confusing. In the early passage where Earl 'Twirls' over to close the windows, I guess I read that it was not Earl who twirled, it was his Pokemon. I just thought, what Pokemon would move by twirling? Then it hit me, Hitmontop. So I guess I misread that part, but it turns out I was right.

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Ah, I see where that might be confusing. In the early passage where Earl 'Twirls' over to close the windows, I guess I read that it was not Earl who twirled, it was his Pokemon. I just thought, what Pokemon would move by twirling? Then it hit me, Hitmontop. So I guess I misread that part, but it turns out I was right.
    That's pretty funny, not gonna lie. But yeah, apparently Earl "twirls" in the games, and I tried to stick to his given personality since I kind of forgot to do that for professor Elm. I also thought that somehow then hitmontop would be a good pokemon for him... lol. Didn't turn out that way in the fic, but oh well.

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  21. #21
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    This is really good, but how the main charectar is written I'm afraid he is emotionally scarred and going to join team rocket.


    ^You ever have that moment you realize you forgot to give credit? Sorry Irra!!^

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonicwari View Post
    This is really good, but how the main charectar is written I'm afraid he is emotionally scarred and going to join team rocket.
    Maybe, never know! I don't like saying too much about him. I'll just say that you shouldn't be afraid of potentially evil characters, or of moral ambiguity.

    Anyway, here's the next chapter. I really didn't know what to put in this chapter, so I'm not particularly fond of it. It seemed necessary, though, even if it kind of seems like filler. Enjoy. :P


    SURVIVAL PROJECT

    chapter 5 ; [KUIORA]
    logistics

    *

    Violet City wasn’t violet. There was green grass and brown buildings and white walking paths and there weren’t even any violet flowers. And the purple roofs didn’t count. It was sort of disappointing. I don’t know what I had been expecting, but it was certainly more than this. This city looked just like New Bark Town, except just organized in an entirely different way. A city full of flower houses and purple people would have been better.

    Senori had a sad expression on his face when we got there. He didn’t even look up from the ground. I didn’t think he was upset for the same reasons as me; he had seen much more than me. I guessed that he was upset about saying good-bye to whoever it was he had left Sai for, but I thought that meant he should be happy. Whoever was holding him down no longer had to hold him down. Unless Senori let it get to him, he was free, just as I was free from Professor Elm. I told him to cheer up a few times, but he just told me that I didn’t understand, and that he’d get over it soon.

    Sai seemed unresponsive to the city as a whole at first, too. He walked slowly and said nothing until we came across a large building that he called a school, and another large building that he called a gym. That was when Senori finally spoke before spoken to.

    “You know, normal kids wouldn’t be excited about school. Trainers would complain about how they wasted so much time there instead of raising pokémon. Normal kids would be dying of hunger or thirst by now,” he said, holding his stomach.

    “What’s school?” I asked. I could be curious, at least, without being scolded.

    “It’s where you can learn about a lot of things… especially pokémon-related things,” Sai explained, walking up to the building and pushing his face against the windows.

    Senori promptly ran in his direction and pulled at his legs, yelling, “Get away from the window! You got lucky at the professor’s lab, but they’ll definitely see you and think you’re a freak here!”

    I noted how Senori mentioned the lab, how Sai must have been watching me and the others the entire time, but I hadn’t noticed at all. It must have been the little brown creature keeping him in line, and he was trying to do it again now. Sai moved, but not because of Senori’s force. He brushed off the pokémon like it was nothing and went back to where he had been before.

    “Okay. You don’t have to yell at me. But I’m going there. I won’t stay long, but I think it will help me get better,” he said, still looking at the building.

    “Get better at what?” I asked.

    “Training. Raising pokémon. Getting badges and getting stronger as fast as possible,” he said. And he smiled.

    “I can help with that,” I said eagerly. “Professor Elm taught us how to train at the lab. I knew how to train better than everyone else there, too.”

    “You don’t have any experience, little guy. I bet those kids do… and especially the older guy there.”

    “But I know how to train. And people should just bring food to you and your pokémon,” I said, trying to speak louder. The pokémon at the lab were hopeless. Hopefully Sai and Senori weren’t like them. I would find out in time by trying to talk more, I decided.

    “Fine. We’ll rest and go get food. Happy now?”

    “Yes,” Senori said. “If you don’t remember to sleep or feed yourself or your pokémon, there’s going to be issues… Good thing I’m here.”

    “But if we just wait here—”

    “Shush.” He glared on me and I cut myself off immediately. I had never seen that much seriousness or lack of emotion packed into one face. “I know what you’re talking about, but we don’t need to deal with that anymore, do we? Let’s go, little guy.”

    What on earth was he talking about? He thought that I was a boy and he pushed me away in favor of the true first pokémon. I already didn’t like him.

    *

    But things got better. He took us to the store and bought enough food to last us for what seemed like forever. He also bought an unbelievable amount of pokéballs, and a backpack to carry it all. I thought that he should’ve just taken the entire store if the owner was willingly given so much away, but Senori explained that he could only buy so much with pokédollars. So this was why Professor Elm never got a bigger lab for us, even when we just seemed to grow and grow…

    “Are you really planning on catching that many pokémon?” I asked so that I could stop thinking about him. Professor Elm was gone, and I was free. He didn’t mean anything to me. And I was hoping to prove to him sometime soon that he wouldn’t need to catch so many. I would get stronger, and I’m sure Senori would, too. While I reluctantly accepted that Senori would get better with me, I believed that we could be enough, and that only a couple more pokémon couldn’t hurt.

    “Maybe.”

    “What about medicine?” Senori suddenly asked, not seeming to care about what was already bought anymore.

    He paused. “Medicine has never helped me,” he said softly.

    “It could work for pokémon.”

    “Then we’ll get it later.”

    “But you’re already out of pokédollars,” Senori pointed out.

    “We’ll get more of those later, too,” he replied, his voice stronger again.

    Senori sighed and apparently decided to settle on food. “Whatever will be, will be, I guess,” he said, and he made his way over to the entrance of the door, signaling his desire to leave.

    And that was the end of that. As we walked out, I noticed that the guy behind the counter, the one who had given Sai suggestions on food types and the pokéballs themselves, was looking at us rather oddly.

    *

    Next, we visited a place called the Pokémon Center for the very first time. Sai seemed to have never heard of such a thing. The place was huge and crowded with other trainers who were conversing with each other and showing off their pokémon. I tried holding on to Sai’s ankle to keep myself from getting lost, hoping that he’d join the crowd soon enough. There didn’t seem to be too many totodile around, so surely someone wouldn’t object to seeing one with their own fortunate eyes.

    Instead, Sai headed to the front counter and asked what he could do here for his pokémon. There was a lady with pink hair and a soft but genuine smile there for him to talk to. She happily informed him that he could leave us here to get healed from any injuries, or to simply have a place to sleep peacefully and out of pokéballs for the night.

    “But I don’t want to give away my pokémon,” Sai said flatly. He glowered at her. “I just got them.”

    The lady behind the counter frowned and looked almost like Sai had hurt her physically. “Oh, we don’t keep your pokémon here. You can come back and get them whenever you’d like. Or you could rent a room for yourself for the night and take your pokémon with you.”

    The boy’s face almost returned to normal, though he was still frowning. He was still suspicious. “Okay,” he said. “Well, maybe I’ll come back when it’s dark. Thank you.”

    After turning away from the front counter and the lady, Sai bent down toward us and whispered, “Now we’ll definitely get that medicine later.” Senori nodded, satisfied this time around, and the boy led us outside once more.

    *

    Needless to say, Sai didn’t want to go back to that Pokémon Center. We slept on the outskirts of the city in the grass once again. No one complained, since us two pokémon had been used to it for our entire lives. Sai didn’t seem to mind, either, though I couldn’t understand why.

    After that day, though, he left his backpack with us and went off to that school. He’d be gone when we woke up, and he wouldn’t be back until it was dark. We knew where he was, so it wasn’t that big of a deal, but we didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t as if we particularly liked each other. And if we tried to do anything, we risked getting lost. One day, though, I had an idea.

    “Let’s catch a strong pokémon for Sai,” I suggested. “If he sees how strong and awesome we are, then he won’t have to use all of those pokéballs.”

    “I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like that. He seems picky about who he chooses,” Senori said. He was sitting against a tree, eyes closed. I glared at him for dismissing my idea in such a nonchalant way, but he continued, “I’m also tired. I haven’t slept well since we’re in unfamiliar territory…”

    “Who cares? He has to keep whoever we choose. We’re his pokémon! He has to listen to what we want,” I said. I went over to his backpack, trying to figure out how to reach the contents inside of it. There seemed to be no opening for me to put my hand into. With this roadblock and Senori’s annoying self, I ended up ripping a hole into it with my teeth and not caring too much about it.

    “Not listening, huh? I bet you don’t even know how to catch a pokémon,” Senori observed.

    “I bet I could,” I said confidently, pulling out one of the spheres with my paws. It was a bit difficult to pull it through the hole I had made on the backpack with my tiny paws, but I managed it. I turned toward Senori, and went to push the button in the middle of the ball. I dropped it once in the process, since it was difficult for me to hold. Senori snickered, and I glared at him once more.

    “You’re a baby compared to me. You’re fun to mess with. And it seems natural for someone older like me to do so…” Senori added a bit sadly.

    “Yeah, well,” I started, unsure of what to say. I was young, true. But he didn’t have to rub it in my face. I pressed the button on the pokéball instead, and dropped it again as it grew larger, making it harder to hold than before. “All I have to do is press that button. Then, I have to throw it at the pokémon I want to catch. It’s easy. Why don’t you try catching something?”

    Senori’s eyes were still closed, but I didn’t give him a warning as I tossed the pokéball in his direction. It didn’t occur to me for a moment that the ball, when it got close enough to Senori, could snap open and suck the little brown creature inside. But that’s exactly what it did. And then it fell to the ground, swaying back and forth every few seconds. I stood there, dumbfounded. Hadn’t Sai already caught him with a pokéball? This shouldn’t have even been possible...

    I expected Senori to pop back out and start teasing me again. But he didn’t. The ball stopped moving after what seemed like forever, and then I was left alone to wonder what I had just done. I successfully shut him up, and I could have something to use against him whenever he made fun of me from now on. Also, I figured that I had just saved Sai some time, and that I could now tell him that Senori had a pokéball if it was ever needed.

    Walking up to Senori’s pokéball, I wondered if I should let him back out. But that would just be asking for more teasing and more complaints about things I wanted to do. Also, he was tired… Wouldn’t it have been best to just leave him in there to rest? Plus, I wasn’t the trainer. Sai could make these kinds of decisions himself. This was just an accident, so my actions didn’t count. I picked up the ball, which was easier now that it was back to its original tiny form. It didn’t feel any heavier, nor were there any signs that a pokémon was inside of it. It was almost as if Senori didn’t exist at all. I vaguely wondered again if I should release him, because if I were him, I wouldn’t want to be erased so easily. I had so much to do. I had to get stronger. I had to be deemed worthy of the legends. So much to do, and Sai made it seem like there wasn’t much time…

    I decided to just train myself and put Senori’s pokéball in Sai’s backpack. I didn’t need the other pokémon standing around and watching me or trying to say that he could do better just because he was older. I could get a lot more done without him around, and this was especially true since it was still daylight. Sai wouldn’t be back for a long time. Still. So much to do, so little time.

    I trained all day and all night, working on punches and kicks and aiming my water attacks correctly while still causing a lot of damage. I had been hoping to find new ways to train after leaving Professor Elm’s lab and seeing what else the world had to offer me, but I tried not to dwell on that and worked with what I had. I trained even after Sai came back, because when he came back, he didn’t ask where Senori was, and I didn’t tell him. He actually seemed calm and satisfied for once, and with the awkward and solemn demeanor he had presented already, I didn’t want to mess with that. He also didn’t ask why the grass or the trees were so wet. He still sat in the grass and he still slept against the trees and I still trained.

    *

    As it turned out, it was a good thing that I didn’t catch another strong pokémon for Sai, because he found one on his own. It was a strange looking creature that had been named Atis. It was strange looking, but also intimidating. He didn’t seem to like anyone, his feet and head had spikes on them, and when he battled in the other building Sai liked—the gym, was it?—he fought impressively. The battle was short, and even with the type advantage (I had learned about that from the bird owner, not Sai), he wasn’t afraid and he did what he had to do to win. I wanted to be like him. I vowed to be used in the next gym battle.

    This was also the first time I had seen Senori since I had accidentally captured him. That morning, Sai finally asked me where he was when he said that we were going to the gym, and I explained everything to him. Besides a slight smile, Sai didn’t react much, and had to dig through his backpack and try every pokéball until he found Senori’s and let him out. He announced that we would be going to the gym later that day, and to be prepared. Now that I thought about it, I wasn’t sure why, since he never intended for us to battle at all. But that was okay. Atis showed us the regular routine, and next time, I (or Senori, unless Sai realized how much training I had done) would know what to do.

    “Was there a reason you had to go and catch me like that?” Senori asked when he finally saw me. We had been standing in the line of the gym.

    “Yeah. You didn’t think I could do it. So I did it,” I replied, smirking.

    “You knew I was joking. But at least I’m not tired anymore,” Senori said softly, already seeming to give up on the scolding. He just didn’t have the heart to be angry at anyone, I realized.

    “Why didn’t you just break out of the pokéball? You were tired, yeah, but it should have been easy.”

    “I didn’t want to make Sai mad at me for wasting it.”

    And then we were quiet and watched Atis, who seemed naturally quiet unless coerced into speaking. I had no idea how he accomplished such a thing, but he did.

    *

    Violet City. The place wasn’t violet, but I got to train, Senori got to rest, Atis got to leave his home, and Sai learned an awful lot in order to earn his first gym badge at the end of it all.

    When we were leaving Violet City, the lady from behind the counter at the Pokémon Center was outside, unlocking the doors for the day. She shouted to us, saying that there was a Center in every town, but Sai ignored her. He hadn’t even brought Atis there to heal after his battle, but he hadn’t sustained many injuries, so it was understandable. And when we passed by the school, Atis peered into the windows one final time, but he didn’t seem to need a good-bye like Senori did. I wondered why, but I didn’t question him. I would have to earn his attention through strength in the future, since he was so strong himself.

    Unlike the trip to Violet City, we ran into quite a few pokémon trainers and more wild pokémon on the way to the next town. Atis destroyed all the pokémon in one hit, wild or not. Senori and I had a bit more trouble… which I guess was to be expected. It was also difficult when Sai didn’t know attack names when trying to command the both of us (though he let Atis do what he wanted). He just gave us general commands and thought that we should be able to comprehend and act on them in a matter of seconds, but sometimes, we couldn’t. How was I supposed to know what “ram your body into it” meant? I told him that he must be talking about the body slam attack… which I didn’t know anyway, I had to admit. Someday, I’d learn how. Or someday, Sai would learn how to win (or lose) battles like a normal trainer. By the end of the day, I didn’t care which came first.

    The hardest part about the traveling trip was the cave that we came across. The cave was old, we could tell. Wild pokémon were even afraid to come out at times since rocks were falling from the ceiling pretty much everywhere. Other trainers didn’t want to take the time to battle. Senori voiced his concern about us getting squished to bits, but Sai didn’t seem fazed. He walked where he wanted and rested where he wanted, with the rest of us being separated while trying to find somewhere safe, somewhere where no other trainer or pokémon was already occupying. I didn’t know how long it took to get through that cave, but it seemed like way too long after being paranoid about rocks and having your life end before you really got anywhere.

    Senori was the first and only to be endangered. He had picked an obviously bad spot, and a trainer noticed. The rest of us were resting. We were too far away to look out for him or notice what was going on.

    “Watch out!” said an unfamiliar voice out of nowhere, and Senori’s ears perked up. He looked above him and went to move out of the way, but no one would ever know if he would have been too slow or not. The trainer crashed into him and the two went careening away from the rocks, which promptly fell as soon as they were out of the way. I could hear Senori screaming in surprise, not from pain—a good sign.

    Sai didn’t react to the situation until after Senori had screamed, until after the trainer pushed him out of the way, and until after the noise of rubble and failure from the rocks subsided. The trainer got up and helped Senori to his wobbly feet. He dusted Senori off and then himself, then stomped angrily over to our trainer.

    “You should really watch your pokémon more. Return them to their pokéballs or something. I came in here not long after you, so I’ve seen you this entire time. I feel sorry for your pokémon,” the trainer said.

    Sai stood up from his resting spot, and stepped in front of the other trainer so that their faces were inches apart. “I’m sorry that happened, and thanks for saving him. But don’t tell me what to do with my pokémon. I have enough orders without you butting in to my life.”

    “A trainer makes his own rules, but should be careful with the rules he makes,” the other trainer said, backing away from Sai, but still looking just as angry.

    “You don’t know anything about me. I’m as careful as I can and want to be.”

    “Again, I feel sorry for your pokémon. It was none of my business, but if I hadn’t stepped in, your sentret would be dead. Let that sink in,” the trainer said, and then he walked away, stopping only to scratch Senori behind the ears for a few moments of reassurance.

    Before Sai let him get away, he yelled, “How long have you been following us, anyway?”

    “I’m not following you. But we’ve all been in here for two and a half weeks now, which makes us all even more lucky that no one’s been killed yet,” the other trainer answered, not bothering to turn around.

    “Two and a half weeks,” Sai murmured, making his way over to Senori. He bent down to see him face-to-face. “I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. Let’s just get out of here.”

    Senori could only nod, still confused and shocked and full of dirt.

    “Do any of you want to go in your pokéball?” Sai asked loudly, clearly, looking around at the three of us.

    “No,” Senori said quickly. “Who will protect you, then?”

    “…Fine,” Sai said. “And you two?”

    Atis agreed to go in his ball, but I wasn’t about to give up possible training time. I was younger and more alert and stronger; I could handle whatever came my way by myself. I also thought that I could use this incident to tease Senori, but I would have to wait until later.

    When we started to make our way through the cave again, Sai took the time to process just how much time had passed. He became increasingly furious with every passing moment. He started sacrificing resting time just to travel more, and all he kept murmuring about was how much time had been wasted here. No more time could be spent here. If we were hungry, we ate and walked at the same time. If we were thirsty, we had to take a drink from the ponds quickly for fear of being left behind, which was a risk we had to take since the availability of water was few and far between. If we were tired, we went in our pokéballs (at which point Senori actually half-heartedly thanked me for catching him and giving him a place to rest). I even saw Sai fight some pokémon himself, even the rock-types, and I made a mental note to myself so that I could see just how strong he was sometime.

    It took us three more days to get through the cave, Sai announced later. Somehow, he had been carefully keeping track of time. It was nighttime when we reached the outside of the cave, but Sai didn’t want to stop and rest there. Being near the cave was dangerous, he said, and being in the actual town would make him feel better. That night, we slept in the pokémon center, with the boy making it very clear that he would be taking his pokémon with him into the room. The pink-haired lady behind the counter was confused by his apparent hostility, but she agreed and gave him a room nonetheless for a certain number of pokédollars. The boy didn’t sleep much, but we certainly did. And we took every drink and piece of food offered to us by the people who came by the room and knocked cheerfully.

    We had finally reached Azalea Town, where I got to train some more, where Senori realized just how weak he was, where Atis apparently learned how to speak, and where Sai went crazy for the first time.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 25th April 2012 at 6:07 PM.

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    564

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    Nicely done.

    For some reason, this chapter felt different than the ones you've posted before. Not in a bad way at all, just different. The feeling was more intimate in a way; I think it was because of the conversations between Senori and Kuiora. I couldn't put my finger on it, but there's something about the two of them having a conversation really drew me in. Maybe its their backstories, or the way that they each view the world, but I like the fact that there is maybe the beggining of a lasting friendship developing. I've never read a fic where my favorite character switches from chapter to chapter. It's obviously the result of your great writing, but I usually just stick to one with anything I read. I switch my favorite alot in movies and television shows, but never in a written story. I like it...Anyway,

    As always, your grammar was great. I didn't find any spelling or punctuation mistakes at all. I never do with you, so that should come as no surprise. At the end, it felt like it sped up a little bit too much for my liking, especially the bit where it took them three more days to get through the cave. After the incident at the beggining of the cave, I thought you were going to spend more time in it. I liked the parts where Kuiora commented on how water was sparse and stuff, I was just hoping for a little more detail about the cave and the journey through it. Besides that, I felt like the pacing of this chapter was really nice, so good work on that.

    Another thing that stuck out for me was the part where Kuiora captured Senori in the Pokeball. Awesomely done. Not only is the concept of a Pokemon capturing another great, but Kuiora's inner dialogue about how she should realease him or not was hilarious. If you couldn't guess, I switched to her for this chapter. Her training all day to make sure she got stronger was really believeable, and I think you've done a really job creating a character that I can easily relate to. Aspiring to be better is no easy feat, especially when writing it; but you have done a really good job.

    Another part was the interraction between Sai and the trainer that saved Senori. I could almost feel the heat radiating between the two of them as they spoke, it was pretty intense. I think it showed Sai's Pokemon exactly where his intentions were as well, but he made up for it at the end by apologizing (at least in my eyes). The other trainer, which they can obviously understand, kinda showed them the other side of being a trainer's Pokemon. When they guy reached down and scratched Senori's ear before he walked away was a nice little **** you to Sai. It really seems like something I would do if placed in that situation.

    and where Sai went crazy for the first time.
    Oh thank god. I can't wait to read the next chapter lol

    All in all, nicely done. Great chapters are something I've come to expect from you, and you're still doing fantastic.

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    680

    Default

    For some reason, this chapter felt different than the ones you've posted before. Not in a bad way at all, just different. The feeling was more intimate in a way; I think it was because of the conversations between Senori and Kuiora.
    I think that may have something to do with the fact that I'm not really in introduction-only chapters anymore and there's more interaction between them. Even Senori's second chapter was more introduction than anything. That's my best guess, anyway. :P Either way, that's a pretty good thing, I'm glad you pointed it out.

    As always, your grammar was great. I didn't find any spelling or punctuation mistakes at all. I never do with you, so that should come as no surprise. At the end, it felt like it sped up a little bit too much for my liking, especially the bit where it took them three more days to get through the cave. After the incident at the beggining of the cave, I thought you were going to spend more time in it. I liked the parts where Kuiora commented on how water was sparse and stuff, I was just hoping for a little more detail about the cave and the journey through it. Besides that, I felt like the pacing of this chapter was really nice, so good work on that.
    Lol, I do like having no (or few) mistakes. I usually stop writing after a few paragraphs and go back to edit/proof-read what I had just written rather than going back at the very end to do it all at once. Your work never has a lot of mistakes in it, but I think it could help you get some of those easily missed mistakes you made your thread about. Dunno if it would help you, but thought I'd throw that out there.

    Also, I agree that it was rushed there. :C I'll have to go back sometime and add more to it. I'm not really sure what happened there. The whole chapter was supposed to be a traveling chapter, but then I added things to fill in the blanks of Atis's chapter, and then said, "Well, I already showed/said all of the characterization stuff I wanted to add during the actual traveling part" so I shortened it. Oops.

    Another thing that stuck out for me was the part where Kuiora captured Senori in the Pokeball. Awesomely done. Not only is the concept of a Pokemon capturing another great, but Kuiora's inner dialogue about how she should realease him or not was hilarious. If you couldn't guess, I switched to her for this chapter. Her training all day to make sure she got stronger was really believeable, and I think you've done a really job creating a character that I can easily relate to. Aspiring to be better is no easy feat, especially when writing it; but you have done a really good job.
    Well, awesome. I'm glad you like all the characters enough to consider them your favorites.

    Oh thank god. I can't wait to read the next chapter lol
    Haha, I had a feeling you'd like that last line just for that. :P It should be interesting, I can't really wait to see how it turns out.

    Thanks for reading&&reviewing!

    | survival project |
    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | complete |


    | flying in the dark |
    | he's hiding something. she just doesn't know it. |
    | on hiatus|


    | love and other nightmares |
    | limited time, limited abilities. kyurem says she can be cured in exchange for saving those who need saving. |
    | chapter 1 released |


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    564

    Default

    Lol, I do like having no (or few) mistakes. I usually stop writing after a few paragraphs and go back to edit/proof-read what I had just written rather than going back at the very end to do it all at once. Your work never has a lot of mistakes in it, but I think it could help you get some of those easily missed mistakes you made your thread about. Dunno if it would help you, but thought I'd throw that out there.
    I can't believe that I never thought of that. Wow, I think that would help me out alot. I think I'll give it a try. Thanks!

    Haha, I had a feeling you'd like that last line just for that. :P It should be interesting, I can't really wait to see how it turns out.
    I sure did. Actual distress from Sai, yeah I'm definitely down for that

    An Ancient Treasure, a Terrible Price. Take the Risk, Eat the World
    (Final Chapter added 05-15-2014)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


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