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Thread: Survival Project (PG-13)

  1. #1
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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 the forest like the one I lived in. 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, going nowhere at full speed. 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.

    Looking around more, there were no signs of the human's presence. 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. You might have heard of it. 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.

    “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, looking 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 get the point, 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 was 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 is 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 just walk 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 with sincerity, and with the utmost amount of devotion.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; Yesterday at 5:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default


    SURVIVAL PROJECT

    chapter 2 ; [KUIORA]
    suppression

    *

    Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved a girl—and then the girl left him and the boy did not love her anymore.

    She did not want to leave, but she felt that it was her duty to do so. The two of them had been together for many years, and the girl loved the boy more and more every day. The girl was eternally grateful to have him in her life, and often wondered what she had done to deserve him. He deserved more than her. He deserved more than life. But he chose to stay where he was, and the idea of what could have been haunted her. She dwelled on these thoughts, but could not find a way to ease the chaos in her mind.

    One day, she stumbled upon someone who told her about the three legendary pokémon that represent emotions, the will to live, and knowledge. They had all been born from the same egg, created by the god of pokémon. They reside deep in the caves of Sinnoh, safe from harm and disturbance.

    She felt that it was her duty to see these pokémon, and she told her husband this.

    “We have them to thank for everything,” she said. “Every tree, every mountain, every sea, they have 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 for not making their efforts in vain. I need to.”

    But the husband did not want to go. He wanted to leave them be, wanted to accept things as they were and not try to interfere with things that cannot 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, but still, he would not go.

    He tried to convince her to stay, but could not. She left, explaining where she was going and saying that she would be back as soon as possible. She took a ferry to Sinnoh, and several people asked her what was wrong, why did she look so sad, but even she did not know, though she carried with her the comfort of finally finding the answers that she had been looking for.

    She visited Uxie at Lake Verity, and thanked the legendary pokémon for its service and effort. The Uxie did not lash out or respond negatively, and so she felt that her emotions were true. She loved her husband, and he loved her, and that was how it was meant to be. When she visited Mesprit at Lake Acuity, it was the same, and she now felt reassured about knowing how to make her husband happy and how to live a fulfilled life.

    When she reached Lake Valor to visit Azelf, the pokémon was not there. The cave was empty, and nothing could be found in the lake itself. She decided to stay in the nearest town and try again soon, but she heard rumors of a man who had disturbed Azelf’s resting place and was now being punished for it. Upon hearing more information, she came to realize that the man from the rumors was her husband.

    She visited him in the hospital, where he was alive, but still gone. She screamed. She screamed so loud, and he did not—could not—hold her. The doctors could not explain much of anything. She knew more than them, yet knew nothing at all. He had come to see the legendary pokémon after all, but why? And what had the legendary pokémon done to him to make him like this, and again, why? She would never know.

    Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved a boy—and when he died by her hands, she could not stop loving him.

    *

    This was the last story that Professor Elm told me before I left the lab. He said that it seemed a little too heartbreaking and dark for a young totodile like me, but I had insisted that I could take it, and so he did not hold anything back. The story was sad, yes, but it made me want to travel the world so I could see what else was hiding from me, and so I could see the good parts of life that the professor was much more eager to tell me about. They seemed so common and pure to the point where I couldn’t stand being here.

    I didn’t usually value self-induced vulnerability or a lack of strictness, but I believed that I was somewhat lucky to have been raised by Professor Elm. It was destiny, of course, but I still felt lucky. He was timid and quiet and patient, and most importantly, very flexible. I couldn’t imagine another professor giving up a potentially perfect starter pokémon just to keep me satisfied with life, but that’s what he did. While he emphasized training for all of the other starter pokémon, while he taught them to listen to trainers and practice controlling their beginning moves, he told me stories of legendaries and myths about lands that he promised I would see someday. Of course, I took part in the training and had learned that obedience is necessary, especially under certain circumstances—I wouldn’t have wanted to meet a legendary pokémon someday and be completely weak and clueless and disrespectful, after all—but I was not avoiding sleep or practicing outside of normal training times with the others who seemed to exhaust themselves more than needed. It was all about balance and routine. Every day, I woke up, ate, trained, listened to Professor’s Elm stories (or reflected on previous stories if he happened to be too busy), ate some more, and slept. And that was enough for me.

    It wasn’t enough on the day that the trainer came for me.

    “We’ll be starting the training for today, all right? I hope you’re all refreshed from sleep and ready to go,” Professor Elm said. As usual, I got up from my normal resting spot. The back of the professor’s lab was surrounded by split-rail fences that were designed so that we could look outside of the fence if we wanted to, but without the space to escape. I could understand the precautions, though Professor Elm seemed to trust us so much that I wondered why it was needed. Even I would not have escaped given the opportunity. I was to wait for whatever the legendaries had in store for me, whether it was being stuck here forever or for a special, designated trainer to come and choose me. Still, I adored sitting near the fence, right where the sun shone the brightest, where I could see the entire backyard and everyone in it. This was also where the professor would read me stories; he would never ask me to move, even if the sun was in his eyes and it was difficult for him to concentrate. I only left when told to, and so I left when he announced that it was time to train.

    All of the totodile, chikorita, and cyndaquil gathered in the middle of the backyard. I sat on the grass while the others remained standing, already preparing their known attacks. They were having trouble standing with the wind blowing against us, though I did not feel it, as the professor standing in front of me and blocking it. Aside from excited squeals from the pokémon, all was quiet, as if nothing and no one else existed.

    As usual, the professor started by talking about us being starter pokémon.

    “What can you, as a beginning trainer’s pokémon, do to help the trainer grow and learn? You yourself are not necessarily weak, but are just beginning as well… I cannot teach you much, because it is not up to me,” the professor said, a hint of sadness in his voice. Had he wanted to be a trainer once so he could travel the world, too? “But I can make it easier for them. 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 to start out with.”

    There were three large trees in the backyard, all of which looked beaten up and as if they would tumble at any given moment. They had taken much abuse over the years, and we were about to add more to it. We were instructed to go to a different tree based on what type of pokémon we were. At first, we were just told to tackle the tree with however much strength we wanted to, though we would have to increase the strength every turn, so I started out slowly, lightly. With every tackle, I let myself get stronger, allowing my head to adjust to the collision and rough texture of the bark on the tree more and more every time. I didn’t practice my scratch attack, since I had a tendency to scratch at things when I was nervous, so I felt that I had enough practice with it, and that it would just remind me of things that I didn’t want to think about.

    “I really like training,” one of the other totodile stated after a while, “but tackling just makes my head hurt all the time!”

    “Same here… and I’m not even hitting the tree that hard since I’m so tired!” another totodile said, and for the next few turns, they kept missing the tree entirely and had to be told to stop by the professor before they got hurt more or crashed into something else. The totodile pouted and watched in dismay as the rest of us continued practicing.

    I wanted to say that starting out too roughly without any real experience would, of course, cause a headache, as can a lack of sleep and not allowing the body to rest after training for hours on end… but I said nothing and just kept setting a quiet example. I was verbal once, but got nowhere; they weren’t willing to listen and adapt. They didn’t seem capable of watching and adapting that way, either, but at least that didn’t seem like a failure on my part.

    Eventually, we moved on to our specialized elemental attacks.

    “Of course, all of you have special attacks that only certain pokémon can learn,” the professor said. “Each one of them will be helpful to your trainer in a different way. A cyndaquil’s fire can keep things warm, especially in the winter. They can also help cook food when traveling. Chikorita can carry things with their vines, and, when they evolve, can provide health for all. Totodile can provide water, and, since they generally look tough, can scare away unwanted predators. All of you should be willing to do these things for your future trainer and teammates, just as you are willing to do them for me. Understood?”

    We all nodded in agreement and got to work. The chikorita tried carrying anything in sight, whether it was a rock, a plant, or another pokémon. Cyndaquil were practicing on each other, since fire didn’t hurt their bodies, but instead provided more heat to help them feel more powerful and energized. That, and because if they tried to fire at the grass or the plants, the professor would be panicking over the results; it had happened before. And finally, all of the totodile were aiming and shooting water at anything possible, with each of our targets varying in distance and size. Most of the totodile considered the exercise a success based on how soaked the target was, though I didn’t think that helped much since more than one totodile was aiming at the same thing, so my success based on how long I could keep the attack going without having to stop to take a breath.

    Just when I thought that I had started improving, the professor forced us to stop due to the cyndaquil starting to miss and setting things on fire again. The totodile were asked to put the fires out, but dead grass still proved that the incident occurred and would likely happen again, so we didn’t bother asking to continue.

    The professor eased our sadness with food. He brought out various trays filled with different kinds of berries and he let us choose what we wanted. I just took a few of my favorite cheri berries. We all spread apart once we got what we wanted, with me going back to my normal spot near the fence, and with the others going back to preparing for training with attacks that wouldn’t destroy the lab completely.

    I sat in peace and ate the berries, waiting for Professor Elm to show up and talk to me as he always did around this time of day. The sun shone overhead, rays of light pouring onto my body and the entire backyard, keeping everything warm and safe. I shielded my eyes but didn’t mind doing so. I found it fascinating and strange how the legendary pokémon had made the sun necessary for everyone to live, yet it never had any reaction toward what happened on the land it provided so much for. We could all be gone tomorrow, and would it even notice? Probably not. It would still rise and fall. It did not care about anything or anyone. It did not care about me. Someday, I vowed, I would make it care.

    While getting lost in thought, Professor Elm had come over to me and sat down next to me, his back resting against the fence comfortably, and he was smiling. This was unusual to me, since he tended to look rather uncomfortable at other times. He would lean forward and put his face in his hands to try to avoid the sun. If he was annoyed, he never let it show, but I always assumed that he was.

    “You look awfully happy today,” I pointed out. As soon as I said it, I hoped that I didn’t sound too rude. My tendency to talk without thinking had caused more problems and fights than I had wanted, and I had been trying to improve and keep my thoughts to myself.

    “Yes,” Professor Elm replied. “Someone’s here for you.”

    My head snapped in his direction immediately, and I just started at him. “Who would be here for me?”

    “A trainer, of course.” He would not stop smiling.

    “A trainer… How do you know they’re here for me?” I asked. I didn’t normally ask so many questions, but this seemed too good to be true. And too specific. There were many totodile here. If he would just say that the trainer was here for a totodile, any one of us…

    “He said that he saw us training through the fence when passing by,” the professor explained. “He was impressed with what he saw from you.”

    I was special, then. The things I had done better than everyone else had finally paid off. I vaguely wished that I had known the trainer was there, so I could have tried even harder and made him think that his decision was undoubtedly the best one that he could possibly make.

    “I’m leaving today, then? Now?” I asked stupidly. I felt as if I had not spoken in weeks. I wondered if I really hadn’t.

    “If you’re ready. If you want to. I can say no and explain that I feel that you are not ready to be handled, though I’m not a fan of lying…” the professor said, rubbing the back of his head nervously.

    “I want to go. It just seems odd, of course...”

    “You’re different from the rest, you know. So you’ll be fine. You’ve always wanted something more than just training and the basic necessities of life, unlike the rest of the pokémon. I’ve tried to provide that as best as I could for you, since it’s my job. And I think you’ll get even more of what you want if you leave.”

    “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go,” I said, trying not to sound too excited. It reminded me too much of the others.

    “You don’t want to say good-bye to any of the others?” the professor asked, though it sounded more like a statement to me.

    I hesitated before saying, “No. They won’t care.”

    “They’re young. They just haven’t reached the level of maturity that you have yet. Don’t be too hard on them,” he said, as if he was reading my mind.

    “I know.” But it didn’t change my mind. Being stuck in one place had not gotten me far at all, and I seemed to be the only one who noticed how all that the lab’s land was good for was holding the world together. Did the others even know what a world was?

    *

    I had never been inside the front of Professor Elm’s lab before. There was a space behind this part of the lab for pokémon when it rained or stormed, so I had been inside a building before, but it made me kind of angry to know that I could have had access to this part of the world this entire time, and yet I had never actually taken advantage of it. There were tall shelves filled with the books that the professor would read to me from, and there were several machines with other people attending to them, looking serious and concentrated on whatever it was that the machines were doing for them. The walls were filled with pictures of what I assumed were other types of pokémon, and with places that I did not recognize. The ground beneath me was soft like the grass, but did not tickle my feet as expected. My attention was immediately drawn to the boy, however, when I first laid eyes on him.

    The trainer had asked specifically for me, yet he did not seem pleased to see me. He looked as if he had just woken up, and his arms were covered in cuts and bruises. His hair looked wild. I supposed that I could take it as a sign that he had already traveled to get here, and I was suddenly very interested. Already here was an example of what my future would be…

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

    “Sai,” I said. I kept repeating the name over and over in my head. Since all of us were called by our species name and had to rely on the differences in voice and body sizes, I had assumed that humans were similar. I had imagined that perhaps they were all named Elm and that they all had to identify each other by individual, unique characteristics. But it looked as if they all had different names! I was learning a lot already.

    I was barely paying attention to their conversation, but I heard the parts where Professor Elm explained that I was the totodile that Sai had seen through the fence. I heard bits and pieces about things like the attacks I knew, precautions to take when starting out as a beginning trainer, and then—

    “Do you have a trainer’s card?”

    “…No, I do not.”

    “You do know that you need a trainer’s card if you want to go around traveling with pokémon, right?”

    “I… wasn’t expecting to see the totodile. I just happened to be passing by,” Sai replied slowly, carefully. For whatever reason, his words made me grin.

    “Where are you from?”

    “Ah… Vermilion City,” Sai said, rubbing his arm.

    “That’s a bit far, huh? I can’t think of why you’re here, then…” Professor Elm said, more to himself than anyone else, I guessed, since he was starting to pace back and forth, and he wasn’t making eye contact with anyone in the room.

    “I happened to be passing by,” Sai repeated, more confidently this time.

    The professor ignored him. Eventually, he stopped pacing and looked at me. He looked sort of sad. His eyes told me that he shouldn’t be giving me to a trainer who now looks extremely suspicious by showing up to a random town without any sort of identification. But I wanted to go. I didn’t care who this trainer was. If he was a bad trainer, then the legendary pokémon would punish him accordingly, and my fate would be decided by them. He had to let me go. I briefly wondered what this meant for his job should anyone discover that he gave me away like this, but I found that it didn’t matter to me. I had to leave.

    “I assumed that you would have had a trainer’s card already since most people come to this town to get their first pokémon. I will give you a trainer’s card so that you may travel the region of Johto with pokémon. If you want to travel in Kanto, however, you will have to get a new trainer’s card, even though that’s where your hometown is. Understand?” Professor Elm said, looking directly at Sai. The boy nodded, and followed the professor to the back of the room. I was told to wait where I was, and so I did.

    It was the first instruction given to me as a pokémon who was owned by a trainer.

    *

    When they returned, Sai was holding a small item that I assumed was his new trainer’s card. In his other hand was what I recognized as my pokéball. We were not put in our pokéballs very often, but the experience of being in one was unique, and so I had never forgotten it.

    When it was time to leave, the professor walked in front of me, and knelt down so that we could see each other face-to-face. He was smiling again, yet looked sad at the same time. I wondered why this was, since it seemed to be part of his job to say good-bye to all of the pokémon he raised. Shouldn’t he have been used to it by now? Maybe you never got over some things. As I thought of the other pokémon that were still in the backyard and myself, I hoped that that wasn’t true.

    “Well, this is what you’ve been waiting for, so I hope it goes well for you, of course...” He sounded wary, and I knew that it was because of the trainer. He didn’t sound as nervous as before, though, so hopefully he had come to trust the trainer more after being together in the back of the room. “Don’t forget anything you’ve learned here, okay? You’re a good pokémon, and I’ll miss you,” Professor Elm said quietly, petting me on the head. I winced, not knowing what to say. I almost felt guilty and believed that I should stay, but it was too late now. And I didn’t truly want to stay. There was nothing to stay for. The professor would have to go on without me.

    After what seemed like forever, the professor stood up and shook Sai’s hand, wishing the two of us the best of luck. Sai merely nodded and started walking to the door. I started to follow him. It felt right and odd at the same time. When Sai reached the door, he stepped out into the sunlight, holding the door open for me to walk out, too. Before I did, I looked back at Professor Elm one last time, seeing him wave with one arm, with the other arm tucked behind his back. I waved back for a brief moment, turned, and left. I wondered if I would miss the professor, whatever that meant.

    When I stepped outside, I realized that I also had never been in any other part of the town. Flowers were blooming everywhere. There had once been flowers in the backyard of Professor Elm’s lab, but they were quickly burned by the cyndaquil, so he stopped trying to plant them and take care of them. He had enough to take care of, anyway.

    I could also see a ton of water to the right. It seemed endless, and I wondered where it led to. Instinctively, I started walking in that direction. As I did, I continued looking around. There were several more buildings, and inside I knew that there was more to see—it was just being hidden from me. Only the determined and curious could be able to see what was inside.

    I kept stepping forward toward the water, the only familiar things being the sun, the sky, the grass… They were important, of course, because the legendaries created them, but the rest of the town was why the legendaries had put so much effort into creating such sustainers of life.

    I was stopped dead in my tracks, however, when I bumped into something in front of me. I fell backward and looked up. I saw a creature that was standing on its tail, making it taller than me. Its brown fur had felt soft, so I wasn’t hurt too much. I recognized the creature as a sentret, since a few of them had snuck into the professor’s backyard to play around.

    “I’m sorry,” I mumbled, getting back to my feet.

    “That’s a good way to meet each other, I guess,” Sai said, walking up from behind me.

    I looked back and forth between the two of them, wondering how they knew each other. Surely, it couldn’t be Sai’s pokémon… I was a pokémon for beginners, after all, and the boy just got his trainer’s card…

    “I guess so! We’ve spent a while trying to get you, and now you’re here. That’s all that really matters,” the sentret said happily.

    I blinked. “This is your trainer?” I asked, dumbfounded.

    “He’s yours, too.”

    “But—”

    “I was his… first pokémon…” the sentret said slowly, “but he insisted on getting a true starter pokémon. He wanted the strongest out of what he could get. He’s been watching you for a while… and he finally said that you were the right one. He got what he wanted, so we can finally get out of here and—”

    “Why would he need me if he already had a pokémon?” I asked, slightly upset. It seemed silly to want to be the trainer’s first pokémon when I really just wanted to travel and see the world, but I had put in all of that work only to be second best. I still felt glad, though, that I was chosen at all. I deserved it, after all, and I had wanted this for a long time.

    “I wish I knew. Ask him,” the sentret said. But Sai didn’t answer, though he seemed to be paying attention.

    “We can leave in a moment,” he simply said after a few moments. Instead of walking like I expected him too, however, he reached into his pocket, and pulled out another object that I had not seen before. He knelt down to see me, just as Professor Elm had done, and handed it to me.

    “Did you get this from the professor?” I asked, taking it in my hands. It was warm, but it didn’t look like anything a pokémon could use. “Is it mine?”

    “Nope. I got it a long time ago,” Sai explained. “I want you to roll it…”—he glanced at the sentret before looking back at me—“or throw it… or whatever. Please.”

    I immediately did as I was told. I threw it on the ground, even though I wasn’t sure why I was doing it. The small, white object revealed two small, black dots when it was done rolling on the ground.

    “Your name is Kuiora,” Sai stated after staring at the item for a moment.

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

    “Your name is Kuiora, yes.”

    So pokémon even got their own names from their trainers. The sentret must have a name, too, then. I would have to see if it was the same as mine or different.

    “Kuiora. My second pokémon,” Sai stated. “As I expected.”

    “Yeah… I thought we had that established already,” I said, distracted from the name thoughts already.

    “I wanted you to know,” he replied quickly, picking up the item and putting it back in his pocket. “I wanted to make it official for you. I made the right choice. And now we can leave.” He stood up, and turned toward the direction I supposed we would be heading in.

    I still didn’t fully understand, but at least he hadn’t said I was second best. I had no idea how tough the sentret was, but I was obviously still special to this boy for some reason. And that was fine. Though I was impatient, I knew that I would have to wait to learn more as time would go on.

    “Let’s go,” Sai said. He started going in the opposite direction of the town, and I followed. I wondered why we didn’t explore the rest of the buildings, but I had to obey. It was what I was born to do. The legendaries put me with Professor Elm to learn this, and so I could reflect on myself, what I needed, what my destiny was. I was destined to travel, to become stronger, to become special to the legendary pokémon somehow, someway… I would have to find a way to make the best of this all on my own. I was nothing if not the sum of the parts that I had made for myself and for the legendary pokémon, after all.

    I thought one last time about the pokémon still in the backyard before leaving the town. They were completely oblivious, and had no idea what they were missing. I hoped that they would know someday. Until then, I would fear well for them. I would fear well for my one and only home.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 23rd April 2012 at 8:51 PM.

  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



    Destiny's Bond

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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.

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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)

    -Thanks to PopPrincess_Lyra for the amazing banner-


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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!

  9. #9
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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 63: Recovery
    The story of an ordinary boy on an impossible quest in a world that isn't as black and white as he always thought it was.
    (rough draft of the remaining chapters finished for NaNoWriMo; to be edited and posted)

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

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

  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~


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  11. #11
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    SURVIVAL PROJECT

    chapter 3 ; [SENORI]
    anxiolytic

    *

    I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t grateful to have Sai take me away from my home for a while. I led him to New Bark Town in silence as quickly as I could, not only to keep him from getting angry and attacking me again, but to escape from some of the guilt and the obsessive thoughts that had been haunting me for a long time. He followed behind me, his expression blank and his arms loosely dangling back and forth at his sides, but with his eyes never leaving me. I kept looking behind me to make sure that I was safe and that he was still there, but my paranoia was pointless, as he never made a sign that made me think he was a threat.

    We reached the town at nightfall. We didn’t see any other humans or pokémon, which I was kind of disappointed in. I had wanted to see how someone else reacted to Sai, but I supposed that I would have to wait. This also meant that Sai would have to wait to get what he wanted.

    “Everyone’s sleeping, I guess,” I said softly after a few moments of silence.

    “Where are the pokémon?” the boy asked simply. His blue eyes looked darker with the night, but maybe I was imagining things.

    “They’re with a human who raises the pokémon to give to new trainers.” I pointed my paw to a nearby building with the back enclosed by a fence. Beyond the fence was simply grass with a few charred areas here and there, and some large trees that appeared a bit old. “He trains the pokémon there so they don’t run off into the forest. I’ve see them sometimes when I’ve come close to the town, but that’s always been during daytime. We’ll have to wait.”

    Sai stared at me, and I wondered if he was angry for me pointing out the obvious. There seemed to be an invisible, fine line between treating him as if he were stupid and trying to help him with things that he was somehow completely unaware of.

    But all he said was, “Time to sleep, then. You can help me with the rest tomorrow, right?”

    “…Yeah,” I replied. No threat. It was all I could think about. Did I want him to punish me? I deserved it, after all. The fact that I was being given a chance at redemption seemed lost and non-existent.

    Sai turned around and went to sit by a large tree near the entrance to the town. He put his hands behind his head and then rested the top part of his body against the tree. He closed his eyes shortly after, and he seemed so peaceful and relaxed that I thought he had fallen asleep already. I also went to where he was, though I kept a bit of distance between us.

    I jumped a bit when he started talking again. “You’ll help me tomorrow, and then we’ll go through the forest again, and we’ll keep going from there,” he said.

    “That seems to be the simplified version of things, yes,” I said under my breath. I didn’t think he would be able to hear me.

    “What do you mean?” he asked.

    “Picking out your first pokémon seems to be a big deal. When you say we’ll keep going from there, there’s a lot of places to explore, I’m sure. And when we pass through the forest, I guess I’d like to say good-bye to some of my old clan members, if possible…” My voice trailed off from there. I curled up on the grass, wrapping my tail around my body for warmth. I had forgotten what it felt like to be in this position, and what sleep near someone else felt like. With my eyes still open, I saw Sai snap his open, and look at me curiously.

    “Who do you have to say good-bye to?”

    “My clan. Or just someone in my clan. I just think that they should know I’m gone, since you’re insistent on taking me on this journey of yours,” I explained. I felt slightly bitter that he was permanently taking me away from my home, but I would find a way around that tomorrow to avoid feeling this way forever.

    “You don’t seem too happy about it,” Sai observed.

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

    “Then it should be easier to say good-bye.”

    “Yes and no. I’d rather have no one to say good-bye to. It’d be so much easier.”

    Sai didn’t answer for a long time after that. Again, I thought that he had fallen asleep. But then he started stirring, trying various positions to get comfortable, and nothing seemed to work. He groaned and complained until he finally went back to his original position. And finally, he said, “I always thought that it’d be better to have someone to say good-bye to. Maybe I was wrong.”

    “And why do you say that?” I asked after a few moments.

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

    “And you didn’t have anyone to say good-bye to?”

    “I could have… but they were hardly worth saying good-bye to.”

    I didn’t answer him, and he didn’t say anything after that. He stayed silent for good this time. I didn’t want to press him for further information when he clearly wasn’t comfortable with it and was avoiding specific details. And I didn’t want to try to become closer to him when I still felt connected from my clan. Tomorrow, I would get permission to leave. Tomorrow, I would know that they had officially let me go. Tomorrow, maybe Sai would think that he’d someday have someone to say good-bye to.

    *

    As it turned out, we didn’t spend just one day in New Bark Town. Sai just couldn’t decide in a few hours what pokémon he wanted. I told him that there was a grass-type, a fire-type, and a water-type starter that he could choose from. I had to admit that I didn’t know what each species specialized in, but Sai seemed to brighten up again when I pointed out that there was a whole batch of each type that he could look at. I also explained that since each pokémon had weaknesses and strengths, and since he had no other pokémon to try to figure out what weaknesses and strengths he needed, his choices weren’t limited. He said that, in that case, he just wanted the strongest pokémon, and I thought that it would be a simple enough choice from there. But somehow, it wasn’t.

    “There’s so many of them,” he said, a hint of excitement in his voice. “I only got a close look at two of them. We’ll have to come back tomorrow.”

    This was his excuse every day from then on. We slept in the same area every night, and we stood at a distance from the fence every day to watch the pokémon. Sai tried to walk right up to the fence and climb over a few times, but I had to yell at him to not do that, since the fence was there to keep others out for a reason. He also tried to sit right by a part of the fence to look inside the backyard through the rails, which also seemed odd, so I kept telling him to stop looking creepy and to get away from the fence entirely.

    Sai refused to go anywhere else that would make him miss seeing the pokémon during the hours of daylight they were outside. A few times a day, I briefly left to go get some berries from the forest to eat. Seeing that Sai didn’t seem to have anything to eat, I brought him some, too, which he ate quickly and hungrily, though he never asked for more when he looked sadly at his empty hands after eating.

    I didn’t really question him, and thought vaguely about going to the forest to say good-bye a few times in order to save time, but then I knew that I’d get the urge to do it all over again when we finally left for good. So I kept quiet and tried to be patient, but it was hard when I wanted to move on. Still, it was better than staying in the forest by myself while torturing my mind with memories.

    “Have you picked out a pokémon yet?” I asked after a few days of this.

    “No. None of them has stood out so far,” Sai said. “Most of the fire ones keep burning the grass… and each other. I don’t need more chaos. The green pokémon don’t seem much like fighters. I’ve almost gotten through watching all the water-types.”

    “Okay,” I said. “Well, I’m going to get more food, then.”

    When I came back, Sai was gone. I had come back just in time to see a familiar human walk back into the building with a pokémon following behind him, and I assumed that Sai had finally made his choice. I simply paced back and forth in front of the building that I had first taken him to days ago. It seemed like we had been here forever and done everything that needed to be done, yet in reality, we had accomplished next to nothing. It was all just wishful thinking on my part. The boy had needed a ton of time here for some reason, and I hoped that his decision was worth it. I believed that whatever pokémon he chose would be the correct one to help complete his journey, to make sure that he “listened” properly, as he had put it before. I still didn’t know who he was listening to, but he seemed content when following the instructions given to him, and that was enough.

    Soon, I heard the building’s door creak open and saw Sai standing outside, holding the door open for someone. A small, aqua colored creature with red spikes protruding from its back and tail stepped out of the building, and Sai closed the door. So he had chosen the water-type pokémon. No wonder it had taken him so long to choose. The water-types were the last he had looked at.

    The totodile walked around aimlessly, seemingly entranced by the surrounding area. Eventually, the totodile’s snout bumped into me, and I bumped into the awkward situation of explaining that I was really Sai’s first pokémon, but admittedly, I had no idea why, nor did I have any idea why the creature in front of me had become a necessary part of our team and journey. I watched as Sai had the totodile roll the dice, just as he had made me do. I wondered if Kuiora—as Sai had named her on the spot—understood him any better than I did at the moment. Probably not. She didn’t look confused, but instead seemed fascinated and relieved.

    It was time to go after that. I hoped that I would be fascinated and relieved soon, too, as we moved on toward the forest for what I believed would be the last time.

    *

    They later reminded me of Sai.

    They had blended in with the night, and they were fast.

    They were not from around this area, but they were here nonetheless. And they intended to make the best of their trip at my home. Their trip with my clan.

    I’m sure, in their minds, they screamed success.

    I was watching out for danger when one of them had come up to me. It was crawling, and moving so slowly. I immediately let my guard down as I sympathetically realized it must be injured. It was too dark to see any blood, but I couldn’t think of any other reason why it was crawling pathetically on the forest floor when I could see that it had feet to use instead. I was using my tail to see as high up and as far as possible, but now I was on my own feet, scrambling over to the seemingly damaged pokémon. As I got closer, I could see that its skin matched the color of the dark sky, with red feathers jutting out of its back and one of its ears. Its eyes looked weak and tired and the creature had dulled yellow jewels on its forehead and chest to match. Its white claws were sharp, and the pokémon had been using them to dig into the ground and propel itself forward. I had never seen this type of pokémon before.

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

    The pokémon stopped crawling and looked up at me. “I was in a battle and got separated from my trainer,” it explained, stopping to take a breath every few words. “Please help me find him. He couldn’t have gone far… He must be looking for me, but I’m hurt…”

    I wished that it was daytime, that I could see its wounds, and get it the proper berries to help heal him. But I didn’t know what was wrong with him, or what kind of pokémon it was and what kind of food it ate anyway. But I also couldn’t just leave my post when I was supposed to be looking out for danger. I had never left my post before.

    “Why don’t you just stay with me? I’ll keep you safe, and if your trainer comes through here, I’ll make sure you get back to him. It’s not safe to travel through the night like this.”

    “My trainer likes to travel through the night, though. He could be out of the forest by sunrise. He could leave me here,” the pokémon said pathetically.

    I found it odd that a trainer would leave his pokémon here, but I had no reason not to believe him. I tried to consider my options. I could stay with the pokémon here, putting it at risk for losing its trainer and getting hurt even further due to lack of proper care. I could go with it and keep watching for danger as we moved along, and then we would have a better chance at finding the trainer. I chose the latter. I figured it was rude to wake someone else up just to take over for me, so I would just do two jobs at once. It would just be a bit different compared to other nights. I would have felt terrible just leaving it where it was and risking its life. It had obviously found me for a reason, after all, and I had to do something about it.

    I simply nodded and helped pick up the creature so that it could walk while using me as a crutch. I didn’t care so much about blood, if there was any, as I figured that I could just wash it off later and explain to my clan that I helped a pokémon rather than just idly standing in one spot as usual.

    The pokémon explained that the battle had taken place near the edge of the forest, so I led it there. We traveled in silence, and by the time we got there, it was almost sunrise.

    I stopped moving with the pokémon. “This is the edge of the forest. It’s close to New Bark Town. Could your trainer be here?” I asked.

    “Maybe…” it said softly.

    I set the pokémon down so that it could rest on the floor rather than use extra energy trying to stand up. I turned and looked around everywhere, but I saw no one but the damaged creature. I started to say that we could look again when the sun rose completely, since we’d have better luck then. But no one answered me. I turned and looked around everywhere once again, but this time, the pokémon was missing.

    The first hint of daylight was showing through the tree canopies. I looked at my body, my paws, the grass.

    There was no blood. There was no other pokémon with me.

    *

    I thought that I might have learned that helping people and pokémon from then on would have been a terrible idea. But I could not give up my penchant for taking care of people. Not everyone was fake. Not everyone was out to hurt others. I had to believe that there were others that truly needed help. There was no way that Sai could feign such naivety, and there was no way that Kuiora could consume the outside world with a human boy who was just as clueless as she was. Was there a way? I couldn’t believe it. This was my second chance. I had to keep reminding myself of this fact as we traveled through the forest once more. I had been here all my life, but it was time to leave.

    I was too preoccupied by my thoughts to pay much attention while Kuiora mumbled on about how pretty and vast the forest was, with Sai agreeing wholeheartedly. She also mentioned how lucky that all of the pokémon here were so friendly so that no one had to battle and exert themselves too harshly, and Sai made some comment about how he didn’t know pokémon could be this calm and quiet. I could see from their point of view to a certain extent. The pokémon here usually left trainers alone unless provoked, but I also thought about the pokémon that had tricked me while she rambled on. But I completely came back to reality when we came across the river that was so close to my home. I stopped moving and asked them to stop for me, too, though my voice cracked when I did so.

    “What’s wrong?” they asked in unison.

    “My… My clan is near here. I told you I wanted to say good-bye. Do you remember, Sai?” I asked, looking up at the boy. He said nothing, but I could tell by the way he was averting eye contact that he definitely remembered our conversation. “So I’ll be right back. I’ll bring you guys some berries so that you can eat while I’m gone.”

    They both nodded, but I wondered if they both understood. Sai didn’t have anyone to say good-bye to, and what about Kuiora? I knew next to nothing about her, except that she didn’t seem to find Sai odd. Instead, everything was new and fascinating to her childish mind. I told myself that I’d have to change that as soon as my head was cleared of this lovely yet degrading place.

    I did as I said I would. I brought them various kinds of berries from the nearby trees and bushes, hoping that they could find at least one kind that they liked. I couldn’t recall what kind of berries I had brought Sai before, but I could pay attention soon and fix this, too.

    I turned and made my way toward the river without saying a word, unsure of what I would say to them, anyway. I certainly didn’t want to reveal too much about what I was doing and why I had to do it at all.

    I found the trees whose branches extended all the way across the river. To get to the other side, I simply climbed up the tree, and ran across the branch only to jump to the ground when I reached the end of the path. It had been a long time since I climbed that tree, and it didn’t feel as natural as usual. I took that as a good sign and was able to smile a little.

    I made my way past the clearing on the other side of the river only to find another clearing. While the other clearing was empty, this one was filled with other sentret. Some of them were playing, some were training, some were eating, and some were resting. All of them were unmistakably from my clan, and all of them unmistakably recognized me as an outsider and froze when they realized I was here. Some stared, some ran, and some of them scowled at me. I tried not to look down at the ground in shame, but it was hard. I simply asked to see Ari in the most confident voice that I could manage.

    No one moved or acknowledged my request. Some of the smaller sentret asked why I wasn’t able to play with everyone else. Their innocence and lack of awareness at least let me know that someone in the clan didn’t know what I had done.

    One of the sentret who had previously run away must have gotten Ari for me, even though they didn’t hear my request. Upon seeing Ari, I turned and went back to the first clearing I had been in. The river was loud, but Ari’s footsteps rang louder in my ears. I turned to face him when they became too loud for me to feel comfortable.

    “Why are you here?” Ari asked simply. He seemed void of emotions entirely, though I knew what he was thinking. He was thinking of how worthless I was. He was thinking that this was a waste of time, and he was hoping that I would regret showing my face again.

    “I’m leaving,” I stated simply. Ari’s expression remained the same; there was no hint of happiness in response to my words. “It was my fault. I know. I’m sorry. I would take it back if I could.”

    “Words don’t change anything,” Ari said sharply.

    “Words are all I have when my actions aren’t acknowledged anymore.”

    “Then you have nothing.”

    “…It was my fault.”

    *

    There was no injured pokémon. There was a liar and a sentret who was foolish enough to trust the liar.

    The pokémon, whatever it was, had lured me away so that its friends and family could invade my home. Simply attacking me at my post may have been loud enough to alert my clan of intruders. It also eliminated the possibility of me shrieking to tell everyone to run, that someone was coming to hurt them. The worst part was that I helped them. I fell into their trap so easily.

    When I realized what the pokémon had done, I rushed back to my clan as fast as I could. I nearly fell out of the tree and into the roaring river because I was too focused on trying to get back as quickly as possible. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw an odd movement in the river, a mix of red and brown that I hoped was a part of my imagination. I ran and ran and ran. I didn’t bother trying to protect myself or watch for danger anymore. The danger was already here. I failed, and I wanted it to come after me instead now.

    It didn’t. It was already gone.

    Before the danger left, it destroyed the clan. Torn parts from sentret and blood were what I had seen in the river. More blood and limbs were splattered through the grass, on the trees, on the leaves. Everywhere. Some sentret bodies were smashed underneath tree branches that had been cut off and left to drop. From the small amount of sentret left, I assumed that some of them had been taken… but I didn’t want to think about why. The sentret who were wounded or almost unharmed were squealing and crying over the sight, not daring to move out of intense fear and sorrow. They had been attacked while I was leading the pokémon to the edge of the forest. The pokémon had successfully taken me far away enough to where I couldn’t hear the slaughter. There was nothing I could do now.

    My heart cried and my stomach lurched. My mind screamed disaster.

    My family, things were peaceful just moments ago—

    The babies, they were just learning to walk—

    I should have heard—

    I started mumbling about what happened, as if an explanation could reverse everything. The pokémon seemed genuinely hurt. But it was my fault for not looking for blood carefully enough, or other proof that the pokémon was hurt. Wouldn’t we have wanted other pokémon to help us if they could, too? Why hadn’t anyone else helped? It wasn’t my place to ask, but I was asking anyway. They must have been scared. I would have been scared, too. I’m scared right now. I’m sick right now. I was just trying to do a good thing. It would have been terrible to not help, too—

    And in the midst of my thoughts, Ari crashed into me and started pummeling me faster than I could blink. He must have heard me, must have been listening, must have been watching the clan break further.

    “Why didn’t you warn us about this?! You could have said something before you left with the enemy, at least!”

    I didn’t fight back, I didn’t try to breathe, I didn’t dare look him in the eyes.

    “They told us that you were on their side. It looks true! Because of you, my wife is hurt, the kids were eaten right here—”

    I thought that he was going to kill me, but his punches and his cries eventually weakened and quieted. He eventually stopped, and I heard pathetic wails that only reminded me of the baby sentret once more. He left me with some throbbing, aching bones and a body covered in blood. I was sure that most of the blood was not mine.

    “Get out of here. Just go, just leave,” he snarled.

    After torturing myself with one last, long glance at the gory scene, I left, and did not try to come back, though I ached to. I could not sleep, could not eat. I wanted to mourn with the others. I didn’t even know everyone who was gone or everyone who had survived. I wanted to mourn, to apologize, to make up for it… but they wouldn’t let me. Unfortunately, I was not completely dead. It should have been me. But I was only dead to them, and rightfully so.

    And I was so, so very sorry. So, so sorry. So sorry. I could beat many pokémon, many trials that were thrown at me. Over the years, I had learned that I could beat many things, but—

    Life was not one of them.

    *

    “They should have gotten you. You were at fault, and yet you were the only one left unharmed.”

    “They were trying to avoid commotion from the town as well. If I had heard any of them approaching, you know I would have called out…” I explained, though I knew it was in vain. But I had to try. When Ari would give me permission to leave, he would have all the information to know that he had made the correct choice. His decision would be final and real, done after many weeks of being able to calm down and think rationally.

    “Those monsters were not from around here. It shouldn’t happen again, not just because of that, but because we will have more reliable people on post next time from now on,” Ari said, ignoring me almost completely.

    I made one last attempt at helping them and said, “Perhaps you should consider relocating the clan—”

    “Don’t tell me what I should do! You are not a part of this clan anymore!” Ari cried, rushing after me once more, but stopping halfway through. He didn’t want to relive that night again, not even the best part of it, where he got to punish the one who had caused him so much misery.

    “…A trainer came by here and attacked me,” I said simply, now looking at the ground.

    I could feel his glare.

    “I know that you think he is a threat,” I said quickly. “He is. But he also wants me to be his pokémon. He wants me to… help him.” I wondered: how can words feel so wrong but be so true 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 a part of this clan. You may do what you wish, as long as it doesn’t involve us,” Ari said. He was looking around now, presumably watching for Sai. I couldn’t keep the mysterious pokémon from attacking the clan, but I seemed to have some control over Sai. I could get him out of here. I could. It would be so easy.

    “So I can leave,” I said.

    “Leave.”

    “…You don’t want me.”

    “We don’t want you. Too much damage was done. Take the trainer away from here, and make sure neither of you ever comes back.”

    That was all I needed. I felt like a burden had been lifted off of my shoulders. Of course, I still wanted to help the clan. I didn’t want to leave. I would do anything to be accepted again and to be expected to protect everyone again. I would do anything to bring the others back. But nothing could fix what had happened, and it was time to move on. I would protect Sai now. I would protect Kuiora, and anyone else who was going to join us. I would believe that I had survived this attack for a reason, and would take my second chance.

    I could leave with Sai now. This was all I wanted.

    I didn’t say anything more. I only made eye contact with Ari for a few more long, agonizing moments, hoping that he could see how sorry I was, how much regret I carried around with me. Ari was the only one who had ever broken my heart by banishing me from the clan, the one thing I had loved at the time. But I also broke his heart, though indirectly; I took his wife away, I took his children. No one is ever safe.

    *

    When I was walking back to Sai and Kuiora, I still went slowly, taking in the scene one last time. I took in the rough feeling of the bark on the trees as I walked on it. I took in how big and old the tree itself was, and how it took years and years for it to grow this tall and be such an important part of our lives. The river was purely blue, which made me feel a bit better. Everything seemed clean and peaceful. The sun shone down and made me remember what was wonderful about the clan. Seeing the babies learn about the world for the first time. Always discovering new kinds of berries and indulging in the old ones that had treated us so well for so long. Knowing how friendly the other pokémon in the forest seemed to be. Seeing the new trainers with their new pokémon come by with such excitement and joy shining in their eyes.

    I would try to remember everything from then on, the good and the bad. I hoped that that was what moving on meant.

    When I reached Sai and Kuiora, I simply said that I was ready to go. It seemed easier to speak, as if I wasn’t keeping such a careful watch on everything I said anymore. I certainly had to do that with Ari, but not so much with these two. I’d still make sure to be careful, because I didn’t want to hurt them.

    “Where are we headed next?” Sai asked curiously.

    “Well, the next town is Cherrygrove City. I don’t really know anything about that place except that new trainers don’t ever seem too happy about going there.”

    “Why not?”

    “They always want these badges, and you apparently can’t find one in Cherrygrove.”

    Sai started walking slower and frowned 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.”

    “Badges?” Kuiora asked, coming out of nowhere. She had been so quiet that I had nearly forgotten she was there.

    “Yeah… We train, battle, and get badges. That’s what I was told to do, so that’s what we’re going to do,” Sai said, smiling again.

    “I was training at the lab, so I’m ready for that whenever you are,” she said confidently.

    “Senori will lead the way,” Sai said, looking at me expectedly.

    “I’ve never been anywhere else… but I’m sure we can find the path to whatever place is next,” I said, trying to sound confident as well.

    “Okay. It’s unfortunate, but I knew that you couldn’t have already visited everywhere. Thanks, Senori,” Sai said.

    Sounding more confident already seemed a little easier after that. I started to lead the way again, unsure where I was going, but feeling all right about it.

    Like most new trainers, Sai didn’t care for Cherrygrove City. But he sure did enjoy Violet City, a place completely new and refreshing for all of us.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 23rd April 2012 at 8:53 PM.


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  12. #12
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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~


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  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~


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  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.


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  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!


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  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.


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  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.



  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.


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Arkansas
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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
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    Illinois, USA
    Posts
    664

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    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!


    | she will get the truth out of him, whatever it may be. |
    | letters 13/14 released 5/22/14 |


    | this trainer is different. everyone knows it, but no one can explain it. |
    | COMPLETE AS OF 8/11/13 |


  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    563

    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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