Just finished reading this all, and boy, I sure am impressed.
I'll take a bit of an unorthodox approach and talk about Sai's Pokémon first. This is one point where the usage of changing perspective really helps, because it allows us to get intimate knowledge of a Pokémon's personality and nature immediately within a chapter or two of its debut. Senori has the most fleshed-out backstory so far, but I think Atis will prove to be very interesting upon further development as well. It's understandable that Kuiora has a little less right now, as she's a lab-raised starter Pokémon, but this latest chapter has already given us a good look at her, with more to come. This fic should be held up as an example of how to develop Pokémon as characters, I think.
I will put my thoughts on Sai behind a spoiler, because I think I know something about him.
All the asthetics are nearly flawless, as others have pointed out. I do feel that the pacing is at times a little fast, but this is usually balanced out by the multi-viewpoint technique.
All in all, I have to give very high marks, and say I'm definitely looking forward to more.
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If you have a PM list, go ahead and add me. It'll help me keep up-to-date.
(Banner by Matori)
Beyond all ideals, the truth shall set you free...
Most Recent: 14: Goldenrod City Under Siege (Part 1)
Next: Goldenrod City Under Siege (Part 2)
The steps on the road to the truth.
The Firestorm Rebellion
The Victory Star of Fate
Glacidia Network - The Home for Fanworks
Best Wishes appreciation blog
I do indeed. Added, thanks!
If its not to much trouble I would like to be on your pm list as well
OK, been reading this for the past two days, and I'm loving it. So far, the backstory of Senori along with other intriguing aspects of the story, have lured and captivated my imagination as much as the first read of my favorite books. The grammar is faultless, or very near so. I think, so far, that the characters are this story's strongest point. I'm really excited for the next chapter, so please put me on the PM list.
"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."
You know how you are not using capitals on pokemon and pokemon related trademarks of Nintendo? Well, I think that the only thing that should be capitalized, then, is when you are referring to a pokemon's nickname, or if you using the species name in place of that nickname. So shouldn't Cheri be lowercase with your rules of capitalization?
Review for chapter one:
Your opening is decent, with thoughts entirely appropriate to a sentret, regarding scent and so on. It seems a little fragmented, could perhaps have a clearer train of thought, but in a way that manages to express the confusion and regret I imagine the narrator to have.
For some reason, I really like that you have a human attacking a pokémon. We as readers are so conditioned to assume that all combat with pokémon will take place via standard battles that confronting even a weak one seems bizarre. In any case, the realisation that the human is probably psychopathic, or at the very least an unusual character, is a most potent hook for readers. I love it.
The style flows slightly awkwardly but I imagine it’s a kink that shall be ironed out with practice so I’ll withhold detailed comment until I’ve read a few chapters and have a broader sample of your writing. Can’t fault your grammar though, which is a relief; as I’m sure you’ll agree, grammatical failings are an instant red flag.
The narration could probably use a stronger grounding in the experiencing of the event, if that makes sense. The sentret is analysing things and talking about the inevitability of their defeat and so on but it feels emotionless. Of course, the narration is in hindsight, but I imagine this is a traumatic experience and some clearer reference to that may enhance the passage. Perhaps sentret could shake, or taste blood. While you’re at it, the human probably smells of the wild rather than urban settlements and sentret remarking on that would be good to see. That’s only a suggestion, though.
The creepiness of the human as he grips his wrist is perfect. Fixating on the knuckles is an ideal technique to use, and it works well. I’m still holding to my psychopath theory. His dialogue is also suitably eerie, and although sentret isn’t all that shocked he understands pokémon speech, neither is the reader, so that’s fine.
The characterisation of Senori is interesting; he – if Senori is male – knows a great deal about humans and is aware that he is too often lost in thought. The obvious inference is that he’s insatiably curious about humans, that his clan disapproves, and this is why he’s more or less okay with being captured. I approve of him not immediately accepting it and having concerns other than the human’s journey; it’s an enormous relief from typical journey fics where pokémon are only too happy to drop everything for their new master.
After the human claimed Senori was absolutely the only possible sentret he could have, I made a leap in logic to assume this is a Nuzlocke fic. If I’m right, I shall be enormously pleased for numerous reasons. The use of the die is also intriguing, and another good hook. Even if I weren’t reviewing as part of an exchange, I would still feel compelled to read onwards.
Sai is fascinating and I don’t know what to make of him, Senori is a pleasantly interesting narrator who obviously has a fairly developed personality from the beginning, and there’s enough unknowns without being irritating that this opening chapter has very successfully pulled me in. I can tell I’m going to enjoy reading the rest.
Expect a review in equivalence to this one for every chapter with superior analysis if possible, given that I’ve written this one while quite tired.
As you said to me, feel free to selectively ignore me, as I am not always right. And as you said to me, keep it up~
Indeed. I plan on re-writing this first chapter sometime, especially since, I’ll admit, it was written a couple years ago… and all the other chapters are recent. Aside from minor edits, I didn’t particularly know what to do with it, so I wanted to wait until I got some comments about it, and now I think I could handle it better.The style flows slightly awkwardly but I imagine it’s a kink that shall be ironed out with practice so I’ll withhold detailed comment until I’ve read a few chapters and have a broader sample of your writing. Can’t fault your grammar though, which is a relief; as I’m sure you’ll agree, grammatical failings are an instant red flag.
I’ll take that into consideration. The sentret though is supposed to be completely lost in his thoughts and be rather emotionless. As he mentioned, there was another event that happened with his clan, and I think he’s still stuck on that trauma and doesn’t really consider Sai attacking him as another traumatic event. He considers it as more of a punishment that he shouldn’t really be complaining about.The narration could probably use a stronger grounding in the experiencing of the event, if that makes sense. The sentret is analysing things and talking about the inevitability of their defeat and so on but it feels emotionless. Of course, the narration is in hindsight, but I imagine this is a traumatic experience and some clearer reference to that may enhance the passage. Perhaps sentret could shake, or taste blood. While you’re at it, the human probably smells of the wild rather than urban settlements and sentret remarking on that would be good to see. That’s only a suggestion, though.
I’m glad you’d read it anyway, though sorry to disappoint you, it’s not a Nuzlocke fic! Though there is another reason that Sai believes Senori is “special” that will be revealed eventually.After the human claimed Senori was absolutely the only possible sentret he could have, I made a leap in logic to assume this is a Nuzlocke fic. If I’m right, I shall be enormously pleased for numerous reasons. The use of the die is also intriguing, and another good hook. Even if I weren’t reviewing as part of an exchange, I would still feel compelled to read onwards.
Good to hear. This is an especially character-driven fic, so the characters are obviously important. I do hope you enjoy the rest.Sai is fascinating and I don’t know what to make of him, Senori is a pleasantly interesting narrator who obviously has a fairly developed personality from the beginning, and there’s enough unknowns without being irritating that this opening chapter has very successfully pulled me in. I can tell I’m going to enjoy reading the rest.
Thanks for reading/reviewing!
I actually find this surprising. He's very interesting, and his bizarre behaviour endears him to me over any Ash-expy.Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
Trust me, I know that feeling. Best to add a note to the beginning informing new readers of that, if you ask me, an go back to revise it after you've settled into your stride.Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
That might be a pretty good way of making that clear, then. Senori tastes blood but doesn't particularly care because of his transient concerns. Don't worry though, I did get that he has other issues on his mind that numb the shock of Sai's appearance. I have a guess as to what, but I'm not sure if I should say what I think it is...Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
No worries, it's not a disappointment. Again, I have a guess, but I'm withholding it...Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
I shall! Expect a couple more reviews by the end of the week.Originally Posted by diamondpearl876
Last edited by unrepentantAuthor; 23rd April 2012 at 11:04 AM.
Since I'm late to the party, I'm going to review this chapter-by-chapter as I get into it so you can have my progressive thoughts. So...chapter one!
Here's one line:
I have no idea why, but I didn't like this, and I think it was the use of "this guy". It seems like such an oddly colloquial term for a pokemon to use. "The human", "My attacker"; these were all others ways he was referred to that worked just fine, but the odd use of "this guy" made feel somewhat off. This one is just my opinion, though.Was this guy a trainer?
I wasn't enamored of this, either. Just because his words WERE non-existent, so how could Sentret have been hurt by them? I get that it is nice wording, but I think a better way would have been "His THOUGHTS: unreadable, yet sharp enough to break the skin". Because Sentret clearly has designs on what the attacker might be thinking (and they sting him), but he can't actually read them.His words: non-existent, yet sharp enough to break the skin.
Okay, that's pretty much it for the "negatives", and they're pretty easy (also, basically just opinions on my end).
So, I hate the trainer kid here, but he's fairly well-done. I wonder how old he is...if I had to guess, I'd say in his tweens? He doesn't quite seem to be the standard ten-year old (but he could be). I absolutely like that he doesn't know what he's supposed to be doing, and he communicates his lack of knowledge as anger and violence, which is a very childlike thing to do. Something has to have happened in his life, right? Because he's obviously jaded and angry to the point of over-aggression. But he obviously wants to be loved, too, which is well displayed in his interactions with Sentret. I'm very curious as to what has made him the way it is (and why he looks at the pokemon journey as...I dunno...a chore or a bother when it should be happy). I really feel like this could be Silver from the G/S/C series, but I doubt it is.
I also hope we come back to Sentret's clan somehow. What happens to them after Senori leaves? Are they unprotected? Happy he's gone? Sad? Oblivious? I want to see Senori come back to them somehow because they are apparently so important to him.
That said, I can't tell if I like Senori or not, but in that good way that means he is well-written. He's so whiny and needy and self-effacing. I want to feel bad for him, but I want to tell him to shut up and man up at the same time. I'll be curious to see how he changes.
Another line that just doesn't sit well with me. Pokemon and humans do exist in the same universe (unless whoever is narrating this fable about the boy and the girl is someone who oversees entire multiverses). Are you just trying to say that Pokemon and humans have a separate god? I could see that, but then I'd just say "the god of pokemon" and leave out the universe bit entirely.They had all been born from the same egg, created by the god of the pokémon universe.
Nothing to correct here; I actually just wanted to say I kind of loved this part.“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 like the almost religious nature of the Totodile: his reverence towards basic things like the sun or grass and how "the legendary pokemon" put them here. And, of course, I like his pride foiling Senori's weakness and uncertainty. A lot of characteristics I've seen attributed to pokemon: weak, strong, bullyish, happy, chipper, depressed. But I don't think I've seen any that I would categorize as religious or reverent. Nice touch.
We didn't get any further glimpses into Sai's character here, as he was pretty pleasant and happy with Kuiora (which, btw, I can't even begin to imagine how to pronounce. Koo-EE-or-ah? Koo-YOR-ah? KOY-rah? Help me out here). I guess there's the mystery of his lack of a trainer's card, which probably means more than I was taking it to. Is he really from Vermillion? That bit of dialogue felt like a lie to me. I guess we'll see where it goes from there.
Would a Sentret refer to other Sentret as "people"?And when we pass through the forest, I guess I’d like to say good-bye to some people, if possible…
I like this in that it makes me feel like Sai is a robot or was raised in a lab or something like that. Senori is actually having to explain basic functions of polite society to him. What IS going on with this kid?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.
Probably don't need "at least" in there twice.Their innocence and lack of awareness at least let me know that at least someone in the clan didn’t know what I had done.
I wonder why the invader pokemon didn't attack/eat Senori after it had lured him away all that time ago. I can't imagine it left him alive just to screw with him, so why, after it had taken him so far that his cries would not have alerted the clan, did it not just eat him? Besides, you know, leaving us with a tragic, complicated character for your story. I get the sense from this bit that Senori actually IS strong...was the predator afraid to take it on one-on-one?
Okay, and now he seems happy to be doing this for the first time. I'm having a really hard time reading this guy. And his personality has done, well not a 180. Let's call it a 120. He seems to enjoy the idea of being a trainer now; he let Senori go off without any problem; he wasn't angry at all this section that I could notice. So I'm all over the map on what this kid's deal is. Is he a robot? I'm really going with robot here.“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.
Last edited by Sid87; 23rd April 2012 at 7:30 PM.
Sai’s certainly older than 10, but acts childlike for reasons that’ll be explained later. I’m not even particularly sure of his age, though I’ve always imagined him at 16 or 17. (That sounds weird, but maybe as a writer you can understand that sometimes your characters just don’t want to tell you things? Haha.)
I pronounce it as Kwee-or-uh, though if something else sounds better to you, that’s fine too.
Haha, well, he could be. I tend to be vague when answering things regarding Sai, but please feel free to throw your suggestions out there. I find them interesting. His personality is supposed to take a 180 (or 120, I suppose) a lot, though. You’ve been invited to ride this rollercoaster of emotions (or lack thereof) with him, hope you enjoy the ride. In all seriousness, though, thanks for reading and reviewing the first 3 chapters so far, it’s much appreciated. I will get to your fic sometime soon.Okay, and now he seems happy to be doing this for the first time. I'm having a really hard time reading this guy. And his personality has done, well not a 180. Let's call it a 120. He seems to enjoy the idea of being a trainer now; he let Senori go off without any problem; he wasn't angry at all this section that I could notice. So I'm all over the map on what this kid's deal is. Is he a robot? I'm really going with robot here.
Good, I'm glad Sai is older. I was thinking as I read the comments that he would be more appealing as older, because then he seemed more like he knew how to influence the pokemon.
I think my two favorite characters are Senori and Sai, because Senori has a very interesting personality and a dramatic backstory. I also am interested in why Sai behaves so strangely. He seems to have some strange attraction to following the rules, which he really doesn't know. For example, as soon as he found out about starters, he wanted a starter to "do it the right way". Sai seems to want to please whoever he came from. Even though his methods of training are not... traditional, I think he know how to build and condition his team to be the best very well.
My first thoughts a few paragraphs in are that Atis is very similar to Senori, in the sense that they are both whiny and full of self-doubt. I'm not sure that, at this point, there is a need for another character so similar to one we already have, but I also have faith that you know what you are doing and will differentiate them as you go.
Lots of good characters here. I like the youthful innocence of Shannon and the funny misunderstandings of Earl. Nice touches adding good flavor to otherwise minor characters (that is just an assumption; we may be seeing more of them for all I know).
Oh, this always seems so true of the Pokemon universe. I thought of that when writing my most recent chapter and wanted my character to use his cell phone. I initially wrote "PokeGear", and then thought "...why would this device even be named after pokemon?" It's good to see a character openly question the inanity of such a worldwide obsession.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.
I'm assuming the Atis found out "off-screen" that Sai can understand her (is it a her? I have gotten the sense that it's a her), so that's why we didn't see surprised reaction here. If so, good job. Unless anything new comes of it, we don't need to see the same conversation umpteen times.
ROBOT!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.
Oh, the truthfulness of it all. Naming these things in-game is so hard. I bet I've done that before (maybe not a Cyndaquil, but...you know).There had been many cyndaquil named Blaze, I recalled…
I'm actually surprised Earl never named Atis. Earl seemed a jolly, friendly fellow. He didn't seem to really listen to what Hitmontop had to say, but he did enjoy its presence. I can't help but wonder how it never came to him to name it. Hmmm.
I look forward to this. Admittedly, I'm less interested in Atis that Kuiora or Senori, but I want to see her continue this quest to change the world she hates so much. It will really develop her further.Maybe I could convince Sai of being something else.
I don't mean to make that sound harsh, but I get an adorable sense of wonderment from Totodile and a strong sense of pity for Sentret. From Hitmontop, I just get..."okay, you're whiny like Sentret, but don't have as interesting of a backstory". So I'll be keeping an eye on further development from her.
I’d like to say they’re different. Senori is a leader, has motivation, has initiative. Atis, on the other hand, is very hypocritical. He would like to think he’s a leader and has motivation, but he has little to none. He gets nothing done, and just sits and daydreams all day about things he wants to do, but won’t do—or will give up on easily if he tries. Senori’s currently a lot like Atis only because of his traumatic past experience that has shattered the confidence he used to have.
Atis also has a lot of social anxiety and nervousness for no apparent reason, and he absolutely hates attention. Senori just experiences self-doubt due to past experiences, and likes to show his strength when he can (otherwise he would never offer to keep watch for his clan).
Senori also believes in fate (“Sai was sent to me for a reason, and I have to prepare to go with him”), whereas Atis thinks that things about the future/present can be changed (“I want to deter Sai from being a trainer even if that’s what he wants to do”).
I hope that makes sense. They’re alike, yes, but they’re also very different. (You pointing it out just means that I need to distinguish them better, though, so I’ll work on that.)
(Also, Atis is a boy, not that it really matters.)
Thanks for commenting/reviewing~
Writing this almost literally made my head spin. I felt all the emotions present, and in such a rollercoaster fashion. How about you?
chapter 6 ; [ATIS]
I lost track of days not long after I left Violet City with Sai.
Saying good-bye to Earl had been an easier feat than I had expected—he was happy for me, and seemed all too eager to give me away to a boy who was leaving his school much earlier than the rest of his students. That was his personality, I knew. He was caring and trusting and he always had everyone’s best intentions in mind. I wondered if he would miss me or if he really didn’t want to let me go, but I tried not to dwell on it. I wouldn’t have been able to stand knowing that he would be thinking of me in such a negative way whenever he encountered something that reminded him of me.
Even if he hadn’t wanted me to leave, I would have done so anyway. Leaving meant a better chance of finding joy. And although Sai was rather odd, it was this lack of normalcy that attracted me to him. Maybe, just maybe, I could change him. I could deter him from pokémon training. I could be… something. The path to Azalea Town made me think of this even more, especially when the sentret—or Senori, as I eventually learned—almost got hurt, but was saved by another trainer. Possible danger and discouragement from others could be ideas used against him during my efforts. The situation even made me second guess my decision, though I was prone to such swaying.
Yes, I lost track of days so that I could focus on using my time wisely rather than watching it simply pass by.
Still, Sai made it difficult to lose track of time. It took a little over three weeks to get out of the cave, he said. During those last few days, I was forced to keep up with him because he was walking so fast. If I tried to get lost in my thoughts and ignore the rest of the world like I usually did, I fell behind and panicked. So I tried to keep myself focused. I could hear him mumbling numbers over and over as he swiftly made his way through the rest of the cave while simply assuming that we were close behind. Time seemed important to this boy all of a sudden. Before, he was content to come to the school day after day, and he allowed me an entire week to prepare for my departure. Now, he seemed obsessed with numbers and speed, as if his life depended on it. Kuiora seemed to notice, but didn’t care much—she only tried to get his attention by beating the occasional wild pokémon that dared to fight. And Senori often looked at him with concern, but was too paralyzed to say anything.
When we got to Azalea Town, his suddenly obsessive self scattered and escalated to a pace that no one else could keep up with.
The first night was normal enough. He wanted to sleep in the pokémon center, as expected. No trainer could resist the luxury of pokémon centers, though he didn’t try to hide the glares he gave the nurses who looked at us. Despite his unnecessary anger, they gave us a room with two beds and other standard human things. I watched from the doorway as Sai paced around the room anxiously, and as Kuiora and Senori stared at objects that perhaps only I had seen before—lamps, carpet, indoor plants. They treaded lightly and refused to touch anything, as if it all was sacred and fragile. At one point, a worker from the center knocked on our door and offered us some pokémon food, which they also took as if they were being presented with the greatest gift in the world.
Though curiosity was present, tiredness was overpowering, and the night soon ended. Kuiora and Senori slept together on the bottom bunk since they were closer friends, while I took the top so that no one could see me. Sai didn’t sleep at all—he just kept pacing, back and forth, back and forth, mumbling incomprehensibly. I thought I could feel him watching me, but I was too exhausted to care. Anxiety had a limit when you were constantly exposed to the idea of being crushed by a bunch of rocks, I supposed…
Sai woke us up at sunrise. I thought that I was starting to have a nightmare about earthquakes, but it was just Sai shaking the bed in order to get my attention from the top bunk. I immediately sat up and tried to control my uneven breathing so that I could tell him to stop, but by the time I prepared myself, he had already yelled up to me about going to get breakfast and was out the door.
I climbed down from the bed and saw the other two pokémon staring at me, slightly confused. I almost fell as I tried to steady myself on the floor, and thought to make a break for it like Sai had before they could ask me anything.
“I like Sai's style today,” Kuiora said, not bothering to let the boy get to her. She bounced off of the bed and headed for the door herself, smiling. “I’m going to get some food.”
Senori soon followed her, though he didn’t say anything. I just stood in place for a few moments, wondering whether or not to go with them. Staying and enjoying the peace and quiet was an option, but I knew that if I really wanted to start getting involved with Sai’s life before he decided his fate on his own, I couldn’t just hide forever. I made my way out of the room, finding small amounts of comfort in the soft floor below me.
I followed Senori around the corner, noting how quiet it still was. Everyone else still must have been sleeping. The center surely couldn’t have just been empty—there had been too many trainers around when we arrived last night. It was impossible for me not to notice. While I was wondering why the place was so quiet, I didn’t notice that Senori had stopped moving, and I accidentally bumped into him.
“I-I’m sorry,” I said, looking down to the floor bashfully and running my foot along the carpet, seeking more comfort.
“It’s fine. I’m not sure where Sai went,” Senori said simply.
“Oh. Well… we could try to find a nurse and see if they can tell us where to go…”
“Good idea,” Senori said, nodding. And with that, he took the lead again and kept moving forward. I followed and vowed to pay more attention this time. I considered my endeavor rather successful when I saw a pink-haired nurse first and pointed it out to Senori. He nodded again, went up to the nurse, and tugged at the bottom of her white skirt. She had been talking to another trainer, but immediately took notice of Senori and smiled, asking if the poor pokémon was lost. Again, Senori nodded, and I wished I could have taken the useful role—especially since I would have been allowed to remain silent.
“What are you looking for, dear?” she asked.
“…Food. My trainer went to get food,” Senori said hesitantly, gesturing toward his mouth with his paws.
“Don’t worry, silly. I can understand pokémon,” the nurse said, chuckling slightly. “I spend enough time with them to know what they’re trying to say, no matter what species. Now, the breakfast room is through that door on the other side of the building. Enjoy!” She pointed behind Senori, and then turned away to continue talking to the trainer, a boy who looked vaguely familiar. I didn’t stick around to see him, though, as I followed Senori in the direction that the nurse sent us in. Luckily, the lobby was empty save for a couple people, so I didn’t have to worry about getting lost this time around.
When we got there, however, Sai was gone. Kuiora was obliviously eating nearly everything in sight, especially the berries. She didn’t see us come in, and we had to ask her quite a few times where Sai was before she acknowledged us.
“He came in here and then left this place. Didn’t even eat,” she explained in between bites of food.
“You didn’t follow him to see where he was going?” Senori asked, tilting his head to the side.
“Nope. I was hungry… and he’s the trainer, not me.”
“Huh…” Senori turned to look at me. “He seems, um, rather upbeat today. I’m not really sure if we should go after him and risk ruining it,” he added, smiling awkwardly.
“You can eat,” I offered. I was hungry, but staying meant that I would have to be alone with Senori, since Kuiora clearly wasn’t interested in speaking to us. One-on-one interaction wasn’t exactly my favorite situation to be in, so I just offered to go look for Sai instead. After receiving a skeptical look from the sentret, I quickly said that I’d be careful. He agreed and scrambled over to the table next to the totodile. I was free to leave.
The sky was half bright, half dark when I walked out of the pokémon center. The city itself was the same, as the forest towered over the part of the city that we hadn’t come in through. There were some hints of light on the other side where we arrived, and I looked at those areas first, noting how the pavement was uncomfortable beneath my feet. I was used to darkness—I craved it, even—but I couldn’t help hopefully looking toward the lighter side of things. With so little people out this early in the morning and with the illuminated part of the city demanding my attention, finding Sai was an easy task, though deciding whether or not to chase after him was another story.
I had to decide whether or not to chase him because I saw him entering a random house.
It occurred to me that I had no idea where my trainer lived. Wherever it was, it couldn’t have been in Azalea Town… right? Why sleep in the pokémon center, then? He wasn’t the kind that seemed to like much interaction, however. I understood this, but I also understood that there were more efficient ways of going about avoiding those you lived with…
I decided to chase after him. I ran through the small town, trying to focus on the house so that I wouldn’t arrive there only to forget which one he had entered. They all looked the same, just as all trainers were the same. When I got to the house, the door was still propped open, so I reluctantly stepped inside. My heart was beginning to race, and I tried to calm myself down with the idea that this was no different than entering the school. Everyone was allowed there, even if it belonged to Earl. I could only hope that the owner here was as nice as he was.
My heart stopped when Sai tried to walk out just as soon as I entered, and ended up colliding with me unexpectedly. I stumbled backward, falling and landed on my back. I stayed on the ground, making no attempt to stand back up. Surely, things could have been worse, but the idea of being caught unwanted in someone else’s home was enough to send me panicking. And hadn’t I left the other pokémon to avoid this kind of reaction? I couldn’t win.
“Atis!” Sai said excitedly. He reached down and lifted me to put me back on my feet. I looked up at him and there was something odd about his eyes. I knew they were a dark blue, but now they seemed… glazed over. Deadened and desperate, somehow, though his demeanor said otherwise.
“Um, hi,” I started lamely. I couldn’t stop looking at his eyes.
“I’m sorry I skipped breakfast, Atis,” he said quickly. “I wanted to go out and, you know, um, meet people. The door here was unlocked, but I went in the first room and no one was there. And the place was so big and cozy, you know, I couldn’t take it, I’m not used to it, but I’m going to try again, okay?”
“Uh…” He was speaking too fast for me to fully understand. Something about seeing people and not being used to it. I simply nodded—words were useless here.
“Okay, let’s go find the next house then,” Sai said, holding on to my arm and pulling me to the next house over. Why did these things have to almost be right next to each other? I didn’t have much time to process what was going on, but I immediately made a whining noise when Sai went to try opening that door, too.
“What’s wrong, Atis?” Sai asked, though he still went to turn the knob. It was locked.
“I, uh, these houses… They aren’t yours. You can’t just go in them,” I mumbled. His eyes widened in response.
“Why not? Senori always says things like that.”
“They’re private. You have to ask to go in,” I said, a bit more confidently this time.
“Oh. I guess they’re too good and cozy for everyone to have,” Sai said, though his voice was still upbeat, as Senori would have put it.
“Okay, then! Well, we now have a goal for today.”
“Yep. We’re going to get invited to everyone’s houses. We’ll get to everyone in town,” Sai declared, grinning ecstatically.
“Oh…?” I started, but Sai had already started wandering off to find the few people who were already wandering about. I made my way over to him as fast as I could, but I was a bit late. He was talking to a girl who didn’t look quite as confused as I was, but pretty close. Her hands grabbed on to the straps of the bag that rested at her side, and her lips were parted slightly, as if she were going to speak, but was unsure of what to say. There was more sunlight now that dawn had passed—was Sai looking for brightness, too? I couldn’t tell what he wanted. I felt more and more disconnected with this boy with every passing minute, but it seemed to be the opposite for him. He was feeling more, connecting more—at the expense of his dignity, no doubt, but he nonetheless seemed to be making an attempt at being… human.
“So, yeah…” I heard Sai say. “I’d really, really like to come by and see everything and, uh, talk.”
“Um...” the girl said, looking around nervously. And then she spotted me. I was standing behind Sai’s legs, trying to stay hidden yet present so that I could stop him should he do anything too stupid. “Are you a trainer?”
“Yes,” Sai said proudly. “This is Atis, my hitmontop. He’s a little shy, but that’s okay.”
“My brother’s a trainer, too,” she said proudly, thankfully ignoring me from then on. “He just got back to town after getting his first pokémon. He says being around non-trainers is already a bit weird, so maybe he’d like you to come over.”
“That’d be nice. Let’s go, then,” Sai said, taking a step toward her.
“Oh, it’s a bit early right now... Why don’t you come back later? For dinner or something,” the girl said. “Just remember which house I live in, okay? They all look the same.”
Sai’s face fell a little, but he didn’t lose his spirit. He said good-bye to her and told me he was going to go find someone who would talk to him now, and he was off again. What luck he had, after all, getting one step closer to reaching his goal not even five minutes into his adventure! And what terrible encouragement, I thought bitterly.
The next few people he talked to, though, were trainers who didn’t live in Azalea Town. They offered, however, to give away their phone numbers, just in case he ever wanted to talk or if he needed something. When he explained he didn’t have a phone, he was advised to get one, and to hand out his number whenever he was given the chance. It was extremely helpful among trainers, apparently, to have some kind of back-up help if necessary. I wondered where they had learned that. While I didn’t approve of the training thing, I did approve of the tactic…
And while I was lost in my thoughts, Sai had left again. He was off to the pokémart.
At least I knew where the pokémart was. They were always easy to point out because of their blue roofs and a sign that blatantly said what the building was used for. I went inside and spotted Sai talking to the sales clerk, presumably asking for a phone.
We were there for quite a few hours, which was the longest amount of time I had seen Sai sit still for thus far, if you didn’t count the adventure in the cave. There was just so much to choose from, Sai pointed out. Some phones had special features. All of them came in different shapes and sizes, too!
After a while, I no longer bothered to stick around and listen to his ramblings. Following him around everywhere had already been tiring. Instead, I wandered around, seeing what other things that humans were allowed to buy. I ended up in the clothes section, since it was the only part of the store that didn’t scream out to trainers. Yes, people needed clothes for everyday use—and who made these clothes, anyway? Were there really enough people in the world to make enough clothes for everyone, when most people insisted on raising useless pokémon like me? The clothes aisle really wasn’t cutting it, either. Luckily, or unluckily, Sai eventually ran over to me and presented three phones that he had just bought. They all had the same essential feature that he was looking for, though if I remembered right, some of them had games available, along with maps and information about pokémon.
“Don’t you only need… one?” was all I could ask.
“I couldn’t decide which one, so I just bought them all,” Sai said, going to put them in his backpack. He stopped in the middle of this, however, to look at the same clothes that I had just been staring at. “Good idea, Atis. We need some clothes, too.”
And thus began my adventure of watching him pick out clothes. He never looked at more than one article of clothing for more than a few moments, nor did he take the time to put them back. He simply threw them on the ground and kept on looking. He kept a few things, such as a dark green pullover sweater, pants, and some shoes that he’d probably just get annoyed with since he would have to carry them around all the time. He really confused me when he even chose some baby clothes.
“You’re not a baby, Sai,” I pointed out numbly.
“I feel like buying them anyway. I like them,” he said simply. “I don’t know, maybe you or Senori or Kuiora could wear them. You guys are small enough.”
I blanched and wondered why I had to say such things when extremely nervous.
It took a lot of convincing, but I managed to get him back to the pokémon center after his crazy shopping spree. Senori and Kuiora were waiting outside of our room’s door, since we had been gone so long with the key. Sai let us all in the room, and I thought that our day was over—until I remembered that he had to go to that one house for dinner.
I flopped down on the bed, not aiming to get back up. But Senori walked over to me and questioned everything. He was worried, but didn’t know what to do.
“I’m not really sure what happened today, either,” I said lazily, lying there.
“He ran around everywhere, trying to talk to everyone, and he wasn’t angry over anything. And he bought an awful lot of things. And, uh… I thought you said he was out of pokédollars,” I finished stupidly.
“I did say that.”
“Winning battles, maybe? Maybe he had more than you thought.”
“Maybe…” Senori said. He looked down at the ground, lost in thought.
“Anyway, uh, we’re going to be leaving again soon… for dinner,” I said after a few moments of silence.
“Yep. Apparently, Sai now thinks that the town and everyone in it is his friend.”
Senori’s face brightened. “That’s a good thing! Maybe he won’t be angry anymore.”
I didn’t think that he could change so easily, but I didn’t say anything back. I wasn’t given a chance to, anyway, as Sai came up behind me and tried putting on one of the smaller t-shirts that he had bought earlier.
“Atis, your head is too big. I can’t get this on you,” he said, trying to pull it down harder. I was surprised it hadn’t ripped yet. When I could, I ducked down and pelted forward, so that I was out of the boy’s grasp. He easily took it as a sign that I didn’t want the shirt, and went to Senori instead. Being much smaller (and with a much narrower head), the shirt went on easily. It was a white shirt that had a plain pokéball image on the front of it.
“Do I get a shirt?” Kuiora said, running up to Sai and pulling on his sleeve.
“I bought a lot, so sure…” he said, grabbing another one. This one was black and was designed with random designs like swirls and stars. I had to admit that I preferred that shirt, though it quickly got ripped due to the totodile’s red spikes protruding from her back. It was wearable, but it looked odd. Kuiora didn’t seem to mind; she just liked the attention. She didn’t get much of it, however, as Sai started getting anxious again and didn’t want to stay in the room. He took us back out to the lobby, which was much fuller than it was earlier. It was loud, crowded, and full of pokémon. Apparently, it was exactly what he was looking for.
Until it was time to go to dinner, Sai spent the rest of the time running around the lobby of the pokémon center, talking to everyone and showing off his partly dressed pokémon. Whenever he simply introduced me as his strong hitmontop, I closed my eyes and felt myself redden from embarrassment. There were so many pokémon around—none of which were evolved—and I knew they were all looking at me. All the new pokémon at the school had done the same. Some of the girls thought it was cute, but most people were trainers and were in a hurry to get going in order to get a head start in the forest before dark. They ignored him or brushed him off, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Despite the girl’s previous warning, it was difficult to remember where her house was. I had left it up to him to remember, but apparently, he hadn’t. Thanks to Senori’s generous explanation, Sai was at least able to knock on the door and ask for her, whatever her name was. It took us a while to find her. Sai never seemed keen on using pokéballs, so I took this time to rest as best as I could and to prepare myself for the upcoming situation. I hadn’t been with the boy long, but I had already learned that anything could happen.
I was able to get a better look at her when we found her since it was daytime. Blonde hair, big dark eyes, a narrow face with soft skin and a small mouth. She looked an awful lot like the guy who had saved Senori in the cave, and I hoped my assumptions weren’t correct. Since I had to memorize faces at the pokémon school and there had been quite a few siblings there over the years, I didn’t think I was wrong. I knew, at least, that he wouldn’t be here tonight, but still…
I started paying attention to the situation at hand when she solemnly announced that Sai had been an hour late and had already missed dinner. And she didn’t have any pokémon food, though her brother should have been out shopping for some at that very moment. That only heightened my suspicions, but I didn’t have time to think about it as Sai pushed past her and walked into the house anyway. She looked shocked, but didn’t question him or make any attempt to get rid of him.
Us three pokémon stared at one another, wondering if we should follow. Kuiora decided to take the lead and went in as well—he was our trainer, after all, and we couldn’t get in trouble for being loyal, now could we? I was about to point out my observations about the girl, but decided against it.
“Your house is very pretty,” I heard Sai say as I walked in. It was, indeed, a nice house. I mostly noted how full and complete the place felt—this was the home of people who had been here a long time, and would continue to stay. Everything was clean. There were several pieces of furniture, all of which looked worn but still cared for. The walls were adorned with various paintings, some of them consisting of ordinary items, some of them containing rather inspirational quotes that might have affected me if I wasn’t walking around so uncomfortably. The lights weren’t too bright, which made me feel slightly better, but I had a feeling that the girl was watching us with caution. We were weird and new, but mostly weird.
The other three—especially Sai—were especially interested in all the things that I didn’t care for. Tables, doors, couches, several kitchen supplies—what were they made of? Where did she get them? Why did anyone need a table, anyway? I thought that it would be easy to tell how confused the girl was by her hesitant responses, but she was polite and responded to every question nonetheless. I admired her for it. Finding out that everything that made you comfortable in life was a complete mystery to someone else was surely awkward.
“I don’t mean to be rude… but do you have your own place? Where are you from?”
Sai stopped. He didn’t blink, didn’t move. For a moment, he was passive once again. “Vermilion City. And sure I did,” he said finally, “but it was different.”
“Oh? How so? I don’t know much about the Kanto region,” she explained. She sat down at the table and motioned for Sai to join her, but he didn’t. I wondered if he missed the gesture entirely or was too fascinated by the table to the point where he was afraid of breaking it.
“I’ve never been in a kitchen. People brought food to me,” he said, smiling again.
“Not much of a cook, huh?” she said, smiling back. I noted that she didn’t take Sai so seriously, though I believed actions spoke much louder than words.
“Yeah… I mean, I had walls. And, uh, a bed…”
“I see…” she said, looking at him oddly again. “You sound like my brother. He’s not one for conversation, though he knows how to use words pretty effectively when the situation calls for it. Are you the same?”
The conversation went on like this, with her trying to probe for answers, and with him not being specific at all. He had things. Yes, generic things that anyone could have. He really lived in a city… in some region. He had people who lived with him. Who? Just people. You know. No, I don’t know. Had he always been around pokémon? Maybe. He didn’t like to remember. …I hope you don’t mind my pokémon looking around. They’re curious. And they’re wearing shirts.
Eventually, she gave up, but Sai didn’t get the hint that it was time to leave. It was like playing twenty questions, and Sai had just proved that there could actually be a loser to the game without even knowing it.
I tuned them out until Sai said it was time to go. I was thinking that, in a sense, this was like being with Earl in Violet City. Conversations were vague and inconclusive. No one was particularly close with anyone, though they sure tried to be. The main difference was that Earl was never so excited to be in such a place, while Sai was ecstatic.
I thought that maybe something good could come from this hectic day. Sai seemed happiest in a comforting place like this. He sure was happier than any other time I’d seen him so far, anyway. Maybe he could stay in Azalea Town. He didn’t have to travel or train; he could make new goals. Yes, this morning he had had a rather odd… goal. But it had nothing to do with pokémon, and I could work with that. He didn’t even complete his goal, either, but I could work with that, too. I wasn’t accustomed to being a battling pokémon, and neither was Senori. Kuiora may have been another story, but she was young; she could adapt without problem. We could stay, and Sai could become something that wasn’t a trainer, something that wouldn’t make him miserable.
When Sai said it was time to go, the girl ushered us out the door. I was hardly paying attention to anything being said anymore, but I did hear him address her as Sasha. I mentally said good-bye to her, and hoped that we wouldn’t be getting any trouble over visiting if her brother really was the boy who didn’t like Sai.
I also noted that she didn’t invite us to stay for the night. Wasn’t that a normal thing to offer your guests? It was probably for the best if my assumptions about her knowing the hero from the cave. I wasn’t human, so I couldn’t tell the depth of her wariness toward Sai. I just knew that I probably felt more human than he did that day, and that needed to change.
My plan seemed ruined when Sai bought four rooms in the pokémon center that night—one for each of us. The nurse looked at him oddly at first, but then smiled and said it was a considerate thing to do. Pokémon need their alone time, too, after all. My worries ceased when she explained that she would have all of our rooms next to each other, just in case.
After getting room keys, we went around the corner to where all the rooms were located. It was quiet, again, just as it had been during the morning. Sai let the other two pokémon into their rooms, and told them to be good, to not cause trouble. When he went to open my door, though, I stopped him and asked if I could talk to him for a minute.
“Why?” Sai asked, tilting his head to the side slightly.
“I, you know, wanted to talk about today,” I said, trying to sound confident. I was rushing into unknown territory here, I knew. But it seemed like as good a time as any, if Senori and Kuiora’s strange descriptions of Sai were anything to go off of.
“Oh…?” he said as he entered his own room. His backpack and other belongings were still there. I had forgotten that he already had a room. He also already had rented it for two nights, maybe more. Why buy separate rooms now, then? I wondered. My confidence lessened; the lack of concrete answers made me nervous.
“Yeah. I was, um, curious as to how long we’re going to be traveling for?” I asked.
“Not long… but long enough to be able to get all the badges in Johto!” Sai said quickly. He handed me my key—was he expecting all of us to know what to do with a key? I could do it, sure, but maybe not the others…
…Not only was I trying to deter Sai, I was trying to deter myself from the situation at hand. Focus.
“And how many do you have now? Just the one?” I asked.
“Yep,” he replied. I had been hoping for a different answer, but okay. I could deal with that.
“Well, I thought that we could… Well, you seemed happier in Azalea Town today.” I stepped a little further inside the room as I noticed that I was still by the doorway. I had to appear friendly, not scared.
“I guess… Visiting the girl was fun, but she also pointed out my enthusiasm,” Sai said, bending down to take off his shoes. Halfway through untying them, he stood up.
“That’s a bad thing?” I asked, watching him. He started rearranging things in the room—he opened the windows, put the plants in different corners, ruffled and then fixed the bed sheets. It took a long time for him to answer.
“Most of the time...” he finally said, slowly. Once again, he seemed passive, and I wasn’t sure why.
“I think it’s a good thing,” I pointed out, trying to cheer him up.
But it backfired.
“And what do you know?” he snapped, turning sharply to look at me. His eyes were still glazed over, I noticed. It was hard not to notice. I stumbled backward a bit despite myself, as if he had physically hit me.
“Being happy is a g-good thing, Sai… Y-You seemed happy here, you know? Talking to everyone and everything,” I said. I didn’t believe my own words. “M-Maybe we could stay here for a while. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but it could be longer than a few days…”
He simply kept walking around, slower this time, still cleaning things, still attempting to fix things that weren’t broken in the first place. I just stared and wondered if I had said too much and stayed too long.
Eventually, he mumbled, “Get out.”
“Huh?” I wanted to make sure I had heard him right. If I couldn’t succeed now, who knew when I’d try again…?
“I told you to get out,” Sai said, louder and more stern this time. He made his way over the table in the corner of the room.
“I got you guys your own rooms for a reason—”
—he moved the lamp on the table from one side to another—
“—so get out—”
—and it apparently wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t perfect, so he tried again—
“—go to your own room—”
—but it was no good, so he ripped the cord out of the wall—
“—just get out!”
—because it’s always the little things that get to us.
He finally stopped screaming and fumbling with the lamp.
Instead, he growled and threw the lamp at me.
I ducked and let the lamp crash into the closed door behind me. I could hear it shatter. A million pieces all around me. The result of a troubled teenage boy that no one could bother to understand.
I had no choice but to do what he wanted and retreat to my own room. I said nothing more. Opened the door, went into the hallway. Closed the door… and simply sat down. I was holding on to my key so tightly that it dug into my skin and made me bleed a little.
I thought it was over, but the chaos didn’t end there. I could hear him screaming again, unintelligibly this time. Things were still being moved around rather violently, I could tell—I just didn’t know what or how, and I didn’t want to find out.
Suddenly, I jumped a little as I heard someone else yelling. I calmed down a bit as I realized it was Senori. The poor pokémon was too short and probably couldn’t open the door. I stood up slowly and wobbled over to his room’s door, telling him that Sai was just angry… as usual.
“Is he okay?” he asked after we heard yet another crash.
“Yes… No one’s hurting him. He’s just… mad,” I explained as calmly as I could. It wasn’t hard, since I was too paralyzed to care much, like Senori had been earlier. Luckily, the sentret seemed to understand, and left it at that.
Kuiora, however, was another story. Her door opened and she looked at me with a mixture of annoyance and confusion. She had taken the time to drag a chair to the door so that she could open the door. Now, she was looking down at me.
“He’s just angry. We shouldn’t, uh, interfere…” I said before she could question anything, noting the obvious hypocrisy in my words.
“I thought you two were fighting,” she pointed out.
“We kind of were…” I said sheepishly.
“Physical fighting? Pokémon battle fighting?”
“Well, no, but—”
“I’m going to become stronger than you someday, you know.”
“Eh?” I asked. Just what I needed—more cryptic answers… I half-heartedly listened as I checked over the rest of my body to make sure I wasn’t hurt.
“Yeah. You got to fight the first gym battle all by yourself and you apparently got some attention tonight. But I’m going to get stronger than you. It’ll be a competition of sorts,” she said.
Well, I wasn’t hurt physically, but mentally… “I-I don’t want competition—” I started, but she cut me off with a water gun to the face. I didn’t finish my sentence, and was now spitting water out of my mouth instead of words. It was an accurate comparison, but annoying nonetheless.
“You can’t expect to be the strongest and not have competition!” Kuiora cried.
At least it wasn’t a lamp, I thought bitterly. At least I wasn’t hearing screaming or crashing anymore. But now I was wet and cold and utterly defeated. I was done.
“I don’t need this…” I said. I stood up, coughed up the last of the water that had been shot into my mouth, and I finally let myself into my own room. “I’m going to bed. You can have him.”
I shut the door.
I heard nothing else for the rest of the night.
I slept through most of the night, though I woke up shivering and cold a few times, thanks to Kuiora. For some reason, she had a grudge against me, and was going to do anything in her power to win. Cooperation for anyone’s sake was not an option for her.
And Sai… I didn’t know about Sai. All I had done was ask a couple questions, and then violence ensued. Yes, he had given us warning beforehand, but still… He seemed happy, and then it all changed in a few mere moments.
When I awoke, I tried to think about Violet City. I thought about Shannon. How was she doing? Her intentions were always pure. Was it getting her into any trouble? What about Jason? Battles could be so exhausting, I knew. I had been gone for what seemed like forever, now. I didn’t know what day of the week it was. Who was struggling today?
Eventually, I’d have to learn that everyone was always struggling. And I’d have to accept this fact.
I taught myself about some peace of mind and slept through the day.
I was woken up at some point by a loud knocking on the door. Judging by the faint light coming in through the windows, I assumed it was dawn or dusk. It was perfectly good timing or perfectly bad timing.
I got up lazily, rubbing my eyes with my hands, careful not to scratch myself with my spikes. Though I had to stretch a bit to reach, I was able to open the door.
It was Sai.
“Sai,” I breathed tiredly, slowly. He looked tired, too, with the dark circles under his eyes and his sagging limbs. And he still had those glassy, dead eyes…
“Could I stay in your room tonight?” he asked quickly. Well, he sure didn’t waste any time getting to the point, but it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. And what was I expecting, anyway? An apology? …A hug? It wasn’t likely.
“Um…” was all I could say. He looked tired, but apparently, he was still moving quickly, thinking quickly.
“Look, I’m sorry that happened. I-I mean… That’s not right. You have to understand. I get these moods sometimes. Everything speeds up for me, I think so much, and I want to do a million things at once and I want to talk to a million people so I forget things, things don’t get done, and there’s never enough time in the world though it goes by so slowly, and yeah, I seem happy, this is the first time I’ve ever been able to do things I wanted when like this, and it was fun but it turned wrong, I can always turn angry so fast and… and… I’m not usually violent, but that was a touchy subject. I don’t know… Being happy is depressing for me, it’s stressful, everything’s too fast. I can’t think straight right now. I can’t… Do you understand what I’m saying?”
I just stared. He was trying his best to relay his complicated feelings to me, but no, I didn’t understand. Since when was being happy a bad thing? Did all humans have emotions like this? I thought dumbly. I certainly didn’t think so, but what other explanation was there?
“I’m sorry, I am. I, uh, destroyed my room, as you might have guessed…” he said, and then he finally closed his mouth, though it appeared forced.
When I realized he wasn’t going to say anymore, I told him he could stay. And it was okay. Things happened, after all. I was really only saying that to avoid more problems, though.
“If you say so,” Sai said, though he looked happier again, smiling and making his way into the room, just as he had entered Sasha’s place without gaining full permission.
It hit me, then, that it must be nearing nighttime. How could I keep him entertained until he went to sleep? Would he sleep at all? I decided to stay silent.
Eventually, though, he was pacing back and forth, just like he had that first night. And he felt compelled to speak first. He said, “I bought you all separate rooms so you wouldn’t have to see me like that. It happened anyway. I don’t know what happened, I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine,” I said, climbing into the top bunk. If I couldn’t sleep, I would pretend to.
“I thought you’d be mad at me and all. Understandable, you know. I didn’t want to go to Kuiora or Senori, though, or they’d question things. They didn’t see anything, I’d like to keep it that way…”
“…It’s fine,” I said yet again, not bothering to mention their encounters with me.
“Yeah, and you didn’t come out of your room earlier when I knocked and all,” Sai said. He was pacing still, but I supposed it was better than rearranging things all over again.
“I-I was tired.”
“Oh. Well, you didn’t miss too much. Some poison pokémon threatened to kill me after I tried to pick it up and talk to it. Senori had to try to talk some sense into it or something. I don’t remember much else…”
“Sounds like it was another interesting day,” I noted. Somehow, I was still surprised.
But he wasn’t. He just said, “Something like that,” and then we were quiet.
Last edited by diamondpearl876; 30th April 2012 at 5:19 PM.
I don't think anyone has read this yet, but their were a few mistakes for once;
I stopped him and asked if I could talk to him for a moment.
That happened right before Sai got mad, you forgot the I in if
I get that Kuiora wanted to be out on an adventure, but it seems odd that he'd say this, since Elm was so affectionate to him.Unless Senori let it get to him, he was free, just as I was free from Professor Elm.
I'm totally right about this robot thing, aren't I?Normal kids would be dying of hunger or thirst by now,” he said, holding his stomach.
I'm really bad at reading the genders of your pokemon.He thought that I was a boy and he pushed me away in favor of the true first pokémon.
Adding to Kuiora being my favorite character right here. I like the cockiness juxtaposed by the fact that she's clinging desperately to Sai.There didn’t seem to be too many totodile around, so surely someone wouldn’t object to seeing one with their own fortunate eyes.
Not sure if that is supposed to be "things" or "this" or another word entirely. Either way, it might be a bit unwieldy. "Sai could make these kinds of decisions himself", may be better.Sai could decide thing about his pokémon himself.
This part seemed a bit awkward to me because Kuiora's narration starts after having beaten the gym, then goes to before even having gone to the gym. It was written well, but I read to read it three times because I wasn't sure if I had missed something and maybe they were at another gym already.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.
He was fighting them HIMSELF? Like how he had attacked Senori at the beginning? Curiouser and curiouser...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.
Anyway, overall, this section really emphasized how much Kuiora is my favorite character. Sai is an enigma that can't be penetrated (ROBOTS ARE LIKE THAT), and reading the sniveling of Atis is kind of draining. Senori isn't bad because his backstory was very interesting, but I love the cocksure spunk of Kuiora. She's a lot of fun. My only complaint is the narration for all three, despite their personality differences, are all pretty similar. They all seem to have the same vocabularly and perceptions of things around them. Kuiora seems like her sentence should be shorter, more abrupt, and more enthusiastic than Senori, and Atis seems like he should be using more conjunctions and broken thoughts to relay uncertainty, self-doubt, etc. Does that make sense?
Still, you are writing a VERY fun and enjoyable story here, and they way you've put it together is brilliant. . I like the last line foreshadowing a great deal. Just the brilliant touches like the fable Elm told Kuiora or the complete turns that Sai takes at any given moment are sll so well done. I feel like the bulk of my critique here was negative, but that's only because I spend the largely good parts of your chapters absorbed in the story.
So is Sai, apparently.I'm really bad at reading the genders of your pokemon.
I find that gender doesn't really matter in most cases. I feel that if I really tried to distinguish genders, then I'd end up having to fall back on stereotypes that people often recognize.
I guess Sai is genderless if he's a robot.
Senori - male
Atis - male
Kuiora - female
It makes sense. I can see where you're coming from, and I'll try to work on it. I think from what attempts I've made at it so far, I've overdone it and then regressed the the point where they all just became similar. Well, I'll be interested to see what you think about Atis's next chapter.My only complaint is the narration for all three, despite their personality differences, are all pretty similar. They all seem to have the same vocabularly and perceptions of things around them. Kuiora seems like her sentence should be shorter, more abrupt, and more enthusiastic than Senori, and Atis seems like he should be using more conjunctions and broken thoughts to relay uncertainty, self-doubt, etc. Does that make sense?
Thanks for reading/reviewing!
Last edited by diamondpearl876; 25th April 2012 at 6:04 PM.