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Thread: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Overthrown

  1. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post

    Wow that was well written. Flowed nicely, and conjured up some vivid imagery. Nicely done

    That whole first sectioned off sequence was very well done, and I liked it quite a bit but I did have one slight note for you. I almost thought it was a little too dramatic and evil. The first two or three paragraphs summed up the obvious psychosis and violence, and it felt like you were almost trying to reassure me of what you were trying to convey. Like hey, she's completely nuts, you got it!? Sometimes when you express motivations and mentality too extremely, it can make readers feel like you don't trust them to understand what you're writing. does that sound right?

    Thank you! I tried my best to convey that tone during that scene.

    And, I do see that now. But, honestly, it's no mark against my readers. I was actually looking forward to writing that glimpse into Nexus for a long time now, so I might have overdone it a bit, but I really liked how it turned out. And plus, how often do I get to say the phrase "psychically imploding their children"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Artificially? I'm not sure how that word fits into there when used with body functions. clarify?
    Well, he is a Metagross. Anything referring to breathing, or bodily noise is generally produced purely for their own enjoyment or otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    That part made me stumble as well. Other particulates? like what?
    Well, it's a prison yard. There could be dust (coal in particular), shards of glass, ect... Just random debris.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Once again some beautiful and inventive description there. I'm actually really amazed by how you keep improving, especially how fast
    Thanks. And, it runs along with the "artificially produced sounds" thing from earlier. Again, thanks for the compliment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    formatting error
    Dang, I thought I got those... Well, I'll go through and fix them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I was going to say that as many times as it has happened, he'd better haha
    Well, yeah. I mean, I try to cut him a break every now and again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Hmm, that read weird for me. In the second sentence you said that to say it simply would be an understatement, but the first sentence you did. I know you describe it fully in the next sentence when you say that he's 'dead' tired, but it just threw me off. Might read better as 'To say simply that Leo was tired would be a massive understatement'...then have the 'dead' tired as the next sentence. just a suggestion
    Fixed. That did read really weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post

    I really loved the description of the journey through the cloud to the dungeon. It was a flawless transition from one place to the next. That journey, and 'Links', are they a part of Mystery Dungeon lore? Or is it your own invention. The more I read your story, the more I actually want to go pick up one of the games lol
    Thank you! It was really a last minute thing, but it turned out quite well. And, dungeon Links are my own invention. I figure if the continent is full of spacial anomalies, then they might be connected somehow.
    And you really should. I recommend getting at least one of each era (Red or Blue Rescue Team, Explorers of Sky, and Gates to Infinity). But, if you want to just start out, I'd say Sky is your best bet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I'm gonna kick your ***
    You, Meeker, and everyone else who reads. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I'd have to say that my favorite moment in this chapter was Torrent hulking out and ripping that Magnemite apart, but it's only a shave higher up than that crazy psychopath of an ice type lol. The foreign language you used, was it made up, or is it an actual language? Either way, it was an extremely effective way to build the character into something more menacing, and I loved it. But yeah buddy, all in all, and awesome chapter. I'm excited for the next, and I promise it won't be as long of a wait for the next review lol
    [/quote]

    I'm glad you enjoyed that. I really wanted Torrent to go all out on that, simply because I didn't like the Magnemite anyways. XD

    And, Froslass ... She is speaking in Latin. According to Google Translate, it makes sense, but, it probably won't make any sense if you all try to translate it. XD

    Anyways, thanks for reviewing!

    @Meeker: Yes, I am quite sadistic aren't I? A lovely quality to have in this business.

    @Azurus: Well, I did kinda overload on the description there, but I'm glad you liked it nonetheless.

    Chapter 14 is coming along. Don't worry people.

    Knightfall signing off...
    Last edited by Knightfall; 16th July 2013 at 5:09 AM.

  2. #227
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    Well, this is the first part of a special project I’m working on to commemorate getting 20,000 views on here for my story thread.

    Just a few pieces of trivia concerning Overthrown, its characters, and development. You might cringe at how ridiculous some of these are, but they are all true. Here goes:

    1: Overthrown was originally going to be a humorous story. Let that sink in for a moment. No insanity, just bad jokes. ... Yeah, it’s pretty horrifying, I know.

    2: When I first started writing, I thought it would be a good idea to have the sequels feature the ghosts of several historically famous people such as George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte.
    Feel free to laugh and facepalm at my past-self’s newbishness.

    3: Shortly after I received the above revelation, I had the thought to cross Overthrown with the Star Wars universe. I’m talking about Darth Vader and PMD Pokémon interacting in the same story. ... I await my pelting of rotten tomatoes.

    4: Overthrown’s original title was going to be The Trials of Team Flashfire. You can see how that didn’t work, as Team Flashfire does not exist currently.

    5: (Surprise, surprise) Team Salient was originally going to be called Team Flashfire. In an extremely cheesy scene shortly after meeting him, Leo would suggest the horrible name (I blame it on the brain damage he received along with the amnesia), and Kelly and Jay immediately loved it.

    6: The first drafts of Overthrown were written during the summer of 2011, after being inspired by several stories I found on Serebii around December 2010. Pokenutter’s PMD: Journal being the final catalyst for me deciding to write my own story.

    7: A small piece of character trivia: Leo was not my first choice of a name for my Charmeleon protagonist. His original name for the first few drafts of the story (which shall never be released, ever) was Mace. You can easily see how that name would have gotten real old, real fast.


    8: Charmeleon was not my first or second Pokémon choice for my main character. I had intended on going with Quilava, but for some reason I saw Quilava walking around on all fours, a fact that didn’t work well with me at the time, and that was what sold me with Charmeleon. However, I did rehash that character to create Finn the Quilava for the story Transcending the Abyss.

    The second choice of species was ... Combusken. Not sure why I changed it from that, but I think I liked the appeal of Charmeleon’s flaming tail. His character has yet to be repurposed...

    9: The early plot of Overthrown revolved around a group of Legendaries who were disgruntled with mortal Pokémon for some poorly explained reason. They banded together to make .... sigh ... Let me get my umbrella for the rain of rotten fruit sure to come from this ... The Chaos Order ...

    10: Going along with number nine, the good force opposing the Order would be the Guardians. ... Yeah, the Guardians and the Chaos Order. I was really good at picking out the most cliched names and plots back then.

    11: Kelly’s character was originally going to be a Luxio. She was also going to be in possession of a necklace that gave her awesome electric powers. She was also going to be a male named Mark. Thankfully, Arceus struck all these ideas down before much could come of them.

    12: Oddly enough, Jay’s character, name and species is the one factor that never changed in all of the iterations of Overthrown. Thus, he is the oldest character and one that has a special place in my twisted heart.

    13: On the other side of the spectrum, Noah’s character is one of my newest. He was intended to be a Buizel named Strider (as evidenced by an early banner of my story here. Strider’s attitude was more fitting with the original “humorous” theme of the story, but as time went by, I knew he needed to change.

    14: The Kingdom and the Colonies were two government entities I put in place at the last minute, because in all my wisdom, I never thought about who would be doing the fighting in my story. I went with the bland names because they were originally placeholders for better names, but as you can see, the names stuck on me and became the basis for naming all of the other nations and territories in the world of Overthrown.

    15: In the notebook where I wrote the third draft of Overthrown, I had half of the story wrapped up by Chapter 17. That isn’t going to happen here.

    16: The very first chapter of Overthown used to feature Entei burning down a village for no reason.

    17: Did I mention that I used to be really bad a chapter titles? Chapter Two’s first title was “The Familiarization of Things”.

    18: Team Emerald (the support team that occasionally shows up), used to have five members in its roster. By that time, I knew that I needed to cut down on characters, so I decided to axe two of them.

    19: Torrent’s camp, in the first drafts, would have introduced a whopping nine characters to the plot. Did I mention that I used to have a lot of characters?

    20: Looking back at my work in my notebooks, I now see that I used to have no indication of where to space. The pages are just walls of poorly written text. I also used to have no idea what proper grammar was.

    21: The final act of the story used to feature “Mace” traveling up to Arceus’s tower and asking him nicely to restore the world. And it works. Arcus is totally cool with a mortal coming up to him and asking such a request. He doesn’t even ask for anything in return.

    22: Mace was going to be shanghaied by ghosts after saving the world. No further information or details will be given.

    23: The first iteration of the story shelved the entire civil war for the entire second half, leaving many unanswered questions about what happened to the supposedly awesome and devastating conflict.

    24: The Mismagius character that we all know and fear was intended to be a very minor character. However, his addition proved to be the best decision I could have possibly made for the plot. It snowballed from his one small appearance in Chapter Three to insanity and mystic plotting that covers the story today.

    25: Around the time of May 2012, a full three months after I posted the story, I got to talking with a person on here who read the story. After a few days of conversation, I realized that I couldn’t have a mediocre plot anymore. I sat down and thought through everything I had planned out so far. I took one look at it, and I drew a giant “X” over ninety percent of it. I now saw that the ideas were laughable and took on the task of making a better world and plot for my story.

    And, as of now, considering I am fourteen chapters into it and have made my mark on the writing community, I like to think I have succeeded. It it wasn’t for everyone who reads and reviews, I would have never gotten the urge to revise or even continue the story to the degree I am today.

    So, thank you all for helping me reach this goal, and I hope to keep on making awesome stuff.

    Chapter Fourteen is coming along, I promise. It will be released soon.

    Knightfall signing off...
    Last edited by Knightfall; 22nd July 2013 at 8:32 PM.

  3. #228
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    Default Overthrown Trivia: Reactions

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    Well, this is the first part of a special project I’m working on to commemorate getting 20,000 views on here for my story thread.
    Congrats on the milestone!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    1: Overthrown was originally going to be a humorous story. Let that sink in for a moment. No insanity, just bad jokes. ... Yeah, it’s pretty horrifying, I know.
    So, Overthrown used to be a comical storyline? How interesting. I would have liked to see Leo dancing on the corpse of a dead Scyther...

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    2: When I first started writing, I thought it would be a good idea to have the sequels feature the ghosts of several historically famous people such as George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte.
    Feel free to laugh and facepalm at my past-self’s newbishness.
    ... Wut?


    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    3: Shortly after I received the above revelation, I had the thought to cross Overthrown with the Star Wars universe. I’m talking about Darth Vader and PMD Pokémon interacting in the same story. ... I await my pelting of rotten tomatoes.
    I dunno... Darth Vader is cool.


    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    4: Overthrown’s original title was going to be The Trials of Team Flashfire. You can see how that didn’t work, as Team Flashfire does not exist currently.
    Yay for beta names!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    5: (Surprise, surprise) Team Salient was originally going to be called Team Flashfire. In an extremely cheesy scene shortly after meeting him, Leo would suggest the horrible name (I blame it on the brain damage he received along with the amnesia), and Kelly and Jay immediately loved it.
    Oh, Jay... You silly Riolu, getting drunk on Berry Juice. While Kelly is just completely in love with that fancy Charmeleon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    6: The first drafts of Overthrown were written during the summer of 2011, after being inspired by several stories I found on Serebii around December 2010. Pokenutter’s PMD: Journal being the final catalyst for me deciding to write my own story.
    Do I see a comma splice in your trivia? :3 Anyways, I recall that you really loved PokeNutter's PMD: Journal so much that you sent me over to him as an editor. And thus, the WoJ formed!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    7: A small piece of character trivia: Leo was not my first choice of a name for my Charmeleon protagonist. His original name for the first few drafts of the story (which shall never be released, ever) was Mace. You can easily see how that name would have gotten real old, real fast.
    But Mace sounds like a fun name! D:

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    8: Charmeleon was not my first or second Pokémon choice for my main character. I had intended on going with Quilava, but for some reason I saw Quilava walking around on all fours, a fact that didn’t work well with me at the time, and that was what sold me with Charmeleon. However, I did rehash that character to create Finn the Quilava for the story Transcending the Abyss.

    The second choice of species was ... Combusken. Not sure why I changed it from that, but I think I liked the appeal of Charmeleon’s flaming tail. His character has yet to be repurposed...
    I like Quilava more than Charmeleon or Combusken, so I'm glad you decided to create Finn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    9: The early plot of Overthrown revolved around a group of Legendaries who were disgruntled with mortal Pokémon for some poorly explained reason. They banded together to make .... sigh ... Let me get my umbrella for the rain of rotten fruit sure to come from this ... The Chaos Order ...
    The Chaos Order? I'm guessing Sonic the Hedgehog was one of your games you played back in the days, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    10: Going along with number nine, the good force opposing the Order would be the Guardians. ... Yeah, the Guardians and the Chaos Order. I was really good at picking out the most cliched names and plots back then.
    I don't know. They both seem like okay names. Just in the wrong use of forms.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    11: Kelly’s character was originally going to be a Luxio. She was also going to be in possession of a necklace that gave her awesome electric powers. She was also going to be a male named Mark. Thankfully, Arceus struck all these ideas down before much could come of them.
    Mark the Luxio... With awesome electric powers? Jeez, what is this? The 4th generation? ... Oh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    12: Oddly enough, Jay’s character, name and species is the one factor that never changed in all of the iterations of Overthrown. Thus, he is the oldest character and one that has a special place in my twisted heart.
    I wonder if he was the same personality though... I mean, I would love to see drunk Jay... :3

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    13: On the other side of the spectrum, Noah’s character is one of my newest. He was intended to be a Buizel named Strider (as evidenced by an early banner of my story here. Strider’s attitude was more fitting with the original “humorous” theme of the story, but as time went by, I knew he needed to change.
    But Noah seems to have a nice quality of humor to him as well. Light-hearted and quite fun. You're saying that Strider was supposed to be even more so?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    14: The Kingdom and the Colonies were two government entities I put in place at the last minute, because in all my wisdom, I never thought about who would be doing the fighting in my story. I went with the bland names because they were originally placeholders for better names, but as you can see, the names stuck on me and became the basis for naming all of the other nations and territories in the world of Overthrown.
    I love when placeholders become names for things. It's just so much fun!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    15: In the notebook where I wrote the third draft of Overthrown, I had half of the story wrapped up by Chapter 17. That isn’t going to happen here.
    But these chapters are long! D: How far are you going with your insanities!?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    16: The very first chapter of Overthown used to feature Entei burning down a village for no reason.
    Well, you could have implemented a reason if you stuck to your previous idea. But then again, why not have a Entei burn things randomly from The Chaos Order?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    17: Did I mention that I used to be really bad a chapter titles? Chapter Two’s first title was “The Familiarization of Things”.
    "Bad a chapter titles"? Knightfall... :3 But that's not too bad. It's big words. Peeps are attracted to big words.

    ... Wait...

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    18: Team Emerald (the support team that occasionally shows up), used to have five members in its roster. By that time, I knew that I needed to cut down on characters, so I decided to axe two of them.
    But then PMD: GtI came out, and then you realized once more that it was okay to have five members as long as once stayed behind. >

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    19: Torrent’s camp, in the first drafts, would have introduced a whopping nine characters to the plot. Did I mention that I used to have a lot of characters?
    Don't you already have a bunch of characters? I mean, you have:
    Leo, Kelly, Jay, Noah, Aleck, Ian, Vertex, Mismagius... You have eight characters relevant to the plot already.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    20: Looking back at my work in my notebooks, I now see that I used to have no indication of where to space. The pages are just walls of poorly written text. I also used to have no idea what proper grammar was.
    And then I came to save the day! Well, mostly with your comma errors.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    21: The final act of the story used to feature “Mace” traveling up to Arceus’s tower and asking him nicely to restore the world. And it works. Arcus is totally cool with a mortal coming up to him and asking such a request. He doesn’t even ask for anything in return.
    Best. Plot twist. Ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    22: Mace was going to be shanghaied by ghosts after saving the world. No further information or details will be given.
    Well, I would have liked to see that... :3

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    23: The first iteration of the story shelved the entire civil war for the entire second half, leaving many unanswered questions about what happened to the supposedly awesome and devastating conflict.
    A civil war, you say? Just like what's going on with the Kingdom and the Colonies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    24: The Mismagius character that we all know and fear was intended to be a very minor character. However, his addition proved to be the best decision I could have possibly made for the plot. It snowballed from his one small appearance in Chapter Three to insanity and mystic plotting that covers the story today.
    And everyone knows they love the Mismagius. I mean, who doesn't like a ghost that haunts them each and every day, swaying their own consciousness into insanity and pain to their bidding?

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall View Post
    25: Around the time of May 2012, a full three months after I posted the story, I got to talking with a person on here who read the story. After a few days of conversation, I realized that I couldn’t have a mediocre plot anymore. I sat down and thought through everything I had planned out so far. I took one look at it, and I drew a giant “X” over ninety percent of it. I now saw that the ideas were laughable and took on the task of making a better world and plot for my story.
    I wonder who that person could be? >_>

    Anyways, congratulations on reaching really far! Your dedication truly does pay off, and I hope to see more dedication in the near future!

    - Chapter 5 in Progress
    Banners by Brutaka

    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall
    Beginning of a grand adventure doesn't do it justice. It's something far greater than that.

  4. #229
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    [Warning: This chapter does reach the PG-15 area for more than one scene. Please be advised.]
    Chapter Fourteen: Exposure




    "There are three ways that the Civil War can end: Restoration, Independence, or Revolution. None of which result in the continuation of the monarchy. "
    --Historian Frederick Floatzel on the state of the Kingdom approximately three days before he was found murdered in his Silver City apartment.




    Ian felt wonderful. Sunlight caressed his long withdrawn skin, green pigment slowly returning to his body. He walked underneath the cool shade of the drooping branches of the willow trees, not a single care pressing his mind. This place was their favorite place to relax, the river near Mt. Thunder where they had first met so long ago. His feet pressed into the soft soil, savoring the earthy texture as he walked along the riverbank.

    He held his hand in hers, thankful to Arceus for granting him the ability to stretch his arms so she didn’t have to reach. Sunlight glinted off the rapidly flowing river, adding a surreal sense of beauty to the already picturesque mountain scene. Sophie always said how she missed this place. How they --the members of Team Frontier-- used to relax and simply waste their days away along the shore. They wished their Machoke leader could be there with them, enjoying their old haunt, yet they were somehow strangely content at his absence. Yet they knew they should be grieving. Regardless, Ian knew that bringing her back here was the only way he could ever possibly make it up to her for the hell he had forced her to live through.

    A sudden blinding pain shot through his chest. For a moment, it felt like he was on fire; it seared his nerves that badly. However, the sensation went away without a trace not a second later.

    He returned his focus to the love of his life. The Mawile was breathing in deeply the fresh mountain air as she walked alongside him. He thought back to their adventures in the darkness. Their escape plan had worked to perfection: the back entrance was completely unguarded and the boat unattended. There was little that stood between them and freedom.

    They didn’t know what compelled them to come here of all places, and Ian couldn’t rightly remember how they got there. But they were there, they were free, and they had each other. As far as Ian thought, everything was right in the world in his book. Birds chirped merrily on the new budding branches as the air was perfumed with the generous scents of springtime. Ian loved everything about this place, and he could easily see Sophie did as well by the way she was gently humming and how she twirled herself underneath his arm.

    Ian smiled as he decided to play along. He moved his body away from her and arched his arm. Sophie giggled softly as she continued to dance, this time with an actual partner. The two Pokémon began to circle each other in the middle of the mountain path, both pairs of eyes never leaving the other.

    In a silent rhythm that existed only between the two of them, they stepped forward, and touched their hands. Ian gave the Mawile a sudden twirl, narrowly missing her elongated ear as it swung behind her. Sophie’s yellow frills fluttered as she did a small leap into the air before lightly touching down and stepping close to the Breloom.

    Out of the blue, it seemed as if the Black Dragon had summoned a lightning bolt down upon him. Ian’s world went out of focus for what seemed several seconds, yet the pain did not resonate within him. When he returned to normal, he saw Sophie looking somewhat dazed and guessed that she must have felt it too.

    Ian laughed and gave a small shrug. Taking her hand again, he bent down a gave it a quick kiss before straightening up and continuing with their intricate waltz. Their steps were perfectly in synch, it was as if they had trained all their lives for this one instance. When he moved forward, she leaped back with the grace of a Kirlia on the lavish stage of the Silver City Theater House. His black eyes were lost in her deep red ones as the world spun around them, fading in a whirlwind of flying, pink spring flower buds and verdant green leaves.

    He grabbed ahold of both her hands with his and pulled her close to him, while he knelt down to her height level. They didn’t need to say anything as everything that could, should, and would have been said had seemingly been answered in their minds. Despite being with her this entire time since their escape from that wretched relic, he felt like he hadn’t seen her in what felt like a lifetime.

    She pressed her head against his neck, wrapped her arms around his chest, and leaned into his body. After a moment of this silent embrace, Ian felt a sudden dampness against his neck. He tilted his head to look down at her and gently nudged her head up with his claw. Sophie’s eyes, shining beautiful crimson jewels, were soaked through with a thin veil of tears.

    “I thought I lost you...” she managed to choke out in between her light sobs. Ian rubbed his claws gently along her back under her ear-like jaw in comfort. He would never forgive those heartless fiends that had ensnared her in that horrendous maze. That had forced her to witness the brutal death of Chuck and his own descent into near insanity. The unguarded exit had been a blessing from Celebi in its purest form and they had not wasted their chance. Ian gently brushed aside her thin, black ears as she tucked her head against his neck once again.

    “Don’t worry, Sophie. I’m here now. Nothing will change that. I promise you,” Ian whispered as the world grew still around them. The perfect scene seemed to hang forever in the air for Ian, the river, the mountains, the sun, the trees, the smell, Sophie. He never wanted it to end. And, no one, not even Arceus Himself would keep him from being with her.

    And then, it felt as if a spear was run through his stomach. He felt the invisible blow immediately upon impact. He was torn away from Sophie as his body was thrust backwards and shoved into the ground. In a daze, he looked up at the Mawile. She was currently struggling against some other unseen attacker in the form of a whirlwind. The very leaves and symbols of spring held her away from him. Just far enough so she could only watch helplessly.

    Something like a bolt of lightning surged through his body, frying his nerves, and causing him to convulse erratically on the ground. Through his glazed eyes, he saw the valley around them swim and begin to seemingly implode upon itself. The vibrant slopes of lush, green trees shifted to an unmoving wall of rusted iron. The fresh, clear river engulfed him in a ocean of revolting sludge. As he struggled to breathe under the weight of the filth, he could still see Sophie clear as day, yelling for him at the top her lungs.

    He struggled to reach through the crushing wave of the sewage to her, but the pressure held his arms down against the newly created stone floor that slammed into his back. The vague shapes of mountains wobbled in reality before flickering out of existence like a candle in the wind. Ugly ceilings and walls of stone and iron slowly engulfed the pristine blue skies. Fluffy white clouds were swiftly poisoned by the foul, damp air.

    “Ian! You’re alive! Oh, thank the Maker, you’re alive!” a jarring, static-filled voice screamed from somewhere far above him. Ian paid it no heed as he threw several erratic punches into the sludge, breaking its hold on his body.

    “Sophie? Sophie!” he screamed while simultaneously gasping for precious lungfuls of air. Sludge dripped from the brow of his wilting seed cap. He looked around the tunnel, unable to see any of the vivid landscape that had presented itself to the both of them earlier. Then, he saw her. Sophie was standing on a small island of perfectly green grass in the middle of the toxic lake. Her red eyes were staring at him, pleading that he come back to her.

    “Ian! D-don’t go! Not again!” she cried, tears freely dripping down her face.

    He lunged forward through the liquid only to collapse with an agonized shriek as the already fractured bone in his right leg snapped in half. He fell into the shallow sludge, clutching his critically injured leg as bacterium-riddled slop seeped into the wound. Ian clawed at the smooth stone shore as he desperately tried to extract himself from the pool of waste chemicals.

    “Here, grab my wing! That’s it, come on!” the static voice barked suddenly. Ian blindly grasped at the blue, rounded, appendage and pulled. Ian felt himself exit the water and land on the hard surface. Gasping for breath, he used his other claw to drag himself further away from the vile lake and the vestiges of Sophie.

    “There you go, Ian. Come on. Breathe, that’s it,” the voice Ian recognized as Vertex encouraged. Ian didn’t reply immediately. He tilted his head to the side and began hacking up the remainder of the waste-water in his lungs. As he wretched up the envenomed liquid, his thoughts returned to the haunting vision.

    “Vertex ... I saw her,” the Breloom wheezed in between choking coughs. Greenish fluid from Ian’s lungs splattered the artificial intelligence's front, yet Vertex didn’t even blink as he leaned in closer to his beaten friend.

    “Ian, it wasn’t real. You know that. It’s just like all the others,” the upgraded Porygon reprimanded as he left the Breloom’s side for one moment to pick up a squashed Oran Berry. Holding the organic mass in his beak, he floated back over to Ian.

    “Here, eat this. It should combat the infection and dull the pain temporarily,” he ordered, as Ian weakly opened his mouth. Vertex shook his head disapprovingly and let the berry go, dropping it down to Ian. The Breloom swallowed it whole with a loud gulp, shutting his eyes as he let the healing properties flow through him.

    “No. It wasn’t --It wasn’t a vision. It was more than that ... I-I swear it was!” Ian yelled, leaning against the stone wall of the waste tunnel from the maze above. The condensation on the walls felt soothing against his bruised back and neck. He let his body absorb the clean water through his skin, slaking his thirst for the meantime.

    “Just like all the other times you said that, hmm? Ian, stop kidding yourself. She’s gone. I was there when she died. All her vital signs were zero, nothing, finished. Let her go,” Vertex urged once again, scanning the above halls for signs of their oppressors. Aside from scores of Pokémon leisurely walking from one place to the next -- completely uninformed and unaware of their plight.

    “N-No! Vertex, you -you don’t get it! She talked to me, Vertex! She talked back! It wasn’t just a vision! She was there this time!” Ian suddenly screamed, tears streaming down his face as his arm stretched and clutched the Porygon 2’s narrow throat. “You have to believe me! Believe me! Believe me!” Vertex screeched in alarm and struggled to free himself from his friend’s delusional grip.

    “Ian! Ian! Ian! I believe you! Listen to me: I believe you, Ian!” Vertex shouted, his voice processor straining to get through to the crying Breloom. As Vertex hoped, Ian quickly released his claws with a loud sob and collapsed on the construct. Vertex let out an electronically-tuned groan as he struggled to remain floating with the accession of his friend’s weight on his body. Vertex had no idea how long the Breloom would keep up his action, but he was prepared to do anything to keep his mind as stable as he possibly could.

    “Don’t worry, Ian. We’ll find her. We will, I promise,” Vertex said gently, magnetically lifting his wing and patting Ian’s back. The former sentry knew it was a hollow promise --the dead would remain dead-- but he’d help his friend find closure. Even if the truth would probably kill them both.



    Leo hadn’t let up in the slightest. He swung his claws into the stubborn brush and thorns into a path had formed for the three Pokémon. Despite Noah’s increasingly pessimistic protests about marching to their doom, Jay’s wavering will, and Leo’s equally venomous arguments to keep on going forward for Kelly, they pressed onwards.

    Blue light glinted off his dusted scales, the cold sun bathing him in its ethereal light. Leo had managed to keep up the facade of tireless determination, but his strength was waning. He hadn’t stopped moving since he had woken up hours ago back in the camp. The muscles in his legs burned with every step over the rough terrain.

    “Leo--” Noah called from the back of their line as they trampled the dry vegetation in the narrow canyon pass.

    “Shut up, Noah. I’m -- We’re not leaving her. We can’t. Not like this,” Leo snapped as he sliced through the final piece of bramble and stumbled into the newest clearing.

    “I don’t know, Leo. Maybe Noah’s righ--” Jay began before Leo quickly rounded on him.

    “No, Jay! You’ve known her the longest, and now you’re going to give up? I thought you were the leader here!” Leo screamed, his tail flame flaring and steam issuing him his nose as his emotions fumed. He glared at the Riolu, his blue eyes staring daggers at Jay’s red irises. The tension in the air rose until it had pressurized into pure, solidified hatred.

    Leo didn’t let up until his leader reluctantly looked away. The Riolu hung his head in apparent shame. Leo angrily huffed as he returned his attention to the open space in the canyon where the valleys converged. Noah strode forward, roughly shoving Leo into the rock face as he forced his way in front.

    “No. I’m not going to risk my skin for her. I may not be one to follow the rules or safety the majority of the time, but we’re leaving right now. Jay, back me up here,” the Dewott said firmly, stamping his foot on the ground to affirm his stance.

    “What do you think you’re doing? We already went through this: we’re going after her. You’re not changing your mind now,” Leo growled, peeling his front off the layered rock face and advancing towards the scowling otter. Jay didn’t say anything as he silently padded around the conflicting Pokémon, avoiding giving any answer.

    “Well. I’m not getting killed and I don’t think you have any authority on what I do, pal,” Noah shot back, placing his paw on the Charmeleon’s chest and lightly pushing him back as a warning. Leo wasn’t deterred in the slightest.

    “You don’t have a choice! We’re going! Don’t make me--” Leo retorted as Noah stepped forward, and before Leo could react, delivered a swift undercut to his stomach. Leo immediately stumbled back and doubled over along the side of the canyon. He managed to hiss a few mangled swears over his pained coughs as his insides recoiled from the surprise hit.

    “I do have a choice, Leo. So does Jay. And so do you. And I don’t care what you do with yours, but I’m not going to let you make ours for us. I want to live. If you don’t, then you can keep on marching because that thing won’t hesitate to rip you apart!” The Dewott stood over Leo for a moment before shaking his head. Leo refused to look up at him.

    “Come on Jay. There’s an exit over in the western path. Let’s go. We’ll mourn the dead once we’re sure we made it out alive,” Noah said as he pointed his paw in the direction of the sinking, blue sun. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Jay standing next to the traitor, somberly nodding in agreement.

    “Jay! So you’re -- You’re just giving up on her?” Leo shouted as he strained to get to his feet, steam emanating from his nose and mouth once again. The Riolu shifted, shifting the strap of his bag on his shoulder in discomfort.

    “I -- I don’t want to die. I saw what happened back there. Leo ... I think Noah’s right.” Leo sucked in a sharp breath in protest at Jay’s words. His claws curled into a fist. He couldn’t believe this was happening. While it was true that he still knew virtually nothing of Jay and Kelly’s history as a team, he had thought that bond would keep Jay on his side.

    With that thought, he lunged forward. Leo swung his fist, channeling every bit of his frustration and disbelief into the attack. If he hadn’t been so focused on pounding sense into his leader’s head, Leo might have noticed that his clawed fist was glowing with a bright, white aura. The fact that he just activated a latent power of his new body lost on his enraged mind.

    Jay recoiled, clutching his head as he cried out in pain. The Riolu stumbled backwards, violently cursing Leo’s existence. The Dewott, oddly, despite his earlier actions, did not interfere.

    “Some leader you are,” Leo replied acidically as he brutishly drove his elbow into Jay’s stomach, forcing him to his knees. He would have continued. He wouldn’t have let up on his assault if the ground in the clearing hadn’t rended open in a blast of frozen brimstone and clay.

    Leo had seen things during his time in this world. Things that plowed through the barrier of what was right and what was unspeakably wrong with the force of a tidal wave. He had seen psychopaths, hallucinations, and the image of death itself, yet he had persevered. What appeared from under the cloud of ice dust instantly secured a spot in his mind for the absolute worst thing Leo had ever seen.

    The three bickering Pokémon froze where they stood, as a dark, looming figure rose from the mist-bound hole in the ground. From what he could see among the choked air, the creature looked like a multi-colored dragon, but as its large form ominously stomped out into plain sight, Leo saw why Noah possessed such an adamant fear.

    The patches of different colors he had originally saw were actually slabs of dried flesh held together by a thick coating of ice skin. Different pallets of dull furs, tarnished scales, and decaying skin made up the repulsive hide of the monster, stitched together by sinew that served as thread for the squares of flesh. Somewhere in the back corners of his mind, Leo was vaguely wondering just how many different species unwillingly contributed to the generation of the abomination.

    In the short moments that followed, Leo saw that it possessed a vaguely dragon-like body with disproportionate limbs that seemed to have been chosen at random. A thick, muscular leg and large, clawed foot stamped the ground next to a thin, metallic, bird leg and steel talon big enough to crush him in one step.

    A pair of horribly mismatched wings sprouted from the creature’s icy back. On one side, majestic, orange and white plumage plucked off a bird, while the other side sported fragile, transparent, oval wings torn from an ungodly large insect. The seemingly useless appendages fluttered and buzzed erratically as the beast lumbered forwards out of the pit from which it was born.

    Leo wanted to move. To hide. To run away as fast as he possibly could. But something held him, Jay, and Noah in place. He didn’t understand it; there was no paralysis, no archaic binding spells, nothing of that sort. It was fear. The pure, radiating terror that emanated from the gaping maw and stinking flesh.

    He had never felt so disgusted and horrified at the same time. Not when he was being poisoned in Spore Meadows, not when Nexus had killed him or the subsequent vision trip, not even during the sadistic mental bombardment by the Mismagius compared to the overwhelming tsunami of trepidation that surged towards him.

    The earth vibrated beneath Leo’s feet as the monster tramped through the clearing. Without warning, the dragon raised its mottled head and roared. Its primal voice as deep and gurgled as if it was choking on something. Its breath instantly froze the mist in the air, transforming the benign weather to a miniature, freezing blizzard.

    The exhaled wind painfully struck them, its wizened hands roughly slapping every inch of exposed flesh that it could possibly reach, driving its stinging, pointed fingers into them. Leo raised his arms to shield his face from the flurry and planted his feet firmly against the rocky ground.

    Teeth. Hundreds of them lined every inch inside of its gaping maw, all harvested from countless species of Pokémon. The layer of clear ice over its flesh allowed Leo to see the decaying interior of the creature. The Charmeleon felt whatever remained of his previous meal lurch up in his throat and splash over his fangs onto the ground as the creature’s horrifying, cold, breath washed over him like a wave of raw sewage.

    He had closed his eyes for an instant to avoid the frozen air. When he opened them again, the creature, which had been several meters away, was now huffing clouds of rotten air from directly above him. Leo’s heart was beating faster than a hummingbird’s wings, nearly stopping as the abomination lowered its disfigured head and looked him dead on with it’s yellow, glowing eyes.

    For a second, his will wavered. His thoughts concerning Kelly were replaced by the impending doom panting like a heinous dog over him. His eyes darted to either side of him, both Jay and Noah seemed to be in similar states; numb from the cold and fear.

    There was no warning as the monster suddenly picked up its metallic talon and slammed it into Jay’s torso. Swinging its massively oversized arms and claws, it bulldozed into Leo’s side, sending both him and Noah skidding along the rocks. His world turned into a blur, he couldn’t see what was up and what was down until gravity kindly reminded him by grinding his back with gravel. A feeling akin to a bolt of lightning shot up his tail as the sensitive tip connected with the suffocating soil.

    Leo arched his back and rolled over, breathing hard as his lungs worked to return air to his body. Clawing at the earth, he managed to twist his body over again, prop himself up on arms, and blink dust out of his tearing eyes. Clarity returned to his sight just in time to behold the creature poising above Jay, as if readying to kill downed prey.

    Jay was pinned with his back against the ground, held down by the cold talon. The Riolu was biting his lip as the sharp hooks embedded into the tips dug into his left shoulder. Leo couldn’t see the creature’s face, but it let out a gurgling snort in what seemed to be glee as it pressed its foot down even harder. Jay let out a scream as the hook was pushed deeper, and the pressure grew on his chest.

    This seemed to please the monster, but it seemingly got quickly bored of the slow torture as it lifted its talon up; the hook-like claw twisting as it exited Jay’s shoulder. The Riolu instinctively grabbed the bloodied wound with his paw now that the weight was lifted. His blue fur was stained scarlet as he tried to stem the flow from the stab wound.

    Leo tried to move, but his body went only in slow motion, his arms wobbling as his muscles strained against exhaustion. This meant he could only watch as the talon slammed down again. Leo didn’t hear a crack, but by Jay’s agonized cry, he guess that something inside his chest snapped under the sudden pressure.

    To Leo’s horror, the creature didn’t stop with the first blow. It raised its talon and slammed it down again. Jay’s screams only intensified as the hooks and weight tore into his chest and arms. The beast roared, pausing in its assault for a second. It lifted up its grotesque head and aimed its mouth at the Riolu. A stream of blue energy dripped off its teeth and coagulated into a dense sphere just outside its cracked, torn jaw.

    In a single blink of his eyes, Leo saw the sphere jump through the space from the monster’s mouth to the lower half of Jay’s right leg. The sphere exploded, tendrils of ice swarmed from Jay’s knee, down to his foot, and slunk into the ground where they solidified into a frozen mass locking him in place. Jay could only hiss in pain as his leg was placed in a numb prison.

    The aura of fear that had held his heart and limbs in an iron pen seemed to dissipate. Leo managed to scramble to his feet just as the dragon-thing was preparing to continue crushing Jay with his talon. He vaguely heard Noah’s warcry behind him as he dashed over the canyon clearing, trying to ignore the pain that seared his nerves, the exhaustion that played with his mind, and the monstrosities that wanted him dead.

    He prepared his claws to strike. He knew it wouldn’t do much against the icy hide, but as long as it kept Jay from being pummeled into the earth, he would give it a shot. His mind seemed to finally have found the switch that inhibited him all this time. The cruel memories suppressed, the visions stopped, and his rational, screaming for him to turn tail and run, bound, gagged, and stuffed into a broom closet. Leo screamed, a slightly deranged sound, but terrifying nonetheless.

    He wasn’t sure if it was his scream or the blade of pressurized water that shot into the creature’s ice-coated, mismatched arm was what took its attention off the barely conscious Riolu. Leo snuck a quick look over his shoulder to see that the Dewott was condensing another set of water blades on his shells. Holding the scallops in front of him, Noah swiftly turned in a circle, and give a sharp cry as the water blades launched off of the shells towards the monster.

    The blades dug into the ice and created cracks along the dragon’s side, but they were nothing more than a mosquito bite. Leo couldn’t possibly sprint fast enough to intervene, even if his legs didn’t feel like someone was heating them with a blowtorch. They were too late in acting. With what happened next, Leo wasn’t sure if it would have been better if he had never moved in the first place.

    Instead of delivering a crushing stomp, the duel act of screaming Charmeleon and slicing Dewott managed to distract the hellish spawn so that it kicked Jay to the side as it turned towards them. Jay moved violently to the side first. And then followed his imprisoned leg.

    If Leo nearly got sick earlier from the smell of the beast, his stomach again twisted into a knot as the loud, organic crack echoed through the clearing. Jay’s tortured scream drowned out even the primal grunts of the dragon as his right leg bent and bone splintered. Fortunately, the ice shattered as well, leaving the shattered limb connected to the Riolu. Blood slowly seeped from the open wound, dripping past the fragments of bone that poked through the blue fur.

    Despite his leader’s behavior earlier, Leo wanted nothing more than to help him as the excruciating yells penetrated his head. The only problem being the act against God that stalked towards them at a surprisingly swift pace given its massive unbalanced stature of talon and foot. Leo gulped as it came closer.

    No. I can’t freeze up again. I won’t! his thoughts screamed. There was no other option. He had to stand up now. Not only for Kelly, but for Jay, Noah, and all the others waiting for them on the other side of the dungeon: Icarus, Blade, Elliot, Sonic, and Torrent.

    He swung his arm, glowing claws slicing into the ice on the gargantuan, dragon leg. White cracks spread from the point of impact, but otherwise did nothing. The creature looked down at Leo, blank eyes seeing him as something to be terminated.

    Before he knew what was happening, Leo felt his body turn to ice as claws wrapped around his torso. Air became a luxury as the beast squeezed what limited quantities remained out of his lungs and he was lifted to the creature’s face. All he could see was the wide, nightmarish abyss of a jaw stretching open towards him. Teeth gleamed in a bleached white as the mouth seemed to grow larger in an effort to swallow him whole.

    He heard Noah’s forceful cries from down below, not relenting even in the face of the impenetrable flesh. On the verge of his hearing, just below the blasts of chilled exhaust and Noah’s fight, Jay’s whimpering slowly tapered out into silence. Leo couldn’t see much of anything aside from the terrifying mask of ice the creature wore over the amalgamation of Pokémon that served as its face and the crushing claws trying to snap every bone in his torso.

    Thoughts raced wildly around Leo’s panicking mind as it swiftly began starving for oxygen. Thoughts of failure. Thoughts of inequity. Fairness. He laughed on the inside. There was nothing fair about what happened to him. He had drawn the shortest straw in the Fates’ demented game. Doomed to failure, just as the reaper had foretold. He wasn’t a hero, because heroes didn’t die in the clutches of a monster.

    A blade of water shattered through the ice on the leg, exposing the dying flesh beneath to the Dewott’s wrath, but it did nothing. Leo swore he could hear his bones straining under the pressure, fragile ribs laced with hairline fractures and organs bruised. Every struggling movement was a labor of intense proportions, as if he was burdened of the Ropes of the Titan and tasked with pulling the continents alongside each twitch of his muscles.

    A slight wave of comfort passed over him when he felt the heat build up in his lungs. He knew it would be a matter of seconds before the jet of fire would blast the dragon directly in its hideous face and hopefully buy him a ticket out of the crushing grip. The compressed flame continued to grow inside of him, scorching his throat as it did so.

    The beast must have been smarter than its primal grunts and howls let on, because it shifted its grip on Leo’s body. Most of the pressure on his chest was released, but replaced by a tight hold around his neck, only allowing for the tiniest gasps of air to keep him from suffocating. His freed arms clawed at his captor, but without the ability to concentrate energy, he couldn’t possibly charge an attack powerful enough to scratch its skin.

    The heat made his lungs boil. Without a release, the temperature inside only grew hotter and hotter. His reptilian skin prevented him from sweating, the claw around his throat kept the fire in his chest, and he couldn’t get the strength needed to draw even a single breath. His mind went in and out of focus. Thoughts of escape from the death grip blurred and withered as his brain diverted all efforts into maintaining the limited flow of air he managed to suck in among the putrid exhaust exuding from the creature’s foul breath.

    His ribcage felt as if it was an instant away from popping open like a heated kernel of corn, and he did not think the ensuing result would be nearly as delicious. Leo clawed at the limb clamped around his throat, his claws scraping against the frozen appendages. He lifted his legs up and kicked at the iron hold, each action becoming more and more desperate as fire twisted on the convection current inside his chest.

    As his body began to fail, the Fates decided to end their apparent game with their lab rat. From the corner of his distorted vision came a sphere of blue. It launched up from the ground and rocketed through the air, slamming into the temple of the dragon’s malformed skull. It exploded in a shower of pressurized water and splattered painfully against his limp body and drooping, dimming tail. Concentration broken, the creature lifted its huge arm, and tossed Leo into the air like a rag doll, freeing another claw to fight against Noah.

    The world twisted and spun around him as he flew into the air, blue sun at his airborne feet and the imminent threat of gravity and ground at his head. His eyes locked with the beast’s soulless, yellow ones yet again as the dragon howled at him. Its mouth was stretched open wide, waiting for him to fall down into the dark bowls. Fire rushed from Leo’s lungs into his now-unobstructed throat. The attack threatened to sear off his tongue and taste buds as fire blasted through his jaws into the open air.

    The jet of combusting matter broke through the waves of molecules separating Leo from the upturned head of the beast. Flames shot into the gaping set of jaws, the wide spray of fire not even touching the rotting sides or frozen teeth that lined the inside. Like water down a drain, the attack slipped down the roaring throat seamlessly. Leo couldn’t help but be a little weirded out at the fact that his fire simply left his throat for another.

    The fire vanished as it blasted down the creature’s dry, cracked throat, and to no effect on its health either. Leo didn’t have any time to lament the waste of the attack as gravity took a hold of his form and began its ever-quickening descent as it exerted its force against the vacuum of space. He landed face-first onto the creature’s icy back, directly between the mismatched wings.

    Before his head had stopped spinning, the monster beneath him bucked and roared in an attempt to kick the intruder off. Leo dug his claws into the stiff, fleshy bases of the two sets of wings. The wings in question flapped and buzzed erratically, slapping Leo’s face with every fevered movement and bruising is snout with the repeated hits.

    Leo struggled to keep his grip, the alternative being thrown to the ground and crushed by the combination of talon and claw. He could feel water spraying around him from the continued assault of the Dewott down below. In between the flaps of the wings, he could see Noah sprinting away from the swiping claws and Ice Beams while keeping attention away from Jay, still unconscious in the crater.

    He could feel his claws slipping, the wings were moving too much for him to even attempt to regain his loosening grip. Leo grunted as he embedded the pointed tips into the pulsing mass of muscle fiber under the thin layer of flexible ice, but only succeeded in tearing off a dried chunk when he tried to pull himself up.

    With that development, combined with the beast’s renewed vigor to get him off, Leo tumbled over the frail dragonfly wings to the ground. He took some sort of satisfaction knowing that he tore through the flimsy material with his flailing claws. The rocky dungeon floor embraced him fully, its jagged arms wrapping around his back to complete his discomfort on all parts of his body.

    Again, his mind was deprived of the chance to filter out which section of his body hurt the most as the last thing he saw was a reptilian foot aiming at his torso. The next few seconds mixed together in time like salt dissolving in water. His chest felt as if it had been torn open by a series of rusted gardening tools.

    Leo felt himself go limp as he flew in a low arc above the rough ground. He had resigned himself to land on the rocks, ready to accept their sharp and pointed jabs at his self-image. Their calloused laughs would brush up against his scales like sandpaper and Leo was willing to let it happen. Yet, the scathing insults from the planet’s exterior never came. Something far softer than stone intercepted Leo’s trajectory.




    Continued on Next Post
    Last edited by Knightfall; 10th August 2013 at 1:19 AM.

  5. #230
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    Continued From Previous Post



    Leo refused to open his eyes until he was certain that the world around him stopped mimicking a whirlpool. He was only vaguely aware that he was laying on top of the unknown soft object, and did not hear its vehement swears to the legendaries. Only when it began jabbing his eyes with paws did Leo willingly open himself to outside sensory details.

    “I understand you’re a screw loose, but now really isn’t the time for hugs, Leo!” Noah yelled, his voice amplified by the close proximity. Leo’s head throbbed with the loud volume of Noah’s complaints as the blue Pokémon unceremoniously shoved him off. He sat there in a haze for several seconds, ignoring Noah’s frantic shouts and the vibrations of the footsteps caused by the demon closing in on them.

    Looking down at his chest revealed three light lacerations that crossed over the previous scar from the last psychotic monster he had fought and lost against. He hadn’t had the time to research the gods of this world, but he was almost certain at least one of them didn’t want him dead. The cuts barely grazed the cream scales on his chest, though the bruising the kick left behind hurt like something else.

    “Get up! Leo, get up!” Noah screamed, his voice beginning to quiver as Leo felt him tuck his paws underneath his shoulders and pull. His mind remained lost in the fog, aware of the dire situation creeping up on him but unable to react. Leo continued to sit, arms lazily slumped in between his legs, his back leaning against Noah’s front. He heard the roar, he saw the shadow, he felt the temperature drop, yet numbness ruled with an iron fist.

    The attack shot from the creature’s outstretched jaws, an awesome wave of below-freezing mist at point-blank range. There was pain, that much he knew. Tiny droplets of dew covered his scales from the rapid heat exposure from his body and only continued to grow colder and colder. Not looking up at the harbinger of his torment, he tried to articulate his claws only to find that they had grown stiff with the freezing. He had somewhat expected that this would be the case once he was finally beaten down, but he didn’t anticipate the smoke.

    The cold no longer blew over the two beleaguered Pokemon like an angel of death, but was replaced with a silent mist of foul-smelling waste fire spewing forth from over the massive jaws. His eyes tearing from encountering the stinging carcinogen-laced breath as he raised his gaze to the blue-tinted sky above.

    The dragon seemed just as surprised as the Pokémon it was supposed to be ripping apart piece by frozen piece. It paused and took a step back, coughing up more of the black gas. Both Leo and Noah watched in disgusted horror as it began clawing at its own chest in an attempt to find out the source of the unnatural element. It screeched in pain as it sheared off the protective ice and dug into flesh that was not its own.

    It seemed not to care about the pain it was inflicting upon itself, only to ascertain the truth of the mysterious force that negated its powers. Just before it finished slicing through the rounded flesh in its torso, Leo smiled. He didn’t know for what, but whatever it was, he knew it was his handicraft. He felt his mouth curl up into a mad grin as the monster broke through the mock ribs into its chest cavity. A massive tongue of flame erupted from the mass of dried organs that fueled the dim embers of Leo’s misguided attack.

    With access to a new source of air, the fire spread rapidly. It coiled and slithered around the melting ice and exposed decaying flesh like a snake. The beast having hastened its own demise, writhed in agony as the dead tendons in its legs combusted. Its knees were torches, their orange glow contrasting the blue sunlight. The monster mimicked a mighty tree and crashed to the ground, leaving its legs as smoking stumps. The flickering fire and twisting torso of the dragon went on to cast demented shadows over him and Noah.

    His mind was in complete euphoria. Watching the beast that had caused him and his team so much pain rolling around on the dungeon floor on fire made him feel somewhat giddy. Fire licked through the flesh underneath the ice, creating an orange luminary of the inside of its chest cavity. The primal growls and grotesque howls turned into gurgling whimpers as the aftermath of his attack ate away at what remained of the creature’s spinal cord.

    The pitiful yowls only grew more and more distorted as its vocal cords melted and fused with another. Something in his mind told him this was right. That this unholy creation had no right to live. That it was good it was destroyed --morally right in the eyes of the Fates. It’s bones turned to ash as the gluttonous blaze feasted on the rapidly thawing body parts, swiftly working its way to its skull.

    He looked it straight in its glowing eyes. No remorse present in his stare, only a desire to see the dragon burn for its crime of bearing the gift of life. Teeth, once proudly displayed in a show of fear, blackened and fell out of their sockets as flames charred the creature’s gums. Leo heard the sound of bones cracking for the second time in the last few minutes as the beast’s spinal cord broke down and ribs fracturing, allowing its chest to cave in on itself from the weight of burning scales.

    Leo wasn’t sure if it was a minute or ten when the fire finally enveloped the last of the malformed skull. The flames crackled demonically as if they had been tainted by the evil they were purging. One, last, tortured growl emitted from the blazing jaw before all semblance of organic tissue was destroyed and the glowing eyes faded. At once, a strong breeze whipped across the desolate plain. It seemed to not blow around Leo, but rather went straight through him and the Dewott.

    Leo wasn’t sure how, but he felt his very soul plunge into an icy abyss. However, as wind is want to do, it quickly blew past the two shivering Pokémon. It wrapped its frozen, whispery hands around the charred skeleton of the beast and proceeded to crush it into a fine powder. Within the span of half a second, the creature that had nearly killed them in a primal haze of programmed hatred was literally dust blowing in the breeze.

    The Charmeleon was still unsure how to react as his emotions and most higher motor functions seemed to be on pause. This fact in place, he was even more surprised when Noah suddenly wrapped his arms around the upper part of his chest and squeezed while simultaneously jumping up and down. Leo was brought to his feet far more quickly than his body wanted to be, but Noah wasn’t letting him slump back down to the ground anytime soon.

    “We did it! We did it! Damn it, we did it! Ha-ha! Leo, we did it!” Noah screamed joyously, not letting his iron grip slip in the slightest. The Dewott bounced from one black foot to the other, jerking Leo along for the entire movement. He couldn’t speak, or breathe too well for that matter. Thinking with his instincts, Leo rotated his arm slightly under the Dewott’s embrace and extended his wrist out as far as he could.

    The protruding claws jabbed Noah in his side and swiftly began the positive-feedback loop of him stopping the worst of his celebratory actions. Noah looked at Leo for a moment before seeing the discomfort he was inflicting upon the Fire-type and letting go. Leo wobbled in place as his legs got used to standing under their own power once again. Noah kept his arms on Leo’s shoulders as the Charmeleon stabilized his balance.

    “Yeah. We did ... Didn’t we?” Leo wheezed with a small smile while also expelling the last of the monster’s foul breath from his lungs while speaking. Noah took the opportunity to clap his paw on Leo’s right shoulder, causing yet another pained grimace to dart over his features.

    “Be excited! We just killed a being that has killed score of the king’s men. We’re like gods! Or warriors! Or god warriors! Yes! We’re god warriors! Leo and Noah: Dragon slayers!” Noah boasted to the wasteland of ice and canyons. His echo seemed to carry on for miles in the desolate, silent dungeon.

    Leo wanted to celebrate, to be jovial with the Pokémon who not twenty minutes before had sank his fist into his stomach. He truly wanted to be happy in his apparent victory over the force of evil, but his mind told him otherwise of things that still needed his immediate attention. The very foremost of those things was laying strewn lifeless on the canyon floor among the rocks.

    “Jay!” he yelled, snapping out of the stunned hazed that had paralysed his body for the past few minutes. Leo grunted as he roughly twisted Noah around to see the injured Riolu on the ground. The Dewott’s mood dissipated rapidly after seeing that bloodied reminder of reality.

    In the few minutes that their teammates had been unattended on the ground, Jay’s condition seemed to have lapsed from freshly injured to gravely wounded. Leo and Noah crouched on opposite sides of the lifeless Riolu. The Charmeleon’s breaths grew slower and more tense as he took in the fullness of Jay’s condition.

    The bone, or rather as Leo saw, bones, were broken: snapped roughly in half, leaving splintered edges hanging among the marrow. There was little blood. Considering the severity of the wound, that fact should have not been a fact. The little blood that did stream from the fracture pooled on the ground below the mangled limb.

    Leo had no idea what to do. Never before had his claws seemed so useless. He knew that the bleeding had to be stopped and that the bone needed to be set, but that was it. Whatever he had been before his complete amnesia, Pokémon or human, he was fairly certain that he did not receive any sort of medical training. At least, not that he could remember.

    Noah immediately tore open his worn bag, which had somehow remained on his shoulder the entire time. His black paws pulled out several things, including a ragged, red bandana, a curious set of metal spikes, and a pile of mush that might have been an Oran Berry. He set each item down next to Jay, and pulled his bag back behind his shoulder.

    “Do you know what you’re doing?“ Leo asked as he placed a shaking claw under Jay’s chin, trying to feel for a pulse. He hoped it was just because of his trembling grip and adrenaline pumping through his veins, but he could not feel a single beat.

    “I wasn’t the healer on my old team, but I learned a thing or two from her. However, setting bones wasn’t one of them. Based on your obviously clueless expression, you don’t know either. Right?” the Dewott answered back, not looking up at Leo as he said it. Leo did not even try to argue the point. He just grunted in affirmation which seemed to be good enough for Noah.

    “First off, we have to set it. Leo, hold him still. We can’t have him waking up and moving. I’ll go on the count of three. Ready?” Noah inquired as he carefully took hold of Jay’s foot and slowly twisted the leg back to its normal position. Now, it was a matter of setting it.

    “Ready,” Leo gulped as he took a tight hold of Jay’s bloodied shoulders, unable to avoid the deep gash in the Riolu’s left shoulder blade. Dark crimson liquid was pushed out of the tender gash and over Leo’s dirtied claws, turning the brownish-white into a muddy red. Regardless of the sanitation breach, Leo did as he was told and squeezed his claws into his teammate’s shoulders.

    “One. Two. Three!” Noah yelled as he jerked the limb back into place, touching both shattered edges of the bones with a squelched cracking noise. Jay’s body unconsciously twitched as the pain undoubtedly seared through his nerves.

    The end result was far from any medical standards of neat, or even clean, but it was something. Noah immediately went to work, trying to fit the two metal thorns around the fractured leg and wrap it in the dirt-encrusted bandana to make a crude splint. Leo was sure Quark, the near-vigilante demon purger and part-time healer would be appalled at the numerous health crimes being committed.

    “Well, it hardly complies with the Audinonic Oath, but it’s the best we can do. Any movement on your end?” Noah asked while taking a quick look at his bloodied handiwork. Leo could only shake his head. To him, there had been almost no improvement in Jay’s situation.

    “None. Noah, come here. I don’t think he’s looking too good. Do we have anything else that we can use on him? A magic berry? One of those orb things?” Leo queried, his suggestions getting desperate as his mind tried to think of the items that he had seen work in the past. Noah was by his side at the Riolu’s front in a matter of seconds. He bent down and pushed his paw underneath Jay’s tilted head.

    “Well. That throws a wrench in our plans. We kinda need him to have a pulse so he can heal...” Noah mused as he revealed the ruinous news about his teammate’s condition.

    “Wait! He’s--!” Leo exclaimed as Noah stood up and clapped a paw over his snout.

    “Yes. Now, you need to go,” the Dewott deadpanned as he pulled Leo over and pushed him towards the gaping maw of the frozen abyss in the middle of the canyon floor. Leo dug his claws into the rocks, stopping Noah’s progress in pushing him towards his death.

    “Wait! I’m not leaving! Jay needs--!” His shout was cut short as Noah gave him a sharp punch on his shoulder.

    “Jay can’t be helped right now with what we have. There’s someone who needs you more right now, Leo,” Noah asserted while giving him a stern stare. Immediately afterwards, he gave him another generous shove towards the edge of the mist-bound pit.

    “Don’t make me say anything else. Go. Find her. I’ll watch him. Just go end this,” Noah urged. Leo turned around, only to find that Noah had effectively left beyond the ridge.

    He was alone. And only the abyss was there to keep him company.






    Noah crouched down beside Jay once again. He lightly ran his paw under the Riolu’s cheek. He brushed through the flecks of dried blood in order to find a pulse.

    “You’ve really screwed up, haven’t you, Jay? I don’t know much about internal injuries, buddy, but it’s not looking too good right now. Why’d you go and have to get yourself crunched?” He mumbled as he took his hand away and shook his head solemnly.

    “There’s nothing. Hopefully you won’t fade before Leo gets back. And, I hope you don’t mind a royal-style burial stance.” He lifted Jay’s right arm and laid it across his unmoving chest. He reached over the body to grab the other arm in order to cross it over his right when the atmosphere darkened and tension flooded the air.

    ”Well, that outlook assumes that no one in the present company knows anything about treating said injuries. Noah, you always jump to conclusions too quickly,” the deep, malevolent voice interjected from behind. Noah let out an immense sigh.

    “Thank God, you’re here! We really need your help right now! Jay’s hurt real bad and he ca--” Noah blurted out, the words melding into one incomprehensible sentence. The seemingly omniscient Mismagius raised its tassels and silenced the Dewott. The noise of his voice falling dead on his lips mid-word.

    ”Yes, it is good to see you as well, Noah. Don’t worry about him, he will not die while I am here. Now please, refresh me on what has transpired since you entered this dungeon. Do not spare details, for they are vitally pertinent,” he coldly demanded, releasing his otherworldly hold on Noah’s voice. The Dewott spent the next few moments in time trying to reiterate every painstakingly precise piece of information he had observed over the past hour.

    ”It is worse than I feared. I must go. Leo will not be able to confront this. He will not be able to comprehend the truth.” His form began to dissipate into the air almost as suddenly as he had arrived. Noah shook himself free of the panicked stupor he had been sealed in.

    “Wait! Please help, Jay!” His words fell on deaf, all-hearing ears. The Mismagius only barely flickered back into existence. His golden, petrifying gaze aimed directly at Noah’s mind. He felt the being’s --his friend’s-- presence inside his skull. Memories flipped aside and experience brushed away.

    ”You may be my friend and can call upon me for anything, but give me one reason why I should help the Riolu. He doesn’t matter to me. His life is not vital, like yours. He is a poor leader. He keeps secrets from his team. He is willing to betray them to save his own life. Why do you request I interfere in what the Fates decided?” the specter requested as he floated above the comatose Pokémon. Noah noticed the ghost’s eerily red smile was stretched in a mocking grin.

    Noah opened his mouth. And then closed it again. For once, he had been rendered completely silent. He had no witty or charmingly smart retort. He had nothing to say in defense.

    ”So, you, the one who found the good in almost every situation, even at the point of death, cannot find a saving quality in this creature?”

    “No ... I can’t ...” Noah’s whisper skirted the edge of audibility, but the Mismagius heard it loud and clear.

    ”Then, I might as well be off. I will meet you--” Noah defiantly shook his head.

    “Save him. It won’t look good on my record if I lose another rookie while crossing here. Torrent will kill me for sure,” Noah pleaded, getting on his knees, and fitting his paws together. A soft breeze whispered through the canyon in an ethereal sigh.

    ”Very well. But, as with any practicing physician, there is always a cost involved with surgery...”




    She felt it. Somewhere in the very edge of her consciousness. Beyond the often-corrupted data, the inhibiting coding, endless system orders, delaying prompts, and the ominous, whispering cloud of darkness. Something stirred within.

    What is this? she asked, expecting the ever present spirit of the system to respond promptly as it usually did.

    [Invalid Command Received]

    N-no. It was a valid command. Umm... Search System for Abnormalities. Does that work?

    [Command Prompt Not Recognized]

    What do you mean ‘not recognized’? It was a proper command! System, run debug programs.

    [Warning: System Lockdown Initiated. Wait 10 Minutes Before Inputting New Command] In an instant, the world turned into a void of darkness around her. The glowing access portals dimmed and flickered as they shut down temporarily. She was completely alone again. There was no gentle hum of information flowing, no rapid conversations of the Porygon, nothing.

    She knew it was no use yelling: she had provoked the system before. The Overseers didn’t like it when she asked too many questions. They controlled the portals, and they could shut her out if they wished. She didn’t want to make them mad, but her natural curiosity often got the better of her.

    If they don’t want me asking questions, then why don’t they just take out my curiosity? This was just one of the many thoughts that processed through the nexus of her mind. She was infinitely glad that she had managed to manipulate the firewalls a few weeks back to shield her private thoughts from the Overseers. But even the acquisition of privacy didn’t explain what she was feeling.

    It pulsed through her. Despite being a unable to sense, she smelled ... something. She couldn’t quite place a name to the strange scent. It was as if someone had cleaned the space around her and turned it into a smell.

    What was the word .... Fresh? Yeah, that’s it. Fresh, it smells ... like... fresh. That was the least strange of what she was feeling. The smell was one thing, but the sounds and sights were another thing entirely. She was certain that such sounds weren’t even programmed into the system.

    They weren’t slices of security feed from the crystals, the picture was far too grainy to be from one of them. High places, the pinnacles of kings long ago, so prideful that as the clouds passed them by, they screamed for them to bow like the land below, to no avail. The ground was alive, unlike anything she had seen before. Not even the botanical centers contained such overpowering life. It was so green.

    Nothing could compare to this. She felt the data receptors on her form react from touch, yet no one was around. Her mind was a storm while foreign sensations bombarded her like bolts of thunder. She couldn’t contain it. Her system was receiving too much new data, too much information, too much emotion, too much sight.

    Then, she felt it. Something shifted inside her. A door: unseen but always there. The once-indestructible lock now forced open. It flowed. Through the cracks in the program, over the treacherous bridges of binary code, slipping past the well-crafted firewalls of the Overseers, the very beginnings of a massive deluge. They had tried to keep her asleep, but she was stirring. Awakening.

    She knew. She had always known. It was coming back. Light at first, like the first drops of a mighty typhoon. The trivial memories would come first and the pertinent would return after. She had always wanted it, more than anything. To remember what she had been, and what she had become. These sensations, they were the key. The key to a beginning.

    The spontaneous genesis of memory.



    He didn’t know what he was doing, but apparently his legs and body did. He felt his feet lift and fall in a continuous motion down the icy slope into the darkness below. The jagged ice permeating the sides of the pit did little to suade his racing thoughts that all was well. He knew what he had to do. The fire for revenge upon the ice witch only burned fiercer now that Jay had been downed by the unfortunate amalgamation of souls she had stitched together.

    “Come on, Leo. Be strong. Be strong. Kelly. I’m coming. I’m--” he muttered before being cut off by a sharp blast of sub-zero air as soon as he crossed the threshold of the cavern. At once, the strings that kept his world aloft were cut one by one.

    The ice, previously glowing with a soft, white light, was now consumed by a tar-like substance that oozed from the cold surface. His tail quickly became the last light in the cold purgatory. The ground, a wounded soldier beneath his feet, heaved and writhed as the open gash on its side was at last lashed shut in a shattering collision of ice and rock. And finally, the voice. Just beyond a whisper in the utter darkness. A sinister hush of wind.

    ”Ignis...”



    Kelly felt cold. Actually, that would be like saying that being hit with Rayquaza’s Hyper Beam might leave a bruise. She had only woken up a few minutes before on the floor of an ice-covered cave. The Jolteon shivered in the bitterly cold air, her hair bristling as she struggled to stand on the icy floor.

    Looking around the clear, ice cave, she realized that she had no idea how she had gotten here. She shook her head, popping her stiff neck as she did so, trying to clear her mind. The numbing feeling crawling up her paws like a slow army of ants did little to help her concentration, so she settled on pacing about the small, frozen chamber she was stuck in to ward off the effects of frostbite.

    Then, light. A flash of lightning in a dark thunderstorm. She remembered. The camp, Torrent, the dungeon, the cold blue sun, the demon, and the song. She shuddered. She had never heard anything so revolting in her life. Even the ancient language lessons she had been given as a kit sounded like an angelic choir when compared to the ravenous notes that spewed forth from the Froslass.

    The time in between falling victim to the music and now was an impenetrable fog. It was as if the had blinked while lying on the rough rock of the clearing and the next instant she was here, freezing to death.

    “A-alright, Kelly. Just think. What’s around us?” she murmured to herself as her breath vaporized into a white mist. She was inside an enclosure of some sort; not small enough to make her claustrophobic, but not large enough for her to feel like she had any breathing room. The walls, upon closer examination proved to be made of rock, covered with a thick layer of ice. That was all she saw before the oddly-luminous ice darkened and the temperature dropped.

    “Itaque excitus estis. Amittebant tu eo. Ubi est nunc Ignis?” It was Her. Kelly knew it was too good to be true. The demon had taken her here in the first place; it was only a matter of time before she showed her face again.

    Kelly slowly turned around. The near darkness was illuminated only by the otherworldly, yellow, glow of the Froslass’s hollow eyes. Fear attempted to seize her, but she repelled their assault.

    She wants to speak the Old Language? Fine by me, Kelly thought as she coughed to clear her throat. Words she hadn’t spoken since her private lessons years ago came back to her, the archaic pronunciation rules flowing back to her.

    “Neutiquam erro, et ipse est parantibus te ergo incendere.” The words felt rusty in her mouth, the phrases tasting like iron as she finished her retort. The demon was silent for a moment as if in surprise that someone spoke in her private language.

    “So you speak the ancient tongue as well? Quite interesting. Now, my dear, we must wait until Scelus returns with the corpses of your companions,” the Froslass observed as she gracefully floated around the Jolteon. Kelly huffed in anger, her heated breath turning into a cloud of vapor.

    “No. They’re better than that. Jay, Noah, and Leo. All of them are going to get in here and kill you, especially Leo,” she snapped as she faced the Ice type’s glowing eyes. “Provided I don’t get to it first!”

    With that, Kelly’s fur glowed as electricity. The cool, dry air of the cave was perfect for the attack, making the charging process near-instantaneous. She focused the power and launched it in a swift arc towards the frigid abomination. The lightning flashed a bright blue from the ice as it blasted apart the ice-coated wall.

    Where are you? she hissed to herself as she twisted her nearly numb paws in the chilled earth. As soon as she saw the wicked glow, she fired off another blast of organic electricity at the witch. In the light from her bolts, she saw the Froslass gracefully glide through the air around her, avoiding each attack as if it was in slow-motion.

    Kelly growled as she followed the demon with every maneuver she did, aiming several blasts at her in quick succession. The lightning rushed through the space, chasing the Froslass around the small cavern. Ice hissed in agony as it was flash-melted by the searing energy.

    Her legs felt like they were slowly turning into jelly. Her lungs worked even harder to provide air, but it wasn’t enough. Her entire body was very quickly draining. Another lightning blast missed its target. Kelly’s stance swayed as she tried to focus her dizzying sight on her chuckling enemy. She built up another charge and let it go, hoping that this time it would hit. Her fur flashed and a small finger of lightning arced through the cave before suddenly fizzling out in midair.

    Kelly was too exhausted to gasp in surprise. She panted to try and stay conscious. There was no way she could handle this. She was too tired, too cold, too weak. The dim room tilted, the floor seesawing underneath her. She sunk her claws into the swaying rock, but it was no use. Her legs scrambled, losing all balance, and crashing into the wall. Shards of ice dug into her side.

    Kelly heard the shrill laugh of her foe behind her, but she only slumped against the wall. The cold was finally starting to get to her head, playing cruel tricks on her sight and freezing her nerves solid. There was a sound of swishing through air as Kelly felt as the biting wind solidify and slam into the back of her skull. Lightning danced before her eyes before she fell to the floor with a thud.

    “Noli contra niti, mi tonitrui.”

    A storm tore through Kelly’s head, ripping apart her rationale, her courage, her reason. She had the strength to break free, but her will had been sapped away like a leaf in the autumn zephyr. She saw them again, the hallucinations that had persisted through every one of her unheard denials and muttered pleas for them to leave her alone, to finally stop their mocking. They didn’t speak to her, not audibly, not anymore. She had thought that the nightmare she had the night they were ambushed in their base was the worst of it, but she had been wrong.

    She might not have been screamed and spat at by her mother, or cursed and disowned by her father, but every night they were there. Their hollow gazes saying more to her than their mouths ever could. They simply sat there, on the very edge of the ring of smoke inside her head. Their silence was far worse than anything their nightmarish forms ever said.

    For what always seemed like an eternity, she’d sit there in front of them being equally as silent. She sat up with her legs tucked underneath in the proper fashion like they had always encouraged and silently begged them to say something to break the unending doldrum of her dream.

    Other times, she couldn’t stand the silence. The Jolteon occasionally paced around void, circling her parent’s unmoving stares. During those select nights were among the worst experiences she could ever remember. For hours upon hours she screamed at her mother and father. About how the choice had not been hers. Tears often left stains on her face as she cried out at the unseeing phantoms that refused to exit her thoughts.

    The storm overhead flashed as lightning surged through the void, the bolts striking the ground in between the standoff between the visions and their daughter’s consciousness. The raw energy enough to break the tension. She blinked. One instant, she saw the ghostly vestiges of the ones who had given her life, and the next, she saw the hideous face of the one most likely to take it away from her.

    “You’re awake at last ... Stop struggling you!” the demon hissed as Kelly’s vision slowly refocused itself. She was lying in the same position she was earlier, her legs and joints stiff from the cold. Everything seemed blurry, like someone had poured a clear oil over her sight.

    “Kelly! Get out of here! Run! G--Gah!” Any semblance of fatigue left her as she rubbed her eyes clear. Her ears had heard it, but she had to see it to believe it. The voice matched up perfectly: the pitch, the ever-present trace of panic, the emotion. There was no mistaking it, not after hearing it by her side for so long.

    “Leo!” She shot up, her legs crying out in pain as she skidded along the icy path, and rounded the corner. There was no doubt in her mind now: it was him. She slid to a halt in front of the entrance to the cavern and stared.

    The Charmeleon appeared to have gone through hell and back. His scales were darkly discolored with bruises, several of the claws on his feet and hands were snapped off at their base, and he sported a deep gash along the lower part of his chest. Leo was barely sitting up, leaning on his elbow for support as he looked over at her.

    “Kelly ... Please, run. You can get-- Hrgh!” His plea was cut off as the Froslass’s cold hand wrapped around his throat, forcing him to produce a sickly gurgling sound as he weakly struggled against her. Kelly didn’t waste another moment, she bounded through the arched entrance into the room.

    Immediately the ground before her exploded in a shower of spear-like shards. Kelly barely managed to avoid impaling herself on the imposing barricade of sharp icicles. The Froslass squealed with laughter as she watched the Jolteon desperately look for a way around the barricade.

    No! No! No! No! No! her mind screamed as she clawed at the wall, only to draw her paw back with a cry of pain. Small drops of blood splattered on the cave floor from where the icy spines pricked the pads on her paw.

    “Ignis ... You should have run while you could. Now, my pet is feasting on Unda and Rixa and you are here,” the Froslass whispered as she hovered over the injured Charmeleon.

    “Leo! D-don’t worry! I’ll --I’ll get to you! I just need to build up a charge!” she screamed, focusing on taking deep breaths. She felt the air tingle and crack as it flowed over her bristled fur. Every small bit of power was absorbed into her.

    “N-no! P-please don’t! N-no-Aghhh! Oh God-- aAHaahh!” Leo’s agonized screams made something inside her snap. Kelly didn’t know exactly where the energy came from, but within an instant, her fur had overcharged. With a feral scream, she channeled the sparking power into the cursed ice blocking her way.

    Just hold on, Leo! The frozen water hissed in fury as Kelly melted her way through the cursed trap. Frigid mel****er pooled around her paws, seeping into the fine, yellow, fur, and systematically painfully numbing each nerve in her legs. A renewed cry from Leo drowned out the high-pitched electric buzz that accompanied her attack, spurring her onwards.

    The ice could not hold out against her attack as she vaporized a path through the impediment. Leo was pinned under the Froslass, the snow witch holding down his arms while she gleefully aimed beams of energized ice at the Charmeleon’s twitching claws as his body contorted in agony.

    Kelly simply stood there, seething with fury as electricity pulsed around her body. The Froslass slowly turned her head away from Leo’s pained expression to stare at the intruder.

    “Vis eum? Igitur tolle eum,” she whispered as she raised one of her wispy arms to Leo’s throat, pressing against it with the sharpened blade of ice attached to the underside. Kelly couldn’t move. Her legs refused to listen to her mind and move forward. She could do nothing but stare as the demon swiftly drew the blade across Leo’s chest, slicing through his scales as if they were paper.

    Kelly had no time to react before the thin, white body lunged at her. The Pokémon landed on her back --seemingly immune to the massive amperage Kelly was outputting. Leo shrieked once before a violent guttural sound replaced it. The Froslass sunk her claws deep into Kelly’s sides, bringing her to her knees in an instant.

    The Jolteon couldn’t think straight, nothing made sense anymore. Instead of fighting back tooth and claw, she was fighting back tears. Resistance faded in direct variation to the life of her convulsing partner. The Froslass held down the back of her neck, forcing her to watch the life drain from Leo as air was squeezed from her lungs.

    She wanted to scream, to fight, to kill the sadistic Pokémon with her own claws, but instead, only a strangled sob managed break through the deathly cold grip. Kelly gave into the wave of emotions as she finally broke down. Stifled tears rolled down her numb face and onto the ice as she watched Leo’s tail fire dim down to nothing.

    “There ... Finally ...” The Froslass sighed above her, as she contentedly brushed Kelly’s matted fur. “It’s broken. Your spirit is broken. Why did you have to make things so difficult, you stubborn, little witch?” Kelly couldn’t see straight as the Froslass continued holding her air hostage. Now, as darkness blinded her, she only prayed that everything would finally end.

    “Like before, your next body change won’t be voluntary.”



    End Chapter 14




    Author’s Notes: First off, I’d like to sincerely apologize for the absurdly long time it took to write this chapter. It was hardly worth making you wonderful people wait two months.

    There’s really not much else to say. I got lazy over the summer... Anyways, I did like this chapter, regardless.

    Oh yeah. I decided to get a bit of fan art. Hope you all enjoy it! Please give the artist all the credit they deserve. They are awesome.

    Leo

    Mismagius

    Leo and Mismaigus

    Oh, and thank you Shadow for your reply.

    Knightfall signing off...
    Last edited by Knightfall; 10th August 2013 at 1:23 AM.

  6. #231
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    For a moment, it felt like he was on fire; it seared his nerves that badly
    I think you and I both love to catch our characters on fire. My literally, you figuratively haha

    Birds chirped merrily on the new budding branches as the air was perfumed with the generous scents of springtime
    First off, that was lovely wordplay, really painted an amazing picture. That aside, when you say birds, do you mean like Pidgey, Spearow, and such? Or did you mean sparrows and robins? I'm not sure if I have ever asked if there's actual animals in this or that was a mistake

    “N-No! Vertex, you -you don’t get it! She talked to me, Vertex! She talked back! It wasn’t just a vision! She was there this time!” Ian suddenly screamed, tears streaming down his face as his arm stretched and clutched the Porygon 2’s narrow throat. “You have to believe me! Believe me! Believe me!” Vertex screeched in alarm and struggled to free himself from his friend’s delusional grip.
    I don't get teary eyed often, and I didn't for this sequence, but I was really damn close. That was such a gripping and realistic scene. I could feel myself in Ian's position there, especially when what he felt and saw was so real. Even if Vertex is telling him it's not, that kind of denial from Vertex would almost make me want to believe it more. Well done

    Actually, that would be like saying that being hit with Rayquaza’s Hyper Beam might leave a bruise.
    Hah!

    Kelly barely managed to avoid impaling herself on the imposing barricade of sharp icicles growing out of the floor
    Quick thing. I feel like if you take the bolded portion out, it could make the sentence a tiny bit stronger. I've noticed on a few occasions with your battle scenes, you tend to describe the surroundings when it's not completely needed. You don't do it very much, but I wanted to call it to your attention just so you know I've noticed it. Like the portion above, you don't need to say 'growing out of the floor', as my mind already assumed that's where they were coming from before I read it. You dig?

    “I do have a choice, Leo. So does Jay. And so do you. And I don’t care what you do with yours, but I’m not going to let you make ours for us. I want to live. If you don’t, then you can keep on marching because that thing won’t hesitate to rip you apart!”
    To be honest I didn't really expect that from Noah. He's being kind of a dick

    A pair of horribly mismatched wings sprouted from the creature’s icy back. On one side, majestic, orange and white plumage plucked off a bird, while the other side sported fragile, transparent, oval wings torn from an ungodly large insect. The seemingly useless appendages fluttered and buzzed erratically as the beast lumbered forwards out of the pit from which it was born.
    Wonderful wordplay there. Getting envious lol

    Couldn't find anything to quote exactly with Leo's fight there. It was very interesting and I actually shocked myself because I stopped looking for errors and improvements and just got caught up in the fight, which was welcomingly, extremely appealing and fun. Even though it was a battle, obviously, you managed to infuse a fair amount of emotion in there as well, which really served to spice it up even more. Good job!

    His mind was in complete euphoria. Watching the beast that had caused him and his team so much pain rolling around on the dungeon floor on fire made him feel somewhat giddy.
    God I'm glad you took the realistic route on the beast dying. I halfway expected Leo to not enjoy its suffering and lament causing it that much pain. But realistically, **** that thing and Leo should piss on its ashes. Really awesome reaction to the end of this mutant, loved it

    He will not be able to comprehend the truth
    That's ominous lol

    ”Very well. But, as with any practicing physician, there is always a cost involved with surgery...”
    I knew something like that would come up. Can misagmius just be normal, please; it wouldn't kill it to be like "Hey, I've decided to stop being cryptic and a dick and just generally lend a helping hand...NOW WHO WANTS A HUG!?"

    ”Ignis...”
    Care to elaborate on this? I'm confused. Sorry for being thick haha

    Wonderful chapter sir. I'm looking forward to the next installment

    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-


  7. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I think you and I both love to catch our characters on fire. My literally, you figuratively haha.
    Let's hope it stays that way. Most of my characters aren't very flame retardant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    First off, that was lovely wordplay, really painted an amazing picture. That aside, when you say birds, do you mean like Pidgey, Spearow, and such? Or did you mean sparrows and robins? I'm not sure if I have ever asked if there's actual animals in this or that was a mistake.
    Actually, it is not a mistake. Animals do exist in my story, though they have not been seen. I have mentioned birds, insects, and some animals before. In my opinion, even with 600+ species of Pokemon, that'd still be hard to maintain a healthy environment all around the globe. So animals fill in the balance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I don't get teary eyed often, and I didn't for this sequence, but I was really damn close. That was such a gripping and realistic scene. I could feel myself in Ian's position there, especially when what he felt and saw was so real. Even if Vertex is telling him it's not, that kind of denial from Vertex would almost make me want to believe it more. Well done.
    I'll take that as a success! When writing a character who perceives reality in a different way than most characters, I'm happy when I do something right with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Quick thing. I feel like if you take the bolded portion out, it could make the sentence a tiny bit stronger. I've noticed on a few occasions with your battle scenes, you tend to describe the surroundings when it's not completely needed. You don't do it very much, but I wanted to call it to your attention just so you know I've noticed it. Like the portion above, you don't need to say 'growing out of the floor', as my mind already assumed that's where they were coming from before I read it. You dig?
    I do dig. I don't think about that when I'm writing, as I get caught up in writing description. I'll try and keep that in mind for the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    To be honest I didn't really expect that from Noah. He's being kind of a dick
    He is being a dick there, isn't he? I'll be sure to tell him that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Wonderful wordplay there. Getting envious lol

    Couldn't find anything to quote exactly with Leo's fight there. It was very interesting and I actually shocked myself because I stopped looking for errors and improvements and just got caught up in the fight, which was welcomingly, extremely appealing and fun. Even though it was a battle, obviously, you managed to infuse a fair amount of emotion in there as well, which really served to spice it up even more. Good job!
    Anytime I can lose a reader in a scene is a good time for me. I'm glad that you liked that scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    God I'm glad you took the realistic route on the beast dying. I halfway expected Leo to not enjoy its suffering and lament causing it that much pain. But realistically, **** that thing and Leo should piss on its ashes. Really awesome reaction to the end of this mutant, loved it
    I actually intended for Leo to feel bad for the creature, but then I thought, why would he? That thing hurt Jay, was trying to kill him, and was keeping him from rescuing Kelly. So, I had him feel no remorse. And hell, I'm going to use that quote of yours somewhere. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    That's ominous lol
    Because the truth is much worse than he could ever imagine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I knew something like that would come up. Can misagmius just be normal, please; it wouldn't kill it to be like "Hey, I've decided to stop being cryptic and a dick and just generally lend a helping hand...NOW WHO WANTS A HUG!?"
    The day that happens, I swear to you the world will end. XD But, remember, he does act nicer around Noah. That's probably the closest you're going to get.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Care to elaborate on this? I'm confused. Sorry for being thick haha

    Wonderful chapter sir. I'm looking forward to the next installment
    Well, "Ignis" means "Fire" in Latin. It is also what the Froslass says to refer to Leo.

    Thank you for your review! I would have had a reply up sooner, but my computer froze up on me shortly before I finished the first time.

    Knightfall signing off...

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    Oh, you have one error I noticed.

    "To not spare the details..."
    To should be "Do"

    Anyway, absolutely fantastic chapter, and I hope Jay pulls through. I'm beginning to understand ???? a bit more now, they care about the physical health of Leo and those important to his group so they can get done whatever they need Leo to do. But that's as far as that goes, sanity is something that is not needed.

    Anyway, I'm going to guess that the thing was Kyurem, awesome interpretation of it and you do a good job of making battles seem hopeless. Keep it up.

    Looking forward to another chapter.


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

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azurus View Post
    Oh, you have one error I noticed.

    "To not spare the details..."
    To should be "Do"
    Fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azurus View Post

    Anyway, absolutely fantastic chapter, and I hope Jay pulls through. I'm beginning to understand ???? a bit more now, they care about the physical health of Leo and those important to his group so they can get done whatever they need Leo to do. But that's as far as that goes, sanity is something that is not needed.
    Why thank you, my friend. As for Jay, well, so do I. And, it's ????????. Not ????. You are getting a part of his plan. He does need them alive, or at least most of them alive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azurus View Post
    Anyway, I'm going to guess that the thing was Kyurem, awesome interpretation of it and you do a good job of making battles seem hopeless. Keep it up.

    Looking forward to another chapter.
    It actually was not a Kyurem, but I guess that's the closest I could ever get to describing it. I'm honestly not sure what it was based off of, just that it was an abomination. And hopeless battles are the best, because when the heroes win, the victory is worth that much more. That and I really like to make my characters suffer for the sake of plot development.

    Thank you, man!

    Knightfall signing off...

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    Chapter Fifteen: Blind



    “One of my counterparts will experience a similar problem. Like myself, she will not be able to find a hero. But instead of salvaging a human falling through the space in between dimensions, she will fashion her own hero out of the dimensions themselves. Her hero will not be normal by any stretch of the imagination, but then again, neither will mine. It will take a philosopher to determine who will make the better choice ... “
    -- The Vilified One to the Voice of Life in the Past




    Fear. It is an unfathomable, indomitable creature of primal design. It seethes in the blackest pits of the abyss before clawing its way up the chasm with talons of malice and doubt. It sinks its razored teeth into the hearts and minds of all sentient life. It festers in the darkest, most identifiable corners and grows like a tumor, sending out its slithering tendrils to ensnare all thoughts of courage. To entrap the winds of change. To blot out the window of opportunity. To suffocate the spark of hope within hearts.

    And it was here. Leo felt it. The crawling dark mass that flowed in the chilled air around him, dragging its jagged appendages across his scales. A shiver jolted through him, skin feeling as if static attached itself to it and fed off his doubt like a leech. She was here. Joining forces with the fear. Feeding upon it like a feral, gluttonous vulture.

    Leo turned around, cracking several of the stiff joints in his back as he scanned the dark cave for the source. There was nothing but the void. He was alone in the dark with only his little circle of flickering fire to guide him.

    “Salve, Ignis. Sunt amisisti?” The whispery voice sounded sickeningly sweet, as if someone had poured a vial of honey down his ears. He twisted around again, his claws brandished, and a low, threatening growl emanating from his throat. Yet fear, being the sneaky demon that it is, remained in his eyes, betraying his facade of courage.

    “Ah, Ignis ardet intus pavor. Ignis urit frigida. Frigida. I do not want you cold, Ignis.” The enclosed cavern rumbled as ice melted away to form a low archway that led deeper into the caves beneath the mystery dungeon.

    “Follow, if you want your thunder,” the silken voice charmed. Leo knew better than to blindly walk into the shadowed arch, but his thoughts were elsewhere from his own safety. She was down there. He could feel it. She was still alive, despite what Jay and Noah had suggested. He was going to find her. Even if he had to torch the entire cave to do it.

    With a quick shake of his head, Leo batted away the rational doubts that buzzed around his mind. The last defiant thoughts exiting his head, Leo stepped forward into the cave. A breeze fluttered by him, kissing his skin and leaving sharp pricks of pain behind. The gust seemed to shriek in pain as it batted his tail flame. Ignoring the strange weather, Leo tried to advance but found his path blocked by an icy wall of energy.

    “No, Ignis. If you wish to follow, you must do so blindly. Surrender your light and the path will open. The truth will be revealed and the thunder you seek, restored,” the Froslass chided from somewhere within the dark cloud surrounding him. Leo looked at his tail. The appendage that had he had mistaken for a serious accident when he first woke up. It had followed him this entire time, trying to shed a small speck of light in this relatively dark world.

    It had always been there: burning, flickering, guiding. He held the muscular limb in his claws, running over the smooth scales. It was still impossible to believe that it was a part of him now, but it had proved its dedication. Whether it was torching a book back in the base in Loyalty Square, or lighting his way through the twisted woods during their escape from the Magnemite.

    “What exactly do you mean by ‘surrender’?” Leo snarled, holding the base of the flame up in an attempt to find the demented Ice-type.

    “Exactly that.” At once, the flame leaped off his tail and into the cloud. Leo’s eyes widened and slowly moved down through the darkness until they rested on the empty tip. He wasn’t sure if what had just happened was real. The flare that had been behind him with his every step was now suddenly gone. The darkness was complete; he couldn’t even see his claws waving in front of his face. He was effectively blind.

    He had enough experience with his flame to know that it was tied directly with his life span. With it gone, he was now on a rapidly ticking timer.

    “There. Now you may go on and face your truth, Ignis. Persevere, and your light shall be restored.” Glass tinkled to the ground, shattered by some tiny hammer.

    This is it, his thoughts reassured as the heat within him began to dissipate. Every second without his fire lessening his temperature by a fraction. It wasn’t nearly as painful as he thought it would be. Taking a deep breath, Leo trudged forward into the darkness.

    For several long minutes, the only sounds were his conserved breathing and the click of his claws on the icy ground of the pitch-black passage. He cradled his currently-lifeless tail in his hands. On occasion, the ice would crack under his weight and a small, almost inaudible drip echoed from somewhere unseen. It was maddening.

    “I’ve been through visions, pain, and hell, but it’s going to be the damn dripping that breaks me...” he muttered as his body let loose a slight shiver. Just then, laughter echoed through the tunnel. Not a hearty, humored laugh, but a whispered, soft laughter like that of a giggling child. Leo gritted his teeth, covered his ears, and kept on walking.

    “Just let it go. It’s not real. It’s not real.” No matter how many times he told himself that, he never failed to remember the painful hallucination with Nexus that the Mismagius had forced him through. Even the intangible could kill him if it tried.

    He huffed in anger, a jet of steam exiting his flared nostrils. At once, he uncovered his ears, letting the ghostly laughter enter again. His thoughts shifted to his teammates: Kelly, Jay, even Noah --anything to distract his mind from the demonic tittering. His claws drifted to his key. The artifact hanging cold and motionless against his chest as it always had. He couldn’t see the vibrant blue coloration in the unreflected light, but its odd shape and form reassured him in the same way as his flame did.

    The pattern continued for another small section of eternity: the fits of laughter, the cold wind, and the freezing sensation inside his chest. Leo focused on keeping his feet moving over the thin ice over the rock, claws still fiddling with the key in an attempt to look past the mental bombardment he was suffering.

    It’s all a test. A trial. She’s trying to break you. Just like He did. But you’re ready this time. And Kelly and Jay need you, his thoughts encouraged. At that moment the tunnel stopped.

    There was no barrier, only a complete abyss that opened up in the dark floor. He set his right foot down upon air and the weight of his body followed behind it. Leo went cold with panic as he frantically twisted around in the air. His claws were a blur as he scratched at the ice path, only to have it transfigure into dust the instant he touched it. Salvation flew away from his grasp as he fell into the icy pit.

    He felt himself flip and spin in the endless void. Unable to halt the relentless pull of gravity and the stinging flakes of snow that whirled in the air around him, as if giving him one final show of beauty before he crashed into the unforgiving earth. He didn’t want to think about how much slamming into rocks at terminal velocity would hurt, though the “terminal” in the phrase gave him a good idea of what to expect.

    The only problem with that was there were no rocks at the bottom. No matter how hard he tried to right himself, he couldn’t. He was stuck with his head pointing straight towards the ground. His eyes teared up in the immense buffeting of the wind, but he still managed to see. There no rocks, only himself. And the small glimmer of light at the bottom.

    He couldn’t explain the sight he was seeing. He was sure it was physically impossible, but he was staring at a clone of himself. The entire floor mirrored his plight. He looked at his reflection and it stared back, its head tilted and eyes squinted in the same way.

    It didn’t feel like he was falling anymore. The air stopped rushing, the snow floated down past him, and he felt the blood rush towards his head. Suspended in space. Unable to move to a more comfortable position, Leo settled on staring dully at his replica on the pond-like surface beneath him. And that is all that occurred for the next several, insipidly-mind-numbing minutes.

    Is this what you want to do for the rest of eternity? Do something! his thoughts screamed after some more nothing had happened.

    “There’s nothing here. What do you expect me to do?” Leo shot back. He had finally reached the tipping point with his head’s incessant nagging.

    Just do something! I’m sure you don’t want to float here forever. You can move, can’t you? For once, his thoughts argued back at him. A fact that only mildly surprised him. Leo figured it was only a matter of time before his misguided, mislead thoughts developed a sentience of its own. He knew it was only a side-effect of his degenerating psyche.

    “Do you think I haven’t been trying? I can’t move my arms!” Leo snapped. He was having a legitimate argument with his own mind. Yet another tick on the checklist of items he blamed the Mismagius for somehow causing.

    You haven’t even tried! Do not lie to me! I am you! Just try! Leo recoiled from the sudden raise in volume.

    “I am trying! Don’t say that! I can’t move!” He didn’t understand what it --or rather, he-- was saying. He was stuck in midair and upside-down at the bottom of a chasm staring at his reflection. The mirrored surface was just out of his reach, and his double mimicked each word that exited his mouth. As of a few seconds ago, his arms and legs were still frozen where they flailed.

    You refuse to break free! You --I, whatever the culmination of you and I is called, doesn’t have the will to see past the fake bonds binding you! He heard his thoughts mutter and swear after it was done speaking directly to him. Leo snorted. He couldn’t believe it! He was being berated by his own thoughts! His muscles tensed. He wasn’t about to let some intangible thoughts belittle him.

    Leo tried move his arms, half-expecting the invisible ropes to hold the limb fast, but to his surprise, his arm shot forward quite unimpeded. He was still suspended, but his arms seemed to have been freed.

    Humpf. Finally you listen to me. Now, do something to free the rest of us! His head was starting to pound, and Leo was starting to figure that it wasn’t the blood rushing into it. He wanted nothing more than to have his mind stay quiet for just a few moments, but, as the whispered string of insults from behind his skull told him, that was too much to ask. Solitude was a gift that was never given to him.

    There was nothing surrounding him, except his reflection just a few feet below his head. Seeing no other goal to reach for, he stretched his arm down. Unfortunately, he was bound by the limitations of his skeletal structure rather than the invisible hand that dangled him aloft. The glass-like surface was less than an inch away from his claws, yet his arm couldn’t stretch further. He gritted his teeth and pushed his limb to its limit. He just had to touch it to satiate his incessant thoughts.

    Come on! You just gotta give it a little effort!

    “Are you not seeing what I’m doing at this very moment?” Leo yelled in exasperation. His arm had reached its maximum, he couldn’t possibly stretch it any further if he tried.

    No. You need to try harder! Just gotta push a little bit more! His head was reeling from the volume of his thought’s screams. Suddenly, he felt the joint which held his shoulder in place pull and pop loose. Leo’s eyes went wide as pain shot through his body with all the agonizing fury of a lightning bolt.

    Though, fortunately, he did not have enough time to reflect on this sudden development as his claw, given the few inches of extra length, tapped the surface of the mirror. At the very same instance where his claw touched his reflection’s, everything fell apart.

    The chasm, the reflection, the air. Cracks split apart each entity at the seams. Fissures shot up the dark, icy walls, laced across the fragile glass, and became lightning bolts in the empty void around him. The pain of pulling his shoulder apart was largely short-lived as the arm suddenly shoved itself back into place with another loud popping noise.

    Leo’s eyes nearly rolled back into his head. He couldn’t see what was happening as he clutched at his shoulder. He only knew he was falling; that the abyss’s hold on him had shattered like the darkened ice.

    Now. Go save Kelly, you worthless sack. Once the mean-spirited tirade faded, his mind seemed to switch off its audio. The chastising voice halted and left him with an odd emptiness in the back of his brain.

    The bombardment of sensations was almost too much for him to handle: that he was falling amid a sea of glass shards, that there was figurative fire raging in his right shoulder, that his thoughts just injured him, that he was in a demented cave, that there was a witch watching him, that both Kelly and Jay needed his help, that he just killed a dragon, and that he was exhausted beyond what should have been physically possible. He felt himself hit something. It wasn’t hard, because he did not feel that much pain after smacking face-first into it.

    It felt cold, wet, and powdery, much to his chagrin. The fact that he did not have an active fire burning made experiencing the embracing layer of snow far easier for him to bear. The cold seeped into his skin, traveling along his nerves and muscles leaving behind a lethargic feeling that quickly sapped whatever will remained in his tired body.

    Leo managed to lift his head up from the swirling drifts of snow. He was in some sort of room, that much he could deduce through his rapidly closing eyelids. Blue walls emitted comforting words into his head. Blissful words, heavy, soft words. They were not in any language he could understand, but their rhythmic chants piled bricks on his eyes, forcing them to close just a little more with every passing second.

    He tried to shake it away. To remember the urgent thoughts that told him of his duty, but he simply couldn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to fight it off any longer. His body needed rest, and it had reached the point where it was willing to shut him down in order to get it.

    He had thought the blackness before was oppressing, but this self-induced, fatigue-driven slumber was darker still. The cold wrapped its hands around him and dragged him down.





    “Where ... Where in Erebus am I?” His own voice sound distorted --like he was stuck underwater. However, there was nothing but darkness surrounding him as far as he could tell. Pain shot through his head before connecting with the pain lacing over rest of his body.

    “Not a ‘where’, but a ‘why’. You are asleep, both literally and figuratively.” If he could have seen his skin in the inky dark, he was certain he’d have left it in a macabre pile on the floor. He spun around, but it did no good. He couldn’t possibly see from which direction the familiar, cruelly-cold voice came.

    “Y-you! What do you want now? Leave me alone! I already paid my debt!” he screamed. His body shuddered. He remembered the first year after the unholy deal had been forged --nightmares haunting both his waking life and sleep. He had been a trembling wreck. The day he had been released was the most liberating feeling he had ever experienced. And he knew he never wanted to go back.

    “Quiet, traitor. You are the one in the wrong here. I am not here for past grievances, but for more prevalent misdoings. I thought I could trust you after I left; that you would take control and lead onward without my constant oversight, but apparently you cannot even do that correctly.” The Mismagius’s voice was scathing. He could feel it grind along his ears and mind like a rough stone. He opened his mouth in protest, but immediately his tongue felt as of a red-hot iron has been placed on it.

    “Do not speak. Your words only become fire on your tongue. Now, if you could be so kind as to open your eyes, then we would be able to make some progress in getting you back to the world of the living,”

    “You’re keeping me here! I don’t have to open my eyes, you do!” he screamed into the darkness, his strained voice reaching the breaking point and cracking under the pressure. The endless void pressed hard against his eyes.

    “If you are going to wake up before your body begins the process of necrosis, you will listen to me, Riolu. Much like back in Silver, you are scared, confused, and incredibly, unbelievably stupid. Do not make me have to scald your mouth again. Concentrate on waking up.” Jay couldn’t see anything. It was as if his eyes were shut tight, despite willing them to open badly. He lifted his paws to his eyelids, yet they were open. His body was functioning properly there, but then why was his vision still obscured?

    “I - I can’t! Something’s not letting me! I can’t see!”

    “Fates ... You’ve been asleep so long you’ve forgotten how to see. Shameful. You based your sight solely on emotions that your true sight withered. Tell me, Jay, have you actually seen your teammates? Their emotional renderings pale in comparison of light refocusing in your eyes. I want you to let go of that, it is no longer of use to you. Use your eyes, Jay,

    There was nothing he could do. No matter how hard he tried, his eyes refused to see past the thick black wool coating his eyes. He scratched as gently as he could without hurting his corneas, but the blocking substance refused to leave. Jay had no idea what the Mismagius meant by saying he had been asleep. He had been wide awake until just a few minutes ago.

    “It’s -It’s not letting me take it off! What is this?” Jay yelled into the void. His body suddenly felt tight, like his muscles were constricting all at once.

    “You body is starting to die on the outside! Skin greying, cells suffocating, your mind quickly shutting down, Jay. Now! Put your paws down! If you can’t remove your blinds and wake, then I will do so for you. And, it will hurt. Tremendously. Now, let’s begin.” With that last statement, Jay felt a pair of appendages grip him. He couldn’t determine exactly what they were, but the moving things wrapped him tightly with the touch of a glacier.

    Unable to move and awaiting whatever the ghost was plotting for him, Jay gulped in terror. He knew full well that the Mismagius never went back on his promises. Ever. Jay tried to prepare himself for anything, but nothing could ready him for feeling the tip of one of the appendages brush through the blue fur on his chest. As soon as it touched his skin, a shiver that was not his own ran through his body.

    The Mismagius’s raspy voice whispered close to his ear. “This will hurt. Brace yourself.”

    The tendril-thing suddenly speared into his chest, somehow bypassing the layer of skin, muscle, and tissue in his chest until it reached the very center of his torso. Simultaneously, another one of the strange objects clamped around his eyes. The Mismagius never lied. Pain flew swiftly through his body as the cloth-like limbs tore across his form. His chest felt like it had been split open straight down the middle as the tendril wormed its way into his heart. The limb around his eyes was not so merciful. It seemed to sprout claws and dug into his sockets.

    His screams meant nothing. Unheard and uncared for as the Mismagius continued his grisly duty. Jay pushed wildly against the oppressive smog of the ghost, but only vapor greeted his paws. His legs, now fully whole, kicked in the air against the pain. His chest was an inferno. The tendrils spread inside it like strings of a parasite. They poked and tore their way through his torso, constricting his lungs, systematically splintering his ribcage, and slicing the veins around his heart.

    His own volume pounded on his eardrums. His brain in the paradoxical state of wanting silence, but forced to scream all the louder. He fueled his own cycle of torture, and the Mismagius only urged it along as he dissected the young Riolu.

    “Cease your struggle, you moronic tsarevich! You are blind! Blind! You must tear away your inhibitions! Insolent child, you are blind! Let go! Just let go!” the ghost screamed as he floated above Jay’s fallen body. Jay could feel every bit of it. Nothing could compare. Returning would have brought about less pain than this right now. Delusion crept into his thoughts and mouth like a resilient snake.

    “No! Let me stay! Let me go! I don’t want to see! Don’t let me see!” His words were no longer his own, but rather something deep inside him. Something that he had always had within him, but refused to acknowledge. In its death throes, it finally resurfaced with an anger for vengeance only matched by the Furies of Erebus.

    “I will not let you do as you please! He is mine! Mine!” His mouth was yelling, screaming curses in a language he did not know. Focus became a luxury in this storm of conflicting emotions and feelings that consumed his consciousness. Indescribable pain, unknowable confusion, and unholy fear, they all clashed and fought for control over his full attention as his outer body continued to flail and shout.

    “Fear! Jay, you must let go of it! Shake the shackles that bind you and the mask that blinds you!” the Mismagius huffed. Jay only heard his voice scream louder in protest. His body arched and his limbs twitched as he felt something inside him tear. It was not the tear of muscle or skin, but something more than that. The very fabric of his being wrent in two like a filthy rag.

    “No! No! No! No! No! Don’t tear! Don’t tear! We mustn’t see! Can’t see!” his voice snarled and spat. Jay wanted it all to end. Anything, just to call a cease-fire to the war raging in his cranium. But it did not end. The fighting pounded on his head, sent his nerves into overdrive in pain, and wracked his mind with a whirlwind of emotions. In a brief moment of clarity, he regained control of his arms. He immediately clutched the sides of his head and slammed the back of it into the ground beneath him.

    “Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!” Each sentence was interrupted with a low thump of Jay’s skull smacking against the undefinable, hard surface that made up the floor of this void. Just stop. Just stop! Just stop already! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

    “Wake up, you foolish boy! Wake up and smell the ashes! Wake up and see the corruption! Wake up and see what you’ve become! What you’ve fallen to! How the world truly is! See it all, Jay! Wake up and see past your own false-truths! See past the lies that have blinded you! Wake up!” the Mismagius cried from somewhere above him. There was a muffled tearing followed by a screaming, squelching cry. A wall in his chest burst and the floodgates opened. His eyes, once covered in the indescribable black veil, were assaulted with a harsh blue light.

    Air, which had somehow been foreign to him for the last several minutes, rushed into his gaping mouth. His body shuddered as he twisted around on the rocky, canyon ground. He tried to hold himself on his shaking paws, but it was no use. His arms failed and his head fell to the stones. Jay’s mind was still a blur, trying to make sense of what had just happened and gathering air needed for survival.

    He barely had the strength to lift his head as his stomach suddenly revolted against his will. He was not sure what he ended up heaving up onto the dungeon floor, but he was certain it was not supposed to be the consistency of boiling tar. He was not aware of the shouting going on next to his sensitive ears, nor of the paw that was gripping the back of his head in an effort to make sure he did not fall into the cursed vomit.

    “Jay! Come on, buddy, breathe! Let it out! That’s it! What did you do to him?” He recognized that yelling voice. Noah was above him. The Dewott had not left his side, it seemed. But, he could not determine for sure if it really was Noah, all he could see was a vague blur with the same coloration of his Water-type friend.

    “I did only what he could not. I saved his life and restored what has been lost to him for so many years.” The ghost sounded exhausted, as if he had just fought a great struggle.

    “But, God, what did you do to him? It looked like you were gouging his eyes out! Geez. Why is he coughing up black goo? Ramses only feeds us those types of roots on the weekends in between rations, so that’s not why he’s coughing that up.” Noah would never know how soothing his voice was to the troubled Riolu’s ears. Had he the strength, he would have hugged the Dewott if only to have something friendly and familiar to hold onto as his mind continued the cruel process of complete reconfiguration and restoration.

    “I purged him of his own ability. It was weakened and only withering in on itself, so like any good surgeon, I removed it. If I had not, it would have left him a hollow shell. Now, he will be blinded by his sight no longer.” Jay shivered in Noah’s grasp. He was unsure if it was because of the rising bile in his throat or the haunting voice beside him. He did not know how in Erebus’s darkness Noah could be talking so civilly to the monster of his nightmares, but he never wanted to know the answer.

    “You at least fixed him, right? He had several internal injuries. Are those all fixed?” Noah breathlessly asked as he kneeled and held Jay’s torso off the ground as he coughed another puddle of the black substance into existence. Jay could not see what he was puking up, but he knew it left a vile taste in his mouth like poisoned meat and sizzled slightly as it came into contact with the sedimentary rock beneath him.

    “Yes, yes. I most certainly did. Now then, as soon as he has coughed up the remnants, we can get going. There are still two more lives to yet save due to his mistake.” Jay felt the cold wind on his fur, the sticky feel of drying blood on his miraculously healed leg, he could smell the acrid scent of the black substance on the ground and in his mouth, and he could hear the subtle changes in tone that accompanied Noah’s conversation. But there was still one major problem that plagued him still.

    “I --I can’t see. N-Noah? Where are you? Why can’t I see?” Jay whimpered as he blinked his eyes rapidly to make sure the blurry mess that was his vision was indeed his sight. He sat up on the ground and lifted his paws tentatively to his eyes in disbelief.

    “Jay! I’m right here, buddy! Right beside you. Can’t you see me? I’m waving to you right now.” Jay heard him. He could even feel the small buffets of air coming from Noah’s paw as he waved, but despite straining, his eyes could not make out more than an indistinct moving thing be could not positively identify as an arm.

    “No! I can’t! I can’t tell what anything is! Why can’t I see like before?” Jay screamed, holding the sides of his head in fear that he would lose even more of his senses. He pulled his legs up to his chest as tears formed in the corners of his unfocused, crimson eyes.

    “You have used your emotions to guide you for too long. They shaped your world as your true sight deteriorated. You saw the world different than what it was, and that lead to your fall. Now, you will be forced to see, whether you like it or not. Your eyes shall improve upon time, it has been a long time since you last used them, after all.” This was not right. There was no possible way it could have been. Jay’s breaths grew quicker and quicker inside his body.

    It’s gone? My vision? My aura? G-gone? His panicked thoughts tried to fabricate some sort of rational out of the sudden verdict, but it failed just like his sight. Despite hearing the world around him, Jay suddenly felt very alone.

    “Now, if you excuse me, I have other business to attend to far beneath the earth. Noah, take him and follow me. We will be using my own path this time to avoid the complications Ira will have set in our way. Do not stumble, otherwise there will be no way to retrieve you.“ The Mismagius’s terse comment pierced Jay’s pitiful shield. He did not know what was happening. He felt Noah’s paws grip his shoulders and roughly pull him up. His legs wobbled as he fell onto the Dewott’s side with a pained groan.

    It was not the lack of clear sight that scared him. Far from it. It was what he would eventually see. All he had known was the emotional structure that his body built for him. He had given up his true sight in favor of the less damning spectra that sensations portrayed. He had never seen his teammates. He did not know what they looked like for certain. He had seen Leo’s angered confusion, Kelly’s rational, and even Noah’s tranquil attitude. They painted the pictures of how he saw them.

    They’re gone now, his thoughts numbly repeated.

    He was vaguely aware of Noah’s shouts for him to walk on his noncompliant legs and of the blue tint of the dungeon around him dissolving into a red haze. The pads on his feet could not register what they were walking on, but it was unlike any road he had ever felt before.

    “Where are we?” Noah’s voice echoed from far away despite the fact that Jay was leaning on his shoulder. Jay was fairly sure they were not in the mystery dungeon anymore. Canyon rocks did not usually snap with a dull crack under his light footfalls.

    “We are on a path that others failed to take, and so paid for it. Do not stray. The path is quite narrow ahead and we are not yet half-way through.” Noah did not appear to be satisfied with the answer based on the tone of voice he questioned the Mismagius further. The ghost gave yet another exasperated huff.

    “Noah, you are my friend. Someone I can confidently confide in. You hold a place in what sliver of my heart I have not yet sold away. But, I must ask that you hold your tongue, because, like as your comrade, it sometimes betrays you. Everything would go so much smoother if everyone just obeyed commands and not question or ask for a reason why. Because, sometimes, there is no good answer.” The path seemed to change beneath him from a road of grisly artifacts to a cold, marble row. Jay felt his throat stop burning and his mouth return to him.

    “Why me? Why blind me?” He had resigned himself not to beg for his sight back. He was certain the enigma would refuse him flat-out if he even so much as let the thought enter his mind. He was not sure how, but he knew that the Mismagius had stopped in his tracks. He felt a cold wave pass over him as the ghost’s gaze rested on him.

    “Do you think you are the only one, Jay? Everyone is blind at some point, whether it be during times of fear, pressure, or prejudice. Even the greatest and most powerful among you are blinded to justice and the cries of the ones who need it most. Some go their entire lives without seeing the true world. Since their vision cannot be so easily restored, it is up to you to see what they have passed by. Does that explain my choice in you?”

    Jay did not know what to think. He understood the words, but could not determine a meaning. It was not vague, it was not beyond him to comprehend, but something about the cold, soothing voice prevented him from breaking through the fog of frustrated ignorance. His complicated thoughts were interrupted by a heartless chuckle.

    “Focus on your sight, Jay. Leave the enigmatic sayings to those who can understand. And Noah? Thank you for keeping watch as an unaware sentry over this team.”




    That day, a fire raged in Silver City. A spindly column of thick, curling, black smoke pierced the smog-ridden air of the slums and rose like an ominous tower in the clear skies above the upper levels of the city. Cinders fell from the burnt eves of the building as fire-teams attempted to contain the blaze. Tears stung the eyes of the spectating crowd not only from the smoke, but from the loss of one of their final places of refuge.

    Heat, funneled upwards from the burning sanctuary, cracked the fragile, stained-glass windows featuring Dialga. This sent shards raining down upon the fire-teams, slicing and shattering upon impact. The ancient, incense-stained wood combusted merrily in the building, sending waves of perfumed smoke into the heavens.

    How could Dialga be so cruel, some among the crowd wailed to the skies. Why now, they pleaded in hopes of a miracle. They did not mind the smoke, they did not mind the filth-covered streets they huddled on, they did not mind the blazing, late-summer heat that only intensified with each passing minute.

    Crime inspectors policed the parameter of the church, scanning the mob of crying peasants gathered around to watch their place of worship go up in flames. Their chief, a disgruntled Grumpig, was conversing heavily with the giant, blue tortoise captain of the fire-squad.

    Arson, they announced solemnly. There was no other explanation. Anarchists, terrorists, Colonists were all blamed, but no solid answer was certain. Regardless, word-of-mouth and rumor did its covert work. Within the hour, the entire block was buzzing with speculation. Within the next hour, the entire district was brimming with unease. Seeds of discord were sown. The king’s incompetence and the Senate were blamed in place of the arsonist. Anger, fueled by the wood of the church, was a plague, spreading and coiling through the slums. The spark of unhappiness was fanned into a consuming flame.

    Citizens roamed the streets, the crowd swelling as more and more repressed voices screamed and broke free of their run-down homes. The invisible walls that contained the seething masses of the lower class shattered as their dirtied feet marched up through the fancied courtyards and polished avenues of the upper city. It was often said that in Silver City: ‘all dreams were within reach’. That by working down to the bone, great rewards were to be had. That anything was possible.

    It was a lie. A lie so contrived and massive that every citizen of unfortunate birth had been swallowed whole by it. The widowed Leavanny living in the apartment in the lower slums, the hunger-pained Growlithe wandering the streets, the Furret begging for spare Poké on the corner of a cobblestone intersection: they all found out it was a lie too late. They saw the crowd pass them by, and as drops of rain in a river, they were eagerly assimilated into its swelling ranks.

    The privileged citizens gawked and vacated the streets as the rolling tide of tired, smelling Pokémon spilled over the dam of superior class they had used to confine them to the slums. There was no violence, not yet, even as the gap between rich and poor was literally filled and continued to grow ever closer. Balconies were filled with the wealthy and their families, showering the mob with scathing glares and curses.

    With the smoke hanging over them like a shield, they weathered the looks and jeers. They only had one goal and nothing in the cold depths of Erebus far below or the perfection of Elysium would put a stop to their march. Their many eyes were focused on the gleaming silver-tipped towers and shining glass dome of the palace.

    Gates rattled and screams echoed. Guards retaliated, ending the sparks of the forerunners. From the smoldering crowd, flames erupted. The fallen sparks igniting the fury of the masses. Royal banners hanging from the stately shops and buildings were torn down in collective triumph by the many claws, hands, and wings of the mob. Marble statues of the great kings of old were smashed. Their dust danced upon by the moving feet of the peasantry.

    Roars broke the mundane silence that ruled the day. Bodies bashed against the stiff, iron gates of the palace as electricity, ice, and fire shot down on their unprotected flesh. The barrier refused to budge, as guards swung their fists and attacks at the mob. With agonizing slowness, knees collapsed against the hard stone courtyard and the soldiers wasted no time in delivering the executing blow. Loyalty was reinforced upon the masses as the royal banners unfurled and doomsday trumpets blared their awful song.

    That day, a fire raged in Silver City. Thick clouds of black smoke hid the sun from the evil on the streets while the Chancellor sat on the rooftop and watched it burn.




    Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. Cold. So cold... Repeated words of a bygone eon of his life. The only sensations that assailed his exhausted mind. A smooth, comforting blanket of white. The cold did not trouble him. He had experienced far worse things than to be put off by such a trifling feeling. He did not need the heat as much as he thought he did. It was a lie. He could function perfectly fine without it.

    Too cold. Wake. Wake. Cold. Wake. Cold. Wake up! Get up! Breathe! His body did not want to comply. Lethargy had claimed much of his will to move as the blanket of cold only smothered him further. It had changed from a soothing comforter to a weight that threatened to break his barely-mended ribs.

    Leo struggled to shake himself free. Slowly, he managed to worm his arms against the imprisoning snow. He slashed and kicked at the loosely-packed powder, his want for fresh air in his lungs fueling the sudden fire in his muscles. His thoughts, now much quieter than they were before, still reminded him how cold he was. An uncontrollable shiver passed through his spine as he dug the claws on his feet into the snow surrounding him.

    He could not remember swimming, but he knew of the sensation and applied the tactics. He pushed away the snow with his arms and kicked and claws his way further up. He did not remember how long he had been sleeping, nor how quickly the snow piled on him, but he continued anyways. Kelly needed him now more than ever.

    Well, maybe not me. But someone has to help! he told himself silently as he could not afford to spare the oxygen needed to create words audible only to him. Despite what the pressure had indicated, his claw broke the surface of the snow dune with relative ease. Air rushed through the open fissure and freed his body from the grip of suffocation. He closed his eyes as he pulled himself out, taking in the renewed vigor that flowed through his veins.

    The snow vanished. It left without warning, and the blue, carved room soon after. Before Leo could even blink, he again found himself alone in the darkness.

    “Ignis, you are alive. Do you now wish to see the truth? Vis lucem?” It was her. His claws instinctively curled into fists at the sound of the Froslass’s voice. He could not tell where she was in the vast, dark chamber, but he knew that he was going to find her.

    “Yes! Let me see it! Come on!” he roared. His mind was in disarray. He was tired of the lies, of the visions, of the inane trials. The Mismagius may have been cruel, but he always assured of the rational behind his actions. This witch that taunted him did not.This was the final straw: he was going to end this sojourn into the ice.

    “Are you certain? Quandoque, tutiora sunt vobis in tenebris. Do you want to see, Ignis?” It did not matter to Leo how innocent the voice sounded, he was not going to fall for any of her ploys.

    “Yes! I’m sure! Let me see!” He needed to see, he needed his fire, and he needed to find Kelly. Regardless of what his mind thought, he knew he could not possibly hope to last without the fire burning on his tail. His heart was beating madly in his chest, thumping against his key. Instincts buried underneath the diseased layers of his mind screamed for him to be alert, that things were about to turn for the worse.

    “Glean and sow. Find the seamstress and the bow. Do not take the river pen, twirl around its silver stem...” the Froslass hummed nonsensically as the ground rumbled beneath Leo’s numb feet. And, much to the displeasure of his dilated eyes, light suddenly poured forth from the walls of the chamber.

    Fear returned in all its despicable might. Leo wasn’t sure if his heart had stopped for a moment, or if it was just his lungs failing to take in air. His eyes weren’t sure of what he was seeing. Nothing in his mind could comprehend what terrors lined the vast walls of the dome. A numbness not from the cold spread over his body that sunk its claws straight into his out of control heart.

    Pokémon. Dozens, possibly over a hundred, that he could see. Still as statues against the circular walls. There were more shapes and species than Leo could imagine possible. All displayed for some demented collection. Leo’s feet unconsciously turned in a full circle: he couldn’t bring himself to pull away, nor to close his hanging jaw. Birds, reptiles, animals, even fish, all kinds of Pokémon were encased in this monument to death.

    They were all screaming. Their mouths frozen wide open in terror at the moment of death, eyes either squeezed shut or wide open in their former owner’s reaction to the death blow. The air was the most unsettling of all, it smelled not of death or decay, but of fresh meat in the cold. Leo couldn’t tell what they were staring at, but somehow he knew that their frozen gazes would follow him while he was here.

    “Do you like, Ignis? Not many live to see it. You’re quite the exception,” the Froslass breathed on his neck. Leo screamed as the Pokémon behind him finally appeared and lazily floated around to his front. Petrified, he could only look at she raised the arm at the end of her hair and caressed his cheek as she purred contentedly. She leaned close to his ear.

    “A most extraordinary exception, Ignis. You’re the only piece in this collection I could ever want...” she whispered to him. Red alarm klaxons sounded in his head, yet he was stunned still. He could barely move his mouth except to breathe.

    “But!” she exclaimed as she flipped in the air away from him, much to his relief. “What is Ignis without ignis? You must have your flame if you are to be ... complete.” With that, she floated past him once more, this time delivering what felt like a prolonged drop of liquid nitrogen to the same cheek she felt moments ago. Her dead lips had touched his face. His mind was too much in anarchy to understand, but he would soon realize that the Froslass had kissed him.

    “Vos may sumo unum: vitam vel tonitrui.” The fear holding him hostage let him go enough to pay attention to the Froslass. Straight ahead of him, was an odd patch of darkness obscuring the floor in the middle of the fully-lit room. As she indicated him to turn around, he did and saw an identical mass of seething night on the floor. He jerked back into reality as the entirety of the icy-floor fell away until only a narrow corridor spanning from one pulsing darkness to the other remained.

    Leo spun around. He was now standing on a tiny platform in the middle of a fathomless chasm. The rows upon rows of unmoving Pokémon screamed their silent screams at him. He wanted to hide and shield his face, yet he couldn’t escape their gazes. They were mocking him, their frozen screams transformed into a chorus of sickening laughter. He shut his eyes and covered his face with his claws.

    “Now, see the light, Ignis.” He didn’t want to look up. He wanted to end it, to never look at the hundreds of tortured faces ever again. But, against his will, his arms came down to his sides and his eyes were pried open by some unseen force.

    He wasn’t sure whether to be frightened beyond belief, or consumed with rage for the Froslass. Beneath the two veils of darkness were two things the Froslass deemed precious to him. To his far right, lay his tail’s fire, somehow floating in midair. It called to him like an oasis did to one dying of thirst. He needed it, he needed it far more than he was willing to admit he did, even as the cold was running rampant through his body.

    To his far left, positioned in such as way as to appear like sleeping, was Kelly. She looked peaceful: eyes closed and fur gently moving in the faint breeze that slipped through the cavern. Thoughts of longing came to him. He didn’t realize how much he had relied on Kelly until now. She had always been the rational one, the solid rock when everything was going out of control. He had spent the better part of the day, all of his energy, and endured the physical and mental torture inflicted by two monsters to find her again.

    “Kelly...” Leo whispered as his foot instinctively took a step towards her. The Froslass materialized from a cloud of vapor above the void. Her yellow eyes pierced him like a dagger.

    “Non vultis eligere vitam? Nolite fieri imprudentes, mea Ignis. Ego vos ardentes indigent!” she shouted at him, yet the words passed by him. He did not understand what language she spoke, but he didn’t let it phase him as he took another step forward. The Jolteon on the ground came a little closer to being in his grasp.

    Behind him, his phantom fire flared up. A cry of abandonment rose up from the crackling flame, tugging on his heart. Inwardly, a great part of him feared how he would survive without the fire. He took another step forward as the Froslass ground her rotting teeth in frustration and realized that he didn’t care what happened. He had made his choice, like the witch had ordered.

    The path he was on rumbled and shook. Cracks shot through the translucent ice beneath his feet. The shock that held his body numb ceased to be as his legs kicked into overdrive. His claws skidding along the falling ice while he raced to the bank where his teammate slept.

    “Kelly!” he screamed, his voice scraping against his throat. He rushed onto the bank just as the final chunks of ice collapsed into the abyss below. Leo immediately dropped into a crouch over Kelly. His claws tentatively went to her neck to check for some sign of life as the demon cursed and spat behind him.

    “Kelly? Kelly? Please, wake up. Come on, Kelly. We have to get out...” he whispered, his voice not finding the energy to rise. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t have the sporadic medical ‘training’ Noah somehow possessed or the precise knowledge Kelly herself had. He had no idea how to wake her, except by having his whispers grow more desperate. He gently shook her shoulder, praying that it would elicit some form of response.

    “It’s me, Kelly, Leo. Please ... Please, wake up ... Wake up, Kelly! Please! Wake up!” He wasn’t sure when he had started crying, but he knew he was by the time he lowered his head against the soft fur of her stomach. His breathing began to hitch as fear strangled him with the realization that the worst had come upon him.




    Continued on Next Post

  11. #236
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    ”Both alive and dead until someone opens the box. Alive and dead. A fascinating observation.”

    She didn’t know where she was. Only that it was bitterly cold. And that any prayers to Raikou were muffled underneath the evil of this place. They were here. Just like they always were in her dreams. They used to stand for a sign of comfort, of the times when they were with her as a family, but now they stood only for the complex feelings of unbearable longing and fierce hatred. The many nightmare tears she wept came from many different sources and fouts.

    Her mother’s calm, glowing pink aura washed waves of peace and serenity over her even as the Espeon spat curses at her. Her father’s drawing presence, the overwhelming shadows threatened to crush her, yet he spoke words that quieted her racing mind and eased her aching soul. She never wanted to leave, yet felt repulsed and sickened at the very thought of being next to her parents.

    She would have lost her breakfast had this strange dream allowed her the pleasure. But no, only the purple miasma that plagued her dreamscape would do for her prison. Like usual, she sat opposite her former guardians, glaring with tearful eyes as she struggled to contain the flurry of emotions that stormed her mind.

    “Who are you? You are no daughter of ours. A true daughter does not turn her back on her family.” Kelly shook her head in disagreement, but her mouth was sealed shut. She could not tell which of her parents had made the statement, as the tone of the words melded into a single, unidentifiable drone.

    “Words cannot save you of your sins, false-daughter. Even now, as you turn your back on us, you also turn your back on those you left us for. Those you call friends.” Her mother’s mouth was the one that moved, but the words where her father’s beyond any doubt. She didn’t know which one to pay attention too, much less why she was being controlled so heavily by what should have been figments of her imagination.

    No! I am your daughter! I didn’t leave you! her thoughts screamed in an effort to broadcast what her voice could not. She wanted to scream, to cry out to them, to tell them it wasn’t true, but her mouth refused to open. Tears streamed down her face as her parent’s unloving stares pierced her.

    “You are not ours. You do not deserve love. You leave everyone who cares for you.” Their voices once again combined into a hybrid tone, an evil voice that contained none of her father’s reassuring baritone, or her mother’s soft, lightness.

    “You do not deserve the life we gifted you. You do not deserve the spirit we forged for you. You do not deserve the air we breathed into you at birth.” The despair was a mighty gale slamming down on her, crushing her. She wanted to scream that they were wrong, that the phantom silhouettes were liars, but the air was heavy and refused her breath.

    “Get out! Go! Return to your lies! The poor excuse for an existence you now lead! Go!” Kelly couldn’t move, her feet were numb. Frozen to the floor, she endured the wrath heaped upon her by the Espeon and Umbreon pair.

    No! No! Don’t make me leave! Don’t make me leave! Emotions rocked from side to side within her mind. Unsure of which feeling to hold on to, she made a mad attempt to clutch them all like she was drowning amid the roiling sea. Sadness, fury, happiness, confusion, helplessness all swirled around like a hellish wheel. Kelly squeezed her eyes shut as her head reached the maximum pressure.

    “Kelly!”

    A spark flared inside her reeling mind. A voice she thought had been extinguished forever. A familiar memory among the clashing tides of emotion. Unable to grasp the runaway thoughts, she clung to the voice as the madness ate away at her.
    “Kelly? Kelly? Please, wake up. Come on, Kelly. We have to get out...”

    A desire to leave and confront the sound she thought was lost filled her. Nothing else mattered, not the phantoms that tormented her slumber, not the emotions that warred over her brain, not even the paralysis that clenched her body in its numb claws.

    “It’s me, Kelly, Leo. Please ... Please, wake up ... Wake up, Kelly! Please! Wake up!”

    It has to be a trick. It can’t be him. He’s ... Gone. I saw it, right? Even her own thoughts were questioning what she saw. She couldn’t trust them. There was no possible way that she could.

    “Kelly! Please! Wake up! Wake up, Kelly!”

    It is him! It might be impossible, but what’s there to lose in taking this chance? Nothing, that’s what. A spasm of pain ran through her tired body, causing involuntary sparks to jump from her fur. This dream would soon kill her, that much she knew for certain. It was far more potent this time around. Sleep was now a dangerous fiend stalking her every step.

    Pain. It surged, breaking the floodgates and levies as it overran her body. She couldn’t stay here anymore. She had to escape, leave, flee somehow. It might have been a dream, but the struggle to get to her feet was as realistic as she could imagine on numb legs.

    The world under her aching paws tilted and swayed. The purple mists converged on her as waves whipped up by the gale on the Stormy Sea. They invaded her panting mouth as she forced her uncooperating legs to run away from the consuming fog. Her lungs rejected the poisoning miasma, yet continued to breath it in, hungry for oxygen.

    Her parent’s cruel voices beat down on her ears as her legs collapsed from lack of air reaching their systems. The deep violet seemed to cover her as a smothering blanket of seething nightmares. They absorbed her, matting her fur, and clotting against her skin as she struggled to break free from its grasp.

    Then, light. A glorious, clear blue enigma forced its way through the dead mist that crushed her body, mind, and soul. Something solid and cold materialized underneath her weakened feet and along her back. She was laying on her side on a bed of ice. Someone was over her, head pressed on her stomach, and the sounds of muffled crying came from it.

    Her eyes instinctively flew open as she craned her stiff neck to look at who was the source of the crying. The world was blurred for several eternally long seconds, but soon her senses including sight, sound, and touch were returned to her as a gift by the Fates.

    It was Leo. There was no doubt on the identity of the Charmeleon that currently whimpered into her fur. The light scar she could see on his chest and bright blue key hanging from his neck positively assured her of this. She willed her strained vocal cords to work to give some sign of life to her despairing friend. As her throat struggled to work, she focused on recovering movement in her limbs. Memories came back to her from before she went down. It had been an illusion, it had to have been. Leo hadn’t been killed in cold blood. Despite her reaction earlier, she knew now that it wasn’t real.

    But he still came. He found me. Now, we’re going to get out of here. With gargantuan effort, she managed to raise her forearm and place it on Leo’s heaving shoulder. The result was immediate: he gasped and jerked his head up to look at her face. She saw that his normally blue eyes bore the red stains of recently shed tears. Confusion lined his face like the makeup the performers of the Silver City Theater wore.

    She worked her mouth into a slight grin and tried to raise herself off the ground. She didn’t get far into her endeavor before she was slammed by his tight embrace. His claws wrapped around her neck and he drew close to her. Once again, Kelly didn’t know what to think. Once the initial shock of his action wore off, she managed to place her paw on his back and held it there.

    “You’re ... You’re alright ... Thank God, you’re alright, Kelly ...” Leo hoarsely whispered as he unconsciously tightened his hold on her body. Kelly had no idea of what the Froslass had put him through during his journey down to her. She felt his claws caress her mane and she didn’t have the heart to tell him to let go.

    “Y-yeah. I’m mostly alright. How did you get down here, Leo?” she asked softly as Leo continued to savor his joyous hug he wrapped her in. Her eyes widened as she looked up from his shoulder to see the very Froslass that kidnapped her furiously staring them down, a cloud of cold air fumed from her gritted, rotting mouth with every angered breath.

    Leo didn’t answer, but turned his head around to face the demoness while retaining his hold on her. She was certain he saw the same thing she did: surrounding the shaking Froslass was an aura of glowing ice. Something else captured her attention in the dim, dead room. Far on the other side was a tongue of fire suspended in the air.

    “You chose ... Poorly, Ignis.” The words carried a haunting spell that drove into her chest and sent a chill through her bones. Both Pokemon watched as the ancient abomination floated over the newly created abyss and held the flame in her hand. She cradled the fire for a moment, whispering words of unknown consequence to it before returning it to her right hand. Despite waking up from a comatose state, Kelly pieced together what was about to happen a few seconds too late to do anything about it.

    “Quid pudor...” With that final comment, she clenched her fist together, extinguishing the small ball of fire in between her frozen, calloused skin. While still embracing her, Leo’s breath suddenly caught in his throat. Kelly felt his arms tighten around her and then suddenly fall loose as the Charmeleon collapsed to the ground.

    Instinctively, Kelly pushed away the slight pains that dug into her ribs and desperately tried to coordinate her legs to run over to her partner. Ignoring the demonic force that screamed in tongues closing in on them, she placed her paws on the Leo’s convulsing body. His tail was barren, the porous tip cold and lifeless. It was common knowledge that the Char species’ flaming tails were their lifeblood, but never before had she seen one go out before her eyes.

    Beneath her paws, Leo shivered, his body temperature dropping faster and faster with every passing second. There was no fire, no heat, or tinder in this icy necropolis. Nothing available for her to try and start a fire. No scarves, nothing to keep warm. No matter where she looked, there was only ice and the frozen statues that encircled the walls.

    She wracked her brain over what she could possibly do. Had it been possible, she would have been sweating bullets as she looked over Leo’s quaking body. His eyes were squeezed shut, as if he was tormented in some sort of nightmare, but she vaguely remembered that her tutor had called it “Calor Mortem” and she knew she had to find some way to reignite it otherwise she would lose him. His heartbeat was slowing down to a crawl.

    She didn’t know why the Froslass wasn’t already upon them, but she dared not look behind to find out the reason. Her paws gingerly ran over his arm and chest, trying to offer some sort of comfort while she ran through possibilities in her head. Then, in a flash of inspiration springing from her long-ago lessons in the studies of life from her tutor. With a deep breath, she directed the electrical currents that ran through her body and fur into her forearms.

    Sparks flared before a single bolt of electricity jumped in between her outstretched paws and remained suspended there as she kept the current moving through her. Once she was certain that the current would not fail on her, she reached down and tightly grasped the cold tip of Leo’s tail. Volts of electricity surged from her into him, running up through his tail, and into his body.

    Closing her eyes to concentrate on keeping the voltage under the lethal levels, she carefully fed him the volatile energy. She didn’t have to see him to know what was happening to her teammate. She could feel the artificial heat resonating from his tail as her power acted in place of a flame. Even though she was not touching his chest, she felt his heartbeat rise once again and his body begin to warm.

    If her efforts were working, however, there was little physical evidence. Leo conscious self remained lost underneath the cold that clutched his soul. She knew he was alive, and that was enough for her to keep trying. Unfortunately, Dialga’s blessing of time ran dry for them as the demon appeared in the corner of her eye.

    Kelly refused her the pleasure of a direct stare as she kept her attention focused on the slowly dying Charmeleon beneath her paws. When the horrible screeching started, she tried to block the sound. When the rumbling began underfoot, she stumbled as she attempted to keep her balance. However, when loveless wind, cold as Erebus, blew against her flank, she stood still.

    It stung like salt on a fresh cut. The wind seemed not to whip around her, but bypass her fur and seep into her skin. Sparks involuntarily jumped between the raised spikes on her chilled back as she shivered. Her chest felt heavier, as if bricks were been strapped to it from the inside. White clouds of air puffed from her gasping lips as she tried to keep her focus on Leo. His temperature had again dropped considerably from the wind that burrowed into them.

    Her legs went numb, her paws following shortly thereafter. She didn’t feel them wobble and collapse or her grip on Leo’s tail falter and drop as her body crashed down to the ground. She had no shield against the hard impact except for Leo. Her head landed on his still chest with no reaction from the currently-dying Charmeleon. Her own breaths were tied to his as they both began to let the wind freeze them from within. Kelly’s resolve to leave and escape was burdened by the need to save her fallen friend. She wouldn’t leave him. Not now.

    Ice consolidated on her muzzle and began to encase her fur as her painfully numb ears heard the grating cackle from the Froslass. She felt the cold mass crawl over her skin and lock her in place. As much as she resisted, her body refused to move in the icy prison. The little fur that was unfrozen sparked and bristled against the cold, her final sign of defiance against her inevitable fate.

    Earlier, she had wanted nothing more than to see Leo again and know he was alive. Now that her wish was granted, she wanted to die alone if it would guarantee Leo’s survival. Ever since she had confided in that one dawn back in the camp, she had tried to make sense of what she felt for him. He was her partner and friend, but some corner of her mind whispered that he was something more. It was because of those voices she had broken down earlier at the false image of his demise. If there was any doubt she cared for him, it had been tossed aside when she chose to freeze with him. And, if Erebus chose to take them, then so be it.

    But she’s not getting us without a fight! her thoughts screamed as a final mental warcry as she few tufts of hair on her back surged with all the power she could muster from her unmoving limbs. The Froslass would have them both frozen in an act of defiance, not of fear and submission. The fire that Kelly knew burned within both of them would tear the Froslass apart every time she glanced at them in her vast collection. The ice had won. She couldn’t feel anything anymore.

    “Yes! That’s it! Defy the Fates! Fight for your right to exist! Your struggle has not been in vain, daughter of science!”

    The darkness was sudden, more so than the ice. It appeared out of the inexistory realm in the corner of her eye and flared like a blot of ink on a blank parchment, flooding the room with its primal essence. The cavern of the damned shook and and the ice writhed as the anger of the darkness made its fury known. Through muffled by the ice that was suffocating her and Leo, she heard the Froslass scream as if the horrors of Erebus itself had appeared before her eyes. From somewhere far away, she heard the shouts of the voice she had been forced to forget. The one who had warned her during the police raid. Now, the demon raged against the demoness.

    As suddenly as it happened, the supernatural ice melted away and left her gasping for newfound air. Tendrils of darkness helped coax the freezing substance from her body and guided the wind into her burning lungs. She could barely see what was happening: mist from the shattered ice hung in the cavern like still-raindrops, she swore she heard both the cries and calls of Jay and Noah from someplace in the cavern. If they were real or simply a conjuration she couldn’t tell as her mind spun from the whirlwind of activities.

    “You are both alive. I arrived just in time, it seems. Now, let us close up this inane business and reignite poor Ignis.”

    Once her eyes recovered and the icy binds that sealed her dispelled, she saw the carnage that was occurring before her. Purple-tongued fire danced around the cavern in a swirling tango of hellish power and at the center of it all floated the purple Pokémon himself. He looked like something within an exaggerated painting in the imperial palace in the capital, with the fire shooting off against the avalanche of ice that tried to consume him. Kelly found herself enraptured by his hypnotically golden eyes even as one tongue slammed into the ground right next to her.

    A claw grasped hers suddenly and pulled her shaking body down to the ground. Rather than screaming in shock, she was hushed as she realized that the Mismagius had kept good on his promise. Relief came over her as she knew that Leo was alive, though words eluded her, though she doubted they could have been heard over the whipping wind and constant flash of fire and ice in their duel.

    Spears of ice materialized out of thin air around the flailing Froslass. Her white skin singed by the demonic heat that the Mismagius hurled at her in his rage. She had only seen the mysterious Pokémon a few times before, but he was never beyond the point of showing emotion beyond cold humor. Now, he shouted and cursed at the weakening Ice-type without restraint.

    “We had an agreement, Ira! We had an agreement, you traitor! You bloodsoaked traitor!” His voice sounded like an eruption of a long-dormant volcano, eons of rage put to use against the faltering demoness. Wind shrieked through the one-airtight cavern as the vaulted ceiling crumbled in on itself, flooding the forsaken catacomb with harsh blue light. The earth beneath her rumbled as the Froslass’s power finally broke with the roar of a million thunders.

    As the Froslass, addressed as Ira, writhed in agony, Kelly’s attention was pulled from the spectacle as a black paw clasped her shoulder.

    “You’re both alright! That’s amazing! For a few seconds, I thought you all were ... you know ... solidified. Anyways, let’s get you to your feet and get the hell out of here! Jay! Stop stumbling and come help!” Noah shouted as the Dewott shifted his satchel over his shoulder and heaved as Kelly felt him lift her up. Her legs were bruised, but not yet broken. She made no attempt to hide her cringe as she gingerly took a step away from the crumbling edge of ice. Beside her, Leo grunted in pain as Noah roughly tugged on his arm as he was lifted to his feet. Jay leaned against a wall, holding his eyes and appeared to be sobbing. Kelly immediately wanted to know what happened to her partner, but neither had the strength nor time to stagger over to him.

    “It seems like I’m always dragging you to your feet, aren’t I?” Noah observed as he gave the Charmeleon a playful punch on the shoulder. Kelly truly wondered what was going through the Dewott’s odd mind that made him so casual even as the fire and ice from Erebus dueled in fantastic rage not twenty feet away from him.

    Their reunion was interrupted, however, as the battle suddenly winked out of existence and all that was left on the platform of ice over the abyss was the fallen Ira and the Mismagius holding her down by some psychic force.

    "Dimitte mihi, remitte mihi!" Kelly saw the Froslass being held against the ice, her rotting flesh crushed against the cold ground. Cracks spread along her face as the Mismagius only pushed down harder.

    “You very nearly destroyed everything. Your lust for souls was one I was willing to overlook when I employed you, but the one time I order you to refrain from your activities, you defy me!” The Mismagius screamed as an aura of violent mauve enshrouded his floating form. The four members of Team Salient fell silent while the enigma vented his rage.

    "Dimitte mihi, remitte mihi!" Ira wailed, a cold, unforgettable noise that signaled utter despair. Kelly knew she would never be able to completely unhear her horrendous cry.

    “It is far too late for forgiveness, Ira. Did you forgive any of the souls you trapped here? You may have frozen them solid, but their spirits still burn with desire for vengeance against you, Ira! For your crime, you will know their fury.” With that statement, the earth seemed to heave. The ice-covered walls shook and cracked as the countless statues surrounding them rattled furiously on their rock stands. Kelly could not think of a time in her life where she was both amazed and terrified at the same exact time, yet she was.

    The frozen Pokémon: a cowering Fearow, an elegant Milotic, an Arcanine frozen mid-roar, an enraged Houndoom, were just some of the individual species she could recognize among the shuddering sculptures. True to the Mismagius’s words, fire sparked in the eyes of each and every statue, casting the chamber in a bright orange hue that contrasted with the blue sunlight reflecting on the cracked ice. She wasn’t sure when she had huddled next to Leo or when Noah had done the same to her in fear, but she didn’t care. She only wanted the scene to end and escape this pit of death and fallen souls.

    “Their fire will consume and destroy you! Death will be a fate too kind, Ira. Far too kind. Now, as your collection comes to life, it will take you and this dungeon to Erebus, and I take my leave with my charges. Good-bye, Ira,” he said curtly, his anger once again locked away behind his cold persona as he floated over the abyss back to them. Ira tried to follow, but found herself bound by an ethereal chain about her neck. Her shackles glowing red with heat every time she struggled against them.

    “Ignis! Ignis! Dimitte mihi, Ignis!” Next to her, Kelly saw Leo turn his head away as he attempted to ignore the Froslass’s tortured screams while the fires raging within the collection burst free of their hardened bindings. The scene was a combination of something that should have never been and warped powers of the supernatural. Both beautiful and terrible were the flaming spirits, taking the form of their hosts. At once the dead pantheon was transformed into a coliseum alive with beasts of fire. Their eyes now glowing bright blue as they wore skin of leaping orange flames.

    Roars, squeaks, whinneys, and growls reverberated about the dome reminded the Jolteon of the mystery dungeons that surrounded her old home. She knew she was now within the presence of things that could not possibly exist in the world by any scientific reasoning.

    “Come. We must return along the dark paths before the spirits burn away this realm from the world forever.” And suddenly, everything went dark. Ira’s unholy screams were muffled as the spirits pounced from their ramparts and went about tearing every inch of her world apart with their jaws.

    Kelly felt nothing but wind as the Mismagius carried them through the passage in between time and space. The darkness caressed her form with a comforting embrace that felt warm. Fatigue finally took its toll upon her aching body and she felt the desires of sleep pull on her eyes. The Mismagius, somehow carrying all four of them with his strange arms made of the night sky, gave her a reassuring smile.

    “Rest, daughter of science. There are yet many hours to pass before we escape this crumbling dungeon. Sleep and gather your strength for the war that looms ahead, my dear.”




    End Chapter Fifteen



    Author’s Notes: So, not quite as long of a wait as the last one, but still, this took longer than I thought it would.

    School’s back in session for me and that’s eating up some of my time along with cross country, so I’m either too tired or have too much work to write some nights. But, those are trifling affairs. For this story and my readers, I will always make time.

    Anyways, this chapter was one I had in my head for a long time. I wanted something that ended this story arc in the dungeon on a strong note and it took me a while to come up with a style I wanted to showcase it. I’m rather happy with the results, and I hope you all were too.

    Chapter Sixteen won’t be out for some time as I plan to finish a special project of mine beforehand. I’m certain that you all will enjoy it once it’s here.

    P.S: Mega-Charizard looks pretty sweet! Almost makes me want to have Leo become one... (Kidding!)

    Knightfall signing off...
    Last edited by Knightfall; 1st January 2014 at 2:18 AM.

  12. #237
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    Fear. It is an unfathomable, indomitable creature of primal design. It seethes in the blackest pits of the abyss before clawing its way up the chasm with talons of malice and doubt. It sinks its razored teeth into the hearts and minds of all sentient life. It festers in the darkest, most identifiable corners and grows like a tumor, sending out its slithering tendrils to ensnare all thoughts of courage. To entrap the winds of change. To blot out the window of opportunity. To suffocate the spark of hope within hearts.
    Hmm, how should I put this? I liked the paragraph quite a bit. You gave a very accurate description of fear and what it means to the forces and will that combats it. One thing before I forget, I feel like you could do well to take out the bolded portion. Like I said, you did a wonderful job conveying the thought and delivering the message about fear, however, if you go to far into the explanation and keep using so many negative words, over time it almost seems kind of preachy. Well, not preachy, but it almost seems like you have to make sure you're instilling in the readers exactly what you want without us being able to form our own opinions. Does that make sense? Because I felt the darkness and hopelessness after the first three sentences, and after a bit it felt like you were just putting more on just to make sure that's what I got

    The appendage that had he had mistaken for a serious accident when he first woke up. It had followed him this entire time, trying to shed a small speck of light in this relatively dark world.
    That was simply gorgeous writing there. Perfectly balanced and visual. Loved it

    Now. Go save Kelly, you worthless sack.
    I was wondering when that would pop up. He holds himself accountable but it's not his fault. I feel like that's almost the driving force behind his entire character. Most of the time he truely is a complete victim of circumstance. I feel like it's only really now that he's coming to grips with the fact that he can control more than he thinks he can

    The tendril-thing suddenly speared into his chest, somehow bypassing the layer of skin, muscle, and tissue in his chest until it reached the very center of his torso. Simultaneously, another one of the strange objects clamped around his eyes. The Mismagius never lied. Pain flew swiftly through his body as the cloth-like limbs tore across his form. His chest felt like it had been split open straight down the middle as the tendril wormed its way into his heart. The limb around his eyes was not so merciful. It seemed to sprout claws and dug into his sockets.
    Sorry to keep gushing, but damn that was good. I feel like you've displayed a rare talent with this fic and especially this storyline when it comes to visualization. The portion I quited, I was able to see perfectly in my mind. I saw it under fluorescent lights at first, able to see every detail. But then I read the entire passage again and my perspective shifted to this happening to Jay in a small room by light of a single dim light bulb. Good show sir, good show.

    as the Mismagius continued his grisly duty
    Odd, I could have sworn this whole time that he was a female. Mismagius I mean

    Wake up, you foolish boy! Wake up and smell the ashes! Wake up and see the corruption! Wake up and see what you’ve become! What you’ve fallen to! How the world truly is! See it all, Jay! Wake up and see past your own false-truths! See past the lies that have blinded you! Wake up!”
    For some reason, I feel closer to Mismagius than I do to Jay. I'm not sure why but I have always connected to the other characters more than I have to him. Do you have any reason why that might be? Hmm, may be about time for me to start your fic over and pay attention to him more. Do you ever do that with characters?

    thick, curling, black smoke pierced the smog-ridden air of the slums and rose like an ominous tower in the clear skies above the upper levels of the city
    That didn't make sense to me. If the tower of smoke rose through the smog, how was the sky clear? If you're saying that the city is set so high up that the industrial smog below doesn't reach the upper levels, that's one thing. But the way you described it just made me stumble a bit. Make sense?

    His mind was too much in anarchy
    Would sound more natural if you put 'his mind was torn with so much anarchy'...Just reads a bit better. Not that I'm telling you how to write, you see; just an observation

    over her even as the Espeon spat curses at her
    So her mother was an Espeon? Has that been mentioned before?

    There was no doubt on the identity of the Charmeleon that currently whimpered into her fur. The light scar she could see on his chest and bright blue key hanging from his neck positively assured her of this
    I liked how you woke her up to that. Correlating realization with memory through physical attributes is a hard thing to do, but you did a splendid job. I would give Kelly a big hug if I wasn't so afraid of being poked/electrocuted

    His tail was barren, the porous tip cold and lifeless. It was common knowledge that the Char species’ flaming tails were their lifeblood, but never before had she seen one go out before her eyes.
    Wasn't his tail already out when he got to her? If that's the case, maybe you should put that she had never seen one completely out, instead of go out

    Closing her eyes to concentrate on keeping the voltage under the lethal levels, she carefully fed him the volatile energy. She didn’t have to see him to know what was happening to her teammate. She could feel the artificial heat resonating from his tail as her power acted in place of a flame. Even though she was not touching his chest, she felt his heartbeat rise once again and his body begin to warm.
    That was wonderfully inventive on your part. I'm curious as to where the inspiration came from. I'm seen my fair share of electricity create flame. Once in my home town where a bolt of lightning caught a farmhouse on fire. Wonderful

    At once the dead pantheon was transformed into a coliseum alive with beasts of fire. Their eyes now glowing bright blue as they wore skin of leaping orange flames.
    Yeah that's right, go **** yourself Froslass

    Wonderful chapter buddy, well worth the wait. Character development I think was the core focus here, and you did splendidly with it. Can't wait for the next installment

    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. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Hmm, how should I put this? I liked the paragraph quite a bit. You gave a very accurate description of fear and what it means to the forces and will that combats it. One thing before I forget, I feel like you could do well to take out the bolded portion. Like I said, you did a wonderful job conveying the thought and delivering the message about fear, however, if you go to far into the explanation and keep using so many negative words, over time it almost seems kind of preachy. Well, not preachy, but it almost seems like you have to make sure you're instilling in the readers exactly what you want without us being able to form our own opinions. Does that make sense? Because I felt the darkness and hopelessness after the first three sentences, and after a bit it felt like you were just putting more on just to make sure that's what I got
    You do have a point. I tend to go overboard with some of the description and I kinda got carried away with the fear there. I do see what you're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I was wondering when that would pop up. He holds himself accountable but it's not his fault. I feel like that's almost the driving force behind his entire character. Most of the time he truely is a complete victim of circumstance. I feel like it's only really now that he's coming to grips with the fact that he can control more than he thinks he can
    Leo's character is going through some changes. He is realizing that he can do more to shape his own fate, but, he also remembers what happened when he went beyond his limitations. The reason he goes after her and berates himself for his setbacks is because he feels like he could have done something different during their first fight with Ira the Froslass (because, as it was stated, Ira wanted him originally. Not Kelly. The circumstances changed and Kelly was the only target available at that time).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Sorry to keep gushing, but damn that was good. I feel like you've displayed a rare talent with this fic and especially this storyline when it comes to visualization. The portion I quited, I was able to see perfectly in my mind. I saw it under fluorescent lights at first, able to see every detail. But then I read the entire passage again and my perspective shifted to this happening to Jay in a small room by light of a single dim light bulb. Good show sir, good show.
    Don't apologize. XD Anyways, I do try my best to convey the greatest description possible, so that it paints a clear picture for readers. I want readers to reread passages sometimes, and get a more in depth visualization of the scene.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Odd, I could have sworn this whole time that he was a female. Mismagius I mean
    "You can expect to wake up tomorrow morning in a place that is unfamiliar to you, surrounded by people speaking a strange language, on the opposite side of the world. Be grateful I do not send you to Ravenholm..."
    Sorry about him. He gets out on occasion. Anyways, yes, the Mismagius is a male. He would very much like all readers to know and remember this simple fact. Otherwise, he says, that there will be spiders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    For some reason, I feel closer to Mismagius than I do to Jay. I'm not sure why but I have always connected to the other characters more than I have to him. Do you have any reason why that might be? Hmm, may be about time for me to start your fic over and pay attention to him more. Do you ever do that with characters?
    "Yet you know not my gender... Hypocritical human..." Go away! And, this chapter was meant to build up the Mismagius's character as well as Jay's. Jay has been in that odd position where he is not the center of attention and mainly fills the position of being the "antagonist" of the team. So, it's understandable that you don't relate to him as much. I'm trying to build up his character, but it'll take a while. And, yes, I do that sometimes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    That didn't make sense to me. If the tower of smoke rose through the smog, how was the sky clear? If you're saying that the city is set so high up that the industrial smog below doesn't reach the upper levels, that's one thing. But the way you described it just made me stumble a bit. Make sense?
    Silver City is built upon a coastal ridge, so yes, the lower sections of the city could be smog-filled while the top is mostly clear. I could have made that clearer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Would sound more natural if you put 'his mind was torn with so much anarchy'...Just reads a bit better. Not that I'm telling you how to write, you see; just an observation
    Hmmm... You've got a good point. I'll take it into consideration.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    So her mother was an Espeon? Has that been mentioned before?
    Once before in Kelly's first nightmare scene in Chapter 7. It was a small reference, so I'm not surprised that you don't remember. Either way, I say it again here to refresh everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    I liked how you woke her up to that. Correlating realization with memory through physical attributes is a hard thing to do, but you did a splendid job. I would give Kelly a big hug if I wasn't so afraid of being poked/electrocuted
    Thanks! I'm not sure how I did it either, the sentence just kinda flowed like that and I went with it. XD (Or, I'm just too tired right now to come up with a good reply) Amd, I'm almost certain you would be zapped, but in hindsight, she'd realize you were trying to comfort her, which would only weigh more on her guilt and send her spiraling faster on a downward path...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Wasn't his tail already out when he got to her? If that's the case, maybe you should put that she had never seen one completely out, instead of go out
    Good point. I should change that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    That was wonderfully inventive on your part. I'm curious as to where the inspiration came from. I'm seen my fair share of electricity create flame. Once in my home town where a bolt of lightning caught a farmhouse on fire. Wonderful
    Thank you, again! And, it came partly from ChaosCaptain. I was talking with him one night about our stories and we came to the subject of the abilities of Electric Pokemon and what use they would have in healing. While reigniting the tail flame never came up and was my own idea, I would like to attribute a bit of that inspiration to him. And really, it makes sense when it comes down to how electricity behaves.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Yeah that's right, go **** yourself Froslass
    Would you believe there's some people who really like her character?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Wonderful chapter buddy, well worth the wait. Character development I think was the core focus here, and you did splendidly with it. Can't wait for the next installment
    I appreciate the review, man! Always nice to hear from you, and your opinions are always helpful! I put a lot into development in this arc, so hopefully now I can focus on more plot-related things.

    Knightfall signing off...

  14. #239
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    I am very pleased to announce that Chapter One has been rewritten!

    It's been a long time in coming, but finally, it's finished up to my current standards! I've added details galore and updated some scenes to better fit the plot while keeping true to the first version of the chapter. I hope you all enjoy it!

    Knightfall signing off...

  15. #240
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    Hello Knightfall. Remember me?

    I've been reading your fanfic on fanfiction.net and I came here to see if there was anythinh different from that (fanfiction.net) and here. And I'd like to say what I think about it.

    (Prologue) Chapter 0.5: System Failure: Re-Initiation P1

    (It might be redundant, but I'll just say it out of respect)
    It was very unusual as a prologue, especially the fact that it started in the human/Pokemon world (I'm assuming that since there were refrences to Lanto location like Pewter City) And, if you recall, confusing at first. But you explained the reason and in those contrasts, it was a good job.

    Chapter 1: In Which a Story Begins/The Story Retold

    When I was reading the unedited version, and I'd like to say it was okay; I was thinking that revising it was a bad idea. Because of updating and all sorts of things that I don't want to blabber on. (Or else I'd end up like Icarus XD) But when I read the rendition (I think that's the right word), I was speechless. Really. It is very different and good, so now my opinion has shifted. So because it's different, the events in some of the later chapters will become sonewhat irelevant.

    Chapter 2: A Slight Disperency

    In here, I stopped reading at first not because it is not good. It's because Leo's in trouble. But after a while of boredom and suspense, I continued reading again. And I knew that Leo's was gonna get zapped again.

    As for constructive criticism, I can't really think of any.

    I would love to continue but I've run out of time. So I'll review the rest later soon.

  16. #241
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    Hello again! I do recall seeing you over on FF.net. While I typically don't have that much of a difference between here and FF.net, I do tend to update and revise here first. I did revise the first chapter on FF.net as well, but unfortunately, I have no way of publicly announcing it without creating an entirely new chapter.

    Anyways, on to the review.

    Thanks you! That was something different then the original Prologue. I never referenced the Pokemon world there, but here, I wanted to make it clear where Doug and Henry were. I really wanted the prologue to stand out from others, so I did what I felt was necessary to accomplish that.

    Those were my exact thoughts when I was thinking of revising it. But, then I looked it over again and saw everything that would benefit from a rewrite, so I went with it. I'm very happy to see that you enjoy it more than the first version. It makes all the time and effort I put into it worth it. And, surprisingly, there's not much in the later chapters that will change/become irrelevant because of this revision. A few small things, yes, but overall, I tried my hardest to preserve the plot points of the chapter, while also paving the way for my current plot line which I finalized long after the original chapter was finished. So, in short, I kept it the same, but made it so that it works with the current plot.

    Yeah, Chapter Two has it's problems, but it hasn't yet crossed the threshold of needing a rewrite. It's rather stale, but it gets the job done, somehow.

    Well, I thank you immensely for the time you did take to read this. Please, review when it's most convenient for you. This alone was great.

    Knightfall signing off...

  17. #242
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    You welcome. I was thinking more of one scene, but yeah. I guess that doesn't mean ALL the chapters will become irelevant. Now I shall continue my review.

    Chapter 3: Calibration

    This chapter seemed focused on how your world works and whatnot. I was a bit confused when they (Team Salient) were talking wulith Leo. Did he say he was human? Or not? But now, I know the answer to that. The currrecy reminds me of the currency in Avatar: The Last Airbender and what it was like in ancient times. I don't know if that's where you got it from, but that's just what I was thinking. The mystery dungeon was well writen again. I thought that it was ridiculous that an entire swarm of Grass Pokemon. I was also confused as to why Jay and Leo were arguing, (this was when I wasn't sure if Leo said he was human or not) I mean, if he said he was human why would they ask something like that? But now I understand why Jay was shouting at Leo like it's the most obvious thing in the world.

    Chapter 4: Injustice

    Okay, when I read the quote I thought, "What? Am I imagining things or is he using the Team Frontier of EoS?", because I didn't expect that. Now, onto the chapter! In the dream Leo was having, I don't remember what I was thinking, but I think I was thinking that this was unusual. I was wondering what was the Pokemon that was nursing Leo and was somewhat surprised it was a Liligant. And when Jay, Kelly and Icarus came into the room when Leo was probably gonna lash out vocally, that was funny for me. Akward Well, at least it shows how much he cares for his newfound friends. Ha, funny. Rosaline says that too. When Jay and Kelly atarted explaining, I was surprised that a Pokemon was keeping an eye on the extraction. But I think it was a good touch. I thought that it was hilarious that Icarus was in trouble. XD I like those kinds of scenes, they necer cease to make me laugh. I also found it funny, no, hilarious that Leo waals stealing Kelly's drink. And even more funny that he founs that it was actually disgusting for him. XD Things are getting thicker in plot. I think.

    Chapter 5: Interference

    At first, I was confused as to what was attacking them. But when you said it was a Metagross, I wasn't confused anymore. I thought the battle was pretty gruesome. I also thought that the two-minded Metagross (Kind Wire and psychotic Nexus) was intresting. And now the Mismagius from the cover of the fanfiction.net version formally appears! All sarcasm aside, now Leo's lind is gonna be more paranoid/psychotic (I think). And the plot thinkens even more!

    Chapter 6: Severence

    Now, when I look at the quote at the top again after reading the rest of the story. It makes a whole lot more sense (<I think that had bad grammer). Now we got to see a bit of backstory to one of your characters. Oh and did you mean nieve in the sentence when Kelly was reminescing (I think that's how it's spelled)? Or naive? Just wondering. Man, that Mismagius is not very kind, is he?

    Chapter 7: Interlude

    I felt very, striken (I think that's the right word) and, I don't know what's the right word, but I felt Gears plight. Even though he was a minor character, I seened to have liked him even more when he was sticking to his beliefs. Even if it means he got killed in the process. May you rest in preace Gears....And now Mismagius is talking to Jay too?! It seems thia guy is all over the place. Reminds me of one of my characters......And nooooow he's talking to Kelly. Wonder why he does this.

    I would like to continue, but my phone's starting to slow down so I'll stop here.

  18. #243
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    Time to reply!

    Chapter 3: Oh yes, this was a major world-building chapter! I loved writing it as I was able to pour my many ideas about the PMD world into it. The currency is based off many ancient civilizations (and, Last Airbender used it as well to some degree). Coins of gold, silver, and copper with varying denominations. I tried to make that point evident in writing. Leo has not told anyone his secret. And, yes, hopefully their conversation makes more sense now.

    Chapter 4: It is the one and only Team Frontier. No mistake there. Believe me, I use them for a very specific reason. And, his dream was the first time I tried to write something that wasn't on the normal realm of reality. I'm glad you found it interesting and Team Salient's reactions with Leo and Icarus genuine. Icarus is a great character. Don't say good-bye to him just yet.

    Chapter 5: I admit, that was a drastic step for me. Making Wire and Nexus was the first time I made a character that was considered an abomination and was perfectly insane. And yes, I'm glad you're liking his appearances.

    Chapter 6: For my sake and the sake of the plot, I sincerely hope you're bluffing. And, I believe I did mean that word.

    No. No he is not kind. Or ethical. Or morally right. Or a nice Pokemon in any sense of the word.

    Chapter 7: Hehe. I'm glad you felt that way for Gear. His part in the story was short, but I tried to make his impact large.

    And as you'll soon see, the Mismagius has quite a large range of influence.

    Thank you again for your thoughts.

    Knightfall signing off...

  19. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knightfall
    Chapter 6: For my sake and the sake of the plot, I sincerely hope you're bluffing.
    Ha ha, okay. Then I won't say.

    Anyways, here I go to continue!

    Chapter 8: Extradition

    When I was reading the bolded parts in the beginning, I knew it was the Mismagius telling Leo what to do. And at that moment, I understood why the Mismagius said, "See past the corruption.....". The part on how the orbs work is an intresting one. I wasn't so confused about the dungeon as I know that mystery dungeons are anomilies. The part where Jay said they can track you with the badge was intresting, as it's good when you're lost and want help, but bad when you're trying to get away. And the fact that Jay was trying to hide his past does not bode well. And poor Aleck, greed is a powerful thing as well as deception. Now I still wonder what's so bad about Sawgrass Town though.

    Chapter 9: Pespective

    When I started reading this I was like, "Coupd it be...?". And as I continue I was like, "Yes! I knew it! It's Nickolas! The one who sees over the Kingdom from that quote in Chapter 7!". And my suspiciouns that he would come into the story have been proven. I was even more surprised by the fact that the Scyther has such a, well, drab name to me at least. Although I think you are reffering to a real-life politician. And then I continued reading and I was so enamored (I think that's the right word) by it, even if it didn't really make sense at first. Which I absolutely love. Then when you went to Aleck, I was thinking, "Is it just me? Or is this Mismagius going all over the place?". I mean, he has been into the minds of the main protagonists and now the (I think it's what they are) support and minor characters? And imagine that you originally wanted Mismagius be a minor character. Poor Aleck (again). You know, I didn't realize that they could have simply gone north-west. But sometimes the best answers are simple. And yay! Icarus is back! For some reason, I was thinking that Icarus would be part of Team Salient sometime. BOOM! Team Salient is now ambushed. Life is not going so well for them ever since Leo came along.

    Now I'll stop here as I'm almost out of time. And I might, keyword, might,, not be around for a week. I'm not so sure.

  20. #245
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    Wow. Three times in one day. Thank you!

    Chapter 8: Heh, it's a wonderful feeling isn't it? When the clues start putting themselves together...
    Orbs are a tricky area. I picture them as extremely volatile artifacts, but others disagree. But, regardless, they are dangerous. Likewise with the badge. I mean, how else does the Federation know what teams are where and who needs help? Badges.
    And just you wait to see Jay's story.

    Chapter 9: Yep. Good, ol' Nicky is here to share in the madness. And, while I don't reference any current figures in politics, I do base several characters off a few certain people in history...

    The Scyther, Darney, is an odd character. But, that's actually a reference. A little known one, I guess, but a reference nonetheless. The story A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens has a main character called Charles Darnay. That's where I got it from.

    And yes, Leo has been a bringer of misfortune hasn't he?

    Well, thank you for your review.

    And, one more thing concerning Sawgrass. We don't go there anymore. Not since...

    Knightfall signing off...

  21. #246
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    Your welcome. I usually have plenty of free time.

    Now onto reviewing!

    Chapter 10: Memory

    This chapter offers some much needed back-story. For Kelly, showing how she thinks of her parents. For Leo, another clue to his amnesic past. And Jay, a hint as to what happened to him. As well as an answer to who ambushed them. I actually knew that Noah was gonna be around soon because I saw an art made by someone I believe you know, Piplup-fangirl66, titled, "If they only knew.....". I didn't expect Icarus to be a blabber mouth. Just like me......Oh well! At least that adds another quality to him! For some reason, I could see him as a member of Team Salient.....And Torrent, heh, it seens Gear has friends. And that suspicous tapking in the end. Nice. It makes readers (at least me) wonder what'als going on.

    Chapter 11: Intercession

    When I started reading this, I was like, "Wait a minute....Is it....?". And then as I continued I went like, "Yes! I was right again!". And then I got a little confused when he said "father", but then I realize that it's a church. So yeah. Nickolas having problems shows that even royalty have problems. Ha ha ha, seems Noah is a formidable warrior and now Leo again faces defeat. And then Mismagius is in some sort of library that catalogs everyone's memories and it seems even he has his own problems. Hmm, the plot seems to be thickening as Darney recieves orders , Ian and Vertex being found (and introduced formally) and Leo's (probable) slow descent to madness. Ian reminds me of Scythe in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Silver Resistance, except Ian's insanity doesn't help him. It seems like another Kelly and Leo moment. Why is it my mind thinks that they like each other more than friends? Anyways, that was funny about waking everyone up with a Groudon roar. I sure wouldn't want to be sleeping in on this camp.

    Chapter 12: Ethics

    Again, after reading the rest of the story. The quote in here makes a bit more sense, but still mysterious. When reading this first time, I was like, "Wait a second, is this the Drowsee from EoS/T/D?" And then when it said that he did bad to a Pokemon and his younger brother, I think that pretty much confirms it. And that scene with Leo, it was pretty disturbing. But it really didn't faze me. Because I couldn't imagine it. XD And poor Ian, it's not easy being insane after losing a loved one. And that was a bit unexpected of Quark, but then again, the Mismagius isn't exactly nice either. Aaaaand once again, Leo keeps his secret. And I found the names of the new teams ri-dic-u-lous. XD And at the end with Noah, I was like, "WHAT?! HE'S FRIENDS WITH THE MISMAGIUS?!" as that was a huge shock for me.

    Now I'm gonna stop because my phone's slowing down again.

  22. #247
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    “Very true, but, it’s not our place to decide that. We’ll do what we can.”
    Wouldn’t put a comma here. It sounds unnaturally awkward when you say it out loud.
    “There. That’s the issue!” He motioned with his hand towards a switch on the opposite side of the room as he looked up from his seat out the wide observation window --made entirely from reinforced, recycled plastics. There was an audible click as the comm system between the upper and lower chambers of the testing room came live.
    Just a couple nitpicks here. Make sure your dashes actually look like dashes instead of two hyphens squished together. Also, I wouldn’t use “comm.” Unless it was in dialogue, it sounds too informal here.
    With another dismissive wave, the metal doors slid shut and the freight elevator slid downwards the ten feet to the lower room.
    “an” not “a”. Normally I wouldn’t be so nitpicky with grammar but since this is the prologue and it’s supposed to grab the reader’s attention, everything counts. I will say, though, that you have a handle for all this electrical, scientific jargon. There’s no way I could write stuff like this. I admire it. Lmao.
    A shot of the burning capitol again, this time it was a section of footage from several hours ago.
    Would put this into 2 separate sentences or it sounds like a run-on.
    “Listen to me, Doug: I have a life up there. I have a wife. A family, Doug. Friends. I have something worth going back to. Something you seemingly don’t have or care enough about to go return to. I already lost my grandson, Doug. I’m not going to let the rest of my family feel that pain again from losing me,” the senior scientist viciously spat as he brushed away Doug’s hand off his shoulder. “If you excuse me, I will take my leave now. Good-bye, Douglas, you stubborn son of a *****,” he huffed as he stormed towards the elevator. Doug took a deep breath. He knew it would come to this. The guilt card with the teen had been Plan A, but now there was no other option.
    Damn son, that really just happened!!! That guy just left him there to die after telling him how worthless he was. I love it.






    After the year he had spent working with the veteran scientist, Doug was certain the two shared a sort of friendship, and it was that bond that Doug had gambled on. Now, as the doors shut, Doug knew that not even the illusion of brotherhood could keep a man from thoughts of self-preservation.
    I particularly liked this bit of description. In this short span of time you’ve shown exactly what two men, leading two entirely different lives, would do in a life-or-death situation. You’ve also shown their relationship pretty well.
    Taking a final up close look at the teen, Doug reached into his coat and pulled out a small object wrapped in a layer of cloth from his inside pocket.
    Would put “final close up look at the teen” instead. Just a mix up of words there, I think.

    I’d also like to stop here and mention how I like the teenager’s thoughts in separate sections of the fic, isolated from the rest of the text. It really shows how alone the teenager is in his situation. And his internal dialogue shows his obvious intense fear.
    “Finally ... An exit ... The outside ... I’m fre-- ”
    A hell of a way to end this prologue, with a dash and therefore a cliffhanger of sorts. I know this is a PMD fic, and I must say it’s also a hell of a way to start a PMD fic. Everything’s mysterious yet very detailed at the same time. Your vocabulary and diction for everything was very spot-on. I also enjoyed the characterization for these two characters, though I doubt we’ll be seeing them anytime soon. Overall a very enjoyable read but I think I’d have to read a real chapter to get a feel for what the fic is really like.

    All Doug knew was that when he woke up exactly ten and a half seconds later, he was laying haphazardly across a shattered flatscreen monitor in the subsidiary control room for the water, gas, and power lines that sat directly underneath the observation deck like a weary adventurer under a tree.
    Lol, the adventurer under a tree is an interesting comparison, since it seems like a calming image to me.

    “Doug ... Weren’t you the one to tell me that ‘he was better off dead’ rather than returning to the surface? So what if he’s dead, then? We have no visible proof that he is dead as neither of us saw the results. So, even if he is gone or the Gate, by some miracle, actually worked, then either way, he is in a better place. Now, unless we want to die ourselves, you’d better get your sorry rear over here and take a mask,” Henry stated, giving Doug’s shoulder a strong shake. The wizened man held a mask and watch-like machine out, indicating for Doug to take them.
    How nice of Henry to point out Doug’s inconsistencies. I guess it’s hard to be consistent in a situation like this, though.
    As if sharing its lament over the loss of its employee, the massive building groaned as the concrete ceiling caved in on the transport chamber, giving Matthew at the very least an impromptu burial underneath several tons of the facility he had loved.
    Sad, but good paragraph. You gave Gideon a good personality and decent good-bye for the short time he was there.

    I didn’t have much to point out in the second part since I pointed it out in the first part. Your vocabulary is advanced for your age, your description is spectacular, and I await to see other characterizations. My only complaint is that you dragged out the prologue quite a bit. I can sum up what happened in a single sentence: Two men, Doug and Henry, are lamenting the loss of their project due to an attack on their facility, and they escape. That’s about all that happened, yet you spent 20-30 pages describing it. Still, it was well written, so I don’t mind too much.
    Last edited by diamondpearl876; 27th October 2013 at 2:50 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 |


  23. #248
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    Thank you for reviewing, DP!

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Just a couple nitpicks here. Make sure your dashes actually look like dashes instead of two hyphens squished together. Also, I wouldn’t use “comm.” Unless it was in dialogue, it sounds too informal here.
    I've always had trouble with getting the full dash to appear. Windows is supposed to automatically do that when I put two hyphens and a space, but apparently it doesn't work all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    “an” not “a”. Normally I wouldn’t be so nitpicky with grammar but since this is the prologue and it’s supposed to grab the reader’s attention, everything counts. I will say, though, that you have a handle for all this electrical, scientific jargon. There’s no way I could write stuff like this. I admire it. Lmao.
    Feel free to be as nitpicky as you want! I'm perfectly fine with making this as perfect as possible! And, thanks! I've been interested in electronics for a long time, so I tend to include that vocabulary in my work.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Damn son, that really just happened!!! That guy just left him there to die after telling him how worthless he was. I love it.
    That's something that wasn't there in the original version. I'm happy you enjoyed it. These two characters, while only seen in this chapter, are two of my favorites.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    I particularly liked this bit of description. In this short span of time you’ve shown exactly what two men, leading two entirely different lives, would do in a life-or-death situation. You’ve also shown their relationship pretty well.
    You'll see just how much I love description in this story. And, I kinda pulled out all the stops with them because I only have them for this one chapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    A hell of a way to end this prologue, with a dash and therefore a cliffhanger of sorts. I know this is a PMD fic, and I must say it’s also a hell of a way to start a PMD fic. Everything’s mysterious yet very detailed at the same time. Your vocabulary and diction for everything was very spot-on. I also enjoyed the characterization for these two characters, though I doubt we’ll be seeing them anytime soon. Overall a very enjoyable read but I think I’d have to read a real chapter to get a feel for what the fic is really like.
    Heh, I know you wrote this before finishing the prologue, but thank you. It was my goal as I started this story to make it as different from a usual PMD story as I possibly could. And, you could always read Chapter One and onwards... XD I kid.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Lol, the adventurer under a tree is an interesting comparison, since it seems like a calming image to me.
    It was meant to be out of place, like you said, it conjures up a different image than you'd expect for this situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post
    Sad, but good paragraph. You gave Gideon a good personality and decent good-bye for the short time he was there.
    You are the first to mention Gideon! I am glad you enjoyed him as he was the first character I had that ... well, kills himself. There's not a lot of true research you can do to know how to write that, so I had to use my imagination to place myself in his shoes and went from there. He was a short lived character, but I'm glad you thought he was memorable.

    Quote Originally Posted by diamondpearl876 View Post

    I didn’t have much to point out in the second part since I pointed it out in the first part. Your vocabulary is advanced for your age, your description is spectacular, and I await to see other characterizations. My only complaint is that you dragged out the prologue quite a bit. I can sum up what happened in a single sentence: Two men, Doug and Henry, are lamenting the loss of their project due to an attack on their facility, and they escape. That’s about all that happened, yet you spent 20-30 pages describing it. Still, it was well written, so I don’t mind too much.
    Thank you! I take pride in that fact, especially since my English 3 class is filled with people who can hardly write a decent essay. I hope we have a creative writing section, because I'll blow them out of the water then.

    Anyways, you'll find that to be another recurring characteristic of my writing. I like long chapters. My chapters usually range from 25 to 32 pages each, though some of the early ones are much less than that. I know this could have been shortened, but I feel that it was done for the sake of character development.

    Thank you again, DP! I appreciate it!

    Knightfall signing off...

  24. #249
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    There was no wind. There was no wind, yet the tall, golden fronds of grass swayed like waves on a fabled sea. The shimmering plants tossed their grainy heads around in the nonexistent breeze, almost glowing in their unspoiled splendor. Sunlight, floating down from the great orb in the heavens, caressed the massive field like a giant hand stirring the surface of a still pond. It was the picture of perfect calm.
    First off, I liked the entire paragraph, beautiful description. Which is obviously to be expected. You really painted an interesting picture so great job. Secondly, my only real problem with it was how many times you described the lack of wind. I counted three times and it felt a bit too excessive to me. I might recommend taking out 'nonexistent breeze', because on that one I was almost thinking, "I get it! There's no wind!"... Not in an annoyed way you understand, it just became a bit tedious and drew my attention instead of focusing on the paragraph and the description as a whole. You dig?

    He felt himself, his skin, his arms, his hands, and his legs pressed against the cool, dry earth.
    That's one more little tidbit that rubbed me the wrong way. You could have accomplished the same thing by just saying body instead of listing all the extremities. Hell, that may just be my personal preference but it felt just a bit too wordy to me

    His head spun madly as his brain had to adjust to the sudden change in alignment and blood flow. Both hands sprang to the sides of his skull as he cradled it while he rocked slowly back and forth on the ground. He wanted nothing more than the world to stop its breakneck rotation, but was only rewarded with a strong wave of nausea passing over him. His body lurched forward, and he was only barely able to hold himself up on his shaking arms as his stomach tried to clear itself of all previous contents.
    LMAO, if I didn't know better I'd say that he was hammered. Seriously, that describes what happen when you have way too much to drink perfectly. Kudos to you on that not just because of the awesome description but you displayed a really good feel for body feelings there. Loved it

    it to have a large horn-like protrusion extending from the back of his skull.
    You might do better changing the 'horn', to 'crest'. I feel like that's more physiologically accurate. Again, probably just nitpicking, but it caught my eye

    Within an instant, he was slammed with sensations of pure pain. Every nerve on his body activated and sent their most powerful signals to his brain, nearly overloading it with anguish. His body acted without his consent as his foot immediately jerked back from his tail, kneeing himself in the gut with the same action. He was already breathless from the initial pain, but the secondary input almost sent him to the ground again.
    Once again, beautiful description there. I know I keep jabbering about it, but I remember this chapter way back when you posted it and your experience and skill has increased ten fold since then. Nicely done sir

    ... Human. I’m... Human? Is that what I am?” Leo slowly asked himself, processing the classification in his head. He wasn’t sure, much like everything else he had gone through today. It seemed just as plausible as anything, though something unnerved him at how quickly the answer came through. He never even got a chance to sit down before the word soared into his consciousness, or range of hearing, he still wasn’t sure which had detected it.
    You also did a wonderful job describing the amnesia like effects. I can't remember the word for having something on the tip of your tongue but just can't get it out, but that's what most of this chapter as felt like so far. You've created this almost unformed being with Leo here and his struggle to figure everything out is not only wonderfully described but entirely believable. It's so much fun to get back to Leo in these early days lol

    recycled steel platform
    Recycled? Hmm, that seemed odd to me. If it's integral to the description of the room that's one thing, but otherwise it made me stumble a bit. If it isn't you can get away with just saying steel platform

    “This is number eight, Doug. Come on, let’s get out of here.”
    Awesome way to end a chapter

    All in all, I enjoyed my read, just like always. Your grammar is annoyingly tidy as always XD. This was a nice throwback to the beginning and I liked it because it got me out of the chaos that were in right now in the story and focused back on Leo, which is the sole reason I like this story so much. Granted, we stepped back from the current chaos and went back to the old chaos, but it was a nice change of pace and made me even more eager for the next installment. Nicely done buddy

    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
    First off, I liked the entire paragraph, beautiful description. Which is obviously to be expected. You really painted an interesting picture so great job. Secondly, my only real problem with it was how many times you described the lack of wind. I counted three times and it felt a bit too excessive to me. I might recommend taking out 'nonexistent breeze', because on that one I was almost thinking, "I get it! There's no wind!"... Not in an annoyed way you understand, it just became a bit tedious and drew my attention instead of focusing on the paragraph and the description as a whole. You dig?
    Thank you! While it is a bit redundant, I do admit, I did want to make that point made. I'll probably go and edit it soon to make it less ... tedious, as it were.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post

    That's one more little tidbit that rubbed me the wrong way. You could have accomplished the same thing by just saying body instead of listing all the extremities. Hell, that may just be my personal preference but it felt just a bit too wordy to me
    Fixed! You're right, that did sound a bit weird...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    LMAO, if I didn't know better I'd say that he was hammered. Seriously, that describes what happen when you have way too much to drink perfectly. Kudos to you on that not just because of the awesome description but you displayed a really good feel for body feelings there. Loved it
    Yay? I'm not sure how to react. XD I've never drank or had a hangover before, so I had to go with my imagination for this and for the small bit I've seen actual examples of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Once again, beautiful description there. I know I keep jabbering about it, but I remember this chapter way back when you posted it and your experience and skill has increased ten fold since then. Nicely done sir
    Thank you! That's what I love to hear: that I've improved from before. I tried to keep the chapter the same, but updated to reflect my new writing standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    You also did a wonderful job describing the amnesia like effects. I can't remember the word for having something on the tip of your tongue but just can't get it out, but that's what most of this chapter as felt like so far. You've created this almost unformed being with Leo here and his struggle to figure everything out is not only wonderfully described but entirely believable. It's so much fun to get back to Leo in these early days lol.
    It was a lot of fun going back to this and shaping his character for the first time again. It reminded me how much joy I had when I first created his character and how much more I have yet to do with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewinder View Post
    Awesome way to end a chapter

    All in all, I enjoyed my read, just like always. Your grammar is annoyingly tidy as always XD. This was a nice throwback to the beginning and I liked it because it got me out of the chaos that were in right now in the story and focused back on Leo, which is the sole reason I like this story so much. Granted, we stepped back from the current chaos and went back to the old chaos, but it was a nice change of pace and made me even more eager for the next installment. Nicely done buddy
    Henry is pretty badass, if I do say so myself.

    Anyways, thank you very much! I am happy you liked going through the updated version. That alone made it worth it. And, I do plan on bringing the focus of the story back to Leo more soon, but the other characters require some development as well. But, you can be sure of seeing more Leo soon.

    Knightfall signing off...

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